THE Bishoprick of Durham or Duresme, lies north of Yorkshire, and is shaped like a Triangle; the * * Apex.top whereof lies to the west, being made there by the meeting of the North boundary and the Tees-head. That side of it towards the South, is bounded all along by the course of the river Tees. The other which lies Northward, runs in a short line from the top of the Triangle to the river Derwent, and thence is bounded by the Derwent it self, till it receives the little river Chopwell; and after that, by the river Tine. The basis of this triangle which lies Eastward, is formed by the Sea-shore, which the German Ocean beats upon with great rage and violence.fuel oil
In that part where it is contracted into the top-angle, the fields are naked, the woods few, and the hills bald, but not without veins of Iron; but the Vales produce grass pretty well (for the Appennine of England, which I have already spoken of, cuts it at this angle.) But on the East part, or the basis of this triangle, as also at the sides of it, the ground is made very fruitful by tillage, and the returns are answerable to the pains of the husbandman; being enamell’d with Meadows, Pastures, and Cornfields, and thick-set with Towns in all parts of it, and abounding in Coal; which is used for fewel in so many places. Some would have this Coal to be a black earthy bitumen, others to be Jeat, and others the Lapis Thracius; all which, that great Master of Mineral learning, Georgius Agricola, proves to be the very same. Coal. For certain, this of our’s is nothing but bitumen, harden’d and concocted by the heat under ground; for it has the same smell with bitumen; † † This is proper to English Jeat; but the Coal here, is quenched with water, and flames with Oyl.and if water be sprinkled on it, it burns the hotter and the clearer; but whether or no it is quenched with oyl, I have not try’d. If the Lapis Obsidianus be in England, I should take it for that which is found in other parts of the Kingdom, and commonly goes by the name of Canole Coal: for that is hard, shining, light, and apt to cleave into thin flakes, and to burn out as soon as kindled. But let us leave these points to such persons as pry into the secrets of nature.
This whole County, with others bordering upon it, is call’d by the Monkish Writers The Land or Patrimony of St. Cuthbert.St. Cuthbert’s Patrimony. For so they call’d all that belong’d to the Church of Durham, of which Cuthbert is esteemed Patron; ⌈and so, Creke in Yorkshire, Bedlington, Northam, and Holy-Island, Shires in Northumberland, are to this day parts of the County Palatine, and as such have the benefit of the Courts at Durham.⌉ St. Cuthbert, in the very infancy of the Saxon Church, was Bishop of Lindefarne, and led such a holy and upright Life, that he was kalendar’d for a Saint. And our Kings and Noblemen (believing him to be their Guardian-Saint against the Scots) have not only gone often in pilgrimage to his Body, which continu’d long entire and uncorrupted, as some Writers would perswade us; but also endow’d his Church with very great possessions, and many immunities. King Egfrid gave large Revenues in the very City of York, and also Creake, which I have spoken of, and the City Luguballia or Carlisle, to Cuthbert himself in his life-time, as it is in the History of Durham. ⌈But yet his Charter (be it true or counterfeit) mentions no such thing. Simeon Dunelmensis indeed (or rather Abbot Turgot) tells us, that Creake was given him by this King, That in his way to and from York, he might have a Mansion to rest at. But this only intimates, that St. Cuthbert might have frequent occasions to travel to York; probably, to attend the Court, which the Historian supposes to have been most commonly resident in that City.⌉ King Alfred, and GuthrunMalmes. l.11. p.23.b. the Dane (whom he * * See below.set over the Northumbrians) afterwards gave all the Land between the river Were, and the Tine (these are the words of an old Book) to Cuthbert, and to those that should minister in that Church, for ever; that they might not be in want, but have enough to live upon: moreover, they made his Church an Asylum or Sanctuary for fugitives, that whosoever upon any account should fly to his Body, should have peace there for thirty seven days, not to be violated on any pretence whatsoever. AElfred ⌈As to Guthrun before-mentioned (whom our Historians call also Guthredus, Cuthredus, Gormo, and Gurmundus) however it is said, that he was Lieutenant to the great King Ælfred in the Kingdom of Northumberland; yet, according to others, he was no more so, than Ælfred was his Deputy in that of the West-Saxons. For they two seem by compact to have divided the whole Kingdom betwixt them, and to have jointly enacted Laws, which were to be mutually observ’d both by the English and Danes. And hence, some Monks have taken occasion to unite them falsly, in granting Charters to Monasteries, &c. But this by the way.⌉ King Edward and Athelstan, and Cnuto or Canutus the Dane (who went barefoot to Cuthbert’s Tomb, ⌈from a place called Garmondsway, about five miles from Durham,)⌉ not only confirm’d these Laws and Liberties, but also enlarg’d them. Nor did William the Conqueror less, from whose time it was reckon’d a County Palatine; and some of the Bishops,A County Palatine. as Counts Palatine, have grav’d in their Seals a Knight arm’d, sitting upon a horse with trappings, with one hand brandishing a Sword, and the other holding out the Arms of the Bishoprick. The Bishops have also had their Royalties, so that the Goods of Outlaws were forfeited to them, and not to the King; nay the common people, insisting upon privilege, have refus’d to go to the wars in Scotland under the King. For they pleaded (these are the words of the History of Durham) that they were Haliwerke folkes, i.e. register’d or inrolled for holy work: That they held their Lands to defend the body of St. Cuthbert, and that they ought not to march out of the confines of their Bishoprick, namely beyond the Tine and the Tees, either for the King, or for the Bishop. But Edward the first abridged them of these Liberties. For he (voluntarily interposing himself as mediator between Anthony Bec Bishop, and the Prior, who had then a sharp contest about certain Lands, and at last would not stand to his determination; ⌈or, as others will have it, provoked by that Bishop’s siding with the Earls Mareschal and Hereford,)⌉ seized (as my Author says) the Liberty of the Bishoprick into his own hands, and then were many things searched into, and their privileges abridg’d in many particulars. However, the Church recover’d its Rights afterwards, and ⌈(excepting certain Liberties taken away by Statute,27 Hen.8. and annex’d to the Crown)⌉ held them without diminution till Edward the sixth’s time; to whom (that Bishoprick being dissolv’d) the Parliament gave all its Revenues and Immunities. But immediately after, Queen Mary had this Act of Parliament repealed, and ⌈(except the foresaid Liberties)⌉ restor’d all entire to the Church; which it enjoys at this day. For James Pilkington, Bishop, commenced a suit with Queen Elizabeth, for the Lands and Goods of Charles Nevil Earl of Westmorland, and other out-laws in this County, who had been in actual rebellion; and had prosecuted the suit, if the Parliament had not interposed, and for that time (so the words are) adjudged it to the Queen, in consideration of the great charge she had been at, in rescuing both the Bishop and the Bishoprick from the rebels.
Its Palatine Rights. ⌈The Palatine Right of the Bishops of Durham is founded upon Prescription Immemorial, because there is no Record of its being granted by any Princes before the Conquest or since, wherein it is not supposed to have been granted also by their Predecessors. It proceeded at first from a principle of Devotion to St. Cuthbert, that whatever Lands were given to him, or bought with his money, he should hold them with the same freedom that the Princes who gave them, held the rest of their Estates. But this piety to the Saint was not without its Prudential purposes all along, both for the service of the Crown in the wars of Scotland, and also for the service of the Country, because of its distance from the Courts of Law above.
Its Jurisdiction. It consisted of all manner of Royal Jurisdiction, both Civil and Military, by Land and by Water. For the exercise of which, the Bishops had their proper Courts of all sorts held in their Name, and by their Authority; their Chancery, Exchequer, and Court of Pleas, as well of the Crown as of the Country, and all other Pleas, and Assizes, Certifications and Juries, whatsoever; and all Officers belonging to them, as Chancellor, Justices, High-Sheriff, Coroners, Escheator, and other Ministers, as well such as the Kings have been wont to have elsewhere in the Kingdom, as such as the said Kings have been wont to depute according to the exigency of emergent Cases, or for the special execution of Acts of Parliament. Thus, by themselves and their Officers, they did justice to all Persons in all Cases, without either the King, or any of his Bailiffs or Officers interfering ordinarily in any thing. Whatever occasion the King had within this Liberty, his Writs did not run here; they were not directed as to his own Officers in other Counties, but to the Bishop himself, or, in the vacancy of the See, to the proper Officers of the Palatinate. When King Henry the second sent his Justices of Assize hither upon an extraordinary occasion of Murthers and Robberies, he declared by his Charter, That he did it with the Licence of the Bishop, and pro hac vice only, and that it should not be drawn into Custom either in his time, or in the time of his Heirs, not being done but upon absolute necessity; and that he would nevertheless have the Land of St. Cuthbert to enjoy its Liberties and ancient Customs as amply as ever.
By virtue of these Privileges, there issued out of the Bishop’s Courts all sorts of Writs, Original, Judicial, and Common; Writs of Proclamation upon the Exigent for Outlawries from six weeks to six weeks, and Letters of Peace upon the Return and Appearance of the Persons; and Writs de Excommunicato capiendo upon Certificates directed from the Bishop’s Spiritual Capacity to his Temporal.
