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£..' 136 


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The Committee regret that the publication of the 
present Volume has been so long unavoidably delayed. 
This has been occasioned by the state of health of one 
of the principal contributors, which did not admit of his 
preparing his paper for publication at an earlier date. 

The Society have to thank W. E. Surtees, Esq., of 
Tainfield, for the illustrations of bench-ends from Kingston 
Church, so characteristic of the county of Somerset ; and 
Mr. C. W. Dymond, C.E., for the Survey of the Camp 
at Norton Fitzwarren. 

The Society are also indebted to the Eev. Thos. Hugo, 
M.A., for the initial letter of his paper on Hestercombe, 
and to Mr. Bidgood for the one containing the exchequer 
chamber and gateway of Taunton Castle. 

The Committee are not responsible for any statements 
or opinions expressed in the different papers. 

Since the date of the proceedings now recorded the 
Society has lost by death the services of one of its 
Honorary Secretaries, W. A. Jones, Esq. The Committee 
are sure that the Society at large will join in the regret 
felt for his loss. Mr. Jones was not only constant in his 
attention to the interests of the Society as Secretary, but 
contributed to the volumes of its Proceedings many of 
their most valuable papers, and latterly was chief editor 
of the publication. 

Museum, Taunton, 14th April, 1874. 




Annual Meeting at Taunton, 1872 - - - 1 

Inaugural Address by Mr. W. A. Sanford 5 

Mediaeval Deeds of Stoke Courcy - - - 15 
Notice of a Jewel, by Rev. Canon Meade - - 16 
Taunton Castle -------18 

„ Church of St. Mary Magdalene - - 21 
„ „ St. James 23 

„ Priory -------24 

„ Grammar School ----- 25 

Evening Meeting — Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins on the 

Ancient Geography of the West of England - 26 
Excursion — Hestercombe Quarry and House, King- 
ston Church and Bench-ends, Norton Church and 
Camp, Bishops Hull Church and Manor House - 33 
Evening Meeting — Parish Registers of Stoke St. 

Gregory, by Rev. J. Coleman 48 

Second Excursion — Old Road to Bathpool, West 
Monkton, Creech St. Michael, North Curry, 
Thorn Falcon and Ruishton Churches 55 

Evening Conversazione 67 

Local Museum -------68 

Conversazione Meetings ----- 69 

Additions to Museum - - - - -70 


King Ine, by Mr. Edward A. Freeman 1 

Taunton Castle, by Mr. George T. Clark 60 
Customs of the Manor of Taunton Deane, by Mr. 

W. Arthur Jones - - - - - - 77 



Hospital of St. Margaret, Taunton, by the Rev. 

Thos. Hugo 100 

Hestercombe, by the Rev. Thos. Hugo - - 1 36 
Flora of the Quantock Hills, by the Rev. W. 

Tuckwell 177 

Rules, List of Members, and Officers - - 185 

Glossary of Provincial Words and Phrases in use 

in Somersetshire ------ at end 


Taunton Castle — S.W. view - - Frontispiece 

„ N.W. view- - - part ii. 60 

„ W. view of the Eastern Gate „ ii. 73 

Kingston Bench-ends (3 pages) - - „ i. 40 

Plan of the Camp at Norton Fitzwarren „ i. 44 

Panel on St. Margaret's Hospital, Taunton „ ii. 101 


Page 48 line 18 after Ealdhelm add or his pupil 

,, note omit of Saint Ealdhelm 
» 99 /w grammibus read graminibus 


„ 102 line 9 ,, similiar read similar 





107 ,, 22 ,, Muncketone ,, Muneketone 

109 „ 8 ,, Of like nature ,, Supplementary to 

the last 

110 „ 25 „ ages ,, years 
115 note ,, Chapleyn „ Chaplyn 

124 line 12 after Glover's add (or " Govier's ") 

125 „ 5 omit in days 

133 „ 26 for Soc read Soc' 

134 „ 1 ,, dampnu ,, dampnu' 

136 „ 20 „ gallant ,, valiant 

137 „ 6 after by add sombre 

138 „ 7 fw most venturesome read boldest 
150 „ 23 ,, Meryet „ Meriet 

159 ,, 20 after bearings <«W commemorating 

the matches of the family, 
165 ,, 8 for alludes read alluded 

176 „ 2 „ p'di't „ p'dict' 

t> ft O C E E D I N G S 




THE Twenty-fourth Annual Meeting of the Society 
was held in the Great Hall of Taunton Castle, 
on Tuesday, the 10th September, Edward A. Freeman* 
Esq., as President, took the Chair. 

On the motion of the Rev. The Provost o# Eton* 
seconded by R. King Meade King, Esq., William 
Ayshford Sanford, Esq., was unanimously elected Presi- 
dent for the year. 

Mr. Freeman said he felt great pleasure in giving up 
the Chair to a man than whom there could be nobody in 
any way better fitted to fill it. Mr. Sanford bore a name 
honoured by Somersetshire, and he had shown himself 
worthy of it. 

VOL. xviii., 1872, part I* a 



The Vice-Presidents, the Treasurers, and the Honorary 
General Secretaries were then re-elected. The following 
gentlemen were elected on the Committee : — Messrs. 
Walter Meade King, Thomas Meyler, J. F. Norman, W. 
P. Pinchard, C. J. Turner, Rev. J. W. Ward. The Local 
Secretaries, with the addition of Mr. W. Blencoe Sparks, 
for Crewkerne, were re-elected. 

On the motion of Mr. W. Arthur Jones, seconded 
by the President, Mr. William Bidgood was re-elected 
Curator of the Museum. 

Mr. Wm. Arthur Jones, M.A., Hon. Sec, on behalf 
of the Council, presented the following Annual Report : — 


" The Council on this 24th Anniversary of the estab- 
lishment of the Society have the pleasure to present the 
following Report : — . 

In accordance with a resolution passed at the last 
Annual Meeting of the Society, the Council have ap- 
pointed a Sub-committee (consisting of the Reverend 
Canon Meade, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Batten, Mr. Serel, and 
the Secretary, Mr. Jones), to take steps,, if possible, to 
obtain an Index and Calendar of the Records of Wells 
Cathedral for publication. 

The Committee desire to express their great obligations 
to the Dean and Chapter for the courtesy with which this 
proposal has been received, and to Mr. Bernard, the 
Chapter Clerk, for the facilities afforded them in the ex- 
amination of the Records. It is accordingly arranged, 
with the consent of the Dean and Chapter, that the In- 
dexes to the three principal Record-books of the Chapter 
should be copied, together with the Cotemporaneous 
Marginal Abstracts, and that the same be published in 
the Proceedings of the Society. 


The Council likewise appointed a Committee, consisting 
of the same gentlemen, to co-operate with the promoters 
of a legislative measure for the protection and preservation 
of Historical Monuments. A list of the more interesting 
objects in the county, which would fall under that denomi- 
nation has been prepared, and Mr. Dickinson with the 
Secretary, Mr. Jones, had an interview with Sir John 
Lubbock, with the view of furthering this object. 

The proposed Bill for the Preservation of Historical 
Monuments will probably be introduced during the next 
Session of Parliament, but as even if it does become law 
its application will necessarily be very limited, the Council 
venture to urge upon all the Members of this Society and 
others the importance and duty of their exercising all the 
influence they have with the owners and occupiers of pro- 
perty, on which Monuments of interest stand, to secure 
them from injury and decay. 

During the past year considerable progress has been 
made to collect in the Museum a complete series of 
Somersetshire birds. It is to be hoped that Members of 
the Society and their friends will aid this object by the 
presentation of any rare birds they may possess, and by 
sending any that may be killed in their neighbourhood as 
early as possible to Mr. Bidgood, the Curator. 

An enlargement of the Museum has been made during 
the past year in order to obtain space for the suitable ar- 
rangement of the varied collection of objects of antiquarian 
interest and natural history now belonging to the Society. 
This has been done at a comparatively small cost, and 
through the courtesy of the proprietors of the Taunton 
and Somerset Institution, without any addition to the 

The Council regret that the Volume of Proceedings 


for the year is not yet ready for distribution. The letter- 
press is finished, but the illustrations for the Volume have 
not yet been delivered. The Glossary of the Somerset- 
shire Dialect is partly printed, and is making steady 

On the motion of Col. Pinnet, seconded by the Rev. 
Canon Meade, the report was received and adopted. 

The following Financial Statement was presented by 
Mr. H. J. Badcock: — 


G$e ^Treasurer* in account toftjj ttje £ommet0f)tre archaeological atiH 
Dr. Natural &f0torg &ocfets. Cr. 


By Balance of former Account 

„ Subscriptions 

„ Entrance Fees 

Excursion Tickets 

„ Fapworth's Armorials (part 
subscription refunded) . . . 

„ Balance from Warre Me- 
morial Fund 

„ Museum Admission Fees... 

£ s d 
47 19 10 
10 10 


3 15 3 
18 15 11 

£373 2 

£ s d 

To Expenses attending* Annual 

Meeting, Advertising, &c. 19 4 1 
„ New Cases, Bepairs, &c. ... 57 18 8 
,, Stationery, Printing, &c. ... 4 13 11 

„ Coal, Gas, &c 9 17 4 

„ Mr. May, balance of account 

for printing Vol. XVI. ... 7 19 ft 
„ Ditto, on account of VoL 

XVII 40 

„ Illustrations, Photographs, 

&c ... 22 3 Q 

„ Curator's Salary (1 year, to 

August 3, 1872) 37 10 

„ Bent (1 year, to Midsummer 

1872 ... 30 

„ Insuiance 7 6 

„ Phelps* History of Somerset 12 
„ Subscription to Harleian 

Society, 4 years, at £1 Is. 

and 10s. 6d. entrance ... 4 14 
„ Ditto, to Palaxmtographical 

Society, for 1872 110 

„ Ditto, to Bay Society, 1872 1 1 Q 
of Volume of Pro- 


,. Postage 

ceedmgs ... .•• 
„ Postage, Carriage, &c. 
,, Sundries ... ... 


3 10 9 
... 5 19 7* 
... 2 11 11% 
... 23 6 8 

£273 2 O 


.«. •>• ••« 23 6 8 

H. H. J. & D. BADCOCK, Treasurers. 

Sept. 9, 1872. I have audited this Account and compared the amounts with the 
Touchers and find the Account correct— the balance in the Treasurers' hands 
being £23 6s. 8d. 


. This report was adopted. 

president's address. 5 

The President, William Atshpord Sanford, Esq., 
then read the following 

Jmmgwal ^fibm 

I MUST thank you for the high position in which the Council 
of this Society, confirmed by your vote of to-day, has 
placed me. It is a position to which I feel that I. have no 
claim. The very slight amount of work which I have done in 
connection with this Society, and which has been so long in- 
terrupted by causes to which I need not further allude, can 
surely have given me no claim on your consideration ; but 
still the manner in which the offer was made me by the 
Council was of such a nature that I oould hardly with courtesy 
have refused it. I do not wish to waste the very short time 
which is at our disposal by any long address on my part. 
So many gentlemen have prepared papers on subjects of the 
greatest interest that every minute must be of importance* 
I will therefore confine my remarks to subjects which they 
are not likely to touch on, and to that to which I have par- 
ticularly given my attention, and on which I would wish to 
say a few words of comment rather than of original matter. 
In the first place I would remark that three great works of 
repair of our ancient monuments are approaching completion. 
First, the west front of our Cathedral is sufficiently advanced 
to enable us to judge somewhat of the effect. I must con- 
fess that in some respeots this is at present disappointing. 
Whether it be that the beautiful warm grey tint of the old 
work, harmonising with the dark shafting, produced an effect 
of dignity and grandeur which is to a great extent lost by 
the new pale blue shafts, and the mealy appearance caused by 
the repair of the freestone work, I know not ; but certainly 
the effect of the upper part of the front is not satisfactory. 
The pale blue shafts mix with the colour of the sky, and 
produce positive gaps to the eye, where they should present 


support, and a shadowy unsubstantial look is given which) I 
fear, will prevent those of this generation at least, who, from 
this time see the Cathedral for the first time from realising the 
noble grandeur which distinguished this fine, though it be but 
scenic and unstructural, effort of mediaeval art. In the next 
place, the fair form of the spire of St. Mary Redcliff points 
heavenward over the bustle and commercial activity of the 
great city of which its parish forms a virtual portion. It is a 
noble finish to a noble work of repair honestly and patiently 
carried on through many years. The stone ceiling of the 
nave of the great church of St. Peter, at Bath, is worthy of 
the golden age of English vaulting. As soon as the repair of 
the choir is complete, and the communication between it and 
the nave is opened, this church,, late though it be in date and 
style, will present one of the most complete and uniform in- 
teriors in England, worthy in some respects, to be compared 
with that masterpiece, King's College Chapel, at Cambridge, 
though, of course, of less span and general grandeur of effect. 
When so much is good it is hard, perhaps, to find fault. But 
I think the most uncritical eye will not be otherwise than 
thoroughly displeased by the large and, I fear I must say, 
ugly gasalier, as I think it is called, that disfigures this noble 
church. It it so large, so ungainly, and so entirely an en- 
cumbrance, that I can hardly use words strong enough to 
condemn it, as every one will in the exact proportion that he 
admires the remainder of the work. With regard to our 
own tower of St. James', it will cease to be a reproach to this 
town. Taunton has within the memory of those now living 
repaired or executed more monuments of historical interest 
than any town I know of its size. A comparatively small 
work like this must not be suffered to languish. St. James' 
tower will rise again in simple and graceful emulation with 
that of St. Mary's. We must show to future generations 
what our ancestors have done, and how we appreciate their 
work* While on the subject of architecture I would say a 

president's address. 7 

word on the preservation of the exquisite bits of village archi- 
tecture which still linger in the nooks and corners of the 
county. Some of these are of very ancient date, and they 
nearly all so admirably harmonise with the scenery in which 
they occur that one would have supposed that this would have 
sufficed to rescue them from destruction at the hands of edu- 
cated restorers. But so vitiated is the taste of most of the 
town architects, that the first thing one of them does, when 
called on to give plans for the repair of a village church, is 
to recommend to the unsophisticated and astonished country 
parson to destroy those loved and simple beauties, and replace 
them with polished shafting and elaborate mouldings ; and 
when he in his humility remonstrates, he is told that it is 
necessary to leave the mark of the age on the restoration. A 
12th century chancel, with its beautiful recessed windows, its 
massive oak beams and thick walls, has entirely disappeared 
within the last few years, within a few miles of this, to make 
way for about as ugly and unsubstantial a structure as I ever 
set eyes on, and this by the advice of a celebrated architect ; 
and the same thing goes on all over the country. But I was 
delighted the other day in North Devon, with a dear old 
vicar of Wakefield, who showed me with pride a perfectly 
proportioned, though simple, lancet triplet, which he had 
rescued from the hands of a fashionable London architect, 
whom to get aid from societies he was obliged to employ, and 
who was at the time building for a neighbouring clergyman 
of a fashionable watering-place a church in the most approved 
style of polish, elaborate moulding, un-English square abaci, 
and fantastic arrangement of details, with blue and scarlet 
external roof, and this he called a true eclectic example of the 
pointed style. New work, if you like it, in the richest and 
most beautiful forms that you can afford ; but respect with 
the love you bear to an aged and loving parent, the simple 
work of our earnest and loving ancestors. 
From archaeology the passage is easy to that period which 


may be considered to belong either to that science or to ltd 
kindred sister — geology. 

You are aware that the period when man made his first 
appearance in these latitudes, at least as far as at present 
ascertained) is at the present moment the object of most 
earnest study among men of the highest intellect and powers 
of research* The period must have been of enormous length) 
compared with that to which in our earlier years we have been 
accustomed to confine the existence of the human race. With 
regard to this difference of opinion) I would make a remark 
I do not remember to have seen elsewhere. A very slight 
acquaintance with the early books of eastern nations, and the 
modes of thought and of expression to be found in them, will 
enable us to see that when a race, whether Aryan or Semitic, 
had raised itself above the surrounding tribes, and had moved 
from the region in which it had risen from the savage state 
into other lands, they hardly ever considered the inhabitants 
of those lands as men ; they called them yackos, devils, sor- 
cerers, trolds, fauns, anything but man, and they attributed to 
them frequently supernatural powers ; they forbade marriage 
with them, and, in fact, treated them as beings of a different 
species. Now, this fact may explain to some, whose early 
education may have made timid on this point, a difficulty 
which will naturally arise to their minds, and perhaps clear 
the way to a more free investigation than they would other- 
wise undertake. 

Now with regard to this period, an investigation has been 
for some years in progress which offers the first approxima- 
tion to a chronology of geology, which has yet been shown 
to rest on a really scientific basis. Many of you are probably 
aware that Mr. Croll some years since had worked out the 
probable effects on the variations of climate which would 
result from the varying eccentricity of the earth's orbit, com- 
bined with those which would result from the precession of 
the equinoxes. The result was, perhaps, startling, for he 

president's address. 9 

found that it was probable that in connection with the pre- 
cession of the equinoxes a great year of about 20,000 years 
existed in which there was a great winter and a great summer 
of 10,000 years each in length in each hemisphere, and that 
at the present moment we were about 300 or 400 years past 
the midsummer of the northern hemisphere. But when he 
came to combine the effects of this great year with that of a 
still longer one, which depended on the varying eccentricity 
of the earth's orbit, he found that at certain periods of 
variable length great winters of intense cold would probably 
result, which might extend through periods of great length ; 

while at others even more temperate conditions than those 


which we at the present period experience might be expected. 
He showed that in accordance with these principles the great 
year in which we at present live was one in which no very 
great extremes of climate were likely to occur, the eccentricity 
of the earth's orbit being small compared with other past 

When these views first attracted the attention of scientific 
men, cold water was, to a certain extent, thrown upon tbflm 
by Sir Charles Lyell and others, who considered that the 
varying positions of land and water, as produced by local 
elevation and subsidence, would sufficiently account for the 
variations of climate the strata gave us evidence of, without 
calling astronomy to their assistance. But astronomy must 
have existed at least as long as geonomy, one sister could not 
live without the other. So Mr. Croll went on calculating, and 
I think he is now bringing over some geologists, and to a 
great extent Sir Charles Lyell himself, to be geonomers. Mr. 
Geikie, in a recent series of papers on the glacial and postr 
glacial periods, has shown that it is highly probable that the 
strata of this long period exhibit the very conditions demande4 
by the hypothesis of Mr. Croll, that is, that the so^calleij. 
glacial period was not one of a gradual increase of cold from 
(hat of the pliocene to a period of maximum intensity, am} 
VOL. XVJIL, 1872, PART I, b 


then a gradual warming up again to the present day, but that 
it was a period in which there were several alternations of 
temperature of very considerable magnitude, in some of which 
Northern Britain was covered with ice of perhaps 2,000 
or even 3,000 feet in thickness ; while at others this country 
must have enjoyed a nearly Mediterranean climate, free from 
ice and frost. The same thing has been shown in other parts 
of the world ; but as far as I am aware Mr. Geikie is the first 
who has correlated the evidence on the subject from different 
countries. Mr. Croll also showed that one of the effects of 
his great summers and winters would be that the accumulation 
of ice on either pole, combined with its disappearance at the 
other, would, by the attraction of an enormous heap of ice at 
the one pole said its absence from the other, cause a great ice- 
tide, so to say, alternately in either hemisphere, which would 
necessarily cause a submergence or emergence of the land to 
great depths and elevations above the sea, according as it was 
high or low water at the given pole. The evidence from the 
strata on this point is complicated by the proofs we have of 
the apparent local risings and fallings of the land, which have 
certainly taken place to a considerable extent. But the 
following considerations have occurred to me, which have 
certainly cleared the ground from this difficulty to a much 
greater extent than I should have a priori expected. 

If we imagine a condition of things which a low water of 
this great ice-tide would produce, and that the sea should, by 
the diminution of the mass of ice at the Northern, and a 
piling up of a still larger mass at the Southern Pole, be so 
reduced in extent here that the sea bottom should be laid bare 
to the depth of 100 fathoms, the following would be the state 
of the area connected with Great Britain : — St. George's 
Channel, the English Channel, and the German Ocean would 
all be dry land ; the water-shed of the German Ocean would 
be to the north of Scarborough ; all the rivers to the south of 
that town would be tributaries of the Ehine, which would 

president's address. 11 

flow through the Straits of Dover, and have its mouth about 
half way between Cape Clear and Santander, opening on a 
coast where deep water would at once be reached — in fact, a 
bold coast in the form of a great bight. The Severn would, if 
not a tributary to this mighty stream, have its mouth close to it. 

Now the drainage basin of this supposed great river would 
contain . all the localities where the fossil hippopotamus has 
been found. 

The Baltic and all the rivers of Great Britain to the north 
of Scarborough would in the same case drain into a great 
ravine, which would run along the coast of Norway. In this 
area I am not aware that the hippopotamus has been found. 
Now this looks as if the existing formation of the drainage 
systems of these countries is in the main identical with that 
existing at the continental period when this amphibious animal 
was an inhabitant of this country. For one can hardly con- 
ceive that the hippopotamus could have been the inhabitant 
of a river which discharged its waters into the Arctic sea, 
which the Kirkdale and Thames animals must have done had 
the Straits of Dover not been open to the passage of at 
least fresh water. Further consideration also shows that 
denudation would in this case mainly affect only the higher 
levels, as the lower levels would be mainly beneath the sea 
during the more severer conditions of the climate, and would 
therefore be more affected by deposition than by denuda- 
tion. If, therefore, we find, as we do by examination of the 
soundings, that the courses of existing rivers are continued 
beneath the sea by channels of sensible depth at the bottom 
of submarine valleys, allowing for local or temporary accu- 
mulations, we may fairly assume that it is highly probable 
that these channels are the continuations of courses of these 
rivers, and that the valleys are valleys of erosion continuous 
with those of the subaerial valleys which open into them, and, 
though now submarine, that they were when eroded subaerial, 
and had rivers flowing at the bottom of them. 


Now all this favours the idea that this great ice-tide, which 
Mr. Croll demonstrates to have been a highly probable conse- 

'quence of his astronomical conditions, has here a geological 
correlation, and that the low water of this tide was contempo* 
raneons with, at least, a warm climate capable of maintaining 
the hippopotamus throughout the year, as well as its more 
active companions, the southern elephant, rhinoceros, panther, 
and one or two other animals ; not to speak of the Corhicula 

fluminali8y a southern fresh-water shell, which occurs during 
the same period in the old area of the Thames in incredible 

The great autumn of such a great year as I speak of would 
have brought the northern mammalia here. The increasing 
frosts would have forced them from the north long before the 
cold could have produced an ice-cap sufficient to have sub- 
merged by* its attraction this country to any extent, so as to 
insulate it, particularly if we look to the reduction of level 
by denudation which must have occurred since that time. 

That more than one set of these phenomena have been re* 
Seated since the period I speak of, to a greater or less extent, 
has been clearly shown by Mr. Geikie in the papers I refer to, 
how often it, perhaps, is the business of future geologists to 
show. Mr. Geikie has certainly made out a tolerable sequence, 
and has shown the nature of the evidence, and how it is to 
be used. 

"With regard to the chronological part of this question* 
Mr* Croll has shown that though there were several alternations 
of temperature, arising from astronomical causes, there were 
probably two periods in which maxima of great intensity of 
cold occurred — one about 800,000 years ago, and another 
about 200,000, and that since this 200,000-year period there 
has been, though probably more or less interrupted, a gradual 
amelioration of condition to this present day. It is in the 
period between the 800,000 years and the 200,000 that we 
might from astronomical causes have expected conditions 

president's address. 13 

more favourable than those which now exist. Which of the 
two great maxima of cold were the more intense there may 
be some doubt about. The main point on which I think both 
astronomers and geologists are agreed is, that the period 
which immediately preceded the present, or the quaternary, is 
such as I have described. And there is a probability that the 
800,000-year period marks the close of the pliocene, while 
the 200,000-year period marks the commencement of the 
squeezing out of the mammoth and his companions between 
the severe cold advancing from the north and neolithic man 
from the south. This process must have been a long one ; 
and in Siberia the mammoth, and in America the mastodon, 
may have struggled on to a very late date. I think it more 
than probable that what I have said refers to countries in 
which we live. 

However, as I said before, the evidence we have is very 
partial and fragmentary. It is for future geologists to fix 
these numerical laws, which are at present being tentatively 
treated. If 200,000 years appears too long for the period of 
the post-glacial period, then we have for the present no 
geologic trace of Mr. CrolTs 800,000-year period ; but the 
evidence of this may yet appear, and then we should have to 
re-cast our views. It must be remembered that according 
to this view the 200,000-year period does not represent the 
advent of neolithic men in these latitudes ; but the gap which 
is on all sides recognised as being great between the disappear- 
ance here of paleolithic, and the advent of neolithic men. 

In working out problems of this kind it must be remembered 
that those who are working them are seeking for truth alone. 
They are not seeking to overturn any given theory, much less 
are they seeking to extinguish that on which all our dearest 
hopes rest. If some of our discoveries appear to be incom- 
patible with a cosmogony which is more or less mixed up with 
an early education in religious matters, let us rather imagine 
that we may have been mistaken in our so mixing up matters 


which have really little or no connexion together, excepting 
in a very broad and necessary sense. Every truth must be 
compatible with all other truth. If what we have hitherto 
regarded as truth prove to be speculation resting upon imper- 
fect interpretation, and to be incompatible with that which we 
can observe and know, let us endeavour to find out where our 
mistake is, and not rashly assume that the discoverer is a 
wilful assailant of that which we have hitherto regarded as 
holy, often simply because it has been incomprehensible to us ; 
and least of all let us not despise those who advance opinions 
which, because they are not comprehended by us, we imagine 
are beyond the range of human intellect. 

The President concluded by calling upon 

Mr. G. T. Clark who read a paper on iC Taunton 
Castle," which is given in Part II., page 60. 

The President moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Clark 
for his valuable dissertation, which, he said, showed the 
importance of obtaining the assistance of gentlemen who 
had given such subjects their attention, with very much 
skill, and brought to bear their experience derived in other 
parts of the country. He was not the only one in the 
room who had learned a great deal from the paper. 

The vote of thanks thus called for having been passed 
with unanimity, 

Mr. W. A. Jones, referring to Mr. Clark's expression 
of regret that water had disappeared from the Castle moat, 
said he had discovered an entry in the records of the 
Manor as far back as the time of James I. that William 
Hill rented the free fishing from the water-gate as far as 
the entrance, with all the trees and other profit, leaving to 
the Lord of the Manor the right of free entry. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., having been invited to speak 
upon the topic, said that his friend Mr. Clark was so much 
better acquainted with the subject that he had nothing he 


wished to add. Mr. Clark had given the most excellent 
account they could have, and a better summary he had 
never heard. He asked whether the mounds which Mr. 
Clark only slightly mentioned as being of the Roman 
period might not, as a general rule, be put down to the 
8th or the beginning of the 9th century. 

Mr. Clark : Yes ; but I took it from the 8th to the 
10th century. 

The President announced that they had now a very 
rare opportunity of adding a very important item to the 
parochial history of the county. The Provost of Eton 
had brought down with him a large number of mediaeval 
deeds connected with the parish of Stoke Courcy, and had 
prepared a calendar, which he had been kind enough to 
promise to revise and place on their Transactions. Those 
documents would be most important in preparing a history 
of the county, and he hoped that the example would be 
but the commencement of many others. 

The Rev. The Provost of Eton, at the President's 
invitation, remarked that the rare and large collection of 
documents which he had brought with him, were interesting 
in a great many ways. They contained records of many 
of the old families in the county from about the year 1160 
to 1440. Some of the deeds were very old, and the Priory 
to which they referred was founded about 1150 or 1170. 
He had made a list of the documents, which though im- 
perfect, he should be happy to enlarge and place at the 
disposal of the Society. 

The Reverend Prebendary Scarth said that he had 
found an old deed in connection with his parish, dated 
1447, relating to the transfer of some property from the 
rector of the church to the parish. 

Mr. J. Batten remarked that the seals attached to the 


documents brought down by the Provost of Eton were 
very curious and quite unique. 

The R<ev. Canon Meade read a notice of a jewel — a 
blue sapphire — which had been lately lent by the Lord- 
Lieutenant of the County to the South Kensington 
Museum. The paper was as follows : — 

The stone now set as a brooch, was originally a ring ; 
it is a large and fine coloured blue sapphire, but the history 
attached to it is that which chiefly renders it interesting. 
Soon after the death of Essex, Queen Elizabeth began 
to feel symptoms of that sickness which carried her to her 
grave. Neglected by most of her courtiers, mortified and 
depressed, she had not energy or resolution to take any 
definite step in preparation for the sad event which was 
clearly approaching, and particularly for making known 
her views with respect to the succession of the crown. 
She could not bear to hear the proposal mooted by those 
around her of sending for the King of Scots. When it 
was clear that the Queen's last hour was at hand, the 
Lord Privy Seal and others of the Ministry prayed her to 
name her successor. She answered, with some difficulty, 
in the oracular sentence, that " Her throne was the throne 
of Kings, and that she would have no mean person to suc- 
ceed her." It was at this time, the tradition says, at the 
very moment of the Queen's death, Lady Scrope, who 
was in attendance at Kensington Palace, looked out of a 
window and, perceiving her cousin Robert Cary (after- 
wards Earl of Monmouth) passing by, threw out to him 
the ring, pointing at the same time with earnest gesticu- 
lation to the North. Cary^ whether forewarned or not, 
understood what was intended, took horse, and rode to 
Scotland, and, obtaining an audience of King James in- 
formed him of the Royal death at Kensington Palace, 


exhibiting the ring, as, it is supposed, had been previously 
agreed on between the King of Scots and Lady Scrope. 
The service thus rendered was a most important one, for 
intrigues at this time were deeply and widely laid to pre- 
vent the succession of James to the throne. Strict orders 
had been given to close all the doors of the Palace where 
the Queen died, while an equally rigid watch was main- 
tained at Whitehall, and measures were taken to prevent 
any information being sent from thence to Holyrood. 
The story of the ring is mentioned in Robertson's History 
of Scotland ; it is also given in the " Life of the Earl of 
Monmouth/' upon whom King James after his accession 
to the English throne conferred this title, in acknowledg- 
ment of the service rendered to him. There is also a 
small volume in the library at Mars ton, drawn up by John, 
Earl of Orrery, which gives an account of the circumstances 
to which I have ventured to direct your attention. The 
jewel now no longer a ring, has been sent by its present 
possessor to the South Kensington Museum : it is worthy 
of much admiration for its intrinsic beauty, and is in- 
teresting also from the purpose it once served, when the 
succession of the true heir to the throne was secured to 
this kingdom. The jewel came into the possession of the 
Earl of Cork through John, Earl of Cork and Orrery, 
who lived in the early part of the last century, and to 
whom it was given by his intimate friend, the Duchess of 
Buckingham, a natural daughter of James II. The Earl 
of Monmouth, the loyal messenger who bore the important 
tidings from Kensington Palace to King James, is no 
longer represented in the British peerage. He had three 
sons, none of whom had male issue, whereby the title 
became extinct. He was himself a man of no mean ex- 
traction, but was descended from Lord Hunsdon, a cousin 
VOL. XVIII., 1872, part i. c 


of Queen Elizabeth, being the son of Mary Boleyn, sister 
of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII. For the substance 
of these remarks I am indebted to the present Countess of 
Cork, who has kindly permitted me to communicate them 
to the Society. 

Canon Meade added that he had no doubt that the 
Society would duly appreciate the liberality and the good 
taste of the present possessor of the jewel, who, instead of 
keeping it in its box, had sent it to be exhibited. 

The President pointed out that this was another in- 
stance of the value of the Association, in bringing to public 
notice things which were frequently hidden in a very 
unsatisfactory way in private chests. They were deeply 
obliged to Canon Meade, and also to the Lord-Lieutenant 
and the Countess of Cork for this privilege. 

The Rev. T. Hugo tendered to the President the thanks 
of the meeting for his bold address, so full of criticism, 
and asked that it might be printed and published. 

The President, in briefly acknowledging the cordial 
cheers which were given, intimated that they were quite 
welcome to have the address published in their Proceedings 
if they thought it worthy. 

A move was then made for a tour of inspection of some 
of the objects of antiquarian and historical interest in 
the town. 

was first inspected under the guidance of Mr. G. T. 
Clark. On emerging from the hall the company found 
themselves in the inner court of the Castle facing the 
gateway. Mr. Clark remarked that the inner front of 

* A paper on the Castle, by the late Rev. F. Warre, together with a 
plan and some engravings, will be found in Vol. IV. of the Society's 


the gateway seemed to be later than the front towards the 
road, the latter being in the Early Decorated style. The 
party having been met and welcomed to the interior of 
the Castle by Mr. Gillett, the present occupant, the base 
of the Norman keep was first entered. Mr. Clark said 
it was very unusual to have the basement of a Norman 
keep arched, as that was ; and there were signs of artificial 
work about it. Norman keeps were generally floored 
with timber, and where they were vaulted this had been 
put in at a later period. The tidy walls, however, were 
fatal to any examination. There was an old staircase 
which, unfortunately, had been turned into a wine cellar. 
The arch had been found to be three feet thick and the 
wall 14 feet thick, which was thicker than usual, but it 
was to be explained by the fact that thick walls were 
generally built when the foundation was not very good. 
Having led the party through to the lawn on the west, he 
told them they were standing where the old ditch was ; it 
had been filled in by Sir Benjamin Hammet — a great 
benefactor of this town, but who, unfortunately, played 
havoc with its archaeological remains. The round tower 
looked modern, but the Norman buttresses were old. The 
centre pilaster strip was lower than the window. Most 
likely the entrance to the keep was on the other side, and 
was sure to have been on the first floor, for the keeps 
seldom had a subterranean chamber. The specimens of 
the Norman pilaster were about as good as he ever saw. 
Leading on to the north, he said they were then on the 
other face of the keep, with the river Tone, from which 
the town derives its name, behind them. On the first 
story to the right he pointed out a deep narrow opening, 
which he confessed he could not explain. Probably, he 
said, it was Early English work, but it was too high for a 

.- .\ -v > X>«y 


door, and did not look altogether like a window. The 
pattern of the staircase no doubt was Norman, but it 
looked as if it had been rebuilt in later times. No doubt 
there were windows all along between the buttresses. 

Mr. W. A. Jones asked whether there was likely to 
have been a wall between the hall and the river. 

Mr. Clark replied in the negative — only a breastwork. 
He pointed out a postern, with a segmental arch, which, 
he said, might be of any date. Passing to the east, into 
the space now used as a playground for a school, he said 
they were then in what was in some respects decidedly the 
most interesting part of the Castle — an artificial earth- 
work raised many feet above the ground around, and, no 
doubt, composed of the earth thrown out of the ditch. 
Here, he took it, the Saxon King had his citadel, which 
was very probably constructed of timber, because heavy 
masonry could not be put upon newly-made ground. It 
could be seen from the cut of it that it was artificial, and 
there was room for a very considerable house. When the 
Norman came he, according to their usual way, built his 
wall against the mound, and used the mound as a terrace 
from which to attack the people outside. That gave a 
great military advantage, which the Normans knew so 
well how to employ. The space was now rectangular, but 
probably it had been trimmed; and there were enough 
remains to make it exceedingly probable that that was the 
real citadel of the Castle, and upon which, in the 8th cen- « 
tury, the Saxon King put his residence. Therefore it 
would be the oldest inhabited part of the town, which the. 
people ought to value, because they had in it the earliest 
evidence of military work, and should point it out as the 
most extraordinary and interesting part in the history of 
the town. The mill, he observed, had been so trans- 


mogrified that they could see very little of the original 
work. There was a curious ancient arch between the 
citadel-ground and the mill, which was probably an ancient 

Mr. Clark, making for Castle Green, halted in front 
of the gateway, and said that they were then standing on 
the site of the ancient drawbridge and looking on the 
outer face of the gate of the inner ward. He drew atten- 
tion to the insertion of the carved stone armorial bearings 
of Bishop Langton just above the archway, and the arms 
of Henry VII. higher up. On both sides there was a patch 
of stone, which he believed were the holes through which 
the chains of the drawbridge passed. 

Mr. W. A. Jones mentioned that when the Castle was 
sold by the late Lord of the Manor, he was not able to 
sell the room over the archway. This belonged to the 
tenants of the Manor of Taunton Deane, and not to the 
owner of the Castle, and it was now under the charge of 
the Deputy Steward, the records of the Manor being 
preserved in it. 

The remains of the Eastern Gate of the Castle were also 
inspected, and the Members then proceeded to the 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., drew attention to the only 
two pieces of sculpture which remain of the old tower. 
These are the two spandrils at the entrance, and are 
original work, of the time of Henry VII., representing 
the Day of Judgment and Doom.* There were also, he 
pointed out, stoups for holy water on each side of the 
door. The tower was one of the richest and finest ex- 

* Engravings of these Spandrils will be found in the first volume of 
the Society's Proceedings, p. 89. 


amples of the old Somersetshire towers. It had been 
carefully restored in a manner with which they could not 
find fault. Upon entering the sacred edifice the visitors 
were accompanied by the vicar (Rev. Prebendary Clark), 
and the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells 
was also present. Mr. Parker said he was sorry that he 
had been called upon to speak in the church, because it 
had been restored so thoroughly that it ceased to be 
archaeological, and became a 19th century object ; and it 
was not his business to criticise modern restoration. There 
were, however, remains of the old work. The roof pre- 
served its original character, and respecting the decorations 
they were matters of taste which it was of no use to 
discuss. The character of the capitals was essentially 
Somersetshire. The general style was rich Perpendicular 
English. There was a peculiarity in the capital of the 
chancel arch, which he believed belonged to an earlier 
period than the rest. To his mind the figures in the 
niches were too large ; and with regard to the painting, 
unless there was good evidence of what it had been, he 
would not altogether commend it. He was happy to say 
that the decoration of churches was being very commonly 
restored all over the country, for he did not approve of 
leaving walls untidy, merely because they were ancient. 
There was not the slightest doubt that the old churches 
were intended to be coloured. In this intance the patterns 
of the painting were not the usual patterns of the period, 
and he doubted whether they were genuine. Mr. Street, 
one of our first architects, and a friend of his own, was 
the designer of the reredos, and it was not for him to find 
fault with it ; but Mr. Street was too fond of making 
much of his altar screen. This was very handsome in its 
way, no doubt ; but the fault was that it did not stand 


clear of the window, but was carried a little too high. 
The carving was beautifully done. There could not be a 
more thoroughly English style than that church. The 
Perpendicular English was altogether peculiar to this 
country. These fine open-timbered roofs, which were the 
glory of the land, were as much to be admired as the 
vaulted French roofs. The latter were so common in 
France, because in very early days the French hit upon a 
very cheap mode of vaulting, which would not cost half 
the money of vaulting an English church. There was 
no doubt a great advantage in vaulted roofs, as had been 
recently proved in the fire at Canterbury Cathedral ; but for 
ornament our roofs were much preferable. Mr. Freeman 
knew so much more about the local peculiarities of churches 
that he would much rather he had spoken than himself. 
, The double aisle of the church was a peculiarity, and pro- 
bably arose from the increasing wealth of the place and 
the requirement for a number of chantry chapels. 

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., added a few words of 
comparison of St. Mary's with other specimens of eccle- 
siastical architecture in the country. He expressed a hope 
that St. James' tower would grow up by the side of this, 
and said that though St Mary's was the highest and most 
striking tower, it did not rank so high as a work of art as 
its neighbours, St. James' and Bishop's Lydeard. 

£i. Janus' (punch 

was the next subject of inspection. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said it was an original Somerset 
Perpendicular Henry VII. church. The font was a beau- 
tiful piece of sculpture of its kind. The chancel window was 
a modern one of painted glass. It was good of its kind, 
but modern painted glass would never compare with the 


old. It was one of the things in which we are behind- 
hand. The arch next to the pulpit had been made of two. 
He hoped that now the tower was being re-built the time 
was not very far distant when the galleries would dis- 
appear, as they had in other places ; for with the adoption 
of open seats instead of doors there would be plenty of 
room. The pulpit was nothing very particular, but a 
handsome one of its kind. The tower was a very fine 
one, and was to be restored exactly as before. He was 
told that the very unusual circular window over the en- 
trance door was modern. 

The Rev. T. Hugo, in reply to a question, said this was 
never the conventual church of Taunton Priory. 

The Vicar (Rev. W. T. Redfern) mentioned that in the 
old parish registers (which were openly exhibited) there 
were entries of persons buried who had been executed 
for treason, and of marriages in the time of the Common- 
wealth, which appeared to have been performed by a 
justice of the peace. 

At the Canon Street corner of St. James' Street atten- 
tion was paid to some old almshouses, whose date was 
generally supposed to be that of Henry VII., but by 
some much earlier. 

The Rev. T. Hugo led to the site of the ancient Priory, 
and showed the only remains of it in the dilapidated 
structure, now apparently used as a barn. Since the 
Dissolution, three centuries ago, the ground had been 
opened over and over again for the purpose of getting 
stone. In several of the houses in Canon Street, close 

* A paper on the Priory, by the Rev. T. Hugo, with some engravings, 
will be found in Vol. IX of the Society's Proceedings. 


by, there were pieces of stone, doubtless coming from the 
ancient Priory. He believed that every bit of stonework 
in the " chapel/' as it was called, was an insertion, with 
the exception of the doorway. The windows on the east 
side were modern. He had been told that in the last cen- 
tury, at the time of the French wars, the building was 
appropriated to the use of some French people here for 
religious worship, and had therefore been called "the 
chapel. ,, 

The next centre of attraction was 

@tft4 (grammar School 

These fine old premises, now used no longer for their 
original purpose, are occupied by the Middle Schools. 

Mr. W. A. Jones stated that the school was built by 
Bishop Fox, as the Lord of the Manor, in the early part 
of the reign of Henry VIIL, and endowed by William 
Walbee, whose will was proved in the reign of Queen 
Mary. At one time the roof of the school-room was 
open, but is now, plastered in. The dormitories are now 
adapted as a chapel for the school services. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said the school was a good 
example of its time, and was in a very genuine state. 
The old roof remained perfect, and there were very few 
such. It was the simple Late Perpendicular style. 

The Annual Dinner took place at the London Hotel. 
The president gave one toast, " The Queen," remarking 
that it was their privilege to be subjects of a lineal descen- 
dant of Ingild, the brother of the founder of this town. 

VOL. XVIIL, 1872, PART I. 


gin (ftamtig JStetmjg 

was held in the Castle Hall. 

JLttti^nt (S^jgraplig of titi} Must of extend, 

Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins, F.R.S., delivered an able ad- 
dress on this subject, of which the following is an abstract. 

The submarine forest exposed between the tide-marks 
on the coast of West Somerset has long been known. 
That portion of it visible at Forlock was described in 1839 
by Sir Henry de la Beche, and more recently by Mr. 
Godwin-Austen in an essay read before the Geological 
Society in 1865. It was shown by the latter to be rooted 
on " an angular detritus," and to be overlaid by the fol- 
lowing deposits : — 

1. A blue freshwater-mud deposit, resulting, probably, 
from the depression of the land. 

2. A surface of plant-growth (Iris). 

3. A marine silt with Scrobicularia piperata. 

4. Shingle that forms a ridge which is at the present 
time encroaching on the level water-meadows behind. 

The physical changes manifested by the section he in- 
terprets thus : — The accumulation of angular detritus, in 
which the trees are rooted, belongs to subaerial conditions, 
which were in operation while the boulder-clay of the 
centre and north of Britain was falling from the melting 
icebergs. This was followed by the epoch of the growth 
of the forest and of the accumulation of vegetable 
matter. The overlying blue clay marks the time during 
which the trees were killed ; the surface of marsh-growth 
covered with Iris, marks the epoch when the trees fell ; 
the Scrobicularia-cl&Y indicates a depression below the sea- 


level ; and, lastly, the clay was elevated and the shingle 
thrown up on the surface to form the barrier at high- 
water mark. 

Mr. Godwin-Austen's valuable essay recalled to mind 
a worked flint that I had found in the angular detritus 
in 1861. On its re-examination I found thai! it had been 
chipped by the hand of man. In the autumn of 1869, 
the Rev. H. H. Winwood and myself resolved to verify 
the discovery by a thorough examination of the forest-bed. 
On digging through the layer of undisturbed vegetable 
matter, we met with ample traces of man's handiwork in 
flint and chert cbippings, and in one very well-formed flake 
which, apparently, had never been used. They were em- 
bedded in the upper ferruginous portion of the angular 
detritus, and evidently had been dropped upon the surface- 
soil of the period, and not transported by water. On 
searching the shingle we found only one water-worn flint- 
pebble, which, possibly, may have been washed out of the 
angular detritus; it is therefore probable that the pre- 
sence of flint and chert in that neighbourhood is owing to 
their transport by man. 

Encouraged by these results, we resolved to explore the 
submarine forest in the nearest bay to the east close to 
Minehead. It there consists of oak, ash, alder, and hazel, 
which grew on a blue clay, full of rootlets, that thickens 
considerably seawards. The blue clay in its lower part is 
full of angular fragments of Devonian rocks, which, as at 
Porlock, constitute a landwash, and not a shingle. At the 
point between tides, where the angular fragments began 
to appear, the flint chippings were found. The exact 
spot where we dug was to the east of the little stream that 
enters the sea between Minehead and Warren farm, and 
close to a large stump that is generally exposed at one- 


third tides, about 200 yards from the shore and 50 from a 
line of posts for nets. The splinters, which, as at Porlock, 
clearly had been struck off by the hand of man in the 
manufacture of some tool, consisted of flint and chert, the 
latter of which was derived from the greensand of Black- 
down, on the borders of Devonshire. They were em- 
bedded in a ferruginous band as at Forlock, and occurred 
as deep as one foot from the surface of the bed. We dug 
in several other spots without finding any other traces of 
man's presence. 

In both these localities it is clear that man had been 
living on the old land-surface, and that the remains of his 
handiwork had been dropped in the angular detritus which 
Mr. God win- Austen believes to be subaerial and glacial. 

These fragments of submerged forest are mere scraps, 
spared by the waves, of an ancient growth of oak, ash, 
and yew, that is found everywhere underneath the peat 
or alluvium in the Somersetshire levels. At Porlock 
Quay, on the west, it dips under the fresh water and 
marine strata that have been described, at high-watfcr 
mark, and is stripped of its supra-jacent deposits from the 
line of half-tide down to low water. Opposite the pre- 
cipitous headland of North Hill it has not yet been found. 
At Minehead it reappears under the same conditions as 
at Forlock, and thence it is represented in an easterly 
direction by several patches, visible at extreme low water 
as far as Stolford, where the angular detritus rest on the 
Liassic reefs. Then it passes under the alluvium of Stert 
Point, at the mouth of the river Parret, to join the large 
forest that lies buried in the basins of the Axe, the Tone, 
the Parret, and the Yeo. At Weston-super-Mare it can 
be seen under the alluvium. Throughout this wide area 
the trees have been utterly destroyed by the growth of 


peat, or by the deposits of the floods, except at a few 
isolated spots, which stand at a higher level than usual, in 
the great flats extending between the Polden Hills and 
the Quantocks. One of these oases, a little distance to the 
west of Middlezoy, is termed the Oaks, because those 
trees form a marked contrast to the prevailing elms and 
willows of the district. In the neighbouring ditches that 
gradually cut into the peat and then into silt, prostrate 
oak trees are very abundant. As we approach the river 
Parret the silt gradually increases in thickness, until, at 
Borough Bridge, the forest is struck at a depth of 18 feet 
below the present surface, or about the same distance 
below the line of high-water mark in the river. 

The destruction of the forest seems to have been brought 
about by the stagnation of water consequent on the de- 
posit of silt in the rivers, by which their beds were raised 
until the surrounding district became flooded ; then the 
peat grew and gradually changed the surface into a spongy 
morass, in which the trees died, and, as the latter decayed, 
tbey were blown down, the lines of their trunks pointing 
away from the prevalent winds. But while this was going 
on, the rivers were depositing silt in quantities greatest at 
the line where their currents impinged on the slack water, 
and gradually reaching a minimum in passing away from 
their courses ; and in this way the fertile alluvium of the 
vales of Taunton, Bridgwater, Highbridge, and Weston- 
super-Mare was deposited, while around Shapwick the 
peat comes up to the surface, and attains a depth of at 
least 16 feet. 

The conditions, therefore, under which the forest at 
Porlock Quay and Minehead was destroyed are not merely 
confined to those isolated spots, but are constant over the 
whole of the Somerset levels. If, then, we can approxi- 


mately fix the date of the destruction of the forest, we 
hare a clue to the antiquity of the traces of man found 
in the land-surface underneath. And this we are able to 
do by the discoveries, made by the late Mr. Stradling at 
the bottom of the peat, in the great marsh that extends 
from Highbridge to Glastonbury. From time to time, 
between the years 1830 and 1851, he obtained sundry 
flints, celts, and spear-heads of the neolithic type, a bronze 
celt, and three paddles from the top of the sub-turbary 
marl. A large canoe also, formed out of an immense oak, 
and known as " Squire Phippen's big ship/' made its 
appearance in dry seasons, and eventually was broken up 
for firewood by the cottagers. It is clear, therefore, that 
at least as early as the neolithic age the forest beneath the 
turbary has been destroyed, and its area occupied by a 
stagnant morass. The latest date, therefore, which we 
can assign to the traces of man in the submerged land- 
surface at Porlock and Minehead is an early stage in the 
neolithic period. The discovery of Bos longifrons, or 
small domestic ox, in the same forest-surface near Barn- 
staple, fixes the date as not older than the neolithic age, 
because that animal was unknown in Europe before. 

So far as I know, no cases are on record of the occur- 
rence of traces of man underneath any other submarine 
forest on the shores of Britain. They do not add to our 
knowledge of primeval man, or extend his range further 
than we already know into the past; they merely prove 
that he dwelt in the district probably before and possibly 
during the growth of the forest, and before those physical 
changes began to be felt by which its destruction and 
submergence were brought about — changes of great mag- 
nitude and probably of long duration. 

In closing, Mr. Dawkins asked why some one among 


them did not take the trouble to examine the evidence re- 
lative to "the levels " of the county, to the enclosure of 
these great flat stretches of morass and alluvium ? Why 
should we be ignorant of the history of the making of the 
dykes, and of the relation which the ancient forest of 
Somersetshire bore to the cultivated lands in the periods 
embraced by history? In answer to a gentleman, he said he 
did not think that the remains found in the caves in this 
neighbourhood and in the gravels all round the coast were 
of the same age as this forest-surface, but that they be- 
longed to the age of extinct mammalia, or the pleistocene, 
of which the characteristic woolly rhinoceros had been dis- 
covered in digging the foundations of Taunton Gaol, and 
the mammoth by Sir A. A. Hood, at St. Audries. 

General Munbee thought that the subject was one of 
the very greatest possible importance to this county, and 
to science in general. It represented the subsidence of 
our land, and also the existence of submerged forest all 
round England. Their thanks were very greatly due to 
the gentleman who had been good enough to bring for- 
ward the notice, and it would be exceedingly advisable 
that this very interesting subject should be followed out 
more intimately. The whole of the immediate alluvial 
districts were in a great measure below the level of high- 
water mark, at all events. He suggested that a committee 
be formed to pursue investigations such as had been indi- 
cated, and take levels in such directions as they might 
choose, and by the next year record what they had been 
able to do. 

Mr. Charles Moore said there was one point upon 
which he was a little sceptical, although he perfectly 
agreed with Mr. Dawkins in the whole of his interesting 
address ; it was Mr. Dawkins' correlation of the turbaries 


inland with the forest-beds which surround the coast. It 
seemed to him that Mr. Dawkins depended very much 
upon the work which Mr. Stradling did in former times. 
They all knew Mr. Stradling in the early days of the 
Association, and the earnestness with which he worked ; 
but in his day the points connected with the introduction 
of man upon the earth had not sprung up, and he did not 
think that the observations of Mr. Stradling were suffi- 
ciently devoted to those points for him to be a great 
authority in connection with this matter. It was true 
Mr. Stradling examined very carefully the work done at 
the turbaries, but none of the finished implements found in 
them had ever been found in connection with a forest-bed. 

Some further remarks were made by the Rev. Thos. 
Hugo, Mr. E. B. Tylor, and the President, when 

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., read a paper on " King 
Ine," which is given in Part II., p. 1. 

The President remarked that when they got so much 
light upon the life of a person who lived in such remote 
times when there were so few contemporary records, it 
showed what could be done in that way. On the very 
borders of Somersetshire and Devonshire, at a place where 
there was no natural boundary to the county, there was 
a rampart stretching for some distance across the hill, 
where there could be no cause for it. That, very likely, 
might be some record of the inroad of the Saxons. 

Mr. Buckley remarked that there was one place where 
the memory of Ine was still retained, and his name was 
mentioned every day. In the monastery at Rome, which 
sheltered St. Augustine before he came on his mission to 
Britain, there was still a tablet recording that in that 
monastery was a hospital which had been founded for 
English pilgrims, first by the liberality of Ine, and secondly 


by the munificence of an English' merchant. His name 
waB mentioned there every day in the Mass. 

Cordial votes of thanks having been passed to Mr. 
Dawkins and Mr. Freeman, the evening's proceedings were 

A large party left Taunton in the morning on an ex- 
cursion, the first place visited being a 

(iftoarrg in ifct pounds at l^atatarotty. 

Mr. W. A. Jones pointed out the junction of the 
Syenite with the Devonian rock. 

Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins, F.R.S., mounted an eminence 
and explained the composition of the great mass of igneous 
rocks on which he stood. It belonged to the crystalline 
division — the order of rocks poured out through active 
volcanoes. It was not of considerable extent, and oc- 
cupied a space between the Devonian stratified rocks of 
the country. The Devonian rocks were very much 
twisted and crumpled about, and that could only have 
been induced by enormous exertion from below. First 
of all, during the time these Devonian rocks were cruihpled 
and twisted and contorted, there were certain fissures made 
in them, and subsequently the molten matter from below was 
forced upwards through the broken fissures to occupy the 
cool space. It had been baked, and looked as if it had been 
put into a smelter's oven. It was usual to call it Syenite, 
but he was not altogether satisfied that it was Syenite. 
It seemed rather to be allied to the class of volcanic rocks 
to which basalt belonged, and which were found largely in 
the Mendip Hills. 

VOL. xviii., 1872, part i. e 


Mr. W. A. Jones said that the rock first became 
known in 1814. The Secretary of the Geological Society 
found accidentally at Cheddon a rock which led him to 
make the enquiry. They had evidence of the quarry 
having been opened and worked extensively, for in taking 
down the old towers of St. Mary's and St James' at 
Taunton great masses of the rock were found built into 
them. Ten years ago he heard a story from a labourer 
there to the effect that his master (Mr. Warre) had gone 
to a barber's shop in London, and noticed the barber with 
considerable delight sharpening his razor on a hone, which 
he was told upon enquiry came from a place called Hester- 
combe down in the country. He understood that it 
was frequently used as a hone-stone. In reply to the 
President, as to whether he found the rock radiating from 
any central mass, or any linear expansion, he replied that 
no other junction had been found. Some of the same 
character of rock was, he believed, found near Wrington, 
and the Malvern Hills were igneous rocks, of very much 
the same character. On behalf of the Committee he ac- 
knowledged the courtesy of Mr. Enollys and Mr. Parsons, 
the agents of Lord Ashburton and Lord Portman, for the 
facilities they had given for the examination of the rocks 
and the inspection of the grounds. 

Mr. E. K. M. King read the following extracts relating 
to this rock from Corner's Geological Survey : — 

The rocks of this district differ in mineralogical character, 
but the different varieties graduate so insensibly into each 
other, that they may be considered as one common formation. 
A large portion have the structure of sandstones, the com- 
ponent parts varying in size from that of mustard seed to 
such a degree of fineness that the particles can with difficulty 
be discerned. 


Quartz and clay are the essential component parts of all the 
varieties, but in different proportions. The quartz, in some 
instances, prevails, to the entire exclusion of any other 
ingredient forming a granular quartz rock. The coarse 
varieties have abundance of quartz, but clay is the principal 
ingredient of the slaty kinds. They have all an internal 
stratified structure, which is less apparent in those of a coarse 
grain, but becomes more distinct as the texture becomes finer, 
and at last the rock graduates into a fine grained slate, 
divisible into laminae as thin as paper, and having the smooth 
silky feel and shining surface of the clay slate of a primary 
country. Alternation of the fine-grained slaty varieties with 
those of the coarsest structure in many successive strata, and 
without any regularity of position, are of constant occurrence, 
and frequently without any gradation of one structure into 
another. In some instances portions of slate are contained in 
the coarse-grained varieties. Scales of mica are frequent, 
and they all contain oxide of iron, and to the different states 
of this oxide their various colours are, no doubt, to be ascribed. 
The prevailing colours are reddish brown, and greenish grey, 
and there are many intermediate shades and mixtures of these 
colours. Some of the slaty varities are of a purplish hue, 
occasionally spotted with green. I did not discover a trace 
of any organic body in either variety, but in many places 
great beds of limestone, full of madrepores, are contained in 
the slate, the limestone and slate towards the external part of 
the beds being inter-stratified. Veins of quartz, which are 
often of great magnitude, are of constant occurrence, being 
sometimes accompanied by calcareous spar and ferriferous 
carbonate of lime. Veins of sulphate of barytes are not un- 
common. The layers composed of quartz, chlorite, and 
ferriferous carbonate of lime are often interposed between the 
strata of slate, and pyrites is sometimes disseminated through 
the mass of the rock. Copper in the state of sulphurate and 
malachite and veins of hematite are frequently found, and 


nests of copper ore of considerable magnitude have been 
found in the subordinate beds of limestone. 

I shall call this series of rocks a Grauwacke Formation* 

As the ends of the inclined slaty strata rise to the surface 
they become either vertical or are very much twisted, with a 
succession of sharp angular bondings and a fracture at every 
angle. The most remarkable instances of these contortions are 
to be seen in the lanes between Enmore and West Monkton, 
and in the other roads which cross the south-eastern ridges of 
the Quantock Hills, and at Ads borough and the lane leading 
to Tarr, near Kingston, where they are covered by horizontal 
beds of red argillaceous sandstone and conglomerate. 

Near Ely Green, in the side of the combe called Dibbles 
and in the neighbourhood of Gheddon Fitzpaine, I observed 
a variety of slate, differing considerably in appearance from 
any I met with in the district. It is of a blueish green colour, 
apparently derived from chlorite, with purplish stains, and 
including small spherical masses of a white earthy texture, 
which give to the mass an amygdaloide structure. It may be 
considered as a variety of argillaceous slate, and as it occurs 
in strata conformable with the usual varieties of the grauwacke 
formation, it belongs, I have no doubt, to the same class. It 
is found very useful as a fire stone. 

In passing through Gheddon Fitzpaine I found granite, 
called by the country people, " Pottle stone," in situ, and 
whetstone. The last was a greenish compact stone, very like 
some iron stones. The granite is small grained, and consists 
of dull, flesh-coloured fellspar, with green mica and a small 
quantity of quartz. 

Within a few yards of the granite the inclination of the 
strata is about 35 degrees, but as it approaches nearer to it 
the angle increases to 63 degrees. 

The granite as it approaches the slate is much finer grained, 
and at the contact there is an indistinct blending of the two, 
and there is an appearance of fragments of slate united by a 
granitic cement. 


The Rev. H. H. Winwood said the question had been 
asked whether the Quantocks were old red sandstone or 
Devonian. The latter were divided into lower, middle, 
and upper, and at the base of all was a coarse sandstone. 
The Quantocks represented the middle Devonian division, 
consisting of red sandstone and slate. It remained for an 
energetic scientific man like the President to bore through 
the red sandstone, and find what was below — perhaps the 
black mineral, which was now so valuable. 

The President said that in the neighbourhood of Bur- 
lescombe and Holcombe Bogus there were some very thin 
carboniferous bits, and it was not at all impossible that 
still further south, working-beds might be found ; but it 
was not a favourable symptom that the marine equivalents 
of the carboniferous formation were very well known, and 
showed no indications of workable coal. It was very 
possible that at a time long before the upheaving of the 
Mendips they might have been covered with coal, and 
that it might have been extended into the Bridgwater 
level and some distance west. The chance of finding coal 
was remote, and pregnant with a great deal of cost ; and 
looking at the uncarboniferous state of Devonshire it would 
be very doubtful whether it would be found in a workable 
state. So, until more was known about it, landowners 
would not sink a great deal of money in boring, when 
they could spend it in improving their estates. 

Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins said the first thing to be taken 
into consideration was the cost of boring for coal. As one 
of the originators of the borings in Sussex he said that the 
cost was about £1 a foot. It was a well -ascertained fact 
that the coal measures on the Mendips, which were enor- 
mously valuable, were cut off by that range of hills, and 
appeared to die away as they approached the hills, because 


the sea had washed the edges of the coal away. There 
was no geological doubt, however, that the coal-field 
actually extended to the south of the Mendips. 

After this digression on coal, the party descended to the 
main quarry, where the stone was found to be of a much 
more decided granite character. 

The President said it frequently occurred that there 
was an appearance of stratification which was deceptive, 
and there was an example of it here. The lines abutted 
very sharply, but the joints were not carried through. 
The explanation of this was found in the paper which had 
been read by Mr. King. 

!§t&Urtomht 901124. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said the only fragments of 
the old building visible were the buttresses of the hall, of 
the time of Henry VII. 

The President said there was another buttress on the 
other side of the house, and there were also one or two 
Elizabethan windows. He produced a double-handed 
sword, which is said to have been taken from King John 
of France, at the battle of Poitiers, by John la Warre. 
That a sword was so taken was undoubted, and this one 
had been in the possession of the family for a great number 
of years, and always bore its present history. 

Mr. F. H. Dickinson thought that the inscription must 
be contemporaneous with the making of the weapon. The 
characters were Roman. 

Mr. John Batten said it was perfectly clear that John, 
King of France, surrendered after much contention to 
John la Warre and Sir John Pelham. He could have 
been no direct ancestor of the Warres, however, or the 
peerage would have descended to the family. 


The sword has inscribed on one side a cross, with the 
monogram I.H.S., and on the other 


The Rev. T. Hugo, M.A., here read a paper on " Hes- 
tercombe," which is printed in Part II., page 136. 

Mr. Batten exhibited an old deed relating to Hester- 
combe, of the date of Edward III. 

was the next resort, and here the vicar (Rev. I. S. Gale) 
met the visitors, who were further welcomed by merry 
peals from the bells. The churchyard contains a grand 
old yew of great dimensions. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said that this church differed 
from most others in the neighbourhood. A considerable 
portion remained of the Early English style of the begin- 
ning of the 13th century. The chancel had been almost 
entirely rebuilt. There was no mark of any chancel arch, 
but it was impossible to say what the original termination 
was ; it was exceedingly probable that there was an apse 
at the end. The columns indicated that there was no 
chancel arch at that point. The present ceiling also be- 
longed to a late period. The tower was one of the finest 
of Somersetshire towers of the time of Henry VII., and 
the fan tracery vault at the porch was a remarkable feature. 
The greater part had been carefully restored, and great 
credit was due for the faithful manner in which this had 
been done. There was a fine tomb in the Decorated style, 
of the date of Richard II., and supposed to contain the 
remains of one of the Warre family. The painted glass 

* An account of this Church, by the late Key. Eccles J. Carter, 
together with engravings of the tower and tomb of the Warre family, 
will be found in the volume of the Society's Proceedings for 1853, p. 33. 


in the window came from the chapel at Hestercombe, but 
was not ancient.* The pewing was quite unique. Somer- 
setshire benches he considered the best church furniture 
to be seen anywhere in the world. All over the Continent 
they had the greatish rubbish of chairs piled up in the 
churches, and anything like these benches was seldom seen 
except in the east and west of England. Those in this 
church were every one different and beautifully carved. 
One was dated 1522, and they were in the fashion of the 
period of the beginning of the 16th century. The pew 
system began in Scotland, and spread through the centre 
of England into France. That fashion prevailed for two or 
three centuries, and destroyed these beautiful benches which 
all antiquarians agreed were the finest church furniture. 
Passing into the churchyard Mr. Parker called attention 
to the fine outline of the tower, which was a very rich 
example in decoration altogether, little pinnacles attaching 
to the buttresses all the way up. The parapet was open, 
and the windows of the tower pierced to keep out the 
birds — a feature of a peculiarly Somersetshire character. 
Notice having been drawn to the rough-casting, he said 
that the carrying out of the work in that manner had no 
doubt an economical solution. The niches, instead of 
standing upon corbels, rested upon little shafts; the images 
were gone ; and the feature was an unusual one. 

The following extracts from Heale's excellent work on 
the " History of Church Seats or Pews " will show that 
Somerset was famous for its bench-ends : — 

The early pews were, beyond all question, simply a row 
of benches with backs, and those which are now commonly 
termed " open seats " are examples of early pews, or copies or 

* The armorial bearings shown are those of families connected with 
the Warns. 

2 | 





w e 
"3 m 










§ s 





E < 


; ■ 





& « 




tuj ** 





i J 

a g 



















imitations of them They were always substantial and 

of good durable material, such as oak or beech, and capitally 

joined and fitted Perhaps the earliest existing pew is 

at St. John's Church, Winchester: the date may safely be 

fixed as late Decorated work The most beautiful 

early pews are to be found in Norfolk, with adjoining parts of 

Lincolnshire and Suffolk, and in Somerset and Devon 

Magnificent specimens exist at Cheddar, Somerset 

Beautiful bench-ends, decorated with geometric traceried 
panelling, occur at Orowcombe Such panelling, com- 
bined with rich carving, is seen at Trull, and carving alone 
at Milverton. .... At Clapton the bench-ends, though 
perfectly devoid of all other ornament, have their elbows 
both curled in a very unusual manner.* .... At Nettle- 
combe are beautiful specimens of an early period At 

Broomfield we find the sacred monogram within a carved 
bordure of vine with grapes, f .... A very singular carved 
bench-end occurs at Spaxton, representing a fuller at work, 
with shears, a comb, and other implements, in the vacancies 
of the panel. J .... At Milverton we have the royal arms, 
probably of Henry VIII, and in the same church are fine 
specimens carved with medallions, excellent likenesses of 
Queen Mary kneeling, and also portraits of Cardinal Pole and 

Bishop Gardiner It is only at a rather late period that 

we meet with any date upon the pews. The earliest appears 
to be one at Bishops Hull, where some good seats bear the 
date 1530 ; one at Orowcombe bears the date mccocoxxxtttt. 

Some very poor specimens at Milverton are dated 1540 

At what time doors were added we are unable to discover ; some 
benches at Bishops Hull have a bar across by way of door. 

By the invitation of Mr. W. E. Surtees, the Society 
were entertained in the adjoining school-room at an 

* Engraving in Vol. X. of the Society's Proceedings. 
+ „ Vol.V. 

t „ Vol. VIII. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART I. f 


excellent luncheon. A hearty vote of thanks was sub- 
sequently passed to Mr. Surtees on the motion of the 
President, and the excursionists proceeded to 

Haitian (JfitewaitMtt (pttttdu 

The Rev. T. Hugo pointed out the screen, which he 
said was as fine a one as would be found anywhere. It 
contained a carved representation of two dragons and a 
plough in the centre. According to the legend the dragon 
who lived on the hill seemed to have infested the fields 
where the ploughmen were, and here he was in pursuit of 
the men. The plough was of a mediaeval character. One 
circumstance might lead to the discovery of the date of 
its construction— the name of the churchwarden for the 
time being was carved upon it. Its age was not very far 
before the year 1500. It ought to be coloured, as was 
no doubt the intention of the builder. 

Mr. Jones and Mr. Parker thought the representation 
was merely as usual allegorical of the results of sloth and 
industry, or virtue and vice. 

The President pointed out that the upper line of 
foliage appeared to be of a different character from the rest, 
and asked whether it was likely to be of the same date. 

Mr. Hugo thought it was so. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said the church was of an 
early character, probably late in the 14th century, and 
had been restored carefully and well. The date was very 
likely Richard II, and the windows were the same. There 
was no staircase to the rood loft, but he was informed 
that when the wall was rebuilt it was not considered neces- 
sary to rebuild the staircase from the outer wall. It was 
a rood loft, and not merely a rood screen. In the chancel 
there were remains of an earlier church of the 13th cen- 


tury. The tower belonged to a later period, but Richard II 
would do well for it. He thought the greater part of 
the church was built in the latter part of the 14th Century. 

