* Vid. Somersetshire, in initio. WILTSHIRE, (* which was likewise inhabited by the Belgæ,) is a mid-land County; call’d by the Saxons ⌈ † † Wilsetta, C. (as the Inhabitants were called and ,)⌉ and by the modern Latin Historians Wiltonia, from it’s once chief Town Wilton, which also took it’s name from the river Willy: ⌈We find it also called by Latin-Writers, Provincia Semerana and Severnia, or Provincia Severorum.⌉ It is bounded on the West with Somersetshire ⌈and Glocestershire;⌉ on the East with the Counties of Berks and Southampton; on the North with Glocestershire, on the South with Dorsetshire and part of Hamshire. A Country, renown’d not only for the valour of it’s Natives, who (as Joannes Sarisburiensis ⌈one of the best Scholars of his age, and Bishop of Chartres in France,⌉ tells us in his Polycraticon)Lib.6. c.18. together with those of Cornwall and Devonshire, did on account of their bravery, challenge the honour of being the Reserve in our English Expeditions; but also for the extraordinary fertility of the soil in all kinds, and for it’s delightful variety, which affords a very pleasant prospect. ⌈This is the largest mid-land County in England, as may be easily observed by the ¦ ¦ Appendix to the 2d Tome of the English Historians.ancient computation of it’s Hides. For we find that in Wiltysire (as it is there term’d) were 4800 hides, which is more by 2000, than any Shire mention’d by that Author. The 39 miles in length, and 29 in breadth, which Spede assigns it, will be found too little both ways, upon an accurate survey.⌉
The Northern part, once over-spread with woods, which are now almost destroy’d; is full of pleasant risings, and water’d with clear streams. For Isis, which is * * Afterward called, C.called Tamisis, and is the chief of the British Rivers, (with others of less note, of which I shall make mention in their proper places,) while it is yet but small, glides thro’ it. ⌈But, upon this first mention of the river Thames,Thamisis, not from a conjunction of Thame and Isis. it will not be improper to observe, that tho’ the current opinion is, that it had that name from the conjunction of Thame and Isis, it plainly appears that that river was always call’d Thames, or Tems, before it came near the Thame. For instance; in an ancient Charter granted to Abbot Aldhelm, there is particular mention made of certain lands upon the east part of the river, cujus vocabulum Temis, juxta vadum qui appellatur Summerford; and this ford is in Wiltshire. The same thing appears from several other Charters granted to the Abby of Malmsbury, as well as that of Enesham;Enesham. and from the old Deeds relating to Cricklade. And perhaps, it may with safety be affirm’d, that, in any Charter or authentick History, it does not ever occur under the name of Isis; which indeed is not so much as heard of, but among scholars: the common people, all along from the head of it to Oxford, calling it by no other name, but that of Thames. So also, the Saxon (from whence our Tems immediately comes) is a plain evidence, that that people never dreamt of any such conjunction. But further; all our Historians who mention the Incursions of ÆthelwoldAEthelwold into Wiltshire, A.D. 905. or of Canute, A.D. 1016. tell us, that they pass’d-over the Thames at Cricklade. As for the original of the word; it seems plainly to be British, because there are several rivers, in several parts of England, of almost the same name with it; as Tame in Staffordshire, Teme in Herefordshire, Tamar in Cornwall, &c. And Taf a learned † † Mr. Lhwyd.person of that Nation, affirms it to be the same with their Tâf, which is the name of many rivers in Wales; the Romans changing the pronunciation of the British (f) into (m,) as the Latin word Demetia, is in Welsh Dyfed.⌉ But this by the way.
The south part, being a large champain fruitful Country, feeds innumerable flocks of sheep, and is watered with other Rivers, Land-floods, and running Springs. The middle of this shire is for the most part plain and level; a-cross which, from East to West, a wonderful ditch is thrown up for many miles together: it is called by the neighbouring Inhabitants Wansdike,Wansdike. and they have a groundless tradition, that it was made by the Devil on a Wednesday. The Saxons indeed term’d it , that is, Woden’s or Mercury’s ditch, probably from Woden the false God and Father of the Heathen Saxons. I have always thought, that it was cast up by the Saxons for a Boundary between the Dominions of the West-Saxons and the Mercians; for this Country was the seat of war, during the contentions between these two Kingdoms for the enlarging of their Territories. ⌈But others are of opinion, that it was made long before the settlement of the Mercian Kingdom, viz. by Cerdic the first King of the West-Saxons, or by Kenric his son, against the incursions of the Britains, who even in King Ceawlin’s time (as Malmsbury tells us) made frequent inroads into this County from their garrisons at Bath, Glocester and Cirencester.⌉ And the village WodensburgeWodensburge. ⌈which Brompton, by mistake, calls Bonebury,⌉ is near this ditch; where Ceawlin the most valiant King of the West-Saxons, A.D. 590. endeavouring to defend the frontiers of his kingdom, was routed in a bloody battle by the Britains and ⌈some malecontent⌉ Saxons, to that degree, that he was forced to flie his Country, and, being the pity of his very enemies, dy’d miserably in exile. ⌈But Woodborow,Woodborow. three miles south of the Dike, being the only village that has any remains of Wodensburge in the name, and there being not the least sign or tradition of a battle fought there; others guess, that Wanborow,Wanborow. on the borders of Wiltshire and Barkshire, is the town mention’d by our Historians. For (say they) as Wodensdic pass’d into Wansdic, so might Wodensburgh by the same reason be chang’d into Wanburgh, or Wanborow. And without doubt this has been formerly a town of great note, as appears by the quantities of Roman Coins that have been frequently found at it; and the neighbourhood of a Saxon Camp on Badbury-hill, shews that the battle must have been fought hereabouts.⌉ But, that I may omit other Actions, ⌈it is certain⌉ that Ina the West-Saxon, and Ceolred the Mercian, fought here, with equal success. This Ditch is much like that, which OffaA Limit-Fosse. made to separate the Britains from his Mercians, call’d Offa-dikeOffa-dike. to this day: there are others of the like nature to be seen in the Kingdom of the East-Angles, whereby they fortified themselves against the incursions of the Mercians: (of which I shall treat more largely in their proper places.) ⌈The rampire and grass of this, are very large; and the rampire is on the south-side. And besides this ditch, there are several others of less note still visible upon the plains, especially about Stone-henge; and in the ¦ ¦ Monast. Ang. T.2.Saxon-Charter of lands belonging to Wilton-Abby, mention is made of no less than 13 distinct Dikes; so that, probably, the Saxons might draw them, to divide the great Lordships, or for some such purpose.⌉
In North Wiltshire, the Thames ⌈before it comes to Crecklade, receives from the north a little river call’d Churn;Churn. not far from which, is Pulton,Pulton. a town that is within the bounds of Glocestershire, yet belongs to and is reckon’d part of Wiltshire; where was a Priory of the Order of S. Gilbert, founded in the time of Edward 1.⌉ Then the Thames runs by the town call’d Crecklade;Crecklade. and by others, Grekelade, from the Greek Philosophers, as some credulously think; by whom, as it is recorded in the History of Oxford, an University was here founded, which was afterwards translated to Oxford. ⌈It is call’d Creckanford, Cricgelada, &c. and by the Saxon-Annals and . And here (if the Monkish Writers could always be rely’d on) we might safely settle a Greek school, which they in a manner unanimously affirm to have been founded, or rather restored, by that learned Archbishop of Canterbury Theodorus. But those over-credulous Authors seem to have no other grounds besides the bare affinity of names; and to make that a good argument, * * Decem Scriptores. p.814. l.59.they are willing to have it call’d Grekelade; which makes their opinion the more plausible. How true the matter of fact may be, I shall not undertake to determine; since † † Vita Regis Alfredi.that point has been already manag’d pretty warmly on both sides. It is certain, however, that Cricklade has formerly been a town of great repute; for it appears by the Red Book in the Exchequer, that there once belong’d to it 1300 Hide-lands, and it gave name to the Hundred of Cricklade, which is now united to that of High-worth. But if it’s Greek-school have nothing to support it, besides the similitude of names; it may with more reason be deriv’d either from the British CerigwlâdCerigwlad, i.e. a stony country (to which the nature of the soil does very well agree;) or from the Saxon a brook, and to empty; for here, the Churn and Rey empty themselves into the Thames. It has now a Free-school, founded by Robert Jenner, Esq; and ¦ ¦ 40 l. ann. well endow’d by him.⌉ Below this place, is Lediard Tregoze,Lediard Tregoze. the seat of the Knightly Family of St. Johns, which Margaret de Bello Campo or Beauchamp, afterwards Dutchess of Somerset, gave to Oliver St. John her second son. To her it came as heiress to those great names of Patistull, Grandison, Tregoze, ⌈and Ewias; from whence it is also called in some Records Lediard Ewias.⌉ Near this, is Wotton-Basset,Wotton-Basset. whose additional name shews that it sometime belong’d to the noble family of the Bassets. ⌈From them it came to Hugh Dispenser, and upon his Attainder, to the Crown. King Edward 3d gave it to his son Edmund de Langele Duke of York; and⌉ in the † † The last, C.last Century but one (as I have been inform’d) it was the seat of the Duke of York, ⌈probably the same⌉ who here enclosed a very large park for deer. All the Country hereabouts (once cover’d with Breden-wood, now call’d Breden-forest)Breden-forest. was miserably wasted by Ethelwald Clito and his auxiliary Danes, A.D. 905. On the West-side of this Forest, the forementioned river Avon glides on smoothly; which, arising almost in the very North limit of this County, runs toward the south, and was (as Ethelwerd observes)L.4. c.4. for some time the boundary of the West-Saxon and Mercian Kingdoms; at which there were several great battles fought. ⌈It is called, for distinction’s sake, Lower AvonLower-Avon. (probably, the Antona of Tacitus, and the Bladon of William of Malmesbury;) which, at it’s first entrance into Wiltshire, crosses the Fosse-way,Fosse-way. that is still very plain in this part of the country. From Cirencester it comes into this county near Kemble,Kemble. and so runs on west of Crudwell (which gave the title of Baroness to Lady Mary Lucas of Crudwell,Crudwell. whose Father John Lord Lucas ¦ ¦ Aubr. Ms. Wilt.built here a Free-school, with a * * 20. ann.competent Endowment) by Ashley, to Long Newnton; then west of Broken-bridge to Easton-Grey; and so not far from Sherston,Sherston. which appears to have been a Roman station, as well by it’s situation near this Consular Way, as by the Roman Coins frequently found at it. Some of the silver ones, viz. of Antoninus, Faustina, Gordianus, and Fl. Julianus are deposited in Ashmole’s Musæum in Oxford.Musaeum Museum What it’s name was in the Roman times, we have no light from History; but this, in all probability, was the place of battle between King Edmund and the Danes, A.D. 1016. call’d by the Saxon Chronicle .For as the agreement of the names justifies the conjecture, so do the particular circumstances, both of the place and action. The several barrows hereabouts, put it beyond dispute, that here has been a battle; and the Inhabitants have to this day a tradition, that it was against the Danes. Now, this of King Edmund’s lays the best claim to it; both because Sherston is nearer to PenPen. (where the last battle before this was fought,) than any town yet assign’d to be the place; and also because the account, that Florence of Worcester has left us of that matter, agrees very well to it. He expresly says, that his Sceorstan was in Wiccia; within the borders whereof this Sherston is. For there is no doubt, but Wiccia extended on both sides the Severn, as far as the Kingdom of Mercia did; now, it hath been observed out of Ethelwerd, that the Avon was the limit between Mercia and the Kingdom of the West-Saxons; and the learned * * Concil. Tom. 1. p.199.Sir Henry Spelman tells us, that Adhelm Abbot of Malmsbury was present at a Mercian Synod; so that, without doubt, this part of Wiltshire belong’d to Mercia, and consequently this Sherston might be in Wiccia. And this is confirm’d by that passage in Brompton, where he says, that the cities of Cirencester and Chippenham were in the south part of the Country of the Wiccians.
