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PON the Dobuni Eastward there confined the people which Ptolomee calleth, according to the diversity of copies, Cattieuchlani, Cattidudani, Cathicludani, and Dio Cattuellani. Which of these might bee the truest name I can not easily say. Yet give mee leave, I pray you, in this place to cast forth my conjecture (although it is an abortive) concerning this point. I have beene of opinion that these were in old time called Cassi, that of this Cassii their Prince was named Cassivellaunus or Casibelinus (for so wee find it diversly written). Also, that of Casivellaunus name this very people were by the Graecians termed Catuellani, Cathuellani, and Catteuchlani. For among the Nations of Britaine Caesar reckoneth the Cassii, who that they were seated in these parts it is most certaine, and of whose name a prety portion of this tract is at this daie called Caishow. And seeing that Cassivellaunus ruled this country, as it appeareth by Caesar, and in the said name of his this denomination of Cassii doth most plainely bewraie it selfe, it may seeme probable enough the Cassivellaunus was so named, as one would saie, The Prince of the Casii. And unless it were so, why should Dio name this Casivellaunus Suellan for Vellan, and Ninnius the Britan call him, not Casibellinus, but Bellinus, as though that Bellinus were the proper name either of the man or of his dignitie? Neither let it seeme strange that Princes in old time tooke names of their owne nations. The Catti in Germanie had their Cattimarus, the Teutons their Teutomarus and Teutobochus, the Daci their Decebalus, and the Goths their Gottiso. And what should let [hinder] but that our Cassii might have their Cassibelinus, considering that Belinus hath beene an usuall name in this Island, and some have thought that Cunobelinus, who reigned amongst the Iceni, was so called, as one would say, the Belinus of the Iceni? From this Cassivellaunus, therefore, if the Greeke writers have not wrested these names Cattevellani and Cattieuchlani &c., I confesse that in this matter mine eye-sight faileth me altogither, and I see plainely nothing.
2. But whence this people should come to be named Cassii I know not, unlesse happily it were of their martiall prowesse. For Servius Honoratus writeth that the ancient Gaules, who spake the same language that Britans did, called hardy and valiant men gessos, whence Ninnius interpreteth cethilou (a British word) the seed of warriours. Now, that these exceeded in warlick prowesse it is manifest, for before Caesars comming they had warred continually with their neighbours, they had reduced part of the Dobuni under subjection. The Britans had chosen their Prince Generall over all their forces in the warre against Caesar, and they had enlarged their Empire and name farre abroad every way. For all those generally were knowne by the name of Cassi or Cattieuchlani who now take up three shires or counties, to wit, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Of whom I am now to speake in order, and that briefly, because I have not much to say of any of them.
HEREAS Buckinghamshire is given to bring forth Beech trees plentifully, which the English-Saxons in elder times called bucken, it may seeme conjecturally that Buckingham the chiefe towne, and so the whole shire, tooke the name from Beech trees. For there is a Country in Germanie bearing Beech trees named Buchonia, and with us a towne in Norfolke called Buckenham, fruitfull of Beech, as I have beene informed. This shire, carrying but a small bredth, runneth forth in length from the Tamis Northward. On the Southside it looketh into Barkshire, severed from it by the river Tamis; on the West, Oxfordshire; from the North it hath Northamptonshire, and from the East first Bedfordshire, then Hertfordshire, and afterward Middlesex. The Countrie generall is of a rich plentifull soile and passing full of inhabitants, who chiefly employ themselves in grazing of cattaile. It is devided into two parts, whereof the one, bending into the South ”and East and rising into hilles, they call Chilterne, in the English-Saxon tongue, Clytern, the other lying under it Northward is named the Vale.
2. Chiltern got that name according to the very nature of the soile of Chalkie marle, which the English men termed Cylt or Chilt. For all of it mounteth aloft with whitish hilles, standing upon a mixt earth of clay and chalke clad with groves and woods, wherein is much Beech, and it was altogether unpassable in times past by reason of trees, untill that Leofstane Abbot of Saint Albans did cut them downe because they yeelded a place of refuge for theeves. In it, where the Tamis glideth at the foote of those hilles with a winding course, standeth Marlow, a prety town of no meane credite, taking name of the said chalke commonly termed Marle, which being spred upon corne ground eaten out of heart with long tillage doth quicken the same againe, so as that after one yeeres rest it never lieth fallow, but yeeldeth againe unto the husband man his seed in plentifully measure. Neere unto this a rill sheaddeth it selfe in the Tamis, making way through low places, and where it turneth hath a towne upon it called High Wickham, or Wicombe rather, which happily thereof tooke the name considering that the German Saxons terme any winding reach of river and sea a wick, and combe a low Valle. And very many places we meete withall in England are named in that respect. This towne for largenesse and faire building is equall to the greatest townes in this shire, and in that it hath a Major for the Head-Magistrate worthily to be preferred before the rest. About the time of the Normans comming in, Wigod of Wallengford was Lord both of the Burgh of Wicomb and also of the villa forinseca (I speake according to the record of the ancient Inquisition), that is, The out Hamlet or bury. After whose death King Henrie the First laid it unto the Crowne. But King John at the length devided the said Out Berry betweene Robert de Vi-pount and Alane Basset. North of Wicomb mounteth up aloft the highest place of this region, and thereof it retaineth still the British name Pen. For the head or eminent top of a thing is with them called pen, and hence it is that the Pennine Alpes, the Apennine and many mountaines among us tooke their names. Neere unto this Wickham or Wicomb is Bradenham, seated in a very commodious and wholesome place, which now is become the principall habitation of the Barons of Windesor (concerning whom I have alreadie spoken in Barkshire), ‡ever since that in the memorie of our fathers William Lord Windsor seated himselfe heere, whose father Sir Andrew descended from the old stemme of ancient Barons King Henrie the Eighth dignified with the honor of Baron Windesor.‡
3. Tamis, having entertained the said Rill, commeth downe with a rolling streame by Aeton, famous for a College,the nource garden (as it were) or plant pot of good letters, which that most vertuous and godly Prince King Henrie the Sixt, as I have already said, first founded. And some few miles forward the river Cole entreth into Tamis, which running heere between Buckinghamshire and Middlesex giveth name unto the towne Colbroke, which was that Pontes whereof Antonine the Emperour maketh mention, as the distance on both sides from Wallingford and London doth witnesse. Neither is there any other place else in the way that leadeth from Wallingford to London to which the name of Pontes, that is, Bridges, might be more fitly applied. For this Cole is heere parted into foure chanels, over which stand as many Bridges for the commodity of passengers, whereof that it tooke this name the very signification of the word doth plainly shew, like as Gephyrae, a town in Booetia, and Pontes, another in France, where the Countie of Ponthieu, our Tunbrig, and others are so called of Bridges. This Countie of Ponthieu (to note so much by the way) descended to the Kings of England in the right of Aeleanor the wife of King Edward the First, who by her mothers right was sole and entier heire of the same. Cole by these severall partitions of his streames compasseth in certaine pleasant Ilands, into which the Danes fled in the yeere of our Lord 894, when Aelfred preassed hard upon them, and there by the benefite of the place defended themselves untill the English for want of provisions were forced to brake up siege and leave them. At this divorce and division of the waters, Eure or Euer, a little towne, sheweth it selfe, which when King Richard the First had given unto Sir Robert Fitz-Roger, Lord of Clavering, his younger sonnes of this place assumed their surname, to wit Hugh, from whom the Barons of Eure, and Robert, from whom the familie of Eure in Axolme is sprung and spred. ‡Farther within land are these places which I may not passe over: Burnham, better knowen by the Hodengs, Hundercombs, and Scadamores, who were Lords thereof and of Beacons-field successively by inheritance than by it selfe;‡ Stoke Pogeis, so called for the Lords thereof in old time named de Pogeis, and from them hereditarily devolved upon the Hastings, of whose race Edward Baron Hastings of Loughborrow founded heere an Hospitall for poore people, ‡making himselfe one of their societie,‡ and his nephew by the brother Henrie Earle of Huntingdon built a very faire house; and Fernham, the very same, if I be not deceived, which was called Fernham Roiall,and which in times past the Barons Furnivall held by service of finding their Soveraigne Lord the King upon the day of his Coronation a glove for his right hand, and to support the Kings right arme the same day all the while he holdeth the regall verge or Scepter in his hand. From the Furnivalls it came by the daughter of Thomas Nevill unto the Talbots Earles of Shrewsbury, who although by exchange they surrendred up this Manour unto King Henry the Eight, yet they reserved this honorable office still to them and their heires for ever.
4. This Cole carrieth downe with him another riveret also, which somewhat above from the West sheddeth it selfe into it: upon it we saw first Missenden, where stood a religious house that acknowledged the D’ Oilies their founders and certaine Gentlemen surnamed De Missenden their especiall benefactours ‡upon a vow of escaping a ship-wracke.‡ And then in the Vale Amersham, in the Saxon tongue Agmundesham, which vaunted it selfe not for faire buildings nor multitude of inhabitants, but for their late Lord Francis Russell Earle of Bedford, who being the expresse paterne of true piety and noblenesse, lived most deerely beloved of all good men. But the principall seat of the Earles of Bedford is called Cheineis, standing more East-ward, where both John the first Earle out of this family and that noble Francis his sonne lie entombed together. Unto which adjoineth on the one side Latimers (so named of the Lords thereof, I meane those more ancient Barons Latimer), before time called Islehamsted, where Sir Edwin Sands Knight, who tooke to wife the onely daughter of the Barons Sands, dwelt while lived in a very faire house, and on the other Chelsam Bois, where and at Draiton Beauchamp the family of Cheneis hath anciently flourished.
