Britannia, by William Camden


Big U UPON the Confines of Bedfordshire, toward the East and partly toward the South, lieth Hertfordshire, the third of those Counties (as I said before) which were possessed by the Cattieuchlani. Its West-side bordereth upon Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire; the South-side upon Middlesex; the East upon Essex, and the North upon Cambridgeshire. It is is well furnish’d with corn-fields, pasture-grounds, meadows, and little woods; and withNorden, Hist. of Hertfordshire. small, but very clear, streams; ⌈but Pasture is the least in proportion; and their meadows, here and there dispersed, are many of them said to be cold and mossy; and the soil in general, to be, in respect of some other Counties, but barren of it self, without the great toil and charge of the husbandman.⌉ But so eminent is it for famous ancient places; that, as to that point, it may justly dispute pre-eminence with all its neighbours. For scarce is there any one Shire in England, that can shew more footsteps of Antiquity. ⌈As to Vicountile Jurisdiction, both before and long after the time of Edward the third, it was annex’d to Essex; and one Sheriff supply’d both Counties, as did also one Escheator. * * Nord. p.5.The Justices, for the greater ease both of themselves and the common people, did by consent divide the whole Shire into three parts or Divisions, and accordingly have three several Courts for determination of lesser matters; the more considerable being referr’d to the general meeting at Hertford. Those who have made Enquiries into the affairs of this County, refer it’s flourishing condition, partly to the many thorow-fares to and from London, which has been the cause of the improvement of their towns; and partly to the healthfulness of the air, which has induc’d several of the Gentry to settle in it, and given occasion to this saying, † † Full. Wor. p.17.That they who buy a house in Hertfordshire, pay two years purchase for the air.

Hertford Shire map, left Hertford Shire map, right

Hertford Shire

UponChronicle of Dunstable. the very edge of the County to the North, where it touches upon Cambridgeshire, stands Royston,Royston. a town of good note, but not ancient; as having risen since the Norman Conquest. For in those days, there was a famous Others say she was the wife of Richard de Clare.Lady named Roysia (by some supposed to have been Countess of Norfolk, ) who erected a Cross upon the Road-side, in this place, from thence for many years called Royse’s Cross; till Eustachius de Marc founded a small Monastery hard by, to the honour of St. Thomas. Upon this occasion, Inns began to be built, and by degrees it came to be a town, which, instead of Royse’s Cross took the name of Royston, i.e. Royse’s town. Richard the first granted it a Fair, as also a Market, which is now very famous and much frequented upon account of the Malt-trade. For it is almost incredible, what a multitude of Corn-merchants, Maltsters, and the like dealers in Grain, do weekly resort to this Market; and what a vast number of horses laden with Corn, do on those days fill all the roads about it. ⌈In the 32d year of Stat. 32 H. 8. c.44.King Henry the eighth, a Statute passed for the reducing of this Town into one new Parish.⌉

From hence southward, Tharfield,Tharfield. amongst the tops of some small hills, hangs over Royston. Here was the seat of the ancient Family of the Berners,Berners. descended from Hugh de Berniers; upon whom, as a reward for the valour he had shown in the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror bestow’d a fair estate in Eversdon in Cambridgeshire. And to that degree of reputation did his posterity arrive, that John Bourchier, who married the sole heiress of this family, received the title of Lord Berners, upon his being created a Baron, by King Edward the fourth.

Nor far from hence lieth Nucelles,Nucelles. a place formerly belonging to the RoffesFamily of Roffes or Rochesters. or Rochesters. But all its reputation was deriv’d afterwards from the Barons de Scales, who were originally of Norfolk, but heirs to the Roffes. For King Edward the first, for the great services performed in the Scotch wars, granted to Robert de Scales certain Lands then worth three hundred marks per annum, andBarons de Scales. summoned him amongst his Barons to Parliament. The Arms of this family were Gules with six Escallops Argent, which I have seen in several places. They flourish’d till the reign of Edward the fourth, when the only daughter and heir thereof was married to Anthony Widevil Earl * * De Ripariis.Rivers. Whom, as his own most signal Valour and his sister’s marriage with the King had raised; so the malice of his enemies never left pursuing him, till they brought him to his end. For Richard the third beheaded him, though he had no way deserved it. After the death of this Earl’s Lady without issue, the inheritance was divided in the time of Henry the seventh, between John Earl of Oxford and Sir William Tindale Kt. who were found to be next in blood and coheirs; the former by the Howards, the latter by the Bigods of Felbridge.

Lower, eastward, is Ashwell,Ashwell. that is, the Fountain among Ashes, a good large country-Village, and well peopled. It stands upon the northern border of the County in a low ground, and is famous for Springs which here break forth out of the side of a stony bank or creek, cover’d over and shaded with tall Ashes. Hence the water flows continually in so large a quantity, that it’s current being at a small distance gathered into one chanel, serves to drive a Mill, and quickly after becomes a river. From these Wells and Ashes together, as it is most certain that the English-Saxons gave it the modern name of Ashwell, so I was formerly of opinion, that the ancient Britains, who were wont to give divine honours to mountains, rivers, fountains, and groves, as Gildas hath observed, had accordingly, on the same account, and in the very same sense, given to this place the name of Magioninium, and that it was the old Magioninium of Antoninus. But † † Now placed at Dunstaple in Bedfordshire.time hath now informed me better; and I am not asham’d to change my opinion in this point: it is not my humour to be fond of my own mistakes. And yet this place has its Antiquity evidenced, by a large square fortification hard by; which, by the Roman coins frequently found there, shows whose work it was. Also in Domesday-book (which contains the Survey of all England, taken by William the Conqueror above * * 500, C.six hundred years ago) it is expresly termed a Borrough.

More to the South, I saw Baldoc,Baldoc. a Market-town, seated upon a whitish soil; concerning which place Antiquity is wholly silent, as well as concerning its neighbour Hitching,Hitching. ⌈or Hitch-end, * * called from lying at the end of a Wood call’d Hitch, which formerly came up to it: The main business of the Inhabitants is Maulting, and their Market chiefly noted for Corn.⌉

From thence, we come to Wimondley,Wimondley. seated in a well-cultivated and rich soil; an ancient and famous Manour, which is held by the most honourable tenure in this Kingdom (the Lawyers call it Grand Serjeanty,)Grand Serjeanty. by which the Lord thereof is bound, on the Inauguration-day, to present the first Cup to the King of England, and for that time to be, as it were, the Royal-Cup-bearer. This Honour was enjoyed, in virtue of the Lordship, towards the beginning of the Norman times, by a noble family who had the name of Fitz-Tecs;Fitz-Tees. from whom it came by a daughter to the Argentons. These derived both their name and pedigree from David de Argenton,Argentons. a Norman Soldier, who served in the wars under William the Conqueror; in memory of which Office, they † † They have long given, C.all along gave for their Arms Three Cups Argent in a field Gules. But at length, upon failure of issue-male in the reign of Henry the sixth, Elizabeth Argenton, who was sole Heir, brought to her husband Sir William Allington, Kt. a very fair estate together with this honour; from whom the seventh in the lineal descent, is * * So said, ann. 1607.Giles Allington, a young Gentleman of an obliging and truly generous temper, who (I hope) by his own Virtue will add a new lustre to the ancient reputation of this family. ⌈Of the same family, William Allington, Baron of Killard, was created Baron Allington of Wimondley, in the 35th year of King Charles the second; which title expired in Giles his son, for want of heir-male; and the Manour was since purchased by the Widow of James Hambleton.

