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O the account of Steventon, or

Stevingtou, in Bedfordshire, given by Messrs. S. and D. Lysons in the first volume of their valuable work, Magna Britannia, p. 135, the following notes and accompanying drawings may not be thought an unacceptable addition; and for which you will be chiefly indebted to the kindness, hospitality, and frankness in communication, of the vicar of Stevington, my much respected friend, the Rev. Thomas Orlebar Marsh, of Felmersham. [See Plates I. and II.]

Of the castle which Baldwin Wake had the king's licence to erect in 1281, the site may be traced in large earthworks near the Ouse, beside the foot path which leads to Pavenham.

On the floor of the church, in the ruiddle aile, is the figure of a knight in brass with the following inscription on a label beneath him.

"Orate pro ai'a Thome Salle armig'i qui obijt 21 die mense Ap'lis Anno D'ni

The arms are 2 Crocodiles in saltire (See Plate 11. fig 3.) 1 was not able to obtain any information of this Thomas, Salle, except that which is contained in the inscription above quoted..

The figures (Plate II. figs. 1 and 2) are carved in wood, as ornamental finishings to the upright ends of the benches in the nave; and it appears very probable that they have a reference to the drinking, or church ale, for the maintenance of which seven acres of land are stated by Messrs. Lysoas to have been bequeathed before the Reformation*. Fig. 1, I apprehend was designed to represent two veteran bibbers, naked, except about the waist, drinking out of a bowl (perhaps for a wager) in a position calculated both by its awkward

ness and assimilation to the brutes, to excite the mirth and ridicule of

the spectators. Fig. 2, may possibly have an allusion to the painful consequences of excessive drinking, especially when the liquor is either in too high a state of fermentation, or too stale. As the ends of many of the seats have been cut off, it is not improbable that there were originally more of these grotesque sculptures.

The foregoing conjectures are offered, subject to the correction of more expert Antiquaries; although I am aware that the use of grotesque sculpture in sacred places, erected during the prevalence of Popery in England, and which so ill accords with piety, or, in many instances, even with decency, has never yet been satisfactorily accounted for.

From the rock on which Stevington Church is built, issues a spring of clear and most excellent water. This spring is called in old writings t, and even to the present time, Holy well. The principal stream proceeds from the arched recess under the North chancel of the church (see Plate I.); some smaller streams trickle out of the rock higher up, and run down the road, the whole falling into the Ouse at a very short distance, as does the water of an incrustating spring at the distance of about two or three fields from the church towards Pa the church, on the Very near to

South side, stands a long range of low stone buildings, designed for separate inhabitation; each apartment opening under a small pointed arch to the area in front, and no internal communication existing between any two of them. A gate-house, or porter's lodge, and an unroofed chapel, were also standing here within the memory of man, of which the foundations may


stil be traced. These edifices Mr.

Marsh supposes to have been occupied by some religious fraternity, although no other memorial of that fraternity has been discovered. I much regret that I have it not in my power to offer you the drawing of them which I made last summer, but of which I had the misfortune to be robbed, with many papers, and other interesting articles, by some person yet unknown, who happened to be in attendance, for such nefarious purposes no doubt, upon the Oxford races.

An inhabitant of Stevington, named Fisher, by his will, dated the 10th Feb. 1500, gave 20l. to the repair of the chapel infra (query in tra) cemeterium.

At the East end of the village there was formerly a park, long since turned into pasture, and at present the property of the Duke of Bedford.

The Earls of Derby had estates at Stevington, which afterwards came to the Alstons, now of Odell Castle. A grant is yet in the possession of that family, signed by Stanley, Earl of Derby. Tradition relates the building above, supposed to be monastic, to have belonged to them. Yours, &c.



July 1.

AMONG the MSS. of the late Dr.

Lort, I find the following observations, occasioned by perusing an old poem, intituled, "The Northern Mother's Blessing to her Daughter, written 9 years before Chaucer's death, and printed in a book called The Way to Thrift, by R. Robinson, 1597."