5. From hence I passed scarce three miles Northward but I came to the ridge of Chilterne-hils, which devideth the whole region acrosse from the South-west to the North-east, passing by many villages and small townes, among which that of greatest note is Hamden, which gave name to an ancient and well spred family in these parts. In the very East corner of these hils Ashridge, a retiring house sometimes of the Kings, standeth upon an ascent, where Edmund Earle of Cornewall, sonne to King Richard of the Romans founded a religious house of a new order of religious men in those daies called Bonnes Hommes, by him first brought into England, who professed the rule of S. Augustine and were according to the maner of the Franciscans clad in skie coloured garments. From this ridge or edge of the hils there is a large prospect every way downe into the Vaile beneath, which I said was the other part of the shire. This almost throughout is a plaine champion, standing likewise upon a clay soile, stiffe, tough,and fruitfull, with pasture medowes most plentifull of grasse and fodder, feeding innumerable flockes of sheepe, whose soft and passing fine fleece are in request even as farre as to the Turkish nations in Asia. But it is all naked and bare of woods, unlesse it be on the West side, where among others is Bernewood, whose foresters surnamed de Borestall were famous in former times. About this forrest the yeere after Christs nativity 914 the Dane furiously raged, and then happily it was that the ancient Burgh was destroied, whose antiquity Romane coined peeces of mony there found doe testify: which afterwards became the roiall house of King Edward the Confessor. But now it is a Country Village, and in stead of Buri-Hill they call it short Brill. In this Vale, although it be exceeding full of townes and villages, yet very few of them are memorable, and those either upon the river Tame or Usa, that is, Use, not farre from Tame, which watereth the South part of the Vaile.
6. Upon the rising of a prety hill standeth a faire Mercat towne well occupied and compassed about with many most pleasant greene medowes and pastures, commonly called Ailesbury, of which the whole Vaile is tearmed the Vale of Ailesbury. The English-Saxons called Aeglesburge when Cuthwulf the Saxon won it in the yeere of our Lord 572. For the Brittish name whereby it was knowen before, in continuance of time is utterly lost. Famous it hath beene in times past, especially for Ediths sake there fostered, who having obteined of her father Frewald this towne for her dowry, foorthwith by perswasion of the religious people bad the world and her husband farewell, and taking herselfe to the Veile for opinion of holinesse and devotion in that most pregnant and fruitfull age of Saints, became wonderfully renowned, even as far as to working of myracles, together with her sister Eadburg; of whose name there is a little towne among the hils as yet called Eadburton. In the time of King William the Conqueror it was a Mannour of the Kings, and certaine land-yards where heere given by the King with this condition, that the possessor or holder thereof (marke, yee nice and dainty ones) should find litter [straw] for the Kings bed when the King come thither. In the raigne of Edward the First, certaine Gentlemen named de Ailesbury, who bare for their armes Azure, a Crosse Argent, where by report (but I know not how truely) the Lords thereof. Certaine it is, they were in those daies men of the better sort and of great good note, and such as by marriage with the daughter and heire of the Cathaignes (who were in times past Lords of Middleton Cathaignes) came to a faire and goodly inheritance, which at last by heires generall came to the Chaworths, the Staffords of Grafton &c. But now the greatest name and reputation that it hath is by grazing and feeding of cattaile. Very much beholden also it is unto Justice baldwin, who not onely adorned it with publicke aedifices, but also made a passing faire causey [road] to it (where the way was very deepe and cumbersome) for three miles or there about in length. Heere round about in every side flocks of sheep pasture most plenteously in mighty numbers, loden with fleeces, to the great gaine and commodity of their Masters, especially at Querwidon, a Lordship belonging to Sir Henry Lee an honourable Knight of the order of the Garter, Eythorp, which sometim was the Dinhams and now the Dormers, Knights, and also Winchindon, appertaining to the family of the Godwins, Knights likewise, &c.
7. Lower we meet with nothing memorable upon Tame, unlesse Cheardesly be (as many thinke it is) the place which was called in the Saxon-tongue Cerdick-slege of Cerdic the Saxon, who fought a very sharpe and bloudy battaile there with the Britans. Neere unto it standeth Credendon, now Crendon, which was the Capitall house belonging to the Honour of Giffard, for so were those lands termed which fell unto Walter Giffard at the Conquest of England, whose sonne the second Earle of Buckingham and Ermingard his wife built the Abbay of note thereby in the yeere 1112. But his cousen Hugh de Bolenback, from whom by the females the Earles of Oxford are descended, held of him no small possessions in these parts. And the ruines of Bolebec Castle are seene hard by within the Parish of Whitchurch. ‡Nere unto which is Ascot, the principall Mansion house of the Dormers, from whence descended the Dutches of Feria in Spaine and others of noble note.‡
8. Usa or Ouse, in times past Isa and the second Isis, which with a soft and still streame passeth through the North part of this Province, arising in Northamptonshire and presently from his head, when being yet but small he closely entereth into this shire, runneth beside Bittlesden, which Robert de Maperstshall Lord of the place gave unto Osbert de Clinton Chamberlaine to King Henry the First, a powerfull Courtier, that he might not be punished as a fellon for stealing away one of the Kings hounds. But he restored it unto him againe with a cousen of his in marriage, yet lost he the same in the hot broile of the civill war under King Stephen, and Ernald Bois by way of a benefite and curtesie received it at the hands of Robert earle of Leicester. And hee in the yeare of Christ 1127 founded there a little Monastery for the Cistertien Monks. Then Ouse saluteth Buckingham the Shire town, which, as Marian saith, King Edward the Elder in the yeere of our Lord 8915 fortified with a rampire and sconces on both bankes against the invasions and assaults of the Danes. Yet was it of no great name, as it may seeme, in the first age of the Normans, seeing that in the reigne of King Edward the Confessor (as we read in William Conquerours Domesday booke) it discharged it selfe for one Hide and no more, and had but six and twenty Burgeses. As for the towne, it is seated upon a low ground, but the river Ouse, very commodious for Mils, encircleth it about save onely on the North side. The Castle, standing in the middest raised upon an hill cast up, whereof no reliques in maner are now to be seene, devideth the towne as it were in twaine. The greater part of the towne beareth North, wherein standeth the Towne-house, the other toward the South is the lesse, wherein is the Church, and that of no great antiquity, but in it was the Shrine of S. Rumald‡ a child, who being borne in Kings-Sutton, a Village thereby, was canonized by our forefathers for a child-saint, and much famed with many myracles.‡
9. From hence Ouse hasteneth faire and softly into the North, and more Eastward from the river, neere unto the woods, yee have a sight of Whaddon, the habitation in times past of the Giffords, who were by inheritance keepers of Whaddon Chase under the Earle of Ulster, and from whom it came to the Pigots, who passed it away by saile and alienation. There standeth now an house of the warlicke familie of the Greys, Barons of Wilton, who held the Mannour neere adjoining named Acton by Serjeantie of keeping one Gerfalcoln of their Soveraigne Lord the King. Whereupon that familie of the Greys hath for their Badge or Cognisance a falcont seiant [perched] upon a glove. Not farre from thence is Thornton, an habitation of the Tirelles, and Sauldon, where is a faire and lovely house built by Sir John Fortescue a right honorable Knight and deeply learned withall, who for his wisdome was Chancellor of the Exchequer and Duchie of Lancaster, and of the privie Counsell to Queene Elizabeth and King James. On the other side of the river and not farre from the banke stand neighbour-like Stow a house of the familie of Temple, Leckhamsted an habitation of the Greenwaies, Lillinstone likewise the seat of the ancient familie De-Hairell, commonly called Dairell, and Luffeld, where in times past was founded a Monasterie by Robert Earle of Leicester, but by reason that the Monkes were all consumed with the plague, the house was utterly left desolate. Somewhat higher on the South side of the river upon the very banke standeth Stony-Stratford, a towne of all the rest most frequented, named so of Stones, the Streetway, and a Fourd. For the houses are built of a certaine rough stone which is digged forth in great abundance at Caversham hard by, and it standeth upon the publicke Street commonly called Watlingstreet, which was a Militarie high way made by the Romanes, and is evidently to be seene yet beyond the towne with the banke or causey thereof, and hath a fourd but now nothing shallow and hardly passable. The towne is of good bignesse, and sheweth two churches, and in the mids a Crosse, though it be none of the fairest, erected in memoriall of Queene Aeleonor of Spaine, wife to Edward the First, with the Armes of England, Castile and Leon &c., also of the Earldome of Ponthieu whereof she was heire. And where sometimes there had beene a Fourd, the river Ouse hath a stone bridge over it, which keepeth in the river that was wont, when it welled with winter flouds, to break out and overflow the fields with great violence. But upon the banke of the other side, which riseth somewhat higher, the towne sometime stood, as the inhabitants themselves report. And there hard by is Pasham, a place so called of passing over the river, so that it may seeme in times past to have beene that passage which King Edward the Elder kept against the Danes whiles he fortified Torchester. But this passage or Ferry became quite forelet [abandoned] after that the Bridge was built at Stony-Stratford. Now if I should guesse that Lacotorodum, which Antonine the Emperour mentioneth, stood heere, beside the situation upon the Militarie Highway of the Romanes and the distance from other places, the signification also of the old name Latorodum fetched out of the British language maketh for me and favoureth my conjecture. Which name accordeth passing well with this new English name. For both names in both languages were imposed of stone and fourd. From hence Ouse runneth hard by Wolverton, anciently Wulverington, the seat of an ancient familie so surnamed, whose lands are named in Records The Baronie of Wulverington, from whom it came to the house of the Longvilles of ancient descent in these parts; and by Newport Painell, which tooke that name of Sir Fulcod Painell the Lord thereof, and was from him devolved to the Barons Someries of Dudley, who heere had their Castle. Then by Teringham (which gave both name and habitation to a worshipfull house and of great antiquity) it goeth to Oulney, a meetly good mercate towne. This farre and a little further reacheth the County of Buckingham by Use, the limit and bound thereof.