The Bev. J. P. Hewett (rector) mentioned that in the 
year 1825 the screen, which until then had been in its 
original state, was covered with a coat of oak paint over 
the colouring. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., describing the tower from the 
exterior, said it was remarkable, the treble set of gurgoyles 
being very unusual. The two lower ones could only have 
been meant for ornaments. It was certainly earlier than 
the general character of Somersetshire towers. 

The President pointed out in the south-west corner of 
the churchyard a spot which was used as a great burying- 
place for gipsies, who were brought from all parts of the 
country to be buried there. 

Ascending a hill in the rear of the church the party 
found themselves in 

The Rev. Prebendary Scarth, before entering the camp 
or city, pointed out the line of fortification from east to 
west, and the area on the top where the city stood, to- 
gether with the circuit of the entrenchment. It was an 
entrenchment, he said, which had not been understood in 
former times. It had fallen to him to take them over 
three or four earthworks in succession — first the noble one 
at Cadbury, near Wincanton, one of the finest in England, 
and last year at Hambdon, with its undoubted Roman en- 
trenchment following the course of the hill, amphitheatre, 
and curious stones. The circuit of the latter camp was 

* A paper on this camp, by the late Rev. F. Warre, will be found in 
the first volume of the Society's Proceedings. 


three miles, but a great portion of it had been destroyed 
by quarrying. There were also the camps of Clifton 
Down, which he had the opportunity of explaining some 
time ago.* At Norton the entrenchments seem to have 
been of a different kind, and simple earthworks, resembling 
those at Kenchester. The form of the city they were 
about to enter strongly reminded him of Kenchester, the 
Soman Magna, and also, in some degree, of Silchester. 
It had very much the appearance of an ancient Roman 
city, and stood at the intersection of two ancient Roman 
roads, which had not been quite made out. He looked 
upon it as the origin of the town of Taunton, and it was 
occupied, probably, in times prior to the Romans. It did 
not convey the idea of a British stronghold, although it 
might have been an inferior one. Having made part of 
the circuit of the field crowning the hill, he pointed out 
places where natural depressions and spurs had been 
improved by the holders of the camp, and also sections of 
the rampart and covered road. 

Mr. W. A. Jones stated that in digging for the railway, 
in the valley below the hill, a large collection of Roman 
pottery was found. It was now in the Museum, and he 
recommended its inspection. 

Prebendary Scarth, in a field sloping to the west, 
pointed out what he believed to have been the amphi- 
theatre. It was, he said, four years ago since the Society 
went to Charter House and Mendip, and saw one of the 
camp amphitheatres, not very far distant from the camp 
itself. Last year they saw one within the enclosure on 
Ham Hill. Directly he came here and looked at the 
regular form of this depression, he had very little doubt 

* Proceedings of the Society, Vol. XV., p. 30. 


that it was the amphitheatre of the camp. He had ex- 
amined those at Silchester, Cirencester, and Dorchester, 
the latter remains being perhaps the most perfect of any. 
The amphitheatre was generally situated outside the gates 
of the camp, and not far from it, and was constructed for 
the purpose of exercises and exhibitions of various kinds. 
Legions often had their private gladiators for the sake of 
their own amusement This, then, was one of the proofs 
that the place had been under Roman occupation, but he 
could not say that it was made exclusively by the Romans. 
People might say it was a pond, but in that case they 
would not find it so regular after the lapse of so many 
years under the plough. The seats had naturally been 
effaced. The irregularity of the rampart was no proof 
that it was not Roman, because when the Romans took 
possession of a hill they adapted the fortification to its 
form. No inscriptions are recorded to have been found 
there, and no altars, which generally enabled persons to 
fix the date, but these were often wantonly destroyed or 
neglected, and lost. It was a melancholy thing that the 
inscriptions, altars, mile-stones, and other remains of 
Roman times had been so frequently destroyed. Only, 
perhaps, one or two Roman mile-stones had been found in 
this part of the country. 

Mr. W. A. Jones, speaking of the Roman occupation, 
said that within two miles as the crow flies of the Cothel- 
stone tower, there were still remains of a Roman camp such 
as Mr. Clark described on Tuesday. 

Mr. G. T. Clark said that when any earthwork was 
observed to be rectangular in its outline, the presumption 
was that it was Roman ; but if traces of Roman occupa- 
tion were found around, the presumption was turned into 
a certainty. The entrances to this camp appeared to be of 


the usual form of British entrances, and he thought that 
the spot was occupied, not by a disciplined body of men, 
but by a tribe, though the Romans might have modified 
it. As to the depression in question, he must confess that 
he had doubts as to it having been an amphitheatre. 

The remaining portions of the camp having been in- 
vestigated, an onward move was made to 

SHsbap lull <put[4ft* 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said there was very little to 
say about the edifice. There were just the remains of an 
old chancel, and the most curious thing in the church 
was the bench-end representing the Resurrection. A most 
peculiar feature was the octagonal tower. 

Mr. W. A. Jones explained the history of the shields 
in the chancel window, and remarked that here was the 
tomb-stone of Dr. Crotch. 

formerly the residence of the Farewells, with its rich stone 
porch and armorial bearings, carved in stone, having been 
inspected by the courtesy of Mr. Johnson, the excursionists 
returned to Taunton ; many, however, paid a visit to Trull 

dtonittg JjttMmj. 

There was a Meeting in the Great Hall of the Castle 
in the evening. The President occupied the chair, and 
called upon 

Mr. W. A, Jones, M.A., who read a paper " On the 
Customs of the Manor of Taunton Deane," which is 
printed in Part II. page 77. 


At the conclusion of the reading, 

Mr. F. H. Dickinson remarked that they were again in 
the place where the Society was formed, and nothing 
could be more appropriate than that* they should have 
such an account of the customs connected with the place 
as Mr. Jones had given them. The enquiry into the boun- 
daries of our ancient parishes, hundreds, and counties, was 
attended with a great deal of difficulty ; but there were 
materials scattered throughout their borders from which 
information might be obtained. There was no reason to 
suppose that the local laws, of which Mr. Jones had spoken, 
differed from the rest of the kingdom of Wessex. They 
owed Mr. Jones great .thanks for arranging everything 
connected with his subject so clearly and admirably. Mr. 
Jones was a person to whom the Society was more in- 
debted now than to any other person, since they had lost 
their dear friend Mr. Warre, who was one of the founders 
of the Society. He therefore moved that the thanks of the 
meeting be given to Mr. Jones. 

Mr. J. Batten, in seconding the proposition, observed 
that there was nothing peculiar in the customs except in 
the minor details. 

The President, in putting the motion to the meeting, 
expressed his hearty thanks to Mr. Jones for the* extremely 
valuable paper he had given. 

The vote was carried by acclamation. 

The Rev. W. Tuckwell, M.A., read a paper " On the 
Flora of the Quantocks," which will be found in Part II., 
page 177. 

The President spoke eulogistically of the manner of 
treatment adopted, and called for a vote of thanks, which 
was readily given. 

The Rev. H. H. Winwood said the flora of the 


Quantocks might have been worked out, but the geology 
of the range was not, and there was a great deal to be done 
there now. 

The President strongly recommended botanists to 
study the soil and subsoil upon which the plants grew. 
This was of the greatest possible importance, and by such 
means two or three sciences could be joined together ; the 
enjoyment would be enhanced, and many secrets of nature 
laid bare. 

The Rev. J. Coleman then read the following 

<Mi[a4ts from ttte parish leister afl JJftok £t 

I am about to occupy your time for ten minutes with 
some extracts from the old register-books of the parish of 
Stoke St. Gregory. Most of them, I venture to think, 
have some interest of a local character. 

The first page of the oldest register of the parish of 
Stoke St. Gregory is occupied with this preface — 

" A register of weddings, christnings, and burialls within 
the parish of Gregoristoke from the yere of our Lord 1561, 
till this present year 1600, diligentlie pused and faithfully 
copied out of the old booke (according to the order in that 
be halfe prouided) by mee, Thomas Cutler, curate of the 
said parish. 

" Now, whereas by the said order it was appointed that 
this book should be copied out from the first yere of the 
raigne of our soueraigne lady Queen Elizabeth, sithens 
which yere the book was by theiues amongst other things 
stollen out of the church, and therefore wanteth four 
yeres : and then ab anno domini, 1561, till the yere 1573, 
so indiscreetly handled that when the book was shewed 
before the Queene's visitours, the parishioners, as I have 
herd by credible report, were grievously amerced. 

" Therefore I hope euery indifferent man will charitably 


judge of my dealing in copying out of this book, for I 
haue doon it as I could, and not as I would, yet somewhat 
better than I found it. I jfresent it to your vewe. Yours 
in the Lord, Thomas Cutler/' 

The same religious regard for the parish register which 
is shown in "Master Thomas Cutler, minister of this 
parish of Gregoristoke," by this first extract, appears also 
in the next page. It is an apology for his change from 
the old style to the new — " and all done (he adds) in the 
English tung for euery man to reade, being desirous rather 
to benefit other then at the handes of the unlearned to hunt 
for comendacion of learning, being altogether unworthy 
thereof. — Yours, Thomas Cutler." irdvrore Boga Oew 

A series of historical events is noted as follows :— 

1. Queen of Scots beheaded, February 8, ano domini 

1586. The sumer next following was whete at 7s. 6d. ye 

2. A great earthquake in most parts of England, Apr. 
6, 1580. 

3. England invaded by Spaniards, July 21, 1580. 

4. Whete sold for 17s. a bushel in ano dom. 1597. 

5. Earle of Essex beheaded, Feb. 25, ano dom. 1601. 

6. Queen Elizabeth departed this life, March 24, 1602: 

7. King James was proclaymed King of England 
eodem die. 

8. An horrible treason by gunpowder disclosed Novemb. 
5, 1605. 

Battle of Sedgemoor, July 6, 1685, between 1 and 2.30 

a.m. Monday morning. 

After this follows an entry made in the year 1719 : — 

" The scription in a window of our Parish Church of 

Gregory stoke is this, — 

" Will 8 Conqueror, occiso Haraldo, Regno potitus, istam 

ecclesiam in suis possessionibus." 

E. Pierce, Vicar 1719. 

This was the Rev. Ezra Pierce, who was vicar of North 

vol. xviii., 1872, part i. g 

> Churchwardens. 


Curry, and planted the trees in the churchyard of that 

Next occurs this entry : — # 

"Memorandum, that Richard Maiente, of the city of 
Exeter, supposed to be a Papist, read the oath of supre- 
macy in the Chancell of Gregorie Stoke, on Sunday the 
22nd of August anno dmi. 1624, and then and there did 
receive the Communion at the hands of mee Tristram 
Lawrence, then minister of the Parish of Gregory Stoke 

Another entry is this : — 

Gregory Stoke Procession for viewing the bounds of the 
parish was May 28th and 29th 1717. By common guess 
22 miles round. 

Ezra Pierce, Vicar. 
Thomas Gander 
Thomas Hemborough 

In A.D. 1712 the parish is for the first time called Stoke 
St. Gregory, the name of its patron saint having always 
before this preceded, e.g. 9 Gregory-Stoke. 

Were I addressing an audience composed of my former 
parishioners, their old parish registers would supply me 
with many a topic both of interest and amusement to 
them, but the members of this Association could justly 
charge me with wearying them out if I favoured them 
with purely local matters, connecting the past with the 
present. But there are yet one or two matters, common 
alike to this and other parishes, suggested by a search into 
the registers of Stoke St. Gregory. 

As late as 1798 there was a Quakers' Meeting House 
standing in the parish, all traces of which .are gone ; and 
there was ground which is named " The Quakers' Burying 
Piatt/' where at least twelve bodies are recorded to have 
been interred between A.D. 1689 and A.D. 1692. 

In the hamlet of Stathe, some two miles from the parish 


church, there is a field called Chapplehay. On this site 
there was an ancient chapel standing, and bodies were 
there interred. All traces of the use to which this ground 
has, in days gone by, been put is now effaced. Such in- 
stances of fields now given over to the plough or the dairy, 
but once set apart as God's acre, and still having buried 
there stones of the sanctuary, are by no means uncommon 
in the county ; and it seems to me a work worthy of this 
Society, and one which would meet with sympathy from 
those most immediately interested in the lands, if an effort 
were made to erect upon these sites some slight memorial 
of their having once heen devoted to the worship and 
service of Almighty God. 

I have here some original presentments made by the 
churchwardens of Stoke St. Gregory and North Curry, in 
the years 1664, 1673, 1680, and 1698, the first of which is 
curious : — 

Gregory Stoke — The presentment of the churchwardens 
and sideman of Gregory Stoke, made at the visitacon of 
the Wor 11 William Peirs, Doctor of Divinity, officiall to 
the Right Wor 11 the Deane and Chapter of the Cathedrale 
Church in Wells, the fourteenth day of October, 1664. 

Imp" 8 wee p'sent ye Church Leads to be in some defect 
and out of reparacon. 

Item wee p'sent wee have no white linnen cloth for ye 
Comunion Table. 

Item that wee have no booke of homilies. 

Item that wee have no Surplice. 

Item that wee have no booke to write the names and 

licences of strange preachers. 

Item that wee have no Herse cloth for ye buriall of ye 

Item wee p'sent that ye Minister hath not yet p'formed 

his office in Cathechising the children because he hath two 

cures to serve. 


Item wee p'sent Thomas Leaky and Emme his wife for 
incontinency before marriage, and ther of there hath been 
and is a comon fame in this the s d P sh 

Item wee p'sent Marvell Jent the wife of Christopher 
Jent for causing of strife between her neighbours and for 
that she is a raylor. 

Item wee p'sent Joseph Hancock for not paying his rates 
to the Church being four behind. William Sain for the 
like being 2s. 2d. behind. William Pocock for the like 
being 6 behind. Thomas Coombe, senr., for the like being 
4d. behind. Elizabeth Ley, widdow, for the like being 
8d. behind. Jane Powell, widdow, for the like being 
01s. 04d. behind. Thomas Godwin for the like being 
01s. 02d. behind. Gregory Powell, the elder, for the like 
being 01s. 06d. behind. Thomas Coombe, jun., for the 
like being 4d, behind. 

Item wee p'sent the old Churchwardens for not giving 
up of their last Accompts, but they p'mise that it shall be 
speedily done. 

John Willicomb ) ^, , , 
Wm. Clements 5 Churchwardens. 

Gilburd Bray, Sideman. 

The following is a presentment from the Churchwardens 

of North Curry in the year 1680 : — 

Somsett C The P'esentment of the Churchwardens 
North Cory < of the Parish Church of North Cory duely 
Peculiar (^ elected for the year 1680. 

Wee p'sent Herny Ffoster, William Brownsford 

Churchwardens for the last yeare, and William Verrier 

and Edward Derham als. Ffarmer, Churchwardens for 

the yeare before, for that they with the Confedracy of 

John Ffox, John Sanddy, Thomas Owen, and Robert 

Hill, jr. did take downe a bell out of the Tower of the 

parysh church of North Cory aforesd, and the same bell 

did carey away and refuse to bring it againe to the damage 

of the p'shionrs of the sayd parish fforty pounds. 

Robert Handall 
Hennery Nurton. 


The President observed. that Mr. Coleman had opened 
an important mine of information, which revealed traits 
of character and local feeling, and enabled historians in 
future days to draw pictures which they would. not other- 
wise be able to present. 

Mr. W. E. Surtees mentioned that a distinguished 
antiquarian of former days published a book of the in- 
teresting and curious extracts frt>m the parish registers of 
the county of Durham. If Mr. Coleman or any other 
gentleman would follow that example in the interests of 
Somersetshire, he would confer upon the county a very 
great service. 
* Mr. E, A. Freeman, D.C.L., remarked that of the 
16th century they had in Mr. Coleman's paper exactly 
such a collection of local annals as they might have had 
700 or 800 years ago. These notices were the same sort 
of things which they founa in the shorter and more meagre 
annals out of which our history was made. The main 
events of Elizabeth's reign were put down without note 
or comment, and, supposing that the larger histories were 
to vanish, they would be in much the same position in 
years to come, with regard to Elizabeth's history, as 
they were of early matters. It struck him how the old 
names were changing ; this was plain from the records of 
Stoke St. Gregory. So also at the present time continual 
alterations were being made in the names of the colleges 
of Cambridge and streets all over the country, something 
grander than the original titles being sought. Every lane 
must now be turned into a " street/' and thus some little 
bit of history was wiped out. 

Mr. Gr. T. Clark said there were not many parish re- 
gisters which contained annals, but there was one valuable 
bit of information which could be derived from them — 


the classification of the names. There was no body of 
men more active than rural clergymen, but there were 
times in the winter when they could find an opportunity 
to take up the registers and make a classification of the 
names, and draw certain conclusions as to the length of 
time names remained in the parish. They would thus 
derive a vast amount of information as to the transitional 
state of the rural population. 

The President said that although names might not 
remain many years in a certain parish, they remained an 
enormous time in one neighbourhood. 

Mr. F. H. Dickinson suspected it would be found that 
our names were curiously local. 

Mr. E. Chisholm-Batten thought that names were 
very permanent in this neighbourhood. He had been told 
that the descendants of the people who took the body of 
William Eufus into Winchester were still in the same 
position of life, and bearing the same name. 

Mr. M. J. C. Buckley said that the common names of 
many of our English flowers had been changed after 1 530. 
In many of the present names of plants we retained part 
of the original name and cut off the rest. It would be 
a very interesting and useful thing to rescue those names 
from the neglect into which they had fallen. 

The Rev. Thos. Hugo, M. A., then read a paper " On 
the Hospital of St. Margaret, Taunton," which is given in 
Part H., page 100. 

At the conclusion of the reading, a vote of thanks was 
passed to Mr. Hugo, on the motion of the President. 

Mr. John Batten proposed that the Annual Meeting 
for 1873 should be held at Sherborne. 

Mr. Jones stated reasons why it should be held at Wells, 
but promised the attention of the Council to the subject. 


The members left Taunton in the morning on a second 
Excursion. After a brief halt to inspect the remains of 
St. Margaret's Hospital, on the outskirts of the town, 
the party proceeded to walk through the 

$td load to HathpML 

At a point where the pitched causeway rises high above 
the road, a stoppage was made, and 

The Kev. Prebendary Scarth said his knowledge of 
Roman roads only extended to this country, many of which 
were in deep hollows like this, but whether formed so, or 
worked by the lapse of ages, no one could say. They had 
the advantage of Mr. Parker's company, however. He 
knew the ancient roads in Italy, and might be able to say 
something to determine what were original Roman roads 
in this country. There were certain places where the 
roads were worn into deep hollows as this was, but they 
could be traced best over hard hills where the plough had 
not been. In many places these roads were 16 feet wide, 
had a trench on each side in order to carry off the water, 
were formed of the materials of the country, and were 
perfectly hard. Then, chiefly in descending hills, they 
were found worn into deep hollows like this, but which 
unfortunately had been in the progress of improvement 
very much filled in. In the neighbourhood of Bath some 
of them had been completely filled in. He hoped, how- 
ever, that this one would be preserved intact, for it was 
well worthy of preservation. Happily where he was at 
present residing he had a portion of glebe containing an 
old road very similar to this, on the road from Bridgwater 


to Bristol. He prized it far more than the other portions 
of the land, and would take care that it should never be 
filled up while he could help it. These roads were among 
the most curious remains in England, and he had long 
wished for a perfect map of the Roman roads in Britain. 
One was a far too cautious map, and only represented 
those roads which every one knew. They had no doubt 
about the great military roads, but as there are certain 
turnpike and bye-roads used now, so there were in the 
times of the Romans. He had often pressed it at their 
meetings that there should be a good map made of Roman 
Britain. Each county society might take up the matter, 
but no single man could attempt to do justice to it. Two 
or three men in each county might undertake the task. 

The Rev. T. Hugo said he had always thought that 
this road was constructed anterior to Roman times, by the 
original inhabitants of the country. There could be very 
little doubt at all events that it was used by the Romans. 
A road from this, running through Holloway, went not far 
from Castle Neroche ; another diverging to the west car- 
ried them by Galmington and Wellington into Devonshire. 
By-and-bye they would get to a still more interesting 
point of the road. Here of course it was quite clear that 
the lapse of ages had resulted in the very worn and hollow 
way, but he was sure that for many years all the traffic 
of the west between Taunton, London, and Bristol came 
along this road. The pitched causeway was evidently in- 
tended for the use of foot passengers, and he should like 
to know the date of it. 

Mr. R. K. M. King pointed out one great peculiarity 
in regard to the pitched way. The Society, in walking 
through, would observe what had been noticed by the 
inhabitants for a great length of time — that whoever con- 


structed the pitching, whether Romans or people anterior 
to them, very great pains indeed were taken to construct a 
permanent way. It was true that much of it was formed 
from the material of the parish, the hardest of the sand- 
stone, but a large quantity of flint was also introduced, 
evidently from the Blackdown Hills, the very place from 
which they still obtained flint for their roads. 

Mr. F. H. Dickinson agreed that they ought to have 
some account taken of the old roads. Hollow roads oc- 
curred in all parts in the oolitic strata, because they would 
naturally sink. 

Mr. W. A. Jones mentioned that they had a map in 
the Museum on which they had marked in blue what they 
considered to be the British roads and camps, and the 
Roman in red. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said no doubt these hollow 
ways were used by the Romans, but existed before their 
time. All over Gaul they were found very similar. They 
were in the fashion of the world 1,000 years before the 
Christian era, and remained in vogue to the first century. 
One of the discoveries which he -had made in Rome was, 
that the roads were made in the hollows, and about the 
second century they began to raise the roads. Thus the 
Arch of Augustus had been filled up to the shoulders, 
while some of the arches stood at full height. The pitching 
of this road was mediaeval entirely. Hollow ways were 
convenient, because every soldier carried a light shield 
upon his arm, and the wind made it very troublesome. 

Advancing to a lower part of the road, 

The Rev. Tiios. Hugo said that at various times en- 
croachments had been made. The old road had been 
much altered since he was there last. The bridge on 
which they were standing was now not above half its 
VOL. XVIII., 1872, part i. h 


former width, and the last time he saw it the abutments 
were visible. The trees, too, which are now in the field 
were then in a line of hedge alongside of the road. 

The walk was then resumed until the old road disappears 
at Bathpool Mill, near the bridge, where the carriages 
were waiting, and the party proceeded to 

The stocks and whipping-post remain in the churchyard 
in a good state of preservation. 

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., said the church was to 
some extent a carrying out on a very much smaller and 
plainer scale of the type seen at Taunton, Bruton, and 
Martock— the clerestory with a large window. They also, 
found, what was not very often discovered, the clerestory 
and the compass-roof together. It would be very much 
improved by the simple process of making a string-course 
between the arcade and the clerestory. There were earlier 
bits preserved, but the general history was a common one. 
The tower had been added to an earlier building ; then 
afterwards the nave was rebuilt, between the new tower 
and the old chancel. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, G.B., thought it pretty clear that 
the church was earlier than the generality of Somersetshire 
churches. The tower was of the date of Eichard II, and 
the nave was later. The chancel arch, as very often hap- 
pened, was one of the earliest parts of the church, and 
supported the roof on both sides. The probability was 
that it was Early English, of the same date as a window 
at the west end — about 1240 or 1250. The nave, probably, 
was built in the middle of the 15th century. Whether 

* An engraving of the tower is given in the volume of the Society's 
Proceedings for 1852. 


the east window was genuine was doubtful ; if it was, it 
was clearly one of Edward Ill's time; but it looked 
supiciously modern. The tower was a good one of its 
kind, and not so elaborate as usual. The west door was 
particularly good, of the Early Perpendicular style. 

was next visited. In a niche over the porch is a mutilated 
representation of the Trinity, and a handsomely-carved 
reading-desk bears the date 1634. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., looked upon it as a very puz- 
zling church to make out at a few minutes' notice. There 
was a great deal of the Early English, and much of the 
Perpendicular character, which might almost be called 
Transitional. Early English arches remained under the 
tower. The Perpendicular arch was an. insertion, and the 
chancel arch had also been introduced. It was pretty 
clear that the greater part of the old walls remained, not- 
withstanding that the character had been changed. There 
was a very beautiful waggon-roof, with a remarkably rich 
cornice. It was one of the richest things he had seen for 
a long time. The roof of the chancel was pointed, that 
would indicate an earlier period. There were very curious 
arrangements in the little chapel, where the passage 
leading to the rood-loft had evidently been carried along 
the wall. There was also a corbel, as if there had been a 
wooden gallery. The rood-loft often was an extensive 
fabric in these buildings, and it might have been carried 
over the Early English arch. The tower was remarkably 
good Early English transitional work, and there was an 
additional story of the 15th century added. 

Mr. R. K. M. King drew attention to two or three 
points, with regard to family history in the parish. They 


could see a very fine monument of one of the oldest fami- 
lies in the county. The name was Robert Cuffe, and he 
had reason to believe that the only living descendant of 
the family held land at the present time with Colonel 
Finney. The date of the burial was 159?. Mr. Cuffe 
left two daughters, and at the time of his death he was 
owner of this large and rich parish, constituting the Manor 
of Creech. One of the daughters and co-heiresses, named 
Ann, married Sir Francis Warre, alluded to in Mr. Hugo's 
paper, and Sir Francis thus became entitled to one moiety 
of the manor. Thomas Warre had previously added to 
the domain of Hestercombe the adjoining Manor of West 
Monkton. The other daughter married a person of the 
name of Key t. Attention having been called to some very 
perfect arms in the north chapel, they were pronounced 
by Mr. King to be those of a very ancient family named 
Ceeley, now extinct. 

Mr. Batten said there had been alterations and im- 
provements in the decorations made from time to time 
with no sparing hand, and these could hardly be accounted 
for otherwise than upon the hypothesis that the church 
was one of the earliest possessions of the Abbey' of 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.8., standing in the churchyard, 
called attention to the remarkable tower. Many, he 
said, would call it Norman because of the flat buttresses, 
but he should not go so far back. Very likely the work 
was Early English. It was possible that the windows 
might have been altered, but there was no evidence of 
this. The upper belfry story was evidently an addition of 
the 1 5th century. The staircase seemed to have been so 
arranged as to afford access to the tower and the rood-loft. 
The west front was good Perpendicular, and there was a 


very rich Decorated cross over the^chancel. The outer 
arch of the porch might be Norman, but the interior was 
Early English. 

After a long drive the excursionists arrived at North 
Curry, and proceeded first to Moredon, the residence of 
Major Barrett. Here the Society, by previous invitation, 
were entertained most hospitably in a marquee erected on 
the lawn. The President and Mr. Jones tendered the 
thanks of the Society for the reception accorded them, 
and Major Barrett, in response, declared that it had given 
him very great pleasure to receive them, and though it 
was the first visit he hoped it would not be the last, for he 
should be happy at any time to welcome the Society. A 
walk across the valley led to the church on the opposite 

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., remarked that it was 
more than 20 years since he was at the place, and he was 
glad to have before him to refresh his memory an ex- 
ceedingly accurate ground plan and minute account of the 
building, provided by Mr. Foster, a native of the place. 
The church was one of the earlier types of the county, 
very much altered, but less so than many. That cruciform 
shape was very common in Somersetshire in earlier, but 
rare in later times. The central towers had been fre- 
quently pulled down and erected at the west end, but so 
great a change had not taken place in this church. There 
seemed to have been a much earlier church here, of which 
a small fragment was still left. In the north aisle there 
was a good Norman doorway, with a segmental arch, and 
the President had shown very plainly that it was as it had 
been from the beginning. Setting aside that small remain, 
the church was a building of the middle of the 14th cen- 


tury, largely recast in the 15th, but not so much so as to 
alter the original character, because they had left the 
central tower. As it stood in the 14th century it was a 
cross church, with very low walls and very high roof, 
keeping somewhat more of the character of an earlier time 
than was usual in the middle of the 14th century. They 
could trace pretty well the height of the walls by the low 
buttresses. He liked the north transept front exceedingly. 
The change which had been made in the north transept 
was the lowering of the roof, which must have been of an 
enormously high pitch, with very low walls. The east end 
of the choir was stuccoed, so that they could not trace the 
gables. The east window and side windows of the tower 
were, probably, of the 15 th century. The tower remained 
untouched, and was the original octagonal tower of the 14th 
century. These towers were rather a feature in Somerset- 
shire, although few, while in other counties they might 
never see one. They met with it again in Northampton- 
shire, but with this difference — the Somersetshire octagon 
was one with a square base. They could see that at 
Bishops Hull, Somerton, Fuddymore, and Barton St 
David's ; while in Northamptonshire the octagon was 
set upon a square tower. There was another octagon at 
" Gregory Stoke/' but that was more slender than this. 
The bold porch formed a feature of the church. The 
original roofs seemed to have been all of one level, but 
when the 15th century people touched the choir in the 
transept they raised the walls somewhat. There was no 
need, however, to have brought in any clerestory windows. 
There was a little window at the east belonging to the 
earlier church, showing the height. The porch was 
altogether an addition, and the west front had been 
recast in the Perpendicular. It very often happened in 


the cruciform parish churches that the west end had 
nothing of an artistic design, but here it had still a certain 
degree of design about it which was pleasing and satis- 
factory. The parapet was pierced throughout, except in 
the transept. The church was under the care of his friend 
Sir George Gilbert Scott, and he was very glad to see 
that he did not mean to do any mischief. He had looked 
at the designs throughout, and did not see that anything 
would be destroyed, but the only doubt in his mind was 
whether it was quite wise to place a low spire on the 
tower. There was something to be said on both sides, 
but now that the high roofs were gone he doubted whether 
it was wise to put on the tower a feature which belonged 
to a past state of things into which the builders of the 
15th century brought it. Still, he wished that other 
churches were likely to suffer as little harm as North 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., thought that an octagonal 
wooden spire would be an immense improvement. 

The President remarked that they had here a very 
large chancel, with a central tower. In the great number 
of instances a large chancel was connected with some re- 
ligious house, and he should like to know whether it was 
so or not in this case. Such was the case at Dunster and 
many other places. 

Mr. Freeman said that it belonged formerly to the 
church of Wells. 

The Vicar (Rev. F. Harrison) said there were at one 
time four chapels belonging to the parish, and in a farm- 
house the other day a roof was discovered which evidently 
belonged to one of those chapels. He said in reply to Mr. 
Freeman's enquiries about King John's connection with 
the parish, that the only fact known was the confirmation 


by King John of the gift by Richard I of the manor and 
domain to the church of Wells. 

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L. (the party having entered 
the church) observed that the changes which had gone on 
could be seen there, but not so plainly as outside. It was 
plain that inside as well as outside the ground plan had 
been untouched. In the great central lantern they found 
the four arches of the earlier building, and it had been 
intended to fill in with stone. That was one of the com- 
monest things to find a vault which was begun and never 
finished. The reason was this : it was much better to let 
the wall stay a bit before putting in the stone vault, and it 
frequently happened that this was never done, but that a 
wooden vault had been put on as here. If there was any 
reason why the walls would not bear a vault of stone, he did 
not see why they should not have one of wood, supposing 
that it did not pretend to be anything else. The builders 
seemed to >have been satisfied with putting in a row of 
clerestory windows without adapting them in any way. 
The lack which they saw at West Monkton was visible 
again here. Evidently there was a great want of a string- 
course between the arcade and the clerestory, and the want 
was felt more here than at West Monkton. 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., called attention to the corbels 
of the roof in the transept, which seemed to indicate that 
there had been a different roof there. In the arcade 
the continuous imposts, without moulding, were very com- 
mon on the Continent, but very rare in England. There 
was a tradition that the tombs in the chancel came from 

In the vestry is a marble tablet, with a long inscription, 
relating to certain privileges and grotesque revelries, known 
as North Curry feast. 



The Vicar, in reply to Canon Meade, said he was happy 
to state that these proceedings were not kept up now, but 
ceased about seven years ago. The feast was attended 
with a good deal of excess, and those interested in the 
"charities" were induced to give up their rights to the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners. He pointed out the un- 
common perfection of the registers. 

The Rev. Prebendary Scarth made a few remarks con- 
cerning the proposed transfer of parish registers from the 
custody of the clergy to a central department at London. 

Mr. Jones asked whether the entries were transcripts 
from an old register. 

The Vicar thought they must be, the caligraphy was 
so uniform. 

The President asked whether any explanation could 
be given of the item £2 12s. "for four hospitals/ 1 and 
what institutions of such a nature were likely to have had 
any claim upon that parish for a periodical and uniform 
payment. It was a large sum to be given out of the 
parish funds, and not out of the offertory. 

The Vicar exhibited an old staff which belonged to the 
borough of Newport, in the parish of North Curry, 

The Rev. T. Hugo pointed out an entry in the register, 
stating that two persons about to be married gave an in- 
demnity that they would not be chargeable to the parish, 
but would return in case of necessity to their own parish. 
Such indemnities, he said, were not unusually given years 
ago by strangers entering London. 

©hap JaJron (puttrlt 

was visited on the return journey, and the curious ancient 
pewter Communion Service was examined. 

Mr. J. H. Parker/ C.B., fixed the date of the church 
VOL. xviii., 1872, part i. i 


at the 15th century. The tower was in a very genuine 
unaltered state ; there was an old waggon-roof, and the 
clerestory had two windows in it. The rood-loft was all 
on the western side of the chancel arch, and the rood-loft 
staircase was outside. In connection with the bench-ends, 
which were very good, he said he knew a clergyman in the 
neighbourhood of Oxford who had amused himself by 
carving the bench-ends of his church with his own hands. 
A great many of these were evidently carved by the 
clergy themselves, if not by the monks. 

Mr. E. Chisholm-Batten showed that the date 1542 
was on one, and stated that the parish was once called 
Thorn Fagan. 

|lui»hton ^hnttclt 

was the last place visited on the excursion, the church of 
Hatch Beauchamp having been passed over for want of time. 
Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said that at first sight it 
looked like most other Somersetshire churches, but there 
were considerable remains of two periods. There were 
remains of the Norman 12th century church. There was 
a fine Norman doorway, and the windows belonged to the 
date of the 13th century, the east window being of the 
end of the same century. A very curious feature was the 
hagioscope or " squint." The example was almost unique, 
and another remarkable feature was the window and the 
doorway left in the staircase leading to the rood-loft. The 
reredos had been made out of the rood-screen. The glass 
in the chancel window was uncommonly good — a fine imi- 
tation of the genuine English glass of the 15th century. 
The peculiarity of the deflection of two feet in the church 
he believed found an explanation in the fact that our fore- 
fathers were very careless in laying out their ground plans; 
else it might be that the nave was of one period, and the 


chancel of another. There was a very lofty tower arch, 
and the font was a very remarkable one. In the church- 
yard was the base of a cross, sculptured with the four 

was held in the evening in the Museum of the Society. 
Numerous articles of antiquarian interest were sent for 

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., exhibited a complete set of 
photographs of his reeent researches in Home, and gave 
a brief sketch of the excavations which had been made, 
partly under his own direction and partly under Govern- 
ment. These researches had, he said, thrown an entirely 
new light on the ancient history of the city, and brought 
them back to the Rome of their boyhood. The remains 
had been preserved for centuries in a remarkable manner, 
having been used as foundations for other buildings. The 
wall which he called the wall of Romulus, the founder of 
the city, was of earlier construction than any other in 
Rome, and agreed with the description of it given by 
Dionysius ; and the remains of the capitolium, the public 
treasury, record office, and the senate house, also tallied 
with the materials to be gathered from classical literature. 
The city was evidently built upon ancient earthworks. 
There were remains of fortifications everywhere, and they 
could only have been made by the employment of the 
whole of the population upon them, which naturally caused 
the revolt recorded by historians. 

Mr. E. B. Tylor, LL.D., F.R.S., delivered an address 
on the growth of civilisation, illustrated by various weapons 
in the Museum. In the course of his remarks he said that 


some of the customs of modern times, which we could not 
now understand the meaning of, were to be looked upon 
as " survivals " from a state of savagery, and concluded by 
urging greater attention to ethnology. 

Votes of thanks were passed to Mr. Parker and Mr. Tylor, 
on the motion of the President, who, together with Mr. G. 
T. Clark and Mr. Freeman, took part in the proceedings. 

Mr. Jones drew attention to a series of plans of ancient 
earthworks by Mr. C. W. Dymond, C.E., which he said 
were most valuable contributions to the history of pre- 
historic times. He also announced that Mr. Dymond had 
liberally offered that any of the plans relating to Somerset- 
shire were at the service of the Society for publication in 
their Proceedings. 

After thanks had been passed to Mr. Dymond, 
The President congratulated the Society upon having 
had a most successful gathering, and cordial thanks having 
been voted to him on the motion of Mr. W. E. Surtees, 
the Annual Meeting: for 1872 closed. 



Among the objects of interest exhibited during the 
Meeting were the following : — 

Ancient Documents relating to the parish of Stoke 
Courcy, by the Rev. Dr. Goodford, Provost of Eton. 

A demand of Charles I. for a loan of £10 upon Sir 
George Farewell, of Bishops Hull ; a number of sketches,, 
rubbings, news letters, &c, by Mr. W. A. Jones. 

Oil sketches of views in the neighbourhood, by Mr. 
W. F. Elliot. 


Bronze torque and celts found in the neighbourhood, by 
Mr, W. A. Sanford. 

Remains found on the site of a Roman villa at Stan- 
chester, Curry Rivel, comprising coins, pottery, glass, 
bronze ornaments, charred wood, &c, by Mr. W. W. 

Specimens of White's Thrush, Turdus varius, killed at 
Hestercombe; Black Redstart, Ruticilla Tithys, Wood 
Sandpiper, Totanus glareola^ and Baillon's Crake, Crex 
Bailloni, killed near Taunton ; Iceland Gull, Larus leu- 
copterus, and Glaucous Gull, Larus glaucus, killed at 
Weston-super-Mare, by Mr. Cecil Smith. 

Specimens of the Crane, Grus cinerea, killed at Stol- 
ford; Pied Flycatcher, Muscicapa atrtcapilla, Little Bittern, 
Botaurus minutus, and Little Auk, Mergulus melanoleucos } 
killed near Taunton, by Mr. C. Haddon. 

January 20th. 

On the variation in the Plumage of Birds, by Cecil 

Smith, Esq. 
An attempt to distinguish the old Brislington Ware, 

by the Rev. I. S. Gale. 
March 3 Is*. 

On Ozone, by H. J. Alford, Esq. 

On Ancient Music and Instruments: Progress of 

Notation, Early English Music and Modern De- 

velopement, by C. H. Fox, Esq. 

®h$ Dftumwt. 

Additions since the publication of the last Volume :— 

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London. 

The Archaeological Journal. 

Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 

Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Associa- 
tion of Ireland. 

Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological 

Journal of the Royal Dublin Society. 

Collections of the Surrey Archaeological Society. 

Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and 
Natural History. 

Proceedings of the Geologists 9 Association. 

Associated Architectural Societies 9 Report and Papers. 

Various publications from the Royal Norwegian University 
of Christiania. 

Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian 
Field Club. 

Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists 9 Society. 

Evans's Stone Implements of Great Britain, by Mr. W. 
A. Sanford. 

Library of National Antiquities, vol. 2, Vocabularies, by 
Mr. Joseph Mayer. 

An Account of the Saxon Church of St. Lawrence, Brad- 
ford-on-Avon, by the Author, Rev. W. H. Jones. 

The Quantocks and their Associations, by the Author, 
Rev. W. L. Nichols. 

Genealogical Memoranda relating to the family of Cooke of 
Kingsthorpe, by the Author, Mr. G. W. Marshall, LL.M. 

Comparative View of the Monuments of India, by the 
Rev. O. S. Harrison. 


Drawing of a Tesselated Pavement found at Pitney, by 
the Rev. I. S. Gale. 

The Black Book of Taymoutk, by Mr. W. H. P. Gore 
Langton, M.P. 

Encyclopaedia of Heraldry > y by Mr. G. W. Marshall. 

Skull of Hyaena, 30 skins of birds, stones from the 
Diamond fields, Kaffir stool, and 52 articles of dress, orna- 
ments, pipes, snuff-boxes, &c, 3 clubs, 4 spears, and 8 
arrows, all from South Africa, by Mr. H. Cornish. 

Encaustic tiles, &c, from Athelney (purchased). 

Papers and Documents relating to Taunton Elections and 
Charities, &c, from 1709 to 1 722, by Mr. C. H. Cornish. 

Silver ores from the Flagstaff Mine, America, by Mr. 
O. W. Malet. 

Lias fossils, from Yarcombe, by Mr. Perry. 

Japanese organ, by Mr. A. Maynard. 

Cannon ball found at Sedgemoor, by Mr. J. Clavey. 

Caudle cup, by Mr. B. Palmer. 

Alligator's skull and claws, skin of boa, tortoise shell, 
Dyak war jackets, women's petticoats, waist cloths, seat 
mat, earrings, armlets, war charms, spear heads, spikes, 
swords, and shield, from H.H. The Rajah of Sarawak. 

Australian flying squirrel, a pair of Emeu's eggs, by 
Mr. J. Baker. 

Musical bow, from South Africa, by the Bath Boyal 
Literary and Scientific Institution. 

Chinese fiddle and bow, Chinese razor, Formosa cata- 
maran, with oars, sails, &c, cowfish, by Sub-Lieut. W. 
H. M. Daniel, H.M.S. "Dwarf." 

Coal fossils from the Writhlington and Huish Collieries, 
and portion of elephant's tusk, by Mr. A. Chivers. 

Ancient wood carving, by Mr. E. Jeboult. 

Boman coin found at Dunpole, near Ilminster ; Pottery 


and bronze object found at Barbury Castle, Wiltshire, by 
Mr. E. Sloper. 

153 tokens and other coins, by the Key, R. Stmes. 

Facsimile copy of the Declaration of Independence of 
the United States of America, by Mr. H. F. Manley. 

African Toga, by Mrs. Pking. 

Pair of Japanese slippers, by Mr. P. D. Prankerd. 

Two leaden spoons and other curiosities found at Thorn 
Falcon, by the Rev. O. S. Harrison. 

Silver, penny of Edward I., found in the old vicarage 
garden at Stoke St. Gregory, by the Rev. R. W. Moor. 

Bronze-gilt Roman stirrup, found in the camp at Ham 
Hill, by Mrs. Farquharson. 

Skull of rabbit with extraordinary mal-formed incisor 
teeth, by Mr. J. Theaker. 

Silver medal of the Duke of Monmouth, by Mr.F. Lake. 

Stag's horn, &c, found in alluvial soil at Priory, 
Taunton, by Mr. H. J. Penny. 

Plesiosaurus, from the lias at Street, by Mr. Sanford, 

New Zealand warrior's kilt, by Mr. Arthur Malet. 

Paddle from Sandwich Islands, by Mr. S. Lawrence. 

Specimens of the Lace Bark Tree from Jamaica, by 
Mr. Bruford. 

A stuffed specimen of the Wild Red Deer of Exmoor 
(male), by Mr. M. Fenwick Bisset. 

Purchased : — 

PalcBontographical Society's Journal. 

Ray Society's Journal. 

Harleian Society's Journal. 

Taunton Courier ^ from 1808 to 1829, 11 vols. 

Daniefs History of England^ 1685. 

JoIiannisGlastoniensisChronica 9 T. Hearn, Oxford, 1726. 




1872, PART II. 


htg Jut 


INE King of the West-Saxons, the conqueror, the 
. lawgiver, the pilgrim to the threshold of the Apostles, 
stands out as one of the most famous names in the early 
history of the English people. In the history of his own 
West-Saxon Kingdom, above all in the history of our own 
shire, the place which he holds is naturally higher still. 
It was he, there can be little doubt, who put the 
last stroke to the work which Ceawlin had begun, and 
under whom the whole land of the Sumorsaetas became 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. A 


English. Four famous spots, within our own shire or on 
its immediate border, claim him as their first founder or as 
among the chiefest of their benefactors. His works in 
those four spots set him before us in various characters. 
He appears as a warrior extending the borders of his 
kingdom and providing for the security of his conquest by 
the erection of a border fortress. He appears also as a 
Christian ruler, not as a mere lavish giver to ecclesiastical 
bodies, but as an enlightened promoter of ecclesiastical 
changes which were clearly for the good of his people. 
He appears as the prince who divided an unwieldy bishop- 
rick, and placed the worthiest man of his time and country 
as shepherd of the new flock which he called into being. 
If on this spot we are inclined to think first of him as the 
man who raised Taunton as a bulwark against the Briton, 
we must remember that he was also the man who first 
gave the western part of his dominions a Bishop of their 
own, and who placed the holy Ealdhelm in the chair of 
Sherborne which he had founded. And if Taunton and 
Sherborne, here the fortress, there the church, claim him 
without doubt as, in those characters, their first creator, 
two other famous spots claim him, with somewhat less of 
certainty, one as a founder, the other as a special bene- 
factor. A King reigning over a people still divided in blood 
and speech, ruler alike of the conquering English and of 
the conquered Britons, he is set forth as the patron of the 
holy places of both alike. He spreads his bounty alike 
over the Church of the conquerors and the Church of the 
conquered; he is the second founder of British Glastonbury, 
the first founder of English Wells. And, as he appears 
in our local history or legend as the benefactor of the 
ecclesiastical foundations of both races, so he appears in 
the imperishable witness of his laws as the ruler and law- 


giver of both alike. The Laws of Ine, in other respects 
among the most precious monuments of English antiquity, 
have yet a further and special value as the one authentic 
picture of the relations between English and Briton within 
the English dominion. Nor is it only in this more general 
way that the name of Ine is connected with the history of 
the Britons as well as with that of the English. The 
conquered race seems in some strange way to have laid 
hold of their conqueror and lawgiver ; they have in some 
sort claimed him as their own, and have identified him with 
names that were renowned in their own history or tradition. 
And yet, famous as Ine is, there are few historical names of 
equal fame so much of whose history is puzzling and uncer- 
tain. The statements as to his descent are contradictory ; 
the manner of his accession to the West-Saxon crown is 
unrecorded, but casual notices show that there must have 
been something unusual, if not irregular, about it. And 
much of the history of his reign is made up of casual, and 
not always very intelligible, notices of the same kind. 
We find him engaged in civil wars with men of his own 
nation and his own family, but as to the origin and object 
of their disputes we are left in the dark. It is to one of 
these casual notices that we owe the knowledge of that 
event of Ine's reign which most immediately interests us 
here, the first mention of the town in which we are now 
met. The earliest chapter in the history of Taunton is 
written backwards ; its first building is recorded only to 
explain the more striking entry of its first burning. 

Before we begin to comment on the particular actions 
of Ine himself, it may be well to take a general view of 
the state of things in which he was an actor. In the year 
688, when Ine became King of the West-Saxons, 239 
years had passed since the settlement of the first English 


invaders in Britain ; 193 had passed since the first landing 
of the West-Saxons. It was 111 years since the great 
conquests of Ceawlin westwards, 91 years since the mission 
of Augustine, and 54 years since Christianity had been 
first preached to the West-Saxons by Birinus. These dates 
should be borne in mind, the last of them especially. All 
that we read of the acts and legislation of Ine .and our 
other English Kings from this time so completely takes 
Christianity for granted that we are apt to forget how new 
a thing English Christianity then was. It was only a very 
few years before Ine's time that heathenism had been 
stamped out — by very different means in the two cases — in 
its two last strongholds among the English race, Sussex and 
the Isle of Wight. In Ine's own Wessex the baptism of 
the first Christian King was, at the time of his accession, 
an event exactly as far distant as the birth of our present 
Queen is distant from the year in which we are now living. 
At Ine's accession he must have had many subjects who 
had worshipped Thunder and Woden in their youth; 
he may even have had some who secretly cherished the 
ancient worship in their hearts. His acts then, his laws, 
his foundations, his pilgrimage, must all be looked on as 
tinged with something of the zeal of recent conversion. 
As for the political state of Britain, the English Conquest 
had not yet by any means reached its fullest bounds ; one 
powerful British kingdom still remained for Ine himself to 
do battle with ; but destiny had long before decided against 
the Briton and in favour of the English invader. The great 
British power, which, a hundred and sixty years after the 
first English settlement, had still stretched in an unbroken 
mass from the Lands End to Dunbarton had been broken 
in pieces by the victories of Ceawlin and JEthelfrith. The 
territory which remained to the independent Briton now 


lay in three fragments, each of which was now cut off from 
the others. There was the Northern Britain, Strathelyde, 
Cumberland, whatever we choose to call it, isolated from 
the other lands of the same race by the great victory of 
JEthelfrith under the walls of what was to be Chester. 
There was the central Britain, the North- Wales of our 
Chronicles, answering to the modern Principality, but with 
a far wider extent towards the east. This had been in the 
earlier campaigns of Ceawlin cut off from the third division, 
that with which we have most to do in the life of Ine and 
in the history of Wessex. The south-western Britain, the 
West- Wales of our Chronicles, the Kingdom of Cornwall, 
Damnonia,. what ever name we may choose to give it, still re- 
mained powerful and independent. Cut off as it was in a 
corner, with no neighbour of its own race, with one neigh- 
bour only of the hostile race, its conquest by the advancing 
power of the English was only a question of time. But it 
was still strong enough to offer a stubborn resistance to the 
West-Saxon invader, strong enough to take advantage of 
any moments of weakness or of any diversions caused by 
warfare between Wessex and the other English powers 
themselves* Among those English powers, the precarious 
amount of union implied in the Bretwaldadom, whatever we 
may hold that amount to have been, was now in abeyance. 
The Bretwalda Oswiu of Northumberland had died in 670, 
and he had at any rate no acknowledged successor before 
Ecgberht. Three English states, Northumberland, Mercia, 
and Wessex, stood forth beyond all dispute in front of all 
the others. There was no longer any chance of the renewal 
of that earlier state of things when we find South-Saxon, 
Kentish, and East-Anglian princes on the roll of Bret- 
waldas. And, of the three great states, Northumberland 
was now sinking from the great position which it had held 


earlier in the century. Mercia and Wessex might pass 
for rival states of nearly equal power, against neither of 
which could the smaller kingdoms to the east of them 
contend with any hope of success. 

The boundaries of Wessex itself, the kingdom over 
which Ine was called to rule, were at this time in an 
intermediate state. The conquests of Wessex in the sixth 
century had aimed northwards rather than westwards. 
After the taking of Old Sarum by Cynric in 552, which 
secured the safety of the West-Saxon dominion in Hamp- 
shire and Wiltshire, the conquests of Cuthwulf and 
Ceawlin had given Wessex a great dominion north of the 
Avon and Thames, while they had barely grazed the great 
western peninsula by the first English conquest in our 
own shire, that of the land between Axe and Avon. 
Ceawlin had failed in his attempt to reach the northern sea, 
and to isolate the central as well as the Western Britain ; 
the conquest of Deva had been reserved for the Northum- 
brian JEthelfrith. But he had fought at Bedford and at 
Fethanleah; he had changed Bensington and Eynsham, 
Aylesbury and Buckingham, Bath, Cirencester, and 
Gloucester, the ruins of Uriconium and an undefined land 
along the Severn, into English ground. At the beginning 
of the seventh century the West-Saxon power stretched 
over at least as large a dominion to the north of the 
Thames as it did to the south, while the great region con- 
tained in modern Cornwall, Devonshire, and the greater 
part of Somerset remained still untouched in the hands of 
the Briton. The Wessex of the ninth century and onwards 
was a state which might establish an external supremacy 
more or less complete to the north of Thames and Avon, 
but whose own actual and immediate boundary was sharply 
marked by the general course of those rivers as a well 


defined boundary. Wessex in her earlier stage aimed 
chiefly at power in central and northern England. Wessex 
in her later form fell back on her more natural position 
as the great state of southern England, conquering, in- 
corporating, largely assimilating, all the powers British or 
English lying south of the mouths of the two great rivers 
of southern Britain. The seventh and eight centuries set 
Wessex before us in a stage intermediate between the two, 
and the reign of Ine may perhaps be taken as the central 
point of the whole period. The work of those two cen- 
turies, as far as England was concerned, was to show that 
the true destiny of Wessex was to be cut short to the 
North and to extend herself to the East and West. Her 
Kings might win an external supremacy over all the 
Teutonic powers within the Island, or over the whole Island 
itself. She might incorporate herself and her Teutonic 
dependencies into an English Kingdom in which she was 
content to merge her own name and national being. But 
Wessex, by that name, was to keep herself from the lands 
north of the two rivers in order that she might more fully 
reign over all the lands to the south of them; she was to 
give up reigning at Gloucester and Buckingham in order 
that she might reign at Exeter and Canterbury. 

The dominion then to which Ine succeeded has an 
anomalous look on the map of England. The older West- 
Saxon possessions in the Southern mainland, Hampshire, 
Wiltshire, Dorset, Surrey which Ceawlin had wrested 
from JEthelberht at the fight of Wimbledon, had never 
been lost. Wight, the dependent realm of the Jutish 
nephews of Cerdic, had been added by Wulfhere of Mercia 
to the South-Saxon Kingdom; but it had been won back for 
Wessex — by what means every reader of Breda knows — 
by Ine's immediate predecessor Ceadwalla, and a supremacy 


over Sussex had been won for Wessex by the sword of 
the same irresistible warrior.* To the north-east, be- 
yond the Thames, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire still 
remained West-Saxon ground ; but to the north-west 
the conquests of Ceawlin in the Severn valley seem to 
have become Mercian under Penda, and the Avon was 
probably the boundary in a stricter sense than it was after- 
wards, as we hear long after of Bath being Mercian. But 
losses to the Mercian had been made up by gains from 
the Briton ; the English frontier had been extended from 
the Axe to the Parret by the victories of Cenwealh in 
652 and 658, and, a few years before Ine's accession, the 
frontier had probably been carried further still by the 
victory of Centwine in 682. These conquests, the first 
conquests of the Christian West-Saxons, the first in which 
the vanquished were neither enslaved nor swept from the 
face of the earth, were the part of his dominions which 
gave Ine the opportunity in his character of a legislator 
for two races under one government. He had no British 
subjects to legislate for in Hampshire or Oxfordshire. The 
legislation which fixed the relations within Ine's kingdom 
between the conquering Englishman and the conquered 
Briton must .have been a legislation for the land of the 
Sumorsaetas, and pretty well for the land of the Sumorssetas 

Of the kingdom thus formed Ine took possession in 

•Baeda IV. 15. "Interea superveniens cum exercitu Caedualla, 
juvenis strenuissimus de regio genere Geuissorum, quum exsularet a patria 
sua, interfecit regem iEdilualch, ac provinciam illam seeva cede ac de- 
population attrivit : sed mox expulsus est a ducibus regis, Bercthuno 
et Andhuno, qui deinceps regnum provincise tenuerunt : quorum prior 
postea ab eodem Caedualla, quum esset rex Geuissorum, occisus est, et 
provincia graviore servitio subacta." 


688, and held it, as the Chronicles say, thirty-seven winters, 
till his abdication in 726. An examination of his reign 
naturally suggests four chief subjects for inquiry ; his 
descent and succession to the Crown ; his wars foreign 
and domestic ; his legislation ; his ecclesiastical founda- 
tions. I will go on to speak of each of these in order. 

The succession of Ine to the West-Saxon Kingdom is 
not a little obscure. The Chronicles simply have the 
formal phrase that he " feng to Westseaxna rice/' without 
any explanation of the circumstances. But they supply 
us with a pedigree which shows that, though Ine came 
of the royal stock of Ceawlin, Cerdic, and Woden, he 
was not the descendant of any of the Kings who reigned 
immediately before him, just as he was not the forefather 
of any of the Kings who reigned after him . Baeda too 
introduces him vaguely as one of the royal house ; and, in 
recording his abdication, the only fact about Ine besides 
his accession which he does record, he adds, no less vaguely, 
that he gave over his kingdom to those who were younger 
than himself.* Ine thus in a manner stands by himself 
in the list of West-Saxon Kings. He has no direct pre- 
decessor and no direct successor. There can be no doubt 
that he came in by that mixture of election and hereditary 
right, that choice by the nation out of a particular family, 
which formed the general law of the old Teutonic com- 
munities, and to which the political condition of Wessex 
gave special scope. The West-Saxon state was far from 
being a centralized or in any way closely united body, but it 
was not, like Mercia and, in a less degree, Northumberland 
and East-Anglia, a mere collection of small principalities 

* Hist. Eccl. v. 7. " Successit in regnuin Ini de stupe regia, qui 
quum triginta et septem annis imperium tenuisset gentifl illius et, ipse, 
relicto regno ac jnvenioribus commendato," &c., &c. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PABT II. B 


of various origin, gathered together, whether by conquest or 
persuasion, under one dominant chief. There was a national 
and a family unity in the West-Saxon state from the be- 
ginning. There were many Kings, but there was always 
— save perhaps during that strange time after the death 
of Sexburh — one head King. And the head King and the 
lesser Kings alike seem all to have come of the one line of 
Cerdic. Each district, as it was conquered from the Welsh, 
seems to have become a new principality, the apanage of 
some member of the royal house. That is to say, the 
West-Saxon policy in these earlier times, when we have 
to infer a policy from scattered and incidental notices, 
was much the same as jt was in the better known 
times after the days of Ecgberht, when West-Saxon 
JEthelings were set to reign as subordinate Kings over 
Kent and Sussex. Thus, when Eadwine invaded Wessex 
to avenge his wrongs on Cwichelm, five Kings of the 
West-Saxons, fighting no doubt under the banner of their 
kinsman and superior King, died in the battle against him.* 
It marks perhaps a certain advance in the ideas at once 
of royal power and of national unity when, a little later, 
we find the subordinate princes no longer distinctly spoken 
of as Kings, but bearing the lowlier title of Subreyulus or 
Uwler-King. I will not here, while specially examining the 
life of Ine, stop to discuss that strange period in our West- 
Saxon history, those twelve years between the death of 
Cenwealh and the accession of Ceadwalla, when, according 
to Breda, the Under-Kings succeeded for a while in getting 
rid of the central monarchy altogether.! The Chronicles, 
it is well known, give a regular succession of sovereigns 

• Chron. Petrib. 626. "And he tba for on West-Seaxam mid fyrde, 
and afylde thser v. ciningM." 

t See Norman Conquest, i. 5&0. 


during this time — I must not say of Kings, for the first o| 
them is the Queen Sexburh, the one recorded instance of a 
female ruler till we come to the Empress Matilda in the 
twelfth century. Florence of Worcester was puzzled at 
the contradiction in his time. I am no less puzzled now, 
and Dr. Guest has not carried on his discourses on early 
English history far enough to help me. But one thing 
is important for our purpose. Whether the Kings 
mentioned in the interval were really Kings over all 
Wessex, or only some of the Under-Kinga spoken of by 
Breda, it is certain that all the Kings of this period 
sprang from the one house of Cerdic, and yet that 
no two in succession sprang from the same branch of 
that house. Cenwealh, according to the story, was suc- 
ceeded by his widow Sexburh ;* then came either Cenfus 
or his son &scwine, sprung, like Cenwealh, from Cutha the 
eon of Cynric, but not from the same son of Cutha. t 
Then the succession goes back to the former branch in the 
person of Centwine the brother of Cenwealh. Then came 
Ceadwalla, under whom at all events the national unity was 
restored.^ In him the Crown passes from the line of Cutha 
back again to the ike of Ceawlin, and under Ine we find it 
still in the line of Ceawlin, but in another branch of that 

* AU the Chronicles are distinct as to Sexburgh's reign of a year and 
they are followed by Florence, Henry of Huntingdon and all the later 
writers, but it is hard to force this and the story in Bseda into agreement. 

f The Chronicles (674) give the pedigree. ' * Her f eng jEscwine to rice on 
Westseaxum, se wtesCenfusing; Cenfus Cenferthing;Cenferth Cuthgilsing; 
Cuthgils Ceolwulfing ; Ceolwulf Cynricing; Cynric Cerdicing." But 
Florence had evidently seen an account in which Cenfus himself and 
not his son was made to succeed ; " Deinde Cenfus duobus annis 
secundum dicta regis ^Elfredi, juxta vero Chronicam Anglican), filius 
ejus JEscwinus fere tribus annis regnavit." 

t Baeda IV. 12. " Devictis atque amotis subregulis, Caedualla 
suscepit imperium." 


line.* And so the changes go on through the eighth century, 
till, in the person of Ecgberht, the crown of Wessex, and all 
that the crown of Wessex was to grow into, was fixed for 
ever in the descendants, not of Ine himself but of his brother 
Ingild.f Of all the intermediate Kings, iEthelings, and 
pretenders whom we read of between Ine and Ecgberht, 
each is said to have been sprung of the line of Cerdic, and 
to have been a kinsman of the King who reigned before him. 
In several cases the King who succeeds is spoken of as an 
Under-King or the son of an Under-King,J but in no 
case does the son succeed to the father or even the brother 
to the brother. The inference to my mind at least is clear. 
Within the one West-Saxon kingdom there were several 
principalities held by Under-Kings of the royal houSe, 
any one of whom, or any other member of the royal 
house, it was open to the nation at large to choose to the 
central kingship. In some cases the language of our 
authorities might lead us to suspect that Kings were 
chosen during the lifetime of their fathers. In the most 

* Chronicles 685. "Ceadwalla waea Cenbrihting; Cenbriht Ceadding; 
Ceadda Cutting; Cutha Ceawlining; CeawlinCynricingjCynricCerdicing. " 
Cenbriht the father of Ceadwalla would seem to be the person whose 
death is recorded in the Chronicles in the year 661 with the title of 
Cyning. In Florence he appears distinctly as " Cenbryht subregulus, 
Ceaulini scilicet regis pronepos, et pater Ceadwallae regis." 

f Chronicles, 855. ^Ethelwulf w«s Ecgbrihting ; Ecgbriht Ealh- 
munding ; Ealhmund Eafing ; Eafa Eopping ; Eoppa Ingilding ; 
Ingild waes Ines brothur Westseaxna cyninges." 

$ In the genealogy in Florence, Ine himself is " Alius subreguli Cenredi, 
abnepotis Regis Ceaulini." ^Sthelheard is "de prosapia Cerdici Regis, 
cui propinquus suus Cuthredus successit." Sigeberht is "filius Sigerici 
subreguli ;" his brother Cyneheard is " clito ; " Cynewulf and Beorhtric 
are both " de prosapia Cerdici Regis oriundus," and Ecgberht is " filius 
Alhmundi subreguli" In the Chronicles we read of "maege," and in 
Henry of Huntingdon of "cognatus," but I doubt whether the fact of 
several Rings being sons of " subreguli," " under cyningas," come out so 
clearly elsewhere. 


illustrious case, and that which most nearly concerns us, 
we know that it was so. Ine, the son of the Under-King 
Cenred, was called to the head kingship during his father's 
life-time. And it is plain that such a choice in no way 
displaced or supplanted the elder prince, nor does it 
seem to have been contrary to his wishes. That Ine 
succeeded Ceadwalla, that Ine was the son of Cenred, we 
learn from all our Chronicles and genealogies ; but that 
Ine was chosen King in the life-time of his father, and 
that the King continued to trust and honour his father the 
Under-King as the first among his counsellors, we learn 
only from the preamble of Ine's own Laws. There we read 
how Ine King of the West-Saxons puts forth his Laws 
" with thought and with lore of Cenred his father and 
Hedde his Bishop and Eorcenwold his Bishop, with all his 
Ealdormen and the eldest Witan of his people and eke of a 
mickle coming together of God's servants."* 

Ine then was, beyond all doubt, the son of an Under- 
King Cenred, who survived his son's election to the 
supreme kingship.f He was the son of Cenred, the son 

* Laws of Ine, Thorpe, Laws and Institutes i. 152. ScLmid. 20. 
"Ic Ine, mid Godes gife Westseaxena Kyning, mid getheahte and mid 
lare C6nr£des mines feeder and Heddes mines biscepes and Eorcenwoldes 
mines biscepes, mid eallum minum ealdormonnnm and thsem ieldstan 
witum minre the6de, and eac micelre gesomnunge Godes thedwa." I 
hardly know what to make of the charter of Nothelm of Sussex in Cod. 
Dipl. v. 36, bearing date 692, where, among other signatures, we read 
"Ego Coenredus Rex West-Saxonum consensi et subscripsi. Ego Ine 
oonsensi et propria manu subscripsi.' 7 This seems very strange, but 
Mr. Kemble does not mark it as spurious. See also Palgrave, ICnglfoh 
Commonwealth, ii. cclxxiv. Mon. Ang. vi. 1163. 

t Two pedigrees of Ine are given in the Chronicles, one in 688, when 
his accession is recorded. "Thonne waes se Ine Cenreding ; Cenred 
Ceolwalding ; Ceolwald waes Cynegilses brothur and tha waeron Cuthwines 
suna Ceaulinges ; Ceaulin Cynricing ; Cynric Cerdicing." The other is 
in 856 gives the descent of ^thelwulf from Adam. The two of course 
coincide in the generations between Ingild and Cerdic. Cutha however 



of Ceolwald, the son of Cutha, the son of Cuthwine, the 
son of Ceawlin, the eon of Cynric, the son of Cerdic. 
He had a brother Ingild, the forefather of Ecgberht, and 
thereby of all the later West-Saxon Kings.* His two 
sisters Cwenburh and Cuthburh, were, like so many 
daughters of Old-English Kings, enrolled among the saints. f 
Of these two Cuthburh has won for herself a high place 
in West-Saxon hagiology. After being for some while 
the wife of Ealdfrith King of the Northumbrians, she left 

is inserted between Ceolwald and Cuthwine, and some of the manuscripts 
strangely insert Creoda between Cynric and Cerdic. William of Malmes- 
bury (Gest. Beg. i 35) describes Ine as "Chinegisli ex patre Cuthbaldo 
pronepos " which — the names Ceolwald and Cuthbald being evidently 
confounded — agrees with the entry under 688, only one cannot help 
fancying that William *as thinking of the King Cynegils. But in the 
Gesta Pontificum (191) he gives Ine altogether a wrong father, Cissa ; 
and again in 354, in quoting the charter of Baldred of which I 
shall have to speak again, he adds " Subscripseniut his duabus cartas 
Hedda episcopus Wintoniensis, Kentuuinus rex, Cissa pater In» postea 
regis." But the description of Cissa is an inference of his own, as in 
the Charter itself (Cod. Dipl. i 32) the signature is simply "signum 
manus Cisi." All this shows that there was some obscurity about Ine's 
pedigree, and the whole falls in with the singular description of Ine 
given by hiB own friend and kinsman Ealdhelm ; 

" Tertius accepit sceptrum regnator opimum 
Quern clamant In incerto cognomine gentes, 
Qui nunc imperium Saxonum jure gubernat." 

* William of Malmesbury (Gest. Pont. v. 188) refutes the story which 
made Saint Ealdhelm a nephew of Ine through a brother Kenten, a 
name by which we may perhaps understand Centwine. "Ferunt 
quidam, incertum unde id assumpserint, fuisse nepotem In» regis West- 
Saxonum ex f ratre Kenten. Nobis pro vero arrogare non libuit, quod 
videtur magis opinkmi quadrare volatic© quam veritatd historic®. 
Siquidem ex cronicis constet, quod Ina nullem f ratrem praeter Inigildum 

habuerit, qui paucis ante ipsum annis decessit Qui enim 

legit manualem librum regis Elfredi, repperiet Kenten, beati Aldhelmi 
patrem, non fuisse regis Inae germanum, sed arctissima necessitudine 
consanguineuuL " 

f The two sisters are mentioned in the Chronicles when the death of 
Ingild is recorded in 717 or 718. " Her Ingild Ines brother forthferde, 
and heora swystor w®ron Cwenburh and Cuthburh and seo Cuthburh 
araerde that lif set Winburnan, and heo waes forgifen Ealdferthe 
Nordanhymbra kinge, and hie be him lifgendum hie gedaeldan." 


him and became Abbess at Wimborne, and, after her 
church had been changed to a foundation of secular 
canons, she still remained its patron saint, and her head, 
enclosed in silver, was the great object of local reverence 
down to the time of Henry the Eighth. The wife of Ine 
bore the name of JEthelburh, She was herself of the 
royal house, and her brother JEthelheard, who succeeded 
Ine in the kingdom/ is spoken of as a ' kinsman of bis 
predecessor.f We have however no means of tracing 
the pedigree of JEthelheard and iEthelburh to the com- 
mon stock. A guess however may perhaps be allowed. 
It is about this time that the element utiEthel, which was to 
form part of some of the most famous names in West- 
Saxon genealogy, first begins to appear in the family 
nomenclature of the West-Saxon house* jSSthelheard, 
after his accession, found a rival in an JEtheling named 
Oswald, who is described as the son of ^Ethelbald, the 
son of Cynebald, the son of Cuthwine, the son of Ceawlin.J 
We may be pretty sure that iEthelheard, and JEthelburh 
also, belonged to the branch of the family in which we can 
trace the beginning of this change in the family nomen- 

* I know of no direct evidence for making JEthelheard and JEthelburh 
brother and sister, except the spurious Charter of Ine to Glastonbury 
where he is made to sign as " JBthilhard frater Reginae." Will. Malmes. 
de Antiq. Glaston. Gale. ii. 312. Cod. Dipl. i. 89. But for such a 
matter as this, a spurious Charter of early date — that is, earlier than 
William of Malmesbury — is some evidence, when it is not contradicted 
by anything better. Lappenberg accepts JEthelheard as JEthelburh's 
brother without hesitation. 

