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ITHERTO wee have poasted over all those Counties that lie betweene the British Ocean of the one side and the Severne sea and river Tamis on the other. Now according to the order which wee have begunne, let us survey the rest throughout, and passing over the said river returne to the head of Tamis and the salt water of Severne, and there view the Dobuni, who in auncient times inhabited those parts which now are termed Glocestershire and Oxfordshire. This their name, I verily suppose, came of duffen, a British word, because the places where they planted themselves were for the most part low and lying under the hils, whereupon the name became common to them all, and verily from such a kind of site Bathieia in Troas, Catabathmos in Africk, and Deep-Dale in Britaine tooke their names. I am the more easily induced to beleeve this because I see that Dio in the verie same signification hath named certain people Bodunni, if the letters bee not misplaced. For bodo or bodun (as Plinie saith) in the ancient French tongue (which I have proved before was the same that the British language <is>) betokeneth deepe. Hence it was that the Citie Bodincomagus, as hee writeth, became so called for that it stood where the river Po was deepest. Hence had the people Bodiontii that name who inhabited a deepe vale by the Lake of Lozanne and Geneva, now called Val de Fontenay, to say nothing of Bodotria the deepest Frith [firth] in all Britaine. Concerning these Boduni, I have found in all my reading no matter of great antiquitie save only that A. Plautius, sent as Propraetor by Claudius into Britan, received part of them upon their submission into his protection, to wit, those that were under Cattuellani (for they hald the region bordering upon them) and, as Dio hath recorded, about the fourtie and foure yeere after Christ was borne, placed a garrison over them.
But when the English Saxons reigned in Britaine and the name of Dobuni was worne out, some of these, as also the people dwelling round about them, were by a new English Saxons name called Wiccii, but whereupon, dare scarse venture to guesse without craving leave of the Reader. Yet if wic in the Saxons tongue signifieth as much as the creeke or reach of a river, and the Vignones, a nation in Germanie are so called because they dwell neere unto the creekes or baies of the Sea and of rivers (for so doth Beatus Rhenanus constantlie affirme), it will be no absurditie if I derive our Wiccii from thence, who inhabited round about the mouth of Severne, which is verie full of such Coves and small creekes and reaches.
LOCESTERSHIRE, in the Saxon tongue Glaevcester-schyre, which was the chiefe seat of the Dobuni, on the west-side butteth upon Monmouthshire and Herefordshire, on the North upon Worcester-shre, on the East upon Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Barckshire, and on the South upon Wiltshire and Somersetshire both. A pleasant countrie and a fruitfull, stretching out in length from North-East unto Southwest. The part that lieth more East-ward, rising up with hils and wolds is called Cotteswold, the midle part setleth downe low to a most fertile plaine, and is watered with Severne that noble river, which doth infuse life, as it were, into the soile. That part which bendeth more West-ward on the further side of Severn is all over bespread with woods. But what meane I to busie my selfe heerein? William of Malmesbury will ease mee of this labour, who fully gives high commendations to this country. Have therefore what he writeth in his booke of Bishops. The country (saith hee) is called of the principall Citie, The vale of Glocester. The ground throughout yeeldeth plenty of corne and bringeth forth abundance of fruits, the one through the naturall goodnesse onelie of the ground, the other through diligent manuring and tillage, in so much as it would provoke the laziest bodie that is to take paines, seeing that it answereth back againe with the encrease of an hundred fold that which is sowne. Heere may you see the high waies and common lanes clad with apple-trees and peare-trees, not set or graffed by the industrie of man’ s hand, but growing naturally of their owne accord. The ground of it selfe is enclined to beare fruits, and those both in tast and beautie farre exceeding others, whereof some will last a whole yeare and not wither at all, so that they are serviceable untill new come againe for supplie. There is no countrie in all England so thicke set as this province with Vine-yards, so plentifull in encrease, and so pleasant in taste. The verie wines made hereof affect not their mouthes that drinke of them with any unpleasing tartnesse, as beeing little inferiour in sweet verdoure to the French wines. The houses in it are almost innumerable, the Churches passing fayre, and the townes standing verie thicke. But that which addeth unto all these good guifts a speciall glorie is the river Severne, than which there is not any one in this land for channell broader, for streame swifter, for fish better stored. There is in it a dailey rage and furie of the waters, which I know not whether I may call a gulfe or whirlpoole of waves, and the same, raising up the sands from the bothom winding and driving the same upon heapes, commeth with a forcible violence and reacheth no farther than to the bridge. Sometimes also it overfloweth the bankes, and when it hath roved about a great waie, it retireth backe as a conquerour of the land. Unhappie is that vessell which it taketh full upon the side. The watermen well ware hereof when they see that high acomming (for so they call it in English), turne the vessell affront upon it, and so cutting through the midest of it, check and avoide the violence thereof.
2. But that which hee saith of the hundered fold increase and yeeld of the ground doth not hold true. Neither, for all that, would I thinke with these whining and sloathfull husbandmen, whom Columella taketh up for it, that the soile is now wearied and become barrain with too much fruitfulnesse and over free bearing in former ages. Howbeit, hereby, if I should say nothing of other things, it is to bee seene that wee have no cause to wonder why many places in this countrie and elsewhere in England are called Vine-yards, seeing it hath affoorded wine, and surely it may seeme to proceede rather of the Inhabitantes idlenesse than any distemperature and indisposition of the ayre, that it yeeldeth none at this day. But why in some places within this Countrie, as wee reade in our statutes, by a private custome which now is become of strong validitie as a law, the goods and land of condemned persons fall into the Kings hands for a yeare onely and a daie, and after that time expired (contrarie to the custome of all England beside) returne to the next heires, let law-students and statesmen looke to that, for no part it is of my purpose to search thereinto. Now I will take a superficiall survey (such as I can) of those three parts whereof I spake orderly one after another.
3. The part that lieth more West beyond Severne (which the Silures in old time possessed) along the river Vaga or Wye that parteth England and Wales, was wholy bespred with thicke tall woods. We call it at this day Deane-forrest. The Latin writers some name it of the Danes Danica sylva the Danes wood, others with Girald, the Wood Of Danubia. But I would thinke, if it had not this name of Dean, a little towne adjoyning, that by short cutting the word it was called Deane for Aredn, which tearme both Gauls and Britans in ancient times may seeme to have used for a wood, considering that two mighty great woods, the one in that part of Gaule called Gallia Belgica, and the other among us in Warwickshire, are by one and the selfe same name tearmed Arden. For this was a wonderfull thicke forrest, and in former ages so darke and terrible by reason of crooked and winding waies, as also the grisly shade therein, that it made the inhabitants more fierce and boulder to commit robberies. For in the reigne of Henry the Sixt they so infested all Severne side with robbing and spoling that there were lawes made by the authority of the Parliament for to restraine them. But since that rich Mines of Iron were heere found out. those thicke woods began to wax thin by little and little. In this Forrest, upon the foresaid river stood Tudenam and Wollaston, two townes of good antiquity, which Walter and Roger, the brethren of Gislebert Lord of Clare, wrestled out of the Welch-mens hands about the yeere 1160. As also Lidney is adjoyning to them, were Sir William Winter, Viceadmirall of England, a renowned Knight for sea-services (as his brother Arthur, slaine in Orkeney-Isles) built a faire house. But the most ancient towne of all others is Abone or Avone, mentioned by Antonine the Emperour in Journey-booke, which having not lost that name altogether is at this day called Aventon: a small towne indeed, but standing upon Severne just nine miles, as he writeth, from Ventasilvarum or Caer-went. And seeing that avon in the Brittish tongue importeth a River, it shall be no strange thing if we thinke it so called of the river. For in the very same signification (that I may ommit the rest) we have Watertown, Bourne, and Riverton, as the Latines had Aquinum and Fluentium. And I suppose the rather that it tooke name of the river because people were wont at this place to ferry over the river, wherupon the towne standing over against it is by Antonine called Traiectus, that is, a passage or ferry, but without doubt the number in that place set downe is corrupted. for he maketh it nine miles betweene Traiectus and Abone, whereas the river is scarce three miles broad. It may seeme then to have bin utterly decaied, or turned rather into a village, either whenas passengers beganne to ferrie over below, or when Athelstane thrust out the Welsh Britans from hence. For hee was the first that drave them, as William of Malmesburie witnesseth, beyond the river Wye. And whereas before his time Severne was the bound betweene the English and Welshmen, hee appointed Wye to bee the limit confining them both. Whence our Necham writeth thus:
To Wales on this side looketh Wie,
On that againe, our England he doth eye.
4. Not farre from Wye, amongst blind Bywaies beset with thicke plumps of trees, appeareth Breulis Castle, more than halfe fallen downe, remarkable for the death of Michel youngest sonne of Miles Earle of Hereford. For there his greedy devises, bloudy cruelty, and covetousnesse readie to pray upon other mens estates (for which vices hee is much blamed in Writers) were overtaken with a just revenge from heaven. For, as Girald hath written, being entertained guest-wise by Sir Walter Clifford in this Castle, when the house was all on alight fire, hee was killed with a stone that from the top of an high turret fell upon his dead and brained him.
Neither have I any thing else to be recounted in this wood-country ‡beside Newnham, a prety mercate, and Westbury therby, a seate of the Bainhams of ancient descent.‡ But that Herbert who had wedded the sister of the said Mahel Earle of Hereford, in her right was called Lord of Deane, from whom that Noble house of the Herberts fetcheth their pedigree, out of which familie come the Lords of Blanleveney, and of late daies the Herberts Earles of Huntingdon and Pembroch, with others. From hence also, if wee may beleeve David Powell in his historie of Wales, was descended Antonie Fitz-Herbert, whose great learning and industrie in the wisedome of our law, both the judiciall Court of Plees, wherein he sat Justice a long time, and also those exact bookes of our common law by him exquisitely penned and published, doe sufficiently witnesse. But other have drawen his decent and that more truly, if I have insight therein, from the race of the Fitz-Herberts Knights in Derby shire.
5. The river Severn, called by the Britains Haffren, after it hath run a long course with a chanell somewhat narrow, no sooner entereth into this shire, but entertaineth the river Avon and and another brooke comming from the East. Betwixt which is seated Tewkesbury, in the Saxon tongue Theocsbury, by others Theoci Curia, taking the name from one Theocus who there did lead an Eremites [hermit’s] life. It is a great and faire towne, having three bridges to passe over, standing upon three rivers, famous for making of Woollen-cloath and the best mustard, which for the quicke heat that it hath biteth most and perceth depest, but most famous in times past by reason of an ancient Monastery which Dodo, a man of great power in Mercia, founded in the yeere 715, where before time he kept his royall court, as is testified by this inscription which there remaineth long after:
HANC AULAM REGIAM DODO DUX CONSECRARI FECIT IN ECCLESIAM
THIS ROIALL PALACE DUKE DODO CAUSED
TO BE CONSECRATED FOR A CHURCH
And Odo his brother endowed the same, which being by continuance of time and the fury of enemies ruinated, Robert Fitz-Haimon the Norman, Lord of Corboile and Thorigny in Normandie, reedified, translating monks from Cranborn in Dorsetshire hither upon a devout mind verily and a religious, that he might make some amends to the Church for the loss of the Church of Baieux in Normandie had sustained, which King Henry the First for to free him from his enemies had set on fire and burned, and afterwards repenting that which he had done, built againe. It cannot (writeth William of Malmesburie) be easily reported how highly Robert Fitz-Hamon exalted this Monastery, wherein the beauty of the buildings ravished the eyes, and the charity of the Monks allured the hearts of such folke as used to come thither. Within this both himselfe and his successours Earles of Glocester were buried: who had a Castle of their owne called Holmes hard by, which now is almost vanished out of sight. Neither is this towne lesse memorable for that battaile where by the house of Lancaster received a mortall wound, as wherein very many of their side in the yeere 1471 were slaine, more taken prisoners and diverse beheaded, their power so weakened and their hopes abated, especially because young Prince Edward, the onely sonne of King Henrie the Sixt, a very child, was there put to death and in most shamefull and vilanous maner his braines dashed out, as that never after they came into the field against King Edward the Fourth. In which respect, John Leland write of this towne in this wise:
Where Av’ n and Severn meete in one, there stands a goodly towne,
For mercat and pillage rich there wonne, of much renowne,
Hight Tewksburie, where noble men entombed many are,
Now gone to mould, who sometimes were redoubted Knights in warre.
