Britannia, by William Camden

Hamshire.

Saxon: Hanteschyr, C. Big N NEXT to Wiltshire, is that Countrey, which by the Saxons was call’d † Saxon: Hamtunscyre, ⌈and by later Writers Hamteschyre, and Hamteshire;⌉ now commonly Hamshire. ⌈Florence of Worcester calls it Hantunscyre (a mistake of the Librarian, for Hamtunscyre; since the Saxon-Annals call it so, and he transcrib’d from them) from whence however, and from the names Hantscyre and Hentscyre in Domesday-book, our modern Hants and Hantshire (generally us’d as the true names,) do plainly proceed.⌉ The inner part of this County, without doubt, belong’d to the Belgæ; and that which lies along the sea-coast, to the Regni, an ancient people of Britain. It is bounded, on the West by Dorsetshire and Wiltshire; on the South, by the Ocean; on the East, by Sussex and Surrey; on the North, by Barkshire. It is a small County, very fruitful in Corn, and in many places well wooded; it is rich in herbage, and has sea-commodities in great plenty; being well contriv’d, by it’s many creeks and harbours, for all sorts of traffick. It is thought to have been one of the first, that was reduc’d to the power of the Romans; since our Histories report, that it was conquer’d by Vespasian;Vespasian. and there are sufficient grounds to believe it. For Dio tells us, that Plautius and Vespasian, when they were sent by the Emperor Claudius against the Britains, divided their forces into three Parties for the greater convenience of landing; lest they should be repuls’d ⌈once for all⌉ if they attempted a Descent; all at one place. And from Suetonius we learn, that Vespasian in this expedition engag’d the enemy 30 times, and brought under the Roman yoke the Isle of Wight (which lies opposite to this County) and two other valiant people; for which victories by land, and his fortunate voyages at sea, Valerius Flaccus complements him, and makes him more prosperous than Julius Cæsar:

—O tu Pelagi cui major aperti
Fama, Caledonius postquam tua Carbasa vexit
Oceanus, Phrygios prius indignatus Iülos
.

—O you, whose glorious reign
Can boast new triumphs o’re the conquer’d main,
Since your bold Navy pass’d the British sea
That scorn’d the Cæsars and the Roman sway.

And Apollonius Collatius Novariensis writes thus of him:

Ille quidem nuper felici Marte Britannos Fuderat.—

—The Britains he of late o’recame
In prosp’rous war. —

How, in the course of this war, Titus rescu’d his father Vespasian from imminent danger, when he was closely besieg’d by the Britains; and how a snake twisted round him at that time, without doing him any harm, which he interpreted an omen of being afterwards Emperor; these things you may learn from Dio and Forcatulus.

Hamp Shire map, left. Note overlap. Hamp Shire map, right. Note overlap.

Hamp Shire

I, confining my self to my own Province, shall begin with the west-side of this County; and, having first survey’d the sea-coasts, and the rivers that fall into the Ocean; shall then pass to the inland parts.

Near the western bounds of the County, runs the gentle stream of the Avon;River Avena, or Avona. which, as soon as it enters Hamshire, comes to the ford of Cerdick, call’d formerly Cerdicks-ford,Cerdicks-ford. ⌈(from the Saxon Saxon: Cerdices-ford,)⌉ afterwards Cerdeford, and now by contraction Chardford; all from Cerdick, a valiant Saxon. For, in this place, the famous Cerdick engaged the Britains, and gave them so terrible a defeat, that he not only enlarg’d the limits of his own government; but left it easie for posterity to maintain his conquests. Before this, in the year of our Lord 508. he had, in a very sharp engagement, conquer’d NatanleodNatanleod, or Nazaleod. ⌈call’d by others Nazaleod,)⌉ a potent King of the Britains, together with great numbers of that People; and from his name a tract of land reaching to this place was call’d Natanleod, as we read in the Saxon Annals; in the search of which tract I have been very curious, but cannot yet find the least footsteps of the name. ⌈It is indeed more than probable that this King’s name was not Saxon: Natanleod, but rather Saxon: Natan or Saxon: Nata, which, by the addition of Saxon: leod, i.e. a country, signifies the tract or country of Natan: and one of the Copies of the Saxon Annals calls it Saxon: Natanleag, that is, the field of Natan; which suggests what cannot be so well inferr’d from the other, viz. some remains of the old name; as in Netley and Nutley, in this County.⌉ Who this NatanleodWhether Natanleod and Aurelius Ambrosius was the same person. ⌈or Natan,⌉ was, I cannot imagin: yet, it is most certain, that at the same time Aurelius Ambrosius had many conflicts with the Saxons in these parts, with various success: not-withstanding which, this great man is never mention’d in the Annals of our Saxon Ancestors; who, as I observe, have been forward enough in reciting those battles, wherein they had the advantage, but mention none of those wherein they were worsted; therein betraying too great partiality to their own cause. Hence, the river runs by Regnewood,Regnum Ringwood. or Ringwood, in Domesday-book Rincewed, which was that Regnum (a town of the Regni) mention’d by Antoninus; as is plain from the course of the Itinerary, the remainder of the old name, and the signification of the present. For Ringwood, with the Saxon addition, seems to signifie The wood of the Regni. That this was formerly a place of Note and Distinction, is probable from the adjacent Hundred which derives the name from it; but it is now only famous for a good market. The Avon running from hence, takes-in the river Stour, which comes out of Dorsetshire; and at the confluence of these two, there stands a small, but well-frequented, market-town, now called Christ-church,Christ-church. from the Church dedicated to Christ; and heretofore, from it’s situation between two rivers, called Twinamburne;Twinamburne. on the same account, as the Interamna in Italy. It was formerly defended by a Castle, and adorn’d with an ancient Church of Prebendaries; which, being built in the Saxon age, was in the reign of William Rufus * * Restaurata.repair’d by Ralph Flammard Bishop of Durham (who had been Dean there) and plentifully endow’d by Richard de Rivers Earl of Devonshire, to whom King Henry 1. gave this place in fee; and it continu’d in great repute to the time of Henry 8, and the fatal Period of Monasteries. Below this town, the Stour and the Avon joyning, empty themselves into the sea at one mouth, which Ptolemy call’d the mouth of the river Alaun;The river Alaun. and very truly. For I can scarce believe, that Avon was the proper name of this river, since that word is an appellative, and the name by which the Britains call’d rivers in general. I rather think it was call’d Alaun, because there still remain some footsteps of that word in the villages which stand upon it, as Allinton, Allingham, &c. On the east-side of this river, William the Conqueror destroy’d all the towns, villages, and Churches; and, turning-out the poor inhabitants, made a forest for wild beasts about thirty miles in circuit, which the English in that age call’d Ytene, we at this day New-Forest;New-Forest. of which, Walter Mapes, who liv’d in the next age, writes thus: The Conqueror took away much land from God and men, and made a Sacrifice of it to the wild-beasts, and his hunting-dogs; by which he demolished thirty six Mother-Churches, and drove away the poor inhabitants belonging to them. This he did, either to make a more easie Passage for his Normans to come into England (for it lies opposite to Normandy,) in case of a new insurrection in the Island, after his suppos’d Conquest; or to indulge himself in hunting; or to raise money by any methods, how unjust soever. For he, more merciful to beasts than to men, appointed a most grievous pecuniary mulct, and other severe penalties, to be inflicted on those who should trespass on his game. But divine vengeanceExample of Divine Vengeance. closely pursued this impious project of the King: for Richard his second son, and William Rufus King of England another of his sons, both lost their lives in this Forest; the latter casually shot with an arrow by Walter Tirrel; the other struck dead by a pestilential blast. ⌈(The place where William Rufus was kill’d, is call’d (saith Leland) Througham.Througham, where there yet standeth a Chapel.)⌉ And also Henry his grand-child by Robert his eldest son, while he was here eagerly pursuing his Sport, was caught by the head in the boughs, and there ended his life; to teach us, that the crimes of parents are often punish’d upon their childrens children. ⌈In this Forest, are 9 Walks, and to every one a Keeper. It has two Raungers, a Bow-bearer, and a Lord-Warden; which office (as † † Itinerar. MS. Vol.6.Leland says) formerly belong’d, by right of inheritance, to the Earls of Arundel; but it is at present in the hands of the Duke of Bolton. In it also is the Castle of Malwood,Malwood-castle. ¦ ¦ Aubr. MS.the area whereof contains many acres. The form of it inclines towards a square; and on it’s banks or works (which are single, and not very great) there grow Oaks. On the north-side hard by it, is the Oak that buds on Christmas-day, and withers again before night; which was ordered by King Charles the second to be pal’d round. The Tradition is, that William Rufus was kill’d near this Castle; and that this is the Tree upon which Tirrel’s arrow glanced. In the same forest, at GodshillGodshill. near Fordingbridge, * * Ibid.is a Camp, upon the hill, which is overgrown with Oaks: one side is a steep cliff, and the other double-trench’d.⌉ Of this Forest, there are extant some Verses of John White Bishop of Winchester; which falsly attribute the making of it to William Rufus: however, because many readers are pleas’d with them, it may not be amiss to insert them in this place.