Not far from hence is Offley,Offley. so called from King Offa, who frequently resided, and at last dy’d, here: and, HextonHexton. (near the military way) where, on a high hill, is an oval Camp of great strength and ancient Works; and near it, on the top of another hill, is a hillock, such as the Romans were wont to rear for Soldiers slain, wherein many Bones have been found. A parcel of Ground near the foresaid Camp, is called Dane-furlongDane-furlong. to this day.

South from Wimondley aforesaid,⌉ near the high-road between Stevenhaugh, and Knebworth the seat of the famous family of the Littons, I saw certain hills cast-up, of a considerable bigness; such as the old Romans were wont to raise for Soldiers slain in battle, where the first turf was laid by the General. Unless one should rather suppose them to have been placed as limits: for it was an ancient custom to raise such little hills to mark out the bounds of places, and underneath them In the County of lay ashes, coals, lime, broken potsherds, &c. as I shall shew more at large in another place. ⌈But if they were neither Roman burying-places nor bounds, I am apt to think they had some relation to the Danes. For the hundred at a little distance, call’d Dacorum-Hundred,Dacorum-Hundred. and the place within it Dane-end,Dane-end. seem to be an evidence of some remarkable thing or other, that the Danes either did or suffer’d, in this place. And Norden, in his description of this County, tells us (but upon what grounds, I know not,) that the incursions of the Danes were stop’d in this place, where they received a signal overthrow: which, if true, and built upon a good authority, makes this conjecture the more probable.⌉

Lower, and more to the South, lies the head of the river Lea,Lea, riv. by our Ancestors call’d Saxon: Ligean; which with a very gentle stream passeth first by Whethamsted,Whethamsted. a place very fruitful in wheat, from whence also it took its name. John of * * De Loco frumentario.Whethamsted, there born and thence named, was by his Learning and Fame a great ornament to it, in the days of Henry the sixth. From thence it runs to Brocket-hall,Brocket-hall. the seat of the Knightly family of the Brockets, ⌈from whom it passed by marriage to the Reads;⌉ and Woodhall,Wood-hall. ⌈heretofore⌉ the seat of the Butlers, who being descended from a Baron of Wem, by marriage came to the estate of the Gobions; ⌈as this estate, by the same way, passed to Francis Shallcross of Digginsworth.⌉ Thence it comes near Bishops-Hatfield,Bishops-Hatfield. a town seated upon the side of a hill; on the upper part whereof standeth a very fair house, † † Now, C.once belonging to the King, as it did before to the Bishops of Ely; which was re-built and beautified by John Morton Bishop of Ely: for King Edgar gave forty hides in this place to the Church of Ely. ⌈But now it is neither a Royal, nor Bishop’s seat; but belongs to the Earls of Salisbury, being a place of great pleasure upon the account of it’s Parks and other conveniences. For situation, contrivance, building, prospect, and other necessaries to make a compleat seat, it gives way to few in England. In this Parish, is also a seat of the Earl of Anglesey, with a Park belonging to it.

From this Hatfield, most of our Historians affirm that William de Hatfeld, son of King Edward the third, took his name; though it was really from Hatfield in Yorkshire: where, to the neighbouring Abbot of Roch, Queen Philippa gave five marks, and five nobles per Annum to the Monks, to pray for the soul of this her son; and the sums, being transferr’d to the V. Yorkshire.
Church of York, are now paid by the Earl of Devonshire.⌉ From Hatfield, the Lea passes on to Hertford,Hertford. which in some copies of Bede is written Herudford, in that passage where he treats of a Synod holden there A. D. 670. Which name some will have to signifie the Red Ford,Red-Ford. ⌈(a name, that would agree well enough to the South and West parts of the County, where the Soil is a red earth mix’d with gravel;) and⌉ others the Ford of Harts. ⌈It is called in Saxon Saxon: Heortford; a name, no doubt, taken from a Hart, with which sort one may easily imagine such a woody Country to have formerly abounded.Durocobrivae HartingfordHartingford. adjoyning makes also for that Opinion; and the Arms of the Town, which (if rightly represented by Spede) are a Hart couchant in the water, should seem to put it beyond dispute, that this at least was the tradition; and yet two late WritersGale, p.62.Chancey, p.231. (contrary to the plain import of the Saxon name) do still chuse, rather to interpret it a red Ford; contending at the same time (partly, from that Analogy of the names,) that it was the Durocobrivæ of Antoninus, which they say, in British, implies as much as a red-water passage.⌉

This Town, in the time of William the Conqueror, as we find in Domesday-book, discharg’d it self for ten hides, and there were in it twenty six Burgesses. But in our days it is but thinly inhabited; being chiefly considerable for its Antiquity: for the whole County took its name from it, and it still continues the Shire-town. It hath a Castle seated upon the river Lea, which is thought to have been built by Edward the elder; and was enlarged first by the family of Clare, to whom it belong’d. For Gislebert de Clare, about the time of Henry the second, had the title of Earl from this Herudford; and Robert Fitz-walter, who was of the same house of Clare, when King Stephen seized into his hands all the Castles of England, directly told the King himself (as we read in Matthew Paris) that by ancient right the custody of that Castle belong’d to him. After that, it came to the Crown, and King Edward the third granted to his son John of Gaunt, then Earl of Richmond, afterward Duke of Lancaster, this Castle, together with the Town and Honour of Hertford; that there (as the words run in the Grant) he might keep a house suitable to his quality, and have a decent habitation. ⌈Here is a very fair School, founded by Richard Hale, a native of this County, who endowed it with forty pounds per Annum.⌉

