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The tall acacia bends its head,

And holds its drapery fast;
But many a tattered gaud is shed

In the equinoctial blast.
And, “oh, these terrible winds !" it said ;

Autumn cometh last.

Struggling, fluttering, sorely pressed,

Like a child in a fit of fear :-
A child in a wild storm, gaily dressed,

Vexed in the wind's career, 'Twas, “Oh, that the gales would sink to rest,

Though they herald Winter drear 1"

“ WE shall abate when your leaves are shed,

And your pomp of life laid low; “ To strip the branch, uncrown the head,

And scatter the seed, we blow : " And to lull you to sleep, while your seeds,

wide spread, « Germinate and grow.”





In speaking of the acquisition of the Belet or Lyme Manor and the Colway Manor by the king, and the conversion of the fishing hamlet into a market town, I have anticipated a little. During the troubled era of Stephen there appears to have been some attempted encroachment on the rights of Sherborne Abbey, either by the more powerful and opulent community of Glastonbury, or by some lay baron. This called for the interference of the Pope. A bull of Eugenius III., 1145, confirmed to the Sherborne monks Lim and its Church (cum piscariis et aliis appendiciis), with its fishery and other appurtenances. This is the first mention made of Lyme Church. Eighteen years afterwards, in 1163, there was a similar confirmation by Pope Alexander III. Becket then had been recently raised to the primacy, and was beginning to try conclusions with the king. It was his policy to encourage such references to Rome, which made his Holiness supreme arbiter even in temporal matters.

Though it is now only a question of Academical interest, at one time it would have made a difference, and it has been hotly contested whether Lyme is a borough by charter or a borough by prescription. Those who maintained the latter adduced in evidence that in 1254, thirty years before the grant of our first charter, a writ was addressed by the crown to the bailiffs of Lyme, commanding certain ships to be impressed for the conveyance of the Queen and Prince Edward to Gascony. An unincorporated town it was said would have no bailiffs. If this writ is not conclusive on that point it is upon another. There must have been a harbour here of some sort, and that can only have been the Cobb.

This is corroborated by an affair which is referred to in another paper dated a little later in the same reign. So serious a feud broke out between

the seamen of Lyme and Dartmouth, leading to blows and bloodshed, that Royal Commissioners were expressly sent down to hold an enquiry into the matter, and the sheriffs of the two counties of Devon and Dorset were directed to summon witnesses to attend the inquisition, and to arrest the persons guilty. This happened in the 49th year of Henry III. What more was done in this business we cannot say, as the record of the after proceedings has not been preserved.

I have given my reason, valeat quantum, for thinking that shortly before the close of the last mentioned king's long reign, the Lyme Manor came into his hands by way of exchange with the then representative of the house of Belet. It is likely that the Colway Manor was acquired nearly at the same time, or that business may have been transacted when King Edward, in the fourth year of his reign, paid a visit to Glastonbury. At any rate this much is certain, that by the year 1284 both manors had come to belong to that king. The best of the Plantagenets were good and careful managers, royally magnificent where the occasion demanded it, but shrewdly observant and wisely economical, they spared no pains and did not overlook the minutest detail in the conduct either of the public affairs or their own more private business. Nothing was so small as to be beneath their notice. They were excellent landlords, as the long history of our borough shows, and knew when to insist upon their legal dues and when to make generous abatements. Above all they knew the value of the master's presence, and trusted as little as possible to other eyes. Edward, in the course of his stirring busy life, found leisure to visit once at least his farm of Lyme. This was in 1297, as a letter from the king to his friend and ally, the Countess of Flanders, shows. He is the earliest known, as he remains the most distinguished, of all our summer visitors.

The townsmen had already felt the benefit of the change of ownership. The year 1284 is perhaps the most famous in our annals, for in that year Lyme was granted her first charter. This charter, by leave of the Corporation, I caused to be exhibited at the conversazione of the Dorset Field Club, last July, in our Guildhall. It is in Latin of course, beautifully written, but unfortunately it has suffered from careless keeping formerly, and is much mutilated now. A considerable portion of the great seal of Edward I. is still attached.