+ William of Malmesbury (Gesta Regum i. 38) calls ^Ethelheard 
" Inffl consanguineus " and, in those manuscripts which contain the story 
of iEthelburh and the pigs, she appears as "femina sane regii generis et 
animi," so in Henry of Huntingdon (M. H. B. 725 A.) JEthelheard is 
Ine's "cognatus." 

X Chronicles, 728. "Oswald wtes JEthelbalding; JSthelbald Cyne- 
balding; Cynebald Cuth wining; Cuthwine Ceawlining." 


clature. Of Queen ^Ethelburh, whose name very nearly 
concerns Taunton, we shall hear again in the course of our 
story. But it would seem that her marriage was childless ; 
at least no sons or. daughters of Ine and iEthelburh find 
their way into history or genealogy. 

Of the circumstances of the election of Ine we know 
nothing. But the influence which a King undoubtedly 
possessed in, rectrinmending a successor to the choice of 
the Witan would have still greater force when the King 
into whose place that successor had to step was still living, 
and might perhaps make his abdication conditional on the 
choice of a successor whom he approved. We may 
therefore set it down as almost certain that Ine was 
chosen at the recommendation of Ceadwalla. And the 
zeal with which we shall see that Ine took up the blood- 
feud of Ceadwalla looks the same way. Again, the im- 
portance which JEthelburh holds throughout the reign of 
her husband, and the accession of her brother at his death, 
seem to point to a special connexion between Ine and that 
branch of the family to which his wife belonged. On the 
other hand, we find Ine opposed by iEthelings of uncertain 
descent, Cynewulf and Eadbriht. I throw it out as a 
conjecture for whatever it may be worth that the suc- 
cessive elections of Ceadwalla, Ine, and JEthelheard point 
to a combined effort of the descendants of Ceawlin per- 
mantly to win back the Crown for their branch of the 
family, which had been shut out from the succession ever 
since the successful rebellion of Ceol against Ceawlin him- 
self in 592 .* Ceadwalla had at one time been banished, and 

* See the Chronicles, 592, which entries become more clear in the 
genealogy of Florence of Worcester. " Contra quern Ceol, filiue fratris 
sui Cuthwlfi, quern ante biennium regem sub se fecerat, immerito re- 
bellavit, regnoque expellens, loco ejus quinque annis regnavit." 


yet during his banishment he had been powerful enough 
to wage war in Sussex and to overthrow and slay the 
King iEthelwealh.* And several of our accounts point to 
a belief that Ceadwalla came to the Crown during the 
lifetime of Centwine, through an abdication, whether willing 
or constrained.f And may I add yet another conjecture? 
It was under the other branch of the family, the descen- 
dants of Cutha, that Christianity had made its way into 
Wessez. Can we in this way account for the strange fact 
of the unbaptized state of Ceadwalla ? Had the descen- 
dants of Ceawlin remained heathens, and was the religious 
zeal of Ine, like the fiercer religious zeal of Ceadwalla, 
preeminently the zeal of a new convert ? 

Some little light may perhaps be thrown on the election 
and marriage of Ine by a very wild legend, but a legend 
which plainly had its birth in our own part of England. 
I mean the story preserved in the "Historiola dePrimordiis 
Episcopates Somersetensis,'' printed in Mr. Hunter's 
Ecclesiastical Documents. The whole condition of Wessex 

* See the extract from Beeda above, p. 8. 

f The passages on this subject are collected by Lappenberg, p. 253 of 
the original German, i. 258 of Thorpe's Translation. The most distinct 
passage is that in William of Malmsbury. Gest Pont, v. 205, " Eodem 
tempore Kentuuinus rex Westsaxonum morbo et senio gravis, Ceduallam, 
regii generis juveuem, successorem decreverat. Is ergo, quamvis nee 
adhuc ,rex nee Christianus, spe tamen regnum anticipabat, baptismum 
creedulitate ambiebat." He quotes another passage from Ealdhelm, 
saying how Entwinus — which doubtless should be Centwinus — 
" Bexit regnum plures feliciter annos, 
Donee conversus cellam migravit in almam, 
Juste petit superas merites splendentibus arces; 
Post nunc successit bello f amosus et armis 
Bex Csedwalla potens regni possessor ut haeres." 
This is indirectly confirmed by the words of the Chronicle, 685. " Her 
Ceadwalla ongann sefter rice winnan." On the other hand Henry of 
HuntingdoD, M. H. B. 722 A., makes Caedwalla succeed on the death 
of Centwine; " Centwino igitur Occidentalium Saxonum rege defuncto, 
Caedwalla post eum regnans. " 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PAUT II. C 


and of England, and of every person who plays a part in 
the story, is utterly misconceived. By an idea borrowed 
from the tenth or eleventh century, England is described as 
being under two Kings, one reigning to the south of the 
Humber, the other to the north of it. This latter, it may 
be hoped, to make the division at all equal, was able to 
make his supremacy felt as far as the Orkneys. The southern 
King dies, leaving no heir ; an interregnum full of all evil 
follows. The Bishops and great men meet in London to 
choose a King ; but first, like the Hebrews of old, they con- 
sult the Lord. By what means the divine oracle was given 
we are not told, but its purport was that they were to make 
him King who bore the name of Ina, the name being 
written according to the later corruption. Men are sent 
through all parts of the land to find some one called Ina. 
Some go as far as Devonshire and Cornwall, but all in 
vain; so, full of weariness, they turn their faces again 
towards London. But on the way they pass by Somerton. 
There they chance to hear a churl as he tills his field shout 
loudly for Ina to bring his father's oxen. They ask his 
meaning, and he explains that Ina is the son of his partner. 
The youth presently shows himself, a tall, strong, young 
man of a goodly countenance, in whom they at once hail 
the King for whom .they were searching. They wish to 
take him with them at once ; but his father and his neigh- 
bours will not let him go till they have received pledges 
that Ina shall suffer no harm. This done, Ina is led to 
London to the assembled great men of the realm. All 
men admire him; he is at once chosen King with one 
consent and is consecrated by the Bishops. 

Presently the King of the North dies, leaving an only 
daughter Adelburh as his heiress. Ina conceives the idea of 
marrying her, and so joining the two kingdoms into one 


state, to which is given the Imperial name of Monarchy. Mr. 
Hunter assigns the work to the time of Henry the Second ; 
to me I confess that this part of the story suggests the 
time of Edward the First and the schemes for a peaceful 
union of England and Scotland by a marriage. Ina makes 
his proposals by messengers, but Adelburh scorns the son of 
a churl. He then goes himself, without revealing his rank, 
but passing himself off as a messenger from King Ina. His 
suit is again refused ; but he tarries in the Queen's court, 
and one day, at a great feast, he acts as her cupbearer. 
His beauty, now displayed to advantage in his rich official 
robes, makes an impression, too deep an impression, on the 
heart of Adelburh. He now declares who he is, and he no 
longer meets with a refusal. He goes home and sends mes- 
sengers in proper form to demand her ; she comes ; the 
two are married at Wells, and Adelburh procures that that 
town shall be given to Bishop Daniel, who removes his 
episcopal chair thither from Congresbury. 

I need not stop to point out how wild all this is as a 
description of anything that happened in Britain in the 
seventh century. It is not hard to see the bits from the 
histories, real or legendary, of Saul and David and our 
own iElfred and Godwine which have been worked up 
into the story. And I hope there is no need to point out 
that no faith is to be given to stories about Bishops of 
Congresbury, or even about Bishops of Wells at any time 
before Eadward the Elder. But, as usual, some grains of 
wheat may be picked up among the chaff. One point is 
perhaps trifling, but is none the less characteristic. The 
legend preserves the notion of Ine being a rare name, a 
name for the bearer of which men had to seek far and wide. 
Now the name is certainly very rare ; as far as I can re- 
member, it is unique. Then the story of Ine's lowly 


birth is, as we know, utterly false ; Ine was no churl's 
son, but an iEtheling ; but the story that a King was a 
churl's son could have been spread abroad only about a 
King whose accession had something about it that was 
strange and unexpected, and who stood far away from the 
most obvious line of succession. This exactly fits the case 
of Ine. It chimes in with the remark of William of 
Malmesbury that, although Ine was of royal descent, yet 
he was chosen less on account of his birth than on account 
of his personal qualities.* Then the story of Ine being 
found near Somerton, though no doubt a creation of local 
vanity, is a creation not altogether without some ground- 
work. It fits in with the many other hints in history and 
tradition which connect Ine more closely with our 
shire than with any other part of his kingdom. All these 
hints taken together may perhaps suggest the conjecture 
that the land of the Sumorssetas was the part of Wessex 
which Ine's father Cenred governed as Under -King. Then 
the story of the marriage of Ine and iEthelburh, wild as 
it is, fits in well with the various hints which we have as 
to the great importance and authority held by Ine's Queen 
throughout his reign. Nothing is more likely than that 
her marriage won for Ine the support of her brother 
JEthelheard and of her branch of the royal house. Then, 
in an age when -ZEthelings and Under-Kings were for- 
gotten, the abiding tradition that Ine's power was in some 
degree founded upon his marriage would take the form of 
marrying him to some royal heiress beyond the bounds of 
Wessex. And, except at the particular moment which I 
hinted, it would most likely have sought for his wife, not 

* Gesta ftegum. i. 35. " Magis pro insitivaB virtntis industria, quam 
successive sobolis prosapia." This must be the meaning of this strange 
and affected language. 


only beyond the bounds of Wessex but beyond the bounds 
of Britain. I think that this story is no bad example of 
the way in which small fragments of historical truth still 
remain embedded in strange guises even in the wildest of 

The isolated facts which form our annals of the reign of 
Ine all fall in with the belief that his accession was the 
triumph of one branch of the stock of Cerdic over another. 
No saying was ever wider of the mark than that of 
William of Malmesbury, when he ventures to speak of 
the reign of Ine as a time of perfect domestic peace, 
undisturbed by rivals or enemies.* It is quite certain 
that Ine had, at several points of his reign, to strive 
against foes of his own household. Two JEthelings, 
of what degree of kindred to the reigning King we are 
not told, died either in battle or by the hand of the 
headsman. And it is to be noticed that these disturbances 
belong wholly to the latter years of Ine's reign, and that 
the narrative reads as if the two events were connected, 
as if the enterprises, whatever they were, of the two 
disaffected JEthelings were parts of one movement against 
Ine's government. The only one of the rebels who comes 
out at all personally before us is described as a youth, one 
therefore who must have grown up during Ine's long 
reign. This looks as if those who deemed themselves 
wronged by Lie's election had handed on their grie- 
vances to their children, and as if, as in later times, the 
young Pretender was found more dangerous than the 
elder. Our first mention of these matters comes in 721, 
thirty-three years after Ine's accession, four years after 

* William of Malmeabury, Gesta Begum i. 35. " Adeo annis duobus 
de quadragmta potentate functus, sine ullo insidiarum metu securus 
incanuit, sanctissimue public! amoris lenocinator." 


the death of his brother Ingild. In that year we read 
that Ine slew the JEtheling Cynewulf.* Of this JEtheling, 
his descent, and the cause of his death, we know nothing 
more. But a revolt may be taken for granted, especially 
as what we read under the next year sounds like another 
act of the same drama. Now comes the entry which of 
all the events of Lie's reign concerns us most nearly in 
this place. In the Chronicles we read under the year 
722, the year following the death of Cynewulf, that Queen 
JEthelburh threw down Taunton which Ine before had 
built, that Ealdbriht the exile sought shelter in Surrey and 
in Sussex, and that Ine fought with the South-Saxons. f 
The force of the passage as regards the history of Taunton 
I shall speak of presently. We are now concerned with it 
as a page in the history of the domestic quarrels of Ine's 
reign. From the entry of the Chronicles we suspect that 
the destruction of Taunton and the flight of Ealdbriht 
had something, to do with one another, but we get no clear 
consecutive narrative. Florence simply translates the 
Chronicles, leaving out under this year all mention of 
Ealdbriht 4 It is from Henry of Huntingdon, the pre- 
server of so many ancient legends and fragments of 
ballads, that we get our connected account. Ine had, at 
some earlier time, built the fortress of Taunton. The 
fortress was now seized by the young Ealdbriht, an enemy 
of the King. But Queen iEthelburh marched against the 

* Under 721 in three of the Chronicles we read "and thy ilcan geare 
Ine ofsloh Cynewulf." Two others add the title "thone setheling." 

f Chronicles, 722. " Her -<Ethelburh cwen towearp Tantiin, the Ine 
89r timbrede, and Ealdbriht wraeccea gewat on Suthrige and on Suthsexe, 
and Ine gefeaht with Suthsexan." 

X Florence, 722. " ^Ethelburh regina castrum Tantun dictum penitus 
destruxit, quod prius rex Ine construxit, qui eodem anno cum Austra- 
tibus Saxonibus pugnavit." 



place, besieged and took it, and drove Ealdbriht to seek 
shelter in Surrey and Sussex.* Surrey was part of the 
West-Saxon dominions, and the fact of Ealdbriht seeking 
shelter there suggests that he was an Under-King, or the 
son of an Under-King, in that district, just as his seizing 
the border fortress of Taunton suggests that his insurrec- 
tion was made in league with the Welsh. A prince of 
Surrey might not feel much scruple about giving back 
such distant conquests to the Britons as the price of their 
help. Anyhow the story of Ealdbriht at Taunton is very 
like the story of JEthelwald at Wimborne in 901, only 
the town of Wimborne escaped better than the town of 
Taunton. As iEthelwald escaped to the Northumbrian 
Danes, f so now Ealdbriht escaped to the South-Saxons, 
unwilling dependents no doubt of Wessex, much as the 
Northumbrians were afterwards. War of course followed, 
and we read that in 725 Ine slew the iEtheling Ealdbriht 
whom he had before driven out.J But whether Ealdbriht 

* Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 724 DE. He tells the story backwards from 
the death of Ealdbriht ; " Ine xxxvi. annoregni ejus exercitum suum 
in Sudsexe promovit, pugnavitque contra Sudsexas potenter et victoriose, 
et interfecit in eodem proelio Ealdbriht, quern prius fugaverat a castro 
quod vocatur Tantune, quod quidem rex Ine construxerat ; sed quia 
juvenis pradictus Ealdbriht castrum introierat, qui regius hostis erat, 
Edelburh regina, uxor Ine, castrum cepit armis, captumque destruxit, et 
eum fugere compulit in Sudrei et Sudsexe." 

t See the Chronicles under 901, 905. 

t In some of the Chronicles we read under this year "And Ine gefeaht 
with Suthseaxums and thser of sloh Ealdberht thone setheling the he aer 
utflemde." But Worcester and Peterborough, which contain this entry, 
have not the entry ' ' Ine gefeaht with Suthseaxam" under 722. Canterbury 
and Abingdon, which contain that entry, have no mention of Ealbriht's 
death. The Winchester Chronicle puts the South-Saxon war under 
both years ; no version records any event in the two years between. The 
South-Saxon campaigns of Ine are also referred to by Bseda iv. 15 ; " Sed 
et Ini, qui post Ceduallam regnavit, simili provinciam illam afflictione 
plurimo annorum tempore mancipavit." This looks as if the war had 
gone on through the years under which the Chronicles have no entry. 


died in battle like ^Ethelwald, or, like his probable accom- 
plice Cynewulf, by the hand of the executioner, we are 
left to guess. 

Here we have two cases — or one case, as we choose to 
reckon it — of revolts against Ine on the part of members 
of the royal house, men who doubtless thought themselves 
or their branch of the family wronged by Ine's possession 
of the Crown. And to these we may fairly add the revolt 
of Oswald against iEthelheard, as it was clearly a revolt 
against the arrangements made by Ine at his abdication. 
Ine had handed over the Crown to his kinsman, that is, 
he had recommended him to the Witan for election.* 
Hence, we can hardly doubt, the civil war in which 
JEthelheard fought with Oswald, f This revolt most likely 
was not of the same nature as the early revolts of Cyne- 
wulf and Ealdbriht. Oswald was a descendent of Ceawlin 
no less than Ine was, and, if my conjecture as to the 
origin of ^Ethelheard and ^Ethelburh be right, he was a 
nearer kinsman to &thelheard than either of them was 
to Ine. Oswald's revolt would thus be a revolt, not on 
behalf of the other branch of the family, but only on 
behalf of Oswald himself. That he sought the Crown 
for himself we might have guessed even if we had not 

* Baeda, in the passage already quoted, merely says that Ine went away 
"relicto regno ac juvenioribns commendato." That this vague phrase 
means JEthelheard would seem from the expressions of Florence 728; 
" Relicto imperio, ac ^Ethelhardo, de prosapia Cerdici regis oriundo, 
commendato," and of Henry of Huntingdon M. H. B. 725 A ; "Re- 
linquens Adelhardo cognato suo regnum." I know not whether any one 
will be tempted to make use of Bsada's plural form as the groundwork 
of a theory that Ine recommended iEthelheard and Oswald to a joint or 
divided kingship, and that Oswald was unfairly kept out of his share. 

t Chron. 728. ' ' And thy ilcan geare gefuhton ^thelheard and Oswald 
so setheling." Florence translates ; " Eodem anno proeliati sunt Rex 
i£thelhardu8 et Oswaldus clito, filius JEthelbaldi, filii Cynebaldi, filii 
Cuthwini, filii Ceaulini." 


been distinctly told so by the same authority from which 
we get the more detailed account of Ealdbriht's doings 
at Taunton. He gathered supporters enough to meet 
iEthelheard in the field and to hold up for some time 
against him. But the forces of the King were the 
stronger; the rebellious JEtheling had, after a hard 
struggle, to take to flight.* Where Ealdbriht sought 
shelter we know not ; but his death is recorded two years 
later. f We hear nothing of its circumstances, but one 
writer bestows on him an epithet of admiration, if not of 


All however of the kinsfolk of Ine were not his enemies. 
The old West-Saxon government by Under-Kings of the 
royal house went on during his reign, and the names of 
some of them can be recovered. One of them was 
Ine's kinsman, brother-in-law, and successor, iE thelheard. || 
Another was Nunna, his colleague in his war with the 
Welsh, who is, by a chronicler of his own house, not only 
adorned with the royal title, but actually placed before his 

* Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 725 C. " -2Bdelhard rex Westsexe primo 
anno regni sui pugnavit contra Oswald juvenem de regia stirpe, regnum 
idem sibi acquirere conantem. Oswald namque Alius fuit iEdelbald, 
filii Chinebald, filii Cudwine, filii Ceaulin, filii Cinric. Cum autem 
juvenis, impar numero regalibus turmis, pondus proelii diu pertulisset, 
et ultra non posset, fuga regi regnum reliquit. Hex igitur praedictus 
in regno confortatus est." William of Malmesbury (Gesta Regum L 38) 
gives a somewhat different account ; " Successit principatui Edelardus, 
Inffl consanguineus, licet surgentes ejus primitias frequenter interpolaret 
Oswaldus regii sanguinis adolescens. Provincialibus enim in rebellionem 
excitatis, bello regem persequi conatus : sed non multo post, illo f atali 
sorte sublato, Edelardus per quatuordecim annos quietissime retentum 
regnum Cudredo cognato reliquit." 

+ Chronicles, 730. 

1 Florence, 730. " Oswaldus clito, vir strenuissimus, defunctus est." 

II For this again I can quote only, with the same reservation as before, 

the spurious Charter to Glastonbury ("Will. Malms. Ant. Glaston. 311) 

where we read of the "hortatus Baltdredi et Athelardi subregulorum." 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. D 


■ ,- ,:v^\ 

26 V '?};3Sj"^f y PAPERS, ETC. 

overlord.* According to one account, Nunna appears, 
as is certainly quite possible, as one among several Under- 
Kings reigning in Sussex. f A third was Baldred, a man 
of whose acts nothing is recorded, but whose existence 
and importance is witnessed by divers signatures and 
other incidental notices, and who, we may suspect, was in 
possession of his dominions before Ine'e accession. { Saint 
Ealdhelm also, though not the brother's son of Ine, seems 
certainly to have been a kinsman, and thus adds another 
to the loyal members of the kingly house. | 

From the domestic troubles of Ine's reign we turn to 
his wars with his neighbours. These fall under two heads, 
those waged with the other English powers in Britain 

♦Chronicles, 710. ''Ine and Nun [al. Nunna] his maeg gefuhton 
with Gerente Wala cyninge." So Florence, " Ine et Nun suns pro- 
pinquus." But Patricius Consul Fabius Quaestor iEthelwerdus (ii. 12) 
tells us how "Nunna et Ine reges bellum gesserunt." 

+ The Charter of "Nothelmus Rex Suthsaxonum " already quoted 
(Cod. Dipl. v. 36) is witnessed among others by "Nunna Rex Suth- 
saxonum." Could a forger have hit on 30 unlikely a state of things ? 

% There is a Charter of Baldred's in Cod. Dipl. i. 32, dated in 688, 
issued "cum consilio et confirmatione Kentuuini regis et omnium 
principum ac senatorum ejus," and witnessed by the " signum manus- 
Ceduuallani regis." This Mr. Kemble naturally marks as doubtful. 
But in the charter at p. 83, which Mr. Kemble seems to accept, the 
grant of Brent Knoll — "in monte et circa montem qui dicitur Brente "" 
— is made " consentiente Baldredo," and it is signed by " Baldredus rex" 
and iEthelbaldus rex," by which last can hardly be meant the King of 
the Mercians. But the document cannot be, as Mr. Kemble thinks, of 
723, as it is signed by Bishop Haeddi who died in 705. I have already 
mentioned one reference to Baldred in the spurious Glastonbury Charter. 
Later on in the same charter Ine is made to speak of him as a pre- 
decessor, along with Cenwealh, Centwine, and Ceadwalla. He is also 
spoken of as his predecessor in a charter of Cuthred marked as spurious 
in Cod. Dipl. i. 112. In a letter of Saint Ealdhelm in William of Mai* 
mesbury (Gesta Pontificum, 355), he is spoken of as "venerandua 
patricius Baldredus." 

|| See the extract from William of Malmesbury, above p. 14. 

KING INE. ^fc^-^V^^ 2 * 

and thos£ waged against the common British enemy. His 
first war with the Kentishmen was the continuation of a 
family blood-feud inherited from his predecessor Cead walla. 
Ceadwalla and his brother Mul, besides the conquest of 
the Isle of Wight, which has been made more famous by 
the pathetic narrative of Bseda and its connexion with the 
history of Wilfrith,* made a series of incursions into the 
greater Jutish realm of Kent. The attack on Wight was 
at least the recovery of a lost dominion. But the words 
of the historian who tells the tale most at length, and who 
seems to have preserved to us the substance of a ballad 
in honour of Mul, might imply that the Kentish cam- 
paigns were waged without provocation, out of sheer 
love of fighting.f In the first inroad in 686 both the 
brothers, as yet unbaptized, took a part and harried the 
country without resistance. The next year Mul craved 
his brother's leave to make a second inroad, in the course 
of which, after committing pitiless havoc and destroying 
all things sacred and profane, he met with what even his 
panegyrist seems to look on as the just reward of his 
deeds. With twelve companions only, probably his own 
special Gesithas, he had gone into a house to plunder. A 
party of Kentishmen surrounded the house, set fire to 
it, and burned the West-Saxon iEtheling and all his 

* See B«da iv. 16. 
t Hen. Hunt M. H. B. 722 A. Oedwalla . . . auxilio Mul 
fratris sui, insulam Vectam suam viribus suis fecit ; namque f rater ejus 
Mul, laudabilis et gratiosus, terribilis erat viribus et decoras aspectu : 
ideoque et omnibus amabilis erat, et famse praerogativa clarissimus. 
Perrexerunt ergo fratres praedicti in Centensem provinciam, causa 
virium suarum exercitandarum et famse ampliandse." 

J Chronicles, 687. " Her Mul wearth on Cent forbaerned and othre xii. 
menn mid him." Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 722 DE. " Pergens igitur in Cent, 
non invenit qui ei resisteret, et terrain prsedando in solitudinem re- 


Another fearful harrying of Kent by Ceadwalla him- 
self was the immediate vengeance for the slaughter of 
Mul.* But this was not all. In the year after the death 
of Mul, Ceadwalla's crown passed to Ine. We are a little 
surprised to find Ine, six years later, demanding further 
satisfaction for the death of his kinsman. Did he merely 

digens, et Christi servos immeritos affligens, maledicta eorum merita 
sensit. Nam cum hostes effeminates duceret, et nihil sibi pro viribus 
pravideret, imiit in domum quamdam longe a suis, cum duodecim 
tantum militibus praedaturus ; ubi inopinata multitudine circumventus, 
cum hostes interficiendo non deficeret nee proficeret, qui armis caedi non 
poterat, in ipsa domo cum duodecim militibus suis igne combustus est. 
Periit ergo flos juvenum et juvenilis evanuit exercitus." William of 
Malmsbury (i. 14) gives a somewhat different account, making Ceadwalla 
himself share in the expedition and suffer a defeat. "Congressu 
superiores Kedwallam in terga vertunt [Cantuaritae] fratreque in 
tugurium quoddam compulso, domunculam ipsam succendunt. Ita 
Mollo, dum erumpendi in hostem deesset audacia, et totis circa tectum 
habenis regnarent incendia, inter flammas halitum ructavit." It is 
plain that he confounded the first joint expedition of Ceadwalla 
and Mul, and the second expedition of Mul only. The late Kentish 
writer William Thorn, the historian of Saint Augustines (X Scriptt. 
1770), tells us "Anno domini D.C. lxxxvij. Mulus rex alienigena 
moritur, et in ecclesia ista cum aliis regibus sepelitur." The church 
spoken of is Minster in Thanet. He goes on to tell the story much 
as it stands in Henry of Huntingdon, only adding that the death 
of Mul happened at Canterbury. He call him "rex intrusor" 
and "frater regis Sussexiae Cedwallii." Is this simply the con- 
fusion of a late writer for " Westsaxiae ?'' or may we take this re- 
markable description as a sign of the impression which the earlier 
dealings of Ceadwalla with Sussex had made on the Kentish mind? 
It is dangerous to make inferences from these late writers, but they do 
sometimes preserve fragments of trustworthy tradition or even of lost 
records. The recognition of Mul as a King, even though coupled with 
the epithets "alienigena" and "intrusor," is very remarkable. We 
might be tempted to infer that Mul was established by Ceadwalla as 
Under-King of Kent (722 E), so that the act of the Kentishmen might pass 
in the eyes of Ceadwalla and Ine for treason against their own King. 

* So in all our authorities. Henry of Huntingdon, as usual, is the 
fullest. "Hac audiens Cedwalla, rursus ingressus est Cantiam, ubi 
mirabili cade et innumera satiatus rapina, cum non inveniret quid 
csederet vel raperet, ad sua magnus vindex et victor sevus rediit." 


carry on a feud inherited from his predecessor, or had he 
some special ground of complaint of his own? What was 
the kindred between Ine and Mul ? Both were .ZEthelings 
of the blood of Cerdic and Ceawlin. But according to 
some accounts their kindred was yet closer. One version 
of the Chronicle, certainly the latest and least trustworthy, 
calls Mul the brother of Ine, and this statement is sup- 
ported by the further authority of Florence.* It is quite 
certain that Ine and Mul were not sons of the same 
father, but it has been suggested that they were sons of 
the same mother, f a suggestion which I shall have again 
to speak of from another side, and that Mul was thus half- 
brother at once to Ceadwalla and to Ine. However this 
may be, Ine exacted vengeance for the blood of Mul, but 
he exacted it in a somewhat different fashion from Cead- 
walla. A few years before, when Ecgfrith of Northum- 
berland was making ready to avenge the death of his 
brother JElfwine, who had fallen in battle against JEthelred 
of Mercia, Archbishop Theodore had stepped in, and had 
persuaded Ecgfrith, instead of shedding more blood, to 
accept from the Mercians the legal price of blood for his 
slain brother.t We know not whether it was at the sug- 
gestion of Beorhtwald, the successor of Theodore and the 

* The late Canterbury Chronicle, under 694, recording the settlement 
of the Kentishmen with Ine, says that it was " farthan the hi Mul his 
brother f orbaerndon ;" but the words "his brother" are not in any of 
the older versions. So Florence, "quia, ut prelibavimus, Mul ger- 
manum suum combussere." 

f Lappenberg, 256 of the German, i. 262 Thorpe. 

X Bseda iv. 21. "Theodoras Deo dilectus antistes divino functus 
auxilio, salutifera exhortatione coeptum tanti periculi funditus exstin- 
guit incendium ; adeo ut, pacatis alterutrum regibus ac populis, nullius 
anima hominis pro interf ecto regis fratre, sed debita solummodo multa 
pecuniae regi ultori daretur." 


first English Archbishop,* but it is certain that the 
Kentish King Wihtred, himself, like Ine, the lawgiver of 
his people, met the West-Saxon invader in a conference, 
and persuaded him, instead of harrying the divided land 
of Kent yet again, to accept, like Ecgfrith, the lawful 
price of his kinsman's blood. f Ine agreed, and thirty 
thousand coins were paid as the wergild of Mul. The 
entry which records this payment is well known as one of 
the most important in our early history, alike for the 
history of the coinage and for the immemorial practice of 
the wergild. On the numismatic point I will not venture 
to enter, or to try to decide questions on which Kemble 
and Schmid differ. But it is plain that the sum paid was 
thirty thousand pieces of some kind, J Now there doubt- 
less was a wergild for the King in Wessex, though the 
sum is not mentioned, and in the table of Northum- 

* He succeeded Theodore in 692, after a vacancy of three years. 
The Chronicles add the comment, "Mr thissan w»ron Romanisce 

f Chronicles, 694. "Her Cantwara gethingedon with Ine and him 
gesealdon xxx thusenda, forthan tha hi ®r Mul forbaerndon." As 
usual, we get the fullest details from Henry of Huntingdon, M. H. B. 
723 B.C. " Ine rex castrorum acies ordinatas et terribiles in Cantiam 
deduxit, vindicaturus combustionem Mul cognati sui. Hex autem 
Withred obviam ei affuit, non cum f eroci arrogantia, sed pacifica sup- 
plicatione ; non cum frendentibus minis sed rhetorici mellis dulcedine. 
qua regi fero persuasit ut, armis depositis, multam pecuni© a Cen- 
tensibus acciperet pro caede juvenis, et sic lis finita ruit, pax confir- 

X See the whole passage discussed by Kemble, Saxons in England i. 
281. He rules that the true text of the Chronicles is that which I 
have already quoted, where no coin is mentioned. The coins named 
in some versions of the Chronicles, as well as in iEthelheard, Florence, 
and William of Malmesbury, he holds to be conjectural fillings up. He 
himself determines the sum to be reckoned in Kentish sceattas, which 
Schmid, Gesetze der Angelsachsen, Glossary, Art. Wergild, rules to be too 


brian and Mercian wergilds the price of the King is set at 
thirty thousand pieces, one half to his kinsfolk and one 
half to his people.* The price of the King is double the 
price of the JEtheling ; that is to say, the family of the 
slain King receive the wergild of a man of princely rank, 
and his people receive an equal sum for the loss of the 
ruler whom they had set over them. Putting these two 
things together, it seems plain that the wergild paid 
for Mul was the wergild of a King, and from this two 
consequences may be held to follow ; first that Mul, as we 
might almost have taken for granted, held the rank of 
Under-King, and secondly that an Under-King was 
entitled to the full royal wergild. The whole story is 
instructive, as showing, like that of Ecgfrith, that the prin- 
ciple of the wergild was held to be applicable to dealings 
between kingdom and kingdom, as well as between sub- 
jects of the same kingdom. But we are still left in the 
dark why, after a space of seven years, Ine should think it 
needful to exact the wergild from a people who, one might 
have thought, had already been punished enough by Cead- 
walla's harrying. Anyhow there is something taking in 
the peaceful conference between the West-Saxon and the 
Kentish lawgiver, Ine, who in his laws strongly sets forth 
the principle of the old Italian commonwealths that force 
is in no case to be resorted to, till legal reparation has been 
refused,t would doubtless think it his duty to accept the 

* Schmid. 396, 397. " Times cyninges wergyld sie mid Engla cynne 
on folcriht thryttig thusend thrimsa, and thsera xv. m. sien thffis waeres 
and other xv. m. thees cyneddmes, ae w»re belympath to tham 
maegthe thffis cyne-cynnes and that cyne-bdt to tham land-ledd." See 
Kemble i. 283. 

+ Ine's Laws 9, Schmid 24, " Gif hwa wrace dd, serthon he him ryhtes 
bidde, th»t he him onnime, agif e and f orgielde, and gebete, mid xxx 
scill." Compare the story in Iivy i. 22, 23. 


wergild when it was offered. But the fact that it was 
offered probably points to the exhausted condition of the 
Kentish kingdom just at this time, at once torn by 
internal divisions* and still perhaps suffering from the 
ravages of Mul and of Cead walla. The language of most 
of our authorities would lead us to believe that the Kentish- 
men offered no resistance, but that, on Ine's entering the 
country, they at once sought to make peace by the offer of 
the wergild. f And it would almost seem as if Ine did 
more in Kent than simply accept the payment offered by 
Wihtred. From that time we are told that Wihtred 
reigned undisturbed in his kingdom, an improvement in 
his condition which may well have been owing to the 
powerful ally whose friendship he had purchased. { 

The Kentish campaigns of Ine must have virtually es- 
tablished the West- Saxon supremacy over all the English 
states south of the Thames. Save during the momentary 

* This comes out forcibly in all our accounts, and two of the Chronicles 
remark pointedly under 692, " Da w&ran ii cingas on Cent, Wihtred and 
Webheard." Henry of Huntingdon (723 B) says pointedly " Eo tempore 
erant duo reges in Cent non tarn secundum stirpem regiam quam 
secundum invasionem." So Baeda, v. 8, " regnantibus in Cantia Victredo 
et Susebhardo," but these might after all be only the Kings of East and 
West Kent. 

f See the extracts above in p. 30. William of Malmesbury alone (i. 
35) suggests anything like warfare ; " Provinciales paulisper resistere 
ausi, mox, omnibus tentatis et viribus in ventum effusis, cum nihil in 
pectore Inae quod ignavie conduceret reperissent, dispendiorum Suorum 
intuitu deditioni consuluere : tentant regium a-nim iiTn muneribus, 
solicitant promissis, nundinantur pacem triginta millibus auri mancis ut 
pretio mollitus bellum solveret, metallo prsestrictus receptui caneret." 

t The word " friendship" occurs only in the latest version of the 
Chronicles ; "Hig giban him xxx thusenda to freondscipe." But 
they all immediately speak of Wihtred as taking to the Kentish 
Kingdom, whereas he had before been spoken of as one King taken 
out of two. Henry of Huntingdon (723 C) says pointedly " Rex Centensis 
abhinc semper in pace regnavit." 


Mercian domination which, in the course of the eighth 
century, for a while overthrew Wessex itself, Kent and 
Sussex henceforth appear as West-Saxon dependencies. 
And, if we can venture to accept the notice of Nunna as a 
South-Saxon King,* we see that the policy which prevailed 
a little later of putting those dependencies under West- 
Saxon JEthelihgs as Under-Kings was already beginning. 
This extension of power to the south was, as we have seen, 
to be presently counterbalanced by loss of power to the 
north, but it does not appear that the northern dominion 
of Wessex went back during the reign of Ine. Indeed 
from one or two incidental notices we may infer that it 
advanced. William of Malmesbury speaks, in somewhat 
obscure language, of a triumphant campaign of Ine against 
the East-Angles, of which I can find no mention in any 
other writer.f But wars and victories of Ine on that 
side of England seem to be implied in the fact that, in 
the preamble to his Laws, he could speak of the Bishop 
of London as " my Bishop." J The great city placed at 
the point of meeting of so many kingdoms, perhaps indeed 
the whole of the East-Saxon kingdom and diocese, must, 
in the seventeenth year of lne's reign, have acknowledged 
at least his supremacy. 

* See above p. 26 

+ Will. Malmes. i, 35. "Nee solum Cantuarit®, sed et Orientales 
Angli hffireditarium exceperunt odium, omni nobilitate primo pulsa, post 
etiam bello fusa." 

t Earcenwold, "my Bishop," whom we have seen as one of lne's 
counsellors in putting forth his Laws, was Bishop of London from 675 to 
693. See Bteda iv. 6. Flor. Wig. 675. Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 142. 
London was therefore in lne's possession before 693. This bears out the 
remark of Lingard i. 158, that "Essex (by what means is unknown) 
had already been annexed to his crown. 11 But I do not understand his 
reference to William of Malmesbury, who speaks, not of the East-Saxons 
but of the East- Angles. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. E 


Of wars with Mercia, which, in the next reign, become 
the main subject of West-Saxon history, we hear only 
once under Ine. But that single notice is one which 
makes us eagerly wish to learn something more as to the 
relations between the two rival kingdoms. A battle, said 
to hare been attended with unusual and equal slaughter 
on both sides, was fought in 715 between Ine and Geolred 
of Mercia " «t Wodnesbeorge " or " ret Woddesbeorge."* 
This is most likely Wanborough in Wiltshire, a place on 
the heights near Swindon, conspicuous for the singular 
outline of its church with a western tower and a central 
spirelet. A fight at such a point implies an invasion of 
the West-Saxon territory by the Mercian King. The 
description of the battle itself, and the absence of any 
recorded results, would lead us to think that, after 8 
drawn battle — for the victory is not assigned to either side 
— Ceolred found that the better part of valour prompted 
him to go home again. 

We now come to the wars of Ine with the Welsh. 
And these suggest an earlier question, namely as to Ine's 
personal relations to the British nation. It has been 
hinted that he was something more than the conqueror 
and lawgiver of the Britons, that he was one of them- 
selves, at least through one of his parents. There exists, 
in the form of Welsh history, a burlesque of the true 
history of Centwine, Ceadwalla, and Ine, which really 

* The Chronicles, 715, simply say *« Her Ine and Ceolred gefuhton ®t 
Wodnesbeorge." So Florence. William of Malmesbury does not men- 
tion the Mercian warfare. It is in Henry of Huntingdon (M. H. B. 
724 C.) that we read "Ine xxvi. anno regni sui pugnavit contra 
Ceolred regem Merce, filium Edelredi regis, apnd Wonebirih; adeo antem 
horribiliter pxignatnm est utrinqne, ut nesciatur cui elades detestabilior 


goes further away from the truth than the Somerton ro- 
mance about Ine's election and marriage. The English 
heroes are turned into Britons and are made to win vic- 
tories over the English, while the one Welsh prince whose 
existence is really ascertained, the one who plays a real part 
in the history of the time, is wholly left out of the 
story. Of the existence of Gerent King of West-Wales 
there is no doubt ; he was the adversary of Ine and 
the correspondent of Ealdhelm ; but he does not figure 
in the Welsh legend. Instead of him we get Cad- 
walader and Ivor, and the chief actions attributed to 
them are simply borrowed from the real actions of Cead- 
walla and Ine. The chances are that they are real 
persons, and that the likeness of their names to those of 
the English princes suggested the bold step of attributing 
their deeds to them also. In the Latin text of the 
Annates Cambrics we read that in 682 Catgualart the son 
of Catguolaum died of a general mortality which seems 
to have affected all Britain.* This entry we might pass by 
without notice. But, if we stop to think about it at all, we 
can have no manner of doubt that it means that Catgualart 
died in Britain of the plague under which the country 
was suffering. One cannot doubt that the Catgualart of the 
Annals is the same person as the Kadwaladyr of the legend, 
and we may pretty safely set down that the authentic 
history of Cadwalader — or whatever the right name is — 
is about as long as the authentic history of Roland; that is 
to say, it consists of the date and manner of his death. If 
we turn from the simple entry of the Annals to the version 
of the Brut y Tywysogion published by the Master of the 

* Ann. Camb. 682. "Mortalitas magna fuit in Britannia, in qua 
Catgualart Alius Catguolaum obiit. " 


Rolls, we shall find that our hero has grown a good deal. 
We now hear that in 681, the year of the great mortality, 
" Cadwalader the Blessed, the son of Cadwallon, the son of 
Cad van, King of the Britons, died at Rome, on the twelfth 

day of May, and henceforth the Britons lost the 

crown of the kingdom and the Saxons gained it."* This 
is the first form of the legend, a form most likely arising 
out of a not very difficult mistake. Annals and inscrip- 
tions at Rome recorded how a King from Britain with a 
name not unlike that of Cadwalader had come to Rome 
and had died there, f Ceadwalla the King from Britain 
would be easily mistaken for Cadwalader the British King, 
and the prilgrimage and death of the Englishman would 
be transferred to the Briton. The year is shoved back 
seven years to the date of the real death of Cadwalader, 
but the day of the month is kept, with a most curious 
mistake. Ceadwalla died on the twentieth of April, that is, 
according to the Latin reckoning, on the twelfth day be- 
fore the Kalends of May.J The Welsh writer, not under- 

* I copy the English version of the Master of the Bolls' Brut (London, 
1860), 681. It seems needless to copy the Welsh texts, of which I at 
least understand only a word here and there. On this matter of Cad- 
walader Bee Haddan, Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, i. 202. 

t Take for instance the metrical inscription quoted byBseda (v. 7) and 
Paul Warnefrid (vi. 15), in which there is nothing about Angles or 
Saxons, but Ceadwalla is spoken of as "sospes veniens supremo ex orbe 
Britanni." The prose inscription in which Ceadwalla is called "Bex 
Saxonum," perhaps not without a reference to the relations of his house 
with Sussex and Essex — which is given in Beeda, is not given by Paul. 
Paul, we may add, speaks of Caedwalla as "Cedoaldus Bex Anglorum 
Saxonum." Later on (vi 28) he says "His etiam diebus duo reges 
Saxonum, ad vestigia Apostolorum Bomam venientes, sub velocitate ut 
optabant defuncti sunt." This can hardly mean Ceadwalla and Ine ; 
the two Kings are most likely Cenred of Mercia and Offa of Essex. 
See B®da v. 19, Chronicles, 709. 

t Breda v. 7. " In albis adhuc positus languore correptus, duodecimo 
Kalendarum Maiarum die solutus a carne, etbeatorum est- regno sociatus 
in coelis." From the prose inscription it would seem that he was buried 
the same day. 


standing the backward fashion of the Roman almanack, 
mistook this for the twelfth of May, a mistake which 
Geoffrey of Monmouth set right.* What is meant by the 
crown of the kingdom being lost by the Britons and 
gained by the Saxons I do not profess to know. The 
time of Ceadwalla and Ine is a time of English victory, 
but there is no such marked conquest or overthrow of any 
Welsh kingdom just at this time as to account for so re- 
markable an expression as this.- 

When we turn from this version of the Brut to the 
fuller one published by the Cambrian Archaeological As- 
sociationf we see how legends grow. The acts of Cead- 
walla had, in the first instance most likely by an honest 
confusion, become the acts of Cadwalader. The next 
stage was to trick them out with new and imaginary detail 
In the first version Cadwalader simply takes the place of 
Ceadwalla ; now a great deal is told of Cadwalader which 
certainly never was told of Ceadwalla. The plague begins 
in 674 ; for fear of it Cadwalader and many of the best 
men of the Britons seek shelter with their kindred in 
Armorica. There they stay eleven years, till 685, when 
the plague ceases, and Cadwalader u places the isle of 
Britain and its crown under the protection of, and in 
pledge with, Alan, King of Armorica/' He then, by the 

* Galf. Mon. Lib. ix. " Tunc Cadualladrus abjectis mtmdialibus 
propter Deum regnumque perpetuum venit Romam : et a Sergio papa 
confirmatus, inopino etiam languore correptus, duodecima autem die 
Kalendarum Maiarum, anno ab incarnatione dominica sexcentesimo 
octogesimo nono, a contagione carnis solutus coelestis regni auJam in- 
gressus est." Here Geoffrey evidently follows Bseda, and takes the date 
of the death of Ceadwalla, while the Brut keeps to the real date of the 
death of Cadwalader. 

f Brut y Tywysogion : The Gwentian Chronicle of Caradoc of Llan- 
carvan, with a translation by the late Aneurin Owen, Esq. London, 1863. 


bidding of an angel, goes to Rome, stays five years, and 

dies. Geoffrey of Monmouth adds further details still. 

Now in the Annates Cambriae the entry of the death of 

Catgualart in his own island by the plague is all. We 

have not a word about going to Borne or going to 

Armorica. In two manuscripts indeed the Armorican 

story is stuck in ;* no one, 1 think, who has any sort 

of habit of criticism will doubt that it simply is stuck 

in, and that the other text is the older and the genuine 

one. And again, we have, in the genuine text, no mention 

of Catgualart's successor. We have no entry at all that 

concerns us during the whole of Ine's reign, except some 

battles in 722 of which I shall speak presently. But in 

the older Brut we read under 683. 

" And after Cadwalader, Ivor, son of Alan, King of Armo- 
rica, which is called Little Britain, reigned; not as a King, but 
as a chief or prince. And he exercised government over the 
British for forty-eight years, and then died. And after him 
Bhodri Molwynog reigned." 

This does not greatly concern us ; we have only to 

ask in what relation this somewhat shadowy Ivor from 

Britanny, who was no King, but only a chief or prince, 

stood to King Gerent of Cornwall, whose existence and 

whose kingship are as certain as those of Ine himself. 

But in the other Brut, under the same year 683, we find 

something quite different. 

"Alan, King of Armorica, sent his son Ivor, and his 
nephew Ynyr, and two strong fleets, to the island of Britain; 
and war ensued between them and the Saxons, in which they 
partly succeeded. Then Ivor took upon h\vn the sovereignty 
of the Britons. After that the Saxons came against hfrn with 

* "Pro qua [mortalitate] Catwaladir films Catwallaun in Minorem 
Britanniam aufugit." " Et Cadwalladerrex Britanniam dereliquit et ad 
Armoricam regionem perrexit." ' 


a powerful army ; and in a pitched battle Ivor and the Britons 
put them to flight after a bloody battle, and acquired Cornwall, 
the Summer Country, and Devonshire completely. And then 
Ivor erected the great monastery in Ynys Avallen, in thanks- 
giving to God for his assistance against the Saxons." 

The next entry in 698 contains an account of certain 

physical marvels which in the elder Brut are placed in the 

years 688 and 690, and then it tells us ; 

" Ivor went to Borne, where he died, after maintaining the 
sovereignty of the Britons twenty-eight years with great praise 
and wisdom. He gave many lands to churches in Wales and 

What is all this but simply to take the actions of Ine 

and attribute them to Ivor? Ine was a benefactor of 

Glastonbury ; Ine went to Home and died ; so these 

actions are assigned to Ivor, Nay more, the victories of 

the English over the Welsh are turned about into victories 

of the Welsh over the English. The great victory of 

Ivor in 683, in which he acquired Cornwall, the Summer 

Country, and Devonshire, is simply the victory the other 

way, when, in 682 or 683, Centwine drove the Britons to 

the sea. Of this victory I shall speak presently ; as yet 

it is enough to say that, as Ivor takes the place of Ine 

and does his deeds, the fact that the imaginary Welsh 

victory of 683 is attributed to Ivor may lead us to believe 

that Ine had a hand in the real English victory of that 

time. All here will doubtless recognize the land spoken 

of by the Welsh writer as "the Summer Country/' the 

land of the Sumorsaetas, the " sestiva regio " of the Life of 

Gildas.* But I trust that there is no need for me to stop 

• We read in the Vita Sancti Gilds, 10 (p. xzziz. Stevenson) how 
Gildas "reliquit insulam [the Steep Holm], ascendit naviculam, et 
ingressus est Glastoniam cum magno dolore, Meluas rege regnante in 
astivd regione. 


to show the utterly mythical nature of a story which 
makes the Britons in 683 have any need to " acquire 
Cornwall and Devonshire/' Instead of having to acquire 
them, they had never lost them ; whatever we make 
of Ivor, King Gerent, the glorious lord of the western 
realm, was undoubtedly reigning over them. 

Such is the growth of the story of Ivor. In the genuine 
Latiu Annals he does not appear at all. In the earlier 
Welsh Brut, he appears as a prince from the Lesser Britain 
reigning in the Greater, an account which may possibly be 
true. In this version no actions are attributed to him, but 
this lack is filled up in the later Brut, where he does many 
of the real deeds of Ine. So myths grow and prosper. 
But later interpolators are sometimes less lucky. The 
interpolator of the Annates Cambria thought he was bound 
to stick in the great name of Ivor somewhere. But he 
did not stick it in at 683, but at 722, a year of which we 
have spoken already and shall speak again, and he makes 
Ivor the British leader in the battles of that year. And 
again in 734 he sticks in the words " Ivor films Cad- 
wallader." This is probably meant for the date of his 
death, which the reckoning of the earlier Brut would put 
in the year 731. But the entry should at any rate be 
noticed, as making Ivor the son, not of any Armorican 
Alan, but of Cadwalader himself. 

Such are the fables, from which, as from most other fables, 
we may, by carefully turning them inside out, pick up a 
hint or two for the true history. To the meagre sources 
of that true history we will now turn. I take the history 
of the conquest of Somerset for granted as far as Dr. 
Guest has made it out. Ceawlin in 577 won the land 
between the Avon and the Axe at the battle of Deorbam. 


Bath, or its rains, then beoame English ; so did the site of 
Bristol But the Britons still held a long strip of land 
running up towards Malmesbury. This Cenwealh won by 
the battle of Bradford in 652. His later victory at the 
Pens in 658 advanced the West- Saxon frontier to the Parret, 
and made Glastonbury and the site of Wells English. 
Then, exactly as before, the progress of the West* 
Saxon arms stopped for a while. As no advance was 
made between the victory of Ceawlin in 57? and the vie* 
tory of Cenwealh in 652, so no advance was made between 
the victory of Cenwealh in 658 and the victory of Cent- 
wine in 683. The interval is not so long, but it is equally 
well marked, and another equally marked interval comes 
between the victory of Centwine in 683 and the other 
recorded victory of Ine in 710. The truth seems to be 
that the several English powers were so constantly oc- 
cupied in warfare with one another that warfare with the 
Welsh was carried on only now and then in intervals of 
special leisure. A great part of the interval, the first ten 
years at all events, between 683 and 7 10 is filled up with 
the Kentish warfare of Ceadwalla and Ine, and the victory 
of 710 comes immediately after the abdication of the 
Mercian King Cenred in 709, as if that were a safe 
moment for warfare at the other end of the kingdom. 
However this may be, these two entries contain the whole 
of our authentic knowledge as to the Welsh warfare of 
this time. The entry of 683 tells us only that Centwine 
drove the Britons to the sea.* That of 710 tells us that 

* Chronicles, 682, 683. " On thissum geare Centwine gefliemde 
Bretwalas [al Bryttas] oth s»." Henry of Huntingdon (M. H. B. 718 D.) 
gives no fresh detail. "Centwine rex vii. anno regni sui congressus 
est Brittannos, eosque male resistentes victoriosua et vehement csede 
et incendiis usque ad mare fugavit." 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. P 


Ine and Nunna fought with Gerent the Welsh King * 
Henry of Huntingdon is, as usual, somewhat fuller. He 
describes the battle, as often happened, as at first favour- 
able to the Welsh, who slew the Ealdorman Higbald; 
but in the end the English, he tells us, gained a com- 
plete victory .f I hope that this entry does not throw much 
suspicion on Henry of Huntingdon's accounts generally. 
I have always looked on the fuller details which we find in 
his history as coming from old ballads and traditions 
which he Latinized, just as he Latinized the song of 
Brunanburh. But this account of Higbald certainly 
reads as if it came, not from a ballad, but from a misunder- 
standing of the words of the Chronicles. Two of these 
record under this year the violent death of one Higbald 
or Sigbald, but they do not say who he was, how he was 
killed, or who killed him.J His death need not have 
been a West-Saxon event at all, and the words of the 
entry would certainly not lead us to think that he died in 
the battle against Gerent. 

Here then are our only two direct accounts as to the 
warfare with the Welsh between the victory of Cenwealh 
at the Pens in 658 and the destruction of Taunton by 
JCthelburh in 722. Their result evidently was such an 
extension of the West-Saxon territory that, whereas in 658 
it stopped at the Parret, in 722 it took in Taunton. But 

* Chronicles, 710. " Ine and Nun [al. Nunna] his mag gefuhton with 
Gerente Wala cyninge," or, as it stands in Canterbury and Abingdon, 
" with Gerente tham cinge." 

t Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 724 B. " Cujus pugnse principio occisus est 
dux Higebald ; ad ultimum vero Gerente cum suis f aciem ab Anglis 
avertit, et fugiens anna et spolia sequentibus reliquit." 

$ Chronn. Wig. Petrib. 710. " And tham ilcan geare man ofsloh 
Hygbald," or, as it stands in Worcester, " Sigbald." 


there are expressions in the Chronicles which may perhaps 
help us a little further. In recording the victory of Cent- 
wine in 682 it is specially marked that the Welsh were 
driven to the sea, just as it was marked in 658 that they 
were driven to the Farret. I should infer from this that 
Centwine's victory gained for the West-Saxons the sea- 
coast west of the mouth of the Farret, the coast of 
Watchet, which afterwards figures in the Danish in- 
vasions. In short, Centwine's victory made the English 
masters of Quantock, as Ceawlin's victory, a hundred 
years before, had made them masters of Mendip. How 
far west towards Dunster, Minehead, Porlock, and Linton 
the frontier may have reached I do not profess to say. 
We might. expect that the hills of Exmoor would be one 
of the districts in which the Britons would hold longest ; 
but the English may very well have made settlements on 
the coast long before the mountain tribes were wholly 
subdued or driven out. In this campaign then I conceive 
that the West-Saxons won the sites of Bridgewater and 
Watchet ; and we may, I think, venture to picture Cent- 
wine as forcing the gate, the Lydiard, so well known to this 
Society by other associations, and driving the Welsh up 
the valley where in after days Crowcombe was given for 
the repose of the soul of Godwine. In this victory of 
Centwine we may, I think, set down Ine as taking a part. 
In the Welsh legend this defeat is turned into a victory, 
a victory of Ivor, which suggests the presence of Ine. 
And another legend has led us to fix the government of 
his father the Under-King Cenred in the land of the 
Sumorsaetas, that is, before 682, the land between Avon 
and Farret only. Nothing is more likely than that the 
victory should be won by the head King of all Wessex, 
supported by the son of the Under-King of the district 


bordering on the seat of war. It is not unlikely that the 
valour of Ine shown at the foot of Quantock may have 
had much to do with placing him on the throne of Cerdic 
at Winchester. 

The result of the victory of Ine himself as head King, 
the victory of Ine and Nunna over Gerent in 710, is less 
clearly marked, but a process of exhaustion would lead 
us to think that the land which was won by it was the 
south-western part of Somerset, Crewkerne, Ilminster, 
and that district. The Tone may not unlikely have been 
the frontier from 682 to 710. How far either conquest 
reached westward, whether either of them took in any part 
of Devonshire, we can only guess. In default of direct evi- 
dence either way, we may assume that the boundary of the 
shires, which must mark something, answers pretty well 
to the extent of the conquests of Centwine and Ine. We 
thus find the conquest of Somerset spread over a space of 
one hundred and thirty-three years, from the overthrow of 
the three Kings by Ceawlin at Deorham to the overthrow <of 
Gerent by Ine and Nunna — I wish I could more distinctly 
say where. And mark further that the conquest was made 
at three different times, and that the land won at each of 
these times of conquest answers pretty well to one of our 
latest political divisions. The first conquest of Ceawlin 
south of the Avon answers nearly to that division of the 
county which, in obedience to the law, we speak of as East, 
though its position on the map would rather lead us to call 
it North. The conquests of Cenwealh made Mid-Somerset 
an English land. And the victories of Centwine and Ine 
extended the West-Saxon rule over the Western division, 
and made the whole land of the Sumorsaetas English. 
Whether the memory of the ancient conquerors was 
present to the minds of those who last mapped out our 


shire is one of those deep questions into which it does not 
become us to search; but that the earliest and the latest 
divisions of Somerset will be commonly found to answer 
to each other within a mile or two is a fact which allows 
of no doubt. 

Ine then, in partnership with Centwine and Nunna, may 
be set down as the conqueror of West-Somerset. But he 
was more than the conqueror of the land ; he was also the 
founder of the chief town of the land, of this Taunton 
where we are now met. It is only in exceptional cases 
that an English town can point with absolute certainty to 
a known man as its personal founder. Constantly as our 
towns and villages bear the names of particular men, it is 
comparatively rare that the names which they bear are 
thoee of perfectly ascertained persons within the historic 
age. The name is most commonly the name of a God, 
of a hero, or of a person who is probably real bat of whom 
we know nothing, and, when the na»e k that <*f a known 
historical person, we have often to infer the foundation from 
the name without any further record. We cannot reason- 
ably doubt that Roman Regnum changed its name to 
English Cissanceaster, in the honour, perhaps at the bid- 
ding, of Cissa the son of JEUe, but I do not know that 
there is any distinct record of the fact. Still less is it 
easy to trace out the foundations of towns which do not 
bear the name of their founder. Ine was not one of those 
who call the lands after their own names. He gave to his 
foundation, not his own name, but the name of the river 
on which he placed it. It is not in Inesborough that we 
are met, but in Taunton. Of the fact of the foundation 
of Taunton by Ine there is no doubt ; we are left to guess 
at its exact date trad object, but they are not very hard to 
find out. Taunton was founded by Ine at some time 


before 722 ;* we can hardly doubt that it was founded as 
a new border-fortress for the defence of his conquests : its 
almost certain date therefore will be in or soon after the 
year 710, the year when those conquests were completed. 
Placed on the borders of the last conquest and of the 
last conquest but one, and at no great distance from the 
frontier of the still independent Britons, the position was 
an important one, and one which fully accounts for the 
part which Taunton played in the next war or rebellion of 
Ine's time. 

Another point to be mentioned is the distinct, and al- 
most respectful, way in which the Welsh long Gerent is 
spoken of in the English Chronicles. It is not often that 
a Welsh prince finds his way by name into our national 
history. Our Chroniclers at this time commonly thought it 
enough to record a fight with the Welsh, without preserving 
the name of any particular Welshman. No British prince 
has been mentioned by name since the three Kings who 
were overthrown by Ceawlin in 577. But the adversary of 
Ine and Nunna is spoken of in a marked way as " Gerent 
the King." His personality had clearly, from some cause or 
other, made a deeper impression on the minds of English- 
men than that of most of his countrymen. This is not won- 
derful when we find Saint Ealdhelm corresponding with him 
on ecclesiastical matters, exhorting him to the right keeping 
of Easter, and addressing him as " the glorious lord of the 
western realm/'f The importance of Gerent has been 
clearly and strongly pointed out by Dr. Guest. { In fact a 

* The entry in 722 is " Her JEthelburh cwen towaerp Tantun thone 
Ine ser tymbrade." 

f Jaflfe, Monumenta Moguntina, 24. " Domino gloriosissimo oeciden- 

talis regni sceptra gubernanti Geruntio regi simulque 

cunctia Dei sacerdotibas per Domnoniam conversantibus Althelmus." 

X Archaological Journal, xvi. (1859) 130. 


potentate who reigned from the Lands End to the Parret 
reigned over what, in the then divided state of Britain, 
was no inconsiderable kingdom. Gerent must have stood 
in the first rank of the princes of the island, Welsh and 
English; he was probably quite the first among the princes 
of his own nation. He could not have held his own against 
Wessex, had Wessex always been able to bring its full 
force against him. But to Wessex disturbed and divided 
by open enemies in Mercia, by unwilling vassals in Kent 
and Sussex, and by discontented JEthelings at home, the 
King of Damnonia or West- Wales was no contemptible 
adversary. The .strength of the Damnonia kingdom is 
witnessed by the slow steps by which Wessex advanced at 
its expense. Even after Ceawlin had cut off West- Wales 
from North- Wales, it took the English, as we have seen, 
133 years to make their way from the Avon to Blackdown. 
The site of Taunton remained Welsh for four generations 
after the ruins of Bath, for two generations after the site of 
Wells, had become English possessions. And moreover, 
besides this great dominion south of the Bristol Channel, 
we find hints, to say the least, that the Damnonian King 
exercised some kind of supremacy over the smaller princes 
of Gwent, Morganwg, and Dyfed. Saint Ealdhelm, in 
the letter to which I have already referred, calls on Gerent 
to reform certain abuses in the church of Dyfed,* and we 
shall find other hints to the same effect as we go on. 

In my view then Ine completed the conquest of 
Somerset, but he did not carry his arms further west, into 
the proper Damnonia, still less into the further parts of 

• The offenders are described (Jaffe* 28) as " Ultra Sabrinee fluminis 
f return Demetarnm sacerdotes." 

48 PAPER*, ETC. 

Cornwall. I have had only one source of difficulty or 
hesitation in coming to this conclusion. This is that, in 
the usual accounts, the West-Saxon Winfrith, more famous 
as Saint Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz and Apostle of 
Germany, is always said to have been born at Crediton 
in 680 and to have been brought up in a monastery at 
Exeter, under an Abbot Wulfhard. If we believe this, 
it follows that, not only all Somerset, but at least a great 
part of Devonshire must have been English long before 
the time when I conceive Ine to have been still fighting 
on the Tone and Parret. The state of things implied m the 
story would involve a conquest of Exeter by Cenwealh at 
the latest It would need some very strong evidence indeed 
to make us believe an account so inconsistent with every 
inference to which all our other authorities lead us as to 
the course of English conquest in western Britain. We 
are asked to believe that Damnonia, which the contem- 
porary Ealdhelm looked on aa a fearful land, a visit to 
which was a wonderful exploit,* was already an English 
possession in which Englishmen were quietly born at Cre- 
diton and brought up at Exeter. We know that Exeter 
was still half Welsh in the days of JEthelstan;t it is hard 

• In the poem of Saint Ealdhelm in Jaffe, Monument* Moguntina, 38, 

" Sicut pridem pepigeram, 
Quando prof ectus fueram 
Usque diram Domnoniam, 
Per carentem Cornubiam 
Florulentis cespitdbus 
Et foecundifl grammibus." 

+ WilL Malms. Gest. Beg. ii. 134. "Ulos [Comewalenses] quoque 
impigre adorsus, ab Ezcestra, quam ad id temporis fequo com Anglis 
jure inhabitarant, cedere compulit; terminum provincial suae citra 
Tambram fluvium constituens, sicut Aquilonalibus Britannia amnem 
Waiam limitem posuerat. Urbem igitur illam, quam contaminate 
gentia repurgio defsacaverat, turribus mnnivit, muro ex quadratis 
lapidibus cinxit. 


to believe that any part of it was English in the days of 
Centwine. What then is the evidence with regard to 
the birth and education of Winfrith, otherwise Boniface ? 
I have not as yet been able to light on any evidence 
which fixes his birth at Crediton or in any particular part 
of Britain. I can find nothing about it in the Lives and 
Letters published by Pertz and JaffS. But he certainly 
went to school at a place which, if there were no reason 
to the contrary, I believe we should all take to be Exeter. 
He was sent to a monastery at a place which his bio- 
grapher Willibald calls Adescancastre.* There seem to be 
several readings in the manuscripts, but all give that name 
or something not very far from it.f And Adescancastre we 
should certainly take to be Exanceaster or Exeter. The 
ad is of course simply the cet or at which so constantly 
gets attached to names. It was long ago objected by 
Mabillon that no Abbots of Exeter ' are spoken of any- 
where else.J This is no doubt something, but it hardly 
amounts to proof. There was a monastery of nuns at 
Exeter before the removal thither of the Dainnonian 
Bishoprick,|| and the sex of monastic houses was so fluctuat- 
ing in early times that it is quite possible that there may 
have been Abbots there at some time or other. The real 
question is whether we ought to look upon the reading of 

* Willibald, Jaffg 433. Pertz. ii. 335. He is sent "ad monasterium, 
quod priscorum nuncupatur vocabulo Adescancastre," where he is re- 
ceived by the "fidelis vir Wolfhardus, qui et abbas illius exstitit 

+ Ad escan castre, Adestcancastre, Adescancastre, Adestancastre. 

% Jaffa* quotes from Mabillon the interpretation of Adescancastre as 
Exeter, adding "tametsi monasterium apud Exoniam turn fuisse nullum 
prodit monumentum." 

|| Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 201. " Lefricus, ejectis sanctimonialibus 
a Sancti Petri monasterio, episcopatum et canonicos statuit." 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. G 


this single passage as so certain, or its authority as so de- 
cisive, as to upset all the conclusions to which we are led 
by every other line of argument. Our other few notices 
of Boniface's life in England connect him with districts 
like Hampshire and Wiltshire, which had long formed 
part of the West-Saxon kingdom.* Indeed our own shire 
may also claim some share in him. Among the holy men 
by whom Winfrith was brought to the notice of Ine was 
Beornwald, Abbot of Glastonbury .f This may encourage 
us to go a step further. A slight change in the letters of 
the name given as Adescancastre, a name, be it remem- 
bered, which must have been copied by scribes who were 
not likely to know much of English geography, would 
change it from Exeter into our own great Roman city. 
What if Winfrith, after all, got his first schooling within 
the bounds of the conquest of Ceawlin, in the old borough 
Acemannesceaster, which by another name men Bath call If 

So far we have dealt with the Welsh wars of Cent- 
wine and Ine as they are directly recorded in our own 

* " Nhutscelle," said to be Nursling in Hampshire ; (Willibald, Jaffa 
435). "Dyssesburg," said to be Tisbury in Wiltshire. (Willibald, 
Jaffa 439). 

+ Along with Wynberch (Wineberht) of Nursling and Wintra of 
Tisbury, we find "Beorwald, qui divina coenobhun gubernatione quod 
antiquorum nuncupatur vocabulo Glestingaburg regebat," appears 
among the holy men who " sanctum hunc virum accitum adduxerunt ad 
regem." All this/ we must remember, is done " regnante Ine West- 
saxonum rege. " The names of " Wintra Abbas " and Beorwald Abbas " 
appear among the signatures to the doubtful Charter of Ine dated in 704 
(Cod. Dipl. i. 57) referred to by Jaffg, but in the Charter just before 
(i. 56) is Beorhtwald. 

t Chronicles, 972. 

" On theere ealdan byrig 
Acemannes ceastre 
Eac hie egbuend ; 
Othre worde 
Beornas Bathan nemnath." 


Chronicles. But, by the combined help of Welsh and 
English writers, I think Lean discern a later Welsh war 
in which Ine was less lucky. I come back once more to 
the entry in 722 about Taunton. That entry says nothing 
about Welsh matters, but it tells everything in a discon- 
nected, backward, way. We gather, bit by bit, that Ine 
had built a fortress, that the rebel Ealdbriht got hold of 
it, that JEthelburh destroyed the. fortress and drove out 
the rebel. Now in the same year the one trustworthy 
British authority, the Annates Cambriae, places three 
battles, one in Cornwall, the other two in the modern 
South Wales, in all of which the Britons had the victory. 
No name of the Welsh leader is given in the genuine 
text, but the interpolator has rather unluckily stuck in the 
name of Ivor, whom, it will be remembered, he does not 
mention where he appears in the other accounts.* But in 
the two Bruts, the latter of which, by the way, leaves out 
the Cornish battle, the Welsh leader is Rhodri Molwy- 
nawc who had just succeeded Ivor in the kingdom. I do 
not profess to know the site of the Cornish battle de- 
scribed as Hehil or Heilin ;f but I conceive that we need 
not rigidly confine the name Cornwall} to the modern 
county. Any part of the kingdom of Gerent or Rhodri 
might be called Cornwall as opposed to Morganwg or 
Glamorgan, where one of the other battles was placed. 

