« PreviousContinue »
It was sometimes, it is said, decked with jewelry, borrowed from the neighbouring families, to the value of £2000.1
In the civil war of the 17th century, Shaftesbury was occasionally tho scene of minor conflicts. In 1644, Waller being beaten by the Royal forces at Blandford, returned through Shaftesbury into Wilts. In the same year 600 mercenaries, Swedes, Germans, French and Walloons, hired to aid rebellion, under the rebel leaders, Balfour and others, greatly oppressed the country in and about Shaftesbury, raising on the peaceful inhabitants 10s., 20s., and in some cases 60s. a day for their maintenance. Others were fined £300, and some £1000, and if the money was not presently paid they were plundered and made prisoners. All the fat cattle were taken from the neighbouring farms without payment, and the people injured and insulted in various ways. Such are the fruits of rebellion! In March 1645, Waller again quartered about this town and Gillingham, but “his quarters were beaten up by the loyal Lord Goring three times in less than a week and his numbers lessened near 1000 men. A party called Clubmen about this time declared themselves neutrals, and prepared to resist the passage of the troops of either the King or the rebels through this part of the country. A meeting of the leaders was held at Shaftesbury, but Fleetwood surrounded the town with 1000 men, and seizing fifty of them, carried them to Fairfax, then besieging Sherborne Castle. The Clubmen immediately assembled 10,000 men in arms at Shaftesbury, and posted themselves strongly, fortifying Castle Hill, to command the approach from Sherborne. Neutrals however in such a strife must needs be cowards, so when Cromwell marched against them with only 500 dragoons, followed by 500 more, they were easily persuaded to disperse. In 1672 Shaftesbury was chosen by Anthony Ashley Cooper as the title of the Earldom about to be bestowed upon him by Charles II., in whose family the title still continues. I must not however follow the history of Shaftesbury
1 This custom has been discontinued since 1830 by consent of the Marquis of Westminster now Lord of the Manor of Gillingham, also the chief proprietor within the borough, and Lord of the manor of Shaftesbury, to save the borough the expense attending the presentation, about £30 on each occasion.
to more modern times. I will only add that the names of its Members of Parliament are extant, from 25 Edward I.; of its Mayors, from 7 Edward II., and of its Recorders, from 2 James I., and that in the roll may be found some worthy names not yet extinct among us.
The writer trusts that the shortness of the time, and the great pressure of engagements under which this paper has been prepared, and the domestic affliction which has befallen him during the time, and altogether prevented any due consideration or re-arrangement of materials, will be accepted as an apology for all inaccuracies and for any want of arrangement, perspicuity or completeness, with which it may be chargeable.
J. J. R.
In the first edition of Hutchins's Dorset, p. 13, 1. XXXV., in the account given from John of Brompton, of one of the removals of the body of Edward the Martyr, there is an error in the date given, viz., 1101 for 1001. This error has been copied into Adams's History of Shaftesbury, and into the last edition of Hutchins. It will doubtless be rectified in the revised edition now in course of publication.
By Mr. EDWARD KITE.
SHAFTESBURY Abbey immediately after its dissolution in
1539, appears to have been levelled with the ground. Leland writing about 1540-42 has left no description of it,' and Dugdale, a century later, says that "not the smallest vestige of the conventual Church of Shaftesbury is now remaining.” The visit of the Wiltshire Archæological Society to Shaftesbury during the past summer, has been the means of bringing once more to light, after an interment of more than three centuries, some portion of its foundations, which are of considerable interest, as proving not only the date of the eastern part of the Abbey Church, but giving also a fair idea of its proportions when entire. The discovery will be best understood by referring to the accompanying ground plan. In July, 1861, with the kind permission of the Marquis of Westminster, the present owner of the site, Mr. Batten, bis Lordship's Agent, commenced excavations in a garden to the South of the present Church of the Holy Trinity, in which there were evident traces of foundations a few feet beneath the surface. The first pit that was sunk brought into view a wall more than 7 feet in thickness, with a pavement of encaustic tiles on its North side. Near the wall at the point marked (d) on the plan, was a grave 2 feet 3 inches deep, and covered with 4 slabs of green sandstone, part of the pavement of the Church. Two of the slabs, when fitted together, presented on the under surface a plain incised cross having its four limbs of nearly
At p. 257 above, it is supposed that Leland may have seen part of the Chapter-House, but it seems very doubtful whether this was the case. The words in the Itinerary appear rather to signify that the Abbey was even then a thing past and gone. "The Abbey stood,” &o. ." There was an Insoription," &o.