As all Writs went out in his name, so he had a Register of Writs, of as much authority as that in the King’s Courts; and all Recognizances enter’d upon his Close Rolls in his Chancery, and made to him, or in his Name, were as valid within the County, as those made to the King without.
But now the * * Cap.24.Act of the 27th of King Henry the eighth, for the Recontinuing of certain Liberties taken from the Crown, directs, That all Writs, Indictments, and all manner of Process in Counties Palatine, shall be made only in the King’s name; since which time, all the difference that is in the Style of Proceedings in this Country from others, is, that the Teste of the Writs is in the name of the Bishop, according to the directions of that Act. Still he is perpetual Justice of Peace within his Territories, as is also his Temporal Chancellor, because the chief Acts of the Exempt Jurisdiction used to run through his Court. All the Officers of the Courts, even the Judges of Assize themselves, have still their ancient Salaries from the Bishop, and all the standing Officers of the Courts are constituted by his Patents. When he comes in person to any of the Courts of Judicature, he sits Chief in them, those of Assize not excepted: and even when Judgment of Blood is given, though the Canons forbid any Clergy-man to be present, yet the Bishops of Durham did, and may sit in Court in their purple Robes upon the Sentence of Death; whence it used to be said, Solum Dunelmense Stolâ jus dicit & Ense.Stola All Dues, Amerciaments, and forfeited Recognizances in the Courts of the Palatinate, belong to the Bishop; as also, all Deodands. If any Forfeitures are made, either of War, or by Treason, Outlawry, or Felony, even although the Soil be the King’s, they fall to the Bishop here, as to the King in other places. And though the first great wound that the Palatinate receiv’d, was occasioned by the Alienation of Bernard-castle and Hartlepole, upon the forfeitures of Baliol and Bruce, yet the Bishop’s right to them was declared upon full hearing; and tho’ the possession of them could not be retrieved, yet they still resort to the Courts of Durham as other parts of the County do. Indeed all the Tenures of Land in this Country do spring originally from the Bishop, as Lord paramount in Capite. From hence proceeded his giving of Charters for the erection of Burroughs and In-Corporations, Markets and Fairs; for the inclosure of Forests, Chases, and Warrens; Licences to build Chapels, to found Chanteries and Hospitals; and Dispensations with the Statute of Mortmain; all these things being within his property. From hence it is, that if there be any Moors or Wastes in the County, to which no other can make title, they fall to him, and even inclosed Estates also in that case escheat to him, it being implied, that they could not have been inclosed without his Grant. If any Estates here fall to Lunaticks or Idiots, the Bishop grants the custody of them, as the King does elsewhere; and whilst there was such a thing as Wards and Liveries in the Kingdom, if any Person left his Child a Minor, the custody of him was in the Bishop. Besides the dependance of those that hold of him by Lease or Copy of Court-roll; if any Freeholders alienated their Lands without his leave, they were obliged to sue to him for his Patent of Pardon: and to this day, all the silver paid for Licences of Alienation of Lands by Fines or Recoveries which belongs to the King at Westminster, belongs to the Bishop here.
As for the Military power, the Bishop of Durham had his Thaines anciently, and afterwards his Barons and others, who held of him by Knights Service, as the rest of the Haliwerke-folk held of them, by inferior Tenures. Upon occasions of Danger, he called them together in the nature of a Parliament, to advise and assist with their Persons, Dependents, and Money, for the publick service, either at home or abroad. And when Men and Money were to be levied, it was not done here as in other places, but by the Bishop’s Commissions, or Writs in his name, out of the Chancery at Durham: for as he had power to coin Money, so he had power to levy Taxes also, and to raise defensible persons within the Bishoprick from sixteen to sixty years of age, and to arm and equip them for service. He himself us’d often to go at the head of them; however, the Officers by whom they were led, acted by Commission under him, and were accountable to him for their duty, as he was to the King. According as he found their strength, he had power to go out against the Scots, or make Truces with them. One of the Bishops built a strong Castle in his Territory, upon the Border, to defend it against them, though, at the same time, if any other person would have done such a thing in any part of his Territory, they must have had his leave: not the greatest man of the Palatinate could build or embattle his Castle or Manor-house without Licence from the Bishop. As they depended upon him in these things, so were they free from every body else; insomuch, that when the Lord Warden of the Marches would have summoned some of the Bishop’s people to his Courts, a Letter was sent from the King to forbid him upon the penalty of a thousand pounds. But now the Militia of this Country has been, of long time, upon the same foot with the rest of the Kingdom, under a Lord Lieutenant from the King; only with this distinction, That the Lieutenancy has been here, for the most part, though not always, in the hands of the Bishop.
This Royal Jurisdiction extends also to the Sea-coasts, and Waters that lie within, or adjoyning to the County Palatine, or any of its Dependencies; wherein the Bishop of Durham has all along had a distinct Admiralty, and held his Admiralty-Courts by proper Judges according to the Maritime laws; appointing, by his Patents, a Vice-Admiral, Register, and Marshal or Water-bailiff, and having all other Officers requisite to that authority, and all the Privileges, Forfeitures and Profits incident thereunto, as Royal-fishes, Wrecks of the Sea, Duties for Ships applying to his Ports, Anchorage, Beaconage, Wharfage, Moorage, Butlerage, Ulnage, Metage, and other such like advantages; Keys for Balast or Merchant Goods, Ferry-boats, Fishings, and Dams over the Rivers, Houses also and Shops to the Midstream that borders upon his County, as on the South-side of Tine-bridge. To him also belongs the Conservation of the Waters within his Royalty; in pursuance of which, he used to issue out Commissions for the prohibition, limitation or abatement of Yares and other Erections in prejudice of his Rivers. When any Ships of War were to be set forth and array’d within the Ports of the County Palatine, it was always done by the Bishop’s Commissions and Writs to his High-Sheriff. And when the King issued out his Orders from his Admiralty to the High-Sheriffs of other Maritime Counties, there came none from thence to this County, but there was a particular Letter from the King to the Bishop for his concurrence; whereupon the Bishop gave his Commission to his own High-Sheriff, with express command, ‘That nothing should be done by the King’s Commissioners without him.’ It is but very lately, that any instance was known of the Admiralty’s being separated from the Bishoprick, and it is now again restor’d, though with some diminution in the Honour.
This is some account of the Palatine Rights of this Bishoprick, so far as the nature of this Work would allow. If they have been formerly or of late contested or abridg’d, or given, or taken away, or alter’d, by violence, or by authority, or by time, it is no wonder; considering the changes that have been in this Kingdom, not only in the Tenures of the Subjects, but also in the Royalties of the Crown it self.
The great privileges of this Church in Temporal Jurisdiction, do easily lead us to suppose that it had some extraordinary Spiritual Immunities also. After Paulinus’s departure from York, the Bishops, who restor’d Christianity among the Northumbers, placed their See at Lindisfern, tho’ not with the title of Metropolitan, yet with all the Ecclesiastical power that was then in these Countries. This occasion’d a great veneration for their Successors among the Saxons, besides the particular reverence that was paid to St. Cuthbert. When the See was establish’d at Durham in the time of the Conqueror, Thomas the Elder, then Archbishop of York, having been miraculously recover’d of a Fever at the Shrine of that Saint, granted several Immunities to his Church, with relation to Jurisdiction, Visitations, Attendance upon Convocations, &c. And these having been confirmed by the King, and Parliament, and Pope, and also by several of his next Successors, could never be recall’d afterwards: but after many struggles and contests, too long to be here set forth, the old Pleas still obtain’d, and, so far as the state of things requires, are to this day upheld.⌉ But leaving these matters, let us now proceed to the description of places.