6. From thence we come to Deorhirst, which Bede speaketh of, situate somewhat low upon the banke of Severn, whereby it hath great losses many times, when he overfloweth his bounds. It had in it sometimes a little Monasterie, which being by the Danes overthrowen, flourished againe at length under Edward the Confessor: who, as we read in his Testament, assigned The religious place at Deorhirst and the government thereof to Saint Denis neere unto Paris. Yet a little while after, as William of Malmesbury saith, it was but a vaine and void representation of antiquitie. Over against it lieth a place halfe incompassed in with Severne, called in the Saxon tongue Olenag and Alney, now The Eight, that is, The Island. Famous by reason of this occurrence, that when both the Englishmen and the Danes were much weakened with continuall encounters, to make a finall dispatch at once of all quarrels, the Fortune and destinie of both nations was committed to Edmund King of the English and to Canutus King of the Danes, who in this Iland by a single combat tried it out, unto whether of them the right of this Realme should belong. But after they had fought and given over on even hand, a peace was concluded and the kingdome devided betweene them. But when streight upon it Edmund was dispatched out of the way not without suspicion of poison, Canutus seized all England into his owne hands.
7. From Deorhirst, Severne ‡runneth downe by Haesfeild, which King Henrie the Third gave to Richard Pauncfote, whose successors built a faire house heere, and whose predecessours were possessed of faire lands in this Countrie before and in the Conquerours time in Wilshire,‡ making many reaches and windings in and out and forthwith dividing himselfe to make a river Iland most rich and beautifull in greene meddowes, he passeth along by the head Citie of this Shire, which Antonine the Emperour called Cilvum and Glevum, the Britans terme Caer Glow, the English Saxons Gleavecester, we Glocester, the Vulgar sort of Latinists Gloveria, others Claudiocestria of the Emperour Claudius, as they imagine who, forsooth, should give it this name when he had bestowed heere his daughter Genissa in marriage upon Arviragus the Britan. Touching whom, Juvenal writeth thus:
Some King (sure) thou shalt prisoner take in chace or battaile heat,
Or else Arviragus shal loose his British royall seat.
As though he had begat any other daughters of his three wives besides Claudia, Antonia and Octavia, or as if Arivagus had beene knowen in that age, whose name was never herd of before Domitians time, and scarse then. But let them goe that seeke to build antiquity upon a frame grounded on lies. Rather yet would I give my voice and accord with Ninius, who writeth that it tooke the name from Glovus, the great grandfathers father of King Vortigern, but that long before it Antonine had named it Glavum (which both the Distance from Corinium and the name also may prove). But as the Saxon name Glavecester came from Glavum, so Glavum proportionably from the British Caer Glow, which I suppose sprung from the word glow, that in the British tongue signifieth Faire and Goodly, so that Caer Glow may be as much to say as a faire Citie. In which signification also the greekes had their Callipolis, Callidromos, Callistratia, the Englishmen their Brightstow and Shirley, and in this very Countie Faireford, Fairl-ley &c. This city was built by the Romanes and set, as it were, upon the necke of the Silures to yoake them. And there also was a Colonie planted to people it, which they called Colonia Glavum. For I have seene a fragment of an antique stone in the walles of Bath neere unto the North-gate, with this Inscription:
*DEC COLONIAE GLEV
VIXIT ANN. LXXXVI.
8. It lieth stretched out in length over Severn. On that side where it is not watered by the river it hath in some places a very strong wall for defense. A proper and fine Citie I assure you it is, both for number of Churches and for the buildings. On the South part there was a lofty Castle of square Ashler stone which now, for the most part, is nothing but a ruine. It was built in King William the First his time, and sixteene houses there about, as we read in the booke of Englands Survey, were plucked downe for the rearing of this Castle. About which, Roger the sonne of Miles Constable of Glocester went to law with King Henry the Second, and his brother Walter lost all the right and interest he had in this City and Castle, as Robert de Mount hath written. Ceawlin the King of the West Saxons was the first that about the yeere of our redemption 570 by force and armes wrested Glocester out of the British hands. After this the Mercians won it, under whom it flourished in great honour, and Osricke King of Northumberland, by permission of Etheldred the Mercian, founded there a very great and stately Monastery for Nunnes, over whom Kineburgy, Eadburgh and Eve Queenes of the Mercians were prioresses successively one after another. Edelfled also, that most noble Ladie of the Mercians, adorned this City with a Church wherein she herselfe was buried, and not long after, when the Danes had spoiled and wasted the whole country, those sacred Virgins were throwen out and the Danes (as Aethelward that ancient author writeth) with many a stroak pitched poore cotages in the citie of Gleuvcester. At that time, when those more ancient Churches were subverted, Aldred Archbishop of Yorke and Bishop of Worcester erected another for Monkes, which is now the chiefe Church in the Citie and hath a Deane and six Prebendaries. But the same in these late praecedent ages was newly beautified. For John Hanley and Thomas Farley two Abbots added unto it the Chappel of the blessed Virgin Mary. N. Morwent raised from the very foundation the forefront, which is an excellent peece of worke. G. Horton an Abbot adjoyned to it the crosse North-part, Abbat Trowcester a most daintie and fine Cloister, and Abbat Sebrok an exceeding high faire steeple. As for the South side, it was also repaired with the peoples offerings at the Sepulcher of the unhappy King Edward the Second, who lieth heere enterred under a monument of Alabaster, and not far from him another Prince as unfortunate as he, Robert Curt-hose, the eldest sonne of King William the Conquerour Duke of Normandy, with a wooden painted tombe in the midest of the quire, ‡who was bereft of the Kingdome of England for that he was borne before his father was King, deprived of his two sonnes, the one by strange death in the New-forrest, the other dispoiled of the Earledome of Normandie by his brother King Henry the First, his eies plucked out, and kept close prisoner 26 yeares with all contumelious indignities untill through extreame anguish he ended his life.‡ Above the quire, in an arch of this church, there is a wall built in forme of a semicircle full of corners, which such an artificiall devise that if a man speake with never so low a voice at the one part thereof, and another lay his eare to the other being a good way distant, he may most easily heere every sillable. In the reigne of William the Conquerour and before, it may seeme that the chiefest trade of the Citizens was to make Iron. For as we find in the Survey booke of England, the Kings demanded in maner no other tribute than certain Icres [ingots] of Iron and Irone-barres for the use of the Kings Navy, and some few quarts of hony. After the comming in of the Normans it suffered divers calamities by the hands of Edward, King Henry the Third his sonne, whiles England was all on a smoake and combustion by the Barons warre, it was spoiled; and afterward by casualty of fire almost wholy consumed to ashes, but now cherished with continuance of longe peace if flourisheth againe as fresh as ever it was, and by laying unto it two Hundreds, it is made a County and called the County of the City of Gloucester. Also within the memory of our fathers, King Henry the Eighth augmented the state thereof with an Episcopall See, with which dignity in old time it had beene highly endowed, as Geffrey of Monmouth avoucheth, and I will not derogate ought from the credit of his assertion, considering that among the Prelates of Britaine the Bishop Cluviensis is reckoned, which name, derived from Clevum or Glow, doth after a sort confirme and strengthen my conjecture that this is that Glevum whereof Antonine maketh mention.
Now Severn, waxing broader and deeper by reason of the alternative flowing and ebbing of the sea, riseth and swelleth in maner of a rough and troublous sea indeed, and so with many windings and turnings in and out speedeth him unto the Ocean. But nothing offereth it selfe unto his sight (to count of) as he passeth along but Cam-bridge, a little country towne where it receiveth Cam a small riveret. Over the bridge whereof, when the Danes with rich spoiles passed (as Aethelward writeth) in battail-ray, the West-Saxons and the Mercians received them with an hote battaile in Woodensfield, where three of their Petie Kings were slaine, namely Heatsden, Cinvil and Ingvar.
9. On the same shore not much beneath standeth Barkley, in the Saxon-tongue Beorkenlau, of great name for a most strong Castle, a Major, who is the Head Magistrate, and especially for the Lords thereof descended from Robert Fitz-Harding, to whom King Henry the Second gave this place and Barkely Hearnes. Out of this house are branched many Knights and Gentlemen of signall note, and in the reigne of King Henry the Seventh flourished William Lord Barkley, who was honoured by King Edward the Fourth with the stile of Vicount Barkley, by King Richard the Third with the honour of Earle of Nottingham (in regard of his mother, daughter of Thomas Moubrey Duke of Norfolke and Earle of Nottingham), and by King Henry the Seventh with the office of Marshall of England and dignity of Marquis Barkley. But for that he died issuelesse his titles died together with him. If you be willing to know by what a crafty fetch Goodwin Earle of Kent, a man most deeply pregnant in devising how to do injury, got the possession of this place, you may read these few lines out of Walter Mapaeus, who flourished 400 eares agoe, and worth the reading (beleeve me) they are. Barkley neere unto Severne is a towne of 500 pounds revenew. In it there was a Nunnery, and the Abbesse over these Nunnes was a Noble woman and a beautifull. Earle Goodwin by a cunning and subtill wit, desiring not herselfe but hers, as he passed by that way left with her a Nephew of his, a very proper and beautifull young Gentleman (pretending that he was sickly) untill he returned backe. Him he had given this lesson, that he should keepe his bed and in no wise seeme to be recovered untill he had got both her and as many of the Nunnes as he could with childe as they came to visit him. And to the end that the young man might obtaine their favour and his owne full purpose when they visited him, the Earle gave unto him prety rings and fine girdles to bestow for favours upon them, and thereby to deceive them. He therefore being gladly and willingly entred into this course of libidinous pleasure (for that the way downe to hell is easie) was soone taught his lessons, and wisely plaieth the foole in that which seemed wise in his owne conceit. With him were restant [residing] all those things which the foolish virgins could wish for, beauty, deinty delicates, riches, faire speech; and carefull he was how to single them alone. The Devill therefore thrust out Pallas, brought in Venus, and made the Church of our Saviour and his Saints an accursed temple of all Idols, and the Shrine a very stewes, and so of pure Lambs he made them foule she wolves, and poure virgins, filthy harlots. Now when as many of their bellies bare out big and round, this youth, being by this time over wearied with conquest of pleasure, getteth him gone, and forthwith bringeth home again unto his Lord and Maister a victorious Ensignes, worthy to have the reward of iniquity, and to speake plaine, relateth what was done. No sooner heard he this, but he hieth him to the King, informeth him how the Lady Abbesse of Barkely and her Nuns were great with child and commonly prostitute to every one that would, sendeth speciall messengers of purpose for enquiry heereof, prooveth all that he had said. He beggeth Berkley of the King his Lord after the Nuns were thrust out, and obtained it at his hands, and he left it to his wife Gueda. But because she her selfe (so saith Doomesday Booke) would eate nothing that came out of this Manour for that the Nunnery was destroied, he purchased for her Udecester, that thereof she might live so long as she made her abode at Berkley. Thus we see a good and honest minde abhorreth whatsoever is evill gotten. How King Edward the Second, being deposed from his Kingdome through the crafty complotting and practise of his wife, was made away in the Castle heere by the wicked subtilty of Adam Bishop of Hereford, who wrote unto his keepers these few words without points [punctuation] betweene them, Edwardum occidere nolite timere bonum est, that by reason of their diverse sense and construction both they might commit the murder, and he also clearly excuse himselfe, I had rather you should seeke in Historians than looke for at my hands. Beneath this Barkely, the little river Avon closely entreth the Sea, at the head whereof scarse eight miles from the water side, upon the hils neere Alderley a small towne, there are found certaine stones resembling Coccles or Periwinckles and Oysters, which whether they have beene sometimes living cretures or the gamesome sports of Nature, I leave it to Philosophers (that hunt after natures works). But Fracastorus, the principall Philosopher in this our age, maketh no doubt but that they were living creatures engendred in the Sea, and by waters brought to the mountaines. For he affirmeth that mountaines were cast up by the Sea, with the driving at first of sand into heaps and hillocks: also that the sea flowed there where now hilles doe rise aloft, and that as the said Sea retired the hilles also were discovered. But this is out of my race.