From Sherston, the Fosse passes by Alderton, and Littleton-Drew; and so, east of West-Kington,W. Kington. † † Aubr. MS.Ebdown. in which parish, on a Down call’d Ebdown, is a single-ditch’d Camp, suppos’d to be Roman. Hence it goes to Castle-comb, and so west of Slaughtenford;Slaughtenford. the very name of which denotes what the constant tradition of the Inhabitants has handed down, concerning a great slaughter of the Danes in this place. Their Camp might probably be ¦ ¦ Ibid. that double Entrenchment in Bury-wood, between Colern and North-Wraxall;North-Wraxall. not far from which, the Fosse enters Somersetshire, at the Shire-stones.⌉ But to return to the Avon. While it is yet shallow, it runs at the bottom of the hill upon which MalmsburyMalmsbury. is built; and, having receiv’d another brook, it almost encompasseth it. This ⌈(called by the Saxon Annals )⌉, is a neat town, and in good repute on account of the Cloathing-trade: and was, as the Eulogium Historiarum reports, together with the castles of Lacock and Tetbury, built by Dunwallo Mulmutius King of the Britains, and by him call’dCaer Bladon. Caer Bladon. ⌈(Geoffrey of Monmouth also, without any warrant from authentick History, affirms it to have been a town in the Roman times, and built some hundreds of years before their coming into this Island.)⌉ When it had been destroy’d by the wars, there arose out of it’s ruins (as Historians have it upon record) a Castle, which our Ancestors in their language nam’d ,Ingelborne. at the same time that the Saxon petty Kings had their Palace at Caerdurburge, now Brokenbridge,Brokenbridge. a village scarce a mile from hence. ⌈This Castle belong’d to the Bishops of the West-Saxons, and, in all probability, is the place from whence the Charters from Eleutherius to Adhelm are thus dated, Actum publicè juxta flumen Badon, i.e. dated publickly upon the river Badon.⌉ It was known by no other name, but that of Ingelborn, for a long time after; till one Maildulphus,Maildulphus. an Irish Scot, and a great Scholar, and eminent for his devotion and strictness of life, being delighted with the pleasantness of the Wood under this hill, liv’d here an Hermit: but afterwards, instituting a school, and with his scholars devoting himself to a monastick life, he built a little monastery. From this Maildulphus, the town of Ingelborn began to be call’d Maildulfesburg, and by Bede Maildulfi urbs, Maildulf’s City, which in process of time was contracted into Malmesbury. In some Historians and ancient Charters granted to this place, it is written Meldunum, Maldubury, and Maldunsburg. Among Maildulf’s scholars, AldhelmAldhelm. was the most eminent; who, being design’d his successor, did by the help of Eleutherius Bishop of ¦ ¦ West-Saxonum.Winchester (to whom the ground of right belong’d) build here a stately Monastery, of which himself was the first Abbot; and from him this town in a certain MS. is called Aldelmesbyrig. But this name soon grew out of use; tho’ the memory of that holy man (as being Canoniz’d) still remains. ⌈A meadow also near this place, * * Aubr. MS.is called St. Aldhelm’s mead: and before the Reformation they had several other Memorials of him, as his Psalter, the Robe wherein he said Mass, and a great Bell in the Abby-Steeple, called St. Aldhelm’s bell. The Village also about 6 or 7 miles south-east from Malmsbury, called Hilmarton,Hilmarton. is probably denominated from this Saint; for in Domesday-book, it is written Aldhelmertone.⌉ Upon his Feast-day, here is a great Fair, at which time a Company of soldiers were usually listed to prevent disorders amidst such a concourse of People, ⌈but I think that is disused at present.⌉ And truly his memory deserves immortal honour, not only for the sanctity of his life, but also for his Learning; due allowances being made for the ignorance of the times he liv’d in. He was the first Saxon that ever wrote in Latin, and the first that taught the Saxons the way of composing Latin verse; and so, perform’d what he promis’d of himself, in these verses:
Primus ego in patriam mecum, modo vita supersit,
Aonio rediens deducam vertice musas.
I to my Country first, if fates permit,
Will bring the Muses from their native seat.AEthelstan
The great Æthelstan made this Aldhelm his tutelar Saint, and for his sake granted the Town large immunities, and enriched the Monastery with ample Donations; he chose this for the place of his Burial, and the inhabitants shew his monument to this day. ⌈Which monument, notwithstanding, is so far from having been erected immediately after his death, that it seems to have been set up long since the Conquest, and possibly since the Reformation. For William of Malmsbury tells us, that this King was interr’d under the High-Altar, whereas the monument is in the Nave of the Church; and grass now grows where the Choir was. A.D. 956. after the Monks had had possession of this Monastery for the space of 270 years, they were turn’d out by the command of King Eadwy, and secular Priests were put in their room; but the Monks were restor’d by King Edgar. Bishop Herman would willingly have translated the Bishop’s See hither, but was prevented in his design by the diligence of the Monks. So that, the † † Monast. Angl. T.1. p.97.Abingdon Historiographer is under a mistake, when he tells us, that the seat of the Bishop of Barkshire and Wiltshire was at Malmsbury; as is also Radulphus de Diceto, when he calls Odo, who was Bishop of Ramesbury, Bishop AEthelstan AEthelwold Coelibacy celibacy AEthelmund of Malmsbury; and Gervasius Tilburiensis, when he says that S. Aldhelm had the city of Maidulf, that is Scireburn.⌉ From the time of Æthelstan, the Abbey was famous for it’s wealth; and here was educated (besides many other learned men) William,William of Malmesbury. from this town called Malmsburiensis, to whose learned Pains the civil and ecclesiastical History of England are greatly indebted. The town (entirely supported by the Abbey) was fortify’d by Roger Bishop of Salisbury; who, when the War broke out between Henry of Anjou and King Stephen, secur’d it with walls, and a Castle, which was once besieg’d by King Henry 2, * * but in vain, C.and (after a brave defence) taken. This magnificent Bishop erected buildings, here and at Salisbury, for space very large, for cost very chargeable, for shew very beautiful. The stones are set in such exact order, that the joynts cannot be seen, and the whole structure seems to be but one stone. But the castle, not many years after, by the permission of King John, was rased for the convenience of the Monks, that so the Abbey might be enlarged; which daily increas’d in buildings and revenues, ⌈and exceeded all the rest in Wiltshire, both in riches and honour (the Lord Abbot sitting in Parliament as Peer of the Realm)⌉ till the fatal dissolution of Monasteries. Then the lands, and riches which had been so many years in gathering, were dissipated; tho’ in ancient times accountedConcil. Aquisgran. the Offerings of pious Christians, and penances for sins, and the patrimony of the poor. And the Church it self had suffered the common fate, had not one Stump, a rich clothier, by a great deal of intercession and more money, redeem’d it for the use of the Town’s-folks, who turn’d it into a Parish-Church; and a great part of it is yet remaining. ⌈Robert Jenner,1 Car. 1. Goldsmith of London, built an Alms-house here for 8 persons, and endow’d it with 40 l. a year.⌉
From Malmsbury, the Avon runs to Dantesey,Dantesey. which gave name to the Lords of it, a Knightly Family, once very eminent in these parts; from whom it descended to the Easterlings, commonly known by the name of Stradlings; and from them to the family of Danvers. Of which, Henry Danvers was dignified, by the favour of King James ⌈the 1st⌉ with the title and honour of Baron DanversBaron Danvers. of Dantesey, ⌈and by K. Charles 1. with that of Earl of Danby. He it was, who built the Physick-garden in the University of Oxford; and, among many other acts of charity, he founded here an Alms-house and Free-school. Upon the attainder of his brother and heir Sir John Danvers, the town was given by King Charles 2, to James then Duke of York, whose second son James was created Baron of Dantesey; it was afterwards part of the dowry of Queen Mary, and, since the Revolution, hath belong’d to the Earl of Peterborough and Monmouth.
The Avon, bending it’s course southward from hence, runs near Bradenstoke;Bradenstoke. the same Place, without doubt, to which Æthelwold carry’d his devastations, in the year 905. At which time, Brompton says, he put to military execution all Brithendune, (i.e. all in Bradon-forest) as far as Brandestok; or, as Higden more rightly calls it, Bradenestoke; so that Polydore Virgil, Holinshed, Speed, and our late Historians, are much mistaken, in asserting this to be Basingstoke in Hamshire.⌉ Six miles from Dantesey, the Avon receives, from the east, a rivulet, which ⌈rises at the bottom of Oldbury-hill,Oldbury-hill. whereon is a large Oval Camp,Aubr. MS. with double trenches, possibly Danish; and⌉ runs through Calne,Calne. an ancient little town, on a stony Soil, adorned with a neat Church: where, during the contentions between the Monks and ⌈secular⌉ Priests,A Synod about the Cœlibacy of the Clergy. about the Cœlibacy of the Clergy, a great Synod was conven’d A.D. 977. But in the midst of the dispute, the House, in which the States of the Kingdom were assembled (the beams breaking, and the timber-frame bursting asunder) suddenly fell to the ground, together with the Bishops and Nobility of the Kingdom; by which fall most were bruis’d, and some kill’d: Dunstan alone, who presided in the Synod, and of the Monks-party, escaped unhurt. By which miracle (for so it was accounted in those times) the Monastick Institution was probably very much confirmed, ⌈tho’ ¦ ¦ Huntingdon, and Brompton.some Historians make this a Judgment upon the Nobility, for betraying and murdering their late King Edward. As for the town of Calne, it probably arose out of the ruins of the old Roman Colony on the other-side of the water, near Studley,Studley. where Roman Coins are frequently found. It was one of the Palaces of the West-Saxon Kings; and, at the time of the Conquest, enjoy’d great privileges, one whereof was, that it never gelded. For says Domesday, Caune never gelded, and therefore it is not known how many Hides are therein. The name of Castle-field,Castle-field. given to the Common-field adjoyning to it, and of Castle-street, given to the street which leads to that field, show that here hath formerly been a Castle, but no foot-steps of it are now to be seen.
Not far from Calne is Cummerford,Cummerford. probably the of the Saxon Chronicle, call’d by Florence of Worcester Kimeresford; where Æthelmund, Earl of Mercia, making an inroad into the country of the West-Saxons, was met by Werstan Earl of Wiltshire; between whom was a bloody battle, wherein both Commanders lost their lives; but the victory fell to the Wiltshire-men. Upon * * Glossar. ad Chron. Sax.second thoughts, the circumstances of that action seem to agree more exactly to this place, than to Kempsford in Glocestershire; for setting aside, that the Saxon name is more easily melted into Cummerford, Higden tells us it was out of the bounds of Mercia; Ethelmund (says he) leaving his own Territories, marched out as far of the ford, Chimeresford; and if so, it cannot be in Glocestershire. There are also the remains of a large entrenchment, near this Cummerford, which sets this matter so much the more beyond dispute.⌉
From Calne, the Avon, now grown bigger, runs to Chippenham,Chippenham. by the Saxons call’d , ⌈by Brompton Urbs Chipenham; one of the chief Towns in the Kingdom of the West-Saxons, and so, very often mention’d in the Histories of those times.⌉ Now, it is only famous for its market, from whence it had the name: for Cyppan, what it is. in the Saxon language signifies to traffick, and a Merchant; and we yet retain Cheppen and Chappman, or, as the Germans speak, Coppman; ⌈(and of the same original also is Cheapside in London.)⌉ In those times, it was the Country-house of the Saxon-Kings, which King Alfred by Will bequeathed to his younger daughter. Now, there is nothing worth seeing, but the Church; built, as appears from the Coats of Arms on the Walls, by the Lords Hungerford. ⌈But whether the Church was founded by the Hungerfords, or not, (which some dispute,) it is more than probable, that the Chapel, still call’d Hungerford’s Chapel,Hungerford’s Chapel. was founded by Walter Lord Hungerford; for 21 Henry 6, he obtain’d Licence for the founding of a Chantry in the Chapel of our Lady, within the Parish-Church of this place. Queen Mary, in the beginning of her reign, granted her Charter to this Corporation, which consists of a Bailiff and 12 Burgesses.⌉ Over-against this Town, tho’ at some distance from the river, lies Cosham,Cosham. now a small village, but heretofore the Country-palace of King Etheldred, and the retiring-house of the Earls of Cornwall; ⌈of whom, Richard granted them several Privileges, which they still enjoy; and Edmund obtain’d for them a Charter for a weekly market. Since the Restoration of K. Charles the second, Margaret Hungerford built here an Alms-house and a Free-School.⌉ From Chippenham, you see Castlecomb,Castlecomb. an ancient castle, famous on account of the Walters of Dunstavill, Lords of it; from whom the Wriothesleys, Earls of Southampton, derive their pedigree. For Petronilla, daughter and heir of the last Walter, was married to Robert de Montford, and had a son named William, who sold this castle and the rest of his lands to Bartholomew Badilsmer; from whom it came (as I have heard) to the Scroops, who have held it ever since. But let us now return to the course of the river; on which lieth LeckhamLeckham., the estate of the noted family ** Now (by marriage) of Mountague. of the Bainards, where Roman coins are very often found; and LacockLacock., ⌈where also, in a field hard by, (as Leland saith) much Roman money used to be found, from which the Place was called SilverfieldSilverfield.; and⌉ where that pious matron Ela, Countess of Salisbury, in her widowhood, built (as she did likewise at HentonHenton. ⌈in Somersetshire,⌉) a Monastery, AD. 1232. to the honour of the Blessed Virgin and St. Bernard, in which she devoted her self, soul and body, to the service of God.
