1829.] REVIEW.-Bedford's History of the Catholic Question.

out many features of identity in the excellent Pleydell with Mr. Crossbie, for many years the head of the Scottish


The character of Dick Hatteraick did not, but has been appropriately supposed to have originated in a Dutch skipper, named Yawkins, who used a cavern near Rueberry, to which the vicinity have now given the name of Dick Hatteraick's cave.

The Antiquary.-On Jonathan Oldbuck, the principal character, we have little more disclosed than what was mentioned in the preface to the Chronicles of the Canongate-that he was an old friend of the author's youth.

Of the King's Bedesmen, or Bluegowns, some very curious particulars are given, accompanied by extracts from the Treasurer's accounts, of expences concerning them in the reign of James the Sixth. Like the Maundy almspeople at Whitehall, the number who receive the Royal bounty is regulated by the sovereign's age; but, "although the institution of King's Bedesmen still subsists, they are now seldom to be seen in the streets of Edinburgh, of which their peculiar dress made them rather a characteristic feature." -The individual the novelist had in his eye was Andrew Gemmels.

The second volume of the Antiquary is closed with an interesting note on a memorable alarm which roused to arms all the border counties of the North, during the anticipations of in

vasion in 1804.

In the original Introduction to the Antiquary, it is remarked that "the knavery of the Adept in the following sheets may appear forced and improbable; but we have had very late instances of the force of superstitious credulity to a much greater extent, and the reader may be assured, that this part of the narrative is founded on a fact of actual occurrence." On this mystery no light is thrown by the new edition; though the little work we before quoted says, "the fraud of Donsterswivel is said to have been of real occurrence in the case of some silver mines, attempted to be set on foot near Innerleithen by the Earl of T.”

This is, doubtless, au instance of the existence of some matters which the Author of Waverley does not at present feel himself at liberty to lay open; but we trust he will not omit to commit them to paper, although he may esteem


it the prudent and correct part to preserve them for a longer season from the public eye.

It will be understood that we have given but a very brief survey of the interesting matters with which the notes are replete; illustrating with many a well told anecdote, and apposite observation, not only the characters and scenery of the novels, but the history and manners of the country.

A compendious and impartial View of the principal Events in the History of Great Britain and Ireland, in relation to the Catholic Question. By J. Bedford. 8vo, pp. 420.

FROM the period of the Reformation, there has been a perpetual struggle for ascendancy between Popery and the Reformed Church. The object of the one has uniformly been the extirpation of heresy, at whatever cost; and that of the latter, self-preservation alone. Wherever the Catholic Church has predominated, as in the Peninsula, Protestantism has been annihilated, and the grossest bigotry and mental degradation have been the consequence. But where the Reformists have withstood the ruthless fury of papal oppression, as in England, the intellectual powers of man have been freely developed, and religious toleration, political freedom, and national superiority, have necessarily followed. The struggles between Popery and Protestantism in England, at the dawn of the Reformation, were frequently violent in the extreme, and too often attended with cruelties of a most sanguinary character. Fortunately the Protestants came off triumphant ; and instead of destroying their spiritual enemies by fire and sword, according to the practice of the Romish Church, they were satisfied with simply erecting such safeguards as were necessary to guarantee their future security. While popish treason was lurking through the land, and threatening, by its dangerous influence, the annihilation of Protestantism and the State, the most rigorous enactments were passed for its suppression, without which it would, in all probability, have finally triumphed; but, as the Reformed religion acquired strength, and the intelligence of the people increased, the severity of the laws against Papists were gradually mitigated, not because the spirit of Popery was in


REVIEW.-Bedford's History of the Catholic Question. [Nov.

reality ameliorated, but because its power of doing miscief was diminished. The author of the present compilation (for he does not profess it to be much more) is a warm advocate for the late Emancipation Bill, though, at the same time, he severely reprehends the principles and practice of the Romish Church. In his introductory remarks, he lays it down as an incontrovertible axiom, under all circumstances, that " every man possesses the invaJuable right of forming his own opinion on all subjects of religious belief, uncontrolled by human authority," and that" the interposition of any disability, upon any individual, on account of his religious creed, is an unjust infringement upon the natural or social rights of that individual, and is, in its essence, persecution." With this general position the author comes to the conclusion that all the enactments against Popery must have been morally and politically unjust. His positions, generally speaking, are correct, but his conclusions are certainly fallacious. -It was not on account of the religious tenets of the Romish Church, that civil disabilities were imposed on its members, but, as we have constantly maintained, solely on account of its dangerous political doctrines. Here we shall take the opportunity of quoting the author's own words, as his sentiments, in the following passage, are precisely in unison with our own; though they strongly militate against his general arguments, in which he endeavours to shew that all the penal laws affecting the Catholics, were oppressive and unnecessary.