10. The first Earle of Buckingham, so farre as hitherto I could observe, was Walter surnamed Giffard, sonne to Osbern de Bolebec, a man of great name and reputation among the Normans. Who in a Charter of King Henrie the First is cited among the witnesses thereto by the name of Earle of Buckingham. After him followed his sonne, bearing the same name, who in the booke of Abbindon Abbay is called Earle Walter the yonger, and died issuelesse in the yeere 1164. Afterward in the reigne of Henrie the Second that famous Richard Strangbow Earle of Pembroch called Conquerour of Ireland, who derived his descent from the sister and heir of Walter Giffard the second in certaine publicke instruments, bare this title. Then for a long time after lay this title as it were out of use and quite lost, untill that in the yeere 1377 King Richard the Second conferred this honor upon his Unkle Thomas of Woodstock, of whom I have already spoken among the Dukes of Glocester. Of this Thomas his daughter, married unto Edmund Earle of Stafford, was borne Humfrey Earle of Stafford, created Duke of Buckingham with an invidious precedence before all Dukes of England by King Henrie the Sixt, in whose quarrell he spent his life, fighting most valiantly in the battaile at Northampton. After him succeeded his grandchild Henrie, by his sonne Humfrey, who made way for King Richard the Third the usurper unto the Kingdome, and streightwaies practised to depose him for that he would not restore unto him the inheritance of the Bohuns, by hereditarie right belonging unto him, but he, beeing, intercepted, lost his head for it, and found (but all too late) that Tyrants very often hew downe the staires and steps whereby they ascended. His sonne Edward, being restored againe through speciall favour of King Henrie the Seventh, by the wicked slights and practises of Cardinal Wolsey fell into disgrace with King Henrie the Eighth, and being condemned of high treason for that among other matters he had consulted with a wizard abut succession of the Crown, was beheaded, a noble man exceeding much missed and lamented of good men. Which when the Emperour Charles the Fifth heard, he said (as it is written in his life) that a butchers dogge had devoured the fairest buck in all England, alluding to the name Buckingham and the said Cardinall, who was a Butchers sonne. Ever since which time the splendour of this most noble familie hath so decaied and faded that there remaineth to their posterity the bare title onely of Barons of Stafford, ‡whereas they were stiled before Dukes of Buckingham, Earles of Stafford, Hereford, Northampton, and Perch, Lords of Brecknock, Kimbalton, and Tunbridge.‡
There are reckoned in this small shire Parishes 185.
EDFORD-SHIRE is one of the three Counties which we said the Cattieuchlani inhabited. On the East-side and the South it joineth to Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, on the West to Buckinghamshire, and on the North to Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, and by the river Ouse crossing over it is divided into two parts. The North-side thereof is the more fruitfull of the twaine and the more woody: the other toward the South, which is the greater, standeth upon a leaner soile but not altogether unfertile. For it yeeldeth foorth aboundantly full, white and bigge barley. In the mids it is somewhat thicke of woods, but eastward more drie ground and bare of wood.
2. Ouse, where it entereth into this shire, first visiteth Turvy, the Lord Mordants house, who are beholden to King Henry the Eighth for their Barony. For he created John Mordant, a wise and prudent man who had wedded the daughter and one of the co-heires of Henry Vere of Addington, Baron Mordant. Then runneth it by Harwood, a Village in old time called Hareleswood, where Sampson surnamed Fortis founded a Nunnery, and where in the yeere of our redemption 1399, a little before those troubles and civill broiles wherewith England a long time was rent in peeces, this river stood still, and by reason that the waters gave backe on both sides, men might passe on foot within the very chanell for three miles together, not without wondering of all that saw it, ‡who tooke it as a plaine presage of the division ensuing.‡ Afterward it passeth by Odill or Woodhill, sometimes Wahull, which had his Lords surnamed also De Wahul, men of ancient Nobility ‡(whose Barony consisted of XXX knights fees in diverse countries),‡ and had here their castle, which is now hereditarily descended to Sir Richard Chetwood, Knight, as the inheritance of the Chetwoods came formerly to the Wahuls. From hence Ouse, no lesse full of crooked crankes and windings than Maeander it selfe, goeth by Bletnesho, commonly called Bletso, the residence in times past of the Pateshuls, after of the Beauchamps, and now of the honourable family of S. John, which long since by their valour attained unto very large and goodly possessions in Glamorganshire, and in our daies, through the favour of Queene Elizabeth of happy memory, unto the dignity of Barons, when she created Sir Oliver ‡the second Baron of her creation,‡ Lord S. John of Bletnesho, unto whom it came by Margaret Beauchamp an inheritance, wedded first to Sir Oliver S. John, from whom these Barons derive their pedigree, and secondly to John Duke of Somerset, unto whom she bare the Lady Margaret Countesse of Richmond, a Lady most vertuous and alwaies to be remembred with praises, from whose loines the late Kings and Queenes of England are descended.
3. From hence Ouse hastneth ‡by Brumham, a set of the Dives of very ancient parentage in these parts,‡ to Bedford, in the Saxon-tongue Bedanford, the principall towne and whereof the Shire also taketh name, and cutteth it so through the midest that it might seeme to be two severall townes but that a stone bridge joineth them together. A towne to be commended more for the pleasant situation and anciently thereof then for beauty or largenesse, although a man may tell five Churches in it. That it was Antonines Lactodorum I dare not, as others doe, affirme, considering that it standeth not upon the Romans Military road way, which is the most certaine marke to finde out the station and Mansions mentioned by Antonine: neither are there heere any peeces of Romane money ever digged up, as far as I can learne. I have read that in the British tongue it was named Lifwidur or Lettidur, but it may seeme to have been translated so out of the English name. For lettuy in the British language signifieth common innes, and so Lettitur, Innes upon a river, like Bedford in English, Beds or Innes at a fourd. Cuthwulf the Saxon, about the yeere of our salvation 572 beneath this towne so vanquished the Britans in an open pitcht field that they presently upon it, finding themselves over matched, yeelded up many townes into his hands. Neither should it seeme that the Saxons neglected it. For Offa, the most puissant King of the Mercians, choose here (as we read in Florilegus) for himselfe a place of sepulture, whose tombe the river Ouse, swelling upon a time and carrying a more violent and swifter streame than ordinary, in a floud swouped cleane away. Afterwards also when it was rased downe and lay along by occasion of the Danish depraedations, King Edward the Elder repaired it, and laid unto it upon the South-side of the river a prety townlet, which in that age, as we finde in the best copy of Hoveden, was caled Mikesgat. In the time of Edward the Confessor, as we read in that booke which King William the Conqueror caused to be written when he tooke the survey of England, it defended it selfe for halfe an Hundred in wars, expeditions and shipping. The land belonging to this towne was never hided. After this it suffered far more grievous calamities under the Normans. For when Pain de Beauchamp the third Baron of Bedford had built heere a Castle, there arose not any storme of civill war but it thundred upon it so long as it stood. Stephen, when with breatch of his oath he intercepted to himselfe the Kingdome of England, first forced this Castle, and with very great slaughter of men won it. Afterwards when the Barons had taken armes against King John, William de Beauchamp Lord thereof, and one of the Captaines of their side, surrendred it unto their hands. But a were or two after, Falco de Beaut laid siege thereto, and forthwith the Barons yeelded and the King in free gift bestowed it upon him. Yet the unthankefull man raised up a world of war againe upon King Henry the Third. He pulled downe Churches to strengthen this Castle, and exceedingly damnified the territory adjoyning, untill the King besieged it, and when after threescore daies he had quelled the stubborne stomackes of these rebels, brought this nest and nourse of sedition into his owne hands.
4. It will not be, I hope, distastfull to the reader if I set downe heere the maner of assaulting this Castle out of a writer who then lived and saw it, to the end we may understand with what devises and engines that age (as wittie well neere as ours to worke men mischiefe) used in their seages of townes. On the East-side (saith hee) there was planted one Petrarie and two Mangonells which daily played upon the Towre, and on the West side two Mangonells which battered the old Towre: also one Mangonell on the South part, and another on the North, which made two breaches and entries in the next walles. Besides these there were two frames or engines of timber made by Carpenters, erected higher above the top of the Tower and Castle for Shooters inbrakes, and for discoverers. There were moreover there many frames wherein shooters out of Braks and slingers were set in await. Furthermore there was a frame or engin there called the Cat, under which the pioners and underminers had their ingresse and egresse whiles they digged under the walles of Towre and Castle. Now was this Castle taken by foure assaults. In the first was the Barbican wonne; in the second, the out Bailie. At the third fell the wall downe neare the old Towre, by the meanes of the Mines, where, by the helpe of a chinke or breach, with great daunger they became possessed of the inner Ballie. At the fourth, the Miners put fire under the Towre, so that the smoke brake forth and the Towre was rent asunder in so much as the clifts and breaches appeared wide, and then the enimies yeelded themselves. Of these Mangonells, Patraries, Trabucks, Bricols, Espringolds, and of that which our ancestors termed the Warwolfe, by which before that Gunnes were devised they discharged volies of mighty huge stones with great violence, and so brake through strong walles, much might heere be said, were they not beside my purpose. But my author proceedeth thus: Falco remained excommunicate untill he restored unto the King the Castle of Plumpton and Stoke-Curey, with his plate of gold and silver both, and such money as that hee had, and from thence was led to London. Meane while the Sheriffe had commandement to demolish and raise the towre and out Ballie. As for the inward Ballie, when the Bulwarks were cast downe, and both trench and rampier laid levell with the ground, it remained unto William Beauchamp for to dwell in. The stones were graunted unto the Chanons of Newenham and Chaldwell, and of Saint Pauls Church in Bedford. Neither yet for all this is there any thing here more worth the seeing than the remaines of this castle on the East side of the towne, hanging over the river. On both sides of Bedford stood two prety and verie faire religious houses, Helenstow, now Eustow, on the South part, consecrated by Judith wife to Waltheof Earle of Huntingdon unto Helena Great Constantines mother, and to sacred virgins; on the East, Newnham, which Roise the wife of Paine de Beauchamp translated thither from Saint Paules without Bedford.