10. Traiectus, that is, The Ferry, whereof Antonine the Emperour maketh mention, over against Abone, where they were wont to passe over Severn salt water by boate, was in times past, as I guess by the name, at Oldbury, which is by interpretation The Old Burgh, like as we doe ferry in these daies at Aust, a little towne somewhat lower. This in antient times was called Aust-clive, for a great craggy cliffe it is in deed, mounting up a great height. And verily, memorable is the thing which that Mapaius, whom I spake of, writeth to have beene done in this place. Edward the Elder, saith he, lay at Austclive, and Leolin Prince of Wales at Bethesley. Now when Leolin would not come downe to to parley, nor cross Severn, Edward passed over to Leolin. Whom when Leolin saw and knew who he was, he cast of his rich robbe (for he had prepared himselfe to sit in judgement), entred the water brest-high, and clasping the boat with an embrace, said, “Most wise and sage King, thy humility hath overcome my insolencie, and thy wisdome triumphed over my folly. Come, get upon my necke which I have (foole as I am) lifted up against thee, and so shalt thou enter into that land which thy benigne mildnesse hath made thine owne this day.” And after he had taken him upon his shoulders, he would needs have him sit upon his roabe aforesaid, and so putting his owne hands jointly into his, did him homage. Upon the same shore also is situate Thornbury, where are to be seene the foundations brought up above ground of a sumpteous and stately house which Edward the last Duke of Buckingham was in hand to build in the yeere of our Lord (as the engraving doth purport) 1511, when he had taken downe an ancient house which Hugh Audeley Earle of Glocester had formerly built seven miles from hence. Avon, sheading it selfe into Severn running crosse before it, maketh a division betweene Glocestershire and Somersetshire, and not farre from the banke therof Pucle-Church appeareth, being in times past a towne or Manour of the Kings called Pucle-Kerkes, wherein Edmund King of England, while he interposed himselfe betweene his Sewer [steward] and one Leoue, a most vilanous wretch, for to part and end certaine quarels betweene them, was thrust through the body and so lost his life.
11. Nere bordering upon this place are these townes: Winterburne, which had for their Lords the Bradstons, amongst whom Sir Thomas was summoned amongst the Barons in the time of Edward the Third, from whom the Vicounts Montacute, the Barons of Wentworth &c. fetch their descent; Acton, which gave name to the house of the Actons, Knights, whose heire, being married unto Nicolas Points, Knight, in King Edward the Second his daies, left the same to their offspring; Derham, a little town, in the Saxons tongue Deorham, where Ceaulin the Saxon slew three Princes or chiefe Lords of the Britains, Commeail, Condidan and Fariemeiol, with others whom hee likewise put to the sword, and dispossessed the Britans of that countrie for ever. There remaine yet in that place huge rampiers and trenches as fortifications of their campes, and other most apparent monuments here and there of so great a war. This was the chiefe seat of the Barony of James de Novo Mercatu, who begat three daughters, wedded to Nicolas de Moelis, John de Botereaux, and Ralph Russell, one of whose posterity, enriched by matching with the heire of the ancient family of Gorges, assumed unto them the name of Gorges. ‡But from Ralph Russell the heire this Deorham descended to the familie of Venis. About these is Sodbury, knowne by the familie of Walsh, and neighbours thereunto are Wike-ware, the ancient seat of the familie De-la-ware, Wotton under Edge, which yet remembreth the slaughter of Sir Thomas Talbot Vicount Lisle, heere slaine in the time of King Edward the Fourth in an encounter with the Lord Barkley about possessions, since which time have continued suites betweene their posterity untill now lately they were finally compounded.‡ More Northward I had sight of Duresley, reputed the auncientest habitation of the Barkleyes, hereupon stiled Barkleis of Dursley, ‡who built here a Castle now more than ruinous,‡ and were accounted founders of the Abbay of Kings-wood thereby for Cistertian Monkes, ‡derived from Tintern, whom Maud the Empresse greatly enriched. The males of this house failed in the time of King Richard the Second, and the heire generall was married to Cantelow. Within one mile of this, where the river Cam, lately spoken of, springeth, is Vleigh, a seat also of the Barkleies descended from the Barons Barkeley, stiled of Vleigh and Stoke Giffard, who were found coheires to John Baron Boutetort, descended from the Baron Zouch of Ricards Castles, alias Mortimer, and the Somerus Lords of Dudley.‡ Beverston Castle, not farre of Eastward, appertained also to the name of Barkleies, but in former times to the Gournois and Ab-Adon, a Baron in the time of King Edward the First.
12. Hitherto have wee cursarily passed over the principall places in this Shire situate beyond and upon Severn, and not far from his banke. Now proceed we forward to the East part, which I said riseth up with hilles, to wit, Cotteswold, which of woulds and Cotes, that is hils and sheepfolds, tooke that name. Gor mountaines and hils without woods the Englishmen in old time termed woulds, whence it is that an Old Gloassary intereth Alps, Italie, The Woulds of Italie. In these Woulds there feed in great numbers flockes of sheepe, long necked and square of bulke and bone by reason (as it is commonly thought) of the weally and hilly situation of their pasturage, whose wool, being most fine and soft, is had in passing great account among all nations. Under the side of these hils and among them are to bee seene, as it were in a row neighbouring together, these places following, of more antiquity than the rest, beginning at the North-east end of them.
Campten, commonly Camden, a mercat towne well peopled and of good resort, where, as John Castoreus writeth, all the Kings of Saxon bloud assembled in the yeare of Salvation 689 and consulted in common about making war upon the Britans. in William the Conquerours time this Weston and Biselay were in possession of Hugh Earle of Chester, and from his posterity came at last by Nicolas de Albeniaco, an inheritrice to the ancient Earles of Arundel, unto Roger de Somery. Nere unto it standeth the said Weston, a place now to be remembered in regard of a faire house, which maketh a goodly shew afarre off, built by Ralph Sheldon for him and his posterity.
Hales, in late time a most flourishing Abbay, built by Richard Earle of Cornwall and King of Romanes, who was there buried with his wife Sanchia, daughter to the Earle of Provence, and deserving commendation for breading up of Alexander of Hales, a great Clerke and so deepely learned above all others in that subtile and deepe Divinitie of the schoole men, ‡as he carried way the surname of Doctor Irrefragabilis, that is, The Doctor Ungain-said, as hee that could not be gain-said.‡
13. Sudley, in times past Sudleagh, a verie faire castle, ‡the seat not long since of Sir Thomas Seimor Baron of Sudley and Admirall of all England, attainted in the time of King Edward the Sixth,‡ and afterward of Sir John Bruges whom Queene Marie created Baron Chandos of Sudley, because he derived his pedegree from the antient family of Chandos, out of which there flourished in the reigne of Edward the Third Sir John Chandos, ‡a famous Baneret, Vicount of Saint Saviours, lord of Coumont and Kerkitou in France,‡ a martial man and for military prowesse every way most renowned. But in old time certaine noblemen here dwelt, and of it had their addition de Sudley, descended of a right ancient English race, to wit from Gorda King Aetheldreds daughter, whose son Ralphe Medantius Earle of Hereford begat Harold Lord of Sudley, whose progeny flourished here a long time, until for default of issue male the daughter and heire matched in marriage with Sir William Butler of the Family of Wem, and brought him a son named Thomas, and he begat Ralph, Lord Treasurer of England, created by King Henry the Sixth Baron of Sudley ‡with a fee of 200 markes yearely,‡ who repaired this castle and enlarged it with new buildings. His sisters and coheires were married into the houses of Northbury and Belknape, and by their posterity the possessions in short time were devided into sundry families.
14. Toddington also is next adjoining hereunto, where the Tracies, gentlemen of a right worshipful and ancient house, flourished a long time, who long since found the Barons of Sudley very bounteous unto them. But how in the first variance about religion William Tracie Lord of this place was proceeded against and punished after his death by digging up his corps and burning it openly for some few words put downe in his last will and testament, which savoured (as those times judged) of heresie, as also how another William de Tracy long before enbrued his hands in the bloudy murder of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, the Ecclesiasticall historiographers have written at large, and it is no part of my purpose to relate such like matters. There is heere likewise Winchelcomb, a great towne and well inhabited, where Kenulph the Mercian King erected an Abbay, and on the same daie that hee hallowed and dedicated it, he freed and sent home Fabricht a King of Kent, whom he had kept before his prisoner. A man would hardly beleeve how much haunted and frequented this Abbay was long since, for the reliques of King Kenelme, a child seaven years old, whom his owne sister to get the inheritance unto her selfe secretly made away, and our forefathers registred in the ranke of holy Martyrs. The Territorie adjoining hereto in times past was reckoned a County by it selfe or a Sherif-dom. For wee read in an old manuscript sometime belonging to the Church of Worcester in this wise; Edric surnamed Streona, that is, The Getter or Gainer, who first under King Aetheldred, and afterwards for a good while under Cnute or Canut governed the whole Kingdome of England and ruled as Vice Roy, adjoined the sherif-dome of Winchelcombe, which was then an entier thing by it selfe, unto the shire of Glocester. ‡Thence I found nothing memorable, but neare the fountaine of Churn river, Coberley, a seat of the stem of Barkeleis so often named, even from the Conquest, which matched with an heire of Chandos, and so came hereditarily to the Bruges progenitors to the Lords Chandos. Then by Bird-lip-hil, whereby wee ascended unto this high Cotswold out of the vale,‡ lieth Brimsfield, which had for the Lord thereof the Giffords in times past, unto whom in right of mariage there came a goodly inheritance from the Cliffords, and streightwaies by the femal heires the same fel to the Lords le Strange of Blackmer, to Audleies and divers others.
15. Thus much of the places among the Woulds. But under the Woulds I have seene that notable Roman high-way by a well knowne name called the Fosse, which out of Warwickshire commeth downe first by Lemington (where it may seeme there was a station of the Romanes by the peeces of Romane coine ploughed there often times out of the ground, some of which Edward Palmer, a curious and diligent Antiquarie whose auncestors flourished here a long time, hath of his courtesie imparted unto me), then by Stow in the Would, where by reason of that high site the Winds blow cold; and then North-Leach, bearing the name of a riveret running hard by it; and then to Cirencester, which the river Corinus, now Churn, rising among the Woulds neare Corberles, verie commodious for Milles, passeth by in the South, and so giveth it his name. This was a City as of great antiquity as any other, called by Ptolomee Corinium, by Antonine the Emperour Durocornovium, that is, The water Cornovium, just fifteene miles from Glevum or Glocester, as he noteth. The Britans named it Caer Cori and Caer Ceri, the English Saxons Cyren-caester, we in these daies Circester and Circiter. The ruinate wals do plainely shew that it was verie large, for by report they tooke up two miles in compasse. That it was a famous place, the Romane coins, the cherkerworke [checkered] pavements, and the engraven marble stones that now and then are here digged up (which have beene broken, and to no small prejudice of Antiquitie) do evidently testifie. As also the Port Consular waies of the Romanes, that heere did crosse one another, whereof that which led to Glevum or Glocester is yet extant with his high ridge, evident to bee seene as farre as to Birdlip hil, and if a man looke well upon it, seemes to have beene paved with stone. The British Chronicles record that this City was burnt, being set on fire by sparrowes through a stratageme devised by one Gurmund, I wot not what Tyrant of Africk, whereupon Giraldus called it Passerum urbem, that is, The Sparrowes City, and out of those Chronicles Necham writeth thus:
This City felt for seaven yeares space
Thy forces, Gurmund.
Who this Gurmund was I know not. The Inhabitants shew a mount beneath the City which they report Gurmund did cast up, and yet they call it Grismunds Toure. Marianus, an Historian of good antiquity and credite, reporteth that Ceaulin King of the West Saxons dispossessed the Britans of it, what time hee had discomfited and put to flight their forces at Deoham and brought Glocester to his subjection. Many yeares after this, it was subject to the West-Saxons: for wee reade that Peuda the Mercian was defeited by Ciniglise King of the West Saxons when hee besieged it with a mightie armie. Howbeit, as length both it and the whole territorie and countrie came under subjection of the Mercians, and so continued untill the English Monarchie. Under which it susteined much sorrow and grievous calamity by the Danes, and peradventure at the hand of Gurmon that Dane whom the Historiographers cal both Guthrus and Gurmundus. So that it may seeme he was that Gurmund which they so much speake of. ‡For certes when he raged, about the yeare 879, a rablement of Danes rousted here one whole yeare.‡ Now scarce the fourth part within the wals is inhabited: the remaines beside are pasture grounds and the ruines of an Abbay, built (as the report goeth) at first by the Saxons, and newly repaired afterwards by King Henrie the First ‡for Black Chanons,‡ wherein, I heard say, that many of the family of the Barons de Sancto Amando were buried. But the castle that it had was by a warrant from the King overthrowne in the first yeare of Henrie the Third his reigne. The townesmen raise the chief gaine by the trade of clothing, and they make great reports of the singular bounty of King Richard the First towards them, who endowed the Abbay with lands, and (as they say themselves) made them rulers of the seaven hundered adjoyning, to hold the same jurisdiction in fee farme, by vertue whereof they should have the hearing and determining of causes, and take unto themselves the fines, proquisites, and amercements and other profites growing out of the trialls of such causes. Moreover King Henry the Fourth graunted unto them certaine priviledges in consideration of their good and valiant service performed against Thomas Holland Earle of Kent, late Duke of Surrey, John Holland Earle of Huntingdon, late Duke of Excester, John Montacute Earle of Salisburie, Thomas de Spenser Earle of Glocester and others, who beeing by him dispoiled of their honors and maligning his usurpation, conspired to take away his life, and heere by the townesmen intercepted, were some of them slaine outright and others beheaded.
