fourteen reapers to Halton Castle for one day every year when called upon. It is called the Bond Darge. The labourers receive no wages, but are supplied with victuals and drink.

Thirlwall Castle.

HE ruins of Thirlwall Castle are situate on an eminence on the west bank of the Tipalt, a tributary of the South Tyne, at a short distance north of the point where that rivulet was crossed by the great Roman Wall. Though the castle is said to derive its name from the Scots piercing the wall here, it has evidently had no connection with the great barrier. Horsley, indeed, conjectures that it might have received its present name from a passage of a branch of the South Tyne through the wall a little to the west of the fortress. There is,

[ocr errors][subsumed]

however, a tradition that the castle received its name from the fact that the Roman Wall was "thirled," or penetrated, at this point. The walls are in some places nine feet thick, and the place was defended by a strong outward barrier. There is evidence that this stronghold was built entirely of stones from the Roman Wall. In 1831 the south wall fell into the Tipalt. The ruins now present a picturesque appearance, derived from its situation on a rocky boss about thirty feet from the stream. Thirlwall Castle was for many generations the seat of the Thirlwalls, whose heiress, in 1738, married Matthew Swinburn, of Capheaton, who sold the castle and manor to the Earl of Carlisle. Dr. Bruce in his "Roman Wall," says:-"Amongst the witnesses examined on the occasion of the famous suit between the families of Scrope and Grosvenor, for the right to bear the shield 'azure, a bend or,' which was opened at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1385, before King Richard II. in person, was John Thirlwall, an esquire of Northumberland. The witness

[ocr errors]

Thiriwell Castle.

[ocr errors]

related what he heard on the subject of the dispute from his father, who 'died at the age of 145, and was, when he died, the oldest esquire in the North, and had been in arms in his time sixty-nine years.' Such is the language of the record of these proceedings, preserved in the Tower of London."

Men of Mark 'Twirt Tyne and Tweed.

By Richard Welford.

Sir Henry Brabant,


"Sir Henry Brabant, another alderman, profest, if the King should command him to kill a man in cold blood, he took himself bound in conscience and duty to execute his commands." "Life of Ambrose Barnes."

NE of Richardson's reprints-"The Eve of the Revolution in Newcastle (already quoted in our sketch of Sir William Blackett the Second)-is a letter to King James II. from Sir Henry Brabant, complaining that his loyalty to the Crown had not been supported as it should have been by some of his colleagues in the municipal government of Newcastle. The writer of this epistle came, like so many other "men of light and leading" in Newcastle, from the adjoining palatinate. His father, John Brabant, of Pedgbank, had bound him apprentice, in 1636, to Alexander (afterwards Sir Alexander) Davison, one of the leaders of the Royalist party in Newcastle, and one of the most venerable and venerated aldermen of that faction. The times were becoming critical when he entered upon his apprenticeship; they became still more so before his indentures were half completed; long ere his term expired the country was engaged in civil war. In the eighth year of his servitude, when the Scots stormed Newcastle, his master was killed fighting, at the age of eighty, upon the town wall. Trade being at a standstill, he made no effort to secure a "turnover," and when he applied to be admitted to the freedom of the Merchants' Company he was fined for neglecting to complete his apprenticeship. Pleading ignorance, he obtained a remission of one-half the fine, and on the 1st September he was received into fellowship. Not for long, however, did he enjoy his privileges. He had taken lessons in loyalty from the master who died sword in hand defending the Stuart cause, and expressing his opinions too freely, he incurred the displeasure of the authorities. By order of Common Council, in 1649, he was publicly disfranchised for being in arms against the Parliament.

What became of Mr. Brabant during the interregnum is not stated. At the Restoration he regained his freedom, and, being impoverished in his estate by the civil commotions, obtained from Charles II. the office of collector of customs, &c., in Newcastle. The Shrievalty came to him in 1662, and five years later he rose to the higher position of Mayor. Excisemen in those days were not usually very popular persons, and even collectors of customs, when invested with municipal authority, were apt to be regarded with aversion. "There were none that bore office in the excise but rogues," said John Lee, yeoman, "being at William Mason's house in the Bigg Market," on the 15th October, a few days after Mr. Brabant's election. "And what was Henry Brabant," he temerariously asked, "but an exciseman! and none but broken rogues had such places." For which outspoken speech, and seditious words against his Majesty, Lee was hauled up before a magistrate, as, at a later date, Albert Hodgson was cited for saying something to the contrary effect. Hodgson being a Catholic, railed at Alderman Davison, son of Brabant's master, "and did with much invitracye and malice asperse and abuse Mr. Davison," adding that 'none of the aldermen were worth anything except Mr. Brabant," &c. In the times of the Stuarts, as in our own day, railing and abuse were the common heritage of persons in authority, for party spirit in politics and religion is eternally the same.