"When religious sentiments assume a political bearing, and if those very sentiments tend to excite a spirit of resistance to

the ruling powers, it can scarcely be denied, that it becomes essential to the well-being of a state, to erect a strong barrier against the future efforts of those individuals who profess opinions so dangerous. It is not, therefore, intolerance to watch with a jeaJous eye those principles which would impair or destroy the well-being of the community; nor even to exclude from offices of trust and power those individuals, if such there are, the essential articles of whose creed would sap the foundations of civil government. In all such cases, the exclusion from civil privileges would not follow on religious grounds, but purely on political

against the Papists has originated purely from " political considerations;" and that it is not "intolerance to watch with a jealous eye those principles which would impair the well-being of the [Protestant] community."

The first chapter of the volume opens with an "historical summary of the laws imposing civil disabilities on the Roman Catholics." It commences with the reign of Elizabeth, and closes with that of George the Second. In this brief review the compiler has noticed the Acts of Supremacy, Corporation and Test Acis, Toleration Act, Act of Settlement, and other penal statutes against the Catholics.

"From the Revolution to the reign of 111), the Catholics were so depressed and George the Second (says the writer in p. abject, that they did not dare to petition, and their very silence was frequently the subject of imputation, as affording evidence of a discontented and dissatisfied spirit. It was in the year 1757, upon the appointment of the Duke of Bedford to the Vice-royalty of Ireland, that a committee was for the first time formed, of which the great model, perhaps, was to be disco

vered in the confederates' of 1642; and ever since that period the affairs of the through the medium of assemblies of a body have been more or less conducted similar character. The committee of 1757 may be justly accounted the parent of the great convention, which has since brought its enormous seven millions into action. The members of the committee, formed in that year, were delegated and actually chosen by the people. They were a Parliament invested with all the authority of representation. Their first assembly was held in a tavern called The Globe,' in Essex-street, Dublin."

In the second chapter the writer enters upon the measures which were adopted during the reign of George lies; and briefly notices the concessions the Third, for the relief of the Cathomade to the Catholics in 1791, 1792, 1793, and 1803. The ensuing chapters, from p. 40 to the end, are almost exclusively devoted to the Parliamentary Proceedings connected with the Catholic question from the year 1821 to the last Session; including the history of the Catholic Association.

The volume is embellished with some tolerably good portraits of the Duke and Mr. O'Connell, and on the whole of Wellington, Mr. Peel, Earl Grey, may be considered as a useful historiWe maintain that every penal statue cal work of reference.


1829.] REVIEW. Rutter's Delinealions of Somersetshire.

Rutter's Delineations of the North Western

Division of Somersetshire.
(Continued from page 331.)

FINE ancient court and manor
houses form a striking feature of this
part of Somersetshire.
The court
house at Clevedon, (of which we shall
speak hereafter,) is one of the most
valuable relics of domestic architec-
ture in England; and those at King-
ston Seymour, Tickenham, and Tower-
head House, with Barrow and Nailsca
Courts, are interesting specimens.

Remains of the Britons, Romans, Saxons, and Danes, will be found in the Camps at Worle or Weston Hill, Cadbury Hill near Yatton, Dolebury, Wont Hill, and Denhurst Camps near Banwell, the two Camps on Leigh Down, and that of Maes Knoll, with the Barrow at Butcombe; earthworks at Bleadon; and Roman Station at Uphill, from whence a Roman road led to Sarum, the "via Sorbioduni ad Axium" of Sir R. C. Hoare. Wansdike is also connected with this district.

Barrow Court is a fine old mansion of the Elizabethan age, which succeeded a Benedictine Nunnery there, built by one of the Fitz Hardings in the reign of Richard I. The great hall is still noticeable. It has at one end a music gallery; at the other a library. P. 17.

Brockley Hall, the seat of John Hugh Smyth Pigott, esq. contains a good collection of paintings. The park is well stocked with deer, and contains an ancient heronry, now rarely met with. A beautiful carriage drive, of more than three miles, has been formed through the grounds.

Brockley Comb is a fine romantic glen, of above a mile in length, and very narrow, each side being a steep cliff. The crags resemble ruins, and every fissure affords an asylum for vigorous vegetation. The trees are fine and lofty, and the rocks, nearly 300 feet high, tower above the branches with rude grandeur.

