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PON Rutland on the East side confineth the country of Lincolne, called by the English-Saxons Lincollscyre, and by the Normans Nicol shire after their first comming into the land, with some transposition of letters, but usually Lincolnshire. A very large country, as reaching almost three score miles in length, and carrying in some places above thirty miles in breadth; passing kind for yield of corne and feeding of cattaile, well furnished and set out with a great number of townes, and watered with many rivers. Upon the East side, where it bendeth outward with a brow fetching a great compasse, the German Ocean beateth on the shore. Northward it reacheth to Humber, an arme of the sea. On the West side it butteth upon Nottinghamshire, and on the South it is severed from Northamptonshire by the river Welland. This whole shire is divided into three parts, whereof one is termed Holland, a second Kesteven, and the third Lindsey. Holland, which Ingulph termeth Hoiland, lieth to the sea, and like unto that Holland in Germanie, it is so thoroughly wet in most places with waters that a mans foote is ready to sinke into it, and as one standeth upon it the ground will shake and quake under his feet, and thence it may seeme to have taken the name, unlesse a man would with Ingulph say that Hoiland is the right name, and the same imposed upon it of Hay, ‡which our progenitours broadly called Hoy.‡
2. This part throughout beareth upon that ebbing and flowing arme of the see which Ptolome calleth Metaris in steed of Maltraith, and we at this day, The Washes. A very large arme this is and passing well knowen, at every tide and high sea covered all over with water, but when the sea ebbeth and the tide is past, a man may passe over it as on dry land, but yet not without danger. Which King John learned with his losse. For whilest he journied this way, when he warred upon the rebellious Barons, the waters suddenly brake in upon him, so that at Fosse-dyke and Welstream he lost all his carriage and princely furniture, as Matthew of Westminster writeth. This Country which the Ocean hath laied to the land, as the inhabitants beleeve, by sands heaped and cast together, they terme it Silt, is assailed on the one side with the said Ocean sea, and in the other with a mighty confluence of waters from out of the higher countries, in such sort that all the winter quarter the people of the country are faine to keepe watch and ward continually, and hardly with all the bankes and dammes that they make against the waters are able to defend themselves from the great violence and outrage thereof. The ground bringeth forth but small store of corne, but plenty of grasse, and is replenished abundantly with fish and water-foule. The soile throughout is so soft that they use their horses unshod; neither shall you meet so much as with a little stone there that hath not beene brought thither from other places. Neverthelesse there be most beautifull Churches standing there built of foure square stone. Certaine it is that the sea aforetime had entred farther up into the Country, and that appeareth by those bankes formerly raised against the waterwaves then in-rushing, which are now two miles off from the shore, as also by the hilles neere Sutterton, which they call Salt-HIlls. But of fresh water there is exceeding great want in all places, neither have they any at all but raine water, and that in pits which, if they be of any great depth, presently become brackish; if shallow, they dry up as soone. Neither are there Quicksands wanting, which have a wonderfull force to draw to them and to hold fast, as both shepheards and their sheepe also find otherwhiles, not without danger.
3. This Holland or Hoiland (whether you will) is divided into two parts, the Lower and the Higher. the Lower hath in it foule and slabby quavemires, yea and most troublesome fennes, which the very inhabitants themselves for all their stilts cannot stalke through. And considering that it lieth very low and flat, fensed it is of the one side against the Ocean, on the other from those waters which overwhelme the upper part of the Isle of Ely, with mighty piles and huge bankes opposed against the same. Of which, Southybanke is of greatest name, which least it should have a breach made through it with that infinite masse of water that falleth from the South part. when the rivers swell and all is overflowen by inundation, the people watch with great care and much feare, as against a dangerous enimie. And yet for the draining away of this water the neighbour inhabitants, at the common charges of the country, beganne to make a new chanell at Clowcrosse in the yeere 1599. Neere unto this banke aforesaid we saw Crowland, which also is called Croyland, a towne of good note among the Fennepoeple, the name whereof soundeth, as Ingulph the Abbot of this place interpreteth it, as much as A raw and muddy land. A place, as they write, much hanted in times past with I wot not sprits and fearefull apparitions before the Guthlake, a right holy and devout man, led there an Eremits life. In whose memoriall Aethelbald King of the Mercians founded to the honor of God at his great charges, in the yeere of our Salvation 716, an Abbay very famous both for opinion of the religious life of the Monkes, and also for their wealth. Concerning which, take heere, if you please, these verses of Foelix, a Monke of good antiquity, out of the life of Guthlake:
His bounty now the King doth there bestow,
An Abbay faire with much expense to reare.
But seeing that the waterish fenne below
Those ground-workes laid with stone uneath [hardly] could beare
(So quaving, soft and most the Bases were),
He caused piles made of good heart of oke
Pitch’ t downe to be with maine commanders stroke.
Then nine leagues off, men sand in barges brought,
Which once fast ramm’ d by painfull workmans hand,
Of rotten earth good solide ground was rought,
On which for ay such workes might firmly stand.
And thus by this devise of new plantation,
The Church stands firme and hath <a> sure foundation.
4. If I should exempifie unto you out of that Monke the divels of Crowland, with their blabber lips, fire-spitting mouths, rough and skaly visages, beetle heads, terrible teeth, sharpe chins, hoarse throats, blacke skinns, crump-shoulders, side and gorbellies, burning loines, crooked and hawm’ d legs, long tailed buttocks, and ugly mishapes, which heeretofore walked and wandered up and downe in these places, and very much troubled holy Guthlake and the Monkes, you would laugh full merrily, and I might be thought a simple sily-one full worthily. Howbeit, in regard of the admirable situation of this place, so farre different from all others in England, and considering the Abbay was so famous, I am well content to dwell a while in the description of these particulars. Amid most deepe fennes and standing waters in a muddy and miry ground, this Crowland lieth so shut up and divided round about from all entrance that there is no accesse to it, unlesse it be on the North and East side, and that by narrow causies. Seated it is for all the world, if I may resemble great and small things together, like unto Venice. Three streets it hath, and those severed one from another by water courses betweene, planted thicke with willowes, and raised upon piles or posts pitched and driven downe deepe into the standing waters, having over them a triangle bridge of admirable workmanship, under which for to receive the fall of the waters meeting in one confluence, the inhabitants report there was pit suncke of a mighty depth. Now, whereas beyond the bridge in solum mutatur humus (as that Monke said), that is, The mould is chaunged, and is become firme and solid ground, there stood in times past that famous Abbay, and the same verily taking up but a small plot of ground: about which all (save where the towne standeth) is so rotten and moorish that a man may thrust a pile downe right thirty foote deepe, and round about in every way is nothing but a plot of reeds, and next unto the Church a place planted with alders. Howbeit, the towne is well enough peopled with inhabitants, who have their cattaile a great way from the towne, and when they are to milke them they goe in little punts or boats that will cary but two apeece (which they call Skerries). Yet the most gainfull trade they have is by taking fish and catching of water foule, and that is so great that in the moneth of August they will spred a net and at once drawe three thousand mallards and wild ducks and such like together, and these pooles or watery plots of theirs they use to terme their Corne fields, for they see no corne growing in five miles any way. In regard of this their taking fish and foule they paid yeerely in times past to the Abbat, as now they doe to the King, three hundred pounds of our money.
5. The private history of the Abbay I list not to relate (seeing it is commonly extant and to be seene) out of Ingulph, now printed and published, yet my minde serves me well briefely to record that which Peter of Bloys Vice-chancellour to King Henrie the Second reported at large as touching the new building of this Abbay in the yeere of our redemption 1112, to the end that by this one president we may learne by what meanes and helpes so mighty, so huge, and so faire religious houses were raised and built up in those times. Joffrid the Abbat obtained of the Archbishops and Bishops of England, An Indulgence for a third part of the penance enjoined for sinnes committed, unto every one that helped forward so holy a work. With this Indulgence hee sent out Monkes every way and all about to gather money, wherewith when he was now sufficiently furnished, to the end that he might have an happy beginning of this worke from some happy names of lucky presage, he solemnly appointed the day of Saint Perpetua and of Saint Felicity, on which hee would lay the first foundation. At which day there came flocking in great numbers the Nobles, the Prelates and Commons of all the Country thereabout. After the celebration of divine service, and Anthems sung in parts, Abbat Joffrid himselfe layed the first Corner stone Eastward; then the noble men and great persons every one in their degree couched their stones, and upon the said stones some laid money, others their sealed Deeds of lands, avousons [titles] of Churches, of tenths of their sheepe, and the tithes of their Churches, of certaine measures of wheat, and of a certaine number of workmen, as masons and Quarriers, whom they would pay. The Common sort again and Townships for their parts offred with cheerefull devotion some money, others one daies labour every moneth untill the worke were finished, some the building of whole pillars, others of the bases to the said pillars, and others againe to make certaine parts of the wals, striving a vie who should doe most. This done, the Abbat, after hee had in a solemne speech commended their devout bounty to so holy a worke, granted unto every one of them the fraternity of his Abbay, and the participation besides of all Spirituall benefits in that Church, as praiers, blessings &c., and so when hee had entertained them with a very sumptuous feast, hee gave them his blessing and dismissed them cheerefully every man to his owne home. But I will dwell no longer in this matter. But heereby you may see how by small contributions great workes arose.
6. From Crowland there goeth a Cawsey planted on both sides with willowes, between the river Welland and the deep marishes, Northward: upon which, two miles from Crowland, I saw the fragment of a Piramis with this Inscription:
I SAY THAT
THIS STONE HIS
Higher yet upon the same river is seated Spalding, enclosed round about with riverets and draines, a fairer towne, I assure you, than a man would looke to finde in this tract among such slabbes and water-plashes: where Ivo Talbois, whom Ingulph elsewhere calleth Earle of Anjou, gave an ancient Cell to the Monkes of Angiers in France. From hence as farre as to Deeping, which is ten miles off, Egelrick Abbot of Crowland, afterward Bishop of Durham, made for the ease of travailers, as saith Ingulphus, through the midest of a vast forest, and of most deepe fens, a sound causey of wood and sand, after his owne name called Elrich-riad, which notwithstanding at this daie is not to be seene.
7. In higher Hoiland, that bendeth more into the North, first wee have in sight Kirdton, so named of the Church, which is passing faire, and then, where the river Witham, hemned in strongly with bankes on both side, runneth in a maine and ful streame toward the sea, flourisheth Boston, more truely named Botolphs-towne, For it caried that name from one Botolph, a most holy and devout Saxon, who at Icanhoe, as Bede witnesseth, had a monasterie. A famous towne this, standing on both sides of the river Witham, which hath over it a wooden bridge of a great height, and well frequented by the meanes of a commodious haven into it. The market place is faire and large, and the Church maketh a goodly showe, as well for the beautifull building as the greatnesse thereof; the towre-steeple of it, which riseth up to a mighty height, doth, as one would say, salute passengers and travailers a great way off, and giveth direction also to the sailers. A lamentable overthrow it susteined in the reigne of Edward the First. For when bad and ruffian-like behaviour rufled at that time over all England, certaine military lusty fellowes having proclaimed heere a Justs or running at Tilt at a Faire-time, when there was much resort of people thither, came apparelled in the habit of Monkes and Chanons, set fire on the towne in most places thereof, brake in upon merchants with sodaine violence, tooke away many things by force, burnt a great deale more, in so much as our Historians write that (as the ancient writers record of Corinth when it was destroied) molten gold and silver ran downe in a streame togither. Their ring-leader Robert Chamberlain, after hee had confessed the act and what a shamefull deed had beene committed, was hanged, yet could hee not bee wrought by any meanes to disclose his complices in this foule fault. But happier times raised Boston againe out of the ashes, and a staple for wooll here setled did verie much enrich it, and drew thither merchantes of the Hanse Society, who had here their Guild. At this daie it is for building faire, and by good trade rich. For the Inhabitants give themselves both to merchandise and also to grasing. Neere unto this was the Baronie de Crouen or de Credonio, out of which familie Alan de Croeun founded the Priorie of Freston; and at length Parnel, heire of the familie, being twice married, transferred no small inheritance, first to the Longchamps, which came <to> the Pedwardins; and secondly to John Vaulx, from whom the Barons Roos are descended. Beyond it scarce sixe miles reacheth Holland, all which Ivo Talboys of Anjou received at the bountifull hands of King William the Conqueror, but Herward, an English man of good hope and full of doutie courage, beeing sonne to Leofrick Lord of Brane or Burne, not brooking his insolencie when hee saw his owne and his Country-mens safetie now endangered, after hee had received the cincture with a military Belt by Brann Abbot of Peterborough, whose stomacke rose also against the Normans, raised warre against him, oftentimes put him to flight, and at length carried him away captive, and suffered him not to bee ransomed but which such conditions that hee might bee received into the kings favour, wherein hee died his liege man. For so deserved his valour, which is alwaies commended even in a verie enimie. His daughter, beeing wedded to Hugh Enermeue Lord of Deeping, enjoied his lands, which afterwards, as I understand, was devolved upon the familie of Wake, which beeing mightily enriched with the possessions of the Estotevills, was of right great honour in these parts, untill the reigne of Edward the Second: for then, by an heire Generall, their inheritance came by right of marriage unto Edmund of Woodstocke youngest sonne to King Edward the First and Earle of Kent. But of a younger sonne, the ancient familie of the Wakes of Blisworth in Northamptonshire yet remaining is descended.