Templa adimit Divis, fora civibus, arva colonis
Rufus, & instituit Beaulensi in rure forestam:
Rex cervum insequitur, Regem vindicta, Tirellus
Non bene provisum transfixit acumine ferri
.

Towns, Fields, and Churches, took from God and Men,
A spatious forest made in Beaulieu-plain:
The King a Hart, Vengeance the King pursu’d,
And Tirrell’s arrow drunk his guilty blood.

He calls it Rus Beaulense; because nigh this place King John founded a small Monastery called Beaulieu,Beaulieu. from it’s pleasant situation; which continu’d very famous, till within the memory of the † † Last age, C.last age save one: for here was an inviolable sanctuary,Sanctuary. and a safe refuge for criminals; and our forefathers thought it an unpardonable sin, to take from hence the most bloody murderers or traitors. But sure, when our ancestors did in several parts of England erect these Sanctuaries or Temples of Mercy (as they call’d them,) they seem rather to have follow’d the example of Romulus,Exodus xxi. than of Moses,Joseph. lib. Antiq. 4. who commanded that they who were guilty of wilful murder should be taken from the altar, and put to death; and appointed a city of refuge only for them who should slay a man by chance, without laying in wait for him.

But that so great a tract of ground as this Forest, on the sea-coast, might not lie defenceless and expos’d to the enemy; Henry 8. began to secure it with Castles: for in that neck of land that runs into the sea, from whence is the shortest passage to the Isle of Wight, he built Hurst-Castle,Hurst-Castle. which commands the sea on all sides. And more to the west, he built another strong Fort, called CalshotCalshot-Castle. instead of Caldshore, to secure the Entrance of South-hamton-Bay. For here, by the great distance of the two shores, and the opposite situation of the Isle of Wight, is a very commodious Harbour, which Ptolemy calls the mouth of the river Trisanton; in my opinion,Mouth of the river Trisanton. for Traith Anton, that is, the Bay of Anton (for Ninnius, an ancient Author, calls it almost by the same name, the mouth of the Trahannon:) ⌈if TraithWelsh Dict. do indeed signify a Bay; which, according to Dr. Davis, implies only a * * Tractatus.Treaty, or Treatise.⌉ The river that runs into this bay, which we now call Test, was in former times (as we learn from the Lives of the Saints) nam’d Terstan; and that it was before call’d AntAnt. or Anton, is probable from the towns upon it, Antport, Andover, and Hanton. So far am I from thinking that it was so call’d from one Hammon a Roman kill’d here; which yet Geoffry of Monmouth delivers in his romancing way, and is follow’d by a Poet, who has this passage concerning that Hammon:

Ruit huc, illucque ruentem
Occupat Arviragus, ejusque in margine ripæ
Amputat ense caput, nomen tenet inde perempti
Hammonis Portus, longumque tenebit in ævum.

—As to the bank he fled,
Enrag’d Arviragus with happier speed
Aim’d a fierce blow, and fell’d his trembling head.
And thus great Hammon’s death proclaim’d by fame
To Hamton gave an everlasting name.

⌈This was, possibly, the Saxon: Cerdicesora of the Saxons; which seems to have been in the western parts of England. For the same persons that Matthew Westminster affirms to have landed in Occidentali parte Britanniæ, (in the west part of Britain,) are said by the Saxon-Annals to have come ashore at Saxon: Cerdicesora. If, upon such a conjecture, we might remove it from Yarmouth into these parts, I know no place can lay better claim to it than this, whether we consider the situation, or the other circumstances.⌉

At this Port is situated * * Urbecula.the town of South-hanton;Southanton. near which, to the north-east, stood once another town of the same name, which was the ClausentumClausentum. of Antoninus; as is probable by the distance from Regnum on one side, and Venta on the other: and as Trisanton signifies the Bay of Anton, so Clausentum signifies in British the Port Entum; for I have learnt, that Claudh implies the same among the Britains as Greek text did among the Greeks, that is, † Portus effossâ terrâ extructus.a Haven made by casting-up Banks. That this place was called Hanton and Henton, no one need question; because in Domesday-book, the whole County is expresly call’d Hantscyre, and in another place Hentscyre; and the town it self, from its Southern situation, Southanton. ⌈However, it must be confess’d, that in the Saxon-Annals, which are of greater Antiquity, the County is called Saxon: Hamtunscyre, and this town Saxon: Hamtun ; which are of a pure Saxon original, and can have no relation to Anton, the supposed name of the river Test.⌉ What the condition of the ancient town was, is difficult to determine; but it was situated in that place where is now the Field of St. Maries, and reach’d as far as the harbour; and seems to have extended to the other side of the river also. For a little higher at BitternBittern. (a place just opposite) Francis Mills, a worthy Gentleman, who ¦ ¦ Lives, C.liv’d there, shew’d me some rubbish, and pieces of old walls, and the trenches of an ancient Castle half a mile in compass; which at full tide is three parts surrounded with water. The Antiquity of it is so sufficiently attested by the Roman Coins which have been dug-up here, that if it was not the Castle of the ancient Clausentum, you may well judge it to have been one of those forts which the Romans erected on the southern coast (as Gildas tells us,) to prevent the Saxon piracies and inroads. ⌈It is not long since, that a Golden Coin was found here; but the place where Coins were formerly dug-up, is now a Dock for the building of Men of War.⌉

When all parts were miserably harrass’d with the Danish Wars, Old Hanton fell a prey to that People in the year 980; and in the time of William the Conqueror (to use the expression of his own Book) the King had in that town only 80 men or tenents in Demesne. But about * * 300, C.400 years ago, when King Edward 3, and Philip of Valois contended for the Kingdom of France, it was burnt by the French. Out of the ashes whereof, there sprang up another more conveniently situated, between two AEthelred rivers, the same that we see at this day; ⌈once⌉ famous for the number and neatness of it’s buildings, the wealth of the inhabitants, and resort of merchants. ⌈But now, it is not in the same flourishing condition, as formerly it was; for, having lost a great part of it’s Trade, it has lost most of it’s inhabitants too, and the great houses of merchants are now dropping to the ground, and only shew it’s ancient magnificence.⌉ It hath a double ditch, and strong walls, with several battlements; and, for the security of the harbour, a strong Castle of square stone was built, upon a high-rais’d mount, by Richard 2. That action of Canute the most potent King of England and Denmark (reproving the baseness of a flattering Courtier, who pretended that all things would obey his royal will and pleasure) was in this place, and is well worth the mentioning. When he cameThe Greek text of Canute. (says Henry of Huntingdon) to shore, he commanded a chair to be set for him, and said to the sea flowing up to him, Thou art under my dominion, and the ground upon which I sit is mine, nor did ever any man disobey my commands with Impunity: therefore, I command thee, not to come upon my ground, nor to wet the cloaths or the feet of me thy Lord and Master. But the rude Waves presently came up and wet his royal feet: upon which he step’d back, and said, Let all the inhabitants of the world know, that the power of Monarchs is a vain and empty thing, and that none deserves the name of a King, but he whose will, by an eternal decree, the Heaven, Earth, and Sea do all obey. Nor would he ever after suffer the Crown to be put on his head, &c.

