Page images
PDF
EPUB

MINOR CORRESPONDENCE.

PROPHESYING ALMANACKS.

III. or by analogy. I wish to call the atIn our last December Magazine, p. 552, tention of such of my brethren as it may some animadversions appeared, relative to concern, to the expediency of trying this the absurd practice of prophesying the state open question before custom has confirmed of the weather during the year. We in- the claims of exemption. The tracks of stanced the falsity of those prophesies, by fir-trees are spreading far and wide in Norquotations relative to the weather from Ri- folk, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire, and vader's British Merlin for 1827. On turning rious other counties.” to this Almanack for the current year, we In allusion to the story respecting Sawney find that for the last mouth preceding the Bean, in part i. p. 127, L. says, " There is time of writing this, from July 20th to recorded an account of a similar monster Aug. 20th, the weather was to be remarkably who lived in recent times. In 1782, one fine for the harvest :—"some fair and hot Blaise Ferage, a mason by trade, betook weather towards the end of the month” [uf bimself to the mountains of Aure in the July],"this month [August) begins with neighbourhood of Cessan, his native place, fine harvest weather," "still fair and hot; where he seized women and children, deexcellent weather for the corn!” Now, un- flowering the former, and murdering both fortunately for our sage prophet, it has been for the purpose of living on their flesh! all along wet and cold; and therefore not This monster inspired the people with such very excellent weather for the corn. Should terror, that none dared to encounter him, farmers and speculators in corn place any not even the guards, called Marechaussée ; reliance on these nonsensical prophecies, and it is said that no less than fourscore how wofully would they be deceived; but women and children fell victims to his barthe growing intelligence of socicty is be- barity, before he was apprehended. He was coming daily more capable of appreciating sentenced to be brokeu on the wheel, and his these vagaries of a drivelling imagination. body consumed to ashes, and next day he Blackstone says, that false and pretended walked with composure to meet the reward prophesies are unlawful and penal, and were of his horrible depravity. The latter part of punished capitally by statute i Edward VI. the sentence was not executed, but his carc. 12. According to a statute of 5 Eliz. case was exposed on a gibbet, as an object c. 15, it is enacted, that “if any person of execration to all spectators.” shall advisedly and directly advance, publish, In part i. p. 104, a Correspondent, under and set forth, by writing, printing, singing the signature of W. asks for some further inor any other open speech or deed, any fond, formation on the subject of an extract' of fantastical, or false prophecy,-- he shall for a letter of the Rev. George Plaxton, in the first offence be imprisoned for a year,

which the late Dr. Johnson's father is and forfeit 100l. ; and for the second offence, mentioned with more respect than your shall be imprisoned for life, and forfeit his Correspondeot thinks him entitled to. goods.” The editors of some of these Al- W. H. in reply, says, “I have seen Mr. manacks, having discovered that the spirit of Plaxton's letters in manuscript, and that prophesy has ceased, have at length, we un- extract is correctly given. – Mr. Plaxton derstand, come to the determination of pro- was domestic chaplain to the grandfather phesying no more! In Rider's Almanack, of the preseat iviarquis of Stafford, and, for instance, the weather predictions will be as was the custom in those days, resided omitted, and a useful column, containing the with his patron at Trentham. I saw the risings and settings of the Moon through- MSS. in the poesession of the late Mr. out the year, inserted in their place, with Skrymsher of Newport in Shropshire, to other desirable alterations and improve- whose father, the Rev. Mr. Skrymsher, ments.

Rector of Forton near that town, they were RECTOR remarks, “ In modern times ex- chiefly addressed." tensive plantations of the pine tribe have

The “Eclipse of Herodotus" has been spread themselves over many heaths and sufficiently discussed. Nothing new can be light soils throughout the country, to its elicited. great ornament, and the profit of the proc tural Antiquities” for a description of Christ

A. B. is referred to Britton's “ Architecprietors. The clergy and lay-impropriators of the parishes in which they are grown,

church more satisfactory than those he menhave not, I believe, hitherto derived any be

tions. nefit from those plantations, as tithes, after

The Inquirer after fairs is referred to twenty years growth; submitting to the Rider's Almanack. claim of exemption on the part of the pro- ERRATA.-P. 8, 10 l. from bottom, for prietors, that they are privileged as timber Archbishop,"

," read Archdeacon.-P. 27, by construction of the Act of 45 of Edward b. l. 31, for ** LNo," read NLr.

