GLocestershire, in Saxon⌈ , and⌉ , was the chief Territory of the Dobuni. It is bounded on the west by Monmouthshire and Herefordshire, on the north by Worcestershire, on the east by Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, and on the south by Wiltshire and part of Somersetshire. A pleasant and fertile County, extending from north-east to south-west; ⌈and said to be sixty miles in length, twenty six in breadth, and one hundred and sixty in circumference.⌉ The most easterly part, which swells into rising Hills, is call’d Cotteswold. Cotteswold. The middle part is a large fruitful Plain, water’d by the most noble river Severn, that gives as it were life and spirit to the Soil. The more westerly part, lying on the other side Severn, is all shaded with Woods. But enough of this: William of Malmesbury eases me of the labour; who fully describes this County, and sets forth the Excellencies of it. Take what he writes in his Book De Pontificibus.
The Vale of Glocester is so call’d from its chief City; the soil yields plenty of Corn and Fruit (in some places, by the natural richness of the ground, in others, by the diligence of the Country-man;) enough to excite the idlest person to take pains, when it repays his labour with the increase of an hundredfold. Here you may behold high-ways and publick roads full of Fruit-trees, not planted, but growing naturally. The Earth bears fruit of its own accord, much exceeding others both in taste and beauty, many sorts of which continue fresh the year round, and serve the owner till he is supply’d by a new Increase. No County in England has so many or so good VineyardsVineyards. as this; either for fertility, or sweetness of the Grape. The wine has in it no unpleasant tartness or eagerness; and is little inferiour to the French in sweetness. The Villages are very thick, the Churches handsome, and the Towns populous and many.
To all which may be added, in honour of this County, the river Severne;Severne. than which there is not any in the Land, that has a broader Chanel, swifter stream, or greater plenty of Fish. There is in it as it were a daily rage and fury of Waters; which I know not whether I may call a Gulph or Whirlpool, casting up the Sands from the bottom, and rowling them into heaps; it comes with a great torrent, but loses its force at a Bridge. Sometimes it overflows its banks, and, marching a great way into the neighbouring Plains, returns back as Conqueror of Danubiae the Land. That Vessel is in great danger which is stricken by it on the side; the Water-men are us’d to it, and when they see this HygreHygre. coming (for so they call it) they turn the Vessel, and, cutting through the midst of it, avoid it’s force.
What he says concerning the hundred-fold increase, doth not at all hold true; neither do I believe, with those idle and discontented Husband-men, whom Columella reprehends, that the soil, worn out by excessive fruitfulness in former Ages, is now become barren. But from hence (to pass by other Arguments) we are not to wonder, that so many places in this County from their Vines are called Vineyards, because they formerly afforded plenty of Wine; and that they yield none now is rather to be imputed to the sloth of the Inhabitants, than the indisposition of the Climate. ⌈For now, these Vineyards have nothing left in this County, but the places nam’d from them; viz. one near Tewkesbury, at present call’d the Vineyard, and another on a rising hill by OversbridgeOversbridge. near Glocester; where was a large house moted round, belonging to the Bishop of Glocester, built, about the year 1351, by the Abbot of Glocester; but it was totally ruin’d in the late Civil Wars.⌉ Why, in some parts of this County (* * See 17 Ed. 2. 16.as we read in our Statutes) The Lands and Tenements of condemned persons (by a private Custom, which † † Has now, C.had the force of a Statute,) are forfeited to the King, only for a year and a day, and after that term expir’d, contrary to the custom of all England beside, do return to the next heirs, let the Lawyers enquire, since it is not to my purpose; ⌈ and the Custom or Privilege it self is now lost by desuetude; for upon the strictest enquiries among understanding men, it does not appear that it is us’d or claim’d in any part of this County.⌉ And now let us survey, in order, those three Parts, which I mention’d before.
The more westerly part beyond Severne (which was formerly possess’d by the Silures) as far as the river Vaga or Wye which divides England and Wales; is all cover’d with thick Woods, and at this day is call’d Dean-Forest:Forest of Dean. Some of the Latin writers call it Sylva Danica, from the Danes; others with Giraldus, Danubiæ Sylva. But unless it take the name from a small neighbouring Town call’d Deane; I should fansy that by cutting off a syllable, it is derived from Arden; which word the Gauls and Britains heretofore seem to have used for a Wood, since two very great Forests, the one in Gallia Belgica, the other amongst us in Warwickshire, are call’d by one and the same name, Arden. This formerly was so thick with Trees, so very dark and terrible by reason of its shades and cross-ways; that it rendred the Inhabitants barbarous, and embolden’d them to commit many outrages. For, in the reign of Henry the sixth, they so annoy’d the banks of the Severne with their Robberies, that there was * * 8 Hen. 6.an Act of Parliament made on purpose to curb and restrain them. But, since so many rich veins ofIron. Iron have been discover’d hereabouts, those thick Woods by degrees are become much thinner. ⌈The present Forest of Dean contains about thirty thousand Acres; the soil is a deep clay, fit for the growth of Oak. The hills, full of Iron-ore, colour the several Springs that have their passage through them. ¦¦ Vid. Philos. Trans. N.137.Here are several Furnaces for the making of Iron, which by the violence of the fire becomes fluid, and, being brought to their forges, is beat out into Bars of various shapes. The workmen are very industrious in seeking out the Beds of old Cinders; which, not being fully exhausted, are burnt again in the furnaces, and make the best Iron. The Oak of the forest was so very considerable, that it is said to have been part of the Instructions of the Spanish Armada, to destroy the timber of this place. But what a foreign power could not effect, our own Civil Dissentions did; for it went miserably to wrack in the Civil wars.⌉ In this Forest, upon the river, stood two Towns of good Antiquity, TudenhamTudenham. and Wollaston,Wollaston. which Walter and Roger, the brothers of Gislebert de Clare, about the year 1160, took from the Welsh: and hard by these, is Lydney,Lydney. where Sir William Winter, Vice-admiral of England, a most worthy Knight, built a fair house. ⌈This Family suffer’d much for their Loyalty to King Charles the first.⌉ But most noted for Antiquity, is Antoninus’s AboneAbone. or Avone, which is not yet wholly deprived of its old name, being now called * * Alvington, is the common name.Aventon ⌈ a Chapel of Ease to Wollaston, the Estate of Henry Duke of Beaufort;⌉ a small village indeed, but by Severn-side, and distant exactly nine miles, as he also makes it, from Venta Silurum, or Caer Went. And since AvonAvon. in the British Language signifieth a River, it is not improbable that it took it’s name from the river. In the same sense, among us (to omit many others) we have Waterton, Bourne, Riverton; and the Romans had their Aquinum and Fluentium. And I am the more inclin’d to believe, that the town took it’s name from the river, because at this place they us’d to ferry over; from whence the town opposite to it was called TrajectusTrajectus. by Antoninus: but without doubt there is an error in the computation of the distances, since he makes it nine miles betwixt Trajectus and Abone; whereas, the river is scarce two miles over.
But I suppose it may have lost it’s name, or rather dwindled into a village, when passengers began to ferryThe Ferry. over lower, or when Athelstan expell’d the Welsh thence. For he was the first, according to William of Malmesbury, who drove the Welsh beyond the river Wye; and whereas, in former times, Severn divided the Welsh (or the Cambri) and the English; he made the Wye their Boundary: whence our Country-man Necham,
Inde Vagos Vaga Cambrenses, hinc respicit Anglos.
On this side, Wye the English views,
On that, the winding Welsh pursues.
⌈In the late Commentary upon Antoninus, Abone is placed elsewhere, upon the river Avon, namely at Hanham;Hanham. which the Author accordingly interprets, either as a contraction of Avonham, a ham or mansion at Abone, or else a contraction of Henham, an ancient ham or station.⌉
Not far from Wye, stands, amongst tufts of trees, St. BreulaisSt. Breulais. Castle, more than half demolished; famous for the death of Mahel youngest son of Miles Earl of Hereford: for there, the Judgments of God overtook him for his rapacious ways, inhuman Cruelties, and boundless Avarice, always usurping on other men’s rights; (with all these vices he is taxed by the writers of that age.) For, as Giraldus tells us, being courteously entertained here by Walter de Clifford, and the Castle taking fire, he lost his life by the fall of a stone on his head, from the highest tower. ⌈This Castle (now ruin’d) serves as a Prison for Offenders in the Forest. The Government of it has been always esteem’d a place of honour, and several Noblemen have been Governours. Here it is, that theMine-Court.
Speech-Court. Mine-Court, Swain-Mote, and Speech-Court are kept, wherein are several old Customs of Pleading. By the river Wye, lieth Newland,Newland. a large Parish, standing in a pleasant plain, where are vast Mine-pits of sixty or seventy foot deep, and as large as a considerable Church. Mr. Jones, a Hamborough-Merchant, erected here an Alms-house for sixteen poor men and women, and gave a very good house and stipend to a Lecturer; of which the Company of Haberdashers in London are Trustees. North-west from hence, is Westbury,Westbury. a very large Parish, reputed about twenty miles in compass.⌉
Nothing more is remarkable in this woody tract, but that Herbert, who marry’d the daughter of the foresaid Mahel Earl of Hereford, was in right of his wife call’d Lord of Deane; from whom the noble family of the Herberts deduce their original, who gave rise to the Lords of Blanleveny, and more lately, to the Herberts, See in Derbyshire.Earls of Huntingdon, and Pembroke, and others. From which family (if we may credit D. Powel in his Welsh History,) was descended Anthony Fitz-Herbert,Anthony Fitzherbert. whom the Court of Common Pleas, of which he was sometime chief Justice, and his own most elaborate treatises of the Common Law, do manifest to have been exceeding eminent in his Profession. But others affirm, that he was descended from the Fitz-Herberts, a Knightly family in the County of Derby; and indeed, in my opinion, more truly.
