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Bale's Comment.*-❝ Per religionem fortassis monachatum intelligit, per literas sophistica præstigia;" (it may be he meaneth monkery by religion, and by learning sophistical fallacies.)
I confess he might have employed his pains better. But Bale proceeds, de Consultis Ruthenis, consulting,-not the Russians, as the word sounds to all critics, but-the men of Ruthin in Wales. He wrote the Life and Miracles of St. Winfride; flourishing anno 1140.
DAVID of CHIRBURY, a Carmelite, was so named from his native place in the west of this county, bordering on Montgomeryshire; a small village, I confess, yet which formerly denominated a whole hundred, and at this day is the barony of the Lord Herbert. He was, saith Leland (whom I take at the second hand on the trust of John Pits t), "Theologiæ cognitione clarus" and, going over into Ireland, was there made Episcopus Dromorensis, bishop of Dromore, as I take it.‡ He is said to have wrote some books, though not mentioned in Bale, and (which is to me a wonder) no notice taken of him by that judicious knight Sir James Ware. So that it seems his writings were either few or obscure. Returning into England, he died, and was buried in his native county at Ludlow, in the convent of the Carmelites, anno Domini 1420.
SINCE THE REFORMATION.
ROBERT LANGELAND.-Forgive me, reader, though placing him (who lived one hundred and fifty years before) since the Reformation; for I conceive that the morning-star belongs rather to the day than to the night. On which account this Robert (regulated in our book, not according to the age he was in, but judgment he was of) may by prolepsis be termed a Protes
He was born at Mortimer's-Clibery in this county,¶ eight miles from Malvern Hills; was bred a priest, and one of the first followers of John Wickliffe, wanting neither wit nor learning, as appears by his book called "The Vision of Pierce Plowghman ;" and hear what character a most learned antiquary giveth thereof:**
"It is written in a kind of English metre, which for discovery of the infecting corruptions of those times I prefer before many of the more seemingly serious invectives, as well for invention as judgment."
There is a book first set forth by Tindal, since exemplified
* De Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. ii. num. 76.
+ In Appendice Illustr. Angliæ Scriptor. p. 832.
David of Chirbury was bishop of Dromore from 1427 to 1429.-ED.
In his Book de Scriptoribus Hibernicis.
Bale, de Scriptoribus, Cent. vi. num. 37.
**Mr. Selden, in his notes on Polyolbion, p: 109.
by Mr. Fox,* called "The Prayer and Complaint of the Plowghman," which, though differing in title and written in prose, yet being of the same subject, at the same time, in the same language, I must refer it to the same author; and let us observe a few of his strange words, with their significations:
1. Behotef, for 'promiseth;' 2. binemen, for 'take away;' 3. blive, for quickly;' 4. fulleden, for 'baptized;' 5. feile times, for oft-times; 6. forward, for covenant;' 7. heryeth, for worshippeth ;' 8. homelich, for household;' 9. lesew, for 'pasture;' 10. leude-men, for 'laymen;' 11. nele, for will not; 12. nemeth, for 'taketh;' 13. seggen, for 'do say;' 14. swevens, for dreams;' 15. syth, for afterwards;' 16. thralles, for bondmen.'
It is observable that Pits (generally a perfect plagiary out of Bale) passeth this Langeland over in silence. And why? because he wrote in oppositum to the papal interest. Thus the most light-fingered thieves will let that alone which is too hot for them. He flourished under king Edward the Third, anno Domini 1369.
THOMAS CHURCHYARD was born in the town of Shrewsbury, as himself doth affirm in his book made in verse of "The Worthines of Wales," taking Shropshire within the compass; making (to use his own expression) Wales the park, and the Marches to be the pale thereof. Though some conceive him to be as much beneath a poet as above a rhymer, in my opinion his verses may go abreast with any of that age, writing in the beginning of queen Elizabeth. It seems by this his epitaph, in Mr. Camden's "Remains," that he died not guilty of much wealth:
"Come, Alecto, lend me thy torch,
To find a church-yard in a church-porch,
Poverty and poetry his tomb doth enclose;
His death, according to the most probable conjecture, may be presumed about the eleventh year of the queen's reign, anno Domini 1570.
THOMAS HOLLAND, D.D. was born in this county,† "in finibus et limitibus Cambriæ, (in the confines and Marches of Wales ;) bred in Exeter College in Oxford, and at last became rector thereof. He did not, with some, only sip of learning, or at the best but drink thereof, but was "mersus in libris,' (drowned in his books); so that the scholar in him almost devoured all other relations. He was, saith the author of his funeral sermon, so familiar with the Fathers, as if he himself had been a Father. This quality commended him to succeed Dr. Lawrence Humphrid in the place of regius professor, which place
Acts and Monuments, p. 398. VOL. III.
+ Herologia Anglica, p. 238.
he discharged with good credit for twenty years together. When he went forth of his college on any journey for any long continuance, he always took this solemn valediction of the fellows: "I commend you to the love of God, and to the hatred of Popery and superstition."*
His extemporaries were often better than his premeditations; so that he might have been said "to have been out, if he had not been out." He died in March, anno Domini 1612, and was buried in Oxford with great solemnity and lamentation.
ABRAHAM WHELOCK was born in White-church parish in this county; bred fellow of Clare Hall, library-keeper, Arabic professor, and minister of St. Sepulchre's in Cambridge. Admirable his industry, and no less his knowledge in the Oriental tongues; so that he might serve for the interpreter to the queen of Sheba coming to Solomon, and the wise men of the East who came to Herod; such his skill in the Arabian and Persian languages. Amongst the western tongues, he was well versed in the Saxon; witness his fair and true edition of Bede.