5. Ouse is not gone farre from hence, but hee seeth the tokens of a decaied castle at Eaton, which was another seat of the familie de Beauchamp, and bids Bedfordshire farewell hard by Bissemed, where Hugh de Beauchamp and Roger his brother founded a little Monasterie for the Chanons of Saint Austines order, as appeareth by the Popes Bull. These stand on the farther side of Ouse, which yet before from the South is augmented with a namelesse brooke, at whose confluents is to bee seene Temesford, well knowne by reason of the Danes standing campe and the castle there, which they built when they wintering in campe lay sore upon this countrie and threw downe the Britans Fort (as it is is thought). The place whereof, now called Chesterfield and Sandie, sheweth oftentimes peeces of Romane coine as expresse tokens of the antiquity thereof. Neither doe some doubt by the verie situation but that this was that Salenae which Ptolomee ascribeth to the Cattieuchlani, if Saludy bee the name, as divers have avouched unto mee. Heere I overpasse Potton, a little mercat towne, because I finde nothing of it but that John Kinniston gave it and the lands adjoining freelie unto Thomas Earle of Lancaster. Nether have I reason to make many words of such places as bee situate upon this Brooke, to wit, Chicksand, were Paine de Beauchamp built a little monasterie; Shelford, a mercat; Wardon, more inward, where was a house of Cistertian monkes, and was mother to the Abbaies of Saultery, Sibton and Tilthey; Biglesward, much spoken of and frequented for the horse Faire there, and the stone bridge. From whence Stratton is not farre, the mansion place in times past of the Barons Latimer, afterward of the Enderbeies, and from them hereditarily until our time of the Pigots.
6. Five miles from the head of this brooke, in the verie hart and midest well neere of the shire, standeth Ampthil upon an hil, ‡a parcell of the Barony of Kaino heeretofore and‡ lately a stately house, resembling a castle and environed with Parks, built by Sir John Cornwal Baron Fanhop in the reigne of Henry the Sixth with the spoiles wonne from the French: whose goods, as I have read, when Edward the Fourth had confiscated for taking part with the familie of Lancaster, and indited him, or this house rather, as Fanhop himselfe saith, of high treason, forthwith it was granted unto Edmund Grey Lord of Rithin and afterwards Earle of Kent, whose grand-child Richard passed both it and Ruthin over to King Henrie the Seaventh, and he annexed the same unto the kings Sacred Patrimonie, as the Civilians terme it, or as our Lawiers use to say, unto the Crowne, and shortly after with the lands appertaining it was made the Honour of Amthil. From hence more Northward lieth Haughton Conquest, so called of a worshipfull and ancient familie which a long time dwelt therein. Westward is Woburn, where now is a free schoole founded by Frances Earle of Bedford, and where sometime flourished a notable monasterie built by Henrie de Bolebec ‡for Cistertians, who himselfe entred into their order‡. Under which, at Aspley Gowiz, there is a kinde of earth, men say, that turneth wood into stones; and for proofe and testimony thereof, I have heard say, there was a wooden ladder to be seene in that monastery that, having lien a good while covred all over in that earth, was digged forth againe al stone. More into the East, Tuddington sheweth a faire house, goodly to be seene, which Sir Henry Cheiney, made by Queene Elizabeth Baron Cheney of Tudington, built, and shortly after died sans-issue, where also in old time Paulin Pever a Courtier and Sewer [steward] to King Henry the Third (as Mathew Paris witnesseth) built a strong house with the Haul, chappel, chambers, and other houses of stone, and the same covered with lad, with orchards also and parkes to it, in such sort as it caused the beholders to wonder thereat. Wee were not gone forward farre from hence but wee came to Hockley in the Hole, so named of the miry way in winter time, verie troublesome to travelers. For the old Englishmen our progenitors called deepe myre hock nad hocks. So passing along fields smelling sweet in Sommer of the best beanes, which with their redolent savour doe dull the quick sent of hounds and spaniels, not without fuming and chafing of hunters, we mounted up by a whitish chalkey hill into the Chiltern, and straightwaies were at Dunstable. This towne seated in a chalky ground, well inhabited and full of Innes, hath foure streetes answering to the foure quarters of the world: in every one of which (notwithstanding the soile bee most drie by nature) there is a large pond of standing water, for the publicke use of the inhabitants. And albeit they bee fed onely by raine water, yet they never faile or become drie. As for spring-veines, there are none to bee found unless they sinke welles or pits foure and twenty cubits deepe. In the midest of the towne is a Crosse, or Columne rather, to bee seene with the Armes of England, Castile and Ponthieu engraven thereon, adorned also with Statues and Images which King Edward the First erected, as hee did some others, in memoriall of Aeleonor his wife all the way as hee conveied her corps out of Lincolnshire with funerall pompe to Westminster. That this Dunstable was the verie same Station which the Emperour Antonine in his Itinerarie calleth Magioninium, Magiovinium, and Magintum, no man needs to make doubt or to seeke it else where. For besides that it is situat upon the Romanes high way, there are peeces of the Roman Emperors monies found otherwhiles in the fields adjoining round about by the swine-heards, which as yet they terme Madning money, and within a little of the verie descent of the Chiltern hils there is a militarie modell raised up round with a rampier and ditch, such as Strabo writeth the Britans townes were, conteining nine acres of ground, which the people use to call Madning-boure and Madin-boure, in which verie name with a little change Magintum most plainly sheweth it selfe. But when the said Magintum by the injurie of warre or time was decaied, King Henry the First here reedified a towne, built a roiall house at Kingsbury, and planted a Colonie to represse the boldnesse of theeves that here beset the waies and lay in wait, as the private historie of the Priory, that himselfe founded for the ornament of this his Colonie, doth evidently beare witnesse. But heare the verie words out of that private Historie, although they savour of the Barbarisme of that age. Note that the plot of ground where the two high waies Watling and Ikening meete was first by Henrie the Elder King of England cleered to keepe under and bridle the wickednesse of a certaine most notorious theefe named Dun and his companions, and of that Dun the said place was named Dunstable. The King our Lord built there the burgh of Dunstable, and made for him selfe a roiall Manour or house neere under that place. The King had in the saide towne both Faire and mercate. Afterwards he founded a Church, and by authoritie of Pope Eugenius the Third placed therein Regular Chanons, and foeffed the said Religious Chanons in the whole Burgh by this Charter, and bestowed upon them verie many liberties. ‡As for Leighton Buzard on the one side of Dunstable, and Luton on the other, neither have I reade nor seene any thing memorable in them, unlesse I should say that at Luton I saw a faire church, but the Quier then roofelesse and overgrowen with weedes, and adjoining to it an elegant chappell founded by John Lord Wensock, and well maintained by the familie of Rotheram, planted here by Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of Yorke and Chauncellour of England in the time of King Edward the Fourth.‡
7. As touching the Lords, Dukes, and Earles of Bedford. First there were Barons of Bedford out of the familie of Beauchamp, who by right of inheritance were Almoners to the Kings of England upon their Coronation day. Whose inheritance being by femals parted among the Mowbraies, Wakes, Fitz-Ottes &c., King Edward the Third created Engelrame de Coucy Earle of Suesons in France, sonne to Engelrame Lord of Coucy, and his wife ‡daughter to the Duke of Austria,‡ the first Earle of Bedford, giving unto him his daughter in marriage. Afterwards King Henrie the Fifth advaunced Bedford to the title of a Dukedome, and it had three Dukes. the first was John, the third sonne of King Henrie the Fourth, who most valiantly vanquished the French men in sea fight at the mouth of Seye, and afterwards (being Regent of France) slaine in a battaile on land before Vernotl, who was buried in Roan, and together with him all the Englishmens good fortune in France. At which time he was Regent of France, Duke of Bedford, Alaunson and Anjou, Earle of Maine, Richmond and Kendall, and Constable of England, for so was his stile. Whose monument when Charles the Eighth King of France came to see, and a noble man standing by advised him to rase it, “ Nay,” answered hee, “let him rest in peace now beeng dead, of whom in warre whiles hee lived all France was in dread.” The second Duke of Bedford was George Nevill, a verie child, sonne to John Marquesse Mont-acute, both whom King Edward the Fourth so soone as hee had raised them to that type of honours, threw downe againe, and that by authority of the Parliament: the father for his perfidious disloyaltie in revolting from him, the sonne in dislike of his father, howbeit there was a colourable pretense made that his estate was to weake for to maintaine the port and dignity of a Duke, and because great men of high place, if they bee not welthy withall, are alwaies grievous and injurious. The third was Jasper of Hatfield Earle of Pembroch, honoured with that title by his Nephew King Henry the Seaventh for that he was both his unckle and had delivered him out of extreame dangers, who, being aged and a bachelar, departed this life some ten yeares after his creation. But within the remembrance of our fathers it fell backe againe to the title of an Earldome, what time as King Edward the Sixth created John Lord Russell Earle of Bedford: after whom succeeded his sonne Francis, a man so religious and of such a noble courteous nature that I can never speake ought so highly in his commendation, but his vertue will farre surpasse the same. He left to succeed him Edward his Nephew by his sonne Sir Francis Russell, ‡who was slaine a daie or two before his father departed this life by Scotishmen in a tumult upon a True-day in the midle marches, 1585.‡
This small province hath parishes 116.