16. The river Churne, when it hath left Circester behind him, ‡six miles neare to Dounamveny, an ancient seate of the Hungerfords,‡ joyneth with Isis. For Isis, commonly called Ouse, that it might bee by originall of Glocester-sire, hath his head there, and with lively springs floweth out of the South border of this shire nere unto Torleton, an upland village not farre from that famous Port-way called the Fosse. This is that Isis which afterwards enterteineth Tame, and by a compound word is called Tamisis, Soveraigne as it were of all Britain rivers in Britaine, of which a man may well and truely say, as ancient writers did of Euphrates in the East-part of the world, that it doth both Sow and Water the best part of Britain. The poeticall description of whose Source or first head I have here put downe out of a Poem entituled The Marriage of Tame and Isis, which whether you admit or omit, it skilleth both little.
Where Cotswold spred abroad doth lie and feed faire flocks of sheepe,
And, Dobunes for to see, in downes ariseth nothing steepe,
Within a nouke along, not much the Fosse and it betweene,
Just at the rising of a banke upright, a Cave is seene,
Whereof the entrie glistereth with soft stones richly guilt,
He Haul is seel’ d with Ivory, the rouse aloft built
Of Gett [jet] the best that Britan yeelds. The pillers, verie strong,
With Pumish laid ech other course, are raised all along.
The stuffe full faire, yet Art doth it surpasse, and to the seate
Of Artisan give place the gould, stones, Y’ vry and Geat.
Here panted is the Moon, that ruls the seal like Crystall glasse,
As she through roulling Signes above with traverse course doth passe.
And there againe enchac’ d are both land and Ocean wide,
Conjoin’ d as man and wife in one, with rivers great beside
Like bretheren all, as Ganges rich, strange Nilus, Tanais,
Yea, and the course of Ister large, which double named is,
Of Rhene also a neighbour streame. And here bedight in gold
Among them glitt’ reth Britannie with riches manifold
Of goulden fleece. A Coronet of wheat-ears shee doth weare,
And for her triumph over France her head aloft doth reare &c.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In waving Throne here sites the kind of watters all and some,
Isis, who in that Majestie which rivers doth become,
Wall rev’ rend, from his watchet lap pours forth his streame amaine.
With weed and reed his haires tukt up that grow both long and plaine,
His hoary hornes distilling runne, with water stand his eies,
And shoot from them a lustre farre. His kembed beard likewise
Downe to the brest wet-through doth reach. His body drops againe
All over, and on every side breaks out some water veine.
In secret watrish rooms within, the little fishes plaie,
And many a silver Swan besides his white wings doth display,
And flutter round about &c.
17. As touching the Earles of Glocester, some there be who have thrust upon us one William Fitz-Eustace for first Earle. who this was I have not yet found, and I verily beleeve he is yet unborne. But that which I have found I will not conceale from the reader. About the comming in of the Normans, wee reade that one Bithrick an English Saxon was Lord of Glocester, whom Maud wife to William Conquerour, upon a secret rankor and hatred conceived against him for his contempt of her beautie (for Bithrick had before time refused to marrie her), troubled and molested most maliciouslie. And when shee had at length cast him in prison, Robert Fitz-Haimon Lord of Carboil in Normandie was by the King endowed with his possessions, who in a battaile having received a wound with the push of a pike upon the temples of his head, had his wits crackt therewith, and survived a good while after as a man bestraught and madde. His daughter Mabil, whom others name Sibill, Robert the base sonne of King Henrie the First, by the intercession of his father, obtained for his wife, but not before hee had made him Earle of Glocester. This is hee who is called commonly by writers the Consul of Glocester. A man of a hautie valerous minde and undanted heart as any one of that age, and who beeing never dejected with any adversitie, wanne great praise for his fidelity and worthie exploits in the behalfe of his sister Maude the Empresse against Stephen, then usurping the crowne of England. This honorable title left hee unto his sonne William, who dejected with comfortlesse griefe when death had deprived him of his onelie sonne and heire, assured his estate with ‡his youngest daughter to John sonne to King Henrie the Second, with certaine provisoes for his other daughters. Yet his three daughters brought this Earledome into as many families. For John, when hee had obtained the kingdome, repudiated her upon pretenses, as well that she was barren as that they were within prohibited degrees of consanguinity, and reserving the Castle of Bristow to himselfe,‡ after some time passed over his repudiated wife with the Honor of Glocester to Geffrey Mandevil sonne of Geffrey Fitz-Pater Earle of Essex for 2000 markes, ‡who thus over-marrying himselfe was greatly impoverished and, wounded in Tournament,‡ died soone after issuelesse, and she being remaried to Hubert of Burgh died immediatlie. Then King John upon an exchange granted the Earledome of Glocester to Almary Earle of Eureux, son to the eldest daughter of the foresaid Earle William, who enjoied it a short time, dying also without issue. So by Amice the second daughter of the fore-named Earle William married to Richard de Clare Earle of Hertford, this Earledome descended to Gilbert her sonne, who was stiled Earle of Glocester and Hertford, ‡and mightily enriched his house by marrying one of the heires of William Marshall Earle of Penbroch. His sonne and successour Richard in the beginning of the Barons warres against King Henry the Third ended his life, leaving Gilbert his sonne to succeed him, who powerfully and prudently swaied much in the said wars, as the inclined to them or the King. He, obnoxious to King Edward the First, surrendred his lands unto him and received them againe by marying Joane the Kings daughter (surnamed of Acres in the Holy-land because shee was there borne) to his second wife,‡ who bare unto him Gilbert Clare last Earle of Glocester of this surname, slaine in the flower of his youth in Scotland at the battaile of Sterling the 6 yeare of King Edward the Second. Howbeit while this Gilbert the third was in minority, Sir Ralfe de Mont-hermer, who by a secret contract had espoused his mother the Kings daughter ‡(for which he incurred the Kings high displeasure and a short imprisonment), but after reconciled was summoned to Parlaments by the name of Earle of Glocester and Hertford. But when Gilbert was out of his minority, he was summoned amongst the Barons by the name of Sir Raulfe de Mont-hermer as long as he lived, which I note more willingly for the rareness of the example.‡ After the death of Gilbert the third without children, Sir Hugh Le De-Spenser (commonly named Spenser) the yonger was by writers called Earle of Glocester because he had married the eldest sister of the said Gilbert the third. But after that he was by the Queene and Nobles of the Realme hanged for hatred they bare to King Edward the 2, whose minion he was, Sir Huge Audely, who had matched in mariage with the second sister, through favour of King Edward the Third received this honour. After his death King Richard the Second erected this Earledome into a Dukedome, and so it had three Dukes and one Earle betweene: and unto them all it prooved equus Seianus, that is, Fatall to give them their fall. Thomas of Woodstocke, youngest sonne to King Edward the Third, was the first Duke of Glocester advanced to that high honour by the said King Richard the Second, and shortly after by him subverted. For when he busily plotted great matters, the King tooke order that he should be conveied secretly in all hast to Calis, where with a featherbed cast upon him he was smouthered, having before under his owne hand confessed (as stands upon Record in the Parliament Rols) that he, by vertue of a patent which he had wrested from the King, tooke upon him the Kings regall authoritie, that he came armed into the Kings presence, reviled him, consulted with lerned men about renouncing his allegiance, and devised to depose the King: for which being now dead he was by authority of Parliament attainted and condemned of high treason. When hee was thus dispatched, the same King conferred the title of Earle of Glocester upon Thomas Le De-Spenser in the right of his great Grand-mother: who within a while after sped no better than his great Grand-father Sir Hugh. For by King Henry the Fourth he was violently displaced, shamefully degraded, and at Bristow by the peoples fury beheaded. After some yeares King Henry the Fifth created his brother Humfrey the second Duke of Glocester, who stiled himselfe the first yeare of King Henry the Sixth, as I have seene in an Instrument of his, Humfrey by the grace of God sonne, brother, and uncle to Kings, Duke of Glocester, Earle of ‡Henault, Holland, Zealand and‡ Penbrooke, ‡Lord of Friesland, Great Chamberlaine of the Kingdome of England, Protector and Defender of the same Kingdoms and Church of England.‡ A man that had right well deserved of the common welth and of learning, but through the fraudulent practise and malignant envy of the Queene brought to his end at Saint Edmonds Bury. The third and last Duke was Richard brother to King Edward the Fourth, who afterwards, having most wickedly murdered his Nephews, usurped the Kingdome by the name of King Richard the Third, and after two yeares lost both it and his life in a pitched field, finding by experience that power gotten by wicked meanes is never long lasting.
18. Concerning this last Duke of Glocester and his first entrie to the Crowne, give me leave for a while to play the part of an Historiographer, which I will speedily give over againe as not well able to act it. When this Richard Duke of Glocester, being now proclaimed Protector of the Kingdom, had under his command his tender two nephewes, Edward the Fifth King of England and Richard Duke of Yorke, hee retriving [seeking] after the Kingdome for himselfe, by profuse liberalitie and bounty to very many, by passing great gravitie tempered with singular affabilitie, by deepe wisdome, by ministring justice indifferently, and by close devises, wonne wholly to him all mens harts, but the Lawyers especially to serve his turne. So shortly he effected that in the name of all the States of the Realme there should be exhibited unto him a supplication, wherein they most earnestly besought him, for the publike Weale of the Kingdome, to take upon him the Crowne, to uphold his Countrey and the common-weale now shrinking and downe falling, not to suffer it to runne headlong into utter desolation, by reason that both lawes of nature, and the authority of positive lawes, and the laudable customes and liberties of England, wherein every Englishman is an inheritor, were subverted and trampled under foote through civill wars, rapines, murthers, extortions, oppressions, and all sorts of miserie. But especially ever since that King Edward the Fourth his brother, bewitched by sorcerie and amorous potions, fell in fancie with Dame Elizabeth Greie widdow, whom he married without the assent of his Nobles, without solemne publication of Banes, secretly in a profane place and not in the face of the Church, contrary to the law of Gods-Church and commendable custome of the Church of England: and which was worse, having before time by a praecontract espoused Dame Aeleanor Butler, daughter to the old Earle of Shrewsburie, whereby most sure and certaine it was that the foresaid matrimonie was unlawfull and therewith the children of them begotten illegitimate, and so unable to inherite or claime the Crowne. Moreover, considering that George Duke of Clarence, the second brother of King Edward the Fourth, was by authoritie of Parliament convicted and attainted of high treason, thereupon his children disabled and debarred from all right succession, evident it was to every man that Richard himselfe remained the sole and undoubted heire to the Crowne. Of whom they assured themselves that, being borne in England, he would seriously provide for the good of England, neither could they make any doubt of his birth, parentage, and filiation; whose wisdome also, whose justice, princely courage, warlicke exploits most valiantly atcheived in the defense of the State, and whose roiall birth and bloud (as who was descended from the bloud roiall of the three most renowned Kingdomes of England, France, and Spaine) they knew assuredly. Wherefore having thoroughly weighted these and such like motives, they wilingly and with all hearty affection tendring the welfare of the land, by that their petition and one generall accord of them all elected him for their King, and with prayers and teares lying prostrate before him, humbly craved and besought his gratious favour to accept and take upon him the kingdomes of England, France, and Ireland, appertaining to him by right of inheritance, and now presented to him by their free and lawfull election; and so for verie pitty and naturall zeale to reach forth unto his Countrey, now forlorne, his helping hand, that after so great and grievous stormes the sunne of grace might shine upon them to the comfort of all true harted English men. This supplication being tendred privately to himselfe before that he entred upon the Kingdome, was presented also afterwards unto him in the publicke assembly of all the states of the Realme, and there allowed, and so by their authoritie enacted and published, with a number of words (as the maner is) heaped up together, that according to the law of God, the law of Nature, the lawes of England, and most laudable custome, Richard was and is by lawfull election, inauguration, and Coronation the undoubted King of England &c., and that the Kingdomes of England, France, and Ireland appertained rightfully to him and the heires of his body lawfully begotten. And to use the very words as they stand penned in the originall Record, By the authoritie of the Parliament it was pronounced, decreed and declared to all and singular the contents in the foresaid Bill were true and undoubted; and the Lord the King, with the assent of the three States of the Kingdom by the said authoritie pronounceth, decreeth, and declareth the same for true and undoubted. These things have I laid forth more at large out of the Parliament Rowle that yee may understand both what and how great matters the power of a Prince, the outward shew of vertue, the wily fetches of Lawyers, fawning hope, pensive feare, desire of change, and goodly pretenses are able to effect in that most wise assembly of all the States of a Kingdome, even against all law and right. But this Richard is not to be accounted worthy to have been a Soveraigne had he not bin a Soveraigne, as Galba was reputed, who when he was a Soveraigne deceaved all mens expectation, but most worthy indeed of Soveraignitie, had he not, being transported with ambition (which blasteth all good parts), by lewd practises mischeivous meanes made foule way thereto, for that, by the common consent of all that are wise, he was reckoned in the ranke of bad men but of good Princes. Now remembring myselfe to be a Chorographer, I will returne to my owne part, and leave these matters unto our Historiographers, when God shall send them.
