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The UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE for APRIL, 17922241
An Account of the Bishop's ABBEY, at Waltham, in Hampshire :
With a fine View of its venerable Ruins. W
, called alfo Bishop's The penfive mind that is fond to Waltham, is a small, dif- explore the remains of desolated granagreeable, and ill-paved market-town, deur, or to meditate in awful retrosituated at the distance of eight miles fpect on the folly of ancient superfrom Winchester and fixty-five from stition, may here find ample room for London. A palace of the bishops of reflection. The lover of legal antiWinchester, once situated here, gave quities, the historian of ancient regue it the name of Bishop's Waltham. lations, may likewise find Bishop's
The venerable remains of its abbey, Waltham an object of attention ; for which is termed, by the country peo- to the history of this place mult we ple, The Bishop's Abbey,' are un- trace che origin of that celebrated act questionable proofs, that it was once of parliament, entitled “The Black a place of some consequence. Only Act, of which fir William Blackstone one of its towers remains at present; gives this account : « The statute 9 and that is in a shattered condition. George I, commonly called “The This structure, however, with the ad- Waltham Black Act,' was occasioned jacent walls, is in the highest state of by the devastations committed near preservation for the canvas.
The Waltham, in Hampshire, by persons walls are overgrown with ivy, which, in disguise, or with their faces blacknotwithstanding it has contributed to ed, who seem to have resembled the reduce the fabric to its present ruinous Roberdsmen, or followers of Robert ftate, now seems to lend its utmost aid Hood, that, in the reign of Richard to prevent its mouldering fides from the first, committed great outrages on fipking into oblivion. The inside of the borders of England and Scotthe abbey is now appropriated to the land * ?-It seems, that many years uses of a farm-yard; and fuch parts ago, a party of the inhabitants of of the walls as remain, are covered this town retired to a recluse dell in in, and converted into barns and cart - the New Forest, whence they issued lodges.
forth in the night; and, their num
bers rendering them formidable, they How chang'd, alas! from that rever'd abode,
committed great depredations in the Graced by proud dignity in ancient days, neighbourhood, killing deer, sheep, When monks recluse the lacred pavements &c. for their fubsistence. As they vod,
commonly made their appearance in And taught th’ivletter'd world its the night, and were disguised, moreMaker's praise.
over, as abovementioned, they were The ivy now, with rude luxuriance, bends called • The Waltham Blacks. The Its tangled foliage through the cloister's place of their retreat was a recess, space ;
acceslible only by a subterranean palO'er the green
window's mould’ring height fage. They dressed like forefters; ascends,
the cross-bow was their weapon ; and And fondly clafps it with à falt embrace.
it is asserted, that they called themá
felves the descendants of Robin Hood. Yon parted roof that nods aloft in air,
In this licentious itate they remained, The threat’ning battlement, the rifted
a considerable time, till, at last, they tower, The choir's loose fragments scatter'd round
were dispersed by the activity of the declare,
neighbouring gentlemen, and have Insulting Time, the triumphs of thy not since infested the country. pow'r !
HISTORY of the ENGLISH LONG-Bow.
[ From Moseley's Essay on Archery. ] As the English Long-bow formerly I have been much surprized to find,
held so distinguithed a rank that some of our historians, and paramong the military weapons of Eu- ticularly the more modern ones, have rope, and as many of the most im- represented the English at the Battle portant battles and conquests were ob- of Hastings, as entirely ignorant of tained by the aid of English archers; the effect of archery; and speak of it is necesary for me to infiit, at some the astonishment with which the troops length, on the history of the bow in were seized, in finding death inflicted this island; were it only in compli- on them, while the enemy was far at ment to the fame of our anceltors. a distance. Speed observes, that the
Whether the eulogies which have first discharge of arrows from the been so liberally passed on the English Norman army, was a kind of fight archers, by English writers, be per- both strange and terrible unto the fcctly juft; and whether they really English, who supposed their enemy were more expert in the practice of had been already even in the middest this branch of war than many of the among them.' Echard expresses the ancient nations, I think may be dif- same sentiment in his account of the puted. The perpetual attention paid battle with William. “The fight,' he to inure youth to the practice of the says, began with great fury, order, bow, by many warlike people of an- and equal bravery on both sides; in tiquity, was, I conceive, a much more which the English were severely galled severe discipline, than that of this by the thick Thowers of arrows from country. Perhaps, indeed, our ar- the Norman Long-bows, before the chers might derive a superiority from battle joined; which was a weapon their bows being constructed on bet- then unused in England, and thereby ter principles, being more skilfully the more surprizing, the wounds made, and of better materials than coming from enemies so far diftant, those used in other countries.