ERTFORDSHIRE, which I said was the third of those that belonged to the Catteuchlani, lieth on the East and partly on the South side of Bedfordshire. The West-side is enclosed with Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, the South with Middlesex. the East with Essex and the North with Cambridgeshire. A ritch country in corne fields, pastures, medowes, woods, groves, and cleere riverets. And for ancient townes it may contend with the neighbours even for the best. For there is scarcely another shire in all England that can shew more good townes in so small a compasse.
2. In this verie limit thereof Northward, where it boundeth upon Cambridgeshire, standeth Roiston, a towne well knowne but of no antiquity, as beeing risen since the Normans daies. For one Dame Roise, a woman in that age of right great name whom some thinke to have beene Countesse of Norfolke, erected thereabout a Crosse in the high way (which was thought in that age a pious worke to put passengers in minde of Christs passion), whereupon this place was for many yeares called Roises-Crosse, untill that Eustach de Mare adjoined thereto a little Monastery in the honour of Thomas of Canterbury. For then were Innes built, and little and little it grew to be a towne, which in stead of Roises Crosse was called roiston, that is, Roises towne, unto which King Richard the First granted a Faire at certaine set times and a mercat. Now it is very famous and passing much frequented for malt. For it is almost incredible how many buyers and sellers of courne, how many Badgers [middlemen], yea and corne-mongers or regraters [resellers] flocke hither weekely every mercat daie, and what a number of horses loden down then fill the high waies on everie side.
Over Roiston Southward is mounted Tharfield among the high hils, an antient habitation of the familie of Berners, descended from Hugh Berners, unto whom in recompense of his valiant service in the Normans conquest King William the Conquerour granted faire lands in Eversdon within the county of Cambridge. And in so great worship and reputation flourished his posterity that Sir John Bourchier, who married the right heire at common law of that familie, beeing promoted by King Edward the Fourth to the honour of a Baron, tooke his addition thereof and was stiled Baron Bourchier of Berners, and usually Lord Berners.
green 3. Upon this confineth Nucelles, belonging in times past to the house of the Rochesters or Roffes, but all the repute and glorie that hath arose from the inhabitants thereof afterwards, namely the Barons of Scales descended out of Norfolke, but yet the heires of Roffe. For King Edward the First gave unto Sir Robert de Scales in regard of his valourous service in the Scotish warres certaine lands to the value in those daies of three hundered markes by the yeare, and called him among the Barons to the Parliament. Their Escocheon, Gules with sixe escallops argent, is seene in many places. They flourished unto King Edward the Fourth his daies, at what time the onlie daughter and heire of this familie was wedded unto Sir Anthonie Widevile Earle Rivers: whom, being advanced by his owne glorious prowesse and the kings marriage with his sister, the malicious hatred and envie of his enemies most vilanouslie overwrought and brought to utter destruction. For King Richard the Third beheaded him, innocent man as hee was. And when as she died without issue, the inheritance was parted in King Henrie the Seavenths time betweene John Earle of Oxford, who by the Howards and Sir William Tindale, Knight, who by the Bigods of Elbridge were found next cousens and coheires. The Manour of Barkway hereby appertained also to those Lords Scales, a well knowne throughfare. Beyond which is Barley, that imparted surname to the ancient and well allied familie of the Barleies. ‡And on this side Anestie, which was not long since the inheritance of the house of Yorke, and in elder times the Castle there was a nest of rebels, wherefore Nicolaus of Anesty, Lord thereof, was expresly commanded by King Henry the Third to demolish so much of it as was raised since the Barons wars against his father King John. But now time hath wholy rased it all.
4. To returne, though disorderly,‡ East-ward is Ashwell, as one would say, The well or fountaine among the Ashes, a Country towne of good bignesse and full of houses, situate on a low ground in the very North edge of the shire, where there is a source of springs bubling out of a stony banke overshadowed on every side with tall ashes, from whence theire floweth at certaine vaines continually running such store of water that, forthwith being gathered within bankes, it carrieth a streame able to drive a Mill, and all of a sudden, as it were, groweth to a good big river. Of these wels and ashes together, as most certaine it is that the English-Saxons imposed this new name Ashwell, so I have beene sometime of this opinion, that the ancient Britans, who, as Gildas witnesseth, heaped divine honours upon hils, rivers, fountaines, and groves, from the very same thing and in the same sense called it Magiovinium, and that it was the same which Antonine named Magioninium. But time hath now discovered a more certaine truth, neither am I ashamed to change mine opinion in this point, seeing I take no pleasure at all in mine owne errour. And yet to prove the ancientnesse of this towne, the large quadrant adjoining, enclosed with a trench and rampire, maketh much, which by the Roman peeces of coin digged up there oftentimes sheweth whose worke it was, and in that booke wherein above 500 yeares since King William the Conquerour tooke the review and account of all the townes in England, it is in plaine words tearmed a Burgh. Southward we saw Merkat-Baldock, situate upon a whitish soile, wherein, as also in Hitching hard by, by we read of no antiquity.
5. Then there is seated in a well-husbanded and good ground Wimondley, an ancient and famous Lordship, held by the most honourable tenure with us, which our Lawyers terme Grand-Sergeanty: namely, that the Lord thereof should serve unto the Kings of England upon their Coronation day the first cup, and be as it were the Kings Cup-bearer. Which honourable office in regard of this Lordship, certaine Noble Gentlemen called Fitz-Tek held in the beginning of the Normans reigne: from whom by a daughter it came unto the Argentons. These fetched their name and pedegree from David de Argenton a Norman and a martiall Knight, who under King William the Conquerour served in the wars, and they in remembrance heereof gave for their Armes three Cups Argent in a shield Gueules. But at the last, for want of issue male, in King Henry the Sixth his daies Elizabeth Argenton, the sole and entier inheretrice, brought it unto her husband Sir William Allington, Knight, with faire lands thereby and this dignity, from whom Sir Giles Allington, now the heire of this family, is the seventh, a young Gentleman right courteous and of a generous nature, who, I hope, will give some new lustre by his vertues unto the ancient worship of this house.
Hard by and neere unto the roade high-way, betweene Stevenhaugh and Knebworth, the seat of the worshipfull house of the Littons descended from Litton in Darbyshire, I saw certaine round hils cast up and raised by mans hands, such as the old Romans were wont to reare for souldiers slaine in the wars, of which the captaine himselfe laied the first turfe. Unlesse some man would rather say they had a reference to the bounds. For such like little hils in old time were reared to signifie the bounds of lands, under which they used to lay ashes, coles, lime, bricke and tile beaten to powder &c., as I will shew else-where more at large.
6. Beneath this more Southward, the river Lea, by our forefathers named Ligean, hath his head: who with a mild course passeth down first by Whethamsted, a towne plentifull in wheat, whereof it tooke name; which place John of Whethamsted, there borne and thereof named, a man in King Henrie the Sixt his daies much renowned by his due desert of learning, made of more estimation. From thence, running by Brocket Hall, the residence in late times of the Brockets, Knights, approacheth neere unto Bishops Hatfield, situate upon the fall and hanging of a little hill, in the upper part whereof stood a house of the Kings, now the Earle of Salisburies, in times past belonging to the Bishops of Ely, whereupon it was named Bishops Hatfield, which John Morton Bishop of Ely reedified. For in this place King Eadgar gave unto the Church of Ely fortie hides of land. Afterwards it passeth under Hertford, in which some copies of Bede is named Herudford, where he treateth of the Synode there holden in the yeere of our Salvation 670, which name some interprete The red ford, others, The ford of Harts. This towne in William the Conquerours time discharged it selfe for tenne hides and in it were 26 Burgesses. And at that time Ralfe Limsey a noble man built heere a Cell for Saint Albans Monkes. But now it is neither greatly inhabited nor much frequented, and in this respect most of all commended, because it is ancient. For why? It hath given name to the whole county, and is reputed the Shire-towne. A Castle it hath upon the river Lea, built, as men thinke, by King Edward the Elder, and enlarged first by the house of Clare, whereunto it belonged. For Gislebert of Clare, about King Henries the Second daies, was accounted Earle of this Hertford, and Robert Fitz-Walter of the same house of Clare, what time as Stephen seized into his hands all the Castles of England wheresoever, avouched franckly even to Stephen his face, as we read in Mathew of Paris, that the keeping of this Castle by ancient right appertained unto himselfe. Afterwards it was laid unto the Crowne and King Edward the Third granted unto John of Gaunt his sonne, then Earle of Richmond, who afterward was Duke of Lancaster, this Castle with the towne and Honor of Hertford, were (as the very words runne in the Graunt) he might according to his estate keepe house and decently make his abode.