From hence the river Lea quickly reacheth Ware,Ware. so named from a sort of dam anciently made there to stop the current; commonly called a Weare or a ⌈Which, as it is confirm’d by an abundance of waters thereabout, that might put them under a necessity of such contrivances; so particularly, from the inundation in the year 1408, when it was almost all drown’d; since which time (says Norden) and before, there was great provision made by wayres and sluces for the better preservation of the town, and the grounds belonging to the same. The plenty of waters hereabouts, gave occasion to that ingenious and useful project of cutting the chanel from hence to London, and conveying thither the New-river;New-river. to the great convenience and advantage of that City. Which river was at first called also Middleton’s Waters, from Sir Hugh Middleton, a great Undertaker in that Work. For the better effecting of this, two several Acts of Parliament were granted to the City of London;3 Jac. 1. c.18.4 Jac. 1. c.12. who finding it too chargeable, and thereupon desisting, Sir Hugh Middleton himself (assisted by divers Gentlemen) brought the river near the City; and for the compleating of this design, and preserving of the River, a Corporation was erected 17 Jac. 1. by the name of the Governors and Company of the New River, &c.⌉ This Town was first very prejudicial to Hertford; and now by its populousness hath quite eclips’d it. For in the time of the Barons Wars with King John, under the countenance and protection of it’s Lord the Baron of Wake, it presum’d to turn the high-road hither; whereas before that time it was a small Village, and no Wagons could pass hither overInspeximus H.8. the river, by reason of a chain drawn cross the bridge, the key whereof was always in the custody of the Bailiff of Hertford.

Much about the same time, Gilbert Marshal Earl of Pembroke, then the principal Peer of England, proclaimed a Tournament on horse-back at this place, under the name of a Fortuny,Fortunium. designing thereby to elude the force of the King’s Proclamation, by which Tournaments had been prohibited. This drew hither a very great concourse of Nobility and Gentry; and when he came himself to make his Career, his horse1241. unfortunately broke the bridle and threw him, and he was, in a miserable manner, trampled to death. These TournamentsTournaments. were publick exercises of Arms, practis’d by Noblemen and Gentlemen; and were more than meer sports or diversions. They were first instituted (if we may believe Munster) in the year of our Lord 934, and were managed by their own particular Laws, which may be seen in the same Author. For a long time, this practice was continued in all parts, to that degree of madness, and with so great a slaughter of persons of the best quality, especially here in England, from the timeNeubrigensis, l.5. c.4. King Stephen had brought it in;Matth. Par. An. 1248. that the Church was forced by several Canons expresly to forbid them, with this Penalty annexed, That whoever should happen to be slain therein, should be denied Christian Burial. And under King Henry the third, by advice of Parliament, it was enacted, that the Offenders estates should be forfeited, and their children disinherited. And yet in contempt of that good Law, this evil and pernicious Custom prevail’d long after, and was not wholly laid aside till the reign of King Edward the third. ⌈The ancient Saxon-Annals, in the year 1016,Ann. Sax. 1016. speak of the Danes sailing Saxon: into Arwan, when they had a design upon the Kingdom of Mercia; and as that place is not yet found and settled, there is room for a Conjecture, that the true reading may be, Saxon: to Waran, and, that, on that supposition, they came to this place along the river Lea. But this, by the by.

North from Ware, is Burnt-Pelham,Burnt-Pelham. so call’d, from some great fire that hath happen’d here. * * Nord. p.21.There were some fragments and foundations of old buildings, which appear’d plainly to have been consum’d by fire, and so to have given name to the place; and in the walls of the Church, a very ancient monument, namely,Weaver, Mon. f.549. a man figur’d in stone, and about him an eagle, a lion, and a bull, all winged, and a fourth of the shape of an angel; possibly, contriv’d to represent the four Evangelists. Under the feet of the man, a Cross-flowry, and under the Cross a serpent.⌉

Betwixt the two Towns, Ware and Hertford, which are scarce two miles asunder, Lea is encreas’d by two small rivers from the North. Asser names them Mimera and Beneficia; ⌈and the Saxon-Annals, Saxon: Memera and Saxon: Benefica.⌉ I should guess that to be the Beneficia, upon which BenningtonBennington. stands, where the Bensteds, a noted family, had formerly a small Castle; And that to be the Mimera which passeth by Pukerich,Pukerich. a place that obtain’d the privilege of a Market and Fair by the Grant of Edward the first, which was procured by the Interest of William le Bland. Behind Puckerich, is Munden Furnivall;Furnivall. which deserves to be mention’d on this account, that it had for its Lord, Gerard de Furnivall (from whom also it took it’s name) a younger son of Gerard Furnivall of Sheffield. But now let us return to the river Lea and the town of Ware; as far as which place the Danes came up the river in their light Pinnaces, as Asser relates it, and there built a Fort: which when King Alfred could not take by force, he dug three new Chanels, and did so turn the waters of the Lea out of their old course to hinder the return of their Fleet, that from that time the river was of very little use to the neighbourhood; till it was long since restored to it’s ancient Chanel, and made more commodious for the conveyance of wares, corn, &c. The Lea, soon after it hath left Ware, ⌈and pass’d by StanstedStansted. (where Sir Edward Baesh endowed a fair Almshouse, and a Grammar-School; besides a considerable benefaction given to the Church;)⌉ receives from the east a small river named Stort, which first runneth by Bishops Stortford,Bishops Stortford. ⌈formerly⌉ a little town, ⌈but now grown into a considerable place, well stock’d with Inns, and a good Market. It is built in the form of a Cross, having four Sheets pointing to the four quarters; in the four Roads answering to which, were anciently four Crosses. It was formerly⌉ fortified with a small Castle standing upon an hill, raised by art within a little Island. Which Castle,Castle of Waymore. William the Conqueror gave to the Bishops of London; whence it came to be called Bishops Stortford. But King John, out of hatred to Bishop William ⌈de S. Maria, made Bishop ann. 1119, the same year he came to the Crown,)⌉ demolished it. ⌈It seems to have been of great strength, having within it a dark and deep Dungeon, call’d the Convict’s Prison;Convict’s Prison. but that this name denotes some great privileges formerly belonging to it, I dare not (with a late Author) affirm; believing it to be no other, than the prison which the Bishop of London might probably have in that place, for the safe-keeping of Clerks Convict. In one of the windows of the Church, are the names of King Athelstan, St. Edward, and King Edward; but of no other later Kings.⌉