[blocks in formation]

TH
THE Visitation of Counties by the that of an antient;" and neither wealth

King's Stewards, and Officers at nor industry can repair the mischief Arms, under the special warrant of which this desuetude of the Visitations the Sovereigo, for the purpose of cole has occasioned; especially as the regislecting and recording the pedigrees and tries of descents now made are not of arms of the Nobility and Gentry resi- themselves legal evidence, although dent therein, is of very antient date; they may point out records and docuand the genealogies and arms thus col- ments to substantiate them, and may lected, are well known by the name afford information upon isolated stateof “ Visitations." These records are ments, which the Courts of Westin existence at the College of Arms, minster will not reject. London, from the year 1528 to 1686, The Heralds having thus relinquishthe date of the last commission. The ed a most important dury, there can authority or commission for making be no surprise that they should have these Visitations was granted by the successors in persons who are not memSovereign to the provincial Kings ofbers of their Corporation ; and it is Arms, at intervals of about twenty, rather astonishing that nearly a cenfive or thirty years ; the Nobility and tury and a half should have elapsed Gentry were summoned in each county without any person having undertaken by warrants, to give accounts of their to perform a task, which must always families and arms; and the various have been, as it now is, much desired; entries are in most cases attested by for, if we except the printed Peerages the signatures of the heads of the fa- and Baronetages, the valuable pedimilies, or of persons on their behalves. grees which have appeared in modern These Visitations are admitted by the County Histories, and the no less im. Courts at Westminster, as evidence of portant genealogical information so the truth of the matters therein con- constantly to be found in this Magazine, tained.

we have heard of no publication on the Since the year 1686, there has not subject, deserving attention, until the been, as we have mentioned, any com- recent production of Berry's Kentish mission issued, authorizing a Visita- Genealogies.” As this work, or ration, and the pedigrees of the Gentry ther the first part (consisting of 256 of England have never since then been pages, folio) of a proposed voluminous recorded, except in those compara- work, has been published without a lively few instances where the prudent title page, or any other designation members of families have registered than what appears as above, we refer them at the College of Arms, London. to the Author's prospectus upon the The neglect (the word is perhaps too subject, entitled,'" County Genealosevere, but we find it applied by great gies, by William Berry, late and for authority,) therefore, of the Heralds in fifteen years Registering Clerk in the making ibeir usual progresses is a pub- College of Arms, London ; Author of lic injury, affecting the fame, and the Encyclopedia Heraldica,' and sometimes that more substantial trea- other Works upon Heraldry and Gesure, the land, of every gentleman in nealogy." From this circular letter it the kingdom; and rendering, as Mr. appears that the author intends pubJustice Blackstone remarked, “the lishing" separately, in Counties, each proof of a modern descent, for the re- in two parts, a series of Genealogies of covery of an estate, or succession to a the present resident families, with nutitle of honour, more difficult than merous pedigrees from the Heraldic Vi.

100

Heraldic Visitations and County Genealogies. [Aug. sitations of each County, and other writing Clerk in the private employ of authentic Manuscript collections.” In Mr. Harrison, and afterwards of Mr. order to obtain the pedigrees of the Bigland, members of the College, and resident Gentry, the author states his Registers of the Corporation, at the intention of personally waiting upon ordinary salary usually given to writing them; five shillings for each descent clerks, and thus the common clerk of is to be paid by non-subscribers to the a Herald and Register of the College work, but subscribers may have six of Arms, has the vanity to call himself descents inserted gratuitously; the arms Registering Clerk in the College of accompanying each genealogy to be paid Arms.” The word “ late,” which this for in addition.

Compiler prefixes to his title of RegisFrom the novelty of this undertak. tering. Clerk, is also used with correing, we feel ourselves called upon to sponding impropriety, since we believe take some notice of a publication dedi- that his services were dispensed with, cated, as it is, to a subject for which even as a clerk, so far back as the year the Gentleman's Magazine has, from 1809. a remote period, been at once cele- Although the reasons just given are brated and unrivalled.

sufficient to condemn any such work It must be considered undeniable, as the present, yet we must proceed that all-important as truth and honesty in our investigation, by asking, whether are, at all times and in all places, there the writing Clerk 10 an officer of the are occasions on which these qualifica. College of Arms, can be fairly and hotions are of greater importance in their nestly presuined to have received such results, than they would be in other an education, or to have had such assoevents; and the tracing of a pedigree ciation with persons of education and is one of those sciences which requires station in society, as to qualify him in its professors to be surpassed by none any way for the task of a genealogist. in true and honest dealing. The Ge- We reply most unequivocally in the nealogist should be of liberal educa- negative, and the regret with which tion in modern as well as anlient lan- we thus express our opinion, will not guages-well skilled by study in his be diminished by examining in what pursuit of talent rather above than bea way the task before us bas been perblood” himself, the allowed equal and The first objection that occurs to us associate of those who are so, with a is, that the work wants system ; there very quick perception of the truth or is no arrangement of the pedigrees, falsehood of evidence. Without these either alphabetically, topographically, qualities, each and every of them, the or chronologically, with reference io nan who undertakes the compilation the time of compilation of such deof a volume of pedigrees is undertaking scents ;-a pedigree traced 200 years that for which he has not the full ne- since, occupying the same or following cessary qualifications. How far the page as one compiled yesterday: thus present coinpiler is entitled to our ap- in p. 1 is the pedigree of a family probation, we regret to say we must, named “ Man,” ending in the year from the importance of the subject, 1625, copied we presuine from the proceed to inquire.