7. From hence Lea falleth downe forthwith to Ware, so named of a barre or dam made to stay water streames, which our ancestors called a weare or ware. This towne even at the very first did much harme unto Hertford, and afterwards by reason it became so greatly hanted, darkened, as it were, the light thereof. For when the Barons warre against King John was waxed hote, this Ware, presuming much upon their Lord the Baron Wake, turned London high way to it, where as before it was but a little village, and knowne by a Frierie which he founded: neither was it lawfull to passe that way with any carts, considering that the bridge was chained up, the keyes whereof were in the custodie of the Bailife of Hereford. Neere about which time Gilbert Marescall Earl of Pembroch, a principall and most potent Peere of the Realm, proclaimed heere a disport of running on horsback with launces, which they call Tourneaments, under the name of Fortunio, making a scorne of the Kings authority, whereby such Torneaments were inhibited. To which place when a great number of the nobility and gentry were assembled, it fortuned that himselfe as he ranne at tilt, by occasion that his flinging horse brake bridle and cast him, was trampled under foote and so pittifully died. These Justs our Torneaments were certaine publicke exercises of Armes and more than flourishes, practised among noble gentlemen, and instituted (if we beleeve Munster) in the yeere of our Lord 934, having also speciall laws thereto belonging, which you may find in the said Munster, and the same exercises were used a long time in such an outrageous maner, and with such slaughter of Gentlemen in all places, but in England most of all, since that King Stephen brought them in, that by divers decrees of the Church they were forbidden upon paine that whosoever therein were slaine should want Christian buriall in Church or Churchyard; and heere with us King Henrie the Third by advise of his Sages made an act of Parliament that their heires who transgressed in this kind should be disinherited. Howbeit, contrary to the said law so good and wholsome, this naughty and wicked custome was practised a great while, and grew not quite out of use before the happie daies of King Edward the Third.
8. Betwixt these two townes, Hertford and Ware, distant scarse two miles a sunder, Lea is encreased by two rilles from the North: Asserius termeth them Mineran and Benefician. I would guesse that to be Benefician upon which standeth Benington, where notable family of Bensted had in old times a little Castle; ‡also Wood-hall, an habitation of the Butlers, who being branched from Sir Ralph Butler Baron of Wem in Shropshire and his wife heire to William Pantulfe Lord of Wem, were Lords of Pulre-bach, and enriched much by an heire of Sir Richard Gobion, and another of Peletot Lord of this place in the time of King Edward the Third.‡ I take Mimeran to be the other broke whereupon Pukerich is seated, which by the grant of King Edward the First, and the mediation of William le Bland, had a mercate and Faire granted to it. ‡Whereupon also neighboureth Standon, with a seemely house built by Sir Ralph Sadler Chauncellour to the Dutchy of Lancaster, privy Counsellor to three Princes, and the last Knight Baneret of England, a man so advanced for his great services and staied wisdome.‡ At the backe of Pukerich, Munden Furnivall sheweth it selfe, a place to be remembred if it were but for this, ‡that Geffrey Earle of Britaine gave it to Gerard de Furnevall‡ (of whom also it bare the name), a yonger sonne of Furnivall of Sheffeld. But now let us returne to the river Lea and the towne of Ware, unto which the Danes, being come with their light pinaces and Shallops, raised a fort, as the said Asserius reporteth, which when King Aelfred could not winne by force, hee by digging three severall chanels turned aside the water of Lea, that they might not returne with their vessels. So as ever since it stood the neighbour inhabitants in small or no stead, untill being brought of late unto his ancient chanell, it is become more commodious for the carriages of all commodities &c. Lea is not gone forward farre from Ware when hee entertaineth a riveret named Stort from the East, which first runneth downe out of Essex by Bishops Stortford, a small towne fensed sometime with a little Castle set upon a mount cast up of purpose, within a prettie Iland: which Castle King William the Conquerour gave unto the Bishops of London, and of those Bishops it came to be so called, but King John for hatred to Bishop William overthrew it. ‡From thence it maketh his way by Sabridgworth, a parcell of the Honor of Earle William Mandevile, and sometime the possession of Geffrey Say, neere Shingle-hall, honested by the owners, the Leventhorps of ancient gentry.‡ So on, not farre from Honsdon, forfaited by Sir William Oldhall to the Crowne in the time of King Henrie the Sixt, which gave a title of Baron Hunsdon to Sir Henrie Cary through the favour of Queene Elizabeth, unto whom he was Lord Chamberlaine, as who verily, besides his descent from the royall familie of the Dukes of Somerset, was by his mother Marie Bolen cousen german to the said Queene. Lea, having thus admitted into him this riveret, hasteneth now with a merry glee to the Tamis ‡ under Hodesdon, a faire throughfaire, to which Henry Bourchier Earle of Essex, having a faire house at Base therby (while it stood), procured a Mercat,‡ and then in gratulatorie wise saluteth Theobalds, commonly called Tibaulds, which our Nestor of Britaine, the right honorable Baron Burghley, late Lord high Treasurer of England, built; an house, if one respect the workmanship, none more faire and elegant; if the gardens, orchards, and walkes bedight with groves, none more pleasant, unto whom especially this river wilingly acknowledge it selfe beholden for the recovery againe of his ancient chanell.
9. But returne we now to places more within the Country, and of greater antiquity. From Hertford twelve miles Eastward stood Verolamium, a Citie in times past very much renowned, and as greatly frequented. Tacitus calleth it Verulamium, Ptolomee Urolanium and Uerolamium. Well knowen this in these daies, neere unto S. Albans in Caisho Hundred, which the Cassii, of whom Caesar maketh mention, in all probability held and inhabited. The Saxons named it Watlinga-cester of the famous high-way Watlingstreet, and also Werlam-caester. Nether hath it as yet lost that ancient name, for commonly they call it Verulam, although their remaineth nothing of it to be seene beside the few remaines of ruined walles, the checkered pavements, and peeces of Roman coine otherwhiles digged up there. It was situate upon the gentle descent or side of an hil Eastward, fenced about with passing strong walles, a double rampire and deepe trenches toward the South, and Eastward watered with a brooke, which in old time made a great meere or standing poole. Whereby it was guessed that this was the very same towne of Cassibelaunus, fortified with woods and marishes, which Caesar wan. For there was not to be seene any other poole or meere in this tract, to my knowledge. In Nero his time it was counted a municipium, whence it is that in Ninnius his Catalogue of cities it is named Caer-Municip. So that probabile it is that this was the very same Caer Municipium which Hubert Coltzius found in an old inscription. These municipia were townes endowed with the rights of Romane Citizens, and this name came a muneribus capiendis, that is, of publike office and charges in the Common-wealth: and they had for their States and Degrees Decurions, that is Gentleman, and Commons; for their publike Counsell, a Senate and People. for their magistrates and Priests, Duum-viri, Trium-virii to sit in judgement and minister justice, Censors, Aediles, Quaestors, and Flamins. But whether this municipium or towne enfranchised were with suffrages or without, a man cannot easily affirme. A municipium with suffrages they tearmed that which was capable of honourable offices, like as that other they called without suffrage, which was not capable. In the reigne of the same Nero, when Bunduica or Boadicia Queene of the Icenes, in her deepe love of her country and conceived bitter hatred against the Romans, raised bloudy and mortall war upon them, it was rased and destroied by the Britans, as Tacitus recordeth. Hence it is that Suetonius wrot thus: To these mischieves so great proceeding from the Prince, there happened (to mend the matter) a grievous losse in Britain, wherein two principall townes of great importance, with much slaughter of Romane Citizens and Allies, were pout to the sack and spoiled. Neverthelesse it flourished againe and became exceeding famous and passing well frequented; yea and I have seene old antiquities of mony stamped, as it seemeth heere, with this inscription, TASCIA, and on the reverse VER. which of that learned searcher of Venerable antiquity, David Powell, Doctor in Divinity, interpreteth to be the Tribut of Verulamium. For tasc, as he teacheth me, in the British or Welch tongue soundeth as much as Tribute, Tascia a Tribute Penny, and Tascyd the chiefe collector of Tribute. But loe heere is the very peece of mony portraied for you to see, which heeretofore also I have exhibited.
10. Some would have this mony to be coyned before the coming in of the Romans, but I beleeve them not. For I have alwaies thought them to be tribute mony which, being imposed upon the poll and the lands, were yeerely exacted and gathered by the Romans, as I have said before. For before the Romans came, I can scarse beleeve the Britans coined or stamped any money. Yet I remember what Caesar writeth of them: And they use, saith he, brasse mony or rings of iron weighed to a certane poise. Where the ancient books have lanceis ferreis, for which the Criticks put in laminis ferreis, that is, plates of iron. But let my pen returne againe to the matter proposed, for my meaning is not heere to weave the same web still. As for Verulam, it was famous for nothing so much as for bringing foorth Alban, a citizen of singular holinesse and faith in Christ, who when Dioclesian went about by exquisite torments to wipe Christian religion quite out of the memory of men, was the first in Britain that with invincible constancy and resolution suffered death for Christ his sake. Whereupon he is called our Stephen and the Protomartyr of Britain, yea and Fortunatus Presbyter the Poet wrot thus of him:
Fruitfull Britan bringeth foorth
Alban, a Martyr of high woorth.
And Hiericus a French man, who flourished 700 yeeres ago, of the same Alban and his excutioner miraculously stricken blinde, made these verses:
Thousands of torments when he endur’ d for Christ his sake,
At length he died by dome thus given, his head away to take.
The Tortor proudly did the feat, but cleere he went not quite.
That holy Martyr lost his head, this cruell wretch his sight.