8. The second part of this Country, commonly called Kesteven and by Aethelward an ancient author Ceostefnewood, adjoyning to Hoiland on the West side, is for aire farre more holsome, and for soile no lesse fruitfull. Greater this is and larger than the other, yea and garnished everie where with more faire townes. At the entrie thereinto upon the river Welland standeth Stanford, in the Saxon tongue Stean-ford, built of rough stone, whence it hath the name. A towne well peopled and of great resort, endowed also with sundrie immunities and walled about. it gave Geld or Tribute, as wee reade in Domesday booke, for twelve hundreds and a halfe, in the armie, shipping, and Danegeld, and in it were six wards. What time as King Edward the Elder fortified the South bankes of rivers against the Danes breaking by force into the land out of the North parts, Marianus recordeth that hee built a verie strong Castle just over against this downe also on the South banke (which now is called Stanford Baron), yet there appeareth not any one token thereof at this daie, for that Castle which in time of the civill warre Stephen strengthened against Henrie of Anjou was within the towne, as both the generall report holdeth and the verie plot also whereon it stood, as yet remaining, sheweth. But soone after, the said Henrie, being now King of England, gave the whole towne of Stanford, which was in his demaine, excepting the feofs or Perss of the Barons and knights of the same towne, unto Richard de Humez or Hometz, who was Constable to the King his Soveraigne Lord, for his homage and service. And the same afterwardes held William Earle of Warren by the will and pleasure of King John. Under the reigne of Edward the Third, an Universitie and publicke profession of good learning beganne heere, which the Inhabitants count no small credit unto them. For when there was such hote debate and contention betweene the Northren and Southren students at Oxford, a great number of scholers withdrew themselves hither; but after a small while they returned upon the kings Proclamation to Oxford, and as they sodainelie beganne, so they ended as soone this new University. And thence forward provided it was by oth, That no student in Oxford should publickly professe or reade at Stanford to the prejudice of Oxford. Neverthelesse it flourished with fresh trading and merchandise, untill the civill warre betweene the two houses of Lancaster and Yorke grewe so hote that the Northren soldiours breaking into the towne destroied all with fire and sword. Neither could it ever since that time fully recover the ancient dignity. And yet now it is in good estate, and the civill government thereof consisteth of an Alderman and foure and twentie Burgesses his brethren. Beautified it is with seven parish Churches or there about, and sheweth an old Hospital, and that a very faire house, founded by William Browne a Burgesse there, besides another new one on this side of the Bridge lately built by that Nestor of Britaine, Sir William Cecill Baron Burghley, what time as hee raised that stately and sumptuous house at Burghley, whereof I have spoken already in Northamptonshire, who lieth enterred heere in a goodly and gorgeous tombe within the Parish Church of Saint George; a man (to say nothing else of him) who by course of nature and for his owne glory lived long enough, but in regard of his country died oversoone.
9. Although some tokens remaining of antiquity and the High-street, made by the Romans, which so soone as you are without the towne, leadeth you the direct way into the North, may sufficiently shew that sometimes there was a Ferry or Water fare heere. Yet that this towne should be that Gavsennae which Antonine the Emperour placeth not far from hence, the said tokens of Antiquity doe not affoord sufficient proofe. But seeing that a mile from hence there is a little Village called Bridg-casterton (which very name carieth with it the marke of Antiquity), where the river Guash or Wash crosseth the said High-street, the affinity of this name Guash with Gausennae, and the distance also making not against it, hath made me to thinke that Gausennae was it which now is called Bridg-casterton, untill time bring truth to light. If I should thinke that Stanford grew out of the ruines of this towne, and that this part of the shire was named Kesteven of Gavsennae, like as another part, Lindsey, of the City Lindum, let this I pray you be but mine opinion, and judge thereof accordingly. It is supposed that this Gausennae was overthrowen when (as Henry Archdeacon of Huntingdon writeth) the Picts and Scots had spoiled all the country as farre as to Stanford, where Hengist and his English-Saxons with their unwearied force and singular prowesse hindered the passage of those furious nations, so that after many of them were slaine and more taken prisoners, the rest betooke themselves to flight. But let us proceed to the rest.
10. On the East side of Kesteven, which bendeth toward Hoiland as wee goe Northward, these places stand in order. First, Deeping, that is to say (as Ingulph interpreteth it), Deepe Medow, where Richard de Rulos, Chamberlaine to William Conquerour, excluding the river Welland with raising up an high banke (for that it often overflowed) and building upon the said Banke many tenements, made a great Village. This Deping, or Deepe Medow, was very fitly so called, for the plaine lying under it, and which taketh up in compasse many miles, is of all this fenny country the deepest, and the very receptacle of most waters. And that which a man would mervaile at, it lieth farre under the channell of the river Glen, which being held in with forced bankes, passeth by from out of the West. They you have Burne, well knowen by occasion that King Edmond was crowned and the Wakes had a Castle there, who obtained unto this towne from King Edward the First the liberty of a Mercat. More Eastward is Irnham, a seat of the Barony in times past of Sir Andrew Lutterell. Beyond it is Sepringham, famous in these daies by reason of that passing faire house which Edward Lord Clinton, afterwards Earle of Lincolne, built, but renowmed in old time for the religious order of the Gilbertines, instituted by Gilbert Lord of the place: for he, a wonderfull man, and in custodia mulierium gratiae singularis, that is, of singular grace in taking charge of women, in the yeere after Christs nativity 1148, contrary to Justinians Constitutions, which forbad Double Monasteries, that is to say, of men and women together; howbeit, well backed with the authority of Eugenius the Third, Bishop of Rome, ordeined a Sect consisting of men and women; which so grew and encreased that himselfe laied the foundations of thirteene religious houses of this Order, and whiles he lived had in them 700 Gilbertine Brethren and eleven hundred Sisters, but no honester than they should be, if we may beleeve Nigele, a scoffing Poet in those daies, who wrot thus of them:
Some barrein are of these, some fruitfull bee,
Yet they by name of Virgins cover all.
More fertile sure and better beareth shee,
Who blest is once with crosier pastorall.
Now, scarce of them is found one barrein doe,
Till age debarre, whether they will or no.
11. Then see you Folkingham, which also is now a Lordship of the Clintons, the Barony in times past of the Gaunts, who were descended from Gilbert de Gaunt, nephew to Baldwin Earle of Flaunders, unto whom by the liberality of King William the Conquerour there fell great revenewes. For thus we read in an old Manuscript: Memorandum, that with William Conqueror there came in one Gilbert de Gaunt, unto whom the said William gave the Manour of Folkingham with all the appertenances and the Honour thereunto belonging, and they expelled a certaine woman named Dunmuch. Of the said Gilbert came one Walter de Gaunt his sonne and heire, and of the said Walter came Gilbert de Gaunt his sonne and here, also Robert de Gaunt a younger sonne. And from the said Gilbert the sonne and heire came Alice his daughter and heire, who was espoused to Earle Simon, and she gave many tenements to religious men and died without heire of her owne body. Then descended the inheritance to Robert de Gaunt aforesaid, her unkle, and of the foresaid Robert came Gilbert his sonne and heire, and of the aforesaid came other Gilbert his sonne and heire, and of the aforesaid came another Gilbert his sonne and heire, who have the Manour of Folkingham with the appertenances to Edward the sonne of Henry King of England. This Gilbert, as we finde in the Plees, out of which this Pedigree is prooved, claimed service against William de Scremby. And at length it came by gift of the Prince to Sir Henry Beaumont. For most certaine it is that he held it in the reigne of Edward the Second. Neere unto this is Screkingham, remarkable for the death of Alfrik the second, Earle of Leicester, whom Hubba a Dane slew. Of which place, it seemeth that Ingulph spake, writing thus: In Kesteven were slaine three great Lords or petty Kings of the Danes, whom they buried in a Village which was called before Laundon, but now for the Sepulture of three Kings, Tre-King-ham. And more into the East is Hather, in this regard only to be mentioned, that the Busseis or Busleis heere dwell, who deduce their race from Roger de Busly in the Conquerours time. Then Sleford, a Castle of the Bishops of Lincolne, built by Alexander the Bishop: where Sir John Hussy the first and last Baron of that name, created by King Henry the Eighth, built himselfe an house: who having unwittingly and unadvisedly in the yeere 1537 engaged himselfe with the common people in a tumultuous commotion, what time as the first dissention brake out in England about religion, lost his head. Not many miles from hence standeth Kime, which gave name to a noble family called De Kime, but the possession of the place came at length to the Umfranvils, of whom three were called to the Parliament by the names of the Earles of Anguse in Scotland. But the first of them the learned in our common lawes would not acknowledge to be Earle (for that Anguse was not within the limits of the realme of England) untill he produced openly in court the Kings writ, by vertue whereof he had beene sommoned by the King to the Parliament under the title of Earle of Anguse. From the Umfravils this came unto the family of Talbois, of whom Gilbert was created by King Henry the Eighth Baron Talbois, whose two sonnes dying without issue, the inheritance was by the females transferred to the Dimocks, Inglebeies, and others. More Westward we saw Temple Bruer, that is, as I interpret it, Temple in the Heath. For it seemeth to have beene a Commaundery of the Templers, considering that the decaied broken walles of the Church there are seene in forme of the New Temple at London. Hard to it lieth Blankenay, the Barony in times past of the D’ Eincourts, who flourished successively a long time one after another from the Normans comming in unto King Henrie the Sixth his time. For then their male line determined [ended] in one William, who had two sisters for his heires, the one married to Sir William Lovell, the other to Sir Ralph Cromwell. The more willingly have I made mention of this family, to give satisfaction in some measure unto the longing desire of Edmond Baron D’ Eincourts, who long since, being carefull and earnest about the preservation of the memory of his name, as having no male issue, put up an humble petition to King Edward the Second, Whereas he fore-saw that his surname and armes after his death would be quite forgotten, and yet hartily desired that after his decease they might still be remembred, that hee might bee permited to enfeoffe whom soever it pleased him, both in his Manours and Armes also. Which request hee obtained, and it was graunted under the kings letters Patents, yet for all that is this surname now quite gone (to my knowledge), and had it not beene continued by the light of learning, might have been cleane forgotten forever.