Divisae Visae Wysae The Avon, with banks thick-set with trees, hath not run far beyond Brumham,Brumham. once the seat of the Lord * * De S. Amando.Samond; before it receives a rivulet from the east, which rises near the castle De Vies, Devises,The Vies, Devizes. or the Vies; the Divisio of Florentius Wigorniensis, the Divisæ of Neubrigensis, ⌈the Visæ of Matthew Westminster, and the Wysæ of Walter Hemingford. That this town was built by Dunwallo King of the Britains, is scarce probable: neither is it easie to imagin that it could be inhabited by the Romans; tho’ on the utmost part of Rund-way-hillRund-way-hill. which overlooks the town, there is a square single-trench’d Camp, that seems to point out to us the presence of the Romans in those parts; and there have been discovered in the neighbourhood of this placePhil. Trans. N.268. several hundred pieces of ancient Roman Coin of different Emperors; and, within a few yards, several Pots, without Coins, but supposed to be of the same Antiquity. Very lately also, there hath been dug-up a large Urn, full of Roman Coins; and a number of little † † Vid. Musgrave. Belg. Brit. p.124, &c.brass Statues of several of the Heathen Gods and Goddesses, crowded betwixt three flat Stones, and covered with a Roman brick.⌉ It was once a noble castle, strongly fortify’d by art and nature, but it is now ruin’d by Time. ⌈The Annotator upon the Life of King Alfred, hath told us, upon the authority of Tradition, that the castle here was built by that King; but Historians tell us⌉ it was built at the vast expence of Roger Bishop of Sarum (that it might excell all the castles in England:) ⌈and, at least, it was repaired by him.⌉ This man’s Fortune had advanc’d him from a poor Mass-priest to be the second man in the kingdom. But Fortune (as one saith) favours no man so far, as to exempt him from the fear of losing what she gave. For King Stephen, conceiving some displeasure against him, took from him this castle, and that of Shirburn, together with his great wealth, and so harrass’d the poor old man in prison, with hunger and other vexations, that between the fear of death and the torments of life, he was unwilling to live, and knew not how to die. About this time it was very much controverted, whether it be lawful for Bishops by the Canon-law, to hold Castles? or, if this by special permission was indulg’d, whether in troublesome times they ought not to be at the King’s disposal? ⌈Speed says, This was one of the goodliest Castles in Europe; and Holinshed, That it was the strongest hold in England. Which made Ralph Fitz-Stephen, in the war between King Stephen and Mawd the Empress, after he had possess’d himself of it, boast, that by the assistance of it he would subdue all the Country between London and Winchester. The government of this Castle was formerly look’d upon to be such an honourable post, that it has been accepted by the greatest among the Nobility. It was not so entirely demolish’d, but that some shew of fortifications were left, till the Civil Wars; when it was besieg’d more than once. And Sir Ralph Hopton’s being enclos’d herein by Sir William Waller, occasion’d that memorable battle, call’d * Rundway-fight,* Rund-way fight, July 13, 1640. from the Down upon which it was fought. Now, all the Fortifications are dismantled, and the very top of the Keep (which Leland calls a work of incredible cost) is dug-up by Gardeners. The town is a very populous Corporation, consisting of two great Parishes; and is govern’d by a Mayor, Recorder &c.⌉
The Avon, joyn’d by this rivulet, bends it’s course toward the west, and presently another brook from the south runs into it, which gives name to the house called Broke, situate upon it. This house was heretofore the seat of John Pavely Lord of the Hundred of Westbury, and afterward gave the title of BaronBarons Brooke. to Robert Willoughby (because by the Cheneys he was descended from the family of Pavely) when King Henry 7. advanc’d him to that Honour; of which King he was a great favourite, and by him, as it is reported, was made for some time Lord High Admiral. For which reason, he gave the rudder of a ship for his Cognizance, ⌈(painted also in several windows of his house;)⌉ as Pompey, the Admiral of the Roman Navy, stamp’d the stern on his medals. But this family was soon extinct; for he left but one son, Robert Baron Brooke, who had by his first wife a son call’d Edward, who dy’d in his father’s life-time, and left one daughter, afterwards married to Sir Fulk Grevile; by his second wife, he had two daughters, by whom this large estate came to the Marquess of Winchester, and the Lord Montjoy.
Not far from hence, to the east, lies Edindon,Edindon. heretofore Eathandune, ⌈without doubt, a Roman town, as is evident from the foundations of houses that have been dug-up here for a mile together, and the finding of silver and copper Coins of several Roman Emperors; some of which have been given to the Royal Society, and to Ashmole’s Musæum in Oxford. Musaeum museum Aquae These circumstances, and the situation of this Heddington exactly on the road between Bath and Marlborough, made the learned Commentator on King Alfred’s life conclude it to be the Verlucio of Antoninus, plac’d by him 15 miles from Aquæ Solis, and 20 from Cunetio. But Heddington not being above 12 from Bath, and but 10 from Marlborough, we must † † See afterwards.look for Verlucio in some other place.⌉ Here King Alfred won the most glorious victory that ever was obtained over the ravaging Danes; and drove them to that extremity, that they took a solemn Oath, immediately to depart the land. In this place also, William de Edindon, Bishop of Winchester (a great favourite of King Edward 3.) who was born here, and from hence took his sirname, founded a College of Canons call’d Bonhommes.Bonhommes. ⌈South from hence, is Steeple-Lavington or East-Lavington,Lavington East. commonly call’d Market-Lavington, from the great Corn-market weekly kept here on Wednesdays. How long it has been a market does not precisely appear; but in the 35th Henry 6, William de Beauchamp Lord Aeglea AElfred Musaeum museum St. Amond bequeath’d his body to be bury’d in the Chapel of the Chantry of this place; and, at his death, which happen’d in the same year, he was seiz’d, among several other Lordships in Wiltshire, of Cheping-Lavington; which is the same with ¦ ¦ See before, Chippenham.Market-Lavington; and if so, it has been a market above 200 years at least. The manour belongs now to the Right honourable Montague Earl of Abingdon; as doth also the next village call’d West-Lavington,West-Lavington. or Lavington-Episcopi, where his Lordship hath a very pleasant seat, finely accommodated with a park, gardens, a grotto, and several other conveniences. It came to him by descent from his Father, who had it by marriage with the incomparable Lady Eleonora, one of the daughters of Sir Henry Lee by Ann his wife, to whom it descended as heiress to the Danvers’s and Dantesey’s, who had been Lords of this manour for many generations; two of whom founded and liberally endowed the Free-school and Alms-houses in this town. In this Parish is Littleton-Painell,Littleton-Painell. now an obscure village, tho’ heretofore a market-town; which privilege was obtain’d for it, 12 Edward 2, by John Lord Paganel or Painel.
The next river that the Avon receives, is the Were, which runs not far from Westbury,Westbury. a small Mayor-town that probably arose out of the ruins of the old Roman one, about half a mile to the north; which, without doubt, was once very famous, as appears by the great quantities of Roman coins that have been here found. Aquae If the Verlucio of Antoninus were settl’d here, the distances from Aquæ Solis and Cunetio, which agree better in this town than in any other, would justifie such a conjecture. And Holinshed calls the rivulet that runs near it, Were;Were. which might give name to the town seated upon it, Verlucio. Also, the late learned AnnotatorP.134. upon Antoninus chuses to settle it in this place. The new name Westbury is purely Saxon; and it was natural enough for them to give this name to a town which they found to be the most considerable in these western parts; calling it by way of eminency ; in the same manner as they did the great neighbouring wood known by the name of Selwood: for some Copies of the Saxon Annals read it simply , others . Near Westbury, is a village call’d Leigh, or Ley,Ley. which is most probably the place where King Alfred encamp’d, the night before he attack’d the Danes at Eddington. For the name comes very near it, it being an easie mistake for the Saxon Scribe to write for : here is also a field call’d Courtfield,Courtfield. and a garden adjoyning, encompass’d with a mote; and a tradition goes, that here was a Palace of one of the Saxon Kings. Clay-hill,Clay-hill. by the sound, might stand fair to be this Æglea;Æglea. but then it would have been very ill conduct in King Ælfred, to have pitch’d his tent upon such a high place, visible from all parts of the Country, when he intended to surprize the enemy. So that it is more likely, he march’d along this vale, which was then over-spread with woods, being part of Selwood-forest. Besides, Clay-hill shews no marks of any trenches, or the like; and is too far from Eddington, where the fight was, namely, in the fields, between the town and Bratton-castle; which, without doubt, was the fortification, whither the Danes fled after their rout, and held out a siege of 14 days. For it is seated upon the extremity of a high hill, which commands all the country; being encompass’d with two deep ditches, and rampires proportionable. The form of it is oval, in length 350 paces, and almost 200 broad in the widest part. Near the middle, is a large oblong barrow, 60 paces long, probably the burying-place of some of the Danish Nobility slain here. Within this vast Entrenchment, there have been several pieces of old Iron-armour plough’d-up. It hath but two entrances, fortify’d with out-works; one toward the south-east, opening to the plain; the other toward the north-east, leading directly down to Eddington.⌉ Upon a hill somewhat lower, on the same little river Were, stands Trubridge,Trubridge. in old time , that is, a strong or true bridge. But for what reason it had this name, does not appear. ⌈It is much more probable, that the right name is Trolbridge;Trolbridge. for, beside the natural melting of l into u, there is a Tithing in the Liberty and Parish call’d Trol, and a large Common near it of the same name. Also in a Manuscript History of Britain (which is a Compendium of Geffrey of Monmouth) the place is written Trolbridge; where it is said to have been built by Molmutius.⌉ Now it is very noted for the Clothing-trade, and shews the ruins of a Castle, which belongs to the Dutchy of Lancaster. ⌈Leland saith, in his time, that it was clean down, and that there were in it seven great Towers, two of which were standing. He adds, that the Earls of Sarum were Lords of this Place, then the Dukes of Lancaster, and in his time the Earl of Hertford. Now, the Court of the Dutchy of Lancaster for the County, is annually held in this Town about Michaelmass.⌉ The Avon, encreas’d by this rivulet, waters Bradford,Bradford. in old time Bradan-ford, (so call’d from the Broadford,) which stands on the side of a hill, and is built all of stone; where a bloody battle was fought in the Civil wars between KenilwachiusAnn. 652. King of the West-Saxons, and Cuthred his Kinsman. ⌈It was likewise famous in the Saxon times, for the Monastery built here by Aldhelm, and destroy’d in the Danish wars; as also on the account of a Synod probably held here, A.D. 964. in which S. Dunstan was elected Bishop of Worcester.⌉ Here, the Avon leaves Wiltshire, and enters into Somersetshire, running toward the Bath.
