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Latin) calleth pannus Britannicus ; Lempster wool (in the neighbouring county of Hereford) being here made into (pardon the prolepsis till it be dyed) the purest scarlet.
WORTHIES OF WORCESTERSHIRE WHO HAVE FLOURISHED
SINCE THE TIME OF FULLER. John BASKERVILLE, celebrated printer at Birmingham,
improver of type-founding; born at Wolverley 1706; died
1755. Major John BERNARDI, Jacobite, brave adventurer, imprisoned
by the decree of six parliaments, under four sovereigns, for
forty years ; born at Evesham 1657; died 1736. Thomas BLOUNT, miscellaneous writer, author on Manorial
Tenures; born at Bordesley 1618; died 1679. William Bowles, divine and poet; born at Hagley; died
1705. Samuel BUTLER, author of the satirical poem of “Hudibras ;"
born at Strensham 1612; died 1680. William DERHAM, philosopher, divine, and author ; born at
Stoulton 1657; died 1735. George Hooper, bishop of Bath and Wells, orientalist, and
learned author; born at Grimley 1640; died 1727. William HOPKINS, divine, linguist, and antiquary; born at
Evesham 1647; died 1700. William HUSKISSON, statesman; born at Birts Morton 1770;
(accidentally killed at the opening of the Liverpool and Man
chester railway 1830.) George Lord LYTTELTON, statesman, historian, and poet,
and patron of learned men; born at Hagley 1709; died
1773. Dr. Treadway Russel Nash, divine, antiquary, and historian of
the county, and annotator on Hudibras; born at Clerkenleap
in Kempsey 1725 ; died 1811. William Price, orientalist; born at Worcester; died 1830. Henry SAVAGE, divine and topographer; born at Eldersfield;
died 1672. Edmund Smith, surnamed “ Rag Smith,” from the carelessness
of his dress; scholar, critic, and poet, friend of Steele and
Addison; born 1668; died 1709. William Smith, divine, author, and translator; born at Wor
cester 1711; died 1787. John Somers, lord chancellor, statesman and author; born at
Worcester 1650 or 1652; died 1716. John Wall, physician, who discovered the medicinal pro
perties of the Malvern springs, &c.; born at Powick 1708; died 1776.
William WALSH, M. P. critic and poet; born at Abberley
1663; died 1710.
Topography is deeply indebted to the labours of the Rev. Dr. Treadway Nash for his valuable Collections for the History of Worcestershire, which were published in 2 vols. folio in 1781. The original collectors were Thomas Habingdon and his son William; and the MSS of both, augmented by those of Dr. Tho. mas and Bp. Lyttleton, having been bequeathed to the Society of Antiquaries, Dr. Nash was indulged, in 1774, with the unreserved use of them for the purpose of publication.
Of the City and Cathedral of Worcester, there have been various publications, by different authors ; viz. by Mr. Thos. Abingdon (1717); by the Rev. Dr. Thomas (1737); and by Valentine Green (1796); and in 1829 a small 12mo sol. was published anonymously. In 1794, appeared the Rev. W. Tindal's History of Evesham, and Mr. J. Payton's History of Dudley Castle and Priory; to which may be added the Rev. J. Barrett's Description of Malvern.-ED.
YORKSHIRE hath the bishopric of Durham and Westmorland on the north; Lancashire and a snip of Cheshire on the west; Derby, Nottingham, and Lincolnshire (divided by the Humber) on the south; and the German ocean on the east thereof. It extendeth (without any angular advantages) unto a square of fourscore and ten miles, adequate in all dimensions unto the dukedom of Wirtemburg in Germany. Yea, on due consideration I am confident that all the Seven United Provinces cannot present such a square of solid continent, without any sea interposed. One
may call and justify this to be the best shire of England, and that not by the help of the general catachresis of good for great (a good blow, good piece, &c.) but in the proper acceptation thereof. If in Tully's Orations (all being excellent) that is adjudged “optima quæ longissima," (the best which is the longest), then, by the same proportion, this shire (partaking in goodness alike with others) must be allowed the best; seeing Devonshire itself, the next in largeness, wisely sensible of the visible inequality betwixt them, quits all claims of co-rivality (as a case desperate), and acknowledgeth this as paramount in greatness.
Indeed, though other counties have more of the warm sun, this hath as much as any of God's (temporal] blessings. So that let a surveyor set his centre at Pontefract or thereabouts, and take thence the circumference of twenty miles, he there will meet with a tract of ground not exceeded for any, nor equalled for the goodness and plenty of some commodities. I would term it the garden of England, save because it is so far from the Mansion-house, I mean, the city of London ; insomuch that such sullen dispositions, who do not desire to go thither only because of the great distance, the same if settled there would nor desire to come thence, such the delight and pleasure therein.