Tees. The river which bounds the South part of this County, is call’d by the Latins Teisis and Teisa,Twesis. and commonly Tees; by Polydore an Italian (who was certainly thinking of Athesis in his own Country) without any grounds, Athesis; by Ptolemy it seems to be call’d ΤΟΥΑΣΙΣ and Tuesis: but I am of opinion, that by the heedlessness of Transcribers, it is misplac’d in him.toyasis For whereas he makes the Tuesis and Tina to be in the remoter parts of Britain, now inhabited by the Scots; and the Tees and Tine are the boundaries to this County: if I durst criticise upon this ancient Geographer, I would recall them hither to their proper place, and, as I hope, without offence to the Scottish Nation, who have no rivers, to which they can truly apply these names;Defence of the Royal Line, p.79. ⌈unless Sir George Mackenzy’s Conjecture be good, that Ptolemy’s is now the March of Angus, being the Frith or Out-let of the river Tay; and so the (or as some Books have it ) of the same Ptolemy, may be left to the River of Tees; and this, upon supposition, that in those Tables they are misplaced.⌉
The Tees rises † † In that stony ground called Stanemore, C.in Crosse-fell ⌈upon the very point of Cumberland, dividing the Bishoprick, from Westmorland first, and then from Yorkshire; tho’ anciently in the upper-parts of this river, the Bishop’s Royalty extended three miles beyond it to the south, and six miles to the west. Among the rocks, at the bottom of Teasdale, alias Langden-forest, near Dirtpeth Chapel (which is now demolished) there is a remarkable Catarract in the river, where the Water falls near twenty yards. And about two miles above it, there is as remarkable a stand of water, where the river forms it self into a narrow Lake of about half a mile long. It is called to this day by the old Saxon name, The Weel, and is noted for plenty of Trouts.⌉
The Tees, together with the many currents joyning it on both sides, flows through rocks; out of which, at * * Eggleston.Eggleston,Vid. Egleston, in Richmondshire; as to the Monastery plac’d here by Mr. Camden. they hew Marble; ⌈and in its course, receives the river Bauder; above which, in the year 1689, about Mid-summer, there happen’d an Eruption of Water on the Mosses; and the earth which was broken thereby, is computed to be about one hundred and sixty yards long, and in some places three in others fourscore yards broad, and about six or seven deep. Which great quantity of Earth being most of it carried down by the flood of water into a neighbouring brook, and so into the river Bauder, did great damage by overflowing the Meadows, and leaving behind it vast quantities of Mud, which the Inhabitants were forced to dig up, and cast into the river, lest it should spoil the ground. It poison’d all the fish, not only in the foresaid Brook, and the Bauder, but also in the Tees for many miles.⌉ Then the Tees runs by Bernard-castle,Bernard-castle. built by Bernard Balliol, great grand-father to John Balliol King of Scots, and so named from him. ⌈The same Bernard created Burgesses also in this Town, with the same liberty and freedom, as those of Richmond.⌉ But John Balliol, whom Edward the first had declared King of Scots, lost this, with other possessions in England, for falling from the Allegiance that he had sworn to King Edward. At which time, the King, being displeas’d with Anthony Bishop of Durham (as the History of that place tells us) took this Castle with all its appurtenances from him, and confer’d it upon the Earl of Warwick. * * Herks, C.Hert and Hertnes, he bestow’d upon Robert Clifford, and Kewerston upon Galfrid de Hertlpole, which the Bishop had, as forfeited by J. de Balliol, R. de Brus, and Christopher de Seton. But some few years after, Ludovicus de Bellomonte the Bishop, descended from the Royal Line of France (who yet, as it is written of him, was a perfect stranger to all matters of Learning) went to law for this Castle and other Possessions, and carry’d the Cause; Sentence being given in these words, The Bishop of Durham ought to have the forfeitures in war within the liberties of his Bishoprick, as the King hath them without. ⌈In the fourteenth year of King Henry the third, an Hospital was erected in this place by John Baliol, and dedicated to St. John Baptist. Also Richard Duke of Glocester (whose Cognisance, the Boar, yet remains in several parts of the Town) founded a College of Secular Canons within the Castle; and for the Lands and Advowsons to be settled on them, he had a Licence of Mortmain in the 14th year of Edward the fourth. In whose time, there was likewise erected an Hospital, consisting of a Master or Warden, and three poor Women.⌉
Near this, stands Stretlham,Stretlham. which hath been a long time the Seat of the famous and knightly family of the BowesBowes. or De Arcubus, who have done great Service to their King and Country in the most difficult times. Their pedigree is from W. de Arcubus, to whom (as I have read) Alanus Niger, Earl of Britain and Richmond, gave it in these words, That he should bear for his Arms the Scutcheon of Britain, with three bent Bowes in it. ⌈Yet others say, that Stretlham came to the Bowes by marrying the heiress of Sir J. Frain, as he had it by marrying the heiress of Ralph de-la-hay Lord Piercy of Stainton in the street, to whom Bernard Baliol gave it with his Niece.
This name of Stretlham, and Stainton in the Street about half a mile off, directly in the way to Bernard-castle, answering to Stratford on the other side of it, seems to point out to us a branch of the Roman high-way, which, from Greta-bridge, and Bowes, and Brough, meeting at Stratford, and passing over the river at Bernard-Castle, runs by Stainton, Streetlam, and Stanethrop, to Binchester. There, it meets with the High Roman way to Lanchester on the left hand, but there also did probably run another way directly forwards by Sunderland-bridge, and Chester in the Street, to Gabrosentum or Newcastle. A very great Antiquary placed Condercum at Sunderland, and the name may seem to favour it; and as for Chester, the very title of the Street, meeting us again there, and several Coins lately found in the place (whatever its name was) shew it to be Roman. As Streetlham answers this passage of the Tees at Bernard-castle, so Stratwich answers another passage over it, above, at Egleston, from Westmorland to Newcastle, by Wolfingham and Lanchester. There, meeting again with the Roman Highway, it either turned on the left hand to Ebchester, and Corbridge, or went directly forward by Wrecansdike to Gateside, and so on to Shields. About four miles below Bernard-castle, stands Winston,Winston. where the learned Dr. Gale places another passage of the Roman way, from Catarick to Binchester. But to return.⌉
At less than five miles distance from Stretlham, and somewhat farther from the Tees, is Standrope,Standrope. (which is also call’d Stainthorp, that is, A stony village;) ⌈heretofore⌉ a small Market-town, where stood a Collegiate Church built by the Nevills, which was also a burial-place to the Family. Near this, is Rabye,Rabye-castle. which King Canutus the Dane gave to the Church of Durham, with the County about it, and Stanthorpe, to have and to hold freely for ever. From which time (as my Author has it) the family of the Nevils,The Family of the Nevills. or de Nova villa, held Rabye of the Church, by a yearly rent of four Pounds and a Stag, ⌈(which Stag was used to be constantly presented on St. Cuthbert’s day, till there arose contests about the Ceremony, and the Monks chose rather to forego the Present, than be at the expence and trouble of receiving it.)⌉ This Family is descended from Waltheof Earl of Northumberland; of whose Posterity, Robert the Son of Maldredus, and Lord of Rabye, having marry’d the daughter of Geffrey Nevill the Norman (whose grandfather Gilbert Nevill, is said to have been Admiral to King William the first;) their Posterity took the name of Nevill, and grew to a most numerous and powerful family. They built here a very spacious Castle, which was their principal and chief Seat: ⌈but, ever since the reign of King James the first, it hath belong’d to the ancient Family of the Vanes, lately made noble under the title of Lord Bernard of Bernard-Castle. And as to Raby, it gave the title of Baron to Sir Thomas Wentworth, created Earl of Strafford and Baron of Raby, in the 15th year of King Charles the first.⌉ These two places, Stainthorpe and Raby, are separated only by a little river; which after some few miles falls into the Tees near Selaby,Selaby. where † † Is, C.was the Seat of the family of the Brakenburys, eminent for their Antiquity, and their marriages with the heirs of Denton and Witcliff.
⌈At the falling of this little river into the Tees, lies Gainford,Gainford. an ancient Manour, and of a large territory, mentioned by old Historians, as taking up all that side of the Country. The Danes first, then the Earls of Northumberland, and afterwards William Rufus, seised these parts. He, being displeased at William de S. Karilefo, gave the Forest of Teasdale, and Marwood, together with the Manours of Middleton and Gainford, to Guy Baliol: and tho’, upon John’s forfeiture, the Bishop’s Right after much opposition was formally allowed; yet the settled Possession could never be obtained. The Church of Gainsford is still the mother to Bernard-castle, and was originally so to Middleton too; but the Rectory was given by Guy Baliol to the Abby of St. Mary in York, and doth now belong to Trinity-College in Cambridge.
Next, upon the same river, lies Percebridge,Percebridge. which, in the old Map of the North-riding of Yorkshire, is called Presbrigge, and, according to Tradition, should be called Priestbridge, from two neighbours of that Order, who built it of Stone, it having been of Wood before; or from the Priests appointed to serve the Devotion of Travellers, as well as of the neighbourhood, in a Chapel, the ruins of which remain hard by the Bridge. At this place was dug-up an Altar with the following Inscription:
Here, it is generally taken for granted, that the High Roman way from Catarick enter’d this County, being fairly to be traced strait along to Binchester, and many other marks of Antiquity being found here, besides the foresaid Altar: wherein the distinct mention of Condati, would tempt us at first sight to believe, that this was the ancient Condate, placed hitherto at Congleton in Cheshire; but the course of the Itinerary, and the Distances on each hand, will by no means give us leave to remove it from thence, and much less to bring it into this County.
Joyning to the Bridge, is a large square- Inclosure, about the usual bigness of the Roman Fortifications in these parts. A Gentleman of good understanding, in this neighbourhood, speaks of an Idol, that he saw himself, which fell into his Father’s hands; who, through excess of Zeal, caused it to be crush’d to pieces. It is certain, that several Urns have been found, and many Coins, and, in the neighbourhood, many years ago, the Plowers struck upon a large Stone-coffin, with a Skeleton in it, in a field adjoyning to the yard of the foresaid Chapel, and which in all likelyhood was formerly part of it. North from hence is Heighington,Heighington. where Elizabeth Jenison founded a School in the 43rd year of Queen Elizabeth, to which Mr. Edward Kirby, late Vicar of the place, left a handsom Legacy. Hard by, is Walworth,Walworth. anciently a Seat of the Nevils, from whom it passed, by the marriage of an heiress, to the Hausards, one of the Baron-Families of the Bishoprick; from them it passed in the same manner to the Ascoughs, and several other great Families, and being adorn’d by one of the late Owners with a good house, it is at present the Seat of the Jenisons.