From hence, the western limits of this Shire go directly southward ⌈by Farley-Castle,Farley-Castle. which tho’ in Somersetshire, yet part of the Park belonging to it lies in Wiltshire: and in this part, not many years ago, was dug-up a Roman pavement of Chequer-work; a piece whereof was given to Ashmole’s Musæum in Oxford; and⌉ by Longleat,Longleat. the curious and splendid house (tho’ more than once damnified by fire) of the Knightly family of the Thynnes, descended from the Boteviles; ⌈and ennobled in the person of Thomas Thynne, who was created Viscount Weymouth by K. Charles the second;⌉ to Maiden-Bradley,Maiden-Bradley. so named because one of the daughters and heirs of Manasser Bisset a famous man in his time, being her self a Leper, built a Hospital here for leprous maids, and endowed it with her own inheritance; ⌈(tho’Vid. Worcestershire, Kidderminster. others account this a vulgar Fable, and affirm that the Hospital was built long before the division of that Estate among daughters:)⌉ her father had founded a Priory here before, ⌈in the reign of King Stephen.⌉ Stourton, the seat of the Barons of Stourton,Barons of Stourton. who were dignify’d with this title by Henry 6,26 Hen 6. after a very great estate had fal’n to them by marriage with the heiressDugd. Baron. of the family of Le Moign or Monk (not Mohun as some have erroneously imagin’d;) and from thence their Crest is, a Demi-Monk with a [penitential] whip in his hand. ⌈This honour still continues in the same family.⌉ The town took its name from the river Stour, rising here out of six fountains, between which [proper] the Stourtons Lords of this place bear for their Arms, a Bend Or in a field sable. ⌈From hence, the southern Limit goes to Mere,Mere. so call’d, probably, from being a or Land-mark; for it is near the borders of Wiltshire, Somersetshire, and Dorsetshire. In the neighbourhood of this town and Stourton, are 4 Entrenchments; one of which, in Stourton-park, is double-ditch’d, and is call’d by Leland Whiteshole-hill,Whiteshole-hill. probably the Camp of the Danes in one of the battles at Pen.⌉
By the foresaid Maiden-Bradley, glides a little river call’d Dever-ril,Dever-ril. because like Anas in Spain, and the Mole in Surry, which took their names from thence, it * * Nothing is to be heard of this at present.dives under the earth, and, rising up again a mile from hence, hastens to Verlucio,Verlucio. a very ancient town, mention’d by Antoninus the Emperor in his Itinerary; which name it has not yet quite lost, being ⌈as is supposed⌉ call’d Werminster,Werminster. a compound of that old name and the Saxon word , which signifieth a Monastery. ⌈But tho’ this is the common opinion, it is not back’d with Coins or other remains of the Romans that have been discover’d there; and it is therefore referr’d to the judgment of the Reader, upon what is offered before, whether Westbury is not a more probable place for it. Concerning it’s state in the Saxon times, I think our Historians are silent; only, we may observe, that upon the Downs on the east-side of the town, there are two Camps; one call’d Battle-bury,Battle-bury. having double-works, and so probably Danish; the other Scratchbury,Scratchbury. a square single-trench’d fortification.⌉ Heretofore, it had peculiar privileges; for it is recorded in the book of William the Conqueror, that nec geldavit nec hidata fuit; that is, it paid no tribute. Now, it is only famous for a great Corn-market ⌈on Saturdays;⌉ and it is scarce credible, what quantities of Corn are every week carried hither, and presently sold.
From this place, toward the south, north, and east, all along the middle of the Shire, the Downs are so wide, that scarce any bounds can be discover’d; from whence they are call’d the Plains;Salisbury-Plains. but thinly inhabited, and infamous heretofore for frequent robberies. The south part of them is water’d by two pleasant rivers, the Willey-bourn, the Guilou of Asserius; and the Nadder, commonly called Adder-bourn. Willey-bourn, having its rise at Werminster, runs by HeitesburyHeitesbury. or Hegedsbury, the seat of the Barons of Hungerford, ⌈where Walter Lord Hungerford, Lord High Treasurer of England, founded an Hospital for 12 poor men and one woman; with an allowance for a Chaplain, who was likewise to be Warden, and to teach a Free-school. But this being not fully perform’d in his life-time, Margaret, widow of his son Robert Lord Hungerford, effected it; and it remains to this day.⌉ From hence, it runs to a village called Willey.Willey. Opposite to which, there is a very large Camp fortify’d with a deep double ditch, and called by the neighbouring inhabitants Yanesbury-Castle.Yanesbury-Castle. From it’s figure, † † You may easily conclude it to have been, C.it has been thought by some, to be a Roman Camp. Some think, it was Vespasian’s, when, being Lieutenant of the 20th Legion under Claudius, he subdued two Nations in this part ⌈of England,⌉ to the Roman Empire; and some remains of Vespasian’s name are thought to be in Yanesbury. ⌈But, on the other hand, it is alledged, that the Roman Camps were for the most part square, and had only a single vallum, whereas this has a double ditch. It’s being so very like Bratton-castle, only something bigger, and of an oval form, induces one to think it Danish. The length of it is 360 paces, and it has three entrances, one toward the north, another toward the south, and a third (which is the principal, and fortify’d with out-works after the Danish fashion,) toward the east.⌉ The Nadder,Nadder. rising in the south border of this County, with a winding stream creeps like an adder (from whence it seems to have it’s name, ⌈ naedre naeddre in Saxon signifying an Adder, which is corruptly written, for a nadder or nedder, as it is still called in the northern parts of England,)⌉ not far from Wardour,Wardour Castle. a beautiful Castle, which once belong’d to the ancient family of S. Martin. To omit several of it’s intermediate owners ⌈(amongst whom were the Lords Lovel, and J. Tutchet Lord Audley,)⌉ it came into the possession of John Arundel, created by K. James ⌈the 1st⌉ Lord Arundel of Wardour,Baron Arundel. of whom very honourable mention ought here to be made, because in his youth he piously went to serve in the wars against the sworn enemies of Christendom, the Turks; and there, for his valiant Behaviour at the storming of Gran, had the honour to be made a Count of the Empire, by Patent1595. from the Emperor Rodolph 2. in these words;Count of the Empire. Forasmuch as he hath behaved himself couragiously in the field, and at the siege of several Cities and Castles; and especially hath given eminent proof of his valour at the assault made upon the Water-town near Gran, taking the Flag from the Turks with his own hands; We have created, made, and nominated him, and all and every one of his children, his heirs and lawful issue of both sexes for ever, true Counts and Countesses of the sacred Empire; and have dignified them with the Title and Honour of a County Imperial, &c. ⌈No less valiant was the Lady Arundel, who in the year 1643, with only 25 men, made good this Castle for a week, against 1300 of the Parliament-forces, from whom (contrary to the Articles of Surrender) the Castle and Parks received great damage.⌉ On the other side of the river is Hache,Hache. of little note at present, but famous in the reign of King Edward 1, for it’s Baron Eustace de Hache,Baron of Hache. who was then summon’d to Parliament among the rest of the Nobility.
At the conflux of these rivers, Willey waters a place denominated from it, Wilton,Wilton. once the chief town of the County, to which also it gave name. It was anciently call’d Ellandunum;Ellandunum. as appears from some old Charters, which expressly make mention of Weolsthan Earl of Ellandunum, that is, of Wilton; and again, that he built a little Monastery at Ellandunum, that is, at Wilton; ⌈and also from the ¦ ¦ T.2 p.851. Monasticon Anglicanum, and from Mr. Brian Twine’s Collections, where we find Ellendinia or Ellenduna, that is, Ellenge donne, or a place naked, desolate or wild; from hence is Wyldton or Wylddoun;Wyld-doun. and he says immediately after, that he takes Ellendune to be Salisbury-plain. But he tells us not, in what language it is, that Ellan or Ellenge signifies wild; or in what age Wilton was called Wyldton or Wylddoun.⌉ From the name Ellan, I am induc’d to think this river the AlanusAlan, riv. which Ptolemy places in this Tract. At this place, Egbert King of the West-Saxons fought successfully with Beorwulf the Mercian A.D. 821. but the battle was so bloody on both sides, that the river ran plentifully with the blood of near relations. ⌈However, it is thought by some, that this Battle was fought elsewhere, and that the circumstances of it make the foregoing opinion, that this is the old Ellandune, somewhat suspicious: For it is not probable (say they) that Egbert, the most powerful Prince in the Island, should let an enemy make an inroad into the very heart of his kingdom, without opposition. And it is as unaccountable, why none of our Historians should tell us that the battle was fought at Wilton, when it is plain the town was known by that name long before. Therefore, to place Ellendune here, seems to them as unreasonable, as Brompton’s settling it in Middlesex. But if the authority of the * * Monast. Ang. tom.1. p.31.Winchester Annals may be allow’d in this case, the controversie AElfred Caesar Caesaris is clearly decided. For they tell us expresly, that this fight was at Ellendune, a manour belonging to the Prior of Winchester: now, this seems to be no other place than Ellingdon near Highworth (upon the borders of the Mercian kingdom,) which once belong’d to the Monastery of S. Swithin. But to return.⌉ Here also, at Wilton, A.D. 871. King Ælfred fighting against the Danes, had the advantage at the beginning; but, the fortune of the battle changing, he was driven out of the field. In the times of the Saxons, it was a very populous place. King Edgar founded here a Nunnery (as the Historians relate) and made his daughter Edith Abbess. But it is evident from an ancient Charter of Edgar himself, dated A.D. 974. that the Nunnery was much older: for in it are these words; The Religious House which was built by my great grandfather K. Edward, in a noted place, by the Inhabitants called Wilton. And we read in the life of Edward the Confessor; Whilst S. Edward was building the Abbey of S. Peter at Westminster, Editha his wife, imitating the royal charity of her Husband, laid the foundation of a stately Monastery of stone, instead of the wooden Church at Wilton, where she was educated. The town did not much decay (tho’ miserably plunder’d by Swain the Dane) until the Bishops of Salisbury turn’d the Road into the western Counties another way, ⌈before which time (as Leland saith) it had 12 Parish-Churches, that are now reduced to one.⌉ Since that time, it has dwindled, by little and little, into a small village; only, it hath the honour of a Mayor for its chief Magistrate, and the most beautiful house of the Earls of Pembroke, built out of the suppress’d Abbey. But in old time, SorbiodunumSorbiodunum. was, (as New-Sarum, which arose out of its ruins, is,) a mighty injury and detriment to it. Antoninus’s Itinerary calls that town Sorbiodunum, which the Saxons afterward named , and the modern Latin-writers Sarum and Sarisburia.Old Sarisbury. For the course of the Itinerary, and the remains of the name, evidently shew this without my remarking it. And Searesbirig * * Was undoubtedly derived, C. Dunum, what it signified with the Gauls and Britains.may seem to have been derived from Sorbiodunum, the Saxon word (which denoteth a town) being put in the place of Dunum, which word the Britains and Gauls usually added to places of a high situation, as this Sorbiodunum is. So that (as one very well skill’d in the Welsh language informed me) Sorviodunum signifieth a dry hill; which is a more probable conjecture, than the far-fetch’d derivation of it from Saron in Berosus, or from Severus the Emperor, from whom they call it Severia.Severia. ⌈Yet others there are, who, tho’ complete Masters of the Welsh Tongue, cannot discover any thing in it, which both answers the sound of Sorbiodunum, and at the same time can possibly be wrested to that sense. The Saxons indeed seem to have drawn their from this quality of the soil, in that language signifying to dry; which I take to be a more probable original of the Saxon name, than either Hollinshed’s derivation from Salisbury in Germany, or John Ross’s, from a tower built here by Julius Cæsar, which he says might be call’d Caesaris burgus, and so corrupted into Sarisburge; as Cæsar Augusta in Spain into Saragosa. But setting aside, that Julius Cæsar did not pursue his victories thus far; that denomination is not warranted by any Author; and to be sure, Antoninus would have us’d the true genuin Roman name, if there had been any such. How it came by the name Severia, I cannot certainly tell; but it is possible enough, that Severus the Emperor, living most of his time in Britain, might sometimes reside here; and, either by re-edifying the town, or doing some other memorable thing at it, might derive to it that name, which occasion’d the calling of this County Severnia, and Provincia Severorum. However, in general, that it was much frequented in the times of the later Emperors, appears by the Coins of Constans, Magnentius, Constantine, and Crispus, found here. Agreeably to the other branch of the name Dunum,⌉ it was built on a high hill, and, as Malmsbury saith, The town was more like a Castle than a City, being environ’d with a high wall; and notwithstanding it was very well accommodated with all other conveniences, yet such was the want of water, that it was sold there at a great rate. This gave occasion to the distich, which was made upon Old Sarum by one that lived in those times:
Est tibi defectus lymphæ, sed copia cretæ,
Sævit ibi ventus, sed Philomela silet.
Water’s there scarce, but chalk in plenty lies,
And those sweet notes that Philomel denies,
The harsher musick of the wind supplies.