12. In the West part of Kesteven and the verie confines of this shire and Leicester, standeth Belvoir or Beauvoir Castle, so called of the faire prospect (what name so ever it had in old time) mounted upon the top of a good steepe hill, built by Robert de Todeneie a Norman Nobleman, who also beganne the little monasterie adjoining, from whom by the Albeneies out of little Britaine, and the Barons Roos, it came by inheritance to the Mannors Earles of Rutland: of whom the first, that is to say, Thomas, as I have beene enformed, raised it up againe with new buildings from the ground, when as it had for many yeares lien buried as it were in his owne ruines. For in despite of Thomas Lord Roos, who tooke part with King Henrie the Sixth, it was much defaced by William Lord Hastings, unto whom (after that the said Baron Roos was attainted) King Edward the Fourth had graunted it with verie faire lands. But Edmund Baron Roos, sonne of the said Thomas, by the gratious favour of King Henrie the Seventh recovered this ancient inheritance againe. About this Castle are found the Stones called astroites, which resemble little starres joyned one with another, wherein are to bee seene at everie corner five beames or raies, and in everie raie in the middest is small holownesse. This Stone among the Germans got his name of Victorie, for that, as George Agricola writeth in his Sixth booke of Mineralls, they are of opinion that whosoever carrieth it about him shall winne his suite and get victorie of his enimies. But whether this stone of ours, as that in Germanie, beeing put in vinegar will stirre out of his place and turne it selfe some-what round, I could never yet make triall. Under this Castle lieth a vale and presenteth a most pleasant prospect thereunto, whereupon it is commonlie called the Vale of Belver, which is verie large and passing pleasantlie beautified with cornefields, and no lesse rich in pastures, lying stretched out in three shires, of Leicester, Nottingham and Lincolne.
13. If not in this verie place, yet hard by it, in all probabilitie, stood that Margidunum which Antonine the Emperour placeth next after Vernometum, as both the name and the distance also from Vernometum and the towne Pont or Paunton, betweene which Antonine placeth it, may most planely shew. It should seeme that ancient name Marginumum was borowed from marga and the situation of it. For marga among the Britans is a kinde of earth named Marle wherewith they nourished and kept their grounds in heart, and dunum, which signifieth an hill, agreeth onelie to places higher mounted than others. And yet in this Etymologie of that name I am in a doubt, seeing that Marle in this place is verie geason or skant (happily because no man seeketh for it), unlesse the Britans by the name of marga tearmed Plaster-stone, which is digged up hard by, as I have learned, the use whereof in white pargetting [plastering] and in making of Images was of especiall request among the Romans, as Plinie witnesseth in his Naturall Historie.
14. Witham a river plentifull in pikes, but carrying a small streame, watereth this part of the Shire and on the North-side encloseth it. It hath his beginning by a little towne of the same name, not farre from the ruins of Bitham Castle, which, as we find in an old Pedigree King William the First gave to Stephen Earle of Albermarle and Holdernesse, that he might from thence have wherewith to feed his sonne, as yet a little infant, with fine wheat bread (considering that in Holdernesse they did eate in those daies oten bread onely, although they use now such kind of bread little or nothing at all). But in the reigne of King Henrie the Third, when William de Fortibus Earle of Aumarle rebelliously kept this Castle, and thence forraied and wasted the country about it, it was laid well neere even with the ground. Afterward, this was the capitall seat, as it were, of the Baronie of the Colvils, who a long time flourished in very great honour, but the right line had an end under King Edward the Third, and then the Gernons and those notable Bassets of Sapcot in right of their wives entred upon the inheritance.
15. This river Witham presently beneath his head hath a towne seated hard by it named Paunton, which standeth much upon the antiquity thereof, where are digged up oftentimes pavements of the Romans wrought with checker worke, and heere had the river a bridge over it in old time. For that this is the towne Ad Pontem which Antonine the Emperour placed seven miles distant from Margidunum, the name Paunton, together with the distance not onely from Margidunum but also from Crococalana doth easily convince: for in Antonine that towne was called Crococalana, which at this day is called Ancaster, and is no more but a long street, through which the High-way passeth, whereof the one part not long since belonged to the Vescies, the other to the Cromwells. At the entrie into it on the South part, we saw a rampier with a ditch, and certaine it is that aforetime it had been a Castle, like as on the other side Westward is to bee seene a certaine summer standing campe of the Romans. And it may seeme that it tooke a British name from the situation thereof. For it lieth under an hill, and Cruc-maur in British signifieth A Great hil, like as Cruc-occhidient, A mount in the West, as we read in Giraldus Cambrensis and Ninnius. But what should be the meaning of that Calana, let others looke. The memory of antiquity in this towne is continued and maintained by the Romane Coines, by the vaults under ground often times discovered, by the site upon the High-street, and by those fourteene miles that are between it and Lincolne through a greene plaine, which we call Ancaster-Heath, for just so many doth Antonine reckon between Croco-calana and Lindum. But now returne we to the river.
16. After Paunton, wee come to Grantham, a towne of good resort, adorned and set out with a schoole built by Richard Fox Bishop of Winchester, and with a faire Church, having a spire-steeple of a mighty height, whereof there goe many fabulous tales. Beneath, neere unto Herlaxton a little village, a brasen vessell in our fathers time was turned up with a plough, wherein a golden helmet of a most antique fashion was found, set with precious stones, which was given as a present to Catherine of Spaine, wife and Dowager to King Henrie the Eighth. From hence Witham passeth with a long course North-ward not farre from Somerton Castle: which Antonie Becc Bishop of Durham built and gave to King Edward the First, but a little after it was bestowed upon Sir Henrie le Beaumont, who about that time came into England and beganne the familie of the Lords Beaumont: which in the foregoing age in some sort failed, when as the sister and heire of the last Vicount was married to John Lord Lovel de Tichmrsh. But of this house I have spoken before in Leicestershire. From thence the river, bending by little and little to the South-East and passing through a fenny Country, dischargeth it selfe into the German Sea beneath Boston, after it hath closed in Kesteven on the North.
17. On the other side of Witham lieth the third part of this shire, named Lindsey, which of the chiefe Citie of the Shire Bede called Lindissi, and beeing greater than Holland and Kesteven, butteth with a huge bowing front upon the Ocean, beating upon the East and North sides thereof. On the West part it hath the river Trent, and is severed from Kesteven; on the South by that Witham aforesaid and the Fosse Dike anciently cast and scoured by King Henrie the First for seaven miles in length from Witham into Trent, that it might serve the Citizens of Lincolne for carriage of necessaries by water. Where this Dike entreth into Trent standeth Torksey, in the Saxon languege Turcesig, a little towne and in these daies of small account, but in ancient times verie famous. For before the Normans comming in, as wee find in that booke wherein King William the First set downe his survey of England, there were numbered in it two hundred Burgesses, who enjoyed many privileges on this condition, that they should transport the kings Embassadours whensoever they came this way in their owne Barges along the Trent, and conduct them as farre as Yorke. But where this Dike joyneth to Witham there is the Principall City of this Shire placed, which Ptolomee and Antonine the Emperour called Lindum, the Britans Lind-Coit of the woods (for which wee find it elsewhere written amisse Luit-coit), Bede Linde-collinum and Lindecollina civitas, whether it were of the situation upon an hill or because it hath beene a Colonie, I am not able to avouch. The Saxons termed it Lindo-collyne and Lind-cyllan-ceaster, the Normans most corruptly Nichol, wee Lincoln, and the Latine writers Lincolnia, whereupon Alexander Necham in his booke entituled Divine Wisdome writeth thus:
Lincoln, the stay or pillar sure of Linsey thou maist bee,
Blest for thy people bounteous, and goods that are in thee.
Others will have it to take that name of the river Witham, which they say was called by a more ancient name Lindis, but they have no authority to warrant them. Neither am I of their judgement. For Necham is against it,
The Trent unto thee sendeth fish, o Lincoln, well we see;
Yet little Witham, scorne it not, a riveret comes to thee.
18. I for my part would rather derive it from the British word lhin, which with the Britans signifieth a Lake. For I have beene enformed of the Citizens that Witham below the Citie by Swanpole was broader than now it is, and yet it is at this daie of a good breath, and to say nothing of Lindaw in Germanie by the Lake Acronius, and of Linternum in Italie standing by a Lake, I see that in our Britaine Tal-lhin, Glan-lhin, and Linlithquo are townes by lakes sides. This Citie it selfe beeing large and well inhabited and frequented, standeth upon the side of an hill, where Witham bendeth his course Eastward, and, beeing divided with three small chanels, watereth the lower part of the Citie. That the ancient Lindum of the Britans stood on the verie toppe of the hill, which had a verie hard ascent uppe to it, and reached out beyond the gate called Newport, the expresse tokens of a rampier and deepe Ditches, which are yet verie evident, doe plainlie shew. In this Citie Vortimer, that warlicke Britan, who man a time discomfited the Saxons and put them to flight, ended his daies, and was heere, contrary to his owne commandement, buried. For hee was in a full and assured hope perswaded that if hee were enterred in the sea shore, his verie ghost was able to protect the Britans from the Saxons, as writeth Ninius the disciple of Elvodugus. But the English Saxons, after they had rased this old Lindum, first possessed themselves of the South side of the hill, at the foote whereof they built, as it seemeth, the gate yet standing, compiled of vast stones, and with the ruines of that more ancient towne fortified it. Afterwards they went downe lower to the river side, built in a place that was called Wickanforde, and walled it about on that side which is not fensed by the river. At which time, as saith Bede, Paulinus preached the word of God unto the Province of Lindsey, and first of all converted unto the Lord the Governour or Provost of Lincoln-city, whose name was Blecca, with his family. In which very City he built also a Church of goodly stone-work, the roofe wherof being either fallen for want of repaire, or cast downe by the violent hand of enemies, the walles are seene standing to this day. After this the Danes won it by assault once or twice. First, those troupes of spoiling mates, out of whose hands King Edmund Yronside wrested it by force; then Canutus, from whom Aetheldred regained it when upon his returne out of Normandy he valiantly forced Canutus to abandon the town, and beyond all hope recovered England, which before was lost. In the reigne of Edward the Confessor there were in it, as Domesday boke recordeth, a thousand and seventy Mansions, with lodgings to given entertainment, and twelve Lage men having Sac and Soc. But in the Normans time, as saith William of Malmesbury, It was one of the best peopled Cities of England, and a place of traffike and merchandise for all commers by sea and land, and as the same Domesday booke saith, there were at that time counted and taxed in this City 900 Burgesses, and many Mansions were laid wast, 166 for the Castle, and other 74 without the precinct of the Castle, not through the oppression of the Sheriffe and his ministers, but by reason of mishap, poverty, and casualty by fire. The said King William the Conqueror, for the strenghning of it and terrour of the Citizens, raised a passing large and strong Castle upon the brow of the hill, and almost at the same time Remigius Bishop of Dorchester for to give credit and ornament thereto translated hither his Episcopall seat from Durchester, which was in the most remote corner of his dioecesse and a small towne. And when by this time that Church which Paulinus had built was quite gone to decay, the same Remigius, having purchased certaine houses with grounds lying unto them in the very highest place of the City, neere unto the Castle (as Henry of Huntingdon saith), mounting up aloft with high and stately towers, built in a strong place a strong Church, in a faire plot a faire Church, and dedicated it to the Virgin of Virgins; notwithstanding the Archbishop of Yorke was enraged thereat, who chalenged to himselfe the propriety of the soile, and in it ordeined 44 Prebendaries. Which Church afterwards being sorely defaced with fire, as he saith, Alexander that most bountifull Bishop of Lincolne repaired, with skilfull and artificiall workmanship. Of whom William of Malmesbury reporteth, because for his little low stature he was a dwarfe among men, his minde laboured to rise aloft and shew it selfe to the world with outward workes. And as concerning his bounty a Poet of that time, among other things, wrot thus:
Who hastning frankly for to give, for feare that folke should crave,
He never thought that he had that which yet he never gave.