The Tees, not far from this place, receives the river Skern, famous for its Pikes; near the head of which, is Fishburn,Fishburn. part of the ancient Estate of the Claxtons; and, hard by, Midleham,Midleham. where was formerly a Castle of the Bishops, built mostly by Richard de Kellow and Lewis Beaumont. At some distance from the river, is Sedgfield,Sedgfield. a Market-Town, which was first made so by grant from Bishop Richard de Kellow, anno 1312. with a Fair for five days, to be held on the Eve and day of Edmund Archbishop of Canterbury, and on the three days following. This was for some time neglected, but is now revived. Here is a good Alms-house, well-endowed, for ten poor People. Lower down, is Acley,Acley. where (as Sir Henry Spelman conjectures) two ancient Saxon Councils were held, about the years 782, and 789. Then, Haughton,Haughton. the mother-Church to Sadberge, which, notwithstanding the old general Grants, was with-held from the Church, till Bishop Hugh purchased it of King Richard the first, in exchange for other Manours in Lincolnshire. Hence it is still distinctly named with Durham, in the title of a County Palatine, as a separate Wapentake, which formerly comprehended most of the East-side of the County.⌉
Next, is Derlington,Derlington. a throng Market-town, which † † Styr, Sim. Dunelm p 29.Seir a Saxon, the son of Ulphus, with King Etheldred’s leave, gave to the Church of Durham; and Hugh de Puteaco or Pudsey adorn’d with a ⌈Collegiate⌉ Church and other Buildings. ⌈This was one of the four Ward-Towns in this County; and the Church, one of the three Churches appointed to receive the Secular Priests, when the Monks enter’d into their places, in the Church of Durham. By being thus made Collegiate (of a Dean and four Prebendaries,) it was exposed to be alienated in King Edward the fifth’s time; and a small Pension only was reserved to the Minister out of it. There were also Chantry-Lands in several Places, which were partly assigned for the maintenance of a Free-School in this place. Here are still some remains of an Episcopal House, which, being rather a burden to the See, than any convenience to the Bishops, has been a long time neglected.⌉
In a Field belonging to this place, there are three Wells of great depth, commonly called Hell-kettles,Hell-Kettles. or the Kettles of Hell, because the water by an Antiperistasis (or reverberation of the cold Air) is † † This, confuted below.heated in them. The more thinking sort reckon them to have been sunk by an Earth-quake; and probably enough. For we find in the Chronicle of Tinmouth, That in the year of our Lord 1179. on Christmas-day, at Oxenhall in the out-fields of Darlington in the Bishoprick of Durham, the Earth rais’d it self up to a great height like a lofty tower, and remain’d so all that day till the evening, as it were fix’d and unmoveable; but then it sunk down again with such a horrible noise, that it terrified all the neighbourhood; and the Earth suck’d it in, and made there a deep pit, which continues as a testimony hereof to this day.
⌈Concerning these Pits, take the following account, as I had it in a Letter from a very * * Dr. Kay.ingenious Gentleman, who view’d them.
ACcording to the promise which I made you, I went to sound the depth of Hell-Kettles near Darlington. The name of bottomless Pits made me provide my self with a line above two hundred fathoms long, and a lead-weight proportionable, of five or six pounds weight; but much smaller preparations would have served: for the deepest of them took but fifteen fathoms, or thirty yards of our line. I cannot imagine what these Kettles have been, nor upon what grounds the people of the Country have suppos’d them to be bottomless. They look like some of our old wrought Coal-pits, that are drown’d: but I cannot learn that any Coal, or other Mineral, has ever been found thereabouts. They are full of water (cold, and not hot, as hath been affirmed) to the very brim, and almost the same level with the Tees which runs near them; so that they may have some subterraneal communication with that river. But the water in the Kettles (as I was inform’d) is of a different kind from the river-water; for it curdles Milk, and will not bear Soap. But this I did not try.⌉
That there are subterraneous passages in these Pits, and a way out of them, was first discover’d by Cuthbert Tunstall the Bishop, * * There is no Tradition of this Story, hereabouts.who found a Goose in the Tees, which he had mark’d, and put into the greater of them, for an experiment. From Derlington, the Tees has no place of note, upon it; ⌈except Nesham,Nesham. where was a Nunnery founded by the Ancestors of the Lord Dacres. At this place, is the usual ford over the river from the South, and therefore here commonly is perform’d the Solemnity of meeting the Bishop at his first coming. The Lord of Sockburn (whose Seat is a little below upon the river) being at the head of the Gentlemen of the Country, steps forward with his Faulchion to the middle of the Stream, and there presents it to the Bishop, who returns it to him again, and thereupon is conducted along with loud Acclamations. A little lower, is SockburnSockburn. before-mentioned, the House of that ancient and noble Family of Cogniers, from whom are descended the Barons Coigniers of Hornby, whose estate being much enlarged by marriages with the heirs of Darcy of Meinill, and of William Nevill Earl of Kent and Lord Fauconberg, came in the last age save one to the Atherstons and the Darcies. In a window of Sockburn Church is painted the Faulchion we just now spoke of, and it is also cut in Marble, upon the Tomb of the great Ancestor of the Coigniers, together with a Dog, and a monstrous Worm or Serpent lying at his feet, of his own killing, of which the History of the Family gives an account. They were Barons of the Palatinate, and Lords of Sockburn from the Conquest and before, till the Inheritance was carried lately, by the marriage of the heiress, into the family of the Earl of Shrewsbury. From her daughter, the Manours of Sockburn, Girsby, and Bishopton, passed by Sale to Sir William Blacket, Baronet, whose Son Sir Edward, now enjoys them. Cuthbert, second Son of the last Sir John Conyers, purchased Layton, near Sedgfield, where the Sockburn-family hath for several descents been seated. Below Sockburn, is Yarum, bigger and better built than Darlington, and a considerable Market.⌉
From Derlingcon, the Tees winding-on by green fields and country villages, ⌈and by the Town of Yarum just now mention’d; runs to Stockton,Stockton. which is one of the four Ward-towns of this County, and the Port of the river Tees, and a Corporation govern’d by a Mayor and Aldermen. Of late years, it is much increased in Trade, and in the number of Inhabitants; which hath made it necessary to erect a new Church,Stat.12 Ann. 1 Geor. instead of the little ancient Chapel that they had before. It is also an Episcopal Borough; and here was formerly a House of the Bishops. Those Gentlemen call’d Sur-Teis (i.e. upon the Tees) formerly flourish’d upon it. The Tees having pass’d Stockton,⌉ throws it self at last out of a large mouth into the Ocean, where begins the basis of the Triangle towards the Sea-coast.
The shore runs hence northward (being divided only by one or two brooks) near Gretham,Gretham. where Robert Bishop of Durham founded a noble Hospital, after the Manour had been bestow’d on him by the Lord of it, Peter de Montfort, ⌈whose Father had indeed forfeited it to the Bishop.⌉ Next, stands Claxton, which gave name to a famous family in these parts; and I the rather take notice of it, because T. Claxton, a great admirer of Antiquities, was a branch thereof. From hence, the shore starts out in one only little Promontory (scarce seven miles above the mouth of the river Tees;) upon which stands Hartlepole,Hartlepole. † † Ann. 1607.a famous Market, and a safe harbour, very commodiously situated. Bede seems to call it (which Huntingdon renders Cervi insula, or the Island of a Hart,) and tells us that Heiu, a religious Woman, formerly built a Monastery there; if Heorteu be not rather the name of that small territory, as the Durham-book intimates, which also in some places calls it Heortnesse, because it shoots out pretty far into the Sea. ⌈This is an ancient Corporation; but is now much fallen to decay, and subsists only by the fishing-trade.⌉ From this place, for fifteen miles together, the shore, with towns here and there upon it, affords an entertaining prospect to those that sail by; ⌈who see Esington,Esington. a Ward Town, and a Capital Manour of the Bishop; Horden,Horden. anciently a Seat of the Claxtons, but since, for several Descents, of the Coniers; Dalden,Dalden. formerly the Seat of a Family of the same name, but now the possession of the Milbanks: Warden-Law,Warden-Law. which St. Cuthbert’s Legend hath render’d famous, for the holding his Body, immoveable, till a Revelation directed the bringing it to Durham.⌉
The Shore continues uninterrupted, till it opens a passage for the river Vedra;Vedra. for so it is call’d by Ptolemy; but in Bede Uiurus, in Saxon ⌈ , ,⌉ , and by us Were.Were. This river rises in the very top of the triangle (namely, in the utmost part of the County westward) from two small streams, Kellhop and Burnhop; which, being united into one current, takes this name, and runs swiftly to the east, through vast heaths, and large Parks belonging to the Bishop; ⌈by Stanhope, which, together with Wolfingham, a little lower on the same river, and Aukland, did hold of the Bishop by Forest-Services, besides Demesnes, and other Tenures. Particularly, upon his great Huntings, the Tenants in these parts were bound to set up for him a Field-house, or Tabernacle, with a Chapel, and all manner of Rooms and Offices; as also to furnish him with Dogs and Horses, and to carry his Provision, and to attend him, during his stay, for the supply of all Conveniencies. But now, all Services of this kind are either let fall by disuse, or changed into Pecuniary Payments.
