Page images

giving to God and Holy St. Cuthbert for the victory achieved that day.

The battle was afterwards called the Battle of Neville's Cross from the following circumstance:

“ On the west side of the city of Durham, where two roads pass each other, a most notable, famous, and goodly cross of stone-work was erected and set up to the honor of God for the victory there obtained in the field of battle, and known by the name of Nevil's Cross, and built at the sole cost of the Lord Ralph Nevil, one of the most excellent and chief persons in the said battle.” The Relique of St. Cuthbert afterwards became of great importance in military events. For soon after this battle, says the same author, “The Prior caused a goodly and sumptuous banner to be made,” (which is then described at great length,)“ and in the midst of the same banner-cloth was the said holy relique and corporax-cloth inclosed, &c., &c., and so sumptuously finished, and absolutely perfected, this banner was dedicated to Holy St. Cuthbert, of intent and purpose that for the future it should be carried to any battle, as occasion should serve; and was never carried and showed at any battle but, by the especial grace of God Almighty, and the mediation of Holy St. Cuthbert, brought home victory; which banner-cloth, after the dissolution of the abbey, fell into the possession of Dean WHITTINGHAM, whose wife, called KATHARINE, being a French woman, (as is most credibly reported by eyewitnesses,) did most injuriously burn the same in her fire, to the open contempt and disgrace of all ancient and goodly reliques.” — Extracted from a book entitled, “Durham Cathedral, as it stood before the Dissolution of the Monastery.” It appears, from the old metrical History, that the above-mentioned banner was carried by the Earl of Surrey to Flodden Field.

Page 45.
"An edifice of warlike frame

Stands single, Norton Tower its name."
It is so called to this day, and is thus described by Dr.
Whitaker: — “Rylstone Fell yet exhibits a monument of the

old warfare between the Nortons and Cliffords. On a point of very high ground, com ing an immense prospect, and protected by two deep ravines, are the remains of a square tower, expressly said by Dodsworth to have been built by Richard Norton. The walls are of strong grout-work, about four feet thick. It seems to have been three stories high. Breaches have been industriously made in all the sides, almost to the ground, to render it untenable.

“But Norton Tower was probably a sort of pleasure-house in summer, as there are, adjoining to it, several large mounds, (two of them are pretty entire,) of which no other account can be given than that they were butts for large companies of archers.

“The place is savagely wild, and admirably adapted to the uses of a watch tower."


Page 60.

Despoil and desolation O’er Rylstone's fair domain have blowon." “ After the attainder of Richard Norton, his estates were forfeited to the crown, where they remained till the 2d or 3d of James; they were then granted to Francis Earl of Cumberland.” From an accurate survey made at that time, several particulars have been extracted by Dr. W. It appears that " the mansion-house was then in decay. Immediately adjoining is a close, called the Vivery, so called, undoubtedly, from the French Vivier, or modern Latin Vivarium: for there are near the house large remains of a pleasure-ground, such as were introduced in the earlier part of Elizabeth's time, with topiary works, fish-ponds, and island, &c. The whole township was ranged by an hundred and thirty red deer, the property of the lord, which, together with the wood, had, after the attainder of Mr. Norton, been committed to Sir Stephen Tempest. The wood, it seems, had been abandoned to depredations, before which time it appears that the neighborhood must have exhibited a forest-like and sylvan scene. In this survey, among the old tenants, is mentioned one Richard Kitchen, butler to Mr. Norton, who rose in rebellion with his master, and was executed at Ripon.”

Page 64. “ In the deep fork of Amerdale." At the extremity of the parish of Burnsal, the valley of Wharf forks off into two great branches, one of which retains. the name of Wharfdale, to the source of the river; the other is usually called Littondale, but more anciently and properly, Amerdale. Dernbrook, which runs along an obscure valley from the northwest, is derived from a Teutonic word, signifying concealment.” – DR. WHITAKER.