The river Severn, call’d by the Britains Haffren ⌈runs in this County above forty miles, by land: it is in some places two or three miles over, and yet the tide floweth the whole length of the current as high as Tewkesbury. It is remarkable, that the tides one year are largest at full Moon, the next at the change; and that one year the night-tides are largest, the other, the day-tides.⌉ After it hath run a long way in a narrow chanel, at it’s first entrance into this Shire it receives the Avon, Atk. p.791.⌈(near which, on the top of a Hill call’d Towbery-hill,Towbery-hill. there is an Incampment;)⌉ and another small river that runs into it from the East; between which, is seated Tewkesbury,Tewkesbury. in the Saxon tongue , by others nam’d Theoci Curia, and so call’d from Theocus, who there led the life of an hermit: a large and fair town, having three bridges leading to it over three rivers; famous for the making of woollen-cloth, and smart-biting Mustard;Biting-Mustard. but formerly most noted for an ancient Monastery founded by Odo and Dodo, two brothers, in the year of our Lord 715; where their Palace formerly stood, as they testify’d by the following Inscription:
HANC AULAM REGIAM DODO
DUX CONSECRARI FECIT IN
Which, being almost ruin’d by Age and War, was repair’d by Robert Fitz-hamonFitz-hamon. a Norman, out of a pious design to make satisfaction on his part, for the loss that the Church of Bajeux in Normandy sustain’d, which Henry 1. had consumed with fire to free him from prison, but afterwards, repenting of the fact, rebuilt. “It cannot (saith William of Malmesbury) be easily conceived, how much Robert Fitz-hamon adorned and beautified this Monastery, where the stateliness of the buildings ravish’d the eyes, the pious charity of the Monks the affections, of all Persons, that came thither.” In this Monastery, he and his successors Earls of Glocester, were interr’d, who had a castle hard-by call’d Holmes,Holmes Castle. that is now ruin’d. ⌈Little of the Abbey remains, save only the Church, which is Parochial, and had once a fair Spire upon it. Mr. Fuller, in his Church-History, makes it a controverted point, whether the Abbot of Tewkesbury had a Voice in Parliament; but by Bishop Godwin’s Annals it appears he had one, An. 1539. So that this County had four mitred Abbies, Glocester, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, and Winchcombe.⌉ Nor was Tewkesbury less famous for the bloody overthrow that the Lancastrians receiv’d in this place in the year 1471; in which battle many of them were slain, and more taken and beheaded, and their power so weaken’d, and their hopes so sunk by the death of Edward the only son of King Henry the sixth, while very young (his brains being barbarously beaten out here;) that they were never after able to make head against King Edward 4. Whence J. Leland writes thus of this Town,
Ampla foro, & partis spoliis prælara Theoci
Curia, Sabrinæ qua se committit Avona,
Fulget; nobilium sacrisque recondit in antris
Multorum cineres, quondam inclyta corpora bello.
Where Avon’s friendly streams with Severn joyn,
Great Tewkesbury’s Walls, renown’d for Trophies, shine,
And keep the sad remains, with pious care,
Of noble souls, the honour of the War.
⌈This Corporation was dissolv’d, in the year 1688, by the Proclamation of King James the second.⌉
From hence we go down the stream to Deorhirst,Deorhirst. which is mention’d by Bede: it lies very low upon the Severn, whereby it sustains great damage, when the river overflows. It had formerly a small Monastery, which was ruin’d by the Danes, but flourished again under Edward the Confessor, who, as we read in his Will, assigned it, with the government thereof, to the Monastery of St. Denis near Paris. But a little after, as Malmesbury saith, it was only an empty monument of antiquity. ⌈Here, a * * Mr. Powel.Gentleman of this place, in the year 1675, dug-up in his Orchard an old stone with this Inscription: Odda Dux jussit hanc Regiam Aulam construi atque dedicari in honorem S. Trinitatis, pro animâ germani sui Elfrici, quæ de hoc loco assumpta. Ealdredus vero Episcopus, qui eandem dedicavit 2 Idibus April. 14 autem anno Regni S. Eadwardi Regis Anglorum: i.e. Duke Odda commanded this Royal Palace to be built, and to be dedicated to the Holy Trinity, for the soul of his Cousin Elfrick, which was parted from his body in this place. But Ealdred was the Bishop who consecrated it, on the second of the Ides of April, and the 14th year of the reign of the Holy King Edward.⌉ Over-against this, in the middle of the river, lies a place call’d . and AlneyAlney. by the Saxons. ⌈(and in their ancient Annals more truly )⌉ now the Eight,Eight. i.e. an Island: Famous upon this account, that when the English and Danes had much weaken’d themselves by frequent encounters, in order to shorten the War, it was agreed, that the fate of both nations should be determin’d here, by the valour of Edmund King of the English and Canutus King of the Danes, in single combat; who, after a long AEthelwerd and doubtful Encounter, agreed upon a Peace, and the Kingdom was divided between them: but Edmund being quickly taken out of the world, not without suspicion of poyson, the Dane seized upon the whole. ⌈However, it must be confess’d, that general tradition will not allow this to be the place; neither is it justify’d by any analogy between the old and new names. Near Glocester, betwixt Oversbridge and Maysemore, there is an Island call’d to this day the Isle of Alney,Isle of Alney. which perhaps may rather seem to be, as some are clear and positive that it was, the very place of that action.⌉
From Deorhirst the river Severn, after many windings, parts it self, to make the foresaid Isle of Alney (which is rich, and beautiful, with fruitful green meadows;) and then hastens to the chief City of the County, which Antoninus calls Clevum or Glevum, the Britains Caer Gloui, the Saxons ⌈ and⌉ , we Glocester,Glocester. the modern Latins Glovernia, others Claudiocestria from the Emperor Claudius, who, as is reported, gave it that name when he here married his daughter Genissa to Arviragus the British King, whom Juvenal mentions:
Regem aliquem capies, vel de temone Britanno
Some captive King thee his new Lord shall own,
Or from his British Chariot headlong thrown
The proud Arviragus comes tumbling down.
as if Claudius’s three wives had brought him any daughters besides Claudia, Antonia, and Octavia; or as if Arviragus was known in that age, when his name was scarce heard of in Domitian’s reign. But, leaving those who corrupt Antiquity by their own Fancies, I rather adhere to Ninnius his Opinion, who derives this name from Glouus, great grand-father of King Vortigern; only, I find Glevum mention’d long before by Antoninus (which the distance from Corinium, together with its name, shews to be the same place:) But as the Saxon name Gleaucester, came from Glevum, so Glevum by analogy came from the British name Caer Glowi, and that, I believe, from the British word Glow, which in their language signifies fair and splendid; so that Caer Glow is the same as a fair City. Upon the like account, among the Greeks, were the names of Callipolis, Callidromos, and Callistratia; and amongst the English * * Bristow is written Bricgstow, from a bridge.Brightstow; and in this County Fair-ford. This City was built by the Romans, on purpose to be a curb to the Silures: and a Colony was plac’d here call’d Colonia Glevum; for I have seen the remains of an ancient Stone in the walls of Bath near the North-gate, with the following Inscription, ⌈still remaining there:⌉
This City lies extended upon the river Severn; and, on that side where it is not wash’d with the river, it is secured in some places with a strong wall; being beautify’d with many fair Churches, and handsome well-built Streets. On the south part, was once a Castle, built of square stone, but now almost quite ruin’d; ⌈being only the common Gaol for debtors and felons.⌉ It was first erected in the time of William the Conqueror, and sixteen houses were demolished in that place (as Domesday-book mentions it) to make room for this edifice. About which (as Roger de Monte writes) Roger, the son of Myles Constable of Glocester, commenced an Action at Law against King Henry the second; and Walter his brother lost the right he had, both to the City and Castle. Ceaulin, King of the West-Saxons, first took this City by force of arms from the Britains in the year 570; then it came under the Jurisdiction of the Mercians, under whom it flourish’d a long time in great repute. Here Osrick King of the Northumbrians, by the permission of Ethelred King of the Mercians, founded a large and stately Nunnery; over which Kineburga, Eadburga, and Eva, all Mercian Queens, successively presided. Edelfleda likewise, the famous Lady of the Mercians, adorned it with a noble Church, in which her self lies intomb’d. ⌈This Nunnery, being ruin’d and decay’d, was repair’d by Beornulph King of the Mercians, in the year 821, who chang’d the former institution into Secular Priests; and they continu’d till Wulstan Bishop of Worcester plac’d Regulars there, of the Order of St. Benedict, in the year 1022.⌉
Not long after ⌈the Erection,⌉ when the whole County was ravaged by the Danes, those sacred Virgins were forc’d to depart, and the Danes, as Æthelwerd that ancient Author writes, after many turns and changes of War, set up their tents at Gleuu-cester. And, those more ancient Churches having been ruin’d in these times of Calamity, Aldred Archbishop of York and Bishop of Worcester, erected a new one for Monks, which is the present Cathedral, and hath a Dean and six Prebendaries belonging to it. Which Church, in former ages, receiv’d great additions and ornaments from several Benefactors: for J. Hanly and T. Farley, Abbots, ⌈are said to have⌉ added the Virgin Mary’s Chapel; ⌈or rather Ralph Willington (as hath been discovered by some ancient Records) who also gave Lands to find two Priests for ever.⌉ Nicholas Morwent built the western front from the ground, very beautifully. † † G, Cam.Thomas Horton Abbot joyned to it the northern cross Isle; Abbot ¦ ¦ Trowcester, C.Frowcester built the curious neat Cloysters, and Abbot Seabroke the great and stately Tower. ⌈This is so neat and curious, that Travellers have affirm’d it to be one of the best pieces of Architecture in England. Abbot Seabroke, the first designer of it, dying, left it to the care of Robert Tully a Monk of this place; which is intimated in those verses written in black Letters, under the arch of the Tower in the Quire:
Hoc quod digestum specularis, opusque politum,
Tullii hæc ex onere, Seabroke Abbate jubente.