In this Countie there are Parishes 280.
XFORD-SHIRE, in the Saxon tongue Oxenfordschyre, which, as we said, belonged also to the Dobuni, on the west side joyneth upon Glocestershire, on the south, which way it runneth out farthest in bredth, is dissevered from Barkshire by the river Isis or Tamis; Eastward it bordereth upon Buckinghamshire, and Northward, where it endeth pointed in manner of a cone or Pine apple, hath North-hamptonshire on one side and Warwickshire on the other side confining with it. It is a fertile country and plentifull, wherein the plaines are garnished with Corne-fieldes and meddowes, the hilles beset with woods, stored in very place not onely with corne and fruits, but also with all kinde of game for hound or hauke, and well watered with fishfull rivers. For Isis, or Ouse, which afterwards comes to be named Tamis, maketh a long course and runneth under the South side. Cherwell, also a prety river well stored with fish, after it hath for a time parted North-hampton shire and Oxfordshire, passeth gently with a still streame thorow the middest of the country and divideth it, as it were, into two parts. And Tamis with his waters comforteth and giveth hart to the East-part, untill both of them together with many other riverets and brookes running into them be lodged in Isis.
2.This Isis, when it hath passed a small part of Wilshire, no sooner is entred into Oxfordshire but, presently being kept in and restrained with Rodcot bridge, passeth by Bablac, where Sir Richard Vere that most puissant Earle of Oxford, Marquese of Dublin and Duke of Ireland, who as he stood in most high favour and authority with King Richard the Second, so he was as much envied of the Nobles, taught us (as one said) that no power is alwaies powerfull. Who being disconfited in a skirmish by the Nobles and constrained to take the river and swim over, found the Catastrophe of his fortune and subversion of his State. For immediately he fled his country and died distressed in exile. Of whom the Poet in his Mariage of Tame and Isis made these verses:
Heere Vere, well knowen by badge of savage Boore,
While man-hood shames to yeeld, yet strives againe
Stout hart may not, restrained by wisdomes lore.
Whiles shield resounds by doubled blowes a-maine,
And helmet rings about his eares, is faine
The streame to take. The river, glad therefore,
His guest tooke safe, and set him safe on shore.
3. Isis, from thence over flowing many times the flat and low grounds, is first encreased with the brooke Windrush, which springing out of Cottswold, hath standing upon the banke-side Burford, in the Saxon tongue Beorford, where Cuthred King of the West-Saxons at that time by curtesie of the Mercians, when he could endure no longer the most grievous exactions of Aethelbald the Mercian, who began to oppresse his people and sucke their bloud, came into the field against him and put him to flight, having won his Banner wherein, by report of authors, there was a golden dragon depainted. Then passeth it by Minster Lovell, the habitation in times past of the great Barons Lovels of Tichmerch, who, being descended from Lupellus a Noble man of Normandy, flourished for many ages, and augmented their estate by rich mariages with the daughters and heires of Tichmerch, with the heires of the Lords Holland, D’ Eyncourt, and the Viconts Beaumont. But their line expired in Frauncis Vicount Lovell, Lord Chamberlaine to King Richard the Third (attainted by King Henry the Seventh, and slaine in the battaile at Stoke in the quarrell of Lambert that counterfeit Prince), whose sister Fridiswid was Grandmother to Henry the first Lord Norris. Hence Windrush, holding on his course, watereth Whitney an ancient towne, and before the Normans daies belonging to the Bishops of Winchester: to which adjoineth Coges, the chiefe place of the Barony of Arsic, the lords whereof, branched out of the family of the Earles of Oxford, are utterly extinguished many yeeres agoe. Neere unto this, the Forrest of Witchwood beareth a great breadth and in time past spred farre wider. For King Richard the Third disforested the great territory of Witchwood betweene Woodstocke and Brightstow, which Edward the Fourth made to be a forrest, as John Rosse of Warwick witnesseth. Isis, having received Windrush, passeth downe to Einsham, in the Saxon tongue Eignesham, a Manour in times past of the Kings, seated among most pleasant Meadowes, which Cuthwulfe the Saxon was the first that tooke from the Britains, whom he had heereabout vanquished, and long after Aethelmar, a Noble man, beautified it with an Abby. The which Aethelred King of England in the yeere of salvation 1005 confirmed to the Benedictine Monkes, and in his confirmation signed the priviledge of the liberty thereof (I speake out of the very originall grant as it was written) with the signe of the sacred Crosse, but now is turned into a private dwelling house and acknowledgeth the Earle of Derby Lord thereof. Beneath this Evenlode, a litle river arising likewise out of Cotteswald, speedeth him into Isis, which riveret in the very border of the Shire passeth by an ancient monument standing not far from his banke, to wit, certaine huge stones placed in a round circle (the common people usually call them Rolle-rich stones, and dreameth that they were sometimes men, by a wonderfull Metamorphosis turned into hard stones). The draught of them, such as it is, portraied long since, heere I represent unto your view. For without all forme and shape they be, unaequal, and by long continuance of time much impaired. The highest of them all, which without the circle looketh into the earth, they use to call The King, because he should have beene King of England (forsooth) if he had once seene Long Compton, a little towne so called lying beneath, and which a man, if he go some few pases forward may see. Other five standing at the other side, touching as it were one another, they imagine to have beene Knights mounted on horsebacke, and the rest the army. But lo the foresaid portraiture.
4. These would I verily thinke to have beene the monument of some victorie, and haply erected by Rollo the Dane, who afterwards conquered Normandie. For what time as he with his Danes and Normans troubled England with depraedations, we read that the Danes joined battaile with the English thereby at Hoche Norton, and afterwards fought a second time at Scier stane in Huiccia, which also I would deeme to be that Mere-stone standing hard by for a land Marke and parting four shires, for so much doth that Saxon word Schier-stane most plainly import. ‡Certainly in an Exchequer booke the towne adjacent is called Rollen-drich, whereas it is there specified Tursdan le Dispenser held land by serjeanty of the Kings dispensarie, that is, to be the Kings Steward.‡ As for that Hoch-Norton which I spake of before, for the rusticall behaviour of the inhabitants in the age afore going it grew to be a proverbe, when folke would say of one rudely demeaning himselfe and unmanerly after an Hoggish kind, that he was borne at Hocknorton. This place [words omitted]; for no one thing was more famous in old time than for the wofull slaughter of the English men in a foughten field against the Danes under the reigne of King Edward the Elder. Afterwards it became the seat of the Baronie of the d’ Oilies, an honorable and ancient familie of the Norman race, of whom the first that came into England was Robert D’ Oily, who for his good and valiant service received of William Conquerour this towne and many faire possessions, whereof hee gave certaine to his sworne brother Roger Iverie, which were called the Baronie of Saint Valerie. But when the said Robert departed this life without issue male, his brother Niele succeeded him therein, whose sonne Robert the second was founder of Osney Abbay. But at length the daughter and heire generall of this house D’ Oyly was married to Henrie Earle of Warwick, and she bare unto him Thomas Earle of Warwicke, who died without issue in the reigne of Henry the Third; also Margaret, who deceased likewise without children, albeit she had two husbands, John Marescall and John de Plessetis, both of them Earles of Warwicke. But then (that I may speake the very words of the Charter of the Graunt) King Henry the Third graunted Hoch-Norton and Cutlington unto John de Plessetis, which were in times past he possessions of Henrie D’ Oily, and which after the decease of Margaret, wife sometime to the foresaid John Earle of Warwick, fell into the Kings hands as an Eschaet of Normans lands, to have and to hold untill the lands of England and Normandie were common. Howbeit out of this ancient and famous stocke there remaineth at this day a familie of D’ Oilyes in this shire.
5. Evenlode passeth by no memorable thing else but La Bruere, now Bruern, sometime an Abbay of white Monkes; after hee hath runne a good long course taketh to him a brooke, neere unto which standeth Woodstocke, in the English Saxon language Wudestoc, that is, a woody place, where King Etheldred in times past held an assembly of the states of the Kingdome <and> enacted lawes. And heere is one of the Kings houses full of State and magnificence, built by King Henrie the First, who adjoined also thereunto a very large part compassed round about with a stone wall, which John Rosse writeth to have beene the first parke in England, although we read once or twise even in Doomesday booke these words, parcus sylvestris bestiarum on other places. ‡In which sense old Varro used the word parcus, which some thinke to be but a new word.‡ But since that Parkes are growen to such a number that there be more of them in England than are to be found in all Christendome beside, so much were our ancestors ravished with an extraordinarie delight of hunting. Our Historians report that King Henrie the Second, being enamoured upon Rosamund Clifford, a Damosell so faire, so comely and well favoured without comparison, that her beautie did put all other women out of the Princes minde, in so much as now she was termed rosa mundi, that is The Rose of the world; and for to hide her out of the sight of his Jealous Juno the Queene, he built a Labyrinth in this house, with many inexplicable windings backward and forward. Which notwithstanding is no where to be seene at this day. The towne it selfe, having nothing in it at all to shew, glorieth yet in this, that Geffrey Chaucer our English Homer was there bred and brought up. Of whom and our English Poets I may truly avouch that which that learned Italian said of Homer and the Greeke Poets,
This is the man whose sacred streame hath served all the crew
Of Poets. Thence they dranke their fill, thence they their furies drew.
For hee, surpassing all others without question in wit, and leaving our smattering Poetasters by many degrees behind him,
When once himselfe the steepe hill top had woone,
At all the sort of them he laught anone
To see how they, the pitch thereof to gaine,
Puffing and blowing doe clamber up in vaine.
6. Isis, having now entertained Evenlode, divideth his chanell, and severing it selfe, maketh many and those most delectable Ilands, neere which stood Godstow, a little Nunnerie which Dame Ida a rich widow built, and King John both repaired and also endowed with yeerely revenews that these holy Virgins might relieve with their praier (for by this time had that perswasion possessed all mens minds) the soules of King Henrie the Second his father and of Rosamund. For there was she buried with this Epitaph in Rhyme:
Rose of the world, not rose the fresh pure floure,
Within this tombe hath taken up her boure.
She senteth now, and nothing sweet doth smell,
Which earst was wont to savour passing well.
‡We read that Hugh the Bishop of Lincolne, Diocesan of this place, comming hither caused her bones to be removed out of the Church as unworthy of Christian buriall for her unchast life. Neverthelesse the holy sisters there translated them againe into the Church and layed them up in a perfumed leather bagge enclossed in lead, as was found in her tombe at the dissolution of the house, and they erected a crosse there whereby the passengers were put in minde with two riming verses to serve God and pray for her. But I remember them not.‡ Neither doth the Owse or Isis as yet gather himselfe into one streame when hee meeteth with Cherwell, which out of Northamptonshire runneth almost through the mids of this Countrie. This river first watereth Banburie, sometimes Banesbyrig, a faire large town at which Kenrick the West Saxon King in old time put to flight the Britans in a memorable battaile, fighting manfully for their lives, state, and all they had, and in this later foregoing age not farre off Richard Nevill Earle of Warwicke, siding with the house of Lancaster, gave such an overthrowe to those of Yorke that forthwith also he tooke King Edward the Fourth, now forlorne and hopelesse. Now the fame of this towne is for zeale, cheese and cakes, and hath a Castle for shew, which Alexander Bishop of Lincolne (for to the Sea of Lincolne it belongeth) first built, who having a minde to dwell stately rather than quietly, brought upon himselfe many adversities by his huge buildings. About this towne (that I may observe so much by the way) peeces of the Romane Emperours coine found (as also else where in the field neere adjoining) make somewhat to prove the antiquitie of the place.
7. ‡Neere to Banburie is Hanwell, where the familie of Cope hath flourished many yeeres in great and good esteeme.‡ And neere it againe is Broughton, the habitation of Sir Richard Fienes or Fenis, unto whom and to the heires of his bodie the most mighty Prince King James, in the first yeere of his reigne, Recognized and confirmed the name, stile, title, degree, dignitie and honour of the Baron Say and Sele, ‡as who lineally descended from Sir James Fienes Baron Say and Sele and Lord high Treasurer of England, who was cruelly beheaded by a rable of rebelles in the time of King Henry the Sixt.‡ Cherwel, carrying his streame along from Banbury, seeth nothing but pleasant fields passing well husbanded, and as plentifull medowes. ‡Amongst which stand Heiford Warin, <which> so denominated Warren Fitz-Gerold Lord thereof, Heyford Purcell likewise so named of the Purcels or de Porcellis, ancient gentlemen the old owners, Blechindon, an ancient possession of the ancient familie le Pover, and‡ Islip, in elder time Ghistlipe, the natall place of that King Edward whom for his religious pietie and continencie our ancestours and the Popes vouchsafed the name of Saint Edward the Confessor, as he himselfe witnesseth in the originall Charter whereby he granted this place to the Church of Westminster.