Most true it is, that when king Henry the Eighth, anno 1548, made his progress to York, doctor Tonstall, bishop of Durham, then attending on him, shewed the king a valley (being then some few miles north of Doncaster), which the
bishop * avowed to be the richest that ever he found in all his travels through Europe ; for, within ten miles of Hasselwood, the seat of the Vavasors, there were—165 manor houses of lords, knights, and gentlemen of the best quality ; 275 several woods, whereof some of them contain five-hundred acres; 32 parks, and two chases of deer; 120 rivers and brooks, whereof five be navigable, well stored with salmon and other fish; 76 water-mills, for the grinding of corn on the aforesaid rivers; 25 coal-mines, which yield abundance of fuel for the whole county; 3 forges for the making of iron, and stone enough for the same.
And within the same limits as much sport and pleasure for hunting, hawking, fishing, and fowling, as in any place of England besides.
A word of the name, colour, virtues, and usefulness thereof. In Latin it is called gagates (as different in nature, as alike in name to the precious stone called gagites, only found in an eagle's nest), whence our English word geat is deduced. But be it remembered, that the agate, vastly distinct from geat, is also named gagates.
It is found in this county, towards the sea-side, in the clefts of the rocks, whose gaping chaps are filled up therewith. It is naturally of a reddish and rusty colour, till it becomes black and bright by polishing. Indeed the lustre consists of the blackness thereof (Negroes have their beauties as well as fair folk) ; and vulgar eyes confound the inlayings made of black marble (polished to the height), with touch, geat, and ebony ; though the three former be stones, the last a kind of wood.
The virtues of geat are hitherto concealed. It is the lightest of all solid (not porous) stones, and may pass for the emblem of our memories, attracting trifles thereto, and letting slip matters of more moment. Rings are made thereof (fine foils to fair fingers); and bracelets with beads, here used for ornament, beyond sea for devotion ; also small utensils, as salt-cellars, and the like. But hear how a poet # describes it:
Nascitur in Lyciá lapis, à propè gemma Gagates ;
Ardet aquâ lotus, restinguitur unctus olivo.
In Lycia grows ; but best of them
• Out of a Manuscript of William Vavasor of Hasselwood, esquire. † Camden's Britannia, in this county.
Marbodæus, in suo de Gemmis libello.
If rubb’d to heat, it easily draws
Oil doth quickly quench the same.” The two last qualities some conceive to agree better to our sea-coal than geat ; whence it is, that some stiffly maintain, that those are the British gagates meant by foreign authors; and indeed, if preciousness of stones be measured, not from their price and rarity but usefulness, they may be accounted precious. But hereof formerly, in the Bishopric of Durham.
This was first found out nigh Gisborough in this county, some sixty years since, by that worthy and learned knight Sir Thomas Chaloner (tutor to prince Henry) on this occasion. He observed the leaves of trees thereabouts more deeply green than elsewhere; the oaks broad-spreading, but not deep-rooted; with much strength, but little sap; the earth clayish, variously coloured, here white, there yellowish, there blue, and the ways therein in a clear night glistering like glass; symptoms which first suggested unto him the presumption of minerals, and of alum most properly.
Yet some years interceded betwixt the discovery and perfecting thereof; some of the gentry of the vicinage burying their estates here under earth, before the alum could be brought to its true consistency. Yea, all things could not fadge with them, until they had brought (not to say stolen) over three prime workmen in hogsheads from Rochelle in France; whereof one, Lambert Russell by name, and a Walloon by birth, not long since deceased. But, when the work was ended, it was adjudged a mine-royal, and came at last to be rented by Sir Paul Pindar, who paid yearly to the king 12,500l.; to the earl of Mulgrave 1,6401.; to Sir William Penniman 6001., besides large salaries to numerous clerks, and daily wages to rubbish-men, rockmen, pit-men, and house-men or fire-men; so that at one time (when the mines were in their majesty) I am credibly informed, he had in pay no fewer than eight hundred by sea and land.
Yet did not the knight complain of his bargain, who having the sole sale of the commodity to himself, kept up the reputation thereof, and the price of alum at six-and-twenty pounds the ton. This he did the easier, because no better, and scarce other (save what from Rome and Rochelle) alum in all Europe.
But the late long-lasting parliament voted it a monopoly; and restored the benefit thereof to the former proprietaries, who now pursue the work at five several places : i. Sandsend, and 2. Ash-holme, belonging to the ear of Mulgrave : 3. Slapy-wath, Sir William (formerly Penniman's) Darcey's: 4. Dunsley, Mr. Thomas Fairfax's : 5. Whitby, Sir Hugh Cholmley's.