« PreviousContinue »
forest, are uncoupled the second time; and the huntsman appears to say
“ My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew'd, so sauded; and their heads are hung
Was never holla'd to, vor cheer'd with horn." Sportsmen, foot and horse, and ladies, too, on horseback, now enter the wood; the whoop is again heard, and re-echoed ; and a number of ladies are waiting with their knights on the surrounding hills, anxious for the buck's breaking away. He steals out, and dashes on the vale. Trees crack in all directions, and then issue forth the hounds and horsemen, who scour down the side of one hill, while the buck bounds up the opposite. He is turned back into cover by some young sportsman riding at his head; and after trying to fly from his pursuers,
“ Tears run down his cheeks in piteous chace.” The two bucks having been divided, are now hung up: and the steward the next day presents the several parts to those gentlemen with whom he is acquainted, who may have honoured the hunt with their presence.
Lord Rivers has become popular, from the liberality of his present steward ; whenever any of the yeomen, who are contiguous to the Chace, and who must necessarily be injured by the deer, apply for venison, it is granted to them.
I was invited to the venison feast. We dined, after the court leet was closed, in a hunting box, formerly belonging to King John, which is nearly in the same state as when that king was there as Earl of Moreton. It is now a farm-house, situated at Tollard Royal, near to the foot of Rushmore, a modern-built seat of Lord Rivers, which stands on a hill. Sixteen gentlemen sat down to dine at two o'clock in the room in which I was entertained, and enjoyed such hospitality as we believe to have taken place in former days. Nothing was wanting to fill the cup of mirth to the brim, and we were all clamorous. In the next room, the farmers, keepers, and upper servants of Lord Rivers were regaling themselves, who were supplied with wine as it was wanted, and they were uproarious; and beyond that room, a mixed multitude were enjoying themselves with venison and ale until they became “ glorious ;" for the servant, who was ordered to prepare our horses while we were taking coffee, I perceived, on entering the stable, was bridling my horse's tail. One of the gentlemen who formerly attended this hunt, and with whom I am acquainted, was so full of wine and whooping, that his horse ran off with him, and passed over the turnpike gate leading into Shaftesbury without losing his rider, since which an iron bar has been placed upon the top of the gate, with a view, I suppose, to kill the next gentleman who shall he rash enough to attempt leaping it.
I will close this sketch of an ancient practice, with an ancient legend of the Chace. It is said, or sung, that “once upon a day," King John, being equipped for hunting, issued forth, with all the
pageantry and state of his day. There were dames mounted upon high-bred steeds, that were champing and foaming on the bit, and whose prancing shook the ground; and knights whose plumes were dancing in the wind, while carried by fiery chargers, swift as the deer they followed ; the yeomen were all dressed in green, with girdles round their waists; and to add to the brilliancy of the scene, the morning was as clear from clouds as the good-humoured faces of the party.
King John appeared overjoyed, and during the time all heads were uncovered as he rode along, his majesty overheard a gallant youth address a lady in nearly these words
“We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction." At that period horses being the only carriages, the happy couple left the hunting box at Tollard Royal on horseback. As they took leave of his majesty, the moon was sinking below the horizon. The king had observed before they left,
“ This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick,
It looks a little paler; 'tis a day
Such as the day is when the sun is hid ;" but they rode on, too happy to remember that the moon would soon leave them.
They were lost for several days, until the king, while hunting with his courtiers, found their remains. It appeared that when the moon descended, the faithful pair must have mistaken their road, and had fallen into a hideous pit, where both were killed, as was likewise the knight's horse, close beside them. The lady's horse, a dapple grey, was running wild as the mountain deer ; he soon was caught, and became the king's, who rode him as a charger.
PAROCHIAL AND TOPOGRAPHICAL QUERIES.
Could a collection be made of all the insulated and floating facts connected with the various branches of topographical knowledge, it is obvious that an invaluable body of information might be amassed, providing a rich and ample store of materials of the utmost importance to the traveller, the antiquarian, and the man of science. For it will be readily admitted, that few, if any, exist, so utterly destitute of observation and curiosity, as to exclude the possibility of deriving advantage from the situation in which they are placed ; and we are convinced, that many who now allow this casual knowledge to filter through the mind till it evaporates, and is lost for ever, would feel an increasing interest in giving permanency to their thoughts and observations, were they provided with hints for the arrangement and classification of their transitory materials. Impressed with this conviction, the following queries are thrown into form, under such subdivisions as may enable each to insert his own remarks respecting
those subjects most applicable to his pursuits, or congenial with his taste. They were originally drawn up as hints for the parochial clergy; but we hope, by inserting them in our columns, we may be the means of giving them a wider circulation; and inducing others who are resident in secluded parts of the country, to commence a regular series of inquiries, in a well digested and connected channel.
The Church. 1. When was it built; stating the different periods at which it may
have been altered ; and by whom? 2. Of what materials? If of stone, of what quality, and from whence
procured ; and whether it is durable ? 3. Are there any peculiarities in its form, structure, or style of
architecture ? 4. Are there any monuments, inscriptions, plates, or other antiquities
in it worthy of notice ? 5. Are there any interesting benefactions on record. 6. For what number of persons does it afford accommodation ? 7. Is the service well attended ; and is the congregation most
numerous in the morning or evening: if there is a difference,
what is the cause ? 8. Are there any peculiar rites, ceremonies, or customs, occasionally
performed ? 9. Has it suffered from any causes, accidental or intentional ? 10. Has any thing occurred in it worthy of note, within the recollection
of man? 11. Its dimensions, height of tower, &c.? 12. Are there any vaults or burying places, ancient or modern! 13. What number of bells; with their weight, and dates, and cost ?