From thence the Lea passeth on to Hunsdon,Hunsdon. which place, by the favour of Queen Elizabeth, gave the title of BaronBaron of Hunsdon. to Sir Henry Cary, then Lord Chamberlain. For, besides that he was descended from that family of the Dukes of Somerset which was of the Blood Royal, he also was by his mother Mary Bolen, Cousin-German to Queen Elizabeth. The Lea, having receiv’d this small river, hasteneth with a more full and brisk current toward the Thames; and in it’s passage thither, salutes Theobald-house,Theobald-house. commonly called Tibauld’s, a place, than which, as to the Fabrick, nothing † † Can, C.could be more elegant; and as to the Gardens, Walks, and Wildernesses, nothing more pleasant. This House was built by that Nestor of Britain, the right honourable Baron Burleigh Lord Treasurer of England (to whom more particularly this river is obliged for the recovery of it’s ancient Chanel,) ⌈and was very much improv’d by his son Robert, * * Stat. 4 J.1.who exchang’d it with King James the first for Hatfield-house. † † Full. Wor. p.17.In the year 1651, during the Civil Wars, it was quite defac’d, and the plunder of it shar’d among the Soldiers.⌉Caesar

But now let us return to the heart of the County, where are places more ancient. Twelve miles west from Hertford, stood Verolamium,Verolamium. in old time a very famous City. Tacitus calls it Verulamium; and Ptolemy, Urolanium, and Verolamium. The situation of this place is well known to have been close by the town of St. AlbansSt. Albans. in Caisho Hundred (which Hundred was, without doubt, inhabited by those Cassii, of whom Cæsar makes mention.) The Saxons call’d it Saxon: Watlinga-cester, from the famous high-way named Watlingstreat; and Saxon: Werlamceaster. Nor hath it yet lost it’s ancient name; for it is still commonly call’d Verulam, altho’ nothing of that remains, besides ruins of walls, AEdiles Quaestors boadicea caesar chequer’d pavements, and Roman Coins which they now and then dig-up. ⌈Some of the Roman bricks do also still appear; and the great Church here was built out of the ruins of Old Verulam; for altho’ Time and Weather have made the outside look like Stone, yet if you break them, or go up to the Tower, the redness of the brick presently appears. About the year 1666, here was found a Copper Coin, which had on one side Romulus and Remus sucking the Wolf, and on the other Rome; but was much defaced.⌉

The Town was seated on the side of a gentle hill, to the east; and was fortified with very strong walls, a double rampire, and deep trenches to the south. And on the east, it had a small rivulet, which formerly made on that side a large Mere or standing water: whereupon, it has been conjectur’d, that this was the town of CassibelinusCassibelinus his town. (so well defended by woods and marshes,) which was taken by Cæsar. For there is not, that I know of, any other Mere hereabouts. In Nero’s time, it was esteem’d a Municipium; which gave occasion to Ninius, in his Catalogue of Cities, to call it Caer-Municip. So that, there is no doubt, but this was that Caer Municipium, which Hubert Goltzius found in an old Inscription. These Municipia,Municipia. were Towns, whose Inhabitants enjoyed the rights and privileges of Roman Citizens. And the name arose à muneribus capiendis, i.e. from their capacity to bear publick Offices in the Common-wealth. As to Orders and Degrees, they had their Decuriones (Senators or Masters,) their Equites (or Gentlemen;) and their Commons: As to their publick Council, they had a Senate and People; As to their Magistrates and Priests, they had their Duumviri and Triumviri to administer Justice; and also their Censors, Ædiles, Quæstors, and Flamins. But whether this our Verulam was a Municipium, with Suffrages, or without, is not easie to determine. A Municipium with Suffrages they call’d that, which was capable of publick honours; as they called the other which was uncapable, a Municipium without Suffrages. In the reign of the same Nero, when Bunduica or Boadicia, Queen of the Iceni, out of an inveterate hatred of the Romans, had raised a bloody War against them, this town (as Tacitus writes) was by the Britains entirely ruin’d. Of which Suetonius makes mention in these words: These miseries, which were the effects of that Prince’s inhumanity, were attended with great slaughter in Britain, where * * Verulam and Maldon.two of the chief towns in that Island were sack’d, with a dreadful slaughter both of Roman Citizens and their Allies. Yet afterward, this City flourished again, and grew up to a great degree of eminency. And I have seen several pieces of ancient money, which in all probability were coin’d here, with this Inscription, TASCIA; and on the reverse VER. which the most inquisitive and learned Antiquary David Powel S.T.P. interprets, The Tribute of Verulam. For TascTasc, what it signifies. (as he says,) in the British signifies Tribute, Tascia a Tribute-penny, and Tascyd the chief Collector of Tribute. But, if you please, view the Coyn once more; for I have given you a sight of it before.


Some will have it, that these pieces were coyn’d before the coming-in of the Romans: But I am not of their mind. For I have always thought them to be the Tribute-money which the Romans (as I observ’d before) were wont every year to raise by Poll, and by a Land-tax. For before the coming of the Romans, I can scarce think that the Britains coyn’d money. And yet I am not unmindful of what Cæsar writes of them: They use,British Money. saith he, brass-Money, or rings of Iron made to a certain weight; where ancient CopiesOthers Annulis. have Lanceis ferreis, for which the Criticks have substituted Laminis ferreis, i.e. Plates of Iron. But it would be impertinent to repeat my former DiscourseOf the British Coins. upon this Subject: let us therefore return to the business in hand. As to Verulam; no one thing was so great an honour to it, as that it brought forth St. Alban,Alban the Martyr. a Person deservedly eminent for his piety, and steadiness in the Christian Faith: who, when Dioclesian, by all sorts of torments, endeavour’d the utter extirpation of the Christian Religion, did with an invincible constancy of mind suffer Martyrdom, the first Man in Britain. For which reason he is called Our Stephen, and the Protomartyr of Britain; and Fortunatus Presbyter mentions him thus:

Albanum egregium fœcunda Britannia profert.

And fruitful Britain holy Alban shews.

Also Hiericus a Frenchman, who flourish’d † † Seven, C.eight hundred years since, gives an account in Verse of St. Alban’s Martyrdom;In the Life of St. German. and how his Executioner was, by a miracle, struck blind.

Millia pœnarum Christi pro nomine passus,
Quem tandem rapuit capitis sententia cæsi.
Sed non lictori cessit res tuta superbo,
Utque caput Sancto, ceciderunt lumina sævo

After a thousand sufferings for the Faith.
When judg’d at last to end them all with death;
The bloody Lictor did just Heav’n surprise,
And as the Saint his head, the Villain lost his eyes.