"The foregoing stanzas exhibit a very lively picture of the manners of this country, so far as respects the conduct and behaviour of a class of people, who, at the time when they were written, occupied a station some degrees removed above the lowest; and seem to presuppose that women of this rank stood in need of admonitions against incontinence and drunkenness, vices at this day not imputable to the wives of farmers or tradesmen. It is much to be lamented that the means of recovering characteristics of past ages are so few, as every one must find who undertakes to delineate them: the chronicles and history of this country, like those of most others, are in general the annals of public events; and a history of local

manners is wanting in every country that has made the least progress towards a state of civilization. One of the best of the very good sentiments contained in the writings of the late Lord Bolingbroke, is this: History is philosophy teaching by example; and men would be less at a loss than they are how to act in many situations, could it be known what conduct had heretofore been pursued in similar instances.' Mankind are possessed with a sort of curiosity, which leads them to a retrospect on past times; and men of speculative natures are not content to know that a nation has subsisted for ages under a regular form of government, and a system of laws calculated to promote virtue and restrain vice, but they wish for that intelligence which would enable them to represent to their minds the images of past transactions with the same degree of exactness as is required in painting. With what view but this are collections formed of antiquities, of various kinds of medals, of marbles, inscriptions, delineations of ancient structures, even in a state of ruin, warlike instruments, furniture, and domestic utensils? Why are these so eagerly sought after, but to supply that defect which History in general labours under?

Some of our English writers seem to have been sensible of the usefulness of this kind of information, and have gratified the curiosity of their readers by descending to such particulars as the garb and the recreations of the people of this country. In the description of the island of Britain, borrowed, as it is supposed, from Leland, by William Harrison, and prefixed to Holished's Chronicle, is a very entertaining account of the antient manner of living in England. Stowe is very particular with respect to Loudon, and spends a whole chapter in describing their sports and pastimes. Hall, in his Chronicle, has gone so far as to describe the habits of both sexes worn at several periods in this country. Some few particulars relating to the manners of the English, according to their several classes, are contained in that curious little book of Sir Thomas Smith, De Republicâ Anglorum; others are to met with in the Itinerary of Fyues Moryson; and others, to the last degree entertaining, in that part of the Itinerary of Paul Hentzner,


published by the Hon. Mr. Walpole in 1757, with the title of "A Journey into England in 1589,"

These, it is presumed, are the books from which a curious inquirer into the customs and manners of our forefathers would hope for information; but there is extant another, which, though a great deal is contained in it, few have been tempted to look into; it is that entitled "De Proprietatibus Rerum," of Bartholomæus, written originally in Latin, and translated into English by John Trevisa, in the year 1398. Of the author and transfator, the following is an account: the author, Bartholomæus, surnamed Glantville, was a Franciscan friar, and descended of the noble family of the Earls of Suffolk. The book "De Proprietatibus Rerum" was written about the year 1366. Trevisa was vicar of the parish of Berkeley in the year 1398, and favoured by the then Earl of Berkeley, as appears by the note at the end of this his translation, which fixes also the time of making it. [Here the MS. ends.]

HOWELL'S Account of the Apparition of Mr. BARLOW's Huntsman. AST Christmas day in the mornL ing Mr. Barlow was visited by a person who had the appearance and dress of his huntsman, who opened his curtains, and asked him whether he proposed going out with the hounds that morning. Mr. Barlow told him that he was not then very well, and did not care to go himself; but that he, the huntsman, might take the dogs, and go out to such a mountain, where he might find a fox; upon which the person left him Mrs. BarJow, hearing this conversation, as she thought, between the huntsman and her husband, for she lay in a room contiguous to his, came some time after to him, and expostulated with him upon the indecency of sending out the hounds that day; what answer he made her is not certain, but when he came down stairs, he saw some of his favourite hounds about the house, which led him to an inquiry why the huntsman had left those hounds behind him. The servants protested the huntsman had not been there that morning, and that the dogs were all in the kennel; upon which a servant was sent to Narberth, where the huntsman lived, to see whether he

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had been at Slebetch or not. The huntsman strenuously denied it, and said he was just got out of bed, and his wife affirmed the same. On being informed of what had happened to his master, both man and wife fell ill with the conceit; the man is since pretty well recovered, but the woman still continues in a state of distraction. Barlow himself has been greatly shocked about it. He insists on the reality of the appearance; and Mrs. Barlow affirms she heard the huntsman that morning talking with her husband.

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-Compared with which, The laurels that a Cæsar plants are weeds."