This Fabrick which you see, exact and neat,
The Abbot charg’d the Monk to make compleat.⌉
The South Isle was rebuilt with the offerings that devout People made at the Shrine of King Edward the second, who lies here interr’d in an Alabaster tomb. And not far from him lies in the middle of the Quire, the unfortunate Robert Curt-hose, eldest son of William the Conqueror Duke of Normandy, in a wooden monument. ⌈The foresaid Offerings at King Edward’s tomb, were very large; for presently after his death, so great a respect was paid to the memory of their injur’d Prince, that the Town was scarce able to receive the Votaries that flock’d thither. And the Register of the Abbey affirms, that if all the Oblations had been expended upon the Church, they might have built an entire new one from the very foundation.⌉ Beyond the Quire, in an Arch of the Church, there is a wall built with so great artifice, in the form of a semicircle, † † Angulosum.with corners, that if any one whisper very low at one end, and another lay his ear to the other end, he may easily hear every Syllable distinct. ⌈This, however, may possibly be accidental; for if one survey the out-side of the Church, he will see, that two parts of it were tack’d-on, only as passages into a Chapel erected there.⌉ In the reign of William the Conqueror and before, the chief trade of the City seems to have been forging of Iron; for as it is mention’d in Domesday-book, there was scarce any other tribute requir’d by the King, except certain * * An Icre is ten Bars.Icres of Iron, and Iron-bars, for the use of the Royal Navy; and a few pints of Honey. After the coming-in of the Normans, it suffer’d some Calamities, when England was in a flame, by the Barons wars; being plunder’d by Edward the son of Henry the third, and, after, almost laid in ashes by a casual fire.
But, by the blessing of a continued peace it flourish’d again. ⌈King John made it a Burrough, to be govern’d by two Bailiffs; and King Henry the third (who was crown’d here) made it a Corporation. On the south-side of the Abbey, King Edward the first erected a noble Free-stone-gate, which is still call’d Edward’s Gate;Edward’s Gate. and was repair’d by the last Abbot, but almost demolish’d in the late Civil wars.⌉ Afterwards, having the two adjacent Hundreds added to it ⌈by King Richard the third (who also gave it his Sword and cap of Maintenance)⌉ it was made a County of it self, and call’d The County of the City of Glocester. ⌈But after the Restoration of King Charles the second, the said Hundreds were taken away by Act of Parliament, and the walls pull’d down, because they had shut the gates against King Charles the first, when he laid siege to the place, in the year 1643. Before that siege, the City was adorn’d with eleven Parish-Churches; but five of them were then demolish’d.⌉ Henry the eighth, in the memory of † † So said, ann. 1607.our fathers, adorn’d it with an Episcopal See, with which dignity (as Geoffry of Monmouth saith) it was anciently honour’d; and I have reason, not to question the truth of that assertion, since the Bishop of * * Cluviensis.Cluve is reckon’d among the British Prelates (which name being deriv’d from Clevum or Glow, doth in part confirm my conjecture, that this is the Glevum mention’d by Antoninus.) Eldaedus ⌈Also, in the Hall of the Bishop’s Palace, is written Eldædus Episcopus Glocestrensis; and Bishop Godwin says, that Theonus was translated from Glocester to London in the year 553. Here is great provision for the poor, by Hospitals; particularly Bartholomew’s Hospital maintains fifty four poor men and women, to whom belong a Minister, Physician, and Chirurgeon. And Sir Thomas Rich Baronet, a native of this place, gave six thousand Pounds by Will for a Blew-coat Hospital, wherein are educated twenty Boys; and ten poor Men, and as many Women, are maintain’d, and all cloath’d annually. Besides these (and three more) there are many other Benefactions to encourage young Tradesmen, and to place out Boys Apprentices.
Just beyond Glocester, the Severn passeth by Hempstead,Hempstead. the Church whereof, till that time Impropriate, was changed into a Rectory, upon a free gift of the Impropriation made to it by John Lord Scudamore, Viscount Slego in Ireland; which said Gift was confirmed to the Church by a special † † 14 Car.2.Act of Parliament procured by him for that end. Then it passeth by Lanthony,Lanthony. a ruinated Priory built in the year 1136, as a Cell to that of St. John Baptist, in Wales. Above this, on a little hill, stood Newark-house,Newark-house. which belong’d to the Prior, and was rebuilt by the Lord Scudamore, the owner thereof.
Below this, the river StroudStroud, riv. runs into the Severn; upon which stands a town of the same name, famous for cloathing; the water whereof is said to have a peculiar quality for dying Reds. It is a Market-town, standing on the ascent of a hill, and is the chief residence of the Clothiers in these parts, whose trade in this County amounts to five hundred thousand Pounds per Annum; some making a thousand Cloaths a year, for their own share. Not far from hence,Atk. p.283. in the Parish of Bisley,Bisley. was born the famous Friar Bacon, and educated at St. Mary’s Chapel (now St. Bury-mill on Stroud-river) wherein is a Room call’d at this day Friar Bacon’s Study.Fryar Bacon’s Study. Between Stroud and Glocester, standeth Paynswick,Paynswick. a Market-town, said to have the best and most wholsom air in the whole County: and near it, on the hill, was Kembsborow-Castle,Kembsborow Castle. the fortifications and trenches whereof are still visible. This is exceeding high; having on the north-side a vast precipice, and on the other sides stupendous works. From hence is a most lovely prospect over the Vale, to Malvern-hills,Malvern-hills. Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and Monmouthshire. Beyond which, lieth Prinknersh,Prinknersh. once the mansion of the Abbot of Glocester, a pleasant seat on the side of a hill: now the inheritance of the Bridgmans, descended from Sir John Bridgman, Chief Justice of Chester.
South of the river Stroud, and not far from Minchin-hamptonMinchin-hampton. (a neat Market-town, once belonging to the Nuns of Sion,) is Wood-chester,Wood-chester. famous for it’s tesseraick work of painted beasts and flowers, which appears in the Churchyard, two or three foot deep, in making the graves. If we may believe tradition, Earl Godwin’s wife (to make restitution for her husband’s fraud at Barkley) built a Religious-house here, with those pretty Ornaments that are yet to be seen. Here,Atk. p.474. anciently stood a Chapel dedicated to St. Blaise; and in digging-up the Foundations of it, there were found many modern Coins, as also ancient Roman Coins, and other Roman Antiquities. In a Vault also, many human Bodies were discover’d, whose skulls and teeth were entire, white, and firm.⌉
But now, to return to the river Severn. Having left Glocester, and united its divided streams, it waxes broader and deeper by the tide, and this makes it rage and foam like the Sea; towards which it runs with frequent turnings and windings. AEthelwerd But in its course, it toucheth upon nothing memorable ⌈after Lanthony already mention’d,⌉ except Cambridge,Cambridge. a small Country-hamlet ⌈of five or six houses⌉ (where Cam a little river runs into it,) at which bridge, as Æthelwerd writeth, when the Danes, laden with rich Spoils, passed over, by filing off; the West Saxons and Mercians receiv’d them with a bloody encounter in Woodnesfield: in which Healfden, Cinuil and Inguar, three of their * * Reguli.Princes, were slain, ⌈which yet is said by others, to have been at † † V. Shropshire.Bridge-north.⌉
On the same side of the river, not much lower, standeth Berkley,Berkley. in the Saxon tongue ⌈the largest Parish in the County, which also gives name to the largest Division.⌉ It is eminent for a strong Castle, and Mayor (the chief Magistrate, ⌈tho’ now only titular;)⌉ as also for the Lords thereof the Barons of Barkley, of an ancient and noble family; of which was William Baron of Barkley, who in the reign of Henry the seventh was made Viscount and Marquess Barkley, Earl of Nottingham, and Marshal of England; but he dying without issue, those titles dy’d with him. ⌈It is now honoured, by giving title to the Earls of Barkley, who have a fair Castle here; though not so large as formerly: Of whom, James the present Earl, in consideration of his early Valour and signal Services at Sea, was summoned to Parliament in the life-time of his Father.⌉ If you would know by what stratagem GodwynEarl Godwyn’s deceit. Earl of Kent (a man exceeding fit for the execution of any wicked design,) got possession of this place; take this short account from Walter Mapes who lived * * 400, C.five hundred years since, for it is not unworthy the Reader’s perusal. Berkley is a Village near Severne, of the yearly value of five hundred pounds, in which was a Nunnery govern’d by an Abbess, that was both noble and beautiful. Earl Godwyn a notable subtle man, not desiring her but her’s, as he pass’d by, left his Nephew, a young proper handsome Spark (under pretence of being seized with sickness,) till he should return back thither, and instructed him to counterfeit an Indisposition, till he had got all who came to visit him, both Lady Abbess, and as many of the Nuns as he could, with child. And to carry on the intriegue more plausibly, and more effectually to obtain the favour of their visits, the Earl furnish’d him with rings and girdles, that by those presents he might the more easily corrupt and gain their inclinations. There needed no great intreaty to perswade this young Gallant, to undertake an employment so amorous and pleasing. The way to destruction is easie, and quickly learnt; he seem’d wonderful cunning, to himself; but all his cunning was but folly. In him were concentred all those accomplishments that might captivate foolish and unthinking Virgins; beauty, wit, riches, and obliging mein: and he was mighty solicitous to have a private apartment to himself. The Devil therefore expelled Pallas and brought in Venus, and converted the Church of our Saviour and his Saints into an accursed Pantheon, the Temple into a Stew, and the Lambs into Wolves. When many of them proved with child, and the youth began to languish, being overcome with the excess and variety of pleasure, he hasten’d home with the reports of his conquests (worthy to have the reward of iniquity,) to his expecting Lord. The Earl immediately addresses the King, and acquaints him, That the Abbess and the Nuns were gotten with child, and had render’d themselves prostitutes to all comers; all which upon inquisition was found true. Upon the expulsion of the Nuns, he begs Berkley, and had it granted him by the King, and settled it upon his wife Gueda; but (as Domesday-bookDomesday-book. hath it) she refused to eat any thing that came out of this Manour, because of the destruction of the Abbey: And therefore he bought Udecester for her maintenance, whilst she liv’d at Berkley: Thus, a conscientious mind can never relish ill-gotten possessions.