By this charter, dated from Carnarvon 3rd April, 12 Edw. I., Lyme, in the County of Dorset, was constituted a free borough and the men of the same town free burgesses, with permission to have a Merchants' Guild and

other liberties and free customs, such as were conferred by charter on the burgesses of Melcomb and enjoyed by the citizens of London. Melcomb Regis, if my information is correct, had been formed into a borough one year previously.

The wording of the first charter was too vague, and it does not seem to have given satisfaction. A new charter, in much more explicit terms, was granted at Bristol on the 1st Jan., 13th Edw. I., conferring upon the burgesses many immunities and many exclusive rights, to enumerate all which would take too long. It established among other things the Weekly Kusting's Court, which is still held in our Guildhall upon every Monday in the year, and it gave the privilege that the Judges, when on circuit, should come to and hold an assize at Lyme itself, and that, with certain specified exceptions, no Lyme burgess should be compelled to plead without the bounds of the borough. It would appear that only one assize was ever really held here, and that was in the year 16 Edw. I. Roberts says that the record was long preserved among the Corporation archives, but it seems to have been abstracted before his time, and come into the possession of the Follet family. From the copy of the record justice appears to have been administered very fairly. The calendar was rather heavy, but most of the offences were trival ones. Gregory Charleymayne, mayor at the time, and the first of our mayors known to us by name, was himself presented by the jury for having sold 20 tons of wine contrary to the assize. The Lyme men very speedily discovered that the having an assize all to themselves was too expensive a luxury, as it meant entertaining the judges and their suite at the cost of the borough.

Among the jurors at this assize was William Tuluse. Perhaps he was the foreman, as his name is put first. Seven years afterwards, in 1295, William Tuluse and Geoffry Le Keu were sent to the Parliament assembled at Canterbury, as the first members for this borough. They were paid their expenses and two shillings per diem.

To give the history of St. Michael's Church at Lyme would require a separate paper. Even when in 1542 the County of Dorset was annexed to the diocese of Bristol, Lyme continued to be a peculiar of Sarum, and its connection with that See has never been severed. My reason for mentioning the Church here is that it was rebuilt in Edward's reign and consecrated, as the register of Bishop Simon de Gaunt shows, either at the end of 1298 or in the following year. This restoration of the church is one among many proofs of the growing prosperity of Lyme. Very little

remains of this old building. The church was restored again, and seems to have been enlarged, about the year 1500, during that palmy period for the West of England after the final close of the wars of the Roses, and when the discovery of America was opening up golden dreams. From the exigencies of the ground this enlargement could take place only in one direction, and the result is that the central tower of the old cruciform structure has become a west-end tower, and what was formerly the chancel arch now leads into the nave. The present edifice has no chancel arch proper. This is all I have time to say about the Church.

There was a lazar-house in Lyme, as in almost every medieval town. It was dedicated to S. Mary and the Holy Spirit. It must have been ancient, as in the time of Edward III. it was so much out of repair that the Pope granted an indulgence for the purpose of obtaining funds for repairing the building and its bell-tower. It is supposed to have been in Broad Street, but the site is very uncertain. It must not be confounded with the old house near Gosling's bridge, still called the pest-house, which is of much later origin, and the use of which is implied in its title.

There was also an establishment of White or Carmelite friars instituted here about the beginning of the 14th century, by William Daie, Davey, or Dare, all corrupt forms of the more romantic and high-sounding Dacre. The Days or Dares long continued an important family in Lyme; two of them played their part in the Monmouth rebellion. Scarcely anything more is known about this house of Carmelites. In John Tudbold's will, the date of which is 1548, occurs this charitable devise : “And as for the chamber which I have in Coome Street and the garden belonging to the same, lying next to Thomas Batten's house, which chamber our Lady's priest sometime dwelled in, I commit it to the discretion of the Mayor for the time being from time to time and his brethren, to bestow it as they shall think best for a priest, if they shall have any serving here for our Lady's service, or else to bestow it on the two poor people, in no wise altering from the manner and form aforesaid.” This occurs after the gift of the old almshouses. Our Lady's priest spoken of above was not the vicar of Lyme. He may have been connected with this oratory of the blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, but more probably served the Holy Mary of Glastonbury. To complete the list of the religious houses which had to do with Lyme, it may be added that at the time of the taxation of Pope Nicholas, in 1298, the Abbey of Abbotsbury held land here valued at 4s. In the same taxation the Sherborne Manor was valued at £1 6s. 8d.,

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