By the great pieces of Walls and Bulwarks yet to be seen, it seems to have been a very strong place, and about half a mile in circumference. Kenric the Saxon, after he had fought the Britains with success, A.D. 553. was the first of the Saxons who won it;It’s Condition in the Saxon times. ⌈and between his taking it, and King Egbert’s age, we meet with no mention of it: but this Prince very often resided at it; and King Edgar call’d here a Parliament or Great Council, A.D. 960;⌉ but † † Canute, C.Swain the Dane damnify’d it very much by fire, about A.D. 1003. It recover’d it’s ancient splendour, when by the authority of a Synod ⌈Ann. 1076. (decreeing that all Bishops-Sees should be removed into great Towns, out of Villages,)⌉ and, by the munificence of William the Conqueror, Herman Bishop of Shirburn and Sunning, translated his See hither; and his immediate Successor Osmund built the Cathedral Church. ⌈After the Conquest, it flourished mightily; the Norman Kings very frequently living, and sometimes holding their Parliaments, here.⌉ And the said William the 1st, after he had made his Survey of England, summon’d all the Estates of the Kingdom hither, to swear Allegiance to him. At that time, as it is in Domesday-book, SalisburyMoney by Weight and by Tale. gelded for 50 hides; and of the third penny the King had * * xx Sol ad pensum – lx. Libras ad pondus.xx s. by weight, and of the increase lx lb. by tale. This I observe, because not only the Romans, but also our Ancestors, used to Weigh as well as Tell their Money. Not long after, in the reign of ¦ ¦ Ric.1. C.Henry 3, by reason of the insolencies of the garrison-soldiers, and the scarcity of water, the inhabitants began to remove, and seated themselves in a low ground scarce a mile off, to the south-east; which, being the conflux of the Avon and the Nadder, is as it were a Rendezvous of several Rivers. ⌈For the Castle,Cause of the removal. which formerly belong’d to the Bishop, had, upon the difference between King Stephen and Bishop Roger, been seiz’d by the King, who plac’d a Governour and a Garrison in it. But that was look’d upon as a violation of the Liberties of the Church, and gave occasion for frequent differences; by which the Bishop and Canons were induced to think of removing into a place where they might be less disturb’d. This was projected by Herebertus Pauper (brother and immediate predecessor of Richard Poor,) in the reign of Richard 1. But that King dying before the design could be effected, and the turbulent reign of King John ensuing, they were forced to lay aside the thoughts of it till Henry the 3d’s reign, when it was reviv’d and completed by Richard Poor. Not but the Citizens, for the causes above-mentioned, began by degrees to remove from Old Sarum in the reign of Richard 1; which serves to correct the error of those, who think that the Bishop and Clergy remov’d first, and that the Citizens follow’d; or, at least, that they remov’d about the same time.⌉ Of this removal,New Sarisbury. Petrus Blesensis makes mention in his Epistles;Epist. 105. for thus he describes Old Sarum. It was a place exposed to the wind, barren, dry, and solitary; a Tower was there, as in Siloam, by which the inhabitants were for a long time enslaved. And afterward; The Church of Salisbury was a Captive on that hill: let us therefore in God’s name go down into the level: there the vallies will yield plenty of Corn, and the champain fields are of a rich soil. And of the same place, the foremention’d Poet writes thus:
Quid domini domus in castro? nisi fœderis arca
In templo Baalim; carcer uterque locus.
A Church within a Camp looks just as well;
As th’ ark of God in the vile house of Baal.
And he thus describes the place to which they descended:
Est in valle locus nemori venatibus apto
Contiguus, celeber fructibus, uber aquis.
Tale creatoris matri natura creata
Hospitium toto quæsiit orbe diu.
Nigh a fair chase a happy vale there lies,
Where early fruit the burden’d trees surprize,
And constant springs with gentle murmurs rise.
Not careful Nature o’re the world could meet
With such another for our Lady’s seat.
As soon as they were removed; that they might begin at the house of God, Richard Poor the Bishop, in a pleasant meadow before call’d Merifield,Merifield. laid the foundation of the great Church,New Cathedral. a stately pile of building, ⌈on the 4th of the Calends of May, A.D. 1220; for the more effectual carrying-on of which, we find that the same Bishop in his Constitutions, recommended to all Priests in his Diocese, to put dying persons in mind of a charitable contribution to this intended fabrick.⌉ Which (with it’s high steeple ⌈of 410 foot from the ground,⌉ and double cross-isles,) by a venerable kind of grandeur strikes the spectators with a sacred joy and admiration. It was, in the space of 43 years, finish’d at vast expence, and dedicated A.D. 1258. in the presence of King Henry 3; concerning which that ancient Poetaster hath these tolerable verses:
Regis enim virtus templo spectabitur isto,
Præsulis affectus, artificumque fides.
The Prince’s piety, the Workman’s skill,
The Bishop’s care, the stately pile shall tell.
But much better are those of the famous and learned Daniel Rogers:
Mira canam, soles quot continet annus, in unâ
Tam numerosa, ferunt, æde, fenestra micat.
Marmoreasque capit fusas tot ab arte columnas,
Comprensas horas quot vagus annus habet.
Totque patent portæ, quot mensibus annus abundat.
Res mira, at verâ res celebrata fide.
† † Dr. Heylin.How many days in one whole year there be,
So many windows in our Church we see.
So many marble pillars there appear,
As there are hours thro’out the fleeting year.
So many gates as moons one year does view,
Strange tales to tell, yet not so strange as true.
For they say, this Church hath as many windows as there are days in the year, as many pillars and pillasters as there are hours, and as many gates as months. On the south-side of the Church, is the Cloyster, as great and of as fine workmanship as any ⌈in England,⌉Leland. to which is adjoyn’d the Bishop’s stately Palace; and on the north-side stands, apart from the Cathedral, a very strong-built and high Bell-tower. This Church, in a short time, so increas’d in wealth and revenues, that it maintains a Dean, a Chanter, a Chancellor, a Treasurer, and * * 33, C.41 Prebendaries, all very well endow’d; some of whom (viz. those they call Canons Resident,) have very good houses near the Church: and all these are inclosed with a wall, apart from the town. ⌈Besides the 41 single Prebends, there are 4 annex’d to the Dignities of the Bishop, Dean, Chancellor, and Treasurer. When the Church of New-Sarum was built, it had 50, besides those annex’d as aforesaid; but by the suppression of 5, the dissolution of 2, and alienation of 2 more, they were reduced to this number. There were 5 more alienated, but 5 others were erected in their stead; of which, Mr. Camden enjoyed that of Ilfarcomb, above 30 years.⌉
Whilst the Bishop was building the Church, the Citizens in like manner with great zeal founded the City, settled the Civil government thereof, and supplied every street with a rivulet; and, having obtained licence from Simon the Bishop to fortifie it, they threw up a ditch on that side which is not defended by the river. And to such splendour did New-Salisbury rise by degrees, out of the ruins of Old-Sorbiodunum, that (presently after the High-road into the West, was by Royal Authority turn’d thro’ this town) it became the second City in those parts; being very populous, abounding in all necessaries, especially fish; and adorn’d with a very fine Council-house of wood, which stands in a spacious Market-place. But it hath nothing of which it may so justly boast, as of John Jewell, ¦ ¦ Late Bishop, C.Bishop of this place, the wonder of his age for his knowledge in Divinity, and a most strenuous Defender of the Reformed Religion. After this, Old Sarum, still declining, was, in the reign of Henry 7, wholly deserted; so that now there scarce remains a turret of the castle; which yet, for a long time after the inhabitants had left the town, was the seat of the Earls of Salisbury; and in the reign of Edward 3,29 Edw. 3. there was a noted controversie about it.Term. Hillar. For Robert Bishop of Sarum by vertue of a Writ which our Lawyers call Breve de Recto, brought in question the right of William Montacute Earl of Sarum to this Castle. The Earl answered, that he would defend his right by Combat.A Duel about the Castle of Sarum, or (as others say) Shirburn. So, on the day appointed, the Bishop brought to the lists his Champion clad in a white garment to the mid-leg; over which he had a Surcoat of the Bishop’s Coat of Arms: there follow’d him a Knight carrying the spear, and a Page the shield. Presently after, the Earl led-in his Champion arrayed after the same manner, accompanied by two Knights bearing white staves. Just as the Champions were about to begin the Duel, whilst they withdrew to have their weapons view’d and examin’d, unexpectedly came an Order from the King, that the cause should not be decided then, lest the King should lose his right. In the mean time they compounded the matter; the Earl agreeing to surrender all his right in the castle to the Bishop and his successors for ever, upon the receipt of 2500 Marks.
⌈The other ornaments of this place, in short, are the Library, built by Bishop Jewel, and the Chapter-house of a large octagonal figure, sustain’d only by a small marble pillar in the middle; as also the College, built and endow’d by Bishop Ward for 10 Minister’s widows.
In that part of the Suburbs of Salisbury call’d Harnham,Harnham. stood the College de Vaulx, which was built by Giles de Bridport, Bishop of this place, An. Dom. 1260. for the entertainment of several Scholars who retir’d hither upon account of some disturbances at Oxford. Here, they study’d University-Learning; and, having a testimonial from their Chancellour of their progress in Learning, frequently went to Oxford and took their Degrees. And so they continu’d even till Leland’s time, who, speaking of it, has these words: That part of these Scholars remain in the College in Saresbyri, and have two Chaplains to serve the Church there dedicated to S. Nicholas: the residue study at Oxford, &c.
Beyond this, is the great Bridge call’d Harnham-bridge;Harnham-bridge. built by virtue of a privilege which Richard Poor obtain’d of Henry 3, when New-Sarum was incorporated, viz. That for the benefit of the said City, they change and remove the ways and bridges leading to it, and do therein what to them shall seem meet, provided it be without injury to any person. In pursuance of those Powers, Robert Bingham, his next successor, built this stately Bridge, An. 1245; which I the rather take notice of, because it made such a considerable alteration in Wilton, and this place; for by bringing the great Western road this way, the first presently decay’d, and the latter (which by the bye, * * Vid. p.200. & Monast. Ang. T.1. p.197.Matthew Westminster reckons a County of it self distinct from Wiltshire) daily improv’d.⌉
SalisburyEarls of Salisbury. had Earls very early, whose pedigree I will draw very fully and faithfully, out of theHistory of Lacock. History of Lacock. ⌈Not to mention Edrick, Duke of Mercia, whom Knighton stiles Earl of Salisbury;⌉ Walter de Evereux Earl of Rosmar in Normandy had by the munificence of William the Conqueror very large possessions in this shire, which he bequeathed to his younger son Edward, sirnamed of Salisbury, who was born in England; leaving his other lands in Normandy, with the title of Earl of Rosmar, to † † Gerold, Dugd. Bar. T.1. p.174.Walter his eldest son, whose line not long after was extinct. This Edward of Salisbury flourish’d in the twentieth year of William the Conqueror, and is often mention’d in Domesday-book, but without the title of Earl. His son Walter founded a small monastery at Bradenstoke, and there, in his old age, after he had had a son call’d Patric, who was the first Earl of Salisbury, by Sibilla de Cadurcis or Chaworth; he assum’d the habit of a [black] Canon. This Patric, the first Earl, was slain by Guy of Lusignian, A.D. 1169. in his return from a pilgrimage to S. James of Compostella, and was succeeded by his son William, who died at Paris in the reign of Richard 1. Ela his only daughter (by the favour of the said King Richard) was married to William Longspee, so sirnamed from the long sword which he usually wore, a natural son of King Henry 2; to whom, upon this marriage with Ela, accrued the title of Earl, and her Coat of Arms,Arms of the Earl of Sarum. viz. Az. six Lioncells Rampant Or. His son was also call’d William Longspee, from whom Henry 3. (being offended, because he sign’d himself with the Cross, and went to the Holy Wars, without his leave,) took the title of Earl, and the castle of Sarum. He, notwithstanding, persisted in his design, and went into EgyptMatt. Paris. p.973. & 1051. with S. Lewis King of France, and, fighting valiantly in the midst of his enemies near Damiata, which the Christians had taken, died in the bed of honour, a little before that holy King was unfortunately taken prisoner. He had a son, call’d also William, who did not enjoy the title of Earl; and had only one daughter named Margaret,Walsingham, p.74. who was, notwithstanding, call’d Countess of Salisbury, and married to Henry Lacy Earl of Lincoln, by whom she had one only daughter, viz. Alice the wife of Thomas Earl of Lancaster; who being outlawed, King Edward 2. seized the lands that she had made over to her husband: some of which, viz. Troubridge, Winterbourn, Ambresbury, and other manours, King Edward 3.Words of the patent. gave to William de Montacute in as full and ample manner as ever the Progenitors of Margaret Countess of Sarum held them. And, at the same time, he made the said William de Montacute, Earl of Sarum; and by the Girding-on of a sword the said Earldom was vested in him and his heirs for ever. This William was King of the Isle of Man; and had two sons, William, who succeeded his father in his honours, and died without issue; and John, a Knight, who died before his brother, leaving by Margaret his wife, daughter and heir of Thomas * * De monte Hermerii.de Monthermer, John Earl of Salisbury, who being a time-server, and conspiring against King Henry 4, was slain at † † Chichester, C.Cirencester, A.D. 1400, and afterwards attainted of High Treason. Notwithstanding which, his son Thomas was restored in blood and estate; being one of the greatest Generals of his age, whether we consider his extraordinary Diligence in whatever he undertook; his unwearied constancy in pursuing, or his quickness in executing, all his Designs. Whilst he besieged Orleans in France, he was wounded by a Dart from a ¦ ¦ è tormento majori.Balist, of which he died, A.D. 1428. Alice his only daughter was married to Richard Nevil,Pat. 20 Hen. 6. to whom she brought the title of Earl of Sarum, who following the York-party, was taken Prisoner in the battle of Wakefield, and beheaded:1461. He was succeeded by Richard his son, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury; who, taking delight in desperate Enterprises, engaged his Country in a fresh Civil War, in which he lost his own life. Isabella one of his daughters was married to George Duke of Clarence, brother to King Edward 4, by whom he had a son call’d Edward, who was unjustly beheaded in his childhood and innocence by King Henry 7; and his sister Margaret (to whom the title of Countess of Salisbury was restor’d) suffer’d the same fate from Henry 8, when she was 70 years of age: according to the usual practice among Princes, to put to death or perpetually imprison their kindred, upon slight surmizes, which at all times are easily rais’d; that they and their posterity may be established in the Throne. Ann, the other daughter of Richard Nevil Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, was wife to Richard 3, and, after she had born him Edward Prince of Wales (who dy’d young, and whom Edward 4. made Earl of Salisbury,) she her self dy’d, not without suspicion of poyson. From that time, this honorary title ceased, until, A.D. 1605. the most potent Prince K. James ⌈the 1st⌉ dignify’d therewith Robert Cecil (second son of the Nestor of our age and nation, William Cecil,) for his great Wisdom, and the eminent Services done thereby to his King and Country; whom, (as I have said) he had before honour’d with the titles of Baron Cecil of Essenden, and Viscount Cranburn, for his extraordinary Diligence and Merit, in promoting the publick Welfare of the Kingdom. ⌈Which honourable Titles descended to William his Son and heir; whose eldest Son Charles dying in the life time of his Father, the honour was next enjoyed by James his grandson, who was father of James, the present Earl.⌉ So much, concerning the Earls of Salisbury. ⌈Not far from this place, is West-Dean,West-Dean. the seat of Sir John Evelyn Knight, of the Surrey-family; and now, being devolved to a daughter, is the possession of the Right Honourable Evelyn, Duke of Kingston.⌉
Below Salisbury, upon the Avon, is seated DunctonDuncton. or Donketon, which is reported to be a very ancient Burgh, and famous for the seat of BeavoisBogo, commonly Beavois. of Southampton, who, being much celebrated by the Bards for his Valour, is reckon’d by the common People among our great Heroes. ⌈Not far from whence, is Langford,Langford. the stately seat of the Honourable the Hares, Viscounts Colrain in Ireland.⌉
Salisbury is every way encompass’d with an open Plain, except toward the east, on which side it hath the neighbourhood of the large Park of Clarendon,Clarendon. very commodious for keeping and breeding of Deer, and once beautified with a royal palace. Of this Park, and the twenty groves therein, Michael Maschertus L.L.D. made the following Verses:
Nobilis est lucus, cervis clusura, * * This name was made by his own fancy, as a Poet.Saronam
Propter, & à claro vertice nomen habet.