I had rather you should be informed from Historians than from me, how King Edward the second, being deprived of his Kingdom by the artifice of his wife, was afterwards murder’d in this Castle, by the damnable subtiltyThe slyness of a Bishop. of Adam Bishop of Hereford, who sent these enigmatical words to his keepers, without any points:
Edvardum occidere nolite timere bonum est.
To seek to shed King Edward’s blood
Refuse to fear I think it good.
so as,Murder of Edward 2. by the double sence and construction of the words, they might be encouraged to commit the murther, and he plausibly vindicate himself from giving any directions in it. ⌈The little room, where this unhappy Prince was murther’d, is still to be seen. The Manour of Kings-Weston,Kings-Weston. though at twelve miles distance from Barkley, is yet in the same Hundred; and was (as appears by Domesday) at and before the Conquest, parcel of the manour of Barkley. In the year 1678 it was purchas’d by Sir Robert Southwell, being a pleasant Seat, between the Avon and the Severn. It hath a prospect into several Counties, and the Ships in Kings-road are at an easie distance. The Southwells were formerly considerable in Nottinghamshire, at the town of the same name, from whence they removed into Norfolk. In King James the 1st’s time, the eldest branch went into Ireland, where the said Sir Robert did enjoy a fair estate on the opposite shore to King-weston, at King-sale, and thereabouts; which at present is enjoy’d by his son and heir.⌉ Below Barkley, the little river Avon runs into the sea; at the head of which, scarce eight miles from the shore, on the hills near AlderleyAlderley. a small town, are stonesStones like Cockles. resembling Cockles and Oysters; which, whether they were living animals, or the ludicrous fancies of nature, let the natural Philosophers enquire.fossils But Fracastorius, the Prince of Philosophers * * So said, ann. 1607.in our age, makes no question but that they were animals engendred in the sea, and carried by the waters to the tops of mountains: for he affirms Hills to have been cast-up by the sea, and that they were at first only heaps of sand tumbled together; also, that the sea overflow’d, where high hills now are: upon the return of which into its wonted course, Islands and Hills did first appear. But these things are beside my purpose. ⌈Alderley is of late famous for being the birth-place of Sir Matthew Hale Lord Chief Justice of England; who, dying in the year 1676, lyeth buried in this Church-yard under a tomb of black marble.⌉
The TrajectusTrajectus. which Antoninus mentions to be opposite to Abone, where they used to pass the Severn, was, as I imagine by the name, at Oldbury,Oldbury. i.e. an ancient Burrough (as now we ferry over at AustAust-Village. a village somewhat lower;) ⌈which, as in both parts of the name it carries something of Antiquity; so has it that title confirm’d to it by a large Campus major of the Roman Fortifications: and, where the Church now stands, was the Campus minor: there are in this County several more of the same kind.⌉ Aust aforesaid was formerly call’d Aust-Clive,Aust-Clive. for it is situate upon a very high craggy cliff. What the aforementioned Mapes has told us as done in this place, is worth your knowledge. Edward the elder, saith he, lying at Aust Clive, and Leolin Prince of Wales at Bethesley, when the latter would neither come down to a Conference, nor cross the Severn, Edward passed over to Leolin; who seeing the King,Pride conquer’d by humility. and knowing who he was, threw his royal Robes upon the ground (which he had prepared to sit in judgment with) and leaped into the water breast high, and embracing the boat, said, Most wise King, your humility has conquer’d my pride, and your wisdom triumphed over my folly; mount upon that neck which I have foolishly exalted against you, so shall you enter into that Country which your goodness hath this day made your own. And so, taking him upon his shoulders, he made him sit upon his Robes, and joyning hands did * * Hominium.
homage to him.
⌈Not far from Aust, is Alveston,Alveston. in which ParishAtk. p.217. is a large round Camp, on the edge of an hill, from whence is a pleasant prospect of the Severn; and near the Camp, is a large Barrow, in which were found, upon digging, the Bones of divers men laid in distinct Tombs of Stone. (Another Camp also, which is an oblong square, with a single ditch, is to be seen not far from hence, at a place call’d Castle-hill.)⌉
On the same shore, lies ThornburyThornbury. ⌈(a titular Mayor-town)⌉ where are to be seen the foundations of a magnificent Castle, which Edward † † The last Duke, C.Duke of Buckingham designed to erect in the year 1511, as the inscription testifies, ⌈Viz. This Gate was begun 1511. 2 Hen. 8. by me Edward Duke of Buckingham, Earl of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton. He was beheaded before he perfected his design; for he had intended to make the Church at Thornbury, Collegiate, with Dean and Prebendaries. They have here four small Alms-houses, a Free-school, and weekly market. The most considerable Gentry, heretofore, paid an annual attendance at Thornbury-Court, where the Abbot of Tewkesbury was oblig’d personally to say Mass.⌉ Seven miles from hence, the river Avon running into Severn, divides Glocestershire and Somersetshire: and not far from the side of the river, is Puckle-Church,Puckle-Church. anciently a royal Vill call’d Puckle-kerks, where Edmund King of England was kill’d with a dagger, as he interposed between his Sewer, and one Leof a profligate Fellow, who were quarrelling. ⌈Now, it is only a small Village, the seat of Sir Alexander Coming, by marriage with one of the Coheirs of the Dennis’s, whose Family have been eighteen times High-Sheriffs of this County. Beyond this, near Bristol, lieth Kingswood-forest,Kingswood-forest. formerly of a much larger extent, but now drawn within the bounds of five thousand acres. It consists chiefly of Coal-mines; several Gentry being possessors of it by Patent from the Crown. It is a controverted point, whether it be a Forest or Chase; for it is said to have been dependant upon Micklewood, that is now destroy’d. Within it, are two fine seats, Barrs-CourtBarrs-Court. in Bitton-Parish, belonging to the Newtons Baronets; and Siston-house,Siston-house. to the Trotmans.
Not far from Bristol lieth Westbury,Westbury. upon Trin; which river is now dwindled into a little brook. Here was a famous College, encompass’d with a strong wall, built by John Carpenter Bishop of Worcester about the year 1443, who design’d to have been stil’d Bishop of Worcester and Westbury. This, with the adjacent Parishes in Glocestershire that lie round Bristol, are under the Jurisdiction of the Bishop of Bristol.
About three miles from Bristol, and three from Severn, is Pen-park-hole,Pen-park-hole. the passage into which is down a Philosoph. Transact. N.143.ragged and rocky Tunnel for thirty nine yards; after which, the hole spreads into an irregular oblong figure seventy five yards in length, and forty one in breadth, with a large Pool of water at the bottom of it.