11. In reproch of this Martyr and for the terrour of Christians, as wee finde in an old Agon of his, the Citizens of Verulam engraved his Martrydom in a Marble stone, and inserted the same in their walles. But afterwards when the bloud of Martyrs had conquered Tyrants cruelty, the Christians built a Church, as Bede saith, of wondrous workman-ship in memoriall of him, and Verulam carried with it so great an opinion of religion that therein was holden a Sinode or Councell in the yeere of the worlds redemption 429, when as the Pelagian Heresie, by meanes of Agricola sonne to the Bishop Severianus, had budded foorth afresh in this Iland and polluted the British Churches, so as that to averre and maintaine the truth they sent for German Bishop of Auxerre and Lupus Bishop of Troies out of France, who by refuting this heresie gained unto themselves a reverent account among the Britans, but chiefly German, who hath thorowout this Iland many churches dedicated to his memory. And neere unto the ruined wals of this rased citie there remaineth yet a chappel bearing S. Germans name still, although it be put to a prophane use: in which place he openly out of the Pulpit preached Gods word, as the ancient records of S. Albans church do testifie. Which German (as Constantius, flourishing at that time, writeth in his life) commanded the Sepulchre of Saint Albane to be opened, and therein bestowed certaine reliques of Saints, that whom one heaven had received should also in one Sepulcher be together lodged. Thus much I note by the way, that yee may observe and consider the fashions of that age. Not long after, the English-Saxons wonne out, but Uther the Britan, surnamed for his serpentine wisdome Pendragon, by a sore siege and a long recovered it. After whose death it fell againe into their hands. For we may easily gather out of Gildas words that the Saxons in his daies were possessed of this Citie. God, saith he, hath lighted unto us the most cleere lamps of holy Saints, the Sepulchres of whose bodies, and places of their martyrdome, at this day (were they not taken away by the wofull disseverance which the barbarous enemie hath wrought among us for our many grievous sinnes) might kindle no small heat of divine charity in the minds of the beholders: Saint Albane of Verulam I meane, &c. When Verulam by these warres was utterly decaied, Offa the most mighty King of the Mercians built just over against about the yeere of your Lord 795, in a place which they called Holmeshurst, a very goodly and large Monastery in memorie of Saint Alban, or as we read in the very Charter thereof, Unto our Lord Jesus Christ and Saint Alban Martyr, whose reliques Gods grace hath revealed in hope of praesent prosperity and future hapines, and forthwith with the Monasterie there rose a towne which of him they call Saint Albans. This King Offa and the succeeding Kings of England assigned unto it very faire and large possessions, and obtained for it at the hands of the Bishops of Rome as ample priviledges, which I will relate out of our Florilegus, that yee may see the profuse liberality of Princes toward the Church. Thus therefore writeth he. Offa the most puissant King gave unto Saint Alban the Protomartyr that towne of his ancient demesne which standeth almost twenty miles from Verulam and is named Uneslaw, with as much roundabout as the Kings written deedes at this day doe witnesse, that are to be seene in the foresaid Monasterie: which Monasterie is priviledged with so great liberty that it alone is quiet from paying that Apostolical custom and rent which is called Rom-scot, whereas neither King nor Archbishop, Bishop, Abbot, Prior, nor anyone in the Kingdome is freed from the payment thereof. The Abbat also, or Monke appointed Archdeacon under him, hath pontificall jurisdiction over the Priests and Lay-men of all the possessions belonging to this Church, as hee yeeldeth subjection to no Archbishop, Bishop or Legate, save onely to the Pope of Rome. This likewise is to be knowen, that Offa the Magnificent King granted out of his Kingdome a set rent or imposition called Rom-scot to Saint Peters Vicar, the Bishop of Rome, and himselfe obtained of the said Bishop of Rome that the Church of Saint Alban the Protomartyr of the English nation might faithfully collect, and being so collected, reserve their proper use the same Rom-scot throughout all the Province of Hertford in which the said Church standeth. Whence it is that as the Church it selfe hath from the King all royall priviledges, so the Abbot of that place for the time being hath all Pontificall ornaments. Pope Hadrian also the Fourth, who was borne hard by Verulam, granted this indulgence unto the Abbats of this Monasterie (I speake the very words out of the Priviledge), that as Saint Alban is distinctly knowne to be the Protomartyr of the English nation, so the Abbat of this Monastery should at all times among other Abbats of England in degree of dignity be reputed first and principall. Neither left the Abbats ought undone that might serve either for use or ornament, who filled up with earth a mighty large poole under Verulam, which I spake of. The name whereof yet remaineth still heere in a certaine street of the towne named Fish-poole-street. Neere unto which streete, because certaine ankers were in our remembrance digged up, divers have verily thought (induced thereunto by a corrupt place in Gildas) that the Tamis sometimes had his course and channell this way. But of this Meere or Fish-poole, have heere what an old Historian hath written. Abbot Alfrike for a great peece of money purchased a large and deepe pond (and evill neighbour and hurtfull to Saint Albans Church) which was called Fish-poole, appertaining to the Kings. And the Kings officers and fishers molested the Abbay and burdened the Monkes thereby. Out of which poole he the said Abbot in the end drained and derived [channeled elsewhere] the water, and made it dry ground.
12. If I were disposed upon the report of the common people to reckon up what great store of Romane peeces of coine, how many cast images of gold and silver, how many vessels, what a sort of modules [drums] or Chapiters [capitals] of pillars, and how many wonderfull things of antique worke have been digged up, my words would not carry credit, the thing is so incredible. Yet to take with you some few particulars thereof, upon the credite of an ancient Historiographer, Ealdred the Abbot in the reigne of King Eadgar, having searched for the ancient vaults under ground at Verulam, overthrew all about the yeere of Christ 960, and stopped up all the waies with passages under ground, which were strongly and artificially arched over head. For they were the lurking holes of whores and theeves. He levelled with the ground the ditches of the Citie and certaine dens, into which malefactours fled as unto places of refuge. But the whole tiles and stones which he found fit for building, he layed aside, Neere unto the banke they did light upon plankes of oke with nailes driven into them, cemented with stone-pitch; also the tackling and furniture of Ships, as anchors halfe eaten with rust and ores of firre. A little after he writeth, Eadmer his successor went forward with the worke that Ealfred began, and his pioners overthrew the foundations of a Pallace in the mids of the old Citie, and in the hollow place of a wall, as it were, in a little closet, they hapned upon bookes covered with oken boords and silken strings at them, whereof one contained the life of Saint Albane written in the British tongue, the rest the ceremonies of the Heathen. when they opened the ground deeper, they met with old tables of stone, with tiles also and pillars, likewise with pitchers and pots of earth made by Potters and Turners worke; vessels moreover of glasse containing the ashes of the dead, &c. To conclude, out of these remaines of Verulam, Eadmer built a new Monasterie to Saint Albane. Thus much for the antiquity and dignity of Verlum. Now have also with you for an over-deale in the commendation of Verulam an Hexastich of Alexander Necham, who 400 yeeres since was there borne:
The famous towne whilom cald Verolame,
To Nature ought lesse than to painfull art.
When Arthurs Syre Pendragon gainst it came
With force of Armes to worke her peoples smart,
His seven yeere siege did never daunt their heart.
Heere Alban gain’ d the Crowne of Martyrdome,
Thy Citizen sometime, o noble Rome.
And in another passage,
This is the place that knowledge tooke of my nativity,
My happie yeeres, my daies also of mirth and Joility.
This place my childhood traned up in all arts liberall,
And laid the groundworke of my name and skill poeticall.
This place great and renowned Clerkes into the world hath sent,
For Martyr blest, for nation, for site, all excellent.
A troupe heere of religious men serve Christ both night and day,
In holy warfare taking paines duly to watch and pray.
13. Verolamium at this day being turned into fields, the towne of Saint Albans, raised out of the ruins thereof, flourisheth; a faire towne and a large, and the Church of that Monasterie remaineth yet, for bignesse, beauty and antiquity to be had in admiration: which when the Monkes were thrust out of it, was by the townesmen redeemed with the summe of 400 pound of our mony, that it might not be laied even with the ground, and so it became converted to a parish Church, and hath in it a very goodly font of solid brasse, wherein the Kings children in Scotland were wont to be baptized, which Font Sir Richard Lea, Knight, Master of the Pioners, brought as a spoile out of the Scottish warres and gave unto the said Church, with this lofty and arrogant inscription:
CVM LAETHIA OPIDUM APVD SCOTOS NON INCELEBRE, ET EDINBVRGVS PRIMARIA APVD EOS CIVITAS INCENDIO CONFLAGRARENT, RICHARDVS LEVS EQVES AVRATVS ME FLAMMIS EREPTVM AD ANGLOS PERDVXIT. HVIVS EGO TANTI BENEFICII MEMOR NON NISI REGVM LIBEROS LAVARE SOLITVS NVNC MEAM OPERAM ETIAM INFIMIS ANGLORVM LIBENTER CONDIXI. LEVS VICTOR SIC VOLVIT. VALE. ANNO DOMINI DMXLIIII ET ANNO REGNI HENRICI OCTAVI XXXVI.
WHEN LEETH, A TOWNE OF GOOD ACCOUNT AMONGT THE SCOTS, AND EDINBROUGH THEIR CHIEFE CITTIE WERE ON A FIRE, SIR RICHARD LEA KNIGHT SAVED MEE FROM BURNING, AND BROUGHT MEE INTO ENGLAND. AND I, BEING MINDFULL OF THIS SO GREAT A BENEFIT, WHEREAS BEFORE I WAS WONT TO SERVE THE BAPTISING OF NONE BUT KINGS CHILDREN, HAVE NOW WILLINGLIE OFFERED MY SERVICE EVEN TO THE MEANEST OF THE ENGLISH NATION. LEA THE VICTOUR WOULD HAVE IT SO. FAREWELL. IN THE YEARE OF OUR LORD MDXLIII AND OF THE REIGNE OF KING HENRIE THE EIGHTH XXXVI.
But to the matter. As antiquity consecrated this place to bee an altar of religion, so Mars also may seeme to have destined it for the verie plot of bloudie battaile. For, to let other particulars goe by, when England under the two houses of Lancaster and Yorke bereft, as it were, of vitall breath was readie through civill warre to sinke downe and fall in a sound [swoon], the chiefe captaines of both sides joyned battaile twise with reciprocall variety of fortune in the verie towne. First, Richard Duke of Yorke gave the Lancastrians heere a sore overthrow, tooke King Henrie the Sixth captive, and sue many honourable personages. Foure yeares after, the Lancastrians under the conduct of Queene Margaret wonne heere the field, put the house of Yorke to flight, and restored the king to his former liberty.
