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river of Severn. A deformed fish, which for the many holes therein, one would conceive nature intended it rather for an instrument of music than for man's food. The best manner of dressing whereof, saith my author,* is “to kill it in malmsey, close the mouth thereof with a nutmeg, the holes with so many cloves; and when it is rolled up round, putting in thereto filbert-nut-kernels stamped, crumbs of bread, oil, spices, &c.” Others (but those miso-lampreys) do add, that, after all this cost, even cast them away, seeing money is better lost than health ; and the meat will rather be delicious than wholesome, the eating whereof cost king Henry the First his life. But, by their favour, that king did not die of lampreys, but of excess in eating them; and I am confident the Jews might surfeit of manna itself, if eating thereof above due proportion.
This is a drink, or a counterfeit wine, made of pears, whereof plenty in this county; though such which are least delicious for taste, are most proper for this purpose. Such the providence of nature, to design all things for man's service. Peter Martyr, when professor in Oxford, and sick of a fever, would drink no other liquor, I though it be generally believed both cold and windy, except corrected with spice, or some other addition.
I have twice formerly insisted hereon; and do confess this repetition to be flatly against my own rules, laid down for the regulating of this work, save that the necessity of this commodity will excuse it from any offence. I beheld England as a long well-furnished table, and account three principal salt-cellars set at a distance thereon. Worcestershire, I fancy the trencher salt, both because it is not so much in quantity (though very considerable), and because it is whiter, finer, and heavier, than any other. Cheshire, I conceive, deserveth to be reputed the grand salt-cellar, placed somewhat beneath the middle; whilst the third is the salt of Newcastle, set far north, at the lower end of the table, for the use of those who otherwise cannot conveniently reach to the former. The usefulness of this not-dulyvalued blessing may be concluded from the Latin word salarium, so usual in ancient and modern authors, which importeth the entertainment or wages of soldiers, anciently paid chiefly (if not only) in victuals, and taketh its name, by a synedoche, from sal, or salt, as of all things most absolutely needful ; without which condiment nothing can be wholesome nutriment.
I read in a modern author, describing his own county of
• Camden's Britannia, in Worcestershire. † Stow's Chronicle, p. 142.
Dr. Humphred, in the large Latin life of Bishop Jewel, p. 31.
Cheshire, and measuring all things to the advantage thereof, that “ There is no shire in England, or in any other country beyond the seas, where they have more than one salt-well therein; neither at Droitwich in Worcestershire is there more than one; whereas in Cheshire there be four, all within ten miles together."*
Here let me enter this caveat in preservation of the right of Worcestershire, that many salt-fountains are found therein, but stopped up again for the preservation of woods ;t so that the making of salt at one place alone proceeds not from any natural, but a politic restriction. Nor must I forget, how our German ancestors (as Tacitus reports) conceited such places where salt was found to be nearest to the heavens, and to ingratiate men's prayers to the Gods; I will not say, founding their superstition on the misapprehension of the Jewish worship, “Every sacrifice shall be salted with salt." I
THE BUILDINGS. I am sorry I have never seen the cathedral of Worcester, so that I cannot knowingly give it a due commendation; and more sorry to hear that our late civil wars have made so sad an impression thereon.
The market-towns are generally handsomely built; and no shire in England can shew a brace of them só neat and near together as Bewdley and Kidderminster in this county, being scarcely two miles asunder.
SAINTS. Saint Richard, born at Wich [alias Droitwich), from which he took his name, was bred in Oxford, afterwards at Paris, and lastly at Bononia in Italy, where for seven years together he heard and read the canon law. Having thus first plentifully laid in, he then began to lay out, in his lectures in that university; and, returning home, became chancellor of Oxford, then of Canterbury, till at last chosen bishop of Chichester. He was a great Becketist, viz. a stout opposer of regal power over spiritual persons; on which and other accounts, he wrote a book to Pope Innocent the Fourth, against king Henry the Third. These his qualities, with the reputation of his holy life, so commended his memory to the notice of Pope Urban the Fourth, that seven years after his death, viz. anno 1260, he canonized him for a saint. It seems men then arrived sooner at the maturity of [Popish] saintship than now-a-days, more distance being now required betwixt their death and canonization. As for their report, that the wiches or salt-pits in this county were miraculously procured by his prayers, their unsa* William Smith, in the Vale Royal, p. 18. † Camden's Britannia, in Worcestershire. I Levit. ii. 13.
voury lie hath not a grain of probability to season it; it appearing by ancient authors,* that salt water flowed there time out of mind, before any sweet milk was given by mother or nurse to this saint Richard.
This county affording no MARTYRS (such the moderation of bishop Patest) let us proceed to
CARDINALS. John Comin, or CUMIN.-It must cost us some pains (but the merit of the man will quit cost) to clear him to be of English extraction. For the proof whereof, we produce the testimony of Giraldus Cambrensis, his contemporary and acquaintance, who saith, he was “vir Anglicus natione.” | Hereby the impudent falsehood of John Demster the Scottish historian doth plainly appear, thus expressing himself:
“ Johannes Cuminus, ex nobilissimo comitum Buchaniæ stemmate ortus, Banfiæ natus, falsissimè inter Anglos reponitur; cùm ipse viderim quædam ipsius nuper Parisiis scripta, quibus suorum popularium causam pontifici Lucio commendavit, in bibliotheca Pauli Petavii, Senatoris Parisiensis."
("John Cumin, descended from the most noble stock of the earls of Buchan, born at Banfe, is most falsely set down amongst the English ; seeing I myself lately saw some of his writings at Paris, in the library of Paulus Petavius, senator of Paris, in which he recommended the cause of his countrymen to Pope Lucius.")