The Church-yard. 14. What is its extent? 15. Of what nature is the soil ? 16. From your observation does it appear that the decay of coffins and
human remains is rapid or slow? 17. What is the annual average of funerals ? 18. Are there any peculiar customs observed at funerals, or sub
sequently, respecting the dead ? 19. Are there any curious monuments or epitaphs ? 20. Have any coins, ancient coffins, weapons, or other antiquities,
been discovered in making graves ? 21. Has any thing worthy of observation occurred in opening old graves, or in removing decayed coffins, &c.?
Ecclesiastical Establishment. 22. Under this head, state the different cures of souls, dividing them
into rectories, vicarages, endowed or other curacies, with their
respective values. 23. From whence do these emoluments arise ; from glebe, great or
small tithes ? and if so, in what proportions are they gathered ! 24. Is any tythable produce covered by a modus, or subject to any
peculiar mode of payment ?
25. Are there any dissenting chapels in the district; if so, how many;
of what persuasion; and what number is each supposed to be
capable of containing ? 26. Mention the dates when these chapels were built ? 27. Are their ministers permanently resident, or merely occasional
and temporary? 28. How are they paid; and what the amount of their stipends? 29. Name the incumbents of the livings, chaplains, &c. from the
earliest to the present times, pointing out such as may have distinguished themselves in any particular way, either by
talents, conduct, &c.? 30. In whose gift are the different church preferments ? 31. What quantity of glebe is annexed to the livings; have any
changes or additions been made; have they been maintained by Queen Anne's bounty, or other sources ?
State of Religion, &c. 32. Name the various religious sects ? 33. Which is the most numerous ? 34. What proportion do they collectively bear to the established
church ? 35. What is the general character of each sect? 36. Are they, generally speaking, hostile or friendly to the established
church? 37. Have any of their ministers distinguished themselves as men of learning or talent?
Schools and Charitable Institutions. 38. What number of schools are there in connexion with the church
of England ? 39. Are they endowed; or what other way supported ? 40. What number of scholars attend, of boys and girls, in the day
schools ? 41. Are there any instances of extraordinary talent developed in
consequence of the increased facility of acquiring instruction ? 42. In any given average has the number increased or decreased,
when compared with the numbers of a preceding given
average ? 43. Is there a decided improvement in the conduct of morals, since the
increased facility of education ? 44. What number of boys and girls attend the Sunday schools ? 45. Taking the number of children of any given age, say from seven
to fifteen years of age, what proportion does the number of each sex, attending the day or Sunday schools, bear to the
non-attendants ? 46. The same queries may be applied to the dissenting schools
seriatim. 47. To what extent is education carried in any of these schools ? 48. Is there any particular subject or study in which the scholars are
remarkable for excelling? 49. Are there any alms houses in the parish or district: if so, when
were they built: by whom; and for whom? 30. How are they supported ?
51. Are there any hospitals, or other benevolent institutions ? 52. Are there any friendly societies : if so, are they enrolled accord
ing to act of parliament; or under the entire control of the
members ? 53. Do they produce any visible advantage, by promoting industry,
exciting a proper spirit of independence, &c.? 54. Are there any saving banks: if so, when established ? 55. State the sums invested in each successive year, drawing a com
parison with the sums withdrawn? 56. By what class and professions are the investments generally
made; and what numerical proportion is observable between male and female depositors ?
History of the Parish or District. 57. Who has written the best account of it; whether in MS. or
print? 58. Its length and breadth ? 59. Number of square miles and acreage in statute measure ? 60. Number of acres in tillage ? 61. Number of acres uncultivated, in common, heath, &c.? 62. Number of acres in pasturage or meadow ? 63. Number of acres in woods, plantations, &c.? 64. Number of acres in lakes, meres, &c.? 65. What historical events have occurred ? 66. Have any other of minor interest occurred ? 67. What circumstances worthy of note have taken place within the
memory of man? 68. Name its townships, hamlets, chapelries, or other subdivisions ? 69. What is its ancient name and supposed derivation ? 70. Has it any market town; if not, state the names and bearings
and distance of the nearest? 71. By what parishes, hamlets, townships, &c. is it surrounded! 72. What manors are there in it, and who are the lords ? 73. Name the chief landowners and occupiers? 74. Are there any peculiar manorial rights, customs, privileges,
tenures, or courts of judicature ? 75. Are there any good maps, plans, or surveys, of the parish or
district, published or unpublished ? 76. Have any celebrated characters been born in it, or connected themselves with its history?
Traditions or Singular Customs. 77. What traditions are there respecting historical events ? 78. Are there any connected with minor local events ? 79. Enumerate any customs or amusements occurring on certain days
in the year, with their original causes—such as wakes, peram
bulations, rush bearings, &c.? 80. Are there any fairs : if so, when; and for what purposes ? 81. Any remarkable mode of hiring servants ; with usual wages given
for men and women in the common branches of husbandry or
domestic employments ? 82. Are there any superstitious practices still observed ? 83. Any rewards given or payments made for duties performed ?