14. About this towne (that I may let passe the mount or fortification which the common sort useth to call Oister-hils, and I take to have beene the campe of Ostorius the famous lieutenant of Britaine), the Abbots and a pious and devout intent erected a little Nunnery at Sopwell, and Saint Julians Spittle [hospital] for Lepres, and another named Saint Mary Depree for diseased women, nere unto which they had a great Mannour named Gorombery, where Sir Nicolas Bacon Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England built an house beseeming his place and calling. To this adjoyneth Redborn, which is by interpretation Red-water, and yet the watter running thereby ‡(from Megrate, sometime a religious house, now a seat of the Ferrers out of the house of Groby)‡ is no more red than the Red-sea. This Redborne in times past was a place renowned and resorted unto in regard of Amphibalus the Martyrs reliques heere found, who instructed Saint Alban in the Christian faith, and for Christs sake suffered death under Dioclesian. At this daie well known for that it is seated upon that common and militarie high way which wee call Watlingstreet, and hath hard-by Wenmer, called also Womer, a brooke that never breaketh out and riseth but it foretelleth dearth and scarcity of corne, or else some extremity of daungerous times, as the vulgare people doe verily beleeve. Neere unto this Redborne I have some reason to think that the Station Durocobrivae stood, whereof Antonine the Emperour maketh mention, although the distance of places gainesaith it. For, as Redborn in our language, so Dur-coh in the British is all one in signification with Redwater. And verily the truest conjectures that wee can make of ancient places are from antique inscriptions, from the lying of Journeies everie waie, from the analogie and similitude of their names, and from rivers and lakes adjoyning, although they answere not just to the exact account of miles betweene place and place, considering that the numbers may verie soone bee corruptlie put downe, and the waies for shorter passage are as easily altered. Certes it cannot otherwise bee but that Durcobrive stood where that Roman Rode-waie passeth over this water, to wit under Flamsted, for even there, by the high way side, there is a good bigge spring breaking out of the ground abut seaven Italian miles from Verlam (for which seaven, through the carelesse negligence of the transcribers, twelve hath crept in). which brooke presently, whiles it is yet but smalle, cutteth the highway crosse, and although it carry here no name at all, yet beneath Saint Albans towne it is called Col, which is neare to the name Co. As for that briva, which is an adjection to many names of places, it signified, as I suppose, among the old Britans and Gaules a bridge or a passage, seeing it is found onely where there are rivers. In this Island there was one or two Durobrivae, that is to say, if I bee not deceived, Water passages; in Gaules, Briva-Isarae, now Pontoise, wherein times past they passed over the river Isara, Briva-Odera, where they passed over Oderam, and Samarobriva (for that is the true name) where there was passage over the river Some. Somewhat above, Flamsted sheweth it self upon the hill, which in the time of King Edward the Confessour, Leofstane the Abbat of Saint Albans gave unto three knights, Turnot, Waldese, and Turman, for to defend and secure the country thereby against theeves. But William the Conquerour tooke it from them and gave it to Roger of Todeney or Tony, a noble Norman, whose possession it was, but by a daughter it was transferred at length to the Beauchamps Earles of Warwick.
15. From thence I went downe Southward to Hemsted, a little mercate towne called Hehan-Hamsted (when King Offa gave it unto the monastery of Saint Albans) situat among the hils by a riveret side, which floweth anon into another that runneth downe by Beckhamsted. Where the nobles of England, who devised how they might shake off the new yoake of the Normans, assembled them selves togither by the perswasion of Fretherike Abbat of Saint Albans, and unto whom William the Conqueror repaired (as wee reade in the life of the same Fretherike), fearing least hee should loose the kingdome with shame which hee had gotten with the effusion of so much bloud. And after much debating of matters in the presence of the Archbishop Lanfrank, the king for the preservation of his peace swore upon all the reliques of Saint Albans Church, and by laying hand upon the Holy Gospells unto Abbat Fretherick, who ministered the oth, to observe and keepe inviolably the good and approved ancient lawes of the kingdome, which the holie and devout kings of England his predecessours, and King Edward especially, ordeined. But most of those Peeres and Nobles hee forthwith evill entreated, turned out of all their possessions, and bestowed this Towne upon Robert Earle of Moriton and Cornewall his halfe brother. Who fortified the castle heere with a duple trench and rampire, in which Richard King of Romans and Earle of Cornwall, full of honours and yeeres, changed this life for a better. For default of whose issue and offspring King Edward the Third in the end made over this castle with the towne unto Edward his eldest sonne, that most warlicke prince, whom he created Earle of Cornwall. Now that castle is nothing else but broken wals and a rude heape of stones, above which Sir Edmund Cary, Knight ‡and master of the Kings Jewell house, descended from the familie of the Caryes of Cockington and the Beauforts Dukes of Somerset‡ built of late a verie goodlie and most pleasant house. In the verie towne it selfe nothing is worth sight save onelie the schoole, which John Incent Deane of Paules in London, a native of this place, founded. More into the South stands Kings Langley, sometime the kings house, in which was borne, and thereof tooke name, Edmund of Langley, King Edward the Third his sonne and Duke of Yorke, where there was a small cell of Friers preachers, in which that silly and miserable Prince King Richard the Second, after he had beene wickedly deprived both of kingdome and life, was first buried, and soone after translated to Westminster, requited there by way of amends a tombe and brasen image for the losse of a kingdome. Just in a maner over against this there is another Langley also, which because it belonged to the Abbats of Saint Albanes is called Abbots Langley, wherein was borne Nicholas surnamed Break-speare, afterwards Bishop of Rome, ht knowne by the name of Pope Hadrian the Fourth, who was the first that taught the Norwegians to the Christian faith, and repressed the Citizens of Rome aspiring to their ancient freedom; whose stirrup also as hee alighted from his horse Frederick the First Emperor of the Romans held, and whose breath was stopped in the end with a flie that flew into his mouth. Somewhat lower I saw Watford and Rechemanesworth, two mercate townes concerning which I have read nothing of greater antiquity than this, that King Offa liberally gave them unto Saint Alban, as also Cashobery next unto Watford. In which place Sir Richard Morisin, knight, a great learned men and who had beene used in Embassages to the mightiest Princes under King Henrie the Eighth and King Edward the Sixth, began to build an house, which Sir Charles his sonne finally finished.
16. More into the East, the Romans militarie high way went directly from London to Verulam by Hamsted-heath, Edgeworth and Ellestre, neere unto which at the verie same distance where Antonine the Emperour in his Itinerarie placeth Sullonconiae, to wit, twelve miles from London and nine from Verolam, there remaine yet the markes of an ancient Station, and much rubish or rammel is digged up at an hil which in these daies they call Brockley-hil. But when the Romans Empire ceassed in this Island, as Barbarisme by little and little crept in, whiles all partes smoked with the Saxons warre, this, as every thing else, laie a great while relinquished, untill that a little time before the Normans comming in, Leofstane Abbot of Saint Albans restored it. For hee, as we find written in his life, Caused the thicke and shady woods which lie from the edge of Chiltern unto London, especiallie where the kings highwaie called Watlingstreet laie, to be cut up, the rugged places to be levelled, bridges to bee built, and the said uneven waies to bee made plaine and safer for passage. But about three hundred yeeres since this waie was after a sort againe forsaken, by reason that another waie through licence of the Bishop of London was laied open through High-gate and Bernet. This Bernet, for the beast mercat there kept, beginneth now to bee famous, but it was more renowned for a field there fought, when in the warre betweene the two families of Lancaster and Yorke England dared to against her owne bowells whatsoever ambitious treachery and disloialty would command. For upon Gledesmore hard by, even on Easter daie in the morning, there was a bloudie battaile most fiercely fought, and that with variable fortune for a great while, by reason that a most thicke mist covered the face of the ground. But in the end the victorie fell happily unto King Edward the Fourth, by occasion that Richard Neville Earle of Warwicke was there slaine, whom as the favourable indulgence of Fortune made over-stout and bold, yea and dangerous unto kings, so his death freed England from all feare of civill warres. ‡Bernet hath for his neighbours Mimmes, a seat of a Worshipfull family of the Coningesbies, descended to them by Frowick from the Knolles, ancient possessours thereof, and Noth-hall, where Ambrose Dudley last Earle of Warwicke raised a stately house from the foundations.‡
17. This County of Hertford had Earles out of the familie de Clare, who notwithstanding were oftener called Earles of Clare from Clare in Suffolke, their principall seat. The first to my knowledge was Gilbert, who under the title of Earle of Hertford is put downe as a witnesse in a Charter of King Stephens. Likewise Roger de Clare in the time of King Henrie the Second is in the Red booke of the Exchequer named Earle of Hertford. Likewise his successours, whom you may see in their places. But seeing both by right of inheritance, and also through the princes favour they attained to the Earledome of Glocester, they bare both titles jointly and were called unto Parliaments by the names of Earles of Glocester and Hertford. And Richard de Clare, who died in the yeare of our Lord 1262, is in plaine termes by Florilegus of Westminster called Earle of Glocester and of Hertford, where hee reporteth that Epitaph composed for him in that age, to his great commendation:
Chast Hyppolite, and Paris faire, Ulysses wise and slie,
Aeneas kinde, fierce Hector, here jointly entombed lie.
But not long since King Henrie the Eighth honoured Sir Edward the Saint Maur or Seymor with the title of Earle of Hertford, who also was created Duke of Somerset by King Edward the Sixth. After whom succeeded in this Earledome his sonne bearing the same name, a right honourable personage and a singular lover of Learning.
This countie hath parishes 110.
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