The watering-place of Westonsuper-Mare is every year increasing its accommodations for visitors; and we think the present publication very likely to contribute to the popularity of this favoured spot. Instead of a few fishermen's huts, as formerly, it now contains about 250 respectable houses; two good hotels, and every accommoGENT. MAS. November, 1829.


dation for company. In our volume for 1805, p. 1097, are two views of the old Church at Weston. Since that. period, the body of the church has been rebuilt in a large and commodious manner, chiefly at the expense of the late Rev. Wadham Pigott, who gave in his life-time 1000l. towards this object, and at his death, in 1823, left 2001. the interest of which is to be given in bread to the poor.

At Knightstone gigantic bones have been discovered. Cuvier's discoveries have set the question at rest, as to the correct appropriation of such bones.

Clevedon is another village which has lately acquired importance as a bathing place, and may be considered as the rival of its neighbour Westonsuper-Mare. It possesses more picturesque scenery, but Weston has the best sandy beach. P. 236.

"Clevedon Court, the seat of Sir Abraham Elton, Bart. is very pleasantly situated south-east of the village, and two miles from the church. It faces Nailsea, and is built on the southern slope of the hill, which is composed of craggy rocks, intermingled with timber trees and herbage. It is a large building of various ages, exhibiting noble simplicity and correctness of design; and is considered by Buckler as one of the most valuable relics of early domestic architecture in England. The great hall was built in the reign of Edward II. and is remarkable for the breadth and boldness of its porch and large window, between which is the

only other window that admits light on the

south side. The interior of the hall has been modernized, excepting the space under the gallery; which, with the arches of entrance, retains the original triple doorways leading to the kitchen and its offices. On the northern side of the hall is the fire

place, with a window immediately above it.

These are lined with ancient carved oak, the panes being filled with the royal arms of England, from King Egbert to George IV. On the western side of the hall, is the old carved stone doorway, leading to the apartments on that side of the mansion, through a wall of immeuse thickness."

Of the Priory of Woodspring a very considerable part is still standing. The church is almost entire, but converted into a farm-house; the nave is the parlour and other apartments; surrounded by offices for the use of the farm. The friars' hall or refectory, 44 feet by 20, is also tolerably entire. A fine old monastic barn still exists; as do the remains of extensive fish-pouds. Mr.



REVIEW. Rutter's Delineations of Somersetshire.

Rutter's account of Woodspring is
very satisfactory. Two views of this
Priory, with an account of it by Mr.
Bennett, will be found in our vol.
LXXVII. p. 801.

Cleeve Toot is capped by a mass of rocks which, from below, has all the appearance of an altar; and according to the theory of Mr. Bowles, as given in his 66 Hermes Britannicus," may have been dedicated to Thoth, the Celtic Mercury.* Just beneath the summit is "the King's chair," a stone stall, or throne, overhanging a precipice of near 300 feet. Below the Toot is a rude circular encampment. This has been called Roman, because a coin of Antonine has been found in it; but it should be remembered, that such coins were in circulation among the Roman-Britons. P. 68.

The Churchwardens' accounts of Banwell, anno 1521, contain some very curious items; e. g. the following in p. 141:

[ocr errors]

"1521. Reed of Robart Cabyll for the lyying of his wyffe in the Porche, 3s. 4d. Reed of Robart Blandon for the lyyng of his wyffe in the church, 6s. 8d.

"1522. Pd. John Wyde to helpe rede the boke of counts, 4d.-Recd of Rychard Lockyar of Axbryg for the anvell, 2s. 4d."

Hence it appears that the fee was as much again for burying in the church as in the porch;-that money was paid to a man for helping the churchwardens to read the accounts;and that an anvil was let out to hire, that is to say, if it was not a bequest to the parish and sold accordingly; for such bequests were not unusual.

The account of Axbridge is full and satisfactory; and we may also refer to a good account of this market town,


by Mr. Bennett, in our vol. LXXV. p. 201.

In the Church of South Brent (a manor which belonged to the Abbey of Glastonbury) are soine old carved stalls.

"The first of these remarkable specimens of ancient taste exhibits a for hung up by a goose, with two cubs yelping at the bottom of the gallows; the next a monkey at prayers, with an owl perched on a branch over his head; and beneath this device is another monkey holding a halbert. The following seat in the series is decorated with a for, robed in canonicals, with a mitre on his head, and a crosier in his hand; the superior compartment displaying a young for in chains, a bag of money in his right paw, and chattering geese and cranes on each side." P. 89.