On the top of St. Vincent’sS. Vincent’s Rocks. Rocks near Bristol, * * Aubr. MS.is a roundish fortification or Camp; the rampire and graffe thereof not great: for by reason of the nearness of the rock, which is as hard as marble, the ground is not easily dug. Whether those rocks towards the top, consist mostly of petrify’d pieces of wood (as some are inclin’d to think) let the Naturalists examine. The precipice of the Rock over the river Avon, has made all Works on the West-side needless. In the sameAtk. p.360. Parish, is the Hot Well,Hot Well. famous for curing several Distempers, and especially the Diabetes;Diabetes. and a very cold stream at Jacob’s Well,Jacob’s Well. which is much esteem’d for it’s wholsom Waters. About two miles from St. Vincents Rocks, is Henbury,Henbury. † † Aubr. MS.where is a Camp with three rampires and trenches; from which we may conclude it to have been the work, rather of the Britains, than of any other People. But now to return.⌉
Near Puckle-Church, lieth Winterbourne,Winterbourne. of which the BradstonesBradstones. were Lords ⌈(so named from Bradstone in the Parish of Berkley, where they erected a Chantry;)⌉ from whom the Viscounts Montacute Barons of Wentworth, &c. are descended; as also Acton,Acton Ireton. which gave name to a Knightly family, whose heiress being married to Sir Nicholas PointzPointz. in the time of Edward the second, left it to her Posterity: Derham,Derham. a small Village, in Saxon ,Marianus. where Ceaulin the Saxon in a bloody engagement slew three of the British Princes, Commeail, Condidan, Fariemeiol, with divers others, and so dispossessed the Britains of that part of their Country, for ever. There are yet to be seen in the place, huge Rampires and Trenches (the Fortifications of their Camps) and other evident signs of that memorable Battle. ⌈These are (I suppose) the same with those which † † Mon. Brit. MS.Mr. Aubrey takes notice of, upon Henton-hillHenton-hill. in that parish. It is call’d Burrill,Burrill. is single-trench’d, and seems to have been ruin’d before fully finish’d. Within the bank it contains twenty acres of arable land; but on the west and south sides there is no bank nor trench; which probably was occasion’d by the steep Meres that would not give leave to draw them.⌉ This was the Barony of James de novo Mercatu, who having ¦ ¦ Three, C.
Jacobus de Novo-mercatu.two daughters, ⌈Hawys and Isabel,⌉ married one, first to John de Botereaux, and then to Nicholas de Moils; and the other to Ralph Russel; whose Posterity, being enrich’d by marriage with an heir of the honourable Family of the Gorges, assumed that name. ⌈From Ralph Russel it descended to Sir Gilbert Dennys, who marry’d the heiress of that family; thence to the Winters, whose heiress was marry’d to William Blathwayt, who built here a stately fabrick, in the room of the old one. Nor far from hence lieth Great Badminton,Great Badminton. a seat belonging to the Dukes of Beaufort; which having been made their Country-residence since the demolishment of Rayland-Castle, is so adorn’d with stately additions to the house, large parks, neat and spacious gardens, variety of fountains, walks, avenues, Paddocks, and other contrivances for recreation and pleasure; as to make it justly esteem’d one of the most compleat seats in the kingdom. Here, we must not omit Chipping Sodbury,Chipping Sodbury. a market-town below the hills, which hath a Free-school, and was govern’d by a Bailiff: but about 1681 it was made a Corporation, with a Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses; which was suppress’d by the Proclamation of King James the second, in the year 1688. Next meteorites fossils is Wotton-under-edge,Wotton-under-edge. famous for Cloathing; where is a noble Free-school erected by Catharine, relict of Thomas Lord Berkley, in the year 1385; and an Alms-house by Hugh Perry Alderman of London, in 1632, which cost one thousand Pounds; and the like sum was given by Sir Jonathan Daws, Sheriff of London, for the relief of the poor. Near Derham,Atk. p.230. in the Parish of Cold Aston,Aston. was discover’d in Plowing, a Hole like the Tun of a Chimney; through which several Persons were let down, and found a Cavity, wherein one might walk about half a mile one way, and it is not known how far the other; and, in walking, they observ’d several such Tunnels ascending towards the Surface of the Earth. Also, at Tormarton,Tormarton. not far from Derham, to the north,Atk. p.784. are found in the Fields, Stones about the bigness of Bullets, which being broken, look rusty like Iron-Ore. There are also many Cockle-shells incorporated into large Stones; and a Spring, which has the petrifying quality of turning wood into stone.⌉
More northward is Duresley,Duresley. the ancient possession of the Berkleys, hence call’d Berkleys of Duresley (Founders of the adjacent Abbey of Kingswood of the Cistercian order.) ⌈It is a market-town, famous for Cloathing; and as to Kingswood-Abbey,Kingswood-Abbey. it is by all writers plac’d in Glocestershire; whereas the whole Parish is really in the County of Wilts, under the power of their Sheriffs and Justices, but within the Diocese of Glocester. It was founded by William Berkley 1139, thence remov’d to Tetbury, and at last fix’d here, till the Dissolution. From this Dursley, the Earl of Berkley, at the same time that he was advanced to that Honour, was created also Viscount Dursley.⌉ Not far east-ward, we behold Beverstone-castle,Beverstone Castle. formerly belonging to the Gournys and Ab-Adams,Ab-Adams. who flourish’d under Edward the 1st; and afterwards, to the Knightly family of the Berkleys: ⌈but is now in the possession of the Hicks’s Baronets. Beyond which lieth Tetbury,Tetbury. where is a great market for Yarn; and a Free-school and Alms-house, both owing to the bounty of Sir William Romney a native of the place. It belong’d to the Berkleys, but they sold their right to the Inhabitants, who now enjoy the tolls and profits of the Markets and Fairs. In this neighbourhood, at Kingscot,Kingscot. Roman Coins have been frequently found in the fields, after showers of Rain, which they call Chesle-money,Aubr. Mon. Brit. MS.
Chesle-money. perhaps for Castle or Chester-money: and also in the year 1691, was found a Roman Fibula, of the same shape and figure with that which is represented in the Table annex’d to the description of Wales; and not far from hence, is a large Camp, call’d Bury-hill.⌉Bury-hill.Atk. p.293.
Hitherto I have made cursory remarks upon the places in this County which are situate beyond or upon the Severn; now I will pass to the easterly parts, which I observ’d to be hilly; to wit, Cotswold,Cotswold. which takes it’s name from the hills and sheep-cotes, (for, mountains and hills, the English formerly called Woulds;Would, what in English. on which account an ancient Glossary interprets the Alps of Italy, the Woulds of Italy.) Upon these hills, are fed large flocks of Sheep, with the whitest Wool; having long necks and square bodies, by reason, as is supposed, of their hilly and short pasture; whose fine Wool is much valued in foreign Parts. Under the side of these hills, as it were in a neighbourhood, together, lie the following places, remarkable for their Antiquity.
Campden,Campden. commonly call’d Camden, a noted market-town, where (as John Castor avers) all the Kings of the Saxon Race had a Congress in the year 689, to consult how to carry on the War jointly against the Britains: which town, in William the Conqueror’s time,Inq.2 Ed.2. was in the possession of Hugh Earl of Chester, and from his posterity descended by Nicholas de Albeniaco, to Roger de Somery. ⌈It is a market-town, famous for Stockings. It gave the title of Viscount to Sir Baptist Hicks, 4 Car. 1. who was a great Benefactor to this place, by erecting an Alms-house, rebuilding the market-place, and annexing the Impropriation of WinFryth in Dorsetshire, for the augmentation of the Vicaridge. He built here a curious House near the Church (which was burnt in the late Civil Wars, lest it should be a garrison for the Parliament;) and lies bury’d in the south Ile of the Church, which is adorn’d with such noble monuments of marble, as equal, if not exceed, most in England. He gave in his life-time ten thousand Pounds to charitable uses, as his Epitaph mentions; and leaving only two daughters, the honour descended to the Lord Noel, by marrying the eldest of them: whose posterity were afterwards created Earls of Gainsborough. Beyond Camden, on a rising ground, is Ebburton,Ebburton. where the Lord Chancellour Fortescue lies buried; but his Monument was not erected till the year 1677.⌉ Adjoyning to Camden, is Weston, of no great Antiquity. * * Mr. Camden places here the house built by R. Sheldon, by mistake for Weston in Warwickshire; which see.Hales, † † Not long since, C.heretofore a most flourishing Abbey, built by Richard Earl of Cornwal and King of the Romans, and famous for its scholar Alexander de Hales, a great master of the knotty and more subtile sort of School-divinity; ⌈unless it be true, what we find in his Epitaph, in the Cordeliers Church in Paris, that he dy’d 1245, a year before this Abbey was begun. For the foundation was laid in the year 1246; and when it was dedicated, the King, Queen, and Court, were all present at the Solemnity. There are now but small remains of it, only a neat cloyster; the rest being turn’d into a fair house, now in the possession of William Lord Tracy of ¦ ¦ See below.Toddington two miles off, where also he has a stately house, the seat of his Ancestors.⌉
Sudley,Sudley. formerly Sudleagh, a beautiful castle, * * Lately, C.Barons of Chandos.heretofore the seat of Giles Bruges Baron of Chandos, whose grandfather John was honour’d by Queen Mary with that title, ⌈and whose noble and generous Descendant, James Bridges, hath been lately advanced to the honour of Duke of Chandois;⌉ because † † He derived his, C.they derive their pedigree from the ancient family of Chandos: Of which, there flourish’d, in the reign of King Edward the third, John Chandos, Viscount St. Saviours in France, eminent for his services, and great success, in war. AEthelred The former Lords and Inhabitants, hence called Barons of Sudley,Barons of Sudley. were of an ancient English Race, deducing their original from Goda the daughter of King Æthelred, whose son Ralph Medantinus Earl of Hereford, was the father of Harold Lord of Sudley. His Posterity continued here a long time, till, the issue-male being extinct, the heiress married William Butler of the family of Wem, and brought him a son named Thomas. He was father of Ralph, Lord High Treasurer of England, whom Henry the sixth created Baron of Sudley, and who new-built this castle; ⌈the best part of which is now pulled down; as the neat Church here was ruined in the Civil Wars.⌉ His sisters were married into the families of Northbury and Belknape; by which the Estate was in a little time divided into several Families.