In the books of the Trinity House is a record that Alderman Henry Brabant and Ralph Jenison were deputed by the town to attend the King in council for the adjustment of a dispute pending between the town and Mr. Edmond Curtis, who had undertaken to clear away the wrecks in the river. The Hostmen's books contain entries that "Ralph Jenison, governor, and

Henry Brabant, Esq., going to London, are desired to use their endeavours to secure an Act of Parliament for regulating the abuses of collieries," &c., and that in 1681 the Hostmen appointed a committee to consult Henry Brabant and other officers in the Custom House, with a view to compel ships to discharge at a proper ballast quay, or shore, within the river. Items of no great importance are these, except to show that Mr. Brabant was living in the sunshine, after some years spent in the shade. The circumstances under which he became Mayor a second time, at Michaelmas, 1685, are given in his letter to the King. In that document he appears as a knight, and it is believed that he received this courtly title at his Majesty's accession in March previous. The honour came too late to be of much use to him. For in June, 1687, being then about 66 years of age, he died— died, as he had lived, a poor man. There is an order of Common Council, dated 1707, by which £5 was to be given "to Lady Brabant in charity," and that is the last time the name appears in the municipal annals of Newcastle.

The Rev. John Brand, M.A.,


The father of John Brand was parish clerk of Washington, near Durham. His daily occupation is not stated; probably he was a farm labourer, or small handicraftsman; if he had been in better circumstances,

local historians would have told us so. His son John was born on the 19th August, 1744; his wife died shortly afterwards, and when he married a second time he allowed his brother-in-law, Anthony Wheatley, to bring the boy to Newcastle to be brought up. Mr. Wheatley was a shoemaker in the Back Row, a narrow thoroughfare which extended eastward from the foot of Westgate Street. (A view of the Back Row, which has now disappeared, was given in the Monthly Chronicle, vol. ii., p. 137.) He was only a small tradesman, following an ill-requited calling in a poor neighbourhood, with squalid surroundings, but he did the best he could for his adopted son.

As soon as he was old enough, young Brand was sent to the Royal Free Grammar School of Newcastle, an institution which a newly-appointed headmaster-the Rev. Hugh Moises-was endowing with fresh life. Under his careful tuition, the lad made rapid progress. Wise and thoughtful beyond his years, as boys brought up by foster-parents often are, he became a diligent and obedient scholar-a credit to the school, and a source of pride and gratification to his teachers. At the age of fourteen he was withdrawn from Mr. Moises's care, and bound apprentice to his uncle.

It was, perhaps, fortunate that the sedentary occupation of a cordwainer fell to his lot. Shoemaking, as practised before the introduction of machinery, was favourable to the formation of studious habits. Young

Brand had acquired at the Grammar School a taste for learning which he was unwilling to neglect. His uncle, being a lenient master, and most likely proud of the accomplishments of his youthful relative, raised no objection. Thus, unfettered at home, and encouraged by Mr. Moises, the lad kept up his studies, conned over his lessons as he sat at work, and grew up to manhood clever and accomplished.

When his indentures of apprenticeship expired, in 1765, Mr. Brand was desirous of utilising his acquirements in a more congenial sphere. But no opening presented itself to his maturing genius, and he remained with his uncle. During his servitude he had begun to woo the Muse, and ventured into print with "A Collection of Peetical Essays. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Printed by I. Thompson, Esq., 1765."

Under the will of Bishop Crewe, Lincoln College, Oxford, was endowed with twelve exhibitions to be held by natives of the diocese of Durham, and in 1768, when Mr. Brand was taking up his freedom of the Cordwainers Company, it occurred to Mr. Moises that the bishop's munificence might be utilised to rescue his gifted protégé from a life of drudgery and indigence. Opulent friends were consulted, and favourable responses obtained. On the 8th of October, 1768, Mr. Brand was admitted a commoner of Lincoln College, and on the 10th of the month following he was elected a Lord Crewe exhibitioner, the value of which, at that time, was £30 per annum. His collegiate course lasted three years, and when it was ended he was ordained by Dr. Egerton, Bishop of Durham, and licensed to the curacy of Bolam. In 1773, returning to Newcastle, he officiated as one of the curates of St. Andrew's, and the following year, Mr. Matthew Ridley, of Heaton, gave him his first preferment, the curacy of Cramlington, of the yearly value of £40.