Harleian MS. 1106 or 1432; but why The prospectus (which we use for such an unmeaning pedigree conwant of a title-page) informs us that mences this work, or we may almost the Genealogies are “by William

“ by William say, why such an unmeaning pedigree Berry, late and for fifteen years Regis- is inseried at all, we cannot discover. tering Clerk in the College of Arms, In p. 2 and 3, we have a pedigree of London ;" but with what astonish- the family of Bargrave, brought down ment will our readers learn, that there to the present day. In p. 4 we find a is not, and never has been, such a situ- pedigree ending in 1619. In p. 5 we ation or office belonging to the College observe two short pedigrees without of Arms as “ Registering Clerk," and any date whatever, and in this manner that no person of ihe name of William is the whole volume put together. In Berry has ever been a member of that p. 92 we have, for the second time, College from its incorporation by the pedigree of Man, verbatim, as in Richard the Third, to the present p. 1. And we may safely affirm, that hour. And that the author or com- the absurdity of many of the pedigrees piler of the work before us, was a is beyond description, the book abound

ture.

1929.)
The Gravesend Steam-boat.

101 ing with entire genealogies, unsanc- compence for the toilsome voyage the cioned by a single date from beginning vast sum of two pence for every pasto end; so that whether such pedigrees senger with his luggage. relate to families flourishing before the Times are changed; but in many infood, or to the parvenus of latest stances the habits, manners, and cusorigin, the reader is not informed. It loos, of our ancestors very much remay, however, afford some relief to semble those of their representatives in the disappointed holders of this volume, the present day. Chaucer's “shipman” to be informed that we think most of

rode upon a rouncie as he couthe." the pedigrees will be found to have been copied from some one of the vo- And this is all that can be said of the lumes of Kentish Pedigrees in the Har- present race of mariners, who have still leian Manuscripts in the British Mu- as limiied a knowledge of Latin, and seun.

are as certaiuly good fellows as they Apother defect of no small import- Horse-dealers are as great rogues as

were in the days of our earliest poet. ance, is the publishing a volume of

pedigrees, of no possible utility unless as they were when Holinshed wrote. a book of reference, without referring

Such were the ideas which suggested !o an authority for any one genealogy themselves to me as I embarked on in the work; and whether this has board one of the Gravesend steamers on been done intentionally, or ignorantly, Wednesday, the 15th of July last; and it is much to be reprehended. The

were only interrupted by the wheezing antient pedigrees in Mr. Berry's work and shivering notes of the steam-pipe, ought to have a reference to the MS. and the “hubble, bubble,” incident front which they have been transcribed,

to the occasion of the vessel's deparwith some general account of its au

After clearing the Pool we prothos, its date, its character, and the ceeded at a rapid rate towards our des like; whilst modern pedigrees ought

tination. to have been sanctioned by the name

There is something so exhilarating of the party authorizing their insertion in the motion of a steam-boat, that I Though we consider this work a

am anxious to convey to your inland failure, there is, notwithstanding, due

readers some idea of it; and I cannot 1o the compiler the credit of much in

do this better, than by an extract dustry and perseverance, as well as

from Southey's description of the Lomuch spirit in being the first to renew

dore Falls, which I have often thought a mode of collecting pedigrees long dis

must have been written on the deck of used; por ought the engraving of the

one of these vessels, or at all events arms to be passed over without appro

under the excitation of a recent voyage. bation. But as we cannot think that “Rushing and flushing, and brushing and a work conducted on so faulty a system gushing,

[slapping, as the present, can be continued with- And Aapping and rapping, and clapping and out pecuniary loss, so we shall not re- And curling and whirling, and purling and gret, or consider it any injury to Mr. twirling,

(sheeting, Berry, to hear that a better sort of Vi. Retreating and beating, and meeting and silation has been undertaken by some

Delaying and straying, and playing and person, in our opinion, better quali

spraying!" fied. Such a work might be made of

We were not without our " merrie great value, and ought to be, and we band of musickers," who entertained must believe would be patronized by a

us at intervals with such “dities and majority of the Country Gentlemen of songes glad," as added considerably to England, very few of whom have con- our pleasures on board. Nor was it tributed their pedigrees to the present without its corresponding effect on the undertaking.