He translated the New Testament into Persian, and printed it, hoping in time it might tend to the conversion of that country to Christianity. Such as laugh at his design as ridiculous, might well forbear their mirth; and, seeing they expended neither penny of cost nor hour of pains therein, might let another enjoy his own inclination. True it is, he that sets an acorn, sees it not a timber-oak, which others may behold; and if such testaments be conveyed into Persia, another age may admire what this doth deride. He died, as I take it, anno Domini 1654.
BENEFACTORS TO THE PUBLIC.
Sir ROGER ACHLEY, born at Stanwardine in this county.† He beheld the whole city of London as one family, and himself the Major 1511 (for the time being) the master thereof. He observed that poor people, who never have more than they need, will sometimes need more than they have. This Joseph collected from the present plenty, that a future famine would follow; as, in this kind, a lank constantly attends the bank. Wherefore he prepared Leaden-hall (therefore called the common-garner), and stored up much corn therein; for which he deserved the praise of the rich, and blessing of the poor.
SINCE THE REFORMATION.
Sir ROWLAND HILL, son of Richard Hill, was born at Hodnet in this county; bred a mercer in London, whereof he was lord major 1549. Being sensible that God had given him a great estate, he expressed his gratitude unto him-in giving maintenance to a fair school at Drayton in this county, which he built and endowed; besides six hundred pounds to Christ
• Herologia Auglica, p, 238. Stow's Survey of London.
+ Survey of London, p. 577.
church hospital, and other benefactions :-in forgiving at his death all his tenants in his manors of Aldersy and Sponely a year's rent; also enjoining his heirs to make them new leases of one and twenty years, for two years' rent.*
As for the causeways he caused to be made, and bridges built (two of stone containing eighteen arches in them both†), seeing hitherto it hath not been my hap to go over them, I leave his piety to be praised by such passengers, who have received safety, ease, and cleanness, by such conveniences. He died anno Domini 1561.
A Note to the Reader.
I have heard the natives of this county confess and complain of a comparative dearth (in proportion to other shires) of benefactors to the public. But sure, Shropshire is like to the mulberry, which putteth forth his leaves last of all trees, but then maketh such speed (as sensible of his slowness with an ingenuous shame) that it overtaketh those trees in fruit, which in leaves started long before it. As this shire of late hath done affording two of the same surname still surviving, who have dipped their hands so deep in charitable mortar.
Sir THOMAS ADAMS, Knight,‡ was born at Wem in this county; bred a draper in London, where God so blessed his honest industry, that he became lord mayor thereof 1646. A man, who hath drunk of the bitter waters of Meribah without making a bad face thereat, cheerfully submitting himself to God's pleasure in all conditions.
He gave the house of his nativity to be a free school (that others might have their breeding where he had his birth); and hath liberally endowed it. He liveth in due honour and esteem; and, I hope, will live to see many years, seeing there is no better collirium, or eye-salve, to quicken and continue one's sight, than in his life-time to behold a building erected for the public profit.
WILLIAM ADAMS, Esq. was born at Newport in this county; bred by trade a haberdasher in London, where God so blessed his endeavours, that he fined for alderman in that city. God had given him a heart and hand proportionable to his estate, having founded in the town of his nativity a school-house in the form following.
1. The building is of brick, with windows of freestone, wherein the school is threescore and ten in length, and two and twenty feet in breadth and height, 2. Over it a fair library, furnished with plenty and choice books. At the south end, the
• Dr. Willet, in his Catalogue of Protestant Charities.
† Stow's Survey of London, p. 90.
Dubbed by king Charles II. at the Hague, when sent thither a Commissioner for the City of London.-F.
lodgings of the schoolmaster, whose salary is sixty; on the north the usher's, whose stipend is thirty pounds per annum. 3. Before the front of the school a stately crypto-porticus, or fair walk all the length of the school, with pillars erected; and on the top thereof a leaden terrace, with rails and balusters. 4. Two alms-houses for poor people, at convenient distance from the school, with competent maintenance. 5. Two gardens a-piece, for schoolmaster and usher, with well nigh two acres of ground for a place for the scholars to play in. 6. The rent for the maintenance thereof deposed in the hands of trustees a year before, that, in case of casualty, there may be no complaint. 7. More intended for the settlement of exhibitions to scholars chosen hence to the university, as God hereafter shall direct the founder. But who for the present can hold from praising so pious a performance?
"Come, Momus, who delight dost take,
Where none are found, there faults to make:
And count'st that cost, and care, and
Not spent on thee, all spent in vain.
Some cottage schools are built so low,
Here, whilst Apollo's harp doth sound,
Then grieve not, Adams, in thy mind,
Long may this worthy person live to see his intentions. finished and completed, to his own contentment!
THOMAS PARRE, son of John Parre, born at Alderbury, in the parish of Winnington, in this county, lived to be above one hundred and fifty years of age; verifying his anagram: "THOMAS PARRE" (most rare hap). He was born in the reign of king Edward the Fourth, one thousand four hundred eighty three; and, two months before his death, was brought up by Thomas earl of Arundel (a great lover of antiquities in all kinds) to Westminster. He slept away most of his time; and is thus charactered by an eye-witness of him:
"From head to heel his body had all over
A quick-set, thick-set, natʼral hairy cover."
Change of air and diet (better in itself but worse for him), with the trouble of many visitants, or spectators rather, are conceived to have accelerated his death; which happened at Westminster, November the 15th, 1634; and he was buried in the abbeychurch; all present at his burial doing homage to this our aged Thomas de Temporibus.
1. Roger Acheley, son of Thomas Acheley, of Stanwardine, Draper, 1511.