* Ann. Camb. 722. " Beli Alius Elfin moritur, et bellum Hehil apud 
Cornuenses ; gueith Gartmailauc, cat Pencon apud dextrales Brittones ; 
et Brittones victores fueruent in istis tribus bellis." The interpolator 
reads "Bellum Pentun inter Briton es et Saxones; sed Britones victores 
in hiia omnibus fuerunt, Iwor existente duce eorum." 

f The name is Heilin in the elder Brut. The name of Rhodri does not 
seem to be found in all the MSS. 

t " Cornuenses " in the Annales, " Ygkernyb " in the elder Brut. 


The English and Welsh entries, though they record quite 
different facts, seem to me to hang very well together. 
The West-Saxons lose a battle in a Damnonian war, and 
the fortress which had been lately built as a bulwark on 
the Damnonian frontier is occupied by an English rebel 
in a strife so serious that the fortress is destroyed in order 
to dislodge him. This looks very much As if the partisans 
of Ealdbriht had made common cause with the Welsh 
King who had just come to his crown, and who was naturally 
eager for some exploit against the old enemy. The forces 
of Ine then were defeated, and his fortress of Taunton was 
occupied by a combined body of British enemies and West- 
Saxon rebels. More serious losses were probably hindered 
by the vigorous action of the Queen, and her prominence 
in the war would also seem to imply that Ine was either 
disabled by age or sickness, or else that he was engaged 
elsewhere against some other division of the enemy. That 
the enemy, both foreign and domestic, were at last over- 
come is plain from Ine's being able to pursue Ealdbriht to 
his South-Saxon shelter. When Taunton was rebuilt I 
do not know. The place is mentioned in a charter of 
iEthelheard in 737* as having been granted by his Queen 
Frithgith to the Church of Winchester, but this charter is 
marked as spurious. The earliest charter in which Taunton 
is mentioned which Mr. Kemble accepts is one of Bishop 
Denewulf in 904, where Taunton appears as already pos- 
sessed of a monastery, or at least a church of some kind.f 

* Cod. Dipl. v. 45. 
t Cod. Dipl. v. 155. Bishop Denewulf and the Church of 'Winchester 
had granted certain lands to King Eadward the Elder "pro perpetua 
libertate illius monasterii quae dicitur Tantun, in quo antea multa 
regalium tributorum jura consistebant, quo et illud monasterium 
sequaliter ab omnibus regalibus et commitialibus tributia liberum et 
inmune perpetualiter permaneat." 


Another question starts itself. The war in Cornwall 
could only have been a war between Britons and West- 
Saxons. But the war in Cornwall and the war in Mor- 
ganwg are spoken of as if they were parts of the same 
enterprise, carried on under the same leader. This is one 
of the passages which I have already spoken of as leading 
to the belief that the Kings of Damnonia exercised some 
kind of supremacy over the princes on the opposite coast 
of the Bristol Channel. Who then were their English ad- 
versaries in those parts ? The Mercian frontier can hardly 
have come very near Morgan wg so soon as this. It looks as 
if Ine was trying to extend his power over the Britons on 
both sides of the Channel, and as if, largely perhaps through 
the traitorous union of Ealdbriht with the Welsh, these 
schemes were shattered by a triple defeat in both regions. 

All this is an example of the way in which secondary 
authorities should be used and should not be used. We 
should not accept the fables of the later Welsh Chronicles 
as true history, especially when we can trace back the way 
in which they grew out of the accounts of earlier and more 
trustworthy writers of their own nation. But even out of 
these later versions we may pick hints now and then, while 
we learn to look on the original Welsh Annals as a trust- 
worthy, though a very meagre, document. We do not ac- 
cept tales of British victories which are not to be found in 
the earliest British authority, and which are plainly tales of 
English victories turned backwards. But we may accept 
tales of British victories which are found in the earliest 
British authority, and which do not contradict our own 
Annals, but fill up gaps in them. The victories of the 
Welsh under their legendary Ivor are really their defeats at 
the hands of Centwine and Ine. But their victories under 


Rhodri in 722 I accept as historical. They fill up a void in 
our own Chronicles; they explain a passage where our own 
annalists speak with stammering lips; they make us better 
understand a state of thing on which English writers 
would naturally have no great desire to dwell, and they set 
before us more clearly the combination of foes against which 
Weseex had to struggle when its newly raised bulwark 
was sacrificed by the unsparing vigour of Ine's Queen. 

Thus, I think, we get very fairly at the true relations 
of Ine towards the Welsh. He was a conqueror who won 
from them a considerable district, which completed the for- 
mation of our own shire and was secured by the foundation 
of one of its chief towns as a border fortress. The later 
years of his reign were less successful. He suffered defeats 
at the hands of British enemies, and at most he maintained 
his new frontier instead of extending it further. But the 
general glory of his name was so great that he became a 
subject of romance; his exploits were laid hold of by 
the other side, and Ine was turned into a hero of the Bret- 
Welsh, much as Charles the Great has been turned into a 
hero of the Gal- Welsh. This, I think, is enough ; but 
any one who chooses may explain the fancy of the Welsh 
for making Ine their own, by the theory that he was 
really so far their own that Ine and Mul were sons of a 
Welsh mother. He may also go on to believe that Mul bears 
the witness of his mixed origin in his name, that he was 
in fact, like Cyrus, the mule-King, the r/filovos fiaaCKefc 
of the Delphic Oracle.* This I have no evidence either 

* We have seen (see above p. 28) that he appears in a Kentish writer 
as "Mulus," though the more common Latin form of his name is 
" Mollo." I am sure that I have somewhere or other seen this inference 
as to his half British origin founded on the name Mul. In Brompton 
(X Script! 742) he is changed into a more dangerous beast, and appears 
as Wolf. For the oracle, see Herodotus i. 65 and the explanation in c, 56. 


to confirm or to confute. I do not know who Ine's mother 
was, and she may have been a Welshwoman. The 
attempt of the Britons to annex Ine is at least happier 
than the attempt of their continental kinsfolk to annex 
Charles. Ine may have been half a Welshman, because 
there certainly were Welshmen and Welshwomen in his 
time, and one of them may have been his parent. But 
the other Teutonic hero cannot have been even half a 
Frenchman, seeing that in his day Frenchmen, as a dis- 
tinct type of the human family, did not exist. 

I have thus gone through all that, as far as I know, can 
be made out about the parentage of Ine, about his wars, 
about his dealings with his British neighbours, about his 
relations to the town in which we are now met. I had 
purposed to go on further, and to deal with him in the two 
characters which have given him his greatest claim to 
lasting remembrance, as a lawgiver and as an ecclesiastical 
founder. But I find that the other aspect of him has sup- 
plied me with more than matter enough for consideration 
at a single meeting. I therefore keep back the examina- 
tion of his laws and foundations for another year. Some 
day doubtless we shall again meet, as we did thirteen 
years ago, under the shadow of the sacred mount of Glas- 
tonbury. Some day, I trust, we shall, as we have already 
once done in the case of Bristol, overleap our strict geo- 
graphical border, and come together on a spot which has 
so close a connexion with the history of our own shire as 
Sherborne and its minster. Both at Glastonbury and at 
Sherborne Ine is as much entitled to the honours of a 
founder as he is at Taunton. Only at Sherborne and 
Glastonbury his works were ecclesiastical, while at Taunton 


they were military, perhaps municipal. In either place an 
examination of those aspects of his reign which I have 
now left untouched will be thoroughly in place. And I 
trust that some such opportunity will one day give me the 
excuse of again taking up the subject of the reign and 
acts of one who not only fills so high a place in the general 
annals of old English kingship, but who has a special 
claim to honour at our own hands. The name of Ine is 
perhaps the very earliest name which stands out as having 
a right to a place among the local worthies of Somerset. 


Since our Meeting at Taunton I have lighted on one or two 
things bearing on that part of Lie's life which I have dealt with 
in the foreging paper. In page 14 I mentioned a mistaken 
statement of William of Malmesbury, according to which the 
father of Ine was, not Genred but Cissa. Now, though there is no 
doubt that Oenred was the father of Ine, yet there seems some 
reason to think that there was an Under-King named Cissa in 
the generation before Ine. This is the Cissa who figures in the 
Abingdon History (ii. 268), who is claimed as one of the founders 
or early benefactors of that Abbey, and who is described as an 
Under-King reigning at Bedwin, over Wiltshire and part of 
Berkshire. He is placed in the time of Gentwine ; and his 
nephew Hean is described as the immediate founder, and first 
founder of Abingdon, the description of him runs thus : — 

"Eegnante Kinuino rege West-Saxonum erat quidam no- 
bilis vir Gyssa nomine, et hie erat regulus, in cujus dominio 
erat Wiltesire, et pars maxima de Berksire. Et quia habebat 
in dominio suo episcopalem sedem in Malmesbiria, regulus ap- 


pellabatur. Metropolis vero urbis regni ipsius erat Bedeuuinde. 
In australi etiam parte urbis illius construxit castellum, quod 
ex nomine suo Cyssebui vocabatur." 

In p. 271 his death is thus recorded : — 

"Hlo tempore defunctus est avunculus Heane, gloriosus 
regulus Oysse, et super montem praedictum Abbendoniae 
sepultus ; sed postea corpus ejus usque ad Sevekesham trans- 
latum est.'' 

The writer then records the reign of Ceadwalla, and adds 
an entry which concerns us more nearly : — 

"Glorioso regi Oedwallae successit Ine. Hie universas 
possessiones quas Cyssa et Oedwalla Abbendoniae contnlerunt, 
abstulit et diripuit ; sed postea poenitens eadem quae abstulit, et 
multo plura, eidem ecclesiae reddidit et confirmavit. Nam ad 
construendam ecclesiam Abbendoniae et Glastoniae tria millia 
librarum et dec. et 1. libras argenti contulit." 

It would be undutiful to believe that Ine, whom we honour as 
a founder at Wells, Glastonbury, and Sherborne, was a spoiler 
at Abingdon. And we must always remember that we hardly 
ever have in these cases the means of hearing the story from 
the side of the King or other laymen. But there seems no 
reason to doubt the existence of the Under-King Cissa, as the 
story in no way contradicts any higher authority. But no one 
must be led astray by the wonderful comments of Mr. Steven- 
son in his Preface to the Abingdon History, either into making 
him head King of the West-Saxons, of which the Abingdon 
writer does not give the slightest hint, or into confounding him, 
as I fancy that some writers have done, with the more famous 
Cissa of Sussex. 

There are a good many places in Wessex which seem to 
be called after some Cissa or other, as Cissethebeorg (Cod. 
Dipl. ii. 5), Cisbanham (iii. 229), Oissan Anstigo (vi. 41.) 
Gissanbeorg (v. 179), besides Kissantun in JElfxed's will 
(v. 130), which is there coupled with places in our own shire, 
but which does not appear in the English copy of the will in 
ii. 114. Some of the these places may possibly be called from 
the Under-King Cissa, though there is always at least an equal 
chance of any name of the kind being really that of some 
legendary person. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. H 


An account of Ine at least as mythical as the Somerton story 
is to be found in the Liber Custumarum of the City of London, 
(vol. ii. pt. 2, page 638, of Mr. Riley's edition). For once he 
keeps his proper vowel. The passage comes in a strange addi- 
tion to the so-called laws of Eadward the Confessor, which is put 
into the mouth of William the Conqueror himself. Amongst 
other things, there is an account of the privileges which, on 
the strength of ancient kindred, are to be given in England 
to the Jutes, (Outi) and to the continental Saxons, and these 
privileges, we are told, were granted by Ine, who was elected 
King over England, and who was the first to hold monarchy 
of English and Britons throughout the island. He was twice 
married, and his second wife was called Wala, after whom 
Cambria changed its name to Wallia. With her he received 
Cambria and Cornwall, and the blessed crown of Britain which 
had belonged to Cadwallader the last King of Britain. From 
his time Englishmen and Britons and Scots began to inter- 
marry with one another, so that the two nations became one 
flesh. Also Ine practised every virtue in war and peace which 
became a King, and he was specially famous for being the first 
founder of what we suppose we may call the United Kingdom. 
I give the passage at length with some omissions : — 

" Ita constituit optimus Yne, Rex Anglorum, qui electus fuit 
in regem per Angliam, et qui primo obtinuit monarchiam 
totius regni hujus post adventum Anglorum in Britanniam. 
Fuit enim primus rex coronatus Anglorum et Britonum 
simul in Britannia, post adventum Saxonum Germanniae in 
Britannia, scilicet post acceptam fidem a Beato Gregorio per 
Sanctum Augustinum. Cepit enim praedictus Ina uxorem 
suam demum, ' Walam ' nomine ; propter quam vocata est 
4 Wallia,' quae quondam vocabatur ' Cambria.' Bigamus enim 

Cepit enim cum ista, ultima sua uxore, Cambriam et Cor- 
nubiam, et coronam benedictam Britanniae, quae fuit ultimo 
Cadwalladrio, Eegi Britanniae; et universi Angli, qui tunc 
temporis in Britanniam extiterunt, uxores suas ceperunt de 
Britonum genere, et Britones uxores suas de illustri sanguine 
et genere Anglorum, scilicet de genere Saxonum. Hoc enim 
factum fuit per commune consilium et assensum omnium Epi- 
scoporum et Principum, Procerum, Comitum, et omnium 


sapientum, seniorum, et populorum totius regni, et per prce- 
ceptum Regis prsedicti." 

He then goes on to speak of the intermarriages of the 
different nations, and adds : — 

" Et tali modo effecti fuerunt gens una et populus unus, per 
univeraum regnum Britanniae, miseratione divina. Deinde uni- 
versi vocaverunt « Regnum Anglorum ' quod ante voeatum fuit 
'Regnum Britanniae.'" • 

He then goes on to say how the united nations withstood 
the invasions of Danes and Norwegians, and winds up with a 
panegyric on Ine : — 

" Erat enim prsedictus rex Ine optimus, largus, sapiens, 
et prudens et moderatus, strenuus, Justus et animosus, 
bellicosus, pro loco et tempore ; et in divinis legibus et ssecu- 
laribus institutis, scriptis et bonorum operum exhibitionibus 
irradiat. Gloriosus rexit, quia regnum et confoederavit et 
consolidavit, et in unum pacificavit, sapientia et prudentia 
magna, et, ubi locus adfuit, vi et manu armata." 

Strange as all this stuff is, it has its value, as showing the 
abiding belief that Ine stood in some special relation to the 
British portion ofhis subjects, as well as the memory of Ine's 
general merits as a ruler. The imaginary British wife may 
possibly spring from some confused tradition of a real British 

I ought to mention that the passage in the Abingdon 
History was suggested to me by some unpublished remarks of 
Professor Stubbs, and the reference to the Liber Custumarum 
by Mr. Haddan's reference, Councils and Ecclesiastical Docu- 
ments, i. 202. 

Sfamtton ^aatty: 



TAUNTON Castle possesses an interest in the eyes 
of Archaeologists which its present appearance and its 
unimportant Norman history may not seem to justify, but 
which depends upon the fact that it is of English and not 
Norman foundation, that it dates from a period nearly two 
centuries earlier than any other fortress mentioned in the 
Saxon Chronicle, and not only is the date of its construc- 
tion approximative^ known, but its existing earthworks, 
though mutilated, are beyond question original. 

The earthworks of our country are among the most 
obscure of its archaeological remains. Great attention has 
been and is being paid to them, but as yet with very par- 
tial results. The Transactions of this Society contain 
many valuable papers upon the earthworks of its district, 
and speculations, more or'less unsatisfactory, upon their 
dates and authors ; it will therefore not be out of place if, 



before treating of Taunton Castle, I attempt to shew the 
place which such remains hold in a general classification 
of the leading military earthworks of the country. 

The British Isles are peculiarly rich in earthworks of 
various kinds, and concerning the origin of most of which 
history is silent, and the internal evidence afforded by 
which has not as yet been satisfactorily interpreted. This 
obscurity relates not so much to their intent and purpose, 
usually obvious enough, as to the period at which, and the 
tribes or persons by whom they were thrown up. The 
absolute date of many, probably of most of these, we 
cannot hope ever to discover, but it seems probable that 
their relative dates, and the tribes by whom and the cir- 
cumstances under which they were thrown up, may be 
ascertained by a careful examination, not only of the 
details of each, but of the general arrangement of their 
groups, and by a comparison between each, and a con- 
sideration of what they were intended to protect. For 
this purpose the pits and traces of dwellings need to be 
examined, and both detailed plans and good general sur- 
veys to be made, such as we may expect from the new 
and larger Ordnance Survey now in progress. 

Earthworks may be divided into sepulchral, civil, and 
military, and possibly those connected with religious ob- 
servances. With those of the sepulchral class all are 
familiar. By civil are meant boundary dykes ; circles in 
which, as at Arthur's Table near Penrith} the earth from 
the circumscribing ditch is thrown outwards ; and such 
mounds as that at Hawick, the Tynwald in Man, and the 
hill at Scone, possibly of sepulohral origin, but from an 
early period used either for the promulgation of laws, or 
the display of a new chief to the people, or for some 
similar purposes. 


Military earthworks, if not quite so common as those of 
the sepulchral class, are yet very common, and especially 
familiar to all who dwell in what has once been a border 
country. Their character is usually very evident. The 
defence is composed of one or more ditches, the earth 
from which is thrown inwards so as to form a bank. 
The entrance is by a causeway traversing both ditch and 
bank, usually obliquely, and often guarded by a small 
mount or cavalier, placed in front of the outer and some- 
times also of the inner end of the passage, and intended to 
guard the entrance against a rush. These encampments, 
when large, are usually upon a hill top, or the crest of an 
escarpment. They are in plan irregular, governed by the 
outline of the ground. Those who constructed them 
were evidently savage tribes, having few or no wheel car- 
riages or baggage, and no discipline : trusting mainly to 
the inaccessibility and passive strength of their works to 
guard against surprize. These seem also to have been 
intended to resist sudden attacks rather than a siege or 
blockade, Bince there is rarely a water spring in or very 
near the enclosure. Where the ground requires it some 
care is usually shewn in the formation of a trackway up 
the hillside, so as to make the ascent both moderately 
easy and to bring it under the command of those above. 
The inhabitants of such camps were evidently tribes of 
people, and the position of the works shews that they 
lived by hunting, and not to any great extent by cultiva- 
tion of the soil. Such encampments are usually called 
British, because these conditions were fulfilled by the 
British tribes ; but whether they were thrown up by a 
still earlier race, or by the Celts against the Bomans, or 
against other invaders,, or against one another, or under 
all these circumstances, has not as yet been made clear. 


Many certainly were intended for the refuge of small local 
tribes ; others, like those along the Cotteswold or the 
Mendips, had a wider scope, and were intended to pro- 
tect a large tract of country, and are likely therefore to 
be of later date. Much skill of a certain sort is shewn in 
the .selection of the sites of these frontier camps. The 
approach is of course well in the rear. Although labour 
was evidently plentiful, it was not wasted. Where the 
ground is steep the ditch is slight or omitted altogether ; 
where the slope is very><Idual, as upon a long ridge like 
Worle, the defend , are doubled or even tripled, and the 
outer line i» ^aally some distance in advance, so as to 
allow thf -all force of the tribe to be mustered behind it. 

Modern researches have discovered that some of these 
large camps were connected with the early lines of track- 
way, and occasionally with boundary dykes. Also traces 
have been found of the pits over which the wigwams were 
constructed, of the hearths, pottery, food, and weapons of 
the inhabitants. Also of shallow pools, lined with clay, 
in which they stored their water. Where the ditch was 
cut in rock, the banks were of course stony, and now 
and then such banks were actual stone walls, often very 
thick, sometimes containing store cells, but always,. where 
original, of dry and rude masonry. In camps, such as I am 
now describing, no wall of original date, in which mortar 
has been employed, has been discovered. That dry walling 
may however be carried to a high pitch of skill by a rude 
people, is evident from the revetments flanking the en- 
trance to such chambered tumuli as those of Stoney 
Littleton, drawn in your Transactions, and in Gower. 

Such are the so-called British camps. The name is at 
least convenient since it designates a definite thing, but 
whether these camps date from the earliest settlement of 


Britain, or from the struggles of the Celts against the 
Romans or the Saxons, needs further enquiry. 

Another very important and large section of our military 
earthworks is altogether of a different character. These 
are rectangular in plan, usually with a single ditch and 
low banks of earth, and with entrances in the centre of 
the sides, and passing direct through the defences. Within 
the area of such camps are often indications of huts or 
dwelling-places, usually also rectangular in outline. These 
camps are evidently laid out by rule. They are seldom 
placed on the tops of detached hills, and usually near 
water and near also to one of the military lines of road. 
Their occupants were evidently disciplined soldiers, at- 
tended by baggage waggons, and who trusted more to 
their discipline than to the strength of the ground as a 
guard against surprise. Such camps are of course Roman. 
It sometimes happens that having become permanent, as 
at Silchester or Porchester, they have been enclosed with 
regular walls, and have even, as at Chester or Winchester, 
become important cities. In such cases the plan of the 
original camp is to be traced through all subsequent muta- 
tions. The four entrances remain, and the streets con- 
necting them meet at a central cross. Many, if not most, 
of these Roman camp-cities retain a British element in 
their name, as Winchester and Gloucester, and were con- 
structed on British sites, but either the British earthworks 
are gone, or being on low grounds as though the work of 
a people tillers of the soil, they were founded by the later 
Britons, after the system of irregular fortification on hill 
tops had been laid aside. 

Usually, where these rectangular defences have been 
occupied as towns, their Roman original is recorded in 
history, confirmed by more or less abundant remains of 


Roman art and manufacture, but it sometimes happens 
that within such earthworks have sprung up towns of the 
Roman origin of which there is no historic record, the 
names of which are either Saxon or afford no guide, which 
are not upon the great lines of road, and within which are 
few or no traces of Roman habitation. Snch are Ware- 
ham, Wallingford, and Tamworth, all enclosed within 
rectangular earthworks, and each upon a river. It is 
however, only in their distinctly rectangular plan that 
these enclosures resemble Roman works. The ditches are 
deeper and the banks far higher then were usually em- 
ployed by the Romans, who, when so great strength was 
required, were wont to build a wall, a less expensive and 
far more complete defence. Hence these fortifications have 
been attributed to the Romanized Britons, cast up within 
a few years after the departure of the Romans ; and this 
notion seems probable enough. The conical mounds and 
concentric trenches found in the above-named enclosures, 
and in others such as Leicester, Cardiff, and Caerleon, where 
the traces of Roman occupation are more clearly written, 
are evidently additions at a considerably later period. 

The earthworks hitherto described, whether British or 
Roman, seem intended for the residence of a tribe having 
all things in common, or of a body of soldiers on the 
march or in garrison ; we next have to consider a class of 
works of a different description, some few of which are 
indeed of large area and on lofty positions, but which are 
usually of very moderate area, in low situations, with de- 
fences more are less inclined to the circular form, and 
which were evidently intended for the strong and per- 
manent abode of some patriarchal chieftain, who there 
dwelt in the midst of his own lands and surrounded by his 
own family and immediate dependents. 

TOL. xvlii., 1872, PAET II. I 


The larger circular works, such as Badbury, the White 
Catterthun in Scotland, and a few others, evidently camps 
and not residences, are different from these. Some have 
thought them of Scandinavian as opposed to Celtic origin, 
a notion supported by the presence of many circular con- 
secutive camps, often of small area, on or near the coasts, 
where also are found others, parts of circles, cutting off 
some headland or peninsula. These have been attributed 
to Scandinavian sea rovers, landing for a short time for 
plunder or provisions, as the larger and more inland circular 
works have been attributed to the same races, during their 
earlier attempts at a settlement in Britain, and before 
they had established the right of private property and the 
restraints of law, for which their immediate descendants 
became so remarkable. 

The earthworks to which I wish more particularly to 
refer seem to have been formed after the right of private 
property in land was established. They are usually, not 
always, circular or oval, the area being enclosed within a 
ditch, the earth from which is thrown inwards, sometimes 
as a steep and narrow bank, sometimes so spread as to 
raise the inner area gradually towards the edge or scarp 
of the ditch. 

Within the area, often in the centre, or where it is oval 
often near one end, and in some few cases upon or even 
outside the ditch, is usually a large conical mound from 
thirty so sixty feet high, and from sixty to one hundred 
feet diameter at the truncated summit. This mound, 
known in Normandy as a " Motte," is almost always wholly 
or in part artificial. It forms the keep or citadel of the 
enclosure, and upon it seems to have been placed the 
lord's house, of timber. Besides this, appended to the 
main enclosure are often found other enclosures more or 


less nearly semicircular, divided from the main work 
by the ditch, but each having also a ditch of its own. 
They resemble in fact the ravelins or demilunes of later 
fortifications, only they were intended, not to cover the 
main work, but to afford shelter for cattle and retainers. 
Old Basing affords a good example of such appendages, as 
does Kilpeck, where however they seem the remains of an 
older camp. The mound usually has a ditch of its own, 
of course circular. Such earthworks are very common, 
and having been the seats of Saxon Thanes most of them 
have been taken possession of by their Norman successors, 
and have been made to carry a Norman castle. Windsor 
is a concentric camp of this kind with an artificial mound. 
The ditches, now filled up, have been probed and ascer- 
tained by Mr. Parker. At Dunster the mound or tor is 
natural, as at Montacute, but has been scarped. At Devizes, 
the finest work of the kind in England, the mound is of 
enormous size, and in great part artificial, and the ditch is 
of unusual depth and breadth. Marlborough is such a 
work, Ewias where the basis of the mound is natural, 
Binbury near Maidstone, Guildford, Tonbridge, Berk- 
hamstead where the mound is outside the oval. Wor- 
cester mound stood within the works. It is now gone, as 
is that of Hereford which stood outside, with strong 
ditches of its own. Tonbridge, Arundel, and Tutbury, 
and perhaps Warwick are on the line of the enceinte, as 
was Southampton and as is Lincoln. In other cases the 
mound with its own ditches and works is placed, as has 
been mentioned, in or in connexion with a rectangular 
enclosure of different and no doubt of older date, as at 
Cardiff, Wareham, Leicester, Tamworth, and Wallingford. 
Moreover, although the most perfect examples of this 
class of earthworks have their original mounds, this is not 


always the case ; sometimes the work is a mere level plat- 
form, surrounded by a steep circular bank, outside which 
is a ditch with one entrance* Old Basing is such a work, as 
is the fine circle known as Mayburgh near Penrith, though 
there the ditch is wanting and the earthwork probably 
never contained a dwelling. These are circular but without 
a mound. 

Others again, evidently to be referred to the same class, 
are irregular in plan, governed by the figure of a hillock 
of dry land, or by the course of the adjacent river, or the 
outline of a marsh. Taunton is a good example of such 
a work. 

Now it is to be remarked that earthworks of the 
character I have been describing occur most frequently in 
England and Normandy. There are about sixty circular 
or oval earthworks, and with mounds, within a moderate 
distance of Qaen, and there are two hundred or more in 
England. They occur also, though sparingly, in Wales. 
Most, as Chirbury, Radnor, Caerleon, Cardiff, Brecon, 
Builth, and those in the Welsh parts of Hereford and 
Shropshire being found in districts in which the Saxon 
early effected a lodgement, or as with regard to the two 
military mounds at Towyn, at no great distance from 
the sea. 

What is the age of these half domestic, half military 
earthworks? Their founders do not seem to have been 
nomade. Those in Normandy were almost invariably the 
seats of Norman barons, as those in England were of 
Saxon thanes. 

Moreover, the age and authorship of several of them is 
known. Some are mentioned as fortresses in Domesday. 
Such are Canterbury where there is a small, and Rochester 
with a very large mound; Arundel, Bramber, Lewes 


which has two mounds, Carisbrook, Wallingford, Windsor, 
Wareham, Montacute, Dunster, Launceston, Trematon, 
Gloucester, Worcester, Wigmore, Clifford, Ewias, Caer- 
leon, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Warwick, Stafford, Shrews- 
bury, Montgomery, York, Lincoln, Stamford, Norwich: 
all have mounds, some large some small, some natural some 
artificial, but all come under the class of earthworks I am 
here describing, and all these works were most certainly of 
a date preceding the conquest. 

Of several of these earthworks the date of construction 
is recorded in the Saxon Chronicle. Thus Taunton seems 
to have been constructed in 702, and it was destroyed, 
that is its timberwork burnt, in 722. The works outside 
[Rochester city, including probably the mound, were thrown 
up in 885. Those at Wareham, probably the mound and 
its ditches, in 877. Bridgenorth in 896-912. Badbury 
camp was used in 901, Bramsbury in 910. Sarratt and 
Witham date from 912; Maldou, 912-20. Tamworth, 
Stafford, Eddisbury, Chirbury, Wardbury, Runcorn, in 
913; Hertford, 914; Warwick, 915; Brecknock, where 
is a large mound, 916, probably also the date of the mound 
and concentric works at Builth,- Bedford, 919; Hunting- 
don, Temsford, Towcester, Wigmore, part of Colchester, 
921, and Stamford in 922. Some of these works remain 
intact ; others are more or less perfect ; others are re- 
removed, but descriptions of them are preserved, 

I think therefore that on the whole the evidence is in 
favour of a Scandinavian and Saxon origin for these earth- 
works, and that they were all constructed between the 
7th or 8th and 9th or 10th centuries. 

While speaking of these domestic-military works, works 
intended not merely to last during the military occupation 
of a country, but to be transmitted to the heirs and successors 


of the owner, mention should be made of those remarkable, 
but in Ireland very common, works known as Baths, and 
which are found also in Pembrokeshire* These are cir- 
cular platforms, sometimes raised, surrounded by a bank 
and ditch, and upon which was constructed, usually of 
timber, the house of the owner. Though smaller they 
closely resemble in their main features the larger circular 
works, and seems to have been intended for the protection 
of an ordinary dwelling, just as the others were for the 
stronghold of the Thane. A mile or so east of the Pon- 
trilas station in Herefordshire, and close north of the 
railway is a low mound or platform, circular, and with a 
ditch, which if it occurred in Ireland or in Pembrokeshire 
would be called a Bath. I am told that there is a similar 
work called locally a " Belch/' near Worle village in 
Somersetshire, and that another, in the same neighbour- 
hood, has been removed within memory. 

Taunton Castle stands upon one of the many low hum- 
mocks of gravel, often with a base of red marl, which 
rise out of the extensive fen lands of this very singular 
district, and which, before agriculture had drained the 
marshes, were even more inaccessible, or in military phrase, 
stronger ground, than even the hill fortresses of the upper 
country. The Thone, the river whence the town derives 
its name, rises by many and copious tributaries over a wide 
sweep of country, north, west, and south, and traversing 
the low land, which though neither so wet nor so extensive 
as many of the adjacent levels, was yet broad enough and 
marshy enough to serve every purpose of defence. 

Here, upon the right bank of the stream, Ine, the cele- 
brated leader and lawgiver of the West- Saxons, is reputed 
to have established himself in the year 702, while engaged 
in securing his frontier against the western Britons, who, 


under the leading of Geraint, still maintained a footing in 
the broken ground east of the Tamar, upon Exmoor and 
among the Brendon and Quantock Hills, holding probably 
the camps which still remain, but little altered by the 
lapse of a thousand of eleven hundred years. 

This seems to be the origin of the town of Taunton, 
and here, upon the edge of one of the inosculating branches 
of the sluggish stream, Ine founded his castle by throwing 
up banks of earth girdled with deep and formidable ditches, 
and no doubt further strengthened by stockades of timber, 
or at best by walls the workmanship of which scarcely 
deserved the name of masonry. Such as it was it was 
destroyed, that is burned, by Queen JEthelburh in 722, 
who probably however left the earthworks, the better part 
of the defence, much as she found them. 

The spot selected, resting upon the river, is covered by 
a loop, which has been converted into a mill stream, 
working a mill placed a little below the Castle. This river 
or north front is tolerably straight and about 180 yards 
long. The west front, about 168 yards, is formed by what 
seems to have been a tributary stream called the Potwater, 
which here joined the river nearly at a right angle. The 
south and east fronts, of 340 yards, were formed by a 
curved water course, probably artificial, which connected 
the tributary, by a second junction, with the river, and 
thus completed the circuit of the defence. The enclosure 
was thus a sort of quadrant, the river and the brook being 
each a radius, and the curved ditch the arc. The area thus 
enclosed measures about seven acres, and lies between the 
river and the town, which covers its east and south sides. 

Within this area, occupying its north-east corner and 
about a quarter of its extent, is the inner court or citadel 
of the place, roughly rectangular, and measuring about 


123 yards east and west, by 73 yards north and south. 
Its east and north faces rest upon the main ditch and the 
river, and its south and west faces are covered by a curved 
ditch, artificial, which gives the eastern outer ditch a 
second connexion with the river, and divides the outer 
called " Castle Green " from the inner court. The position 
was a very strong one, having the river, and beyond it a 
morass, towards the north, or threatened side, and to the 
south a ditch, in part double, and always filled with water. 

The inner court is further subdivided into two parts, of 
which the eastern half seems to have been raised into a 
sort of platform upon which probably Ine's actual resi- 
dence was placed. 

Mr. Warre speaks of a mound here, but as I cannot 
make out that there is any record or tradition of a mound 
in the technical sense, I presume that he calls by that 
name the very considerable bank and contiguous platform 
of earth, much of whidh is still seen. What occurred 
here, and by whom occupied, or what changes took place 
between the reign of Ine and the end of the 11th century 
is not known, but the Normans, accustomed, as far as 
practicable, to occupy the Saxon seats, soon perceived the 
advantages held, out by the position and earthworks at 
Taunton, and William Gifford, who held the lordship as 
Bishop of Winchester in the reign of Henry I., seems to 
have decided upon building a regular Castle. His suc- 
cessors, Bishops of Winchester, were much here, and the 
Castle received much addition at their hands, especially in 
the early Decorated period, of all of which traces more or 
less considerable still remain. The outer ward is traversed 
east and west by a road upon which were two gatehouses, 
of which the western was till recently represented by a 
fragment of wall and a stone bridge across the moat. 

TaU^ToN C|/\^T1-E. 


Traces of a barbican in part of timber, were discovered a 
few years ago while digging on the counterscarp. Of the 
eastern gatehouse the remains are still considerable. It 
was of large size, the entrance passage being 60 feet deep, 
with, portals at each end, and at the outer end a large 
square portcullis groove. The upper floor contained a fine 
room, of which on the north side there remain tvpo windows 
in the early Decorated style, which is that of the whole 
gatehouse. The gateway was placed just within the ditch, 
on the counterscarp or town side of which some founda- 
tions, probably of a barbican, were laid open a few years 
since. The wall of the outer court is gone, save a small 
fragment on the south-west quarter, neither are there any 
of the ancient buildings remaining within the area. Bishop 
Fox's school, the oldest of them, is later than the period 
when the defences were of much value. 

The defences and contents of the inner ward are less 
imperfect. The masonry here did not extend actually to 
the river, the immediate bank of which, as at Leicester, is 
very low, so that the enclosed ward occupied only about 
two-thirds of the whole moated area. The walled part is 
roughly triangular, the base being the east side, and the 
truncated apex to the west. This area seems further to 
have been divided by a cross wall into two parts, the 
keep, hall, and gatehouse being in the western, and in 
the eastern the earthworks, which favours the notion of 
this having been the old English citadel. These earth- 
works are two banks along the east and south fronts, ex- 
panding at their junction into a rectangular platform of 
about 80 by 120 feet. The banks have been used as 
terraces or ramps, the Norman wall having been built 
against them and along the river edge of the ditch. These 
banks are about 18 to 24 feet broad and about 10 feet high. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. K 


Along the east face about 150 feet of the original wall 
remains tolerably perfect, and is about 25 feet high outside. 
This is returned along the river or north front, and near 
the angle is a buried arch at present invisible, and which 
may have been a postern or a sewer. From the south 
face the wall has recently been removed. At the south- 
west corner of this court is a dwelling-house, part of the 
wall of which is old, either Norman or Edwardian. 

The smaller. or west court contains the chief remains in 
masonry, and of these the most remarkable is the keep. This 
is a well-defined though mutilated tower, standing upon 
the enceinte wall, of which it forms the north-west angle. 
It is rectangular, 50 feet north and south, by '40 feet east 
and west, with walls about 13 feet thick. There is no 
chamber below ground. The basement is vaulted with a 
heavy barrel vault, apparently original, though this is 
doubtful, and round headed. Outside are flat narrow 
pilaster strips, dying into the wall at about 30 feet high. 
There are traces of Norman loops in the wall, which may 
have been 50 feet high, and probably included three stories. 
At the north-east angle is a well staircase leading to the 
battlements, probably in part an Edwardian addition. The 
entrance is most likely to have been in the south face, no 
doubt on the first floor, though there is nothing left to 
shew this. 

From the keep, along the north front, the original, 
though much mutilated, Norman wall, with its flat pilasters 
and the jamb of one original window, crests the rising 
ground, as at Leicester, about 50 feet from the river, and, 
also as at Leicester, evidently formed one side of the hall. 
At the end of the wall, about 140 feet from the keep, is 
a postern, with a segmental arch, possibly in substance 
Norman, though mutilated. 


In the centre of the south front, but at the south-east 
corner of this section of it, is the gatehouse, a rectangular 
structure, with an Edwardian portal, and some Perpen- 
dicular additions, square portcullis grooves, gates, and 
lodge. In the front are seen the holes for the chains sup- 
porting the drawbridge, now replaced by a permanent 
structure. Above the entrance passage is a chamber. 

Bight and left of the gatehouse the curtain extends 
about 70 feet, terminating a short time ago in bold drum 
towers, of which one is gone, and the other caps the south- 
west angle of the ward, and connected this front with a 
short curtain leading to the keep. Against this wall 
stands a line of buildings ranging with the gatehouse. 
Opposite, against the north wall, is the hall, modern as to 
its inner wall, fittings, and roof, but very evidently oc- 
cupying the sight of the original Norman hall and domestic 

The south-west drum tower has been rebuilt or faced, 
but evidently represents the Edwardian or early Decorated 
works that replaced the old Norman curtain. The ditch 
along the west and part of the south fronts of this ward, 
has been recently filled up. The drum towers, curtain, and 
keep stood on its edge, and formed its scarp. 

Here, then, we have a combination of earthworks dating 
from the commencement of the 8th century; walls and 
keep the work of the early part of the 12th ; and towers 
and gatehouses towards the end of the 13th or early in the 
14th century. Bishop Langton executed some additions 
here in 1490, and placed his arms outside the inner gate- 
house. In 1496 the Castle was taken by the Cornish 
rebels who rose against the close taxation of Henry VIL, 
and here massacred the Provest of Penrhyn. Bishop 
Horne made further repairs here in 1557. 

T i • ■ i j 
X t: t+ #rt S 


In the Parliamentary wars Taunton was first occupied 
for the Parliament, then taken by Lord Hertford for the 
King, and finally retaken for the Parliament by Blake, 
who held it against a far superior force. The infamous 
Jefferies held the " Bloody Assize " in the present hall. 

It has been thought that Ine's Castle was confined to 
the inner ward. No doubt his strong house was there, 
but the whole enclosure is not larger than Framlingham or 
other Saxon holds. 

The absence of a mound is rather peculiar, and it is 
remarkable that the Normans should have placed this keep 
on the lowest ground. Altogether, looking to its very 
curious though scanty remains, and its very ancient history, 
Taunton Castle is a work of unusual interest, and deserves 
to be cleared and employed as a promenade or museum, or 
for some public purpose, so that its walls and earthworks 
may become an embellishment to the ancient town to which 
it unquestionably gave rise. 


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©he Customs 4 to #laiu»t[ »f 
Staunton j^atte. 


£ are enabled by what 
I think may be deemed 
reliable, if not authentic 
records, to carry back 
the history of this Manor 
to the earliest ages of 
the history of Wessex. 
Not long after the time 
when Taunton was still 
virtually a border-for- 
tress, and the kingdom 
1 not extend far beyond 
i the boundaries of the 
Manor of Taunton Deane, we find that this rich and fertile 
district was bestowed upon the Church of Winchester. 
From that time until a comparatively very recent period 
the Bishops of Winchester continued to be the lords of 
this Manor, and, in fact, they ceased to exercise their 
manorial rights and enjoy its privileges here only when the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners Act came into force. 

•»» The initial latter embraces a view of the Exchequer Chamber, 
Taunton Castle, where the documents relating to the Manor are kept. 


It was Frethogyth, the Queen of iEthelheard, who first 
endowed the see of Winchester with lands in this district. 
JEthelheard was the immediate successor of Ine, and he 
was brother to JEthelburh the Queen. Thus it was quite 
possible that some of the tenants who first did homage to 
the princely prelate of Winton might have taken part in 
the siege of Taunton, under Queen iEthelburh, when the 
rebels had seized it in 722 ; or at least they might well 
have remembered seeing in their boyhood the flaming ruins 
of the castle which J£thelburh had set on fire, in order to 
dislodge the rebel chieftain and his followers. 

It is hardly necessary to observe that I am now speaking 
of a time when the diocese of Exeter did not exist ; when 
the diocese of Wells had not been formed ; when, in fact, 
the see of Winchester was co-extensive with the West- 
Saxon Kingdom. I am aware that in 705 the province 
was divided, and the western portion made into the diocese 
of Sherborne. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe 
that the imperial city of Winchester continued to be the 
metropolis alike of civil and ecclesiastical rule ; and no one 
would be more willing to acknowledge the supremacy than 
the Bishop of Sherborne himself. Accordingly when (as 
stated in the Saxon Chronicles) Forthere, Bishop of 
Sherborne, and Queen Frethogyth went together on a 
pilgrimage to Home, nothing would be more natural for 
the Queen and nothing more agreeable to the bishop, than 
the endowment of the Mother Church in token of her 
gratitude and devotion. 

And thus we find it stated in early Saxon charters that 
Queen Frethogyth bestowed the Manor of Taunton on the 
Church of Winchester. The genuineness and authenticity 
of some of those charters may be doubtful. I know that 
Kemble, in his Codex Diplomaticus, marks them as such. 


Yet I see no reason whatever to doubt the principal fact 
on which they are based, namely, that the grant of the 
Manor was first made by the Queen of JEthelheard and 
the sister-in-law of JEthelburh. 

So, when we come to the charter of JEthelwulf of 
Wesaex, granted in a.d. 854, we are quite prepared to 
accept the statement there expressly made in these terms : 
— " I have enlarged the boundaries of the land in Tantun 
which Frethogyth the queen gave to the Church of Win- 
chester in former times" (amplicavi spacium telluris in 
Tantun quod Frethogyth regina Wentancs eccelesice priscis 
temporibus dedih) 

This charter of -ZEthelwulf is especially interesting, 
inasmuch as that it specifies the additions made, consisting 
of lands in " Risctune " and in " Stoce aet orceard ;" and 
also gives the various objects and places which mark out 
the boundaries of the Manor at the time the charter was 
made. The boundaries given are clear enough to enable 
us to take a general view of the extent of the Manor at 
that time. Many of the spots may be identified with 
those which bear much the same names in the Ordnance 
Maps of the present day, and I have no doubt that re- 
ference to parish maps and local usages would enable us to 
identify many more. 

Guided by this charter our course in " beating the 
bounds " would be as follows : — 

Starting from where Blackbrook enters the Tone in the 
parish of Ruishton (Blackan-broce on Taan)^ we come 
to Ash-cross (ad veterem Jraxinum) ; thence over the hill 
to the borders of Ash-hill forest : (trans montem in alteram 
fraxinum) ; and on to the high road from Broadway to 
Honiton (ad viam publicam) ; thence over the Blackdown- 
hills to Otterford (ad vadum quod Otereford nominatur) 9 


following the course of the stream to Otterhead (tuque ad 
caput f otitis). Crossing the hill we come into the Culm 
valley (ad Columbarem vallem), and then on westward until 
we arrive at Ashbrittle (quemdam Jraxinum quern imperiti 
sacrum vocant), and following the course of the river, we 
come to the boundaries of Wiveliscombe (juxta terminos 
Wifelescombe) ; thence along the old road leading to Monk- 
silver, until we come to the source of the Willet stream 
fad originalem fontem rivuh qui Willite nominator) ; thence 
by alba gronna, now called White Moor Farm, we come 
to Lydeard St. Lawrence (ad Lidgeard). From here 
crossing the valley, we come to the foot of Triscombe (ad 
occidentalem partem vallis qui Truscombe nominator) ; thence 
eastward to Rugan Beor/i, which I suggest should be 
Bugan B£orh or Bagborough, for immediately we are 
taken along the horse-path over Quantock to jEscholtes. 
Afterwards we pass piscis fontem f Bishpool Farm), and so 
on to Hoi well Cavern (sic ad Elwylle). Crossing the 
Quantocks again, and descending into the valley of the 
Tone, we come by the stream which passes by Kingston 
fad rivuium qui Neglescumb nominator), and which gives 
name to the Hundred and Hamlet of Nailesburne. Going 
eastward we skirt Hegsteldescumb, which I take to be 
Hestercombe, and passing by Scechbrock, which 1 take to 
be Sidbrook, we come again to the Tone where we started 
(et sic in flumine quod Tan nominator), et sic perveniator 
iterum in Beadding-brock, or Bathpool. 

The boundaries which 1 have here briefly sketched in- 
clude one of the richest tracts of country in the kingdom, 
and any one who knows the country cannot fail to be 
impressed with the immense value and importance of such 
a Manor. In fact, judging from the valuation-lists recently 
issued by the Union Assessment Committees, the Manor 



originally embraced a district, the annual rental of which, 
in the present day, cannot fall far short of £200,0001 
This immense sum would not, of course, correctly represent, 
even comparatively, the value of the estate at the time to 
which we refer. Great allowance is to be made for the 
extent of forest. The panagium porcorum (that is, the 
mast for pig-meat in beech and oak groves) would not be of 
the same value as corn crops grown on the cleared ground. 
The extent of this forest is clearly shown by the very 
name which the district bears — Taunton Deane — a name 
older even than the kingdom of Wessex, and one always 
associated with forests. The Arduenna Silva of Caesar, the 
Arden of Warwickshire, the Forest of Dean, in Gloucester* 
shire, still called by the Cymri "y Ddena" all serve to 
confirm this view. But making all the allowances possible, 
this Manor was a princely inheritance, even after large 
portions of it had been granted by the Conqueror to some 
of his favourites, and other portions had come to be held 
on knights' service, under the Bishop of Winchester as 
superior lord. 

I am sorry I shall have to pass over all that relates to 
this Manor in the Exon Domesday, the examination of 
which would be extremely interesting and valuable, but 
somewhat dry. 

I can also only refer briefly to a very curious and in- 
teresting MS. Customary of this Manor, which I had the 
good fortune to discover under a great heap of court-rolls 
in the Exchequer. It supplies examples of tenure under 
the Manor in olden times which are very curious, and 
which deserve to be treated of and discussed by themselves, 
but they are not incorporated in the Customs to which 
this paper is specially devoted. I will, therefore, only give 
•two or three cases by way of illustration. Thus, lands in 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. L 

82 PAPEK8, ETC. 

Hillsbishop and Staplegrove are held on a small fixed rent, 
and the ordinary services of ploughing and sowing and 
reaping so many acres of the lord's land. In addition to 
this the tenants were required to carry the lord's corn to 
market at Ivelohester or Langport, and what is still more 
curious, they were bound to carry the lord's corn as far as 
Topsham, and there to place it in ships for exportation ! 
Cariabii bladum <Tn% tuque ad Toppisham si cPnus voluerit 
transietare et ponere ibidem tcarnesturam suam in naves. 
Why the bishops preferred Topsham to Bridgwater is 
partially explained by another clause, in which it is pro- 
vided that if the bishop should desire to have his wine 
conveyed from Exeter or Topsham to Taunton, the tenants 
were bound to bring back the same at the rate of 2s. per 
cask. Et si dominus voluerit caviare vinum suum ab Exon 
vel Toppisham (Tnus Episcopus dabit pro quolibet doleo 
cariando it.*. By the same conditions of tenure the tenant 
was not allowed to give his daughter in marriage, nor to 
sell a horse, without leave from the bishop. 

The entire Manor of which I have hitherto spoken ap- 
pears to have been divided at an early period into two 
parts, known as the Out-faring Division, and the In-faring 
Division. It is to the latter of these only that the 
Customs of Taunton Deane apply. There is, besides, the 
Hundred of Taunton Borough, which stands by itself and 
will require to be treated by itself. 

The In-faring Division, or The Five Hundreds of 
Taunton Deane, consists of (1) The Hundred of Hoi way, 
including portions of the parishes of Ruishton, Taunton 
St. Mary, Stoke, Wilton, Ninehead, and Rimpton ; (2) 
The Hundred of Hull, including the parishes of Trull, 
Bishop's Hull, and a portion of Pitminster; (3) The 
Hundred of Nailesburne, embracing the parish of Kingston; 


(4) The Hundred of Poundsford, including the parishes 
of Pitminster and Corfe, and (5) The Hundred of Staple- 
grove, including the parishes of Staplegrove, Taunton St. 
James, Combe Florey, and Lydeard St. Lawrence. In 
the observations which are to follow on the Customs, it 
will be understood that by the Manor is understood The 
Five Hundreds of the Manor of Taunton Deane. 


All owners of property being parcels of the Manor of 
Taunton Deane, are tenants of the Lord of the Manor, 
and hold their respective estates subject to certain dues, 
rents, and services fixed and determined by the customs of 
the Manor. These holdings are of two kinds, viz., Bond- 
land Tenements, being land on which ancient dwellings are 
known to have stood, and Overland Tenements, where such 
dwellings were not known. Fealty, suit, service, fines on 
surrender and admittance, and fixed rents were incident 
to both kinds of holdings ; but, as might be expected from 
the necessary character of feudal tenures, the estates on 
which ancient dwellings had stood (that is, Bond-land 
Tenements) were subject to the obligation of residence on 
the property while the tenant was living, and to the pay- 
ment of heriot when he died. 

On every change of tenancy, whether by sale or deed of 
gift, or mortgage, the Customs require that the property 
shall be formally surrendered into the hands of the lord for 
the uses and purposes specified in the surrender ; and in 
case of the death of a tenant intestate the property falls 
into the hands of the Lord of the Manor, for the uses of 
those who, as heirs, are entitled to inherit by the Customs. 
Entries of these surrenders, and also of admittances of 
tenants are made in the records of the Manor by the 
steward ; and these entries are virtually the title-deeds of 


the property. It is, however, to be observed, that while 
no change in the tenancy can take place without the 
authority and consent of the Lord of the Manor, yet, as 
long as certain conditions are fulfilled the tenants are vir- 
tually independent, and the lord has no power of restraining 
or limiting any disposition they may please to make of their 

These Records of Surrenders and Admittances are kept 
in a room called the Exchequer. This room lies over the 
principal gateway to the Inner Bailey of the Castle, and 
belongs not to the Lord of the Manor, but to the tenant*. 
When the late Lord of the Manor sold the Castle he could 
not sell and had no power to convey the room which stands 
over the principal entrance into it \ and as far as I am able 
to judge from the Customs of the Manor, I do not see how 
he could have sold this hall* without reserving to the tenants 
the right they had in olden time to hold their Law-courts 
within its walls. 

The earliest Records of Surrenders and Admittances in 
the Exchequer begin with the reign of Edward VI., and 
from that period to the present day the series appears to be 
almost perfect and complete. The Pipe-rolls, containing 
all the receipts and expenses arising from this Manor, are of 
a much earlier date ; and as they specify the amount of fines 
paid, and also describe the persons and estates on account 
of whom the payments were made, they carry back the 
history of the Manor to a much earlier date. 

During my investigations in these interesting records I 
could not fail to observe that the power of the superior lord 
became less and less every succeeding age, and that there 
was a corresponding increase in the privileges and freedom 

* I.e., the room in which, the paper was read, formerly the old Hall 
of Taunton Castle, 


which the tenants claimed and secured. Many feudal cus- 
toms, inconsistent with the growing liberties of the people, 
had been allowed to fall into disuse long before they were 
abolished by the Commonwealth, and subsequently repealed 
by Charles II. When questions arising from high views of 
feudal rights were raised in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
and submitted to the Grand Inquest of the Manor, I find 
almost invariably that the judgments given were in favour 
of the tenant rather than of the lord. 

I cannot find any evidence of the existence of any 
authentic code of laws or customs earlier than that which 
was drawn by a jury empanelled by order of Parliament in 
1647, a very early, if not a contemporary copy of which in 
MS. I have now the pleasure to exhibit. In my present 
notice of the Customs, however, I purpose to confine my 
observations to such only as I have found entered and illus- 
trated in the records themselves; and I take this early 
opportunity of expressing my great obligation to Mr. 
Meyler, the deputy-steward of the Manor, and a zealous 
and valuable member of our society, for the facilities he has 
kindly afforded me in iny investigations in the Exchequer. 
I feel it is utterly impossible to lay before you anything like 
a complete account of all that is peculiar in the Customs of 
this Manor within the limit of time properly assigned on 
these occasions. I will content myself, therefore, with 
pointing out as briefly and clearly as I am able, some of the 
more interesting features : — 


The powers which the tenants exercised in the disposal 
of their customory lands were very extensive and very 
varied. 1. — They had power of sale, by absolute surrender. 
2. — By what was termed a dayne-surrender 9 a tenant of the 
Manor was able in his lifetime to dispose of his customary 


lands to any of his family or others, on condition that a 
fixed annuity was paid to him during his life, or some 
specific provision made for his sustenance and support. In 
surrenders of this character clauses were inserted which 
gave the surrenderer power to resume possession of the 
estate in case conditions specified were not fulfilled. 3. — 
The tenants had power to make conditional surrenders. 
These forms were universally employed in the place of, and 
for the same purpose as, marriage-settlements. They were 
also used, and still are used, for mortgages. Whenever any 
tenant of Taunton Deane borrows money on the security 
of his customary land, he surrenders that land to the mort- 
gagee, on condition that when the debt is discharged the 
surrender becomes void. Thus all mortgages of Taunton 
Deane lands are on record, and a public and authentic 
registration of mortgages is secured. 4. — Lastly, the 
tenant had power to make a dormant surrender — that is, a 
surrender to certain trustees for the purposes of his will. 
This surrender remained valid for seven years, and became 
void if not renewed after that time. Before the passing of 
the Act (55th Geo. III.)? by which the necessity of such 
provisions was repealed, no disposition of Taunton Deane 
lands by will was valid without this dormant surrender. I 
know of a case in which an old lady left all her customary- 
hold land in this Manor to be equally divided between her 
nephews and neice. She had made the dormant surrender 
in due form, but it was found to have expired a few weeks 
before her death. When the provisions of her will came 
to be carried out it was found that as to her customary 
property she had virtually died intestate, and her land 
descended to her youngest nephew according to the Cus- 
toms of the Manor. I have made copies, by way of 
illustration, of all these several surrenders, which are 


extremely interesting and instructive. I need not trouble 
the audience with them at present, but I shall be happy to 
show them to any of the members who may be specially 
interested in such studies. 

Further, it is to be observed that these surrenders are 
not valid unless they are made in the presence of the 
steward or his deputy, and witnessed by tenants of the 
Manor. The place and time are not material. Not long 
ago, as a tenant of this Manor, I was called upon in 
London to witness a surrender, and thereby I was able 
to save the surrenderer a long and expensive journey to 
Taunton. Now that the three weekly courts are not held, 
in order to facilitate surrenders, I hear it is not unusual 
to admit a certain number of attorneys practising in 
Taunton as tenants of the lord's waste — a tenancy purely 
nominal, but which constitutes them valid witnesses of 
surrenders made in their presence. 


Here an important and interesting question presents 
itself. At what age did tenants of this Manor attain their 
majority? When did they become legally capable of 
exercising the powers of surrender and disposal? We 
know that elsewhere customs vary in regard to this. In 
some boroughs infants were held to have attained their 
majority when they became able to measure a yard of cloth. 
In Kent the tenant in gavelkind attains his majority at 
15. But in this regard our neighbours in the town of 
Bridport carry off the palm. On an inquisitio post-mortem 
held 53° Henry III. (1268), the jury made a presentment, 
" That the heir of a certain John Gervase was of full age 
(according to the use and customs of Bridport) on the day 
of his birth."* We do not find th^t the tenants of the 

*Esch. Roll., 53, Henry III. 


Manor of Taunton Deane ever regarded themselves equal 
in this respect to their neighbours in the borough of Brid- 
port. I find, however, that in the 7th James I., a certain 
George Reve, of the tything of Staplegrove, was con- 
sidered capable to make a surrender at the age of 15, he 
being then in extremis. 

The most curious illustration of the Customs, as bearing 
upon the question of the age at which a tenant attains to 
majority, occurs in the records in the 10th year of Queen 
Elizabeth. It is a surrender taken before Hugh Norris, 
clerk of the Castle of Taunton, on the 23rd of June, 10 
Eliz. (a.d. 1568) in the presence of John Frauncis, Esq., 
of Combe Florey, and others. I cannot do better than 
give you the exact terms in which the entry is made. 
Happily for many of my hearers the bulk of this is not as 
usual in Latin, but in good old English, corresponding (in 
character) to the sturdy character of the young lady by 
whom the surrender is made. 

" Elizabeth Colles filia Johannis Colles alias Joye 
sursumreddidit in manus dominse reginse j mes et j dimid 
virgat ter* nat, &c., voc' Met-hay, et 3 acr. tr. voc. Whit- 
more, &c, &c, in decenna de Burland, ad opus et 
usum Anthonii Gonstone, heredum, &c, &c, habenda sub 
condicionibus sequentibus, viz. : — 

The condicion of this surrender is such that yf the sayd 
Anthony Gonstone do take to wyfe and marry e according 
to the solempnisation of holly churche the abovenamed 
Elizabethe Colles between the time of xij yeres and xiij 
yeres of hir age that then this surrender to be voyd and of 
none effect, or otherwise to stand and be in his full power 
and strengthe, provyded always that yf the said Elizabeth 
Colles do dye before marryage had with the said Anthony 
Gonstone, or otherwise refuse to marrye wyth hym at the 


tyme apoynted ; that then the said Anthony and his 
assignes to have and enjoy all and singular the premises 
abovenamed during his natural lyfe onlye, and after his 
decease the same premises to remayne to the said Elizabeth, 
her heyres and assigns for ever according to the customs. 
Furthermore, and yff the said Anthonye do marry e with the 
said Elizabeth according to the intente of this surrender, 
ymydyatelye upon which marry age the premises do wholly 
fall into th'ands of the said Anthony by custom of this 
Manor ; then the said A. G. shall forthwithe surrender the 
said premises into the hands of the dark of the castle upon 
condycion that yf he should dye before the said Elizabeth 
do attayne the age of xv. yeres, that then the premises 
shall remayne to the said E, her heyres and assignes ac- 
cording to the customs without any alienacion or surrender 
of the premises to any person or persons, &c. 

Capt' per me Hugone Norris clerico castri de Taunton 
et Taunton Deane, xxiij die Junii Ao Regni d'ne nr* 
Elizabeths x. In presencia Johannis Frauncis ar. Thomas 
Coke, &c, ten' d'ne Reginse ib'em, et ulterius in pre- 
sencia Johannis Kinglake, Johannis Gonstone et Thomas 

You will observe that at the time this surrender was 
made, Elizabeth Colles, alias Joye, was evidently between 
twelve and thirteen years of age, otherwise there would 
have been no need of a condition to the intent that the 
surrender would become void in case Anthony Gunstone 
married her within that period. Hence it follows that in 
the early part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the tenants 
of this Manor attained their majority at the age of twelve 
years, and were then legally competent to dispose of their 
customary estates. In the second place, by the guarantees 
incorporated in the surrender, this young lady forestalled 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. M 


the possibility of any action for a breach of promise of 
marriage, forasmuch as she provided distinctly that "yf 
she refuse to marrye with the said Anthonye at the tyme 
appointed/' then she forfeited her estates to the said 
Anthony " during his natural life." Further, it will be ob- 
served that, knowing her husband might (according to the 
Customs of the Manor) claim to be admitted by the courtesy 
of Taunton Deane as a tenant for her estates immediately 
after their marriage, this prudent young lady, in her own 
interest and for her own protection, imposes a condition on 
her future husband to this effect : that immediately on his 
succession he shall surrender the said premises to the clerk 
of the castle, so that if the said Anthonye Gunstone should 
die after their marriage and before she attained the age of 
15 years, "the premises should remayne to her and her 
heirs." This surrender was made on the 23rd June, 1568. 
In the year after the following entry was made in the parish 
register of Combe Florey : — 

"Anthonie Gounstoune and Elizabeth his wiffe were 
maryed on the xviij. day of July, 1569." 

From this it would appear that the favoured suitor was 
not kept waiting very long after the time specified in the 


From an observation made in my remarks on this sur- 
render it will be seen that the rights conferred by the 
Courtesy of Taunton Dcane are far more extensive than 
those conferred by what is termed the Courtesy of England ; 
for while by the latter the husband is entitled to a life- 
interest in his wife's estate of inheritance only after the 
birth of issue from the marriage capable of inheriting ; by 
the Customs of Taunton Deane, on the other hand the 
husband may at once claim to be admitted as tenant for his 


wife's estates, and on producing legal evidence of marriage, 
is so admitted, and the property becomes vested in him. 


' While the Customs of the Manor in this particular cer- 
tainly do seem to confer on the husband great power and 
control over his wife's customary-hold estate, it is but 
right to observe that, by way of compensation, the provi- 
sions made for the wife's dower are far more liberal than 
those which the law of England allows. 

Elsewhere, if a husband dies intestate, the wife succeeds 
only to a third part of his property; but in Taunton 
Deane, under these circumstances, the wife is endowed of 
all her husband's customary tenements. 

The wife, as " next heir unto her husband,'' succeeds to 
all her husband held under the Manor, and " holds the 
same unto her and her heirs." If, after being duly ad- 
mitted as tenant, the widow should subsequently re-marry, 
and neglect to protect herself, as the young tenant of 
Combe Florey did, then her second husband might claim 
the lands which descended to her through her first hus- 
band, notwithstanding that children by the first marriage 
were living. And in case his wife should die before him, 
the heirs of the second husband, and not those of the first, 
would inherit. I am not now stating an hypothetical case, 
but one that has actually occurred in Taunton Deane 
within a very few years past. 


Another very peculiar feature in the Customs of Taunton 
Deane presents itself in the laws which regulate the de- 
scent of property in the Manor. The resemblance which 
exists between these and the Customs of Kent, and also 
those known as Borough English, taken together with the 
the fact that this important Manor had its origin long 


before the Norman Conquest, leads to the conclusion, I 
conceive, that these peculiar customs are of Saxon origin. 
Amidst all the changes that have taken place in England 
during the last thousand years, it is curious to note that 
the Manor of Taunton Deane has thus retained up to the 
present day the same rules as to succession which pre- 
vailed here before Alfred was king. We have now to 
treat not of the dead past, but of the living present, seeing 
that these regulations are still in force in this Manor. 

If a tenant of this Manor dies intestate, his wife inherits 
as next heir to all that her husband held under the Manor. 
She is admitted as tenant in his place, and the succession 
is to her heirs, and not to the heirs of her husband. 

If a tenant dies having no wife at the time of his death, 
and having but one son, that son inherits. If he has more 
than one son, then the youngest son inherits. In like 
manner, if one daughter, she would inherit ; but if there 
are more than one, then the. youngest daughter becomes 
the heir. 

If a tenant dies, leaving no wife nor children, then the 
succession would descend to the youngest brother of the 
whole blood, or, in default, to the youngest sister. So, in 
like manner, the youngest nephew, or the youngest niece, 
in the absence of nephews, would inherit in preference to 
her eldest sisters. In short, according to the Customs of 
this Manor " the youngest next of kin of the whole and 
worthiest blood " inherits. 

I do not profess to give the grounds and reasons upon 
which this custom was based. Some think it arose from 
excessive power and control which the feudal lord had 
over his vassals. I am myself inclined to look upon it as 
an outgrowth of the simple habits of early times* When 
the elder sons and daughters came of age they left home, 


settled in life, and no longer needed any provision from 
their father. The youngest would be left at home, and 
the homestead would descend to him as a provision for his 
support. Be that as it may, such are the customs which 
prevail in this Manor, and which have all the force of an 
imperial enactment ; and I need not point out how different 
they are from the laws of primogeniture, which are of a 
much more modern origin. 


I now came to another incident of customary holding in 
Taunton Deane — Escheat. In this particular the powers 
of the feudal lord here would seem to have been far 
greater than in other Manors ; for while elsewhere, in 
olden time, cowardice in the field of battle, and in later 
times, treason and murder and felony, determined the 
feudal connection between the tenant and his lord, and his 
land was forfeited, here, in Taunton Deane, the connexion 
was severed and the land was escheated even if one tenant 
prosecuted another tenant in any court of law other than 
that of this Manor without license. Thus I find in the 
Records* that certain lands in the Tithing of Holway 
belonging to Thomas More de Priory came into the hands 
of the lord as his escheat (" tamquam escaetam suam"), be- 
cause that the said Thomas More had entered proceedings 
in the King's Bench, Westminster, against William Horsey 
and John Gael, tenants of this Manor, and had caused 
them to he placed under arrest without license obtained 
from the Lord of this Manor. I am half tempted to be- 
lieve that this excessive severity may have been partly 
due to the ill-feeling which sprang up in Mary's reign 
against men like More, who had become the owners of the 

* 5 and 6 Philip and Mary. 


property of religious houses/ Nevertheless, I find the 
same course repeated in the 3rd of Elizabeth, when the 
lands of Will. Wylles, of Poundsford, were escheated for 
the same cause, the offence being aggravated in his case 
by a rebellious spirit which he had manifested. 

After the 3rd of Elizabeth, however, I do not find in 
the record any entries of this character, the breach of this 
custom being uniformly punished by a money fine, which 
was always rigidly enforced. Hence the frequent entries 
of "licencia prosequendi," which occur in the Records. 
So stringent was this rule that one tenant should not 
prosecute another tenant in any other courts of law than 
those of the Manor without license, that in the 12th of 
Elizabeth, Henry Portman, while serving the office of 
High Sheriff, sued for and obtained a special license for 
all such prosecutions in the Manor as he might be called 
upon to authorise in his official capacity. Most of the 
prosecutions were instituted for debt, some for libel — 
pro verbis scandalosis — and some for tithes in the Ecclesi- 
astical Courts. Throughout the reign of Elizabeth there 
is obviously a growing disinclination to appeal to the 
local tribunal, and from this time we find the law courts of 
the Manor occupied with cases of small debts and petty 
assaults. The range of their administration was very 
wide and varied, arising out of the presentments of zealous 
tithing-men. Now it is Dame Hewlett pigs that un- 
guarded roam in Marlin Churchyard ; now it is some 
brewer who will charge more than fourpence a gallon for 
the beer he brews ; then it is Eliz. Godson, who leaves a 
dung-heap on the highway, or Will. Dicke, clericus of 
Stoke qui insultum fecit super Bob. Carvannell cum 
pugno suo. 

These presentments are almost invariably expressed in 


Latin, and sound extremely ludicrous ; thus, Buishon, 
Decennarius presentat quod WilL Webber insultum fecit 
super M m Chaplin cum pruno baculo et extraxit sanguinem : 
ideo in miserecordia. ixd. 