19. Besides these two Bishops already mentioned, Robert Bloet, who sat there before Alexander, Richard de Beaumeis, Hugh, a Burgundian, and their successours by little and little brought this Church, which could not be one Bishops worke, to the stately magnificence that now it carrieth. Certes, as it is built, it is all throughout not onely most sumptuous, but most passing beautifull, and that with rare and singular workmanship; but especially that fore-front at the West end, which in a sort ravisheth and allureth the eies of all that judiciously view it. In this Church, although there be divers Monuments of Bishops and others, yet these only seeme memorable: that of Copper wherein the bowels of that right noble and vertuous Queene Aeleonor wife to King Edward the First are bestowed, ‡who died at Hardby in this Shire,‡ as also these following wherein lie enterred Sir Nicolas Cantlow, one or two of the family of Burgerhersh, Lady Catherine Swinford the third wife of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster and mother of the house of Somerset, with whom lieth buried Joan her daughter, second wife to Raulph Neville the first Earle of Westmerland, who enriched her husband with many happy children.
20. The Bishops Dioecesse of Lincolne, not content with those streit limits wherewith the Bishops of Sidnacester, who had Episcopall Jurisdiction over this shire contented themselves in the Primitive Church of the English Nation, conteined under it for so many countries as that the greatnesse thereof was burdenous unto it. And although King Henry the Second tooke out of it the Province of Ely, and King Henry the Eighth the Bishopricks of Peterborough and Oxford, yet still at this day it is counted the greatest Dioecesse by farre of all England, both for jurisdiction and number of shires, and the Bishop hath in his Dioecesse one thousand two hundred fourty seven Parish Churches. Many and great Bishops since Remigius his time have governed this See, whom to reckon up is no part of my purpose. For I will not insist either upon Robert Bloet, from whom King William Rufus wrung 50000 pounds for securing his title in the very Citie of Lincolne it selfe, which was found defective, nor upon that prodigall and profuse Alexander, who in exceeding stately buildings was so excessive delighted, ne yet upon Hugh the Burgundian, Canonized a Saint, whose corps King John with his nobles and friendes about him, to performe (as mine authour saith) a dutifull service to God and that holy Saint late Bishop, carried upon their shoulders to his buriall. Howbeit, the memory of two Prelates I must needs renew afresh: the one is Robert Grostest, a man so well seene both in literature and in the learned tongues, in that age, as it is incredible, and to use the words of one then living, A terrible reproover of the Pope, an adviser of his Prince and Soveraigne, a lover of veritie, a corrector of Prelates, a director of Priests, an instructor of the Clergy, a maintainer of scholers, a Preacher to the people, a diligent searcher into the Scriptures, a mallet of the Romanists &c. The other is mine owne Praeceptor, whom in all duty I must ever love and honour, that right reverend Father Thomas Cooper, who hath notably well deserved both of all the learned and also of the Church, in whose schoole I both confesse and rejoice that I received education. The City it selfe also flourished a long time, being ordeined by King Edward the Third for the Staple, as they tearme it, that is, the Mart of Wooll, Leather, Lead &c. Which although it hath not beene over-laied with any grievous calamities, as being once onely set on fire, once also beseeged in vaine by King Stephen, who was there vanquished and taken prisoner, forced also and won by King Henry the Third, when the rebellious Barons, who had procured Lewis of France to chalenge the Crowne of England, defended it against him, without any great dammage; yet incredible it is how much it hath beene empaired by little and little, conquered as it were with very age and time, so that of fifty Churches which it had standing in our Great-grandfathers daies, there are now remaining scarce eighteene. It is removed, that I may note this also, from the Aequator 53 degrees and 12 Scruples, and from the West point 22 Degrees and 52 scruples.
21. As that Street-way called HIghdike goeth on directly from Stanford to Lincolne, so from hence Northward it runneth with an high and streight causey (though heere and there it be interrupted) forward for tenne miles space to a little Village called the Spittle in the Street, and beyond. By the which as I passed, I observed moreover, about three miles from Lincolne, another High-Port-way also, called Ould-street, to turne out of this High dike Westward, carrying a banck likewise evident to be seene, which, as I take it, went to Agelocum,, the next baiting [resting] towne, or place of lodging, from Lindum in the time of the Romans. But I wil leave these, and proceed in the course that I have begun.
Witham, being now past Lincolne, runneth downe not far from Wragbye, a member of the Barony called Trusbut, the title whereof is come by the Barons Roos unto the Mannours, now Earles of Rutland. Then approcheth it to the ruines of a famous Abbay in times past called Beardena or Peartanen, commonly Barney, where Bede writeth that King Oswald was entombed, with a Banner of gold and purple hanged over his tombe. The writers in the foregoing age though it not sufficient to celebrate the memory of this most Christian worthy King Oswald, unlesse unto his glorious exploites they stitched also ridiculous miracles. But that his hand remained heere uncorrupted many hundred yeeres after, our ancestours have believed, and a Poet of good antiquity hath written in this wise:
The mans right hand by no worme perisht is,
No rottennesse doth cause it putrifie;
No binding cold can make it starke, ywis,
Nor melting heat dissolve and mollifie;
But alwaies in one state persist it will,
Such as it was. Through dead, it liveth still.
22. This Abbay, as writeth Peter of Bloys, being sometime burnt downe to the ground by the Danes furious outrage, and for many revolutions of yeeres altogether forlorne, that noble and devout Earle of Lincolne Gilbert de Gaunt reedified, and in most thankfull affectionate minde assigned unto it with many other possessions the tithes of all his Manours wheresoever throughout England. Then is Witham increased with Ban, a little river which out of the mids of Lindsey runneth downe, first, by Horne Castle, which belonged in times past to Adeliza or Condie, and was laid even with the ground in the reigne of Stephen, afterwards became a capitall seat of the Baronie of Gerard de Rodes, and pertaineth now, as I have heard, to the bishop of Carlile. From thence by Scrivelby, a Manour of the Dimockes, who hold it hereditarily devolved upon them from the Marmons by Sir John Ludlow, and that by service (to use now the Lawyers words) of Grand Serjeantie, viz., That whensoever any King of England is to be crowned, then the Lord of this Mannour, for the time being, or some one in his name (if himselfe be unable) shall come well armed for the warre, mounted upon a good horse of service, in presence of this soveraigne Lord the King upon his Coronation day, and cause proclamation to be made that if any man will avouch that the said soveraigne Lord the King hath not right to his kingdome and crowne, he will be prest [prepared] and ready to defend the right of the King, of his kingdome, of his crowne and dignity, with his body, against him and all others whosoever. Somewhat lower, the Ban at Tatteshall, a little towne standing in a marish country but very commodiously, well knowne by reason of the Castle, built for the most part of bricke, and the Barons thereof, runneth into Witham. The write that Eudo and Pinso two noblemen of Normandie, loving one another entirely as sworne brethren, by the liberall gift of King William the Conquerour received many Lordships and faire lands in this tract, which they parted so as that Tatteshall fell to Eudo, which he held by Baronie, from whose posterity it came by Dryby and the Bernaks unto Sir Raulph Cromwell, whose sonne, bearing the same name and being under King Henrie the Sixth Lord Treasurer of England, departed out of this world without issue; but unto Pinso fell Eresh, which is not farre of. From whose progenie the inheritance descended by the Becks unto the Willoughbeys, unto whom there came also an encrease both of honor, and also of faire Livelods [patrimonies] by their wives, not onely from the Uffords Earles of Suffolk, but also from the Lords of Welles, who brought with them very faire possessions and lands of the family de Engain Lords of ancient Nobility, and from the first comming in of the Normans of great powre in these parts. Among these Willoughbeis one excelled all the rest in the reigne of Henrie the Fifth, named Sir Robert Willoughbey, who for his martiall prowesse was created Earle of Vindosme in France, and from these by the mothers side descended Peregrine Berty, Baron Willoughby of Eresby, a man for his generous minde and military valour renowned both in France and the Low-countries. Witham, now approaching neere unto the Sea, entertaineth out of the North another small namelesse river, at the spring head whereof standeth Bollingbroke Castle, situate upon a low ground, and built of a soft and crumbling stone by William de Romara Earle of Lincolne, taken from Alice Lacey by King Edward the Second, because she maried against his will, and ennobled in that it was the Birth-place of King Henrie the Fourth, who thereof was named Henrie of Bollingbroke. At which time it beganne to be reckoned among those Honorable Manours which are termed Honours. And Witham, after it hath received this riveret, having passed through Boston, as I have said, dischargeth it selfe at length into the German Sea.
23. From the mouth of Witham the shore shutteth forth with a mighty swelling bent into the German Sea as farre as to Humber, a great Arme of the Sea, being everywhere slashed and indented with many small washes and places which the salt water breaketh into, and hath but few townes upon it, because there be few havens there, and the shelves or barres of sand lie everywhere anenst [near to] the land. Yet of those few townes which take up this coast some be memorable, and Wainefleet especially, if it were but for this cause onely, that it bred William Wainfleet Bishop of Winchester, a worthy Prelat, founder of Mawdlen College in Oxford, a man that singularly well deserved of learning. Then Alford, which for the mercate is beholden to Lion Lord Welles, who obtained for it this priviledge from King Henrie the Sixth. This family of Welles was very ancient honorable, and the last of that name had to wife a daughter of King Edward the Fourth, and being by King Henrie the Seventh created Vicount Welles, died having no issue. But the inheritance by the Females came to the Willoughbeys, Dimockes, De la Launds, Hoes and others. ‡More inward are Driby and Grimseby, neighbour townes which gave surnames to two great families in their times; from the Dribyes descended the elder Lords Cromwell, now determined, and from Ormesbyes the house of Skipwith, stil continuing.‡ After this ye have Louth a little mercate towne well frequented, which had the name of Lud, a small river that runneth under Cokerington, the capital place in times past of the Baronie of Scoteney. And then Grimsby, which our Sabins or conceited persons, dreaming what they list and following their owne fansies, will have to be so called of one Grime a merchant, who for that he had brought up a little foundling of the Danes roiall bloud named Haveloke, when it had beene cast forth to perish, or to take his lucke or fortune, is much talked of, together with Haveloke that lucky foster-child of his, who, having beene first a skullen [scullery-boy] in the Kings kitchen, and afterwards promoted to the marriage of the Kings daughter for his heroycall valour in feats of arms and I wot not what worthy exploits. A narration right wel beseeming and meetest for them that take pleasure to passe out the long nights with telling of old wives tales. ‡But the honour and ornament of this place was the right reverend Doctor Whitgift, late Archbishop of Canterbury, a peerelesse prelate for pietie and learning in our daies.‡
24. Scarce six miles from hence, more within the country, there sheweth it selfe an ancient Castle, which at this day is called Castor, in the old English Saxons tongue Thuang-caster and Thong-caster, in British Caer Egarry. In both languages it is aptly named so of the thing, to wit, of an hide cut into peaces, like as Byrsa, that Castle or Citadell of the Carthaginians so well knowen. For our Annales record that Hengist the Saxon, after he had vanquished the Picts and Scots and received very large possessions in other places, obtained also in this tract of Vortigern so much ground as he could compasse round about with an oxe hide cut out into very smal laners, that we call Thongs, wherin he founded and built this castle. Whence it is that one who hath written in verse a Breviarie of the British Historie turned Virgils verses in this maner:
And ground he tooke, which Thong he cal’ d when he did first begin,
As much as he a bull hide cut could well enclose within.