Of the two rivers between which this town is plac’d, the western one (now called Test,Test. but formerly, I think, Anton, rising out of the Forest of Chute, runs first to Andover,Andover. in Saxon Saxon: Andeafaran, ⌈and Saxon: Andefaran,⌉ that is, the Ferry or passage of the river Ande; where, in the year † † 994. Chr. Sax.893, Æthelred King of England (when the Danes were plundering his kingdom) that he might bless his harrass’d nation with a safe and lasting peace, did adopt AnlafAnlaf adopted by King Æthelred. the Dane: tho’ this league of friendship was soon broken; for so great an honour could not restrain that barbarous foreigner from his usual rapines. ⌈It is now a populous Corporation; where is a Free-school founded by John Hanson, A.D. 1569. and an Hospital for the maintenance of six men, built and endow’d by John Pollen.Aubr. Mon. MS. About a mile from this Town, is a Roman Camp called Bere-hill; and half a mile hence, is another large Camp, with double works; and there is a third, some miles to the north, near a village called Egbury.Egbury. At Quarley-hill,Quarley-hill. also, is a great fortification, with quadruple works on one side. The two outward trenches are distant farther than ordinary, one from the other: from the outer to the second, are 60 paces; from the second to the third, 36 paces. This is answered by another great Camp, called Dunbury, near Grately; and about six miles hence is Okebury, another large Roman Camp, which seems to be answer’d by Frippesbury, about five miles distant from it.⌉ From Andover, this river runs near Whorwel,Whorwel. where Queen ÆlfrithAElfrith built a Monastery, to expiate her heinous crime of murthering King Edward her son-in-law, and also to atone for the murder of her former Husband, the noble Earl Athelwold, whom King Edgar, upon an invitation to go a hunting, slew in this place, because he had put a trick upon him in a love-intriegue, and had by indirect arts got from him this Lady Ælfrith, the greatest beauty of her age. After this, the Test takes-in another small river, call’d Wallop,Wallop. or rather Wellop, that is (if we interpret it from our own ancient language) a little fountain on the side of a hill; which gives name to the ancient and Knightly family of the Wallops, who live near it. Hence, the river runs in search of BrigeBrige. or Brage, an ancient town plac’d by Antoninus 9 miles from the old Sorbiodunum; at which distance, it finds, between Salisbury and Winchester, and not far from its banks, a small country-village call’d Broughton;Broughton. and if the old Brage was not at this place, I am of opinion it was entirely demolish’d, when William the Conqueror converted these parts into the Forest we just now mention’d. Next, Rumsey,Rumsey. in Saxon Saxon: Rumsey (where King Edgar built a Nunnery, the Church whereof is still standing,) is visited by this river; which presently falls into South-hampton-bay at the Vadum Arundinis, as Bede calls it, which he interprets Redford; but now from the bridge where the ford was, instead of Redford it is call’d Redbridge,Redbridge. where, in the infancy of the Saxon-Church, stood a Monastery. Of this one Cymberth was Abbot, who baptis’d (as Bede tells us) two young Brothers of Arvandus, petty King of the Isle of Wight, just as they were about to be murder’d. For, when Cedwalla the Saxon invaded that Island, these two boys made their escape, and hid themselves at a little town called ad Lapidem;ad Lapidem. till, being betray’d, they were kill’d at the command of Cedwalla. If you ask where this little town ad Lapidem stood, I should guess at Stoneham,Stoneham. a small village next to Redbridge, as the name it self very plainly directs me. The other river which runs on the east-side of South-hampton, ⌈(now called Itchin,Itchin. from a town of that name near its head,)⌉ seems to have been formerly call’d Alre;Alre. for a market-town on the bank of it, not far from the lake out of which it rises, is now call’d Alresford,Alresford. i.e. the ford of Alre. Which place (in the words of an old Register of the Church of Winchester) the religious King Kinewalc, out of a most pious Disposition, gave to the Church of Winchester, after he had receiv’d the Christian Sacraments from Bistop Birinus, at the beginning of Christianity in those parts. In the year 1220.A Book of Waverly Monastery. Godfrey Lucy, Bishop of Winchester * * Innovavit. New-market.restored the market here, and call’d the place, New-market, perhaps in respect of the old Alresford that lies near it. But this new name did not last long with the people, who have the sole Prerogative in Words and Names. ⌈The Town, on May-day 1690, was destroy’d by a fire, which began in several parts of it, almost at the same time; and burnt down also their Market-house and Church: but the Houses, and the Market-house, are rebuilt. Before this fire, the place was in so good a condition, that there was not one inhabitant who receiv’d assistance out of the Collections for the poor. From this place to Aulton, goes all-along a Roman High-way; and nearer the river’s head, are three noted seats: Chilton-Candover,Chilton-Candover. built by the late Sir Robert Worsley; the Graunge,Graunge. by the late Sir Robert Henley; and Abbotston,Abbotston. by the late Duke of Bolton.⌉ Nigh Alresford, lies Tichborn,Tichborn. which I must not omit, because it has given name to an eminent and ancient family.

On the western bank of this river lies the famous city of the British BelgæBelgae, which Ptolemy and Antoninus call Venta Belgarum,Venta Belgarum. the Britains to this day Caer Gwent, the Saxons Saxon: Wintancester, ⌈ Saxon: Winteceaster, Saxon: Winceaster, Saxon: Wincester,⌉ the Latin-Writers commonly Wintonia, and we at this day Wintchester.Wintchester. Yet there are some Writers, who would have this to be the Venta Simenorum, and give Bristol the honour of being the Venta Belgarum: but that there was no such People as the Simeni in this Island, I shall prove when I come to the Iceni. In the mean time, be they ever so desirous to confirm that conjecture, by seeking any where else for the towns which Antoninus places near Venta; they may depend upon it, they will find nothing to their purpose.

The original of Venta ⌈(from which, the Bishop of Winchester is often call’d in our Histories, Episcopus Ventanus and Wentanus,)⌉ is by some fetch’d from Ventus (wind;) by others from Vinum (Wine,) and again, by others from Wina a Bishop; ¦ ¦ Qui bonæ menti litarent.who all of them might be asham’d of such trifling derivations. I should rather subscribe to the Opinion of our country-man Leland, who derives the word from the British Guin or Guen, that is, white, as if it were Caer Gwin, the White City. And why should it not? since from this Colour the old Latins gave name to the cities Alba Longa and Alba Regia; and the Greeks to Leuca, Leucas, and other places. For this Venta (as also two other towns of the same name, Venta Silurum, and Venta Icenorum) is situate in a soil of Chalk and whitish Clay.