8. Here there runneth a riveret from the East in to Cherwell, which passeth by Burcester, in the English Saxons tongue Burenceaster and Bernacester, a little towne carrying an ancient name, but wherein I have observed no matter of antiquity, save that Gilbert Basset and Elegina Courteney his wife built heere a religious house in honour of Saint Eadburga in the time of King Henrie the Second, and that not long since the Barons Le Strange of Knocking were Lords of the place. But Westward there lie some few remaines of a decaied and forlorne ancient station, Alchester they call it, happily as one would say Aldchester, that is, An old towne, by which a port way from Wallengford, as the neighbour inhabitants thinke, led to Bambury, and the same they called Akemanstreet Way, the tract whereof for certaine miles together is most plainely to be seene in the plaine of Otmore, which oftentimes is strangely overspread with winter waters. Cherwell, thus increased, passeth Southward neare to Hedindon, which King John gave to Sir Thomas Basset for his Barony.
9. But where Cherwell is confluent with Isis, and pleasant Eights or Islets lye dispersed by the sundry disseverings of waters, there the most famous Universitie of Oxford, called in the English-Saxon tongue Oxenford, sheweth it selfe aloft in a champion plaine. Oxford I saw, our most noble Athens, the Muses seate, and one of Englands staies, nay, The Sun, The Eye, and the Soule thereof, the very Source and most cleere spring of good literature and wisdome. From whence religion, civility and learning are spred most plenteouslie into all parts of the Realme. A faire and goodlie Citie, whether a man respect the seemely beauty of private houses or the statelie magnificence of publicke buildings, together with the wholesome site or pleasant prospect thereof. For the hils beset with woods doe so environ the plaine that as on the one side they exclude the pestilent Southwinde and the tempestuous West winde on the other, so that they let in the cleering Eastern winde onely, and the Northeast winde with all, which <is> free from all corruption. Whence it came to passe that of this situation it was, as writers record, in ancient times called Bellositum. Some are of opinion that it hath beene named Caer Vortigern and Caer Vember in the British language, and that I wot now what Vortigerns and Memprices built it. But what ever it was in the Britans time, the English Saxons called it Oxenford, and altogether in the same signification that the Grecians terme their Bosphori and the Germans their Ochen-furt upon Odera, to wit, of the fourd of Oxen, in which sense it is named of our Britans in Wales at this daie Rhyd-ychen. And yet Leland, grounding upon a probable conjecture, deriveth the name from the river Ouse, called in Latin Isis, and supposeth that it hath beene named Ousford, considering that the Eights or Islands which Isis scattereth hereabout be called Ousney.
10. Sage antiquity, as wee reade in our Chronicles, consecrated this City even in the British age unto the Muses, whom from Greek-lad (which is a small towne at this daie in Wiltshire) they translated hither as unto a more fruitfull plant-plot. For thus writeth Alexander Necham, The skill of civill law Italie challengeth to it selfe, but heavenly writ or holy scripture, the liberall sciences also doe proove that the City of Paris is to bee preferred before all others. Moreover, according to the Prophesie of Merline wisdome and learning flourished at Oxford, which in due time was to passe over into the parts of Ireland. But when during the English Saxons age next ensuing there was nothing but continuall wasting and rasing of townes, according to the sway and current of those daies it susteined in part the common calamity of that time, and for a great while was frequented onlie for the reliques of Frideswide, who for the chastity and integrity of her life was canonized a Saint, upon this occasion especially, for that by a solemne vow shee had wholy devoted her selfe unto the service of God, and Prince Algar, whiles hee came a-wooing unto her, was miraculously, as writers say, stricken blinde. This Fredeswide (as wee reade in William of Malmesburie), triumphing for her virginity, erected heere a Monasterie, into which when certaine Danes adjudged to die in King Etheldreds time fledde for refuge as to a sanctuarie, they were all burned with the buildings (such was the unsatiable anger of the Englishmen against them). But soone after, when the King repented this act, the sanctuary was clensed, the monasterie reedified, the old lands restored, new possessions added, and at length the place was given by Roger Bishop of Sallisburie unto a Chanon excellently well learned, who there presented unto God many such Chanons who should live regularlie in their order. But leaving these matters, let us returne unto the Universitie. When the tempestuous Danish stormes were meetelie well blowne over, Aelfred that most devout and Godly king recalled the long banished Muses unto their owne sacred Chancelles and built three Colledges: one for Grammarians, a second for Philosophers, and a third for Divines. But this you may more plainely understand out of these words in old Annales of the new Abbey of Winchester. In the yeare of Christs incarnation 806, and in the second yeare of Saint Grimbald his comming into England, was the Universitie of Oxford begunne. The First Regents in the same and readers in the Divinitie schoole were Saint Neoth an Abbat, and besides a worthie teacher in Divinitie, and holie Grymbald, a right excellent professor of the most sweete written word of holie scripture. But in Grammer and Rhetoricke the regent was Asserius a Monke, in the skill of Literature passing well learned. In Logicke, Musicke and Arithmeticke, the Reader was John, a Monke of the Church of Saint Davids. In Geometrie and Astronomie reade John, a Monke also and companion of Saint Grimbald, a man of a passing quicke witte and right learned every way, at which Lectures was present that most glorious and invincible King Aelfred, whose memoriall in every mans mouth shalbe as sweet as hony. But presently after, as wee reade in a verie good manuscript copie of the said Asserius, who at the same time professed learning heere, There arose a most daungerous and pernicious dissention at Oxford betweene Grimbald and these great clerkes whome hee brought thither with him on the one side, and those olde schoolemen whom hee there found on the other side, who upon his comming refused altogether to embrace the rules, orders and formes of reading praescribed and begunne by him. For three yeares space the variance and discord betweene them was not great, howbeit there lurked a secret hatred fostered and festered among them, which brake out afterwards in most grievous and bitter manner, and was most evident. For the appeasing wherof, that most invincible King Aelfred, beeing by a message and complaint from Grimbald certified of that discord, went to Oxford to determine and end this controversie. where also himselfe in person tooke exceeding great paines in giving audience to the quarells and complaints of both sides. Now the maine substance of all the contention stood upon this point. Those old schoolemen hotely avouched that before Grimbalds comming to Oxford, learning generallie flourished there, although the schollers and students were fewer then in number than in former times by reason that the most of them through the crueltie and tyrannie of Painims were expelled. Moreover, they proved and declared, and that by the undoubted testimonie of old Chronicles, that the orders and ordinances of that place were made and established by certaine Godlie and learned men, as namelie Gildas of holie memorie, Melkin, Ninnius, Kentigern and others, who all of them studied and followed their bookes there untill they were aged persons, managing and governing all things there in happy peace and concord. Also that Saint German came to Oxford and abode there halfe a yeare, what time as hee travailed through Britaine with a purpose to preach against the Pelagian haeresies: who wonderous well allowed of their forme, orders and ordinances. This Noble King with incredible and unexampled humility heard both partes most diligentlie, exhorting them in earnest wise (enterlacing godly and wholsome admonitions) to keepe mutuall societie and concord one with another. And so the King departed with this minde, hoping they would all of both sides obey his counsell and embrace his orders. But Grymbald, taking this unkindlie and to the heart, forthwith went his waies to Winchester Abbay newlie founded by Aelfred. Shortlie after hee caused his owne toumbe to bee translated to Winchester, wherein hee purposed, after hee had runne his race in his life, that his bone should bee bestowed in an arched vault made under the chancell of Saint Peters Church in Oxford. Which Church verily the same Grymbald had built from the verie foundation out of the ground with stone most curiouslie wrought and polished.
11. Within some yeares after this new revived faelicitie, there ensued diverse disturbances from the Danes, and afterward followed one or two calamities. For the Danes, in the reigne of Etheldred, by way of robbery made foule worke and havock there, and streight after Harald surnamed Light Foote raged against it with such barbarous cruelty for that some of his followers were slaine there in a fray, that there followed thereupon a most heavie banishment of the students, and the University (a sorrowfull spectacle) lay, as it were, halfe dead and past all recovery untill the daies of King William the Conquerour. Whom some write falsly to have wonne it by assault, but Oxonia written amisse in the Copies for Exonia, that is, Excester, deceived them. And that it was at that time a place of studies and students may bee understood out of these words of Ingulph, who in that age flourished. I, Ingulph (saith hee), beeing first placed in Westminster, and afterwards sent to the studie of Oxford, when as in learning of Aristotle I have profited above my fellowes of the same time &c. For those schooles of learning which wee call Academies or Universities, that age termed Studia, that is, Studies, As I will shew anon. But at this verie time it was so empoverished that, whereas within the wall and without (I speake out of Wiliam the Conquerour his Domesday booke) there were about seaven hundred and fifty houses, besides foure and twenty mansions upon the wals, five hundred of them were not able to pay their subsidie or imposition. And to use the verie words of that booke, This City paide pro theoloneo et gablo [as toll and tribute], and for other custome, by the yeare to the King twentie pounds and sixe quarts of honie: and to Earle Algar tenne pounds. About this time Robert D’ Oily a Noble man of Normandie (of whom I have before spoken), when hee had received at the hands of William the Conquerour in reward of his service in the warres large possessions in this shire, built a spatious castle in the West side of the City with deepe ditches, rampiers, and an high raised mount, and therein a parish Church to Saint George, unto which when as the parishioners could not have accesse by reason that King Stephen most streightly besieged Maude the Empresse within this castle, Saint Thomas Chapell in the streete hard by was built. Hee also, as it is thought, fortified the whole City with new walles, which by little and little time doth force and, as it were, embreach with his assault. Robert likewise, Nephew unto him by his brother Neale and Chamberlaine to King Henrie the First, founded Ousney or Osney, a most stately Abbay, as the ruines doe yet shew, amidest the divided waters, not farre from the castle, perswaded thereto by Edith his wife (the daughter of Forne), who before time had beene one of King Henrie the First his sweethearts and lig-bies [mistresses].
12. About those times, as wee read in the Chronicle of the said Osney Abbay, Robert Pulein beganne to read in Oxford the holy scriptures, in England now growne out of request. Who afterwards, when as by his Doctrine the English and Frenchmen both had much profited, was called by Pope Lucius the Second and promoted to bee Chancellour of the Church of Rome. To the same effect also writeth John Rosse of Warwick. By the procurement of King Henrie the First, the Divinity lecture which had discontinued a long time in Oxford beganne againe to flourish, and there hee built a Pallace, which King Edward the Second at length converted into a Convent of Carmelits. But long before this time in this Palace was borne into the world that Lion-harted knight, Richard the First King of England commonly called coeur de Lion, a Prince of a most hautie minde and full of resolution, borne for the weale of Christendom, the honour of England, and the terrour of Infidels. Upon whose death a Poet in that age of no meane conceit versified thus, ‡for that his remaines were interred in diverse places‡:
Thy Bowels keeps Carceolum, thy corps Font Everard,
And Roan thy valiant Lions heart, O noble great Richard.
Thus one threefold divided is, for more he was then one,
And for that one, so great he was, such glory is in none.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Here li’ st thou, Richard, but if death to force of armes could yeeld,
For feare of thee he would to thee have given as lost the field.