Viginti hinc nemorum, partito limite, boscis
Ambitus est passus, mille cuique suus.
A noble Park near Sarum’s stately Town,
In form a mount’s clear cop call’d Clarendon,
Here twenty groves, and each a mile in space,
With grateful shades, at once protect the place.
⌈In the Park at Clarendon, are the footsteps of two Royal Palaces, King-manourKing-manour, and Queen-manour. and Queen-manour. And, besides the famous Parliament held here, in the time of Henry 2, another was summon’d to meet here by King Edward 2, A. 1317; but the Differences at that time between the King and the Barons were so high, that nothing of moment was transacted. This place was honour’d in the time of King Charles 2, by giving the title of Earl to Edward Hide, Baron of Hindon, Viscount Cornbury, and Lord Chancellor of England; who, dying at Roan in Normandy, was succceded by his eldest son Henry; by whose death, the Titles are now enjoyed by Edward his eldest son.
Not far from Clarendon is Farle,Farle. where Sir Stephen Fox, out of respect to this his native place, founded an Hospital for 6 old men and as many old women; with a Master who is to teach a Free-school, and to officiate in the Church; which he also built from the ground anew (in the room of an old ruin’d Chapel,) and procur’d it to be made Parochial. North of this, is Frippsbury,Frippsbury. a very great entrenchment of a rude circular form; it’s Diameter containing 300 large paces; it is single-trench’d, but the ditch is deep, and the rampire high. Only, about 80 paces within the outer circumvallation, is a deep trench without a rampire. It has but two entrances, one by the east, and the other on the west; and there is a probability of it’s being Saxon.⌉
About six miles north of Salisbury, on the Plains, is to be seen insana substructioStone-henge. (to use Cicero’s words) that is, a wild kind of structure. For within a trench, are plac’d huge unhewn stones in three circles, one within another, in the figure of a Crown, some whereof are 28 foot in height, and seven in breadth, on which others, like Architraves, are born-up, so that it seems to be a hanging pile; from whence we call it Stone-henge, as the ancient Historians, from it’s greatness, call’d it Gigantum Chorea, the Giants dance. ⌈It is situated on a rising ground,Stone-henge describ’d. environ’d with a deep trench, still appearing, and about 30 foot broad. From the plain, it has had three entrances, the most considerable of them lying north-east; at each of which were rais’d, on the out-side of the trench, two huge stones gate-wise; parallel whereunto, on the inside, were two others of less proportion. After one has pass’d this ditch, he ascends 35 yards before he comes at the Work it self, which consists of 4 Circles of Stones. The outward Circle is about 100 foot diameter, the stones whereof are very large; 4 yards in height, two in breadth, and one in thickness. Two yards and a half within this great Circle, is a range of lesser stones. Three yards further is the principal part of the Work, call’d by Mr. Inigo Jones, The Cell, of an irregular figure made up of two rows of Stones; the outer of which consists of great upright stones, in height 20 foot, in breadth 2 yards, and in thickness one yard. These are coupled at the top, by large transome stones like Architraves, which are 7 foot long, and about three and a half thick. Within this, was also another range of lesser Pyramidal stones, of about 6 foot in height. In the inmost part of the Cell, Mr. Jones observ’d a stone (which is now gone) appearing not much above the surface of the earth, and lying toward the east, 4 foot broad and sixteen foot long; which was his suppos’d Altar-stone.⌉ But seeing it cannot fully be described by words, I have here subjoyn’d the Sculpture of it.
Our country-men reckon this among the wonders of the Nation. For it is unaccountable, how such stones should come there (seeing all that country wants ordinary stones for building;) and by what means they were raised. Of these things I shall not attempt any exact account, but only lament, that the founders of this noble Monument cannot be traced out. Yet it is the opinion of some, that these stones are not natural or such as are dug out of the Quarries,Artifical Rocks. but artificial, of fine sand cemented together by a glewy sort of matter; like those monuments which I have seen in Yorkshire. And this is no new thing: For do we not read in Pliny, that the sand of Puteoli, if cover’d with water, is presently turn’d into stone? and that the Cisterns at Rome being made of sand and strong lime, are so tempered, that they seem to be real stone? and that small pieces of marble have been so cemented, that statues made of it have been taken for one entire piece of marble: ⌈However, others who have viewed them (and particularly Mr. Inigo Jones, who hath written an entire Discourse concerning them) affirm, that they are purely natural.⌉ The Tradition is, that Ambrosius Aurelianus, or Uther his brother, erected it by the help of Merlin the Mathematician, in memory of the Britains there slain by treachery, in a conference with the Saxons. From whence Alexander Necham, a Poet of the middle age, in a poetical way, but without any great fancy, made the following verses; grounding them on the British History of Geoffrey.
Nobilis est lapidum structura, Chorea Gigantum,
Ars experta suum posse, peregit opus.
Quod ne prodiret in lucem segnius, artem
Se, viresque suas consuluisse reor.
Hoc opus adscribit Merlino garrula fama,
Filia figmenti fabula vana refert.
Illa congerie fertur decorata fuisse
Tellus, quæ mittit tot Palamedis aves.
Hinc tantum munus suscepit Hibernia gaudens,
Nam virtus lapidi cuilibet ampla satis.
Nam respersus aquis magnam transfundit in illâ
Vim, queis curari sæpius æger eget.
Uther Pendragon molem transvexit ad Ambri
Fines, devicto victor ab hoste means.
Penes O quot nobilium, quot corpora sacra virorum,
Illic Hengisti proditione jacent!
Intercepta fuit gens inclyta, gens generosa
Intercepta, nimis credula, cauta minus.
Sed tunc enituit præclari Consulis Eldol
Virtus, qui letho septuaginta dedit.
The Giant’s Dance, the ever famous pile,
Where painful Art hath shew’d her deepest skill.
Old stories this ascribe to Merlin’s spells,
And prating Fame the mighty wonder tells.
At first the monstrous work in Scythia stood,
Thence joyful Ireland took the happy load.
For all the Stones some useful secrets have,
And steep’d in waters, healing virtues leave.
Renown’d Pendragon from the conquer’d Isle
Remov’d to Amber’s plains his wondrous spoil.
Of what brave souls are there the reliques laid,
By wicked Hengist’s treacherous arts betray’d!
Stout hearts they had, and strength unmatch’d in war,
But too much credit, and too little care.
Yet furious Eldor here his valour show’d,
And clear’d his way, with sev’nty Traytors blood.
Others relate, that the Britains built this as a magnificent monument for the same Ambrosius, in the place where he was slain by the Enemy; that this Pile might be as it were an Altar erected at the publick charge, to the eternal memory of his Valour.
⌈This celebrated piece of Antiquity hath engaged the Pens of several curious and learned Persons; and almost as many as have written, have fallen into several and distinct Opinions concerning the Occasion and Antiquity of it. Which Opinions,Opinions concerning Stonehenge. with some few remarks upon them, it may not be improper to subjoin; and such a short view, is all that the nature of our present design will admit. The opinions about it may be reduc’d to these 7 heads; Phoenicians Belgae Caesar Coelum 1. That it is a work of the Phœnicians, as Mr. Sammes in his Britannia conceits; a conjecture, that has met with so little approbation, that I shall not stay to confute it. 2. That it was a Temple of the Druids long before the coming-in of the Romans; which Mr. John Aubrey, Fellow of the Royal Society, endeavours to prove in his Manuscript Treatise, entitled Monumenta Britannica. 3. That it was an old Triumphal British Monument, erected to Anaraith the Goddess of Victory, after a bloody battle won by the illustrious Stanings and his Cangick Giants, against Divitiacus and his Belgæ; and that the Captives and Spoils were sacrificed to the said Idol in this Temple. An opinion advanced (upon what grounds I know not) in an anonymous MS.Penès Dom. Paschal. written about the year 1666. 4. That it was a monument rais’d by the Britains in memory of Queen Boadicia; which is advanced by the Author of Nero-Cæsar. 5. That it was a Temple, built by the Romans to the God Cœlum or Terminus, of the Tuscan order; which is Mr. Jones’s opinion in his ingenious Conjectures upon this subject. 6. That it was the burial-place of Uther Pendragon, Constantine, Ambrosius, and other British Kings; or, as others would have it, a monument set-up by Ambrosius in memory of the Britains slain here. 7. That it was a Danish monument, erected either for a burial-place, or as a trophy for some victory, or for the election and coronation of their Kings.
These are all the Opinions,Stonehenge British. that have been advanc’d about it. And in general, I think, we need not scruple to affirm, that it is a British monument, since it does not appear that any other nation had so much footing in this kingdom, as to be Authors of such a huge and magnificent pile. For, to pass by the Phœnicians; that it could not be built by the Romans, is evident from the rudeness of the whole work. So then (as † † Mon. Brit. MS.Mr. Aubrey has very well observ’d) whilst Mr. Jones pleases himself with retrieving a piece of Architecture out of Vitruvius, he abuses his reader by a false scheme of the whole work. For the Cell is not of an exact Hexagonal figure, but very irregular, and comes nearer a Heptagon; so that the whole work cannot be form’d upon the basis of four equilateral triangles, as Mr. Jones suppos’d. Neither are the entrances into the trench so regular and so equidistant, as that Author would make them. Till these and some other doubts (which may be rais’d from the Order of the building) be resolv’d, and till we are assur’d from good authority, that the Romans us’d to build such stupendous piles, 6 or 7 miles from any of their Stations (no Inscription nor Roman coin being found near this;) it cannot be safe to close with Mr. Jones, tho’ his Book otherwise is a learned and ingenious piece.