This city, without doubt, was very famous in the Roman times; for it was here, that the Roman Emperors seem to have had their † Textrina sua sacra.Imperial Weaving-shops; this being the chief of all the British VentæVentae Gynaecium, and lying nearest Italy. For, in the Notitia, there is mention made of a Procurator or Governour of the Cynegium Ventense or BentenseThe Cynegium of the Roman Emperors in Brit. Gynæcium. in Britain; which Jacobus Cujacius, the eminent Civilian, reads Gynæcium, and interprets the Royal Weavery, in his ¦ ¦ Paratitla.Paratitles to the Codes. Guidus Pancirollus is of the same opinion; and writes, that these Gynæcia were appointed for weaving the cloaths of the Emperor and Army, and for the making of sails, linnen, * * Stragula.shrouds, and other necessaries for the furniture of their houses, or quarters. Yet Wolphgangus Lazius thinks, that this Procurator had the care of the Emperor’s † Cynegium.dogs in this place. And thus much is certain, that British DogsBritish dogs. have been thought preferable to all others in Europe; insomuch, that Strabo says, they have served as soldiers; and the ancient Gauls us’d them in their wars; and they were bought-up by the Romans for their sports in the Amphitheatre, and the pleasures of hunting: for they were (as Strabo says), Greek text Greek text, that is, naturally made for excellent hunters. Hence Nemesianus,

Divisa Britannia mittit
Veloces, nostrique orbis venatibus aptos
.

—The Britains from this world disjoyn’d,
Fleet dogs, and useful for our hunting, send.

And Gratius, of their goodness and value:

Quod freta si Morinûm dubio refluentia ponto
Veneris, atque ipsos libeat penetrare Britannos,
O quanta est merces, & quantum impendia supra!

But if at farthest Calais you arrive,
Where doubtful tides the passive shore deceive;
And thence your dang’rous course to Britain steer,
What store you’ll find, and how excessive dear!

The ancient Greeks also were acquainted with, and highly esteem’d, that kind of Dogs among us, which was called AgasæusAgasaeus,Agasæus, Gaze-hound, a British Dog. and we yet term a Gaze-hound; as Oppian will tell you in the first Book of his Cynegeticks:

Greek text

Which Bodinus renders thus in Latin:

Est etiam catuli species indagine clara,
Corpus huic breve, magnifico sed corpore digna;
Picta Britannorum gens illos effera bello
Nutrit, Agasæósque vocat vilissima forma
Corporis, ut credas parasitos esse latrantes
.

Another sort of dogs for lurching known,
Tho’ small in bulk, in value yield to none,
In Britain bred, they thence the name receive
Of Gaze-hounds; by their bigness you’d believe
They’re mungril Curs that under tables live.

Claudian likewise speaks thus of our Mastiff-dogs:

Magnáque taurorum fracturi colla Britanni.

And English MastiffsMastiffs. us’d to bend the necks
Of furious bulls.—

But this by way of digression only.

In this City (as our Historians tell you) in the time of the Romans, liv’d that ConstansConstans from a Monk made Cæsar. the Monk, who was first made CæsarCaesar and afterwards Emperor by his father Constantine; and who usurped the Government in opposition to Honorius, out of a conceit that Success would attend the name. For long before this (as Zosimus, speaking of that time, delivers it) Monasteries in Cities.there were, as well in Cities as Villages, large Colleges of Monks, who before had led a solitary life in mountains, woods, and dens, from whence they derive their † Greek text.name. That old piece of wall of great strength and thickness, still to be seen towards the west-gate of the Cathedral Church, seems to be the remains of this ancient College. But the Monk who was here declar’d Cæsar, after he left this place, soon met with Death, as a just judgment upon his father’s ambition, and his own Contempt of Religion. During the Saxon Heptarchy, tho’ this place was once or twice sack’d, yet it recover’d, and was the Palace of the West-Saxon Kings, and adorn’d with magnificent Churches, and was honour’d with an Episcopal See; and had from King Ethelstan the privilege of six Money-mints. In the Norman times also, it flourish’d very much, and the Archives (or Repository of publick Records) were in it. Thus it continu’d long in a prosperous condition; excepting one or two accidents of fire, and that it was plunder’d by the soldiers in the Civil War between King Stephen and Maud the Empress. Hence, our Poet Necham, who liv’d in that age:

Guintoniam titulis claram, gazisque repletam
Noverunt veterum tempora prisca patrum
.

Sed jam sacra fames auri, jam cæcus habendi
Urbibus egregiis parcere nescit amor
.

For wealth and state, for honour and renown,
In good old times fair Winchester was known:
But in our age, in our degenerate days,
When all the World tyrannick Gold obeys,
The richest Cities are the surest preys.

⌈In the beginning of the late Civil Wars (to observe this by the way,) the Soldiers, opening the Marble-Coffin of William Rufus, which lies in the Choir, found on his thumb a golden Ring with a Ruby set in it.⌉

But to return: All the foremention’d losses were sufficiently repair’d by King Edward 3. when he settled here the StapleThe Staple. for Cloth and Wool. What figure this City made in former ages, is not now to be known; which (as the same Necham writes)

Flammis toties gens aliena dedit.
Hinc facies urbis toties mutata, dolorem
Prætendit, casus nuntia vera sui
.

—So oft the hapless town
The rage of foreign flames hath undergone;
She show’d her sad misfortunes in her face,
And dismal looks her ancient griefs express.

At this day, the City is pretty populous, and well water’d by the divided streams of the river; extended length-ways from East to West, and about a mile and half in compass within the walls, which have six gates; the passage also to each, for a considerable way, being Suburbs.

