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At the back of the reading desk, another antient monoment, with the figure of the deceased in a kneeling posture, and the following lines :"},
Here Robert Balthrope lyes Intomb'd
To Elizabeth our Queen,
Years hath been.
December's ninth the Day;
Deducting Nine away.
Till Angels Trumpet sound,
And raise the dead from Ground.
Here was also the grave-stone, on which were figured in brass, a pilgrim with a scrip, and his wife with a bottle, each having a staff; round the stone, in antient characters, were the following lines :
Behold how endel is our poor Pilgrimage
of John Shirley, Esq; with Margaret his Wife,
Eyght Sones and sour Daigters withoạten Stryf,
His Penne reported his Lives Occupayon,
Of his degree that was in Brutys Albyon,
Fourteen hundred Wynters and six and fifty,
Of October Moncth the day one and twenty. Stow informs us, that this Mr. Shirley was a great tra: veller; that he collected the works of Chaucer, John Lyd gate, and other antient writers, to be preserved to posterity. The family of Shirley have been very famous for
their peregrinations; Sir Anthony travelled to Persia, in the reign of James I. and so did his brother, Sir Robert; indeed a spirit of adventure seems to have pervaded the whole family.
On the north wall is placed a monument of white marble, with boys weeping over an urn, inscribed, " Near this place are deposited the remains of John Darker, Esq. twentyfour years treasurer to the hospital. He died February 8, 1784, in the sixty-third year of his age."
Among the ancient inhabitants of this parish were Sir THOMAS BODLEY. This worthy benefactor to his country was a native of Exeter, and born May 2, 1544. The prosecutions of queen Mary and her agents expatriated the family to Germany, and afterwards to Geneva, where Sir Thomas, who was then only twelve years old, studied Hebrew, Greek, and divinity, under the most eminent professors. On the restoration of the Protestant faith at the accession of Elizabeth, the family returned to : England. He was then sent to Magdalen College, Oxford, and placed under the tuition of Dr. Humphrey, from 1563 to 1566, and went through the different stages of learning.
He became M. A. in the latter year 1569, and was chosen proctor 1576, when on his travels, during which he continued abroad four years. In 1583, he was appointed gentleman usher to queen Elizabeth, who sent him in 1586 to solicit assistance from various princes in behalf of the king of Navarre. He was engaged in hazardous services for that monarch, afterwards Henry IV. of France. In 1588, he resided at the Hague, was admitted one of the council to the states, and was permitted by the queen to act at his own discretion. In 1593, he obtained permission to return, but was soon after sent back as ambassador. When he had again finally visited England, lord Burleigh became su much bis friend, that he had once thought of making him his colleague. But the partiality of the earl of Essex to him, and his earnest recommendation of him, so much created jealousy and distrust, that he formed the noble resolution to live from this period for himself, and “ possess his soute in peace," being then fifty-three years of age. Sir Thomas was much solicited to leave his retirement, and return to court, but refused; though he thought himself too severe and scrupulous, when he remembered his “reverend mother the university of Oxon;" and concluded at last to set up his staff at the library in Oxford, to reduce that place, which then in every part lay ruined and waste, to the public use of the student *. In two years time be brought it to a good degree of perfection, furnishing it with: books of his own collecting abroad, and from various benefactions; and in 1610, laid the foundation stone of his new fabric in that university, for a general library, &c.
Sir DUDLEY CARLETON. He married 1607, a niece of Sir Maurice Carey, knt. with whom he resided some time in Chancery Lanc. He represents his situation in “ Little St. Bartholomew's,” in expectation of preferment, in a letter to Sir Ralph Winwood, printed in Buck's View of Negotiation between England, France, and Brussels, to the latter of which court he was, by favour of the earl of Salisbury, at last appointed ambassador in 1610.
WEST SMITHFIELD, is so called to distinguish it from 3 place of the same denomination in the eastern part of the city, and was antiently a large open field.
We are not informed why it was called Sinitlifield; but history acquaints as that a part of it was known by the name of “ THE ELme," as being covered with elin trees, and was the place of execution for malefactors in and before the year 1213. And in later times, when the spirit of reforniation in religion began to appear in this metropolis, Sniithfield became the scene of martyrion. In the centre of the space now inclosed with rails many were burnt for their steady adhering to the principles of the Gospel, and opposing the doctrines peculiar to the church of Rome.