Nor could it be built by the Danes;Not Danish. as for many other reasons, so particularly because it is mention’d in some Manuscripts of Ninnius; who, as every body knows, wrote almost 200 years before the Danes were Masters of any considerable part of this Island. Other arguments which make against this, may be found in Mr. Webb’s Vindication of Stonehenge restor’d, wherein he hath endeavour’d, with great Learning, to defend his father-in-law, Mr. Jones’s Scheme; tho’ that is in it self false.
One great argument by which Mr. Jones establishes his own opinion, is, that it is a thing altogether improbable, that the Britains could build such a Monument. But the contrary is evident from the fortifications of Caratacus’s Camp; from the vast stones mention’d by Dr. Plott to be in or near the British city or fortification hard by Wrottesley in Staffordshire; and from the parcels of stones (not unlike Stonehenge) that are in some parts of Scotland and Wales, whither the Romans and Danes never came. It is true, those monuments have not their Architraves (which Stonehenge has, not only in the stones round the Cell, but also on the great stones of the utmost circle;) and this makes it probable, that Stonehenge was built after the Romans came in, and in imitation of some of their structures; tho’, as to the general part of the work, it appears to have been unartificial, and savours of their primitive rudeness. For that the Britains, among other parts of Humanity and Elegance, learn’d something of Architecture from the Romans, is plain from the life of Agricola.
In that other point,Stonehenge to what end built. namely, the Occasion upon which it was built; it is easier to confute those Opinions that have already appear’d, than to deliver a true one. There is no authority to convince us of the truth of what Nero-Cæsar, or Mr. Paschal’s MS. have laid down; and it is not easy to assent to the later British Writers, who tell us it was the sepulchre of the British Kings, or else rais’d in memory of the Britains here massacred by the Saxons. caesar For, not to mention the improbability of what those Authors have deliver’d, they tell us further, that the Kings bury’d, or Britains martyr’d, in this place, were Christians. Now, if so, it is strange, that there should be no Cross, nor any other token of the Christian Faith, about this monument. What reason can be given, why the surviving friends of these Princes and Noblemen, should not be so careful of their memory, as they of the same age were of King Arthur’s, Guinevere in whose monument at Glassenbury was found so distinct an Inscription? But what makes more against this opinion, are the ashes and pieces of burnt bones frequently found here; by which it is plain, that it could be no Christian burial-place; since sacrifices, and the custom of burning the dead, grew out of use, upon the receiving of the Christian Faith.
For the Name;Name of Stonehenge. Leland’s opinion that the British one, Choir gaure, should not be translated Chorea Gigantum, a Choir of Giants, but Chorea nobilis, a noble Choir; or else that gaure is put for vaure, which makes it Chorea magna, a great Choir, is probable enough. But the true Saxon name seems to be Stanhengest (and so it is written in the † † Tom.1. p.97.Monasticon, out of a Manuscript of good authority,) from the memorable slaughter which Hengist the Saxon here made of the Britains. For tho’ it is not very probable, that they were erected by Ambrosius in memory of the Britains; yet without doubt that treacherous slaughter was made at or near this place. If this Etymology may be allow’d, then that other receiv’d derivation from the hanging of the stones, may be as far from the truth, as that of the vulgar, Stone-edge, from Stones set on edge. However, it is not likely, that by the mention’d in the Saxon Chartulary of Wilton-Abbey, Stonehenge is to be meant, as the Editors of the Monasticon would have it. For, not only the words may be well attributed to any Barrow rais’d by the Romans or Danes (by the latter especially, who are often call’d in the Saxon Annals -men, and accordingly by Latin Writers, Pagani;) but the bounds also of those places, where this Paganorum sepulchretum is noted for a Land-mark, could never extend so far by a great many miles, as to Stone-henge. But, which soever of these Opinions is true; these two things are certain;⌉ That, ⌈as we observed before,⌉ men’s bones are frequently dug-up here; and that a village hard by which lies upon the Avon, is called Ambresbury,Ambresbury. that is, Ambrose’s Town, ⌈by Matthew Westminster Pagus Ambri;⌉ where, as the British History tells us, some ancient Kings lie buried: and the Eulogium relates, that here was a Monastery of 300 Monks, ⌈to pray for the souls of those who were slain by the treachery of Hengist;⌉ which Monastery was destroy’d by a barbarous villain, one Gurmundus, ⌈whom no body else ever heard of. It is also said to have been the burial-place of Quinever, wife to the victorious King Arthur, whose tomb was found here within the last Century, and this Inscription on the wall in massy-gold letters R. G. A. C. 600. The antiquity of which is very suspicious, not only because, by this computation, she must have liv’d almost 50 years after King Arthur; but also because several Historians of good credit affirm that she was bury’d at Glassenbury.⌉ Alfritha wife to King Edgar (to expiate her crime, in killing her son-in-law King Edward, by penance and good works) built and endow’d a stately Nunnery in this place: ⌈Here, also, was a Synod held in King Edgar’s reign; and here, A.D. 995. Elfric was elected Archbishop of Canterbury. It enjoy’d great Privileges at the time of the Conquest; for in Domesday-book we find, Amblesbury nunquam geldavit, nec hidata fuit. In the year 1177. the Abbess and 30 Nuns were, for their incontinence and loose lives, expell’d, and dispers’d into other Religious Houses, to be kept under stricter discipline; whereupon King Henry gave this Monastery to the Abbey of Fontevralt, and a Convent of those Nuns were sent over the same year, and admitted into full possession of this Abbey. After, it came to be in great repute, and Mary, daughter of K. Edward 1, and 13 Noblemen’s daughters, were veil’d here on Assumption-day, A.D. 1285;⌉ as afterwards also, Queen Eleanor Widow of King Henry the third, renouncing all Royal Pomp, devoted her self to God here among the Nuns. Ambrosius AurelianusAmbrosius Aurelianus. (who gave name to the place) in the decay of the Roman Empire took upon him the Government of Britain, as P. Diaconus reports, and succour’d his sinking Country, and by the assistance of the valiant Arthur repell’d the assaults of the Enemy: conquering great armies composed of the most warlike nations of Germany: and, at length, in a set battle upon these plains, he lost his life in the service of his Country. But Gildas and Bede write, that his † † Parentes.Ancestors were * * Purpurâ indutos.Emperors, and slain here; and if so, why may not I positively affirm that he was descended from that Constantine, who (in the fourth Consulship of Theodosius the younger, from the hope they had that good fortune would attend the name,) was chosen Emperor in Britain, and afterwards murder’d at Arles?
About four miles from Ambresbury, on this side the Avon, is a warren commonly called Everly-Warren;Everly-Warren. where is a great breed of hares, which afford the recreation of Hunting to the neighbouring Gentry. But the number is not so great, as that the adjacent inhabitants are forced to demand a guard of soldiers against them; as Pliny reports that the inhabitants of the Baleares did; altho’ they are alike mischievous to the Harvests. ⌈This was the country-seat of King Ina; above which, in the way to Lurgeshall, on the highest hill in Wiltshire, call’d Suthbury-hill,Suthbury-hill. is a vast fortification, encompass’d with two deep ditches, and of an oval figure. All along the declivity of the hill, there runs a deep trench ditch’d on both sides; made, probably, to secure their communication with some watering-place in the neighbouring Bourn. It plainly appears to have been a Danish Camp, whereby they seem to have commanded all this part of the Country; and six or seven barrows in the plain beneath, may be thought to preserve the memory of a battle here.⌉ Near this is Lutgershall,Lutgershall. heretofore the Castle of Geoffrey Fitz-Peters the rich Earl of Essex, and Lord Chief Justice of England. ⌈Nigh to which, is Escourt,Escourt. where (not far from a great Causey suppos’d to be a Roman Vicinal way) there was dug-up, in the year 1693, a large earthen vessel with two lesser pots in it; one of which was full of ashes, or bones. The largest of these might probably be an ¦ ¦ Rigaltii observat. in Auctores Agrarios.Obruendarium of the Romans, wherein they inclos’d their Vascula Cineraria, &c. About four miles north of this place, is Great Bedwyn, which in the Saxon-times * * Monast. Angl. T.1. p.97. Hist. Abend.was the Metropolis of the Bounds of Cissa, a Viceroy of Wiltshire and Berkshire, under the King of the West-Saxons. This Cissa built a Castle in the south part of that city, and call’d it Cisse; the ditches of which are yet to be seen. Here it was, that Wulfere and Escwin fought a bloody battle, An. 675; and the place has been honour’d in our age, by giving to the world the most famous Physician of his time Dr. Thomas Willis. Not far from hence, is Tokenham,Tokenham. a seat of the Duke of Somerset;⌉ and Wolf-hall,Wolf-hall. the seat of the noble family of the Seimours or de Sancto Mauro, who became Lords of great possessions in this County by marriage with an heiress of the Esturmies,Esturmy or Sturmy. who bore Argent, three Demi-Lions Gul. and had been, ever since the time of Henry 2, hereditary Bailiffs and Keepers of the neighbouring Forest of Savernac Savernac-forest.(famous for plenty of game, and for a sort of sweet-smelling Fern.) In memory whereof, their great Hunting-horn, tip’d with silver, is still preserv’d by the Seimours.
⌈Being now return’d to the banks of the Avon, we meet with Uphaven,Uphaven. for which Peter de Manly procur’d a weekly market of Henry 3, by presenting to him a Palfrey. About a mile to the west is a large irregular Camp call’d Casterly:Casterly. it has but a single trench; and the name seems to point-out to us something of Roman. About two miles north-west, is Merdon,Merdon. which might probably enough be the or in the Saxon Annals; famous for the battle between King Etheldred and the Danes. For here remain to this day the marks of entrenchments, and the largest barrow in these parts, except Silbury; together with the Tradition of a fight, and of some great man’s being bury’d under the barrow.⌉
A little more † † Eastward, C. westward, the river Cunetio, by the Saxons called , but vulgarly Kennet,Kennet, riv. rises near a village of the same name; which some would have to be the Cunetio mention’d by Antoninus: but the Distances on both sides contradict that assertion. Here Selbury,Selbury. a round hill, just now mention’d, rises to a considerable height, and seems by the fashion of it, and by the sliding down of the earth about it, to have been cast-up by men’s hands. Of this sort there are many in this County, round and copped, which are call’d BurrowsBurrows, or Barrows. or Barrows; perhaps raised in memory of the Soldiers slain there. For bones are found in them; and I have read, that it was a custom among the Northern People, that every soldier who surviv’d a Battle, should bring a Helmet full of Earth toward the raising of Monuments for their slain Fellows. Tho’ I rather think this Selbury-hill to have been made for a Boundary, if not by the Romans, yet by the Saxons, as well as the ditch call’d Wodensdike; seeing there were frequent battles in this country between the Mercians and West-Saxons about their limits; and Boetius,In his Geometry. and the Writers who treat of Surveying, tell us, that such heaps were often raised for Land-marks. ⌈This is the largest, and most uniform barrow in the County, and perhaps in all England. Upon what account it was rais’d, we have no light from antiquity; the tradition is, that King Sill or King Silber was bury’d here, which, if compared with History, comes nearest to Ceol King of the West-Saxons, who might possibly be slain hereabouts, as his Uncle and Predecessor Ceaulin was slain at Wodensdike; unless one should say that it comes from great and a hill or barrow. Upon these Downs, are several sorts of Barrows,Several sorts of barrows. 1. Small circular trenches with very little elevation in the middle. 2. Ordinary barrows. 3. Barrows with ditches round them. 4. Large oblong barrows, some with trenches round them, others without. 5. Oblong barrows with stones set-up all round them. It is very probable, that few, or none, of these are land-marks.
About half a mile from Silbury, is Aubury,Aubury. ¦ ¦ Aubr. Mon. Brit. MS.a monument more considerable in it self, than known to the world. For a village of the same name being built within the circumference of it, and (by the way) out of it’s stones too; what by gardens, orchards, inclosures, and the like, the prospect is so interrupted, that it is very hard to discover the form of it. It is environed with an extraordinary Vallum or Rampire, as great and as high as that at Winchester; and, within it, is a graff of a depth and breadth proportionable: from which we may infer, that it could not be design’d for a fortification, because then the Graff would have been on the outside. From the north to the south port are 60 paces and as many from the west port to the east. The breadth of the rampire is four perches, and that of the graff the same. The graff hath been surrounded, all along the edge of it, with large stones pitch’d on end, most of which are now taken away; but some marks remaining, give liberty for a Conjecture, that they stood quite round.