and not suddenly to be revenged.' But leaving this point undiscussed, Hume mentions nothing of this exI shall now endeavour to trace the traordinary surprize among
Engbow, in this island, during the early lish troops, neither do Matthew Paris, periods in which it seems to have been nor many others. Sir J. Hayward known; continuing the history through fays, the use of the bow was first the several successive ages and reigns, brought into the land by the Nortill the period in which that instru- mans, and that afterward the English ment was discontinued, as a military being trained to the practice of it, beweapon, in the English army. came the beit shooters in the world,
Having had an opportunity of con That the English could be ignorant sulting a fine collection of chronicle- of the bow at the conquest, appears writers, and historians, I have been inconceivable, as both the Saxons and induced to spare no pains, in the in- Danes made use of it in battle against vestigation of this part of my subject. the inhabitants if this country, for A tedious research has enabled me, many centuries previous to that time, however, to collect only a few solitary It is true, there is no mention made facts, with respect to archery in this cfarchers among the troops of Harold, kingdom, before the time of the Nor. but it does not follow that they were man invafion : but there few facts, I ignorant of the effect of archery, or think, will prove sufficient evidence that the bow was not then used in from which to judge of the state of England. the bow in the early ages.
At what time this instrument was
first brought into the island, is uncer If the poems of Offian may be tain; the history of our country ex- brought as evidence with respect to the tends with accuracy so few ages back, state of archery in later times, we may that it is impossible to ascertain the perceive that they uniformly repre.. true æra in which the bow was intro- sent the bow, as an attendant on the duced.
warrior and hunter. We learn also It is pretty certain, however, that from some paiiages in these poems, the inhabitants of Britain did not make that the yew-tree was then
employed use of this weapon in battle, at the to form the weapons ;
• Go to thy time Julius Cæsar first visited this cave my love till our battle cease on country, as it is not enumerated the field. Son of Leith, bring the among the arms of the natives, in the bows of our fathers ! the founding minute description of them, given by quiver of Morni! Let our three warthat author.
riors bend the yew.' The Romans, it is probable, intro Immediately on the Britons findduced the bow as a military weapon ing themselves deserted by the Rointo Britain, as archers often formed mans, they fought assistance from the a great part of their auxiliary troops. Saxons, against their enemies the The battles between the Romans and Scots; who haftening to their relief, our countrymen, as described by entered this island with an army, Cæsar, do not, however, appear to about the year four hundred and fortyhave been carried on by the assistance nine. These people are said to have of it. But from the second book of used both the long and cross bows, the Commentaries, we find, that and we may therefore be led to conCæsar had both Numidian and Cretan clude, that archery was still cherished archers in his army, when he en- in this country by the new invaders. countered the Belgæ, in Gaul; and During the Saxon heptarchy, we it is reasonable to suppose, that he find that Offrid, the son of Edwin, also made use of them among his king of Northumbria, was killed by troops, when in Britain, about two an arrow, in a battle between the years afterward.
troops of that king and the united During the reigns which fucceeded army of Mercians and Welsh, which that of Julius Cæsar, and when the was fought about the year fix hundred Romans had settled themselves on this and thirty-three, near Hatfield in the island, archers are frequently made Weft-riding of Yorkshire.