From some recollections which we

have of the popular romance of Rey-
nard the Fox, we have a suspicion that
may be found illustrations of these
carvings. They have long been mat-
ters of dubious elucidation; yet from
ancient illuminations we by no means
think them insoluble enigmas; but
that they were as intelligible in their
day as are modern caricatures, for a
caricature not generally intelligible is
an absurdity. It must carry with it its

In a cavern called Burrington Combe, were accidently discovered in 1795

[ocr errors]

nearly fifty skeletons, surrounded by black mould, placed regularly with their heads close upon the north side of the rock, and their feet extending towards the centre. The mouth of the cavern was evidently secreted by a mound of loose stones and earth, mixed with bones of sheep and deer."

Cheddar Cliffs presents one of the most striking scenes in Great Britain,

* M. Champollion thus speaks of a temple to this deity, seen during his late journey: "The monument of Dakkeh (see this vol. p. 261,) is doubly interesting: in a mythological view, it affords materials of infinite value, to enable us to comprehend the nature and attributes of the Divine Being, whom the Egyptians worshipped under the name of Thoth (the twice great Hermes). A series of bas reliefs had afforded me, in some degree, all the transfigurations of this god. I found him first (as he ought to be) in connexion with Har-hat, the great Hermes Trismegistus, his primordial form, and of which he, Thoth, is only the last transformation; that is to say, his incarnation on earth after AmonRa and Mouth, incarnate in Osiris and Isis. Thoth re-ascends to the celestial Hermes (Har-hat), the divine wisdom, the spirit of God, and passes through these forms:-1st, that of Pahitnoufi (he whose heart is good); 2dly, that of Arihosnofri or Arihosnoufi (he who produces harmonic sounds); 3dly, that of vleuï (of thought or reason); under each of his names Thoth has a particular forin and insignia, and the images of these various transformations of the second Hermes cover the walls of the temple of Dakkeh. I found here Thoth (the Egyptian Mercury) with the caduceus, i. e. the ordinary sceptre of gods, entwined with two serpents, and also a scorpion."


REVIEW.-Rutter's Delineations of Somersetshire.

As Mr. Collinson justly describes them, "The vast opening of the rocky ribs of the Mendip Hills yawns from the summit down to the roots of the mountain, laying open to the sun a sublime and tremendous scene; exhibiting a


combination of precipices, rocks, and caverns, of terrifying descent, fantastic form, and gloomy vacuity."

The druidical circles of stones at Stanton Drew, are thus ably illustrated in this work.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

At Stanton Drew is an assemblage of ponderous stones, originally three circles. The largest is an ellipsis, measuring 126 by 115 yards in diameter. Fourteen stones only are now apparent; five stand erect in their places, eight others buried just below the surface. Their original number was probably thirty, corresponding with the days of the calendar month. The largest measures uine feet in height, and twentytwo in circumference.

Another circle consists of eight stones, half erect, the others lie on the ground. This circle is thirty-two yards in diameter, the stones being very large, and of far superior workmanship. Adjoining is a confused heap of five stones, originally another circle, or an avenue to the one last described.

The third circle, less perfect, consisted of twelve stones, rude and irregular. This circle is forty yards in diameter. Ten stones are remaining, some lie prostrate, some standing, and a few buried below the surface.

Three other stones, in a triangular form, are called the Cove, about ten feet wide by eight deep, inclosed by three flat stones.

Mr. Bowles, in his "Hermes Britannicus," is of opinion that Stanton Drew, like Avebury, was a temple of

the Druids, dedicated to Thoth, the Celtic Teut.

The noble mansion of Philip John Miles, Esq. at Leigh Court, contains a magnificent collection of paintings, amongst which are some fine specimens of Titian, Rubens, Claude, and Poussin. P. 264.

Under the several parishes Mr. Rutter has given full descriptions of the different Bone Caverns, with vertical sections of each. The discoveries at Uphill and at Hutton were effected by the Rev. David Williams, of Bleadon. But perhaps the most interesting discovery was that at Banwell, which consists of two caverns. The smaller one was accidently met with; a subscription was set on by the Bp. of Bath and Wells (proprietor of the ground), and Dr. Randolph, and their exertions were most zealously aided by Mr.William Beard, a respectable farmer near the spot, by whose attention the bones were secured, as they came to view, and preserved for future examination. The good Bishop has built an ornamental cottage on the spot for the accommodation of himself and the numerous visitors. Mr. Beard (dignified by the Bishop with the title of Professor) acts as cicerone;-and his good-humoured countenance embel

« VorigeDoorgaan »