13. Thus after the City was refreshed againe with these buildings, many beganne to flock hither as it were to a mart of learning and vertue, and by the industrious means especially of that Robert Pulein, a man borne to promote the common wealth of learning, who refused no paines, but laboured al that he could to set open again those well springs of good literature which had beene stopped up, through the favour especially of King Henry the First, King Henry the Second, and King Richard his sonne, of whom I spake ere while. And these endevours of Pulein sped so well and tooke so good effect that in the reigne of King John there were here three thousand Students, who all at once every one changed their habitation to Reding and partly to Cambridge, because the Citizens seemed to wrong and abuse over-much these students and professours of learning; but after this tumult was appeased they returned within a short time. Then and in the age presently ensuing, as God provided this City for good learning, so hee raised up a number of verie good Princes and Prelats to the good thereof, who for the adorning and maintenance of learning extended their liberality in the highest degree. For when King Henry the Third had by way of pilgrimage visited Saint Frideswide (a thing before time thought to be a hainous offense in a Prince for the dishonour offered to her by Algar, a Prince), and remooved that superstitious feare wherewith some superstitious priests had for a time frighted Princes from once comming to Oxford, and had assembled here a verie great Parliament for the composing of certaine controversies betweene him and the Barons, hee confirmed the priviledges granted by the former kings, and conferred also some other himselfe. So that by this time there was so great store of learned men that diverse most skilfull in Divinity as well as in Humanitie were in great numbers spread from thence both into the Church and Commonwealth, and Mathew Paris in plaine termes called the Universitie of Oxford The Second schoole of the Church, nay, rather a Ground-worke of the Church, next after Paris. For with that name of Universitie the Bishoppes of Rome had before time honoured Oxford, which title at that time by their decrees they vouchsafed to none but unto that of Paris, this of Oxford, unto Bononia [Bologna] in Italie and Salomanca in Spaine. And in the Councell of Vienna it was ordained that there should bee erected schooles for the Hebrew, Greeke, Arabick and Chaldaean tongues, in the Studies of Paris, Oxford, Bononie and Salamanca, as the most famous of all others, to the end that the knowledge of those tongues might by effectuall instruction bee thoroughly learned. And that Catholick men having sufficient knowledge in those tongues should bee chosen, twaine skilfull in every of those tongues. For those who were to be professours in Oxford the same Councell ordeined that the Prelats of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, the Monasteries also, the Chapters, the Convents, the Colledges exempt and not exempt, and Persons of Churches should provide competent stipends. Out of these words may be observed both that Oxford was the chiefe place of studies in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and also that those Schooles which we now adaies doe call Academies and Universities were aptly in old time named Studies, as S. Hierom tearmed the Schooles of Gaul studia florentissima, that is, most flourishing Studies. And as for the name of University, it was taken up about the time of King Henry the Third for a Publick schoole, and if I be not deceived in mine owne observations, it was then in use not for the place but for the very body and society of Students, ‡as we read in bookes of that age universitas magistorum Oxoniae, universitas magistrorum Cantabrigiae, that is, The Universitie of Maisters of Oxford &c.‡ But happilie this may seeme beside my text.
14. Now by this time good and bountifull Patrons began to furnish the City within and the Suburbs without with most stately Colledges, Hauls and Schooles, and to endow them also with large revenewes, for the greatest part of the Universitie was before time in the suburbs without the North-gate. In the reigne of King Henry the Third, John Balliol of Barnards Castle in the Bishopricke of Durham, who died in the yeare 1269, the father of Balliol King of Scots, founded Balliol Colledge and so named it, and streight after Walter Merton Bishop of Rochester translated the College which he had built in Surrey to Oxford in the yeere 1274, enriched it with lands and possessions, naming it The House of Scholers of Merton, but now it is called Merton Colledge. And these two were the first endowed Colledges for Students in Christendome. William Archdeacon of Durrham repaired and enlarged with new building the worke of King Aelfred, which now they call Universitie College. At which time the Students, for that they entertained somewhat coursely Otton the Popes Legate, or horsleach rather, sent out to sucke the English Clergies bloud, were excommunicat and with all indignities shamefully handled. And in those daies, as Armachanus writeth, there were counted heere thirty thousand Students. Under King Edward the second, Walter Stapledon Bishop of Exceter founded Exceter Colledge and Hart Hall, and the King himselfe in imitation of him built the Colledge commonly called Oriell, and V. Mary Haull. At which time a convert Jew read an Hebrew lecture heere, unto whom for a stipend every one of the Clergy of Oxford for every marke of his ecclesiasticall living contributed a penny. Afterward Queene Philip wife to King Edward the Third built Queenes Colledge, and Simon Islip, Archbishop of Canterbury, Canterbury Colledge. The students then, having the world at will and all things falling out to their hearts desire, became insolent, and being devided into factions under the name of Northren and Southren men, strucke up the Alarum to intestine and unreasonable tumults among themselves, Whereupon the Northren faction went their waies to Stanford and began there to set up schooles. But some few yeares after, when Gods favour shining more lightsomly had scattered away the clouds of contention, they returned from Stanford, recalled by Proclamation directed to the High-shiriffe of Lincolnshire, upon penalty to forfeit their bookes and the Kings displeasure. And then it was ordeined that no Oxford man should professe at Stanford to any prejudice or hinderance of Oxford. Shortly after, William Wickham Bishop of Winchester founded a magnificent Colledge, which they call New-Colledge, into which out of another Colledge of his at Winchester the best wits are yeerely transplanted. ‡And hee about the same time by the tract of the Citty wall built a faire high wall embatled and turrited.‡ Also Richard Angervill Bishop of Durham, surnamed Philobiblios, that is, Love booke, furnished a Library for the publike use of Students. His Successour Thomas Hatfield laied the foundation of Durham Colledge for Durrham Monkes, and Richard Fleming Bishop of Lincolne founded likewise Lincolne Colledge. Also at the same time the Monkes of the order of Saint Bennet, by a Chapter held among them, laide their monies together and encreased Glocester Hall, ‡built before by John Lord Gifford of Brimsfield for Monkes of Glocester,‡ wherein one or two Monkes out of every Convent of Benedictine Monkes were maintained at study, who afterwards should professe good letters in their Abbaies, ‡unto which Glocester Hal, Nicholas Wadham of Merifeld in the country of Somerset hath assigned a faire portion of lands and mony for the propagation of religion and learning, which I note incidentally by way of congratulation to our age, that there are yet some who graciously respect the advancement of good learning.‡ About that time, ‡not to speake of the Chanons of Saint Frideswide and Osney, or the Cistertian Monkes of Reilew, there were erected fower faire Frieries‡ and other religious houses, where flourished also many profound learned men. In the age ensuing, when Henry the Fifth reigned, Henry Chicheley Archbishop of Canterbury built two and those very faire Colledges, the one dedicated to the memory of All Soules, and the other to Saint Bernard. And there passed not many yeeres betweene, when William Wainflet Bishop of Winchester founded Mary Magdalen College, for building rare and excellent, for site commodious, and for walkes passing pleasant. And at the very same time was built the Divinity Schoole, so fine a peece of elegant worke that this of Xeuxis may justly be ingraven upon it, invisurum facilius aliquem quam imitaturum, that is, Sooner will one envy me than set such another by me. And Humfrey that good Duke of Glocester, a singular Patron and a respective lover of lerning, encreased the Library over it with an hundred and twenty nine most select Manuscript bookes, which at his great charges the procured out of Italy. But which was the private avarice of some in the giddy time of King Edward the Sixt, that they for small gaine envied the use thereof to posterity. Yet now againe (God blesse and prosper it) Sir Thomas Bodley, a right worshipfull Knight and a most worthy Nource-sonne of this University, furnisheth richly in the same place a new Library with the best bookes of exquisite choise from all parts, with great charges and studious care never sufficiently commended. Whereby the University may once againe have a publike Store-house of knowledge and learning, and himselfe deserveth the glory that may flourish freshly in the memory of all eternity. And whereas by an ancient custome of the wisest of men, those were wont to be dedicated within such Libraries in gold, silver, or brasse, by whose care they were erected, and whose immortall soules in them doe speake, to the end that time might not have power and prevaile against men of worth, and the desires of mortall men might be satisfied who doe all long to know what their persons and presence were, the Earle of Dorset, late Chancellor of this University (that hee might also leave some memoriall of himselfe), hath in the very place dedicated unto Sir Thomas Bodley, so passing well deserving of the learned Common-wealth, his representation with this inscription:
THOMAS SACKVILLVS DORESETTIAE COM-
MES, SVMMVS ANGLIAE THESAVRARI-
VS, ET HVIVS ACADEMIAE CANCEL-
THOMAE BODLEIO EQVITI AVRA-
TO, QVI BIBLIOTEHCAM HANC
INSTITVUIT, HONORIS CAVSSA PIE
THOMAS SACKVIL EARE OF SORSET, LORD
HIGH TREASURER OF ENGLAND AND CHANCELOR
OF THIS UNIVERSITIE,
UNTO SIR THOMAS BODLEY KNIGHT, WHO INSTITUTED
THIS LIBRARIE, OF A PIOUS MIND ERECTED THIS MONU-
MENT TO DOE HIM HONOUR
15. In the reigne of Henrie the Seventh, for the better advancement of learning, William Smith Bishop of Lincolne built new out of the ground Brasen Nose College (which the good and godly old man Master Alexander Nowell Deane of Saint Pawles in London lately augmented with revenewes), and Richard Fox Bishop of Winchester erected likewise that which is named Corpus Christi College. And Thomas Wolsey Cardinall of Yorke following their example, beganne another (where the Monasterie of Frideswide stood), the most stately and fairest of them all, for Professors and 200 Students, which Henrie the Eighth, joining unto it Canterburie College, assigned to a Deane, Praebends and Students, endowing it with livings, and named it Christs-Church. And the same most puissant Prince, with money disbursed out of his owne treasury, ordained both for the dignitie of the Citie a Bishop, and for the ornament and advauncement of the Universitie publicke Professours. Likewise within our remembrance, for the furtherance of learning with new and fresh benefits, Sir Thomas Pope, Knight, reared anew Durrham College, and Sir Thomas White, Night, Citizen and Alderman of London, raised Bernard College, both which lay buried in the rubbish. They reedified them, repaired them with new buildings, enriched them with faire lands, and gave them new names. For the one of them they dedicated to Saint John Baptist, and that other to the holy and sacred Trinitie. Queene Marie also built the common schooles, And now of late Hugh Prise Doctor of the Lawes hath begunne a new College (with good speede and happy successe, as I wish) to the honour of Jesus. With these Colleges, which are in number 16 (and eight Haulls besides), all faire and decently built, richly endowed and furnished with good libraries, Oxford at this day so flourisheth that it farre surmounteth all other Universities of Christendome. And for Living Libraries (for so may I well and truly with Eunapius terme great Scholers and learned men), for the discipline and teaching of the the best arts, and for the politicke government of this their republicke of Literature, it may give place to none. But to what end is all this? Oxford needeth no mans commendation: the excellencie thereof doth so much exceede and (if I may use Plinies word) superfluit, that is, surmounteth. Let this suffice to say of Oxford, as Pomponius Mela did of Athens, clarior est quam indicari egeat, that is, more glorious it is of it selfe than that it needeth to be out shewed. But have heere for an upshot and farewell the beginning of Oxford storie out of the Proctors booke. By the joint testimonie of most Chronicles, many places in divers coasts and climats of the world we read to have flourished at sundry times in the studies of divers sciences. But the University of Oxford is found to be the foundation more antient, for the plurality of sciences more generall, in profession of the Catholike truth more constant, and in multiplicity of priviledges more excellent, than all other Schooles that are knowen among the Latines. The Mathematicians of this Universitie have observed that this their Citie is from the Fortunate Ilands 22 degrees, and the Arcticke or Northpole elevated 51 degrees and 50 scruples high. And thus much briefely of my deare nourse-mother Oxford.
16. But when a little beneath Oxford Isis and Cherwell have consociated their waters together within one channell, Isis, then entier of himselfe and with a swifter current, runneth Southward to find Tame whom so long he had sought for. And gone he is not forward many miles, but behold Tame streaming out of Buckinghamshire meeteth with him, who is no sooner entred into this shire but hee giveth name to Tame, a mercate towne situate very pleasantly among the rivers. For Tame passeth hard by the Northside, and two riverets shedding themselves into it compasse the same, the one on the East, and the other on the West. Alexander, that liberall bishop of Lincolne, Lord of the place, when his prodigall humour in sumptuous building of Castles was of everybody privily misliked, to wash out the staine (as Newbrigensis saith) built a little Abbay neere unto the towne, and many yeeres after the Quatremans, who in the age foregoing were men of great reputation in these parts, founded an Hospitall for the sustentation of poore people. But both of these are now decaied and quite gone, and in steede thereof Sir John Williams, Knight, whom Queene Marie advanced to the dignitie of a Baron by the title of Lord William of Tame, erected a very faire Schoole and a small Hospitall. ‡But this title soone determined [ended] when he left but daughters married into the families of Norris and Wenman.‡
17. From hence Tame runneth downe neare unto Ricot, a goodly house which in times past belonged to those Quatremans, whose stocke failing to bring forth Males, it was devolved at length after many sailes and alienations passed by the Foulers and Herons unto the said Lord Williams, and so by his daughter fell to Sir Henrie Lord Norris, whom Queene Elizabeth made Baron Norris of Ricot, a man of good marke in regard of his noble birth and parentage, for he descended from the Lovells, who were neere allied by kinred unto the greatest houses in England, but most renowned for that right valiant and warlike progenie of his, as the Netherlands, Portugall, little Bretagne, and Ireland can witnesse. At the length Tame, ‡by Haseley, where sometimes the name of Barentines flourished, as at Cholgrave,‡ commeth to Dorchester, by Bede termed Civitas Dorcinia, by Leland Hydropolis, a name devised by his owne conceit, yet fit enough, considering that dour in the British tongue signifieth water. That this towne was in old time inhabited by Romanes, their coined peeces of money oftentimes turned up doe imply, and our Chronicles record that it was for a long time much frequented by reason of a Bishops See, which Birinus the Apostle of the West-Saxons appointed to be there. For when he had baptised Cinigilse, a petie King of the West-Saxons, unto whom Oswald King of Northumberland was Godfather, both these Kings, as saith Bede, gave this Citie unto the same Bishop to make therein his Episcopal residencie. This Birinus, as we may read also in Bede, was wonderfully in those daies admired for a deepe conceived opinion of his holinesse, whereupon an ancient Poet who penned his life in verse wrote thus of him:
More worthy for to be extold than Hercules for might,
Or that great King of Macedon who Alexander hight:
For Hercules subdued his foes, and Alexander he
Wonne all the world by force of armes. But our Birinus, see,
Did vanquish both, nor conquerd he onely the world and so,
But in one fight subdu’ d himselfe, and was subdued also.
