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PROVERBS. “ It is done secundùm usum Sarum."] This proverb, coming out of the church, hath since enlarged itself into a civil use. It began on this occasion. Many offices or forms of service were used in several churches in England ; as the office of York, Hereford, Bangor, &c.; which caused a deal of confusion in God's worship, until Osmond bishop of Sarum, about the year of our Lord 1090, made that ordinal, or office, which was generally received all over England; so that churches thenceforward easily understood one another, all speaking the same words in their Liturgy.
It is now applied to those persons which do, and actions which are formally and solemnly done, in so regular a way, by authentic precedents, and patterns of unquestionable authority, that no just exception can be taken thereat.
PRINCES. MARGARET PLANTAGENET, daughter to George duke of Clarence and Isabel Nevile eldest daughter and co-heir of Richard Nevile earl of Warwick, was born August 14, 1473, at Farley castle in this county.* Reader, I pray thee, let her pass for a princess, because daughter to a duke, niece to two kings (Edward the Fourth and Richard the Third), mother to cardinal Reginald Pole; but chiefly because she was the last liver of all that royal race, which from their birth wore the names of Plantagenet. By Sir Richard Pole, a knight of Wales, and cousingerman to king Henry the Seventh, she had divers children, whereof Henry lord Montague was the eldest; he was accused of treason, and this lady his mother charged to be privy thereunto, by king Henry the Eighth, who (as his father was something too slow) was somewhat too quick in discovering treasons, as soon as (if not before) they were. On the scaffold, as she stood, she would not gratify the executioner with a prostrate posture of her body.
Some beheld this her action as an argument of an erected soul, disdaining pulingly to submit to an infamous death, showing her mind free, though her body might be forced, and that also it was a demonstration of her innocence. But others condemned it as a needless and unseasonable animosity in her, who, though supposed innocent before man for this fact, must grant herself guilty before God, whose justice was the supreme judge condemning her. Besides, it was indiscreet to contend, where it was impossible to prevail, there being no guard against the edge of such an axe, but patience; and it is ill for a soul to go reeking with anger out of this world.
Here happened an unequal contest betwixt weakness and strength, age and youth, nakedness and weapons, nobility and baseness, a princess and an executioner, who at last dragging her by the hair (grey with age) maytruly be said to have taken off her head, seeing she would neither give it him, nor forgive him the doing thereof. Thus died this lady Margaret, heir to the name and stout nature of Margaret duchess of Burgundy, her aunt and god-mother, whose spirits were better proportioned to her extraction than estate; for, though by special patent she was created countess of Salisbury, she was restored but to a small part of the inheritance she was born unto. She suffered in the twenty-third year of the reign of king Henry the Eighth.
* Dugdale, in his Illustrations of Warwickshire, p. 335.
JANE SEYMOUR, daughter to Sir John Seymour, knight, (honourably descended from the lords Beauchamps), was (as byall concurring probabilities is collected) born at Wulf-hall in this county, and after was married to king Henry the Eighth.
It is currently traditioned, that at her first coming to court, queen Anne Boleyn, espying a jewel pendant about her neck, snatched thereat (desirous to see, the other unwilling to show it,) and casually hurt her hand with her own violence; but it grieved her heart more, when she perceived it the king's picture by himself bestowed upon her, who from this day forward dated her own declining, and the other's ascending, in her husband's affection.
It appeareth plainly by a passage in the act of parliament, that the king was not only invited to his marriage by his own affections, but by the humble petition and intercession of most of the nobles of his realm, moved thereunto, as well by the conveniency of her years, as in respect that by her excellent beauty and pureness of flesh and blood (I speak the very words of the act itself) she was apt (God willing) to conceive issue. And so it proved accordingly.
This queen died some days after the birth of prince Edward her son, on whom this epitaph ;
Phænix Jana jacet, nato Phænice ; dolendum
Sæcula Phænices nulla tulisse duas.
Root-Phønix Jane did wither :
Of Phænixes together.” Of all the wives of king Henry, she only had the happiness to die in his full favour, the 14th of October, 1337; and is buried in the choir of Windsor chapel; the king continuing in real mourning for her, even all the festival of Christmas.
SAINTS. ADELME, son to Kenred, nephew to Ina king of the West
Saxons,* was bred in foreign parts; and, returning home, was abbot of Malmsbury thirty years, a person memorable on several accounts: 1. He was the first Englishman who ever wrote in Latin.t 2. He was the first that ever brought poetry into England. 3. The first bishop of the see of Sherborne.
Bede giveth him a large commendation for his learning; the rather, because he wrote a book for the reducing the Britons to observe Easter according to the church of Rome.
Impudent monks have much abused his memory with shameless lies, and amongst the rest with a wooden miracle; that a carpenter having cut a beam for his church too short, he,by his prayers, stretched it out to the full proportion. To this I may add another lie as clear as the sun itself, on whose rays (they report) he hung his vestment, which miraculously supported it, to the admiration of the beholders.
Coming to Rome, to be consecrated bishop of Sherborne, he reproved Pope Sergius his fatherhood, for being a father indeed to a base child, then newly born; and, returning home, he lived in great esteem until the day of his death, which happened anno Domini 709.
His corpse being brought to Malmesbury, was there enshrined, and had in great veneration; who having his longest abode whilst Jiving, and last when dead, in this county, is probably presumed a native thereof.