From Grimsby the shore draweth in with great reach to make way for to admit Humber, by Thornton a religious house in times past instituted for the worship of God by William the Grosse Earle of Aumarle; also by Barton, where there is a very notable Ferry or passage over into Yorkshire. Hard by, Aukham a little muddy river, and therefore full of Eeles, emptieth it selfe into Humber, neere unto the spring-head whereof is Merket-Rason, so called of a mercate there well resorted unto. Somewhat higher stand Angotby, now corruptly called Osgodby, belonging in times past to the family of Semarc, from whom it descended hereditarily to the Airmins; also Kelsay, a Lordship in old time of the Hansards, men of great name in this shire, from whom in right of the wives it came to the family of the Ascoghs, Knights. But after this, Ankham hath a bridge over it at Glanford, a small mercate towne which the common people of the said bridge so commonly call Brigg that the true name is almost quite forgotten. Next unto it within a Parke I saw Kettleby, the seat of the worshipfull ancient family of the Tirwhits, Knights, descended from Gronvil Oxenbridge, and Enchingham. But in times past it was the habitation, as a man may gather by the name, of one Ketell (which was in the times of the Saxons and Danes and usuall name). For bye in the English-Saxon language signifieth A dwelling place, and , and byan to dwell, whence it is that so many places both elsewhere in England heere especially in this shire doe end in bye.
25. All this Tract over at certain seasons, good God, what store of foules (to say nothing of fishes) is heere to be found! I meane not those vulgar birds which in other places are highly esteemed and beare a great price, as Teales, Quales, Woodcocks, Phesants, Partridges &c., but such as we have no Latin names for, the very delicate dainties, indeed, of service, meates for the Demigods, and greatly sought for by those that love the tooth so well. I meane Puitts, Godwitts, Knots, that is to say, Canuts or Knouts birds (for out of Denmarke they are thought to fly thither), Dotterells, so named of their dotish foolishnesse, which being a kind of birds, as it were, of an apish kind, ready to imitate what they see done, are caught by candle light according to foulers gesture: if he put forth an arme, they also stretch out a wing; sets he forward his legge, or holdeth up his head, they likewise doe theirs; in briefe, what ever the fouler doth, the same also doth this foolish bird untill it be hidden within the net. But these things i leave to their observation, who either take pleasure earnestly to hunt after Natures workes, or, being borne for to pamper the belly, delight to send their estates downe the throat.
26. More Westward the River Trent also, after he hath ended his long course, is received into the Humber, after it hath with his sandy banke bounded this shire from Fosse-dike hither, having runne downe first not farre from Stow, where Godive the wife of Earle Leofricke built a Monasterie, which for the low site that it hath under the hills, Henrie of Huntingdon saith to have beene founded under the Promontorie of Lincolne. Then, neere unto Knath, now the habitation of Baron Willoughby of Parnham, in times past of the family of the Barons Darcy, who had very much encrease both in honor and also in possessions by the daughter and heire of the Meinills. This family of the Darcyes proceeded from another more ancient, to wit, from one whose name was Norman de Adrecy or Darcy de Nocton, who flourished in high reputation under King Henrie the Third, and whose successours endowed with lands the little Nunnerie at Alvingham in this County. But this dignity is as it were extinct, for that the last Norman in the right line, which is more ancient, left behind him onely two sisters, of which the one was maried to Roger Pedwardine, the other to Peter of Limbergh.
27. Then runneth the Trent down to Gainsborrow, a towne ennobled by reason of the Danes ships that lay there at rode, and also for the the death of Swene Tings-Kege, a Danish Tyrant, who after he had robbed and spoiled the country, as Matthew of Westminster writeth, being heere stabbed to death by an unknowne man, suffred due punishment at length for his wickednesse and villanie. Many a yeere after this it became the possession of Sir William de Valence Earle of Pembroke, who obtained for it of King Edward the First the liberty to keepe a Faire. From which Earle by the Scotish Earles of Athol and the Percies, descended from the Barons of Bourough who heere dwelt, concerning whom I have written already in Surrie. In this part of the shire stood long since the City Sidnacester, which affoorded a See to the Bishops of this Tract, who were called the Bishops of Lindofars. But this City is now so farre out of all sight and knowledge that together with the name the very ruines also seeme to have perished, for by all my curious enquirie I could learne nothing of it. Neither must I overpasse that in this quarter, at Melwood, there flourisheth the familie of Saint Paul, corruptly called Sampoll, knights: which I alwaies thought to have beene of that ancient Castilion race of the Earles of Saint Paul in France. But the Coat-Armour of Luxemburgh which they beare implieth that they are come out of France since that the said Castilion stocke of Saint Paul was by marriage implanted into that of Luxemburgh, which happened two hundred yeares since or there about.
28. Above this place the rivers of Trent, Idell and Dane doe so disport themselves with the division of their streames, and marshes caused by them and other springs, as they enclose within them the river-Island of Axelholme, in the Saxon tongue Eaxalholme, which is a parcell of Lincolnshire. It carrieth in length from South to North ten miles, and in bredth not past halfe so much. The flat and lower part of it toward the river is marish ground, and bringeth forth an odiferous kind of shrub, which they tearme gall. It yeeldeth also Pets [peat] in the more, and dead rootes of fir-wood which in burning give a ranke sweet savour. There also have beene found great and long firre-trees while they digged for peet, both within the isle and also without, at Laughton upon Trent banke, the old habitation of the family of D’ alanson, now contractly called Dalison. The middle parts of this isle, where it riseth gently with some ascent, is frutefull and fertile, and yeeldeth flax in great aboundance. Also the Alabaster-stone, and yet the same not being very solide but brittle, is more meet for pargetting and plaster-worke than for other uses. The chiefe towne, called in old time Axel, is now named Axey, whence, by putting to the Saxon word holme, which they used for a River-Iland, the name no doubt was compounded. But scarce deserveth it to be called a towne, it is so scatteringly inhabited, and yet it is able to shew the plot of ground where a Castle stood, that was rased in the Barons warre, and which belonged to the Mowbraies, who at that time possessed a great part of the Isle. In the yeere 1173, as writeth an old Chronographer, Roger de Mowbraie, forsaking his allegeance to the Elder King, repaired the Castle at Kinard Ferry in the Isle of Axholme, which had been of old time destroyed. Against whom a number of Lincolneshire men making head, when they had passed over the water in barges, laid siege to the castle, forced the Constable thereof and all the souldiours to yeeld, and overthrew the said Castle. Somewhat higher is Botterwic, the Lord where of Sir Edmund Sheffeld King Edward the Sixth created the first Baron Sheffeld of Botherwic: who for his country spent his life against the rebels in Norfolke, having begotten of Anne Vere the Earle of Oxfords daughter a sonne named John, the second Baron, and father to Edmund now Lord Sheffeld, a right honorable Knight of the Garter, President of the Councell established in the North. But more into the North I saw Burton Stather standing upon the other side of Trent, whereof I have hetherto read nothing memorable.
29. This Shire glorieth in the Earles which have borne title thereof. After Egga who flourished in the yeere 710 and Morcar, both Saxons, and who were Earles by office onely, William de Romara, a Norman, was the first Earle after the Conquest, in whose roome being dead (for neither his sonne, whereas he died before his father, nor his grand-child enjoied this title) King Stephen placed Gilbert de Gaunt. After whose decease Simon de Saint Lyz the younger, the sonne of Earle Simon (you read the very words of Robert Montesis, who lived about that time) Wanting lands, by the gratious gift of King Henrie the Second tooke his only daughter to wife, with her his honour also. After this, Lewis of France, who was by the seditious Barons brought into England, girt a second Gilbert out of the family de Gaunt with the sword of the Earldome of Lincolne, but when the said Lewis was soone after expelled the land, no man acknowledged him for Earle, and himselfe of his owne accord relinquished that title. Then Raulph the sixt Earle of Chester obtained this honor of King Henrie the Third, who a little before his death gave unto Hawise or Avis his sister (the wife of Robert de Quincy) by Charter the Earledome of Lincoln, so farre forth as appertained unto him, that shee might be Countesse thereof. For in this tenor runne the verie words of the Charter. Shee likewise bestowed it upon John de Lacy Constable of Chester, and the heires whom hee should beget of the bodie of Margaret her daughter. This John had issue Edmund, who dying before his mother left this honour for Henrie his son to enjoy, who was the last Earle of that line. For when his sonnes were taken away by untimely death, and he had but one little daughter onely remaining alive named Alice, he affianced her, being but nine yeares old, to Thomas the sonne of Edmund Earle of Lancaster, with this condition, That if hee should fortune to die without heires of her body, or if they happened to die without heires of their bodies, his Castles, Lordships, &c. should in Remainder come to the heires of Edmund Earle of Lancaster for ever. But the said Alice had no child at all by her husband Thomas. But when Thomas her husband was beheaded, shee that by her light behaviour had not a little steined her good name tooke Sir Eubul le Strange, with whom she had lived before time too familiarly, for her husband, without the assent and privity of her Soveraigne: who being hereat highly offended, seized her possessions into his owne hands. ‡Yet both Sir Eubul Strange and Sir Hugh Frene her third husband are in some Recordes named Earles of LIncolne.‡ After Alice, now verie aged, was departed this life without issue, Henrie Earle of Lancaster, Nephew to Edmund aforesaid by his second sonne, entred upon her large and faire patrimony by vertue of that conveiance (which I spake of before) and from that time it accrued to the House of Lancaster. Howbeit the Kings of England at their pleasure have bestowed the name and honour of Earles of Lincolne, as King Edward the Fourth gave it to Sir John De la Pole, and King Henrie the Eighth to Henry Brandon, both the sonnes of the Dukes of Suffolke, who both ended this life without issue, ‡the first slaine in the battaile at Stooke, and the other taken away by the sweating sicknesse.‡ Afterward Queene Elizabeth promoted Edward Baron Clinton Lord high Admirall of England to the said honour, which his sonne Henry enjoieth at this day.
There are in this shire Parishes much about 630.
PON the West side of Lincolnshire confineth the county of Nottingham, in the English-Saxon tongue Snottengaham-scyre, and in English Notthinghamshire, being fare lesse in quantity, limited Northward with Yorkshire, Westward with Darbyshire and in some parts with Yorkshire, and on the South side with Leicestershire. The South and East parts thereof are made more fruitfull by the Noble and famous river Trent, with other riverets resorting unto it. The West part is taken up with the Forrest of Shirewood, which stretcheth out a great way. This part because it is sandy, the inhabitants tearme The Sand; the other, for that it is Claish, they call The Clay; and so have divided their Country into these two parts.
2. The river Trent, in the old English-Saxon tongue teonta (which some Antiquaries of small note and account have called Triginta in Latine, for the affinity of the French word Trent, signifieth the number triginta, that, is thirty), having gone a long journey so soone as he is entred into this shire and hath ran first by Steanford, where I have learned there be many tokens remaining of old antiquity, and peeces of Roman money oftentimes found; and then by Clifton, much inriched by one of the heires of Cressy, taketh in from the West the little river Lin, which rising neere unto Newsted, that is, New place, where sometime King Henry the Second founded a small Abbay, and which is now the dwelling house of the ancient family of the Burons, descended from Ralph de Buron, who at the first comming in of the Normans flourished in great state both in this country and also in Lancaster, runneth hard by Wallaton rich in veines of cole, where sir Francis Willoughby, a Knight nobly descended from the Greis Marques Dorset, in our daies built out of the ground with great charges ‡(yet for the most part levied out of his Cole-pits)‡ a stately house with artificiall workmanship, standing bleakely, but offering a very goodly prospect to the beholders far and neere. Then runneth it by Linton or Lenton, much frequented and famous in old time for the Abbay there of the Holy Trinity, founded by Wiliam Peverell, the base sonne of King William the Conqueror, but now all the fame is onely for a Faire there kept. Where on the other banke, at the very meeting well neere of LIn and Trent, the principall towne that hath given name unto this Shire is seated upon the side of an hill, now called Nottingham (by softning the old name a little) for Snottengaham, for so the English-Saxons named it of certaine caves and passages under the ground, which in old time they hewed and wrought hollow under those huge and steepe cliffes which are on the Southside hanging over the little river Lin, for places of receit and refuge, yea and for habitations. And there upon Asserius interpreteth this Saxon word Snottengaham in Latine Speluncarum domum, that is, An house of Dennes or Caves, and in the British Tui ogo bauc, which signifieth the very selfesame. The towne for the naturall site thereof is right pleasant: as where, on the one hand life faire and large Medowes by the rivers side, on the other rise hils with a gentle and easie ascent, and is plentifully provided of all things beside necessary for mans life. On the one side Shirwood yeeldeth store of wood to maintaine fire, although many use for that purpose stinking pit cole digged forth of the ground; on the other, Trent serveth it aboundantly with fish. And hence hath been taken up this od barbarous verse:
Shire-wood yeelds me fuell for fire,
As Trent yeelds fish, what I require.