While at Oxford, Mr. Brand had renewed his dalliance with the poetic Muse. The subject of his verse was suggested by frequent walks along the banks of the Isis to the ruins of Godstow Nunnery, the burial place of "Fair Rosamond," paramour of Henry II. In 1775, when he took his bachelor's degree, he gave these poetical meditations to the printer, and they were published in a thin quarto (with a copperplate engraving by Ralph Beilby), under the suggestive title of "Illicit Love." tunately, soon after its publication, he turned to a more attractive and more useful study-that of antiquities. In November, 1776, he sent to press, from his residence in Westgate Street, Bourne's little book on the Antiquities of the Common People (which had become scarce) with copious additions of his own, under the title of "Observations on Popular Antiquities." This work, expanded from materials which Mr. Brand left behind him, and from other sources, was re-issued in 1813 by Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Ellis, and has been several times reprinted.

A few months after it was published the author was admitted a member of the London Society of Antiquaries; the year following he was appointed under usher in the Grammar School of Newcastle, where he had received his early education; and in 1781, having in the meantime taken his M.A. degree, he was preferred to the ushership. The curacies of Cramlington and St. Andrew's, Newcastle, supplemented by his income as usher, afforded him a moderate competence, and he lived in Newcastle, with his aunt, Mrs. Wheatley, as his housekeeper, in comparative ease and comfort.

While thus engaged, he had been collecting materials for a history of Newcastle, and by Christmas, 1783, had made substantial progress with his work. It happened that just at this time the rectory of St. Mary-at-Hill and St. Andrew Hubbard, in the City of London, fell vacant, and the Duke of Northumberland, the patron for that turn, offered the living to Mr. Brand, adding to it the office of private secretary and librarian. On the 8th of February, 1784, he read himself in at St. Mary-at-Hill, and prepared to take up his permanent abode in London. Directly afterwards, another appointment fell in his way. Dr. Morrell, secretary to the London Society of Antiquaries, died on the 19th of the month, and through the influence of the duke, and the high opinion which his fellow members entertained of his merits, Mr. Brand was unanimously chosen to fill the office.

And now, resident in the Metropolis, provided with ample means, and having free access to public records and private collections, Mr. Brand was able to push his history of Newcastle more rapidly towards completion. Frequent reference to it is made in his "Letters to Ralph Beilby," published by the Newcastle Typographical Society. Obtaining from the Common Council of Newcastle, on the 14th June, 1787, permission to dedicate the work to them, he commenced to solicit subscribers, and on the 16th May, 1789, it was announced as ready for delivery, price three guineas, in two volumes, royal quarto, and liberally illustrated with 34 plates, &c., engraved by Mr. Fittler.

For two and twenty years Mr. Brand fulfilled the duties of secretary to the Society of Antiquaries and rector of St. Mary-at-Hill. He did not marry, but lived with a housekeeper at the rooms of the society in Somerset Place, Strand, till, prosecuted by common informers for non-residence, he was compelled to occupy his parsonage. After the publication of his "History," nothing of importance issued from his pen. He contributed a few papers to the "Archæologia," and printed a quarto pamphlet about some inscriptions discovered in the Tower of London, and that was all. Not that his pen was idle during that long time. On the contrary, it was constantly at work, though in another direction. He m.ade it the chief business of his life to collect scarce and out-of-the-way books and manuscripts, and enrich them

with pen and ink sketches of their authors, explanations of the text, and other useful and critical annotations. Many hundreds of books, pamphlets, and tracts were gathered together at Somerset Place and the parsonage, some of them of the rarest character. Writing a small, thin hand, but clear and legible as print, he was able to compress a great deal of matter into a fly leaf, or the back of a title page, and scores of his treasures were in this way illustrated, explained, and improved.

On the morning of the 11th of September, 1806, while preparing for his usual walk through the City to the office of the Society of Antiquaries, Mr. Brand suddenly died in his study. He was buried in the chancel of his church of St. Mary-at-Hill, where a tablet, bearing the following inscription, preserves the memory of his pastorate:

Within the Communion Rails lies interred the Body of the Rev. John Brand, 22 years and 6 months the faithful Rector of this and the united Parish of St. Andrew Hubbard. He was also perpetual Curate of Cramlington, in the County of Northumberland, and he was Fellow and Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries. He died 11th September, 1806, in the 63rd year of his age. His affectionate Aunt, Mrs. Ann Wheatley, of Newcastleupon-Tyne, has erected this Monument to his Memory.