Hard by this, is Toddington,Toddington. where the Tracies, of a worshipful and ancient family, have long flourished, and formerly received many favours from the Barons of Sudley. But how, in the first Reformation of Religion, William Tracy Lord of this place, was censured after his death, his body being dug-up and burn’d publickly, for some slight words in his last Will, which those times call’d heretical; or how, in preceding times, another William Tracey imbrued his hands in the blood of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury; Ecclesiastical Writers have told us at large, and it is no part of my business to relate. WinchelcombWinchelcomb. is also seated here, a populous town, where Kenulph the Mercian King erected a Monastery, and, on the day of it’s consecration, freely set at liberty Edbricth King of Kent, then his prisoner, without ransom.
It is scarce credible, in what great repute this Monastery was, for the sake of the reliques of King Kenelm, a child of seven years old, whom his sister privately murder’d to gain the inheritance; and who by that Age was put into the Catalogue of Martyrs. ⌈There are scarce any ruins visible, either of the Abbey, or of that which was call’d Ivy-Castle,Ivy-Castle. or of St. Nicholas Church that stood in the east part of the town. The inhabitants made planting of Tobacco their chief business, which turn’d to good account; till, restrain’d by the 12 Car. 2, they decay’d by little and little, and are now generally poor.⌉ The neighbourhood of this place was formerly reckon’d as a County or Sheriffdom by it self; for we find in an ancient manuscript belonging to the Church of Worcester, these words, Edric sirnamed Streona, that is, the * * Adquisitor.Acquirer, who under Ethelred, and for some time after under Cnute or Canute, presided and reined as Viceroy over all England, joyned the Sheriffdom of Winchelcombe, which was then entire within it self, to the County of Glocester.
Lower in the County lieth Brimesfield,Brimesfield. where the GiffordsGiffords Barons. were formerly Lords; ⌈(of which Family, John Gifford Lord of this place, founded Glocester-hall in Oxford, for the Monks of Glocester.)⌉ To them, by marriage with the Cliffords, came a plentiful Estate; but soon after, it was carry’d by daughters to the Lords Le Strange of Blackmer, the Audleys, and others. ⌈This was formerly a place of some repute; for we find, that Lionel Duke of Clarence had a Charter for a weekly Market here on Tuesdays, and a Fair on the Eve of Corpus Christi: here was also a Priory and a Castle; but both are vanish’d.⌉
These places are situate among the hills: but under the hills, upon the East-confines of the County, I saw that famous Roman High-way called the Fosse.Fosse-way. Out of Warwickshire it comes down by Lemington,Lemington. where there seems to have been a Station of the Romans, from the coins which are often plow’d up there; some of which, Edward Palmer, an industrious Antiquary, whose Ancestors lived long here, very courteously bestow’d upon me. ⌈The place belongeth now to the Family of Juxon; the same with that of Dr. William Juxon, Archbishop of Canterbury.⌉ Thence, it goes by Stow on the Would,Stow on the Would. which, by it’s high situation, is too much exposed to the winds. ⌈It is now a great Market; where (as the common Observation goes) they have but one element, viz. Air; there being neither wood, common field, nor water, belonging to the town. It hath an Alms-house, a Free-school, and a multitude of poor. Here, in the year 1645, March 21, the forces of King Charles the first, being over-power’d, were routed by the Parliament-Army. Next, the Fosse goes by Burton,Burton. in ancient Grants Burgtone; which seems to have been a place of some note, as well by the name, as by the tracks of Houses which are discover’d here, after great Rains. Here also, the marks of a Camp of large Extent, are still to be seen.⌉ Then, by North-leach,North-leach. so call’d from the rivulet running by it, ⌈a market-town, with a neat Church. Here is also a good Grammar-school founded by Hugh Westwood, Esq; who (as it is commonly reported) came afterwards to be low in the world, and desiring to be Master of his own school, was deny’d that favour by the Trustees. By a Statute made in the * * Cap.7.fourth year of King James the first, it was settled upon Queen’s College in Oxford. Near which, at Farmington,Farmington. is an exceeding large Roman Camp, called Norbury, eight hundred and fifty paces long, and four hundred seventy three broad: The works are single, and not very high: it is now a Corn-field; and not far from it, westward, there is a Barrow.⌉ From North-leach, the Fosse-way goes to Cirencester,Cirencester. to which town the river Churn, running southward among the hills, and very commodious for mills, gave that name. This was a famous City, of great Antiquity, call’d by Ptolemy Corinium,Corinium. and by Antoninus Durocornovium, i.e. the water Cornovium; just fifteen miles (as he also observes it to be) from Glevum, or Glocester. The Britains call’d it Caer-cori and Caer-ceri, the Saxons , and at this day it is call’d Circester and Circiter. The ruinated walls plainly shew that it hath been very large, for they are said to have been two miles about. That this was a considerable place, is evident from the Roman coins, chequer’d pavements, and inscriptions in marble, dug-up here; (which coming into the hands of ignorant and illiterate persons, have been slighted and lost, to the great prejudice of Antiquities;) ⌈also from the large Vaults of Brick, Atk. p.350.more lately dug-up, such as were in ancient times made by the Romans for Baths;⌉ and from thoseMilitary way of the Romans. Consular ways of the same People, which here cross’d each other: Especially, that which leadeth to Glevum or Glocester, is still visible with a high ridge, as far as Bird-lip-hill;Bird-lip-hill. and to a curious observer, it seems to have been paved with stone. ⌈From this place also a Roman High-way runs to Cricklade, Stratton-St. Margaret, and so to Badon and Newbury.⌉ The British Annals tell us, that this City was set on fire by one Gurmundus, I know not what African tyrant; and that he made use of sparrows to effect it: whence Giraldus calls it the City of Sparrows: And from these Memoirs, Necham writes thus;
Urbs vires experta tuas, Gurmunde, per annos Septem. —
A City that defy’d proud Gurmund’s strength
For seven long years.—
Who this Gurmund was, I confess I am ignorant: ⌈(the Author of the Welsh History makes mention of one Gurmundus an Arch-pirate, Captain of the Norwegians, who assisted the Saxons:)⌉ The Inhabitants shew a mount of earth near the town which they say Gurmund cast-up; but they call it Grismund’s Tower; ⌈which is to be seen on the west-side, and is a steep round berry, like a windmill-hill, where Men’s bones of an unusual size have been found, with a round vessel of Lead, and Sepulchres, with Ashes and pieces of bones, as Leland informs us.⌉ Marianus, an ancient historian of good credit, says, that Ceaulin took this City from the Britains, after he had vanquish’d their forces at Deorham, and reduced Glocester. For a long time after, it was subject to the West-Saxons: for we read, how Penda the Mercian was defeated by Cineglise King of the West-Saxons, when he laid siege to it with a mighty army. But at last it came, with the whole County, under the power of the Mercians, and so continued till the English Monarchy began: under which, it was grievously harrassed by the incursions of the Danes, possibly by that Gurmon the Dane whom historians call Guthrus and Gurmundus. Now, scarce the fourth part within the walls is inhabited; the rest being pasture-grounds, and the ruins of an Abbey, first built by the Saxons as is reported, and repair’d by Henry 2; in which, as I am informed, many of the family of the Barons of St. Amand are interred.