3. At a word, for largenes, for building, for 3 faire Churches, a passing spacious and beutiful mercat place, and a most strong Castle, it maketh a goodly shew. The said Castle is is mounted upon a huge and steepe worke on the West side of the City, in which place it is thought that Castle stood in times past upon whose strength the Danes presuming held out against the siege of Aethered and Aelfrid so long, untill they frustrat of their purpose brake up their siege, trussed up bagge and baggage and dislodged. For when the Danes had taken this Castle, Burthred king of the Mercians (as mine author Asserius writeth) and the Mercians, addresse their messengers to Aethered king of the West Saxons and to Aelfred his brother, humbly beseeching them to come and aide them, that so they might give battaile unto the fore-named armie, which request they also easily obtained. For those two brethren slacking no whit in their promise, having levied from all partes a mighty armie, assembled their forces, entred Mercia, and seeking with one accord jointly to encounter the enimy, come as farre as to Snottenga-ham. And when the Painims, keeping themselves within the defense of the Castle, refused to give battaile, and the Christians with all their force could not batter the wall, after peace concluded betweene the Paganes and the Mercians, those two brethren with their bands returned home. But after this King Edward the Elder built the village Bridgeford just over against it, and compassed the towne about with a wall, which now is fallen downe, and yet the remaines thereof I have seene on the South side. And within a very few yeares after, in King Edward the Confessors time, as wee reade in Domesday booke, there were numbered in it one hundred and seventy three Burgesses, and from the two Minters there were paid forty shillings to the King. Also the water of Trent, the Fosse dike, and the waie toward Yorke were warded and kept, that if any man hindered the passage of vessels, hee was to make amends with the payment of foure pounds.
4. As for the Castle which now wee see, it may bee well of great name in regard both of the founder, and the worthinesse also of the worke. For William of Normandie built it to bridle the English, and so strong it was, as William of Newbourough writeth, as well by naturall situation as hand-labour, that it is held impregnabile (if it may have sufficient men to defend it) unlesse it be by famine. Afterward also King Edward the Fourth bestowed great cost in the repairing of it, and beautified it with faire buildings, whereto King Richard also the Third set his helping hand. Neither for all the charges and alterations of times hath it undergone the common condition or destiny incident to such great Castles, being never forced and won by assault. Once was it in vaine besieged by Henry of Anjou, at which time the soldiers lying in garison set fire upon the buildings joyning unto it. Once also was it suddenly surprised by Earle Robert de Ferrariis in the Barons war, who spoiled the inhabitants of all their goods. The Castellanes report many stories of David King of the Scots prisoner in it, and of Roger Mortimer Earle of March, taken here in a hollow secret passage under the ground, who because he prised his faith and loialty to his country lighter than Scotish gold, and with a vast minde designed other mischiefes, was afterwards hanged. Certes, in the first base court of the Castle we went downe by many steps or staires with candle light unto a vault under the ground and certaine close roomes wrought out of the verie rocke, in the walles whereof are engraven the stories of Christs passion and other things by the hand (as they say) of David the Second King of Scots, who was there imprisoned. But in the upper part of the Castle, which riseth up aloft upon a rock, we came also by many staires into another cave likewise under the ground, which they call Mortimers Hole, for that in it the foresaid Roger Mortimer lay hidden, when as, being guilty to himselfe of wicknesse, hee stood in feare of his life. As for the position of Nottingham, it seeth the North Pole elevated fifty three degrees, and hath the Meridian two and twenty degrees and foureteene minutes distant from the utmost point of the West, ‡whence Geographers beginne to measure the Longitude.‡
5. From hence the Trent runneth with a milde streame and passeth forward by Holme, called of the Lords thereof Holme Pierpount, whose family is both ancient and noble, and out of which Roger Pierpount was summoned by King Edward the Third unto the high Court of Parliament among the Barons of the kingdom, unto Shelford where Ralph Hanselin founded a Priorie, and the Lords Bardolph had a mansion but now the seat of that worshipfull stocke of the Stanhopes, knights, whose state in this tract hath growne great and their name renowned since they matched with an heire of Mallovell. From whence he runneth downe with a rolling streame to Stoke, a little village but well knowne for no small overthrow and slaughter that there happened, when Sir John Delapole Earle of Lincoln, who beeing by King Richard the Third declared heire apparent to the Crowne, seeing by the comming of King Henry the Seventh himselfe debarred of the hope of the kingdome, here in behalfe of a counterfeit Prince rebelliously opposed himselfe against a lawfull king, and so resolutly with his friends and followers lost his life. Not farre from hence ‡is Thurgarton where Dir Ralph D’ Eincourt founded a Priorie, and somewhat higher‡ Southwell sheweth selfe aloft, with a Collegiat Church of Prebendaries consecrated to the blessed Virgin Marie, a place not verie faire in outward shew, I must needes say, but strong, ancient, and of great fame. Which, as they write, Paulinus the first Archbishop of Yorke founded, after hee had baptised the inhabitants of this shire in the river Trent, and so regenerated them to Christ. Since which time, the Archbishops of Yorke have had here a very faire and stately palace and three parkes stored with Dere adjoyning thereto. That this is the City which Bede calleth Tio-vul-Finga-cester I doe the more stedfastly beleeve, because those things which hee hath reported of Paulinus baptizing in the Trent neere unto Tio-vul-Finga-cester the private History of this Church constantly avoucheth to have beene done in this very place. From thence out of the East, Snite a little brooke runneth into Trent, which being but small and shallow watereth Langer, a place of name in regard of the Tibetots or Tipstofts Lords thereof, who afterwards became Earles of Worcester: also Wiverton, which from Heriz, a worshipfull man long since in these parts, came by the Brets and Caltostes unto the Chaworthes, who fetch their name out of the Cadurci in France, and derive their pedigree from the Lord of Walchervill.
6. Now doth the Trent divide it selfe ‡nere Averham or Aram, an ancient habitation of the Suttons gentlemen of respective worth,‡ and runneth hard under a good great towne called Newark, as one would say, The new work, of the new castle, which castle so fresh and of so beautifull building, as Henry of Huntingdon tearmeth it, Alexander that bountifull minded Bishop of Lincoln built, which Prelate, that I may use the words of an ancient Historian, carrying a most brave and gallant minde, builded both this castle and another also with most profuse and lavish expense. And because such manner of sumptuous building little became the gravity and dignity of a bishop, hee to take awaie the envie and hard conceit of the world for such building and to expiat, as it were, the offence that grew thereby, founded as many monasteries and filled them with religious Bretheren. Neverthelesse, this vaine prodigality and lavish spending that was in a militarie Bishop, was pursued afterwards with condigne punishment. For King Stephen, who laboured nothing more than to establish his tottering estate in his kingdome by seizing into his hands all the strongest holds thereof, brought this Prelate, what with hard imprisoning and, in a sort, with famishing him, to that passe that, will’ d hee nill’ d hee, at length he yeelded up unto him both this Castle and that other at Sleford in Lincolnshire. Neither is there any other memorable matter here to be related, but that King John finished in this place the most wearisome course of his troublesome life, ‡and King Edward the Sixth incorporated it of one Alderman and twelve Assistants.‡ From hence the river, gathering himselfe againe into one chanell, runneth directly Northward, beset on both sides with villages, neither affordeth it any matter worthy of remembrance before it come to Littleborrough, a little towne in deed and truely answering to the name, where, as there is at this day a Ferrie much used, so there was in times past that station whereof Antonine the Emperour once or twice made mention, and which according to sundry copies is called Andelocum or Segelocum. This towne have I heretofore sought for in vaine about the Country adjoyning, but now i am verily perswaded and assured that I have found it out, both for that it standeth upon the old port HIgh-waie, and also because the field lying to it sheweth expresse tokens of walles, and besides affordeth unto plowmen every day many peeces of the Roman Emperours coine, which because swine many times rooting into the ground turne up with their snouts, the country people call Swines-penies. Which also, according to their simple capacity, are of opinion that their fore-fathers in times past fensed and mounded that field with a stone-wall against the waters of Trent that useth in Winter-time to overflow and make great flouds.
7. In the West part of this Shire, which they tearme The Sand, and where Erwash a little riveret hieth apace into Trent, Strelley, in old time Strellegh, sheweth it selfe, a place that gave both surname and habitation to the familie of the Strelleies, commonly called Sturleyes, Knights, one of the most ancient houses in all this Country. More inward, the Forest Shirwood (which some expound by these Latine names Limplida Sylva, that is, a Shire or Cleere wood, others Praeclara Sylva in the same sence and signification) in ancient times over-shadowed all the Country over with greene leaved branches, and the boughes and armes of trees twisted one within another so implicated the woods together that a man could scarcely goe alone in the beaten pathes. But now the trees grow not so thicke, yet hath it an infinite number of fallow Deere, yea and Stagges with their stately branching heads feeding within it. Some towns also: among which Manfield carrieth away the name, as maintaining a great Mercat passing well served, and aswell frequented. The name of which town they that delineat the pedegree of the Graves of the great family of Mansfield in Germany use as an argument to prove the same, and set downe that the first Earle of Mansfield was one of King Arthurs Knights of the Round Table, borne and bred at this Mansfield. Indeed our Kings used in old time to retyre themselves hether for the love of shunting, and, that you may read the very words out of an ancient Inquisition, Willielmus Fauconberge tenebat manerium de Cukeney in hoc comitatu in sergientia per sevitium ferrandi palfredum regis quando rex veniret ad Mansfield, that is, William Fauconberge held the Manour of Cuckeney in this Country in Serjencie, by service to shooe the kings palfrey when the King came to Mansfield.‡And the hereditarie Forresters or Keepers of this forrest of Shirewood were men in their times of high estimation, viz. Sir Gerarge de Normanvile in the time of the Conquest, the Canzes and Birkins, by whose heire it came to the Everinghams. Of which family Sir Adam Everingham was summoned to Parlaments in the reignes of King Edward the the Second and King Edward the Third. At which time they were seated at Laxton, anciently called Lexington, where also flourished a great family so surnamed, whose heires were maried into the houses of Sutton of Averham and Markham.‡ Out of this wood there spring many riverets that runne into the Trent, but Idle is thought to be the chiefe: upon which neere unto Idleton in the yeare 616 that felicity and prosperous successe which for a long time had accompanied Ethered that most puissant king of the Northumberland, was overtaken and forsooke him quite. For whereas before time hee had alwaies fought his battailes most fortunately, heere (fortune turning her wheele) hee was by Redwald king of the East Angles vanquished and slaine, who in his roome made Edwin, then banished from the kingdome due unto him from his ancesters, soveraigne ruler over the Northumbers. This little river Idle runneth down not farre from Markham, a village verily but small to speake of, yet gave it name to the familie of the Markhams, which for worth and antiquity hath bin verie notable, being descended from one of the heires of Cressy, ‡and formerly from an heire of Lexington, as I lately shewed.‡ The greatest ornament of this family was Sir John Markham, who sitting Lord chiefe Justice of England, guided the helme of Justice with so an even an hand and so great equity (a thing that I would have you to read in the English histories) that his honor and glorie shall never perish. Six miles from it Westward is Workensop, a towne well knowne for the liquorice that there groweth and prospereth passing well, famous also for the Earle of Shrewburies house which within our remembrance George Talbot Earle of Shrewburie built with that magnificence as beseemeth so great an Earle, and yet such as was not to bee envied This Workensop from the Lovetofts first Lords thereof under the Normans reigne, descended by the Furnivalles and Nevil unto the Lords Talbots with a very goodly inheritance. Of which Lovetofts, George Lovetoft in the time of King Henry the First founded heere an Abbay, the ruines whereof I have seene toward the East side of the towne, amidst most pleasant and plentifull pastures, and the West part of the Church standeth still passing faire to be seene with two tower steeples. A little higher upon the same river I saw Blithe a famous Mercat towne, which Bulley or Busley, a Nobleman of the Normans blood, fortified with a Castle, but now the very rubbish thereof is hardly to be seene, time so consumeth all things. But the Abbay there was founded by Robert Busley and Foulke De Lasieurs, and this is the farthest towne almost in Nottinghamshire Northward, unlesse it be Scroby, a little towne of the Archbishops of Yorke situate in the very confines and frontires of Yorkshire.