The western Mountains here, are all along full of Minerals; and the works of Nature under-ground are very curious; as, besides the Ore it self, the various Incrustations of the Sparr into infinite Forms and Colours, the petrifactions which hang from the tops of Grotts and Caverns, and the several Coats of them into which the Distillations are hardened.
At StanhopStanhop. aforesaid, was the ancient Seat or Hall of the Family of Fetherstonhaugh, for many Generations; the last of whom was slain at the battel of Hockstet, and the Estate was purchased by the Earl of Carlisle. And, near Walsingham aforesaid, is Bradley-hall,Bradley-hall. an ancient Seat of the Eurys, but since of the Bowes; for the battlementing of which, a Licence was obtained of the Bishop in the year 1421.⌉ Next, the Were runs by Witton,Witton. a Castle of the Lords d’ Euers,Barons Euers or de Eure. an ancient and noble Family of this County (as being descended from the Lords of Clavering and Warkworth, as also by daughters from the Vescies and the Attons Barons) who, as Scotland can testifie, have been famous for their warlike Gallantry. For Ketenes, a little Town in the further part of Scotland, was bestow’d upon them by King Edward the first for their great services; and in the * * So said, ann. 1607.last age Henry the eighth honoured them with the title of Barons; ⌈Ralph of this family, being created Baron Eure of Witton. From them, it passed by Sale to the Darcies, in whose possession it now remains.⌉ After this, the Were, some few miles lower, receives Gaunless a little river, from the south, ⌈at the head of which, is Evenwood,Evenwood. a Barony and Capital Manour of the Bishop, held of him formerly by the Hansards, who had one of their chief Seats here; from whence it runs to West-Aukland,West-Aukland. formerly the Estate of the Daltons, but now, by marriage, the Seat of the Edens; and St. Helen Aukland,St. Helen Aukland. the Seat of the Cars.⌉
At the very confluence of the Were and Gaunless, upon a pretty high hill, stands Bishops-Aukland,Bishops-Aukland. so nam’d (as Sarron in Greece was) from the Oaks; where we see a fair-built house of the Bishop, with turrets, magnificently repair’d by Anthony Bec; and a very noble bridge, built by Walter Skirlaw, Bishop, about the year 1400, who also enlarged this house, and made a bridge over the Tees at Yarum. ⌈It was formerly call’d North-Aukland, and sometimes Market-Aukland, and now Bishop-Aukland, from the Bishop’s house here; which was pulled down in the Great Rebellion by Sir Arthur Haslerig, who built a new house out of the materials. At the Restoration, Bishop Cosins pull’d down the new House, and built a large Apartment to what remained of the old one, joyning the whole to a magnificent Chapel of his own erecting, in which he lies buried. What remained unfinish’d, hath been carried on by the present Bishop, to very great Advantage, for the convenience and ornament of the Place. The said Bishop Cosins founded and endowed here an Hospital for two men and two women. The Church of St. Andrew, near this place (the mother Church to all this district, which goes by the name of Auklandshire) was anciently Collegiate, under the Vicar; but the forementioned Bishop, Anthony Bec, gave him the title of Dean, with twelve prebendaries under him; and Thomas Langley regulated them to an equality, and restored the Solemnity of their Service, and got his Appointment confirmed by King Henry the sixth.⌉
From hence the Were (that it may water this County the longer) turns to the north, and soon comes within sight of the remains of an old City upon the top of a hill, which is not in being at this day, nor has been for many ages; call’d by Antoninus Vinovium,Vinovium. and by Ptolemy Binovium; in which last Author it is so misplac’d, and seated as it were under another pole, that I could never have discover’d it, but by Antoninus’s direction. At present, it is call’d Binchester,Binchester. and consists but of one or two houses; yet much taken notice of by the neighbours thereabouts, for the rubbish, and the ruins of old walls; and also for the Roman Coins often dug-up in it, which they call Binchester-penies; and for Roman Inscriptions, one of which, cut out thus in an Altar there, I lately met with.
Another Stone was lately dug-up here, very much defaced with gaps; which yet, upon a narrow view, shews this Inscription:
- - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - -
trib. cohor. i.
⌈The Antiquities of this place have been carefully search’d for by the present Owner, Mr. Charles Wren; who among other Curiosities, discover’d a Cornelian; and in another part, a fair Urn, shut up in a round Wall, and within that a Vessel of Wood.⌉
I have read nothing else relating to this place, but what is mention’d in an old Book, That the Earls of Northumberland † † This still holds of the Bishop, as anciently.did rend this, with other villages, from the Church; when that cursed Thirst after Gold swallow’d up the Lands and Patrimony thereof.
On the other side of the Were ⌈is Hunwick,Hunwick. noted for its Wells,
both sulphureous and sweet, to which there is great Resort; and⌉ among the hills, we see
Branspeth-castle,Branspeth-castle. built by the Bulmers; and by a daughter of
* * Bernard, C.
Dugd.Bertram Bulmer (marry’d to ¦ ¦ Galfrid, C.Robert Nevill,) added with other great possessions to the family of the Nevills. ⌈Upon the forfeiture of the Nevils, it was bought of the Londoners; and lately sold to Sir Henry Bellasis. In this Parish, lies Haireholme, commonly Hairum;Hairum. whither, it is reported, some of the murderers of Thomas Becket fled after the fact, and built a Chapel there to his memory. Not far from whence, on the other side of the river, is Whitworth,Whitworth. an ancient manour of a family of that name, but now the Seat of the Shaftoes; and below it, Crokestell,Crokestell. commonly Croxdale, where the ancient family of the Salvins hath been settled for several Descents.⌉
A little below Branspeth, the Were has many huge stones in its chanel, never cover’d but when the river is overflow’d by rains: upon these, if you pour water, and it mix a little with the stone, it becomes brackish; a thing which happens no where else. Nay, at ButterbyButterby. a little village, when the river is shallow and sunk from those stonesSalt-Stones. in the summer time, there bursts out of them a reddish salt water, which grows so white and hard, by the heat of the Sun, ⌈as hath been thought,⌉ that they who live thereabouts use it for Salt: ⌈But, that the SaltnessPhilosoph. Trans. N.163. it self proceeds not from the heat of the Sun, is plain by experience, in that which is most saltish, and issues out of a rock; inasmuch as if all the water be laved out of the place, there immediately bubbles, out of the body of the rock, a water as salt as the former; and besides, the rock out of which it issues, is a Salt-rock, of a sparkling substance. On the other side of the Were, there is also a Medicinal Spring of strong Sulfur; and, above it, towards Durham, is a Mineral water, upon which Dr. Wilson wrote his Spadacrene Dunelmensis. On the same River, is Old Durham,Old Durham. from the name of which one would conjecture, either that the Monks had first come thither with St. Cuthbert’s Body, or that there had been a Town of that name before their coming. But both these things are unwarranted from History. At present, it is the Seat of the Tempests.⌉
Now, the river (as if it design’d to make an Island) almost surrounds the chief City of the County, seated on a hill; upon which account it was call’d Dunholm by the Saxons. Dunholm, Durham or Duresme. For, as we gather from Bede, they call’d a hill, Dun, and a River-Island holme. Out of this, the Latins fram’d Dunelmum; which ⌈the Normans calling Duresme,⌉ the common people afterwards corrupted into Durham. The Town stands high, and so is very strong; but of no great compass: It lies in a kind of oval form, enclos’d by the river on all sides except the north, and fortify’d with walls. In the south part, almost where the river winds it self back again, stands the Cathedral Church, which with its spires and tower-steeple makes a noble show. In the heart of the town, stands the Castle, almost in the middle between two stone bridges, one over the river on the east side, the other over the same river on the west. From the Castle northward lies the Market-place, and S. Nicholas’s Church, from whence, for a good way, there shoots out a suburbs to the north-east, within a winding of the river; as do others on both sides beyond the river, which lead to the bridges: and each Suburbs has its particular Church. The original of this Town is not very ancient. For when the Monks of Lindisfarn were disquieted in the Danish wars, and forc’d to wander up and down with the reliques of S. Cuthbert; at last being admonish’d by an oracle (if you will believe it) they fix’d and settled here about the year of Christ 995. Sim. Dunelm. X. Script. p.28. But take this relation from my Durham-Author, himself. All the people following the corps of our most holy father Cuthbert, came to Durham, a place strong by nature, and scarce habitable, being overspread with a very thick wood; only, in the middle, there was a small plain, which they us’d to plough and sow: where Bishop Aldwin afterwards built a pretty large Church of stone. The said Prelate therefore, with the help of all the people, and the assistance of Uthred Earl of the Northumbrians, cut down and rooted up all the wood, and in a short time made the place habitable. In short, from the river Coqued to the Tees, the People, to a man, came in readily, both to help forward this work, and afterwards to build the Church; and so devout were they, that till it was finish’d, they ceas’d not to lend a helping hand. The wood being thus rooted up, and every one having a house assign’d him by Lot, the foresaid Bishop, out of a zeal to Christ and S. Cuthbert, began to build a pretty large and handsome Church, and endeavour’d with great application to finish it. Thus far my Author; ⌈and, to omit the many pretended Miracles, and other passages of less moment, he says further, that the first Church erected at Dunholm by Bishop Aldwin, was, facta citissimè de virgis Ecclesiola, a little Church, quickly made, of Rods; just such another Structure, as that which is said to have been first built at Glassenbury, whereof Sir Henry SpelmanConcil. T.1. p.11. has given us a draught.⌉
