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repaired to a physician, who by some symptoms suspecting poison, demanded of his patient which was his chiefest diet. The sick man told him, that he fed most constantly on butter. “ Eat butter still,” returned the physician," which hitherto hath saved your life:” for it corrected the poison, that neither the malignity thereof, nor the malice of the wife, could have their full operation.
CLOTHING. Here it will not be amiss to insert a passage which I meet with in an industrious antiquary, as relating to the present subject.
“The manufacture of clothing in this county hath been much greater, and those of that trade far richer, I persuade myself, heretofore than in these times; or else the heirs and executors of the deceased were more careful that the testator's dead
corpse should be interred in more decent manner, than they are now-adays; otherwise I should not find so many marbles richly inlaid with brass, to the memory of clothiers in foregoing ages, and not one in these later seasons. All the monuments in the church of Neyland, which bare any face of comeliness and antiquity, are erected to the memory of clothiers, and such as belong to that mystery."*
Some perchance would assign another reason, viz. because monuments formerly were conceived to conduce much to the happiness of the deceased (as bespeaking in their epitaphs the suffrages of the living in their behalf); which error is vanished away since the Reformation ; all which being fully believed, weakeneth not the observation, but that Suffolk clothiers were wealthier in former than in our age.
BUILDINGS. This county hath no Cathedral therein, and the parochial churches (generally fair] no one of transcendant eminency. But formerly it had so magnificent an abbey-church in Bury, the sun shined not on a fairer, † with three lesser churches waiting thereon in the same church-yard.
Of these but two are extant at this day, and those right stately structures :
“ And if the servants we so much commend,
What was the mistress whom they did attend ?” Here I meet with a passage that affected me with wonder, though I know not how the reader will resent it. It is avouched by all authors, that Mary, youngest sister to king Henry the Eighth, relict to Louis the Twelfth, king of France, afterwards
* Weever's Funeral Monuments, page 770. + Leland, in his Description of Bury, I Stow, Speed, Mills, Vincent, Weever, &c.
married to Charles Brandon duke of Suffolk, died on Midsummer eve, 1533, and was buried in the abbey church in Bury. But, it seems, her corpse could not protect that church from demolishing, which in few years after was levelled to the ground. I read not that the body of this princess was removed to any other place; nor doth any monument here remain to her memory, though er king-brother and second husband survived the destruction of that church. A strange thing! save that nothing was strange in those days of confusion.
As for the town of Bury, it is sweetly seated and fairly built, especially since the year 1608; about which time it was lamentably defaced with a casual fire, though since God hath given them “beauty for ashes.”* And may the following distich (set up therein) prove prophetical unto the place :
Burgus ut antiquus violento corruit igne,
Stand this, till all the world shall flaming fume.” Nor is the school a small ornament to this town, founded by king Edward the Sixth, being itself a corporation, now (as well as ever) flourishing under Mr. Stephens, the able master thereof.
Amongst the many fair houses of the gentry in this county, Long Melford must not be forgotten, late the house of the countess Rivers, and the FIRST
of PLUNDERING in England; and Sommerley hall (nigh Yarmouth) belonging to the lady Wentworth, well answering the name thereof: for here Sommer is to be seen in the depth of winter in the pleasant walks, beset on both sides with fir-trees green all the year long, besides other curiosities. As for merchants' houses, Ipswich town (co-rival with some cities for neatness and greatness) affordeth many of equal handsomeness.
PROVERBS. “Suffolk milk.”] This was one of the staple commodities of the Land of Canaan, and certainly most wholesome for man's body, because of God's own choosing for his own people. No county in England affords better and sweeter of this kind, lying opposite to Holland in the Netherlands, where is the best dairy in Christendom, which mindeth me of a passage betwixt Spinola and Grave Maurice.
The Spanish general being invited to an entertainment by the aforesaid prince at Breda (as I take it), when lemons and oranges were brought in for sauce at the first course,
“ What a brave country is my master's," quoth the Don, “affording this
* Isaiah lxi. 3.
fair fruit all the year long !" But when cream was brought up to close the feast, Grave Maurice returned, “What a brave country is ours, that yieldeth this fruit twice every day!”
“Suffolk fair maids.”] It seems the God of nature hath been bountiful in giving them beautiful complexions, which I am willing to believe so far forth as it fixeth not a comparative disparagement on the same sex in other counties. I hope they will labour to join gracious hearts to fair faces; otherwise, I am sure, there is a divine proverb of infallible truth, “As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”*
“Suffolk stiles."] It is a measuring cast, whether this proverb pertaineth to Essex or this county; and I believe it belongeth to both, which being inclosed countries into petty quillets, abound with high stiles, troublesome to be clambered over.
But the owners grudge not the pains in climbing them, sensible that such severals redound much to their own advantage.
“You are in the highway to Needham.”] Needham is a market-town in this county, well stocked (if I mistake not) with poor people; though I believe this in no degree did occasion the first denomination thereof. They are said to be in the highway to Needham who hasten to poverty.
However, these fall under a distinction; some go, others are sent thither. Such as go embrace several ways ; some,
poor, of idleness; if rich, of carelessness, or else of prodigality.