At the south-side of the west-gate, stands an ancient Castle, which has been often besieged; but never so straitly, as when Maud the Empress maintain’d it against King Stephen. At last the Empress caused a report to be spread of her death, and was put in a Coffin to deceive the enemy, and so was carry’d off as one dead. ⌈In the place where this Castle stood, is now a Royal Palace,King’s Palace. begun by King Charles 2. The foundation was laid the 23 of March, 1683, Aubr. Mon. MS.(in the digging for which, they found a Pavement of Brick, and Coins of Constantine the Great, and others;) but, being not finish’d before the death of that Prince, it remains only the model of a noble Design. There was particularly intended a large Cupola, 30 foot above the roof, which would have been seen a great way to the sea; and also a fair street leading to the Cathedral-gate in a direct line from the front of the house; for which, and for the Parks, the ground was procured. The South-side is 216 foot, and the West 326; and the Shell, as it remains, is said to have cost 25000 pounds.⌉ K. Arthur’s round Table. Of the * * Mensa circularis sive orbicularis murus.Round Table which now hangs up, and which the common people take for King Arthur’s Table, I shall observe no more than this, that it plainly appears to be of a much later date. For in former ages, when those military exercises call’d TournamentsTournaments. (instituted for the trial and improvement of warlike Spirits,) were much in vogue; they had this kind of round tables, that there might be no dispute for precedency among the Nobility. And this seems to be a very ancient custom. athenaeus For AthenæusLib.4. Deipnosophist. tells us, that the old Gauls sat at round Tables, and that their Armour-bearers stood at their backs with their shields. Almost in the middle of the city, only a little more to the south, Kenelwalch King of the West-Saxons (after that College of Monks, of the Roman age, was destroy’d) built here a Church, as Malmesbury writes, very splendid for those times; on the site whereof was afterwards erected a Cathedral of the same model, tho’ more stately. Bishops of Winchester. In this See, from Wina whom Kenelwalch made first Bishop, there has been a long series of successors no less eminent for wealth and honour, than for piety and devotion; and by a peculiar privilege they are Chancellors to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Prelates of the Garter. Some of these at great expence have from time to time beautify’d and enlarged this Church; particularly, Edington and Walkelin; but above all Wickham, who at a prodigious charge built the West part of the Church from the Choir: a neat and curious piece of work; in the middle of which, between two pillars, is his own monument. The Church has been accordingly dedicated to several Patrons, Amphibalus, S. Peter, S. Swithin, and lastly to the Holy Trinity; by which name it is call’d at present. Among the Saxons, it was in great repute, for its being honour’d with the Sepulture of some of their Kings; whose bones were gathered by Richard Fox, Bishop, and put into little gilded Coffins, which, with their several Inscriptions, he placed upon a wall that runs along the upper part of the Quire. AElfred It was formerly call’d ¦ ¦ Saxon: Ealdan- Saxon: mynster, Chron. Sax. Saxon: Ealden- Saxon: mynster, i.e. the old Monastery or Minster, to distinguish it from the more modern one, * * Saxon: Niwan- Saxon: mynster, Chron. Sax. Saxon: Newan- Saxon: mynster, i.e. New Minster; which King Ælfred founded, and, for a place on which to build the Offices belonging to it, bought of the Bishop a certain piece of ground, for every foot whereof he paid one Mark, according to the publick Standard. This new College, as well as the old one, was first founded for marry’d Priests; who were afterwards expelled by Dunstan Archbishop of Canterbury, upon the miracle of a Cross speaking, and condemning the Order: and so, Monks were brought into their room. These two Monasteries had their walls so near one another, that when they were singing in one, the noise was a disturbance to the other: upon which, there arose some quarrels between the two Societies, and these afterwards broke out into open feuds. This reason, and another inconvenience of a great flow of water (which ran down the streets from the West-gate, and, stagnating at this new Monastery, infected the air) caus’d the Church, 200 years after its first building, to be remov’d into the northern suburbs, to a place call’d Hide;Hide-Abbey. where, by the licence of Henry 1, the Monks built a large and beautiful Monastery, which within a few years was burnt down by the treachery and contrivance of Henry of Blois Bishop of Winchester; as a private History of that place tells us. By this fire, was consum’d that famous Cross, the gift of Canute the Dane, which (as some old Records deliver it) cost him one year’s Revenue of the whole kingdom. But the Monastery rose again in a noble fabrick (as the ruins testify,) growing by degrees, till the fatal period for the destruction of Monks. For then, this was demolish’d; and that other of the Holy Trinity, which is the Cathedral Church, upon the ejection of the Monks, had a new foundation of a Dean and 12 Prebendaries. On the East-side of the Cathedral, stood a spacious palace of the Bishop’s, call’d WolveseyWolvesey. ⌈built ann. Dom. 1137.Leiger-book of S. Cross. by Henry Bishop of Winchester, and⌉ fortify’d with several turrets, and almost surrounded by the river, and reaching to the City-walls. ⌈This was seiz’d in the late Civil Wars, and pull’d down, to make money of the Lead and other materials; but, since the Restoration, Bishop Morley laid out † † 2300.l.a great Sum on a handsome structure for that use, and, dying Typhoeus AElfwide before it was finish’d, left 500 pounds more to complete it. Over the door is this Inscription; Georgius Morley Episcopus has ædes propriis impensis de novo struxit, A.D. 1684. i.e. George Morley, Bishop, built this house a-new at his own charge, A.D. 1684.⌉ In the South-suburbs, there is a neat College within it’s view, which William of WickhamA College built by William of Wickham. Bishop of this See (one of the greatest patrons and encouragers of Learning that England had, and whose memory will by that means be convey’d to all Posterity,) built for a publick school, and which sends out great numbers of learned men, into Church and State. In this, there is a plentiful maintenance for a Warden, ten Fellows, two Masters, seventy Scholars, ⌈¦ ¦ With some others, C.three Chaplains, three Clerks, an Organist, sixteen Choristers, and the statutable Servants.⌉ There were also other noble buildings in this City (mostly consecrated to religious uses) which I shall not mention, because Time has destroy’d them; tho’ I cannot but take notice of the * * Parthenonem.Nunnery, founded by Ælfwide, wife to King Alfred; it having been so St. Mary’s Abbey.noble a Pile (as the ruins of it still shew,) and the place out of which Henry 1. took his wife Maud,Maud wife to Henry 1. daughter of Malcolm King of Scots, by whom the Royal families of the Saxons and Normans were united; whereby that Prince gain’d much on the affections of the English. For she was † Proneptis.grand-daughter to Edmund Ironside, by his son Edward, The banished; and a Lady endow’d with all the vertues becoming a Queen, but more especially eminent for piety and devotion.

Whereupon, this old Tetrastick was made in her commendation:

Prospera non lætam fecêre, nec aspera tristem:
Aspera risus ei, prospera terror erant.
Non decor effecit fragilem, non sceptra superbum;
Sola potens humilis, sola pudica decens
.

Nor bless’d, rejoyc’d; nor when unhappy, mourn’d;
To laughter, grief; and joy to fear she turn’d.
Nor beauty made her frail; nor sceptres, proud;
Humble, tho’ great, and scarce more fair than good.

⌈There have been in this City (as appears by Bishop Andrew’s Registry) 32 Parish-Churches, which are now all demolish’d, save eight. In the Cathedral Church-yard, is a CollegeCollege. erected by the late Bishop Morley, An. 1672. for 10 Ministers Widows, and by him very well endow’d with a yearly Revenue.⌉

Of Guy Earl of Warwick so famous in story, (who here in single combat overcame Colbrand the Danish ¦ ¦ Typhœus.Giant;) and of Waltheof Earl of Huntingdon, beheaded in this place, where afterwards was the Chapel of St. Giles; and of the famous adjoyning Hospital of St. Cross, founded by Henry de Blois, Brother of King Stephen and Bishop of this City, and farther endow’d by Henry de Beaufort Cardinal: Of these I shall say nothing, because they are related at large in our common Histories.

As to the Earls of Winchester;Earls of Winchester. to pass by Clito a Saxon, who, at the coming-in of the Normans, was depriv’d of this * * Avito.The Quincy’s Arms.hereditary honour; King John made Saer Quincy, Earl of Winchester; whose Arms were † † Baltheus militaris.a Fesse with a ¦ ¦ Lemniscus.label of seven, as I learn’d from his seal. To him succeeded Roger his son, who bore in a field Gules seven * * Rhombos.Mascles voided Or. But he dying without Issue-male, the honour was extinct in him: for he marry’d the eldest daughter and co-heir by a former wife, of Alan Lord of Galloway in Scotland, in whose right he was Constable of Scotland. But he had only three daughters by her; the eldest, marry’d to William de Ferrariis Earl of Derby, the second, to Alan de la Zouche, the youngest, to Comine Earl of Buchan in Scotland. A long time after, Hugh le Despencer was honour’d with the title, during life, by K. Edward 2, who doted much on him; but he and his son had too late Experience, how fatal it often proves to be the favourites of a Prince: for both were put to death by the fury of the People. A good while after, by the bounty of King Edward 4, Lewis de Bruges a Belgian, Lord of Gruthuse, and Prince of Steinhuse (who had entertain’d that Prince in Flanders when he fled thither for refuge,) obtain’d this title, with Arms not much differing from those of Roger de Quincy; but, after the death of King Edward, he surrender’d it to King Henry the 7th. In the * * Within our memory, C.last Age save one, William Powlet, Lord Treasurer of England, was honour’d by Edward 6, with a new title of Marquess of Winchester, which his Posterity now enjoys, ⌈with the additional title of ¦ ¦ See Earls of Wiltshire.Duke of Bolton in Yorkshire.⌉ Winchester stands in the longitude of 22, and the latitude of 51; according to the Observations of later ages. ⌈On St. Katharine’s-hillSt. Katha­rine’s hill. near Winchester, * * Aubr. MS.there is a Camp with a single work, and single graff, neither exactly round nor square; but according to the ground of the hill.⌉ East from Winchester, the river HambleHamble. discharges it self out of a large mouth into the sea: Bede calls it Homelea, and says it runs through the country of the Jutes, and falls into the Solente;Solente. for so he calls the chanel between Britain and the Isle of Wight, into which the two opposite tides come-up at certain hours from the Ocean, and meet here with great violence, and were so astonishing a sight to those ancient Inhabitant, that they reckon’d it one of the wonders of Britain. Of which, take Bede’s own words: Two tides which flow round the British Island out of the vast northern Ocean, do daily meet together and encounter each other beyond the mouth of the river Homelea, and, the conflict ended, the waves retire into the sea from whence they came. Into this chanel, another small river empties it self, which, rising near Warnford, runs between the forest of WalthamWaltham. (where † † Is, C.was a stately seat of the Bishops of Winchester, ⌈ruin’d in the late Civil Wars)⌉ and the forest of Bere,Bere. by Tichfield,Tichfield. where was formerly a small Monastery, built by Peter de Rupibus Bishop of Winchester, and since, the chief seat of the Wriotheslys Earls of Southampton; ⌈the last of whom dying without issue-male, this Estate came to Edward, first Earl of Gainsborough, by marriage with Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of the said Earl; whose son dying without issue-male, it descended to two daughters, co-heirs.⌉