In an old Agonal, or History of his Passion, we are told that the Citizens of Verulam caus’d an account of his suffering to be expressed on a Marble; which they plac’d in their town-walls, as a publick disgrace to him, and a terror to all Christians. But afterwards, when the blood of Martyrs had overcome the cruelty of Tyrants, the Christians built a Church here to his memory; which, as Bede tells us, was a piece of most admirable workmanship. And now Verulam came to be so much reverenced for it’s sanctity, that An. Dom. 429, a Synod was held here upon occasion of the Pelagian Heresy, which was spread a-new over the Island by Agricola son to Severianus a Bishop; and had so generally infected the British Churches, that, to maintain the true Faith, they were forc’d to send into France for Germanus Bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus Bishop of Troies; who, confuting the heresie, render’d themselves thereby very venerable to the Britains; especially St. German, as appears by the many Churches dedicated to him in this Island. Particularly, there is still remaining near the walls of this ruin’d City, a small Chapel,St. German’s Chapel. which bears that Saint’s name; tho’ otherwise profanely employed. It stands in the very place where St. German preached to the people; for which we have the authority of some ancient Records of St. Alban’s Church. We are told farther by Constantius (who liv’d at the same time) in the life of St. German, that he caused the Sepulcher of St. Alban to be opened, and plac’d therein the Reliques of certain Saints, that they whom one Heaven had received, might also rest together in one Sepulchre. I take notice of this by the way, that we may hence collect what was the custom of that Age. Not long after, Verulam fell into the hands of the Saxons. But Uther the Britain, for his serpentine subtilty sirnam’d Pendragon, recover’d it, with much difficulty and after a very tedious siege. After whose death, it fell again into the same hands. For Gildas’s words plainly enough intimate, that the Saxons in his days were possess’d of this City. God, saith he, hath lighted up unto us the most clear Lamps of his Saints; whose burial-places, as well as the places of their passion, might excite in our souls a great fervour of divine love every time we cast our eyes upon them, if (as a punishment to our great wickedness,) the Barbarians had not been suffer’d to rob us of them: I mean, St. Alban at Verulam, &c. Verulam was now quite ruin’d by these Wars, when about the year of our Lord 795. Offa, the most potent King of the Mercians, founded over-against it in a place they called Holmehurst,Holmehurst. a very large and stately Monastery to the memory of St. Alban, or as his Charter expresses it, unto our Lord Jesus Christ, and to St. Alban the Martyr, whose Reliques the divine Grace hath discover’d, as a hopeful pledge both of our present prosperity, and of our future happiness. Together with the Monastery, there presently grew up a Town, which from the Saint took the name of St. Alban’s.St. Albans. The same King Offa, and several other Kings of England his Successors, did bestow on this Monastery very large possessions, and obtain for it from divers Popes very ample privileges. I will here recite a passage to that purpose out of Florilegus, that you may observe the extraordinary liberality of our Princes to the Church. Thus therefore he. The most mighty King Offa gave to S. Alban the Protomartyr a town of the Royal Demesne, which is distant about twenty miles from Verulam, and is called * * Perhaps Wineslow.Uneslaw, andTantundem per Circuitum.many other lands round about, as may be seen in that King’s Charter, kept to this day in the said Monastery. The immunities and privileges whereof are so large and peculiar, that it is exempt from paying the Apostolical duty to the Pope, called * * That is, of every house a Penny.Romescot; whereas neither the King, nor Archbishop, nor any other Bishop, Abbot, or Prior, nor any other person whatsoever in the whole Kingdom, is exempted from this payment: this place alone is exempt. Furthermore, the Abbot, or a Monk acting as Archdeacon under him, exercises Episcopal Jurisdiction over all the Clergy and Laity residing on any of the lands appertaining to the Monastery; so that the Abbot hereof is not subject to any Archbishop, Bishop, or Legate, but to the Pope alone. This also deserves our Observation, that when the magnificent Prince Offa made a gift to the Pope of the Peter-pence of his Kingdom; he obtain’d this particular privilege for the Church of St. Alban the Protomartyr of England, that that Church might collect and retain to it’s own use, all the Romescot or Peter-pence throughout Hertfordshire, in which County that Church stands. Wherefore, as the Church it self by the King’s grant enjoys all manner of Royalties, so the Abbot of the place for the time being hath all Episcopal Ornaments. Also, Pope Hadrian 4. who was born near Verulam, granted to the Abbots of this Monastery (these are the words of the Privilege) That as St. Alban is well known to be the Protomartyr of the English Nation, so the Abbot of his Monastery should in all times be reputed the first, in dignity, of all the Abbots in England. Neither did the Abbots neglect any Improvements that might be useful or ornamental to it; filling up with earth a large Pool or Mere which lay under the town of Verulam. The memory of this Pool remains in a certain street of the town call’d Fishpool-street. Near which, when Anchors happen’dAnchors dug-up. in our memory to be dug-up, some (led into a mistake by a corrupt place in Gildas) presently concluded, that the Thames had formerly had it’s course this way. But concerning this Mere or Fishpool, an ancient historian writes thus: Alfric the Abbot purchas’d for a great sum of money a large and deep Pond call’d Fishpool, which by its vicinity was very prejudicial to the Church of St. Alban. For the Fishery belonged to the Crown, and the King’s Officers and others that came to fish, were troublesome and chargeable to the Monastery and the Monks. The said Abbot therefore drein’d the water out of the Pool, and turn’d it into dry land.drained

If I should lay stress upon the Stories common among the People; viz. how great plenty of Roman Coins, how many Images of gold and silver, how many vessels, how many marble Pillars, how many capitals; in fine, how many wonderful pieces of ancient work, have been fetch’d out of the earth; I could not, in reason, expect to be credited. However, take this short account, upon the credit of an ancient Historian. Ealred the Abbot, in the reign of K. Edgar,About the year 960. searching the old subterraneous Vaults of Verulam, broke them all down, and stop’d up the ways and passages under-ground which were arch’d over very artificially, and very firmly built; some whereof were carried under that water, which in old time almost encompassed the whole City. This he did, because they were ordinary lurking-places of thieves and whores. He fill’d up the ditches of the City, and stop’d up certain Caves thereabouts, whither Malefactors us’d to fly for Refuge. But he laid aside all the tiles, and such Stones as he found fit for building. Hard by the bank, they happen’d upon oaken planks, with nails sticking in them, cover’d with pitch, as also some other shipping-tackle, particularly, Anchors half eaten with rust, and Oars of fir. And a little after, Eadmer his Successor went forward with the work which Ealdred had begun, and his diggers met with the foundation of a Palace in the middle of the old City; and in a hollow place in the wall, contriv’d like a small closet, they happen’d upon Books having covers of oak and silk strings; one whereof contain’d the life of St. Alban in the British language; the rest contained certain Pagan Ceremonies. When they had open’d the Earth to a greater depth, they met with old stone-tables, tiles also and pillars, pots, and great earthen vessels neatly wrought, and others of glass containing the ashes of the dead, &c. And at last, out of these remains of old Verulam, Eadmer built a new Monastery to St. Alban. Thus much of the Antiquity and Dignity of Verulam. For the honour of it, give me leave, by way of Corollary, to add this Hexastic of Alexander Necham, who was born there * * So said, ann. 1607.400 years ago.