18. After 460 yeeres, Remigus Bishop of this place, least the name of Bishop should loose credit in so small a city (a thing forbidden in the Canons), in the reigne of William the First translated his seat to Lincolne. At which time this city of Dorchester (as Malmesbury saith, who then flourished) De gestis pontificum Anglorum was but slender and of small resort, yet the majesty of the Churches was great, whether you respected either the old building or the new diligence and care emploied thereupon. Ever since it began by little and little to decay, and of late by turning London high way from hence, it hath decreased so as that of a citie it is scarse able now to maintaine the name of a towne, and all that it is able to doe is to shew in the fields adjoyning ruines onely and rubbish, as expresse tokens of what bignesse it hath beene. A little beneath this towne Tame and Isis, meeting in one streame, become hand-fast (as it were) and joyned in Wedlocke, and as in waters, so in name they are coupled, as Jor and Dan in the Holy Land, Dor and Don, in France, whence come Jordan and Dordan. For ever after this the river by a compound word is called Tamisis, that is, Tamis. Hee seemeth first to have observed this who wrot the book entituled Eulogium Historiarum. Now as touching this marriage of Isis which you may read or leave unread at your pleasure:
Heere Zephyrus with fresh greene grasse
The Banks above doth spread,
Faire Flora with ay-living herbs
Adorneth Isis head.
Most lovely Grace selected forth
Sweet floures that never dy,
And gladsome Concord plats therof
Two gurlands skilfully.
With all God Hymenaeus lifts
His torches up in hie.
A Bride-chamber the Naiades
Beneath of rare device
And bed do reare, ywov’ n with warp
Beset with stones of price,
All shining eke with pillers tall,
And wrought most curiously.
The like did neither Lydie for
King Pelops aedify,
Nor thou, Queene Cleopatra, for
Thine husband Anthony.
There lay they foorth, and make no spare,
Those spoiles that whilom Brut
From Achives tooke, what riches great
From Graecians Brennus stout,
And from fierce Irish Gurmund wonn,
What either Bundwic Queene
From Romans gat, or Arthur from
Our English; there are seene
What ever from the Scots by force
Of fight our Edward King,
Or valiant English from the French
By armes away did bring.
Meane while, down Catechlanian hils
Tame, gliding, kindled had
The fire of love in hope of Ise,
Her husband wondrous glad.
Impatient now of all delay
She hastneth him to wed,
And thinks the daies be long untill
The meet in marriag-bed.
Untill, I say, ambitious she
May now before her love
Her owne name set: see whereunto
Ambition minds doth move!
And now by this shee leav’ s the town
That known is by her name.
“All haile, fare well” redoubling to
The Norrises by the same.
Old Dorchester at length she sees
Which was to give presage,
And lucky Augury of this
Long wished marriage.
Up riseth Tame then, who knows
Her locks with eares of corn
Ful well to knit, with kirtle green
Her wast eke to adorn.
The lightsom raies of morning bright
She now doth far excell,
Dione faire in countenance
Looks not by halfe so well.
Her lips the Pestane Rose surpasse,
Her necke the hoary frost.
And as shee runnes, her haire all wet
She doth behind her cast,
Which waving thus she kembeth slick,
And layeth even at last.
Lo, Isis sodainly out of
The waves so mild doth shew,
His lovely face, his eyes withall
Glitter with golden hew,
As they from dropping visage send
Their beames the fields throughout,
Whiles one anothers neck with armes
Displai’ ed they clip about.
Full sweetly he doth Tama kisse,
Whom he hath wish’ d so long.
A thousand kisses twixt them twain
Do now resound among.
With clasping close their armes wax pale,
Their lips their harts link fast.
To nuptiall chamber thus they both
Joinctly descend at last,
Where Concord with religious Faith
Together both ymet,
Knit up the knot of wedlock sure,
With words in forme yset.
And now the pipes of thyrled box
On every side resound.
The water Nymphes, the Dryades,
The wanton Satyrs round
About the place disport and dance
The measures cunningly,
Whiles on the grasse they foote it fine,
In rounds as merily.
The Birds heerewith in every wood
Melidiously doe sing,
And Echo her redoubled notes
In myrth strives foorth to ring.
All things now laugh, the fields rejoice,
The Cupids as they fly
Amid the aire on bridled birds
Clap hands right pleasantly.
Britona, hand-fast-maker shee,
All clad in Laurell green,
Plays on the harp what ever acts
Our auncestours have seene.
Shee sings how Britanny from all
The world devided was,
When Nereus with victorious Sea
Through cloven rocks did passe,
And why it was that Hercules,
When he arrived heere
Upon our coast, and tasted once
The mudlesse Tamis cleere,
Did Neptun’ s sonne hight Albion
Vanquish in bloudy fight,
And with an haile-like storme of stones
Kild him in field out right.
And when Ulysses hither came,
What Altars sacred were
By him. How Bruite with Corinae
His trusty friend and fere,
Went foorth into the Western parts,
And how that Caesar, he
When he had fought and found, turn’ d back
With feare from Britan fierce.
And after some few verses interposed.
This said, then Tame and Isis both,
In love and name both one,
Hight Tamisis, more joys therein,
And hastning to be gone,
Ariseth up and leaping out
With hastfull hot desire,
Advanceth forth his streame, and seeks
The Ocean main his sire.
19. From Dorchester, Tamis goeth to Benson, in old time Bensington, which Marian calleth Villam Regiam, that is, The Kings towne, and reporteth that Ceaulin tooke it from the Britans in the yeere of our Lord 572, and that the West-Saxons kept the possession of it 200 yeeres after. For then Offa the King of the Mercians, thinking it would be for his commoditie and honor both that they should have nothing on this side the river, wonne it and subjected it to him. But at this day it goeth for a village onely, and hath a house of the Kings hard by, sometime a faire place, but now running exceedingly to ruine, as being not very wholsome by reason of the foggy aire and mists arising from a standing water adjoining. This house of certaine Elmes called Ewelme, but commonly New-elme, was built by William de la Pole Duke of Suffolke, who having taken to wife Alice the only daughter of Thomas Chaucer, had by her faire lands heereabout as elsewhere, and beside this house he erected also a faire Church, wherein the said Alice lieth buried, and a proper hospitall. But John Earle of Lincolne his Grand child, ‡who by King Richard the Third had beene declard heire apparent to the Crowne, overthrew in some sort the happie estate of this familie. For whiles he plotted and projected seditiously to rebell against King Henry the Seventh he was attained and slaine in the battaile of Stoke,‡ and Edmund his brother being for like cause attainted, the possessions became Crown-land. Then King Henrie the Eighth made this house an Honour, by laying unto it certaine Manours, and Wallingford among others, which before had a long time belonged unto the Dukes of Cornewall.
20. The Tamis, from hence having a great compasse about, windeth in manner backe againe into himselfe, enclosing within it the Hundred of Henley, mounting high with hilles and beset with thicke woods, which some doe thinke the Ascalites that yeeded them selves unto Caesars protection did inhabite. ‡Here is Dix-brond and Stonor, ancient possessions of the families of Stonores, who since the time of King Edward the Third, when Sir John Stonore was chiefe Justice in the Common-pleas, flourished with great alliance and faire revenues untill they were transferred by an heire generall to Sir Adrian Fortescue, unhappily attainted, whose daughter, heire to her mother, was married to the first Baron Wentwoorth. Next neighbour hereunto is Pus-hull, which the familie of d’ Oily held by yeelding yeerely to the king a table cloath of three shillings price, or three shillings for all service.‡ Under this Southward standeth Greies Rotherfield, a house which in times past Walter Grey the Archbishop of Yorke gave freely unto William Grey his Nephew, the inheritance whereof by the Baron of D’ Eincourt was devolved upon the Lovels. Now it is the dwelling house of Sir William Knolles, Treasurer to the kings house, whom James our King for his faithfull service preformed unto Queene Elizabeth, and to be performed unto himselfe, advanced to the honorable title of Baron Knowles of Rotherfield. Neere unto it, Henley upon Tamis, in old time called Hanlegauz, sheweth it selfe in the verie confines of the shires. The inhabitants whereof bee for the post part watermen, who make their chiefest gaine by carrying downe in their barges wood and corne to London: neither can it make report of any greater antiquity than that in times past the Molinies were Lords thereof, from whom by the Hungerfords, who procured unto the towne of King Henrie the Sixth the libertie of holding two faires, it came by right of inheritance unto the honorable house of the Hastings. And where now the Tams hath a wooden bridge over it, they say in times past there stood one of stone arched. But whether this bridge was here that Dio writeth the Romans passed over when they pursued the Britans along this tract, who below had swum over the river, hard is it for a man to say.
21. From Henley, the Cheltern-hils hold on with a continued ridge running Northward, and divide this country from Buckinghamshire, at the foote whereof stand may small townes, among which these two are of greatest note, Watlington, a little mercate towne belonging sometime to Robert D’ Oily, and Shirburne, a pretty Castle of the Quatremains in times past, but now the habitation of the Chamberlans, descended out of the house of the Earles of Tankerville, who having beene long agoe Chamberlaines of Normandie, their posterity relinquishing that old name of Tankervills, became surnamed Chamberlans, of the office which their ancestours bare.
22. To omitte Edgar Agar and other English Saxons, officiall Earles of Oxford, since after the Conquest the title of the Earldom of Oxford hath flourished a long time in the familie of Vere, which derive their descent from the Earles of Guins, and their surname from Vere, a towne in Zeland. They received the beginning of their greatnesse and honour here in England from King Henrie the First, who advaunced Aubrey de Vere for his singular wisdome with sundry favours and benefits, as namely with the Chamberlainship of England and Portreveship of the City of London. To his son Aubrey, Henrie the Second (before he was established king, and when he used only this stile, Henrie Sonne to King Henries daughter, right heire of England and Normandie), restored first the Chamberlan-ship, which hee had lost in the civill broiles, and then offered unto him which of the titles hee himselfe would chose of these four Earledomes, Dorset, Wilshire, Barkshire, and Oxfordshire, that hee might divert him from Stephen, then usurping the kingdome, and assure him to himselfe. And in the end both Maude the Empresse and Henry also her sonne, being now come to the crowne, by their severall Charters created him Earle of Oxford. Among those that descended from him (not to recount every one in their course and order), these were they that purchased greatest fame and honour: Robert de Vere, who being in very high favour with King Richard the Second, was honoured with thee new and strange dignities not heard of before, namely, Marquesse of Dublin and Duke of Ireland, of which, as one said, he left nothing at all to him selfe, but to his tombe titles, and to the world matter of talke. For shortly after, through the spiteful envie of the Nobles, as much against the King as against him, he was dispoiled of his estate, and ended his daies miserably in exile. John the first of that name, so trusty and true to the house of Lancaster that both he and his sonne and heire Aubrey lost their heads therefore together in the First yeare of King Edward the Fourth. John his second sonne, a right skilful and expert martiall man, neverthelesse was most firme and faithfull to the said house of Lancaster, fought in sundry battailes against King Edward the Fourth, defended and made good for a while Saint Michaels Mount, and was an especiall assistant unto Henrie the Seaventh in attaining to the kingdome. Another John likewise, in the reigne of Henrie the Eighth, <was> a man in all parts of his life so syncere, so religious, and so full of goodnesse, that he gained the surname of The Good Earle. Hee was great grandfather of Henrie that is now Earle, and the Eighteenth of his race in lineall discent, and also grandfather of Sir Francis and Sir Horatio Vere brethren, who by their singular knowledge in military affaires, and exploits most valiantly and fortunatly atchieved in the Low Countries, have added exceeding much honour and glorie to themselves, and to the ancient Nobility of their familie.
This countie conteineth parish churches 280.