LONDON, Printed by Henry Hughes. MDCCLXXVIII.


THESE home-travels are the first part of an account of my own country; and were actually performed in the year mentioned in the title page. The world justly loves the reality; therefore, this is mentioned to satisfy the public, that they are not formed out of tours undertaken at different periods.

THESE make of themselves a complete tour of the tamer parts of our country. In a future volume, the wild and romantic scenery will be presented, inter­mixed with the rich vallies so frequently interspersed. To this will be added an Appendix, containing the sub­jects referred to in this volume, with variety of other mat­ter. I implore the aid of my countrymen to assist me in the attempt; and to favor me with the necessary mate­rials. They will see, that great part of Denbighshire, and all parts of the four remaining counties of our principality, are still to be described. My frequent [Page ii] journies through them, render me a tolerable master of their topography. I look up to my friends for history and anecdote latent among their papers; or references to our writers, least any facts lodged in books might escape my memory.

AMONG the gentlemen I am chiefly indebted to for information respecting the present work, I cannot pass unthanked:

  • PHILIP YORKE Esq of Erddig;
  • JOHN MYTTON Esq of Halston:
  • THOMAS MOSTYN Esq of the house of Trelacre;
  • PETER DAVIES Esq of Broughton;
  • KENRICK EYTON Eq of Eyton;
  • PAUL PANTON Esq of Bagilt;
  • LLOYD KENYON Esq of Greddington;
  • Mr. ROGER KENYON of Cesn;

TO OWEN BRERETON Esq I owe the loan of the curious antiquities found in his estate near Flint, which are engraven in the plates viii. and ix.

[Page iii]TO RICHARD WILLIAMS Esq of Vron, I am highly obliged for his poetical translations, marked R. W. and for the elegant version of the ode on Owen Glyndwr, to which that mark is omitted.

TO RICHARD MORRIS Esq of the navy office, I owe much general information; and am particularly in­debted to him for the correction of the press. Mr. HAWKER of the custom house Chester, favored me with a particular account of the commerce of that city.

THE reverend Mr. EDWARDS, rector of Llanvechan, fa­vored me with some excellent accounts of the parishes of Oswestry, Sellatyn, and Hops.

I RECEIVED several historical facts respecting the parish of Whittington, from the reverend Mr. ROBERTS, rector of the parish.

THE reverend Mr. JOHN PRICE, public librarian, and the reverend Mr. JOHN JONES, fellow of Jesus college [Page iv] Oxford, were indefatigable in furnishing me with extracts from the manuscripts of the university.

As due, I must repeat my thanks to the reverend Mr. JOHN LLOYD, rector of Nnanerch, my constant compa­nion in these excursions, for variety of information, which his great knowlege of our antient language qua­lified him to do, to my singular advantage.

MR. WILKINSON, painter in Chester, obliged me with many materials relative to that city.

To Mr. CALVELY land surveyor of the same city, I owe some elegant plans, which will appear in a future volume.

THE drawings marked MOSES GRIFFITH, are the per­formances of a worthy servant, whom I keep for that purpose. The candid will excuse any little imperfections they may find in them; as they are the works of an un­taught genius, drawn from the most remote and obscure [Page v] parts of North Wales. Those that wish to anticipate the views in the intended progress I am to make through the re­maining counties, may satisfy themselves by the purchase of the late publications of the admirable Mr. PAUL. SANDBY,*, in whose labors fidelity and elegance are united.



  • Frontispiece, CAERGWRLE CASTLE.
  • I. MAEN Y CHWYNFAN Page 12
  • II. Two Plants Page 19
  • III. Whiff Flounder Page 20
  • IV. BASINGWERK Abby Page 24
  • V. Another View Page 26
  • VI. ST. WENEFREDE'S Well Page 28
  • VII. FLINT Castle Page 42
  • VIII. ROMAN Antiquities Page 70
  • IX. ROMAN Antiquities Page 72
  • X. Tombs at NORTHOP Page 84
  • XI. HAWARDEN Castle Page 100
  • XII. Chief Justice GLYNNE Page 102
  • XIII. ROMAN Gate. OLD OSWESTRY, p. 258. Page 110
  • XIV. Vestibule of the Chapter-house at CHESTER Page 177
  • XV. Chapter-house Page 178
  • XVI. HOLT Castle Page 205
  • XVII. Plan of ditto Page 212
  • XVIII. Coffin-lids at BANCOR Page 224
  • XIX. ANGOLA Vulture Page 228
  • XX. HALSTON Page 232
  • XXI. Sir JOHN OWEN Page 263
  • XXII. CHIRK Castle Page 270
  • XXIV. VALLE CRUCIS Abby Page 369
  • XXV. VALLE CRUCIS Abby Page 372
  • XXVI. Pillar of ELISDG Page 373


I NOW speak of my native country, celebrated in our ear­liest history for its valour and tenacity of its liberty; for the stand it made against the Romans; for its slaughter of the legions*; and for the subjection of the nation by Agricola, who did not dare to attempt his Caledonian expedition, and leave behind him unconquered so tremendous an enemy.

WHEN our first invaders landed in Great Britain, North Wales was possessed by the Ordovices, a name derived from the language of the country, signifying the situation; being almost entirely bounded by the river Deva, or the modern Dee, and another river of the name of Dyvi . The one flows into the Irish sea below Chester, the other into the same sea on the borders of Cardi­ganshire.

THE spirit which the people shewed at the beginning, did not desert them to the last. Notwithstanding they were obliged [Page 2] to submit to the resistless power of the Romans, they never fell a prey to the enervating charms of luxury, as the other nations of this island did. They never, with womanish invocations, requested the aid of the deserting conquerors, or sunk beneath the pressure of the new invaders; they preserved an undaunted courage amidst their native rocks, and received among them the gallant fugitives, happy in congenial souls. The hardy Saxons, for above three centuries, could not make an impression even on our low lands. Offa was the first; who extended his kingdom for some miles within our borders. His conquest was but temporary; for we possessed Chester, the capital of the Cornavii, till the year 883, when it was wrested from us by the united force of the Heptarchy beneath the able Egbert. This indeed reduced our confines; but did not subdue our spirit. With obdurate valour we suftained our independency for another four centuries, against the power of a kingdom more than twelve times larger than itself: and at length had the glory of falling, when a divided country, beneath the arms of the most wise, and most warlike of the English mo­narchs.

I NATURALLY begin my journey from the place of my nativity,FLINTSHIRE. Downing in the county of Flint. To give a general idea of this shire, the reader must learn, that it is lest of the twelve Welch. Its northern side is washed by the estuary of the Dee, the Seteia Estuarium of Ptolemy. The land rises suddenly from the shore in fine inequalities, clayey, and plenteous in corn and grass, for two, three or four miles, to a montanous tract that runs parallel to it for a confiderable way.

[Page 3]THE lower part is divided by picturesque dingles, which run from the mountains, and open to the sea, filled with oaks. The inferior parts abound with coal and freestone; the upper with minerals of lead and calamine, and immense strata of lime­stone and chert. The principal trade of the country is mining and smelting.

The northern part of the county is flat, and very rich in corn, especially wheat, which is generally exported to Liverpool. The shire, in most places, raises more than is sufficient for the use of the inhabitants. It is extremely populous; and in the mine­ral parts composed of a mixed people, whose fathers and grand­fathers had resorted here for sake of employ out of the English mine counties; many of whose children, born of Welsh mothers, have quite lost the language of their fathers.

A LOFTY range of mountains rise on the west, and form a bold frontier. Our county is watered by several small rivers; such as the Allen, the Terrig, and the Wheeler; part of its western boundary by the Clwyd; and Maelwr, a disjoined part of the country, by the DEE.

WE are ignorant of the classical name of this little province. The Ordovices, of which all west of Cheshire was part, were subdivided in the time of the Romans, in all probability, as the rest of the country was. They had Reguli or Lords who ruled over little districts, and united under a common leader when the exigencies of the time required. These factions weakened the state, separated their interest, and facilitated their conquest by the first invaders.

[Page 4]THE names of these districts are now unknown. Gwynedd is the most antient we are acquainted with for the country of North Wales. The portion I inhabit was called Tegangle, which com­prehends the [...]hree modern hundreds of Coleshill, Prestatyn, and Rudland. The name is preserved in the montanous parts of this parish, and some others, to this day called Mynnydd Tegang. I reject the translation of Tegangle into Fair England, as a mongrel compound. The word is of a much more antient date; it be­ing derived from Cangi or Ceangi, a set of people, according to the learned Baxter, belonging to every British nation; who at­tended the herds and resided with them in different grazing grounds at different times of the year. The neighboring Cornavii had their Ceangi, who wintered in Wiral, and took their summer residence in Tegangle; a word to be properly derived on that account from Teg, fair, Cang, the name of the people, and Lle, a place. To corroborate which, at this very day is a plain in the parish of Caerwys, a part of the old Tegangle, adjoining to this mountain, that still retains the title of Maes can havod, or the plain of the hundred summer residences. For this reason I presume to differ from Mr. Baxter, in his notion of the sum­mer residence of these Cangi. He places it near the Canganorum Promontorium, or Braich y pwll head in Caernarvonshire; but those were the Cangi of the Ordovices, these of the Cornavii.

IT may be remarked, that, contrary to what happens to most subdued nations, our country preserved its own language: and the conquerors even deigned to adopt the names of the British towns and people, latinizing them from the original words. Thus Londinium from LUNDEIN, i. e. LLONG DIN or [Page 5] DINAS, the city of ships *, from its considerable commerce; DEVA from its situation on the river Deva ; DUNMONII from Dun­mnyn, or the hill of ore; BRIGANTES from Brig, choice or chief men; Coritani, or rather Coitani, from Coed, a wood. On the retreat of their Roman masters, the latinized names were dropt, except in a very few instances, and their own resumed; but the rest of the Britons, who submitted to the Saxon yoke, uni­versally received with it the names of places from their con­querors.

THE whole of Flintshire was subdued by the Saxons immediately after the taking of Chester by Egbert. It was an open country, destitute of inaccessible rocks and mountains, like the rest of North Wales; and consequently incapable of defence against so potent an enemy. The conquerors, as usual, new-named the towns, villages, and hamlets; but could not cancel the antient. Thus Hawarden still is known to the Welsh by the name of Pen­nardd Lâg, or Halawg; Mold by that of Wyddgryg; and Hope by that of Estyn; which (with the continuance of our language to this day) proves that even at that time it mixed but little with our conquerors. Numbers of Saxons were settled among us, who held their lands from the Mercian governors or earls: we find in the Doomsday book many of their names who had possessions in this tract; such as Ulbert, Osmer, and Elmer.

THE first notice of any sub-division of the tract called Flint­shire, DOOMSDAY BOOK. appears in the Doomsday book. When that survey was taken, it was made a part of Cheshire, to which it was considered as [Page 6] an appendage, by conquest. Old records affirm, that the county of FLINT appertaineth to the dignity of the sword of CHESTER. It was soon subdued by Robert de Rothelent, commander in chief under Hugh Lupus, who carried his arms far into Wales; and secured his conquests in the marches by building, or rather by adding new works to the castle of Rudland, which he had wrested from one of our princes.

THE tract from Chester to the Clwyd was then considered as a hundred of Cheshire, and called in the Doomsday Book Atiscros hundred. Numbers of places still existing are mentioned in it, disguised often by the Norman spelling. Whiteford, the place in question, is called Widford: notice is also taken of some of the present townships, such as Tre-mostyn, Tre-bychton, and Merton, under the names of Mostone, Widsord, Putecaine, and Meretone. MOSTONE was then a plough-land, terra unius Carucae. It had on it four villeyns and eight boors; (Bordarii *,) a wood a league long, and forty perches, particatae, broad, and was valued at twenty shillings.

WIDFORD is joined with Putecaine: The first seems to have com­prehended our present Trelan, or the place where the church-village now stands. These had one plough-land, two villeyns, and twelve others between men and maid servants, fisheries, and a wood half a league long and forty perches broad; the value was the same with that of Mostone.

WITH Meretone is joined the third part of Widford; and the Berewicha or hamlet of Caldecote, the last at present a township [Page 7] of the parish of Holywell. In this division was a presbyter, a church, and six villeyns. Here was a wood half a league long and twenty perches broad. One Odin held these of the earl.

AT the time of the conquest, all this tract of Flintshire, which was called by the Saxons Englefield, and afterwards by the Nor­mans Atiscros, was in possession of Edwin, the last Earl of Mercia; and on his defeat and forfeiture, bestowed, with the earldom of Chester, on Hugh Lupus. The whole was in a manner depopu­lated and reduced to a waste, I imagine by the two inroads made into those parts by Harold, at the command of Edward the confessor, to revenge on Griffith ap Lhewelyn the insult offered him, by giving protection to Algar, one of his rebellious sub­jects*.

It is observable, that there were only seven churches at that time in the whole hundred: 1. Haordine, the present Hawardin; 2. Widford; 3. Bissard, Boteuuaral, and Ruagor; 4. Inglecroft, Brunfor, and Alchene; 5. Danfrond, Calston, and Wesbie; 6. Pres­tetone and Ruestoch; and finally, the 7th at Roelend; besides one that lay waste at Cancarnacan and Whenescol. Parochial divisions had not yet taken place. Mr. Agard , a writer in the latter end of the sixteenth century, remarks, that the old historians make no mention of either parishes, parsons, vicars, incumbents, or curates. The people attended, in those days, either the cathe­dral churches, or the conventual; which were served by the prelates or monks, and those often assisted by presbyters, clerks, [Page 8] and deacons. As piety gained strength, other churches, for the conveniency of the devout, were erected by the no­bility and men of property, who were desirous of spiri­tual assistance within their precincts; and to this were owing the churches, which, at the period in question, were so spar­ingly scattered over the land. The places which enjoy­ed this advantage had the title of Lhan prefixed; as that of Tre, which signifies primitively a habitation, is to the town­ships.

THUS in our parish is Tre-mostyn, TRE-MOSTYN. remarkable for the antient seat of the family of the same name, which acquired it by the marriage of Jevan Vychan with Angharad, heiress of Howel ap Ithel Vychan of Mostyn, in the reign of Richard II. The great gloomy hall is of very old date, furnished with the high Dais, or elevated upper end, and its long table for the lord and his jovial companions; and another in the side, the seat of the inferior partakers of the good cheer. The walls are furnished, in a suit­able manner, with antient militia guns, swords, and pikes; with helmets and breast plates; with funereal atchievements; and with variety of spoils of the chace. A falcon is nailed against the upper end of the room, with two bells hung to each foot. With these incumbrances it flew from its owner, a gentleman in the county of Angus, on the morning of the twenty-fourth of September 1772, and was killed near this house on the morning of the twenty-sixth. The precise time it reached our country is not known; therefore we are uncertain whether this bird exceeded in swiftness the hawk which flew thirty miles in an hour in pursuit of a woodcock; or that which made a flight out of Westphalia [Page 9] into Prussia in a day: instances recorded* by the learned Sir Thomas Brown. The adjacent kitchen is overlooked by a gallery leading to the antient apartments of the lady of the house, at a period when the odours of the pot and spit were thought no ill savours. At one end of the gallery is a great room, remarkable for a singular event. During the time that Henry earl of Richmond was secretly laying the foundation of the overthrow of the house of York, he passed concealed from place to place, in order to form an interest among the Welsh, who favored his cause on account of their re­spect to his granfather, Owen Tudor, their countryman. While he was at Mostyn, a party attached to Richard III. arrived there to apprehend him. He was then about to dine; but had just time to leap out of a back window, and make his escape through a hole, which to this day is called the King's. Richard ap Howel, then lord of Mostyn, joined Henry at the battle of Bosworth, and after the victory received from the King, in token of gratitude for his preservation, the belt and sword he wore on the day: he also pressed Richard greatly to follow him to court; but he nobly answered, like the Shunamitish widow, I dwell among mine own people. The sword and belt were preserved in the house till within these few years. It is observable, that none of our historians account for a certain period of Henry's life, previous to his accession. It is very evident, that he passed the times, when he disappeared from Bretagny, in Wales. Many cotemporary bards, by feigned names, record this part of his life, under those of the LION, the EAGLE, and the like, which were to restore the [Page 10] empire to the Britons: for the inspired favorers of the house of Lancaster did not dare to deliver their verses in other than terms allegorical, for fear of the reigning prince.

THERE is little more remarkable about the house than what is common to others built at different times. Here are two re­markable portraits; one of Sir Roger Mostyn, knight, with a white beard and locks, in black, with great breeches stuck round the waist-band with points. This piece of magnificence gave rise to a very coarse proverb, applied to inferior people ambitious of acting beyond their station. The other portrait is of his Lady, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir John Wynne of Gwedir, baronet. Both are full lengths, dated 1634, and I think painted by Mytens.

HERE is another picture, not less remarkable for its ridiculous composition, than for the distinguished person painted in it. A kit-cat length of Sir Roger Mostyn, the first baronet; in a strange long flaxen wig, a breast-plate, buff skirts, and antique Roman sleeves; a black holding his helmet; his lady reading, with one hand on a scull; and by her husband a lap-dog. This gentle­man was the most eminent loyalist of our county: raised a regi­ment in support of the crown, consisting of fifteen hundred men, in twelve hours timeWhitelock, 78., mostly colliers; and garrisoned his house, which, in September 1643, was surrendered to the parlemen­tary forces, with four pieces of cannon and some arms.

THE busts collected in Italy deserve mention.BUSTS. That of the elder Brutus is particularly fine, as if formed in the instant that [Page 11] the love of his country got the better of paternal affection; when with a steady voice he was delivering to the lictors his Titus and Tiberius, to receive the reward of their treasons.

A BEAUTIFUL head of a young faun in a Phrygian bonnet.

A FINE head of one of the Cornelii. An Homer, and an Hip­pocrates. A Seleucus, with two wings fastened to an imperial dia­dem; symbols of dispatch and expedition. Two busts in brown alabaster of a male and female faun, with the flammeum on their heads: both are of hideous deformity; but well executed. Here are besides a few small monumental marbles, with inscrip­tions, which the antiquarian reader may find in the Ap­pendix.

IN the Library is a most elegant collection of the classics,LIBRARY. con­taining variety of the most antient and rare editions; a nume­rous collection of books relating to the Greek and Roman anti­quities, especially those which comprehend the medallic history; variety of manuscripts, mostly on vellum, and many of them richly illuminated. In a few words, scarce any private library can boast of so valuable an assemblage; which remain indis­putable evidences of the taste and judgment of that excellent man, its accomplished founder, the late Sir THOMAS MOSTYN. The family are besides possessed of other very valuable anti­quities; such as the cake of copper found at Caer-hén in Caernarvonshire; the Torques *, discovered near Harlech; and the silver harp which the family had the power of bestowing on the most skilful minstrel, rythmer, or bard, at the Eisteddfad, or assem­bly [Page 12] held for trials of their several merits. Each of these shall be spoken of in their proper places.

BEFORE I quit the house, I must take notice, that Thomas ap Richard ap Howel ap Jevan Vychan, Lord of Mostyn, and his brother Piers, founder of the family of Trelacre, were the first that abridged their name; and that on the following occasion. Rowland Lee, bishop of Lichfield, and president of the marches of Wales, in the reign of Henry VIII. sat at one of the courts on a Welsh cause, and, wearied with the quantity of aps in the jury, directed that the panel should assume their last name, or that of their residence; and that Thomas ap Richard ap Howel ap Jevan Vychan, should for the future be reduced to the poor dissyllable Mostyn; no doubt to the great mortification of many an antient line.

IN the higher part of this township stands the curious cross called MAEN ACHWYNFAN,MAEN ACHWYN­FAN. or the stone of lamentation; because penances were often finished before such sacred pillars, and concluded with weeping and the usual marks of contrition: for an example, near Stafford stood one called the weeping cross, a name analogous to ours. This is of an elegant form and sculpture: is twelve feet high, two feet four inches broad at the bottom, and ten inches thick. The base is let into another stone. The top is round, and includes, in raised work, the form of a Greek cross: beneath, about the middle, is another in the form of St. Andrew's: and under that, a naked figure, with a spear in its hand. Close to that, on the side of the column, is represented some animal. The rest is covered with very beautiful fret-work, like what may be seen on other pillars of ancient date in several parts of Great Britain.



[Page 13] I do not presume (after the annotator on Cambden has given up the point) to attempt a guess at the age. Only must observe, that it must have been previous to the reign of gross supersti­tion among the Welsh, otherwise the sculptor would have employ­ed his chizzel in striking out legendary stories, instead of the elegant knots and interlaced work that cover the stone.

THOSE, who suppose it to have been erected in memory of the dead slain in battle on the spot, draw their argument from the number of adjacent tumuli, containing human bones, and sculls often marked with mortal wounds; but these earthy sepulchres are of more antient times than the elegant sculpture of this pillar will admit. This likewise (from the crosses) is evidently a Christian monument. The former were only in use in Pagan days.

THERE are likewise,GILLI. near to it, an antient chapel, now a farm­house, called Gelli, the name of an adjacent tract. This might have relation to the cross: as well as a place for performance of divine service to the abbot of Basingwerk, who had a house at no great distance, in one of our townships still called Tré-r-abbot, or the abbot's habitation. This tract (mis-spelt by the English, Getely ,) with the wood (at that time on it) was granted by Edward I. to the abbot and convent, on the tenth of No­vember, at Westminster, before the death of our last prince. He also gave him power to grub up the wood, which, by the pre­sent nakedness of the place, appears to have been done ef­fectually.

FROM the summit of Garreg, a hill in this parish, the traveller may have an august foresight of the lofty tract of Snowdon, from [Page 14] the crooked Moel Shabog at one end, to the towering Pen­maen-mawr at the other: of the vast promontory of Llandidno, and part of the isle of Anglesea, with the great bay of Llandulas, forming a vast crescent; the estuaries of the Dee and the Mersey: and to the north (at times) the isle of Man and the Cumberland Alps, the sure presages of bad weather.

I WILL descend now to Tre-Bychton, TRE-BYCHTON. another of our maritime townships, where stands my paternal house, attended (with what was very frequent in our principality) a summer-house, at a very small distance, and a cellar beneath; used as a retreat for the jolly owners and their friends, to enjoy, remote from the fair, their toasts and noisy merriment. This, and the other lower parts of the parish, are finely wooded with oaks; which grow so spontaneously, that, was the place depopulated, it would in a very few years relapse into an impenetrable forest.

IN Tre-lan is the parish-church, dedicated to Saint Mary. The rectory is a sinecure, which, with the vicarage, is in the gift of the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, I imagine, retains the antient site it had at the time of the conquest. The present building consists of a nave and one aile. The last was built by a Blethyn Drow, of the house of Mostyn, to whom that part belongs.

THE two Mertons,MERTON.Uch glan and Isglan, are adjacent townships. In the reign of Edward I. (before his conquest) the lands of the men of Merton, to the amount of sixteen plough-lands, were taken from them, and bestowed on the abbot and convent of Ba­singwerk, against the laws of Wales, and the custom of the country; and contrary to the peace between the King and Prince Lhewelyn *. [Page 15] This violent act was done by Reginald de Grey *, justice of Chester, probably by connivance of the King, to provoke the Welsh to commit some outrage that would give color to the English to break the truce.

FOLEBROC,FOLEBROC. or Feilebroc, belonged to the monks of Basingwerk: and is mentioned in the confirmation of the grants to that con­vent by Henry II. and again in the charters renewed to it by Lhe­welyn ap Jorwerth, and David ap Lhewelyn, princes of North Wales. The monks had a grange on it, and right of pa­sturage on the mountain, in common with neighboring in­habitants.

THE products of this parish are corn of every sort excepting rye. Little cheese or butter is made here for sale, as the grass is chiefly consumed by horses; for the farmers are greatly em­ployed in carrying the minerals of the country: the same may be said of the shire in general. Every cottager has his potatoe garden, which is a great support to them; and was a conveni­ency unknown fifty years ago. The lower parts are well wooded; and much timber is at times sold to Leverpool and other places, at good prices; much is also used at home in the mines.

THE collieries of Mostyn and Bychton have been worked for a very considerable space;COAL. and in the last century supplied Dublin and the eastern side of Ireland with coal. They are at present but in a low state; partly from the rise of the works at Whitehaven, but more from the loss of the channel of the Dee; which in the beginning of this century flowed so close to our shore, that ships of two hundred tons lay under this parish, with their [Page 16] cables twisted round the trees. At this time vessels of sixty or seventy cannot approach nearer than two miles, the Dee now flowing under the opposite shore. Still we load a few vessels for Ireland and some parts of North Wales. Much is also consumed by the neighboring smelting-houses, and the inland parts of Denbighshire. The improvements of land by lime has of late occasioned a great comsumption of coal by the farmer, and by the persons who burn it for sale.

THE coal is of different thickness, from three quarters to five yards. The beds dip from one yard in four to two in three. They immerge beneath the estuary of the Dee; are dis­covered again on the south side of Wiral in Cheshire, as if cor­responding with some of the Flintshire: they remain as yet lost, on the northern part of the same hundred; but are found a third time in vast quantities in Lancashire, on the opposite side of the Mersey. Their extent from west to east, in this county, may be reckoned from the parish of Llanasa, through those of Whiteford, Holywell, Flint, Northop, and Hawarden. Our coal is of diffe­rent qualities, suited to the variety of demands of the several sorts of founderies in the neighborhood. Beds of canal are met with; inferior indeed in elegance to those of Lancashire, but greatly coveted by the lime-burners. Sometimes is also found the Peacock-coal of Doctor Plot *, remarkable for the beauty of its surface, glossed over with the changeable brilliancy of the colors of that beautiful bird.

COALS were known to the Britons before the arrival of the Romans, who had not even a name for them: yet Theophrastus

[Page 17] describes them very accurately, at lest three centuries before the time of Caesar: and even says that they were used by workers in brass. It is highly probable that the Britons made use of them. It is certain they had a primitive name for this fossil, that of Glo; and as a farther proof, I may add, that a flint-ax, the instru­ment of the Aborigines of our island, was discovered stuck in cer­tain veins of coal, exposed to day in Craig y Parc in Monmouth­shire *; and in such a situation as to render it very accessible to the inexperienced natives, who, in early times, were incapable of pursuing the veins to any great depths. The artless smelters of antient times made use of wood only in their operations, as we find among the reliques of their hearths, as shall be observed hereafter.

A VERY useful species of ash-colored greasy clay is discovered over one of the beds. It resists the fire remarkably well; and has been used with great success in the mineral smelting fur­naces.

THE beds of sandstone are frequent in the lower parts of the parish,FREESTONE. and reach within half a mile of the mountain; when the stratum changes: first to a blackish shale, soon dissolluble by exposure to the air; after that to a whitish limestone, or to a hard chert. Both are found in strata a of vast thickness:LIME. the first is burnt into excellent lime, and is also used as a flux for lead ores. The common sort of houses are built with it; for which it is less proper by reason of its excessive dampness at change of weather.

[Page 18]IN the township of Tre-mostyn, near the shore, is a cliff of a very singular appearance, looking like the semi-vitrified lava of a volcano. The stratum is in front universally changed in its dispo­sition, and run into a horrible mass of red and black; often porous, but in all parts very hard. In it is a hollow, a vein in which was lodged the pyritical matter that took fire, and caused the phaenomenon. Its fury chiefly raged towards the front, and diminished gradually in the internal part of the bed; which, at some distance within land, appears only discolored. The stratum is a sandstone of the common sort*. I am informed, that these appearances are not uncommon in Derbyshire; and that Mr. Ferber, an ingenions Swede, and Mr. Whitehurst, our ingenious countryman, hath taken notice of them in their writings.

THE chert is the petros [...]ex of the later writers. It is of a flinty nature,CHART. and is the only stone that resembles flint in our county. The annotator on Cronsted justly remarks, that the true flint abounds in chalk, which is an absorbent earth, as chert does in the neighborhood of limestone, which is also calcareous. As yet, this species of stone has nor been found of any use. I sus­spect, that in case it was burnt and ground, it might prove serviceable in making a coarse stone ware, as the nodular flints are in making the finer.

THE hilly part of our parish has been for a long succession of years rich in minerals of lead and calamine. Some years ago, about seventeen hundred of copper ore was discovered; but none since, notwithstanding it has been diligently searched [Page]

Arenaria Saxatilis

Scarlet Mushroom

[Page 19]after I shall suspend enquiry after these and other minerals and fossils of this tract, till I am about to leave the part of Flint­shire productive of these sources of wealth. I shall here only take notice of a vegetable, rare in other places, which grows on certain parts of the mountain in plenty; and in May makes a pretty appearance with its white flowers. This is the arenaria saxatilis, or mountain chickweed, engraven in the annexed plate; with a scarlet kind of mushroom, unnoticed by Linnaeus; but described by Mr. Ray, p. 18. No 5. of his Synopsis of British Plants.

IN my road to the next parish south of this, I take that which lies on the shore; and pass by the antient smelting-house of Llanerchymor, which is still in use for fusing of lead ore, and ex­tracting of silver.

THE sea, or the estuary of the Dee, lies at a small distance on the left, a verdant marsh intervening. The hundred of Wiral, a portion of Cheshire, is seen on the other side; a hilly tract, woodless and dreary, chequered with corn-lands and black heaths; yet formerly was so well cloathed, as to occasion this proverbial distich:

From Blacon point to Hilbree
A squirrel might leap from tree to tree.

THE view of this branch of the sea terminates on one end with Chester, and the rock of Beeston; on the other with the two little islands of Hilbree or Ilbre. On one, had been a cell of Benedictines, dedicated to our lady, and depqndent on Chester. This possibly was the hermitage called Hilburghy which, in the [Page 20] second of Edward III. received ten shillings a-year from an old charity belonging to the castle at Chester*.

THE tides recede here so very far, as to deny us any variety of fish. The species most plentiful are of the flat kind; such as flounders, a few plaice, small soles, and rays. Dabs visit us in November; and in the last year was taken that rare species or flounder the whiff, whose figure is given in the annexed plate. The weever is very common here: other species are taken ac­cidentally.

THE herring in this sea is extremely desultory. At times they appear in vast shoals, even as high as Chester; arrive in the month of November, and continue till February; and are followed by multitudes of small vessels, which enliven the channel. Great quantities are taken and salted; but are generally shotten and meagre. It is now about ten years since they have paid us a visit.

EXCEPTING the Caryocatactes or nut-breaker, I do not re­collect any very uncommon bird to have visited this parish: one of this species was killed in the garden at Mostyn in Octo­ber 1753. Its native country is Savoy, Switzerland, Lorraine, and some parts of Germany. These birds do not regularly mi­grate, but in a certain period quit their usual habitations; for example, in October 1754, multitudes appeared in Burgundy, and other parts of France. The one that visited us was probably a strayed bird out of some flock that had quitted its native land. It is a species of some beauty, yet without variety or richness [Page]


[Page 21]of colors; being spotted with triangular marks of pure white in rusty brown. In size it is somewhat inferior to a jackdaw: the bill very strong, sharp, and fitted for the piercing of trees; which makes it very destructive to timber. It inhabits the vast forests of firs; from which it has been styled Pica abietum guttata. Like the jackdaws, it also nestles in lofty towers; and like them is very noisy. Its food is nuts, which it breaks with its bill; the cones of firs, acorns, berries, and insects. From the first circumstance, the Germans have named it nuss-bretcher, a name adopted in the British Zoology.

ON crossing a little rill beneath the banks, I enter the parish of HOLYWELL: And very soon after cross its noted stream, near its discharge into the estuary of the Dee. On the right ascend to the site of the abby and castle of Basingwerk, a place of importance in the wars be­tween the English and the Welsh. The land towards the sea is steeply sloped. The west side was protected by a deep gully, formed by the river; the south-east by the vast ditch, which has hitherto been universally supposed to have been that made by Offa, king of the Mercians. I owe the detection of that mistake to Mr. John Evans of Llwyn y Groes *, who proves it to be one [Page 22] termination of another stupendous work of the same kind, known by the name of Wat's ditch; of which a full ac­count will be given in some of the following pages, with remarks on the mounts, and other works that lie near its course.

THE only vestige of this fortress appears in the foundation of a wall on the edge of Offa's ditch.BASINGWERK CASTLE. Lord Lyttelton * says, that the founder was an earl of Chester. I imagine that it must have been Richard, son of Hugh Lupus, and second earl of Chester; and that the abby was fortified on the follow­ing occasion; for even religious institutions had no exemp­tion, tempore necessitatis belli, licitum est, hospitari et incastellari in ecclesia .

ACCORDINGLY, the first notice I find of it is in the life of St. Werburg, by Bradshaw; who informs us, that Richard, on his return out of Normandy, where he had been educated, be­gan his reign with an act of piety. He attempted, in 1119, a pilgrimage to the well of St. Wenefrede; but either in going or returning, was attacked by the Welsh, and obliged to take shelter in Basingwerk. He applied to St. Werburg for relief; who miraculously raised certain sands between Flintshire and Wiral, and thus gave means to his constable to pass to his assistance: which sands, from that time were called the Constable's Sands. Bradshaw styles the place of his retreat an abby; a proof that here had been a religious community before the time usually [Page 23] assigned for the foundation of this house. I must also draw from Lord Lyttelton's authority (for I can find no other) that this castle was demolished by the Welsh in the reign of Stephen *.

HENRY II. in 1157, after his escape from the ambuscade of Eulo, left Basingwerk restored, well fortified, and manned, in order to secure a retreat on any future disaster. He did the same by the caste of Rudland. In his days the inland parts of our county were a dangerous wild of forest. After his defeat he never trusted himself among our woods; but made his marches along the open shores.

THE same monarch left another species of garrison; for he established here a house of knights templars, a military order introduced into England in the preceding reign. They were first instituted in the Holy Land for the protection of pilgrims; and possibly Henry might have, the same view in fixing them here, to secure the English devotees in performing their vows to our neighboring saint, who seems about this time to have come into reputation. It is singular, that these religious knights were allowed at their institution only one horse between two; yet so greatly did they flourish, that about the year 1240, or a hundred and fifty years after their institution, the order had acquired, in different parts of Christendom, nineteen thousand manors.

THIS castle was but of very short duration; for in 1165, the gallant prince Owen Gwynedd laid siege to it, took§ and levelled it to the ground; after which the name occurs no more as a [Page 24] Fortress. I think at this period it belonged to Hugh de Bello Campo, or Beauchamp, on whom this and Rudland castle had been bestowed by the English monarch*.

THE abby,ABBY. of which there are some considerable remains, was founded in 1131 (according to the opinion of Bishop Tanner) by Randle the second earl of Chester: according to Bishop Fleet­wood, by Henry II. For my part, I believe it to be of greater antiquity; but do not pretend to derive its origin. No light into the matter can be collected from the charters preserved by Sir William Dugdale. There are three of them, either serving to confirm the antient donations, or confer new: in each is mention of the earl as a benefactor; but there is not the left hint of his having been the founder. I must attribute that honor to one of the princes of Wales; for both Lhewelyn ap Jor­werth, and his son David, in their respective charters recite, that they give and confirm the several donations to GOD, St.Mary, the monastery of Basingwerk, and the monks, which had been bestowed on them by their predecessors for the salvation of their souls.

RANDAL was certainly a great benefactor; for it appears, that before his days the monks had only a chapel here. From that period it became considerable; and about that time part of the present buildings were erected, for the conveniency of its inhabit­ants, who were of the Cistorcian order.

THE architecture is mixed. Here appears what is called Saxon; having the round arches and short columns in some parts; and the



[Page 25]Gothic narrow slips of high-pointed windows in others. The first: species had not fell out of use, and the last was coming into fashion, in the days of the first great benefactor.

THE church lay on the east side; but is now totally de­stroyed. The refectory is pretty entire; and on one side has a great recess, with two round arches and a plain in front.

ABOVE were the cells for the lodgings of the monks, with a small window to each.

THE chapel of the knights templars is a spacious building. The windows are long, narrow, and pointed; the pilasters be­tween them on the inside slender and elegant.

THERE are some remains of offices, used at present by a tanner. Within less than fifty years, much of the habitable part was standing; and sometimes used by the worthy family, the Mostyns of Trelacre: a lady now living was born within the walls.

DURING the preparations for the conquest of Wales by Ed­ward I. the abby was under the protection of the English. There are extant two orders for the purpose, providing that they had no commerce with what are styled the Welsh rebels*. I imagine that the convent was firmly attached to the victor; for I have been informed that there are, among the lists of summons in the Tower, writs for calling the abbot to parlement, in the 23d, 24th, 28th, 32d, and 34th of Edward I.

ACCORDING to the valuation of its revenues in 1534, the gross sum at the dissolution was, according to Dugdale, 150 l. 7 s. 3 d.; [Page 26] to Speed, 157 l. 15 s. 2 d. In 1553, there remained in charge 4 l. in annuities*.

THE particular endowments, as I collect from Dugdale , were these: Henry III. by charter, grants and confirms ten librates in Longenedale in Derbyshire, with the church of Glossope, and all its appertenances, to be held by them as freely as William Peverel held the same in the time of Henry his grand­father. The same charter confirms the donations of Ranulph carl of Chester, and other barons, viz. Holywell, Fulbrook, the chapel of Basingwerst, the antient residence of the monks, with the mills and their appertenances; likewise Holes, and a moiety of Lecche, and one hundred shillings of the revenues of Chester, the gift of the said earl. Calders with its inhabitants, and finally, Kethlenedei, the gift of Robert Banastre.

LHEWELYN AP JORWERTH, prince of Wales, and cotemporary with Henry III. confirms all the donations of his ancestors; particularly the site of their house, the mill before their gate, and the land before their doors; which last was granted to them by Ranulphus, and his brother Aeneas. The same grant gives them also the land of Meredeth Wawor in Holywell; Ful­brook, a community of pasturage on the mountains; Hanot de le Weceb, and Creicgraft, with all their appertenances. His son and successor David, by another charter, confirms the dona­tions of his father, and adds the lands of Huttred, brother to Meredeth Wawor of Holywell; the grange of Fulbrook; the church of Holywell, and the chapel of C [...]lsul; and the land and pasturage



[Page 27]of Gelli, before granted by his father. He likewise empowers them to buy and sell every thing toll-free in all his territories, for the use of their house. Also, the fifth part of the fish taken in his fisheries at Rudland; and the tenth of the fish belonging to him in other parts. He confirms to them all the village of Wenhewm, with all its inhabitants and appertenances, being the gift of Howen de Porkenton, and confirmed by Helyso. He at the same time confirms the lands and pasturage in Penthlin, the gift of his father.

THIS charter is dated from Coleshill in 1240, and witnessed by Hugh bishop of St. Asaph, and his chancellor, the famous Ednyfed Vychan, and others.

TANNER* mentions the tithes of Blackbrook, and the wood of Langdon; lands in Chanclesworth; the manor of West Kirkby in Cheshire; the silver mine near Basingwerk; free warren in Gethli, Menegrange, Ouregrange, Beggerburgh, and Holywell.

THE abby also was possessed of the hospital or chapel of Sponne near Coventry, which had been originally founded by Hugh Ceveilioc earl of Chester, who probably bestowed it on these monks.

THE revenues of the abbot amounted in the whole, reckoning [...]rising from the mills, lands, cows, and sheep, to 46 l. 11 s. .

IN 1540, the house and lands in the neighborhood were granted to Henry ap Harry, whose only daughter Anne, by her [Page 28] marriage with William Mostyn esquire, of Trelacre, conveyed it into that family, in which it now remains.

I CANNOT recover the names of any more than two of the abbots; both of the same with my own. Thomas ap Dafydd Pennant presided over the house in the time of Guttun Owain; a bard who flourished in the year 1480, and celebrates the hospitality of the abbot, in some verses printed in the collection of Mr. Rhys Jones. The poet is so liberal of his praise as to say, That he gave twice the treasure of a king in wine.

Er bwrw yno, aur Brenin
Ef a roes, deuswy a'r win.

HE speaks also of his works of utility; of the water and of the windmills he erected. Neither is he silent on a subject, pleasing to every Welsh ear, the pedigree of his patron; whom he derives from Edwin and from Elidir ap Rhys Sais, a direct descendant from Tudor Trevor

THE last abbot conformed, and married Angared daughter to Gwillim ap Gryssydd ap Gwillim. The Harleian MS. calls him Sir Thomas Pennant. The remains of a very antient oak, still to be seen near the ruins of the house, is called the abbot's, and is supposed to be his cotemporary.

THE road from hence is remarkably picturesque, along a little valley, bounded on one side by hanging woods, beneath which the stream hurries towards the sea, unless where interrupted by the fre­quent manufactories. Its origin is discovered at the foot of a steep hill,ST. WENEFREDE'S WELL. beneath the town of Holywell, or Trefynnon, to which it gave the name. The spring boils with vast impetuosity out of a rock;



[Page 29]and is formed into a beautiful polygonal well, covered with a rich arch supported by pillars. The roof is most exquisitely carved in stone. Immediately over the fountain is the legend of St. Wenefrede, on a pendent projection, with the arms of Eng­land at the bottom. Numbers of fine ribs secure the arch, whose intersections are coupled with some sculpture.

SOME are mere works of fancy; grotesque figures of animals: but the rest allude chiefly to the Stanley family. This building, and the chapel over it, rose from the piety of that great house, who left these memorials of their benefactions: there are besides some marks of illustrious donors; for example, the profile of Margaret, mother to Henry VII. and that of her husband the earl of Derby, cut on the same stone.

THE compliments to the Stanlies are very frequent. The wolf's head is the arms of the earls of Chester: it is inclosed in a garter, in respect to Sir William Stanley, knight of that order, who had been chamberlain of that city, and justiciary of North Wales. The tun with a plant issuing out of it, is a rebus, the arms of his wife Elizabeth Hopton, allusive to her name. This proves, that the building was erected before 1495, in which year Sir William lost his head. The other badges of the same house are, the stag's head; the eagle's leg; and the three legs, the arms of the isle of Man.

WE also find, that Catherine of Arragon, widow to prince Arthur, and afterwards the unfortunate wife of his brother Henry VIII. was a benefactress to this building; at lest her arms appear here: three pomegranates in a shield, surmounted with a crown; the badge of the house of Granada, in memory of the [Page 30] expulsion of the Moors, by her father Ferdinand *. The eagle seems also to belong to her, being one of the supporters of the arms of her family.

OVER one of the lesser arches, on each side of the well, are the dragon and gre-hound, the supporters of the arms of Eng­land during the reign of Henry VII. and part of that of Henry VIII. The first was born by Henry VII. as a badge of the house of Tudor, which derived itself from Cadwalader, last king of Britain, who bore on his ensign a red dragon. Henry, in imitation of him, at the battle of Bosworth carried on his standard a red dragon, painted on white and green silk; which afterwards gave rise to the office of Rouge dragon among the heralds.

ON one side of a wall that supports the roof, was painted the tale of the tutelar saint; at present almost defaced: over it is inscribed, in honorem Sanctae Wenefredae, V. & M.

IN another wall is an elegant nich, in which stood a statue of the Virgin Mary; pulled down, as I have been informed, in the year 1635.

I have also heard, that there had been another of St. Wene­frede. To grace the image on high festivals, it is probable, that Isabel, countess of Warwick, widow to the great Richard Beauchamp, left to St. Wenefrede, in 1439, her gown of russet velvet.

OVER this spring is a chapel,CHAPEL. of the same date with the other building: a neat piece of gothic architecture; but in a very ruinous state. This had been a free chapel, in the gift of the [Page 31] bishop, with the reserve of a stipend to the chapter; but the rest of the offerings were to be expended on the chapel. In Richard III.'s time, the abbot and convent had from the crown ten marks yerely, for the sustentacione and salarie of a prieste, at the chapelle of St. Wynesride *. The chapel is the property of John Davies esquire, of Llanerch. The well is common; for I find by a decision of the court of chancery, on a law-suit respecting the lordship of Holywell, between Sir John Egerton knight, and John Eldred; chancellor Ellesmere decrees, ‘That on calling to mind, that within the said manor there is a fountain or well of antient and worthy memory, he doth not think fit that the petitioner, or any other, should have the property thereof, notwithstanding the general words of the grant of the manor: and therefore his lordship doth order, that notwithstanding the said grant, that the well shall continue as now it is, or heretofore hath been; saving to the petitioner, and his heirs and assigns, the benefit of the stream and watercourse, with the appertainances.’

THERE are two different opinions about the origin of this stream. One party makes it miraculous: the other assert it to be owing only to natural causes. The advocates for the first, deliver their tale thus:

IN the seventh century lived a virgin of the name of Wenesrede, OF SAINT WING FREDE. of noble parents; her father's name was Thewith, a potent lord in the parts where Holywell now stands; her mother's, Wenlo, de­scended from an antient family in Montgomeryshire, and sister to [Page 32] St. Beuno. Beuno assumed the monastic habit, retired to Clynnog, in Caernarvonshire, where he built a church and founded a con­vent. After completing this work of piety, he visited his rela­tions in Flintshire, and obtaining from his brother-in-law a little spot at the foot of the hill on which he resided, erected on it a church; and took under his care his niece Wenefrede. A neighboring prince of the name of Cradocus, son of King Alen, was struck with her beauty, and at all events determined to gratify his desires. He made known his passion to the lady; who, affected with horror, attempted to escape. The wretch, enraged at the disappointment, instantly pursued her, drew out his sabre, and cut off her head. Cradocus instantly received the reward of his crime: he fell down dead, and the earth opening, swallowed his impious corps. Hidgen, in his Polychronicon adds, that even the descendents of this monster were visited with hor­rible judgments, to be expiated only by a visit to this well, or to the bones of the saint at Salop.

Ad Basingwerk sons oritur
Qui satis vulgo dicitur.
Et tantis bullis scaturit
Quod mox, injecta, rejicit.
Tam magnum flumen procreat
Ut Cambriae sufficiat.
Aegri qui dant rogamina
Reportant medicamina.
Rubro guttatos lapides
In scatebris reperies
In signum sacri sanguinis,
Quem VENEFREDAE virginis
Guttur truncatum fuderat.
Qui scelus hoc patraverat,
Ac nati, ac nepotuli
Latrant ut canum catuli
Donec sanctae suffragium
Poscant ad hunc sonticulum:
Vel ad urbem Salopiae
Ubi quiescit hodie*.

[Page 33]THE severed head took its way down the hill, and stopt near the church. The valley, which, from its uncommon dryness, was heretofore called Sych nant, now lost its name. A spring of uncommon size burst from the place where the head rested. The moss on its sides diffused a fragrant smell*. Her blood spotted the stones, which, like the flowers of Adonis, annually commemorate the fact, by assuming colors unknown to them before.

Luctus monumenta manebunt
Semper, Adoni, mei: repetitaque mortis imago
Annua plangoris peraget simulamina nostri.
For thee, blest maid, my tears, my endless pain
Shall in immortal monuments remain.
The image of thy death each year renew;
And prove my grief, to distant ages, true.

ST. BEUNO took up the head, carried it to the corps, and, offering up his devotions, joined it nicely to the body, which instantly re-united. The place was visible only by a slender white line encircling her neck, in memory of a miracle, which surpassed far that worked by St. Dionysius, who marched in triumph after decapitation, with his head in his hands, from Mont martre to St. Dennis's or that of St. Adelbertus, who, in like circumstances, swam across the Vistula.

TO conclude: St. Wenefrede survived her decollation fifteen years. She died at Gwytherin in Denbighshire, where her bones [Page 34] rested till the reign of king Stephen; when, after divine admo­nition, they were surrendered to the abby of St. Peter and St. Paul at Shrewsbury. The memory of the two great events, that of her first death is celebrated on the 22d of June: that of her translation the 3d of November.

A FRATERNITY and gild was established in honor of our faint at Shrewsbury. It had its common seal, which, through the kindness of my friend, Mr. Henry Levingston, is now in my pos­session. It is of copper, of the form expressed in the plate. In the centre is a representation of the martyrdom; above is a cross in form of a T, placed between the letters T. m. which mark the time when the fraternity was instituted, during the abbacy of Thomas Mynde; who was elected in 1459, and died in 1499, a period in which these religious societies were much in fashion. The T or cross refers to the church of St. Cross within this monastery. Beneath are probably the arms of the house, a sword and a key, symbols of its tutelar apostles; and round the mar­gin is this inscription:

sigillū cōe pfraternitat beate wenefride virginis
ī ecīa se cruc ī fra monaster. si petri salopie.

A bell belonging to the church was also christened in honor of her. I cannot learn the names of the gossips, who, as usual, were doubtlessly rich persons. On the ceremony, they all laid hold of the rope; bestowed a name on the bell; and the priest sprinkling it with holy water, baptized it in the name of the Father, &c. &c. * He then cloathed it with a fine garment: after this the gossips gave a grand feast, and made great pre­sents, [Page 35] which the priest received in behalf of the bell. Thus blessed, it was endowed with great powers; allayed (on being rung) all storms; diverted the thunder-bolt; drove away evil spi­rits. These consecrated bells were always inscribed. The in­scription on that in question ran thus:

Sancta Wenefreda, Deo hoc commendare memento,
Ut pietate sua, nos servet ab hoste cruento.

And a little lower was another address:

Protege Prece pia, quos convoco, virgo Maria.

AFTER her death, her sanctity, says her historian, was proved by numberless miracles. The waters were almost as sanative as those of the pool of Bethesda: all infirmities incident to the human body met with relief; the votive crutches, the barrows, and other proofs of cures, to this moment remain as evidences pen­dent over the well. The saint is equally propitious to Protestants and Catholics; for among the offerings are to be found these grateful testimonies from the patients of each religion.

THE Holy Father gave all encouragement to the piety of pil­grims to frequent this fountain. Pope Martin V*. in the reign of Henry V. furnished the abby of Basingwerk with pardons and indulgences, to sell to the devotees. These were renewed again in the reign of queen Mary, by the interest of Thomas Goldwell bishop of St. Asaph , who fled into Italy on the accession of [Page 36] Elizabeth. Multitudes of offerings flowed in; marks of gratitude from such who had received benefit by intercession of the virgin.

THE resort of pilgrims of late years to these Fontanalia has considerably decreased; the greatest number are from Lancashire. In the summer, still a few are to be seen in the water in deep devotion up to their chins for hours, sending up their prayers, or performing a number of evolutions round the polygonal well; or threading the arch between well and well a prescribed number of times. Few people of rank at present honor the fountain with their presence. A crowned head in the last age dignified the place with a visit. The prince who lost three king­doms for a mass, payed his respects, on August 29th 1686, to our saint; and received as a reward a present of the very shift in which his great grand-mother Mary Stuart lost her head*. The majority of devotees are of the fair sex, attracted hither to commemorate the martyrdom of St. Wenefrede, as those of the East did the death of the Cyprian favorite,

Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
The Syrian damsels to deplore his fate
In woeful ditties all the summer's day:
While smooth Adonis from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded.

WE, whose ancestors, between two and three centuries ago, abridged our faith to the mere contents of the Old and New Testament, and to the creed called the Apostles, do not think [Page 37] the belief in the above, and other legends, requisite. I refer the reader to the arguments used by the antiquary Doctor Powel, in his notes on the Itinerary of Giraldus Cambrensis, and to bishop Fleetwood's annotations on the life of the saint, for proofs against the truth of the tale: but with Protestants, and temperate Catho­lics, it carries with it self-confutation.

THE waters are indisputably endowed with every good quality attendant on cold baths; and multitudes have here experienced the good effects that thus result from natural qualities, implanted in the several parts of matter by the divine Providence in order to fulfil his will. Heaven for a short period deigned to convince a dark and obdurate age with a series of miracles; which were de­livered down to succeeding times, as incontestible proofs of the reality of the divine mission. Without them, a sufficient ground of trust and reliance upon the Supreme Being has long since been established. Second causes innumerable are dispersed throughout the universe, subordinate to the FIRST. Every element proves to us a medicine or a bane, as suits His unerring dispensa­tion. We cannot want, we cannot have the mediation of poor departed mortals. The supposition would be bestow­ing on them the attributes of the Deity; omnipresence and omniscience.

SOME eminent botanists of my acquaintance have reduced the sweet moss,MOSSES and the bloody stains, to mere vegetable produc­tions, far from being peculiar to our fountain. The first is that kind of moss called a Jungermannia, imperfectly described and figured by Dillenius, in his history of mosses; which has induced us to give a new engraving of it. This species is also found in [Page 38] another holy well in Caernarvonshire, called Ffynnon Llandeniolen, in a parish of the same name.

THE other is a Byssus, likewise odoriferous: common to Lap­land, and to other countries besides our own. It adheres to stones in form of fine velvet. Linnaeus calls it Byssus Jolithus *, or the violet-smelling. He says, the stone to which it adheres easily betrays itself by the color, being as if smeared with blood; and if rubbed, yields a smell like violets. Micheli, in his Genera of plants, mentions the same; and Schwenckselt discovered it among the vegetables of Silesia. He calls it a muscus subrubeus, and informs us, that the smell is grateful to the heart; and that, if put among cloaths, it gives them a good scent, and serves to drive away moths. Linnaeus says§, that it is of use in eruptive disorders.

ABOVE the well stands the church, dedicated to St. Wenefrede. The parish wakes are celebrated in November, the time of her translation. The living, before the dissolution, belonged to the abby of Basingwerk; and is a vicarage in the gift of Jesus College Oxford, which nominates; and John Davies esquire, of Llanerch, the lay-rector, presents.

ABOVE the church is a hill called Bryn y Castell, narrow, and very steep on the sides, projecting at the end over the little valley. On this might have stood the castle of Treffynnon, or St. Wenefrede, built by Randle III. earl of Chester, in the year 1210 . There are not at present any vestiges left.

[Page 39]IT is singular, that no mention is made in the Doomsday book of either chapel, church, or well; yet townships now of less note are named; such as Brunford Caldecote, and others. Notwithstanding bishop Fleetwood's opinion, I think the legend of St. Wenefrede was known previous to that survey; for the very name of Holywell is Saxon, probably bestowed on it before the Conquest, on account of the imputed sanctity of the well.

THE spring is certainly one of the finest in these kingdoms; and, by the two different trials and calculations lately made for my information, is found to fling out about twenty-one tons of water in a minute. It never freezes; or scarcely varies in the quantity of water, in droughts or after the greatest rains. After a violent fall of wet, it becomes discolored by a wheyey tinge.

THE stream formed by this fountain runs with a rapid course to the sea, which it reaches in little more than a mile's distance. The industry of this century hath made its waters of much com­mercial utility. The principal works on it at this time are bat­tering mills for copper; a wire-mill, coarse paper mill, snuff­mill, a foundery for brass; and at this time, a cotton manu­factory is establishing, the success of which will be an extensive blessing to the neighborhood.

DURING the reign of pilgrimages, nothing but a corn-mill or two, the property of the monks, found employ for this bene­ficial stream.

THE town was also very inconsiderable till the beginning of this century; the houses few, and those for the most part [Page 40] thatched; the streets unpaved; and the place destitute of a mar­ket. The flourishing mines, that for some time were discovered in the neighborhood, made a great change in the appearance, and introduced the effects of wealth. The town, or rather township, contains somewhat more than two thousand souls.

THE monks of Basingwerk obtained for it the grant of a fair and a market. The first has been dropt beyond the memory of man. The market was also lost, till it was renewed by letters patent, dated Jan. 20th, 1703, granted to Sir John Egerton baronet. The patent also contains a grant of three fairs, viz. on the 23d of April, the Tuesday in Easter week, and the 2d of September. The market has been the most flourishing in North Wales; but the fairs never could be established.

THE situation of the town is pleasant and healthy. On the back is a lofty hill, at times extremely productive of lead ore. Towards the sea is a pretty valley, bounded by woods: the end finishes on one side with the venerable abby. To such who requ [...]e the use of a cold-bath, few places are more proper; for, besides the excellence of the waters, exceeding good medical assistance, and comfortable accommodations, may be found here; and the mind entertained, and the body exercised, in a variety of beautiful rides and walks.

MY next visit was to Flint. I took the lower road, by the shore, blackened with the smoke of smelting-houses; and, in the more flourishing times of the collieries, with vast stacks of coal. The last township in Ho [...]ywell parish, on this side, is that of Coleshill; COLESHILL. which gives name to a hundred, and was so called from its abundance of foss [...]l fuel. This place had at the [Page 41] Conquest four villeyns, two boors, and a Radman. This last seems to have been the same with the Rod or Rad-knights, who, by the tenure of their lands, were bound to ride with or for their lord, as often as his affairs required.

AFTER crossing a small brook, enter the town of FLINT:FLINT. a place laid out with great regularity; but the streets far from being completed. The removal of the greater and the lesser sessions, and its want of trade, will be farther checks to its improve­ment. This town gave name to the county, which, with that of Caernarvon, Merioneth, and Anglesey, composed the four an­tient North Welsh shires, formed by Edward I. immediately after the conquest of our principality. I cannot assign any derivation of the word: our county is totally destitute of the fossil usually so called. I can only remark, that it is purely Saxon; and, not­withstanding it is not mentioned in the Doomsday book, was called so before the Conquest.

THIS place also seems to me to have been the same with what was named Colsul or Coleshill. I can find no other site for the chapel of Colsul, granted by David ap Llewelyn to the abby of Basingwerk. The present Flint probably went at this period under both names. There is no trace of any chapel in the neighborhood excepting this; nor any other place of consequence enough to tempt our princes to live at. It was called in the Doomsday book Coleselt; and was possessed by Robert of Rudland. Edwin held it from him, and as a free-man. Here was one hide of land taxable.

[Page 42]THE whole place appears to have been founded in times of dan­ger; and every provision made against an attack from a people recently subdued, and who had submitted reluctantly to a foreign yoke. The town is formed on the principle of a Roman en­campment, being rectangular, and surrounded with a vast ditch and two great ramparts, with the four regular portae, as usual with that military nation. I shall hereafter give a conjecture of the probability of its having been a Roman station.

THE public buildings within this precinct are the church, the town-hall, and the jail; not one of which is any ornament to this little capital. The church, or rather chapel, is dedi­cated to St. Mary; and is only a perpetual curacy under Nor­thop. I imagine this to have been the capella de Colsul *, belong­ing to the abby of Basingwerk, mentioned in the charter of David ap Llewelyn; at lest, I can trace no other. Flint, in that time, was probably comprehended under the name of Colsul.

THE castle stands on a low free-stone rock that juts into the sands, a little north-east of the town; and was once joined to it by a bridge which led to the outwork, called the Barbican; a square tower, with a gateway, now entirely demolished. Within was a court surrounded with a ditch faced with a wall, that joined by means of a drawbridge to the main fortress; whose entrance, for better security, was little more than a postern.

THE castle is a square building, with a large round tower at three of the corners, and a fourth a little disjoined from the other, and much larger than the rest. This is called the double tower.



[Page 43] It had been joined to the castle by a drawbridge, and is of great thickness. It has a circular gallery beneath, vaulted, with four arched openings into a central area, a little more than twenty-two feet in diameter. In one part, the gallery is suddenly low­ered, and goes sloping towards the castle; and then rising upwards, makes a sort of communication with an upper gallery.

THIS was the Keep, or strong part of the castle, and the same that the French call le Dongeon; to which, as Froissart informs us, the unfortunate Richard II. retired, as the place of greatest security, when he was taken by Bolingbroke.

THE channel of the Dee at present is at some distance from the walls; but formerly flowed beneath. There are still in some parts rings, to which ships were moored.

THE founder of this castle is uncertain. Cambden attributes it to Henry II. and his noble hisstorian* is of the same opinion. After his escape at Euloe, it is possible that he might have begun a fortress here for security in future times; that he might have left it incomplete; and that it was finished by Edward I. The rolls of the last reign mention the place several times.

IN the year 1277, there was an order for proclaming a mar­ket and fair to be held at Flint; and the same was afterwards done through Cheshire, and the cantreds of Wales.

IN 1280, appears an order for the custody of the gate of the castle of Flint. Perhaps this might have been the year in which it was first garrisoned.

[Page 44] IN 1283, the town received its first charter; was made a free borough; and the mayor sworn faithfully to preserve its liberties. This is dated at Flint on the 8th of September: it was confirmed again in the 2d and 3d years of Philip and Mary, and afterwards in the 12th of William III.

IN 1283, the burgesses also received a grant from Edward, of timber out of the woods of Northop, Ledebroke the greater and lesser, Keldreston, Wolsynton, Weper, and Sutton, in order to smelt their lead ore; and at the same time a right of pasturage in the same woods.

IN 1290, there is an order for superintending the works of this castle, and those of Rudland and Chester; places of the first importance, on the borders of a new-conquered country*.

THE first great event that occurs to me respecting this for­tress is in the year 1280, when the Welsh, wearied with the reitera­tion of oppression, as a signal of general insurrection, surprized the place; at the same time that David, brother of Llewelyn; took Hawarden; and Rees the son of Malgon, and Griffith ap Meredeth ap Owen, seized the castle of Aberystwyth .

HERE, in 1311, the infatuated son of our conqueror received from exile his imperious favorite Piers Gaveston, who had landed at Caernarvon from Ireland §.

FROM this period I find nothing remarkable relating to this fortress, till the year 1335, the 9th of Edward III. when ap­pears an order to the Black Prince, as earl of Chester, to take in [Page 45] safe custody the castle of Flint and Rudland, and to furnish them with men and provisions*. Edward, in his 7th year, had by charter granted to his gallant son the castles of Chester, Beeston, Rudland; and Flint, and all his lands there; and also the cantred and lands of Englefield, with all their appertenances, to have and to hold to him and his heirs, kings of Eng­land .

IN this dollorous castell , as Halle styles it, was deposed the unfortunate monarch Richard II. To this place he was inveigled by Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, with the assurance that Bolingbroke wished no more than to be restored to his own pro­perty; and to give to the kingdom a parlement. Northumberland, with a small train, first met Richard at Conway, then on his re­turn from Ireland. The king distrusted the earl; who, to re­move all suspicion, went with him to mass, and at the altar took an oath of fidelity. The king fell into the snare; pro­ceeded with the earl for some time, till he perceived, about the precipice of Penmain Rhôs, a large band of soldiers with the Percy banners. The king would have then retired; but Nor­thumberland, catching hold of his bridle, forcibly directed his course. The poor prince had just time to reproach him with his perjury, telling him, that the God he had sworn upon that morning, would do him justice at the day of judgment§. He caused the king to dine at Rudland, and conveyed him that night to Flint. The next morning, he was astonished with the sight, of a numerous army, commanded by his rival, in full march [Page 46] along the sands: they soon surrounded the castle. The prince descended from the Keep *, to meet Bolingbroke; who fell on his knees, and for a short space assumed a respectful appearance: but he soon stung off the mask; for, 'with a high sharpe voyce,' say Stow, ‘the duke badde bring forth the kings horses; and then two little nagges, not worth forty franks, were brought forth; the king was set on the one, and the earl of Salisbury on the other; and thus the duke brought the king from Flint to Chester, where hee was delivered to the duke of Glocester's sonne, and to the earle of Arundel's sonne, that loved him but a little; for he had put their fathers to death; who led him strait to the castle.’

IF Froissart may be credited, Richard did not experience the pang of ingratitude from man alone: by a strange infection, it seized the most faithful of the brute creation; for his very dog deserted him, and fawned on his rival Bolingbroke, as if he understood and predicted the misfortunes of his old master, The story is so singular, that I shall relate it in the words of his noble translator Sir John Bouchier, lord Berners ; who, speaking of the transactions in Flint castle, says,

‘AND as it was enfourmed me, kyng Richarde had a gray­hounde called Mathe, who alwayes wayted upon the kynge, and woulde knowe no man els. For whan so ever the kynge [Page 47] dyd ryde, he that kepte the grayhounde dyd lette hym lose, and he wolde streyght runne to the kynge and fawne uppon hym, and leape with his fore fete upon the kynges shoulders. And as the kynge and the erle of Derby talked togyder in the courte, the grayhounde, who was wont to leape upon the kynge, left the kynge and came to the erle of Derby, duke of Lancastre, and made to hym the same frendly countinaunce and chere as he was wonte to do to the kyng. The duke, who knewe not the grayhounde, demaunded of the kynge what the grayhounde wolde do. Cosyn, quod the kynge, it is a great good token to you, and an evyll sygne to me. Sir, howe knowe you that, quod the duke? I knowe it well, quod the kynge. The grayhounde maketh you chere this dave as kynge of Englande, as ye shalbe, and I shalbe deposed: the grayhounde hath this knowledge naturallye: therefore take hym to you; he wyll folowe you and forsake mee. The duke understoode well those wordes, and cherysshed the grayhounde, who wolde never after folowe kynge Richarde, but folowed the duke of Lancastre.

IN the insurrection of Owen Glendwr, Henry prince of Wales procured from his father a pardon for several of his tenants in these parts, who took up arms in the cause of our valiant countryman*.

THERE is another gap in the history till the troubles of the last century; when this county took an active part in support of royalty, [...]wn castle was garrisoned for the king, after having [Page 48] been repaired at the expence of Sir Roger Mostyn knight, who was appointed governor. In 1643, it was closely besieged by Sir Wil­liam Brereton and Sir Thomas Middleton; and was defended by the governor till all provisions, even to horses, failing, he then surren­dered it upon honorable terms.

'THIS colonel Mostyn,' says Whitelock, ‘is my sister's son, a gentleman of good parts and mettle; of a very antient family, large possessions, and great interest in that country; so that in twelve hours he raised fifteen hundred men for the king*.’

I MAY add, that after a long imprisonment in the castle of Conway, towards the conclusion of the war, his circumstances were so reduced, having spent sixty thousand pounds in the service of the crown, he was obliged to desert his family-seat, and live several years in an ordinary farm-house.

FLINT fell afterwards into the hands of the loyalists; for, under the year 1646, I find in the same historian, that the garrison seemed inclinable to come to a treaty. In November of the pre­ceding year, it had received that of Beeston; which, after a most gallant defence, capitulated, and was allowed to march with all the honors of war to this place. But on the 29th of August, Flint castle was surrendered to major-general Mytton; and in 1647 was, with other Welsh castles, dismantled by order of the house, directed to the general for that purpose.

ON the restoration, it was resumed by the crown, among its other rights, in which it still continues. The crown governs it [Page 49] by a constable, who is likewise mayor of Flint. These offices are at present filled by my friend Owen Brereton, esquire.

THE town, in conjunction with Caerwys, Rudland, Caergwrley, and Overton, sends a member to parlement. The election is made by the inhabitants paying parochial taxes; and the return made by the two bailiffs of Flint, appointed by the mayor. The borough land of this town extends over the whole parish, and also the township of Coleshill, in the parish of Holywell.

THE Welsh boroughs and counties received the privilege of representatives by act of parlement of the 27th of Henry VIII.

THIS town, with the county, was an appendage to the earldom of Chester. The following schedule gives us their revenues, as they stood in the 50th year of Edward III.

The profits of the manor of Hope and Hopedale,6300
of the manor of Eulo, and the coal-mines,600
of the office of constable of Rudland, whereof he was accountable,8140
the rent of the town of Flint,5600
of the town of Coleshill,4710
of the town of Caerwis,2268
of Bagherge,1434
of Veyvoll (Veynoll),1368
of Rudland,7292
of Mostyn,1568
of the office of escheator of Englefield,5600
Carried over, £331144
[Page 50]Brought over, £331144
The Bloglot of the county of Flint, which consisteth of the profits of the hundred courts within the said county,72119
The profits of the perquisites of the session of Flint,3000
of the escheator of the said county,800
Total, £44261

ABOUT a mile from the town, on the lower road to Chester, stood a cross, whose pedestal I remember, which was called Atis-cross, ATIS-CROSS. and the land around is still called Croes-ati. This probably was a place of note; for, at the Conquest, it gave name to a very considerable hundred, at that time considered as part of Cheshire. Exestan was another, now given to Flintshire; which will be noticed in its place.

THERE is a tradition, that in very old times there stood a large town at this place; and it is said the foundations of build­ings have been frequently turned up by the plough. But what is most remarkable, is the great quantities of scoria of lead, bits of lead ore, and fragments of melted lead, discovered in several spots here, and along the country, just above the shore, in the adjoining parish of Northop. These have of late been dis­covered to contain such quantities of lead, as to encourage the washers of ore to farm the spots. In this tract, numbers of tons have been gotten within a small time, especially at Pentre FFWRN-DAN, or the place of the fiery furnace; a name it was al­ways known by, and which evinces the antiquity of smelting in [Page 51] these parts; but this etymology was never confirmed, till by means of these recent discoveries.

In page 42 I mentioned my suspicion, that the precinct of Flint town once served to inclose a small Roman station: I am confirmed in my opinion, from the multitudes of Roman coins, Fibulae, and variety of antique instruments, lately discovered by the workmen in the old washes of this and the next parish; which prove that the Romans made this their port for exporting the metal, after it was fused from the ore of the adjacent mountains. Here might be placed a small garrison to protect the antient smelters, or to collect the duties, or to receive the tribute of metal. Previous to the settlement of the Romans in Britain, Strabo speaks* so slightly of our articles of commerce, as to say, they were not worth the expence of one legion and a few horse. He died in the year 25, before our country was scarcely known, except by the attempt of Caesar. But the trade, both in his days, and those of that great geographer, was carried on merely by exchange. The Britons worked their own mines of tin and lead; and in their room received from the foreign mer­chants, earthen ware, salt, and works of brass.

IN a small time after the Romans had carried their arms through our island, they began to apply with vigor to the working of the mines. At first, the ore of lead was got with ease: it offered itself on the surface. In Spain and Gaul, much labor was required to dig it up; in Britain it was found near the common soil; and in such quantities, that in Pliny's time [Page 52] (who died in the year 79) there was a law (as there is at present in respect to black lead) limiting the annual produce*. Chance was the general detector of metallic riches in early times. The gold mines of Galicia were discovered by the plough: those of India by the casting up of hillocks by the pismires: the silver mines of Spain by the casual burning of a wood§. Tri­vial accidents, even to this age, have been the cause of mighty mineral discoveries. The great mine at Halkin was discovered by ditching: that at Llangynnog in Montgomeryshire, by the slip of a woman ascending a hill, and baring the vein with her feet. Many of the works that we suspect to have been Roman are very shallow; generally in form of trenches, through which they pursued the veins. They probably were discovered from slight causes. But as ore grew more scarce, and avarice en­creased, the pursuit went as deep as the art or powers of the time would permit. Imus in viscera ejus (Telluris) et in sedes ma­nium opes quearimus . ‘We descend into the very bowels of the earth; and seek riches even in the seat of departed spirits.’ The want of gun-powder was a great impediment. Instead, we find that great fires were used; the rock intensely heated, and cracks formed in it by the sudden infusion of water; Pliny says of vinegar. The wedge or pick-ax** was then insinu­ated into the apertures, and the stone or the ore forced out. Miners often discover the marks of fire in antient mines. I am in possession or a little wedge, five inches and a quarter long, [Page 53] presented to me by Mr. Smedly of Bagilt Hall, discovered in working the deep fissures of Dalar Goch rock in the parish of Disert in this county. This little instrument affords a proof of its antiquity, by being almost entirely incrusted with lead ore. It had probably lain in the course of some subterraneous stream, which had brought along with it the leaden particles, and de­posited them on the iron.

PICK-AXES of an uncommon bulk, and very clumsy, have been discovered in the bottom of the mineral trenches. These seem to have been the same with the Fractaria of the Romans, pick-axes of enormous size, used by the miners in the gold mines* of Spain. Buckets of singular construction, and other things of uses unknown at present, have been found among the antient mines.

IN many respects the antient methods of mining were similar to those in present use. The laborers worked by stems, relieving each other at stated times. They worked night and day, by the light of lamps. They drove levels, and sunk shafts, propping up the ground as they went on. They pursued the veins by forming drifts; and finally, whenever the mines were molested with water, they had pumps, which flung up the water from the greatest depths they arrived at.

I HAVE mentioned above,DIVINING ROD the casual detection of our mineral wealth. It will perhaps amuse the reader, by informing him, that in this county, within my memory, recourse was had to the virgula divinatoria, or divining rod; which, by powers sympa­thetic [Page 54] with the latent ore, was to save the usual expences of search, and to point out the very spot where the treasures lay. A foreign adventurer, half knave half enthusiast, made the trial; but it proved as unfortunately unsuccessful to himself, as to his ad­mirers. The instrument of the attempt was no more than a rod forked at one end, ‘to be cut in a planetary hour on SA­TURN'S day and hour; because SATURN is the significator of lead. Jupiter, Venus, Sol, and Mercury, were also concerned in the time of the operation. Jupiter, or Pars Fortunae, was to be in Conjunction, Sextile, or Trine to the LORD of the as­cendent or second; and the better, if any reception happen; but BEWARE it be not by Square or Opposition; for that spoils all*.’ Thus cut, it is laid by for use on a heap of wheat or barley; and from the rod of Moses, was also profanely called the Mosaical rod. This was to be held by the forks in both hands; and carried over the grounds suspected to contain the ore. It went unaffected over all the barren spots; but no sooner did it impend over a vein, than it pressed strongly down, and seemed to feel the same attraction as is between iron and the magnet. The sen­sible Agricola speaks of this practice incidentally; and gives a long account of the process; but places no kind of faith in it, assuring us, that the skilful miner should follow the natural signs of the mineral veins, and despise the use of these enchanted sticks. He traces their origin from imposture. The magicians of Pharaoh made use of wands in their deception of the serpents: Minerva, by virtue of a wand, turned the aged Ulysses into a [Page 55] young man; and again to his former state: Circe, by the ma­gical powers of a rod, changed his companions into beasts: And lastly, Mercury, by the same means, impelled the watchful to sleep, and the sleepy to wake*. Let me now return to realities!

THE miners, in the earlier times of the Romans in Britain, seem to have been the subdued natives. Galgacus encourages his sol­diers to conquer or die, by laying before them the dreadful consequences of a defeat; Tributa et METALLA, et caeterae servien­tium panae. ‘Tributes and mines, and all the dire penalties of slavery.’ Agricola himself verifies the prophetic spirit of our brave chieftain, by calling our mines the reward of victory. These were to be worked, not by the conquerors, but by con­demned criminals, by slaves, and Britons newly subjugated. It is probable, that when the island was entirely settled, this badge of slavery was taken away, and the miners were, as be­fore the arrival of the Romans, voluntary laborers.

WHEN the ore was got, it was cleansed according to the modern method, and smelted in a furnace, and cast into forms very nearly resembling the common pigs of lead.

OF such,ROMAN PIGS OF LEAD I have seen three, found in different parts of Bri­tain: the one in Hints, common, in the manor of Ralph Floyer esquire, in the county of Stafford, in the year 1771. It was found under ground, at the depth of four feet. Its length [Page 56] is twenty-two inches and a half; the weight a hundred and fifty-two pounds, about two pounds heavier than our common pigs of lead. On the upper surface is a rim; within that, in raised capitals, struck when the metal was hot, is this inscription: IMP.x.VESP VIIxTxIMPxVxCOS. or Imperatore VES­PASIANO Septimùm TITO Imperatore quintùm Consule: which answers to the year 75 or 76.

ON one side is the word DECEA, and at a distance the letter G. An ingenious Anonymous, in the Gentleman's Magazine of 1772, conjectures it to have been a C, made by the superintendant of the mine, or furnace, to shew either that the pig had paid duty, or was of due weight, or of proper purity. For my part, I am of opinion, that DECEA had once between it and the G, the letter N; which will render it DECEANG, or de Ceangis, the place which produced the ore; but by some accident that letter was defaced, and the G left seemingly un­connected. This explanation will fling light on certain pieces of lead described by Cambden, to be taken notice of a few lines lower.

THIS curious antiquity is in the cabinet of Mr. Green, apothe­cary in Litchfield; whose collection merits the attention of the inquisitive traveller; who may be assured of the most liberal reception from the worthy owner.

IN 1731, two pigs of the same kind, and of the same length, were discovered on Hayshaw moor, in the manor of Dacre, in the west riding of Yorkshire, on the estate of Sir John Ingleby of Ripley. One is preserved by the family: the other was pre­sented to the British Museum. These also have an imperial inscrip­tion [Page 57] on the top; Imperatore CAESARE DOMITIANO AUGUSTO Con­sule Septimum. This was cast in the year 87, and under the same regulation, The other pig, which I saw at Ripley Hall, has the same inscription; and on one side the word Brig, signifying that it came from the country of the Brigantes *.

IN the time of Cambden, twenty pieces of lead, similar to the above, were found near Halton in Cheshire; some inscribed, IMP. DOMIT. AUG. C. DE CEANG.; others, IMP. VESP. VII. T. IMP. V. COSS. These have been supposed to commemorate a victory over the Cangi; but it is evident that they were nothing more than pigs of lead brought here for use, or for transportation: and I am farther satisfied, that the ore which produced this lead was dug and smelted, either in that part of Flintshire an­tiently called Tegangle, or the summer's residence of the Cangi, or Ceangi; or from the residence of the same order of people either in Derbyshire, or some neighboring county. This gives reason to suspect, that these Cangi, during their long vacant time, might sometimes engage in mineral concerns; and then the ore, when smelted, might receive the mark of the people from whom it was received. The pig of lead in Mr. Green's cabinet, certain­ly came from the Cangi of Derbyshire.

FROM the regulation mentioned by Pliny, and all these impe­rial inscriptions, it is clear, that the public took the mineral concerns into its own hands; and had their stamp-masters in proper places. I cannot pretend to fix the period of the first establishment. If the inscription to Claudius , on a mass of lead [Page 58] found in Henry VIII.'s time, near Wokey Hole in Somersetshire, be of the same kind with the former, it must have been within the year 49, the time of his ninth tribuneship.

THE Romans found such plenty of silver in the Spanish mines, that for some time they never thought it worth their labor to extract it from lead*. In later times, they discovered an ore that contained silver, tin, and lead; and these three metals were smelted from it. It appears, that the first product was the tin; the second, the silver; and what Pliny calls Galaena, which was left behind in the furnace, and seems to be the same with our litharge, and being melted again, became lead, or, as the antients called it (to distinguish it from white lead or tin) black lead .

THE British name of lead is lost. The only word we have to express an ore is mwyn; but the species is expressed by an ad­junct, as mwyn aur, gold, mwyn plwm, lead ore; both which were probably derived from the Latin. The Romans made use of the word metallum to express ore, as well as the metal fused from it: the word minera is a word of a barbarous age, and pro­bably derived from our mwyn.

I SHALL finish this account of the Roman state of the lead concerns, with observing, that they appeared to have been well versed in metallurgy, and to have had their smelting-houses. The ruder Britons, before their conquest by the Romans, had a very simple process. They placed the ore in a hole in the ground, and mixed it with wood; which being fired, proved [Page 59] sufficient to melt the lead out of the soft and kindly ores of this country; a small gutter communicated with a second hole, into which the metal ran from the first. These artless slag-hearths are very frequent in our county, discovered by the quantity of scoria mixed with charcoal. Some of our modern smelters have endeavoured to extract the remaining part of the metal from these slags, but in vain; the antient smelters having so effectually done their business, as not to have left behind sufficient to pay the expences of a second operation: the most that could be procured from a ton of slags, amounting only to about a hundred and fifty pounds weight.

I CANNOT tell what use the Britons made of the metal, except­ing as an article of commerce. I must not dare to assent to the tale of the venerable Bede *, who says, that the stakes driven in­to the Thames, to obstruct the passage of Caesar, were wrapped round with lead. The project was useless, This expedient of the Britons was temporary; the stakes did not require such a covering to preserve them; and the metal of lead was surely very improper to point them with.

I am of opinion, that there had been in our country a succes­sion of founderies of lead, from the time of the Romans to the present, at every period in which the civil commotions would permit them to be carried on. The Saxons worked the British mines as well as the Romans, and made frequent use of the lead in all works of ecclesiastial magnificence. The cathedral of Lindisfarn was roofed with lead by its bishop Eadberct, about [Page 60] the year 652; that of York was covered with the same metal by its great prelate Wilfrid *, in 669; and after that, Egelric, who was elected abbot of Crowland in 975, roofed the infirmary and chapel of that famous abby in a similar manner. I men­tion these circumstances merely to shew, that the Saxons continued the business of smelting in the different parts of our island. We are assured that there have been, at different times, smelting-works for a century or two past in the parishes of Flint and Hawarden; and at present there is one in use in each of them.

I shall take this opportunity of mentioning incidentally the other minerals of Greet Britain, taken notice of by the antients, either as articles of trade or matters of curiosity.

TIN was aot only the first metal in these islands which we read of;TIN but also the greatest object of commerce; and which originally led to the discovery of Great Britain by the Romans. The mercantile Phoenicians traded to the Silley islands, the Cassi­terides, or land of tin, from the port of Cadiz, four hundred years before CHRIST. The Romans, for a considerable space, could not discover the place from whence the former procured the precious, metal. They attempted to detect the trade, by following the course of a Phoenician vessel; but the master, faithful to the in­terest of his country, voluntarily run his ship ashore in another, place; preferring the loss of all, rather than suffer a foreign na­tion to become partakers of so profitable a secret. The public immediately compensated his loss out of its treasury. This did [Page 61] but make the Romans more eager after the discovery; and after many trials, succeeded. Publius Crassus (father of Marcus Crassus the Triumvir) who was praetor, and governed Spain for several years, landed in the Cassiterides, and found the report of their riches verified*.

As soon as the Romans made a conquest of the country, they formed in the tin province camps and roads, still visible; and left behind vases, urns, sepulchres, and money, that exhibit daily proofs of their having been a stationary people in those parts; and that Dunmonium extended even to the Belerian promontory, or the Land's-end; and was not, as some writers imagine, limited by the western parts of Somersetshire.

IT is not to be imagined, that they could neglect a corner of our island, productive of a metal so useful in mechanics as tin, and which it yielded in such plenty, as to receive from that circumstance the name. So great was the intercourse that fo­reign nations had with the inhabitants bordering on Belerium, as to give them a greater sçavoir vivre, and more extensive hos­pitality, than was to be found in other parts of the island. They were equally expert in working the mines, and preparing the ore, which lay in earthy veins within the rocky strata. They melted and purified it, then cast it into rows of cubes, and car­ried it to Ictis, the modern Isle of Wight: from thence it was transported into Gaul; conveyed from the place, it was landed at, on horses backs, a journey of thirty days, to the mouth [Page 62] of the Rhone, and then to the Massylians, and the town of Nar­bon *.

WITH tin the Romans made mirrors; lined their vessels of brass to prevent its deadly effects; made pewter, and from that a variety of domestic vessels; and, by the combination of other metals, formed a substance that mimicked silver: so that a country, abundant in so useful an ore, would never be neglect­ed by these wise people.

DID not Caesar and Strabo agree in their account,COPPER I should ne­ver have believed it was possible that the Britons could have neglected their rich mines of copper, and have been obliged at first to have imported that metal. Perhaps the ore was less ac­cessible, and the art of fusion unknown; for islands, from their very situation, must remain longer ignorant of arts than conti­nents; especially ours, which lay far to the west of the origin of all science.

STRABO says, that they imported works of brass; but it is as certain, that they afterwards did themselves fabricate that metal into instruments. The Celts, a British instrument, was made in this island. Numbers have been found in Yorkshire and in Essex §, to­gether with cinders, and lumps of melted metal; which evince the place of a forge. We cannot ascertain the period when the Britons had the art of adding the mixture of lead that is found combined with them; or whether they learned it from their con­querors, [Page 63] who were fully possessed of the art of fusing this, as well as other metals, is unknown. The Romans had their foun­deries of copper in our island; and cast the metal into regular forms. A mass was found at Caer hėn, the antient Conarium, four miles above Conway, which probably was smelted from the ore of the Snowdon hills; where of late years much has been got. This mass is in shape of a cake of bees-wax; and on the up­per part is a deep concave impression, with the words SOCIO ROMAE; across these is impressed obliquely, in lesser letters, Natsol. I cannot explain it, unless Nat. stands for natio, the people who paid this species of tribute; and sol. for solvit, that being the stamp-master's mark. These cakes might be bought up by a merchant resident in Britain, and consigned SOCIO ROMAE, to his partner at Rome. The weight of this antiquity is forty-two pounds; the diameter of the upper part eleven inches; the thickness in the middle two and three quarters*.

CALAMINE,CALAMINE. the Cadmia of Pliny , and the stone-Cadmia of Strabo , abounds in the mineral parts of this island. The Ro­mans knew its uses in making of brass; therefore cannot be sup­posed to have overlooked so necessary an ingredient. The re­mains of the brass-founderies, discovered in our kingdom, shew, that they were acquainted with it. The knowlege of this mine­ral in after-ages was long lost. Before the reign of Elizabeth, much was imported from Sweden; but at that period it was dis­covered again in the Mendip hills; and, fortunately, at the same time that the working of the copper mines in those of Cumberland. [Page 64] was renewed. Our county abounds with it; but, till within these sixty years, we were so ignorant of its value, as to mend our roads with it.

CAESAR and Strabo * allow that we had iron.IRON. The first says that it was rare; far bits of it passed for money by weight. In Strabo's days it was found in greater plenty; for he mentions it among the articles of exportation. Immense beds of iron-cinders are to this day found in the forest of Dean, the reliques of the Romans; others in Monmouthshire; another was discovered near Miskin, the seat of William Basset, Esq beneath which were found a coin of Antoninus Pius, and a piece of earthen ware; and finally, others in Yorkshire , also accompanied with coins: all which evince the frequency of iron-founderies during the period of the Roman reign in Britain. These cinders are not half ex­hausted of their metal; for the Romans knew only the weak powers of the foot-blast. They are now worked over again, and are found to yield a more kindly metal than what is produced from the ore. These beds are supposed to be almost inex­haustible; a proof of the vast founderies of early times.

GOLD and silver are enumerated§ among the products of Great Britain. GOLD The Romans were acquainted with this; and our pre­cious metals proved another incentive to their ambition to effect our conquest. Agricola, in his oration to his soldiers before the battle of the Grampian mountain, excites them to victory, by [Page 65] reminding them of our riches, the reward or valor. Fert BRITANNIA, aurum et argentum, et alia metalla pretium vic­toriae *.

THESE metals have, in later times, been got in quantities sufficient to prove, that they might, in earlier time, be an ob­ject worthy of conquest. In the reigns of James IV. and V. vast wealth was procured in the Lead Hills, from the gold col­lected from the sand washed from the mountain. In the reign of the latter, not less than three hundred thousand pounds Ster­ling. In another place, a piece of thirty ounces weight was found. Much was also obtained in the time of the Re­gent Morton . The search is now given over; but still bits are found accidentally. Lord Hopton, owner of the Lead Hills, is in possession of one that weighs an ounce and a half.

GOLD is to this day found in Cornwall, mixed with tin and other substances. The largest piece that has been yet disco­vered, is equal in weight to three guineas. It is probable that it was the Cornish gold which proved the lure to the Romans; for it was impossible they or the Phoenicians could be ignorant of it, who had such long commerce with the country, and who were acquainted with the manner of obtaining it in other places. Pliny, speaking of tin, says, that there is found in the gold mines of Spain and Portugal, a sort called Elutia, (which a Cornish man would call stream tin) being washed from [Page 66] the vein by water, and was gathered up in baskets along with the gold*.

STRABO and Tacitus agree,SILVER. that we had mines of silver. In the reigns of Edward I. and III. there were very considerable works at Combmartin in Devonshire : three hundred and thirty-seven miners, sent for out of Derbyshire, were employed in them; and the produce was so great as to assist Edward the third to carry on the war with France. In the beginning of this cen­tury, much native silver was found on the estate of Sir John Erskine, in the county of Stirling; but the vein was soon ex­hausted.

THE BRITONS were acquainted with the uses of gold and the art of coining before the arrival of the Romans; witness the golden sickles of the Druids, the coins found at Carnbre in Corn­wall, and the coins of Cassivelaunus. They made use of diffe­rent sorts of metals; but mostly of gold, being the easiest fused, and most capable of an impression. Doctor Borlase has preserved a series of these very early coins, from the rudest and most un­intelligible impressions, to the period when the Britons made an attempt to form a face on their coins. All these are unlettered; a proof of their antiquity, and of their having been struck before their intercourse with the Romans. The first we know of, which is inscribed, is that of Cassrvelaunus, cotemporary with Caesar. The next is of Cunobeline, who had even been at [Page 67] Rome. As soon as the Britons became acquainted with the Ro­mans, they made an essay to imitate their manner of coining; they put letters on them, elephants, and gryphons; things they were before unacquainted with. They were not suffered to make any progress in the art; for as soon as their conquest was effected, their coin was suppressed. The learned have en­deavoured to trace these antient monies from the Phoenicians; but the comparison would not hold. The Gauls alone had some pieces similar: nor is this to be wondered at, since they and the Britons had a common origin, were neighbors, and might as well agree in the few arts they had, as in religion and lan­guage*.

I NOW return to the subjects which occassioned this digres­sion; and to give some account of the various antique instruments and coins found near Flint; and accompany the same by the more expressive description, a print.

No 1. tab. viii. is a rich ornament of gold, in form of a but­ton with a shank. It is composed elegantly with twisted wire, and studded with little globular bits of solid gold. This seems to have belonged to the bracelet or necklace (it is uncertain which), whose fragment is represented at No 2. This is also composed of gold links, with round beads of a rich blue glass placed between every second link. Something similar to this is preserved by count Caylus, which is entire, and appears to have been a necklace.

[Page 68]No 3. is a cylindric fragment of glass, probably part of some ornament, being of a rich blue color, and perforated as if it was designed to be strung. With it was found a thick piece of sea-green glass, part of a vase. Glass was among the earlier imports into Britain *, when the wild natives were as much cap­tivated with toys as the Indians of new-discovered countries are at present. At first they received these, and all their other vitreous commodities, by means of the Phaenicians, whose ca­pital, Tyre, was pre-eminent in that manufacture. The glain nadroedd, or snake-gems, were at first obtained by way of exchange for the British exports. They were originally made by the Britons of stone. I have such a one in my cabinet. I have seen another in possession of the Reverend Mr. Hugh Davies, found in Anglesea. The traders soon learned to imitate what was prized so high in our island, in a more elegant material; and imported them as a most captivating article of commerce; in the same manner as circum navigators often mimic, in shewy brass, the utensils and weapons of Indian nations, in order to engage their friendship.

No 4. is a small brazen head, with the back part affixed to iron. Perhaps this was one of the Sigillaria, or little images sold at the fairs, and presented usually to children: and the fairs where these toys were sold went by the same name. A learned friend also supposes these to be miniature likenesses, which friends presented to each other as memorials.

[Page 69]No 5. is a Stylus, or instrument for writing on the ceratae ta­bellae, or waxen tablets; which were made of thin leaves of lead, brass, or ivory, and covered with a thin coat of wax. The pen, if I may call it so, was usually of brass; one end pointed, in order to write; the other flatted, in order to efface what was wrong, by smoothing or closing the wax. Horace gives every writer most excellent advice, in alluding to this prac­tice:

Saepe Stylum vertas, iterum quae digna legi sint,
Oft turn your style, when you intend to write
Things worthy to be read.

No; 6. is an instrument of very singular use: a narrow species of spoon, destined to collect, at funerals, the tears of the relations of the deceased, in order to deposit them in the little phials which were placed with the ashes in the urn, memo­rials of their grief. Such are very frequently found: but the custom is far higher than that of classical antiquity; for the PSALMIST, in expressing his sorrows, alludes to it; THOU tellest my flittings; put my tears into thy bottle.

No 7. is an instrument seemingly designed for the purpose of dressing the wicks of lamps.

No 8. may possibly be destined for the same uses.

No 9. is a brazen bodkin.

No 10. is a fibula or brotche, gilt, and enameled with deep blue in front.

[Page 70]No 11. is a brotche, not unlike some used at present by the common Highlanders; whose dress, in its genuine simplicity, seems to have been borrowed from the Romans.

No 12. is also a species of button; but differs from the modern (as do all I have seen) by having no shank: instead, was a tongue, similar to those of the common fibulae. The front of this is enameled with deep blue.

No 13. is another, of a very different form. This has also lost its fibulae; but the defect is very apparent.

No 14. is a forceps; an instrument much in vogue among the Romans, for extirpating hairs. This was used for the same pur­pose as the Turkish fair do the Rusma. The pincers here en­graven are of great size and strength; perhaps used by some robust coxcomb, such as Persius rallies so severely, in his fourth satire, for his unbecoming effeminacy.

No 15. 15. seem to have been instruments of sacrifice. One end of each is round, and of the form of an olive; and was intended for the use of the aruspices, to insinuate under the en­trails of the victim, and to lift them up for the better inspec­tion of the parts. The other extremity of the longer is formed into a spoon, for the purpose of putting the frankincense into the censer.

ACCORDING to the uncertainty that reigns respecting the uses of the antient instruments, I may hazard another conjecture, that they have been chirurgical instruments. The rounded ends were the probes; the hollow end of the longer, the spoon by which the balm was poured into the wound. The metal of which these instruments were made, proves, as count Caylus re­marks*,



[Page 71]that the Romans had no apprehensions of its dangerous qualities. It is probable, that they had the art of tempering the metal so as to prevent the noxious effects.

No 16. is a brass nail [...]. Antiquaries may rejoice that the Romans preferred this metal to mouldering iron, which has pre­served to them many a delicious morsel.

No 17. tab. ix. is one of those Bullae, or amulets, called Ithyphallus, in form of a heart, with a figure (in which decency was little consulted) on the upper part. These were suspended from the necks of children, and originally designed to preserve them from the effects of envy; afterwards from all kinds of evil. I cannot help thinking, that the good nurses had another view, that of attracting (in years of maturity) the affections of the fair towards their little favorite.

Hunc optent generum Rex et Regina; puell [...]e
Hunc rapiant. Quicquid calcaverit hic, Rosa fiat.
Wherever he treads let there rise up a rose,
And the ladies die for him wherever he goes.

For it is well known, the obscene god, in all times, had his votaries among both sexes.

[Page 72]THESE amulets also represented the god Fascinus, synonymous with that Deity. Pliny * relates, that he was not only the guar­dian of infants, but of the emperors themselves; that the very vestals worshipped him; and the victors placed him (the physician of Envy) beneath their triumphal cars.

No 18. is a locket with a hole at one end, in order to sus­pend it round the neck, or fasten it to the wrist. This, per­haps, was designed to hold a charm; and the holes on one side intended that the contents should transpire, and reach the object of fascination; whether of love; whether of am­bition.

No 19. a key; which gives one no very high idea of the ele­gance of the Roman locksmiths.

No 20. is one of a nicer form, and which served both for a ring and key. It possibly was designed for the cabinet of a Roman lady or some Bellus homo.

No 21. two rings; one of brass, the other of silver wire.

No 22. a brazen weight belonging to a mason's levelling-in­strument, answerable to a modern plummet.

No 23. another of lead, belonging to a fishing-net.

No 24. the tongue of an ordinary fibula.

THESE are the subjects I thought most worthy of engraving: but there were multitudes of other things found in the same place; but almost all of them so mutilated or injured by time, as to be rendered quite unintelligible.



[Page 73]ON leaving Flint, FINE PROSPECT. I took the road to Halkin; and immediately on quitting the town, began to ascend the steep slope of the county, fertile, and inclosed to the very edge of the mountain, which was parallel with the shore. The prospect improves the whole way; and from the heights expands to the north-east and south, into an almost boundless one. The estuary of the Dee appears beneath, with the city of Chester at its extremity. The peninsula of Wiral, a naked contrast to our country, limits the eastern side of our sea; and the western of the Mersey, rich in the commerce of Leverpool; beyond which stretches the great county of Lancashire, varying with plains and hills. The moun­tains of Yorkshire and Derbyshire unite to bound the VALE ROYAL of England; and the rich and wooded tract about Northop and Hawarden, with its neighboring mountains, bring relief to the eye, tired with the contemplation of the far remote views.

THIS is but part of the magnificent terras formed by the pub­lic road, that is continued from Hawarden to Clynnog in Caernar­vonshire, varying continually with matchless changes of scenery.

THE first place of any note which occurs in the parish of Halkin, HALKIN. is a hamlet of a number of houses, called the Pen-tre, or hamlet; a name in Wales common to all such assemblages of dwellings, where there is no church; to distinguish it from Llan, where the place of devotion stands. This took its rise in the present century, and was much increased by the concourse of miners, on the discovery of a rich vein in the adjacent fields.

ALMOST contiguous, lies Halkin mountain; a vast tract, in the parish of the same name, and in those of Northop, Skeiviog, and Holywell.

[Page 74]THE surface is common: the mineral the property of Lord Grosvenour, by virtue of a grant, made in 1634, to his ancestor, Sir Richard Grosvenour knight, by Charles I. of all the mines of lead or rakes of lead, within the hundreds of Coleshill and Rud­land *. These tracts were before set on leases for a certain term of years. Thus James I. grants that term to Richard Gwynne, on payment of the annual acknowlegement of sixty-six shillings and eight pence; and a new one was granted in 1629, by a warrant from lord treasurer Weston, to Richard Grosvenour Esq Roger Grosvenour his son, and Mr. Thomas Gamul, for their joint lives, paying the usual rent, and a fine of ten pounds.

I APPREHEND that this grant, and another similar, of the mi­nerals in Bromefield and Yale, made to the same gentleman, are the first alienations of this nature from the crown; which, for many centuries after the Conquest, assumed the entire claim of all mines and minerals, by virtue of the royal prerogative. Sir John Pettus has preserved a series of grants, from the reign of Edward I. to that of Henry VII. in which they empower different persons to scarch for ore. Some of them are confined to particular counties, others to the kingdom in general: and the only prohibition is that of working beneath castles or houses; in gardens or meadows; the owners of which were to be indemnified in all damages they might sustain. Richard II. is the first prince who makes a general allowance. In his letters patent to Richard Wake, clerk, for searching for mines [Page 75] of gold and silver in the county of Devon for ten years, the adventurer had power to dig (paying damage to the owner of the ground) as well within liberties as without; and to pay one-tenth of the profit to the Holy Church, and a ninth into the exchequer.

THIS is not the first instance of the application of the tithe of ore to religious uses: Edward I. directs the same proportion to be payed to the parochial churches in Wales, out of the neighboring mines*. The abby of Basingwork had also a reve­nue arising from the same source.

I CANNOT find that the owner of the ground, in case the mine was discovered in private property, was permitted to have any share of the profit, till the fifth of Henry VI. (1426); when the duke of Bedford, regent of France, received a ten years leafe of all the mines of gold and silver in the kingdom of England, paying to Holy Church a tenth, to the king a fifteenth, and to the lord of the soil the twentieth part. This allotment, though finall, is a proof of the justice and moderation that guided the actions of the protector of Henry's infant years.

THESE regal grants were for every species of metal, except­ing iron; for gold and silver, copper, tin and lead, and all other metals containing gold and silver. These two were the great object; yet the grants do not preclude the royal clame to the baser kinds.

DURING this reign, the art of refining, or the separation of metals from the ore, was made the ground of an imposture [Page 76] common enough in after times. There are not fewer than four instances of persons undertaking the transmutation of the baser metals into pure gold and silver; each of whom received the royal protection*, to prevent them from being interrupted in their operations: for certain malevolent people supposed they used unlawful arts, i. e. the art magic. In a supersticious age, this suspicion might have proved fatal to the projectors; who wisely assumed the most religious term for their mystery, to ob­viate the malice of their enemies. The metals were not to be transmuted, but transubstantiated ; for they had great reason to imagine, that the believers of the word in the religious sense, would hardly contradict the feasibility of the project in the temporal meaning. Besides, they were to act under the guise of piety; for the adept

must be bomo frugi;
A pious, holy, and religious man,
One free from mortal sin, a very virgin.

We hear nothing of the event of these undertakings; but ima­gine they ended like all others of that nature. The bubble did [Page 77] not die with this weak prince; for in 1476, we find that Ed­ward IV. gave the same encouragement to one David Beaupe and John Marchaunt, to have for four years facultatem et scientiam philosophiae artificialem naturalem generationis a mercurio in aurum faciendo, et simili modo a mercurio in argentum: the liberty of changing mercury into gold and silver*. We hear no more of these impostures till the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. when they were most successfully revived.

EDWARD continued the mineral grants to several great men; among others to the earl of Warwick, the earl of Northumber­land, and his brother Richard earl of Gloster. The farm was now encreased; they were to pay the king an eighth neat profit, the lord of the soil the ninth, and the curate of the place the tenth.

IN the short and turbulent reign of Richard III. no attention was paid to concerns of this kind; but his successor, Henry VII. in his very first year, discovered his ruling passion, avarice, by immediately appointing Jasper duke of Bedford, and several other persons of distinction, to be governors of all his mines in England and in Wales, paying to the king the fifteenth of the pure gold and silver, and to the lord of the soil the eleventh, as it grows.

ELIZABETH was the first of our princes who laid the founda­tion for our mineral success, and for all the vast manufactures [Page 78] that arose in consequence. I read, that in 1452, Henry VI.*, (possibly on discovery of the imposture of metallic transmuta­tions) had sent for, out of Hungary, Austria, and Bohemia, three experienced miners, and thirty assistants, to work his mines; so unskilled were the English at that time. The civil wars, which broke out immediately after, frustrated this wise measure. Elizabeth resumed it, being too quick-sighted not to see into the defects and wants of her kingdom. She not only adopted it, but improved on the plan. Our knowlege of minerals was almost extinguished, and of course the manufactures which depended on them. We imported our swords, our knives, stir­rups, bits, and even our pins, out of Germany, through the channel of the Netherlands. Our works of brass, and even our wire, excepting a small quantity which was worked by hand, were of foreign fabrick. The first step taken by this politic princess, was to forbid the importation of these and several other articles, from parts beyond sea: the next, was to invite into her kingdom foreign miners, foreign smelters, and foreign arti­ficers of metallic productions.

SHE next formed a corporation, under the title of THE SOCIETY FOR THE MINES ROYAL. The first governor was William earl of Pembroke: several men of rank were joined in the commis­sion as assistants, and several citizens, and some foreigners of known experience in these matters. She likewise framed the same members into another corporation, which naturally depended on the former, viz. the SOCIETY FOR THE MINERALS AND BATTERY WORKS. These corporations were founded on May the 28th 1567.

[Page 79]SOME progress had been made, a few years before, for the procuring materials for these new manufactures; for in 1563, she had granted the mines of eight counties, besides those in Wales, to Daniel Houghsetter: in 1564, she made another grant to Cornelius Devosse; and a third in the same year, more com­prehensive than all, to Christopher Shutz, of all mines, minerals, and subterraneous treasures, (except copperas and allum) which shall be found in all other parts of England (not mentioned in the former patent) or within the English pale in Ireland, by the name of gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, quicksilver, cadmian ore, or lapis calaminaris; and all manner of ewres or oares, simple or pure, mixt or compounded for latten wire or steel, &c. To each of these patentees an Englishman was joined.

IT is worth observing, that the crown, in most of these grants, lays absolute clame to all mines whatsoever, under a notion that they are royal mines; yet the prerogative could only be entitled to such which yielded gold and silver. The ori­gin of this pretence arose from the king's right of coinage, in order that he might have the requisite materials; which would have confined him to the two noble metals. But until the happy period arrived when our constitution was established, and the royal and the private property justly distinguished, the subject was too weak to assert his rightful clame. ELIZABETH herself was too fond of the darling prerogative (even with all her boasted love to her people) to resign this part. Her pa­tent to William Humfrey and Christopher Shutz is worded in the most unlimited manner; for it not only gave them power to sink shafts wheresoever they pleased (gardens, &c. excepted), [Page 80] but to build houses requisite to carry on the works, not only upon the royal demesnes, but in the grounds of any of her subjects. The spirited Percies, in the person of Thomas earl of Northumberland, first withstood this invasion of his right. He contested with the crown the title to the copper mines in his manor of Keswick; but the lawyers decided against him, al­leging, that although the crown had a power to grant away its manors, it had not the power to alienate the mineral, being per­fectly linked to the prerogative of the crown.

BUT, as usual, the gentlemen of the long robe had two opinions respecting this point: some asserting, that if any gold or silver was found in the mines of baser metal, the whole would belong to the king; which, in fact, was bestowing all the mineral property on the crown, there being scarcely any base metal but what holds some particles of the nobler: others again, in a future reign, qualified this by saying, ‘That although the gold or silver contained in the base metal of a mine, in the hands of a subject, be of less value than the base metal, yet if the gold or silver do countervail the charge of resining it, or be of more worth than the base metal spent in resining it, THIS IS A ROYAL MINE; and as well the base metal as the gold and silver in it, belong to the prerogative of the crown*.’

SUCH was the state of the royal clame; so discouraging to the industry of the subject, till the great event of the REVO­LUTION, [Page 81] when the crown, in the first year of William and Mary, fully gave up all pretensions to the mines of copper, tin, iron, and lead, notwithstanding gold or silver may be extracted from them in any quantities. By a following act, this right was again confirm­ed; only the crown reserved to itself a power of purchasing, within thirty days after raising, all ores made merchantable, at the fol­lowing rates: copper at 16 l. per ton, tin at 40 l. lead at 9 l.; and in default of such payment, the owners were at liberty to dispose of their ore as they pleased. Thus, as Mr. BLACKSTON* ob­serves, the private owners were not discouraged from working mines, through a fear that they may be clamed as royal; neither does the king depart from the just rights of his revenue, since he may have all the precious metal contained in the ore, paying no more for it than the value of the base metal is supposed to be; to which base metal the land-owner is by reason and law entitled.

SOME account of the ores and fossils of the mineral tract, which gave rise to this digression, will be given when I cross it again in the course of my journey.

FROM Pentre Halkin, I pursued my journey along the Chester road: and pass by the Llan. The church is dedicated to St. Mary; is a neat small edifice, lately re-built, partly by a brief, partly by subscription. It stood on the site of a church, men­tioned in Doomsday book. At the Conquest, this tract bore the name of Alchene, from which the present name is taken. Brunford, a township now in the parish of Holywell, and a place [Page 82] called Inglecroft, at that time were joined to it. Doomsday book says, that here was a church and a presbyter, and three boors; a mill of five shillings annual value; and a wood half a league long, and forty perches broad; the whole valued at ten shil­lings.

THE old British name of this place (still retained by the Welsh) is Lugan, from a saint, known, I believe, only in the Welsh calendar.

ABOUT two or three miles farther, in a woody morass on the left hand, are the foundations of an antient pile, called Llýs Edwin, or Llýs Llan Eurgain, originally the seat of Edwin ap Gronw, lord of Tegangle, about the year 1041. It continued in the family till the death of a descendant of his, Howel Gwynedd, who lost his life in the cause of Glendwr; when his forfeited estates were bestowed by Henry IV. on one Bryan Saxton. His posterity possessed them till the 17th of Henry VI. who granted them to Sir John Stanley, groom of the bedchamber*. They afterwards became the property of a younger branch of the Stanleys, and remained in their possession in the last century. I find a Sir Edward Stanley of Flint , married to a daughter of George lord Stanley, about the latter end of the reign of Henry VII. who probably was owner of this place.

I MUST not pass unnoticed a strong British post, which soars above the road,MOEL Y GAER. about two miles to the right. It lies on the summit of a hill, and is surrounded with a great foss and dike [Page 83] of a circular form, with an entrance as usual to such places; and a small artificial mount within the precinct; a tribunal cespi­titium, from whence our antient heroes might deliver their araith or allocutio, to animate their followers against the invading strangers. This post is called Moel y Gaer, or the hill of the fortress; a name common to several others of similar use. This seems to have been an out post of the Ordovices, in order to defend their country against the Roman invaders. We shall, towards the end of the volume, have occasion to mention the chain of posts along the Clwydian hills, from that next to the sea, to remote and internal parts. Our an­cestry disputed the possession of their country by inches. Here they lodged their wives and children; to these places they drove their cattle out of the low country: they established in each numerous garrisons ready to sally forth and repel the foe; or to defend all that was dear to them, should the in­vaders be hardy enough to attack them in their intrench­ments.

IN later times, this spot proved fatal to a valiant partizan of Owen Glendwr. Howel Gwynedd (whom we lately mentioned) was surprized in a negligent hour, within this post, and there be­headed.

NORTHOP,NORTHOP a little town, lies next on the road. It bears the addition of North, to distinguish it from the other. Hope. The British name is Llan Eurgain, from St. Eurgen, daughter of Mal­gwyn Gwynedd, ap Caswallon Law-hir, ap Enion Yrth, ap Cunedda Wledic, &c. who died in 586.

[Page 84]THE church is dedicated to St. Peter. The body is long and embattled: the tower lofty and handsome. Within are three effigiated tombs; one of a fat knight, whose name is lost, and figure much injured by time. Another of a short warrior, com­pletely armed, and in good preservation: on his shield is a cross pattée, charged in the middle with a mullet between four others. The inscription is thus, Hic jacet Ith. Vach. ap Bledd Vach. I suspect him to have been a captain of Inglefield, mentioned in the pedigree of the Humphreyses of Bodlwyddan, and said to have been interred here. The third is of a lady, inscribed Llewc * * * *, and anno domini 1402. According to tradition, her name was Lleuci Llwyd, a celebrated beauty of that period; perhaps the same who was beloved by a noted bard, who coming to visit her after long absence, met with the same shock as the Che­valier de Rancè did; for each found their beloved in her coffin. The bard fainted at the sight, revived, and composed an elegy on her. The Chevalier retired from the world, and founded the abby of La Trappe, famous for its religious austerities.

BETWEEN the eighth and ninth stone,EULO CATSLE. about a quarter of a mile out of the Chester road, are the ruins of Eulo castle, placed on the edge of a deep wooded dingle. It is a small fortress, consisting of two parts: an oblong tower, rounded at the side, and guarded on the accessible places by a strong wall at some distance from it: an oblong yard, with the remains of a circu­lar tower at its extremity, forms the other part. The towers are now finely over-grown with ivy, and command the view of three wooded glens, deep and darksome, forming a most gloomy solitude.



[Page 85]IN the woods near this place, called to this day Coed Eulo, part of the flower of the army detached by Henry II. in 1167, from his camp on Saltney, was surprized and defeated by David and Conan, BATTLE. the sons of Owen Gwynedd, sent by their father with a strong party from his ramp near Basingwerk. They suffered the enemy to march along the streights of the country, till their forces were entangled in the depth of woods, and the steeps of the narrow vallies, so frequent in these parts. The attack was sudden, fierce, and unexpected: the Daughter dreadful; and the pursuit carried even to Henry's encampment*. This proved but a prelude to the English of a second defeat. The king, with an intent to repair the disgrace, marched forward with his whole army; and at Coleshill, near Flint, BATTLE OF COLE­SHILL suffered himself to be en­gaged in the same difficulties as his detachment experienced be­fore. His forces were again defeated; and Eustace Fitz John, a baron first in rank, wealth, and abilities among the English; and Robert de Courci, another great baron, with numbers of others, were slain. Henry de Essex, hereditary standard-bearer, and a man of approved valor, was seized with a panic; and flinging down the standard, cried out, that the king was killed! The route would have been general, if the king had not valiantly rallied his forces, and repulsed the Welsh: but in the end, he thought it prudent to withdraw his army, and encamp in a secure station. It probably was on the elevated ground of the township of Cole­sh [...]ll, at Gadlys, a name significant of the circumstance, palatium­castrense, [Page 86] or the royal head-quarters. He afterwards attempted to cut off the retreat of Owen Gwynedd, by marching along the shore, and getting between him and the mountains; but the wise prince, penetrating into his views, retired to a plain near St. Asaph, still called CIL-OWEN, or Owen's retreat; and from thence to a strong post, named Bryn y Pin, defended by great Tamparts and ditches. This camp lies in the parish of St. George, on a lofty rock above the church, and is now called Pen y Parc.

BRYN DYCHWELWCH*, or the eminence on which Owen pro­nounced the order, RETREAT! by its name preserves the me­mory of the circumstance. It lies over Pentre Bagilt, below Gadlys, and is supposed to have been the spot from which he re­tired to Cil-Owen.

A CIRCUMSTANCE, consequential of this battle, proves, that the report of Edgar's having extirpated the race of wolves out of the principality, was erroneous. A young Welshman, killed in this battle, was discovered eight days after, attended by his faithful dog, who remained by the corpse the whole time, with­out food, and defended it from being the prey of birds and wolves.

THERE is no sort of tradition about the founder of the castle of Eulo. Whether it might not have been built by one of the lords of Tegangle, or whether it was erected by Henry to prevent a similar disaster, by placing a garrison here, I [Page 87] will pretend not to determine. It has been for centuries in ruins; for Leland speaks of it as ‘a ruinus castle or pile, belonging to Hoele, a gentleman of Flyntshire, that by auncient accustume was wont to give the bagge of the sylver harpe to the beste harpir of North Walys, as by a privelege of his ancestors*.’ The antiquary adds, 'that he dwellith at Penrine in Flyntshire.' We know of no such place in the county; but suspect that the gentleman intended was Thomas ap Richard ap Howel, lord of Mostyn, in whose family that privilege was long invested; that gentleman having been cotemporary with Leland.

THE manor of Eulo was in the crown in the 26th of Henry VIII. who granted it to Peter Stanley esquire,MANOR. gentleman of his hous­hold, with the tolls of the market of Flint In the reign of queen Elizabeth, it was held by Edward Stanley, by payment of 20 l. 10 s. a year. At present it is in possession of John Davies esquire, of Llanerch.

WITHIN this lordship are very considerable potteries of coarse earthen-ware;POTTERIES. such as pans, jugs, great pots for butter, plates, dishes, ovens, flower-pots, &c. There are fourteen works, which make annually between three and four thousand pounds worth. The ware is mostly exported to Ireland, and the towns on the Welsh coast; particularly to Swansey. There are besides six other works, for the making of fire-bricks, few clays being better fitted for the purpose of resisting the intense heat of the smelt­ing-furnaces. These are made of different sizes; and some of [Page 88] those which are called bearers weigh two hundred pounds. Great quantities of tiles for barn-floors, and for rooms, are also made here; and the annual sale of these two articles amounts to about twelve hundred pounds.

THIS clay is of a deep ash color; is found in beds of a great thickness; and is dug up in hard lumps, resembling a shaley rock; after which it is left for a considerable time exposed to the air, in order to effect its dissolution. The bricks made with it are set in the lead-furnaces with the unburnt clay, instead of mortar.

I must not leave the parish of Northop without visiting the maritime parts, which stretch along the channel of the Dee. We find there the names of certain townships taken notice of in Doomsday book; Lead-brook, Normanized into Lathroc, from the Anglo-Saxon, Laed, and Broca either from the quantity of lead washed out of it, or from the smelting-works established on it. This township, after the Conquest, was held by Robert of Rudland.

ULFMILTONE was another, now known by the name of Golf­tyn.

WEPRE, another township, was held by William de Malbedeng, from the church of Chester. It is twice mentioned in Doomsday book; and is said to have had on it a wood a league and a half long. In one place mention is made of two villeyns and two boors: in another, of one villeyn and a radman; and that it had been possessed by one Ernui, a freeman. Of late years, a very handsome pier has been built by the river Dee company in this township, jutting into the channel, for the protection of [Page 89] the ships bound to or from Chester, under which they may take shelter in bad weather or adverse winds.

FROM hence I ascended to Hawarden, HAWARDEN. a small town, flourishing under the auspices of its lord, Sir John Glynne baronet. I shall speak first of the manor and castle. The last forms a most picturesque object, soaring above the woods. This place, like most others in our county, bears two names, Pennard halawg, perhaps corrupted from Pen y Llŵch, or the head land above the lake; Saltney, and the other subjacent marshes having once been covered by the sea. The other name is Saxon, as we find it written in Doomsday book, Haordine; at which time it was a lordship; had a church, two Carucae or ploughlands, half of one belonging to the latter; half an acre of meadow; a wood two leagues long and half a league broad. The whole was valued at forty shillings; yet on all this were but four vil­leyns, six boors, and four slaves: so low was the state of popu­lation.

IT is probable,ROMAN that this place had been a British post, opposed to the country of the Cornavii, and to the invading Romans. To the west of the church, in a field adjoining to the road, is a mount called Truman's hill, within a piece of ground which appears to have been squared, and nicely sloped. This evi­dently had been a small camp, whose figure has been much obliterated by the frequency of agriculture. It stood on the brow of the hill, and commanded a full view of the country. Another mount, called Conna's. Hê, is to be seen near Broad­lane house. The Rost, an eminence (overlooking another flat) with fosses, and an exploratory mount, lying in the parish of [Page 90] Gresford, was another; and at Caer-Estyn, a fourth. We shall find occasion to speak more of these in the course of our journey.

THE Saxons possessed themselves of every strong hold which the Britons or the Romans had deserted.SAXON. Some they retained, others they neglected, as the policy of the new invaders, and the necessity of the situation, required. This, before the Conquest, was a chief manor, and the capital one of the hundred of Atiscross. On the invasion of William, it was found in the possession of the gal­lant Edwin, and probably was one of the places of his residence. It was a cover to his Mercian dominions against the Britons, the natural and inveterate enemies of the Saxon race.

ON the Conquest,NORMAN. it was comprehended in the vast grant made to Hugh Lupus. It afterwards devolved to the barons of Mont-alto, or Mold, which they held by stewartship to the earls of Chester, and made it their residence*.

GENEALOGISTS tell us, that Roger Fitz-valerine, son of one of the noble adventurers who followed the fortunes of William the conqueror, possessed this castle; and having frequent con­tests with the Welsh, often saved himself by retreating to it; and from that circumstance it was called Howard's Den. But, with high respect to all the blood of all the Howards, it does not appear that their name was then known: with more probabi­lity does their historian say, that William, the son of Fitz-vale-rine, received the addition of de Haward or Howard, from the accident of being born in this place.

[Page 91]ON the extinction of the antient earls of Chester, to prevent that honor from being, according to the expression of the time, parcelled out among distaffs, this, as well as the other fortresses, were resumed by the crown.CEDED TO LLEWE­LYN AP GRYF­FYDD. In 1264, Llewelyn, prince of Wales, had a conference at this place* with Simon de Montfort, the potent earl of Leicester, where they established peace between Cheshire and Wales, in order to promote their respective designs; and in the year following, on June the 22d, Montfort obliged his captive monarch to make an absolute cession to the Welsh prince, not only of this fortress, but of the absolute sove­reignty of Wales, and the homage of its barons, heretofore paid to Henry. After the suppression of Leicester's rebellion, Hawar­din relapsed to the crown.RELAPSES TO THE CROWN. I must observe, that in 1267, in the pacification brought about by the Pope's legate Ottoboni, between Henry and Llewelyn, it seems as if the castle had been destroy­ed; for, among other articles, Llewelyn agrees to restore to Ro­bert de Montalto, his lands in Hawarden, and restrains him from building a castle there for thirty years; probably it was de­stroyed by Llewelyn himself, who foresaw the impossibility of his keeping a fortress fo near the English borders. The castle must soon have been rebuilt; for I find in 1280 it was styled Castrum Regis.

THAT year was distinguished by the general insurrection of the Welsh, under their prince Llewelyn and his brother David; the great effort of our gallant countrymen to preserve their liberties and antient mode of government. The attempt was [Page 92] begun by David, at that time newly reconciled to his brother, on March 22d, on Palm-Sunday, in a stormy night, which fa­vored his design.S [...]E [...]IZED BY DAVID AP GRYFFYDD. He surprized this castle; put the garrison to the sword, and wounded and took prisoner Roger de Clifford, justi­ciary of Chester. After the death of Llewelyn, and the sub­jection of Wales, David suffered for this in a most severe and distinguished manner; being the first in England who died as a traitor in the way in use at this time. He was a prince of a most unamiable character, equally perfidious to his brother, his country, and to Edward, his benefactor and protector. In the writ for his trial (which was before the whole baronage of Eng­land) Edward enumerates his kindnesses to him in this pathetic manner: ‘Quem susceperamus exulem, nutriveramus orphanum, ditaveramus de propriis terris nostris, et sub alarum nostrarum chlamide foveravimus, ipsum inter majores nostri palatii collo­cavimus*.’ The last proved his greatest misfortune. He might have pleaded exemption from the English jurisdiction, and flung a strong odium on the tyranny of the conqueror, had he not accepted a barony, a seat among the English peers. He was in the same situation as the duke of Hamilton in later times; who denying the power of the court, was told that he was not tried as a Scotch peer, but as earl of Cambridge, a peerage bestowed on him by his unfortunate master.

DAVID was condemned to four species of punishment; to be drawn by a horse to the place of execution, as a traitor to the king who had made him a knight; to be hanged for murder­ing [Page 93] Fulk Trigald, and other knights, in this castle; for his sacrilege in committing those murders on Palm Sunday, his bowels were to be burnt; and finally, his body was to be quar­tered, and hung in different parts of the kingdom, because he had in different parts conspired the death of the king*.

WE find nothing more of this place till the year 1327, the first of Edward III., when Robert, the last baron of Montalt, (for want of issue) passed this manor, and his other great pos­sessions, to Isabel the queen-mother; but on her disgrace, it fell again to the crown.

IN 1337, the king granted the stewartship of Chester, GRANTED TO THE EARL OF SALIS­BURY. with Hawarden, &c. to William Montacute earl of Salisbury; but as Isabel retained a life-interest in the grant, he procured her re­lease of it, for the sum of six hundred marks. It continued in his family till the death of his great nephew, John earl of Salisbury, who was beheaded by the townsmen of Cirencester, after an un­successful insurrection, in 1400, in favor of Richard II. his de­posed master. Salisbury had before granted his estates in fee to Thomas Mountague dean of Sarum, Lodowick de Clifford, John Venour, and Richard Hertcombe, and their heirs: but after his attainder, by act of parlement 7th Henry IV. they became for­feited to the king.

IN 1411 it was granted,1411. by patent from Henry IV. to his second son Thomas duke of Clarence; but in 1414, the 2d of Henry V. Thomas earl of Salisbury, son to John, petitioned for annulling the former sentence: his suit was referred to another [Page 94] parlement, and then dismissed. Henry then made to Clarence ano­ther grant, in which the former was declared to be invalid. In this the advowson of the living is also given.

CLARENCE was slain at the battle of Baugy, 1420. in 1420, and died without issue. Hawarden returned to Henry V. and from him to his son Henry VI. who, in 1443,TO SIR THOMAS STANLEY. granted it to Sir Thomas Stanley, comptroller of his houshold, and to the heirs male of his body: but in 1450, it was resumed; and in the next year granted, together with Mold, to Edward prince of Wales. On this occasion John Hertcombe clamed Hawarden, as heir to the last survivor of the four feoffees: he alledging that John earl of Salisbury was not possessed of Hawarden at the time of his for­feiture; and on this plea obtained a privy seal to enquire into it. An inquisition was taken; his plea was found to be good; and restitution was made. This John Hertcombe levied a fine to Sir Richard Strangeways knight, &c. and John Needham, to the use of John Needham and his heirs.

IN 1454, a fine was levied to Richard Nevill earl of Salisbury, and Alice his wife (daughter to Thomas Montacute, the great earl of Salisbury) and Sir Thomas Stanley knight, afterwards lord Stanley *, to the use of Thomas Stanley, and the heirs male of his body; on condition, that if Thomas Stanley do fell, or suffer dis­continuance, or if he die without issue male, it is lawful for the said Richard earl of Salisbury, or the heirs of Alice his wife, to re-enter. On the death of Lord Stanley, the fee descended to his son and heir Thomas, afterwards earl of Derby; and after [Page 95] his decease, to his second wife, Margaret countess of Richmond, and mother to Henry VII. That monarch, in 1495, honored the place with a visit, and made some residence here for the amusement of stag hunting: but his primary motive was to soothe the earl her husband, after the ungrateful execution of his brother Sir William Stanley.

ON the death of Margaret, Hawarden desended to Thomas earl of Derby, granson to the late earl; and continued in his fa­mily till the execution of the gallant James earl of Derby, in 1651: soon after his death, it was purchased from the agents of sequestration, by serjeant Glynne. On the restoration, the Lords made an order, on the 17th of July 1660, that the earl of Derby's. and several other lords estates, which had been sold in the late usurpation, without their consents, should be re-possessed by them without molestation*. This induced Glynne to make an offer to the earl, of the surrender of Hawarden, for a lease of three lives. The proposal was either rejected, or not imme­diately accepted: the consequence of which was, the loss of the whole to the Derby family. The Lords, resentful of the indigni­ties their order had experienced in the late troubles, began with an attempt to obtain reparation to one of the greatest sufferers. In the December of the same year, they sent down to the Com­mons a private bill, for the restoring to Charles earl of Derby, all the manors, lands, &c. which belonged to his late father. This was strongly opposed; and the bill was laid aside, without ever coming to a second reading*. The earl was then glad to compound with the serjeant for the property of this place, and granted it to him and his heirs; in whom it still remains.

IT appears by these proceedings, as if the parlement was fearful of the consequences of even an act of justice; for, during the long troubles, there had been such vast change of property, effected by fuch variety of means, that it was apprehended, that the enquiry into the causes, and the dispossession of numbers who had quietly enjoyed such property from their fathers, might be attended with the most inflammatory consequences. It is likewise probable, that many of the members might be interested in the event; therefore, were determined to stop at once any proceeding that might tend to affect the fortunes of themselves or friends. Numbers of sales were made by the loyalists them­selves, under the influence of fear. They were content to receive a trifle for the purchase, rather than lose the whole by violence; for there were very few who had not incurred a premunire under the ruling powers; which they were glad to get clear of by a seemingly voluntary sale. When they were thus disappointed in the hope of re-enjoyment of their fortunes, they laid the blame on the king, and invented the calumny of his rejecting this bill, after it had been passed unanimously by both houses.

DURING the civil wars, this cattle suffered the usual vicissi­tudes of fortune. It was firft possessed by the parlement, and kept for its use till the year 1643,BESIEGED IN 1643. at which time a cessation of arms being agreed to, on the part of the king, with the Irish [Page 97] rebels, a number of the forces were drawn from Ireland, and landed at Mostyn in this county, in the month of November, These were immediately employed to reduce the castle of Hawar­den. The garrison received by a trumpet, a verbal summons; which gave occasion to the following letters between lieutenant-colonel Marrow, and John Warren and Alexander Elliot, the com­manders on the part of the parlement. I omit the immediate answer to the summons, written in the religious strain affected by the party; which Marrow replies to like a true Cavalier.


IT is not for to hear you preach that I am sent here; but in his majestie's name to demand the castle for his majestie's use: as your allegiance binds you to be true to him, and not to enveigle those innocent souls that are within with you; so I desire your resolution, whether you will deliver the castle or no?

The rejoinder from the castle was to this effect:


WE have cause to suspect your disaffection to preaching, in regard we find you thus employed. If there be innocent souls here, God will require their blood of them that shed it. We can keep our allegiance and the castle too; and therefore you may take your answer, as it was in English plain enough be­fore: we can say no more, but God'S will be done*.

Rustworth II. part iii. 300.

[Page 98] THESE letters had at the time but little weight. Captain Thomas Sandford, leader of the Firelocks, determined to fright them into submission by the terror of his name, or persuade them, to terms by the powers or his pen; and thus addresses the obstinate commandants:


I PRESUME you very well know, or have heard, of my con­dition and disposition; and that I neither give nor take quarter. I am now with my Firelocks (who never yet neglected oppor­tunity to correct rebels) ready to use you as I have done the Irish: but loth I am to spill my countrymen's blood; where­fore, by these I advise you to your feilty and obedience towards his majesty; and shew yourselves faithfull subjects, by deliver­ing the castle into my hands for his majesty's use; in so doing, you shall be received into mercy, &c. otherwise, if you put me to the least trouble or loss of blood to force you, expect no quarter for man, woman, or child. I hear you have some of our late Irish army in your company: they very well know me; and that my Firelocks use not to parley. Be not unadvised; but think of your liberty; for I vow all hopes of relief are taken from you; and our intents are not to starve you, but to batter and storm you, and then hang you all, and follow the rest of that rebellious crew. I am no bread-and-cheese rogue, but, as ever, a loyalist, and will ever be, while I can write or name

THOMAS SANDFORD, Captain of Firelocks.
[Page 99]

I EXPECT your speedy answer this Tuesday night, at Broad-Lane Hall, where I am now, your near neighbour.

To the officer commanding in chief at Hawarden castle, and his concerts there.

ALL this eloquence would have been flung away, had not more forces on the side of the king, and want of provisions on that of the garrison, co-operated with this valiant epistle. So, as Rushworth says, ‘after a fortnight's siege, and much ink and little blood spilt, the castle being in want of provisions, was surrendered to Sir Michael Earnley, on condition to march out with half arms and two pair of colors, one flying, and the other furled; and to have a convoy to Wem or Nantwyche.

THE royalists Kept possesson or it till after the surrender of Chester to Sir William Brereton in 1645;AGAIN IN 1645. when, on March 17th, O. S. it was taken by major-general Mytton, after a month's siege. At that time Sir William Neal was governor, who declined to give it up till he had obtained his majesty's permission*. On the 22d of December it was by vote of parlement ordered to be dismantled,DISMANTLED. with four other castles in this part of North Wales. These orders extended only to the rendering it unte­nable; but the farther destruction was effected by the owner, Sir William Glynne, the first baronet of the name, between the years 1665 and 1678.

THE remains are a fine circular tower or keep,DESCRIBED. on the summit of a mount. This alone is pretty entire. Nothing except this, [Page 100] and a few walls, and the foundations of some rooms, exist at pre­sent; which Sir John Glynne has, with great pains, laid open by the removal of the rubbish. In one place was discovered a long flight of steps, at the bottom of which was a door, and for­merly a draw-bridge, which crossed a deep long chasm (nicely faced with freestone) to another door leading to two or three small rooms. Probably they were places of confinement, where pri­soners might be lodged with the utmost security, after pulling up the bridge over the deep chasm that intervened between them and open day.

THE several parts of this fortress seem to have been built at different times. It is surrounded with deep fosses, now filled with trees. In 1665, the timber of the park and demesne was valued at five thousand pounds, and was sold in that century; but the present owner will have the merit of restoring it many­fold to the next, by the vast plantations he has made.

THE living is in the gift of the lord; who presents;RECTORY. and the bishop of Chester inducts. The rector does all episcopal acts, ex­cept those of ordination and confirmation; and has a peculiar exempt jurisdiction: grants licences, registers and proves wills; and has his court and his proctors.

THE living is at present eleven hundred pounds a year; and, in proportion as the subjacent lands are cultivated, will experi­ence a far greater improvement.

THE church is a plain but handsome building, kept in neat and decent repair. The parsonage-house is new, and suitable to the revenue. The garden is very prettily layed out, upon a high and commanding ground.



[Page 101]THE parish receives two hundred a year from the river Dee company.PAROCHIAL REVE­NUE. This was granted by act of parlement, in consideration or eight hundred acres of land, belonging to Hawarden, inclosed on the north side of the river, for the use of the adventurers in the navigation. This sum is to be payed to the lord of the manor and other trustees; and is applicable to any uses which any five (with the consent of the lord) shall agree on.

IN Broadlane, PICTURES. the mansion-house, built by the present baronet in 1752, are four portraits of great merit, part of the collection of Sir Konelm Digby. They represent the evangelists with their respective attributes; seemingly the production of Valentine, a Ir [...]hman *, who studied the style of Carravaggio. These are in his best manner. The attitudes are fine; and the lights and shadows most admirably disposed. They are half lengths; a size that his great model excelled in.

AMONG the family portraits, are two of the chief justice Glyme, the able, political lawyer of the reign of Charles I. and the succeeding usurpation. He was of the house of Glynllivon in Caernarvonshire; which derives itself from Cilmin-Troed-ddu, or Cilmin with the black foot, one of the fifteen tribes, and co­temporary with, and nephew to, Merfyn Frych, prince of Wales in the year 818.

SIR JOHN GLYNNE was born at Glyn-llivon in the year 1602;CHIEF JUSTICE GLYNNE. his father was Sir William Glynne knight; his mother a Griffith of Caernarvon. His education was after the best mode. His [Page 102] school was that of the college at Westminster; his academic learning was instilled into him at Hart-ball, Oxford; and his knowlege of the law at Lincoln's-Inn, where he became a bencher. His abilities were immediately discovered by the popular party, by whose in­fluence he was made steward of Westminster, recorder of London, and twice elected member for the former, in the two parlements of 1640. He was, next to Pym, the most active manager against the earl of Strafford. The unfortunate peer remarked, that Glynne and Maynard treated him like advocates; Palmer and Whitelock like gentlemen; and yet omitted nothing material that could be urged against him*. The author of Hudibras seems to catch at this part of the character of these two great lawyers:

Did not the learned Glynne and Maynard,
To make good subjects traitors, strain hard?

IN the case of Strafford, and in that of the impeachment of the twelve bishops, they acted on principle. This appears evident from the prosecution they afterwards underwent, for the noble stand they made against the ruin of the constitution, planned, and afterwards effected by the army. On September the 8th 1647, they were expelled the house, committed to the Tower, and had a charge of high-treason brought against them. Glynne soon de­termined to submit to the rising powers. In the next year, he was restored to his place in the house; appointed one of the ten



[Page 103]commissioners for carrying on the treaty with the king in the isle of Wight; and voted by the house to be a serjeant at law in the new call it thought fit to make. He, as well as the artful Whitelock, evaded all concern in trial of the king: but after­wards temporized fully with the powers in being. Cromwel soon made him one of his council. In 1654, he was constituted cham­berlain of Chester: in the following year, was (on the refusal of the chief justice Rolles) sent into the west with a commission to try colonel Penruddock, and the other insurgents*. Rolles lost his place for his scruples; and in his room the serjeant was re­warded with the office of lord chief justice of the upper bench. He was grateful to his patron; for, being appointed of the committee to receive the protector's scruples about being made king, he urged the acceptance with the utmost zeal. It is amusing to compare the change of sentiment, from the year 1648, when the kingly office was voted to be unnecessary, burthensome, and dangerous, with the opinion of 1657, when the learned serjeant tells Cromwel, that it is essential to the settlement of the nation. Notwithstanding the usurper did not dare to assume the name, he mimicked the powers; and honored his advocate with calling him up by writ into his house of peers; that motley assembly of the year 1657. The prudent lawyer maintained his ground till the year of the restoration, when, by a master-piece of cunning, he published in octavo, the arguments he had used to prevale with his former master to mount the throne, under the title of MONARCHY asserted to be the best, the most antient, and [Page 104] legal form of government. How flattering must this have been to the rightful prince, to find the antient mode acknowleged as most eligible (even after the long abuse of it in his family) by one of the ablest supporters of the protectorate?

WHETHER this recommended him to the new government, or whether he had made his peace before, is not certain. He was received by Charles with distinguished marks of favor, who not only knighted him, but bestowed on him the honor of prime ser­jeant, and even created his eldest son a baronet. In the convention parlement, he was elected for the county of Caer­narvon; and was appointed one of the committee for examining the acts passed during the late usurpation, which were inconsist­ent with the present government; and how the many fines, reco­veries, &c. made in the late courts of law, might be confirmed and rendered good. He had likewise a concern in the act of general pardon, and in all others in which the assistance of an able lawyer was requisite*.

He retired from the house in the following parlement; and lived till the year 1666, when he died in London, and was inter­red in his own vault, beneath the altar of St. Margaret's church, Westminster

FROM Breadlane the land begins to slope towards the Dee. At the bottom, between the fifth and sixth stone from Chester, lies Breughten, formerly the property of the Ravenscrofts, and after­wards that of the Hopes. At the Conquest it was called Broche­tune; and was held of Hugh L [...]pus, by Robert de Roelent, or [Page 105] Rudland. Levenot, a freeman, possessed it before. Robert also had a manor here, once held by a Saxon of the name of Ulmer.

CLOSE to the village of Breton, lies the large marsh of Saltney, which reaches within about a mile of Chester. It is at present divided by a most excellent road, by whose side runs a small canal, cut by Sir John Glynne, for the conveyance of his coal into the Dee near the city. This tract was formerly granted, by Robert lord of Mold, to the monks of Basingwerk, for pasturage; he also gave them the same privilege in Hawarden, and the liberty of cutting rushes for thatching their buildings*.

THE principal part of this common lies in Flintshire. The boundary is marked by a stone near the east end. It extends considerably on both sides. From the right flows the Leeches, a small brook, rising a little beyond Doddleston. That place lies out of my rout; yet I mention it, as the place of interment of that honest chancellor Egerton lord Ellesmere, who preferred it out of affection to his mother, a native of this village.

ANOTHER, circumstance leads me to name this parish, humi­liating as it is to a Welshman; for at Balderton bridge our coun­trymen met with a cruel defeat from Hugh Cyvelioc earl of Chester; who, by way of trophy, made a rampart of their heads.

AT the extremity of Saltney, within a mile of Chester, the land rises suddenly. On the left-hand of the ascent are considerable hollows, with correspondent elevations: one has the appearance of a round bastion; which makes me conjecture, that they might have been works designed to command this pass into the coun­try [Page 106] of the Ordovices; for it points towards Varis, Conovium, and Segontium.


A part of the country of the Cornavii, CHESTER. commences on the flat beneath this bank. The road is continued along the small common of Over-leigh, and ends at Han-bridge, the suburbs of Chester, on this side of the river, belonging to the parish of St. Mary.

THE access to the city is over a very narrow and dangerous bridge, of seven irregular arches, rendered more inconvenient by the antient gateways at each end, formerly necessary enough, to prevent the inroads of my countrymen, who often carried fire and sword to these suburbs; which were so frequently burnt, as to be called by the Britons Tre-boeth, or the burnt town.

I SHALL begin my account of this respectable city, by declin­ing the honor of asserting it to have been of British foundation, notwithstanding I have the authority of Ranulph the Monk, and of Henry Bradshaw, another religious of this city.

The founder of this city, as faith Polychronicon,
Was Leon Gaure, a mighty strong gyant;
Who builded caves and dungeons many a one,
No goodly building, ne proper, ne pleasant.
But king Leir, a Britain fine and valiant,
Was founder of Chester by pleasant building,
And was named Guer-leir by the king*.

[Page 107]YET this legend does not err greatly from the right name, Caer Lleon, CAER LLEON. the camp of the legion. Caer Lleon, vawr ar ddyfr Dwy, the camp of the great legion on the Dee, being the head quar­ters of the twentieth legion, styled also Valeria and Victrix. This legion came into Britain before the year 61; for it had share in the defeat of Boadicea by Suetonius. After this victory, the Roman forces were led towards the borders of North Wales, probably into this county. Afterwards, by reason of the relaxed state of discipline, a wing had been cut off by the Ordovices, just before the arrival of Agricola; but the quarters of these troops at this period are not exactly known. It is probable that part at lest were on the Deva; that he collected a few of his forces, and began his march against the enemy from this place; and that, after his successful expedition into Mona, MONA, &c. he determined to six here a garrison, as the fittest place to bridle the warlike people he was about to leave behind him. In consequence, he fixed part of the legion here, and detachments in the neigh­boring posts, before he ventured on the distant expedition to Scotland, into which he led part, as appears from the inscrip­tions; which prove that a vexillatio of this legion was concerned in building a portion of the Roman wall, In order to encou­rage the troops he left behind, he formed here a colony; and the place was styled from them, and from its situation,DIVANAS Colonia Devana, as is proved by the coin of Septimus Geta, son of Severus, which was thus inscribed:


[Page 108]IT was also called simply Deva, AND DEVA. from the river which washe [...] one side;

The antient hallowed DEE.

THE form of the city evinces the origin to have been Roman, FOURS CHIEF STREETS. being in the figure of their camps; with four gates; four prin­cipal streets; and variety of lesser, crossing the others at right angles, dividing the whole into lesser squares. The walls, the precincts of the present city, mark the limits of the antient. No part of the old walls exist; but they stood, like the modern, on the soft freestone rock, high above the circumjacent country, and escarpe on every front.

THE structure of the four principal streets is without parallel. They run direct from east to west, and north to south; and were excavated out of the earth, and sunk many feet beneath the surface.EXCAVATED The carriages are driven far below the level of the kitchens, on a line with ranges or shops; over which, on each side of the streets, passengers walk from end to end, se­cure from wet or heat, in galleries (or rowe, [...] as they are called) purloined from the first floor of each house, open in front and balustraded. The back-courts of all these houses are level with the rows; but to go into any of these four streets, it is ne­cessary to descend a flight of several steps.

THESE rows appear to me to have been the same with the antient vestibules; and to have been a form of building preserved from the time that the city was possessed by the Romans. They were built before the doors, midway between the streets and the [Page 109] houses; and were the places where dependents waited for the coming out of their patrons*, and under which they might walk away the tedious minutes of expectation. Plautus, in the third act of his Mostella, describes both their situation and use:

Viden' vestibulum ante aedes, et ambulacrum ejusmodi?

The shops beneath the rows were the cryptae and apothecae, ma­gazines for the various necessaries of the owners of the Houses.

The streets were once considerably deeper, as is apparent from the shops, whose floors lie far below the present pavement. In digging foundations for houses, the Roman pavement is often dis­covered at the depth of four feet beneath the modern. The lesser streets and allies, which run into the principal streets, sloped to the bottoms of the latter, as is particularly visible in were Bridge Street; but these are destiture of the galleries or rows.

IT is difficult to assign a reason for these hollowed ways.GREAT VAULTS, An antient historian mentions the existence, in his days, of certain vaults and passages, of which not a trace, nor even the lest memory is left, notwithstanding the most diligent search and enquiries have been made. In this cyte, says the author of the Poly­chronicen, ben ways under erthe, with vowtes and stone werke wonder­ly wrought; thre chambred werkes. Grete stones I grave with olde [Page 110] mennes names therin. There is also JULIUS CEZAR'S name wonderly in stones grave, and other noble mennes names also, with the wrytynge about; meaning the altars and monumental inscriptions: but he probably mistakes the name of Julius Caesar for that of Julius Agricola; to whom, it is reasonable to suppose, some grateful memorial was erected. Unless these hollowed streets were formed by the void left after the destruction of these great vaults, I can no more account for their formation, than for the place which those antient Souterrains occupied.NEW LO [...]T. None have ever been discovered, by the frequent sinking of cellars for new buildings on the site of the old; tradition has delivered no such accounts to us; nor is their exit to be traced beneath the walls in any part of their circumference. The only vaults now known, are of a middle age, and which belonged either to the hotels of the great men, or to the religious houses dispersed through the city.

OF the four gates of the city,EAST GATE, ROMAN. one of them, the East gate, continued till of late years; of Roman architecture, and consist­ed of two arches, much hid by a tower, erected over it in the later days. A few years ago it was pulled down, on account of its straitness and inconveniency, to give way to a magnifi­cent gate, which rose in its place by the munificence of lord Grosvenor. I remember the demolition of the antient structure; and on the taking down the more modern case of Norman ma­sonry, the Roman appeared full in view.

IT consisted of two arches, formed of vast stones, fronting the East-gate street and the Forest street: the pillar between them dividing the street exactly in two. The accurate repre­sentation



[Page 111]of them by Mr. Wilkinson, of this city, will give a stronger idea of them than words can convey; as also of the figure of the Roman soldier, placed between the tops of the arches facing the Forest street.

THIS species of double gate was not unfrequent. The Porta esquilina *, and the Porte portese at Rome, were of this kind. Flores, in his medals of the Roman colonies in Spain , exhibits one on the coins of Merida, the antient Emerita, particularly on those of Augustus; which shews, that the colonists were proud of their gate; and perhaps not without reason, as it appears to have been the work of the best age. I must conclude, that the mode seems to have been derived from the Grecian architec­ture; for at Athens stood a Dipylon, or double gate, now demo­lished§.

THE gate in question faced the great Watling street road, and near the place where other military ways united. Through this was the greatest conflux of people; which rendered the use of the double portal more requisite.

THE Roman bath beneath the Feathers Inn, HYPOCY in Bridge street, is probably still entire; but the only part which can be seen, by reason of the more modern superstructures, is the Hypocaust. This is of a rectangular figure, supported by thirty-two pillars, two feet ten inches and a half high, and about eighteen inches distant from each other. Upon each is a tile eighteen inches [Page 112] square, as if designed for a capital; and over them a perforated tile two feet square. Such are continued over all the pillars. Above these are two layers; one of coarse mortar, mixed with small red gravel, about three inches thick; and the other of finer materials, between four and five inches thick: these seem to have been the floor of the room above. The pillars stand on a mortar-floor, spread over the rock. On the south side, between the middle pillars, is the vent for the smoke, about six inches square, which is at present open to the height of sixteen inches. Here is also an anti-chamber, exactly of the same extent with the Hypocaust, with an opening in the middle into it. This is sunk near two feet below the level of the former, and is of the same rectangular figure; so that both together are an exact square. This was the room allotted for the slaves who attended to heat the place; the other was the receptacle of the fuel de­signed to heat the room above, the concamerata sudatio *, or sweating-chamber; where people were seated, either in niches, or on benches placed one above the other, during the time of the operation. Such was the object of this Hypocaust; for there were others of different forms, for the purposes of heating the waters destined for the use of the bathers.

I MUST now descend towards the bridge, in search of the few further reliques of the antient colonists. After passing through the gate, on the right, near some skinners houses, is a small flight of steps, which lead to a large round arch, seemingly of Roman workmanship. It is now filled with more modern ma­sonry, [Page 113] and a passage left through a small arch of a very eccentric form.ANTIENT POS­TERN. On the left, within the very passage, is the appearance of another round arch, now filled up. This postern is called the Ship-gate, or Hole in the Wall.

THIS seems originally designed for the common passage over the Dee, into the country of the Ordovices, either by means of a boat at high-water, or by fording at low, the river here being re­markably shallow. What reduces this to a certainty is, that the rock on the Hanbridge side is cut down, as if for the conveniency of travellers. And immediately beyond, in the field called Ed­gar's, are the vestiges of a road pointing up the hill;ROMAN ROAD. and which we shall have hereafter occasion to say, was continued toward bonium, the present Bangor.

IN a front of a rock in the same field, and facing this relique of the Roman road, is cut a rude figure of the Dea armigera, MINERVA with her bird and altar.SCULPTURE OR MINERVA. This probably was a se­pulchral monument; for such were very usual on the sides of highways; but time or wantonness has erased all inscription.

BEYOND this stood, past all memory, some antient buildings, whose site is marked by certain hollows; for the ground (pro­bably over the vaults) gave way and fell in within the remem­brance of persons now alive. Tradition calls the spot the site of the palace of Edgar. Nothing is now left, from which any judgment can be formed, whether it had been a Roman build­ing, as Doctor Stukeley surmises; or Saxon, according to the pre­sent notion; or Norman, according to Braun *, who, in his antient [Page 114] plan of this city, styles the ruins, then actually existing, Ruinosa domus Comitis Cestriensis. Perhaps it might have been used succes­sively by every one; who added or improved according to their respective national modes.

HAVING had occasion to mention the name of a departed an­tiquary, I think fit to acknowlege my obligations for the many hints I have benefitted by, from the travels of that great and lively genius; but at the same time lament, that I must say, I often find him Plus beau que la VERITE. His rapid fancy led him too frequently to paint things as he thought they ought to be, not what they really were. In the subject before us, this asser­tion may be supported, by his giving three arches to the antient East gate, and hollow ways to every part of the city; where search, has been made.

THE beautiful altar,ALTAR. in possession of Mr. Dyson, and the soldier in the garden or Mr. Lawton, are the only pieces of detached antiquities now ramaining in this city. The first is of great elegance, and was erected by Flavius Longus, tribune of the twentieth victorious legion, and his son Longinus, in honor of the emperors [...] and Maximian. The father and son, who thus expressed their gratitude, were of Samosata, a city of Syria On one side is the inscription, on the opposite is a cur­tain with a festoon above. On one of the narrower sides is a genius with a cornucopia; and on the other is a pot with a plant of the supposed acanthus, elegantly leaved. On the summit is a head included in a circular garland. I fogot to remark, that immediately over the inscription is a globe overtopped with palm-leaves. If this is not a general compliment to their [Page 115] victories, I should imagine it designed to express their particu­lar successes in Africa, of which the palm-tree was a known emblem.

THIS was found in digging for a cellar near the East-gate, on the antient pavement, which consisted of great stones. Around it were found the marks of sacrifice; heads, horns, and bones of the ox, roe-buck, &c. and with them two coins; one of Vespasian in brass, with his head, inscribed IMP. CAES. VESP. AUG. COSS. III. and on the reverse, VICTORIA AUGUSTI S. C. and a winged Victory standing. The other was of copper, in­scribed round the head, of Constantius, FL. VAL. CONSTANTIUS NOB. C. and on the other side, GENIO POPULI ROMANI; allud­ing to a genius holding in one hand a sacrificing bowl, in the other a cornucopia.

THE other antiquities discovered here are now dispersed; which obliges me to have recourse to books, in order to place them in one point of view.

THE first is the noted altar discovered in 1653,ANOTHER. at present preserved at Oxford. It is inscribed to Jupiter, with the British epithet Tanarus, or the Thunderer, by the transposal of the let­ters r and n in the word Taran. This appears to have been complimentary to the Britons, by adopting the epithet in their language, instead of that of Tonans. The inscription (approved most by Mr. Horsely *) runs thus:

[Page 116]
Jovi optimo maximo Tanaro
Titus Elupius Galeria
Praesens Guntia, Primipilus
Legionis vicessimae Valentis.
Victricis Commodo et Laterano
Consalibus votum solvit
Lubens merito.

THE word Guntic, in the learned Prideaux and Gale *, is read Gunethae, as if derived from Gwinedd, one of the British names of North Wales; over which they suppose Elupius had presided. This might account for his preference of the word Tanaro, as highly flattering to the vanity of those he governed.

THE next is a statue in possession of the late Reverend Mr. Prescot, STATUE or MI­THRAS. with a Phrygian bonnet on his head, a little mantle cross his shoulders, and a short jacket on his body. He is placed standing with a torch in his hands declining. This is supposed to have been Mithras, or the sun; a deity borrowed from the Persians, and much in vogue among the Romans in the second and third century. An inscription, DEO SOLI MITRAE, has been discovered in Cumberland. The Phrygian bonnet marks him for a foreign deity. The declining torch shews the fune­brious occasion of this stone.

MR. HORSELY mentions another stone, discovered in digging a cellar in Water-gate street, in 1729. The inscription is so im­perfect, that he ingenuously confesses, that without the aid of fancy, it cannot be made out.

[Page 117]A FEW bricks, with the number of the legion stationed here, fill the list of the Roman antiquities of the place. I say nothing of the inscription DEAE NYMPHAE BRIGANTES, preserved by Mr. Gale, it being justly disputed whether it belonged to this place.

I MUST not omit the most valuable memorial which the Ro­mans left,CHEESE-MAKING. in a particular manner, to this county; the art of cheese-making: for we are expressly told, that the Britons were ignorant of it till the arrival of the Romans. The Cestrians have improved so highly in this article, as to excel all coun­tries, not excepting that of Italy, the land of their antient masters.

THE twentieth legion was recalled from Britain before the writing of the Notitia, THE LEGION QUITS THIS STA­TION it not being mentioned in that work, which was composed* about the year 445. It is supposed also to have been drawn from Chester before the retreat of the Romans from this island, its name being found at Bath among some of the latest inscriptions we have. The city must not at that period be supposed to be totally deserted; it remained oc­cupied by the descendants of the legionaries, who partook of the same privileges, and were probably a numerous body. Num­bers likewise, who had married with the native islanders, and embraced civil employs, in all likelihood stayed behind after the final abdication of Britain by the legions in 448. After this, the city fell under the government of the Britons, till their conquest was entirely effected by the new invaders the Saxons.

[Page 118]BRITAIN,SAXON PERIOD. now left defenceless, quickly experienced all the calamities that could be inflicted on it from a oreign and bar­barous people. While Hengist and Horsa poured in their troop [...] upon the south, another set of Banaitli landed in Wales, from their settlements in the Orcades and the north of [...]tland. These with their allies the Picts, were defeated near Mold, by the Christian Britons. headed by St. Germanus. I mention this out of course, merely to shew, that the probable rest that Deva enjoyed for another century, was owing to this victory, which, obtained seemingly in a miraculous manner, discouraged for a long space any new attempts.

THE fate of this city was at length decided in 607*,ETHELFRID, 607. when Ethelfrid king of Northumbria resolved to add this rich tract to his dominions. He was opposed by Brochmail Yscithroc king of Pa [...]is; who collected hastily a body of men, probably de­pending on the intervention of Heaven, as in the case of the victoria allelutanca; BATTLE OF CHES­TER. for that end, he called to his aid one thou­sand two hundred religious from the great convent of Banger. and posted them on a hill in order that he might benefit by the [...] prayers. Ethelfrid fell in with this pious corps, and, finding what their business was, put them to the sword without mercy. He made an easy conquest of Brochmail, who, as the Saxon chronicle informs us, escaped with about fifty men. It appears that Eth [...]d, after pillaging the city, left it to the former owners, and contented himself with the territory, till it was wrest [...]l [...] his kingdom by that of Merita.

[Page 119]WE are left unacquainted with the history of this city for a long period. The Britons seem to have continued in possession of it, and it was considered to be the capital city of Venedotia, or North Wales, till it was finally wrested out of their hands by Egbert, EGBERT, 828. about the year 828, during the reign of the British prince Mervyn and his wife Esylht *; which contracted the limits of Wales, during the remainder of its independent existence.

IN a few years after it underwent a heavy calamity from the Danes. THE DANES WIN­TER HERE, 895. These pirates, the scourge of the kingdom, meeting with a severe defeat by Alfred the Great, retreated before him; and in their slight collecting vast numbers of their countrymen, committed the care of their wives, their ships, and their booty, to the East Angles, marched night and day to secure quarters in the west. They seized on Legaceaster before the king could overtake them. He besieged them about two days, destroyed all the cattle he could find about the town, partly burnt, and partly caused the standing corn to be destroyed by his cavalry, and slew all the Danes whom he found without the walls. These invaders kept possession of the town part of the winter; but, compelled by famine, evacuated it the beginning of 895,EVACUATE THE PLACE and took their course through North Wales; which the same cause obliged them suddenly to quit.

AFTER the evacuation of the city by the Danes, it continued in ruins till the year 907 or 908; when the Saxon Chronicle, and all our antient historians, agree, that it was restored by the cele­brated Ethelfleda .

[Page 120]THIS lady is so frequently mentioned in the Mercian history,HER HISTORY. that it will not be impertinent to give a brief account of her. She was the undegenerate daughter of the great Alfred, and the wife of Ethelred earl of Mercia, under his brother-in-law Edward king of England. On the birth of her first child*, she separated herself from her husband, and for the rest of her days, like an Imazen of old, determined on a life of chastity, and devoted herself to deeds of arms. She kept on the best terms with her husband: they united in all acts of munificence and piety; restored cities founded abbies, and removed to more suitable places the bones of long-departed saints.

AFTER the death of her husband, in 912, she assumed the government of the Mervan earldom, and the command of the army. She became so celebrated for her valour, that the effe­ [...]inate titles of Lady or Queen were thought unworthy of her. she received in addition those of LORD and KING.

O ELFLEDA potens, O terror virgo virorum
Victrix naturae, nomine digna viri
Tu quo splendidior fieres, natura puellam,
Te probitas fecit nomen habere viri.
Te mutare decet, sed selum nomine sexus,
Tu Regina potens, Rexque trophaea parans,
Nec jam Caesarei tantum meruere triumphi,
Caesare splendidior virgo virago vale
[Page 121]
ELFLEDA, terror of mankind!
Nature, for ever unconfin'd,
Stampt thee in woman's tender frame,
Tho' worthy of a hero's name.
Thee, thee alone, the Muse shall sing,
Dread EMPRESS and victorious KING!
E'en Caesar's conquests were out-done
By thee, illustrious Amazon!
R. W.

THE heroine appears well to have merited this eulogium. Her abilities and activity were perpetually exerted in the ser­vice of her country. She erected a castle at Sceargate; another at Briege, the modern Bridgenorth; a third at Tamweorthige, or Tamworth; a fourth at Staefford; a fifth at Eadesbyrig, now the chamber in the forest in Cheshire; a fifth at Waeringwic, or War­wick; a sixth at Cyricbyrig, or Chirbury; a seventh at Weardbyrig, or Wedsburrow, in Staffordshire; and an eighth at Rumcof, or Runcorn, in Cheshire. She took Brecenanmere, or Brecknock, and made its queen prisoner: she stormed Deoraby, or Derby; but lost sour Thanes within the place: and finally, she restored the city of Legerceaster, after its desolation by the barbarians; re­built the walls; and, as some pretend, enlarged the city so greatly as to include the castle, which before stood without the antient precincts. Death put an end to her glorious course,DEATH. at Tamworth *, in the summer of 922, from whence her body was translated to Gloucester. Her loss was regretted by the whole kingdom, and by none so sensibly felt as by her brother Ed­ward; [Page 122] for she was as useful to that wise prince in the cabinet as in the field.

EDGAR made this port one of the stations in his annual cir­cumnavigation of his dominions.EDGAR, 973. The year 973 is noted for the league he made here with six petty kings; who engaged to assist him by sea and by land in all his undertakings. This is the fact, as related by the Saxon Chronicle *. The same is men­tioned, perhaps copied from the former, by Henry of Huntingdon; but Higden, the monk of St. Werburg, to do greater honor to his native city, makes the number of Reguli eight; and adds, that, in token of superiority, Edgar, one day entering his barge, assumed the helm, and made his eight tributaries row him from the palace, which stood in the field which still bears his name, up the Dee, to the church of St. John, and from thence back to his palace.

IN the following century, the invasions of the Danes were conducted with so much policy as to induce the factious and traiterous nobility of England to rise and favor their designs. Edmund, EDMUND IRON­SIDES. surnamed Ironside, took arms to relieve his distressed country, and carried the war into the northern counties, among which lay the principal partizans of the invaders: whose country he ravaged, in resentment of their treason. This city is mentioned among those which suffered. Edmund, by the perfidiousness of his own people, was constrained to leave both the Mercian and Northumbrian kingdoms in pos­session of Canute; CANUTE, 1016. who, in the famous partition of England [Page 123] between these rival princes, in 1016, retained those parts for his own share.

ON the restoring of the Saxon line, it reverted, with the rest of the Mercian province, to its old masters. Leofric, a munifi­cent nobleman, was at that time governor of Mercia, and earl of Chester. These earls were not created, but merely official. He died 1057,1057. and was succeeded by his son Alfgar or Algar, a turbulent nobleman; who engaging in rebellion, aided by the Welsh prince Gryffydd ap Llewelŷn, was twice deprived of his earl­dom, and was once pardoned. After his second deprivation, he obtained again the province by dint of arms, assisted by Gryffyd and a Norwegian fleet. He died soon after, and was interred in Co­ventry, where the earls of Mercia had their principal seat.

HIS eldest son Edwin succeeded;NORMAN CON­QUEST, 1066 in whom ended the race of earls of Chester of Saxon blood. After the battle of Hastings, he sled, with his brother Morkar earl of Northumberland, to London, with a view of the crown, vacant by the death of Harold. Be­ing disappointed in his hopes, he took his sister Algytha, widow to the slain monarch, and sent her to Chester; and endeavored to escape to Malcolm king of Scotland, but was intercepted by the way and slain.

ENGLAND now experienced a total change of masters. The conqueror, in order at once to secure his new dominions, and to reward his followers, bestowed on them the lands of the noble Saxons. He wisely divided the provinces, which had hi­therto been ruled by a few great men, into lesser portions; and by this means broke the power which before often braved the throne. Mercia, heretofore under the government of a duke or [Page 124] earl,POST-CONQUEST EARLS OF CHES­TER and ruled by what was called, in the Saxon phrase, the Merchenlege, received in many cases a distinct master. Cheshire fell to the share of Gherbod, a valiant Fleming. By misfortune he fell into the hands of his enemies (being called into Flanders) soon after he had taken possession of his new territories, and by reason of a long captivity was obliged to resign them to ano­ther. The Conqueror, in his place, appointed Hugh de Aurange, better known by the name of Hugh Lupus; the first Norman earl of Chester who ever possessed the county. To him he dele­gated a fulness of power; made his a county palatine, and gave it such a sovereign jurisdiction, that the antient earls kept their own parlements; and had their own courts of law, in which any offence against the dignity of the sword of Chester was as cognizable here, as the like offence would have been at Westminster against the dignity of the royal crown; for William allowed Lupus to hold this county tam liberè ad gladium, sicut ipse REX tenebat Angliam [...]d coronam. The sword by which he was invested with this dignity is still to be seen in the Museum, inscribed Hugo comes Cestriae. Another inferior office was also held by the earls, by virtue of this sword; that of sword-bearer of England at the times of coronation*.

LUP [...]S instantly took possession of his dominions. It is probable that he was invested in them by William himself; for we find the Conqueror at Chester in person in 1069, where he repelled the Welsh, and finally reduced the Mercian province, which appears to have been in arms to this period. At the same time restored [Page 125] the walls and built the castle; the former having either fallen into decay since the days of Ethelfreda, or were not thought suffi­ciently strong for the exigencies of the times.

As soon as Lupus was firmly established, he began to exert his regal prerogatives. He formed his parlement by the crea­tion of eight barons, viz. Nigel baron of Halton; Robert, of Montalt; William Malbedeng baron of Nantwich; Vernon, of Shipbrook; Fitzhugh, of Malpas; Hamon de Massie Venables, of Kinderton; and Nicholas, of Stockport. These were to assist the earl with their advice: Ego comes HUGO et mei BARONES, was the form of his writs. They were obliged to pay him attend­ance, and to repair to his court to give it the greater dignity. They were bound, in time of war with Wales, to find for every knight's-fee a horse with caparison and furniture, or two with­out furniture, in the division of Cheshire. Their knights and freeholders were to have corselets and habergeons, and were to defend their lands with their own bodies. Every baron had also four esquires; every esquire one gentleman; and every gen­tleman one valet*. Each of these barons had also their free courts of all pleas and suits, and all plaints, except what be­longed to the earl's sword. They had besides power of life and death. The last instance of the exertion of this power was in the person of Hugh Stringer, who was tried for murder in the baron of Kinderton's court, and executed in 1597.

THE earls had their chamberlain, which supplied the place of chancellor; an office continued to this day. The first we [Page 126] know of was Philippus Camerarius, who took his name from his office, in the time of Randle Gernouns earl of Chester. Here is a baron of the exchequer, and other officers conformable to those of the crown at Westminster: also justices, before whom the causes which of their nature should otherwise belong respectively to the courts of king's-bench and common-pleas, are triable*.

IN imitation of regal power, the earls appointed a high con­stable of Cheshire, correspondent to the high constable of Eng­land; which was held in fee by the baron of Halton, who by virtue of this office took place of the other barons; and the baron of Montalt had precedency (after him) by virtue of his office in fee, of high steward.

ROBERT DE ROTHELENT was another baron, who was com­mander in chief of the forces in Cheshire, and prime governor of the county under his cousin Hugh Lupus. As his office and rank dropt with him, he is not reckoned among the barons. Probably the office was found unnecessary, and clashing with the priveleges of the high constable.

THIS species of government continued from the Conquest till the reign of Henry III. a period of about 174 years; when, in 1237, on the death of John Scot (the seventh earl of the Norman line) without issue male, Henry took the earldom into his own hands, and gave the daughters of the late earl other lands in lieu; unwilling, as we said, that so great an inheritance should be parcelled out among distaffs. THE EARLDOM RESUMED BY THE CROWN. The king bestowed the coun­ty [Page 127] on his son Edward, who did not assume the title; which he afterwards bestowed on his son Edward of Caernarvon, first English prince of Wales.

AFTER the resumption of the earldom by the crown, the government of the city assumed a new form; for in the year 1242, the 26th of Henry III. it appears to have first been under the directions of a mayor and sheriffs. The mayor seems to have been the substitute for the constable; an office which, during the period of the Norman earls, was, under them, supreme in all matters military and civil, in both city and county. The sheriffs seem to have been a new name for bailiffs, who acted under the former*.

AFTER giving a general idea of the state of this place and county to the time of Henry III. I shall return to the time of Hugh Lupus, and give, to the best of my power, a brief chronolo­gical account of its history; leaving the ecclesiastical part to be treated apart.

IN the days of that potent earl, and probably long before he was possessed of this city, it enjoyed by prescription divers priveleges.GUILD MIRCA­TORY. It had a guild mercatory , analogous to a modern corporation; so that no person who was not of that society could exercise any trade or carry on any commerce within its pre­cinct. Such was the state in which the Normans found it; which the earls afterwards confirmed under their seals.

Two overseers, selected out of the most respectable citizens, were appointed to maintain the rights of this guild. They re­ceived, [Page 128] for the use of the city, all the customs paid by strangers, unless at the fairs, which in those days were said to have been held three times in the year. These officers were probably of the same nature as the deans of guild in Scotland. It appears also from the Doomsday book, that here was a supreme officer, called the Prapesitus Regis, or provost, who had the care both of the civil and commercial interests.

IT is difficult to say at this time what were the articles of ex­portation, excepting slaves and horses.EXPORTS. SLAVES. The first barbarous traffic was carried on by the Saxons to a great height. The de­scription of the mart is an exact picture of the negro commerce* at present; so little have we emerged from barbarism in that instance.

HORSES were another article;HORSES, HIDES, &c. but their exportation was pro­hibited, excepting they were designed for presents, by a law of Athelstan. But these, as well as several others, such as metals, hides, dogs, and chalk, were probably still exported, as in the [Page 129] times of the Romans. Chester was, admirably situated for supplying all these articles, excepting the last. The frequent wars carried on with the Welsh, furnished them with slaves; if those were wanting, their neighbors of the Northumbrian kingdom were ready to dispose of their nearest relations*. The rich plains of Cheshire furnished horns and hides; and the Cambrian mines, lead and copper.

CHEESE must not be omitted,CHEESE. as a most important article; for the Britons made so great a progress in the arts of the dairy, that even under the Roman reign there was great exportation of cheeses for the use of the Roman armies; in which this county doubtlessly had the greatest share.

THE imports were the spices and other luxuries of the east,IMPORTS. procured either from Venice, or afterwards from the cities of Pisa and Amalphi , the magazines of the precious Asiatic com­modities.

CLOTH was brought from Flanders, and linen from Germany CLOTH. LINEN. RELIQUES.; reliques and ecclesiastical finery from Italy , the staple of super­stition. Rich armour was another considerable article; for war and religion created in these ages the most important commerce of the state. The warriors and the sainted images were the beaux of the time; the crimes of the former were supposed to be readily expiated by prostration to the latter; and acceptance was announced by the priest in proportion to the value of the offering.

[Page 130]FRANCE and Spain supplied them with wine;WIX [...]. and the disco­very made towards the north by Ohthere, under the directions of Alfred, FURS gave us furs, whale-bone, feathers, walruses teeth, and other articles from that cold region. Martins skins are twice mentioned in the Doomsday book, among the imports of Chester. Ireland might also supply them with furs, and several other commodities; this being the channel of communication on that side of the kingdom, and the great mart for the Irish commo­dities. A sensible but uncouth poem, about the year 1430, published in Hakluyt, i. 199, gives us a list of its articles of commerce.

Hides and fish, salmon, hake, herringe,
Irish wooll, and linnen cloth, faldinge,
And marterns good be her marchandie,
Hertes hides and other of venerie.
Skinnes of otter, squirrel, and Irish hare
Of sheepe, lambe, and foxe, is her chaffare,
Felles of kiddes, and conies great plentie.

It is certain that Chester had long been a celebrated port. It appears to have been a station for the Saxon navy; and fre­quently the seat of the court of the Mercian kingdom, both during the Heptarchy, and after it became a province at the general union under Egbert.

THE state of this city, in the time of Edward the Confessor, and at the Conquest, must be collected from the famous survey the Doomsday book.

[Page 131]IT appears, that in the time of the Saxon monarch here were four hundred and thirty-one houses which were taxable, besides fifty-six that belonged to the bishop: that it yielded ten marks of silver and a half; two parts to the king, and the third to the earl: that whenever the king came in person, he clamed from every plough-land two hundred hesthas, one cuna of ale, and one rusca of butter*: that if any persons made bad ale, they were either to sit in a chair full of dung, or pay four shilings: that there were twelve judges in the city, and seven mint-masters: that whenever repairs were wanting for the walls or the bridge, notice was given for one man out of every hide-land in the county to appear; and in case of absence, he was fined forty shillings, to be divided between the king and the earl: and that the city was so depopulated at the time that Hugh Lupus took possession, that there were two hun­dred and five houses fewer than in the time of the Con­fessor.

IT is probable that the city soon emerged from its calamities, and felt a considerable increase under its new masters, a more polished race; for the Normans affected as much elegance in their dress and their buildings, as they did temperance in their meat and drink. The example of a magnificent warrior, such as the new earl, was quickly copied. His court, and that of his successors, rendered it the most considerable place in these parts.

[Page 132]ACCORDING to Lucian *, a jolly monk who flourished about the time of the Conquest, its commerce was very considerable. He speaks of the ships ‘coming from Gascoign, Spain, Ireland, and Germany, who, by GOD'S assistance, and by the labour and conduct of mariners, repair hither and supply them with all sorts of commodities; so that being comforted with the favour of GOD in all things, we drink wine plentifully; for those countries have abundance of vineyards.’

HERE,1159 in 1159, Henry II. and Malcolm the IVth of Scot­land had their interview; and the important cession was made to Henry by the latter, of the three counties of Northumber­land, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, formerly wrested from the English crown.

BALDWIN, archbishop of Canterbury, 1188 in 1188, visited this place, in his road from Wales, where his zeal led him to recom­mend the Croisade to the mountaneers, assisted by the eloquent and vain Giraldus. All the historian takes notice of in this re­spectable city is, that Constance countess of Chester kept a herd of milch hinds, made cheeses of their milk, and presented three to the archbishop: that he saw an animal, a compound of an ox and a stag; a woman born without arms, who could sew as well with her feet as others of her sex did with their fingers; and finally, that he heard of a litter of whelps begotten by a monkey. As Giraldus was a great dealer in presages, it is wondrous he made no use of all these portents: probably no [Page 133] signal event happened in these parts in his days, to which they could be applied.

THE next remarkable occurrences were the ravages of Llewelyn ap Gryffydd, 1255. prince of Wales, who carried fire and sword to the very gates of Chester, and destroyed every thing around on both sides of the river; provoked by the cruel injuries his subjects sustained from Geffrey Langley, lieutenant of the county under prince Edward *.

THIS city seems to have been a constant rendezvous of troops, and place d'armes for every expedition on this side of the kingdom, from the times of the Normans to the conquest of Ireland by William III. In 1257, Henry III. summons his nobility to at­tend with their vassals at Chester on a certain day, in order to invade Wales, and revenge the inroads of the Welsh; and the bi­shops were at the same time required to appear there on the same occasion.

EDWARD I. in 1275,1275. appointed this city as the place of re­ceiving the homage of Llewelyn; to which that high-spirited prince deelining to submit§, brought on the war, which con­cluded with the destruction of him and his principality.

AND in this city was received,1300. in 1300, the final acknow­legement of the Welsh to the sovereignty of England, by Edward of Caernarvon prince of Wales, when the freeholders of the country did homage and fealtie for their respective lands.

[Page 134]RICHARD II.1397. visited the capital of his favorite and loyal county; and did it the distinguished honor of converting it into a principality, and annexing to it the castle of Holt, the lordship of Bromefield and Yale, Chirkland, and several other places in Wales and on the borders. But Henry IV. in his fourth year, rescinded an act that incroached so much on the dignity of his son as prince of Wales *.

HENRY IV. in 1399,1399. seized the city and castle, in his way to Flint against his ill-fated monarch Richard II. and on his return secured him for one night in the fortress; and barbarously put to death Sir Perkin a Legh, and other gentlemen, whom he took with their unfortunate master.

DURING the insurrection of Glendwr, this city was made a rendezvous of the royal forces, and a place d'armes. It does not appear that our countryman ever made any attempt on it, not­withstanding numbers of the gentry of this gallant county favored his cause. But the country was unhappily divided; and conti­nued so during the civil wars that raged between the houses of York and Lancaster. The spirited Margaret, in order to keep up the interest of her party, made a progress into the county in 1455, and visited this city.1455. In 1459,1459. soon before the battle of Bloreheath, she made another, and took with her the Meek Usur­per, her husband Henry VI. and her son Edward. She kept a public table wherever she went; and bestowed on the Cheshire gentlemen, that espoused her cause, little silver swans, the badge [Page 135] of the young prince, as the cognisance of the Lancastrians *. She appointed James lord Audley to command the Cheshire forces. Michael Drayton gives an animated description of the effects of civil discord on this occasion: he acquaints us that Audley

So labour'd, till that he had brought
That t'half of one house gainst the other fought.
So that two men arising from one bed
Falling to talk, from one another fly;
This wears a white rose, and that wears a red;
And this a YORK, that LANCASTER doth cry:
HE wish'd to see that AUDLEY well had sped;
He prays again to prosper SAL'SBURY.
AND for their farewel, when their leaves they take,
THEY their sharp swords at one another shake.

DANIEL KING tells us, that Edward prince of Wales, son to Edward IV. came to Chester before Christmas 1475,1475. and was immediately conveyed to the castle with great triumph. Ed­ward must have designed this only as a compliment to his friends in these parts, his son being at this time a child of four years of age. Such marks of royal favor were not unfrequent. Henry VII. and his queen came here in 1493;1493. and Henry sent his son Arthur to visit the place in 1497.1497.

THIS city had also its share in the calamitous distempers of the times. In 1506,1506. it was visited by that endemic disorder the sweating-sickness, which destroyed, in three days, ninety-one householders. The remark, of this destroying-angel's respect to the female sex, was verified here; for only four perished.

[Page 136]IN 1517,1517. it was followed by the pestilence, when such num­bers died, and such numbers fled, that the streets of the city were overgrown with grass.

IT appears that the citizens of Chester were not less celebrated for their dramatic performances than those of Coventry *.1529. They exhibited two species; one formed upon moral romance, the other on scriptural history. In this year they enacted at the high-cross the play of Robert kyng of Cicyle, or Robert le Dia [...] borrowed from the French morality of that name.

Here i [...] of kyng Robert of Cicyle,
Hou pride did him beguile.

ROBERT, like another Nebuchadnezzar, thought himself be­yond the power of any being, divine or human. Heaven, in order to humble him, causes a deep sleep to fall on him in church: when the congregation is dismissed, an angel assumes his form, and deceives his attendants, who follow the angelic king into the palace, where he takes Robert's place. Robert awakes; runs to his palace; is disowned; seized as an impostor, and at last appointed fool of the hall to the new king; and,

Clothed in lodly garnement
With ffoxes tayles mony aboute
Men mihte him knowen in the route.

[Page 137]After a very long and ignominious penance, the angel finds Robert effectually cured of his presumption, quits his mission, and restores the poor king to his throne.

THE year 1532 reminds me of the religious dramas being per­formed in this city.1532. WHITSON PLAYS. These are the famous interludes known by the name of Mysteries, originally composed in the years 1327 and 1328, by Randal Higgenet, a monk of Chester abby, as this pro­logue acquaints us.

Reverend lords and ladyes alle,
That at this tyme assembled be;
By this messauge understond you shall,
That some tymes ther was mayor of this citie
Sir John Arnway. knight; who most worthilye
Contented hymselfe to set out in playe
The devise of one Dane Rondall, moonke of Chester abbey.

RONDAL, it seems, first composed these Mysteries in Latin and took true pains to obtain leave to exhibit them in an English dress, having made three journies to Rome for his Holi­ness's permission*. Others again were the labors of Sir Henry Frances, another monk, as appears by the proclamation for the Whitson plays in this year, made by the clerk of the Pentice, setting forth, that in

Oulde tyme, not only for the augmentation and increes of the holy and catholick faith, and to exort the minds of the common people to good deuotion and holsome doctrine, but also for the comonwelth of this citty, a play and declaration [Page 138] of divers storyes of the Bible, beginning with the creacion, and fall of Lucifer, and ending with the generall judgement of the world, to be declared and played in the Whitsonne weeke, was devised and made by Sir Henry Frances, sometyme moonke there; who gat of Clement, then bushop of Rome, 1000 dayes or pardon, and of the bushop of Chester at that tyme, 40 dayes of pardon, to every person resorting in peaceable maner to heare the sayd playes; which were insituted to the honor of God by John Arnway, then major of Chester, his brethren and whole cominalty thereof; to be brought forth, declared, and played, at the cost and charges of the craftes­men and occupations of the sayd citty, &c. &c. *.

THESE plays had probably been dropt for a considerable time; which occasioned the proclamation, in the reign of that pageant-loving prince Henry VIII. Forty-three years had elapsed since the last performance of this nature, when the Assumption of our Lady was played before his brother Arthur, at the abby­gates of this city.

THESE Mysteries were the rude origin of the English theatre. Our drama, as the very ingenious Mr. Warton remarks, was in early times confined entirely to religious subjects; and these plays were nothing more than an appendage to the specious and mechanical devotion of the age. I refer the reader to that gentleman's amusing history of the rise and progress of these performances; and confine myself to a few specimens of the gross and ridicu­lous exhibitions of the times; when the audience listened with [Page 139] the fullest admiration and devotion to what would at present fill a theatre with laughter from the gay, at the absurdity, or scandalize the serious part, with the (unintentional) impiety. I shall only premise, that the scene of action was the church, in defiance of the fulminations of the furious Bonner, and the pious G [...]indal.

THESE plays were twenty-five in number. They were per­formed for above three centuries, to the staring audience; who received the unvaried subject with the same annual pleasure as the Romans did the farces in their days of honest simplicity.

Tandemque redit ad pulpita notum
Exodium, cum personae pallentis hiatum
In gremio matris sormidat rusticus infans.
Juv. Sat. iii.
The same rude song returns upon the crowd,
And by tradition is for wit allow'd.
The mimic yearly gives the same delights,
And in the mother's arms the clownish infant frights.

They do not appear to us in the words of the original deviser: but, the language and the poetry being grown obsolete, they were altered to that of the time, for the performance of the year 1600, and were acted by the craftsmen of the twenty-five com­panies, who were all dressed in suitable habits.

1. THE Tanners performed the play or pageant of the Fall of Lucifer; and in the course of the prologue are thus in­structed:

[Page 140]
NOWE, you worshippfull Tanners, that of custome olde
The fall of Lucifer did sette out:
Some writers a warrante, your matter therfor be shoulde
Craftelye to playe the same to all the rowtte;
Your authour his auther hath: your shewe let it be
Good speech, syne players, with apparrill comelye.

SHAKESPEAR certainly formed his personae dramatis of mechanics, his Quinees, Snugs, Snouts, and Starvelings, in the Midsummer-Night's Dream, from performers of this kind.

2. THE Drapiers enacted the Creation of the World. Adam and Eve appeared literally naked, and were not ashamed, till after the fall, when they proposed, according to the stage-direction, to make themselves subligacula a foliis, quibus tegamus pudenda, and made their appearance with an apron of fig-leaves, sticking religiously to the account given in the third chapter of Genesis.

3. THE Water leaders and drawers of the Dee, took, with great propriety, the History of the Deluge; which being handled in a very diverting manner, I shall transcribe as a pattern of the rest. Their prologue tells them, ‘that Noe shall goe into the arke, with all his femylye, his wyfe excepte.’ After the long catalogue of birds, beasts, &c. which are supposed to have entered the vessel, Noah thus calls to his spouse:

Wyfe, come in, whie stands thou there?
Thou art ever froward, that sure I sweare;
Come in on God's half, tyme it were,
For feare lest that wee drowne.
You Sir, sett up your sayle,
And rowe forth with evill hayle;
For, withouten land fayle,
I will not out of this grove.
But I have my gossopes evry ech one.
One fote further I will not gone;
They shall not drown, by Saint John,
And I maye save ther lyves.
They loved me full well by Christ;
But thou wilt lett them into thie chest,
Ellis row forth maye when thou liste,
And get thee another wief.
Sem, sonne, nowe thie mother is war o woe,
By God faith another I doe not knowe.
Father, I shall fetch her in, I trow
Withouten anie faile.
Mother, my father after thee sends,
And biddes thee into yonder ship wends;
Look upe and see the winds,
For we bene readie to sayle.
NOYE'S Wief.
Sonne, go agayne to him, and saye,
I will not come therein to daye.
Come in, wief, in twentie devill waye,
Or allis stand there without.
Shall we all setch her in?
Yea, sonnes, in Christ's blessing and mine,
I would ye hied yea be tyme;
For of this flood I stand in doubt.
The flood comes fleeting in apace,
One every side it spredeth full fare;
For feare of drowning I am agast.
Good gessopes, let us draw neare,
And let us drink are we depart;
For ofte tymes we have done so:
For at a draught thou drinks a quart,
And so will I doe or I goe.
Here is a pottell, full of malmesay good and strong;
It will rejoyce both hart and tong;
Though Noy think us never so long,
Yet wee will drink a tyte.
Mother, we pray you altogether;
For we are here your owne children;
Come into the ship for feare of the wedder,
For his love that you bought.
That I will not far all your call,
But I have my gossopes all.
In faith, mother, yet you shall,
Whether you will or mongst.
Well me wief into this boate.
NOE'S Wyfe.
Have you that for thie note. [Gives Noah a box in the car.]
A ha, Mary! this is whote:
It is good for to be still.
A, children! methink my boat remeves;
Our tarrying here heughly me greves:
On the land the water spreads:
GOD doe as he will.

4. THE Barbers and Wax-chandlers told how Abraham re­turned from the slaughter of the four kings, &c.

5. THE Cappers and Linen-drapers took up the story of Balaam and his ass; and make the prophet accost his beast in terms too low and ludicrous to be repeated. This animal had far greater respect paid it in a neighboring kingdom; for feasts were held in honor of it. The sesta asinaria, or feasts of asses, were celebrated in France in the beginning of the fifteenth century*; when the beast, covered with a cope, was introduced into church, attend­ed by the clergy, and saluted with the following hymn:

Orientis partibus
Adventavit asinus
Pulcher et fortissimus
Sarcinis aptissimus.
Hè, fire Ane, hè.
Hie in Collibus sicsen
Enutritus sub Ruben
Transsit per Jordanem,
Saliit in Bethleem.
Hè, fire Ane, hè.
Saltu vincit hinnulos
Dagmas et capreolos,
Super Dromedarios
Velox Madianeos.
Hè, fire Ane, hè.
Aurum de Arabia,
Thus et myrrham de Saba
Tulit in ecclesia
Virtus asinaria.
Hè, fire Ane, hè.
Dum trahit vehicula
Multa cum sarcinula,
Illius mandibula,
Dura terit pabula.
Hè, fire Ane, hè.
Amen dicas, Asine,
Jam satur ex gramine,
Amen, amen, itera,
Aspernare vetera,
Hè, fire Ane, hè.
Cum aristis hordeum
Comedit et carduum
Triticum a palea
Segregat in area.
Hè, fire Ane, hè.

6. THE Wrights and Slaters rehersed the Beirth of Christe. 7. The Painters and Glaziers, the Appearance of the Angels to the Shepherds. 8. The Vintners, the Departure of the Wise men, or three Kings of the east, in search of our Saviour. 9. The Mercers, the Offerings of the three Kings. 10. The Gold­smiths the Murder of the Innocents; and give a curious dia­logue between the soldiers and the women. 11. The Black­smiths shew how Christ disputed with the doctors in the temple. 12. The Butchers, how he was led by the Spirit into the wil­derness. 13. The Glovers tell of the death of Lazarus. 14. The Corvisors, of Jesus and the Lepers. 15. The Bakers, of the last Supper. 16. The Fletchers, Bowyers, Coopers, and Stringers, chose the History of the Passion. 17. The Ironmongers, the Crucifixion. 18. The Cooks relate the descent of Christ into Hell, and what he did there; which concludes with our Saviour redeeming out of Purgatory all the saints, and leaving behind only one poor woman (probably a real character at the compo­sition [Page 145] of this curious drama) whose crimes she confesses in a long speech:

Some time I was a tavernere,
A gentel gossepp, and a tapstere
Of wine and ale a trusty brewer,
Which woo hath me bewrought.
Of cannes I kepe no true measure;
My cuppes I solde at my pleasure,
Deceavinge many a creature,
Tho' my ale were noughte.

She is then welcomed by the devils; which closes the piece, and all I shall relate of those heaps of absurdities.

THE city had,1542 PUBLIC STEWS. till this time, been indulged with public stews or brothels, which, for some centuries, were permitted by le­gislative authority, and regulated by wholesome laws, ordained by the commons, and confirmed by the king and lords. hose of Southwark were attended to in a particular manner in 1161, the 8th of Henry II. One article affords reason to believe, that a certain disease had a much earlier date than the siege of Naples; for it prohibits the stew-holders from keeping any wo­man that hath the perillous infirmity of burning *. Their houses were distinguished by having the fronts whitewashed, by having signs, not hung out, but painted against the walls. Among the signs, I observe the singular one of the cardinal's hat. Notwith­standing the keepers were protected in their profession, they were reckoned infamous, were not to be impannelled on any juries, [Page 146] or allowed to hold a tavern*. The women that frequented them were forbidden the rites of the church, as long as they exercised their profession, and were excluded from Christian burial, if they were not reconciled before their death. Henry VIII. suppressed the Surry houses in 1537; those in this city in 1542.

THIS year was distinguished by one of the cruel deeds that marked the reign of the bigotted Mary; 1554. the burning of George Marsh, for his adherence to the Protestant faith. I have often been informed by the worthy Doctor William Cooper, that when Marsh was brought to Boughton, the place of execution, by the sheriffs Amory and Cooper, the last, an ancestor of the Doctor; favoring the religion of the sufferer, attempted his rescue; but being overpowered by his brother-officer, was obliged to fly till better times, when he returned, and discharged the office of mayor in 1561.

FESTIVE times now took place again,1564. probably in compliment to the taste of the glorious but romantic Queen Elizabeth. In the year 1564, upon the Sunday after Midsummer, in the mayor­alty of Sir Lawrence Smith, ‘the history of Aenecs and queen Dido was played on the Reed's-eye, set forth by William Croston, gent. and Mr. Man; on which triumph was made two forts, and shipping on the water, besides many horsemen well armed and appointed.’ The forts and shipping seem to have been pageants, to carry on some deeds of chivalry. We hear of the ship Fame, laden with good Renowme, among the pageantries [Page 147] of Henry *; and the Fortresse of Beautie, assailed by virtuous Desire, among those of Elizabeth . The assailants battered it with nosegays; and the besieged discharged against them cannons filled with sweet powder, or odoriferous waters.

DURING Sir Lawrence's mayoralty, we have an account of ano­ther spectacle, an annual one, upon the watch of the even of St. John the Baptist, for Sir Lawrence and the aldermen and common-council, contract with two painters to have in ‘rea­diness, with all furniture thereto belonging, viz. four gyants, one unicorne, one dromedarye, one luce, one camell, one asse, one dragon, six hobbye horses, and sixteen naked boyes; and the same being in readines, shall beare or carry, or cause to be borne and carryed, duringe the watche, from place to place, accordinge as the same have been used, &c. I am at a loss to guess the end of this preparation: but find that it was suppressed during the mayoralty of 1599.’

THE virtue of Edward Dutton, 1604. mayor or the city in 1604, must not pass unnoticed. This worthy magistrate, like Mar­seilles' good bishop, kept his station during the whole time of a dreadful pestilence;

When nature sickened, and each gale was death.

HIS house was infected, and some of his children and ser­vants died. The court of exchequer was removed to Tarvin; [Page 148] the [...] assizes were held at Namptwich; and the fairs ceased during this sad visitation.

IN this year the city was honored with the presence of James I. where he was received with a magnificence that did honor to the place. [...] The mayor. Edward Button, presented his majesty with a fair standing cup, with a cover double gilt, and in it a hundred jacobins or gold. He also delivered the city's sword to the king, who returning it, the mayor bore it before him on horseback. His worship was offered the honor of knighthood, but declined it. The city did not confine its munificence to crowned heads; I find, that in 1583, Robert earl of Leicester, chamberlain of the county palatine, met with a most honorable reception; was received at the high-cross by the whole cor­poration, entertained by the mayor, and presented with a cup containing forty angels. The unfortunate earl of Essex, in 1598, in his way to Ireland, was still more distinguished. He was pre­sented with the like sum; but in a cup of the same kind as that which was afterwards presented to James.

FROM 1617, I discover nothing very particular for a consi­derable space; till the city was involved in the calamities of a siege in 1 [...]45-6, in consequence of its unshaken loyalty to Charles I. At the beginning of the civil war, immediate attention was paid to this important city, by the royal party. The fortifications were put into the best repair, and outworks extended from the alcove on the north part of the walls, to the brink of the river near Boughton; and in consequence, numbers of houses were pulled down, to prevent them from giving shelter to the enemy. The first attempt made on the place by the parlement army was [Page 149] on the 20th of July 1643, when Sir William Brereton gave a violent assault on the works; but met with a repulse. In the same year he sent a summons to Sir Abraham Shipman, then go­vernor, to surrender: the gallant commander bid him come and win it and wear it.

AFTER the repulse of Lord Biron before Namptwich, the county of Chester was almost entirely in the hands of Sir Wil­liam Brereton, and the city suffered from that time a sort of blockade, from the quarters the enemy possessed in the neighbor­hood, even as near as the village of Christleton. Sallies and excur­sions were frequently made; and, according to the diary of the siege with advantage to the loyalists.

ON September the 19th 1645, the parlement gained an advan­tage irrecoverable by the besieged. Colonel Jones and adjutant-general Lothian, who were employed in the reduction of Beeston castle, drew from before that place, in a secret manner, a large body of forces, and in the night stormed the outworks, and made themselves masters of every thing, even to the city walls. His majesty, immediately after this misfortune, passed through Wales, and got into the city, in hopes of animating the garrison, and was lodged at Sir Francis Gamul's, near the bridge. He ar­rived only time enough to be a spectator, from the leads of the Phoenix tower, of the fatal battle on Rowton heath, on September 24; when his forces, under Sir Marmaduke Langdale, then on their march to raise the siege, after a well-disputed action, sunk under the superior fortune of general Pointz.

THE king continued that night in Chester; and on quitting it the next day, gave orders to the governor, lord Biron, that [Page 150] in case there was no appearance of relief within eight days, he was to treat of a surrender. The king took the route of Den-high, attended to that town by the three respectable citizens, Sir Francis Gamul, alderman Cooper, and captain Thropp. The siege was continued with the utmost vigour by Sir William Brereton; notwithstanding which, the gallant garrison held out for twenty weeks, beyond the expectation of every body: and, after having been reduced to live on horses, dogs, and cats, yielded, on the 3d of February 1645-6, on terms that did honor to the spirit of the besieged. The city was evacuated by the royalists; and received from the parlement, as governor, colonel Jones. But the miseries of the citizens did not terminate with the siege: a dreadful pestilence broke out in 1647: two thousand inhabi­tants perished, and the city became almost a desert.

IN order to give a further history of the military,BRIDGE. civil, and ecclesiastical architecture of this antient city, I return to the bridge. This passage was prior to the Conquest; at which pe­riod it seems to have been either destroyed, or found to be so much out of repair, that I find in Doomsday book an or­der for the provost to summon one man from each hide of land in the county, in order to re-build the bridge and the walls; and, in case of neglect of appearance, the lord of the per­son so summoned was to forfeit to the king and earl forty shillings.

ACCORDING to a MS. quoted by Mr. Grose, it was begun by the great restorer of the city, Ethelfieda, and after her death completed by her brother Edward. Before that time, the pas­sage was by a ferry that plied between the postern, called the [Page 151] Ship-gate, and Edgar's field. It does not appear to me that any part of the Saxon bridge remains; so frequently has it been re­paired since that distant period.

BENEATH the arch next to the city,CAUSEWAY AND MILLS. is a current, which, by means of a great dam or causeway that crosses the river obliquely, supplies the city mills with water. These mills and the cause­way were originally founded by Hugh Lupus *, and retained by his successors, and afterwards by the earls of Chester of the royal line. I find them often leased by the crown; Edward the black prince, in particular, in 1355, grants them, the fishing, suit, court, and calsey, for three years, to Robert of Bredone, parson of St. Peter of Chester, and others, at the annual rent of 190 l. . This rent was very considerable in those days; and arose from the obligation every inhabitant of the city then lay under to grind at these mills, excepting the tenants of the abbot and monks of St. Werburgh, and, in after times, those of the dean and chapter, inhabiting without the North-gate, who had a mill of their own at Bachpool.

I MUST not omit, that a grant of these mills for life was the reward of valor to my countryman Sir Howel y Fwyall, for his bravery in taking prisoner John king of France, in the battle of Poitiers. This grant was also made by the black prince, who not only knighted Howel, but allowed a mess of meat to be served before his battle ax, in memory of the good use he made of it in that day; from which he acquired the name of Fwyall, or Howei or the ax.

[Page 152]ON each side of the Bridge-gate are two rounders:BRIDGE-GATE. over it are the three feathers, the arms of the princes of Wales. Those were first assumed by the BLACK PRINCE after the battle of Cresh, in 1346: our historians assert, that they were the three ostrich-feathers which the king of Bohemia bore that day in his coronet; and that he was slain by Edward, who seizing on the crest, bore from that time both the feathers and the motto I [...]b dien, I serve. I am unwilling to sully the honor of our gallant prince, by supposing that he would stain his sword in so unequal an encounter. The king was blind with age; and, finding the battle go against his allies, was led, by his own orders, into the rage of the combat, determined to die in the cause of France. Our brave prince, probably, might assume this royal cognizance in memory of the glorious day, and add to it his own motto, Ic dien, the old English for I serve allusive to the Scriptural verse, The heir while he is a child differeth not from a servant *, an imprese extremely suitable to the characteristic modesty and filial piety of this prince.

THIS and the other city gates were placed under the pro­tection of certain great men, who held lands within the county palatine. The earl of Shrewshury had the care of the Bridge-gate; the earl of Oxford, of the East-gate; the earl of Derby, of the Water-gate. But the North-gate, belonging peculiarly to the city, was intrusted only to its chief magistrates. Tolls were exacted at entrance, from all strangers, for the support of the [Page 153] guard; and, notwithstanding the cause has long since ceased, are still demanded at the Bridge-gate.

ABOVE the gate is a lofty octagonal tower,WATER-WORKS. begun in 1600, by permission of the corporation, by John Tyrer of this city, containing the works which for a long time raised water out of the Dee to a cistern in the top, whence it was conveyed in pipes to almost all parts of the city. Possibly these did not answer their purpose effectually; for in 1622, Tyrer had a new grant of a tower erected for a water-work and a well-place, ten feet square, near Spittle Boughton, with full powers for the conveyance of the water to the cistern or conduit near the high-cross. This work (which was first begun by the black friers in the time of Edward I.*) fell to decay. In 1692, the works undertaken by Tyrer being found to be ruinous and useless, John Hopkins and John Hadley, by the encouragement of the corporation, began new works for supplying the city with water from the river Dee: for this purpose, they purchased the grant made to Tyrer, and also one of the corn-mills, for the conveniency of placing their engine. The city confirmed to them all the powers formerly vested in Tyrer, and particularly that of setting up a cistern opposite to the abby court, as a constant receptacle for fresh water.

NEAR the Bridge-gate is one ascent to the city walls;WALLS. which are the only entire specimen of antient fortification now in Great Britain. They are a mile and three quarters, and a hun­dred [Page 154] and one yards in circumference; and, being the principal walk of the inhabitants, are kept in excellent repair, by certain imposts,MURRACE called murage duties, collected at the custom-house, upon all goods and merchandize brought into the port of Chester from parts beyond the seas, belonging to persons not freemen of the city. The Irish linen adds considerably to the fund, be­ing nearly two-thirds of the whole: the duty on this article is two pence on every hundred yards. The annual receipt of the different duties, on the average of the last seven years, is about 1 [...]0l.. An officer, called a murenger, is chosen out of the body of the aldermen, to inspect the repairs; generally an old member, to whom the duty affords amusement and health. This fund is now permanent: in old times, the murage was only occasional. Thus, in the 14th of Edward II. there was a grant for two years of a half-penny for every cranock of corn; and a farthing of ale, meal, and malt; and for commodities not expressed in the grant, a farthing out of every two shillings-worth.

I CANNOT discover any vestige of the original walls, such as those which are said to have been restored by the warlike Ethelfleda. I would not willingly detract from the lady's merit; but I must deny her that of being the foundress of the forti­fications, and of enlarging the city beyond the Roman precincts. The form at present is so entirely Roman, that any addition she could make would have destroyed the peculiar figure that wise people always preserved in their stations or castrametations, where­soever the nature of the ground would permit. The antiquities which distinguish their residence are not found confined to any one quarter: they are met in digging on every side within the walls.

[Page 155]THE military architecture is still entirely on the Roman plan; it is probable, that after their retreat it fell into ruin, in the empoverished, turbulent, and barbarous ages that succeeded, yet never was so totally demolished, but that it might still yield a defence to the possessors. We find it wrested out of the hands of the Britons by Egbert, in 828: we again see it possessed by the Danes in 895, and besieged by Alfred, who slew all the banditti whom he found without the walls; and, lastly, we find it taken by Ethelfleda, by the voluntary surrender of the garrison. All this proves a continuance of the fortifications, probably ruinous, and wanting that restoration which they found from that illustrious woman.

WE see the Roman mode of fortification preserved to this day, exactly on the antient plan. From each side of the gates projects a propugnaculum * or bastion, in order to annoy the ene­my who attempted to enter; and between them, in the very entrance, was the cataracta or portcullis, ready to be dropt in case they forced the gates, so that part of them might be caught within the walls, and the rest excluded. Should it happen that they set the gates on fire, there were holes above, in order to pour down water to extinguish the flames.

THE walls are in many parts, especially on the north and cast sides, guarded by towers, placed so as not to be beyond bow-shot of one another, in order that the archers might reach the enemy who attempted to attack the intervals. They also [Page 156] are mostly of a round form, as was recommended by the Roman architects, in order the better to elude the force of battering rams*.

THE thickness of the walls answer to the breadth prescribed by Vitruvius. Only two persons can walk abreast, excepting where the ground adjacent gives a larger expanse. The great architect directs, that they should be of such a breadth, that two armed men may pass each other without any impe­diment.

THE city to this time enjoys the four gates; answerable to the principalis dextra & sinistra, praetoria & decumana. The East-gate, one of the principales, existed within my memory.

MY walk leads me beneath the castle, to another of the principales, the present Water-gate, that opens towards the water­side, and near which the Dee in former times flowed.

AT the extreme angle of the city, beyond this gate, is a salient tower, exactly round,WATER-TOWER. unless where interrupted by a small squared projection at the entrance. This tower is joined to the walls by a deep open gallery, embattled on each side, beneath is a large arch for the passage of the tide, before the late inclo­sures, which also are within my remembrance. This tower is at present called the Water-tower. It jutted into the antient chan­nel or the river, where the ships lay, which fastened their cables [Page 157] to its sides by the great iron rings infixed in the stone. This tower was formerly called the new; yet was founded in 1320; for there exists a contract for that purpose, between the mayor and citizens of Chester and one John de Helpston, mason, for building quandam turrem rotundum, &c. a round tower ‘of the thickness of ten yards and a half, with a cavity within; twenty-four yards high, and so strong as to be defensible;’ and all this for the sum of one hundred pounds*.

THE next remarkable outlet is the North-gate, beyond which is a large suburb.

THE Phoenix tower stands on the angle of the walls beyond this gate. The present tower was built in 1613, and was used by six of the companies of the city as a chamber for business. It took its name from the fabulous bird, the crest of the painter-stainers company, which was placed in front.

THE East-gate is the next entrance.EAST-GATE. Here stood a lofty square tower, with many apartments, erected (according to tradi­tion) by Edward III. This had been a Porta principalis, was the grand entrance into the town, and was the termination of the great Watling-street road, which crossed the island from Dover, and was the great road from that port to this place. In 1769, this gate, being found too narrow and inconvenient, was pulled down, and a magnificent arch arose in its room, at the sole ex­pence of Richard lord Grosvenour. Beyond this is a vast sub­urb, called the Forest-street; whose lower part was defended by a gate, demolished as a nusance within these few years.

[Page 158]AFTER passing the East-gate, the traveller will observe, without the walls, a vast foss cut through the live rock, now a common road to the water; but which appears to me to have been a work of the Romans, as a defence on this side, and which con­tinues the rectangular shape of the station.

THE views from the several parts of the walls are extremely elegant.FINE-VIEWS. The mountains of Flintshire and Denbighshire, the hills of Broxton, and the insulated rock of Beeston, form the ruder part of the scenery, a rich flat gives a softer view; and the pro­spect up the river towards Boughton recalls, in some degree, the idea of the Thames and Richmond-bill.

ON the Conquest, as has been before related, the king visited this city in person, and restored the fortifications, It is probable that he only repaired the walls, but that he entirely re-built the castle* on the Norman model, and en­larged it far beyond the dimensions of that of the Saxons, which occupied the summit of the mount or little hill on which the fortress stands. That part is artificial, in order to give a great elevation, as was customary in the Saxon keeps; and the portion so flung up appears here to have been a mixture of stones and exceedingly hard clay.

THE castle is composed of two parts, an upper and a lower: each with a strong gate,CASTLE. defended by a round bastion on each side, with a ditch, and formerly with draw-bridges. Within the precincts of the upper Ballium are to be seen some towers of Norman architecture, square, with square projections at each [Page 159] corner, very slightly salient. The handsomest is that called Ju­lius Caesar's. Its entrance is through a large Gothic door, pro­bably of later workmanship. The lowest room has a vaulted roof, strengthened with ordinary square couples. The upper had been a chapel, as appears by the holy-water pot, and some figures, almost obsolete, painted on the walls. Its dimensions are nineteen feet four inches, by sixteen six, the height also six­teen feet six. The roof is vaulted; but the couples, which are rounded, slender, and elegant, run down the walls, and rest on the cornuted capitals of five short but beautiful round pillars, in the same style with those in the chapter-house of the cathe­dral; probably the work of the same architect. The arsenal, some batteries, and certain habitable buildings, occupy the re­maining part.

ON the sides of the lower court stands the noble room called Hugh Lupus's hall,LUPUS'S HALL. in which the courts of justice for the county are held. The length is very near ninety-nine feet; the breadth forty-five; the height very aweful, and worthy the state-apartment of a great baron. The roof supported by wood­work, in a bold style, carved; and placed on the sides, resting on stout brackets.

THIS magnificent building probably retains its original dimen­sions. The character of the first Norman earl required a hall suited to the greatness of his hospitality; which was confined to no bounds. 'He was,' says Ordericus *, ‘not only liberal, but prosuse. He did not carry a family with him, but an army. [Page 160] He kept no account of receits or disbursements. He was per­petually wasting his estates: and was much fonder of falconers and huntsmen, than of cultivators of the land and holy men: and by his gluttony he grew so excessively fat, that he could hardly crawl about.’

ADJOINING to the end of this great hall is the court of ex­chequer,EXCHEQUER or the chancery of the county palatine of Chester. The earl of Cholmondely is the present chamberlain; Sir Richard Perrin, my worthy countryman, sits and discharges the office of vice-chamberlain. In respect to matters of equity, he here acts as lord chancellor. The chamberlain was one of the an­tient earl's great officers, and had a fee of twenty-two pounds a year. This very building is said to have been the parlement­house of the little kings of the palatinate. It savors of anti­quity in the architecture; and within are a number of seats described by Gothic arches and neat pillars; at the upper end are two; one for the earl, the other for the abbot. The eight others were allotted to his eight barons, [and occupy one side of the room.

UNDER the vice-chamberlain is a baron, who holds a weekly court, in which appearances are entered for bringing causes to a trial. Writs and subpoenas are also here made out, as well for the great sessions for this county, as for those of the county of Flint. Here is, besides, an examiner; and a seal-keeper, who has the charge of the records.

THE judges have lodgings within the castle, during their circuit, by antient custom. These are furnished by the sheriffs of the city. The sheriffs of the county take care of their horses; but [Page 161] are allowed the expences when they bring in their accounts at the audit.

THE county jail for felons and debtors is the last place to be described.JAIL I can do little more than confirm the account of it by the humane Howard. Their day-confinement is in a little yard, surrounded on all sides by lofty buildings, imper­vious to the air, excepting from above, and ever unvisited by the purifying rays of the sun. Their nocturnal apartments are in cells seven feet and a half by three and a half; ranged on one side of a subterraneous dungeon; in each of which are often lodged three or four persons. The whole is rendered more (wholesomely) horrible, by being pitched over three or four times in the year. The scanty air of their streight prison-yard is to travel through three passages to arrive at them: through the window of an adjacent room; through a grate in the floor of the said room into the dungeon; and finally, through the dungeon, through a little grate above the door of each of their kennels. In such places as these are the innocent and the guilty permitted to be lodged, till the law decides their fate. I am sure the humane keeper, Mr. Thomas, must feel many a pang at the necessary discharge of his duty. Mr. HOWARD compares the place to the black-hole at Calcutta. The view I had of it, assisted to raise the idea of a much worse prison where

No light, but rather darkness visible,
Served only to discover sights of woe.

The constable of the castle holds his place for life; is properly the keeper of the prison; but appoints a deputy. He is ac­countable [Page 162] for all prisoners and debtors, and answerable for their escapes.

WITHIN the walls of this fortress, was an instance of a felon suffering prison forte et dure, for standing mute on his trial, till he died of hunger.PRISON FORTE IT DURE. One Adam, son of John, of the Woodhouses, was, in 1310, the 4th of Edward II. committed for burning his own houses, and carrying away the goods. He stood mute; a jury, as usual, was empanelled, who decided, that he could speak if he pleased. On this he was committed ad dietam; and after­wards John le Morgan, constable of the castle, testified, that the aforesaid Adam was dead ad dietam *. This was the origin of the punishment of pressing to death, or the peine forte et dure, which seems a sort of merciful hastening of death; for it must have been much more horrible, as well as tedious, in the manner prescribed by the law of the first Edward, in whose reign it ori­ginated. The words of the statute are, ‘Qe les felouns ecriez et que sont apertement de male fame, et ne se voillent mettre en enqueste des felonies qe lem lui mette devant justices a la suite le Roy, soient mys en la prison fort et dure, &c.’

THE term ad dietam was ironical, expressive of the sad suste­nance the sufferer was allowed; viz. on the first day, three morsels of the worst bread; on the second, three draughts of water out of the next puddle: and this was to be alternately his daily diet till he died.

MR. RYMER records a strange instance of a woman at Not­tingham, who underwent this punishment, and lived forty days [Page 163] without meat or drink. This happened in 1357, in the reign of Edward III. who, ‘ad laudem Dei et gloriosae virginis MA­RLAe matris suae, unde dictum miraculum processit, at credi­tur *,’ granted the sufferer a free pardon. After mentioning, that it is probable that the miracle was a little assisted by natural means, I must observe, that, according to this instance, the con­demned were, in some cases, absolutely denied any species of food; in others, it seems probable, from the name of the pu­nishment of Adam, that they sometimes were allowed that wretched diet which was continued when the punishment changed into the peine dure et forte.

THERE is a singularity in the manner of the treatment of the prisoners who are released by capital punishment out of their dreadful cells, which merits mention. They are delivered by the constable or his deputy, at a stone called Glover's-stone, about ninety yards distant from the outward gate, into the hands of the sheriffs of the city; who receive them at that stone, which is the extreme limit of the castle precincts, and from thence convey them to the place of execution, which they also have the charge of. This custom is not accounted for, any more than by tradition, that a felon was formerly rescued in his way to the gallows by the citizens of Chester, and perhaps by the connivance of the magistrates, who are supposed to have had the disagreeable duty inflicted on them of executing all criminals, whether they are of the county or the city.

[Page 164]THE city was separated from the castle, and made a county of itself, by the charter of Henry VII: the castle was left as an ap­pertance to the shire; and has the small outlet of a little street called Glover's-stone, GLOVER'S STONE. which is also independent of the city; and in which non-freemen may set up any trade unmolested by the corporation.

THE castle has a governor, lieutenant-governor, and constable; and is garrisoned by two companies of invalids.

THE civil government and architecture is next to be taken notice of. I have, in my account of Saxon and Norman CHES­TER, given a brief relation of the government of the city in those periods. I shall at present only mention the principal charters; and flatter myself, that the reader will excuse my brevity, not only as it is beyond the power of the travelling topographer to collect the same materials as the resident; but because his curiosity will, it is to be hoped, soon be satisfied by the publication of the history of this city by the Reverend Doctor GOWER, which will amply supply all my defici­encies.

THE first royal charter which this city was honored with is that of Henry III;CHARTERS. who confirms all the priveleges bestowed on them by the Norman earls, and, I imagine, first flung the government into the form of a regular corporation; for he grants and confirms to them, that none shall buy or sell mer­chandise in the city except citizens, unless it be in the fairs, under the penalty of ten pounds.

EDWARD I. gave the city of Chester, with the appertenances, and all the liberties and priveleges, to its citizens and their heirs, [Page 165] to be holden of him and his heirs for ever, paying annually 100 l; he also granted them the election of a coroner, and pleas of the crown; and that they should have sock*, sack, toll, theme, infangthefe, outfangthefe, and freedom throughout all the land and dominion, of toll, passage, &c.

EDWARD III. confirmed the past grants, and added another, of all the vacant lands within the liberty of the city, with leave for the citizens to build on such vacant spots.

EDWARD the black prince prescribed by particular names the boundaries of the city, beginning at the Iron-bridge, and from thence to Saltney, the Port-pool, Flukersbrook, Boughton, &c.

RICHARD II. was particularly kind to his favorite city. In consideration of some distresses it had undergone, he released them from the payment of seventy-three pounds ten shillings and eight-pence arrears of rent due to the crown: he gave them the profits of the ferry towards the re-building and repairing of Dee bridge: he made them two grants of the murage, the first for four years, the second for five, for the repairs of the walls. [Page 166] But in the 22d year of his reign, ‘for the furtherance of justice in the same city, and better execution thereof, he grants unto his subjects, majors, sheriffs, and commonalty of the said city, to hold their courts; and limited what processes they might award in, actions, personal felonies, appeals, processes of utlagary, as at common law. Granted under the seal of the principality of Chester, at Chester, May 2, 1398*.’ This seems to have been found necessary, in order to strengthen the civil policy of this place, which had four years before been greatly insulted by a dreadful riot in the abby by Sir Baldwyne of Radyngstone, supported by Sir John of Stanley with eight hundred men. A sheriff was killed, and many other excesses committed.

AFTER the revolution which happened in 1399, the mayor and citizens continued to favor the cause of their deposed master; and after his death, gave all the assistance in their power to Harry Percy. On his defeat, they obtained the royal pardon; and in order to conciliate their affections, young Henry prince of Wales, and earl of Chester, confirmed all their former charters and priveleges; and afterwards granted to them the profits of murage and bridge tower, where tolls were collected, durante bene placito.

IN a confirmation of the former charters by Henry VI. we learn the former concourse of strangers; the greatness of the commerce of Chester, by reason of the goodness of its port; and the great trade carried on in provisions into and out of [Page 167] Wales. It farther recites the melancholy change of affairs; the conflux of foreign merchants being put a stop to by the choaking of the creek with sands; and the intercourse with Wales destroyed, since the insurrection of Owen Glendwr: which considerations moved the king to remit ten pounds of the antient fee-farm rent.

THE provisions alluded to were probably cheeses, on the part of the citizens of Chester; and perhaps wines, spices, and other foreign luxuries; for which they might receive in exchange from the Welsh, cattle of different kinds.

HENRY VII.MEMBERS. in 1506, in consideration of farther distresses of the city, not only remitted eighty pounds of its annual rent; but granted it a new charter, by which he separated it from the county, and granted it several of the most valuable prive­leges which it still enjoys: but being a county palatine, and in the time of Edward I. vested in the crown, never received summons, either for county or city, to return members to parlement, till the reign of Henry VIII. when the county, in 1543, was empowered to send two knights, and the city two citizens. The electors of the last are the freemen of the city; the returning-officers the sheriffs.

THE corporation consists of a mayor,CORPORATION. recorder, two sheriff s, twenty-four aldermen, and forty common-council. Here are beside two annual officers, called leave-lookers, whose business was to prevent all persons who are not free of the city from exer­cising any trade, or exposing to sale any wares or merchandise within the liberties. They were accustomed to go round the city in order to preserve these its privileges; and sometimes were used [Page 168] to take small sums, called leave-lookerage, for leave for non-free­men to sell wares by retail; but at present the yeoman of the Pentise discharges this office, and returns the names of such per­sons who are found to offend, in order that actions might be brought against them. We find, as early as 1297, that similar officers were elected, under the name of custos guild mercator; and who discharged the same function*.

THE places where the mayor and other officers of the corpo­ration assemble for the dispatch of business,PEXTISE. or administration of justice, are two; the first is the Pentise, an antient building in the center of the city, near the junction of the four principal streets. Mention is made of the north-side having been builded in 1497. Here all business within the cognizance of a justice of the peace is transacted; the aldermen that have past the chair being empowered to act as long as they wear the gown. Here also the sheriffs, assisted by the recorder, sit and determine civil causes.

I IMAGINE that this building,PRAETORIUM. St. Peter's church, and a few houses to the north and west, occupy the site of the Roman Prae­torium; for they not only fill the very situation of that part of the old castrametations, but account for the discontinuance of the Bridge street, which ceases opposite to these edifices. This also is the cause why the nearer part of the North-gate street is thrown out of its course, and falls into the East-gate street, many yards beyond the mouth of the Bridge street; for the lower part of the North-gate street, where the exchange and shambles stand. [Page 169] points directly towards the former; but is interrupted by the space occupied by these buildings. The limit of the Praetorium on the east, was the narrow portion of North-gate street; on the south, part of the present Bridge, East-gate, and Water-gate streets; on the west Goss lane; and on the north, the space now occupied by the fish-market. The praetorium, with its attendants, de­manded no small space; for, besides the spot possessed by the general, were the apartments of the imperatoris contubernales, or the young nobility immediately under his care; the augurale, where prayers, sacrifices, and other religious rites were performed, which might have stood on the site of the modern church; and the general might have had his tribunal on the very spot where the worshipful corporation at present sit for the redress of grievances.

THE courts of justice are held in the common hall,EXCHANGE. a large and commodious room over the exchange, adorned with the portraits of several popular persons: among them is a full-length of Sir William Williams, recorder of this city, speaker of the house of commons in the reign of Charles II. and solicitor-general in that of his successor. In this place are held a crown-mote court, portmote court, and court of sessions. The mayor, assisted by the recorder, is judge of the crownmote court. He has jurisdiction in all criminal causes, treason only excepted. He is also judge of the portmote court, with the same assistant. This court holds plea in all actions real, personal, and mixed. In the court of sessions, the aldermen above the chair try petty-larcenies, and determine upon inferior offences. In this place, the body corporate hold their assemblies for making bye-laws [Page 170] for the government of the city; for managing the public build­ings and directing the charities; and finally, the city elec­tions of magistrates, as well as members, are made in this court.

THE only remains of any hotel, and that of no antient date, stood in Old Common-ball lane; which, when entire, surrounded a square, and communicated with Water-gate street. It was founded by Sir Thomas Egerton, chamberlain of Chester, afterwards lord chan­cellor of England, and designed by him for a dwelling-house. The small remainder, which faced the lane, and was occupied by a poor family, on the 5th of November 1772, was the scene of a dreadful calamity. The first floor was engaged by a puppet-show man; and at the moment he was exhibiting to a very full audience, by some unknown accident 800 pounds weight of gunpowder, which was lodged in a warehouse beneath, took fire, and blew up three stories. Twenty-three people pe­rished, and eighty-three were much burnt, bruised, and received broken and dislocated limbs; of which number only three died, and those with locked jaws. The remedy found most efficacious for the burnt, was Goulard's extract of lead.

THE external effects of this explosion were these: the win­dows and broken glass of several of the neighboring houses fell outwards; from which it appears, that they were not broken by the shock of the gunpowder, but by the pressure of the air within the apartments, which rushed out into the vacuum oc­casioned by the explosion. A similar phaenomenon has been remarked from an explosion from the inflammable vapor of a mine, when the neighboring trees fell towards the blast. Howso­ever, [Page 171] where the force of the powder was confined by narrow passages, its centrifugal effect took place; for two boys, walk­ing along the rows in Water-gate street, opposite to a passage leading to the building, were blown, one against the rails, the other into the street; and the roof of a house was blown off, op­posite a passage into Common-hall lane.

IT is much to be wished, that the easy magistracy of this city would, from this dire accident, take into consideration the safety of the whole, in preference to the conveniency of a few lazy individuals; and either compel them to keep by them only the legal quantity, or at their session appoint proper places for lodging gunpowder. This is the second tremendous warning of the same nature which the city hath been visited with. On the first of April 1726, the shop of Mr. Thomas Murray in Bridge street, and the house, were blown up; and himself and a young gentleman killed. Notwithstanding this double admoni­tion, I fear its attention still continues lethargic.

THE surviving sufferers of this calamity were relieved* in the well-regulated infirmary established here, and supported by the voluntary contributions from the city, county, and neigh­boring parts of Wales. It is a handsome building, in an airy situation, and detached from the streets. This charity was founded in 1756, and originated from a bequest of 300 l. left by Dr. Stratford, commissary of Richmond, towards the com­mencing of a public hospital in this city. Subscriptions were [Page 172] circulated, and a sum equal to the design soon raised. Before the present building could be ready for the reception of patients, a temporary infirmary was prepared for them, in 1756, in North­gate street. The new infirmary was opened on the 17th of March 1761; and has been supported with a spirit that does honor to the environs; which has enabled the managers to receive, since its institution, not fewer than thirteen thousand six hun­dred and thirty-six objects of relief. The portrait of the founder is placed in the council-room of the infirmary; a three-quarters piece, sitting, in a long wig and civilian's gown.

I SHALL now take a short view of the ecclesiastical state of this antient city. It is necessary first to observe, that the Mercian kingdom was divided into five bishopricks; Lichfield, Chester, Worcester, Lydnecester, and Dorchester; which last was afterwards removed to Lincoln. Lichfield was made, about the year 785, metropolitan, by order of Offa, and afterwards, for a long space, incorporated into itself its suffragan, Chester. How greatly the last flourished is evident from an account of its annual payment to the pope in very early times; for, when Lichfield payed only three thousand florins, our see advanced five thousand. No wonder that its jealousy should be excited! Very little is known of the state of this church in the Saxon period. Let it suffice to say, that a bishop of Lichfield, of the name of Peter, in the year 1075, removed his episcopal seat to Chester; and during his life made use of the church of St. John's for his cathedral. This translation was of very short date; for his successor established himself in the former diocese, and Chester continued without a bishop till the dissolution of monasteries; when, in 1541, [Page 173] Henry VIII. restored it to its former honor, by creating it one of the six* new sees formed on that great event; and converted the church of the late abby of St. Werburgh into the ca­thedral.

THE first of the new bishops was John Bird, a Carmelite, and provincial of the order; a man subservient to the court; who, by preaching against the pope's supremacy, so recom­mended himself to the king as to obtain the bishoprick of Bangor; from whence he was removed to Chester, as a fit per­son to suit the rapacity of the times. In 1546, he granted away the whole of the manors and demesnes of the see, and, accepting impropriation instead of them, left his successors not a single acre, excepting that on which the palace stands, and the court before it; another house, adjacent; a little orchard called the Woodyard; two houses near St. John's church; and a few small tenements in the city of York. Notwithstanding the sum he amassed, he was found, at the accession of Mary, in debt to the crown 1087 l. 18 s. for tenths and subsidies; a vast sum for the times! His interest with bishop Bonner still would have saved him, had he not committed (in those days) the heinous crime of matrimony, for which he was deprived in 1554.

HE left his diocese one of the lest in value, yet greatest: in extent, of any in England; for it reaches from Hawarden in Flintshire, to the river Derwent in Cumberland: comprehending the entire counties of Cheshire and Lancashire; part of Westmore­land, [Page 174] Cumberland, and Richmondshire in Yorkshire; the chapelties of Holt and Iscoed; the churches of Hawarden, Hanmer, Ban­gor, Worthenhury, and the chapelry of Orton Maddoc, in the ad­jacent parts or Wales.

THE abby,ABBY. out of which this see was formed, was of great antiquity. History relates, that it had been originally a nunnery, founded about the year 660, by Wulpherus, king of the Mer­cians, in favor of his daughter's indisposition to a married life. This was the celebrated St. Werburgh, who took the veil after living immaculate for three years with her husband Ceolredus, after the example of her aunt, the great Ethelreda; who coha­bited for three years with no less purity with her first spouse Tonberctus, and for twelve with her second, the pious prince Eg­frid. St. Werburgh presided over several Mercian monasteries, died at Tricengham, and by her own order was interred at Heanburge; but on the approach of the Danes, in 875, her body was con­veyed to Chester, as a place of security from the insults of those pagans*.

IT is uncertain how long this community existed. It probably was ruined by the ravages of the barbarians in 895, and finally suppressed; for we are told, that from the reign of king Athelstan, in 925, to the coming of the Normans, a set of canons secular were established in the place of the nuns. This pious deed was that of Ethelsleda; who restored the buildings; which afterwards were repaired by earl Leofric, husband to the famous Go­diva. The house was richly endowed by the kings Edmund and [Page 175] Edgar, and by Leofric. Edgar's charter begins in a strain equally pious and sublime*.

ON the accession of Hugh Lupus to this earldom, he suppressed the canons secular, and established in their place a colony of his countrymen, Benedictines, from Bec in Normandy; for pro­bably he did not care to trust his salvation to the prayers of the Saxon religious. It is said, that this piece of piety was owing to a fit of illness which the earl was seized with; when he took the usual way in those days of soothing a troubled conscience. Anselm, abbot of Bec, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, regulated the new foundation; and appointed his chaplain Richard to be the first abbot. Lupus and his successors were very liberal in their endowments; and the place flou­rished till its dissolution; which was effected by the surrender of the last abbot, Thomas Clerk; who received in reward the of­fice of the new deanry, which he enjoyed only six weeks. The revenues of this great abby were, according to Dugdale, 1003 l. 5 s. II d. to Speed, 1073 l. 17 s. 7 d.

ACCORDING to a survey of this abby, preserved in the Harleian collection, its extent was very considerable; surrounding the present square, and covering several parts of the adjacent ground. The old abby-court is adorned on two sides by very handsome modern houses, built between the years 1750 and 1754, on leases granted by the dean and chapter. Another side is filled by the new palace; an elegant pile, which rose under the auspices of that munificent and hospitable prelate Edmund [Page 176] Keen, present bishop of Ely. Its place was before occupied by the house of the antient abbots.

THE old gate is yet standing: is a plain but noble entrance; and consists, towards the street, of two Gothic arches included within a round one, of great diameter; and which appears to have been of far older date. One side was the porter's lodge; on the other, a place called St. Thomas's court. A chapel, dedicated to the same saint, stood where the present deanry is; and, from its antient appearance, seems to have been externally the same building.

THE cloisters are entire; but consist only of three walks, the court extending on one side quite to the church. By the dif­ferent arms on the roof, it appears to have been repaired at several times, from the time of Edward III. to that of W [...]sey whose arms, with those of the see of York, with the cardinal's cap, are also to be seen here.

ON one side stood the fratry;SCHOOL a vast room, which is used as a free-school, founded by Henry VIII. in the 36th year of his reign, for twenty-four boys, who are appointed by the dean and chapter: they may continue there four years, if their conduct be regular; but the dean has power to grant a year of grace. No boy (unless he be a choirister) ought to be chosen before he is nine years old, or after he is fifteen. Two masters are appointed for their instruction, a chief and an under master; elected by the dean and chapter.

IN a corner of the east-side of the cloister, is a passage and stairs to the dormitory; and the antient priests cellars and kitchen. On the same side is a passage, formerly called the Maidens aile,



[Page 177]which leads to the little abby-court, a part of the antient build­ing belonging to the prebends.

THE beautiful edifice,CHAPTER-HOUSE. the chapter-house, stands in the same walk, of the cloister. The vestibule is arched, supported by four columns, each surrounded with eight slender pilasters with­out capitals, which converge near the top of the column, and spread over the roof. The dimensions of this room are thirty-three feet four inches, by twenty-seven four; the height twelve feet nine. On the sides is a stone-feat for the attendants on the business of the chapter.

THE chapter-house is fifty feet long, twenty-six feet broad, end thirty-five feet high; at the upper end is a window, con­sisting of five lancet-shaped divisions; and on each side is ano­ther of three. At the height of eight feet and a half from the floor, a narrow gallery runs along three parts of the room, divided from the windows by a triplet of most elegant, lofty, slender pillars. The roof is of stone; the springs of the arches which secure it, are supported by neat pilasters with palmy capitals.

THE modern book-cases deform the lower parts of the room, as high as the bottoms of the windows. The walls, 1 conjecture, had been ornamented with pilasters, and had a stone-seat like that of the vestibule. The entrance, both from the cloisters and between the vestibule and the chapter-house, are Gothic; but apparently of a later species of architecture than either of those rooms.

THE chapter-house was built, in all probability, in the time of Rendle the first, earl of Chesler, who died in 1128, after en­joying [Page 178] his earldom eight years. The great earl, Hugh Lupus uncle to Randle, had been interred in the church-yard of the abby: the first care of the nephew was to remove the body into this building*, as the most honorable place; a respect which would certainly have been payed to it, had this edifice existed at the time of his death. Here his remains continued unmolested till the year 1724, when, in digging within the chapter-house, they were found in a stone coffin, wrapped in leather, with a cross on the breast; and at the head of the coffin a stone in shape of a T, with the wolf's head, the allusion to his name, engraven on it. Other coffins were discovered beneath the two rooms, of earls, their countesses, or of abbots; but the great leveller death had reduced them to dust indistinguishable.

THE earls who were interred here, were Hugh, who died in 1101; Randle the first, or de Meschina, in 1128; Randle the second, or de Gernouns, who was poisoned in 1155, by William Peverel; Hugh Cyvelioc, who died at Leek in 1181; Randle the third, or de Blundeville, who died at Wallingford in 1232, where his bowels were interred; his heart was buried at the abby of Dieulacres in Staffordshire, and his body transported to Chester: finally, John Scot, who, in 1237, underwent the same fate as Randle the second. So that every earl of the Norman line were deposited here, excepting Richard, who perished by shipwreck; in 1120.



[Page 179]OF the abbots, Geofry, who died in 1208, and six others, were buried in the chapter-house or its vestibule*.

THE church bounds the north side of the cloisters. The lower part of the wall has a row of arches, now filled up, and savors more of antiquity than any other part, This, and a portion of the north-transepts, are the oldest parts of the present building; but there is no part left at present that can boast of a remote date. All the labors of the Saxons, and almost all of those of its re-founder Hugh Lupus, are now lost. The abbot, Simon Ripley, who was elected in 1485, finished the middle aile and the tower. The body is supported by six sharp-pointed arches. The co­lumns are thick, surrounded by pilasters with small rounded capitals. Above is a gallery, with a neat stone balustrade in the parts where it is entire, and a row of large and broad, pointed windows; which is the general style.

THE present cathedral appears to have been built (excepting the slight fragments just mentioned) in the reigns of Henry VI. VII. and VIII; but principally in that of the two last. The beau­tiful west-end was begun in 1508, and the first stone laid with much ceremony. The window over the door is filled with beau­tiful tracery; and the door-case enriched with figures and other sculpture. The descent into the church is down a multitude of steps; so there is reason to suspect, that the present was on the foundation of the antient church; which had been on a level with the old streets, which we know are many feet higher than they were originally, by the accession of rubbish, and other adventitious matter.

[Page 180]THE center beneath the great tower is greatly injured by a modern bell-loft, which conceals a crown-work of stone, that would have a good effect was the loft destroyed.

FROM the springs of arches that appear in the walls of the n [...]e and its ailes, it appears as if the architect had intended to have vaulted them, in the manner in which St. Mary's chapel and the choiral ailes are done.

THE choir is very neat; and the Gothic tabernacle-work over the stalls carved in a light and elegant manner. The arches in the galleries are divided by pretty slender pillars; and perhaps were of a date prior to the body of the church; probably the work of abbot Oldham, who was a benefactor, and had a con­cern in the building.

IN the chancel are four stone-stalls for the officiating priests; with carved Gothic work above; a recess or two for the pre­serving either the reliques or the sacred utensils. About the walls are dispersed the monuments of several bishops and church­men; but none of any magnificence; and one of Sir William Manwaring, a gallant young man, who sell in the defence of the city during its long siege.

THE bishop's throne stands on a stone base, as remarkable for its sculpture as its original use. Its form is an oblong square; and each side most richly ornamented with Gothic carving, arches, and pinnacles. Around the upper part is a range of little images, designed to represent the kings and saints of the Mercian kingdom. Each held in one hand a scroll with the name inscribed. Fanatic ignorance mutilated many of the la­bels, as well as the figures; but the last were restored about [Page 181] the year 1748; but the workman, by an unlucky mistake, has placed female heads on male shoulders, and given manly faces to the bodies of the fair-sex. At first, there were thirty-four figures: four are lost; the remainder are faithfully described, and the history of each monarch and saint accurately given, in a little pamphlet, published in 1749, by the worthy Doctor William Cooper, who dedicated the profits for the use of the blue­coat hospital in this city. I beg leave to dissent from the notion of this having been the shrine of St. Werbugh, ST. WERBURCH'S SHRINE as it is po­pularly called. It certainly was nothing more than the pedestal on which the real shrine, or, as the French call it, la chasse, stood, which contained the sacred reliques. These are made of gold, silver, vermeil, i. e, silver gilt, or some precious materials, and often enriched with gems of great value. They are of different forms, such as churches, cabinets, &c. and, should the relique be a head, or limb, the chasse is made conformable to the shape of the part. These are seated usually conspicuous on an ele­vated place; and are always moveable, in order that they may be carried in procession, either in honor of the saint, or to divert some great calamity. Thus, in 1180, the shrine of St. Werburgh was brought out to stop the rage of a fire in the city, which for a long time was invincible by every other means; but the approach of the holy remains instantly proved their sanctity, by putting an end to its furious desolation.

BEFORE I take leave of this part of the church,ASSASSINATION. I must men­tion an impious outrage committed at the high altar in 1492, by a gentleman of Wales, who wounded almost to death one Patrick Filling, I suppose the officiating priest. The church, as [Page 182] usual, was immediately suspended, till a lustration in order to purify it from the foul stain was performed. The abby was reconciled on St. Werburgh's day; the parish-church on that of St. Oswald *.

AN impiety of this kind was committed in the church of Notre Dame at Paris, in 1670. The priest died of his wound; and expiation was made by order of the archbishop: public prayers were offered up for forty hours in all the churches; processions made; a fast of three days appointed. The whole terminated by a general (reparation) satisfaction of the injury by a grand pro­cession, in which the whole parlement assisted. The streets were covered with tapestry, and the avenues barred up with the chains to keep off the mob; and thus the place was restored to the discharge of the sacred offices.

IT is with a kind of horror I read in the zealous Fox, of an outrage of this sort committed in our own kingdom, in the reign of queen Mary . The enthusiast was taken, and punished by the striking off the criminal hand, and by being burnt: yet the historian gives him a place among the more well-meaning sufferers of that barbarous period.

BEHIND the choir is St. Mary's chapel; and on each side is an aile. The monuments in these parts are in no wise remark­able. In its north-aile is a tomb with a flowery cross, that of an abbot; and another of an altar-form, ascribed to Henry IV. em­peror of Germany, who, according to a legendary tale, was [Page 183] said to have escaped from his troubles, and to have resided in Godstall lane, in this city; to have died there; and to have been interred in the abby. It is very uncertain whether this great but cal [...]mitous prince was ever in our kingdom; but it is very certain be finished his days at Liege *, in 1106, and was mag­nificently interred in the cathedral of that city.

The transepts are of unequal lengths. The north is very large. dedicated to St. Oswald, and is the parish-church of that name. This is said to have stood on the first church of St. Peter and St. Paul; which was afterwards changed to that of the Holy Trinity, and finally, to the name it now bears. On the re­building of the church, this aile was designedly enlarged, and allotted by the monks to the neighboring inhabitants, who were for the most part their servants or tenants. At first, the reli­gious wished to have the whole to themselves, and on that ac­count built, at a distance from this aile, a chapel called St. Nicholas's, and endowed it with a vicarage, for the use of the laity; but afterwards, at the request. of the inhabitants, and by composition between the mayor and abbot, about the year 1488, they were restored to the use of the church of St. Oswald, which they still retain.

THE chapel falling into disuse, was purchased by the citizens, and converted into their common-hall for dispatch of business. In later times, since the building of the exchange, it has been [Page 184] converted into a magazine for wool; into a carrier's warehouse; and part into a theatre, acting under parlementary license.