8. William surnamed the Conqueror appointed over this shire William Peverell his base sonne, not with the title of Earle, but of Lord of Nottingham: who had a sonne that died before his father, and he likewise had a sonne of the same name, whom King Henry the Second disinherited for that hee went about to poison Ranulph Earle of Chester. Much about this time Robert de Ferrariis, who rifled and ransacked Nottingham in a Donation which he made unto the Church of Tuttesbury, stiled himself thus, Robertus comes iunior de Nottingham, that is, Robert the younger Earle of Nottingham. But afterwards King Richard the First gave and confirmed unto his brother John the Earledome and Castle of Nottingham with all the Honour of Peverell. Many yeeres after, King Richard the Second honored John Lord Mowbray with this title of Earle of Nottingham: who dying a young man without issue, his brother Thomas succeeded after him. He being by King Richard the Second created Earle Mareshall and Duke of Norfolke, and soone after banished, begat Thomas Earle Mareshal, whom King Henry the Fourth beheaded, and John Mowbray, who, as also his sonne and Nephew were likewise Dukes of Norfolke and Earles of Nottingham. But when as their male issue failed, and that Richard the young sonne of King Edward the Fourth, being Duke of Yorke, had borne this title with others by his wife and heire of the Mobraies but a smalle while, King Richard the Third honored William Vicount Barkley, descended from the Mowbraies, with this title of Earle of Nottingham, and whereas he died without issue, King Henry the Eight bestowed the same honour upon his illegitimate sonne Henry Fitz-roy when he created him Duke of Richmond; but he departed this life in the flower of his age, leaving no child. Afterward this title lay extinct, untill in the yeere of our Lord 1597 Queene Elizabeth by solemne investiture adorned therewith Charles Lord Howard of Effingham and High Admiral of England, descended from the Mowbraies, in regard of his service (as appeareth in the Charter of his Creation) right valiantly and faithfully performed against the Spanish Armado in the yeere 1588, as also at the winning of Caliz in Spaine, where was Lord Generall of the forces by sea, like as the Earle of Essex of those by land.
There are in this County Parish Churches 168.
ARBYSHIRE, called on old English-Saxon Deorbi-scire, lieth close to Nottinghamshire Westward, confining with Leicestershire upon the Southside, like as with Staffordshire on the West and Yorkshire in the north, resembling, as it were, the forme of a Triangle, but not with equall sides. For whereas about the point of it lying Southward it is scarce six miles broad, it so enlargeth and spreadeth it selfe on both sides that where it looketh into the North it carrieth much about thirty miles in breadth. The river Derwent that runneth along the middest of it, divideth it after a sort in two parts: which river, breaking out of the North limit thereof and taking his course Southward, sometimes with his blacke waters stained with the soile and earth that it passeth by, rumbleth downe apace into the Trent. For Trent overthwarteth the said narrow point that I spake of, lying Southward. The East side and the South parts are well manured, not unfruitfull, and besides, well stored with parkes. The West part beyond Derwent, with they call the Peake, being all of it hilly, or a stony and craggie ground, is more barraine, howbeit rich in lead, yron, and coles, which it yeeldeth plentifully, and also feedeth sheepe very commodiously.
2. In the South corner the first place worth the naming that offreth it selfe to sight is Greisely castle, more than broken downe, which together with a little Monasterie was founded in times past in honor of Saint George by the Greiseleies Lords thereof, who fetching their descent from William the sonne of Sir Niele of Greiseley about the the very Conquest of England by the Normans, have flourished unto these daies in great worship, the which they have not a little augmented long since by marrying with the daughter and heire of the ancient family of Gasteneys. Upon the river Dove, which untill it entreth into Trent divideth this country from Staffordshire, we meete with nothing in this shire but small country villages, and Ashburne a mercate towne, where the house of the Cokains flourished a long time, and Nordbury, where the right ancient family of the Fitz-Herberts have long inhabited, out of which Sir Anthonie Fitz-Herbert hath deserved passing well of the knowledge and profession of the Commons law. Not farre from which is Shirley an ancient Lordship of the well renowned family of the Shirleys, who derive their pedigree from one Fulcher, unto whom, beside the antiquity of their house, much honor and faire lands have accrued by marriage with the heires of the Breoses, the Bassets of Braeilesford, the Stantons, Lovets &c. And heere stand round about many places which have given name and habitation to worshipfull families: as Longford, Bradburne, Kniveton, from whence came those Knivetons of Mercaston and Bradley, of which house Saint Lo Kniveton is one, to whose judicous and studious diligence I am deeply endebted; also Keidelston, where the Cursons dwelt, as also at Crokhall. ‡But whether Sir Robert Curson Knighted by King Henrie the Seventh, made a Baron of the Empire by Maximilian the Emperor in the yere 1500 for is singular valor, and thereupon by King Henry the Eighth made a Baron of England with a liberall pension assigned, was descended from these Cursons, I dare not affirme.‡ Heereby is Radborn, where Sir John Chandos Knight, Lord of the place, laid a goodly foundation of a great and stately house: from whom by a daughter it came by hereditarie succession unto the Poles, who dwell heere at this day. But these particularities I leave for him who hath undertaken the full description of this shire.
3. But upon Trent, so soone as ever he hath taken to him the river Dove, is Repandunum to be seene, for so doe our Historie-writers call it. The Saxons named it Hrepandun, and we at this day Repton, which from a great and faire towne is become a poore small village. For in old time very famous it was by reason of the buriall of Aethelbald that good King of the Mercians, who through the treachery of his owne people lost his life, and of the other Kings of Mercia; as also for the unfortunate calamity of Burthred the last King of the Mercians, who when hee had enjoied his kingdome, partly by way of entreaty and partly by meanes of briberie, full twenty yeeres, was heere deprived of his Kingdome by the Danes, or rather freed and exempted from the glittering miserie of princely State, and so became an example to teach men in how ticklish and slippery a place they stand which are underpropped onely with money. Then not farre from Trent is Melborne, a Castle of the Kings, now decaying, wherein John Duke of Burbon, taken prisoner in the battaile of Agincourt, was detained 19 yeeres under the custodie of Sir Nicolas Montgomerie the younger. Scarce five miles hence Northward the river Derewent hath his walke; who in the utmost limit, as I said before, of this shire Northward deriving his head out of the Peak hils, being one while streitned betweene crags, and sometimes another while watering and cherishing the fresh greene meddowes, by mossie and morish grounds holdeth on his course for thirty miles or there about directly, as it were, into the South. Howbeit in so long a course hee passeth by nothing worth looking on except Chattesworth, a very large, faire and stately house which Sir William Candish, or Cavendish, descended out of that ancient house of Gernon in Suffolk, began, and which his wife Elizabeth, and after Countess of Shrewsbury, hath of late with great charges fully finished.
4. But where Derwent turneth somewhat Eastward, when it is once past Little Chester, that is, Little City, where old peeces of Roman money are oftentimes gotten out of the ground, Darby sheweth it selfe, in the English-Saxon tongued named Northworthig, and by the Danes (as Aethelward that ancient writer witnesseth) Deoraby, the chiefe towne of all this shire: which name, being taken from the river Derwent and contracted from Derwentby, it hath bestowed upon the whole County. A proper towne it is, none of the least, not without good trade and resort unto it. On the East side of it, the river Derwent, making a verie faire shew, runneth downe carrying a full and lofty streame under a beautifull stone bridge, upon which our devout forefathers erected a faire Chappell, which now is neglected and goeth to decay. Through the South part thereof runneth a pretie cleere riveret which they call Mertenbrooke. Five Churches there bee in it, of which the greatest, named All Hallowes, dedicated to the memorie of All-Saints, hath a tower steeple that for height and singular fine workemanship excelleth. In which Church the Countesse of Shrewsburie, of whom erewhile I spake, trusting her selfe better than her heires, providently erected a sepulchre for her selfe, and as religiously founded an Hospitall hard by for the maintenance of twelve poor folke, eight men and foure women. Memorable in old time was this place, because it had beene a lurking hole and a Rendevous for the Danes, untill Ethelfleda that victorious Lady of the Mercians by a suddaine forceable surprise made a slaughter of the Danes and became Mistresse of it. In the time of King Edward the Confessor, as we find in Domesday booke, it had 143 Burgesses, whose number notwithstanding decreased so that in William the Conquerours reigne there remained onely an hundred: And these paid unto the king at the feat of Saint Martin 12 Trabes of Corne. But now all the name and credit that it hath ariseth of the Assises there kept for the whole shire, and by the best nappie ale that is brewed there, a drink so called of the Danish word oela somewhat wrested, and not of alica, as Ruellius deriveth it. The Britans termed it by an old word kwrw, in steede whereof curmi is read amisse in Dioscorides, where hee saith that the Hiberi (perchance he would have said Hiberni, that is, The Irishmen) in lieu of wine use curmi, a kind of drinke made of Barly. For this is that Barly-wine of ours which Julian the Emperor, that Apostata, calleth merrily in an Epigramme πυρογενῆ μᾶλλον καὶ Βρόμον, οὐ Βρόμιον. This is the ancient and peculiar drinke of the Englishmen and Britans, yea and the same very wholsome, howsoever Henrie of Aurenches the Norman, Arch-poet to King Henrie Third, did in his pleasant wit merrily jest upon it in these verses:
Of this strange drinke, so like to Stygian Lake
(Most tearme it Ale), I wote not what to make.
Folke drinke it thicke, and pisse it passing thin:
Much dregges therefore must needs remain within.
Howbeit, Turnebus that most learned Frenchman maketh no doubt but that men using to drinke heereof, if they could avoid surfetting, would live longer than those that drinke wine, and that from hence it is that many of us drinking Ale live an hundred yeeres. And yet Asclepiades in Plutarch ascribeth this long life to the coldnesse of the aire, which keepeth in and preserveth the naturall heat of bodies, when he made report that the Britans lived untill they were an hundred and twenty yeeres old. But the wealth of this towne consisteth much of buying of corne and selling it againe to the mountaines, for all the inhabitants be as it were a kind of hucksters or badgers [salesmen].
5. Not farre from hence doth Derwent carry his streame, where by Elwaston Sir Raulph Montjoye had lands in the time of Edward the First, from whence came Sir Walter Blunt, whom King Edward the Fourth advanced to the honor of Baron Montjoye with a pension: whose posterity have equalled the nobility of their birth the ornaments of learning, and principally among them Charles, late Earle of Devonshire, Baron Montjoy, Lord Lieutenant generall of Ireland, and Knight of the order of the Garter. Beneath this Elwaston, Derwent disburdeneth himselfe into the chanell of Trent, which within a while admitteth into it the river Erewash, that in this part serveth as a limit to divide this country from Nottinghamshire. Nere unto this river standeth Riseley, a possession of the Willoughbies: of which family was that Sir Hugh Willoughby, as I have heard say, who whils he endevored to discover the Frozen Sea nere unto Wardhous in Scandia, was frozen to death together with his company in the same ship. Hard by it also is Sandiacre, or, as others will have it, Sainct Diacre, the seat of the family of the Greies of Sandiacre, whose inheritance Sir Edmund HIlary in right of his wife was first possessed of, and whose sonne became adopted into the name of the Greies, and, a few yeeres after, the one of his daughters and heires wedded to Sir John Leake, and the other to John Welsh.