From this place to West-Kennet, † † Aubr. ibid. West-Kennet.is a walk that has been enclos’d on each side with large stones; one side, at present, wants a great many, but the other is almost, if not wholly, entire; above which place, on the brow of the hill, another Monument, encompass’d with a circular trench, and a double circle of stones, four or five foot high, tho’ most of them are now fallen down; the diameter of the outer circle is 40 yards, and of the inner, 15. Between West-Kennet and this place, is a walk much like that from Aubury thither, at least a quarter of a mile in length. About 80 yards from this monument, in an exact Plain round it, there were some years ago great quantities of human bones and skeletons dug-up; which probably were the bones of the Saxons and Danes slain at the battle of Kennet, A.D. 1006. In the plough’d field near Kennet, stand three huge upright stones, call’d the Devil’s coits;The Devil’s coits. which (if * * History of Oxfordsh. ch.10. §.10. Dr. Plot’s opinion be true) may be British Deities. Upon the south-side of the Kennet, on the east part of the Martensall-hill,Martensal. is a single-trench’d quadrangular Camp; the form whereof argues it to be Roman; and a brass Coin of Constantine which was found near this hill, strengthens that Conjecture.
On the north side of the Avon, are barrows, &c. scatter’d all over the Downs. That large oblong barrow in Munkton-field, call’d Milbarrow,Milbarrow. is more especially remarkable, as being environ’d with great stones about 6 or 7 foot high. And, in this, as well as in all other circumstances, it is so like those which ¦ ¦ Lib.1. c.7.Wormius describes, that there is no doubt, but it was the Sepulchre of some Danish Commander. About four miles north from hence, is Barbury-castle,Barbury-castle. seated on the top of a high hill, and encompass’d with a double ditch; the vast fortification whereof, the barrows on the adjacent plain, the similitude of names, the course and time of the Saxon Victories, with all other circumstances, seem to point out this as the , where Kenrick King of the West-Saxons and his son Ceaulin fought against the Britains, in the year 556. Besides, the modern name of this place comes much nearer to , than Banbury doth, where this Battle hath been fixed. V. Oxfordshire. For it is observable, that (an) when it is in the second syllable of the Saxon name of a place, is generally left out, in our modern pronunciation. So is now Badbury, now Merton, now Otford, now Excester. Nor is it at all probable, that the Saxons could carry their Conquests so far as the borders of Northamptonshire, by that year. Add to this, that the name of is not to be found in any Copy of the Saxon Chronicle; so that an argument drawn from thence, is of no force. But now let us follow the course of the Kennet.⌉ At first it runs through fields, wherein are abundance of rocky stones standing-up (from whence there is a village call’d Rockley.)Rockley. Among these stones there now and then breaks out water on a sudden like a * * Torrentis.Land-flood, which the Country-people call Hungerborn;Hungerborn, i.e. a rivulet of Hunger. believing it a Prognostick of great scarcity. From thence the Kennet runs to a town of it’s own name, call’d Cunetio by Antoninus, and placed 20 miles from Verlucio. At which distance, the old town, called by the new name of † † Cunetio, Kennet.
Gale, p.134.Marleborough (heretofore Marleberge, boleyn ⌈and in the Saxon Annals ,)⌉ is seated along the side of a hill from east to west, upon the banks of the river Cunetio. I shall not pretend to determine, whether this new name came from Marga,Marga. which in our language we call Marle, and use it for the improvement of our Lands. But this is certain, that it lies at the foot of a hill of white stone, which our Forefathers called Marle, before they had borrowed the word Chalk from the Latin Calx. The derivation of this place from Merlin’s Tomb, which Alexander Necham, in his book of Divine Wisdom, hammer’d out in this Distich, is ridiculous:
Merlini tumulus tibi Merlebrigia nomen
Fecit, testis erit Anglica lingua mihi.
— Great Merlin’s grave
The name to Marlborough in Saxon gave.
⌈The Castle here seems to have been a Roman work, by the brass Roman Coins that were found in shaping the Mount, now belonging to the Duke of Somerset; which was contrived out of the Keep of the Castle.⌉
The History of the Fortune, as well as the Name and Antiquity, of this Cunetio, were all bury’d in oblivion, from the coming-in of the Saxons, to the Norman Conquest; for in that interval, not so much as it’s name occurs in any of our Annals, ⌈except the reverse of a * * Vit. Ælfredi, T.3. n.30.Saxon Coin, on which is engraven CVH ·:· NET ·:· TI.; and the learned Annotator’s observation, is, that it is to be meant of Cunetium.⌉ In the next Age, we read, that John, sirnamed Sine terra or Lack-land, who was afterwards King of England, had a Castle here, which in his rebellion against his brother King Richard 1. was taken by Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury. The thing that it was afterwards most famous for, was, the great † † 52 Hen. 3.Parliament here assembled, which unanimously made a Law for the suppressing of Riots, commonly call’d Statutum de Marleborow. This Castle is * * Ann. 1607.now, by the injury of time, nothing but ruins; there are only, within the Ditch, some few remains of the Walls, and near it, an Ale-house, with a Castle for the sign. But the inhabitants boast of nothing more, than of the Font (probably of ¦ ¦ Lapis obsidianus.Touch-stone), in the neighbouring Church of Preshut; in which, as the tradition goes among them, several Princes were baptised. And I cannot omit what I have read, namely, that every Free-man, by ancient custom, * * Gives, C.gave to the Mayor, at his admission, a couple of Greyhounds, two white Capons, and a white Bull. ⌈Now, they only pay something in money, in lieu of it; but the Arms of the Town plainly point to this custom, being blazon’d thus: Party per saltier Gules and Azure, on the first quarter Gules a Bull Arg. on the second Azure a Cock or Capon Arg. the third as the second, and on the base Gules are three Grey-hounds currant Arg. between two Roses Gules. This place affordedEarls. the title of Earl to James Lord Ley, Lord High Treasurer of England, created Feb. 5. 1 Car. 1; to whom succeeded his son, and grandson; but the last being slain in the sea-fight against the Dutch, 1665, without issue; the honour came to William his Uncle, who also dy’d without issue. In the year 1689, John Lord Churchil (who had, before, been created by King Charles the second Baron of Aymouth in Scotland, and by King James the second, Lord Churchil of Sandridge) was advanced by King William and Queen Mary to the Dignity of Earl of Marlborough; and by Queen Anne, in the year 1702, was honouredSee Blenheim, in Oxfordshire. with the title of Marquiss of Blandford and Duke of Marlborough, and with other signal Favours since; which he had highly merited by a long course of the greatest and most important Services that a Subject could perform to his Prince and Country. Which Honours, in default of issue-male, have, since the death of his only Son, John, stiled Marquiss of Blandford (a youth of very great hopes) been settled, successively, upon the several daughters of the said Duke, and their issue; according to the tenor of a particular Statute, made for that purpose.⌉
On the same side of this river, lies Ramesbury,Ramesbury. a small village, now only famous for it’s pleasant meadows; tho’ once honoured with the See of a Bishop, who was Diocesan of this County: but the See being joyn’d to Shirburn by HermanWil. Malmesbury of Bishops. the eighth Bishop, was at last (as I have said before) translated to Salisbury, and carried with it all the Glory from this place; because at Ramesbery there was neither a Chapter of the Clergy, nor any thing for their maintenance. On the other side the river, more to the East, is Littlecot,Littlecot. to be mention’d on account of John Popham Lord of it, who, being Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, discharged that Office with the greatest applause; as I have said before.
Hitherto, we have surveyed the County of Wilts; which, as it is in Domesday-book (for I do not think it improper to note this) paid the King 10 l. for an Hawk, 20 s. for a Sumpter-horse, one hundred shillings and five † † Vid. Præfat. ad Vit. Alfredi.Ores for Hay. I am wholly ignorant what sort of Money these OresOre, what. were; only, thus much I have observed out of the Register of Burton-Abbey, that 20 Ores were worth 2 marks of silver.
The EarlsEarls of Wiltshire. of this Shire have been but few (tho’ of divers Families,) besides those of Salisbury, which I have mention’d before. For, excepting Weolsthan before the Norman Conquest, ⌈and Ethelhelm, about the year 886,⌉ it had none, that I know of, till Richard the 2d’s time; who advanc’d William le Scrope to that honour: but this man’s grandeur stood and fell with his Prince: for when that King was dethron’d, this Earl was beheaded. Not many years after, he was succeeded by James Butler Earl of Ormond, who was raised to this dignity by King Henry 6. But when the House of Lancaster was in a declining condition, he was attainted; and King Edward 4. conferr’d this title on John Stafford, younger son of Humphrey Duke of Buckingham, to whom succeeded his son Edward, who died without issue. King Henry 8. afterwards bestow’d this honour upon Henry Stafford, descended from the Buckingham-family, who, having for some time enjoy’d this title, died without issue. At last, it came to the family of the Bollens, by the favour of the same King; who made Thomas Bollen Viscount Rochford (descended from one of the two Coheirs of Thomas Butler Earl of Ormond,) Earl of Wiltshire; whose daughter Ann the King married; a match, unfortunate to her self, her Brother, and her Parents; but very fortunate to England; because she it was that gave birth to that excellent Princess Queen Elizabeth,Queen Elizabeth. who deserves immortal Honour, for her most prudent Administration, and for her own personal Virtues; great, and heroical, beyond her Sex. But when this Ischaemon bolyn belgae Caesar Thomas Bollen died, without issue-male, of grief, occasion’d by the unhappy fate of his Children; this title lay dormant, till King Edward 6. dignify’d therewith William Powlet Lord S. John of Basing,See Basing in Hamshire. whom afterwards he raised to be Marquiss of Winchester, and Lord High Treasurer of England; and in whose Family it still remains. ⌈For, to William, succeeded John his son and heir; to whom succeeded in these Honours his only son, William; and to him, John his son; the father of Charles, who, in the first year of K. William and Q. Mary, was also created Duke of Bolton; and to whom succeeded, in his honours and estate, Charles, the present Earl of Wiltshire, Marquiss of Winchester, and Duke of Bolton.⌉
There are in this County 304 Parishes.
More rare Plants growing wild in Wiltshire.
Agrifolium baccis luteis nondum descriptum Phyt. Brit. Yellow-berried Holly. By Warder-castle belonging to the Lord Arundel. This I take to be rather an accidental variety of Holly, than a distinct species. It hath also been found elsewhere, as at Wiston in Suffolk.
Filix fœmina odorata Phyt. Brit. Sweet-scented Female Fern. Somewhere about the Marquess of Hartford’s forest of Savernake, which I remember the old Earl took so much notice of, that he caused a fair inscription to be made in his garden-pond, at his house of Totnam near it, to direct to it. Mr. Stonehouse. This may be enquired into by those Herbarists that live hereabouts.
Gramen caninum supinum longissimum nondum descriptum Phyt. Brit. Long trailing Dog’s grass. By Mr. Tucker’s at Madington some nine miles from Salisbury, with which they fat hogs, and which is four and twenty-foot long. We are not yet satisfied what sort of grass this might be; and recommend the inquisition thereof to the industrious and skilful Herbarists of this Country.
Gramen geniculatum aquaticum majus & minus Park. who blames Casp. Bauhine for referring this to the Ischæmon, calling it Gramen dactylon aquaticum. He tells us, they both grow in sundry places of England, but have been especially observ’d, the greater to grow about Wilton, and a great meadow lying among the bridges at the town’s end; and the other at Warminster, both in this County. I fear they were neither of them well known to Parkinson, and wish they do not lose their labour that search for them in those places.
Nasturtium sylvestre Erucæ affine C. B. sylv. Valentinum Clusio J. B. Park. Eruca Nasturtio cognata tenuifolia Ger. Cresse-Rocket. Found by Mr. Lawson on Salisbury-plain not far from Stone-henge.
Onobrychis seu caput gallinaceum Ger. vulgaris Park. foliis viciæ, fructu echinato major C. B. Polygalon Gesneri J. B. Medick Vetchlin or Cockshead, commonly but falsly call’d Saint-foin. It is said to grow on the further end of Salisbury-plain: and likely enough it may, though I never happen’d to see it there, because the soil seems to be of the same nature with Gogmagog hills and New-market heath, on the borders whereof it grows plentifully.
Polygonatum vulgare Park. Solomon’s Seal. See the Synonymes in the Kent. Cat. In a bushy close belonging to the Parsonage of Alderbury near Clarendon, two miles from Salisbury. Park. pag. 699.
Polygonatum humile Anglicum D. Bobert. Dwarf-English Solomon’s Seal. Found by Mr. Philip More, Gardener of Grays-Inn, in the Woods of Wiltshire.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:06