The Castle that stood there, was razed by command of Henry the third, in the first year of his reign. The chief trade of the inhabitants is in the Woollen Manufacture; and they talk much of the great bounty of Richard the first, who enriched the Abbey, and (as they affirm) made them Lords of the seven adjacent Hundreds, to hold the same in Fee-Farm, to have tryal of Causes, and to have the * * Mulctas.forfeitures, amercements, and other profits arising thence, to their own use. ⌈Which Hundreds have been since vested in Sir Robert Atkyns Knight of the Bath, Lord chief Baron of the Exchequer, whose Descendants have a fair seat and estate at SappertonSapperton. near this place; and whose Family hath been very eminent in the Law; the father, and two sons, having sat Judges in Westminster-hall, since the year 1660.⌉ Moreover, ⌈as to the Town,⌉ King Henry the fourth granted them certain privileges, for their good services against Thomas Holland Earl of Kent, John Holland Earl of Huntingdon, John Montacute Earl of Salisbury, Thomas de Spencer Earl of Glocester, and others, who, being deprived of their honours, conspired against him; and being here secured by the Townsmen, some of them were instantly slain, and the rest beheaded. ⌈Here was a Church of Prebendaries before the Conquest; but of whose foundation, is unknown. Rumbaldus, (as † † Itin. MS.Leland affirms) Chancellour to Edward the Confessor, was Dean of this place, and bury’d here. They have had three Parochial-Churches, St. Cecilias’s, St. Lawrence’s, and St. John’s; which last is a very fair one, and the present Parish-Church. It hath in it five Chapels: that of St. Mary’s was very considerable; and of the Perquisites of it, there is a large account in the MSS. of Sir William Dugdale in Oxford. The body of the Church is new work, said to be built by Thomas Ruthall Bishop of Durham, a native of this place, whose Arms impal’d with those of the Bishoprick of Durham, are to be seen in it. But notwithstanding that, he could not be the Founder; for there is a Tomb for Sir William Nottingham 1427; whereas the Bishop dy’d not till 1524, and the Register of St. Mary’s Chapel was made 1460. Leland indeed has told us, that Aveling, the Bishop’s Aunt, gave one hundred Pounds to the building of the goodly porch there; and his other relations contributed to the finishing of it. In this town are two fine Seats, the one belonging to Allen Lord Bathurst, and the other (which was the site of the Abbey) to Thomas Masters Esq;. Beyond Cirencester, lieth Fairford,Fairford. where the fine Church was built by John Tame Esq;. He dy’d the 8th of May 1500, and lies bury’d here. The Church is particularly remarkable, Atk. p.433.on account of the painted Glass, which the Founder (a Merchant) took in a Prize-ship bound, for Rome, and brought over into England. The Windows are twenty eight in number, and the Paintings (which were design’d by Albert Durrel, an eminent Italian Master) represent the Histories of the Old and New Testament; together with the Fathers, Martyrs, and Persecutors of the Church. (The same person is said also to have built Rendcombe-Church,Rendcombe-Church. which place is now the habitation of Sir John Guyse Baronet, where he hath made him a pleasant seat.) The Tames were possessed of this place by the Attainder of Nevil Earl of Warwick, and here was a house on the north-side of the Church call’d Warwick-Court;Warwick-Court. but since, there hath been built a neat house, more remote from the Church. Near which, is Lechlade,Lechlade. turn’d by the Monkish Writers into Latinlade, to support their forged notion of it’s being a Latin University. Whereas, ¦ ¦ See Somner’s Gloss. to the X Scriptores, under the title Greglada.if they had understood their own original language, they would easily have perceiv’d that the name implies no more than the River Lech’s unlading it self there, into the Thames. To the Vicarage of this place, Lawrence Bathurst Esq; the Impropriator, gave the whole Rectory Impropriate, to the value of two hundred and forty Pounds per ann. by Will bearing date September 16. 1670; to the end, the same may be restored, and enjoyed, as I conceive in right the same ought to be, by the Vicars, Rectors, or Incumbents, of the said Church of Letchlade and their Successors for ever; as the words of the Will are. Out of the said Estate of the Bathursts, there are also other Charities annually paid.⌉
The river Churne, having left Cyrencester about six miles, ⌈and run by Latton,Latton. where, about the year 1670, was found,Aubr. Mon. MS. in a plough’d-field, a Pavement of Chequer-work;⌉ joyns the Isis: for Isis, commonly call’d Ouse (that it might be originally of Glocestershire) riseth near the south-border of this County, not far from Torleton, a small Village, hard by the famous Fosse-way. This is that Isis which afterwards joyning with Tame, * * See this confuted in Wiltshire.
The River Isis afterwards Tamisis.by adding the names together is called Tamisis, chief of the British rivers; of which we may truly say, as the ancients did of Euphrates in the East, that it both plants and waters Britain. The poetical description of it’s head or fountain, taken out of the Marriage of Tame and Isis, I have here added; which you may read or omit, as you please.
Lanigeros quà lata greges Cotswaldia pascit,
Crescit & in colles faciles, visura Dobunos,
Haud procul à † † Fosse-way.Fossa longo spelunca recessu
Cernitur, abrupti surgente crepidine clivi:
Cujus inauratis resplendent limina tophis,
Atria tegit ebur, tectumque Gagate Britanno
Emicat, alterno solidantur pumice postes.
Materiam sed vincit opus, ceduntque labori
Artifici tophus, pumex ebur, atque Gagates.
Pingitur hinc vitrei moderatrix Cynthia regni
Passibus obliquis volventia sydera lustrans:
Oceano tellus conjuncta marita marito
Illinc cælatur, fraternaque flumina Ganges,
Nilus, Amazonius, tractusque binominis Istri,
Vicini & Rheni, sed & his intermicat auro
Vellere Phryxæo dives, redimitaque spicis
Clara triumphatis erecta Britannia Gallis, &c.
Undoso hic solio residet regnator aquarum
Isis, fluminea qui majestate verendus
Cæruleo gremio resupinat prodigus urnam,
Intonsos crines ulvis & arundine cinctus,
Cornua cana liquent, fluitantia lumina lymphis
Dispergunt lucem, propexa in pectore barba
Tota madet, toto distillant corpore guttæ:
Et salientis aquæ prorumpunt undique venæ.
Pisciculi liquidis penetralibus undique ludunt,
Plurimus & cygnus niveis argenteus alis
Pervolitat circum, &c.
Where Cotswold’s hillocks fam’d for weighty Sheep,
Their eager course to the Dobunians keep;
Near the great Fosse, a spacious plain there lies,
Where broken cliffs the secret top disguise.
Huge free-stones neatly carv’d adorn the gate,
The porch with ivory shines, the roof with jeat,
And rows of pumice in the posts are set.
But nature yields to art: the workman’s skill
Does free-stone, ivory, pumice, jeat excell.
Here wand’ring Cynthia, arbitress o’th’ main,
Guides the dark stars with her refulgent train.
There Earth and Ocean their Embraces joyn,
Here Ganges, Danube, Thermadon, and Rhine,
And fruitful Nile in costly sculpture shine.
Above the rest great Britain sits in state
With golden fleeces cloath’d and crown’d with wheat.
And Gallick spoils lie trampled at her feet, &c.
Here awful Isis fills his liquid throne;
Isis whom British streams their Monarch own.
His never-wearied hands a spacious urn
Down on his azure bosom gravely turn,
And flaggs and reeds his unpoll’d locks adorn.
Each waving horn the subject stream supplies,
And grateful light darts from his shining Eyes.
His grizzly beard all wet hangs dropping down.
And gushing veins in wat’ry chanels run.
The little fish in joyful numbers crowd,
And silver swans fly o’er the crystal flood,
And clap their snowy wings, &c.
As to the Earls of Glocester;Earls of Glocester. some have obtruded upon us William Fitz-Eustace for the first Earl. Who he was, I have not yet found in my reading; and I believe there never was such a man: but what I have observ’d, I will not conceal from the Reader. ⌈Eldol the Britain is † † Dugd. Baron. p.1.said to have had the title of Earl of Glocester in the year 461; and Swayne, eldest son to Godwin Earl of Kent, to have had the same honour.⌉ It is said ⌈also⌉ that about the Norman Invasion, one Bithrick a Saxon was Lord of Glocester,Hist. Monast. Tewkesbury. against whom Maud the wife of William the Norman was highly exasperated, for his contempt of her beauty (for he had before refus’d to marry her,) and so, maliciously contrived his ruin; and when he was cast into prison, his estate was granted by the Conqueror, to Robert the son of Haimon of Curboyle in Normandy, commonly called Fitz-Haimon;Fitz-Haimon. who Guil. Malm.receiving a blow on the head with a pole, lived a great while distracted. His daughter Mabel (by others called Sybil) was married to Robert natural son of King Henry the first, who was made first Earl of Glocester, and by the common writers of that age is called Consul of Glocester, a person, above all others in those times, of a great and undaunted spirit, who was never dismayed by misfortunes; and who performed many heroick and difficult Exploits, with mighty honour, in the cause of his Sister Maud against Stephen the Usurper of the Crown of England. His son William succeeded in the honour, whose three daughters convey’d it to so many families. The eldest, Isabella, brought this title to John the son of King Henry the second; but when he had possess’d himself of the throne, he procured a divorce from her, and sold her for twenty thousand marks to Pat. 15.
Joan. R.4.Geoffry de Mandeville son of Geoffry, son of Peter Earl of Essex, and created him Earl of Glocester. He being dead without issue, Almaric * * Ebroicensis.son to the Earl of Eureux had this honour conferred upon him, as being born of Mabel the youngest daughter of Earl William aforesaid. But Almaric dying also without issue, the honour came to Amicia the second daughter, who being married to Richard de Clare Earl of Hartford, was mother to Earls of Glocester and Hertford.Gilbert de Clare Earl of Glocester; whose son Richard, and his grandson Gilbert 2, and great grandson Gilbert 3 (who was kill’d in the Battle of Sterling in Scotland) successively inherited this title. But, in the minority of Gilbert 3, Ralph de Monthermer, who had clandestinely marry’d the widow of Gilbert 2, and ¦ ¦ Called Joanna D’Acres, because born at Acon.daughter of Edward the first, did for some time enjoy the title of Earl of Glocester.
But when Gilbert arrived at the age of twenty one years, he claimed the title, and was summoned to serve in Parliament among the Barons. After Gilbert 3, who died without issue, Hugh de Spencer or Spencer jun. is by writersTho. de la Mare, in the life of Ed. 2. stiled Earl of Glocester in right of his wife, who was the eldest sister of Gilbert 3. But he being hanged by the Queen and her Lords in spight to Edward 2, whose favourite he was, Hugh de Audley, who had married the other sister, by the favour of Edward 3, obtained this honour. After whose death King Richard 2. erected this title into a Dukedom, of which there were three Dukes, with one Earl between, and to all of them it was unfortunate and fatal.
Thomas of Woodstock Earl of Buckingham, the youngest son of King EdwardDukes of Glocester. the third, was the first who was dignify’d with the title of Duke, but presently depriv’d of it, by King Richard the second. For being an ambitious man, and of an unquiet Spirit, he was, by order of the King, surprised and sent to Calais, and there smothered with a Feather-bed; having before made a confession under his hand (as appears in the Parliament-Rolls) that, by virtue of a Patent which he had extorted from the King, he had arrogated to himself Regal Authority, appeared armed in the King’s presence, contumeliously revil’d him, consulted with learned men how he might renounce his Allegiance, and entertain’d a design to depose him. For which, after he was dead, he was attainted of High Treason by Act of Parliament. He being thus taken off, the same King gave the title of Earl of Glocester, to Thomas de Spencer who, a little after, met with no better fate than his great Grandfather Hugh had done; for he was † † Exturbatus.prosecuted by Henry the fourth, and ignominiously degraded, and beheaded at Bristol.