Urbs insignis erat Verolamia, plus operosæ
Arti, naturæ debuit illa minus.
Pendragon Arthuri Patris hæc obsessa laborem
Septennem sprevit cive superba suo.
Hic est Martyrii roseo decoratus honore
Albanus civis, inclyta Roma, tuus

To ancient Verulam a famous town
Much kindness Art hath show’d, but Nature none.
Great Arthur’s fire Pendragon’s utmost power
For seven long years did the proud walls endure.
Here holy Alban Citizen of Rome,
Obtain’d the happy Crown of Martyrdom.

And in another place;

Hic locus ætatis nostræ primordia novit
Annos fœlices, lætitiæque dies:
Hic locus ingenuus pueriles imbuit annos
Artibus, & nostræ laudis origo fuit.
Hic locus insignis, magnósque creavit alumnos,
Fœlix eximio Martyre, gente, situ.
Militat hic Christo, noctéque dieque labori
Invigilat sancto Religiosa cohors

Here my first breath with happy stars was drawn,
Here my glad years and all my joys began.
In gradual knowledge here my mind increast,
Here the first sparks of glory fir’d my breast.
Hail noble Town! where fame shall ne’re forget
The Saint, the Citizens, and happy seat.
Here heaven’s true Soldiers with unwearied care
And pious labour wage the Christian war.

But now, old Verulam is turned into Cornfields, and St. AlbansSt. Alban’s. flourishes; which rose out of the ruins of it, and is a neat and large town. The Church of the Monastery is still in being; a pile of building, very much admir’d for its largeness, beauty, and antiquity. When the Monks were turned out, it was by the townsmen purchased for four hundred pounds (otherwise it had been laid even with the ground;) and converted into a Parochial Church. It † † Hath, C.had in it a very noble Font of solid Brass, wherein the Children of the Kings of Scotland were wont to be baptized. Which FontA Font taken out of the Scotch spoils. Sir Richard Lea, * * Præfectus Cuniculariorum.Commander of the Pioneers, brought hither among the rest of the Spoils taken in the Scotch Wars, and plac’d it here with this proud Inscription:praefectus Propraetor

Cum læthia opidum apud scotos non incelebre, et edinburgus primaria apud eos civitas incendio conflagrarent, richardus leus eques auratus me flammis ereptum ad anglos perduxit. Hujus ego tanti beneficii memor, non nisi regum liberos lavare solitus, nunc meam operam etiam infimis anglorum libenter condixi. Leus victor sic voluit. Vale. Anno domini. M.D. Xliii. Et anno regni henrici octavi xxxvi.

When Leith, a Town of good account in Scotland, and Edinburgh the principal City of that Nation, were on fire, Sir Richard Lea Knight saved me out of the flames, and brought me into England. In gratitude for this his deliverance, I who heretofore served only at the baptism of the Children of Kings, do now most willingly offer the same service even to the meanest of the English Nation. Lea the Conqueror hath so commanded. Adieu. A.D. 1543. in the 36th year of King Henry the eighth.

⌈ThisFuller’s Worthies, p.32. Font is now taken away; in the late Civil Wars, as it seems, by those hands which suffer’d nothing (how sacred soever) to stand, that could be converted to money.⌉

But to return. As Antiquity hath consecrated this place to Religion, so Mars seems to have made it a seat of war. To pass by other instances; when our Nation had almost spent its vital spirits in the Civil wars between the two Houses of York and Lancaster; there were two battles fought within this very Town, by the heads of the two Parties, with different success. In the first fight, Richard Duke of York defeated the Lancastrian Party, took King Henry the sixth prisoner, and slew a great many Persons of the best quality. But four years after, the Lancastrians had the advantage under the conduct of Queen Margaret, routed the Yorkists, and recovered their King. ⌈With the bodies of the slain in those two Battles,Ant. Hert. p.472. the Church and Church-yard of St. Peter’s were filled.

In the middle of this Town, King Edward the first erected a very stately Cross, about the year 1290. in memory of Queen Eleanor, who dying in Lincolnshire, was from thence carry’d to Westminster. The same he did, in several other places through which they pass’d. This place hath given Title Viscounts, Earls, and several Persons of Honour; that of Viscount to the famous Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, and Lord Chancellor of England, created Viscount of this place Jan. 18. 1620. Afterwards, Richard de Burgh, Earl of Clanrikard in the kingdom of Ireland, was created Earl of St. Albans by King Charles the first, and was succeeded in that honour by Ulick his son, with whom that title dy’d for want of issue-male. A little before the Restoration, this honour was confer’d upon Henry Jermin Baron of St. Edmundsbury, for his faithful Services to King Charles the second; and afterwards, by the same King, it was erected into a Dukedom, in the person of Charles Beauclair, who having, in the 28th year of the said King’s reign, been created Baron of Hedington and Earl of Burford, was, in the 35th year, advanced to the further dignity of Duke of St. Albans.⌉

About this Town (to omit a certain Fort in the neighbourhood, which the vulgar call the Oister-hills,Oister-hills. but which I am apt to think was the Camp of Ostorius the Proprætor) the Abbots piously erected a little Nunnery at Sopwell, and St. Julian’s Hospital for Lepers; with another, named St. Mary† Of the Pree, for infirm women. Near which they had a great Manour named Gorambery, where Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, ¦ ¦ Hath erected, C.erected a Structure worthy so great a Person; Durocobrivae Durobrivae Isariae Oderae Praedicants ⌈which Manour is now the possession of the Grimstons, descended from Sir Harbotle Grimston, a Person of great worth and eminence, and Master of the Rolls in Chancery for twenty six years.⌉

Near this place, lyeth Redborne,Redborne. which signifieth a Red-water: And yet the water that runneth by this place is no more red, than that of the Red-Sea. It was very famous in old time for the Reliques of Amphibalus the Martyr, found here; who was the Person that instructed St. Alban in the Christian Faith; for which Faith he also suffer’d under Dioclesian. At present, it is remarkable for the old military highway, commonly call’d Watlingstreet, upon which it is seated; and also for a certain brook near it, call’d * * It is also call’d Womer.Wenmer, which (as the common People believe) when ever it breaks out and swells high, always portends dearth or troublesome times. ⌈This is said to have broken out in the reign of Edward the fourth, and to have run from the 19th of February till the 14th of June following. From which Eruptions, a Place upon this river, commonly called Markat,Markat. but more truly Meregate, i.e. (saith Norden) an issue or out-gate of water, seems to have taken its name.⌉