Others are sent thither against their wills by the powerful oppression of such who either detain or devour their estates. And it is possible some may be sent thither by no default of their own, or visible cause from others, but merely from divine justice, insensibly dwindling their estates, chiefly for trial of their patience.
Wherefore, so many ways leading to Needham from divers quarters, I mean from different causes ; it is unjust to condemn all persons meeting there, under the censure of the same guiltiness.
ÇAMP.] EDMUND MORTIMER, son to Roger Mortimer earl of March, grandchild of Edmund Mortimer earl of March, and of Philippa sole daughter of Lionel duke of Clarence, may pass with the charitable reader for a prince, since he paid so dear for the same, as will appear. I confess it impossible to fix his nativity with assurance (having not hitherto read any record which reached it), the rather because of the vastness of his patrimony, and several habitations : In England, Clare castle, with many other
Suffolk :- In the Marches of Wales, whence he had his honour, Wigmore in Herefordshire, Ludlow in Shropshire :-In Ireland, Trim Connaught; with large lands in Ulster.
But most probable it is that he was born, where he was buried, at Clare. After the death of king Richard the Second, he was the next heir to the crown. Happy had he been, if either nearer to it, so as to enjoy the honour thereof, or farther off, so as not to be envied and suspected for his title thereunto by king Henry the Fourth. Now, all the harm this earl had done king Henry was this, that king Henry held from him his lawful inheritance. Yea, this meek Mortimer was content to waive the crown, so be it he might but enjoy his private patrimony, which he could not without many molestations from the king. For this is the nature of some men, to heap injuries on those they have wronged, as if the later injuries would give a countenance of justice to the former.
He employed this Edmund in a war against Owen Glendower, the Welsh rebel, on the same design that Saul sent David to fight against and fetch the fore-skins of the Philistines.* If he proved conqueror, then was king Henry freed from a professed foe; if conquered, then was he rid of a suspected subject. But Mortimer went by the worst; and, being taken prisoner, the king (though often solicited) never endeavoured his enlargement, till at last he dearly ransomed himself. Yet did he but exchange a Welsh for an Irish prison, kept twenty years in restraint in his own castle of Trim, in the end of the reign of cunning king Henry the Fourth, all the reign of courageous king Henry the Fifth, and the beginning of the reign of innocent king Henry the Sixth, their different tempers meeting in cruelty against this poor prisoner. He died anno Domini 1454, without issue, leaving Anne his sister his heir; and lieth buried in Clare, as is aforesaid.
SAINTS. St. EDMUND, king of the East-Angles.—Hear what falsehoods are huddled together in our English Martyrology, written as he terms himself) “ by a Catholic Priest, permissu Superiorum, 1608,” page 319, on the 20th of November :
“At Hexam in Northumberland, the passion of St. Edmund king and martyr, who being a Saxon by bloud, born in the city of Noremberg in that province, and nephew to Offa king of the East-Angles.”
First, Hexam in Northumberland should be Hoxtont in this county, where St. Edmund was martyred. Secondly, there is no city Noremberg in Britain, nor Europe, save that in Germany:
This is enough to make us distrust what he writeth after
. Samuel xviii. 25.
| Hoxne, otherwise called Hoxon.-ED.
wards, viz. that, when the said St. Edmund was cruelly murdered by the Danes, and when the Christians, seeking his corpse, were lost in a wood, did call one to another, “Where art ? where art? where art ? " the martyred head answered, “Here, here, here.” However, God forbid that this author's falsities should make us undervalue this worthy king and martyr, cruelly tortured to death by the pagan Danes, and by an old author thus not un handsomely expressed :*
Utque cruore suo Gallos Dionysius ornat :
Græcos Demetrius : gloria quisque suis :
Lur patet, et patriæ gloria magna suæ.
Ornat ei, sed plus vincula, mucro, cruor.
Demetrius Greece: each credit to his place :
Who with his virtues doth his country grace.
More famous for his bonds, his blood, his wounds." His death happened anno Domini 870, whose body was placed in a goodly shrine, richly adorned with jewels and precious stones, at Bury in this county. These all are vanished, whilst the name of St. Edmund will ever remain in that town's denomination.
Robert GROSSETESTE.- Jehosaphat, seeing four hundred prophets of Baal together, and suspecting they were too many to be good, cast in that shrewd question ; “ Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides;”+ and thereupon Micaiah was mentioned unto him.
Possibly the reader, seeing such swarms of Popish saints in England, will demand, “Is there not yet a saint of the Lord besides?” And I conceive myself concerned to return a true answer, that there is Robert Grosseteste by name, whom now we come to describe.
He was born in this county,I bred in Oxford, where he became most eminent for religion, and learning in all kind of languages, arts and sciences; and at last was preferred bishop of Lincoln 1235. He wrote no fewer than three hundred treatises, whereof most are extant in manuscript in Westminster library, which Dr. Williams (his successor in the see of Lincoln) intended to have published in three fair folio volumes, had not the late troublesome times disheartened him. Thus our civil wars have not only filled us with legions of lying pamphlets, but also deprived us of such a treasure of truth, as this worthy man's works would have proved to all posterity.
* Ex Libro Abbathiæ de Rufford, in Bibl. Cott. + 1 Kings xxii. 7. I Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, cent. iv. num. 18.
So Mr. Goland, the learned library keeper (lately deceased), informed me.-F.