6. On the East side of this shire there follow in order Northward these places, Codenor, in old time Coutenoure Castle, which belonged to the Barons Grey, called thereupon Lords Grey of Codenor, whose inheritance in the foregoing age came to the Zouches by the marriage that Sir John de la Zouch, the second sonne of William Lord de la Zouch of Haringwith, contracted with Elizabeth the heire of Henrie Greie the last Lord of Codenor. Then Winfeld, a very great and goodly Manour, where Raulfe Lord Cromwell in the reigne of Henrie the Sixth built a sumptuous and stately house for those daies. After it, you see Alffreton, which men thinke to have beene built by King Alfred, and of him to have taken that name. Which towne had also Lords entituled thereupon de Alfreton, of whom the second, named Robert, the sonne of Ranulph, built in the most remote angle and nouke of this shire the little Abbay De Bello Capite, commonly called Beau-chiefe, but a few yeeres after, for default of heires makes, the family of Chaworth and the Lathams in Lancashire possessed their inheritance by two daughters. These bare for their Armes two Chevrons, as they tearme them, Or, in a shield Azur, which very same coat the Musares, that is The doubters and delaiers, who were called Barons of Staveley, changing the colours only gave, who during the reigne of King Edward the First had an end in Sir Nicholas Musard, and his eldest sister was married to Ancher Frechevill, whose posterity flourisheth heere still at this day. Higher yet in the very East frontier of this country, upon a rough and craggie soile, standeth Hardwic, which gave name to a family in which which possessed the same: out of which descended Lady Elizabeth Countesse of Shrewsbury, who beganne to build there two goodly houses joining in maner one to the other, which by reason of their lofty situation shew themselves afarre off to be seene, and yeeld a very goodly prospect. This now giveth the title of Baron to Sir William Cavendish her second sonne, whom King James of late hath honored with the honor of Baron Cavendish of Hardwic.
7. More inward in the Country is seated Chester-field in Scarsdale, that is, in a Dale compassed in with cragges and rockes. For such rockes the Englishmen were wont to tearme scarres. Both the new name it selfe and the ruines of the old Walls doe prove that this Chester-feld was of good antiquity, but the ancient name thereof is by continuance of time worne out and quite lost. ‡King John made it a free Burrough when he gave it to William Briewer his especiall favourite.‡ In writers it is famous only by occasion of the war betwixt King Henry the Third and his Barons, wherein Robert Ferrars the last Earle of Darby of that name, being taken prisoner and deprived of his honour by authority of the Parliament, lived afterwards as a privat man, and his posterity flourished with the title onely of Barons. Hard to this Chesterfield Westward lieth Walton, which from the Bretons came hereditarily by Loudham to the Follambs, men of great name in this tract. And Eastward Sutton, where the Leaks held a long time a worshipfull port, in Knights degree.
A little from hence is Bolsover, an ancient Castle situate somewhat with the highest, which belonged to the Hastings Lords of Abergavenney, in right of exchange with King Henry the Third: who being altogether unwilling that the Earledome of Chester, unto whom this Castle had appertained, should be divided and bestowed among distaves, assigned here and there other possessions unto the sisters of John Scot the last Earle.
8. The West part beyond Derwent, which throughout riseth high and peaketh up with hils and mountaines, whence in old time it was called in the old English tongue Peac-lond, and is at this daie, haply for that cause, named the Peake (for that word among us signifieth to appeare aloft), is severed from Staffordshire by the Dove, a most swift and cleere river, of which I shall speake hereafter. This part, although in some place it hath craggy, rough and bare scarres and cragges, yet by reason that under the upper crust of the earth there is limestone, which supplieth a batling [fertile] fruitfull slugh or humour, there been in it greene grassie hils and vales, which bring forth full oates and feed safely both droves of greater beasts and also many flockes of sheepe. For there is no more danger now from wolves, which in times past were hurtfull and noisome to this Country, and for the chasing away and taking of which some there were that held lands here at Wormhil, who thereupon were surnamed Wilvehunt, as appeareth plainely in the Records of the Kingdome. But so plentifull is it of lead that the Alchymists, who condemne the Planets, as convict of some crime, unto the mettall mines, have upon a ridiculous error written that Saturne, whom they make the Lord and Dominatour of lead, is liberally affected to England in granting lead, but displeased with France, to which hee hath denied the same. And verily I think that Pliny spake of this Country when he said this, In Britaine in the verie crust of the ground, without any deepe mining, is gotten so great a store of lead that there is a law expressely made of purpose, forbidding men to make more than to a certaine stint [measure]. For in these mountaines fertile lead stones are daily digged up in great aboundance, which upon the hill tops lying open to the West winde, neere unto Creach and Workes-Worth (which hereupon tooke name of the lead-workes) when the Westerne winde beginnes to blow (which winde of all others they have by experience found to hold longest), they melt with mighty great fires of wood into lead, in troughes or trenches which they digge of purpose for it to runne into, and so make it up into Sowes [pigs]. Neither onely lead, but stibium also, called in the Apothecaries shops antimonium, is heere found by it selfe in veines: which minerall the women of Greece used in old time to colour their eye-browes with, whereupon the poet Ion in Greeke tearmeth it ὀμματόγραφον. MIlstones likewise are heere hewed out, as also grindle-stones and whetstones to give an edge unto iron tools, and sometimes in these mines or quarries is found a certain white fluor (for such stones comming out of Mines, that bee like unto precious stones, learned minerall men call Floures), which for all the world resembleth Christall. Besides Workes-worth, lately mentioned, wee meet with never another place worth the remembrance, unlesse it be Haddon by the river Wie, the seat for many yeares togither of the Vernons, who as they were very ancient, so they became no lese renowned in these parts in so much as Sir George Vernon knight, who lived in our time, for his magnificent port that hee caried, the open house that hee kept, and his commendable hospitality, that the name among the multitude of a Pety King in the peak. By his daughters and heires a goodly and great inheritance was transferred unto Sir John Mannours sonne of Thomas Earle of Rutland, and to Sir Thomas Stanley sonne of Edward Earle of Darby. There adjoyneth unto this Bakewell upon the same riveret, which among these hils maketh it selfe way into Derwent. This was by the Saxons called Baddecanwell, and Marianus writeth that King Edward the Elder erected there a Burrough. Now whether it borrowed this name or no of the hote waters, which the ancient Englishmen, as also the Germans in their language termed bade and baden, whence came Baden in Germany and Buda in Hungarie, I know not. Certes, at the spring head of Wie not farre from hence there rise and walme up nine fountaines of hote waters, the place at this day is called Buxton Well, which being found by experience holsome for the stomach, sinewes, and the whole bodie, George Earle of Shrewsbury lately beautified with buildings, and so they are begunne againe to bee restored unto by concourse of the greatest gentlemen and of the nobility. At which time, that most unfortunately Lady Mary Queene of Scots bad farewell unto Buxton with this Distichon, by a little change of Caesars verses concerning Feltria, in this wise:
Buxton, that of great name shalt be of hote and holsome baine [bath],
Farewell, for I perhaps shall not thee ever see againe.
9. But that these hote waters were knowen in old time, the port-way or High paved street named Bath-gate, reaching for seven miles together from here unto Burgh a little village doth manifestly shew. Neere unto this Burgh there standeth upon the top of an hill an old Castle sometimes belonging to the Peverels, called The Castle in the Peake, and in Latin De Alto Pecco, which King Edward the Third togither with a Manour and an Honour gave unto his sonne John Duke of Lancaster, what time as hee surrendered the Earledome of Richmond into the Kings hands. Under which there is a cave or hole within the ground called, saving your reverence, The Devils Arse, that gapeth with a wide mouth and hath in it many turnings and retyring roomes, wherein, for sooth, Gervase of Tilbury, whether for want of knowing the truth, or upon a delight hee had in fabling, hath written that a Shepheard saw a verie wide and large Country with riverets and brookes running here and there through it, and huge pooles of dead and standing waters. Notwithstanding, by reason of these and such like fables, this Hole is reckoned for one of the wonders of England, neither are there wanting the like tales of another cave, but especially of that which is called Elden Hole, wherein there is nothing to bee wondered at but that it is of an huge widenesse, exceeding steepe, and of a mervailous depth. But whosoever have written that there should bee certaine tunnels and breathing holes out of which windes doe issue, they are much deceived. Neither doe these verses of Alexander Necham, which hee wrote as touching the Mervailes of England, agree to any of these two holes:
A Cave to strong Aeolian winds alwaies enthrald there is,
From two-fold tunnell maine great blasts arise and never misse.
A cloth or garment cast therein by force aloft is sent,
A mighty breath or pourfull puffe doth hinder all descent.
But all the memorable matters in this high and rough stony little country one hath comprised in these foure verses:
There are in High Peake wonders three,
A deepe hole, Cave, and Den,
Commodities as many bee,
Led, Grasse, and Sheepe in pen.
And Beauties three there are withall,
A Castle, Bath, Chatsworth.
With places more yet meet you shall
That are of meaner worth.
‡To these wonders may be added a wonderful well in the Peake Forrest not far from Buxtons, which ordinarily ebbeth and floweth foure times in the space of one houre or thereabout, keeping his just tides, and I know not whether Tideswell a Mercat towne heereby hath his name thereof.
10. The Peverels, who I have said before were Lords of Nottingham, are also reported to have been Lords of Darby. Afterward King Richard the First gave and confirmed unto his brother John the Counties and Castles of Nottingham, Lancaster, Darby &c. with the Honours thereto belonging, with the honour also of Peverell. After him these were Earles of Darby out of the family of Ferrars (so far as I am able to gather out of the Registers of Tutbury, Merival, and Burton Monasteries): William Ferrars, son to the Daughter and heire of Peverell, whom King John with his own hand (as we finde in an ancient Charter) invested Earle of Darby. William his sonne, ‡who brused with a fall out of his Coach died in the yeare 1254.‡ And this Williams sonne Robert, who in the Civill war lost this title and a great estate by forfaiture, in such sort as that none of his posterity, although they lived in great port and reputation, were ever restored to that honour againe. But most of this Roberts possessions King Henry the Third passed over unto Edmund his owne younger sonne, and King Edward the Third (I write out of the very Originall Record), by authority and advise of the Parliament, ordeined Henry of Lancaster, the sonne of Henry Earle of Lancaster, Earle of Darby, to him and his heires, and withall assigned unto him a thousand markes yeerely during the life of his father Henry Earle of Lancaster. From that time this title was united to the line of Lancaster, untill King Henry the Seventh bestowed the same upon Thomas Lord Stanley, who before had wedded Margaret the Kings mother, to him and the heires males of his body. ‡He had for his successor his grandson Thomas, begotten by George his sonne of Joan the heire of Lord Strange of Knocking. This Thomas had by the sister of George Earle of Huntingdon Edward, the third Earl of this family, highly commended for hospitality and affability. Who by the Lady Dorothy daughter to the first Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolke begat Henry the fourth Earle, eft-once honorably employed, who left by Lady Margaret daughter of Henry Earle of Cumberland Ferdinand and William, successively Earles of Darby. Ferdinand died in strange maner in the flower of his youth, leaving Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir John Spenser of Althorp three daughters, Anne married to Grey Bruges Lord Chandos, Francis wife to Sir John Egerton, and Elizabeth wife to Henry Earle of Huntingdon.‡ William the sixth Earle now enjoyeth that honour, ‡having issue by Elizabeth daughter to Edward late Earle of Oxford.‡
11. And thus much of the Counties of Nottingham and Darby, of which they inhabited a part who in Bedes time were called Mercii Aquilonares, that is, The Northren Mercians, for that they dwelt beyond the Trent northward, and they held, as he saith, the land of seven thousand families.
This County holdeth in it Parishes 106.
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