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For Cromwell, with his cuirassiers, did the work of that day. Some suspected colonel Hurry (lately converted to the king's party) for foul play herein; for he divided the king's Old Horse (so valiant and victorious in former fights) into small bodies, alleging this was the best way to break the Scottish lancers. But those horse, always used to charge together in whole regiments or greater bodies, were much discomposed with this new mode, so that they could not find themselves in themselves. Besides, a right valiant lord, severed (and in some sort secured) with a ditch from the enemy, did not attend till the foe forced their way unto him, but gave his men the trouble to pass over that ditch; the occasion of much disorder.
The van of the king's foot being led up by the truly honourable colonel John Russell, impressed with unequal numbers, and distanced from seasonable succour, became a prey to their enemy. The marquis of Newcastle's Whitecoats (who were said to bring their winding sheet about them into the field), after thrice firing, fell to it with the but ends of their muskets, and were invincible; till mowed down by Cromwell's cuirassiers, with Job's servants, they were all almost slain, few escaping to bring the tidings of their overthrow.
Great was the execution on that day, Cromwell commanding his men to give no quarter. Various the numbering of the slain on both sides; yet I meet with none mounting them above six or sinking them beneath three thousand.
I remember no person of honour slain on the king's side, save the hopeful lord Cary, eldest son to the earl of Monmouth. But on the Parliament's side, the lord Didup (a lately created baron) was slain, on the same token, that when king Charles said that he hardly remembered that he had such a lord in Scotland;" one returned, "that the lord had wholly forgotten that he had such a king in England." Soon after, more than sixty royalists of prime quality removed themselves beyond the seas; so that henceforward the king's affairs in the north were in a languishing condition.
As I am glad to hear the plenty of a coarser kind of cloth is made in this county, at Halifax, Leeds, and elsewhere, whereby the meaner sort are much employed, and the middle sort enriched; so I am sorry for the general complaints made thereof: insomuch that it is become a general by-word, "to shrink as northern cloths," (a giant to the eye, and dwarf in the use thereof,) to signify such who fail their friends in deepest distress, depending on their assistance. Sad that the sheep, the emblem of innocence, should unwillingly cover so much craft under the wool thereof; and sadder, that Fullers, commended in Scripture for making cloth white,* should justly be condemn
• Mark ix. 3.
ed for making their own consciences black, by such fraudulent practices. I hope this fault, for the future, will be amended in this county and elsewhere: for sure it is, that the transporting of wool and fullers-earth (both against law) beyond the seas, are not more prejudicial to our English clothing abroad, than the deceit in making cloth at home, debasing the foreign estimation of our cloth, to the unvaluable damage of our nation.
YORK is an ancient city, built on both sides of the river Ouse, conjoined with a bridge, wherein there is one arch, the highest and largest in England. Here the Roman emperors had their residence (Severus and Valerius Constantius their death), preferring this place before London, as more approaching the centre of this island: and he who will hold the ox-hide from rising up on either side, must fix his foot in the middle. thereof.
What it lacketh of London in bigness and beauty of buildings, it hath in cheapness and plenty of provisions. The ordinary in York will make a feast in London; and such persons who in their eating consult both their purse and palate, would choose this city as the staple place of good cheer.
It challengeth none peculiar to itself; and the foreign trade is like their river (compared with the Thames) low and little. Yet send they coarse cloth to Hamburgh; and have iron, flax, and other Dutch commodities in return.
But the trade which indeed is but driven on at York, runneth of itself at Hull; which, of a fisher's town, is become a city's fellow within three hundred years, being the key of the north. I presume this key (though not new made) is well mended, and the wards of the lock much altered, since it shut out our sovereign from entering therein.
The cathedral in this city answereth the character which a foreign author* giveth it, "Templum opere et magnitudine toto orbe memorandum;" the work of John Romaine, William Melton, and John Thoresbury, successive archbishops thereof; the family of the Percys contributing timber; of the Valvasors, stone thereunto.
• The writer of the life of Æneas Sylvius, or Pope Pius Secundus.
Appending to this cathedral is the chapter-house; such a master-piece of art, that this golden verse (understand it written in golden letters) is engraved therein :
Ut rosa flos florum, sic est domus ista domorum.
Now as it follows not that the usurping tulip is better than the rose, because preferred by some foreign fancies before it; so is it as inconsequent that modish Italian churches are better than this reverend magnificent structure, because some humorous travellers are so pleased to esteem them.
One may justly wonder, how this church, whose edifice woods (designed by the devotion of former ages, for the repair thereof) were lately sold, should consist in so good a condition. But, as we read that "God made all those to pity his children, who carried them captive;"* so I am informed, that some who had this cathedral in their command favourably reflected hereon, and not only permitted but procured the repair thereof; and no doubt he doth sleep the more comfortably, and will die the more quietly for the same.
"Lincoln was, London is, and York shall be."]
Though this be rather a prophecy than a proverb; yet, because something proverbial therein, it must not be omitted. It might as well be placed in Lincolnshire or Middlesex; yet (if there be any truth therein) because men generally worship the rising sun, blame me not if here I only take notice thereof.
That Lincoln was,† namely a fairer, greater, richer city, than now it is, doth plainly appear by the ruins thereof, being without controversy the greatest city in the kingdom of Mercia.
That London is, we know; that York shall be, God knows. If no more be meant but that York hereafter shall be in a better condition than now it is, some may believe, and more do desire it. Indeed this place was in a fair way of preferment (because of the convenient situation thereof) when England and Scotland were first united into Great Britan. But as for those who hope it shall be the English metropolis, they must wait until the river of Thames run under the great arch of Ouse-bridge.