Not many years after, those of the English who could not endure the Norman Yoke, trusting to the strength of this place, made it the seat of war, and from hence gave William the Conqueror no small disturbance. For Guilielmus Gemeticensis writes, That they went into a part of the County, inaccessible by reason of woods and waters; building a Castle, with a strong rampire round it, which they call’d Dunholm. Out of this, they made frequent sallies, and for some time kept themselves close there, waiting for the coming of King Sueno the Dane. But things not happening as they had expected, they betook themselves to flight; and William the Conquerour, coming to Durham, granted many Privileges whereby to secure and confirm the liberties of the Church, and built the Castle already mention’d higher upon the hill, which afterwards became a habitation for the Bishops; and the Keys of it, when the See was vacant, by an old custom were wont to be hung up at St. Cuthbert’s Tomb. ⌈This Castle was beautified, and a noble Library erected and furnished with Books, at great expence, by Dr. John Cosins, the learned and pious Bishop of this place; who also built here an Hospital for poor People.⌉
When the Castle was built, William of Malmesbury, who liv’d about that time, gives us this description of the City: Durham is a hill rising by little and little from the valley, by an easie and gentle ascent, to the very top; and notwithstanding, by its rugged situation and craggy precipice, the access to it be cut off on all sides, yet lately they have built a Castle upon the hill. At the bottom of the foundation of the castle, runs an excellent river for fish, especially Salmon: ⌈but this excellency is very much impaired by the heightening of the Dams, which have given a check to the fish.⌉ Almost at the same time, as that ancient book has it, William de Carelepho the Bishop, who resettl’d Monks here (for their Cloisters had been every where demolished by the Danes,) having pull’d down the Church, which Aldwin built, began another more noble, which * * Was, C.is said to have been finished by Radulph his successor, and was enlarged by Nicholas Fernham the Bishop, and Thomas Melsamby the Prior, in the year 1242. A good while after, William Skirlaw, Bishop, rais’d a neat building on the west part of the Church, which they call Gallilee,Gallilee. whither they remov’d the marble tomb of Venerable Bede. In which place, Hugh de Puteaco formerly begun a Building; where Women (these are the words of an old book) might lawfully enter; and they who might not personally view the secrets of the holy places, might at least have some comfort from the view and contemplation of the Saints. The same Bishop Ralph (as our Historian relates) converted all that space between the Church and the Castle (where many houses stood) into a plain field, lest the Church should either be defil’d by the dirt, or endanger’d by the fire of the town. And although the city be naturally strong; he increased both the strength and state of it, by a wall: for he built one, all along, from the Chancel of the Church to the tower of the castle; which by degrees † † Is now, C.was sinking under the weight of age; ⌈but hath been effectually rescued from ruin by the present Bishop, who hath also been a great Benefactor to both his Castles of Durham and Aukland.⌉ It never did, that I know of, suffer from an enemy. For when David Brus King of Scots destroy’d all with fire and sword as far as Beaupark or BereparkBerepark. (a Park just under the city) whilst 17 Oct. 1346.Edward 3. was at the siege of Calais in France; Battel at Nevil’s Cross.Henry Percy, and William Zouch Archbishop of York, with such troops as they could raise on a sudden, encounter’d the Scots, and charg’d them with that heat and bravery, that they cut off the first and second ¦ ¦ Aciem.Ranks almost to a man, took the King prisoner, and put the third into such terror, that they fled with great precipitation; their fears carrying them over the steepest precipices, till they got into their own country. This was a Noble engagement, to be always reckon’d among the many bloody defeats we have given the Scots; and is call’d by us The Battel of Nevill Cross. For the best of the Scotch Nobility being slain here, and the King himself taken, they were forced to give up much ground hereabouts, and yield many Castles into our hands. And this may suffice for Durham; to which, with the Readers leave, I will add a Distich of Necham’s, and an Hexastich of Jonston’s, and then I have done:
Arte, situque loci munita Dunelmia, salve,
Qua floret sanctæ relligionis apex.
Hail, happy Durham! Art and Nature’s care,
Where Faith and Truth at th’ noblest height appear.
Vedra ruens rapidis modò cursibus, agmine leni,
Seque minor celebres suspicit urbe viros,
Quos dedit ipsa olim, quorum & tegit ossa sepulta;
Magnus ubi sacro marmore Beda cubat.
Se jactent aliæ vel relligione, vel armis;
Hæc armis cluit, hæc relligione potens.
Unequal Were as by her walls it runs,
Looks up, and wonders at her noble sons,
Whom she gave life, and now their death does mourn,
And ever weeps o’er Beda’s sacred urn.
Let others boast of piety or war,
While she’s the care of both, and both of her.
As for the Monks being turn’d out, and twelve Prebendaries * * The two Archdeacons were before the Monks.with two Archdeacons substituted in lieu of them; and also the Style of Prior being changed into that of Dean: I need say nothing of them; being things sufficiently known to every body. It stands in 22 degrees, Longitude, and in 54 degrees, 57 minutes, Latitude.
† † Below, C.Near Durham (not to omit this) there stands to the east a very noble Hospital,Shirburn-Hospital. founded by Hugh ¦ ¦ De Puteaco.Pudsey (an extraordinary rich Bishop, and for a little time Earl of Northumberland) for Lepers, and (as Newbrigensis says, ⌈with too great * * See another like instance, at Jarrow.severity, if not injustice, to the Founder,⌉ at great cost and expence, yet upon some accounts not very honourable: For, to advance this charitable design, he made use of his power to extort supplies from others; when he was not willing to allow a competent share of his own towards the work. However, he settled a very good allowance for the maintaining of sixty five Lepers, besides Mass-priests; ⌈and the † † Stat.27 El.Hospital, after several Regulations, is settled by the name of Christ’s Hospital, for a Master and thirty Brethren.⌉
From hence the Were is carry’d in a streighter course towards the north, by Finchale,Finchale. where in the reign of Henry 2d, Godric, ¦ ¦ Mat. Par. p.98.a man of true ancient Christian simplicity, and wholly devoted to God and Religion, led and ended a solitary life; and was here buried in the same place, where (as William of Newburrow says) he was wont in his devotion to prostrate himself, or in sickness to lie down. This man became so much admir’d for his holy simplicity, that R. brother to that rich Bishop Hugh Pudsey, built a * * Ecclesiola.Chapel to his memory. ⌈Finchale (call’d in Saxon , by Henry Huntingdon Wincanhale, by Hoveden Phincanhal, and by others Finchale; which difference has risen from the likeness of the Saxon p, , and )Chron. Sax. Sim. Dun. p.114. is supposed to be the place, where two Synods were held in the Saxon times, one in the year 788, the other in the year 798. It was a Cell to the Church of Durham; having a Prior, and an uncertain number of Monks. Near this place, is Houghton le Spring,Houghton le Spring. where is a Free-School, and an Hospital competently endowed.⌉
Then, the Were runs by Lumley,Lumley. a castle with a Park round it; the ancient seat of the Lumleys,Barons Lumley. descended from Liulphus (a Nobleman of great figure in these parts, in Edward the Confessor’s time) who married Aldgitha, daughter of Aldred Earl of Northumberland. Of these, Marmaduke took his mother’s Coat of Arms; in whose right he came to the large Estate of the Thwengs. The Arms were, In a field argent a fess Gules between three Poppinjays Vert; whereas, before that, the Lumleys bore for their Arms, Six Poppinjays argent in a field Gules. For she was the eldest daughter of Marmaduke Thweng Lord of Kilton, and Coheir of Thomas Thweng her brother. But Ralph the son of this Marmaduke, was made the first Baron of Lumley by Richard the 2d. Which Honour, John, the ninth from him, * * Enjoys, C.enjoy’d, a person of entire virtue, integrity and innocence, and, † † Now in his old age, C.in his old age, a compleat pattern of true Nobility. ⌈But this Honour being extinct in him, was not revived, till Richard, the present Earl of Scarborough, was created by King Charles the second, Baron Lumley of Lumley-castle; and by King William and Queen Mary, first Viscount, and then Earl thereof; who hath repair’d and adorn’d this Seat of his Ancestors, with all the Advantages that modern Art can give it. At the Town of Lumley, is an Hospital, erected by Sir John Duck Baronet, for twelve poor women and a Chaplain; to which the whole Town, being far from the Parish-Church, have also the convenience of resorting.⌉