Henry the fifth created his brother Humphrey the second Duke of Glocester, who us’d to stile himself, Son, Brother, and Uncle of Kings, Duke of Glocester, Earl of Pembroke, and Lord High Chamberlain of England. He was a great Friend and Patron of his Country, and of Learning; but by the contrivance of a woman, he was taken off at St. Edmunds-bury. The * * Third and last, C.third Duke was Richard the third, brother of King Edward the fourth, who, having inhumanly murther’d his Nephews, usurp’d the Throne, which within the space of two years he lost with his life in a pitch’d battle, and found by sad experience, That usurped Power is never lasting.
Concerning this last Duke of Glocester,Richard 3. and his first accession to the Crown, give me leave to act the part of an Historian for a while, which I shall presently lay aside again, as not being sufficiently qualified for such an Undertaking.
When he was declared Protector of the Kingdom, and had his two young Nephews, Edward the fifth King of England, and Richard Duke of York, in his power, he began to aim at the Crown; and by a profuse liberality, great gravity mixed with singular affability, profound wisdom, and impartial Justice to all people, joyn’d with many subtle devices, he procured the affections of all, and particularly gained the Lawyers to his side; and so managed the matter, that an humble Petition was presented to him in the name of the Estates of the Realm, in which they earnestly pray’d, That, for the publick good of the Kingdom, and safety of the People, he would accept the Crown, and thereby support his tottering Country, and not suffer it to fall into utter ruin; which, without respect to the laws of Nature, and those of the establish’d Government, had been harrassed and perplexed with civil wars, rapines, murders, and all other sorts of miseries, ever since Edward the fourth, his brother, † † Philtris pellectus.being enchanted with love-portions, had contracted that unhappy match with Elizabeth Grey widow, without the consent of Nobles, or publication of Banns, in a clandestine manner, and not in the face of the Congregation, contrary to the laudable custom of the Church of England; and what was worse, after he had contracted himself to the Lady Eleanor Butler, daughter to the Earl of Shrewsbury; from whence it was apparent, that his marriage was unlawful, and that the issue proceeding thence must be illegitimate, and not capable of inheriting the Crown. Moreover, since George Duke of Clarence, second brother of Edward the fourth, was by Act of Parliament attainted of High Treason, and his children excluded from all right of succession, none could be ignorant that Richard remained the sole and undoubted heir of the Crown; who, being born in England, they knew would heartily consult the good of his native Country; and of whose birth and legitimacy there was not the least question or dispute: whose wisdom also, justice, gallantry of mind, and warlike exploits valiantly performed for the good of the Nation, together with his noble Extraction (as descended from the royal race of England, France, and Spain) they were very well acquainted with, and fully understood. Wherefore having seriously weigh’d and consider’d these and many other reasons, they did freely, voluntarily, and unanimously, according to their Petition, elect him to be their King, and with prayers and tears, did, out of the great confidence they had in him, humbly beseech him to accept of the Kingdoms of England, France, and Ireland, which were doubly his, both by right of inheritance and of election; and that, for the love which he bore to his native Country, he would lend his helping hand, to save and protect it from imminent ruin. Which if he performed, they promis’d him all faith, duty, and assistance; otherwise, they were resolv’d to endure the utmost extremity, rather than suffer themselves to be brought into the bonds of a dishonourable slavery, from which at present they were freed. This humble Petition was presented to him, before he accepted the Crown; afterwards it was also offered in the great Council of the Nation, and approved of, and by their authority it was enacted and declared (in a multitude of words, as the custom is) That by the Laws of God, Nature, and of England, and by a most laudable Custom, Richard, after a lawful Election, Inauguration and Coronation, was, and is the true and undoubted King of England, &c. and that the inheritance of these Kingdoms rightfully belongs to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten: and, to use the very words of the original Record, It was enacted, decreed and declar’d, by authority of Parliament, that all and singular the Contents of the aforesaid Bill, are true and undoubted; and the same our Lord the King, with the assent of the three Estates of the Realm, and the authority aforesaid, doth pronounce, decree, and declare to be true and undoubted.
I have explained these matters somewhat more largely, that it may be understood how far the power of a Prince, pretended godliness, subtle arguings of Lawyers, hope, fear, desire of changes, and fair and specious pretences, may prevail against all right and justice, even in the great and wise assembly of the Nation. But the same cannot be said of this Richard, as was of Galba, That he had been thought fit for Empire, had he not reigned; for Galba, after he was settled in the Empire, deceived all Mens expectations; but this had been most worthy of a Kingdom, had he not aspired to it by wicked ways: so that in the opinion of the wise, he is to be reckoned in the number of bad Men, but of good Princes. But I must not forget that I am a Chorographer, and ought therefore to lay aside the Historian.
⌈Henry, third son to King Charles the first, born 1639, was Duke of Glocester, and dy’d unmarry’d the 13th of September 1660. Since which time, this title lay vacant, till William, son of George Prince of Denmark, was created Duke of this place; a Royal Youth, who was adorned with extraordinary Endowments of Nature, and had arrived to a variety of Knowledge and Learning, rarely, if ever seen in such tender years.⌉
There are in this County 280 Parishes.
More rare Plants growing wild in Glocestershire.
Androsæmum Campoclarense Col. Matthioli Park. quoad descr. Hypericon elegantissimum non ramosum, folio lato J. B. Ascyron seu Hypericum bifolium glabrum non perforatum C. B. Elegant broad-leav’d imperforate S. John’s-wort. On St. Vincent’s rock near Bristol.
Asparagus palustris Ger. Marsh-Asparagus or Sperage, corruptly call’d Sparrow-grass. See the other Synonymes in Cornwall Cat. In Appleton-meadow about two miles from Bristol: where the Country-people do gather the buds or young shoots, and sell them in the markets at Bristol, much cheaper than our Garden-kind is sold in London. Park. p.455. This aemula Foeniculi sphaericeo should seem rather to be the common or manured Asparagus growing wild, than the maritime; which differs from it, though growing in the same place, in having thicker leaves and a better taste. Magnol.
Buxus arborescens Park. Buxus Ger. J. B. The Box-tree. At Boxwell in Coteswold. As I find in some notes communicated to me by my honoured friend Mr. John Aubrey.
Cardamine pumila Bellidis folio Alpina Ger. emac. Plantula Cardamines alterius æmula Park. Nasturtium Alpinum Bellidis folio minus C. B. Sinapi pumilum Bellidis folio Clusio J. B. Daisie-leav’d Ladies-smock. Found by Mr. Newton on St. Vincent’s-rock near Bristol.
Ceterach, sive Asplenium & Scolopendria. Spleenwort or Miltwast. About St. Vincent’s-rock among the heaps of stones plentifully: and on many walls about Bristol.
Hyacinthus Autumnalis minor. Small Autumnal Hyacinth. On the same St. Vincent’s-rock. See the Synonymes in Cat. Cornw.
Malva arborea marina nostras, Park. English Sea-tree-mallow. On an Island call’d Dinney, three miles from Kings-road, and five miles from Bristol. Park. p.306.
Peucedanum minus Park. C. B. Phytop. pumilum Ger. Peucedani facie pusilla planta Lob. Selinum montanum pumilum Clusii, foliis Fœniculi aut Peucedani, flore albo, semine Selini J. B. Rock-Parsley. On St. Vincent’s-rock, near Bristol.
Rubia Sylvetris Park. See the other Synonymes in Devon. Cat. Wild-madder. On St. Vincent’s-rock. This hath been mistaken for the common manured Madder, from which it is specifically distinct.
Sedum minus è rupe S. Vincentii. Small Sengrene of St. Vincent’s-rock. The title directs to the place.
To these I shall add,
Anemone tuberosa radice Phyt. Brit. Knobbly-rooted Anemony or Wind-flower, said to grow on Coteswold-hills near Black-Burton, and to be a great ornament to those barren hills; by Mr. Heaton. My learned and inquisitive friend Mr. Edward Lloyd sought it there in vain.
Hipposelinum Ger. emac. Hipposelinum seu Smyrnium vulgare, Park. Macerone, quibusdam Smyrnium; semine magno nigro J. B. Hipposelinum Theophrasti, vel Smyrnium Dioscoridis C. B. Alexanders. On the rocks at Bechley going down to Ast-ferry.
Nasturtium montanum annuum tenuissimè divisum. Finely-cut annual Mountain-Cresse. Brought to Mr. Bobert from St. Vincent’s-rock, near Goram’s-Chair in the parish of Henbury, three miles from Bristol. It is something agreeable to the Nasturtium Alpinum tenuissime divisum septimum C.B.
Allium Holmense sphæriceo capite, Scorodoprassum primum Clusii Ger. emac. Allium sphæriceo capite, folio latiore, sive Scorodoprassum alterum C. B. Great round-headed Garlick of the Holms-Island. Found plentifully growing in the said Island in the Severn-Sea by Mr. Newton.
Sedum minus fruticosum C. B. Vermicularis frutex minor Ger. fruticosa altera Park. An Culi species, seu Vermicularis marina arborescens J. B. Shrub-stone-crop or Glass-wort: found by Lobel growing plentifully in the Holms-Island.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52