Hence, the shore winds inwards, and, together with the Island call’d Portesey,Portesey. makes a creek; at the upper-part of which flourished formerly Port-peris, where tradition says that Vespasian landed. Our Ancestors gave it the new name of Portchester, not from Port, the Saxon, but from portus a harbour. For Ptolemy, from it’s largeness, calls it Greek text, i.e. the spacious Port; and so, a place in Africa was call’d Portus magnus,Portus magnus. as we learn from Pliny. There is a large Castle still remaining, which commands a free and full prospect to the harbour below. But when the sea, retiring from this shore, made the harbour by degrees less commodious, they remov’d hence to Portsey,Portsey. an adjoyning Island, about 14 miles round. At high tide it is encompass’d with sea-water, of which they make salt; and is joyn’d to the continent by a bridge, which had a Fort to defend it. Athelfled, wife of King Edgar, gave this Island to New-Minster in Winchester; and, at the entrance or mouth of the creek, our Ancestors built a town, which from thence they call’d Portsmouth,Portsmouth. i.e. the mouth of the Port. This, in time of war, is very populous, but not so in time of peace; and they apply themselves more to War and Navigation, than to the politer Studies. It has a Church, of ancient work; and an Hospital (which they call God’s-house)God’s-house. founded by Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester. It was fortify’d with a wall of timber lin’d with mud, and a high mount to the north-east, near the gate, and two forts of free-stone at the entrance of the harbour, which the inhabitants say were begun by King Edward 4, and finish’d by Henry 7, who, they add, settl’d a garrison in this town. But Queen Elizabeth, at vast expence, so fortify’d it by new Works, that it * * Is, C.was hard to say how a Place † † Can, C.could possibly be made ¦ ¦ New Fortifications to be added, Stat.7. Ann. c.26.stronger. And the garrison keep guard night and day, some at the Town-gates, and others upon the top of the Church-tower, where, by the tolling of a Bell, they give notice what numbers of Horse and Foot are at any time coming toward the Town, and, * * Ostenso vexillo.by hanging out the Colours, shew from what quarter they come. ⌈The appearance of this place (as to the extent, strength and magnificence of the land-fortifications, as well as things belonging to marine affairs) is very much improved of late years. For through the growth of Naval Action in England, it is now reckon’d amongst the principal Chambers of the Kingdom, for the laying-up of it’s Royal Navy; as being furnish’d on shore with Docks wet and dry, Store-houses, Rope-yards, materials and requisites of all kinds for the building, repairing, rigging, arming, victualling, and compleat fitting to sea, ships of the highest rates. It has also Dwelling-houses and ample Accommodations for a Commissioner, and all the subordinate Officers and Master-Artizans, needful for the constant attending and executing the day and night-services of the Navy in this Port, both in Peace and War. It hath given the title of Dutchess, to Lovise de Queronalle, created by King Charles the 2d, in the year 1673.⌉Aug. 19.

Hence, from Portes-bridge, upon a little turning of the shore, I saw HavantHavant., a small market-town; and near it WarblingtonWarblington., formerly a beautiful seat of the Earls of Salisbury, now of the family of the Cottons† Knights, C.. Before these, there lie two Islands; the larger, call’d Haling,Haling. the less, Thorney,Thorney. from the thorns; and each has it’s Parish-Church. In several places along this shore, out of the sea-water that comes up, they make salt; which at first is of a sort of pale green colour, but by an art they have, it is afterwards boil’d into a pure white. And it is of this sea-salt, not of the other which is made in our English pits,British Salt. that St. Ambrose is to be understood:Hexameron, lib.4. cap.11. Let us look upon those things which are common, and withal full of kindness to man; how water is turn’d into such firm and solid salt, that it is often cut with instruments of iron; which is usually seen in the British salts, that are crusted into a substance as hard and white as marble, and are very wholsom, &c.

At a greater distance from the sea, * * Live, C.liv’d the Meanvari,Meanvari. whose Country (together with the Isle of Wight) Edilwalch King of the South-Saxons receiv’d from Wulpher King of the Mercians, who was his God-father,See Bede, lib.4. c.13. and at his Baptism gave him this as a token of Adoption. Their Country is now divided into three Hundreds, with a very little change from the ancient name, viz. Meansborow, Eastmean, Weastmean, ⌈(this last has the name of a Tything;)⌉ within which, is a high hill fortify’d at the top with a large trench, and call’d Old Winchester,Old Winchester. where tradition tells us there was an ancient City; but now there is not the least mark or sign of it; so that it seems to have been only a Roman Summer-Camp. ⌈In these parts, the learned Annotator upon the Itinerary,Gale, p.109. places a People of the Iceni (distinct from those that are commonly known by that name) about the river Iching; and indeed CæsarCaesar himself speaks of the Icenimagni or CenimagniBell. Gall. L.5. (descended probably from the Cenimanni in Gaule) as neighbours to the Segontiaci, and the names of Meanstoke, Meansburrow, and Mean, are supposed by him to be the Remains of the ancient name Cenimagni; how truly, I dare not say.⌉

Below the forementioned Fort, lies Warnford,Warnford. where Adam de Portu, a man of great wealth and figure in those parts, under William the Conqueror, rebuilt the Church, as we learn from this rude Distich in the wall:

Addæ hic portu, benedicat solis ab ortu,
Gens Deo dicata, per quem sic sum renovata
.

Good folks, in your devotions ev’ry day,
For Adam Port, who thus repair’d me, pray.

⌈Now, the Inscription is thus;

Ade hic de Portu Solis benedicat ab ortu,
Gens cruce signata, per quem sic sum renovata
.

And, as by these the Repairer is discover’d, so is the Founder of it by three others upon the South-side:

Fratres orate, prece vestra sanctificate,
Templi factores, seniores & juniores,
Wilfrid fundavit, bonus Adam sic renovavit
.

All you that come here,
Bestow a kind prayer
On the Church’s builders,
Both youngers and elders;
What pious Wilfrid rais’d
Good Adam increas’d.⌉

More inward, there border upon these, the Segontiaci;Segontiaci. who submitted themselves to Cæsar, and inhabited the Northern limits of this County, in the Hundred of Holeshot: in which we meet with Aulton,Aulton. a Market-town that King Alfred left by will to the Keeper of Leodre; and Basingstoke,Basingstoke. a well-frequented market, which shows a very neat Chapel, dedicated to the Holy Ghost, built by William the first Lord Sands, who lies bury’d there. Upon the roof, the History of the Prophets, Apostles, and Disciples of Christ, is very curiously describ’d with their several pictures. Below this place to the East, lies BasingBasing. ⌈memorable of old for a Battle of Etheldred and Alfred against the Danes, where-in the latter were Conquerors; and since,⌉ famous for it’s Lords of that Sirname, and the St. Johns,St. Johns. Poynings and Powlets. For when Adam de Portu, Lord of Basing, marry’d the daughter and heir of Roger de Aurevall, whose wife was daughter and heir of the noble family Out of an old missal of this family. of the St. Johns; William, son of the said Adam, in great respect, took the name of St. John, which was derived to his posterity, in a lineal Succession. But when Edmund de St. John, in the time of Edward 3, died without issue, Margaret his sister brought to her husband, John de St. Philibert, the Estate of the Lords St. John. She likewise dying without issue, Isabel her other sister, wife of Luke Poynings, had by him Thomas Lord of Basing, whose grand-child Constantia, by his son Hugh, was heir to this part of the estate; and marrying into the family of the Powlets,Powlet. was the great grandmother of that William Powlet, who by King Henry 8. was made Baron St. John of Basing; and by King Edward 6. Earl of Wiltshire, and Marquess of Winchester. He was Lord High Treasurer of England, and, after he had in the most troublesome times passed through a course of the highest honours, he dy’d in a good old age:He lived 97 years. a happiness, that Courtiers seldom find. He built here a seat, both for largeness and beauty exceeding magnificent; but so overcharg’d with it’s own weight, that his posterity were forc’d to pull down part of it.

Nigh this place we see The Vine,Vines first brought into England. a beautiful house of the † † Now extinct.Barons Sandes, and so call’d from Vines, which we have had in Britain, more for shade than fruit, ever since the time of Probus the Emperor. For it was he,Vopiscus. who gave liberty to the Britains and others, to have Vines. The first Baron of this family, was William Sandes,Barons de Sandes. whom King Henry 8. advanc’d to that honour, when, being his Chamberlain, he had encreas’d his estate by marriage with Margery Bray, daughter and heir of John Bray, and Cousin of Reginald Bray Knight of the Garter, and a Knight-Banneret of great name. To him was born Thomas Lord Sandes, ⌈* * Grandfather to William now living, C.who was succeeded by three of the same family, and of the name of William; the last of whom, was succeeded by Henry, Lord Sandes or Sandys.⌉ Nigh this place, to the south-east, lies Odiam, † † Ann. 1607.
Odiam.
adorn’d with a Palace of the Kings; and once the prison of David 2, King of Scots. It was formerly a free burrough of the Bishops of Winchester;Matth. Paris. the Castle whereof in the reign of King John was defended by 13 English-men, for 15 days together, against Lewis Dauphin of France, who attack’d it vigorously on all sides.

Higher up, among these Segontiaci, upon the North-border of the County, lay the City of the Segontiaci, called Vindonum;Vindonum. ⌈and in Manuscripts (saith Dr. Gale)Comment. in Itinerar. p.135. Vindini, from Vindinum in Gaule, the chief city of the Aulerci Cenimagni; who settled here.⌉ This Vindonum, leaving it’s old name, took that of the Inhabitants; as Lutetia in France borrow’d it’s new name from the Parisians. For this place was call’d by the Britains Caer Segonte, that is, the City of the Segontiaci, (and so Ninnius terms it in his Catalogue of Cities;) we at this day call it Silcester;Silcester. and Higden seems to give it the name of Britenden, from the Britains. I am induc’d to call this the antient Vindonum, because it agrees with the distances of Vindonum, from Gallena or Guallenford, and from Vinta or Winchester, in the Itinerary of Antoninus; and further, because a military way is still visible between this Silcester and Winchester. Ninnius tells us, that this City was built by Constantius son of Constantine the Great, and that it was once call’d Murimintum,Murimintum. perhaps for Muri-vindun, that is, the Walls of Vindonum: for the Britains retain the word Mure; which they borrow’d from the Roman language; and as to the V consonant, they often, in pronunciation, change it into M. On the ground whereon this City was built (I speak in Ninnius’s words) the Emperor Constantius sow’d three grains of Corn, that no person inhabiting there, might ever be poor. So Dinocrates, at the building of Alexandria in Egypt (as Marcellinus has it) strewed all the out-lines with † † Farina.Wheat, by which Omen he foretold, that that City should always be supply’d with plenty of provisions. The same Author reports, that Constantius dy’d here, and that his Tomb was to be seen at the gate of the City, as appear’d by the inscription. But in these matters let Ninnius vindicate his own credit; who, indeed, has stuff’d that little history with many trifling lies. But thus much I dare affirm, that this was a flourishing City in that age; and I my self have found there several coins of Constantine Junior; son of Constantine the Great, which on the reverse have the figure of a building, with this inscription, PROVIDENTIAE CAESS. But all Writers agree, that Constantius, whom Ninnius makes the builder of this city, dy’d at Mopsuestia, or Mebsete, in Cilicia, and was thence carry’d to Constantinople to be interr’d among his Ancestors. I deny not, but that a Cenotaphium or honorary Tomb might be set-up here for the Emperor; for such like ¦ ¦ Tumuli.Barrows of earth were often made in memory of the dead;Honorary tombs, or barrows. round which, the soldiers had yearly solemn Courses or Exercises, in honour of the deceas’d party.

When the Roman Empire began to decline, and the barbarous nations made incursions on all sides into the Provinces; the British armies, fearing that they might be involv’d in the calamity of their Neighbours, chose themselves Emperors, first Marcus, and then Gratian; and presently murder’d both. And last of all, in the year 407, and in this City Caer Segont, they * * Purpura induerunt.chose one Constantine,Constantine Aug. chose Emperor for the sake of his name. purely for the sake of his name and against his own will; as Ninnius and Gervasius Dorobernensis tell us. He, setting sail from Britain, arriv’d at Bologne in France, and got all the Roman forces, as far as the Alps, to joyn him. He defended Valence, a city of Gaul, with great resolution, against the forces of Honorius the Emperor, and placed Garrisons upon the † Rhenum.Rhine, which had been a long time neglected. He also built fortresses at the several Passes of the Alps. In Spain, by the assistance of Constans his son, whom from a Monk he had rais’d to the title of Augustus, he was very successful; and then sending letters to Honorius to beg pardon for suffering the soldiers to cast the Purple upon him, he receiv’d an Imperial Robe from the Emperor. Buoy’d up with this, he pass’d the Alps with design to march to Rome; but hearing of the death of Alaric the Goth, who had been a friend to his cause, he retreated to Arles, where he fixed the Imperial seat, and Commanded the city to be call’d ¦ ¦ Constantina urbs.after his own name, and summon’d thither a solemn meeting of seven Provinces. In the mean time, Gerontius rais’d a faction against his Master; and, after he had traiterously slain Constans his son at Vienne in Gaul, besieged Constantine the Father, in Arles: but when one, whom the Historians call Constantius (sent by the Emperor Honorius,) was marching against him with an army; Gerontius laid violent hands upon himself. In the mean time, Constantine, being reduc’d to great straits, and by some unsuccessful sallies brought to despair, quitted his burthensome Honour, and, entring into the Church, took on him the Order of a * * Presbyteri.Priest: upon which, the city was presently surrender’d, and he led prisoner into Italy, where he was beheaded, with Julian his son (whom he had entitled the most Noble,)Julian entitled the most Noble. and Sebastian his brother. The History of these affairs, which is before deliver’d more at large, I have here abridged from Zosimus, Zosomen, Nicephorus, Orosius, and Olympiodorus; that Truth may triumph over the vanity of those, who by the help of their own invention have adulterated this History with idle and ridiculous Fables.

Our Historians report, that in this city was the Inauguration of our Valiant King Arthur; and soon after, the place was demolished, either in the Saxon Wars, or when Athelwolf (in rebellion against K. Edward his brother, and assisted by that crew of Danish Robbers) destroy’d all this country as far as Basingstoke. Nothing now remains, but the walls, which (though they have lost their coping and battlements) seem to have been exceeding high. For, by the rubbish and ruins, the earth is grown so high, that I could scarce thrust my self through a * * Angiportum.passage which they call Onion’s-hole;Onion’s-hole. though I stoop’d very low. The walls remain in good measure entire; only, with some few gaps in those places, where the gates have been; and out of these walls, there grow Oaks of such a vast bigness, incorporated as it were with the stones, and their roots and boughs are spread so far round; that they raise admiration in all that behold them. The walls are about two Italian miles in compass; so that, perhaps, it was from the largeness of the place, that the Saxons call’d it Selcester, that is, the great City. For SelSel, what. seems in their language to have signified great; since Asserius Menevensis interprets the Saxon word Selwood, by Sylva magna, i.e. a great wood. On the west-side of the walls, where it is level, there runs a long ridge, cast-up for a Defence to the place. It contains about 80 acres, being a very good soil, now divided into separate fields, with a little grove to the west; and eastward, near the gate, a farm-house, with a small Church of modern building; in which, I search’d for ancient Inscriptions, but found only some Coats of Arms in the windows, viz.Arms of the Blewets, Bainards, and Cusanz. in a field sable seven Fusils argent Bendwise; as also, in a field sable a Fesse between two chevrons Or, and in a shield Or an eagle display’d with two heads, gules. I find these last to be the Arms of the Blewets, to whom this estate came, after the time of William the Conqueror; the second, are the Arms of the noble family of Bainard of Leckham; and the first is the Coat of the family of the Cusanz, through whom the estate pass’d by Inheritance from the Blewets to the Bainards. But in the reign of William the Conqueror, this was the Estate of William de Ow the Norman, who, being accus’d of high Treason, chose to maintain his Innocence by Duel; but, being conquered, he was by command of William Rufus punish’d with the loss of his eyes and testicles. The inhabitants of the place told me, it had been a constant observation among them, that tho’ the soil here is fat and fertile, yet in a sort of baulks that cross one another, the corn never grows so thick as in other parts of the field; and along these they believe the streets of the old City to have run. They very frequently dig-up British tiles, and great plenty of Roman Coins, which they call Onion-pennies, from one Onion whom they foolishly fansy to have been a Giant, and an inhabitant of this city. They also often find Inscriptions, which the Ignorance of the Country-people has destroyed, and rendered useless to the World. There is only one remaining, which was brought up to London, and plac’d in the garden of the honourable William Cecil Baron of Burghley, and Lord High Treasurer of England:

MEMORIÆ
FL. VICTORINÆ. T. TAM:
VICTOR CONIUX
POSVIT.

I shall not be positive, as some are, that this was a monument in memory of Victorina, who was called Mater Castrorum, i.e. Mother of the Camps; and who set up the Victorini, son and grandson, and Posthumus, Lollianus, Marius, and Tetricus, in Gaul and Britain, against Gallienus the Emperor. But I have somewhere read, that there were two Victors in Britain, and those at the same time; one, son of Maximus the Emperor; the other, * * Prætorio Præfectus.Captain of the Guards to the same Emperor, and mention’d by St Ambrose in his Epistles. However, I dare affirm, that neither of these was the Victor, who set up this monument in memory of his wife.

As there is one Roman military way that runs south from hence, directly to Winchester; so is there another that goes westward, thro’ PamberPamber. (a thick and woody forest;) thence, by some places now uninhabited, near Litchfield, that is, the field of carcasses; and so to the forest of Chute,Chute-forest. very pleasant by reason of its shady trees, and the diversions of hunting; where the Huntsmen and Foresters admire the paved Ridge, which is plainly visible, tho’ here and there interrupted.

More to the North, almost on the limits of this County, I saw Kings-cleare,Kings-cleare. formerly a seat of the Saxon Kings, now a well-frequented market; ⌈within a mile of which is an ancient square Camp, and some obscure Remains of a large Building, that is said to have been a Castle:⌉ Sidmanton,Sidmanton. the seat of the Knightly family of Kingsmils; ⌈(within half a mile of which, on Ladle-hill,Ladle-hill. is another ancient Encampment;)⌉ and Burgh-cleare,Burgh-cleare. under a high hill, on the top of which is a military camp (such as our ancestors call’d Burgh,) surrounded with a large trench: and there being a prospect from hence all the country round, a Beacon † † Is, C.was built upon it, which by fire * * Gives, C.gave notice to the neighbouring parts, of the approach of an enemy. ⌈And a very proper place this was, for such a purpose; there being from hence a clear prospect northward to Cuckhamsley-hill (where another Beacon was used to be kept) and Eastward almost as far as Reading, and Southward all over Hamshire, as far as the Isle of Wight.⌉ This kind of watch-towers have the name of Beacons, from the old word Beacnian, i.e. to beckon: They have been in use, here in England, for several ages; in some places made of a high pile of wood, and in others, of little barrels fill’d with pitch, set on the top of a high pole in places most expos’d to view, where some always keep watch in the night; and formerly the horsemen, call’d by our Ancestors Hobelers, were settl’d in several places, to signify the approach of an enemy by day. ⌈North west from hence, on the edge of Barkshire, is a square Camp, nigh west Woodhay,Woodhay. in a place call’d Wallborough; which, without doubt, took the name from the Fortifications.⌉

This County (as well as all the rest which we have been hitherto describing) belong’d to the West-Saxon Kings; and (as Marianus tells us,) when Sigebert was depos’d for tyrannical oppressions of his Subjects, he had this County assign’d him, that he might not seem intirely divested of Government. But, for his repeated crimes, they afterwards expell’d him out AElfhere AElfhelm Jutae Vitae Witae of those parts too; and the miserable condition of this depos’d Prince was so far from moving pity, that, concealing himself in the wood Anderida,Anderida. he was there kill’d by a Swine-herd.

This County has had very few Earls, besides those of Winchester, which I have mention’d before. ⌈In the Saxon times, particularly in the year 860 (in the time of King Ethelbert) Osric seems to have had this honour, by his leading up the Hamshire-men against the Danes, together with Ethelwulf and his Berkshire-men; tho’ by the Saxon-Annals they are both styl’d Saxon: Ealdormen. Whether, in K. Edgar’s time Ælfhere, and afterwards Ælfhelm, had the same Honour, I dare not be positive.⌉ About the coming-in of the Normans, one Bogo, or * * Beavosius.Beavoyse, a Saxon, had this title; who, in the battle at Cardiff in Wales, engaged the Normans. He was a man mightily fam’d for his valour and conduct; but while the Monks endeavour’d to extol him by legendary tales, they have obscured and drowned his truly noble Exploits. From that time, we read of no Earl of this County, till the reign of Henry the 8th, who advanced William Fitz-Williams (descended from the daughter of the Marquess Montacute, and then very old,) to the honours of Earl of Southampton, and Lord High Admiral of England. But he soon dying without issue, King Edward 6. in the first year of his reign, confer’d that honour upon Thomas Wriothesley Lord Chancellor of England; and his grandson Henry, by Henry his son, † † Now enjoys, C.enjoy’d the same title; who in his younger years improv’d the nobility of his birth with the additional ornaments of Learning and military arts; that in his riper age he might employ them in the service of his King and Country. ⌈After his death, this Honour descended to Thomas his son, who, upon the Restoration of King Charles 2, was created Knight of the Garter, and made Lord High Treasurer of England. He was thrice marry’d, but left no issue-male, nor any other to inherit his Title; so that Charles Fitz-Roy, eldest son to the Dutchess of Cleaveland, had the honour of Duke of Southampton confer’d upon him by King Charles the second, in the 27th year of his reign; being also created, at the same time, Baron of Newberry and Earl of Chichester.⌉

There are in this County 253 Parishes, and 18 Market-Towns.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06