Opposite to this Town, and not far from the River, on the other side, stands Chester upon the street,Chester upon the Street. that is, a castle or little city by the highway; call’d in Saxon : for which reason I have thought it the CondercumCondercum. ¦¦ More probably Benwall in Northumberland; which see., where, upon the line of the Vallum, the first wing of the Astures kept garrison in the Roman times, as the Notitia tells us. For it is but some few miles from the Vallum (of which I shall particularly treat hereafter,) ⌈and several pieces of Roman Coin have been found here; and the rivulet which runs by it from the west, is call’d Conkburn.⌉ Lindisfarn The Bishops of Lindifarn lived retiredly in this place, for 113 years, with the body of St. Cuthbert, in the time of the Danish wars. And, whilst Egelric Bishop of Durham, in memory thereof, was laying the foundation of a new Church there, he dug-up such a prodigious sum of Money, that he quitted his Bishoprick, as being now rich enough: and so, returning to Peterborough, where he was Abbot before, he made Causeys through the fens, and did several other good works, at very great expence. Long after this, Anthony Bec Bishop of Durham founded here a Collegiate Church, consisting of a Deanery and seven Prebends. In this Church, John Baron Lumley, just now mention’d, placed the Monuments of his Ancestors, in order as they succeeded one another, from Liulphus down to our * * So said, ann. 1607.own times; which he had either pick’d out of the demolish’d Monasteries, or made new. ⌈This is the fourth Ward-Town of the County; and is the Habitation of the family of Hedworth, who are of long standing in this County, taking their Rise from the Town of that name.⌉ More inward, and almost in the middle of the triangle, stands another small village, † † Lately, C.heretofore noted for it’s College of Dean and Prebendaries, founded by the said Anthony. The name of the place is Lanchester;Lanchester. which I once thought to be the old Longovicum; ⌈** Phil. Trans. N.266.and the Antiquity of it is further confirmed from divers Inscriptions found near it, within these few years:
Add to this, that the High-way runs directly to it from Binchester, by the name of Watling-street; and that here has been a square Inclosure of Aisler-work, with a broad ditch.⌉
But to return to the Were; which at last winds about to the east, and runs by Hilton,Hilton-Castle. a castle of the Hiltons, ⌈an ancient Family, wherein is preserved to this day the title of the Bishop’s Barons. The Gate-house, which is all that remains of the old Castle, shews how large it hath been; with the Chapel, a fine Structure, wherein there were Chaplains in constant Attendance, it being the burying-place of the Family. Then the Were⌉ falls into the Sea at Wirun-muth (as Bede calls it, ⌈in Saxon Wierimutha)⌉ but now Monks-were-mouth, that is, the mouth of the Were, belonging to the Monks. Of which mouth, William of Malmesbury writes thus: The Were flowing into the Sea here, kindly receives the Ships brought-in with a gentle gale: upon each bank whereof, Benedict the BishopBishop Benedict. built a Church, and likewise in the same places founded two Monasteries; one to St. Peter, another to St. Paul. Whoever reads the life of this man, will admire his industry; in furnishing this place with great store of books, and being the first that brought Masons and GlaziersGlaziers first in England. into England. ⌈But as to the two Churches being built upon the banks of the river, it is a manifest mistake. For St. Paul’s was at Girwy or Jarrow, some miles distant from Weremuth; as appears from all the rest of our Historians, and also from an Inscription which will follow hereafter in this County. On the Southern bank of the Were stands Sunderland,Sunderland. a handsome populous Town, built in the last age, and very much enrich’d by the Coal-trade. If the Harbour were so deep, as to entertain Ships of the same burthen, that the river doth, it would be no small loss to Newcastle. As to the name, the reason of it may well be gather’d from Bede, compared with the Saxon Translation. Bede tells us, that he was born in the territory of Jarow, and the Saxon has it, in the of that Monastery; which word denotes any particular Precinct, having certain Freedoms within it self; and such, this place is. It gave the title of Earl to Emanuel Lord Scrope of Bolton, created June 19. Car. 1; who dying without issue, Henry Lord Spencer of Wormleighton was honour’d with the title of Earl of Sunderland by King Charles the first, and being slain the same year in the Service of his Royal Master, at the first battel at Newbury, was succeeded by Robert his son and heir; to whom, in the year 1702,Vid. Althrop, in Northamptonshire. succeeded Charles the present Earl, whose excellent Endowments of Nature, improved by long Study and Experience in publick Affairs, have already carry’d him, with great reputation and honour, through the most important Offices in the State. Near Whitburn, not far from this place, Copper Coins were taken up some years since, mostly of Constantine, with the Sun on the Reverse, and these words Soli invicto Comiti. One also was of Maxentius, with something like a Triumphal Arch on the reverse, and these words, Conservatori Urbis. There were likewise one or two of Licinius, and one or two of Maximianus.⌉
Five miles above Sunderland, the Tine comes to its mouth; which for some way (as we have observ’d) made the north-side of our triangle, together with the Derwent. Upon the Derwent, which rises near the top of this triangle, nothing is eminent, unless it be EbchesterEbchester. (as they now call it,) a small village, so named from EbbaSt. Ebba. the Virgin, descended from the blood-royal of the Northumbrians; who flourish’d about the year 630, with such reputation for Sanctity, that she was solemnly canoniz’d for a Saint, and has many Churches dedicated to her in this Island, which are commonly call’d St. Tabb’s,St. Tabbs. for St. Ebb’s. Phil. Trans. N.278. ⌈Here, not many years since, was observ’d a Roman Station, about two hundred yards square, with large Suburbs; and here also, together with divers ancient Monuments, hath been found the following Altar;
and also an Urn of a very uncommon shape, near a yard high, and not above seven inches wide; with a little cup in the heart of it: perhaps for an Oblation of Tears; or of Wine and Milk, such as the Romans used at the burying of their dead. Also, the High-way goes along from Lanchester to this place, and to Corbridge from it; and the Epiacum of Ptolemy, answers to it in sound, and is not inconsistent with it in situation. This river, Derwent, is clad all the way down, with Mills, Furnaces, and Forges, for the smelting of lead and silver, and for the manufactures of Iron and Steel.⌉Caprae
The first place remarkable upon the Tine, is Gateshead,Gateshead. called in Saxon , and in the same sense by our Historians, Capræ caput, i.e. Goats-head; which is a kind of Suburbs to Newcastle on the other side the Tine,Stat. 7 E.6. c.10. and was annex’d to it by Edward the sixth, when he had dissolved the Bishoprick; but Queen Mary soon after restor’d it to the Church. This place is commonly believ’d to be of greater Antiquity, than Newcastle it self. And if I should say further, that this and Newcastle (for they seem formerly to have been one Town parted by the river) was that Frontier-garrison which in the times of the later Emperors was call’d Gabrosentum,Gabrosentum. and was defended by the second Cohort of the Thracians; and that this hath retain’d it’s old name in sense and signification, notwithstanding Newcastle has chang’d its name once or twice; I hope it would not be at all inconsistent with truth. For Gaffr is us’d by the Britains for a Goat, and Hen in † † Sermonis contextu.compounds for Pen, which signifies a head: and in this very sense it is plainly call’d Capræ caput, or Goats-head, by our old Latin Historians: as Brundusium, in the language of the Messapii, took its name from the head of a Stag. And I am apt to fansy, that this name was given the place from some Inn which had a Goats-head for the sign; like the Cock in Africa, The three Sisters in Spain, and The Pear in Italy, all of them mention’d by Antoninus; which (as some of the Learned think) took their names from such Signs. As for our Historians, they unanimously call it Capræ caput, when they tell us that Walcher1080. Bishop of Durham (who was constituted by William the Conquerour, Governour of Northumberland with the authority of Earl,) was slain in this place by the rabble, for his tyrannical proceedings.
Below this village, almost upon the very mouth of the Tine, stands Girwy,Girwy, Jarrow. now Jarrow; where venerable Bede was born, and where a little Monastery heretofore flourished. When, and by whom, it was founded, may be learnt from this Inscription, which is fairly legible to this day in the Church-wall;
⌈In this Inscription, the XVI. should be XV. For King Egfrid reigned no more than fifteen years; and so Sir James Ware has given it in his Notes upon Bede’s History of the Abbots of Wiremuth. But it ought not to be infer’d from the Inscription, that Ceolfrid was the Founder of this Monastery; since it appears from Bede’s account, that he was only constituted first Abbot of the place by Benedictus Biscopius, who sent him hither (with a Colony of about seventeen Monks) from Weremuth.⌉Basilicae
The greater Churches, when the saving light of the Gospel began to shine in the world (let it not be thought impertinent to note thus much,) were call’d Basilicæ,Basilica. because the Basilicæ of the Gentiles, namely those stately Edifices where the Magistrates held their Courts of Justice, were converted to Churches by the Christians: (Whence Ausonius, Basilica olim negotiis plena, nunc votis; i.e. The Basilica, once fill’d with business, now with devotion:) Or else, because they were built in an oblong form, as the Basilicæ were.