Page 66.
When the bells of Rylstone played

Their Sabbath music, — 'God us ayde!""
On one of the bells of Rylstone Church, which seems coeval
with the building of the tower, is this cipher, "X. N.” for
John Norton, and the motto, “ God us ayde. "

Page 68. " The grassy, rock-encircled Pound,Which is thus described by Dr. Whitaker: “ On the plain summit of the hill are the foundations of a strong wall stretching from the southwest to the northeast corner of the tower, and to the edge of very deep glen. From this glen, a ditch, several hundred yards long, runs south to another deep and rugged ravine. On the north and west, where the banks are very steep, no wall or mound is discoverable, paling being the only fence that could stand on such ground.

" From the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, it appears that such pounds for deer, sheep, &c. were far from being uncommon in the South of Scotland. The principle of them was something like that of a wire mouse-trap. On the declivity of a steep hill, the bottom and sides of which were fenced so as to be impassable, a wall was constructed nearly level with the surface on the outside, yet so high within, that without wings it was impossible to escape in the opposite direction. Care was probably taken that these inclosures should contain better feed than the neighboring parks or forests; and whoever is acquainted with the habits of these sequacious animals, will easily conceive, that, if the leader was once tempted to descend into the snare, a herd would follow."

I cannot conclude without recommending to the notice of all lovers of beautiful scenery, Bolton Abbey and its neighborhood. This enchanting spot belongs to the Duke of Devonshire; and the superintendence of it has for some years been intrusted to the Rev. William Carr, who has most skilfully opened out its features; and, in whatever he has added has done justice to the place, by working with an invisible hand of art in the very spirit of nature.

Page 72.

Ecclesiastical Sonnets."

During the month of December, 1820, I accompanied a much beloved and honored Friend in a walk through different parts of his estate, with a view to fix upon the site of a new Church which he intended to erect. It was one of the most beautiful mornings of a mild season, – our feelings were in harmony with the cherishing influences of the scene; and such being our purpose, we were naturally led to look back upon past events with wonder and gratitude, and on the future with hope. Not long afterwards, some of the Sonnets which will be found towards the close of this series were produced, as a private memorial of that morning's occupation.

The Catholic Question, which was agitated in Parliament about that time, kept my thoughts in the same course; and it struck me that certain points in the Ecclesiastical History of our Country might advantageously be presented to view in verse. Accordingly, I took up the subject, and what I now offer to the reader was the result.

When this work was far advanced, I was agreeably surprised to find that my friend, Mr. Southey, had been engaged with similar views in writing a concise History of the Church in England. If our Productions, thus unintentionally coinciding, shall be found to illustrate each other, it will prove a high gratification to me, which I am sure my friend will participate.

W. WORDSWORTH. RYDAL MOUNT, January 24, 1822.

For the convenience of passing from one point of the subject to another without shocks of abruptness, this work has taken the shape of a series of Sonnets: but the Reader, it is to be hoped, will find that the pictures are often so closely connected as to have jointly the effect of passages of a poem in a form of stanza to which there is no objection but one that bears upon the Poet only, - its difficulty.

Page 73.

Did Holy Paul,” c. Stillingfleet adduces many arguments in support of this opinion, but they are unconvincing. The latter part of this Sonnet refers to a favorite notion of Roman Catholic writers, that Joseph of Arimathea and his companions brought Christianity into Britain, and built a rude church at Glastonbury; alluded to hereafter, in a passage upon the dissolution of monasteries.

Page 76. " That Hill, whose flowery platform,” foc. This hill at St. Alban's must have been an object of great interest to the imagination of the venerable Bede, who thus describes it, with a delicate feeling, delightful to meet with in that rude age, traces of which are frequent in his works: “Variis herbarum floribus depictus imo usquequaque vestitus, in quo nihil repente arduum, nihil præceps, nihil abruptum, quem lateribus longe lateque deductum in modum æquoris natura complanat, dignum videlicet eum pro insita sibi specie venustatis jam olim reddens, qui beati martyris cruore dicaretar."

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »