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The deer of Cranbourn chase usually almost to Salisbury. Its market is on a average about ten thousand in number. In Thursday, it has a cattle market in the the winter of 1826, they were presumed to spring, and its fairs are on St. Bartholomew's amount to from twelve to fifteen thousand. and St. Nicholas' days. It is the capital of This increase is ascribed to the unusual the hundred to which it gives its name, and mildness of recent winters, and the conse is a vicarage valued in the king's books at quent absence of injuries which the animals £6.138. 4d. It is a place of high antiquity, are subject to from severe weather.
famous in the Saxon and Norman times for In the month of November, a great its monastery, its chase, and its lords. The number of deer from the woods and pas- monastery belonged ta the Benedictines, of tures of the Chase, between Gunvile and which the church at the west end of the Ashmore, crossed the narrow downs on the town was the priory. * western side, and descended into the adjacent parts of the vale of Blackmore in
Affray in the Chase. quest of subsistence. There was a large On the night of the 16th of December, increase in the number about twelve years 1780, a severe battle was fought between preceding, till the continued deficiency of the keepers and deer-stealers on Chettle food occasioned a mortality. Very soon Common, in Bursey-stool Walk. The deerafterwards, however, they again increased stealers had assembled at Pimperne, and and emigrated for food to the vallies, as in were headed by one Blandford, a sergeant the present instance. At the former period, of dragoons, a native of Pimperne, then the greater part were not allowed or were quartered at Blandford. They came in the unable to return.
night in disguise, armed with deadly offenThe tendency of deer to breed beyond sive weapons called swindgels, resembling the means of support, afforded by parks fails to thresh corn. They attacked the and other places wherein they are kept, keepers, who were nearly equal in number, has been usually regulated by converting but had no weapons but sticks and short them into venison. This is clearly more hangers. The first blow was struck by the humane than suffering the herds so to en leader of the gang, it broke a knee-cap of large, that there is scarcely for “ every one the stoutest man in the chase, which disa mouthfull, and no one a bellyfull.” It is abled him from joining in the combat, and also better to pay a good price for good lamed him for ever. Another keeper, from venison in season, than to have poor and a blow with a swindgel, which broke three cheap venison from the surplus of starving ribs, died some time after. The remaining animals “ killed off” in mercy to the re- keepers closed in upon their opponents mainder, or in compliance with the wishes with their hangers, and one of the draof landholders whose grounds they invade goon's hands was severed from the arm, in their extremity.
just above the wrist, and fell on the ground; The emigration of the deer from Cran- the others were also dreadfully cut, and bourn Chase suggests, that as such cases wounded, and obliged to surrender. Blandarise in winter, their venison may be be- ford's arm was tightly bound with a list stowed with advantage on labourers, who garter to prevent its bleeding, and he was abound more in children than in the means carried to the lodge. The Rev. Williara of providing for them; and thus the sur- Chafin, the author of " Anecdotes respectplus of the forest-breed be applied to the ing Cranbourn Chase," says, “ I saw support and comfort of impoverished hu- him there the next day, and his hand man beings.
in the window: as soon as he was well
enough to be removed, he was committed, Cranbourn.
with his companions, to Dorchester gaol. Cranbourn is a market town and parish in yard, and, as reported, with the ho
The hand was buried in Pimperne churchthe hundred of Cranbourn, Dorsetshire,about
nours of war. Several of these offenders 12 miles south-west from Salisbury, and 93
were labourers, daily employed by Mr. from London. According to the last census, Beckford, and had, the preceding day it contains 367 houses and 1823 inhabitants, dined in his servants' hall, and from thence of whom 104 are returned as being em
went to join a confederacy to rob their ployed in trade. The parish includes a
master.” They were all tried, found guilty circuit of 40 miles, and the town is plea- and condemned to be transported for seven santly situated in a fine champaign country years; but, in consideration of their great. at the north-east extremity of the county, near Cranbourn Chase, which extends
• Horcbins's Dorset. Capper.
suffering from their wounds in prison, the boughs in their hats or caps, to show their humane judge, sir Richard Perryn, commu- loyalty, (velvet caps were chiefly worn in ted the punishment to confinement for an those days, even by the ladies,) and to indefinite term. The soldier was not dis- hunt young male deer, in order to enter the missed from his majesty's service, but suf- young hounds, and to stoop them to their fered to retire upon half-pay, or pension; right game, and to get the older ones in and set up a shop in London, which he wind and exercise, preparatory to the comdenoted a game-factor's. He dispersed mencement of the buck-killing season. hand-bills in the public places, in order to This practice was termed “ blooding the get customers, and put one into Mr. Cha- hounds;" and the young deer killed were fin's hand in the arch-way leading into called “ blooding-deer,” and their venison Lincoln's-inn-square. “I immediately re was deemed fit for an epicure. It was recognised him," says Mr. Chafin, “ as he ported, that an hind quarter of this sort of did me; and he said, that if I would deal venison, which had been thoroughly hunted, with him, he would use me well, for he was once placed on the table before the had, in times past, had many hares and celebrated Mr. Quin, at Bath, who declared pheasants of inine; and he had the assur- it to be the greatest luxury he ever met ance to ask me, if I did not think it a good with, and ate very heartily of it. But this breeding-season for game !"
taste seems not to have been peculiar to
Mr. Quin; for persons of high rank joined Buck-kunting.
in the opinion: and even judges, when on
their circuits, indulged in the same luxury. Buck-hunting, in former times, was much The following is an extract from a stewmore followed, and held in much greater ard's old accompt-book, found in the noble repute, than now. From letters in Mr. old mansion of Orchard Portman, near Chafin's possession, dated in June and July Taunton, in Somersetshire : 1681, be infers, that the summers then were
« 10th August much hotter than in the greater part of the
1680. last century. The time of meeting at
Delivered Sr William, in the Cranbourn Chase in those days seems invariably to have been at four o'clock in the higher Orial, going a hunting
with the Judges
£2. Os. Od." evening; it was the custom of the sportsmen to take a slight repast at two o'clock, From hence, therefore, it appears, that and to dine at the most fashionable hours in those days buck-hunting, for there could of the present day. Mr. Chafin deemed be no other kind of hunting meant, was in hunting in an evening well-judged, and ad so much repute, and so much delighted in, vantageous every way. The deer were at that even the judges could not refrain from that time upon their legs, and more easily partaking in it when on their circuits; and found; they were empty, and more able to it seems that they chose to hunt their own run, and to show sport; and as the evening venison, which they annually received from advanced, and the dew fell, the scent gra- Orchard park at ihe time of the assizes. dually improved, and the cool air enabled “ I cannot but deem them good judges," the horses and the hounds to recover their
Chafin, “ for preferring hunted wind, and go through their work without venison to that which had been shot.” injury; whereas just the reverse of this would be the hunting late in a morning. What has been mentioned is peculiar to
Other Sports of Cranbourn Chase. Buck-hunting only:
Besides buck-hunting, which certainly Stag-hunting is in some measure a sum was the principal one, the chase afforded mer amusement also; but that chase is other rural amusements to our ancestors in generally much too long to be ventured on former days. “I am well aware,” Mr. in an evening. It would carry the sports- Chafin says, in preparing some notices of man too far distant from their homes. It them, “that there are many young persons is absolutely necessary, therefore, in pur. who are very indifferent and care little suing the stag, to have the whole day before about what was practised by their ancestors, them.
or how they amused themselves; they are It was customary, in the last century, looking forward, and do not choose to look for sportsmen addicted to the sport of back: but there may be some not so indir Buck-hunting, and who regularly followed ferent, and to whom a relation of the sports it, to meet every season on the 29th day of of the field in the last century may not be May, king Charles's restoration, with oak- displeasing." These sports, in addition
to hunting, were hawking, falconry, and ed sportsmen attempted to stay the Dorsetcocking.
shire hounds in vain. The dogs topped the Packs of hounds were always kept in highest fences, dashed through herds of the neighbourhood of the chase, and hunted deer and a number of hares, without taking there in the proper seasons. There were the least notice of them; and ran in to their three sorts of animals of chase besides deer, fox, and killed him some miles beyond the viz. foxes, hares, and mertincats: the race park. It was the unanimous opinion of of the latter are nearly extinct; their skins the whole hunt, that it was the finest run were too valuable for them to be suffered ever known in that country. collection to exist. At that time no hounds were of field-money was made for the huntsman, kept and used for any particular sort of much beyond his expectations; and he regame except the buck-hounds, but they turned to Stepleton in better spirits than he hunted casually the first that came in their left it. way.
Before this pack was raised in Dorset-
Chase, hunted all the animals promis-
cuously, except the deer, from which they
Origin of Cranbourn Chase. respect, as any of the most celebrated packs of the present day. The owner was obliged
This royal chase, always called “ The to dispose of them, and they were sold to King's Chase,” in the lapse of ages came Mr. Bowes, in Yorkshire, the father of the into possession of an earl of Salisbury. It late lady Strathmore, at an immense price. is certain that after one of its eight distinct They were taken into Yorkshire by their walks, called Fernditch Walk, was sold to own attendants, and, after having been
the earl of Pembroke, the entire remainder viewed and much admired in their kennel, of the chase was alienated to lord Ashley, a day was fixed for making trial of them afterwards earl of Shaftesbury. Alderholt in the field, to meet at a famous hare-cover Walk was the largest and most extensive
When the huntsman came with his in the whole Chase ; it lies in the three hounds in the morning, he discovered a
counties of Hants, Wilts, and Dorset; but great number of sportsmen, who were riding the lodge and its appurtenances is in the in the cover, and whipping the furzes as for parish of Cranbourn, and all the Chase a hare; he therefore halted, and informed courts are held at the manor house there, Mr. Bowes that he was unwilling to throw where was also a prison for offenders off his hounds until the gentlemen had re- against the Chase laws. Lord Shaftesbury tired, and ceased the slapping of whips, to deputed rangers in the different walks in which his hounds were not accustomed, the year 1670, and afterwards dismemberand he would engage to find a fox in a few ing it, (though according to old records, it minutes if there was one there. The gen- appears to have been dismembered long tleinen sportsmen having obeyed the orders before,) by destroying Alderholt alk; he given by Mr. Bowes, the huntsman, taking sold the remainder to Mr. Freke, of Shrothe wind of the cover, threw off his hounds, ton, in Dorsetshire, from whom it lineally which immediately began to feather, and descended to the present possessor, lord soon got upon a drag into the cover, and
Rivers. up to the fox's kennel, which went off close before them, and, after a severe burst over Accounts of Cranbourn Chase can be a fine country, was killed, to the great sa traced to the æra when king John, or some tisfaction of the whole party. They then other royal personage, had a hunting-seat returned to the same cover, not one half of at Tollard Royal, n the county of Wilts. it having been drawn, and very soon found Hence the name a royal” to that parish a second fox, exactly in the same manner was certainly derived. There are vestiges as before, which broke cover immediately in and about the old palace, which clearly over the same fine country : but the chase evince that it was once a royal habitation; was much longer; and in the course of it, and it still bears the name of “King John's the fox made its way to a nobleman's park. House." There are large cypress trees It had been customary to stop hounds be- growing before the house, the relics of fore they could enter it, but the best-mount- grand terraces may be easily traced, and
the remains of a park to which some of Which made her yield to deck this shepherd's band : thern lead. A gate at the end of the park And still, believe me, Strephon was at hand. at the entrance of the Royal Chase, now
Then couples three be straight allotted there, called “Alarm Gate," was the place pro They of both ends the middle two do fly; bably where the horn was blown to call the
The two that in mid-place, Hell, called were, keepers to their duty, in attending their Must strive with waiting foot, ard watching eye, lord in his sports. There is also a venera To catch of them, and them to Hell to bear, ble old wych-elm tree, on the Chase side That they, as well as they, Hell may supply of the “ Alarm Gate," under which lord Like some which seek to salve their blotted name Arundel, the possessor of Tollard Royal, With other's blot, till all do taste of shame. holds a court annually, on the first Monday in the month of September. A view of the
There you may see, soon as the iniddle two mansion in its present state, is given in the
Do coupled towards either couple make, Gentleman's Magazine” for September They false and fearful do their hands undo,
Brother his brother, friend doth his friend forsake, 1811.
Heeding himself, cares not how fellow do,
But of a stranger mutual help doth take :
As perjured cowards in adversity,
With sight of fear, from friends to frembidt doth Ay, Mr. Strutt, the indefatigable historian of the “Sports and Pastimes of the People adventurers
The game being played out with divers of England,” says of Barley-break: “ The excellency of this sport seems to have con All to second Barley-break again are bent. sisted in running well, but I know not its properties." "Beyond this Mr. Strutt
During the second game, Strephon was merely cites Dr. Johnson's quotation of
chased by Urania. two lines from sir Philip Sidney, as an au Strephon so chased did seem in milk to swim; thority for the word. Johnson, limited to a He ran, but ran with eye o'er shoulder cast, mere dictionary explanation, calls it “ More marking her, than how himself did go, kind of rural play; a trial of swiftness." Like Numid's lions by the hunters chased,
Sidney, in his description of the rural Though they do Ay, yet backwardly do glow courtship of Urania by Strephon, conveys a
aspect, disdaining greater haste : sufficient idea of “ Barley-break.” The
What rage in them, that love in tim did show; shepherd seeks the society of his mistress
But God gives them instinct the man to shun, wherever he thinks it likely to find her.
And he by law of Barley-break must run, Nay ev'n unto her home he oft would go,
Urania caught Strephon, and he was Where bold and hurtless many play he tries ; sent by the rules of the sport to the conHer parents liking well it should be so,
demned place, with a shepherdess, named For simple goodness shined in his eyes :
Nous, who affirmed
-it was no right, for his default, While into none doubt of his love did sink,
Who would be caught, that she should goFor not himself to be in love did tnink.
But so she must. And now the third assault
Of Barley-break.This “sad shepherd " held himself to
Strephon, in this third game, pursues wards Urania according to the usual cus
Urania; Klaius, his rival suitor, suddenly tom and manner of lovers in such cases.
interposed. For glad desire, his late embosom'd guest,
For with pretence from Strephon her to guard, Yet but a babe, with milk of sight he nurst:
He met her full, but full of warefulness, Desire the more he suckt, more sought the breast
With in-bow'd bosom well for her prepared, Like dropsy-folk, still drink to be athirst;
When Strephon cursing his own backwardness Till one fair ev'n an hour ere sun did rest,
Came to her back, and so, with double ward, Who then in Lion's cave did enter first,
Imprison'd her, who both them did possess
As heart-bound slaves.-
* It may be doubted whether in the rude simplicity A maid train d up from high or low degree,
of ancient times, this word in the game of Barley-break That in her dcings better could compare
was applied in the same manner that it would be in
ours. Mirth with respect, fev words with courtesie,
+ Fremeh, (obsolete,) strange, foreign. Ash. Corrupt. A careless comeliness with comely care,
ed from fremd, which, in Saxou and Gothic, signified a Self-guard with mildness, sport with majesty; stranger, or an enemy. Nares.
Her race did not her beanty's beams augment, though differently played. It is termed
“ Barla-breikis,” or “ Barley-bracks.” Dr. But yet a setting forth it some way lent,
Jamieson says it is generally played by As rubies lustre when they rubbed be
young people, in a corn-yard about the The dainty dew on face and body went,
stacks; and hence called Barla-bracks, As ou sweet Bowers, when morning's drops we see :
“ One stack is fixed as the dule or goal; Her breath then short, seem'd loth from home
and one person is appointed to catch the pass,
rest of the company, who run out from the Which more it moved, the more it sweeter was.
dule. He does not leave it till they are all Happy, 0 happy! if they so might bide
out of his sight. Then he sets out to catch To see their eyes, with how true humbleness,
them. Any one who is taken, cannot run They looked down to triumph over pride;
out again with his former associates, being With how sweet blame she chid their sauciness
accounted a prisoner, but is obliged to Till she brake from their arms
assist his captor in pursuing the rest. And farewelling the Rock, did homeward wend,
When all are taken, the game is finished; And so, that even, the Barley-break did end.
and he who is first taken, is bound to act This game is mentioned by Burton, in as catcher in the next game. This innohis “Anatomy of Melancholy,” as one of cent sport seems to be almost entirely forour rural sports, and by several of the gotten in the south of Scotland. It is also poets, with more or less of description, falling into desuetude in the north."* though by none so fully as Sidney, in the first eclogue of the “ Arcadia," from whence the preceding passages are taken.
Scraps. The late Mr. Gifford, in a note on Massinger, chiefly from the “ Arcadia," de
PLATE Tax. scribes Barley-break thus : It was played An order was made in the house of lords by six people, (three of each sex,) who were
in May, 1776, “ that the commissioners of coupled by lot. A piece of ground was
his majesty's excise do write circular letters then chosen, and divided into three com
to all such persons whom they have reason partments, of which the middle one was called hell. It was the object of the couple have not paid regularly the duty on the
to suspect to have plate, as also to those who condemned to this division to catch the
same." In consequence of this order, the others, who advanced from the two extremities; in which case a change of situa- to the celebrated John Wesley a copy of
accountant-general for household plate sent tion took place, and hell was filled by the the order. John's answer was laconic:couple who were excluded by preoccupation from the other places : in this catching, “ I have two silver tea-spoons in Lonhowever, there was some difficulty, as, by the regulations of the game, the middle don, and two at Bristol. This is all the couple were not to separate before they plate which I have at present; and I shall
not buy any more while so many round me had succeeded, while the others might
want bread. I amn, Sir, break hands whenever they found them.
“ Your most humble servant, selves hard pressed. When all had been
“ JOHN WESLEY." taken in turn, the last ple were said to be in hell, and the game ended."
Within memory, a game called Barley, break has been played among stacks of
THE DIAL. corn, in Yorkshire, with some variation from This shadow on the dial's face, the Scottish game mentioned presently. In That steals, from day to day, Yorkshire, also, there was another form
With slow, unseen, unceasing pace, of it, more resembling that in the “ Arca
Moments, and months, and years away; dia,” which was played in open ground.
This shadow, which in every clime, The childish game of “ Tag " seems derived
Since light and motion first began,
Hath held its course sublime; from it. There was a tig," or tag,”
What is it?- Mortal man! whose touch made a prisoner, in the York
It is the scythe of Time.
-A shadow only to the eye.
It levels all beneath the sky.