Here, our Bede,Bede. the glory of England (for his eminent piety and learning, sirnam’d Venerable) apply’d himself, as he says, to the study of the Scriptures; and, in the times of greatest barbarity and ignorance, wrote many learned Volumes. With him (as William of Malmesbury says) almost all knowledge of History from thence to our times went to the grave. For while one succeeded lazier than another, the spirit of study and industry was extinct all over the Island. The Danes had so harrass’d this Religious place, that, in the beginning of the Norman times, when some had revived the Monastick Order in these parts, and Walcher the Bishop had assign’d them this place; the walls (says my Author) stood without a roof, and with very small remains of their ancient splendour: however, having cover’d them with rough unhew’n wood, they thatch’d them with straw, and began to celebrate Divine Service in them. ⌈Here, and at Wermouth, the Monks continued, till the year 1083, when Bishop William de S. Kerilefo translated them to Durham, to attend the Body of St. Cuthbert; from which time, Wermouth and Jarrow became Cells to Durham.
Some years since, upon the bank of the river Tine, was discover’d a Roman Altar; the figure whereof take here, as it was deliver’d to the Royal Society by the ingenious and learned Dr. Lister; together with his description of it in a Letter to the said Society.
“I haveDr. Lister’s Letter. with much trouble got into my hands a piece of Roman Antiquity, which was but a very few years ago discover’d upon the south bank of the river Tine, near Shields in the Bishoprick. It is a very large and fair Roman Altar, of one entire stone. But after all my cost and pains, I am very sorry to find the Inscription very ill defaced, that much of it is not legible. And I believe it hath been also mishandled by those who have endeavoured to read it; whereas if the remainder of the Letters had been exactly measured, and the face black’d and lightly wash’d off again, as in prints, some things more might have been spelled.”
“As to the nature of the stone it self, it is of a coarse Rag, the same with that of the Pyramids at Burrow-Briggs. It is four foot high, and was ascended to by steps; which appeareth, in that all the sides, but the front, have two square holes near the bottom, which let in the irons that joyn’d it to the steps.”
“I have carefully designed it in all it’s sides, and have given the plane of the top also; which, if you please, we will survey in order.” Verbenae Nymphaea
1. “The backside, opposite to the Inscription; on which is engraven, in bass-relief, a Flower-pot, furnished, I suppose, with what pleased the Stone-cutter: for these men needed not to be more curious than the Priests themselves, who were wont to make use of herbs next at hand to adorn the Altars, and therefore Verbenæ is put for any kind of herb: yet if we will have it resemble any thing with us, I think it most like, if not truly, the Nymphæa, a known and common river-Plant.”
2. “One of the sides, which is somewhat narrower than the front or back: on this are engraved in Bass-relieve, the Cutting-knife (cesespita) and the Axe (securis). The Knife is exactly the same with that on the other Altar formerly by me mention’d in the Philosophical Collections of Mr. Hooke: but the Axe is different; for here it is headed with a long and crooked point, and there the head of the Axe is divided into three points.”
3. “The other side; on which are engraved, after the same manner, an Ewer (Urceolus) and a Ladle, which serve for a Sympullum: This I call rather a Ladle than a Mallet, it being perfectly Dish-wise and hollow in the middle, although Camden is of another opinion, in that elegant Sculpt of the Cumberland Altar. And the very same Utensil I have seen and noted on the Ickley Altar, which is yet extant at Middleton-Grange near that town; but the stone which Camden says supports a pair of stairs there (as at this day it does in the very road) is but an ill copy of it, and not the original.”
4. “The plane of the top: which is cut in the figure of a Bason (discus or lanx) with Ansæ on each side, consisting of a pair of links of a chain, which rest upon, and fall over two rowles: and this was the Harth.”Ansae deae
5. “The Front; which hath an Inscription of nine lines in Roman letters, each letter a very little more than two inches deep of our measure; now remaining as in the prefix’d sculpture, Fig. 5. which I would read thus: Dis deabusque Matribus pro Salute M. Aurelii Antonini Augusti Imperatoris—votum solvit lubens meritò ob reditum.”
“The Deæ Matres are well interpreted by Selden. It is much, that his Safety and Return both vowed, should be so separated in the Inscription; but I have not Gruter by me to compare this with the like. Caracalla, say the Historians ** Xiphilinus, Herodianus, &c., after his father’s death at York, took upon him the Command of the army alone, and the whole Empire; he went alone against the enemy, who were the Caledonii inhabiting beyond the wall which his father had built; he made peace with them, received their hostages, slighted their fortified places, and returned. And this seems to be confirmed by the Inscription; for, undoubtedly, upon this his last expedition alone, without his brother Geta and mother, was this Altar erected to him alone, at a place about two Stations on this side the wall. So that the vow might be as well understood of his return from this expedition, as for his safety and return to Rome; which methinks should be true, or his mother and brother Geta would scarce have been left out, at least so early. For yet the Army declared for them both, according to their Father’s will.”
“Further, it seems also to have been erected by those who flatter’d him, and who were afterwards killed by him: and for this reason the persons names who dedicated it, seem to me to be purposely defaced; the sixth and seventh lines of the Inscription being designedly cut away by the hollowness of them, and there not being the least sign of any letter remaining. And this, I suppose, might be part of their disgrace; as it was usual to deface and break the Statues and Monuments of persons executed, of which this monster made strange havock.”
“But since worn Inscriptions admit of various readings, because some letters are worn out, and some more legible, whereby unprejudiced people may conceive them diversly; I will therefore tell you another reading of part of the two first lines, which I do not disallow, but that it will agree well enough with the history of Severus, though his Apotheosis, or solemn deification, was not performed till he came to Rome; in the manner of which Funeral-pomp Herodian is very large: It was the Reading of that excellent Antiquary Dr. Johnson of Pomfret.”
ri. b. pros, &c.
The rest as follows in mine.
“Which shews the height of flattery of those times. So that they paid their vows to the lately dead father the Conservator of Britain, for the safety of the son; and the story tells us how gladly he would have had him made a God long before, even with his own hand.”
Along the river Tine, are several Houses for the making of Glass; for which use also one House hath been erected upon the river Were. The workmen are Foreigners; but know not well from whence they came: only, they have a Tradition of their being Normans, and that they came from Sturbridge, and removed from thence hither, in the reign of Edward the sixth or Queen Elizabeth. At Shields, upon the mouth of the Tine, is a Manufacture of Salt, in above two hundred Pans.⌉
It is not necessary, that I give a Catalogue of all the Bishops of Durham;Bishops of Durham. who are likewise Counts Palatines. It may suffice to observe in short, that from the first foundation of this Bishoprick in the year 995. to our times, there have been † † 35, C.forty Bishops of this See.
The most eminent, were these four, Hugh de Puteaco or Pudsey, who for * * 2000 Marks.1013 l. ready money, purchas’d of Richard the first the Earldom of Northumberland for his own life, and Sathbregia to him and his Successors for ever; and founded a very noble Hospital, as I observed before.
Between him and the Archbishop, there happen’d a most grievous Contest, while (as a certain Writer words it)See the Earls of Northumberland. one would be superiour, the other would not be inferiour; and neither would do any good.
Next, Anthony Bec, Patriarch of Jerusalem; who spent vast sums of money in extravagant buildings, and splendid furniture. Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal, who wanted nothing to compleat his happiness, but moderation of mind: his Story is well known: And Cuthbert Tunstall, who dy’d about the beginning of ¦ ¦ This, C.the last age, and for Learning and Piety was (without envy be it spoken) * * Illorum omnium instar.equal to them all; and a very great Ornament to Britain.Chamaemelum
There are in this County and Northumberland 118 Parish-Churches, besides a great many Chapels.
More rare Plants growing in the Bishoprick of Durham.
Buphthalmum vulgare Ger. Dioscoridis C. B. Matthioli sive vulgare millefolii foliis Park. Chamæmelum chrysanthemum quorundam J. B. Common Ox-eye. I found this on a bank near the river Tees, not far from Sogburn in this Bishoprick.
Cerasus sylvestris septentrionalis, fructu parvo serotino. The wild northern Cherry-tree, with small late ripe fruit. On the banks of the river Tees, near Bernards-castle in the Bishoprick plentifully.
Ribes vulgaris fructu rubro Ger. vulgaris acidus ruber J. B. Red Currants. In the woods as well in this Bishoprick of Durham, as in the northern parts of Yorkshire, and in Westmorland.
Pentaphylloides fruticosa. Shrub-Cinquefoil. This is also found in this County.
Muscus Coralloides ramosus, capitulis magnis, N. D. Upon Rocks in this County, Yorkshire and Northumberland.
Equisetum nudum Ger. Frequent in this County and Northumberland in dry sandy ground.Camaefilix praecox Hexaedron
Camæfilix marina Anglica, J. B. Common in the Rocks on this Coast near Esington.
Vicia pratensis verna seu præcox Solomensis semine cubico, seu Hexaëdron referente moris. Vicia minima Rivini. On Blunt’s Key near Newcastle.
Alsine nemorosa maxima montana. Common on the shady banks of the river Were, as near the New-bridge at Durham, and several other places.
Pseudo-Asphodelus palustris Scoticus minimus Raij. On a fell in this County about a mile East from Birdale in Westmorland.
Betula rotundifolia nana. N. D. On a moss near Birdale.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:48