The powers and jurisdiction of the tenants of the Manor 
legally assembled evidently included all the powers now 
exercised by the Board of Health, the Board of Guardians, 
and the Highway Board, and, still further, those of the 
Commissioners in Lunacy ! They also exercised a severe 
moral supervision over the district, as will be seen from 
an order made in the 17th of Elizabeth, "that John 
Henly, of Hull's Bishop, should turn out certain sub- 
tenants of ill fame before the Feast of the Annunciation, 
or pay a fine of 40 shillings ! " One very extraordinary 
instance occurs of the control which the court had over 
the estate of a tenant, presents itself on the Records, in 
the 29th of Elizabeth. It is expressed in the terms fol- 
lowing : " Whereas Will. Glasse maketh havoc and waste 
of his tenement and doth wastefully spend the profitt 
thereof so that his poore wyfe and her childe live in great 
want — it is ordered that the same tenement be seized by 
the bailif of the libertie, and a moietie of the yearly rent 
be employed for the maintenance of the said wyfe and 
childe." But this is not all, for the order proceeds — u And 
yf he resist the execution of this decree then he shall be 
taken and imprisoned in the ordinarie prison of the Castell 
of Taunton until he will agree unto the performance hereof!" 

I leave this decree to speak for itself, and I make no com- 
ment other than this — that while this order undoubtedly 
approves itself to our moral sense, it is one which it would 
be extremely difficult to carry into effect legally in the 
present day. 

There was one duty which the tythingman discharged 


with evident delight, namely, that of making present- 
ments of such bond-land tenants as were non-resident 
and neglected suit of Court. In this matter there was no 
respect of persons, as will be seen from the following entry: 
— " South-fulford : Decennarius ibidem presentat quod 
Johannes Popham miles, Capitalis Justiciarius dne Begins 
de Banco, liber tenens sectam debet curiae, et fecit de- 
faultum." It was, verily, a striking instance of imperium 
in imperio when the law-court of this Manor imposed a 
fine upon the Chief Justice of England for non-attendance 
and for failure in suit and service ! 

This obligation of " Suit of Court " made a very serious 
demand upon the time of the tenant in former days, for 
besides the " three-weeken Courts/' they were obliged to 
attend on the two chief law-days, the one called Turnus 
de Hoche held in the spring, and the other the Turnus de 
St. Martin, which was held in September. Hoche-tide 
we know commenced on the third Monday after Easter- 
day, and the time of holding the Court seems to range 
from the beginning of March to the end of April. I can 
find nothing in the calendar to account for the Tourne of 
St. Martin in September. 

From a very early period down to the beginning of the 
reign of James I. entries frequently occur in the Records 
of licenses, obtained and paid for, to reside elsewhere than 
on the bond-land tenement, to be exempt from the three- 
weeken Courts, and sometimes to be relieved entirely of 
suit of Court. These and a great many other peculiar 
customs I am reluctantly obliged to pass over rather than 
weary you in the recital. They deserve, however, to be 
on record in our Proceedings, as land-marks which help to 
show what our institutions have been, and how they have 
changed for the better. 



There remains, however, one incident of bond-land 
tenure in this Manor which must not be passed over, inas- 
much it continues in as full force in the present day as 
when the vassal was bound to take the field, armed and 
well mounted, in the service of his feudal lord. I refer to 
the Heriot payable on the death of a bond-land tenant. I 
cannot but think that this is a relic of old military tenure, 
as the word itself seems to show. The Heregeat would be 
"that with which the warrior went forth," that is, his 
war-horse and his armour. These would naturally be 
looked upon as the property of the feudal lord, and would 
be accounted for by the successor of a deceased tenant. 
When military tenures were abolished, the custom of 
heriot was retained in Taunton Deane, and the lord 
claimed the best chattel, "quick or dead/' on the tene- 
ment. It is so still ; and if a tenant die possessed of two 
or more bond-land tenements, then a heriot is demanded 
for each separate holding, whatever may be its extent or 
value. Not long since the owner of two small plots of 
bond-land died in the neighbourhood of Taunton, and his 
two best carriage horses were seized and taken as heriot 
on behalf of the lord of the Manor. 


Under these circumstances one is not surprised to find 
that the tenants from time to time have sought by pur- 
chase to relieve themselves from these burdensome obliga- 
tions. And as this freedom was obtained by the payment 
of heavy fines it is not surprising that the lords of this 
Manor, who possessed only a life-interest in the estate, 
were always ready and willing to enrich themselves in 
this way, even to the loss and impoverishing of their suc- 
cessors. Many of the Bishops of Winchester would seem 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. N 


to have made a very good thing of this power of enfranchise- 
ment, good for themselves but not for the see. When the 
Manor was sold by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, it 
realized very little more than used at one time to be 
its annual income; the process goes on from year to 
year, so that the market value of the Manor is continually 
diminishing. In fact, the princely domain of the old 
lords of this Manor is melting away so fast that it is 
now but a mere airy shadow of what it used to be, and is 
rapidly sinking into the condition of an archaeological relic, 
existing only on paper and within the folds of its dusty 
pipe-rolls. This, however, makes the subject not less, but 
more interesting to the antiquarian. There is, therefore, 
the more reason why this society should endeavour to 
place on record as complete an account as may be of its 
Customs and rules. In many respects much that is pecu- 
liar in the Customs of this Manor forms an important 
link, connecting the institutions under which we live with 
those which our forefathers originated. Without a know- 
ledge of the past it is impossible fully to understand the 
present, and it is vain to hope to provide wisely for the 

In concluding this long, yet necessarily meagre sketch, 
I regret that time will not admit of my passing in review 
the deeds and lives of the wise and good and great men 
to whom the tenants of this ancient Manor have done 
fealty. There is no. great or grand event hardly in the 
history of England with which the lords of this Manor 
in ancient times were not associated. When I mention 
the name of the Sainted Swithin, of Stigand, the devoted 
friend of Eadward and Earl God wine; when we remember 
that Henry of Blois, grandson of the Conqueror, and 
Harry Beaufort, son of John of Gaunt, and Wolsey, the 



Cardinal, all held this Manor ; when we recall the names 
of William of Wykeham, of Waynefleet, and of Richard 
Fox, what is there that is great and grand in the history 
of our country which does not rise up before our eyes ! 
The temptation is great, but I resist. I close, as I feel I 
should do, with cordial thanks to my hearers for the 
patience with which they have listened to my story. 

%* This Paper is printed as it was read, except that one clause is left 

out from the paragraph relating to the " Courtesy of Taunton Define," 

in consequence of a statement made at the Meeting by the Deputy 

Steward, Mr. Meyler. All that is now given is based upon entries in 

the Records themselves and on the "Customary," presented by the 

Jury in 1647, by order of Parliament. 

W. A. J. 

®ty gj«s#M of £. Par^arnt 




FEW who possess a taste for the work of mediaeval 
hands can enter Taunton by the London road 
without having their attention arrested by a picturesque 
old building wherein, although of humble aspect, the evi- 
dences of such presence are conspicuous. It occupies the 
angle between the highway and a lane, still called Mill 
Lane, which led to the famous mills of Tobrigge on the 
Tone, now and long since removed, and of which, apart 
from the information derived from ancient documents, the 
name of the green lane which led to them is the only 
existing memorial. The building is a long, low, and 
narrow structure, unmistakeably a row of almshouses, and 
consists of seven distinct tenements, each with a staircase 
communicating with a room above. The walls are of 
stone, faced for the most part with plaster, and covered 
with a thatched roof of considerable pitch. The first and 
last tenements stand out in advance of the five middle 
ones, but the roof is carried on continuously from one 

(Vol, irtil., p. 101.) 


to the other, supported along the intervening space by 
thirteen wooden posts rising from a parapet wall, and thus 
forms with them a kind of cloister out of which the doors 
open to the several apartments. The entrance to this 
cloister, or gallery, is in the centre of the row, and a 
passage runs straight from it through the building itself to 
a well and large kitchen garden in the rear. Each tene- 
ment had a second door at the back, now walled up, 
communicating with the garden. In the wall between the 
window and the front door of one of the tenements is a 
curious recess, apparently original, the use of which is 
doubtful. The easternmost house is terminated by a high 
gable, much patched, as are all parts of the structure, with 
modern work, and a projecting chimney, whose ancient 
offsets yet remain. The western gable, which abuts on 
Mill Lane, is without a chimney, but preserves more of its 
original character than the other portions of the building, 
and has still a finial, coping, and plinth course of the 
sixteenth century. Most of the woodwork of the doorways 
and floors is of the same period. Before and at right 
angles to the western tenement, but not in actual contact 
with it, is a modern house, which, as I believe, occupied 
the site of a chapel that formed a part of the original 
establishment. In the front wall of the eastern house, 
facing a slip of carefully tended garden, gorgeous with fair 
colours and redolent of sweet perfumes, which lies between 
the edifice and the highroad, a very beautiful work of art 
is inserted, which is the principal object of the traveller's 
notice. It is a block of stone, two feet four inches in 
height and one foot seven inches in breadth, on which is 
boldly yet most delicately sculptured a shield bearing the 
interlaced letters B.B., and surmounted by a mitre which, 
and the strings that hang from it, are represented as richly 


ornamented with jewels and embroidery. It is clear from 
these indications that Holy Church has here exercised Her 
sacred power for good, and that in this quaint old roadside 
Almshouse we have before us the remains of one of those 
establishments where the Divine precept was obeyed to 
the letter — to minister to the sick and to befriend the poor. 

The building, which is still called "The Spital," was 
part of a Hospital for lepers, dedicated, as were many 
similiar institutions, to S. Margaret, and founded at a time 
when victims of that terrible disease were far from un- 
common. And the shield, with its monogram and fair 
surroundings, tells us of an endeavour by a princely 
Churchman long ages afterwards to perpetuate a blessing 
to which, if not a sudden catastrophe, at least the lapse 
of many generations had bequeathed its customary legacy 
of decay. 

I will endeavour to furnish my reader with such an 
account of the old building and its fortunes as a long and 
careful search into multitudinous Records has enabled me 
to give him. It is only, I must admit, at rare intervals, 
among vast masses of manuscript documents of all de- 
scriptions, that a grain of information is to be acquired- 
all the more precious, however, from the obscurity in 
which it has been hitherto buried, and the labour involved 
in its exhumation. My reader must accordingly expect no 
more than this — for fragmentary the particulars which I 
can offer him must necessarily and unavoidably be. Indeed 
we may congratulate ourselves that the search has resulted 
in the discovery of so much which would have appeared to 
be lost to us for ever. 

The history of the place, indeed, had all but passed into 
oblivion. A few lines are the most which are devoted to it 
either by general or by local historians, and even the sketch 


which they furnish is unhappily made to give an erroneous 
notion of the most important fact in their account, the 
period of the foundation of the House." Tanner, Collinson, 
Toulmin, and the late editors of Dugdale, all the latter 
copying, as usual, from the first-named writer, unite in 
the assertion that the Hospital was " built by Thomas 
Lambrit,* about the year 1270,"f and that "the advowson 
and patronage was granted about the year 1280 to the 
Abbot and Convent of Glastonbury" by the same Thomas 
Lambrizt.J Collinson says that it was "founded by one 
Lambrizt, or Lambright, a merchant of Taunton, in the 
time of Henry III.," and loosely and indefinitely adds that 
it is mentioned before 1269, which is three years anterior 
to the end of that King's reign. || Mr. Savage, referring, 
however, to Tanner for " the only notice that we possess of 
the place," evidently copies the last-named writer when he 
tells us that it was founded in the reign of Henry IH., 
before the year 1269, by Thomas Lambright, whose suc- 
cessors about 1280 annexed the advowson thereof to the 
Abbey of Glastonbury. He adds that " Tradition assigns 
the foundation of this house to the time when St. Mary 
Magdalene's Church was built in Taunton." § 

The authority on which all these writers depended for 
their imaginary fact was a MS. referred to by Bp. Tanner as 
"Cart. Glaston. MS. Macro, f. 119 b." Most unhappily 
its whereabouts is at present and has for a long time past 
been unknown. It is said to have been rescued from 

* Through the whole of this Memoir I give the names of Persons and 

Places in the orthography of the authority from which the information 

is derived. 

j* Collinson, Hist, of Somerset, III. 456. 

$ Tanner, Not. Somers. XI. 2. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. VI. 774. 

|| Hist, of Somerset, III. 236. 

§ Savage, History of Taunton, pp. 98, 99. 


destruction by Bp. Tanner in a grocer's shop at Oxford in 
the year 1692, and to have passed into the hands of Dr. 
Cox Macro, of Norton, near Bury S. Edmunds, who died 
in 1767, and whose library has long since been dispersed. 
Where it is now, although it has oftentimes and by many 
enquirers been studiously sought for, I am unable to say. 
After I know not how many investigations pursued in 
various quarters, I think I have a clue to its recovery, 
but the MS. has been so long out of sight that I am by 
no means sanguine of success. 

The truth, however, is— and this may tend to mitigate 
our regret at the absence of an authority of whose infor- 
mation on other points we might possibly have been 
rejoiced to avail ourselves — that the Hospital of S. Mar- 
garet was founded upwards of at the very least eighty- 
four years before the earliest of the dates which have been 
hitherto before us. It does not occur among the Chapels 
with which William Gyffard, Bp. of Winchester, enriched 
his infant Priory of Taunton about the year 1110. But 
I can prove its existence at little more than half a century 
subsequent to that date. I have found in two of the great 
Wells Registers a Charter of Stephen, Prior of Taunton, 
and his Canons in which they concede to Reginald, Bishop 
of Bath, among other matters, that all their Churches and 
Chapels shall make returns to him and his successors and 
their officials in all episcopal customs after the manner of 
the other churches in the diocese of Bath, except the 
chapels of S. James, S. George of the Well (Wilton), 
S. Margaret of the Sick, and S. Peter of the Castle, which 
the aforesaid Bishop had permitted to be exempt.* In the 
"Capella S. Margarete Infirmorum J% we have doubtless 

* Beg. Well. I. ff. 35 b. 9 36. Reg. III. f. 342. Appendix, No. I. 


the House whose history I am endeavouring to elucidate. 
Among the witnesses to this agreement are William Abbot 
of Keynesham, Geoffrey, Thomas, Ralph, and Richard, 
Archdeacons respectively of Salisbury, Wells, Bath, and 
Coutances, and Walter Prior of Berlich. It is from 
these principal and attesting parties, for the instrument is 
un-dated, that we may obtain a very close approximation 
to the period at which this charter was made. Stephen 
was Prior of Taunton, as appears from various documents, 
from and perhaps before 1159 to and perhaps after 1189. 
Reginald was Bishop of Bath from 1174 to 1191. William 
was Abbot of Keynsham in 1175, and Walter was Prior 
of Berlich in the same year. Geoffrey was Archdeacon 
of Sarum in Oct. 1173, and his successor occurs in 1188. 
Thomas was Archdeacon of Wells in 1175, and his suc- 
cessor in 1185. Of Ralph and Richard I know nothing 
but what is here asserted. A moment's comparison of 
these various intervals will reduce us to a period between 
at the latest the years 1174 and 1185 for the date of the 
charter. This, it will be seen, does not give us the actual 
date of the foundation of the Hospital, but simply a proof 
of the fact of its existence at a period of at the very 
least eighty-four years before the date to which its foun- 
dation has hitherto been attributed. How much earlier 
than that time it came into being we have no present 
means of determining. 

It would also appear from this charter that, although the 
Abbot and Convent of Glastonbury were the patrons of 
the parish Church of West Monkton, the Chapel of S. 
Margaret was in the patronage of the Priory of Taunton. 
And, further, that it was so poor as to be exempt from 
Episcopal customs — a fact which will presently have abun- 
dant corroboration. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. o 


In further proof of the more ancient date, I have been 
so fortunate as to find on the Patent Roll of the 20th year 
of Henry III. the grant of a Protection from the King to 
the Master and Brethren of the Leper Hospital of S. Mar- 
garet of Taunton, dated, witness the Sling, at Middelton, 
the 22nd of June, 1236.* The Protection is described 
as having the clause Rogamu8 y and was accordingly of the 
kind which was usually granted to collectors of alms for 
the poor of a Hospital, or in behalf of any other works of 
mercy, piety, and charity ; and commanded the King's 
subjects to maintain, protect, and defend such collectors, 
and neither to bring on them nor to permit to be brought 
on them by others any injury, trouble, damage, violence, 
hindrance, or grievance.! I am afraid that all this is proof 
positive of the low estate of the Hospital, and that, if 
the absence of endowments be an ingredient of strength, 
it was at least in possession of this attribute in a very 
considerable degree. The institution, it is clear, was 
struggling for life, and its needs may not improbably have 
attracted the good offices of the worthy to whom has been 
attributed the honour of the foundation. 

For the claim of Thomas Lambrit, how little soever he 
may be allowed to be the founder, to the honour of a 
benefactor of the Hospital is not to be disputed. What 
has been already advanced is only intended to correct an 
error in the date of the foundation, and not to interfere 
with the attribution of a part of the good work to him to 
whom the whole of it has hitherto been assigned. The 
name of Thomas Lambrit is not unfrequently found in the 
records of the time. In the "Hundred .Rolls," which 
contain inquisitions taken in the second year of Edward I., 

* Pat. 20 Hen. III. m. 6. Appendix, No. II. 
t See Fitzherbert, Nat. Brev. Ed. 1794. I. 29. 


he is mentioned in union with the Abbot of Glastonbury, 
who, with his Convent, as I have already said, were 
the patrons of the parish Church of West Monkton, 
Henry de Wykesande, John de Reyni, and Adam de Can, 
as possessed by ancient usage of right to take and hold 
the cattle of estrays found in their tenements in the Manor 
of Monketon.* In the Bodleian Library there are several 
agreements between the Abbots of Glastonbury and the 
Lambrights in connexion with lands in the Manor of 
Monkton ; as of Thomas Lambright with land called 
Wadelesham in 1250, with common of pasture at To- 
brugge in 1281, and with the mill of Crich about the same 
period,t but no mention is made in them either of S. 
Margaret's Chapel or Hospital. In this manor the same 
Thomas Lambrit was the master also of a Chapel, which 
may well be believed to be that on whose history we are 
now employed. For in a List of Charters concerning 
divers rents and gifts to the Church of Glastonbury, be- 
longing to that Church in the time of Abbot John of 
Taunton, who ruled the Abbey from 1274 to 1290, there 
is a " Cautio," sans date, of T. Lambrit respecting his 
Chapel in the manor of Muncketone.J 

Added to this, and conclusive of the fact that he was a 
benefactor, there are accounts of various legal proceedings 
in the years 1279 and 1280 which* distinctly prove that 
property had passed from Thomas Lambrith to the use and 
benefit of the Hospital. In the assizes before the Justices 
Itinerant, held at Montacute on the morrow of the Assump- 
tion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the 7th year of Edward 
I., or the 16th August, 1279, examination was made as to 
whether John, Abbot of Glastonbury, and Henry, Master 

* Rot. Hundred. II. 137. + MS. Wood, 1. p. 280. 

X Joh. Glaston. Hist. Ed. Hearne, p. 392. E God. Cantab, f. 81 b. 


of the House of S. Margaret outside Taunton, had un- 
justly disseised Thomas Lambrich of his free tenement in 
Moneketon, and of two shillings of rent, with appur- 
tenances, issuing from a certain tenement in the same vill. 
The jurors returned a verdict on oath that the aforesaid 
Abbot had not disseised the aforesaid Thomas of the afore- 
said rent ; and therefore it was ordered that the Abbot 
should retire from the action sine die, while the plaintiff 
was judged to be in misericordia for his false claim. In 
behalf of the Master the jurors returned a verdict that 
the assize between him and the plaintiff ought not to pro- 
ceed, inasmuch as the said Thomas was a suitor against 
him before the King's Justices in Banco by a certain writ 
touching customs and services, in which the rent aforesaid 
was contained. A further hearing was ordered at Ivel- 
Chester on the feast of S. Edmund, King and Martyr, the 
20th of November, during the interval before which the 
rolls might be examined for proof of his declaration* 

This must not be considered a matter of litigation, but 
an amicable suit which was the common practice of the 
courts at that period in order to substantiate a right of 
possession. The opposition of the plaintiff was a legal 
fiction, and the verdict of the jury and sentence of the 
court on a difference which had no existence in fact had 
the effect of creating a legal title of the most public and 
notorious kind. As in the Final Concords, ordinarily 
called Fines, it was seen that no title could be so indubi- 
table as one which had been the subject of legal enquiry, 
contested by one party and secured to the other by the 
ratification of a sentence of a court of law. A suit was 


* Plac. de Jur. et Assis. 7 Edw. I. 2 > 2. rot. 17. Appendix, No. III. 


accordingly commenced, and, on the hearing of the case in 
court, a composition of the suit was entered into and 
judgment given for one of the parties, which was thus ac- 
knowledged as the legal owner of the land in question. 
The transaction was reduced to writing, and this perpetual 
memorial was preserved henceforth among the other re- 
cords of the realm.* 

Of like nature, I presume, was an action which I have 
found reported on the Boll of an Assize before the Justices 
Itinerant at Somerton on the morrow of the Ascension, 
in the 8th year of Edward I., the 31st of May, 1280. 
The Master of the House of lepers of S. Margaret outside 
Taunton was summoned to respond to Thomas de Lam- 
brigg (in a duplicate rollf he is called Lambrich, which 
together with the one just given are evidently but forms of 
the name already familiar to us) in respect of the plea that 
he should do him customs and services due from a free 
tenement which he held of him in Munketon, as in rents, 
arrears, &c. The service was of two shillings a year. By 
the unjust detention of this service by the aforesaid Master 
for three years past, the plaintiff averred that he was in- 
jured to the value of twenty (in the other roll it is forty) 
shillings. The Master appeared to the summons, and 
showed that he did not hold the aforesaid messuage from 
the aforesaid Thomas. Sentence was given for him ac- 
cordingly 4 

* See Preface to Pedes Finium, vol. I. 

t Plac. de Jut. et Assis. 8 Edw. I. 5 > 4. rot. 30. 


t Plac. de Jur. et Assis. 8 Edw. I. 5 >3. rot. 18 dors. Appendix, No. IV. 

[l. r. 


5 }■ 1. r. 29 dors. 


A similar case occurred at the same Assizes. Joan de 
Reygny preferred a claim against the Master of the Hospital 
in regard of two acres of meadow with appurtenances in 
Hanerich (or Hanecrich in the duplicate roll), into which 
the said Master had no entry except through Cecily la 
Brune (or Brutte), to whom William de Bikebury, father 
of the aforesdid Joan and whose heiress she is, demised 
them to the term now past. The Master defended his 
right, and alleged that he had not entered into the said 
land through the aforesaid Cecily, inasmuch as he found 
his Church seised of the same on the day whereon he was 
made Master. As Joan could not disprove this statement, 
the Master obtained judgment in his favour, and a secure 
title to the aforesaid land.* 

It may be supposed that in these transactions we have a 
tolerably perfect series of the titles on which the House 
relied for the security of its little property. No doubt it 
also depended for aid in a considerable degree on the great 
Monastery with which it was connected, and on the vast 
revenues of which it could have been at the utmost but a 
trifling burden. 

From the time at which we have arrived in its humble 
annals, it appears to have quietly done its work of mercy 
to the sufferers in whose behalf it was founded. Nothing, 
so far as I am aware, occurred for many ages to force it 
into the notoriety which would have been the certain effect 
of any marked accession of either good or evil fortune. 
The very progress of time, however, unchequered though 
it might be by circumstances of outward importance, 

• Plac. de Jar. et Assis. 8 Edw. I. 5 {-3. r. 16. 5 >4. r. 85. 

M 7 
I. 5 > 3. r. 16. 

d-) M") 

5 l,r, 89. 5 4. r. 23 dors. 
4) 14) 


brought at least one and that a necessary result in its 
train. The buildings needed repair, and renovations of all 
kinds were imperatively demanded after a long period of 
constant use. These were attempted to be supplied by a 
means to which those ages afforded abundance of charitable 
parallels. The immediate neighbourhood might have been 
unequal to all that was required, and recourse was had to 
the favourite mode which should bring the claims of a 
deserving charity before the kindly notice of a larger circle 
of friends and helpers. Accordingly, on the 10th of 
November, 1418, Bishop Bub with granted at Banewell an 
Indulgence of thirty days to all who in a state of grace 
should contribute of their means to the Hospital of lepers 
by Tanton. The Indulgence was to last during pleasure.* 
Of the result of this appeal we have no further means 
of judging than that it was upwards of fifty years before 
a similar mode of acquiring aid was put in practice. On 
the 2nd July, 1472, Bishop Stillington followed the ex- 
ample of his predecessor, and issued a Letter of Indulgence 
on behalf of the Hospital. He commences his missive 
with the usual benediction — health in Him through Whom 
is obtained forgiveness of sins — and proceeds to say that 
he is of opinion that men of his order exhibit pious obe- 
dience and what is well pleasing to God as often as they 
earnestly strive to incite the minds of the faithful to works 
of charity or other devotion by the persuasives of indul- 
gences. Relying, therefore, on the boundless mercy of 
Almighty God, and of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary His 
Mother, and on the merits and prayers of S. Andrew, SS. 
Peter and Paul, his patrons, and of all Saints, he grants to 
all Christians wheresoever throughout his diocese, and others 

* Reg. Bubw. f. clj. b. 


whose diocesans shall allow his indulgence to be in force 
and accepted, being truly penitent, contrite, and confessed, 
who to the relief of the poor, infirm, and leprous people of 
the Hospital and Chapel of S. Margaret, Virgin and 
Martyr, situate and standing at the eastern part of the town 
of Taunton, and to the restoration, repair, and support of 
the said Hospital, shall extend helping hands, and make 
grateful contributions of the goods given them of God, 
or leave legacies, or in any way convey charitable aid, 
forty days of indulgence, ad often as they shall . perform 
the aforesaid acts or any one of them. The letter was to 
last for five years from the date of the presents. It bad 
the Bishop's seal appended, and was issued from his Inn 
outside New Temple Bar, in London, on the day above- 
mentioned.* The Bishop of Winchester, William Wayne- 
flete, was pleased to follow his brother of Bath and Wells 
in his endeavour to benefit the Hospital, and granted from 
Suthwerke, on the 8th of the same month, a similar letter 
of indulgence of forty days for the works of charity above 
specified, and to last for the same period. f 

We now arrive at a very important period in the history 
of the Hospital. There is an old legend that the edifice 
was burnt down in the early part of the reign of Henry 
VIII., and that it was rebuilt by an Abbot of Glaston- 
bury. I hardly need add that the beautiful sculpture to 
which I referred at the commencement of my memoir very 
strongly confirms the accuracy of this tradition. The 
letters on the shield, which is identified by its surmounting 
mitre with an ecclesiastic of high rank, are the initials of 
the great Abbot of Glastonbury under whose superinten- 
dence the rebuilding was effected. Richard Beere was 

* Reg. Still, f. lxxxj. b. Appendix, No. V. 
t Reg. Wayneflete, torn. ij. f. 152. 


confirmed Abbot on the 12th November, 1493, and died 
on the 20th of January, 1524. In the 22nd year of 
Henry VII. he was sent ambassador to Rome, and on his 
return, as indeed before bis departure, he was employed in 
making great additions to his Abbey Church and Conven- 
tual buildings. Close to the Abbey he built an Almshouse, 
with a Chapel, for seven or ten poor women,* and rebuilt 
considerable portions of the Church of S. Benedict in the 
same town. A memorial of his labours in the last-named 
place exists in a sculptured stone of a precisely similar 
character to that before us. A shield, surmounted by a 
mitre and bearing the same initials, records the work of 
the same beneficent hand. From a comparison of these 
facts there will be little difficulty in our attribution of 
the re-erection of the House to its proper date. Remem- 
bering that Henry VIII. succeeded his father on the 22nd 
of April, 1509, and bearing in mind the tradition to which 
I have referred, we shall not be wrong in assigning the 
rebuilding of S. Margaret's Hospital by Abbot Richard 
Beere to one of the five years between 1510 and 1515. 

Apart from its artistic beauty, and it is unmistakeably 
as well as superlatively great, it is worth while to direct 
attention to the monogram itself. It has been engraved 
in the Gentleman's Magazine for October, 1785, in the 
Journal of the Somersetshire Archaeological Society for 
1858, and elsewhere, but the present illustration is the 
first which can be said to be in any degree worthy of the 
original. Singular, also, has been its power to create 
confusion in the minds of antiquaries ! Some when they 
observed it on S. Benedict's Church have considered 
that the first letter of the name of the Saint, with its 

* B. WiUis, Hist, of Mitred Abbeys, I. 106, 107. Leland, Itin. Ed. 
1744. III. f. 86. pp. 103, 104. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. P 



sacred prefix, "S.B.," was intended to be represented. 
Others, who thought that the older was the work the more 
it was to be admired, have boldly insisted that both when 
it occurred on the' Church and on the Hospital it meant 
nothing less than that each of these edifices was to be 
referred to the early period of a.d. 1133.* More singular 
still, perhaps, is it that the latter opinion, though as op- 
posite as possible to the teaching actually conveyed by the 
object which was believed to furnish it, is nevertheless far 
closer to the truth than any conjecture of the date of 
the foundation which has hitherto been presented to the 
reader's notice. 

This brings us down to about the year 1515. Twenty 
years afterwards the " Valor " was taken of ecclesiastical 
^perty in general, but no return of this eeema to have 
been furnished. Ten years, however, had hardly elapsed 
before S. Margaret's Hospital had encountered some few 
drops of the fiery storm which was laying in ruin so many 
of its wealthier brethren. I need not enter into a narrative 
of the atrocities with which in other memoirs I have en- 
deavoured to make ray reader familiar, but will confine 
myself to the fortunes of the immediate subject of my 

On the 1st of March, 36 Hen. VIII., 1544-5, a Request 
to purchase a part of .the property was made by William 
Chaplyn and John Selwood. The enumeration of the 
various tenements and lands for which application was 
made comprises the denomination, extent, and reported 
value of each, with the names of the several occupiers, 
and includes an acre of land in the northern part of the 
Chapel of S. Margaret by Taunton, in the tenure or occu- 

* Hearne, Hist, of Glaston. 8vo. 1722. p. 104. Gentleman's Magazine, 
Oct., 1785. p. 779. 


pation of divers poor persons of the Spittelhowse there, 
the rent of which was vj« a year .• The bargain was 
speedily struck, for four days afterwards, on the 5th of the 
same month, the King granted to the aforesaid William 
Chaplyn and John Selwood, together with a number of 
other possessions, the following in Taunton : — Sundry 
tenements, gardens, cottages, and burgages, in Taunton 
extra portam, Canon-street, Middle-street, and S. James's- 
street, in the parishes of S. Mary Magdalene and S. James, 
formerly belonging to the late Priory of Taunton, four 
acres called Baldwynsland, certain parcels of land by 
Crechburgh Hill in the parish of West Monkton, certain 
.parcels of land called Hyll in the same parish, and an 
acre of land in the northern part of the Chapel of S. 
Margaret by Taunton, then or lately, as aforesaid, in the 
tenure or occupation of divers poor persons of the Spittel- 
house there. Also a void tenement and garden by the 
cemetery of the Chapel of S. Mary Magdalene. Also a 
house and void piece of land and a garden adjacent to the 
same called Seint Poles Chappell, situated in the western 
part of the town of Taunton, in the parish of Hill Busshopp. 
Also a piece of void ground and a garden adjacent to the 
same called Seynt Leonardes Chappell, in the northern part 
of the town of Taunton, in the parish of S. James, all 
formerly belonging to the late Priory of Taunton, and 
parcel of its possessions. The Taunton and West Monkton 
property was valued, one part, including that of the Hos- 
pital, at £6 195. l\d. a year ; another at £29 12*. Ad. ; and 
that of S. Paul's Chapel and S. Leonard's Chapel at 3s. a 
year. The property was to be held from Michaelmas last 
past, in free socage and not in chief, by fealty only for all 

* Parts, for Grants, Will. Chapleyn and John Selwood, 36 Hen. VIII. 


services, as of the Manor of Canford. Corrodies, fees, and 
annuities of all kinds whatsoever were given up and sur- 
rendered. The grant was passed, witness the Bang, at 
Westminster, on the day abovementioned.* 

The Chapel in which age after age the Holy Sacrifice 
had been offered for the spiritual strength and soundness 
of those to whom it would seem that few temporal blessings 
had been vouchsafed, was the next to be engulphed in the 
common destruction. An Act for the suppression of Hos- 
pitals, Chapels, and Chantries was passed in the second 
year of Edward VI. It had been projected during the 
life of his abandoned father, but difficulties connected 
principally with what appear to have been some workings, 
of remorse hindered its immediate operation. On the 
accession to the throne of his weak and ill-directed suc- 
cessor there was no longer any impediment in the way of 
unlimited aggression. The locusts devoured what the hail 
had spared. In order to extract the most from that which 
still remained to whet the appetite for plunder, a careful 
examination was made of the various properties, and a 
Certificate was returned of the state, value, and other 
peculiarities of each, which should form the basis of the 
future sale. In the Certificate of the Chapel with which 
we are now employed it is stated that the salary of the 
priest celebrating there is yearly worth in ready money to 
be levied and received out of the issues and revenues of 
the late Priory of Taunton, lxvj* viijrf. Its plate consisted 
of a chalice of silver weighing xij oz., and its ornaments 
were praised at xiijs iiijrf. It possessed a bell of the weight 
of xl/6. The incumbent was William Callowe, clerk, 
M.A., "of verray honest conversation/' The building is 

* Orig. 36 Hen. VIII. , p. 4, r. 93. Pat. 36 Hen, VIII., p. 14, mm. 
13 (27), 12 (28), 11 (29). Abstract in Appendix, No. VI. 


said to be covered with stories, and was praised for sale 
at xxs. Lastly follows a memorandum connected with 
the inmates of the Hospital : — " Ther be w l in the same 
Hospitall vj poore lazare people, having for their relief, the 
mansion house of the same Hospitall, w l a litle orcharde, 
adioynyng to the same wo r the yerely v;, and also other 
smalle p*rcell« of lande of the yerely value of xxiij* xd, 
and other relief they haue none, wherfore they make humble 
peticon for augmentacon of lyving."* 

Such was the state of things in S. Margaret's Hospital 
in the summer of the year 1548. 

It did not long remain so. On the 24th of January, 
1548-9, the Chapel was rated for John Norres, of Taunton, 
and sold to him together with the bell for the sum of 
liijs iiijA I presume he was unable to furnish the money, 
or perhaps voluntarily transferred his right, for on the 7th 
of the following March a Bequest to Purchase it was 
made by Giles Keylwey, of Strowde, in the County of 
Dorset, Esquire, and William Leonard, of Taunton, mer- 
chant, wherein the same details are given as those which 
I have just quoted from the Certificate, with the addition 
of the name of Christopher Davy as a presentor and 
appraiser. The document is signed by the examiner 
William Moryce, Supervisor of Particulars, and by the 
Commissioners By. Sakevyle, Wa: Mildmay, and Robt. 
Keylwey. In the margin is the note, in the autograph, 
I believe, of the execrable Sir Richd. Ryche, in favour 
of the petitioners, " The said Chapell and the bell is sold 
for liijs iiijdf." On a slip of parchment fastened to the 
Request is an erroneous entry by Will. Burne, deputy 
of Will. Morice :— " Westmonketon. M d . The Chapell 

• Cert, of Chantries, No. 42, n. 31. 


lately apperteyning to the Hospitall or Almosehowse ther 
is scituate within the paryshe of Saincte James, nere 
Taunton." Among the terms stated on the Request it is 
particularly expressed that the purchase money is to be 
paid all in hand, and on the other part that the King's 
Majesty is to discharge the purchaser of all incumbrances, 
except leases and covenants in the same and rents before 
allowed, and that the purchaser is to have the issues from 
Michaelmas last.* 

Not a month escaped before the grant was made which 
it was the object of these preliminaries to secure. On the 
2nd of April, 1549, the King granted to the parties afore- 
said, for the sum of £1,676 14*. 9d. 9 a large amount of 
Church property in various places — and among them " all 
that chapel in the parish of S. James' by Taunton, with 
appurtenances, lately belonging to the Hospital or Alms- 
house of Westmonketon, and all the walls, lead, bells, iron, 
glass, timber, and stones to the same late chapel belonging 
and pertaining, and of, in, or on the same remaining and 
being." In the same grant were conveyed to the same 
Keylway, who was possessed by an insatiate greed after 
Church lands — among much in various counties, — houses, 
tenements, and lands belonging to the Chantries of S. 
Mary Magdalene, Holy Trinity, Name of Jesus, Braddon, 
S. Mary the Virgin, Swinges, and S. Andrew, and the 
Fraternities of S. Sepulchre and Holy Cross — all in 
Taunton, with others in the same county. The patent 
was dated, witness the King, at Lieghes, on the day above- 


From comparison of the dates it is not improbable that 
I have found the record of the transfer of some of the 

* Parts, for Grants, Keylweye, Giles. 3 Edw. VI., sect. 2. 
+ Pat. 3 Edw. VI. p. 1, mm. 35 (8)— 39 (4). Appendix, No. VII. 



u ornaments " of these very Taunton Chapels. On the 
16th of February, 3 Edward VI., 1548-9, the following 
" Parcels of the Ornaments belonging to the late Colleges, 
Chantries, Free Chapels, &c, within the County of 
Somerset," were passed "for Robert Freeke, serjeant of 
Bob. Keilway, Esq., for the sum of CXV*. to be paid all 
in hand :" — 
Five vestments of crimson velvet, priced at 1 

f XXYo. 

v* the piece, one with another . . J 

Four deacons and subdeacons of the same \ 

colour, priced at v* the piece . . J 

Seven vestments of blue and purple velvet, \ _-:• --j 

priced at iiij* viij d the piece • . J 
One old cope of cloth of gold, flowered with \ , 

blue velvet . . . . • • J 

One cope of crimson velvet, with flowers \ 

of gold . . . . . . J 

Two other copes, one of blue velvet, another \ 

of murrey velvet, priced at vj* viij* the [ xiij*. iiijrf. 

piece • . • . • • / 

Examined by me W m - Morice, Superv r ** 

As the master had obtained the Chapel, it is not im- 
probable that the servant had secured the "ornaments," 
and that some of these vestments and copes had been 
in long and sacred use in the various functions at S. 

We must now retrace our steps for a short period to 
introduce matter which my unwillingness to break the 
thread of my narrative has hitherto made me postpone. 

It will be remembered that William Callowe was In- 
cumbent of the Chapel. He was also incumbent of the 

* Parts, for Grants, Edw. VI., vol. I., p. 102 6. 


Chantry of S. Etheldred, in the Church of Taunton 
S. Mary Magdalene. His salary of lxvj*. viijrf. for his 
duties at the Hospital was paid by the Prior. This 
was by an arrangement, the exact date of which I 
would have given in its chronological order if I had dis- 
covered it, whereby the Abbot of Glastonbury assigned 
to the Prior of Taunton sixty acres of land in his manor 
of West Monkton, to find a priest to say mass thrice a 
week in the Chapel of the Almshouse. Perhaps this was 
done at the time of the rebuilding by Abbot Beere, but I 
have not found the original grant, nor does any notice of 
it appear in the u Valor " before nor in the " Ministers' 
Accounts " after the suppression. We learn it, however, 
from a Survey of the possessions of the Abbey made im- 
mediately subsequent to the dissolution, from which, as it 
is full of interest for many of my local readers, I will give 
the portion which relates to the Manor of West Monkton 
exactly as it stands in the original Return. It was taken 
in the 31st year of Henry VIIL, 1539-1540, for the pur- 
pose of furnishing the Court of Augmentations with an 
exact description of the property, and thus of facilitating 
its ultimate disposal. 

"The Surveye of alle the Woodes Comens seu'all 
waters and benefyce* app'teynyng to the Kynges Maistie 
w* the lordships ensuyng, videlt. 


There ys a fysshing extending from the > 
Mylles nowe in the tenure of M r Sooper vnto 

YJ 8 vnj 

the see in length yj myles, the whiche ys letten 
to M r Thomas Warer by copy for vj 8 viij d by 
yere . . . •• » . •• • •/ 

There ys also a Quarre of Tylestone and Ragg'l g 
whiche renteth by yere • . • . • J 




There ys no Woodes. 

There ys a Comen called Lynche cont' C acr^ 
of the whiche the Kyng may let yerely vnto 
Tyllage to the tenets x acres for ij d an acre 
(for yt wylle bere but ij Croppes together) 
another Comen called Mounten Hethfeld cont' ) 
xl acres whereuppon groweth c'teyn Shrubed 
Okes whiche ar letten w* the Courthous to 
John Totehille. There ys another Comen called 
Bathpoole grene cont' xx acres . . . ./ 

The personage is of the Kynge.* Highes gefte^i 
M r Payne is Incombent. And it is worth by 1 xx 11 
ycre aboue alle charges . . . . .J 

The persone payeth xxvj 8 viij d pencon to the") . g ... d 
Sexton of Glastonbury . . . . . .J 

M d to se the booke of accompt whether vj 8 viij d for the 
rent of Courthouse and iij acres of land be charged or not. 

M d there is lx acres land and pasture by estymacon 
lying togethers seu'alle nowe voyd and in the Kynges 
handes for default of a Ten a nt whiche was late assigned by 
the abbot of Glastonbury to the prio r of Taunton to fynd 
a prest to saye Masse thrise a weeke in the Almeshowse at 
Taunton townesende. 

\A side note to the last memorandum.'] 

WillV Walt5 the ydger offeryth for the sae iiij 11 by the 
yere & iiij 11 for a fyne. 

Sm— iiij 11 Terr' divV 

Sm aci? bosci ib'm — n 1 "* 

The stipend thus accounted for was continued to him, 
though no doubt paid as others were irregularly enough; 

* Miscel. VolL Off. Augment/ 420. ff. 53. 53b. Add MS. B.M. 15,662. 
ff. 164-166. 

120* PAPERS, ETC. 

and we find him in 1556 among the surviving pen- 
sionaries in Cardinal Pole's Book, where he is called " the 
last Incumbent of another Service in Weste-monketon," as 
there was one in the Parish Church, and in the receipt of 
his old allowance.* 

From the time of the Suppression down to the end of 
the reign of Edward the VI., 1553, the "Ministers' 
Accounts" furnish us with sundry particulars, given with 
very little variation year after year, in connexion with S. 
Margaret's Hospital and its neighbourhoods The fol- 
lowing are literally translated from the Return for the year 
32-33 Henry VIII., from Michaelmas, 1540, to the same 
feast, 1541, and will be of similar interest to the Survey 
already quoted. The four pence and the pound of cummin 
of annual rent carry us back — it is probable — to the early 
days of the Hospital, when these payments were not so 
much equivalents of property possessed as acknowledg- 
ments of subjection to the superior lord. 

Account of All and Singular Bailiffs, &c., of our Lord 
the King, of the late Monastery of Glastonbury, for one 
whole year, &c, as above given. 

Rents of Assize. 

The bailiff answereth for iiij d of rent of assize of the 
Almshouse called Seynt Margarette* by the town of 
Taunton, for certain lands there by year. But for j lb 
of Cummin, of rent of assize of the same Almshouse, he 
doth not answer, because it was delivered to the Auditor 
of our Lord the King there for his fee. 

* Card. Pole's Pension Book, foL xxxj. 

f Ministers' Accounts :— 32-33 Hen. VIII. No. 103. 33-34, No. 156. 
34-35, No. 159. 35-36, No. 183. 38 Hen. VIII. — 1 Edw. VI. No. 60. 
1-2 Edw. VI. No. 45. 2-3, No. 48. 3-4, No. 52. 4-5, No. 47. 5-6, No. 38. 


Farm of the Mills. 

And for xxiij 8 iiij d of the rent of the farm of one mill 
there, so demised to Roger Adamps by year. And for 
xxiij 8 iiij d of the farm of one mill there, so demised to 
William Adamps by year. And for cvj 8 viij d of the farm 
of the mills there, called Bathpoles Mylles, so demised to 
Margaret Soper by year, &c. 

Sum : — vij 11 xiij 8 iiij d 
Issues of the Manor. 

And for xij d of the issues of the new stone quarry, so 
demised to Thomas Drayton and Hugh Smythney by year 
during their life. And for iiij 3 iiij d of a certain custom 
there paid by the tenants, called Ploughsylver, to wit, 
every tenant pays for every plough by ancient due xiiij d , 
and so in charge this year by oath of accountant as above. 
And for vj 8 viij d of rent of the manor house with the dove- 
cot, and the herbage of a garden there by year, in the 
tenure of John Totehyll, &c. 

Sum : — xij 8 * 

The manor of Westmonketon, together with the ad- 
vowson of the Church and the pension of xxvj 8 viij d which 
the incumbent paid to the Abbey of Glastonbury, was 
granted to William, earl of Wiltes, witness the King, at 
Westminster, on the 1st of May, 1547.f 

No Bequest that I can discover was made during all 
this time to purchase the Almshouse itself, and I feel 
tolerably sure that it would not have escaped me if the 
document were still in existence. It is therefore probable 
that, as was the case with the Hospital of S. John Baptist 
at Bath, thanks to some powerful man in the neighbour- 

* Ministers' Accounts, 32-33 Hen. VIII. No. 103. 4-5 Edw. VI. No. 
47. Add. MS. B.M. 15,662. ff. 167, 168. 

t Orig. 1 Edw. VL p. 1. rot 88. 

120** PAPERS, ETC. 

hood, the old building continued without interruption to 
be devoted to its ancient use, though of so much that 
had made it a blessing to its inmates they had been thus 
summarily dispossessed. The continuance of the payments 
before mentioned — I presume by its inmates — leads to the 
same conclusion. I have found, however, a Request to 
Purchase various lands in the Parishes of West Monkton 
and Bishop's Hull, which from the occurrence of certain 
names appear to have had some connexion with the Hos- 
pital property. This, however, is conjecture and conjecture 

On the 8th June, 1554, a Bequest to Purchase was 
made by William Morgan of Pentrebagham, gent., and 
Jerome Halley of London, gent., of two acres of arable 
land in Bishop's Hull called Courthaies, rented at vj* viij* 
a year; of two acres of arable land by Hamewoode 
Barne, rented at xvj* a year ; and of one house called 
the Churchehous, in the tenure of the Churchwardens of 
Bishop's Hull, rented at iiij* a year. In Westmonkton 
there was the first crop of grass in four acres of meadow 
in a certain meadow called Hankeridge Meade. In another 
Particular for the Grant of the same property, in the 
7th of Edw. VI., which did not lead to the intended 
result, it is stated that "the gresse or furst vesture, 
growing vpon the foure acres of meadowe was gyven to 
the Prior of Taunton by S r Hughe Pawlette* Auncetours, 
and after the gresse thereof was Cutt downe and 
caryed awaye, then the said S r Hughe Pawlette* Aunce- 
tours and there heyres did alwayes injoye the same meade 
all the yere after/'* It was now in the yearly tenancy 
of John Cuffe and John tforrys, and was rented at 

* Parts for Grants, Bysae. 7 Edw. VI. 


iiij* a year.* All these properties were parcel of the 
possessions of the late Priory of Taunton. On the I lth 
of the same month the grant was passed. The lands were 
to be held in free and common socage, as of the manor of 
Estgrenewyche, witness the Queen, at Westminster, on 
the above-mentioned day.f 

I have already said that the old building seems to have 
escaped the general fate of its fellows in the reign of 
Edward VI., and to have been still employed in accordance 
with its previous use. Those were days, however, of uni- 
versal misrule, when men did very much what was right in 
their own eyes to the injury of all besides. The proudest 
in the land had set an evil example, and the lowest did 
but follow where the highest had led the way. Thus, 
although in a few places some of the old foundations had 
been allowed to survive the general catastrophe, hardly one 
of them was permitted to retain the whole of its former 
possessions. We have seen that even of the little property 
of the poor inmates of S. Margaret's a part had been 
surrendered to the greed of the spoiler so early as the year 
1545. At the period of its history at which we have 
arrived there were evidently some further attempts in the 
same direction. Various irregularities, were reported, and 
summary steps were taken for their suppression. Indeed 
the evil was at once so flagrant and so general that a 
statute had been passed, entitled " An Act to redress the 
misemployment of lands, goods, and stocks of money here- 
tofore given to charitable uses,"J which gave the Lord 
Chancellor, or Keeper of the Great Seal, power to issue 
a Commission which should take evidence on oath, and 

* Parts, for Grants, William Morgan and Jerome Halley. 1 Mary, 
t Pat. 1 Mary, p. 6, mm. (4) 32, (5)33. 
t 43 Eliz. c. 4. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. Q 


after such enquiry set down such Orders, Judgments, and 
Decrees, as they should deem proper for the future pre- 
vention of the wrong. 

S. Margaret's Hospital fell under the wholesome opera- 
tion of this statute. A Commission was awarded, as above 
described, out of the Court of Chancery, directed to Sir 
John Portman, knight and bart., Thomas Warre and John 
Tyms, esquires, and others his Majesty's justices of peace 
for the county of Somerset, to make the necessary ex- 
amination. They found upon oath of certain parties whom 
they called before them a very sufficient reason for the 
interference of the Court. They reported, among other 
usurpations, that "one Humphrey Quick, late of West 
Monkton, deceased, heretofore hath taken away and 
embezzled such writings and evidence as did concern 
the ordering and governing of the Almshouse in West 
Monkton, commonly called the Spattall House."* It 
appeared, further, to the said Commissioners that the 
election of the Governor of the house for the time being, 
and the poor there placed, and the ordering thereof had 
hitherto been by the consent of two justices of peace there 
next adjoining, and of the Churchwardens and Overseers 
of the Poor of the Parish of West Monkton, for the time 
being. This arrangement was approved of, and ordered 
to take effect for the future. Upon thip, accordingly, 
was passed an unanimous Order of Sessions, dated 15th 
September, 1612, regulating for the time to come the 
management of the Almshouse in the manner aforesaid, 
and electing one George Orchard to be Governor of the 
house and family there, during pleasure and on his good 
behaviour .f 

* Report of the Commissioners of Charities, vol. 11, pp. 492-496. 

t Ibid, p. 496. 


In Mr. R. King Meade King's excellent; paper on West 
Monkton in the time of Elizabeth and James I., where, if 
the local records could have supplied such information, we 
should have been sure to find it — not but that a country 
parish is the most unlikely place in the world to discover 
any MSS. Records of its ancient state, — the earliest date 
at which mention is made of the use of the Hospital as 
the Parish Almshouse is that of 1612.* The local archives 
can supply us with no further details. And as for " the 
deeds relating to the Spital Charity/' Mr. Meade King 
further informs me in a most obliging letter, " all of them 
have unfortunately long been lost, and therefore what is 
now known respecting it rests mainly on tradition/' 

By indenture, dated 12th February, 16 James L, 1618-9, 
Rd. Parr, Lord of the Manor of West Monkton, leased 
to the Churchwardens of the Parish, and a person styled 
the Governor of the Hospital, to John Clawsey, all that 
tenement in Littleton, and certain parcels of land and 
pasture thereto belonging, named Crowell, Warley, Mead 
Furland, Middle Furland, Vinigrove, upon Haiwell, next 
Hurcotfield, above Chassell, and Stichens, &c, &c, all in 
Littleton, in the Parish of Compton Dundon, then in the 
occupation of John Clawsey aforesaid, for three score years, 
determinable with his life, and paying to the Governors of 
the said Hospital £2 13s. 4c?. per annum. f 

The Hospital is also said to have a piece of land at 
Maddox Tree, in the Parish of Thome Falcon, of 6 acres 
and 36 poles customary measure, but the Report is silent 
as to the source from which it was obtained.} 

Although it would appear from the foregoing names and 

* Proceedings of Somers. Arch. Soc, vol. xj., p. 169. 
f Charity Commissioners' Report, vol. 11, pp. 492, 493. 

£ Ibid, p. 493. 


situations of the lands, from which the present income of the 
Charity is mainly derived, that most of them are the bene- 
factions of more recent times, I think there are evidences 
that some of the ancient gifts were permitted to remain 
without alienation. The Commissioners' Report before cited 
asserts that the House is and has long been entitled to three 
small closes in the immediate neighbourhood — indeed it 
would appear from the Certificate of 1548 that these small 
parcels of land and that mentioned subsequently were then 
its sole possessions, — a "field next the Turnpike-gate," 
another "field next the Spittal," and another "field next Mr. 
Glover's," amounting in all to 3£ acres, which certainly may 
be those to which reference was made in that document ; 
while the Hankridge Farm, called in the Charity Report 
" North Anchorage," near the high London Road, from 
which a yearly payment of £2 still derived, can hardly 
be any other place than the two acres with appurtenances in 
Hanecrich, which, as we have seen, was the property of 
the Hospital before the year 1280 — six hundred years ago. 
With the exception, therefore, of localities which Religion 
has more than ordinarily identified with Herself as the 
site and scene of Her special ministrations, it would be 
difficult if not impossible to point to a spot in the County 
of Somerset which has for so long and continuous a period 
been associated with pious uses as the humble abode whose 
history I have endeavoured to rescue from the undeserved 
oblivion into which it had fallen. 

To bring down that history to our own time, I would 
add that from the year 1612, when the Court of Chancery 
regulated the government of the Almshouse, the place has 
been uninterruptedly devoted to its present use. In 1750 
there were six residents, and the number has usually been 
the same. Here for century after century have many 


who deserved well from those able to help spent the last 
days of a life of labour, and have gone down to their 
graves, neither dishonoured nor disregarded by their con- 
nexion with the place or its associations. More than one 
of the old inmates I have known in days when I lived 
in their neighbourhood, and the remembrance of them is 
the very reverse of painful. Within the last few days 
also I have made the acquaintance of the present residents, 
seven in number, and I have never seen seven consecutive 
tenements more eloquent of home and home comfort. 
Every one of them with its cheery fire, its shelves full of 
old china and glass, its gay prints of occurrences in Sacred 
Scripture, and its bright array of culinary adjuncts and 
well-worn furniture, is a charming picture of a poor 
woman's abode. I am informed, however, by the same 
gentleman to whom I have already expressed my obliga- 
tions, that " the only advantage the inmates derive from 
the Charity is that they live house-rent free, but they are 
all recipients of Parish Relief. As a quid pro quo, the 
Overseers receive the rents of the various lands, amounting 
at present to £45 10s., which rents are regularly credited 
in their yearly accounts passed by the Union Auditor, and 
go into the general fund in aid of the Poor Rates. The 
Overseers out of their funds keep the ' Spital ' in repair/ 7 
Such is the history of S. Margaret's Hospital, so far as 
existing Records have enabled me to present it to the 
reader, from the twelfth to the nineteenth century. From 
an use which by God's great mercy has ceased to be 
necessary, it has passed to be a quiet and not unhappy 
refuge of venerable old age ; and still, seven hundred years 
and more after its first foundation, through mediaeval to 
modern England, appeals, humble though it be, to sympathy 
and kindly interest, as the home of some whose very help- 


lessness constitutes their power, and breathes to us, from 
every open door in its old cloister, the consolatory truth 
that even here may happiness be found, and that even 
such as these, 

' ( of native strength posseu'd, 
" Though very poor, may still be very bleos'd." 

Before I conclude I wish to make a few observations on a 
subject which could hardly fail to be suggested to the reader 
during the latter part of the previous Memoir, and to illus- 
trate the same by means of two documents which cannot 
but be of considerable interest to Tauntonians in general. 
It must have struck him as a thing of unsurpassed enormity 
that Chapels and Hospitals, institutions of general utility 
and whose office was commensurate with the needs of 
human nature at large, should have been as summarily and 
unconcernedly dispossessed of their means of imparting 
benefit, as though there were none to require their aid or 
they themselves were unwilling to supply it. It is well 
known that I am entirely opposed to the feeling, but I 
can so far throw myself into the minds of others as to 
understand some of the grounds of dislike to monastic 
institutions and of a desire for their suppression. These 
grounds are in my judgment based on modern prejudice, 
and ignorance of that which the maligners revile. But 
even these are absent when we endeavour to understand 
the causes of the aggression on the Chapels and Hospitals. 
The deduction is inevitable that at the time when these 
establishments were suppressed in England, hostility to 
them was based far more on a robber's reason than on any 
other. The rents rather than the religion of the Monas- 
teries gave the impulse to men whom it would be simple 
absurdity and a clear proof of ignorance of history to 
regard in any other light than ps the basest, most infamous, 


and abandoned of mankind. The whole of what we know 
of their lives, both public and private, forbids any other 
conclusion. For widely different reasons from those by 
which these miscreants were actuated many of the moderns 
look with favour on the result at which they arrived. They 
have in many instances little or no sympathy with them in 
the greed which urged them forward in their horrible work, 
while they regard that work from a point of view of which 
the actual perpetrators of the wrong had very little if any 
idea. The one look at the matter from what they imagine 
the point of morality, the other from that of self-aggran- 
disement. And the fate of the Chapels and Hospitals 
proves to demonstration the accuracy of my view. Here 
was money to be appropriated, but no abuses to be rectified; 
and as money and not abuses was the real consideration, 
the Chapels and Hospitals were doomed. To us their 
suppression appears unaccountable, simply because we have 
been taught to regard the movement in a false light and 
have not mastered the characters of the actors. Their 
one object was to " take possession/' like the tyrant of 
older date. And if the death of the owners and the total 
cessation of spiritual blessings throughout whole neigh- 
bourhoods were the result of the appropriation, it gave 
them no manner of concern. 

It would seem indeed a curious kind of benefit which 
should summarily remove the means of grace from places 
where they had been abundantly offered, religiously ap- 
preciated, and heartily and gratefully enjoyed. It would 
appear a singular way of promoting the illumination of 
the people to turn Churches and Chapels into dwelling- 
houses or farm buildings, and to convert their ornaments 
into coverings of chairs and tables,* and other ordinary 

• Heylin, Hist, of Edw. VI. p. 134. 


adornments of secular abodes. Without extending his 
view to the neighbourhood, and to say nothing of the 
country at large where the same atrocities were visible at 
every turn, let my reader confine his attention to Taunton, 
and picture to himself the loss which religion must have 
sustained by the suppression — not of the Priory, for on 
that I am not now employed, calamitous as I most firmly 
believe, that suppression was, but — of the various Chapels 
with which every part of the town was furnished. Therfe 
was, to give precedence to that which has been the subject 
of the present investigation, S. Margaret's Chapel, at the 
eastern end of the town. Not far from the Conventual 
Church was Nethewayes Chapel. S. Mary Magdalene's 
Chapel was near the Church of the same name ; S. Paul's 
Chapel near the present Church of St. John, and S. 
Leonard's Chapel in Northtown — the very localities, I beg 
the reader to remark, where either similar edifices have 
been erected by the munificence of later times, or the con- 
tinued absence of which is pronounced by common consent 
a thing to be deplored. Granting that religious worship 
and priestly direction are valuable, which is no very great 
concession, the suppression of these places can be regarded 
in no other light than as an outrage done to religion in 
general, and a return, so far as the perpetrators could effect 
it, to the heathenism from which in earlier and better times 
the system of which they were a part had blessedly rescued 
the land. Nor must it be forgotten that the individuals to 
whom these consecrated places were thus summarily die- 
posed of, as so many common tenements and fields, were 
bound by the purchase to no acts of piety, kindness or 
charity to the neighbourhoods from which the benefit was 
taken. The bell ceased to summon the worshippers to 
prayer, the priest was no longer at hand to do his sacred 


function, the thousand influences for good which a House of 
God can originate — all were gone, and in their place was 
so me godless grantee who cared for nothing but his pelf, 
and to elevate a family which until those days of rebuke 
and blasphemy had never so much as been heard of. The 
result was soon conspicuous. . Irreligion, immorality, a 
disruption of the ties that bind society together, lack of 
spiritual direction, absence of education for the young and 
of charitable aid to the sick, the desolate, and the poor — ' 
such were the precious fruits of the new system of things, 
the weeds which indicated the nature of the soil on which 
they grew. Taunton soon discovered the change from the 
old days when what she had lost was possessed and en- 
joyed, and yearned after blessings which were beyond 
recall. She first poured forth her complaint in a request 
to the Commissioners for the sale of Chapels and Chan- 
tries in 1548, and thus states her requirements in one 
of the particulars to which I have referred : — 

u MemoH. Thenhabitaunta of the towne of Taunton 
aforesaide, the vj A Daye of Aprill an Regis E. vj ti . ij do . make 
humble request vnto the corny ssiono r s in manir and fo r me 
followinge. Wher ther is w'in the said towne of Tawnton, 
beinge the greatest, and best market towne in all that shire, 
scituate in a verray holsome good, and plentyfull Soyle a faire 
large and goodly howse, new buylded erected and made for a 
Schole-howse about xxv yeres nowe past. Wherin was a 
Scole Mr, and an Vssher founde the space of xij or xiiij yeres, 
for the vertuouse educacon and teaching of yewthe, aswell 
of the saide towne of Taunton, as of the hole contrye, to 
the nombr of vij or viij score Scolers, by the devocon of one 
Roger Hill of the same towne m*rchaunt nowe deceased, a 
great Relief also to the same towne of Taunton. And now 
sythe the deathe of the same Roger Hill the saide Schole- 

TOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. R 


howse standyth voyde, wV>ut either Mr, Vssher, or Scolers, 
to the great pr/iudice hurte and discomoditie of the comen 
Welthe of the saide Shire. Whervppon the saide enhabi- 
taunt/j make most humble sute vnto the King** ma 1 *, that 
yt maye please his highnes to graunte, and assigne suche 
landes and tenements in p/rpetuytie as shalbe thought mete 
vnto his grace and his most hono r able counsaile, to the 
maynten*nce and finding of a Maister and Vssher, to teach 
in the same Scolehowse, w** no doubte is most bewtifull 
and most necessarie place of all that shire."* 

I am afraid that the records of the College School will 
not present a very favourable account of the answer to 
this petition. 

As an evidence of the decline of religious duty which 
presently ensued on the removal of the ancient means of 
grace, I may add from the already quoted Certificate that 
after a short declaration of the value of the vicarage, 
name of incumbent, &c., occurs the following : — " Par- 
takers of the Lord's Holy Supper there MMMM (4,000) 
persons." After the lapse of more than three hundred 
years, with all their accessions of so-called progress, can 
Taunton show the like number now ? I leave the Clergy 
to answer the question. 

The second document which I will give, and with which 
my Memoir shall conclude, is copied from an original paper 
of the time of Queen Elizabeth, for which I have to 
thank a friend in London. Of Taunton Clergy, School, 
and Poor the MS. thus bears its unhappy testimony. The 
impoverished town bad indeed found out its great and 
irremediable loss. There was all the difference in the 
world between "now and then/' 

* Certificate of Chantries, No. 42. n. 20. 


" There is w^in the towne of Tanton a p#rishe of the 
greateste Cure w^in the countye of Som*rs l w^ was wonte 
to be discharged by the Pryor, and now thallowance out 
of the vicarag is but eightine pounde by yere, Soe that the 
towne besides theise eightine poundes doethe Supplie all the 
reste of the maintenance for a Preacher and a Curat w** 
they alwaies there maintein. 

" It'm there is in Taunton a great Scoole wherein ar 
comenlie taught two hundred scollers and but twentie mark*; 
be longinge vnto it, so that the reste above that toward*; 
the maintenance of a Scoolemaster and Vssher w* 11 they haue 
alwais there the towne doeth supplie of his owne Charge. 

" It'm there af w^in the towne and parishe of Tanton 
xliiij or almshowses full of poore people where vnto there 
was certen Lande belonginge w° h by the Suppression of 
Chaunteries was taken awaie, Soe that now thinhabitauntex 
doe beare the whole burden them selves/' 

Endorsed :— 

"Som*rs*f. the consyderacons for the graunte of the 
lyb*rtyes in Taunton." 

Comment on these documents is altogether unnecessary. 
I leave them to speak for themselves, and will but draw 
from the whole matter, as the moral of the tale, the con- 
clusion of the learned antiquary : — " I am not by any means 
an enemy of Reformation, but then — I hope wickedness 
will not be called such." 




No. I. 

IE Reg. Well. I. ff. 366, 36.] 

Carta de Priore. S. Tanton. & de conuentu de Cap'llis 


Vniu'sis xp'i fidelib' ad quos p'sens scriptum p'uen'it. 
Stephanus P'or & canonici Tantonie Salut'. Nou'it uni- 
u'sitas u'ra nos concessisse domino & p'ri n'ro Rain' dei 
gr*a. Bathonie ep'o. qu'd omnes eccl'ie & cap'Ue n're 
respondeant ip'i & successorib'. & officialib' suis in omnib' 
consuetudinib' ep'alib' more aliarum ecc'liar* ep'atu Bath' 
consistencium. exceptis capellis s'ci iacobi & s'ci Georgij 
de fonte. & sancte Margarete infirmorum. & Sancti petri de 
castello q a rum immunitatem nob' p'fatus d'ns ep V indulsit. 
Concessim' p't'ea [&c] Quod ut ratum h'atur & firmum. 
p'senti scripto & sigilli n'ri appose duximus 'f^mandum. 
Hiis testib'. Will'o abb'e de Kaynesham. Galfrid* Saru\ 
Thorn' Well' Bad'. Bathon. Ric. Constanc Archid'. MagV 
Waltero Priore de Berliz. Jocelino cap'H'o. Will'o cap'll'o. 
Mag'ro alexandro. Mag'ro Gilb'rto de Axeb r g'. Mag'ro 

No. II. 

[Pat. 20 Hen. III. m. 6.] 

De P'teccione. Mag'r & f'res lep'si Hospital' S'ce Margar* 

de Taunt' h'nt htt'as de p'teccone pat' sn 
t'mio cu' hac clausula Rogam' T. R. apud 
Mid<lelton'. xxij°* die Jun.' 

No. III. 

[Plac. de Jur. & Assis. 7 Edw. I. 2> 2. rot. 17.] 


Assis' Jur' & attingte capt' apud Montem Acutu' coram 


Walt'o de Wymborn & Thorn' de sc'o Vigore anno regni 
reg' Edward' Septirao. In c a stino Assumpconis be' mar'. 

Assis' ven'. ret*. Si Joh'nes Abbas G las ton' & fr' Henr' 
Mag'r Domus S'ce Margar' Lep'sor' ext a Tanton' Iniuste 
&c. disseis' Thorn' Lambrich de lib'o ten' suo in Moneketon' 
post p a m &c. Et vnde quer' q'd disseis' eu' de duob' solid' 
redditus cum p'tin' que p'uen' de quoda' ten' in eadem 

Et p'd'ci Abbas & alii p' Ric'm Pyk Ball' d'ci Abb'is ven' 
et die' p' p'd'co Abb'e q'd p'd'eus Abbas no disseis' p'd'em 
Thorn' de p'd'co redd' & de hoc pon' se sup' ass a m Et 
Thorn' simil'r. 

Jur* die' sup' sacrum suu' q'd p'd'eus Abbas non disseis' 
p'd'em Thorn' de p'd'co redd' Et Ideo cons' est q'd p'd'eus 
Abbas inde sine die. Et p'd'eus Thorn' in m'ia p' f'als' 
clam'. p'donat r q' paup'. 

Et p' p'd'co mag'ro p'd'ci Hospital' die' q'd assis' int' 
ip'os no debet p'cedere quia dicit q'd idem Thom' inplacitat 
ip'm coram Justic* d'ni Reg' de Banco p' quoddam b're de 
recto de cons' & s'uic' in quo continet r . p'd'ci. duo sol' 
redd' Et de hoc ponit se sup* rot'los p'd'eor' Justic' 

Dies datus est eis apud Iuelcestr' die s'ci Edmund' Reg' 
& m a rtir' & int'im querant«- rotuli &c. 

No. IV. 

[Plac. de Jur. & Assis. 8 Edw. I. 5 >■ 3. rot. 18 dors.] 


Pl'ita de Jur' & Ass'is Coram Salom' de RoflT & Soc 
Suis Justiciar' Itiner^ Apud Som'ton' In Com' Som'ers' 
In Crastino Ascensionis D'ni Anno Regni Reg. E. viij. 
Boylud. ' 

Mag'r Domus Lep'sor* S'ce Margar' ex a Taunton' sum 
fuit ad respondend' Thome de Lambrigg' de pl'to q'd 
faciat ei consuetudines & recta s'uicia que ei fae'e debet de 
lib'o ten' suo quod de eo tenet in Munketon' vt in redd it' 
arrerag' & aliis. Et vnde dicit q'd cum p'd'eus mag'r 
teneat de eo vnu' mes' cum p'tin' in Munketon' p' s'uiciu' 
duor' solidor' p' annu'. Et ip'e fuisset inde in seis a p' 
manus p'd'ci mag'ri. quousq' iam trib' annis elaps' 
p'd'eus mag'r p'd'em s'uiciu' ei iniuste detinuit & adhuc 


detinet. vnde dicit q'd det'ioratus est & dampnu h'et ad 
valenc' viginti solidor'. Et inde p'ducit sectam &c. 