Edith, natural daughter of king Edgar, by the lady Wolfhil, was abbess of Wilton, wherein she demeaned herself with such devotion, that her memory obtained the reputation of saintship. And yet an author telleth us, that, being more curious in her attire than beseemed her profession, bishop Ethelwold sharply reproved her, who answered him roundly, "That God regardeth the heart more than the garment, and that sins might be covered as well under rags as robes."'||
One reporteth, that, after the slaughter of her brother Edward, holy Dunstan had a design to make her queen of England (the veil of her head, it seems, would not hinder the crown), so to defeat Ethelred the lawful heir, had she not declined the proffer, partly on pious, partly, politic, dissuasions. She died anno Domini 984; and is buried in the church of Dioness at Wilton, of her own building. She is commonly called “Saint Edith the younger," to distinguish her from Saint Edith her aunt, of whom before.
MARTYRS. It plainly appeareth tnat, about the year of our Lord 1503,
* Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. i. num. 83. † Camden's Britannia, in Wiltsbire. | Flowers of English Sajots, p. 491, $ Idem, p. 492. || Polyc. lib. vi. cap. 9. John Capgrove, in vita Sanctæ Edithæ. VOL. III.
there was a persecution of Protestants (give me leave so to antedate their name) in this county, under Edmund Audley bishop of Salisbury, as by computation of time will appear. Yet I find but one man, Richard Smart by name (the more remarkable because but once, and that scentingly, mentioned by Mr. Fox*), burnt at Salisbury, for reading a book called “ Wickliff's Wicket” to one Thomas Stillman, afterwards burnt in Smithfield. But, under cruel bishop Capon, Wiltshire afforded these
MARIAN MARTYRS. John SPicer,free-mason; William COPERLY, tailor; John
MAUNDRELL, husbandman; all of Kevel; martyred in Salisbury, anno 1556, April.
CONFESSORS. John Hunt,f and Richard WHITE, husbandmen, of Marl
borough; persecuted in Salisbury, anno 1558.
These both being condemned to die, were little less than miraculously preserved, as will appear hereafter.
ALICE COBERLY must not be omitted, wife to William Coberly forenamed (charitably presuming on her repentance), though she failed in her constancy on this occasion. The jailor's wife of Salisbury, heating a key fire-hot, and laying it in the grass, spake to this Alice to bring it in to her; in doing whereof she piteously burnt her hand, and cried out thereat.
Oh,” said the other, “ if thou canst not abide the burning of a key, how wilt thou endure thy whole body to be burnt at the stake?” Whereat the said Alice revoked her opinion.||
I can neither excuse the cruelty of the one (though surely doing it not out of a persecuting but carnal preserving intention), nor the cowardliness of the other; for she might have hoped that her whole body, encountering the flame with a Christian resolution, and confidence of divine support in the testimony of the truth, would have found less pain than her hand felt from the sudden surprise of the fire, wherein the unexpectedness added (if not to the pain) to the fright thereof. This sure I am, that some condemn her shrinking for a burnt hand, who would have done so themselves for a scratched finger.
WALTER WINTERBURN was born at Salisbury in this county, and bred a Dominican friar. He was an excellent
Acts and Monuments, p. 815. | Idem, page 1894.
Fox's Acts and Monuments, p. 1894.
scholar in all studies suitable to his age, when a youth; a good poet and orator, when a man; an acute philosopher, “ Aristotelicarum doctrinarum heluo," saith he who otherwise scarce giveth him a good word,* when an old man; a deep controversial divine, and skilful casuist; a quality which commended him to be confessor to king Edward the First.t
Now news being brought to Pope Benedict the Eleventh, that William Maklesfield, Provincial of the Dominicans, and designed cardinal of Saint Sabin, was dead and buried at London before his cap could be brought to him, he appointed this Walter to be heir to his Honour. The worst is, as meddlers are never ripe till they are rotten, so few are thought fit to be cardinals but such as are extremely in years. Maklesfield had all his body buried, and our Winterburn had one foot in the grave, being seventy-nine years of age before he was summoned to that dignity.
However, over he went with all haste into Italy; and though coming thither too late to have a sight of Pope Benedict the Eleventh, came soon enough to give a suffrage at the choice of Clement the Fifth. This Walter's cardinal's cap was never a whit the worse for wearing, enjoying it but a year. In his return home he died, and was buried at Genoa; but afterwards his corpse was brought over, and re-interred most solemnly in London, anno 1305.
[S. N.) Robert Halam was, saith my author, “ Regio sanguine Angliæ natus,”born of the blood royal of England, though how, or which way, he doth not acquaint us. envy not his high extraction, whilst it seems accompanied with other eminences. He was bred in Oxford, and afterwards became chancellor thereof, 1403. From being archdeacon of Canterbury, he was preferred bishop of Salisbury. On the sixth of June 1411, he was made cardinal, though his particular title is not expressed. It argueth his abilities, that he was one of them who was sent to represent the English cergy, both in the council of Pisa and Constance, in which last service he died, anno Domini 1417, in Gotleby Castle.
PRELATES. JOANNES SARISBURIENSIS was born at, and so named from, Old Sarum in this county; though I have heard of some of the Salisburies in Denbyshire, who essay to assert him to their family; as who would not recover so eminent a person?
Leland saith that he seeth in him “omnem scientiæ orbem,” (all the world, or, if you will the whole circle, of learning.) Bale saith, that "he was one of the first who, since Theodorus
Pits, de Angliæ Scriptoribus, anno 1305. + Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent, iv. num. 85. † Pits, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, anno 1410.