But exmention of as part of their troops ; cept this fact, little relating to the and it is probable, that the reinforce- bow appears in our annals of the ments often fent to the army in Bri- Saxon æra. tain, included many archers, as they The Danes, as they arrived at a would be employed with advantage later period than the Saxons, come against a people, to whom the use of next under our review. These war, the bow was not familiar.
like people were accustomed to the We may therefore conclude, from use of archery in battle, and we find the authority of history, that the Ro- it often noticed in this period, by our mans introduced the bow into this early chronicle writers, About the country; and that they continued it year eight hundred and seventy, they in use to their final departure, about became very formidable, and comthe year four hundred and forty- mitted great depredations on the ineight.
habitants of East Anglia. In one of In North Britain, the bow appears their batiles with the East Angles, to have been known at least as early, they overcame their enemies, and took as it was in the south; the works of prisoner Edmund, king of that part Boethius and other historians of that of the island, whom, after insulting country seem thus to intimate, with many indignities, they bound to
a stake, for the Danish archers and Many of our early writers neglect to javelinmen to aim at; putting him to particularize the kind of bow made death by that cruel and ignominious use of by the Norman army, buç expedient.
John Ross expressly says, the longDuring the reign of Alfred, it bow was used. Mr. Barrington is of seems probable, that archery was opinion, that the cross-bow was the much in use, both in the army of the instrument principally employed in Danes, and in that of Alfred. I am the army of William, and the passages inclined to this opinion from a passage which have occurred to my observain Afferius, who relates , a curious tion, seem to prove the truth of his anecdote concerning our good king. conjecture. From fir John Hayward's Alfred took refuge from the persecu- account of William, it seems almost tion of the Danes, at a poor cottage, certain, that he himself used the crosswhere he resided unknown to his be- bow. nefactors, who little imagined their No circumstance worthy of observaroof protected a royal guest. It hap- tion occurs in our history, from the pened one day, says that writer, as conquest till the time of Henry the the king fat by the fire preparing his second, in whose reign, archery seems • bow, arrows, and his other warlike to have been first carried into Ireland, instruments, that the farmer's wife by the troops of that king. Lord had placed some bread cakes upon the Lyttelton, in his hiflory of the life of hearth to bake, supposing he would Henry, says, “it is strange that the take care to turn them as they occa- Irish, who had much intercourse with fionally required. He, however, neg- the Welsh before Henry the second's lected to do so; and the poor woman, time, should not have learnt from that enraged to see her cakes fcorching by nation, who greatly excelled in archethe heat, ran in haste to save them, ry, that arrows were better weapons and said to the ftranger, “ Thou fel- to annoy an enemy with than stones, low! (as Speed translates it) doelt thrown by the hand without the help thou see the bread burne before thy of slings, which, unless at a small face, and will not turn it? And yet distance, could have little or no efart thou glad to eat it before it be fect.' The same author observes, that half baked ?' Bows and arrows are ' from many instances, in the course here called warlike instruments, and of these wars, (the wars of Henry we may with reason presume, there- with the Iriih) it appears, that the fore, that they were used among the English conquests in Ireland, were other weapons in battle. Polydore principally owing to the use of the Virgil conírms this supposition; for long-bow in battle, which the Irish speaking of the troops of Ethelred, of infantry wanted : and therefore Giwhich, part were commanded by his raldus Cambrensis, in his chapter enbrother Alfred, he says, a great num- titled, Qualiter Hibernica gens fit exber of archers were placed in the pugnando, advises, that in all engageright wing of the army:
ments with that people, archers ihould From this time till the æra of the be intermingled with the heavy-armed Norman invasion, little occurs with troops. respect to archery; but it is well To Mew how worthy of imitation known how su ceisfully it was intro- the Welsh were, at the time of Henry duced by William, at the battle of Il, in the use of the bow; I shall reHastings.
late a few exploits performed by their Bows and arrows are spoken of, at archers, as they are reported by Githis fight, by all our historians: and raidus Cambrensis. tie catastrople of the battle fully “There is a particulart: ibe in Wales,' proves the advantage which the in- says this ancient writer, named the vaders derived from these weapons. Venta ; a people brave and warlike,