Near this, we have reason to look for Duro-co-brivæ,Duro-co-brivæ. a station, of which Antoninus makes mention (though, indeed, the distance would perswade us otherwise:) For Redborne in our language, and Dur-coh in the British or Welch tongue, signifie one and the same thing, to wit, Red-water. Now, to search after the situation of ancient Places, we have no better guides than ancient Inscriptions, the course of the great roads, the reason and similitude of Names, and the rivers, and lakes adjoyning; although they do not exactly correspond to the several distances assign’d in the Itinerarie: which may very well be corrupted, and the passage from one place to another may be cut shorter. And certainly the old Duro-co-brivæ must have been seated in the same place, where that Roman high-way crossed this water, to wit, below Flamsted. For just at this place, near the Way, at seven miles distance from Verulamium (though now, through the negligence of transcribers, the number is chang’d to twelve,) a good large spring rises, and crosses it with a small stream; which, though here it has no name, below St. Albans is call’d Col.Col. And as to the termination Briva,Briva, what it is. which is added to the names of very many places, it might signifie (as I suppose) among the ancient Britains and Gauls, a Bridge, or passage over a River; since we find it no where us’d, but at rivers. In this Island there were one or two Durobrivæ, that is (unless I am much deceiv’d) passages over the water. In Gaul there was Briva Isariæ, now Pontoise, where was the passage over the Isara or Ysore: Briva Oderæ, over the Odera: and Samarobriva (for that is the right name) over the Soame. ⌈The late Commentator upon the Itinerary, deriving the Latin name from the British dour water, and cyfre to flow together, thinks it ought to be sought near a concourse or meeting of Rivers; and observing that Hertford doth better answer the distances than Redborn, and that there the rivers Bean and Arran empty themselves into the Lea, he removes the Durocobriva of Antoninus to that place.⌉

Somewhat higher, upon a small hill, stands Flamsted,Flamsted. which, in the time of Edward the Confessor, Leofstan Abbot of St. Albans gave to three Knights, Turnot, Waldef, and Turman, on condition that they should secure the neighbouring country from robberies. But William the Conqueror took it from them, and gave it to Roger de Todeney or Tony, an eminent Norman, whose Barony also it was; but in time transfer’d by a daughter to the Beauchamps, Earls of Warwick.

Hence I passed southward to Hemsted,Hemsted. a small Market-town; call’d Hehan-hamsted, when King Offa made a grant of it to the Monastery of St. Albans. It is seated among hills by the side of a small river, which, a little lower, runs into another that goes through Berkhamsted.Berkhamsted. In this place, the Nobles of England had a meeting, when by the perswasion of Fretheric Abbot of St. Albans, they were conspiring to throw off the new Norman Government. “Thither came William the Conqueror in person (as we read in the life of this Fretheric) much concern’d, for fear he should, to his great disgrace, lose that Kingdom which he had gain’d with so much blood. And after many debates in the presence of Lanfranc the Archbishop; the King, to settle a firm peace, took an Oath upon all the Reliques of the Church of St. Alban, and upon the holy Evangelists, which the Abbot Fretheric administer’d, That he would inviolably observe all the good, approv’d, and ancient Laws of the Kingdom, which the holy and pious Kings of England his Predecessors, and especially King Edward, had established”. But most of these Noblemens estates were soon after seized and confiscated by him, and he bestow’d this town upon Robert Earl of Moriton and Cornwal, who, according to common tradition, built here a Castle with a double ditch and rampart. In which Castle, Richard, King of the Romans and Earl of Cornwal, dy’d, full of days and Honours. Upon default of issue of that Earl, King Edward the third gave this town and castle to Edward his eldest son, that most renown’d and warlike Prince, whom he created Duke of Cornwal; from whence, to this day, it continues part of the possessions of the Dutchy of Cornwal. The Castle is now nothing but ruin’d walls, and one rude heap of stones; above which, upon a small hill, Sir Edward Cary Knight, Master of the Jewel-house to the King (descended from the house of the Carys in Devonshire) * * Hath lately built. C.built a noble and exceeding pleasant Seat. Within the Town it self, there is nothing worth seeing, except a School founded by J. Incent,Stat. 2 E.6. n.59. Dean of St. Pauls in London, who was a native of this Town. More to the South, lyeth Kings-Langley,Kings-Langley. heretofore a Seat of the Kings, where Edmund of Langley, son to Edward the third, and Duke of York, was born, and thence also named. Here was a small Cell of Friars Prædicants, in which that unhappy Prince Richard the second was first buried, after he had been barbarously depriv’d both of his Kingdom and his Life; but not long after, his body was remov’d to Westminster, and had a Monument of Brass bestow’d upon it, to make amends for his Kingdom. Almost opposite to this, is another Langley, which (because it belong’d to the Abbots of St. Albans) is call’d Abbots-Langley;Abbots-Langley. the place where Nicholas Breakspeare was born, who was afterwards Pope by the name of Hadrian the fourth;Pope Hadrain 4. the same who first preach’d the Christian faith to the people of Norway, and also quieted the tumults of the people of Rome, at that time endeavouring to recover their ancient liberties. Frederic the first, Emperor of the Romans, held this Pope’s stirrup as he alighted from his horse; and at last he lost his life by a Fly, that flew into his mouth and choaked him.

Sulloniacae Rickemansworth Somersetshire

Lower, I saw WatfordWatford. ⌈(to which the Morisons have been great Benefactors,)⌉ and Rickemanesworth;Rickmans­worth. two Market-towns, touching which we have nothing more ancient, than that King Offa bestowed them upon St. Alban, as he also did CaishoberyCaishobery. that lies next to Watford. At which place, a house was begun by Sir Richard Morison, a Person of great learning, and employed by Henry the eighth and Edward the sixth in several Embassies to the greatest Princes in Europe; but he left it to his son Charles to finish, who made it a beautiful seat; ⌈and it is now, by Inheritance, the possession of the Earl of Essex, by the marriage of Arthur Lord Capel with the daughter and heir of Sir Richard Morison. Near the foresaid Rickmansworth, is More-Park;More-Park. which place, belonging formerly to the Duke of Ormond, Thomas his eldest son was summoned to Parliament in the lifetime of his father, by the title of Lord Butler of More-Park; but it was afterwards sold to James Duke of Monmouth.⌉