Et mag'r venit & defendit vim & iniur' qu' &c. Et 
dicit q'd no tenet p'd'cm mes' in Munketon' de p'd'co 
Thoma nee de eo ten'e clam*. Et id'o cons' est q'd p'd'eus 
mag'r eat inde sn die. Et Thorn' nich' cap' p* br'e suum 
set sit in raia p' fl'o clam'. 

No. V. 

[E Reg. Stillington, fol. lxxxjft.] 

Littera Indulgencie. Yniuersis sancte matris eccl'ie filijs 
ad quos presences l're p'uen'int Robertas p'missione diuina 
Bathonien' & Wellen' Ep'us Salutem in eo p' quern fit 
remissio p'ecor' Pium obsequiu' & deo gratum tociens 
impendere opinamur quociens fidelium mentes ad caritatis 
vel alterius pie deuoconis op'a allectiuis indulgenciar* 
munerib' p'pensius excitamus. De dei igitur omipotent' 
imensa misericordia et beatissime Marie Virginis matris 
sue ac beator' Andree Petri & Pauli Ap'lor' p'ronor' n'ror* 
olmq' s'cor' meritis et precib' confident cunct' xpicolis p* 
n'ram dioc' vbili't constitutis & alijs quor diocesani hanc 
n'ram indulgenciam ratam habuerint p'iter & acceptam de 

{>'cc'is suis vere penitentib' contritis & confessis qui ad re- 
euacoem paup'um infirmor' & leprosor^ hospit'lis ac Capelle 
b'te Margarete Virginis & martins ad orientalem p'tem 
ville de Taunton' n're p'dict' dioc* sit' & erect' refeccoem 
rep'acdem & sustentaco'em manus porrex'int adiutrices ac 
aliqua de bonis sibi a deo collatis grata contulerint legau'int 
seu quouismodo assignau'int subsidia caritatis quadraginta 
dies indulgencie tociens quociens p'missa vel aliquod 
p'mi8sor' fecerint gracose concedimus p' p'sentes p' quin- 
quennia post dat' p'sentiu' t'mmodo duratur' In cuius 
Rei testimoniu' Sigillum nVm fecim' hijs apponi Dat' 
in hospicio n'ro extra Barram Noui Templi, London' 
Londonien' dioc' secundo die mens' Julij Anno d'ni 
Mill'imo cccc mo septuagesimo secundo Et n're Cons' Anno 

No. VI. 

[Abstract of Pat. 36 Hen. VIII. p. 14. m. 13.] 

Rex om'b' ad quos [&c] Sciatis q'd nos [&c.] dedim' 


[&c] Will'o Chapleyn & Joh'i Selwood [&c] c't' t'ras ten' 
gardina cotagia & burgagia n'ra cum suis p'tin' iacen' & 
exi8ten , ext a portam Canonstrete Middelstrete & Seynt 
James strete in parochijs S'ce Marie Magdalene tarn infra 
q a m ext* burgum de Tawnton S'ci Jacobi & Westmonkton 
p'pe Tawnton [&c.] nup' Prioratui de Taunton modo 
dissoluto dudum p'tin' siue spectan' [&c] Ac quatuor 
acras t're n're ibidem vocat' Baldwynsland modo vel nup' 
in tenura Nich'i Walrond aut assign' suor' ac c'tas p'cell' 
t're n're iacen' p'pe Crechburgh Hill infra diet' parochiam 
de Westmonkton p'dict' modo vel nup' in tenura Joh'is 
Totehill aut assign' suor' Ac c'tas p'cell t're n're iacen* in 
d'ea parocbia de Westmonkton p'dict' vocat' hyll modo 
vel nup' in tenura Johanne God vidue aut assign' suor* 
Ac totam illam acram t're n're in boriali parte Capelle 
S'ce Margarete iuxta Taunton modo vel nup' in tenura 
siue occupacoe diu'sor* paup'um de le Spittelhouse ibidem 
Necnon om'ia ilia t'ras ten' gardina curtilagia cotagia siue 
burgagia n'ra cum suis p'tin' iacen* & existen' tarn infra 

3 a m ext a diet' portam Canonstrete Midlestrete & Saint 
ames strete p'dict' [&c] ac eciam vnu' vacuu' ten' & 
gardinu' iuxta Cemitoriu' Capelle d'ine Marie Magdalene 
[&c] Seint Poles Chappel [&c] Seynt Leonard' Chappell 
— [&c.J In cuius &c. T R apud Westm' quinto die marcij. 

No. VII. 

[Abstract of Pat. 3 Edw. VI. p. 1. m. 35.] 

Rex omnib' ad quos &c. salt'm. Sciatis q'd nos [&c] 
dedimus [&c.J Egidio Keylwey & Will'mo Leonard [&c] 
totum illud mesuagiu' [&c] in Taunton nup' can tar' s»'ce 
Trinitatis in Taunton dudum spectan' [&c] Ac totam illam 
nup' Capellam in p'ochia s'ci Jacobi iuxta Taunton in Com' 
n'ro Som's' cum suis p'tin' nup' spectan' hospit'li seu domui 
Elimosinarie de Westmonketon in d'eo Com' Som's' ac 
om'ia muros plumbum campanas ferrum vitrurn maerem' 
& lapides eidem nup' capelle spectan' & p'tin en' ac de in 
vel sup' eadem nup' Capella remanen' & existen' [&c] 
cantar' no'is Jesu — s'ci Andree — alte crucis — b'te Marie — 
[&c] In cuius rei &c. T R apud lieghes sc'do die Aprilis. 
P' ip'm Regem &c. 

T. H. 



[Read, in part, on the lawn at Hettereombe, on Wednesday, 
\\th September, 1872.] 

1 F there be a name which 

brings with its very sound all 

• kinds of pleasurable thoughts 

to the minds of Tauntonians, 

that name is Hestercombe. 

Find auch a man wherever you 

will,— "From Scots to Wight, 

from Mount to Dover Strand," 

— and he ehall respond to 

your enthusiastic praise, and 

agree with you in your happy 

lies, of dreamy, stately, solemn, 

il, incomparable Hestercombe. 

Nature and art have, I will not say contended, but, agreed 

to act in unison, towards the perfection of its beauty. 

The house itself, where relics of the various fashions in 

which Englishmen have built their homes from the days 

of the third Edward to the middle of the last century can 

be noticed and contrasted ; the old hall with its minstrels' 

gallery, where the double-handed sword which a gallant 


knight brought to his neighbouring hearth in company, as 
the legend goes, with a royal captive still hangs in witness 
of his chivalry ; the dark, deep, silent woods, where never- 
theless when the shadows are lengthening at eventide the 
rooks make lordly music ; the solemn avenues, and winding 
walks by ponds — of unknown and mysterious depth, 
which the most venturesome among us never dared to 
endeavour to explore — and dashing cascade, and shady 
arbours or memorial urn, where some classical quotation 
reveals alike the scholarship and the good taste of a former 
master ; and, last though by no means least, the matchless 
views of the fair vale which open from many a point 
within the higher limits of the domain — all unite in pro- 
ducing a whole to which the western portion of England, and 
that the loveliest, affords no superior, and but most rarely 
an equal, attractiveness. He who can call Hestercombe 
his home may assert, and no man will contradict his word, 
that he occupies at least one of the fairest parts even of 
that "smiling summer field" which may hold its own 
against all rivals throughout the length and breadth of our 
English world. 

The place is associated in the minds of many of us with 
still further charm — memories of holiday rambles in early 
days of boyhood, when it was a favourite haunt of those 
whom the varied avocations of after life have since dis- 
persed far and wide, as well as of occasional visits when the 
wanderers have returned to the old scenes of enjoyment, 
and lived over again the hours which the well-remembered 
objects have vividly recalled. And Hestercombe is able 
to do this in a far greater degree than most other localities. 
It has ever had a strange fascination and singular influence 
on those who have known it best — an almost indescribable 
atmosphere peculiarly its own. It has been in the recol- 

YOL. XVIII., 1872, PABT II. S 

138 PAPER8, ETC. 

lection of most of us a shadowy thing of the past rather 
than a reality of the living and breathing present. For 
more than half a century little has been done even to pre- 
serve what was once so regularly ordered and so exactly 
arranged. The woods have about them a primeval aspect, 
the lawns are overgrown with varied vegetation, the paths 
where a hundred years ago the feet of fair ladies wandered 
amid a very paradise of delights are now in some places 
all but obliterated, while those which are tended the best 
have entirely lost the evidences of that courtly care which 
was once so lavishly and lovingly expended on them. 
The visitor has oftentimes to gaze on landscape beauties 
through an umbrageous screen which all but hides them 
from his view, and to investigate the works of its old 
possessors, the urn or the alcove, through a labyrinth of 
thicket, where his foot is impeded at every step, and the 
air is dense with sylvan odours and heavy with the atmos- 
phere of the forest and its verdure. Many of its vistas 
and winding glades have indeed a weird aspect, and trans- 
port us to old regions of nursery romance where a spot 
which had not been visited for long generations was once 
more traversed by wayfaring feet and revealed to the gaze 
of living men. Such, in all its mystic, dreamy, proud, 
and stately beauty, is the Heetercombe of to-day. 

But to us there is yet another point of interest to which, 
except by a hint of the antiquity of the house, I have 
not yet adverted. The place has a long and interesting 
history. It is, of course, the history but of a private 
estate. Happily it was the site neither of Abbey nor of 
Priory, whose alienation brought down the doom which 
the sin of sacrilege never fails to attract. The larger part 
cf its annals necessarily consists but of a list of its suc- 
cessive possessors ; but there are various episodes in it, 


never until now presented to the modern reader, which 
most agreeably savour of mediaeval usage, and bring it 
within the circuit of the all-engrossing charm of which 
that portion of our national history is full. It is to these, 
of which too many of our modern historians have had little 
or no knowledge, for which I would specially bespeak my 
reader's attention. 

The first notice that we possess of the place is that it 
was parcel of the lands of the Abbey of Glastonbury. 
So it was in the time of Edward the Confessor. Four 
tenants held it under the Abbey, with the ordinary ser- 
vices, as presently related. Norman William took it from 
the monks and gave it to the Bishop of Coutances, in 
whose hands it was at the period of the Domesday Survey. 
It is thus described in that venerable Record : — 

" The same Bishop holds Hasecumbe, and William of 
him. Four Thanes held it in the time of King Edward, 
and gelded for two hides and three virgates of land. The 
arable is three carucates. There are two caruoates in 
the demesne, with one bondman and four villeins and eight 
cottagers with" two ploughs. . There are there thirty-one 
acres of meadow, and ten acres of underwood. It was 
worth forty shillings, now fifty shillings/'* 

To this account, by which it would appear that the 
estate consisted of between five and six hundred acres of 
land of various denominations, the Exon Domesday gives 
the name of the sub-tenant as William de Moncels, and 
adds, after its manner, that at the time of the Survey 
there were on the property ten " beasts," twenty swine, 
and one hundred and forty-three sheep. f 

* Domesday, f ol. 87 b. Terra Epi Constant 
t Exon Domesday, fol. 137. 


From this William de Moncels the place appears to have 
passed soon afterwards to the family of Fluri, a well- 
known member of which, in the early part of the twelfth 
century, Hugh de Fluri, gave twenty acres here to the 
infant Priory of Taunton.* 

How long the family of Fluri, which, I may add, was 
one of great importance, and gave its distinguishing 
affix to Combe-Flory, Ninehead-Flory, Leigh-Flory, and 
Withiel-Flory, retained possession of lands in this locality 
we have no certain means of determining. But on the 
octave of the feast of the Purification of the Blessed 
Virgin, in the 6th year of Henry IIL, or the 9th of 
February, 1222, Juliana la Pottere remitted and claim- 
quitted a virgate of land with appurtenances in Hester- 
cumbe to Geoffrey de Wudeford. For this remission 
Geoffrey gave Juliana four marcs of silver, f And, further, 
in the three weeks after the feast of S. John Baptist, in 
the 40th year of the same reign, or from the 24th of June 
to the 14th of July, 1256, certain land in the same neigh- 
bourhood was leased by William Fitz William to William 
de Camera for the term of his life, and to revert after his 
decease to the previous owner, with a caveat against the 
sale, mortgage, or any other way of alienation of the 


These notices, fragmentary as they are and referring 
to out-lying portions only of the estate, must nevertheless 
suffice the reader, until we arrive at the period when 
we find the fair domain on which we are employed in re- 
gular possession of the knightly family of De Meryet, who 
held it of the Bishop of Winchester by knight service, as 

* Cart. 8 Edw. III. n. 12. mm. 5, 6. per inspex. 

t Ped. Fin. Somers. 6 Hen. III. No. 52. 
t Ped. Fin. Somers. 28-40 Hen. III. No. 123. 


of his manor of Taunton. The family of De Meryet is 
a difficult one to trace, owing to the multiplicity of its 
branches and similarity of names ; but by the aid of in- 
quisitions, fines, and similar documents I will endeavour 
to throw what light I may on the Hestercombe line of it. 
I am acquainted with some curious episodes in the his- 
tory of several of its earlier members, but to enter into 
these would take us too far from the limits to which I am 

John de Meriet — son of John de Meriet, who died 
13 Edward I., 1285, and an assignment of dower in favour 
of whose widow, amounting after all deductions to xlviij'* 
xiiij* iiij d ob. q. (£48 14s. 4|c?.), made in the month of 
May ensuing, is annexed to the Glaus Roll of that year,* — 
the first of the family that I have found connected 
with Hestercombe, was a party with John de Hester- 
cumbe to a final concord by which he obtained from the 
latter eight acres of arable land and five acres of meadow 
with appurtenances in Hestercumbe, together with one 
hundred shillings of yearly rent from the same vill, paid 
by Gregory de Welyngton and his heirs from all the 
tenements therein heretofore held by John de Hestercumb 
aforesaid. The instrument was dated at Westminster on 
the quindisme of Easter, 21 Edward I., or the 12th of 
April, 1293. It is added that John de Meriet gave to 
John of Hestercumbe for the aforesaid recognizance a 
sparrow-hawk, that the concord was passed in the presence 
and with the agreement of the aforesaid Gregory, and 
that he did fealty to the new owner in the same court, f 

This John de Meryet must have died soon after the 

* Rot. Claus. 13 Edw. I. m. 8, in ced. There was more in connexion 
with this in the illegible Inq. p.m. 30 Edw. I. n. 147. 

t Ped. Fin. Somers. 21-35 Edw. I. n. 1. Appendix, No. I. 


date of the last transaction, for he left behind him a son, 

John, who was a minor at the time of his father's de- 
cease, and succeeded to his estates in the year 1297. He 
was born at Meryet (an additional proof, it may be, that 
his father wad the first of the family who owned Hester- 
combe, the old domain from which they took their cog- 
nomen), on the Thursday in Holy Week, in the fourth 
year of Edward I., which is coincident with the 2nd of 
April, 1276. I gain these facts from a most interesting 
" Proof of Age," which 1 have found on the Coram Rege 
Roll of Trinity Term in the 25th year of Edward I * 
As the information is so curious, and the mode of its 
transmission so little understood by modern readers, as 
well as affording a very graphic illustration of the period 
to which, as I have already said, I am desirous of directing 
special attention, I shall be doing a service to a student of 
the medieval history of Hestercombe by entering into 
some details. 

This John, son of John de Meriet, was born at the time 
and place above stated. He lost his father while yet a 
minor, and his guardians were Felicia, the wife of William 
de Shorteford, and, first, Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath 
and Wells, and on his death the Bishop of Ely. In the 
year 1297 he became of age, and in order to enable him 
to obtain livery of his estates out of the hands of his 
guardians the following " Proof of Age" was returned. 
It was obtained by inquest, in answer to a writ issued by 
the King and addressed to the eschaetor, who proceeded 
to the investigation with all the care which the subject 
The following witnesses and their depositions were abun- 

* Plac. Coram Rege, Trin. 26 Edw. I. No. 152. rot. iij. 


dantly sufficient for the purpose, and it requires but a very 
slight exercise of the imagination to help us to a vivid 
picture of an old Somersetshire gathering. 

Richard de Loveny, of the age of forty years and 
upwards, examined on oath, deposed that John, the son of 
John de Meriet, was* of the age of twenty-one years at 
Easter last past, and further that he was born at Meriet, 
and baptised in the parish Church on Easter Even, in the 
fourth year of the present King. Being further asked 
how he could remember the fact after so long a time since 
that of its occurrence, the witness deposed that he was 
then in possession of certain land by the gift of his father 
in the vill of Lopene, distant not more than half a mile 
from Meriet ; that the gift was made to him in the third 
year of the King ; that he was then at Lopene, where 
immediately after the birth of the said John the rumour 
reached him ; that the said John was born on the Thurs- 
day before Easter, and was afterwards baptised on Easter 
. Even by Henry, the vicar of Suthpederton ; that Sir 
Gilbert de Knouyll was one of his god-fathers, and Lady 
Albreda de Mohun his god-mother ; and further that the 
land aforesaid was given him at Hockedey, in the third 
year aforesaid, and that he held it to the eighth year of 
the King's reign, &c. 

Thomas de la More, of sixty years of age, deposed to 
the facts of the birth and baptism ; and, further, that 
Hugh de la More his father died on the Tuesday next 
before the birth of the said John, at la More in the parish 
of Crukern, not distant more than hal^a mile from Meriet ; 
that he was invited to the feast when the mother of the 
aforesaid John was Churched, but was not present at the 
same by reason of his being occupied by some business 
connected with his father's will. 

144 PAPEB8, ETC. 

John de Lambrok, of the age of forty years and upwards, 
deposed in like manner ; and in reply to farther questions 
added that Ela, the mother of the said John, was Churched 
on the Thursday next after the month of Easter next 
after the birth of the aforesaid John [7 May, 1276]. Also 
that Nicholas his father was invited to the Churching 
feast, and was present thereat, and he himself with him. 

Hugh de Lopeneford, of sixty years of age and upwards, 
deposed similarly; and added that he was living at the 
time of the aforesaid birth and baptism with the father of 
John at Meriete, and for five years next ensuing ; that he 
bought certain land of Walter de Ffurneus, and that he is 
assured of the time by the date on the conveyance of the 
aforesaid land which is now in his possession. 

Thomas de la Forde of Chynnok Aumarle, of the age 
of forty years, resident a mile from Meryete. Agreed 
with the previous witnesses, and further that he was 
present at the Churching feast, and that he has a son, 
John by name, yet living, who was born in the week next 
after Easter, in the fourth year of the King. 

Henry de Leghe of Crukerne, of the age of forty years 
and upwards, resident a mile from Meryete. Agreed as 
to the age, birth, baptism, and other circumstances, with 
"Richard de Loveny first sworn. Added that he was 
present on the Thursday next after the month of Easter 
in the third [sic] year of the King, at the Churching 
feast ; and that a little before the lady was Churched his 
own wife Alice died, about the feast of the Holy Cross 
[3 May] in the mojjth of May, now twenty-one years 
past and upwards, by which he well knows of the age 

Hugh de Brugg, of forty years of age, resident a mile 
from Meryet. Agreed with those already sworn as to 


age, &c., and added that he was present at the Churching 
feast, and remembers the time because a little afterwards 
in the same year he espoused A vice his wife still surviving. 

John de Esse of Henle, living a mile and a half from 
Meryet, of the age of thirty-seven years. Agreed with 
the rest, and added, as a reason for his recollection, that 
in the same year he was in attendance on one Nicholas 
Frye of Crukern, and with the wife of the said Nicholas, 
his mistress, went to the Churching feast, on the day and 
year deposed to by the first witness ; and that he specially 
remembered the time because in the same year he espoused 
one Isolda his wife, who was afterwards separated from 
him by divorce, and who was still living. 

Mathew de Esse of Cudeworth, two miles from Meriet, 
of the age of thirty-eight years and upwards. Agreed as to 
age, birth, baptism, &c, with those already sworn. When 
asked, &c., deposed that in the same year about fifteen 
days afterwards he espoused Joan his wife, daughter of Sir 
Alan de Ffurneaus, knt., whom for some time previously 
he tenderly loved. From this he well knew and was 
sure* &c* 

Robert de Wayford of Crukern, a mile from Meryet, 
of fifty years of age and upwards. Agreed with the former 
as to age, &c Added that he had a son by name Richard, 
still living, who was born in the same year, and in the 
same week, on the Tuesday before the Thursday on which 
the said John was born. 

William de Wermewell of Neuton, five miles from 
Meriete, of fifty years of age. Agreed with the rest as 
to age, &c. Added that in the same year on the feast 

* I give the text of this deposition in Appendix, No. II., as a specimen 
of the mode in which they appear in the original Record. 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. T 


of S. Barnabas, Ap. [I lth Jane] he bought his land of 
Neaeton, in the County of Somerset, whieh he yet holds. 

Hamund Planaz of Cheselbergh, a mile from Meryet, 
of forty years of age and upwards, agreed with the rest 
as to age, &c. Added that his ancestors were of the 
County of Surrey, of the vill of Taleworth by Kyngeston, 
and that in the aforesaid year, the fourth of the present 
King, he left his home and came to Cheselbergh that he 
might there serve one John de Planaz, his uncle, then 
parson of the church of Chiselberwe, twenty-one years 
ago at the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin 
[2 Feb.], and that there by common report he heard 
and knew of the age of the aforesaid John. 

All this was considered sufficient proof, and, as it ap- 
peared from his personal appearance that he was of full 
age, it was ordered that the said John should have seisin 
of his lands and tenements thus by heirship belopging to 

This John, as we have seen, succeeded to his lands after 
the Proof above recited in the year' 1297. He was soon 
to understand that property brings its responsibilities and 
duties. For in answer to a writ dated, witness the King, 
at Westminster, 14th January, 28 Edward L, 1299-1300, 
he is included in the list of the King's tenants summoned 
to do service against the Scots, f These troubles, however, 
were soon over, for it was doubtless the same John and 
Elizabeth his wife, between whom and Bartholomew 
Savage a final concord respecting the manors of Hester- 
cumbe and Legh Fflory was passed at Westminster in 
the octaves of S. John Baptist in the 34th year of 

* Plac. Coram Rege, 25 Edw. I. Term Trin. No. 152. rot. iij. 

+ MS. Harl. 1192. f. 5 b. 


Edward L* or, in other words, between the 24th of June 
and the 1st of July, 1306. To the same John, in 1311, 
William de Ashtone, son of John de Ashtone, surrendered 
all right in lands, services, &c, in Ashton near Bristol, 
and in the manor and advowson of Est Capelonde.f A 
similar process issued between the same John de Meryet, 
who is expressly styled " of Hestercombe/' and William 
le Veil and Dionysia his wife, concerning one messuage, 
ten acres of bosc, and a moiety of one virgate of arable 
land, with appurtenances, in Asshton, near Bristol. By 
these instruments the lord of Hestercombe became the 
owner of lands with which the family was long associated. 
For this recognizance John gave William and Dionysia 
one liundred shillings of silver. The date of the last 
transaction was the morrow of S. Martin, in the sixth year 
of Edward IL, or the 12th of November, 1312.$ 

Sir John de Meriet lost his first wife, whose name, it 
it will be perceived, is omitted in the document just re- 
ferred to, in or before the year 1312 ; and it was doubtless 
to him that the entry in Bishop Drokenesford's register 
refers, which I have quoted in my History of Cannington 
Priory, to the effect that he had received absolution, 
dated the 28th March, 1314, from a sentence of excom- 
munication which had been passed on him for having 
caused the heart of his deceased wife to be taken from 
her corpse, a practice to which, judging from the in- 
stances there referred to, the family was addicted, and had 
been ordered to inter it with the body from which it had 
beenremoved.|| It was the Nun's heart, "le quer dame 

* Ted. Fin. Somers. 21-35 Edw. I. n. 169. 

+ From an original deed in the Surrenden Collection. 

t Ped. Fin. Somers. 1-6 Edw. II. n. 138. 

|| Reg. Drok. f. lxvij b. 


Maud de Merriete Nonayue de Cannyntune," — the reader 
will hardly fail to remember,— of the resting-place of which 
the beautiful memorial yet remains in the Church of Combe 

A member of the family had founded a Chantry in 
a Chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin adjoining to 
this Church of Combe-Flory, and on the iij. Non. Feb- 
ruary, the 3rd of that month, 1313, a commission was 
issued by the Bishop to induct John de Ammyngford, 
chaplain, into corporal possession of the same.f 

Between three and four months after the date of the 
absolution above-mentioned, the same John was witness, 
together with John de Mo[h]un, Andrew Loterel, Hugh 
de Poppeham, William de Wyggeber, Matthew de For- 
neux, Matthew de Clyvedon, Gilbert de Bere, Knts. ; 
Walter le Lyf, Richard de Loveney, Ralph le Fitzurs, 
John atte Zurde, Matthew de Coker, " and others/' to an 
agreement between John de Drokenesford, Bp. of Bath 
and Wells, and John de Membury, lord of the manor of 
West Bagborough, concerning the bounds of that and the 
manor of Bishop's Lydeard. It was made on the Tuesday 
next after the feast of the Translation of S. Thomas the 
Martyr, in the 8th year of Edward II., which is coincident 
with the 9th of July, 13144 

Legal proceedings connected with common of pasture 
in West Bagborough appear by this award to have been 

• Mediaeval Nunneries of Somerset. Cannington Priory, p. 11. 

t Reg. Drok. fol. cxlviij. 
X Reg. Well. I. ff. 145 b, 146. I possess a very fine contemporary 
copy of this instrument, which I purchased at the sale of the celebrated 
Surrenden Collection in 1863, and which has enabled me to fix the exact 
date of the transaction. That in the Wells Register has been erased 
and another substituted, but proved to be inaccurate by the date of the 
confirmation of the Dean and Chapter with which the document 


quashed, as at the assizes held at Taunton, on the Friday 
next after the feast of S. Giles, 8 Edward II., the 6th of 
September, 1314, the plaintiff did not appear, and the 
Bishop and his party left the court " sine die."* 

On the viii. of the Kalends of August, the 25th of July, 
1316, an event is recorded to have happened which may 
have a livelier interest for the student of Hestercombe his- 
tory than those which relate to the more distant possessions 
of the family of the owners. The lord of Hestercombe had 
built a chapel for his household on account of the distance 
between his manor-house and the parish church at 
Kingston, and Bishop John de Drokenesford granted at 
Wyvelescumb on the day above-named, and for the afore- 
said reason, his special licence for the celebration of mass 
and other Divine offices. f 

This chapel stood at the west of the mansion, and ap- 
pears to have consisted of a nave and chancel, with a 
south porch, and a bell turret on the west gable. As it 
will be seen, it* was repaired and ornamented in the latter 
part of the following century, but was needlessly removed 
in a long subsequent age which appreciated little and un- 
derstood less the precious- remains which it presumed in 
some cases to mutilate and in others to destroy. 

I have not yet arrived at the end of my notices of this 
old Hestercombe worthy. On the 9th of July, 1319, at 
York, King Edward II., at the instance of his beloved 
cousin, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, granted to John de 
Meryet and his heirs for ever a charter of free warren in 
all their demesne lands of Hestercoumbe, Legheflory, 
Estcapelond, Coumbeflory, and Ashton by Bristoll, those 

* Plac. de Jnr. et Assis. 8 Edw. I. 2H. rot 7. 

t Reg. Drok. f. lxxxxvij. Appendix, No. III. 


lands not being within the bounds of any of the royal 
forests. No man was to enter them in pursuit of game, 
without the licence of the aforesaid Jtfhn or his heirs, on 
pain of forfeiture of ten pounds. The witnesses of the grant 
were the Abp. of York, the Bishop of Ely, the Earl of 
Richmond, Richard de Grey, Hugh de Audele, senr., and 

On the xvii. Kal. Apr., the 6th of March, 1323, the 
Bishop of Bath and Wells granted letters dimissory to 
Thomas Alnard, of Hescecomb (qu. Hestercombe ?), aco- 
lite, for the order of subdeacon from any Catholic bishop.f 

The next notice that I can furnish of Sir John de Meryet 
is a very curious and interesting one. He had married a 
second time, and on Wednesday after Mid-lent Sunday in 
the 19th year of Edward II., which is coincident with the 
5th of March, 1326, Bishop John de Drokenesford ad- 
dressed a certificate to the viscounts, bailiffs, ministers, &c, 
of Hugh de Dispensar, intimating by those presents, after 
the customary salutations, that, inasmuch as he believed 
it to be a pious and meritorious act to bear witness to 
truth, lest men should waver in doubt, and so through 
their error fall into danger, he was happy to certify that 
the Lady Elizabeth Paynel, wife of Sir John de Meryet, 
knight, was living and well with her husband on the day 
of his writing, the Wednesday next after the Sunday on 
which is sung Latere Jerusalem, in the manor of the afore- 
said John of Hestrecombe. { He. writes from his neigh- 
bouring manor of Wyvelescumb, and the style of his 
communication naturally leads us to infer that there was 
much more than official courtesy between the good Bishop 

* Rot. Cart. 13 Edw. II. n. 35. Appendix, No. IV. 
+ Reg. Drok. f . ccxvij 6. 
X Reg. Drok. f . ccxlviij 6. Appendix, No. V. 


and the worshipful pair to whose life and health he thus 
pleasantly bears witness. 

This agreeable scene is soon changed. The year after- 
wards, the 1st of Edward III., 1327, Sir John de Meryet 
was gathered to his fathers. After an inquisition then 
taken, a verdict was returned that he died possessed — 
among other properties, Assheton, Capelond, &c. — of cer- 
tain lands and a certain tenement in Hestercombe, which 
he held by knight service of the Bishop of Winchester as 
of his manor of Taunton, and that it was worth xli per 
annum.* He also left behind him a son under age, 

John de Meryet, in the wardship, I presume, of Sir 
John de Acton, who by reason of his ward's minority 
presented a clerk named Geoffrey to the church of Cape- 
londe, xij Kal. of July, the 20th June, 1328.f 

Of the date of the death of this John de Meryet I am 
ignorant, but he was succeeded by 

Walter de Meryet. This Walter was he who in the 
year 1341 attempted to found another Religious House in 
Taunton for a community of Carmelites, ordinarily called 
Whitefriars, all the known particulars of which are re- 
lated in my History of Taunton Priory.J For some 
unexplained cause the endeavour was fruitless, and the 
lands with which he had intended to endow his foundation 
remained in his own hands to the time of his decease. 
He died on the 18 th of May, 1345, without issue. By a 
writ dated at Westminster, the 6 th of June, 19 Edward 
IU., a jury was assembled which returned a verdict that 
at the time of his death he was seised of the manors of 

* MS. Harl. 4120. p. 103. 

f Reg. Drok. f. cclxxj. MS. Harl. 4120. p. 122. 

t Inq. ad q.d. 15 Edw. III. (2 ns.) n. 58. Pat. 15 Edw. IU. p. 2. m. 44. 

152 PAPEK8, ETC. 

Combe Florey and Hestercombe, and of nineteen acres of 
meadow land in Taunton, called Coke's Mede, to which 
reference was just now made, &c ; and farther that 

Walter, the cousin of the deceased Walter, was his heir, 
and of the age of thirty years and upwards.* 

This Walter also died without issue, and was succeeded 
by his nephew, 

Simon de Meryet, son of John, brother of Walter. At 
his presentation the Bishop admitted, viij. Id. Feb., the 
6th of that month, 1348, John Stille, priest, to the chantry 
in the chapel of Blessed Mary by the church of Combe 
Flory ;f at the presentation of the same Simon de Meryet, 
expressly styled in the Register " his beloved son/' "dilecti 
sui filii " — a very unusual mode of recording such transac- 
tions — ix. Kal. Apr., 24th of March, 1350, Bartholomew 
de la Ryxyn, to the same chantry ;$ and also to the same, 
and at the presentation of the same, William Assheleigh, 
chaplain, on the iv. Kal. Sept., the 29th of August, 1351.|| 

To the same Sir Simon de Meryet Bishop Ralph de 
Salopia on the 17th of March, 1354-5, at Wyvelescumb, 
granted his licence for the celebration of masses and other 
Divine offices in his chapel of Hestercombe. The licence 
was to last from that date until the following Michaelmas. § 

It may strike the reader as a thing unaccountable that, 
with the church of Cheddon Fitzpaine so close to Hester- 
combe, and to which access was so convenient at all times, 
and under all circumstances, there could be any necessity 
for a chapel at the manor house, or for the licences which 
we have seen to authorise its use. The simple explana- 

* T«« ■» m 1Q T?A~* TTT it ~« \ «, KK 

Inq. p.m. 19 Edw. III. (1 ns.) n. 55. 
t Reg. Rad. f. cccxxxvj b. Z H>> f» ccclxxxj. 

|| lb. f. ccclxxxviij. § lb. f. ccccxxxij. 


tion of this difficulty lies in the fact that Hestercombe is 
not in the parish of Cheddon, but of Kingston, and it was 
the strict rule of mediaeval times that everyone should 
resort for the Sacraments to his Parish Church. The nearer 
neighbourhood, and consequently greater ease of access, 
was not allowed to avail those who, in despite of their 
parish priest, should presume to betake themselves to 
other churches for the Divine offices. This state of things 
is hardly intelligible to ourselves, who, without molestation 
if not without remark, attend what church we will, or, if 
we will have it so, no church at aft. As much as any, 
perhaps, is the writer himself an instance of the change, 
in whose congregation may be found persons from half a 
dozen parishes, and a score or more of ecclesiastical districts. 
This, of course, is even now far more the case with urban 
. or suburban than with country parishes of small popula- 
tions. But in ancient times the rule was as I have stated, 
and was rigidly enforced. I will offer in proof an example 
or two from the contemporary records of this very diocese. 
On the xj. Kal. Oct, the 21st of September, 1351, not 
four years before the date of this second licence in behalf 
of the chapel of Hestercombe, the same Bishop Ralph 
addressed a missive from Banewell to William atte Stone, 
the vicar of Taunton, reminding him that, according to 
the canonical statutes, people belonging to one parish are 
not to be admitted to the Sacraments in the churches of 
dther parishes, especially on Sundays and Festivals ; and 
drawing his attention to the fact that certain of the 
parishioners of Monketon, in contempt of their own parish 
church, were in the habit of frequenting that of Taunton 
on such days, whereof complaint had been made to him by 
John of Bath, the rector of Monketon. We who know 
the country have no difficulty in understanding the 
VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. u 


cause of this breach of duty on the part of the Monkton 
parishioners. The distance was long, and the roads were 
bad — sometimes impassable from the inundations. All 
this, however, availed nothing with the administrator of 
the law. He, therefore, positively orders and enjoins the 
vicar that on all such days, before he, or any one by his 
authority, proceed to the celebration of mass, he enquire 
if any one from another parish, in contempt of his own 
priest, presume to be present, and, if he shall find any 
such, that he drive them out and compel them to return on 
pain of canonical censures, to be launched against them 
by his authority. And, further, that he should carefully 
furnish him or his commissary with an exact account of 
what he should do in the matter, together with the names 
and surnames of any who should resist this order, in a 
formal letter under his authentic seal.* Even-handed 
justice was the rule of those times, and the same authority 
which had vindicated the prerogative of the Monkton 
rector soon asserted against him the equal rights of a neigh- 
bouring incumbent. On the ix. Kal. Sept., the 24th of 
August, 1362, the same bishop wrote from Wyvelescumb 
to the rector of Monketon, inhibiting him, under pain of 
the greater excommunication, from meddling with the 
tithes, great or small, or oblations pertaining to the Church 
of Crich ; and, also, forbidding under the same penalty all 
chaplains from presuming to administer the sacraments or 
sacramentaU to the parishioners of Crich, and the said 
parishioners from receiving the sacraments from such 
without his special licence. If he found any of the par- 
ties rebellious, he was to inform him of their names 
and surnames.f 

* Beg. Bad. f. ccclzxxxj 6. Appendix, No. VI. 
t Reg. Bad. in Drok. f, cclxxxxiiij. 


Hence the necessity for the chapel of Hestercombe, 
and for the episcopal licence for its due employment. 

Simon de Meryet, in favour of whom the licence was 
granted which has been the subject of this digression, 
married Margery, whose name I find associated with his in 
a fine passed at Westminster, in the octaves of S. Hilary, 
30 Edward III., from the 13th to the 20th January, 1356-7, 
between them and John Ruspyn, parson of the church 
of Wydecombe, in respect of the manors of Combe fflory 
and Heystercombe, with appurtenances, except two acres 
of arable land in Heystercombe, and of the advowson of 
the chantry at the altar of the Blessed Virgin in the 
church of Combe fflory. It was agreed that the manors 
and advowson aforesaid should be held by Simon and 
Margery and their heirs male, and that in default of such 
they should go to the heirs male of Simon, and in default to 
Thomas, son of Sir John Tryvet, Knt., and Alice his wife.* 

John de Meryet succeeded Simon soon after the last- 
named date. Between him and Sir Edmund de Arondell, 
Knt., John Benyn, John Stokes, and others, a final 
concord was passed at Westminster, in the octaves of S. 
Michael, 34 Edward III., 30 Sept.— 6 Oct. 1360, con- 
cerning the manors of Dondene, Brodemershton, Meriet, 
Great Lopene, Great Stratton, Hestercombe, Wyke, and 
Combeflory.f He died in 1369. His son, another 

John de Meryet, the last of the name who owned Hester- 
combe, was a party with Henry Molyns, John Benyn, and 
John Stokes to a final concord respecting the same manors 
and other property in the 47th year of Edward III., 1374.$ 
He leased a messuage, a mill, and a carucate of land at 

♦Ped. Fin. Somers. 29-38 Edw. III. n. 11. 

t Ped. Fin. Somers. 39-51 Edw. III. n. 88. 

t MS. Lansd. 906, p. 152. 


Meriet to John Canon! of Leghe (? — a great part of the MS. 
is illegible,) and Isolda, his wife, at Croukern, on Saturday 
next after the feast of the Purification (?) of the Blessed 
Virgin, 47 Edw. III., the 4th of February, (f ) 1374, ter- 
minably at the death of the lessee* The same John 
excepted Cpmbeflory and Hestercombe from a deed of 
feoffment of his estate, dated 48 Edward HX, 1374.f He 
was summoned to parliament in 1379, and died in 1391, f 
leaving an only child 

Elizabeth. This lady married John la Warre, eon, I 
believe, of the hero of Poitiers, who in her right became 
the possessor of Hestercombe, and from whom for a very 
long period descended the successive owners of this in- 
teresting place. It would appear, however, from the final 
concords, that the family of Warre was mixed up with 
various transactions connected with the estate of Hester- 
combe some time before the death of the last de Meryet. 
In the years 1375 and 1390, for example, a William, 
son of John Warre, was a party in legal proceedings 
affecting the ownership of the manors of Hestercombe and 

Of most of the Warres I have but little to add beside 
the mention of their names, the families into which they 
married, and the dates of their several successions to the 
estate. This can hardly be called the History of Hester- 
combe in the sense in which J have endeavoured to present 
it to the reader, though here and there some particulars 
are narrated which are strictly in order as minutely illus- 
trative of the place and neighbourhood. 

• Inq. p.m. 47 Edw. III. (2 nos.) n. 84. 

t CoUinson, from Sir W. Pole's MS, p. 545. 

t Add. MS, B.M, 5937, £. 50. b. 

|| Ped. Fin. Somere. 1-11 Ric. JL n. 27. 12-20 Ric. II. n. 14. 


It hardly admits of conjecture, in the first place, that 
the stately tomb, which is so great an ornament of the 
church of Kingston, and where so many of the race lie 
buried, was erected in the time of the John la Warre, 
husband of Elizabeth de Meryet, the first of his family 
who was master of Hestercombe. He was here during 
the last ten years of the fourteenth century, the period to 
which the tomb must be referred. 

Richard la Warre, their son, married Joan, daughter and 
heir of John Atwood. Some of the windows of the house 
appear to be of this period* 

John Warre, son of this Eichard Warre, married Joan, 
daughter of John Combe, of Dalwood, in the county of 
Dorset, He was High Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, 
2 Henry V., 1414, and 8 Henry VI., 1429. 

His son, Robert Warre, married Christina, sister of 
Sir Richard Hankford, of Annery, in the county of Devon. 
He was sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, 36 Henry VI., 
1457. He made his will on the 7th of July, 1465, 
5 Edward IV., the day before his death, wherein he de- 
scribes himself as resident in the parish of Kyngeston, 
qf sane mind and good memory, but weak and at the 
point of death. He bequeaths his soul to Almighty God, 
and his body to be buried in the conventual Church of 
the Monastery of Athelney. He leaves to Cristina his 
wife a silver ewer and basin ; to his son Richard a silver 
ewer and basin ; to Richard Saleway, vicar of Kyngeston, 
vj* viij* for tithes forgotten ; to Giles, clerk there, xx d ; to 
Andrew Godde his gown of "Cremesyn" furred with 
sable ; to Margaret, wife of the said Andrew, a gown of 
sky-colour; to Robert Steyyns a gown of "Musterdevilys;"* 

* A kind of grey woollen cloth, more frequently spelt " Mustrede- 
villiars, ,, or " Mustard- villars." 


to John Clauyshay a gown of green colour ; to Robert, 
then Abbot of Athelney, and his convent a piece of cloth 
of gold to make a vestment, to pray for his soul and for 
the souls of all the faithful departed. The rest of his pro- 
perty he leaves to his widow and son aforesaid, whom he 
makes and appoints his executors, and orders, after his 
debts are paid, distribution to be made for the good of his 
soul at their discretion and judgment. The witnesses were 
Richard Glene, Prior of Taunton ; John Bysshop, Esq.,* 
and Richard Sale way, chaplain. The will was proved and 
administration granted at Lambeth, on the 5th of the 
following August. f 

In answer to a writ directed to the king's eschaetor, at 
Westminster, the 26th of July, 1465, the jurors returned 
a verdict at Briggewater, on the 30th of the following 
October, which communicates a more then ordinary 
amount of information on the subject of their examination. 
The original which will well repay perusal will be found in 
the Appendix. They say that the aforesaid Robert Warre 
held no lands nor tenements of the king, but that Sir 
John Stourton, Knt., Robert Squybbe, Gilbert Wyke, 
Robert Colyngborn, Thomas Mocheldever, John Bysshup, 
and Thomas Warreyn were seised in his demesne as of 
fee of the manors of Hestercombe and Crafte Warre, with 
appurtenances, in the county of Somerset, and that thus 
seised they demised the aforesaid manors to John Warre, 
Esq., to be held by him for the term of his life, and after 
his decease to Robert Warre his son, then to Richard 
Warre his son, and his wife Joan, daughter of Sir John 

• He was, I believe, the founder of the Chantry of S. Nicholas, 
sometimes called Bishop's Chantry, in the Church of Taunton S. Mary 

t Reg. Godyn, Off. Prerog. ff. 73 h, 74. Appendix, No. VII. 


Stourton, and their heirs. They quote various documents 
in illustration and support of their verdict, and add that 
the aforesaid manor of Hestercombe, with appurtenances, is 
held of William, Bishop of Winchester, but by what ser- 
vice the jurors are ignorant ; that the manor is worth in 
all issues beyond reprises ten marcs a year; that the 
manor of Crafte Warre is held of Sir William Poulet, 
Knt., and is of the yearly value of four marcs ; that the 
said Robert died on the 8th of July last past, 1465, and 
that Richard Warre, Esq., is his son and heir, and of the 
age of forty years and upwards.* 

Richard, married as we have seen to the daughter of 
Sir J. Stourton, succeeded. Collinson says that he repaired 
the chapel of Hestercombe, and gives a very interesting 
description of the armorial bearings and inscription which 
ornamented the windows of that edifice.f The latter, 
" Orate pro anima Roberti Warre, armigeri, Domini de 
Hestercombe," was on the east window, and was doubtless 
placed there soon after his father's death. The armorial 
bearings were as late as the seventeenth century. For 
this account, I repeat, I am indebted to Collinson, and 
I cannot help adding that although the Historian of 
Somerset has been of little or no assistance to me 
hitherto, he is, as usual, admirable in his genealogical 
sketch of the subsequent possessors, f Somersetshire anti- 
quaries, particularly those of them who select the history 
of the olden families for their special study, are under 
the greatest obligations to this painstaking, careful, and 
generally accurate writer. His chief defect is his small 

• Inq. p.m. 5 Edw. IV. n. 17. MS. Harl. 4120. p. 378. Appendix, 
No. VIII. MS. HarL 1385, fol. 9. MS. Harl. 1559, fol. 54 6. Add. 
MS. B.M. 14,315. p. 134. 

t Hist of Somerset, voL III. pp. 260, 261. 
t Hist, of Somerset, vol. III. pp. 259-263. 

160 PAFEB0, ETC. 

acquaintance with ecclesiastical records and antiquities in 
general, and the meagre details which he consequently 
furnishes of the Religious Houses and early parochial 
annals. But his industrious researches in family history, 
and the intelligent use which he made of the materials in 
hi. poN*. are worthy of all praise. His information i* 
the present case was no doubt derived either from the then 
owner of Hestercombe, Mr. Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, 
or from the papers of a gentleman of the neighbourhood, 
the learned Mr. Palmer, of Fairfield, who took great in- 
terest in the antiquities of his county, to whose most 
valuable MSS. he enjoyed, by the kindness of Hugh 
Acland and John A eland, Esqrs., the permission of un- 
limited access — a favour of which he could well appreciate 
the value and utilize it to the best advantage. 

Richard Warre died on the 25th of November, 22 
Edward IV., 1482, without issue. From an inquest held 
at Heghbrugge, on Wednesday next before the feast of S. 
Luke the Evangelist, in the first year of Richard III., or 
the 15th of October, 1483, a verdict was returned that the 
Manor of Hestercombe, held of the Bishop of Winchester, 
was of the value beyond reprises of ix u a year, that 
Richard Warre had deceased on the day aforesaid, that his 
cousin Richard Warre of Chippelegh ) of fifteen years of 
age and upwards, was his heir, and that this Richard 
Warre was son of John Warre of Chippelegh, who was 
soil of Robert Warre of Chippelegh, who was brother of 
John Warre of Hestercombe, who was father of Robert 
Warre, the father of the deceased Richard Warre.* 

This Richard Warre of Chippelegh, and now of Hester- 
combe, was a prominent actor in the public events of his 

* Inq. p.m. 22 Edw. IV. n. 37. MS. HarL 4120. p. 403. 


county. On the marriage of Prince Arthur, in 1501, he was 
created Knight of the Bath. On that occasion he occurs 
in a List of the residents of the county of Somerset, with 
the " valewes of their yearely Reuenews, & of y e Cer- 
tificate of all them, that shall bee made Knights of y° 
Bathe." His income is there stated as "Cli"* In 1530 he 
was a member of a commission, including Sir William 
Poulet, Sir Nicholas Wadham, and William Portman, Esq., 
appointed to examine into the lands of Cardinal Wolsey. 
Most of the older portions of the present mansion, of the 
time of Henry VII., — the buttresses, especially, which 
supported the walls of the old hall, visible on either side 
of the entrance, with some square-headed windows in 
various parts of the house, are attributable to him. He 
married, first, Margaret, daughter of John Brookman, of 
Witham, in the county of Essex, and, secondly, Joan, 
daughter of Sir John Hody, chief baron of the exchequer.! 
He was sheriff of the county and knight of the shire in 
1539, and died two years afterwards* 

Thomas Warre, his son, married Joan, daughter of 
William Malet, of Corypole,J by whom he had issue six 
sons and three daughters, and died 34 Henry VIII., 1542, 
a year after the death of his father. 

Richard Warre, his son, married Katharine, daughter 
of Sir Roger Blewit, of Holcombe Rogus.|| Some of the 
windows of the house are of his period. He died 44 
Elizabeth, 1602. 

Roger Warre, his son, married Eleanor, daughter of 
Sir John Popham, chief justice of the Queen's Bench, 

« MS. Harl. 6166, fol. 101. 
t MS. Harl. 1385, fol. 9. 1559, fol. 54 b. Add. MS. B. M. 14, 315, p. 134. 

X Ibid. || Ibid. 

VOL, XVIII., 1872, PART II. V 

162 PArEBS, ETC. 

and died 14 James I., 1616. He had issue twelve sons 
and two daughters. 

Richard, his son, married a daughter of Thomas Saint 
Barbe, of White Parish, co. Wilts. He left two sons, 
Soger and Thomas. 

Soger, the eldest, married Anne, daughter of Sir 
Thomas Wyndham, of Kentsford. By her he had one 
son and one daughter. 

John, his son, married Unton, daughter.of Sir Francis 
Hawley, bart., of Buckland Sororum, widow of John Malet, 
Esq., of Enmore, and mother of Elizabeth, Countess of 
Rochester. He received the honour of Knighthood from 
Charles II., represented the county in parliament in 1665, 
and died in 1669. 

Francis, his only son, named after his maternal grand- 
father, was created a baronet on the 2nd of June, 1673. 
He married, first, Anne, daughter and heir of Robert 
Cuffe, of Creech St. Michael, and, secondly, Margaret, 
daughter of John Harbin, of the city of London, mer- 
chant. By his first wife he had a son who died before 
him, and by his second a son William, who died an infant, 
and a daughter Margaret, his heir. " He was colonel 
of the Taunton regiment, vice-admiral of Somersetshire and 
the port of Bristol, deputy lieutenant, and justice of the 
peace."* The greater portion of the present house is attri- 
buted to him. The point at which he. may be supposed to 
have left it is that which is represented in the interesting 
view, dated 1700, which has hung for many generations in 
the Great Hall, and is the only authority extant for the 
house as it appeared at any time prior to the eighteenth 
century. Some modern critics have considered it open to 
suspicion on the ground that what is shown as a part of 

* Collinson, Hist, of Somerset, vol. III. p. 262. 


the front of the house is very similar to one of the present 
sides. There can be no doubt, however, that the general 
appearance of the mansion, with its chapel and numerous 
out-buildings, is given with strict fidelity. Of these latter, 
indeed, it is, I repeat, our only existing authority. The 
Chapel, which we here see in its green enclosure, had, as 
I have already stated, a nave, chancel, south porch, and 
bell turret on the west gable. The out-buildings, among 
which an orangery and a dove cot are conspicuous, are 
large and handsome. And the whole group, with its suc- 
cessive additions of various periods, gives us an admirable 
idea of a fine old country house, where plenty, if not 
peace, and abundance, if not quiet, were the invariable 

Sir Francis Warre sat in the several Parliaments down 
to the year 1716 for Bridgwater and Taunton, and died 
1st December, 1718, and was buried at Kingston. He 
left, as aforesaid, a daughter, Margaret, who married 
John Bampfylde, Esq., of the well-known Devonshire 
family of that name, and transferred the estate to her 

John Bampfylde. He was brother of Sir Coplestone 
Warwick Bampfylde, of Poltimore, in the county of Devon, 
bart, and represented in parliament the city of Exeter, 
and afterwards the county of Devon. He died 17 Sep- 
tember, 1750, in the 60th year of his age, and was buried 
at Kingston.* He left a son, 

Coplestone Warre Bampfylde. This gentleman, who 
can never be forgotten at Hestercombe, married Mary, 
daughter of Edward Knight, Esq., of Wolverly, in the 
county of Worcester. It is to him, as I am informed, that 

* Collinson, Ijlist. of Somerset, vol. III. p. 263. 


we are indebted for the last additions to the present mansion, 
and for the last endeavoars to ornament the lovely domain 
by which it is surrounded. He was an elegant scholar, a 
true critic, and a man of most refined taste, and everything 
about this beautiful place breathes of each of these happy 
characteristics. You cannot ramble for an hour at Hester* 
combe without an exquisite sense that you are in the home 
of a thorough gentleman. While the lapse of years through 
which, as I said at the beginning of my Memoir, the hand 
of neglect has done nothing to arrest the progress of decay, 
has rather elicited its real beauties than, as the same treat- 
ment would have effected for most other localities, reduced 
or annihilated them. And he used nobly what he orna- 
mented elegantly. For many years he made his charming 
abode as fair* a picture as any that the county could 
exhibit of hospitality, liberality, and those open-handed vir- 
tues which constitute the beau ideal of an English country 
gentleman. Colonel Bampfylde, for among his other 
honours he was colonel of the Somerset Militia, a post es- 
pecially at that time of considerable importance, had a true 
eye for the picturesque, was an admirable landscape gar- 
dener — a qualification to which we owe not a few of the 
peculiarities which here, and, it is said, in several other 
localities in the western counties, so captivate and delight 
us — and an artist of no small ability. I possess a drawing 
in water colours by him, a scene in the woods of his beloved 
Hestercombe, in the style of the draughtsmen of his age, 
and which might take rank and place with the works of most 
of them. The walls of the house bear many specimens of 
his proficiency in oil-painting, representations for the most 
part of old mythological subjects, among lovely landscapes, 
with most natural effects of light and shade, fine fore- 


grounds and skilful perspective* Besides all this he was 
well known in the literary world of the day. Collinson 
expresses his many obligations to him. It was to him 
that Christopher Anstey, of " New Bath Guide " cele- 
brity, addressed in 1776 his clever satire on an English 
poem, "An Election Ball/' illustrated by five etchings 
of his Hestercombe friend's execution, representing the 
characters in that veritable opus, and alludes to his beau- 
tiful home in the lines — 

" Seu gelidum nemus, aut liquidi prope fhimina Thoni, 
" Arcadii invitant, quos incolis ipse, recessus."t 

It was, also, in reference to the figure of a Witch, painted 
on one of the walls of a hermitage in the grounds, that 
Dr. Langhorne, then vicar of Blagdon, wrote — and not 
unhappily — 

" O'er Bampfylde's woods, by various nature graced, 
" A Witch presides ; but then that Witch is Taste."! 

And it was in affectionate regard of other friends, Sir 

Charles K. Tynte, and Henry Hoare, of whom he says — 

" Animae quales neque candidiores 
Terra tulit, neque queis me sit devinctior alter," 

* Since this was written all the contents of the house were dispersed 
by public auction, on the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th of October, 1872. 
On the first day, when the hall was full of the gentry of the county, so 
great was the interest excited, I secured several of Col. Bampfylde's 
productions, including "The Owl" and two fine landscapes in the 
Great Hall, together with some of the family portraits and two other 
pictures which visitors for many past years could hardly fail to notice 
and remember — a marvellous " Dead Game and Small Birds," by Van 
Elst, signed by the painter, in the " Column Room," and the View of 
" Hestercombe, 1700," in the Great Hall, to which reference has already 
been made. I have thus been enabled to give my reader an exact copy 
of this interesting relic, after a photograph from the original picture. 
The size of the original is six feet six inches, by three feet two and a 
half inches. 

f Epist. Poet. Familiar. 4to. Bath. 1776. p. 33. Anstey'e Works, 4to. 
Lond. 1808. pp. 383-417. 

X Britton's Hist, and Antiq. of Bath Abbey Church, 4to. Lond. 
1825. p. 112. 

166 PAPER8, ETC. 

that in 1786 the scholarly owner of this lovely place erected 
the urn, now all but concealed by sombre foliage on every 
side, which forms the subject of the initial letter of this 
Memoir, and 


It might, indeed, be said of him that, whether in great 
things or small, on occasions or in pursuits where he 
could exhibit his rare and fascinating gifts, or among 
the multitude of common affairs which on every side 
called for his active oversight, "nihil tetigit quod non 
ornavit," — so comprehensive was his knowledge, so full 
of charm his genius, and so refined and exquisite his 
taste. The only thing that I feel inclined to blame in his 
performances — so far as I am cognisant of them, and 
even about this I may be in error — is the destruction 
of the venerable Chapel, which for so many generations 
bad been the sacred scene of the worship of his race. 
According to the old view already referred to it stood 
to the westward of the mansion, and I fear was thought 
to be in the way. The statement that it was ruinous 
can hardly be accurate. It was built at a period when 
English architecture was at its best, and, as we have 
also seen, had been restored and re-decorated in the latter 
part of the fifteenth century. But its real excellence, 
its Gothic peculiarities, opposed to the taste of his day, was 
the cause, I am sorry to think, of its unhappy removal. 

Coplestone Warre Bampfylde died 21 Aug. 1791, and 
was buried in the family vault at Kingston on the 30th of 
the same month.* The property passed to his nephew, 

John Tyndale, who took the surname of Warre, the son 
of his sister Margaretta, who married George Tyndale, of 

* I am indebted for a knowledge of these facts to the kindness of 
the Rev. I. Sadler Gale, vicar of Kingston. 


Bathford. He died in 1819, and was buried in the vault 
at Kingston, 27 May, in that year.* He was succeeded 
by his daughter, 

Miss Elizabeth Maria Tyndale Warre, with whose per- 
sonal appearance and eccentric habits many of my readers 
must have been familiar. She died 27 March, and was 
buried in the vault at Kingston, 3 April, 1872.* 

There is no reason that I should, and some that I should 
not, enter into further details. Nor need I endeavour to 
draw a more minute picture of the household, as Somerset- 
shire gave it age after age of the worthiest of her worthy 
men and fairest of her fair women. My reader must be 
less thoughtful than I take him to be, if the very names 
which have figured before us throughout the pages of 
this Memoir do not vividly suggest to him the drama 
of old English life, both in joy and in sorrow, of which 
these grey walls and shady avenues have been the scene, 
when events were distinguished by far more picturesque 
impresaiveness, and men and women by far more indi- 
vidual and special charactistics, than are usual jn our own 
days, and when society was accordingly more genuine, 
and reflective of the reality of its component parts to a far 
greater extent than it is now. I have but to add that of 
the last act in the history of the place I was myself with 
but few others a witness, and it was of a complexion strictly 
accordant with this all but universal change. Not in its 
wainscoted and gilded chambers, its overgrown and path- 
less gardens, or its silent and sombre woods — though these 
were acutely reflected in my mind's eye at the moment — 
but in the prosaic atmosphere of a London auction-room, 
I saw it passf from the old race which had so long 

* Also from the Rev. I. Sadler Gale, 
t At the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, on Tuesday, the 6th of August, 1872. 


possessed and valued it to other hands — hands that I most 
earnestly trust will reverently and lovingly remember and 
respect it for what it has been as well as for what it is* 
As I take a last look on a place so dear to me, and think 
of those who for eight centuries held rule within its boun- 
daries, I can but express the hope, which I do most 
fervently— -and would give utterance to a better if I knew 
it — that the present and future lords of Hestercombe may 
unite in their own persons the combined excellencies of 
their predecessors, the magnificent lustre of the Fluris, 
the religion, philanthropy, and piety of the de Meryets, 
and the devotion, courage, prudence, and good taste of 
the Warres, with a not unhappier fortune on the one 
hand and as long a tenure on the other as was the 
lot of either. 




No. I. 

ITed. Fin. Somers. 21-35 Edw. I. No. 1.] 

Hec est finalis concordia Pea in Curia (Tni Regis apud 
Westm' a die Pasche in quindecim dies Anno Regni Regis 
Edwardi filij Regis Henr' vicesima p r mo Coram Joh'ne 
de Metyngham, Rob'to de Hertford, Elia de Bekyngham 
& Petro Malore Justic' & alijs d'ni Regis fidelibus tunc 
ibi p'sentibus Int' Joh'nem de Meriet quer' & Joh'nem de 
Hestercumbe deforc'. de octo acris terre & quinqz acris 
p a ti cum p'tin' in Hestercumbe Et eciam de Centu' solidat' 
redditus cum p'tin' in eadem villa p'cipiendis p' annu' p* 
manus Gregor' de Welyngton & her' suor' de totis ten* 
que de p'd'co Joh'ne de Hestercumb prius tenuit in eadem 
villa, vnde pl'itum conuenconis sum' fuit int' eos in eadem 
£uria. Scil't q'd p'd'cus Joh'nes de Hestercumb recogn' 
p'd'ca ten' cum p'tin' esse Jus ip'ius Joh'is de Meriet 
Habend' & Tenend' eide' Joh'i de Meriet & her' suis de 
Capit' d'nis feodi illius p' seruicia que ad ilia ten' p'tinent 
imp'p'm. Et p't'ea idem Joh'nes de Hestercumb concessit 
p' se & her* suis q'd ip'i warant' eidem Joh'i de Meriet 
& her' suis p'd'ca ten' cum p'tin' cont a om's ho'ies imp'p'm. 
Et p' hac recognicone warant' fine & concordia, idem 
Joh'nes de Meriet dedit p'd'co Joh'i de Hestercumbe 
vnum sp'uar' sor' Et hec concordia Pea fuit p'sente p'd'co 
Gregor' & earn concedente & fecit eidem Joh'i de Meriet 
fidelitatem in eadem Curia. 




No. II. 

[Plac. Coram Rage, 25 Edw. I. Term. Trin. rot. iij. No. 152.] 

Matheus de Ease <le Cudeworth distana a Meriet p' 
duas leuc\ etat\ xxxviij. annor' & ampl'. Jur' &c. De 
etat\ Nat'. Bapt'. & aliis c r cumstanc*. concordat cu' p'iur'. 
Requis' qual'r hoc scit & de lapsu dicti te'p'is. dicit q'd p' 
hoc, q*d eod'm anno, circit'. xv. dies postea disponsauit 
Joh'am vx* suam fil' q°ndam d'ni Alani de ffurneaus 
militis, quam antea p' tempus aliquod adamauit et p' hoc 
scit & bn c'tus est de etate, &c. De aliis circumstanc' &c. 

No. III. 

[E Reg. Drok. f. hcxxxvij.] 

M d q* d'ns cone* licenc* sp'alem d'no J. de M'iet Militi 
vt possit h'ere cantar* i capella Man'ii sui de Hestrecub 
p'pt' distanc' loci int' d'em man'iu' & mat'ee' eccl'iam, s'b 
dat' apud Wyuelescub. viij . KaPn Aug'ti. Anno d'ni. 
Milli'o. ccc mo . xvj°. Cons' d'ni septio. 

No. IV. 

[Rot. Cart. 13 Edw. II. n. 35.] 

P' Joh'e de R Archiep'is &c. salt'm. Sciatis nos ad in- 
M'iet stanciam dil'ci conaanguinei & fidelis n'ri 

Thome comitis Lancastr' concessisse & hac 
carta n'ra confirmasse dil'co & fideli n'ro Joh'i 
de Meryet q'd ip'e & heredes sui imp'petuum 
h'eant lib'am warennam in om'ibz d'nicis t'ris 
suis de Hestercoumbe Legheflory Estcape- 
lond Coumbeflory & Ashton iuxta Bristoll' 


in Com' Sumps'. Dum tamen t're ille non 
sint infra metas foreste n're. Ita q'd nullus 
intret t'ras illas ad fugandum in eis vel ad 
aliquid capiend' quod ad warennam p'tineat, 
sine licencia & voluntate ip'ius Joh'is vel 
heredum suor', sup' forisf 'curam n'ram decern 
libr\ Quare volumus & firmit' p'cipim' p' 
nobis & heredibz n'ris, q'd p'd'cus Joh'es & 
beredes sui imp'petuu' habeant lib'am waren- 
nam in om'ifcz dn'icis t'ris suis p'd'cis. Dum 
tamen &c. Ita &c. sicut p'd'cm est. Hiis 
testibz ven' p'ribz W. Arche'po Ebor* AngF 
Primate J. Elien' E'po Cane' n'ro. Joh'e de 
Britann' comite Richemund Ric'o de Grey, 
Hugone de Audele seniore & aliis. Dat' 
p' manu' n'ram apud Ebor'. ix die Julij. p* 
ip'm R. 


[E Beg. Drok. f. ccxlviij 6.] 

L'ra d'ni Ep'i testimoiaP Vniu'sis vice- 

de vita Elizabeh de M'iet. comitibz. ball'is 

minist'is & al' 
hbibz q'buscuqz Nobil' viri d'ni Hugonis de Dispensar' ad 
qos p'sentes l're p'uen'int. J. p'miss' di'a Bathon' & Well' 
Ep'us, salt' cu bn\ & gra rede'ptoris. Q'a piu' e'e cfedim' 
& m'toriu' v'itati testimoniu' p'hib'e. ne in dubiis fluctuates 
p' errorem labant r I p'cc'm, Hinc est q'd vob' omibz & cuiP 
vr*m notu facim' p' p'sentes, q'd d'na Elizabeth Paynel vx 
d'ni Joh' de M'iet Milit' die Mercur* p'x a post d'nica qua 
catat r . offiu. letar' ierl'm. I Maner* d'ei d'ni Joh' de Hestre- 


combe p'pe maner' n'rm de Wyuelesc' cu d'no suo mora 
t*he8, i plena vita & bona corp'is sanitate & sospitate 
vigebat, Et hoc vob' ao o'ibz quor* it'est itimam' p' 
p'sentes. Sept' ap d Wyuelesc' d'eo die Mercur\ anno 
B. R. E. fir. B. E. decionono. 

No. VL 

[E Reg. Bad. f. ccclxxxxj 6.] 

Bad'lus p'missione di'a Bathon' & Wellen' Ep'us. dil'co 
in x'po filio p'petuo vicar' de Tauntton n're dioc' salt'm 
gr' & b'n Cum alieni p'och' non sunt in alienis ecc'ijs 
p'hibentib? statut' canoicis p'sertim diebz d'nicis & festiuis 
ad d'ia officia admitte'di sunt qz nonnulli p'och' ecc'ie 
p'och 1 de Monketon' d'ee n're dioc'. qui dimissa seu 
cotempta p'p'ia ecc'ia p'och' d'ia in ecc'ia p'och' de Tanton* 
diebz d'nicis & festiuis audire presumut cont a canoica 
statuta p'ut ex p'te dil'ci filij Joh'is de Bathon' R c toris 
eccl'ie de Monketon' p'd'ca nob' extitit querelatu Quare 
t' comittim' & madam' firmit' iniugentes. quat' diehz 
d'nicis & festiuis anteq a m missam celebras VI p' aliu' facias 
celebrari in ecc'ia tua inuestiges si alt'ius p'och' in eocl'ia 
tua sit qui p'p'° contempto p'sb'ro ibid'm missam audire 
p'sumat Et si aliquos tales inuen'is ip'os a d'ea eccl'ia tua 
abiicias & copellas reced'e p' ce'suras eccl'iasticas in eosd'm 
au a cte n'ra canoice ful'iand' Et q'd in p'miss' fec'is nos 
v'l n'ros Comissar' vna cu no'ib* & cogno'ibz ip'or' quos 
rebelles inuen'is in hac p'te cu p' p'tem d'ei Rectoris fu'is 
requisit' distincte & ap'te cures redd'e e'eiores L'ris tuis 
patentih? h'ntib? har' formam auctentico sub sigillo Dat' 
ap d Banewell' xj k'ln Octobr' anno d'ni sup a d'co [1351] 
Et n're Cons', vicesimo t'cio 


No. VII. 

[E Reg. Godyn, Off. Prerog. ff. 736, 74.] 

Test'm' Roberti In dei nomi'e Amen. Septimo die 
Warre mensis Julij Anno d'ni Mill'imo 

cccc mo lxv to Ego Kobertus Warre 
armiger in p'och' de Kyngeston' Bathonien' & Wellen' 
dioc' sane ment' & bone memorie languens in extremis 
condo test'm' meu' in hunc modu' In primis lego a'i'am 
mea' deo. om'ipotenti corpusq' meu' sepeliendu' in eccl'ia 
Conuentuali Monasterij de Athelney It'm lego Cristine 
vx'i mee vna' pelue' cu' lauacro argent' It'm lego Ric'o 
filio meo vna' pelue' cum lauacro argenti It'm lego d'no 
Ric'o Saleway vicario de Kyngeston' vj 8 viij d p' decimis 
oblit' It'm lego Egidio cl'ico ib'm xx d It'm lego Andree 
Godde vna' toga' mea' de Cremesyn penulat' cum mart' 
It'm lego Margarete vx'i Andree Godde vna' togam blodij 
coloris It'm lego Roberto Stevyns vna' toga' de Musterde- 
vilys It'm lego Johanni Clauyshay vna' toga' virid' 
coloris It'm lego Roberto Abbati nuc de Athelney & 
eiusdem loci Conuentui vnu' pallum de auro ad faciend' 
vestimentu' ad ora'd' pro aia mea & pro alabz om'i' fideliu' 
defunctor' Residuu' vero om'i' bonor* meor' sup'ius non 
legator' do & lego Cristine vx'i mee & Ric'o filio meo & 
heredi quos quid'm Cristinam & Ric'm ordino fac'o & 
constituo meos executores vt ip'i debit' meis primitus 
p'solut' disponant & distribuant bona mea p' salute ale 
mee meliori modo iuxta eor' sana discrecoes & consilia 
Hijs testib* Mag'ro Ric'o Glene Prior' Prioratus Tanton' 
Joh'ne Bysshop armig'o d'no Ric'o Saleway cap no ad 
p'missa vocat' sp'ialit' & rogat' in fidem & testi'o'm 

Probat' fuit sup«script' test'm" apud lamehith quinto die 
Augusti Anno d'ni sup a dict' ac approbat' &c. Et comissa 

174 PAPER8, ETC. 

fait admi'straco bonor* diet 9 defiincti executor' in d'eo 
test'o nomi'atis in p'sona Mag'ri Ric'i layty procures &c 
De b'n' admi'strand' &c ac de pleno Inuentario bonor' &c 
citra fm s'ci Martini in hieme prox' fiitur' &c ac de pleno 
compoto &c in p'so n ' p'curfs &c iurat' &c 


No. VIII. 