[ocr errors]

By his will dated March 14, 1790, Mr. Brand-bequeathed all his books, English portraits, prints, ancient coins, household furniture, cloaths, and linen," and all the residue, &c., to his aunt and sole executrix, Ann Wheatley, who had brought him up. The old lady proceeded to realise the property, and the sale of the books and MSS. which he had gathered together was a notable event in London. A priced catalogue of the first part of the "Bibliotheca Brandiana" shows that the sale lasted from May 6 to June 20, 1807, comprised 8,611 lots of books, &c., and 243 lots of MSS., and with a second auction in February following of more than 4,000 duplicates, and collections of pamphlets, realised £17,000.

Probate was granted to Mrs. Wheatley in November, 1806, the value of the property being sworn as under £800. But after the sale, when it was ascertained how inadequately that sum represented the value of Mr. Brand's effects, another probate was issued, and the previous one was declared to be null and void. At Mrs Wheatley's death, her furniture and other goods and chattels were bequeathed to her maid, Mary Sharp, who had lived with Mr. Brand in London. From Mary Sharp, who resided for some years in Cumberland Row, Newcastle, and died at the age of 90, they came to her niece Ann, wife of Edward Hudson, of Alnwick, and are now in the possession of Mrs. Hudson's representative, Miss Almond of that town. Among them are Mr. Brand's cabinet of coins and curios, gold watch, clock, portfolio of prints, and various framed pictures and engravings. His writing desk (upon which the Rev. Mr. Wasney, the popular curate of St. Thomas's Chapel, wrote his sermons while lodging with Mary Sharp) is owned by the widow

of the late Mr. William Armstrong, master printer of the Newcastle Chronicle-a friend of the Hudson family. A collection of papers and letters by and relating to Mr. Brand, including his memorandum book for 1799, and a MS. notice of his works by the late Mr. Thomas Bell, was purchased by the Rev. J. R. Boyle, in 1885, and is now in the library of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries.

Our portrait is taken from a miniature kindly lent by Mr. J. C. Brooks, of Newcastle, who inherited it from Mr. John Martin, librarian to the London University. So far as is known, this is the only recognisable portrait of Mr. Brand in existence, the liknesses prefixed to the "History of Newcastle," and sometimes found attached to the catalogue of the "Bibliotheca Brandiana," being only shadow-outlines, or silhouettes.

[blocks in formation]

George Brewis,


In the early part of the present century three brothers named Brewis came from the country to Newcastle, and started business as cartmen. They were industrious, thrifty, God-fearing men, and they prospered. John, the oldest, became an elder and precentor at the High Bridge Presbyterian Chapel, round which loving memories of the Rev. James Murray still lingered, and his brothers William and George were among his fellow-worshippers They all brought up families in respectability and comfort. One of John Brewis's sons became a popular Independent minister (of him more presently); one of William's children was George Brewis, attorney, pioneer of building societies in Newcastle, and temperance reformer.

George Brewis was born about the year 1814, in Percy Street, and was educated by Mr. John Weir, a wellknown schoolmaster of the period. As a boy he entered the office of Mr. John Clayton, town clerk, where he continued eleven years, and thence transferred his services to Mr. George Tallentire Gibson, to whom he was articled with a view of entering the profession of the law. About 1845, he was placed on the rolls as an attorney and solicitor, and at once commenced a prac. tice as the legal adviser of building societies, the foundation of which, with much foresight, he had laid during his clerkship.

Incentives to thrift in the form of building societies, and incitements to sobriety in the shape of total abstinence pledges, came in together. Joseph Livesey, the founder of teetotalism, visited Newcastle in the autumn of 1835. George Brewis signed the pledge on the 22nd June, 1836, and immediately thereafter became an active propagandist of temperance principles. When the first report of the "Newcastle Teetotal Society " came out, its roll of officers was filled with these well-known names :President, Jonathan Priestman; secretaries, Jas. Rew

George Brewis

support to Mr. J. F. B. Blackett, Mr. Peter Carstairs, and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joseph Cowen, in their respective candidatures for the representation of Newcastle. With municipal matters he did not actively intermeddle till late in life, and then, having been a Poor Law Guardian for a time, he fought for a seat in the Council, and was unsuccessful.

Mr. Brewis died suddenly in his office, Royal Arcade, on the 3rd December, 1867, and a few days later was interred in Elswick Cemetery with the solemnities of a public funeral.

The Rev. William Brewis.


William Brewis, eldest son of the before-named John Brewis, was born in Newcastle on the 8th of October, 1804. Trained to the religious life by his father at High Bridge Chapel, and manifesting early inclinations for the work of the ministry, he was sent to Rotherham Independent College, in September, 1820, on the eve of his 17th

« VorigeDoorgaan »