To the credit of the kings of England be it said, that none were ever known to attend these Axius de Fè; eren Philip II. of Spain, never honoured any, of the many which were celebrated by permission of bis gentle queeni, ti Seo his Journal, printed by Hearne,
rrith his presence, notwithstanding he could behold the rousting of his own subjects with infinite self applause, and sangfroid. The 'spot is still held in remembrance, under
Free 26 the large board on which is painted a collection of Regala
P576 tions for the market. Here the martyr. Latimer preached patience to friar Forest, agonizing under the torture of a slow fire, for denying Henry's supremacy: and to this place our martyr Cranmer compelled the amiable Edward, by forcing his reluctant land to the warrant, to send Jane Bocher, a silly woman, to the stake; Here suffered “ holy John BRADFORD," and the mild LAURENCE SAUNDERS; and hçre the pious archdeacon Philpot, "paid his vows." Latimer, however, never thought of his former conduct in his last moments ; nor did Cranmer thrust his hand into the fire for a real crime, but for one which was venial through the frailty of human nature *.
The gracious Elizabeth could likewise burn people for religion. Two Dutchmen, anabaptists, suffered in Smith. field during the year 1575, and died, as Holingshed sagely remarks, with “ roring and crieing.” This, to give Elizabeth her due, is the only instance of exerting the blessed prerogative of the writ de Hæretico comburendo. Her highness preferred the halter, her sullen sister, fire and faggot; not that it can be denied but Elizabeth made a very free use of the terrible act of her twenty-seventh year: one bundred and sixty-eight suffered in her reign, at London, York, in Lancashire, and several other parts of the king. dom, convicted of being priests, of harbouring priests, or of becoming converts ! The balance is against Elizabeth, in the article persecution, particularly by the agonizing death of fire: for the smallest number estimated to have suffered under the sayage Mary, amounts, in her short reign, to two hundred and seventy-seven t:
Bartholomew Legatt, was the last person who was burnt here, in 1611. John King, bishop of London, pronounced sentence against him as “ a blasphemous heretic ;” and having consigned him to the secular arm of the casuist mo
narch James, he took care to cause the sentence of burning to be executed with its utmost effect.
It was in Smithfield that rebellion received its death blow, in the person of Wat Tyler, A. D. 1381; and that two instances of the law of recrimination occurred of boiling to death, two wretches who had administered poison in cookery. John Roose, in 1530, in an attempt to destroy bishop Fisher, took an opportunity in the cook's absence, to throw a great quantity of the noxious ingredients into some gruel, prepared for the bishop's family and the poor of Lambeth parish. The bishop's abstinence on that day saved his life; but of seventeen who were poisoned two died, and the rest never recovered their health. The se. cond instance of this kind occurred in 1541, when Margaret Davie, was executed in the same manner for poisoning her mistress, and several other persons.
From such disgusting subjects, let us ascend to the times of chivalry. In the forty-eighth year of the reign of Edward III. dame Alice Perrars or Pierce, the king's concubine, as lady of the Sun, rode from the Tower of London, through Cheap, accompanied by many lords and Jadics ; every lady leading a lord by his horse's bridle, till they came into West Smithfield; and then began a great just, which lasted for seven days.
Also in the ninth of Richard II. was the like great riding from the Tower to Westminster, and every lord led a lady's horse's bridle ; and in the morning began the justs in Smithfield, which lasted three days. Henry of Darby, the duke of Lancaster's son, the lord Beaumont, Sir Simon Burley, and Sir Paris Courtney, distinguished themselves on this occasion.
In the year 1393, the seventeenth of Richard II, certain lords of Scotland came into England to get honour by force of arms. The earl of Mar challenged the earl of Nottingham to just with bim; and so they rode certain courses, but not the full challenge: for the earl of Mar was cast, both horse and man, and two of his ribs broken with the fall; so that he was conveyed out of Smithfield, and so towards Scotland, but died by the way, at York.