G. shore, as the happy countenances and

awkward merriment of many of the Mr. URBAN,

Aug. 20. groups we passed gave ample testiTH "HERE was a time when Graves- mony; confirming the remark of

end was remarkable only as “a Wordsworth, that this earth is full of sort of station between Kent and Lop- stray pleasures, which he who finds doo,” with which the “huge tide may claim. botes, till-botes, and barges,” formed “ It plays not for them. What matter ? 'tis an occasional ineans of communica

[cares, tion, the “shipinen" receiving as a re- And if they had cares, it has soften'd those 102

theirs,

Erith.-Milton Church.--Shinglewell. (Aug. While they dance, crying, “ Long as you structed by a late eminent schoolmasplease.”

ter of Gravesend, Mr. James Giles, Of Greenwich I need say nothing; who died 9 Dec. 1780, aged 61. nor of Charlton, Woolwich, or “the

In the church-yard there is a stone, far-seen monumental tower" on Shoot- which, from its forın, has apparently ers Hill; for these have had their topo- corered a stone coffin. I observed very graphers and poets; but I cannot with- near it a large grey slab, which has hold a brief 'notice of Erith, with its probably occupied a station within the fine woods and “ivied spire,” illu- church, but now lies exposed and mumined as it was by the slanting rays

tilated near the entrance door. The of a bright Sun, and environed by 'inscription running round the edge, many a fair spot so calm and

which seems to be in Dutch, is impergreen.” The masses of shade contrast- fect, so that the name of the pariy it ed with the vivid outline of the trees, commemorates is not known. The beautifully varied in form and charac- husband died in 151.., and “ was buter, and rising one above another, ried here.” (bier leit begrave.) His which stretched down the fine slope wife followed in 1536. In the centre terminating near its small white of the stone is a merchant's mark. church, about whose walls the sha- In the grounds of the Rev. Mr. Rodows were fast gathering, gave a bold- per, Curate of Gravesend, situate at a ness to the scenery which I have never

short distance from this church, are before witnessed.

remains of an ancient building, conOf Gravesend I have nothing to sisting of a gable end, with a sharp communicate. The adjoining parish pointed doorway through it, and some of Milton has its church, which forms massive brick walls clothed with ivy. a conspicuous and picturesque object July 16, I went to Windmill hill, from the town. It is a small plain a noted Cockney resort, commanding building with a slated roof, and partly a prospect of great extent and variety. covered with ivy on the south side. As I looked down a wooded bank inio The interior is neatly pewed, but con

a beautifully verdant bottom, I thought tains little to interest the visitor, ex

of Peter Bell and the “little field of cept an elegant modern Gothic altar- meadow ground,” where he stumbled piece. The gallery fronts have alter- upon his sentimental donkey. I walknately, with plain panels, a double

ed towards a number of hillocks coversquare of Gothic work, consisting of a ed with furze and bramble. The one quatrefoil within a lozenge in the of most fearful ascent is of course callcentre, and trefoils in the angles. There ed “the Devil's Mount;" I gained its are four windows of various patterns summit, and gazed on the goodly proson each side. According to Hasted, pect spread around me.- Over Cliffe “the crests of the several Kings of in the evening. I saw an appearance England from Edw. III. to James I.” very like the lower limb of a rainbow, were formerly painted round the walls which the country people call a Sunof this church, but of these I saw no- dog. No rain was falling, and the atthing. There are seven groins jutting mosphere seemed perfectly dry. Lord out on each side of the interior walls,

the rainbow has sweeton twelve of which are carved gro- ness of odour” about it; and Beattie tesque heads, supposed by some, from talks of the sky after a storm being their number, to be portraitures of the

“cool and fresh and fragrant." apostles, but no more like human crea- “For now the storm of summer rain is o'er, tures than I to Hercules. Against the And cool and fresh and fragrant is the sky, wall at the west end are the Royal And, lo! in the dark east expanded high, arms, in which France and England, The rainbow brightens to the setting Sun.” quarterly, share the first and last quar

Minstrel, b. 1, XXX. ters. The inescutcheon also bears the These are such pretty ideas, that I Acurs de lis. The whole, but more wish they had truth on their side. especially the inscription, DIE VET Over the fields to Shinglewell, where MONDRIT (sic), is executed in a bun. I saw that “good house which was gling manner.

for some years owned by a family of Over a small porch on the south the name of Parker.” The initials of side, now used as a vestry, there is a Robert Parker, who was a considerasun-dial, with this inscription, “Trifle ble benefactor to the adjoining church not, your time is short." It was con- of Ifield, and Elizabeth his wife, with

Bacon says

a

« PreviousContinue »