However, York shall be, that is, shall be York still, as it was before.
FLACCUS ALBINUS, more commonly called ALCUINUS, was born, say some, nigh London; say others, in York; the latter being more probable, because befriended with his northern education under venerable Bede, and his advancement in York.
• Psalm cvi. 46.
See the Life of Archbishop Mountain, in the BENEFACTORS of this county.
Here he so plied the well furnished library therein (much praised by him), that he distilled it into himself; so great and general his knowledge. Bale ranketh him the third Englishman for learning, placing Bede and Adelme before him; and our Alcuinus' humility is contented with the place, though he be called up higher by the judgments of others.
Hence he travelled beyond the seas; and what Aristotle was to Alexander he was to Charles the first emperor. Yea, Charles owed unto him the best part of his title, "The Great," being made great in arts and learning by his instructions.†
This Alcuinus was the founder of the university in Paris; so that, whatsoever the French brag to the contrary, and slight our nation, their learning was lumen de lumine nostro, and a taper lighted at our torch. When I seriously peruse the orthography of his name, I call to mind an anagram which the Papists made of reverend Calvin, bragging like boys for finding of a bee's when it proves but a hornet's nest; I mean, triumphing in the sweetness of their conceit, though there be nothing but a malicious sting therein: "CALVINUS," (LUCIANUS.)
And now they think they have nicked the good man to purpose, because Lucianus was notoriously known for an atheist, and grand scoffer at the Christian religion. A silly and spiteful fancy, seeing there were many Lucians worthy persons in the primitive times, amongst whom the chief, one presbyter of Antioch, and martyr under Dioclesian,‡ so famous to posterity for his translation of the Bible. Besides, the same literal allusion is found in the name of "ALCUINUS," (LUCIANUS.)
Thus these nominal curiosities, whether they hit or miss the mark, equally import nothing to judicious beholders.
He was made first abbot of Saint Augustine's in Canterbury, and afterward of St. Martin's in the city of Tours in France; and, dying anno 780, he was buried in a small convent appendant to his monastry.
He is here entered under the topic of Saints, because, though never solemnly canonized, he well deserved the honour. His subjects said to David, "Thou art worth ten thousand of us;"§ and though I will not ascend to so high a proportion, many of the modern saints in the church of Rome must modestly confess, that, on a due and true estimate, our Alcuinus was worth many scores of them at least; so great his learning, and holy his conversation.
* In Epistolâ suâ ad Carolum Magnum.
+ Mr. Drake tells us (Eborac. p. 370.) Charlemagne "took the name of Great, not from his conquests, but for being made great, in all arts and learning, by his tutor's instructions;" and for this he cites Fuller's Worthies. But this author's words, in YORK, do not amount to this, for he assigns not that as the cause; but only observes," Charles owed unto him the best part of his title, "The Great," being made Great in arts and learning by his instructions."-Dr. Pegge, Anonymiana, p. 228.-ED.
Eusebius, lib. viii. cap. 13.
§ 2 Samuel, xviii. 3.
[S.N.] SEWALD had his nativity probably in these parts. But he was bred in Oxford, and was a scholar to St. Edmund, who was wont to say to him, "Sewald, Sewald, thou wilt have many afflictions, and die a martyr. Nor did he miss much of his mark therein, though he met with peace and plenty at first, when archbishop of York. The occasion of his trouble was, when the Pope, plenitudine potentatis, intruded one Jordan an Italian to be dean of York, whose surprised installing Sewald stoutly opposed.* Yea at this time there were in England no fewer than three hundred benefices possessed by Italians, where the people might say to them, as the eunuch to Philip, "How can we understand without an interpreter ?" Yea, which was far worse, they did not only not teach in the church, but misteach by their lascivious and debauched behaviour. Ás for our Sewald, Matthew Paris saith plainly, that he would not "bow his knee to Baal;" so that, for this his contempt, he was excommunicated and cursed by bell, book, and candle; though it was not the bell of Aaron's garment, nor book of Scripture, nor the candle of an impartial judgment. This brake his heart; and his memory lieth in an intricate posture (peculiar almost to himself), betwixt martyr and no martyr, a saint and no saint. Sure it is, Sewald, though dying excommunicated in the Romish, is reputed saint in vulgar estimation; and some will maintain "that the Pope's solemn canonization is no more requisite to the making of a saint, than the opening of a man's windows is necessary to the lustre of the sun." Sewald died anno Domini 1258.
Bale, who assumeth liberty to himself to surname Old Writers at his pleasure, is pleased to addition this worthy man, "Sewaldus Magnanimus."†
VALENTINE FREESE and his wife were both of them born in this city; and both gave their lives therein at one stake,‡ for the testimony of Jesus Christ, anno Domini 1531; probably by order from Edward Lee, the cruel archbishop. I cannot readily call to mind a man and his wife thus married together in martyrdom; and begin to grow confident that this couple was the first and last in this kind.
EDWARD FREESE, brother to the aforesaid Valentine, was born in York, and there an apprentice to a painter.§ He was afterwards a novice monk; and, leaving his convent, came to Colchester in Essex. Here his heretical inclination (as then accounted) discovered itself in some sentences of Scripture, which he painted in the borders of cloths, for which he was brought
Godwin in the Archbishops of York.
De Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. iv. num. 23.
§ Idem, ibidem, p. 1026.