[Inq. p.m. 5 Edw. IV. n. 17.] 

Inquisitio captf apud Brigge water in Com' Som's 
tricesimo die Octobris anno regni Regis Edwardi quart i 
post conq'm quinto coram Joh'e Peke Esc' d'ei d'ni Regis 
in com' p'd'co virtute br'is [&c] p' sacr'm Wili'i Montagu 
Thome lyte Ph'i Pym Joh'is Kighley Wili'i Bourn Ric'i 
Jaykerd Thome Goolde Joh'is Irlande Wili'i Godwyn 
Thome Warren Joh'is Ch**y & Ric'i Crips Qui dicunt 
sup' sacr'm suu' q'd Rob'tus Warre in d'eo brH no'iat' 
nulla tenuit t'ras neqz ten' de d'eo d'no Rege in d'nico nee 
in s'uicio die quo obijt set dicunt q'd Job'es Stourton 

» . 

miles Rob'tus Squybbe Gilb'tus Wyke Rob'tus Colyngborn 
Thomas Mocheldever Joh'es Bysshup & Thomas Warreyn 
fuerunt seisiti in d'nico suo vt de feodo de man'ijs de 
Hestercombe & Crafte voc' Crafte Warre cu* p'tin' in 
Com* p'd'co & sic inde seisiti man'ia p'd'ca cu' p'tin' 
dimiserunt & concesserunt Joh'i Warre armig'o h'end' 
sibi ad t'minu' vite sue Ita q'd post mortem eiusdem Joh'is 
man'ia p'd'ca cu' p'tin reman' p'fato Rob'to Warre filio 
p'd'ci Joh'is Warre ad t'm' vite sue Ita q'd post mortem 
eiusdem Rob'ti Warre man'ia p'd'ca cu' p'tin' reman' Ric'o 
Warre filio p'd'ci Rob'ti Warre & Johanne vx'i eius filie 
p'fati Joh'is Stourton & hered' de corp'ihz eor'dem Rici' & 
Johanne legitime p'creat' Etp' deftu' hui' exitus remanere 
inde rectis hered' p'd'ci Joh'is Warre imp'p'm p'ut p' 
quandam cartam Jur* hui' Inquis' in evident ostens' plene 


liquet virtute cuius idem Joh'es Wane fuit modo seisitus 
in d'nico suo vt de lib'o ten' & inde obijt seisitus post 
cuius mortem d'cus Rob'tus Warre in d'ca brH no'iat' in 
man'ia p'd'ca cu' p'tin' intrauit & inde fuit seisitus in 
d'nico suo vt de lib'o ten 9 et inde obijt seisitus Et q'd 
p'dcus Ric'us & Johanna adhuc sup'stites existunt et * * * 
dicunt q'd quidam finis leuauit in Curia d'ni H. sexti nup' 
de Fco & non de iure Regis Angl* apud Westm' in Octab' 
S'ci Martini anno regni sui sc'do coram Will'o Babyngton' 
& socijs suis tunc Justiciarijs eiusdem nup' vt p'mittit r 
Regis de Banco int' Ric'm Hankeford armig'um Joh'em 
Bluet Joh'em Dabernoun Thomam Kyngeston & Joh'em 
Muskham quer* & Joh'em Warre & Johannam vx'em eius 
deforc' de man'io de Wellefford & niedietat' man'ij de 
Bradford iuxta Wellyngton' cu' p'tin' in Com' SomV p' 
quern finem ijdem Joh'es Warre & Johanna int' al' recogn' 
p'dict' man'iu' & medietas cum p'tin' esse ius ip'ius Joh'is 
Muskham vt ilia que ijdem Joh'es Ri'cus Joh'es Bluet 
Joh'es Dabernoun & Thomas h'ent * * * p'd'cor' Joh'is 
Warre & Johanne Et p' hac recogn' fine & concordia 
ijdem Joh'es Muskh a m Ri'cus Joh'es Bluet Joh'es. Daber- 
noun & Thomas Kyngeston concesserunt p'd'cis Joh'i 
Warre & Johanne p'd'ca man'iu' & medietat' cu' p'tin' & 
ilia eis reddiderunt in eadem Curia h'end' & tenend' 
eisdem Joh'i Warre & Johanne tota vita ip'or' Joh'is & 
Johanne & post decessu ip'or' *** Johanne eadem man'iu' 
& medietas cu' p'tin' integre remanebunt p'fat' Rob'to 
Warre in d'co br'i no'iat' filio eor'dem Joh'is Warre & 
Johanne & Cristine vx'i eiusdem Rob'ti Warre * * * ip'ius 
Rob'ti de corpore suo p'creat' Et p' def'tu* hui' exit' 
remaner' inde rect' hered' p'd'ci Joh'is Warre virtute cui' 
finis ijdem Joh'es Warre & Johanna fuer' inde seisiti in 
d'nico suo vt de lib'o ten' & inde obierunt se'itipost quor* 


mortem ijdem Bob'tus &• Cristina in man'iu' & med' 

p'di'ct cu' p'tin' int'uerunt & modo fuerunt se'iti videFt 

p'd'cus Bob'tus in d'nico suo vt de feodo talliato Et 

p'd'ca Cristina in d'nico suo vt de lib'o ten' Et postea 

p'd'cus Bob'tus de tali statu inde obijt se'itus Et p'd'ca 

Cristina ip'm sup'uixit & se tenuit intus p' ius accrescend' 

& adhuc sup'stes existit Et q'd p'd'cus Bob'tus Warre 

nulla alia seu plura t'ras neqz ten* tenuit de d'co d'no 

Bege nee de aliquo alio in d'nico nee in s'uicio in Com' 

p'd'co die quo obijt Et vlt'ius die' q'd p'd'em man'iu' de 

Hestercombe cu' p'tin' tenet r de Will'o ep'o Wynton' 

set p' quod s'uiciu' Jur' p'd'ci ignorant Et q'd idem 

man'iu cu' p'tin' valet p' annu' in om'ibz exit' vltra rep's' 

x m a rc' Et q'd p'd'em man'iu' de Crafte Warre cu' p'tin' 

tenetr de Will'o Poulet milite set p' quod s'uiciu' ijdem 

Jur' ignorant Et q'd idem man'iu' cu'- p'tin' valet p' 

annu' in om'ib* exit* vltra rep's' iiij rn're' Et q'd p'd'em 

man'iu' de Wellyford cu' p'tin' tenet r de Will'o Courtenay 

milite set p' quod s'uiciu' p'd'ci Jur' ignorant & q'd idem 

man'iu' cu' p'tin* valet p' annu' in om'ib? exit' vltra rep's' 

iiij m*rc' Et q'd p'd'ca medietas man'ij de Bradford cu' 

p'tin' tenet' de Will'o ep'o Wynton' set p' quod a'uiciu' 

ijdem Jur 9 ignorant Et q'd eadem medietas valet per' 

annu' in om'ib? exit' suis vltra rep's' v. m a rc' Et q'd 

p'd'eus Bob'tus Warre obijt octauo die Julij vlt' p't'ito 

Et q'd Bic'us Warre armig' est filius & heres eiusdem 

Bob'ti p'pinquior & est etatis xl annor' & amplius. In 

cui' rei testi'om' tam p'sent' cart' q a m Jur' p'd'ci huic 

Inquis' sigilla sua apposuerunt. Dat' die loco & anno 

sup 8 dict'. 

T. H. 


THE geological formation and the historical associa- 
tions of the Quantock Hills have been abundantly 
investigated under the auspices of this society. Their 
natural productions, animal or vegetable, have not yet, 
so far as I know, been described or catalogued, although 
they contain specimens in both branches of Natural 
History singularly rare and sought after, and though more 
than one zoologist or botanist of note gazes on them daily 
from the windows of his home. A paper whose conditions 
are that it should be "light and popular," and that it 
should not exceed ten minutes in the delivery, cannot 
throw much scientific light upon the plants of the most 
limited region ; but it may reveal sources of enjoyment 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, FART II. X 


and raise individual enthusiasm, and it may remind this 
meeting that the time has possibly come when our society 
should use the means at its command to encourage the 
gradual creation of «uch a flora and fauna of the county, 
as no single naturalist, unassisted by a public body, can in 
any case trustworthily compile. 

In this beautiful valley, fat with the rich red soil that 
countless millennia have seen washed down from the sur- 
rounding hills, the flora is everywhere so unusually rich 
as to win the envy and delight of strangers. It has been 
my lot to pilot botanists from all parts of England in 
search of local rarities, and I have found their chief rap- 
tures given not to the uncommon flower they had come 
to see, but to the profusion of form and colour which in- 
cludes almost every English genus, manifest in the common 
turnpike roads which skirt the hills, but revealed in full 
perfection to those only who penetrate the interior of the 
range. In the sheltered lanes of the less wooded combes, 
in the road from Kilve to Parsons' Farm, the footpath 
from the Castle of Comfort to Over Stowey, above all in 
the lane from the Bell Inn to Aisholt, the hedge banks 
and the wide grass margins of the road are scarcely sur- 
passed in beauty by the mosaic of a Swiss meadow or an 
Alpine slope. From the beginning to the end of June 
the colours are blue and yellow ; the blue represented by 
the Ground Ivy, the Germander Speedwell, the Brooklime, 
the late Bugle and the early Self-heal, the Narrow-leaved 
Flax, the long spikes of Milkwort, and the varieties of the 
Violet; the yellow by the BircFs-foot Trefoil, large and small, 
the St. John's Wort, Golden Mugweed, and Hop-trefoil, the 
Agrimony, the Yellow Vetchling, and the countless kinds 
of Hawkweed. In the hedges above are the Mealtree and 
Guelder Rose, the Madder, White Campion and Lady's 


Bedstraw, half hidden by the twining tendrils, white 
blossoms, and tiny cucumbers of the Bryony; while here 
and there, where the hedge gives way to an old stone pit or 
deserted quarry, the tall Foxglove and the great yellow 
Mullein stand up, harmonious sisters, to fill the gap. By 
the middle of July the colours shift. The flora of early 
spring is gone, the Milkwort shows its pods, the Speedwell 
its bushy leaves ; — the yellow still remains ; but the blue 
has given way to pink ; to the lovely Musk Mallow, the 
Horehound, Dove's-foot Cranesbill, Restharrow, Painted Cup, 
and Calaminth. With August a third change arrives; 
the small short clustering flowers are gone ; instead of 
them we have the coarse straggling Fleabanes, Ragworts, 
and Woodsage ; the great blue trusses of the Tufted Vetch 
and the pure white trumpets of the Bindweed take pos- 
session of the hedges ; the yellow sagittate leaves of the 
Black Bryony and the red berries of the Mountain Ash 
warn us that summer is past. Our September visit marks 
the closing scene. The flowers are few and far between ; 
but the Ivy bloom is musical with bees, the Hazels put 
forth clusters ruddy brown as those with which the Satyr 
wooed the faithful Shepherdess ; the Arum pushes its 
poisonous scarlet fruit between the mats of dying grass ; 
and the meadows which slope upwards from the brooks 
are blue with the flowers of the Colchicum. 

These are all common flowers, whose names and habits, 
if education did her work, we should learn in childhood 
from our mother and our nurse. It is their immense 
profusion, not their rarity, that calls for notice, and they 
represent but a small part of the hill flora. To exhaust 
this fairly we must visit four different regions; the hill- 
tops, the bogs, the coppices, and the slopes toward the sea. 
Of the first it is difficult to speak without a rapturous 

180 PAPEB8, ETC. 

digression as their familiar sights and sounds occur to us ; 
the breeze that " seems half conscious of the joy it brings," 
the musical hum of bees, the warble of invisible larks, the 
popping of the dry furze-pods in the stillness, the quivering 
air above the heather, the startled spiders with their ap- 
pended egg-bags, the grasshoppers, the green hair-streaks, 
the gem-like tiger beetles on the wing, — in the distance 
the Mendips and the yellow sea, or the long rich valley, 
closed by Dunkery and Minehead. 

Heath, Furze, Bracken, and Whortle-berries, are the four 
tetrarchs of the hill-tops, giving endless shades of red and 
green and yellow. The heaths are three and only three, 
the Heather, the Cross-leaved Heath, and the Bottle Heath, 
the last exhibiting rarely a white variety, which in the 
language of flowers tells the tenderest of tales. From 
beneath their shelter peep the Eyebright, the Spring Potentil, 
the Heath Bedstraw, and the Creeping St. John's Wort; 
amidst them springs the uncommon Bristly Bent-grass ; 
everywhere the green paths which wind amongst them are 
carpeted with the Mcenchia and the little Breakstone, and 
bordered by the red and yellow Sheep* s-sorr el and the pale 
yellow Mouse-ear. On many of the prickly furze beds 
grows the wiry leafless Dodder; every ditch is filled with 
masses of lemon-scented Oreopteris, and every patch of 
stones is hidden by the pink blossoms of the Mountain 
Stone-crop. At 800 feet above the sea we meet with Mat- 
grass and the Cross-leaved Heath. Higher still we find 
the slender Deer's Hair, first cousin to the Isolepis of our 
greenhouses, and highest of all grow for those who know 
their haunt two species of the Stag-horn Club-moss. 

The bogs are very numerous. They form the summits of 
the combes, and some of them descend the hill until they 
join a deep-cut stream. All are covered with the turquoise 


bloom of the Forget-me-not, and the glossy peltate leaves 
of the Marsh Penny-wort, and choked with the little 
Water Blinks. They all include Liver-wort, with its um- 
brella shaped fructification, Sphagnum, Marsh-wort, and 
Pearl-wort; and on their margins grow the Ivy-leaved Hair- 
bell, the Lesser Spear-wort, the Louse-wort, and the Bog- 
Pimpernel. In a few of them are found the Oblong Pond- 
weed and the Marsh St. John's Wort ; in two combes only, 
as far as I know, grows, alone of its genus, the Round- 
leaved Sun-dew. 

Of the coppices, Cockercombe and Seven Wells are the 
best known ; but their large trees check the growth of 
flowers, and the botanist will find more to please him in 
Butterfly Combe and Holford Glen, which are smaller and 
less frequented. Here in early spring masses of the 
White Wild Hyacinth rise amid last year's dead leaves ; 
here grow the Cow-wheat, Woodrush, Golden-rod, Sheep's 
Scabious, Wood Pimpernel, Wild Raspberry, Sanicle, and 
Twayblade. The Helleborine is found in Crowcombe ; in 
Tetton woods the rare pink Lily of the Valley; in Cothel- 
stone the Adders' Tongue and Mountain Speedwell; in 
Ashleigh Combe, Thelypteris ; in Aisholt wood the White 
Foxglove, White Herb Robert, and White Prunella; while 
under the famous hollies of Alfoxden, sacred to the memory 
of " Peter Bell " and " We are Seven," grow the graceful 
Millet-grass and a rare variety of the Bramble. 

On the St. Audries slope the changed soil and the in- 
fluence of the sea give birth to several new plants. The 
Autumn Gentian, the Tufted Centaury, the Roundheaded 
Garlic, and the Sea Star-wort are abundant near the cliffs ; 
the Perfoliate Yellow-wort is common ; Fluellen grows in 
the stubbles, the Lady's tresses near the lime-kiln, the Sea 
Pimpernel between the stones, the Arrow-grass and Hard- 

182 PAPEB8, ETC. 

grans just above the sea, to which we descend between 
banks, covered as np other banks are covered, by the mag- 
nificent Larger/lowered Tutsan. 

A few rare plants remain, which come under neither of 
the groups described. The Cornish Money-wort abounds 
in a small nameless combe near Quantoxhead ; the rare 
White Stone-crop is indigenous or naturalised at Over 
Stowey ; the White Climbing Corydalis is found close 
to Mr. Esdaile's lodge ; the Lady's Mantle, Goldilocks, 
and Bistort, grow in the Aisholt meadows ; the Stinking 
Groundsel hard by the remains of Coleridge's holly-bower. 
In the same neighbourhood I have twice found the Purple 
Broom Rape ; and Wilson's Film-fern, one of the rarest of 
British ferns, is established in the Poet's Glen. 

I venture to hope that there is no one present to whom 
this catalogue of plants is a catalogue and nothing more. 
Our English wild flowers are so charming in themselves, 
they awake in all of us so many associations,, they hold so 
large a place in our poetical literature, their popular names 
reveal so many an etymological secret and recal so many 
a striking superstition, that almost every one, whatever be 
the line of his mental culture, is willing to own their in- 
terest and to linger over their recital. To the Shakspearian 
scholar they bring memories of Perdita at the shearing- 
feast, of Ophelia in her madness, of Imogen sung to her 
untimely grave, of the grey discrowned head of Lear, 
with its chaplet of " rank Fumiter's and Furrow-weeds. " 
The lover of Milton points to the " rathe primrose," the 
eye-purging Euphrasy, and the Amaranth which was 
twined in the crowns of worshipping archangels. The 
historian of the long-buried past sees in the Cornish Money- 
wort, the Film-fern, and the Lusitanian Butter-wort of our 
hills evidence distinct and graphic of the time when Scot- 



land, Ireland, and Spain formed with our own peninsula 
portions of a single continent. The student of Folk-lore 
tells his tales of the ceremonies which surrounded the 
Vervain, the St John's Wort, and the Rowan, and of the 
strange beliefs which clung to the Celandine, the Hawkweed, 
and the Fumitory. The etymologist will elevate the names 
familiar to us all into evidence of the origin and habits of 
our remote forefathers ; he will disinter the fragments of 
myth and history which lie embalmed in the Centaury, the 
Pceony, the Carline Thistle, the Flower de Luce, and the 
Herb Robert; he will tell us how the Laburnum closes its 
petals nightly like a tired Labourer, how the Campion 
crowned the Champions of the tournament ; how the Fox- 
glove, the Troll-flower, and the Pixie-stool, bring messages 
from fairyland ; how the Scabious, the Lung-wort, the 
Scrophularia, and the Wound-wort bear witness to the 
grotesque beliefs of a pre-scientific medical community. 
Of the botanist I need not speak. Not a flower that 
blows but will furnish him with the text of an eloquent 
discourse. Forms, that yield to other men artistic and 
sensuous enjoyment only, lay bare before him secrets of 
structure and of function as wonderful as those which 
characterise his own bodily frame; suggesting each its 
truth of design, and natural selection, and adapted change, 
and mysterious organic force. In the fructification of the 
orchid, the stamens of the barberry, the hairs of the nettle, 
the leaf of the sundew, he reads lessons as profound and 
similes as graceful as were taught to Chaucer and Southey 
and Wordsworth by the daisy and the holly and the lesser 
celandine. Year after year he greets the early spring 
with an enthusiasm which his neighbours know not, as one 
by one his friends of many years, the snowdrop, and the 
violet, and the crimson hazel stigma, and the stitchwort, 

184 PAPBB8, BTC. 

and the daffodil, and the coltsfoot, come back to him like 
swallows* from their winter sojourn oat of sight. Year 
after year, as the seasons die away and the earth is once 
more bare, he looks back delighted on the pleasant months 
along which he has walked hand-in-hand with nature; for 
he feels that his intelligence has been strengthened, his 
temper sweetened, and his love of God increased, by 
fellowship with her changes, study of her secrets, and 
reverence for her works. 


Jtahnpl ^istorg jStfri^jr- 









R. T. COMBE, Esq. F. H. DECKINSON, Esq. 


R. W. FALCONER, Esq., m.d. 


E. A. FREEMAN, Esq., d.c.l. 


SIR A. A. HOOD, Bart. 




WM. LONG, Esq. 



SIR W. MILES, Bart. R. H. PAGET, Esq., m.p. 

W. PINNEY, Esq. 

W. A. SANFORD, Esq. 


W. E. SURTEES, Esq. 











VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. 

Henry, and Henry J., and Daniel Badoock, 


Rev. W. Hunt, Congresbury; 0. W. Malet, Taunton. 


John Batten, Yeovil W. W. Munckton, Curry Rivel 

Henry Bernard, Wells G-. S. Poole, Bridgwater 

Rev. W. B. Caparn, Draycot T. Porch. Porch, Edgar ley 

E. Chisholm-Batten, Thorn J. H. Pring, m.d., Taunton 

Falcon Rev. H. M. Scarth, Wrington 

Rev. H. Clutterbuck, Buckland T. Serel, ^/^ 

Dinham J. Shore, Whatley, Frome 

Rev. J.Coleman, Chapel Allerton R. W. Spicer, Chard 

W. F. Elliot, Taunton R. Walter, Stoke-sub-JTambdon 

Ven. Archdeacon Fitzgerald, GK Walters, Frome 

Somerton Rev. H. D. Wickham, Horsington 

W. M. Kelly, m.d., Taunton Rev. H. H. Winwood, 2te£A 

T. Mayhew, Glastonbury F. H. Woodford e, m.d., Taunton 

Rev. Canon Meade, Castle Cory W. B. Sparks, Crewkerne 
C. Moore, ifalA 


W. Meade King H. Alford 

T. Meyler Capt. Doveton 

J. F. Norman Rev. I. S. Gale 

W. P. Pinchard A. Malet 

C. J. Turner Cecil Smith 

Rev. J. W. Ward Rev. W. P. Williams 

The President, Vice-Presidents, Trustees, Treasurers, and 
Secretaries are ex-officio Members of the Committee. 

Wm. Bidgood, Museum, Taunton. 


Acland, W. H., Esq., m.d., Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford. 
Babington, 0. 0., Esq., f.b.s., f.s.a., Professor of Botany, 

5, Trumpington Eoad, Cambridge. 
Charlton, Dr., Sec. Antiquarian Society, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
Dawkius, W. Boyd, Esq., f.b.s., f.g.s., The Owen's College, 

Dimock, Eev. J. F., Barnborough, Doncaster. 
Ferrey, B., Esq., Charing-Cross, London. 
Godwin, George, Esq., f.b.s., f.s.a., Brompton. 
Green, Eev. J. E., m.a., London 
Hugo, Eev. Thomas, f.s.a., The Eectory, "West Hackney, 

Stoke Newington, London, N. 
Lloyd, Dr., Sec. Archaeological and Natural History Society, 

Owen, Professor, c.b., f.b.s., &c, Head of Natural History 

Department, British Museum. 
Parker, J. H., Esq., c.b., Oxford 
Eamsay, A. C, Esq., f.b.s., Professor of Geology, School of 

Mines, London. 
Smith, C. Eoach, Esq., f.s.a., Strood, Eochester. 
Stubbs, Eev. W., m.a., Regius Professor of Modern History, 

Williams, Eev. George, b.d., Eingwood. 
Willis, Eev. E., f.r.s., f.g.s., Jacksonian Professor, Cambridge. 
Wilson, Daniel, Esq., ll.d., Professor of English Literature, 

Toronto, Canada. 

£o(utM in <f fltjmpjmityiup 

With Uw Bomenetihlre Arohfeologioal iad Vatnral Hiatory Society, 

The Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 

The British Archaeological Association 

The Associated Architectural Societies of Northampton, 8fc, $*c. 

The Sussex Archaeological Society 

The Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natural History 

The Surrey Archaeological Society 

Societie Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 9 Lausanne 

The Lancashire Historic Society 

The Chester Local Archaeological Society 

The Society of Antiquaries of London 

The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society 

University College, Toronto 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, U.S. 

Imperial and Royal Geographical Society of Vienna 

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 

Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester 

The London and Middlesex Archaeological Society 

The Royal Dublin Society 

The Royal Norwegian University, Christiania 

The Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland 

The Essex Institute, Salem, Massachussets, U.S. 

The Bristol Naturalists' Society 

The Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club 


THIS Society shall be denominated " The Somersetshire 
ARcnaJOLOGioAL and Natural History Society ;" and its 
object shall be the cultivation of, and collecting information on, 
Archaeology and Natural History in their various branches, 
but more particularly in connection with the county of Somerset, 
and the establishment of a Museum and Library. 

II. — The Officers of the Society shall consist of a Patron 
and Trustees, elected for life ; a President ; Vice-Presidents ; 
General and District, or Local Secretaries ; and a Treasurer, 
elected at each Anniversary Meeting; with a Committee of 
twelve, .six of whom shall go out annually by rotation, but 
may be re-elected. No person shall be elected on the Com- 
mittee until he shall have been six months a Member of the 

IH. — Anniversary General Meetings shall be held for the 
purpose of electing the Officers, of receiving the Report of 
the Committee for the past year, and of transacting aU other 
necessary business, at such time and place as the Committee 
shall appoint, of which Meetings three weeks' notice shall be 
given to the Members. 

IY.— There shall also be a General Meeting, fixed by the 
Committee, for the purpose of receiving Reports, reading 
Papers, and transacting business. All Members shall have 
the privilege of introducing one friend to the Anniversary and 
General Meetings. 

V. — The Committee is empowered to call Special Meetings 
of the Society upon receiving a requisition signed by ten 
Members. Three weeks' notice of such Special Meeting and 
its object shall be given to each Member. 

VI. — The affairs of the Society shall be directed by the 
Committee (of which the Officers of the Society shall be ex- 
officio Members), whioh shall hold Monthly Meetings for 
receiving reports from the Secretaries and sub- Committees, 
and for transacting other necessary business; three of the 
Committee shall be a quorum* Members may attend the 
Monthly Committee Meetings after the official business has 
been transacted. 

190 RULES. 

VII. — The Chairman, at Meetings of the Society, shall have 
a casting vote in addition to his vote as a Member. 

VJJJL. — One (at least) of the Secretaries shall attend each 
Meeting, and shall keep a record of its proceedings. The 
property of the Society shall be held in trust for the Members 
by six Trustees, who shall be chosen from the Members at any 
General Meeting. All Manuscripts and Communications ana 
the other property of the Society shall be under the charge of 
the Secretaries. 

IX. — Candidates for admission as Members shall be pro- 
posed by two Members at any of the General or Committee 
Meetings, and the election shall be determined by ballot at 
the next Committee or General Meeting ; three-fourths of the 
Members present balloting shall elect. The tlules of the 
Society shall be subscribed by every person becoming a 

X. — Ladies shall be eligible as Members of the Society 
without ballot, being proposed by two Members and approved 
by the majority of the Meeting. 

XI. — Each Member shall pay Ten Shillings on admission to 
the Society, and Ten Shillings as an Annual Subscription, 
which shall become due on the 1st of January in each year, 
and shall be paid in advance. 

XII. — Donors of Ten Guineas or upwards shall be Members 
for life. 

XHE. — At General Meetings of the Society the Committee 
may recommend persons to be balloted for as Honorary or 
Corresponding Members. 

XIV. — When any office shall become vacant or any new 
appointment shall be requisite, the Committee shall have 
power to nil up the same ; such appointments shall remain in 
force only till the next General Meeting, when they shall be 
either confirmed or annulled. 

XV. — The Treasurer shall receive all Subscriptions and 
Donations made to the Society, and shall pay all accounts 
passed by the Committee ; he shall keep a book of receipts 
and payments which he shall produce whenever the Committee 
shall require it ; the accounts shall be audited previously to 
the Anniversary Meeting by two Members of the Committee 
chosen for that purpose, and an abstract of them shall be read 
at the Meeting. 

RULES. 191 

XVI. — No change shall be made in the laws of the Society 
except at a General or Special Meeting, at which twelve 
Members at least shall be present. Of the proposed change 
a month's notice shall be given to the Secretaries, who shall 
communicate the same to each Member three weeks before 
the Meeting. 

XYii. — Papers read at Meetings of the Society and con- 
sidered by the Committee of sufficient interest, shall (with 
the author's consent) be published in the Proceedings of the 

XVJULL. — No religious or political discussions shall be per- 
mitted at Meetings of the Society. 

XIX. — Any person contributing Books or Specimens to the 
Museum shall be at liberty to resume possession of them in the 
event of a dissolution of the Society. Persons shall also have 
liberty to deposit Books or Specimens for a specific time only. 

XX. — In case of dissolution the real property of the Society 
in Taunton shall be held by the Trustees for the advancement 
of Literature, Science, and Art, in the town of Taunton and 
the county of Somerset. 

March 26th, 1874. 

%* It is requested that Contributions to the Museum or Library 
be sent to the Curatory at the Museum, Taunton. 

I . 

•- 1 

~ ? ----: U a *T • t - :a vS^*? *•*»■ 

^- — -t —^■+*MMlin<* g 


«. • m-.t n 

^5r B sjar»ttJst 





except at a tr=j£ 
Members a? j=ss~ 
a month's non^ 
the Meetms. 

XVIL— Psper s 
sidered br ti^ ~ = 

the author £ «ff»g»- 

XVHL— y. t^ 
mitted at JH^z^z: 

Museum «?;.-. - : _ 
event of t :^._- - 
liberty vl irr-.i 

ia Tacctn i_ 

Of LbeCEZ?: - ■ 

the eoian~ z —■-■■- 



1 enham, Kent 
, Clifton 

wt 9 London 




, Park-street, Bristol 

re, Chelsea, London 
ti > n-super-Mare 
Hie Priory , Chewton 

mutton Courtney 

/i, London 



Those marked * are Life Members. 

Acland, Sir T. D. 9 Bart., M.P., Killerton Parky Devon 
. Acres, Rev. J., Ken, near Yatton 
Adlam, William, Manor House, Chew Magna, Bristol 
Alford, H. Taunton 
5 Alford, H, J. „ 

Allen, I. Mountford, Crewkerne 
Anetice, Rev. J. B. Hungerford Vicarage 
Arlosh, Rev. James, Sutton Montis, Castle Cory 

Badcock, H. Wheatleigh Lodge, Taunton 
10 Badcook, H. J. Taunton 

Bagehot, Edward, Langport 

Bagehot, Walter „ 

Bagehot, Watson, Heale, Curry Rivel 

Bailey, Robert, Taunton 
15 Bailward, J. Horsington, Wincanton 

Baker, C. Gifford, Seaton, Devon 

Baker, Rev. F. Walter, Rectory, Beaulieu, Hants 

Baker, John, Ilminster 

Barnwell, Rev. E. L. Melksham House, Melksham 
20 Barclay, A. C, M.P. 25, Bolton-sL, Piccadilly, London 

Barrett, Major, Moreden House, North Curry 

Bartrum, J. S. 41, Gay-street, Bath 

Bathurst, A. 2, New-square, Lincoln's Inn, London 

Batten, John, Yeovil 
25 Beadon, Edwards, Highlands, Taunton 

Bennett, H. E. Sparkford, Ilchester 

Bennett, Rev. J. A. South Cadbury t Castle Cory 

Bergman, J. G. Collinshays, Bruton 

Bernard, H. Wells 


30 Berry man, W. G, jun. Wells 

Bewes, Rev. T. A. Beaumont, Plymouth 

Bickham, Mrs. Geo. Sampford Brett 

Birch, A. 22, Monmouth Road, Westbourm Grove, 
Bayswater, London 

Bisset, M. F. Bagborough 
35 Blake, W. Bridge House, South Petherton 

Bond, Rev. J. Weston, Bath 

Bond, Thos. Tyneham, Wareham 

Bord, J. G. Bruton 

Bouverie, P. P. Brymore House, Bridgwater 
40 Bowman, J. 9, John-street, Bristol 

Boyd, R., M.D. Southall Park, Middlesex 

Boyle, Hon. and Rev. Richard, Marston, Frome 

Brackstone, R. H. Lyncombe Hill, Bath 

Braikenridge, W. Jerdone, Clevedon 
45 Braikenridge, Rev. G. Weare, „ 

Bramble, James Roger, Yatton 

Bridges, H. Bridgwater 

Bridport, Lord, Cricket Lodge, Chard 

Broadley, J. 2, Barrow Castle, Bath 
50 Brown, Rev. Frederick, Fern Bank, Beckenham, Kent 

Brown, S. Sneade, 110, Pembroke Road, Clifton 

Broome, C. £. Elmhurst, Batheaston 

Buckle, Rev. G. Twerton 

Buckley, Michael J. C. 260, Oxford-street, London 
55 Bulleid, J. G. L. Glastonbury 

Bullock, George, East Coker 

Bullock, G. Troyte, Sedgehill House, Shaftesbury 

Bumpstead, Rev. T. J. Binder, Wells 

Bur ridge, Wm., Bradford 
60 Burtt, G. R. Ilminster 

Bush, Clement, Weston, Bath 

Bush, James, 4, Great George-street, Park-street, Bristol 

Cadbury, James, 13, Paultons-square, Chelsea, London 
Caparn, Rev. W. B. Dray cot, Weston-super-Mare 
65 Carlingford, Right Hon. Lord, The Priory 9 Chewton 
Mendip, Bath 
Chapman, Right Rev. Bishop, Wootton Courtney 
Cheetham, David, Bath 
Chisholm-Batten, £. Lincoln's Inn, London 

VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART II. z 


Church, Rev. C. M. Wells 
70 Clark, Joseph, Street 

Clark, Rev. W. R., Taunton 

Clark, G. T. Dowlais House, Merthyr Tydvil 

Clarke, T. E. Tremlett House, Wellington 

Clarke, A. A. Wells 
75 Clerk, Rev. D. M. Kingston Deveril, Wilts 

Clerk, E. H. Westholme House, Pilton, Shepton Mallet 

Clutterbuck, Rev. Henry, Buckland Dinham, Frome 

Coker, T. Taunton 

Coleman, Rev. James, Allerton, Axbridge 
80 Coles, Mrs. Shepton Beauchamp 

Colfox, Thos. Rax, Bridport 

Colfox, Wm. „ 

Collard, Charles Lukey, Abbotsjleld, Wiveliscombe 

Cornish, C. H. Taunton 
85 Cornish, F. W. Eton College 

Combe, R. T. Earnshill 

Cox, Mr. Serjeant, 36, Russell-square, W.C., and Moat 
Mount, Highwood, Hendon, London, N. W. 

Crickitt, R. E. 4, Delvidere Villas, Bath 

Crosse, Rev. J. D. O. Pawlett 

90 Daniel, Rev. H. A. Manor House, Stockland-Bristol, 

Davis, Maurice, Langport 

De Havilland, John, Langford Court, Wellington 

Dickinson, F. H. Kingweston House 

Dickinson, E. H. Shepton Mallet 
95 Doveton, Captain, Haines Hill, Taunton 

Down, E. Weston-super-Mare 

Du Sautoy, Rev. W. Taunton 

Earle, Rev. J. Upper Swainswick, Bath 
Edwards, Rev. Z. J., Crewkerne 
100 Egremont, Countess of, Orchard Wyndham 
Elliot, Miss, Taunton 
Elliot, W. F. Osborne House, Taunton 
Elton, Sir Arthur H., Bart. Clevedon Court 
Elton, C. J. Manor House, Whitestaunton 

105 Fagan, Rev. G. H. Rodney Stoke Rectory, Wells 


Fane, Lady Georgina, Brympton, Yeovil 

Farmer, Fredk., M.D. Bridgwater 

Falconer, R. W., M.D. Bath 

Falkner, Frederick, Lyncombe Cottage, Lyncombe, Bath 
110 Fisher, J. M. Taunton 

Fisher, T. „ 

Fitzgerald, Ven. Archdeacon, Charlton Mackerel, 

Foster, W. J. S. Wells 

Fox, C. H. Wellington 
115 Fox, C. EL, M.D. Brislington 

Fox, Geo. Smith, Wellington 

Fox, Sylvanus, Linden, Wellington 

Freeman, E. A., D.C.L. Somerleaze, Wells 

Gale, Rev. I. S. Kingston 
120 Gatehouse, Rev. Thos. J. North Cheriton, Wincanton 

George, Rev. Philip Edward, 1 1, Pulteney-street, Bath 

Giles, Captain, Woodberry, Wells 

Gillett, George, Taunton 

Goodden, Rev. C. C. Montacute, Ilminster 
125 Goodford, Rev. C. O., D,D., Provost, Eton 

Gould, Rev. W. 

Gover, H., LL.D. Cou'rtlands, Taunton 

Grenville, Ralph Neville, M.P. Butleigh, Glastonbury 

Green, Emanuel, Holcombe, Bath 
130 Grote, Arthur, F.G.S., F.L.S., Athenosum Club, London 

Hall, Henry, 3, Bloomsbury-place, Bloomsbury-square, 
London, W.C. 

Hamilton, J. Broomfield, and 116, Park-street, Grosvenor- 
square, London 

Hammond, H. W. Rutland Lodge, Clevedon 

Harbin, G. Newton House, Yeovil 
135 Harford, W. H. Blaise Castle, Bristol 

Harford, Wm. H., jun. Lawrence Weston, near Bristol 

Harris, Charles, Ilchester 

Harrison, Rev. O. S. Thorn Falcon 

Heard, Robert, Shepton Mallet 
140 Heathcote, Rev. S. Williton 

Helyar, W. H. Coker Court, Yeovil 

Henderson, Robert, Bell House, Taunton 


Hervey, the Right Rev. Lord Arthur, Bishop of Bath 
and Wells, Palace, Wells 

Hervey, Rev. S. H. W. Bridgwater 
145 Hesse, Rev. F. L. Rowberrow, Axbridge 

Hewett, Rev. J. P. Norton Fitzwarren 

Hill, Rev. R. Timsbury, Bath 

Hill, Miss, Asby Lodge, Carlton Road, Putney, London 

Hill, William John, Langport 
150 Hincks, Rev. Thos., F.R.S. Haines Hill, Taunton 

Hippisley, Edwin, Wells 

Hodgkinson, W. S. Wells 

Hodges, Miss Caroline, Haines Hill, Taunton 

Hood, Sir A. A., Bart. St Audries 
155 Hooper, James, Thome, Yeovil 

Horner, Rev. J. S. H. Mells Park, Frome 

Horsey, J. Crewherne 

Hoskins, T. Haselbury 

Hoskins, H. W. Hinton St. George 
160 Hunt, E. 18, Belmont, Bath 

Hunt, Rev. W. Congresbury, Bristol 

Hutchings, H., 13, Chester-street, Grosvenor-square, 

Isaacs, G. Milverton 

James, Sir Henry, M.P., 2, New Court, Temple, London 
165 Jeboult, E. Taunton 

Jermyn, Right Rev. Hugh, Bishop of Colombo 

Johnson, Rev. F. C. Whitelackington 

Johnson, Wm. Bishops Hull 

Jolliffe, H. H. Charlton, Radstock, Bath 
170 Jones, W. A. Taunton (deceased) 

Kelly, W. M., M.D. Taunton 

Kemmis, Mrs. Croham Hurst, Croydon, Surrey 

King, H. D. Taunton 

King, R. K. M. Walford 
175 King, Walter Meade, Taunton 

Kinglake, R. A. Weston-super-Mare 

Kinglake, J. H., M.D. Taunton 

Knott, John, llminster 

Knowles, C. Bridgwater 
180 Knyfton, T. T. Uphill 


Lambert, W. C. Stapleton Manor, Dorchester 

Lance, Rev. J. E. Buchland St. Mary 

Lance, Rev. \V^ H. Thurlbeer 

Lang, Robert, Mancombe, Henbury, Bristol 
185 Langton, W. H. P. G., M.P. Hatch Park, Taunton 

Langworthy, V. Upton, Ilminsier 

Leigh, Henry, 3, Plowden Buildings, Temple, London 

Lethbridge, A. G. Eastbrook, Taunton 

Liddon, H. Taunton 
190 Liddon, Wm. „ 

Long, W. West Hay, Wrington, Bristol 

Long, W., jun. Congresbury, Bristol 

Lovelace, the Earl of, Ashley Combe, Porlock 

Luttrell, G. F. Dunster Castle 
195 Lyte, H. Maxwell, 18, Albemarle-street, London 

Macleay, J. R. Tetion, Taunton 

Malet, Arthur, Pyrland Hall, Taunton 

Malet, Octavius W. Haygrass House, Taunton 

Mapleton, Rev. H. M. Badgworth, Weston-super-Mare 
200 Marriott-Dodington, T. Combe House, Dulverton 

Marshall, G. W., LL.D. Hanley Court, Tenbury, 

Marshall, J. Belmont, Taunton 

Marshall, Wilfrid Geo. Belmont, Taunton 

Marwood, J. B. Montacute House, Weston-super-Mare 
205 Master, Rev. G. S. West Deane, Wilts 

Matthew, Rev. M. A. Bishops Lydeard 

May, Frederick, Taunton 

Mayhew, T. Glastonbury 

Meade, Rev. De Courcy, North Barrow, Castle Cory 
210 Meade, Rev. R. J. Castle Gary 

Medlycott, Sir W. C, Bart. Venn House, Milborne Port 

Meyler, T. Piercejkld, Taunton 

Michell, Rev. R., B.D. Magdalene Hall, Oxford 

Miles, Sir W., Bart. Leigh Court, Bristol 
215 Mitchell, W. S., LL.B., F.G.S. 

Moor, Rev. J. F. Sion-place, Sion-kill, Bath 

Moore, C. Cambridge-place, Bath 

Moss, Rev. J. J. East Lydford 

Moysey, H. G. Bathealton Court 


220 Munbee, General, Weston-super-Mare 
Munckton, W. W. Curry Rivel 
Murch, Jeroin, Cranwells, Bath 

Naish, \V. B. Stan Easton 
Neville, W. F. Butleigh 
225 Newton, F. W. Barton Grange, Taunton 
Norman, J. F. Staplegrove, „ 

Norris, Hugh, South Petherton 

Ommanney, Rev. G. D. W. Brislington, near Bristol 

Paget, R.H., M.P. Cranmore Hall, Shepton Mallet 
230 Paine, Jas. Springfield, West Monkton 

Palairet, Rev. R. Norton St. Philip 

Palmer, Robert, Frieshill, Taunton 

Parfitt, The Very Rev. C. C. Cottles, Melksham, Wilts 

Parsons, James, Drayton, near Taunton 
235 Paul, W. Bond, Langport 

Patton, Capt. T., R.N. Bishops Hull 

Penny, Rev. C. West Coker, Yeovil 

Perceval, Capt. Severn House, Henbury, Bristol 

Perrin, Rev. George, Nailsea 
240 Philpott, Rev. R. S. Chewton Mendip 

Pigot, Rev. John C. Weston-super-Mare 

Pigot, Mrs. M. J. „ 

Pinchard, W. P. Taunton 

Pinchard, J. H. B. „ 
245 Pinney, W. Somerton Erleigh 

Plowman, T. North Curry 

Poole, G. S. Manor House, Brent Knoll, Highbridge 

Poole, J. R. Cannington 

Pooley, C. Weston-super-Mare 
250 Pope, Dr. Glastonbury 

Porch, T. P. Edgarley 
♦Portman, Viscount, Bryanstone House, Dorset 

Portman, Rev. F. B. Staple Fitzpaine 

Prankerd, John, Langport 
255 Pring, J. H., M.D. Taunton 

Prior, R. C. A., M.D. Halse 

Pulman, G. P. R. Crewkerne 

Pyne, Rev. W. Charlton, Somerton 


Quekett, E. Langport 
260 Quicke, Major 

Raban, R. B. Shirehampton 
* Ramsden, Sir John, Bart. Byam, Yorkshire 

Randall, Rev. H. G. St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol 

Redfern, Rev. W. T. Taunton 
265 Reed, Rev. W. Fullands, „ 

Reynolds, Vincent J. Canons Grove, Taunton 

Robbins, G. 9, Royal Cresent, Bath 

Robinson, Walter, 7, FurnivaVs Inn, Holborn, London 

Rogers, T. E. Yarlington House, Wincanton 
270 Rowcliffe, Charles, Milverton 

Rowe, J. Taunton 

Ruegg, Lewis H. Sherborne, Dorset 

Ruel, Capt. Herbert, Park Villa, Taunton 

Rutter, John, Ilminster 

275 Salmon, Rev. E. A. Martock 

Sampson, Thomas, Houndstone House, Yeovil 

Sanford, W. A. Nynehead Court 

Scarth, Rev. H. M. Wrington, Bristol 

Scott, Rev. J. P. Staplegrove 
280 Scratchley, Rev. C. J. Lydeard St Lawrence 

Sears, R. H. Priory House, Taunton 

Serel, Thomas, Wells 

Sewers, Robert, Curry Rivel (deceased) 

Seymour, Alfred, Knoyle, Wilts 
285*Seymour, H. D. „ „ 

Shepherd, J. W. Ilminster 

Sheppard, A. B. Torquay 

Shore, J. Whatley, near Frome 

Shout, R. H. 35, Colman-street, London, E. C. 
290 Simmons, C. J. Lower Langford, Bristol 

Slade, Wyndham, Montys Court, Taunton 

Sloper, E. Taunton 

Smirke, Sir Edward, 18, Thurloe-square, London, S.W. 

Smith, Rev. Gilbert E. Barton St. David 
295 Smith, Cecil, Bishops Lydeard 

Smith, Richard, Bridgwater 

Smith, Lady, Somerton 

Solly, Miss L. Bath 

Somerville, J. C. Dinder, Wells 


300 Sotheby, Rev. T. H. Langford Budville 

Sowdon, Rev. Frederick, Dunkerton 

Sparks, William, Crewkeme 

Sparks, W. B. „ 

Speke, W. Jordan*, near Ilminster 
305 Spencer, J. H. Galmington Lodge, Taunton 

Spicer, R. W. Chard 

Stanton, Rev. J. J. Tockenham Rectory, Wotton Bassett 

St. Aubyn, Colonel, 7, Great Bedford-street, Bath 

Stayner, James, Ilminster 
310 Stephenson, Rev. J. H. Lympsham 

St. Paul, Sir Horace, Ewart Park, Wooller, Northum- 

Stock, B. S. Rhodyate House, Congresbury 9 Bristol 

Strachey, Sir E., Bart. Sutton Court, Pensford, Bristol 

Stradling, W. J. L. Chilton-super-Polden 
3 IS Stuart, A. T. B. Mellifont Abbey, fVookey, Wells 

Stuckey, V. Langport 

Surrage, J. L. Wincanton 

Surtees, W. Edward, Tainfield, Kingston, Taunton 

Swayne, W. T. Glastonbury 
320 Symes, Rev. R. Cleeve, Bristol 

Talbot de Malahide, Lord, Evercreech, Shepton Mallet 

Taunton, Lady, Quantock Lodge, Bridgwater 

Tetnpleinan, Rev. Alex. Puckington 

Thomas, C. J. Drayton Lodge, Redland, Bristol 
325 Thring, Rev. Godfrey, Afford, Castle Cary 

Thring, Theodore, „ „ 

Todd, Lt.-Col. Keynston, Blandford 

Tomkins, Rev. H. G. 

Tomkins, Rev. W. S. Castle Cary 
330 Trask, Charles, Norton, Ilminster 

Trevelyan, Sir W. C, Bart. Neitlecombe Court, and 
Wallington, Northumberland 

Trevelyan, Sir C. E., Bart., K.C.B. 8, Grosvenor- 
crescent, Belgravesquare, London, S.W. 

Trevelyan, Arthur, Tyneholm, Tranent, N.B. 

Trevelyan, Miss, Nettlecombe Court 
335 Trew, Richard, Axbridge 

Tuckwell, Rev. W. Taunton 

Turner, C. J. Staplegrove 


Tylor, Ed w. Burnett, LL.D. # F JJ.S. Linden, Wellington 
Uttermare, T. B. Langport (deceased) 
340 Vanderbyl, P., 51, Porchester-terrace, London, W. 

Walker, W. C. Shepton Mallet 

Walrond, Rev. W. H. Nynehead 

Walters, R. Stoke-sub-Hambdon 

Walters, G. Frome 
345 Ward, Rev. J. W. Ruishton 

Warre, F. Bindon, Wellington 

Warren, J. F. H. Langport 

Warren, Rev. J. Bawdrip 

Weatherley, Christopher, 39, High-street, Wapping, 
London, E. 
350 Welman, C. N. Norton Manor 

Welch, C. Minehead 

Welsh, W. I. Wells 

Westbury, Lord, Hinton St. George (deceased) 

White, C. F. 42, Windsor-road, Ealing, London, W. 
355 White, F. Wellington 

White, Rev. F. W. Crowle, Doncaster 

Whitfield, Rev. E. Ilminster 

Whit mash, E. Shepherds Bush, London 

Wickham, Rev. II . D. Horsington Rectory, Wincanton 
360 Wilks, Rev. Theodore C. Nately Scures, Hants 

Williams, Rev. Wadham Pigott, Bishops Hull 

Winterbotham, W. L., M.B. Bridgwater 

Winwood, Rev. H. H. 11, Cavendish-crescent, Bath 

Wise, Rev. W. J. Shipham, Bristol 
365 Wood, Alexander, — Gower-street, London 

Woodforde, F.H., M.D. Amberd House, Taunton 

Woodforde, G. A., Castle Cary 

Woodhouse, Rev. F. T. Otterharnpton, Bridgwater 

Woodley, W. A. Taunton 

370 Yatman, Rev. J. A. Winscombe, Weston-super-Mare 


Barnicott, Reginald, Taunton 

Beddoe, J., M.D., F.RS. Clifton 

Bond, G. H. Wiveliscombe 

Busfeild, W. Northfield, Frome 
375 Chapman, Arthur, Kilkenny, Taunton 

Clark, W. T. Street 

Culverwell, J. Taunton 

Douglas, General Sir Percy, Henlade House, Taunton 

Elworthy, F. T. Foxdown, Wellington 
380 Fillieul, Rev. P. V. M. Biddisham Rectory, Axbridge 

Grafton, Rev. A. W. Wells 

Hippisley, John, jun. Ston Easton, Bath 

Lewis, Win. Bath 

Maynard, Alfred, Taunton 
385 Newnham, Capt. N. J. Blagdon Court, Bristol 

Nutt, Rev. C H. East Harptree 

Prankerd, P. D. The Knoll, Sneyd Park, Bristol 

Rowe, Rev. J. Long Load, Langport 

Skrine, H. D. Warleigh Manor, Bath 
390 Taplin, T. K. Westbury House, Wells 

Turner, Henry G. Staplegrove 

Tyack, S. Taunton 

Tyndall, J. W. Warre, Perridge House, Shepton Mallet 

Wade, C. Banwell 
395 Wade, E. F. Axbridge 

Winter, J. A. Taunton 

Wotton, E. Taunton 

Members are requested to inform either of the Secretaries of any errors 
or omissions in the above list ; they are also requested to authorise 
their Bankers to pay their subscriptions annually to Stuckey's 
Banking Company, Taunton ; or to either of their branches ; or 
their respective London Agents, on account of the Treasurer. 





□I U8E IN 






Bv B. C. A. PRIOR, M.D. 





It is now nearly six years ago that the Committee of the 
Somersetshire Archaeological Society asked me to compile a 
Glossary of the Dialect or archaic language of the County, 
and put into my hands a valuable collection of words by the 
late Mr. Edward Norris, surgeon, of South Fetherton. I 
have completed this task to the best of my ability, with the 
kind co-operation of our late excellent Secretary, Wm. Arthur 
Jones ; and the result is before the public. We freely made 
use of Norris, Jennings, Halliwell, or any other collector 
of words that we could find, omitting mere peculiarities of 
pronunciation, and I venture to hope it will prove that we 
have not overlooked much that is left of that interesting old 
language, which those great innovators, the Printing Press, 
the Eailroad, and the Schoolmaster, are fast driving out of 
the country. 


Bishop's Hull, Taunton, 

7th September, 1873. 


THE following paper from the pen of Dr. Prior was read 
at a Conversazione of the Society at Taunton, in the 
winter of 1871, and as it treats the subject from a more 
general point of view than is usually taken of it, we print it 
with his permission as an introduction to our vocabulary : — 

®n ifu gomvatf, Stales* 

The two gentlemen who have undertaken to compile a 
glossary of the Somerset dialect, the Rev. W. P. Williams and 
Mr. W. A. Jones, have done me the honour to lend me the 
manuscript of their work ; and the following remarks which 
have occurred to me upon the perusal of it I venture to lay 
before the Society, with the hope that they may be suggestive 
of further enquiry. 

Some years ago, while on a visit at Mr. Oapel's, at Bulland 
Lodge, near Wiveliscombe, I was struck with the noble coun- 
tenance of an old man who was working upon the road. Mr. 
Oapel told me that it was not unusual to find among the people 
of those hills a very refined cast of features and extremely 
beautiful children, and expressed a belief that they were the 
descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the country, who 
had been dispossessed of their land in more fertile districts by 
conquerors of coarser breed. A study of the two dialects 
spoken in the county (for two there certainly are) tend, I 
think, to corroborate the truth of this opinion. 

It will be urged that during the many centuries that have 
elapsed since the West Saxons took possession of this part of 
England the inhabitants must have been so mixed up together 
that all distinctive marks of race must long since have been 


obliterated. But that best of teachers, experience, shows that 
where a conquered nation remains in greatly superior numbers 
to its conqueror, and there is no artificial bar to intermarriages, 
the latter, the conqueror, will surely be absorbed into the 
conquered. This has been seen in our own day in Mexico, 
where the Spaniards, who have occupied and ruled the country 
nearly four hundred years, are rapidly approaching extinction. 
Nay, we find that even in a country like Italy, where the 
religion, language, and manners are the same, the original dif- 
ference of races is observable in different parts of the peninsula 
after many centuries that they have been living side by side. 

It seems to be a law of population that nations composed 
of different stocks or types can only be fused into a homo- 
geneous whole by the absorption of one into the other— of the 
smaller into the greater, or of the town-dwellers into the 
country stock. The result of this law is, that mixed nations 
will tend with the progress of time to revert to their original 
types, and either fall apart into petty groups and provincial 
distinctions, as in Spain, or will eliminate the weaker or less 
numerous race, the old or the new, as the one or the other 
predominates. The political character of our English nation 
has changed from that which it was in the time of the Plan- 
tagenets by discharging from it the Norman blood ; and our 
unceasing trouble with the Irish is a proof that we have not 
yet made Englishmen of them, as perhaps we never shall. A 
very keen observer, M. Erckman, in conversation with the 
Times correspondent, of the 21st December, 1870, made a 
remark upon the state of France which is so illustrative of this 
position, as regards that country, that I cannot forbear to give 
it in 'his own words. The correspondent had expressed his 
fear that, if the war were prolonged, France would lapse into 
anarchy. " It is not that," said M. Erckman, " which fills me 
with apprehension. It is rather the gulf which I begin to 
fear is widening between the two great races of France. The 
world is not cognisant of this ; but I have watched it with 


foreboding." "Define me the two types." "They shade 
into each other ; but I will take, as perhaps extremes, the 
Gascon, and the Breton." " He proceeded," says the corres- 
pondent, " to sketch the characteristics of the people of Pro- 
vence, Languedoc, and Gascony, and to contrast them with 
those of Brittany, middle, and north France, their idiosyncrasies 
of race, feeling, religion, manners — their diverse aspirations, 
their antagonisms. For sufficient reasons I pass over his re- 
marks." A still more striking case of the kind is that of 
Egypt, a country that for more than 2,000 years has been 
subject to foreign conquerors, Persians, Greeks, Romans, 
Arabs, Turks, and Mamelukes, and the annual influx of many 
thousand negro slaves, and where, notwithstanding all this, 
the peasantry, as far as can be judged by a careful examina- 
tion of the skull, is identical with the population of the 
Pharaonic period. 

This, then, being assumed, that a turbid mixture of different 
races has a tendency to separate after a time into its constituent 
elements, and certain originally distinct types to re-appear 
with their characteristic features, how does this law of popu- 
lation apply to Somersetshire ? 

It is clear from the repeated allusions to the Welsh in the 
laws of Ina, King of the West Saxons, that in his kingdom 
the ancient inhabitants of the country were not exterminated, 
but reduced to the condition of serfs. Some appear to have 
been landowners ; but in general they must have been the 
servants of their Saxon lords, for we find the race, as in the 
case of the negroes in the West Indies, to have been synony- 
mous with the servile class, so that a groom was called a 
hors-wealh, or horse Welshman, and a maid-servant a wylen, or 
Welsh- woman. As long as slavery was allowed by the law of 
the land — that is, during the Anglo-Saxon period, and for two 
centuries at least after the Conquest — there was probably no 
very intimate mixture of the two races. The Normans, as, 
in comparison with the old inhabitants of the country, they 


were few in number, cannot have very materially affected 
them. We have, therefore, to consider what has become of 
them since— the Saxon master and the Welsh slave. In the 
Eastern Counties the invaders seem to have overwhelmed the 
natives, and destroyed or driven them farther inland. Here, 
in Somerset, their language oontinned to be spoken in the 
time of Asser, the latter part of the 9th oentury ; for he tells 
his readers what Selwood and other places with Saxon names 
were called by the Britons. We may infer from this mention 
of them that they were still dispersed over these counties, and 
undoubtedly they still live in our peasantry, and are traceable 
in the dialect. Now, is there any peculiarity in this which we 
may seize as diagnostic of British descent ? I submit that we 
have in the West of Somerset and in Devonshire in the pro- 
nunciation of the vowels ; a much more trustworthy criterion 
than a mere vocabulary. The British natives learnt the lan- 
guage that their masters spoke, and this is nearly the same 
as in Wilts, Dorset, Gloucester, Berks, and Hampshire, and 
seems to have formerly extended into Kent. But they learnt 
it as the Spaniards leaint Latin : they picked up the words, 
but pronounced them as they did their own. The accent 
differs so widely in the West of Somerset and in Devonshire 
from that of the counties east of them that it is extremely 
difficult for a native of these latter to understand what our 
people are talking about, when they are conversing with one 
another and unconscious of the presence of a stranger. 

The river Parret is usually considered to be the boundary of 
the two dialects, and history records the reason of it. We 
learn from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 658, that " Cen- 
wealh in this year fought against the Welsh at Pen, and put 
them to flight as far as the Parret." " Her Xenwealh gefeaht 
eet Peonnum wi)> Wealas, and hie geflymde oj> Pedridan." 
Upon this passage Lappenberg in his " England under the 
Anglo-Saxon kings" remarks: "The reign of Oenwealh is 
important on account of the aggrandisement of Wessex. He 


defeated in several battles the Britons of Dyvnaint and Cernau 
[Devon and Cornwall] who had endeavoured to throw off the 
Saxon yoke, first at Wirtgeornesburh, afterwards, with more 
important results, at Bradenford [Bradford] on the Avon in 
Wiltshire, and again at Peonna [the hill of Pen in Somerset- 
shire], where the power of the Britons melted like snow 
before the sun, and the race of Brut received an incurable 
wound, when he drove them as far as the Pedrede [the 
Parret] in A.D. 658." 

The same author in another passage says (vol. i. p. 120) : 
" In the south-west we meet with the powerful territory of 
Damnonia, the kingdom of Arthur, which bore also the name 
of ' West- Wales.' Damnonia at a later period was limited to 
Dyvnaint, or Devonshire, by the separation of Cernau or 
Cornwall. The districts called by the Saxons those of the 
Sumorssetas, of the Thornssetas [Dorset], and the Wiltseetas 
were lost to the kings of Dyvnaint at an early period ; though 
for centuries afterwards a large British population maintained 
itself in those parts among the Saxon settlers, as well as among 
the Defhsaetas, long after the Saxon conquest of Dyvnaint, who 
for a considerable time preserved to the natives of that shire 
the appellation of the Welsh kind." 

In corroboration of Lappenberg's opinion, one in which 
every antiquary will concur, I may notice in passing that 
many a farm in West Somerset retains to the present day an 
old name that can only be explained from, the Cornish lan- 
guage. Thus, " Plud farm," near Stringston, is " Clay farm," 
or " Mud farm," from plud, mire. In a word, the peasantry 
of West Somerset are Saxonized Britons. Their ancestors 
submitted to the conquering race, or left their country and 
emigrated to Brittany, but were not destroyed ; and in them 
and their kinsmen of Oornouailles in France we see the living 
representatives of the ancient Britons as truly as in Devon- 
shire and Cornwall, in Cumberland, or Wales. 

The characteristic feature of their dialect, and the remark 


applies] of course equally to the Devonian which is identical 
with it, is the sound of the French u or the German u given 
to the oo and ou y a sound that only after long practice can be 
imitated by natives of the more eastern counties. Thus a 
"roof" is a rti/, "through" is thru, and "would" is wild. 
The county might consequently be divided into a "Langue 
d'oo " and a " Langue d'ii." 

An initial w is pronounced oo. " Where is Locke ?" " Gone 
t* Ools, yer honour." " What is he gone there for ?" " Gone 
zootniss, yer honour." The man was gone to Wells assizes as 
a witness in some case. In a public-house row brought before 
the magistrates they were told that " Oolter he com in and 
drug un out." ("Walter came in and dragged him "out.") 
Ooll for "will*' is simply ooill. An owl doommun is an old 
oooman. This usage seems to be in accordance with the 
Welsh pronunciation of to in cwm. 

There are other peculiarities that seem to be more or less 
common to all the Western Counties, and to have descended 
to them from that Wessex language that is commonly called 
Anglo-Saxon — a language in which we have a more extensive 
and varied literature than exists in any other Germanic idiom 
of so early a date, itself the purest of all German idioms. It 
is a mistake to suppose that it is the parent of modern English. 
This has been formed upon the dialect of Mercia, that of the 
Midland Counties ; and it cannot be too strongly impressed 
upon strangers who may be inclined to scoff at West Country 
. expressions as inaccurate and vulgar, that before the Norman 
Conquest our language was that of the Court, and but for the 
seat of Government having been fixed in London might be so 
still ; that it was highly cultivated, while the Midland Coun- 
ties contributed nothing to literature, and the Northern were 
devastated with war ; and that the dialect adopted, so far from 
being a better, is a more corrupt one. 

The peculiarities to which I allude as common to all the 
Southern Counties are these : The transposition of the letter r 


with another consonant in the same syllable, so that Prin for 
Prince becomes Purn, fresh fursh, red ribbons urd urbans — 
a change that certainly is more general and more uniformly 
carried out in the Langue d'ii district than in the Langue d'oo, 
but cannot be quite exclusively appropriated by the former. 

Under the same category will fall the transposition of * with 
p, as in wops for wasp, curps for crisp ; with k, as in ax for ask ; 
with l t as in hake for hazel. 

A hard consonant at the beginning of a word is replaced 
with a soft one, /for v, as in vire for fire ; s with «, as in %ur 
for sir; th with d, as in " What's dee doing here dis time 
o'night ?" k with g, as in gix, the hollow stalk of umbelliferous 
plants, for keeks. To be " as dry as a gix " is to be as dry as 
one of these stalks — a strong appeal for a cup of cider. 

Of another peculiarity which our Western district has in 
common with Norway, I am uncertain whether it extends 
further eastward, or not ; I mean the replacing an initial h 
with y, as in yeffer for heifer , Yejfeld for Heathfield. One it has 
in common with Latin as compared with Greek — the replacing 
an initial hard th with /, as in fatch for thatch, like L. fores 
for Ovpa. A singularly capricious alteration of the vowels, so 
as to make long ones short, and short ones long, is, as far as 
I am aware, confined to our Langue d'ii district. For instance, 
a pool-reed is called a pull-reed, a bull a bul, a nail a nal, 
paint pant ; and bills are sent in by country tradespeople with 
the words so spelt. Again, a mill is called a meel, and a fist 
afeest, pebble becomes popple, and Webber (a surname) Wobber. 
This looks like one of those dialectic peculiarities for which 
there is no means of accounting. 

In the selection of words for their vocabulary I trust that 
these gentlemen will follow the example of Mr. Cecil Smith 
in his admirable work on "The Birds of Somersetshire — not 
to admit one of which he had not positive proof that it had 
been shot in this county. Every one should be taken down 
from the lips of a native, and such as cannot be identified 


should be sternly rejected. The task that they have under- 
taken is a laborious one ; but there is no county in England 
that affords such materials for tracing the influence of a sub- 
ordinate upon a conquering race — of a Celtic language upon 
one that was purely German. 

I cannot conclude these remarks without adverting to a rich 
and hitherto quite unexplored mine of antiquities — the names 
of our fields. There is reason to believe that our country 
roads were traced out, and the boundaries and names of our 
fields assigned to them, when these were first reclaimed from 
the primeval forest, and that they are replete with notices of 
ancient men and manners that deserve and will well repay our 
careful study. 

Since the above has been in type I have had the satisfaction 
of learning from Mr. G. P. E. Pulman, of the Hermitage, 
Crewkerne, that at Axminster, the river Axe, the ancient 
British and Saxon boundary line, divides the dialect spoken to 
the east of it (the Dorset, to judge from a specimen of it that 
he has enclosed) from the Devon. He goes on to say : " On 
the opposite, the west side, of the river, as at Kilmington, 
Whitford, and Colyton, for instance, a very different dialect is 
spoken, the general south or rather east Devon. The difference 
between the two within so short a distance (for you never 
hear a Devonshire sound from a native Axminster man) is 
very striking." That after a period of 1,200 years the exact 
limit of the two races should still be distinguishable in the 
accent of their descendants, is an interesting confirmation of 
the view that I have taken of the origin of these dialects, and 
at the same time a remarkable proof of the tenacity of old 
habits in a rural population ; the more so that the boundary 
line of the dialects does not coincide with that of the two 






A, pron. He, ex. a did'nt zai zo did a ? 

A, adverbial prefix, ex. afore, anigh, athin 

A, for "have" 

A, participal prefix, corresponding with the Anglo-Saxon ge 
and y } ex. atwist, alost, afeard, avroze, avriz'd 

Abeare v. bear, endure, ex. for anything that the Court of 
this Manor will abeare. Customs of Taunton Beam 

Abbey *. great white poplar Abbey-lug, a branch or piece of 
timber of the same (D. Abeel) 

Abbey-lubber «. a lazy idle fellow, *.*. worthless as abbey wood 

Addice, Attis s. an adze 

Addle 8. a fester (A S adl disease) 

After, along side 

Agallied, past part, frightened 

Agin pr. against Auverginst, over-against, up to, in prepar- 
ation for, as Agin Milemas 

Agon, past part, gone by. Also adv. 

Ail 8. ailment, a disease in the hind-quarter of animals, ex. 