More to the east, the Roman military way pass’d in a direct line from London to Verulam over Hamsted-heath, and so by Edgworth and ⌈not far from⌉ Ellestre: nigh which place, at the very same distance that Antoninus in his Itinerary places the Sulloniacæ,Sulloniacæ. (to wit, twelve miles from London, and nine from Verulam) ⌈on the edge of Middlesex,⌉ there remain the marks of an ancient station; and much rubbish is dug-up on a hill which is now call’d Brockley-hill.Brockley-hill. ⌈Mr. Burton and * * Itin. p.153.Mr. Norden seem inclin’d to think Ellestre the old Sulloniacæ; yet it does not appear that any thing of Antiquity has been discover’d there, nor does the old Roman way run through it; that place lying near a mile to the right hand. Thro’ Edgware indeed, a mile south of Brockley, the way passes towards London; so that Mr. Talbot when he settled the Sulloniacæ there, had at least some shew of probability on his side. But, no remains of Antiquity appearing, there is, in truth, no reason why it should be remov’d from Brockley-hill; especially, since of late, Coins, Urns, Roman Bricks, &c. have been dug-up there (in the place where Mr. Napier built a fair new seat,) as well in laying the foundation of the house, as in levelling the gardens. Rarities of this kind have been also turn’d up with the Plough, for about seven or eight acres round. The late Annotator upon Antoninus, supposes there may be some remains of Sulloniacæ in Shenley,Shenley. a place at some small distance, which he says was formerly written Shellenay, and might as well be changed from Sulloniacæ; as Tournay from Tornacum, Douay from Duacum, and Espernay from Sparnacum.⌉

But to return. When the Roman Government was at an end, and Barbarity was introduc’d by the Desolations of the Saxon Wars; this great road, as all other things, lay quite neglected for a long time; till, a little before the Norman Conquest, Leofstan Abbot of St. Albans repaired and restor’d it. For he (as we read in his life ) caused the great woods all along, from the edge of the† Ciltria.Chiltern as far as London, to be cut down, especially upon the King’s highway, commonly call’d Watlingstreet; also, all high and broken grounds to be levell’d, bridges to be built, and the ways made even for the convenience of passengers. But above * * Three, C.four hundred years ago, this road was well-nigh deserted again, upon the opening of another through Highgate and Barnet, by licence from the Bishop of London. Barnet begins * * So said, ann. a-days to be an eminent Market for Cattle; but was much more eminent for a BattleBattle of Barnet. fought there in the Wars between York and Lancaster: in which England inflicted upon it self whatever Mischief Ambition and Treachery could effect. For at Gledsmore,Gledsmore. hard by, the two Parties, on an Easter-day, had a sharp encounter, and for a long time, by reason of a thick Fog, the Event was doubtful. But at last, King Edward the fourth happily gained the Victory, and Richard Nevill Earl of Warwick was slain; a Man, whom the smiles of Fortune had made strangely insolent and a particular enemy to crown’d heads; and who by his death freed England from those apprehensions of a continu’d Civil War, which they had long labour’d under. ⌈Here, at Barnet, * * Full. Wor. p.18.was discover’d a medicinal spring, suppos’d by the taste to run through veins of Alom. It coagulates with milk, the curd whereof has been found to be an excellent plaister for green wounds.⌉

This County of Hertford had EarlsEarls of Hertford. that were of the family of Clare, who therefore were more commonly call’d Earls of Clare, from Clare their principal seat in the County of Suffolk. The first that I have met with, was Gilbert, who is a witness to a Charter of K. Stephen, under the title of Earl of Hertford. Likewise Roger de Clare, in the Red-book in the Exchequer, bears the title of Earl of Hertford in the reign of Henry the second;See the Earls of Glocester, and in Suffolk. as also his successors, whom you may see in their proper place. But when this family, by right of inheritance as well as by their Prince’s favour, came to be also Earls of Glocester, they bore the two titles jointly, and were summoned to Parliament by the name of Earls of Glocester and Hertford. And accordingly, Richard de Clare, who died An. Dom. 1262, is by Matthew of Westminster expresly called Earl of Glocester and Hertford, in the place where he recites his Epitaph:

Hic pudor Hippoliti, Paridis gena, sensus Ulyssis,
Æneæ pietas, Hectoris ira jacet

Here Hector’s rage, Ulysses wisdom lays,
Hippolitus his blush, and Paris face.

But within the memory of our * * So said, ann. 1607.fathers, King Henry the eighth honoured Edward de St. Maur or Seymor, with the title of Earl of Hertford, who was afterward created also Duke of Somerset; to whom succeeded in this Earldom his son of the same name, a Person of great honour, and a true lover of learning. ⌈Who, being dispossess’d of all by the attainder of his Father, was restor’d, in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, by Letters Patents bearing date the 13th of January, to the titles of Lord Beauchamp, and Earl of Hertford. Edward the son dy’d in the life-time of his father, and so did his eldest son of the same name. Whereupon he was succeeded by William his grandchild, who by King Charles the first, for his eminent services, was advanc’d to the title of Marquess of Hertford, and afterwards, upon the restoration of King Charles the second, to that of Duke of Somerset. Since which time the same persons have successively enjoyed both those honourable Titles †† See Somerset­shire..⌉

This County hath in it 120 Parishes.

More rare Plants growing wild in Hertfordshire.

Alsine montana minima Acini facie rotundifolia. An Alsines minoris alia Thal. Harcyn? Small mountainous round-leaved Chick-weed, resembling Stone-Basil. In the mountainous parts of this County on the borders of Buckinghamshire near Chalfont S. Peter. Found by Dr. Plukenet.

Gentianella Autumnalis Centaurii minoris foliis Park. Not far from the ruins of old Verulam. Park. p.467.Pilofellae

Hieracii seu Pilofellæ majoris species humilis, foliis longioribus, rarius dentatis, pluribus simul, flore singulari nostras. On a dry bank at the edge of a wood in a lane leading from Hornhill to Reickmeersworth. Dr. Plukenet.

Lysimachia lutea flore globoso Ger. Park. Yellow Loosestrife with a globular tuft of flowers: said to be found near Kings-Langley by Phyt. Brit.

Mentha piperata. Pepper-mint, or Mint having the taste of Pepper. Found in this County by Dr. Eales.

Militaris aizoides Ger. See the other Synonymes in Cambridgeshire. Fresh-water-Soldier, or Water-Aloe. In the new ditches of Hatfield P. D.

Ophris sive Bifolium palustre. Park. Marsh Tway-blade. On the wet grounds between Hatfield and S. Albans. Park. p.505.

Orchis myodes major Park. major flore grandiusculo J. B. muscam referens major C. B. The greater Fly-orchis. Found by Dr. Eales near Welling in Hertfordshire.

Helleborine latifolio flore albo clauso. Broad-leav’d Bastard-Hellebore with a white close flower. Found by Dr. Eales, near Diggeswell in this County.

Sphondylium montanum minus angustifolium tenuiter laciniatum. Jagged Cow-Parsnep. Observed by Mr. Doody near Tring in this County.

Campanula Alpina minor rotundifolia C. B. About Reickmeersworth in Hertfordshire, in an old Gravel-pit there, observed by Dr. Plukenet.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52