In plain English, this Scottish Demster is a perfect rook, depluming England, Ireland, and Wales, of famous writers, merely to feather his own country therewith ; so that should he, according to the Jewish law, be forced to make fourfold restitution for his felony, he would be left poor enough indeed.
Besides, Alexander Comin was created first earl of Buchan by king Alexander the Second, who began to reign anno Domini 1214; whereas Comin (by the testimony of Demster himself) died 1212; and therefore could not properly descend of their stock, who were not then in being.
I cannot certainly avouch him a Worcestershire man; but know that he was bred a monk at Evesham therein,|| whence he was chosen (the king procuring it) “à clero Dublinensi consonè satis et concorditer,” archbishop of Dublin. He endowed Trinity church in Dublin with two-and-twenty prebends; and was made by Pope Lucius cardinal of St. Vellit in Italy.
* Camden, in Worcestershire, plainly proves it out of Gervase in Tilbury._F.
† Dr. Richard Pates was Bishop of Worcester in 1555; but was deprived in 3559.-ED.
| Lib. ii. Expugn. Hibern. cap. 23.
Hugh of EVESHAM, so called from the place of his nativity in this county, applied himself to the study of physic with so good success that he is called the phanix* in that faculty. Great also was his skill in the mathematics, and especially in astrology. Some questions arising at Rome about physic (which consequently were of church government), Pope Martin the Fourth sent for our Hugh, to consult with him: who gave such satisfaction to his demands, that, in requital, he created him cardinal of St. Laurence, 1280. But so great the envy of his adversaries at his preferment, that, seven years after, he was put to death by poison ;t and let none say, he might have foreseen his fate in the stars, seeing hell, and not the heavens, brooded that design. Neither say, “ Physician, cure thyself," seeing English antidotes are too weak for Italian poisons. But Cicaonius, to palliate the business, saith he died of the plague; and thus I believe him, of the plague of hatred in the hearts of such who contrived his death ; which happened anno Domini 1287.
PRELATES. Wulstan of BRAUNDSFORD was born at Braundsford in this county, and afterwards became prior (equivalent to dean in other foundations) of Worcester. He deserved well of his convent, building a most beautiful hall therein. Hence was he preferred bishop of Worcester, 1338, the first and last prelate who was born in that county; and died in that see. He was verus pontifex, in the grammatical notation thereof, building a fair bridge at Braundsford (within three miles of Worcester) over the river Teme, on the same token that it is misprinted Tweed in bishop Godwin, I which made me in vain look for Braundsford in Northumberland. He died August 28, 1349.
John Lowe was born in this county ; bred an Augustinian friar at Wich therein ; afterwards he went to the universities, and then settled himself in London. Hence he was preferred by king Henry the Sixth to St. Asaph, and thence was removed (desiring his own quietness) from one of the best bishoprics in Wales, to Rochester, the meanest in England. He was a great book-monger; and on that score, Bale (no friend to friars) giveth him a large testimonial, that bishop Godwin|| borroweth from him (the first and last in that kind) the whole character of his commendation, and this amongst the rest, Opuscula quædam scripsit purgatis auribus digna.”
He deserved well of posterity, in preserving many excellent manuscripts, and bestowing them on the magnificent library
Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. iv. num. 50. † Idem, ibidem.
His Catalogue of the Bishops of Worcester, set forth 1616. § Godwin, in the Bishops of Rochester. || Ut prius.
which he furnished at Saint Augustine's in London. But, alas ! that library, at the dissolution, vanished away,* with the fine spire-steeple of the same church (oh, the wide swallow of sacrilege!); one person, who shall be nameless, embezzling both books and buildings to his private profit. He died anno Domini 1467; and lieth buried in his own cathedral over against bishop Merton) under a marble monument.
EDMOND BONNER, alias SAVAGE. - He had to his father John Savage, a priest, richly beneficed and landed in Cheshire, son to Sir John Savage, knight of the Garter, and privy councillor to king Henry the Seventh. His mother (concubine to this priest (a dainty dame in her youth, and a jolly woman in her age), was sent out of Cheshire, to cover her shame, and lay down her burthen at Elmeley in this county, where this bouncing babe Bonner was born.f The history of his life may be methodized according to the five princes under whom he lived.
He was born under king Henry the Seventh, and bred a bachelor in the laws in Broad-gates-hall in Oxford.
Under king Henry the Eighth, he was made doctor of laws, archdeacon of Leicester, master of the faculties under archbishop Cranmer, and employed in several embassies beyond
All this time Bonner was not Bonner, being as yet meek, merciful, andagreat Cromwellite, as appeared by some tart printed repartees betwixt him and bishop Gardiner. Indeed he had sesqui corpus, a body and half (but I hope that corpulency without cruelty is no sin); and towards his old age he was overgrown with fat, as Master Fox (who is charged to have persecuted persecutors with ugly pictures), doth represent him. Not long after, he was consecrated bishop of London.
Under king Edwarth the sixth, being deputed to preach publicly concerning the reformation, his faint and frigid expressions thereof manifested his mind rather to betray than defend it, which cost him a deprivation and imprisonment. Then it was when one jeeringly saluted him, “Good morrow, Bishop quondam !” To whom Bonner as tartly returned, “ Good morrow,
Being restored under queen Mary to his bishopric, he caused the death of twice as many Martyrs as all the bishops in England besides, justly occasioning the verses made upon him :
Si fas cædendo cælestia scandere cuiquam,
Nemo ad Bonnerium.
Ego tamen, Bonnere, te dico bonum.
• Stow's Survey of London, in Broad-street Ward.
Manuscript Collections of the industrious antiquary Mr. Dodsworth, extant in the library of the Lord Fairfax._F.