I do not, however, pledge myself to give you any thing like a critical analysis of the works in question; or to observe any exact chronological order in my selections: for some of my intended extracts are of antecedent date to those you have already inserted. But, having commenced my ramble on Mr. F's letters from the Continent, 1 purpose for the present to confine my Review (if such I may presume to call it) to this little volume of his posthumous works-a book, in my estimation, of more intrinsic value than "The Boke of Saint Alban's, printed 1486," which was lately sold at the Roxburgh Auction, for no less a sum than "1477. Perhaps, five or six centuries hence, some rich Eibliomaniac collector, may bid high for a scarce volume of the inestimable works of our Swiss-Anglo Author, a Saint (or more properly expressed, a Christian pusior) of the Eighteenth Century-who, though not murdered, as was Saint Alban of old, yet died almost a self-martyr, in the excessive exercise of his ministerial and parochial duties, a crime of which the present day has not many exa ples. Vice versa! But it is time for me to

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"Macon in Burgundy, May 17, 1778. "REV. AND DEAR SIRS," I hope that while I lie by, like a broken vessel, the Lord continues to renew your vigour, and sends you to water his vineyard, and to stand in the gap against error and vice. I have recovered some strength, blessed be God, since I came to the continent; but have lately had another attack of my old complaint. However, I find myself better again, though I think it yet advisable not to speak in public.

"I preached twice at Marseilles, but was not permitted to follow the blow. There are few noble inquisitive Bereans in these parts. The ministers in the town of my nativity have been very civil. They have offered me the pulpit; but I fear, if I could accept the offer, it would soon be recalled. I am loth to quit this part of the field without casting a stone at that giant, Sin, who stalks about with uncommon boldness. I shall, therefore, stay some months longer, to see if the Lord will please to give me a little more strength to venture an attack.

"Gaming and dress, sinful pleasure and love of money, unbelief and false philosophy, lightness of spirit, fear of man, and love of the world, are the principal sins by which Satan binds his captives in these parts. Materialism is not rare; Deism and Socinianism are very common; and a set of Free-thinkers, great admirers of Voltaire and Rousseau, Bayle and Mirabeau, seem bent upon destroying Christianity and Government. With one hand (said a lawyer, who has written something against them) they shake the throne, and with the other, they throw down the altars.' If we believe them, the world is the dupe of kings and priests, religion is fanaticism and superstition, subordination is slavery and tyranny, Christian morality is absurd, unnatural, and impracticable, and Christianity the most bloody religion that ever was. And here it is certain, that by the example of Christians so called, and by our continual disputes, they have a great advantage, and do the truth imImense mischief. Popery will certainly fall in France in this, or the next century; and I make no doubt, God will use those vain men, to bring about a reformation here, as he used Henry VIII. to do that work in England: so the madness of his enemies shall, at last, turn to his praise, and to the furtherance of his kingdom. In the mean time, it becomes all lovers

of the truth, to make their heavenly tempers, and humble, peaceful love, to shine before all men, that those mighty adversaries, seeing the good works of professors, may glorify their Father who is in heaven, and no more blaspheme that worthy name by which we are all called Christians.

"If you ask, what system these men adopt? I answer, that some build on Deism, a morality founded on self-preservation, self-interest, and self-honour. Others laugh at all morality, except that which,. being neglected, violently disturbs society; and external order is the decent covering of fatalism, while materialism is their system.

"Oh, dear Sirs, let me entreat you, in these dangerous days, to use your wide influence, with unabated zeal, against the scheme of these modern Celsuses, Porphyries, and Julians; by calling all professors to think and speak the same things, to love and embrace one another, and to stand firmly embodied to resist those daring men; many of whom are already in England, headed by the admirers of Mr. Hume and Mr. Hobbes. But it is needless to say this to those who have made, and continue to make, such a stand for vital Christianity; so that I have nothing to do but to pray, that the Lord would abundantly support and strengthen you to the last, and make you a continued comfort to his enlightened people, loving reprovers of those who mix light and darkness, and a terror to the perverse: and this is the cordial prayer of, Rev. and dear Sirs, your affectionate son, and obliged servant in the Gospel, J. F.

"P. S. I need not tell you, Sirs, that the hour in which Providence shall make my way plain to return to England, to unite with the happy number of those who feel or seek the power of Christian godliness, will be welcome to me. Oh favoured Britons! happy would it be for them, if they knew their Gospel privileges!

"My relations in Adam are all very kind to me; but the spiritual relations, whom God has raised me in England, exceed them yet. Thanks be to Christ, and to his blasphemed religion!"

"To the Rev. Doctor CONYERS. "Macon in Burgundy, May 18, 1778. "HON. AND DEAR SIR,-1 left orders with a friend to send you a little book. called The Reconciliation; in which I endeavour to bring nearer the children of God, who are divided about their partial views of divine truths. I do not know whether that tract has in any degree answered its design: but I believe truth can be reconciled with itself, and the


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