Aine v. to throw stones at (A S foman to stone) 

Aines, just as Al-aines, all the same, or all one 

Al-on-een, on tip toe, eager 

Aller, (A S air) alder tree Allern made of alder 



Amper, Hamper $. a pimple Ampery, pimply 

An prep. If 

Ail-dog, Handog #. andiron 

Angle-dog, or Angle-twitch «. a large earth-worm (AS 
Angel-twicce), Angle a fish-hook 

Anpassey, Anpussey, the sign of &, i.e. and per se 

Anty, empty 

Appropo, (Fr. Apropos J but used as one of a small group of 
Norman Fronch words which have got into popular use 

Apse, Apsen-tree, (A S aepsj the aspen tree 

Ar-a-one, ever-a-one Nar-a-one, never-a-one 

Any, any ITurry, none 

Asew, drained of her milk : applied to a cow at the season of 
calving. From sew to drain, hence sewer 

Asian, Aslne, Aslope, adv. indicate oblique movements in 
different directions and levels 

Asplew adv. extended awkwardly 

Afltroddle adj. astride 

Auverlook v. to bewitch 

Az v. to waddle 

Axe, (A S ascan) v. to ask, always used in Wiclif s Bible 

Axen, (A S ahse. <exse) a. ashes, ex. Here maaid, teeak 
showl and d'up axen 

Axpeddlar s. dealer in ashes 

Backlet 8. the back part of the premises 

Back-stick, Backsword s. single-stick, a favourite game in 

Backsunded adj. with a northern aspect 

Bal-rib *. spare-rib 

Bally-rag v. to use abusive language 

Ban v. to shut out, stop, ex. I ban he from gwain there 

Bane *. liver disease in sheep, east of the Parret ; west of 
the river the term Coed or Coathed is used, ex. I count 
they be beiind 

Bnnnin *. That which is used for shutting out, or stopping 

Bannut«. Walnut A woman, a spaunel and a Wut tre^ 

jwauuv •• " " UiU " The mooar you bate 'em the better they be 


Barrener *. a cow not in calf 

Barrow s. a child's pilch or flannel clout 

Barrow-pig *. a gelt-pig 

Barton «. a farm-yard, the Barn-town 

Bastick 8. basket 

Bat, But, the root end of a tree after it has been thrown, also 
spade of cards, the stump of a post 

Batch, a sand bank, or patch of ground, or hillock, " a hill," 
as Churchill-batch, Chelvey-batch, (lying within, or contigu- 
ous to, a river) ; emmet- batches, ant-hills Duck-batches, 
land trodden by cattle in wet weather 

Bats 8. corners of ploughed fields : low-laced boots 

Bawker : Bawker-stone ;. a stone for whetting scythes 

Be, indie, ex. I be, thou bist, he be 

Bear-hond v. to help 

Bear-nan, Bear-in-hond, Bean-hond v. to intend, purpose, 
think, suspect, conjecture, ex. I do beanhond et'l rain zoon 

Beat the streets, to run about idly 

Beeastle, Beezle v. to make nasty 

Bee-bird *. the White-throat 

Bee-but, Bee-lippen, a bee-hive (lepe> a basket, Wiclif Acts 
ix, 25) 

Beetel, Bittle, or Bitle 0. a bron-bitle, or brand-bitle, a 
heavy mallet for cleaving wood. Shaks. Hen. IV. " fillip 
me with a three man beetle " Bitle-head *. a blockhead 

Becal v. to abuse, to rail at 

Bedfly 8. a flea 

Bed-lier 8. a bed-ridden person 

Beever 8. a hedge-side encumbered with brambles 

Begaur, Begaurz, Begumm, Begummers, words of asseveration 
and exclamation 

Begrumpled adj. soured, displeased 

Begurg v. begrudge 

Behither adv. on this side 

Beige, or Belve v. to bellow 

Belk, or Bulk, v. to belch 

Bell flowe^ Bell-rose, a Daffodil 


Belah v. to clean the tails of sheep 

Benet, Bants «. Bennetty adj. long coarse grass, and plantain 

Benge v. to continue tippling, to booze 

Benns, or Bends* ridges of grass lands 

Bepity v.a. to pity 

Beskummer v. to besmear, abuse, reproach 

Bethink v. to grudge, ex. He bethink' d I but everything 

Betwattled v. n. to be in a distressed state of mind, also v. a* 

Betwit, to rake up old grievances 

Bevorne, before 

Bibble v. to tipple Bibbler *. 

Biddy «• a chick. Chick-a-Biddy, a term of endearment 

Biddy's eyes *. pansy 

Bide v. to live or lodge in Bidin 8. a place where a man 

Big, Beg, Begotty adj. grand, consequential, ex. Too big for 
his birches 

Billid adj. distracted, mad 

Billy «. a bundle of straw, or reed, one-third part of a sheaf 

Bim-boms 0. anything hanging as a bell, icicles, or tags of a 
woman's bonnet, or dress 

Bin, Bin'swhy conj. because, seeing that, prob. " being," pro- 
vided that 

Binnic, or Bannisticle #. stickle-back 

Bird-battin v. taking birds at night with a net attached to 
two poles. Shaks. bat-fowling 

Bird's-meat, Bird's-pears *. hips and haws 

Bisgee, (g hard), (Fr. besaigue. Lat bis- acuta J 8. a mooting 
or rooting axe, sharp at both ends and cutting different 

Bis't v. Art thou ? (Germ, hist du) 

Bit 8. the lower end of a poker v. to put a new end to a 

Bivver v. to shake or tremble, ex. They'll make he biwer, 
(A S bijian, to tremble) 

Blackhead 8. a boil, a pinswil 


Black-pot 8. black-pudding 

Blacky-moor's-beauty *. Sweet scabious 

Blake v. to faint (A S blacan, to grow pale) 

Blanker, Vlanker, Flanker «. a spark of fire 

Blanscue «. an unforeseen accident 

Blather «. Bladder v. to talk in a windy manner, to vapour 

Bleachy adj. brackish 

Blicant adj. bright, shining (A S bliean, to shine) 

Blid 8. applied in compassion, as poor old blid — blade 

Blowth 8. bloom, blossom, ex. A good blowth on the apple 

Blunt 8. a storm of snow or rain, snow-blunt 

Boarden adj. made of board 

Bobsnarl «. a tangle as of a skein of twine 

Booc 8. a wash of clothes, (A S hue water vessel) 

Bodkins 0. swingle-bars Weys and Bodkins, portions of 

Body-horse *. the second horse in a team, that which draws 
from the end of the shafts 

Boming adj. hanging down, like a woman's long hair 

Boneshave *. hip-rheumatism 

Bore, the tidal wave in the river Parrett 

Borrid adj. applied to a sow when seeking the boar 

Bos, Bus 8. a yearling calf, a milk sop (Lat. bos J 

Bottle 8. a bubble, a small cask for cider v. to bubble 

Boughten past part, of to buy 

Bow 8. a culvert, arched bridge, arch, as Castle-bow, Taunton 

Bowerly adj. portly, tall, well-made, quy. buirdly 

Bowsin 8. fore part of a cattle stall 

Brandis 8. an iron frame to support a pan or kettle over a 
hearth-fire (A S brand-iseri) 

Brash s. a row, tumult, crash (A S brastl a noise) 

Brave adj. in good health 

Brazed past part, cramped with cold 

Br'd, or Bard, Breaze v. to bruize, to indent, as on an apple ; 

Breath 8. a scent, a smell 


Breeze v* to braize or Bolder a kettle 

Brickie, Burtle adj. brittle 

Brineded adj. brindled 

Bring-gwain v. to get rid of, to spend, to accompany a person 
some way on a journey, bring-going 

Brit, Burt, to leave a dent or impression 

Brize, Prize v.a. to press down 

Broom-squires 0. Quantock broom-makers 

Brock 0. a piece of turf for fuel (Du. brocke, a morass) 

Broiler, Brawler 0. a bundle of straw 

Brow-square, an infant's head cloth 

Bruckley, Brocle adj. as applied to stock given to break fence, 
to cheese that breaks into fragments 

Brummie, Brimmel (A S hrimel) 0. bramble 

Bucked adj. having a strong hircine taste, applied to cheese 

Buckle v.n. to bend, to warp 

Buckle 0. a dispute v. to quarrel. 

Buddie v. to suffocate in mud 

Bug 8. beetle, as water-bug, may-bug, cockchafer 

Bullen 8. large black sloes ; bullace-plum 

Bullworks, Bullocking adj. rude, romping 

Bumtowel 8. long-tailed tit 

Bungee, (g hard), adj. short and squat 

Burcott 8. a load 

Burge 0. bridge 

Burr 8. a sweet-bread 

Bursh 8. brush 

Busket 8. a bush or brake 

But 8. a basket for catching salmon ; also a bee-hive 
But, for Put, a heavy cart 

Butter and Eggs 0. toad-flax, linaria vulgaris 

Button stockings 0. gaiters 

Butty 0. a partner 

Buzzies 0. flies 

Byes 0. furrows 

By-now, a short time ago 


Caddie *. bustle, ex. We'rn jussy caddie to-day 

Cadock 8. a bludgeon, a short thick club 

Cag v. to annoy, vex 

Cag v. to irritate 

Callenge #. and v.a. challenge 

Cal-home, or Cal-over v. to publish or call the banns of 
marriage for the last time 

Callyvan , or Carryvan, also Clevant and Vant, a pyramidal 
trap for catching birds, quy. colly fang, (A S fang en, to take) 

Cannel, Cannal s. the faucet of a barrel — tap-and-canal 

Car v. to carry, ex. Cassn't car'n ? 

Carry-merry *. a kind of sledge used in conveying goods 

Carvy-seeds *. carraway seeds, (carvi sem :) 

Cauk v. to turn down the ends of shoes for a horse to stand 
on ice 

Caxon 0. a sorry wig 

Chaccle v. to caccle as a hen 

Chaity adj. careful, nice, delicate 

Chaine 8. a weaver's warp 

'Ch'am, (A S to eom : Germ. Ich bin) I am. 'Oh'ave, I have. 
Wad, I had. 'Ch'ool, I would. Uch'll go, I will go. 
" Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion." Shaks. 
Lear, iv, 6. This form occurs chiefly in the neighbourhood 
of Merriott. 

Cham v. To chew 

Charm «• confused noise as of birds 

Cheaymer, Chimmer s. a bed-room 

Cheese-stean 8. a wring or press for cheese 

Chibbole 8. (Sp. cepolla, Fr. ciboule) a young onion, before the 
bulb is fully formed 

Chilbladder «. a chilblain 

Chilver, (A S cilfer-lamb), an ewe lamb Pur, the male lamb 

Chilver-hog and Pur-hog, sheep under one year old 

Chine s. that part of a cask which is formed by the projection 
of the staves beyond the head, Chine-hoops top-hoops 

Chissom, Chism v. to bud, to shoot out ; also, s. a bud 

Chowr v. to grumble, to mutter (A S ceorian, to murmur) 


Clam v. to handle in a slovenly manner 

Clamper «. a difficulty, ex. I zined once and a got meself in 
jissey clamper I never w*ont sine nothing no more 

Claps v. clasp 

Olathers «. clothes or rags 

Clavy, a shelf Clavel-tack, a mantel-piece, a place where keys 
(clave*) are kept, a shelf for keys Holmen-clavel, an inn 
on Blagdon hill, so called from having a large holm-beam 
supporting the mantel-piece 

Cleve-pink, or Cliff-pink, a species of pink growing wild in 
the Cheddar cliffs, dianthus deltoides 

Clim, Glimmer, Climber v. to climb Clammer *. a worn 
footpath up a steep bank 

Clinkers «. hoof marks Clinker-bells, icicles 

Clint, or Clent v. to clench 

Clit v. Clitty adj. applied to bread not properly kneaded 

Clittersome adj. troublesome 

Cliwer-and-shiver adv. completely, totally 

Clize, Clice s. a swinging door, or valve of a dike or rhine, 
(A S clysing) 

Cloam, Cloamen, coarse earthen ware 

Clothen adj. made of cloth 

Clotting, Clatting «. fishing for eels with a knot or clot of 
worms, which is also called reballing 

Clout #. and v. a blow in the face or head, to beat about the 

Clumber 0. a clump, or large piece 

Cly, Cliver, Clider, or Clidden *. goose-grass 

Coathe, or Coe v. a. to bane, applied to sheep, rabbits, and hares 

Cock-and-mwile a. a jail 

Cock-lawt, Cock-lart *. a garret or cock-loft 

Cock-squailing s. an old Shrove Tuesday sport — (in Somerset, 
Shaff Tuesday), flinging sticks at a cock tied by the leg, one 
penny per throw, whoever kills him takes him away 

Cob-wall 8. made of mud and straw, mud-and-stud, or wattle- 

College e. an assemblage of small tenements, having a 
common entrance from the street, and only one 


Colley blackbird ; Water-colley water-ouzel ; Mountain- 
colley ring-ouzel 

Colt a person entering on a new employment ; Colting, 
Colt-ale a fine on entering ; footing ; also, a thrashing 

Comb-broach «. tooth of a wool-combe, a spit, knitting- 
needle (Fr. broche) 

Commandement «. (Four syllables as in Chaucer and Wiclif ), 

Conk, or Skonk *. a collection of people (Lat. concioj 

Connifle v. to embezzle, to sponge 

Cop-bone *. knee-pan, patella 

Count v. to think, to esteem 

Couples, Cooples «. an ewe with her lambs ; Double-couples #. 
an ewe with twins 

Coy v. to decoy ; Cway Pool *. a decoy 

Cowerd Milk *. milk not skimmed 

Cow-babby *. a great childish fellow 

Crab-lantern *. a cross froward child 

Crap a bunch or cluster (Fr. grappe) 

Crap, Crappy v. to snap, to crack 

Craze v. a. to crack 

Crease *• crest of a horse's neck, a crestaline of a roof 

Creem «. and v. a cold shivering, to shiver ; to creemy adj. 
subject to shivers 

Creem v. to crush or squeeze severely the limbs of a person 

Crewel «. a cowslip 

Creeze adj. squeamish, dainty 

Crip v. to clip — as the hair 

Cripner, Kr'pner «. crupper strap 

Crips, or Curps adj. crisp 

Criss-cross-lain the alphabet, because in the Horn-book it was 

preceded by a X (Er« croissette) 
Crope pret. of creep crept, ex. A craup'd in 

Cross-axe 8. an axe with two broad and sharp ends, one cut- 
ting breadth- wise, the other length- wise, called also grub-axe 
and twibill 


Crowdy, Crowdy-kit (Celtic crwth) s. small fiddle; to 
crowd v. to grate as the two ends of a broken bone, to make 
a flat creaking ; Crowder *. a fiddler ( W. crwthwrj 

Crown t>. Orownert quest *. Coroner's Inquest. To be 
crowned, to have an inquest held over a dead body by the 
direction of the coroner 

Crub, Croost «. a crust of bread 

Cruel adv. intensive, as cruel-kind, very kind 

Cry «. to challenge, bar, or object to 

Cubby-hole «. a snug comfortable situation for a child, such 
as between a person's knees when sitting before the fire 

Cuckold 8. the plant Burdock; cuckold-buttons, the burs, 
(A S coccel, darnel, tares) 

Cue 8. the shoe on an ox's hoof, or tip on a man's boot 

Curdle v. a. to curl, also, v.n. ; Curdles *. curls 

Cut 8. a door hatch 

Curse 8. cress 

Cuss v. to curse ; Cussin Sarvice the Commination 

Custin 8. a kind of small wild plum 

Cutty adj. small, as cutty-pipe, cutty-wren ; Cutty-bye, a 
cradle, a hob-gobblin 

Daddick 8. rotten-wood ; Daddicky adj. perished like rotten- 
wood, applied metaphorically to the old and feeble 

Dag-end «. applied to a sheaf of reed 

Daggers *. sword-grass, a kind of sedge 

Dame 8. never applied to the upper ranks of society, nor to 
the very lowest, but to such as farmer's wives, or the 
schoolmistress : rarely if ever applied to a young woman 

Dandy adj. distracted 

Dap v. to hop as a ball 

Dap 8. the hop, or turn of a ball ; also habits and peculiarities 
of a person, ex. I know all the daps on'm 

Dor, Dare v. and *. to frighten, stupify : ex. Put a dor on'n 
Dare-up v. to wake or rouse up a person that is dying or asleep 
Dave v. to thaw 
Dawer, or Daver v. to fade, to droop ; Davered drooping 

Dawzin «. a conjuring device to discover minerals by the 
twisting of a hazel-rod 


Devil-screech, Devil-swift, or Devilling *. the Swift 

Devil's Cow *. a kind of beetle 

Dew-bit a. an early morsel before breakfast 

Diddlecum adj. distracted, mad 

Diff adj. deaf 

Dilly adj. cranky, queer 

Dir'd *. thread, ex. Whaur's my dVd and niddel ? 

Dish-wash, or Dippity-washty *. a water-wagtail 

Dirsh, Drush, or Drasher s. a thrush 

Dirt 8. earth generally, as mould in a garden 

Dirten adj. miry, dirty, or made of dirt 

Dock 8. the crupper of a saddle 

Dockery-stick 8. phosphorescent wood 

Donnins 8. dress, clothes 

Double-spronged when potatoes lying in the ground throw out 
fresh tubers 

Dough-fig *. a Turkey-fig 

Douse, or Touse *. a smart blow, particularly on the face, 
ex. A douse on the chaps 

Down-arg v. to contradict, ex. He 'ood downarg I 

Down-daggered adj. disconsolate, cast-down 

Draen, Drean v. to drawl (Fr. trainer) 

Drafflt *. a tub for pigs' -wash f draught-vat J 

Drail s. the piece of leather connecting the flail with its 

Drang s. a narrow path or lane 

Drang-way a drove or gate-way 

Drapper s. a small tub 

Drash v. to thrash ; Drashel, or Thrashle «. a flail (A S therscel) 

Drashold, or Dreshol s. a threshold 

Drawl, Drail *. the forepart of the sull of a plough ; in West 
Somerset, weng (A S wang or weng a cheek) 

Drift 8. a lask, or looseness 

Drimmeling adj. slow, continuous pain 

Dring v. fpret. Drang) to throng, crowd, *. Dringet, acrowd 
(Dutch, dringen, to press) 


Drink #. small beer, or cider 
Droot v. to drivel 

Dro v. (part. Dro'd) to throw, ex. The tree wur dro'd 
Drow, or Drowy «. to dry, ex. It do drowy terble now, as 
applied to grass ; Muck-adrowd, or Muok-adrowy « dust 

Drub, Drabby v. to throb 

Dmok v. to cram or thrust down 

Druok-pieces «. pieces of wood let into a wall to support the 

pipe of a pump 
Drug v. to drag, also pret. of drag ; ex. He drug un out 

of the pond ; Drugs «. harrows or drags 

Dub, Dubby, Dubbid adj. blunt, squat 

Dubbin *. suet or fat for greasing leather 

Duck 0. to carry a person under the arms in a suspended state 

Dudder t>. to confound with noise 

Duds 8. foul linen 

Dumbledore, Dumbledory «. a humble bee, stupid fellow 

Dummic, Dunnic a. a hedge-sparrow 

Dumps s. the twilight, ex. Dumps of the yavening ; Dumpsy 

towards twilight 
Dunch adj. deaf 
Bunder-daisy s. large field daisy 
Dungmixen *. a dung-heap 
Durgin (g hard) *. a great stupid fellow 
Durns *• side-posts of a door, ( ? floorings J 
Ear-burs *• a swelling behind the ear 

Ear-grass, or Hay-grass «. grass after mowing, from AS 

erian, to till ; the grass of tilled land 
Ear-keckers *. the tonsils of the throat 

Eave, Heave v.n. to give out moisture, as flagstones in wet 

E'en-to, Ee'nsto adv. up to, all but, ex. There were ten 
e'ensto one or two 

Element s. the sky, used in this sense by Shakespeare in 


Elem'n, or Ehn'n adj. made of elm 

Eldern adj\ made of the elder 

Elt-pig 8. a young sow 

Elver, Eelver, or Telver 0. the young eel 

Emmers *. pi. embers 

Emp, or Empt v. to empty 

En, or Un pron. Him, ex. A zid'n : he saw him (A 8 hinej 

Er pron. He, ex. Er ziden : he saw him 

Errish, Arrish, or Herrish *. stubble 

Evet 8. eft, or newt 

Ex 8. an axle 

Eye 8. the cavity beneath the arch of a bridge 

Fadge v. to fare, to be in good condition. " How will this 

fadge ? " Shaks. Twelfth-night 
Fags interj. truly! indeed! 

Fairy, Fare, Vare *. a weasel (old Fr. vair, ermine) 

False adj. forsworn, perjured 

Falsing adj. coaxing 

Fardel *. a small bundle, Shaks. Hamlet 

Faut (faat) v. to find fault 

Fauty (faaty) adj. given to find fault 

Fauth, Foth, Voth 8. the turning place of the plough at the 
side of a field 

• • 

Featy adj. pretty, neat 

Feaze v. to harass, or ferret 

Feaver-largin (g hard), *. a fit of indolence 

Fell v. to sew down a hem 

Fend v. to forbid (Fr. defendrej 

Fess adj. gay, smart, ex. A fess fellow 

Few, Veo adj. little, as a few broth 

Fie 8. to succeed, ex. Che-ating pl'y 11 never fie 

Fig 8. raisin : flggety-pudden, flggy-cake, rich with raisins 

Fildefare, Veelvare 8. a fieldfare : varewell veelvare, farewell 

Filtry 8. rubbish 

Fitch, Fitchet 8. a pole cat, ex. As cross as a fitchet 


Fitten $. an idle fancy, whim 

Flap-jack «. small pancake, fritter 

Flanker, Vlanker #. a spark of fire 

Flannin, Vlannen *. a flannel 

Fleet *. the windward side of a hedge 

Fleet v. to float 

Flick «. the inside fat of animals ; also flitch of bacon 

Flittermonse s. a bat (Oer. Fledermaus) 

Flook s. a flounder ; also a parasite in the liver of sheep 

Flush adj. fledged, in full feather adv. even with 

Foase v. to wheedle, to deceive adj. false 

Fob 0. froth, slaver v. to put off with a pretence 

Fog s. old, withered or spoilt grass 

Fog-earth «. bog-earth, peat 

Foggy adj. fat, corpulent 

Fooase, or Vooase v. to force, to oblige 

Footer s. a worthless shabby fellow adj. footy 

Fore-spur, or Vore-spur «. the fore-leg of pork 

Fore-right; Vore-right adj. rash, head-long, head-strong 

Forrel e. the cover of a book, the selvage of a handkerchief 

Forware, or Verware v. to indemnify 

Forweend adj. hard to please, wayward, spoilt in nursing 

Frame v. to form, fashion the speech, ex. If I wur axed I 
could'nt frame to spake it so 

Frange *. fringe (J&v.frange) 

Free-bore adj. free, free-born 

French-nut «. walnut 

Fret v. to eat, as the lower animals (Q- fressen, A S fretan, 
as opposed to G men, A S etan, applied to man) : ex. The 
moth fretteth the garment ; a use of the word retained in 
the West, and usually applied to the browsing of cattle 

Furcum, or Vurcum s. the whole, even to the bottom 

Furr, or Vurr v. to cast a stone far 

Fump 8. the whole of a business 


Fuz, Fuzzen, Furze •. gorse, prov. ^^^^L 088010 

Fuz-pig *. hedge hog 

Gad *. a fagot-stick ; Spar-gad a twisted stick picked at both 
ends to spar (G-er. sperrenj or fasten down thatch. Near 
Bath, spick-gad 

Gain adj. handy ; Gainer more handy 

Gale 8. an old bull castrated 

Gall 8. a wet place, abounding in springs 

Gaily, Gallow f>. to frighten; Gallied frightened Shak. 
K. Lear, iii, 2, " Skies gallow the wanderer" 

Gally-baggur *. bug-bear, a trace of the time when gallows 
were a more common sight 

Gamble s. a leg, (Ital. gambaj 

Gambril «. a crooked stick used by butchers to suspend a 

Gammets, Gamoting 8. whims, tricks, pranks 

Ganny-cock *. a turkey-cock 

Ganny-cock's nob 8. the appendage to a turkey-cock's beak 

Gapes-nest 8. an idle spectacle 

Gare 8. gear; Ire-gare *. plough-gear, iron- work 

Gam, or Gearn, Gearden 8. ' a garden 

Gatchel 8. the mouth 

Gate-shord, or sheard 8. a gate-way, a place for a gate 

Gatfer s. an old man (good father) 

G'auf to go off; G'auver to go over; G'in to go in; CKon 
to go on; G'out to go out; Go'vorn go before him or them ; 
G'under to go under ; G'up to go up : ex. Thear I wiir', d* 
knaw, carnared (in a corner) ; coud'n g'auver, g'under, g'in, 
nor g'out 

Gawcum, Gawcumin *. a simpleton, a gawkey 

Gee-wi' (g soft), v. to agree; Gee (g hard), to give, ex. 
To gee out — to thaw 

Gib, or Gibby (g hard), *. a pet lamb 

Gibby-heels (g hard), 8. kibed-heels 

Giffin (g hard), *. a trifle, a small portion of time 

Gilawfer, Gillifer, Gilliflower (g soft), stocks; Whitsun 
Gilawfer, carnation, also the wallflower 


Giltin-cup (ghard), «. butter-cup 

Gimmace (g hard), t. a hinge 

Gimmaoes (g hard) «. a criminal is said to be hung in 
gimmaoes, when he is hung in chains 

Glare v. to glaze earthenware. Also «. ex. The roads are 
all a glare of ice 

Glassen adj. made of glass 

Glou, Glouie v. to stare 

Glou-beason $. a glow-worm, a bold impudent fellow 

Glutch, Glutchy v. to swallow t. the act of swallowing 
Glutcher $. the throat 

Gold «• sweet willow ; Myriea tfak, abundant in the moors of 
Somerset, in the herbalists called Gaule 

Go-lie v. spoken of corn falling after rain ; applied to wind, 
to subside 

Gool-french a gold-finch, a proud tailor 

Gollop «. a large morsel 

Gommer *. an old woman (good mother) 

Good-hussy *. a thread-case 

Goody v. to appear good, to prosper 

Goose-cap «• a giddy, silly person 

Goose-herd, or Goosier s. one who breeds or looks after geese 

Gore-in, Gore-with v. to believe in, to trust 

Gossips *. sponsors ; Gossiping the festivities of the christening 

Gout *. a drain, a gutter 

Gowder «. a higgler of fruit 

Grainded, Grainted adj. ingrained, dirty 

Granfer, Grammer s. grandfather, grandmother 

Granfer griggles s. wild orchis 

Gribble s. a young apple tree raised from seed 

Grig v. and 0. to pinch, a pinch . . 

Griddle, Girdle *. a gridiron 

Gripe, or Grip 9. a small drain or ditch v. to cut into gripes 

Grizzle v. to laugh or grin 

Gronin *. labour, childbirth; Gronin-chair nursing chair; 
Gronin-malt provision for the event 



Ground *. a field, a piece of land enclosed for agricultural 

Grozens, Groves *. duck-weed 

Gruff, Gruff-hole *. a trench or groove excavated for ore 

Gruffer, Gruffier «. a miner, one frho works in a gruff or 

Gumpy adj. abounding in protuberances 

Gurds 8. eructations ; Fits and Gurds fits and starts 

Gurl, or Gurdle v. to growl 

Gush v. to put the blood in quicker motion by fright or sur- 
prise, ex. A' gied I sich a gush 

Guss v. and 8. to gird, a gi&h 

Gurt adj. great 

Hack s. the place where bricks newly-made are arranged to 

Hack, Hacket, Hick, Heck v. to hop on one leg, to play 
hackety oyster, hopscotch, or hack-shell 

Hacker v. to chatter with the cold, to stammer 

Hackle #. a good job 

Hag-mal 8. a slattern, a titmouse 

.. Hag-rided adj. subject to night-mare 

Hag-ropes traveller's joy, wild clematis (AS Hage, a hedge) 

Haih v. to let up grass for mowing 

Halfen-deal *. moiety adj. composed of different materials 

Half-strain adj. mongrel, half-witted 

Halipalmer 8. the palmer-worm, (holy-palmer) 

Hallantide 8. All Saints' Day, (hallow-een-tide) 

Halse 8. hazel ; halse coppice 

Halsen, Hawseny, Noseny, Osney v. to divine, predict, fore- 
bode (A S hahen, from the hazel divining rod) 

Halve, or Helve v. to turn over, to turn upside down 

Ham «. an open field, usually near a river : on Mendip, old, 
calamine pits 

Hame v. "rem habere" (A S hamanj 

Hames, Heamsies «. parts of harness 

Hang-fair, Hanging-vayer s. an execution 



Hanch v. to gore as a bull 

Hanglee, (a pair of bangles) $. a pot or kettle-rack suspended 
over the fire 

Hank «• dealings with 

Happer v. to crackle, rattle like hail 

Hard adj. full grown, as hard stock, or sheep ; a Hardboy a 
boy of about 18 years old 

Harr s. the part of a gate which holds the hinges, ex. Heads 

Hart «. haft, or handle as of knives, awls 

Hat, or Het pret. of v. to hit 

Hathe *. to be in hathe, iJ. t to be thickly covered with pus- 
tules, to be closely matted together 

Haydigeee, (g hard and soft) «. high spirits 

Hay-sucker «. the white-throat 

Hayty-tayty seesaw, also interj. what's here ! 

Hay-ward^*, pound-keeper, a keeper of hedges or hays (A S 
hceig-weard ) 

Hedge-bore *. a rough workman 

Heel, Hell v. to pour out or in, hence Heel-taps 

Heel v. to hide, to cover (A S helanj 

Heeler «. one who hides or covers Proverb : The heeler is as 
bad as the stealer 

Heft *« and v. weight, to lift up, from v. to heave 

Hegler, or Higler «. an egg or fowl collector and dealer 

Hellier *. a tiler, one who covers 

Hel'm 8. haulm of wheat, beans, peas, potatoes (A S healm) 

Hem pron. he or him, ex. If hem had hat hem as hem hat hem, 
hem 'oud a kill'd hem or hem 'oud a kill'd hem 

Hen v. to throw, see Aine 

Hen-hussey *. a meddling officious person, a woman who 
looks after poultry 

Hent, or Hint v. to wither or dry up 

Hern, His'n pron. her's, his 

Herret *. a pitiful little wretch 

Hevel-twine «. a fine sort of twine 


Hike oflf v. to steal away slily, to skulk off 

Hirddick, Ruddick *. robin, ruddock 

Hird-in, fllrd-out v. to remove one's goods Transp. for rid 

Hirn, Hum, Hirnd t . fret, and part, to run (A 8 yrnmj 

Hive, or Heave v. to urge in vomiting 

Hizy-prizy *. Nisi-prius 

Hoak v. to goar as an ox 

Hob v. to laugh loudly «. a down 

Hob 8. a cheek of a grate 

Hod 8. a sheath, a cover 

Hoddy adj. hearty 

Hog, Hogget 8. a sheep or horse one-year old 

Hogo 8. strong savour or smell (Fr. haut gout J 

Holders 8. fangs of a dog 

Holmen adj. made of holm or holly, as Holxnen Clavel a 
holly mantle piece 

Holme-screech 8. the missel- thrush, from its eating the berries 
of the holly or holme tree 

Homaay «. a noise, disturbance 

Home-to adv. up to 

Honey-suck 8. red clover 

Hoop «. a bullfinch, ex. Cock-hoop, hen-hoop 

Hoppet v. to hop 

Hornen, Harnin adj. made of horn 

Horse-godmother *. a masculine woman 

Houzen 8. houses 

Hove v. and *. to hoe, ex. To hove banes, hove turmits with 
an auld hove 

How v. to long for 

Huck-muck s. strainer over the faucet 

Hud 8. as of gooseberry, the skin, hull, husk 

Huf-cap 8. a weed commonly found in fields 

Hug 8. the itch 

Hulden v. to conceal, harbour 

Hulley, or Holley s. a basket-trap for eels 


Hull v. to hurl 

Hum-drum #. a three-wheeled cart 

Humacks «. wild-briar stocks on which to graft roses 

Ioh (soft), prorul 'Cham I am; 'Ch'ool I will; 'Gh'ood 
I would, &c. 

Idleton 9. an idle fellow 

Infaring adj. lying within, as an infaring tithing, i.e, a 
tithing within a borough 

Insense v. to inform 

Ire «. iron, " ire or mire " said of stiff day soil 

Ire-gaer «. iron work or gear 

Ize pr. I, ex. Ize warrant you wunt 

Jib «. the wooden stand for a barrel 

Jigger «. a vessel of potter's ware used in toasting cheese 

Jitch, Jitchy, Jissy adj. such, ex. Jitch placen, such places 

Joan-in-the-wad «. will-of-the-wisp 

Jonnick adv. fair, straight-forward 

Jot v. to disturb in writing, to strike the elbow 

Junket *. curds and cream with spices and sugar, &c, from 
ItaL giuncata, cased in rushes ; from giunco, a rush ; a name 
given in Italy to a kind of cream-cheese 

Kamics, Kramics «. rest-harrow 

Kearny adj. covered with a thin white mould; applied to 

Keeker, Kyecker-pipe 1 the wind-pipe, a pervious pipe, from 
Kyecker, Kyeck-horn J ** to look through 

Keeve, or Kive *. a large tub used in brewing or cider 
making v. to put the wort or cider in a keeve to ferment 

Keep 8. a large basket 

Keffel «. a bad, worn-out horse (Welsh, Keffyl) 

Kern v. to coagulate as milk ; also applied to fruit and wheat 
becoming visible after the blossoming 

Kex, Kexy #. dry, pervious stalks, as of cow-parsley and 
hemlock Kexies, see Keeker 

Kid *. a pod To Kiddy v. ex. They do kiddy, but they 
don't villy 


Kilter *. money 

Kircher s. caul, used by butchers 

Kittle, or Kettle-Smock s. a carter's frock 

Knap 8. a rising ground 

Knee-sick adj. applied to corn when the stalk is not strong 
enough to bear the ear 

Knottle 0. to entangle with knots 

Knottlins *. the intestines of a pig prepared for food 

Knot 8. flower-bed 

Knot-Sheep 8. sheep without horns 

Kowetop *. the barm which rises above the rim of the tub 

Kurpy, Kerp v. to speak affectedly ; scold (Lat. increpare) 

Labber v. to loll out the tongue 

Lades, or Ladeshrides *. the sides of a waggon which project 
over the wheels 

Ladies-smock *. bindweed Convolvulus septum, Cardamine 

Lady-Cow 8. lady-bird Coccinella septempunctata 

Laiter *. the whole number of eggs laid by a hen before 

she becomes broody, ex. She Ve laaid out her ]aiter 
Lamiger 8. lame, a cripple 
Lar 8. bar of a gate 
Larks-lees, Leers v. neglected lands 
Lart, Lawt *. a loft, as cock-lart, hay-lart, apple-lart 

Lary, Leary, Lear adj. empty, thin *. flank : Lear-ouills 
small quills * ' 

Lafr-chargeable interj. be quiet ! *.*., he who last speaks or 
strikes in contention is most to blame 

Lat, or Lart *. a lath, ex. Lartin nails 

Lat 8. shelf 

Latitat *. a noise or scolding 

Lattin-sheet *. iron-tinned ; also as adj. made of tin, as a 
Lattin Saucepan 

Lave v. to throw water from one place to another : to gutter, 
as a candle B ' 

Lay-field *. a piece laid down to grass 


Lea, Lease, Leers 0. an open pasture field 

Leapy, Lippary 0. wet, rainy weather 

Learn, Larn 0. to teach, ex. Who lamed 'e thay tricks 

Leathern-bird, Leather-wing 0. the bat 

Ledge v. lay hands on ; to lay eggs 

Lent-lilies 0. daffodils 

Lesoioos ex. 8he is lesoious of a place, ue. t knows of it 

and thinks it may suit 
Levers 0. a species of rush or sedge 
Lewy 0. a level (Fr. levle) 
Lew, Lewth, Lewthy shelter, sheltered, lee-side 
Libbets 0. tatters; little-bit* 
Lidden 0. a story, a song (Ger. lied) 
Lief, Leaf v. leave ; ex. I would as lief 
Ligget 0. a rag 
I4Jon 0. the main beam of a ceiling 

Lip, or Lippen 0. applied to certain vessels, as Ley-lip, Seed- 
lip, Bee-lippen bee-hive (Wiclifs Test: Leten hym 
doun in a lepe be the wall Acts ix. 25) 

Limmers, Limbers 0. the shafts of a waggon or cart 

Linch v. a ledge, hence "linch-pin" (A S Mine J 

Linney,* Linhay 0. an open shed 

Lirp v. to limp 

Lirripy adj. slouching 

Lissom 0. lithesome, active, supple 

Lissom, or Lism 0. a narrow slip of anything 

Locking-bone 0. the hip joint 

Long-tailed Capon 0. the long-tailed titmouse 

Lug 0. a pole ; a measure of land, perch or rod 

Lug-lain 0. full measure 

Lumper-scrump 0. cow-parsnip Heracleum sphondylium 

Lurdin 0. a sluggard (Fr. lour d J 

Lizzom 0. a shade of colour in heavy bread, or in a mow 

Mace 0. pi. acorns, mast 


Macky-moon *. a man who plays the fool 

Maethe (th soft) sweet as meathe (Welsh Medd, mead) 

Maggems, M&ay-geams *. May games, larking 

Magne adj. great 

Make-wise v. to pretend 

Manchet *. a kind of cake eaten hot 

Mandy adj. and v. haughty, domineering Gommandy 

Mang t>. to mix 

Mang-hangle adj. and *. mixed-up in a confused mass 

Math 8. a litter of pigs 

Maules s. measles 

May-bug *. cockchafer 

Mawkin (maaking) an oven swab ; scare-crow ; a bundle 
of rags 

Mawn 8. a basket (A S mandj 

Maze-house *. madhouse 

Mazy adj. mad, ex. I be mooast maazed ; a mazy ould vool 

Mear, Mear-stone boundary (A S mearej 

Meat-weer adj. applied to land capable of producing food 
that is good, fit to eat ; applied to peas, beans, &c. 

Meg 8. the mark at which boys play pitch and toss 

Meg's, or Maggotts Diversions *. rattling or wanton fun 

Meg-with-the-wad s. will o' the wisp 

Melander *. a row (Ft. meleSJ 

Me'll v.a. to meddle, touch ; ex. I'll neither mell nor make ; 
I ont mell o't, «.«., I will not touch it 

Mesh 8. moss ; lichen on apple-trees 

Mesh «. a hare's creep or run v. to run through the same 

Mess, Messy v- to serve cattle with hay *. Messin 

Mid, Med v. might, ex. Nor zed a mid; midst, medst, ex. 
Thou medst if wouldst 

Midgerim 8. mesentery 

Mid'n might not, ex. I mid or I mid'n 

Mig in the same sense 

Milemas 8. Michaelmas 


Mind v. to remember 

Hisky form of misty 

Hu-mase $. oonfasion 

Mog v. to decamp, march off 

Hooch v. to stroke down gently 

Hood «. the mother of vinegar 

Hole «• higher part of the back of the neck 

Mommacks «. pi. fragments, scraps 

Hommiok, Hommet «. a scarecrow (Wiclifs N. Test. : " a 
sacrifice to the mawmet " Act vii. 41) 

Hoocher, Hooohing, Heecher s. one who skulks; absents 
himself from school 

Hoor-coot «. a moor-hen 

Hore *. a root 

Hoot v. to root up «. Mooting-axe 

Hoot 9. that portion of a tree left in the ground after it has 
been felled 

Hop «. tuft of grass 

More, Morey v.n. to take root ; applied to trees 

Mother, Mothering *. white mould in beer or cider 

Mothering-Sunday «. midlent Sunday, probably from the 
custom of visiting the mother-churches during that season 

Mought for might aux. verb 

Mouse-snap «. a mouse-trap 

Monster v. to stir, to be moving 

Mow-staddle s. a conical stone with a fiat circular cap, used 
for the support of a mow or stack of corn 

Muddy-want «. a mole 

Hullin «. metheglin 

Mumper, Mump, Mumping a beggar, to beg 

Nacker «. a nag 

Nagging adg\ applied to continued aching pain, as toothache ; 
also, teasing with reproaches 

Nammet, or Nummet *. luncheon ; a short meal between 
breakfast and dinner Noon-meat 

Nan, Anan interj. Eh ! what ? (Shakes.) 


Nap 8. a small rising, a hillock 

Na-poast 8. gnaw-post, a fooL 

Nam, or Norn pron. neither, ex. Nam on's 

Nasten v.a. to render nasty 

Nathely adv. nearly, as a baby is nathely pining away 

Naunt 8. aunt 

Nawl 8. navel ; Nawl-cut a term used by butchers 

Neel, Neeld *. a needle (Shaks. Mid. N. Dr. iii. 2) 

Nesh, Naish adj. tender, delicate (A S hnescj 

Nestle-tripe 8. the poorest bird in the nest ; weakest pig in 

the litter ; puny child 
Never-the-near to no purpose 
Newelty *. novelty 
Nickle v.n. to move hastily along in an awkward manner 

adj. beaten down, applied to corn 
Nicky, Nicky-wad 8. a small fagot of thorns 
Niddick 8. the nape of the neck 
Nif conj. if and if 
'Nighst, Noist prep, nigh, near 
Ninny-watch #. a longing desire 
Nippigang, Nimpingang *. a whitlow 
Nitch 8. a burden, a fagot of wood 
Nix v. to impose on, to nick 
Northern, Northering adj. incoherent, foolish 
Nosset 9. a dainty dish such as is fit for a sick person 
'Nottamy *. applied to a man become very thin (anatomy) 
Nug s. unshapen piece of timber, a block 
Nug-head «. a blockhead 
Nuncle «. uncle v.a. to cheat 
Nurt, or Nort nothing (w, of Parret) 
Niithen 8. a great stupid fellow 
Oak-web (wuck-ub) «. cock-chafeT, may-bug 
Oak-wuck 8. the club at cards 
Oaves 8. the eaves of a house 


OdmentB $. pi. odd things, offals 

Oh v. to long greatly 

Old-man's-Beard «. clematis 

Old-rot i. cow-parsnip fheraeUumJ 

Onlight v.n. to alight from on horse-back 

061 wiU o'ot wilt o'ot'n't wilt not 

Ope 9. an opening 

Open-erse *. a medler (A S open-arsj, a fruit used medi- 

Ordain v. to purpose 

Orloge s. a clock (horologe) 

Or*n protu either, ex. O'rm o'm, either of them 

Ort pron. aught, anything 

Orts 8. scraps, leavings 

Oseny, or Osening v. to forbode, predict (A S wisianj 

Ourn ours 

Out-ax'd part, to have the bands fully published 

Out-faring «. lying outside the borough 

Over-get v. a. to overtake 

Over-look v. a. to bewitch 

Over-right (auver-right) adv. opposite 

Owers 8. pi. over-hanging bank of rivers, edge of rivers 
(A 8 ojerj 

Pair-of-Stairs «. a staircase with two landings 

Pallee adj. broad, as pallee-foot, pallee-paw 

Palme *. catkins of the willow (salix eapreaj 

Paine «. the mantle thrown over an infant who is going to 
be Christened 

Panchard-night «. Shrove-Tuesday night 

Pank v. to pant 

Papern adj. made of paper 

Parget v. a. to plaster the inside of a chimney with mortar 
made of cow-dung and lime 

Parrick *. a paddock 

Paumish adj. handling awkwardly 


Pautch, Pontch v. to tread in mire 

Payze, 'Pryze v. to upraise with a lever (Fr. ptser) 

Peart adj. brisk 

Pease v. to run out in globules 

Peasen a. pi. of pea adj. made of peas, ex. Peasen-pudding 

Peazer *. a lever 

Peek, Peeky, Peekid adj. pinched in face by indisposition 

Peel 8. a pillow 

Pen, Penning, Pine, Cow-pine s. an enclosed place in which 
cattle are fed 

Pen 8. a spigot 

Pick, Peckis «.. pick-axe 

Pick, Peek *. hay-fork 

Pigs *. pixies, fairies, as in the common saying, "Please 
God and the pigs " 

PigVhales *. hawes 

PigVlooze *. pig's-sty 

Pilch, Pilcher *. a baby's woollen clout 

Pill *. a pool in a river 

Pill-coal 8. peat from a great depth 

Pillow-tie, Pillow-beer *. pillow-case 

Pilm, Pillum s. dust 

Pin, Pin-bone *. the hip 

Pind, Pindy adj. fusty, as corn or flour 

Pin'd adj. applied to a saw which has lost its pliancy 

Pine, Pwine, Pwining-end, and Pwointing-end *. the gable- 
end of a house 

Pinions *. p. the refuse wool after combing (Fr. peigner/ 
Pink-twink s. chaffinch 

Pinswheal, Pinswil, Pensil *. a boil with a blackhead 
Pirl, Pirdle v. to spin as a top 

Pix, Pex, or Pixy v. to pick up fruit, as apples or walnuts,, 
after the main crop is taken in 

Pixy *. a fairy Pixy-stool *. toad-stool 

Planch 8. Planchant adj. a wood floor (Fr. planche) 


Plaien 8. pi. places 

Plim, Plum v. n. to swell, to increase in bulk, as soaked 
peas or rice 

Plough *• a team of horses ; also a waggon and horses, or 
a waggon and oxen 

Plough-path «. bridle-path 

Plnd *. the swamp surface of a wet ploughed field 

Pock-fretten, Pock-fredden adj. marked with small-pox 

Pog v. to push, to thrust with a fist 

Pomice, Pummioe, Pummy, or Pumy-Squat $. apples pounded 
for making cider (Fr. pommej 

Pomple adj. responsible, trustworthy 

Pompster, or Pounster v. to tamper with a wound, or disease, 
without knowledge or skill in medicine 

Pouted adj. bruised, particularly applied to fruit, as a ponted 

Pooch v. to pout 

Pook 8. the stomach, a yell 

Pook «. a cock of hay 

Popple 8. a pebble 

Porr v. to stuff or cram with food 

Pot-waller «. one whose right to vote for a member of Par- 
liament is based on his having a fire-place whereon to boil 
his own pot, as at Taunton 

Pound-house «. house for cider-making 

Prey v. to drive the cattle into one herd in a moor, which is 
done twice a year (t. *., at Lady- day and at Michaelmas), 
with a view to ascertain whether any person has put 6tock 
there without a right to do it 

Proud-tailor «. gold-finch 

Pulk, or Pulker «. a small pool of water 

Pumple, or Pumple-foot «. club-foot 

Pur, or Pur-hog 8. a one-year-old male sheep 

Purt v. to pout, to be sullen 

Puskey adj. short-breathed, wheezing 

Putt «. a manure cart with two or three broad wheels 


Puxy 8. a slough, a muddy place 

Pyer *. a hand-rail across a wooden bridge (Fr. s'apuyer) 

Quar v. to coagulate — applied to milk in the breast 

Quarrel, Quarrey «. a pane of glass 

Quat adj. full, satisfied 

Queane a. a little girl, a term of endearment 

Queest, Quisty s. a wood-pigeon or blue-rock A quarish 
queest *. a queer fellow 

Quilled, or Queeled adj. withered, as grass 

Quine *. a corner (Fr. coin J 

Quirky Quirky v. to complain, to groan, grunt 

Quat, or Aquat adj. sitting fiat, like a bird on its eggs 

to quat v. n. to squat (It. quatto) 

Qwerk #. the clock of a stocking 

Rade, or Rede *. part of the tripe or stomach of a bullock, 
the maw 

Raening adj. thin, applied to cloth 

Raft-up v. to disturb from sleep 

Rain-pie *. woodpecker, yuckle 

Rake v. n. to rouse up 

Rally v. to scold 

Ram v. to lose, by throwing a thing beyond reach 

Rammel adj. (raw milk), applied to cheese made of un- 
skimmed milk 

Rams-claws #. p. crow's foot 

Rampsing adj. tall 

Range «. a sieve 

Rangle v. to twine, move in a sinuous manner 

Rangling Plants s. such as entwine round other plants, as 
hops, woodbine 

Rap v. to exchange 

Rape v. to scratch 

Rare adj. raw, or red, as meat 

Rasty, Rusty adj. rancid, gross, obscene 

Ratch v. to stretch 


Bathe, Bather early, soon Milton: "the rathe prim- 

rose " 

Bathe-ripe ». an early kind of apple ; also a male or female 
that arrives at full maturity before the usual age 

Baught part, and past tense reached, ex. E' raught down 
his gun 

Bawn v. a. to devour greedily 

Bawning-knife s. the large knife with which butchers clear 
their meat ; cleaver 

Bawny adj. thin, meagre 

'Bay v. a. to dress Unray to undress 

Bead, Beed v. • to strip the fat from the intestines 

Headship, or Betchup, Bechip, Bightship s. truth, depend- 
ence, trustworthiness 

Beam v. a. to widen, to open, to stretch 0. an instrument 
or tool for widening a hole (generally used for metals) 
v. n. to bear stretching Beamy adj. 

Beams, Barnes the dead stalks of potatoes, &c. ; skeleton 
(Query Remains) 

Be-balling s. the catching of ells with earthworms (yeasses) 
attached to a ball of lead 

Beed *. wheat-straw prepared for thatching (w. of Parret) 

Been, or Rhine *. watercourse, or dyke ; an open drain 

Beeve v. n. to shrivel up, to contract into wrinkles 

Bemlet s. a remnant 

Reneeg v. to withdraw from an engagement (Lat. renegare) 
(Shaksp. Ant. and Cleop. i. 5) 

Bere-House s. a bat (A S hrere-musj 

Bevel-twine *. same as Hevel-twine 

Bevesse *. the burden of a song, from vessey, v. to make 

Bew *. row v. to put grass in rows 

Bezen *. p. rushes (ASrizeJ 

Bip v. to rate or chide 

Biscous applied to bread imperfectly baked 

Robin-riddick, or Buddock s. redbreast 


Roddicks, Roddocks *. ex. Off the roddocks, as a cart off the 

grooves of the axle 

Rode v. n. to go out to shoot wild fowl which pass over head 
on the wing early at night or in the morning ; also applied 
to the passage of the birds themselves, ex. The woodcocks' 

Roe-briar «. the large dog-rose briar 
Roller, Rawler, Brawler «. a bundle of reed, ex. As weak 
as a rawler 

Rompstal a. a rude girl 

Ronge v. to gnaw, to devour (Fr. rongerj 

Room, Rhume s. scurf of the scalp 

Root-chains 0. main plough chains 

Roozement *. a slip or falling-in of earth 

Ropy adj. wine or other liquor is ropy when it becomes thick 
and coagulated ; also bread when a kind of second fermen- 
tation takes place in warm weather 

Rose v. n. to drop out from the pod or other seed-vessel 
when the seeds are over ripe 

Rose, Rooze-in v. to fall in, as the upper part of a quarry, 
or well 

Round-dock 8. the common mallow 

Rouse-about adj. big, unwieldly 

Rout v. to snore 

Rowless adj. roofless A Rowless Tenement an estate 
without a house 

Rowsse v. to rush out with a great noise 

Rozzim, Rozzums 8. quaint sayings, low proverb 

Ruck v. to couch down 

' ' What is mankind more unto yon yhold 
Than is the shepe that ronketh in the fold." 

(Chaucer, Knight's Tale) 

Rudderish adj. rude, hasty 

Ruge v. n. to hang in folds, to wrinkle (Lat. ruga) 

Rungs, Rongs 8. pi. the rounds of a ladder, also of a chair 

Rushen adj. made of rushes 

Sand-tot *. sand-hill 


Sape 9. sap of trees, juice of fruit Sapey adj. as fruit-tart 

Bar, Barve v. to earn wages 

Bead *. a sudden and brief shower 

Scamblin #. irregular meal ] 

Soarry-whiff adv. askew 

Scorse, Bquoaoe, Bquiss v. to exchange, barter 

" And there another, that would needaly scorse 
A costly jewel for a hobby-horse " 

(Drayton's Moon Calf) 

Scottle v. to cut into pieces wastefully 

Scourge-mettle *. the instrument with which a boy whips 
his top 

Scovin, Scubbin «. the neck and breast of lamb 

Scrambed, Shrambed adj. deprived of the use of some limb 
by a nervous contraction of the muscles ; benumbed with 

Serin t v. to scorch, singe; also to shrink a good deal in 
burning, as leather, silk, &c. 

Scan v. to reproach with the view of exposing to contempt 
or shame (A S scunian, to shun, avoid) 

Scurrick, Scurrig 0. any small coin, a mere atom; ex. I 
havn't a scurrick left 

Scute *. a sum of money, a gratuity, the impress on ancient 
money, from scutem, a shield. So ecu, Fr., a crown; 
shilling, from A S scild, a shield. Chaucer uses shildes for 
ecus, i.e., crowns 

Beam *. a horse-load (A S seam J 

Seed-lip 9, a sower's seed basket 

Seem, Zim v. to think, to be of opinion ; ex. I do zim, or 
zim t' I 

Seltimes adv. seldom 

Sense v. to understand 

Seven-sleeper 9. dormouse 

Shab 9. itch or mange in brutes adj. Shabby 

Shaff-Tuesday *. Shrove-Tuesday 

Shalder 8. rush, sedge growing in ditches 

Sham 8. a horse-hoe 


Share, Sheare *. the quantity of grass cut at one harvest, a crop 

Sharps «. shafts of a cart 

Shaul v. to shell, to shed the first teeth 

Shaw v. to scold sharply 

Sheen adj. bright, shining 

Sheer s. a sheath, ex. Scissis-sheer 

Shelving-stone *. a blue tile or slate for covering the roofs 
of houses 

Shod part, of v. to shed ex. No use crying for shod milk 

Showl 8. for shovel 

Shrig v. a. to shroud or trim a tree 

Shrowd, Shride s. loppings of trees 

Shuckning adj. shuffling 

Shut v. to weld iron 

Shuttles, Shittles s. floodgates 

Sife, Sithe v. and *. to sigh 

Sig s. urine (Dutch v. zeyclcen) 

Silch, Sulch v. to soil, daub 

Silker *. a court-card 

'Sim t' I it seems to me 

Simlin *. a kind of fine cake intended for toasts 

Sin, Sine conj\ since, because 

Sinegar 8. the plant stocks 

Singlegus «. the orchis 

Skag 8. a rent, tear, wound 

Skenter, Skinter adj. relaxed, as applied to oxen 

Skiff-handed adj. awkward 

Skiffle 8. as to make a skiffle, to make a mess of any business 

Skiffling 8. the act of whittling a stick 

Skilly 8. oatmeal porridge 

Skimps 8. the scales and refuse of flax 

Skimmerton-riding «. the effigy of a man or woman unfaith- 
ful to marriage vows carried about on a pole accompanied by 
rough music from cows' -horns and frying-pans. Formerly it 
consisted of two persons riding on a horse back to back, with 
ladles and marrow-bones in hand, and was intended to ridicule 
a hen-pecked husband 



Skir r. skim, mow lightly, as thistles 

Skir-devil 0. a black martin, swift 

SkiiringB 0. hay made in pasture lands from the long grass 
left by the cattle 

Skitty 0. a water-rail 

Bkitty-vamps 0. laced half boots 

Skred, Skride v. to stride 

Slaty Slate v. to split, crack, crumble 

Slate «• a sheep-run Slated adj. accustomed to, contented 

Slerib 0. a spare rib of pork 

Sley for " as lief;" ex. I would sley do it as not 

Sliden, Slidder, Slither v. to slide 

Sliver 0. a thin slice 

Slock v. to encourage the servants of other people to pilfer 

Slooen adj. of sloe, ex. A slooen tree 

Slop adj. loose (Dutch slap J 

Slope v. n. to decay, rot, as pears and potatoes 

Smitch, Smit, Smeech 0. smut, or fine dust 

Snag «. a tooth standing alone ; a small sloe 

Snag-blowth 9. the blossom of the black-thorn 

Snake-leaves 0. ferns 

Snap-jack 0. stitch-wort (stellaria holostea) 

Snare 0. the gut or string stretched tightly across the lower 
head of a drum 

Snell, or Snull 0. a short thick stick about 4 inches long, 
called a " cat," used in the game called cat and dog 

Sneyd 0. the crooked handle of a scythe 

Snicker, Snigger v. to laugh in an insulting way 

Snoach v. to snuffle, to speak through the nose 

Snoffer 0. a sweetheart (Dutch snoffen, to sigh) 

Snool v, to smear anything by rubbing the nose and mouth 

over it (Dutch snavel, a snout) 
Snop 0. a sharp blow 
Soce, Zuez 0. pi. voc. friends (Query sociij 


Sog, or Bug *. a morass Soggy adj. boggy ; also as a verb, 
to be sugged-out by the wet 

Bowie v. to handle rudely, to hale or pull 

" He'll go, he says, and sowle the porter of Rome gates by the ears " 

(Shaks. CorioL iv. 5) 

Spane s. the prong of a fork 

Sparcled, Sparked, Spicotty adj. speckled 

Spar-gad #. sticks split to be used for thatching 

Sparrables, Spurbles *. shoemaker's nails, ex. Sparrable boots 

Spars 8. twisted hazel or willow for thatching 

Spawl v. to scale away 8. a scale broken off from the sur- 
face of a stone 

Speard «. spade 

Spine s. the sward or surface of the ground ; the fat on the 
surface of a joint of meat 

Spinnick «. Spinnicking adj. a person every way diminutive 

Spittle v. to dig lightly between crops 

Splat 8. a row of pins as sold in paper 

Sprack, Spree, Spry adj. nimble, alert, active 

Sprackles 8. pi. spectacles 

Sprank v. to sprinkle with water Spranker, Sprenker 8. a 

Spreathed adj. said of skin harsh and dry with cold, but not 

Spried, Spreed adj. chapped with cold 
Spounce v. to spatter with water 
Spuddle v. to be uselessly or triflingly busy 

Spur v. to spread abroad or scatter, as manure over a field 
(Lat. spar g ere J 

Squail v. to throw a short stick at anything Squailer «* 
the stick used in squirrel hunting 

Squalls 8. nine-pins 

Squap v. to sit down without any employment 

Squatch 8. a chink or narrow clift 

Squelstring adj. sultry 

Squinny v. to squint " Dost thou squinny at me ? " (Shak. 
King Lear) 


Squittee *. to squirt 

Squoaoe, or Squw v. to truck or exchange 

Staddle *. foundation of a rick of hay or corn, a mark left 
by a haycock, or anything allowed to remain too long in 
one place 

Stag «. a castrated bull 

Stagnated adj. astonished 

Stang *. a long pole 

Btap v. for to stop 

Stare-basin, Glow-basin «. glow-worm 

Stean v. to stone a road Steaned part s. a large stone 
pitcher (Dutch steen) 

" Upon an huge great earthpot stean he stood " 

(Spenser, Faery Queene) 
Steanin *. a stone-pitched ford 

Steeve v. to dry, to stiffen (Dutch styven) 

Stickle *. shallow rapids in a stream Steep adj. steep as a hill 

Stitch 8. a shock of corn, ten sheaves 

Stive v. to keep close and warm 

Stiver «. a bristling of the hair 

Stocky adj. short, stumpy 

Stodge «. thick slimy mud adj. miry; ex. "Pendummer, 
where the Devil was stodged in the midst of summer " 

Stodged adj. stuffed with eating 

Stool «. the stock of a tree cut for underwood 

Stoor, Storr v. to stir, move actively (Dutch stoorenj 

Stomachy ad), proud, haughty 

Stout 8. a gnat-fly 

Strablet «. a long, narrow strip 

Strame «. a streak, mark, trace v. to trace (Dutch stramj 

Straw-mote s. a bit of straw 

Strickle adj. steep as the roof of a house 

Strod *. a leathern buskin worn by peasants 

Strout v. to strut, stand out stiff 

" Orowk was his hair, and as gold it shon 
And strouted as a fan large and brode " 

(Chaucer, Miller's Tale) 


Stub-shot s. the portion of the trunk of a tree which remains 
when the tree is not sawn through 

Stun-pole 8. a stupid fellow 

Stwon 8. stone Stwonen adj. 

Suant adj. even, regular, applied to rows of beans or corn ; 

grave as applied to the countenance (Fr. suivantj 
Sail 8. plough-share (AS sulj 

Suma 8. a small cup made of blue and white stoneware 
Surge v. and s. to bear heavily on, impetuous force 
Swallow-pears 8. service-pears, sorb-apples 
Swather, or Swother v. to faint (A S sweothrianj 

Sweem v. to swoon Sweemy, Sweemish adj. faint (Dutch 

Sweet-harty v. to court Sweet-harting s. courtship 
Swile s. soil, also Swoil-heap 
Swill, Swell, Zwell v. to swallow 
Tack 8. a shelf, bacon-rack Clavy-tack chimney-piece 
Taffety adj. nice in eating 

Tallet *. the space next the roof in out-houses (Welsh tavlodj 
Tame v, to cut, to have the first cut (Fr. entamerj 


Tanbase 8. unruly behaviour 

Tan-day 8. the second day of a fair 

Tang 8. to tie ; that part of a knife which passes into the haft 

Tave v. to throw the hands about wildly 

Tavering adj. restless in illness 

Tawl-down v. to strike or smooth down a cat's back 

Teak 8. a whitlow 

Teap 8. a point, peak 

Te'art adj. sharp, sour, painful 

Ted v. to turn hay or flax to dry Ted-pole the pole used for 
the purpose 

Teg 8. a last year's lamb not sheared 

Teem v. to pour out 

Terrible adv. intensitive, ex. Terrible good 


Thic, Thicky, Thicky-there, Thickumy, Thickumy-there pron. 
that (Chaucer thilk) 

Thiller *. the shaft horse 

Thill-harness opposed to trace harness 

Tho adv. then, ex. I couldn't go tho, but I went afterwards 

Thong v, to stretch out into viscous threads or filaments 

Thongy adj. viscid, ropy 

Thornen adj. made of thorns 

Thurt t?. to thwart, to plough crossways 

ThurUhandled adj. thwart-handled 

Thurt-saw *. a thwart-saw, a cross-cut saw 

Tilty adj. irritable, i.e., easily tilt or lifted up 

Timmern adj. wooden 

Timmersom adj. timorous 

Tine v. to light, ex. Tine the candle (root of tinder) v. a 
tooth as of rake or spear (A S tins) 

Tine-in v. to shut, to enclose Tinings b. enclosures (A S 

Tip-and-tail heels over head 
Titty-todger *. a wren 

To appended to adverbs, as where-to, to-home, to-year, to- 
week, as to-day 

Toak v. to soak 

Toggers s. the handle-pieces of the scythe 

Toke v. to glean apples 

Toll v. to decoy, entice, ex. A bit o' cheese to toll down the 
bread wi' 

Toll-bird s. a decoy bird 

Tongue, or Tonguey v. to talk immoderately 

Tossity adj. drunken ('tossicated) 

Tranter «. a carrier Coal-tranter a beggar 

Trapes s. v. a slattern, to walk in the dirt 

Trendle «. a brewer's cooler of an oval form 

Trig v. to prop up adj. sound, firm, well in health, neat, tidy 

Trig-to v. to open, set open, as a door 


Trill v. to twirl 

Trop intj. used by riders to excite a dull horse 

Tuck v. to touch 

Tucker 0. a fuller, also Tucking-mill 

Tun 0. upper part of the chimney 

Tunnegar 0. a wooden funnel 

Tup 0. a ram 

Turmets, Turmits 0. turnips 

Turve 0. turf 

Tat 0. a hassock 

Tutty 0. flower Tutty-more flower-root 

Tut-work, Tuck-work 0. piece-work 

'T'war it was 

Twibill 0. a sort of axe with bill of two forms 

Twily adj. restless 

Twink, or Pink 0. a chaffinch 

Twi-ripe, Twi-ripy adj. unequally ripe 

Twistle, Twizzle 0. that part of a tree where the branches 

divide from the stock 
Under-creepin adj sneaking 

Ungain (from gain) unhandy 

Unkit et. id. adj. lonely, dismal (A S cwyde, speech ; uncwyde, 
solitary, having no one to speak to) 

Unray v. to undress, ex. I do ston to ray, and I do ston to 

Untang v. to untie 

Up, Uppy v. to arise, to get up 

Uppin-stock, Lighting-stock 0. a horse-block 

Uppings 0. perquisites 

TJpsighted 0. a defect of vision rendering a person unable to 

look down 
Ur, Hot pron. he, she, or it 

Urn, Hum v. to run (A S yrnari) 

Utchy pron. I (Ger. ich) 

Vage, Vaze v. to move about or run in such a way as to 
agitate the air 


Valch v. to thrust with the elbow or fist 

Vang v. to take or catch, to receive as well as earn wages ; 
ex. To vang a fire, to vang money ; also to stand sponsor 
(A 8 fangen) 


Vare «. weasel or stoat Vair ermine 

Vare v. to bring forth young, applied to pigs (from farrow) 

Varmint #. a vermin 

Vaught part, fetched, hence the proverb j ^™^ ht 

Vawth «. a bank of dung or earth prepared for manure ; 
litter of pigs 

Vay, or Vie v. to go, to succeed, to turn out well (Fr. va'tail) 
ex. How doe't vay wi'ye ? 

Veelvare, Veldevere «. field-fare 

Veil «. a. part of the stomach of a calf used for making 
cheese; membrane 

Vent 9 Vent-hole «. the wrist of a shirt, the button-hole 

Verdi, Verdit a. opinion, ex. Thats my verdit therefor I zay 't 

Vester *. a pin used to point out the letters to children 
learning to read 

Vier *. fire 

Vig v. to rub gently by a quick motion of the finger forward 
and backward (Dutch ficken) 

Vinnid, Vinny adj. mouldy, as bread; humoursome, as a 
spoiled child ; affected 

Vitten, Vitty adj. fitly, featly, properly applied *. a whim 
or pretence 

Vieer «. flea 

Vlother «. incoherent talk, nonsense 

Voccating adj. going about chattering in an idle manner 

Vore-right adj. blunt, rude, impertinent 

Voss, Voth 9. a side furrow 

Vouce adj. strong, nervous 

Vug v. to strike with the elbow *. a blow with the elbow 

Vyer *. the fair, ex. Guaine to vyer ? 

W an initial W is often pronounced as in Welsh oo, ex. 
Walter, colter ; witness, ootness ; Wells, ools 


Wallet a. brushwood, bramble-wood 

Wamble, Wammel v. n. to move in an awkward manner, 
applied chiefly to machinery 

Want, Wont a. a mole 

Want-wriggle a. mole-track 

War v. pret. of the verb "to be" I war, he war, we war, &c. 

Wash-dish a. the wag-tail 

Wassail v. drinking success to the apple crop 

Way-zaltin a. a play in which two persons standing back to 
back interlace each others arms, and by bending forward 
alternately raise each other from the ground 

Weepy adj. moist, abounding in springs 

Welch-nut a. walnut (G-er. weUche-nitis) 

Well a. a running spring, a source (Oer. quelle, as distin- 
tinguished from a wenk or wink) 

Weng a. the front rack of the sull 

Wevet a. a spider's web % 

Whippences a. bodkins or swingle-bars of a plough 

Whipper-snapper a. a little, active, nimble fellow 

Whipswhiles a. a short interval, as between the strokes of a 

Whister- twister a. a smart blow on the side of the head 

Whiver v. to hover, to flutter Whiver-minded adj. wavering 

Widow-man a. a widower 

Wim v. to winnow Wim-sheet, Wimmin-sheet, Wimmin- 
dust s. 

Windle, Windle-thrush 8. red-wing 

Wink a. an excavated or sunken well (Query supplied with 
a Winch ?) 

Wipes a. faggots for draining or fencing 

Wisht adj. sad, untoward 

Without unless, except 

Woek, Wuk a. oak 

Woeks a. clubs on playing cards, from their shape 

Wont-heeave, Want-snap a. a mole-hill, mole-trap 

Wood-quist a. wood-pigeon, cushat 


Wood-wall # . woodpecker 

Worn * part of the centre of the old spinning-wheel 

Wosberd, Whisbird, Whoabird «. a term of reproach 

Wrede v. to spread abroad, as wheat is said to wrede when 

several stalks shoot out of the ground from a single grain 
Wrick v. t. strain 
Wride v. ». to stretch, to expand 
Wring 8. press, ex. A cider- wring 
Writh-hurdles «. plated hurdles 
Wrisaled, Wriuly adj. shrivelled up, wrinkled 
Tails *. the uprights in hurdles 

Tal, Talhouse, Tarm, Tel, Ac *. ale, alehouse, arm, eel, &c. 
Tap v. to yelp like a cur 
Tappingale, Taffler, Tuckle *. woodpecker 
Teass «. an earthworm pi. yeasses 
Teo «. main drain of a level 
Teth *. hearth Teth-stone hearth-stone 
Toak $. the grease in wool 

Toaky adj. greasy, applied to wool as it comes from the sheep 
Yokes a. hiccups 

Tourn yours 

Tow v. to cut the stubble short, to cut with a hook 

Zam v. a. to heat for some time over a fire, but not to boil 

Zam-sod, Zam-sodden half baked 

Zand-tot «. sand hill 

Zate adj. soft 

Zatenfare t. softish, a foolish fellow 

Zead v. for has seen 

Zead 8. seed Zead-lip seed-lip 

Zenvy *. wild mustard 

Zinney $. sinews 

Zwail v. to move about the arms extended, and up and down 

Zwell v. to swallow 

Zwodder s. a drowsy and stupid state of body and mind 

Zwound v. to swoon 


f % -\ 

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°* - - r> t-. o s