THIS abby afforded only a temporary sanctuary to the prosh­gate. The privelege which Hugh Lupus granted is particular: he ordered, that no thief or other malefactor, that attended the fair held at the feast of St. Werburgh, should be attached, unless he committed some new offence there*. This, says King, drew a vast: concourse of loose people together at that season, and proved of singular advantage to Randle the third, earl of Chester; who, in being surrounded in the castle of Rudland by a nu­merous army of Welsh, and in great danger, sent for relief to his general, Roger Lacy, at that time attending the midsummer-fair. Lacy instantly collected a body of minstrels, fiddlers, and idle people, who were assembled here on account of this privelege; marched with them into Wales, and relieved the earl from his distress. Randle, on his return, immediately rewarded Lacy with a full power over all the instruments of his preservation, me­gisterium omnium lecatorum et meretricam totius CESTRESHIRE. By this grant he was empowered to require the attendance of all the minstrels and musicians of the county on the anniversary of the exploit. They were to play before him and his heirs for ever, in a procession to the church of St. John; and, after divine service, to the place where he kept his court. The minstrels were there examined concerning their lives and conversation; whether any of them played without annual licence from their lord, or whether they had heard any words among their fellows [Page 185] tending to his dishonor. These priveleges were afterwards devolved by John, son of Roger de Lacy, to Hugh de Dutton and his heirs. The procession and courts were held by their steward within my memory; but the custom is now dropt. I find also, that Dutton and his heirs clamed at the feast from the minstrels, quatuor lagenas vini et unam lancem, four bottles of wine, and one lance; and at the same time a fee of four pence halfpenny: and from every Meretrix in Cheshire, and in the city of Chester, officium suum exercente, four pence*.

THE other religious houses in this city were,CARMELITES. the Carmelites, or White friers, who had a convent in that part of St. Martin's parish still called White-friers lane: part of Mr. Marsden's house is formed of the remains. The church, as appears by Braun's view of this city in 1581, stood a little west of it.

BY the charter of Roger Lacy to the abby of Norton, it ap­pears, that there was a monastery in the parish of St. Michael which he grants to the canons of the former. We are left igno­rant of the order it was of.

IN Trinity parish stood a house of Franciscan or Grey friers, which bishop Tanner conjectures might have been as antient as the time of Henry III. The site was granted to one John Cokke. I imagine that this stood in the Yatch field, near the place occu­pied by the new linnen-hall. By Speed's plan of Chester, it ap­pears that there was a church there in his time; and to this day painted tiles and painted glass, reliques of ecclesiastical sinery, are still dug up.

[Page 186]IN the parish of St. Martin's* was a monastery of preach­ing or Black friers, said by Speed to have been founded by a bishop of Chester, meaning (as Tanner observes) of Lichfield. This, as well as the other religious house in this parish, was granted to the same John Cokke. Part of this house, and its fine vaults, are occupied by Hanry Hesketh esquire.

ST. JOHN'S,ST. JOHN'S. which lies without the walls on the east-side of the city, was once a collegiate church, reputed to have been founded by king Ethelred in 689, on being admonished by a vision to build it on the spot where he should find a white hind. After the ruin of the city by the Danes, the church was restored by his namesake, earl of Mercia, in 906; and was in the next century repaired and endowed by earl Leofric. A monastery was also founded here; for historians record, that king Edgar was rowed from his palace to the monastery of St. John. The Doomsday book also mentions the monastery of St. Mary, near the same church. This, besides, was the cathedral during the short time the see was removed from Lichfield by bishop Peter. In an old plan of it appears a house called the bi­shop's.

AT the dissolution, here was found a dean and seven pre­bendaries or canons (in the collation of the bishop of Lichfield); seven vicars, two clerks, four choiristers, sextons, and other servants; most of whose houses are distinguished in the same plan. Their yearly revenue, after reprisals, was only 27 l. 17 s. 4 d. The site of the college, and some part [Page 187] of the buildings, were granted by queen Elizabeth to John Fortescue *.

ON the east-side of the church-yard stood the chapel of St. Anne, belonging to the brethren and sisters of the fraternity of St. Anne . This in later days was called Cholmondly hall; but is now totally demolished.

ST. JOHN'S, when entire, was a magnificent pile. The tower once stood in the center; but falling down in 1574, was never rebuilt. The chancel was probably demolished at the same time; but at that end are some fine arches, and other remains of antient chapels. Withinside are curious specimens of the clumsy strength of Saxon architecture, in the massy columns and round arches which support the body. The tower is now placed at the west-end; and has on one side the legend, repre­sented by the figure of a man and a hind.

ON the south-side of the church-yard, impending over a high cliff, supposed to be the Radeclive of the Doomsday book, is a small antient building, probably a chapel, called the Anchori­tage, placed over the retreat of some holy hermits. This might have been their place of sepulture; for in the live rock were found two bodies deposited in coffin-shaped cavities. This might have been the place, where legend says that Harold, the last Saxon king, ended his days; for it was long believed by the English, that he escaped from the battle of Hastings, and finished his life in retirement.

DOCTOR TANNER supposes, that the convent of Benedictine nuns, dedicated to St. Mary, originated either from the mo­nastery [Page 188] of St. John, or was a relique of one of the old nunneries be­longing to St. Werburgh. This, perhaps, may have been the case; for, from a charter preserved by Dugdale, it appears, that Ranale the second, earl of Chester, had obtained for the nuns of Chester, certain crofts from Hugh Fitzoliver, for them to build a church and convent on; which implies that there had been nuns in the city previous to his grant*. I find also, that Edward the black prince had been a benefactor; for there is mention of a charter of his to the nuns, granted in the 32d of his father's reign. This was suppressed (with the other religious houses) in 1537. At that time Elizabeth Grosvenour was prioress, who made a surrender of the house, and had a pension for life of twenty pounds; and eleven of the sisters had also pensions, from 4 l. to 1 l. 6 s. 8 d. each. The site was granted, in the 33d of Henry VIII. to the Urian Breretons, senior and junior. The revenues were, according to Dugdale, 66 l. 18. s. 4 d.; to Speed 99 l. 16 s. 2 d. I have a ground-plot of this nunnery; by which it appears to have been a compact but small building. The church was twenty-two yards long and fifteen broad; and supported in the middle by a row of pillars. The chapel was nine yards by four three-quarters; the cloisters thirty yards by twenty-one. It stood in the nursery-garden on the west-side of the city, still called the Nun's garden; where vestiges of the walls and arches are yet remaining.

[Page 189]WITHOUT the North-gate stood a hospital dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and formerly a sanctuary, and endowed with great priveleges. The mastership was granted by Edward II. to the prior of Berkinhead and his successors; but afterwards disposed of by the crown to secular clergy. The house, at the dissolution, consisted of a chaplain and six poor brethren, whose income, after reprisals, was 13 l. 7 s. 10 d *. Mention is made by bishop Tanner of the liberties of the hospital of St. Giles being confirmed by Edward III. I am told, that a fragment, supposed to be part of this charity, is to be seen in the Forest street.

THE last antient hospital was instituted for lepers, in the suburbs of Boughton, about the beginning of Edward II.'s reign; I think, opposite to the place of excution: the burying-ground is still made use of by the parish of St. Oswald.

THE number of parishes are nine. None of the churches are remarkable, excepting those of St. Peter's and Trinity; which are distinguished by their handsome spires. The first was finished in 1489; when the parson and others signalized themselves by eating part of a goose on it, and flinging the rest into the four streets.

THE number of inhabitants, including the suburbs of Bough­ton and Hanbridge, are estimated to be fourteen thousand seven hundred and thirteen. The houses are almost entirely situated in a dry sand-stone rock. Whether it be owing to that, the clearness of the air, and the purity of the water, it is certain [Page 190] that the proportion of death among the inhabitants is only as one to thirty-one: whereas I am informed, by my worthy friend Doctor Haggarth of this city, that in Leeds, one in twenty-one; in Northampton and Shrewsbury, one in twenty-six; and in London, one in twenty and three-fourths, annually pay the great tribute of nature.

I DO not recollect any thing remarkable on the outside of the walls which has been unnoticed, unless it be the Rood-eye, and the adjacent places. The Dee, after quitting the contracted pass at the bridge, flows beneath an incurvated clayey cliff; and washes on the right a fine and extensive meadow, long since protected against its ravages by a lofty dike. I imagine, that it lay open to the tides till about the year 1587, when the corporation (to whom it belongs) demised to one Thomas Lyneal, servant to Sir Francis Walsingham, this pasture for the term of twenty-one years, together with as much land as he could gain to it from the sea. He was also to make at his own costs a quay for boats and barks to unload at full sea, near the water-gate; for which he was at first to have two pence for every vessel pass­ing by with any lading; but after that, the sum was encreased to four pence: and Lyneal was to pay an annual rent of 20 l. to the city. At first he met with some obstructions: Sir Francis therefore interfered, in order that his servant might proceed without further interruption*.

THE name of this spot is taken from eye, its watery situation, and rood, the cross which stood there, whose base is still to be [Page 191] seen. On this place the lusty youth, in former days, exercised themselves in manly sports of the age; in archery, running, leaping, and wrestling; in mock-fights, and gallant and romantic triumphs. From the hints dropt by Daniel King, I imagine them to have been of the same nature with those practised by the young men of the metropolis, described by Fitz-Stephen, a writer cotemporary with Henry II. ‘The lay sons of the citizens rush out of the gates in shoals, furnished with lances and shields; the younger sort with javelins pointed, but disarmed of their steel; they ape the feats of war, and act the sham-fight. Part took the field well mounted. The generous coursers neigh and champ the bit. At length, when the course begins, and the youthful combatants are divided into classes or parties, one body retreats, and another pursues without being able to overtake them; while, in another quarter, the pursuers overtake the foe, unhorse them, and pass them many a length. The elders of the city and the fathers of the parties, and the rich and the wealthy, come into the field on horseback to behold the exercises’ *. One would imagine, by what follows, the antient historian was describing the sports of Ascanius and his youthful train on the plains of Sicily:

Postquam omnem laeti consessum, oculosque suoram
Lustravere in equis, &c.
Now round the ring, before their fathers, ride
The boys, in all their military pride;
Till the loud lash resounding from afar
Gave the glad signal of the mimic war;
[Page 192]Strait, in three bands distinct, they break away,
Divide in order, and their ranks display:
Swift at the summons they return, and throw
At once their hostile lances at the foe:
Then take a new excursion on the plain;
Round within round, an endless course maintain;
And now advance, and now retreat again;
With well-dissembled rage their rivals dare,
And please the crowd with images of war.
Alternate now they turn their backs in flight,
Now dart their lances, and renew the fight;
Then in a moment from the combat cease,
Rejoin their scatter'd bands, and move in peace.

A STANDARD was the prize of emulation in the sports cele­brated on the Rood-eye *: but in the year 1609 the amusements took a new form; and under the reign of the peaceful James, the youthful cavaliers layed aside their mimic war, and began that species of horsemanship which the romantic philosopher, lord Herbert, thought unworthy of a man of honor; "for," says he, 'the exercise I do not approve, is the running of horses, there 'being much cheating in that kind.

THE first prizes we hear of, after the suppression of the tri­umph, were a bell and bowl, to be run for on St. George's day; which were provided in 1609 by Mr. Robert Amery, formerly sheriff of the city, and were brought down to the Rood-eye with great solemnity. This seems to have been the origin of the plate given by the city, and annually run for on the same day, [Page 193] to the present time. A bell was a common prize: a little golden bell was the reward of victory in 1607, at the races near York; whence came the proverb for success of any kind, to bear the bell.

AT one end of the Rood-eye stands the House of Industry; POOR-HOUSE. a large and useful building, founded in 1757, by money raised by the city on life-annuities, for several improvements within its li­berties. Here the poor are provided for in a fit manner, and to the great ease of the parishes; who are relieved from the bur­den of a numerous poor, who were too idle to work, and too proud to enter into this comfortable Asylum. Those of the parish of Hawarden are also sent here, by virtue of an agree­ment made between the governors of this charity and the over­seers of the poor of that parish. The inmates contribute, by some coarse linen manufactures, towards their support.

A LITTLE beyond this building are the quays,QUAYS. cranes, ware­houses, and other requisites for carrying on the naval trade of this city. These are opposite to the Water-gate, and have been much improved of late years; and the intervening space has not long since been filled with a neat street. Ships of 350 tons burden can now reach the quays, where the spring-tides rise at a medium fifteen feet: the neap-tides, eight. In the year 1674, this port was in so deplorable a state, and so choaked with sands, that a vessel of twenty tons could not arrive here; but the ships were obliged to lie under Neston, ten miles distant; which gave rise to the assemblage of houses called Parkgate, built on the shore beneath that town. A quay, called the New quay, (now in ruins) was erected near this place in the begin­ning [Page 194] * of the last century, for the conveniency of loading and unloading the vessels trading with Chester; and the goods were carried to and from the city by land. The misfortune of the port of Chester at length gave rise to the prosperity of Le­verpool, about this time a very inconsiderable place. It now began to discover its own advantages of situation; and quickly emerged from its despicable state to its present flourishing con­dition.

IN 1674,New Cut. some friend to the former prevaled on Mr. Andrew Yarranton, a gentleman extremely conversant in the commercial advantages of this island, to make a survey of the river Dee and its estuary. He drew a plan, formed the project of a new chan­nel, a scheme for recovering from the sea a large tract of land, and restoring the antient navigation even to the present quays: and this he got to be presented to the duke of York, the patron, at that time, of all useful undertakings. He also suggested the idea of a canal from the collieries at Aston near Hawarden; which was to drop into this new channel, and facilitate the carriage of coal up to the city. Future times had the advantage of his inventive genius. Both plans were brought into execution with­out any great deviation from Mr. Yarranton's project. His new cut was to end opposite to Flint; the present opens opposite to Wepra, on this side of Flint. Sir John Glynne's little canal approaches the Dee, about two miles below the city, [Page 195] Mr. Yarranton's coal canal was to fall into the Dee near to Flint.

AN act of parlement was obtained for the recovering and preserving the navigation of the river, for settling the duties on ships, and for the establishing two ferries for the conve­niency of travellers into the county of Flint. Other acts were passed in the years 1732, 1740, 43, 1752; and the works were begun with vigor. The project was carried on by subscription; and the adventurers were to be rewarded by the lands they were empowered to gain on both sides, from ‘the white sands or the sea from Chester; and between the county of Cheshire, on the north-side, and the county of Flint on the fouth-side; being sands, soil, and ground not bearing grass.’ Party contests at first filled the subscriptions: zeal for the house of Hanover was at that time mixed, in this city, with zeal for its commercial interest; but in a little time it was discovered to be the madness of many, but the gain of few. The expences proved enormous; multitudes were obliged to sell out at above ninety per cent. loss; and, their shares being bought by persons of more wealth and foresight, at length the plan was brought to a considerable degree of utility; and a sine canal formed, guarded by vast banks, in which the river is consined for the space of ten miles; along which ships of three hundred and fifty tons burden may safely be brought up to the quays. Much land has been gained from the sea; and good farms now appear in places not long since possessed by the unruly element.

I REMEMBER an almost useless tide flowing about the water-tower, [Page 196] the antient channel of the Dee flowing under Blacon point; and the access to the county of Flint, on this side, open only at the recess of tides, and annually occasioning the loss of multitudes of lives. Two ferries are established at fit places. The lower is the proper passage for travellers by Holyhead into the kingdom of Ireland; and calls aloud for the aid of a turn­pike, to render it at all times pervious; or the road may be con­tinued to Saltney, along the flat, so as to fall into the other turn­pike on the marsh.

I SHALL now take a short view of the trade of this city,TRADE. as it stood in the years 1771 and 1776. I bring the last into sight, in order to shew how far this port has been affected by the commotions of our American subjects; and oppose it to the commerce of 1771, when it appears to have been in its meri­dian, since the restoration of the channel. In that year were entered inwards

297 coasting-vessels; 19 of which were laden with groceries, and other goods from London.

526 coast ships outwards; of these 23 came from the port of London, and were laden here with lead, iron cannon, two thousand tons of cheese, and other goods.

IN the same year, 95 vessels were entered inwards from foreign parts; and 216 entered inwards from Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and America.

FROM Norway and the Baltic, are imported timber, flax, tal­low, hemp, iron, and deals.

FROM Leghorn, large quantities of kid and lamb skins; which are manufactured by the glovers, after being dressed here. [Page 197] This, in fact, is the only manufacture which the city can boast of. I find, that in the reigns of queen Elizabeth, James I. and the be­ginning of that of Charles I. here was a vast trade in calves skins. In the first of those monopolizing times, the queen grants one Arthur Balsano a licence to export 6000 dickers of leather of calves skins, ten dozens to every dicker, for seven years, paying five shillings per dicker. James I. granted to James Maxwel Esq a licence to export 18,000 dickers, for the same duty, and for twenty-one years; and this was afterwards confirmed to him by Charles I*. This Maxwel was one of the grooms of the bed­chamber to his majesty; and in the preceding reign, by a piece of insolence to a gentleman of the inns of court, brought on him the resentment of the English; and was obliged to atone for it by making due submission. The first grant might be made to him by James, to make amends for the mortifications he had un­dergone.

FROM Spain and Portugal are imported great quantities of cork, fruit, oil of olives, nuts, Barilla ashes, and raisins; and several hundred tons of wine from Portugal; which last form the greatest foreign import of this city.

WHILE the trade with America was open, fish and oil were brought from Newfoundland; and a small trade was carried on with Caroling.

THE exports this year were upwards of 6000 chaldrons of coal from the Cheshire and Flintshire collieries (which lie within this port); 1000 tons of lead; 300 of lead ore; 300 of oak [Page 198] bark; all these to foreign parts. Besides 3470 tons of lead, and 431 of lead ore, sent coastways; that is, to the ports of London and Leverpool, vae! nimium vicina! for the purpose of re-ex­portation.

IN 1776, 208 coasting-vessels were entered inwards, and 619 outwards.

166 ships entered inwards from foreign parts, including those trading between Dublin and Parkgate; and 131 outwards. The following table will shew the division of the commerce.

France, 11
Flanders, 1
Holland, 1
Isle of Man,34
Norway, Russia, and Prussia,101

2877 chaldrons of coal, 1184 tons of lead, and 168 of lead ore, were sent abroad; but so exhausted are our oak-trees, that only 18 tons of bark were shipped. 2813 tons of lead, and 431 of lead ore, were sent coastways.

FROM the table of entries it appears, that the great trade of this city is with Ireland; which receives annnally from hence [...] [Page 199] a magazine) large quantities of hops, woollen cloths, worsted stuffs, hosiery, fustians, Manchester goods, cheese, wrought-iron, iron great guns, hardware, bound and unbound books, carpets, flint-glass, wrought silks, and great quantities of foreign goods sent from London by land, and shipped from this port.

IN return, it imports from Ireland, at the Midsummer and Michaelmas fairs, upwards of 1000 boxes and packs of linen cloth, containing 25,000 pieces at lest: besides 300 boxes or packs imported into Leverpool, and sent across the Mersey to Ince, from whence they are conveyed in carts to Chester. These form all together a million of yards each fair. This trade began no longer ago than the year 1736, in which 449, 654. yards were imported. The importations continually increased till the last year of the late war; from which period it has been on a par.

IRELAND also sends considerable quantities of lamb-skins, wool, linen and bay-yarn, tallow, hides, butter, feathers, and quills, ox bones and hoofs, glue, sheep and cat guts; calve-velves, pro­visions, and live cattle.

THE number of ships belonging to this port shew the uncom­mercial genius of its inhabitants; there being only twenty-two in the foreign trade, containing in all 1449 tons, and 169 men: and 13 in the coast-trade, whose tonnage is 680 tons, and num­ber of men 58: yet the port extends, on the Cheshire side of the estuary, as far as the end of Wiral; and on the Flintshire, to the Ver-rýd, or the mouth of the Clwyd.

THERE was lately a very fair prospect of adding much to the trade of the city, by an i [...]land navigation,CANAL. which was begun [Page 200] with great spirit a few years ago. It was to run through the county beneath Beeston castle, and to terminate near Middlewich. Another branch was to extend to Namptwich. One mouth opens into the Dee, below the water-tower. A fine bason is formed, into which the boats are to descend, by means of five successive locks, beneath the northern walls of the city, cut in the live rock. A few miles of this design are completed: but, by an unhappy miscalculation of expence, and by unforeseen difficul­ties occurring in the execution, such enormous charges were in­curred, as to put a stop for the present to all proceedings. The other branch, which was to extend towards Middlewich, was to end within a limited distance from the great canal between the Trent and Mersey navigation. The great objects were the salt and cheese trade; and coal for the supply of the interior parts of Cheshire, from the vast collieries in Staffordshire. Share also in the exportation of hard-ware, earthen-ware, and all the manu­factures of the internal part of the kingdom within its reach, might have been reasonably expected.

THE idea of a canal along the dead flat between Chester and Ince has been long since conceived, by persons very conversant in the nature of the trade of this city. One mouth might have opened into the Dee in the place of the present; another near Ince, which would create a ready intercourse with Leverpool, the Weever, and the salt-works and great dairies on that river; with Warrington, and with the flourishing town of Manchester, and a numerous set of places within reach of the Mersey, and of the canal belonging to that useful Peer, the duke of Bridgewater, to which the greatest of our inland navigations is connected. [Page 201] This little cut the city might, and still may, enjoy unenvied, un­rivalled; and, what is a material consideration, the distance is trifling (seven miles*); the expences small, and the profits to the undertakers great.

ON leaving the city, I repassed Hanbridge; and at the may pole took the left-hand road, which is a continuation of the Roman road from the river. The strait direction is the only proof of its antiquity, till it falls into the fields on the left, where its tract is often distinguishable by certain ridges or ele­vated spots. The farmer also, in digging, often falls on adventi­tious matters; such as gravel, and remains of pavements. It points towards Eccleston, near which are the reliques of a mount; the site, perhaps, of a small castlet. It passes through Eaton park, and crosses the Dee at Oldford.

THE village of Eccleston is prettily seated near the Dee, ECCLESTON. and commands a view of the towers and spires of Chester rising above the wooded banks. The most extensive prospect is from a bench on Eccleston hill, on the road-side; which takes in the vast en­virons of Wales, Cheshire, and part of Shropshire, forming a n admirable composition of rich cultivation, bounded by hills of various forms.

ECCLESTON retains the same name which it had at the Conquest. It was held at that time by Gilbert de Venables, from Hag [...] Lupus; before that event, by Edwin a freeman. On the demesne land were two servants, four villeyns, and a boor, a boat and a net. Part of the place afterwards fell to the Vernors of Kinder­len; and finally, by a late purchase, was added by the family of [Page 202] the Grosvenours to their antient property in this parish. The church is a rectory dedicated to St. Mary.

A LITTLE farther is Eaton, EATOS. or the hamlet on the water; a name the most common of any in England. At the Conquest, here was a fishery, which employed six fishermen, and yielded a thousand salmon. This fishery has long since ceased; but dur­ing its existence, the minister of Eccleston clamed the twentieth fish. The seat of the antient family of the Gresvenours lies in this township; a brick house, built about the latter end of the last century. The Gresvenours came in with the Conqueror, and took their name from the office they held in the Norman court, that of grand huntsman. Their first settlement in this county was, Over Lostock, bestowed by Hugh Lupus on his great nephew Robert le Gresvenour. In 1234, Richard le Grosvenour purchased and fixed his seat at Hulme: but in the reign of Henry VI. by the marriage of Rawlin or Ralph Gresvenour with Jean daughter of John Eaton of Eaton, Esq it was transferred to this place While chivalry was the passion of the times, few families shon in so distinguished a manner: none shewed equal spirit in vin­dicating their right to their honors. Witness the famous cause between Sir Robert le Gresvenour with Sir Richard le Scrope, plain­tiff, about a coat of arms, [...] one land, or; tried before the high constable and high marshal of England, in the reign [...] Richard II. and lasted three years. Kings, princes of the blood and most of the [...] bore witness in this important affair. The sentence was conciliating, that both parties should bear the same arms; but the G [...]OSV [...]OURS, a [...] une lendure d [...] [...] to the king. The judgment: [Page 203] confirmed: the choice is left to the defendant, either to use the bordure, or to bear the arms of their relations, the antient earls of Chester, azure a gerb d'or. He rejected the mortifying distinction, and chose the gerb; which is the family coat to this day.

CROSS the the Dee at Eaton-boat, OLDFORD. leaving on the right Oldford bridge; a neat structure, forming another communication between the two parts of the hundred of Broxton; which, at the time of the Conquest, bore the name of Dudestan hundred.

AFTER riding along a dirty flat country,FARN. reach Farn or Farn­don; a small town on the Dee, called in Doomsday book Ferenton. The church was burnt by the parlement army in 1645, during the siege of Holt castle; and re-built after the cessation of the war. In one window, over the pew of the respectable family of Barnston, is some very beautiful painted glass, of a commander in his tent, with a truncheon in his hand, surrounded with the military instruments in use during the reign of Charles I. Around these are sixteen elegant figures of different ranks of soldiery, as low as the drummer, with their respective badges. Over the heads of the officers are coats of arms: over that of the commander are those of Gamul; and seem intended to preserve the memory of Sir Francis Gamul baronet, the active mayor of Chester during the civil wars. Over the heads of three others are the arms of the Grosvenours, the Mainwarings, and the Barndistons; three loyalists, who served in the same cause: Roger Grosvenour; Sir William Mainwaring, who was slain in defence of Chester; and William Barndiston of Chirton, Esq who died in 1664.

[Page 204]THIS town is separated from DENBIGHSHIRE bY an antient stone bridge of ten arches, with the vestiges of a guard­house in the middle; the date, 1345, was preserved, till very lately, on a stone over the arch called the Lady's arch. HOLT. HOLT, another small town, stands on an eminence on the Welsh side, an antient bo­rough and corporation, consisting of a mayor, two bailiffs, and a coroner. The inhabitants, with those of Ruthin and Denbigh, enjoy the privelege of contributing towards sending, a burgess to parle­ment This town was incorporated by charter, granted by Tho­mas earl of Arundel, dated from his castle of Lyons 1410. The grant is very partial,CHARTER. running in this form, To the burgesses of our town, and to their heirs and successors, being ENGLISHMEN. This might arise from the hatred of the lord marchers to the Welsh, on ac­count of the insurrection of Glyndwr, at that time scarcely sup­pressed. This instilled into the inhabitants a spirit, retained, perhaps, to this moment; for within these few years they were the most irascible and pugnacious of all the neighbor­hood. This town is in the parish of Gresford, but in the dio­cese of Chester. It is the only appertenance remaining on this side of the Dee, of the vast grant made by Edward the Con­fessor to that see, of all the land on the other side of the river; which he first gave and then took from our prince Gryssydd ap Llewelyr *. The church is a very handsome building; yet no [Page]


[Page 205]more than a chapel to the former. On the font are the arms of the Warrens; in a window, those of the Stanlies, former owners of the place.

THE poor reliques of the castle are seated close to the river; and are insulated by a vast foss cut through a deep bed of soft red stone;CASTLE. which seems originally to have been thus quarried for the building of the castle. This fortress consisted of five bastions, and the work cut into that form, to serve as a base to as many towers. An antient survey I met with in the Museum, among the Harleian MSS. taken in 1620 by John Norden, when it was entire, will give a true idea of this curious structure. It had been defended in three parts by the great chasm formed by the quarry; on the fourth by the Dee, into which jutted a great quay, still to be seen in very dry seasons; for it has long since been covered by the encroachment of the river.

ORIGINALLY this place had been a small out-post to Deva. Slopes, and other now almost obsolete works, may be seen near the castle, and on the opposite side of the water: and coins have been found here, that put the matter out of doubt. I have seen some of Antoninus, Galienus, Constantinus, and Constantius. I conjecture that the Roman name had been Castra Legionis, and the Welsh, Castell Llcon, or the castle of the legion; because it was garrisoned by a detachment of the legion stationed at Chester. The English borderers might easily mistake Lleon for the plural of Llew, which signifies a lion, and so call it the castle of Lions; as we find it styled when it came into possession of earl Warren and his successors.

[Page 206]THIS country formed part of Powysland; POWYSLAND. which, when entire, reached in a straight line from Broxton hills in Cheshire, southerly to Pengwern Powys, or Shrewsbury, including a large tract in both these counties; from thence through the eastern limits of Montgomeryshire, comprehending all that county, part of Rad­norshire and Breeknockshire; then turning northward, included the [...]wmmwds of Mowddwy, Edeyrnion, and Glyndyfrdwy, Merionydd­shire, and (circuiting part of Denbighshire) comes along part of the Clwydian hills, to the summit of Moel-samma, including all Denbighshire, excepting those parts which at present constitute the lordships of Denbigh and Ruthin; from hence, taking [...] south-easterly direction to Broxton hills, asserts its right to M [...] ­dale, Hopedale, and Maeler in Hintshire. I have before taken notice, that Offa's encroachment was but temporary, and of short duration. I must farther observe, that in the articles of pacification* between Henry III. and our last prince Lle [...]. the limits of the principality experienced but a very small d [...] ­minution from what it was in Offa's time, when it was agreed, that the Dee should be the boundary from Wirral to Castra [...] L [...]num, or Holt; and from thence a direct line to Pengwern Powys.

IT was, perhaps, of much greater extent under the reign of Brochwel Ysgythrog, who was defeated by the Saxons at the battle of Chester. After this event, the borders became a scene of rapine; the Welsh and the Mercians alternately making the the most terrible inroads ino each other's domi­nions*, [Page 207] till the time of Offa; who passing the Severn with a mighty force, expelled the Britons from their fruitful seats on the plains, and reduced the kingdom of Powys to the western side of the celebrated ditch still known by his name. The princes of Powŷs were then constrained to quit their antient residence at Pengwern, or Shrewsbury, and remove it to one not less fertile, to Mathraval, in the beautiful vale of Meivod. From this pe­riod, their kingdom was called indifferently, that of Powys, or of Mathraval. The plains of Shropshire became a confirmed part of the Mercian kingdom. The trans-sabrine portion of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, and the county of Hereford, submitted to the yoke; but, after some time, the tract which forms the country above Croes-oswallt or Oswestry, and the two Maelors, Gymraeg or the present Bromsield, and Saesneg or the present Flintshire Maclor, with many other Cwmmwds, relapsed to its natural masters. Such was its state till 843, the reign of RODERIC THE GREAT prince of all Wales; who, in his mother's right, possessed North Wales; in that of his wife, South Wales; and by that of his gran-mother Nest, sister and heiress to Congen ap Cadell king of Powys, he added Powysland to his dominions. He, according to the destructive custom of gavel-kind, divided his principa­lity among his children; to Anarawd he gave NORTH WALES; to Cadell, SOUTH WALES; to Mervyn POWYSLAND. Each wore a Talaith or diadem of gold, beset with preclous stones; whence they were styled Y [...] Tywy [...]g Taleithing, or the three crowned princes.

[Page 208]AFTER the death of Mervyn, Cadell usurped the portion of his brother. His eldest son, Howel Dda, or the Good, in 940, again united all Wales into one government. He left four sons, who divided South Wales and Powys between them; while North Wales was assumed, in 948, by Jevaf and Jago, sons to his predecessor Edwal Voel. The confusion that ensued on this occasion, prevents me from saying any thing with certainty, till Bleddyn ap Cynvyn, who ruled Wales at the time of the Con­quest, re-united the kingdoms of North Wales and Powys. The succession to the principality passed away from his children; but Powysland devolved to his sons; which came at length entire to Meredith, the eldest born, after the contentions and slaughter usual after such partitions*.

MEREDITH made the division which finally destroyed the power of this once potent kingdom. To his eldest son Madoc, he gave the part which bore afterwards the name of Powys Vadog: to Gryssydd, the portion which was called Gwenwynwyn .

I LEAVE to a future disquisition, the account of the remain­ing parts of Powysland. I shall only trace the succession of the first, which belongs more particularly to my subject. POWYS VADOG consisted, according to the division of the times, of five Cantress or hundred townships; and these were subdivided into fifteen Cwmmwds.

  • [Page 209]Dinmael *, Denbighshire.
  • Edeyrnion, Merionethshire.
  • Glyndyfrdwy, Ibid.
  • Yale, or Jâl, Denbighshire.
  • Ystrad Alun, or Mold, Flintshire.
  • Hope, Ibid.
  • Merffordd, in Flintshire.
  • Maelor Gymraeg, or Bromfield, Denbighshire.
  • Maelor Saesneg, Flintshire.
  • Croes-vaen, and Trefy Waun, or Chirk, in Denbighshire.
  • Croes-oswallt, or Os­westry, Shropshire.
  • Mochnant-îs-Rhaiadr, Denbighshire.
  • Kynllaeth, &c. Denbighshire.
  • Nan-heudwy, Denbighshire.
  • Whittington, Shropshire.

Madoc married Susanna, daughter of Gryffydd ap Conan prince of North Wales, by whom he had two sons; Gryffydd Maelor, and Owen ap Madoc. To the first he gave the two Maelors, Yale, Hopedale, and Nan-heudwy, and Mochnant îs Rhaiadr, &c.: to Owen, the land of Mechain Is-coed: and, to his natural son Owen Brogyntyn, a young man of great merit, Edeyrnion and Dinmael . Gryffydd married Angharad, the daughter of Owen [Page 210] Gwynedd, and had one son named Madoc, in whom the inheritance remained entire.

WE now hasten to the end of the line. Madoc had only one son, Gryffydd, commonly called lord of Dinas Brân, be­cause he made that fortress his chief residence. He unfortunately became enamoured of Emma, an English lady, daughter of James lord Audley; who, alienating his affections from his country, made him one instrument of its subjection, and of the destruc­tion of his own family. He took part with Henry III. and Edward I. against his natural prince. The resentment of his countrymen was raised against him; and he was obliged to con­fine himself in his castle of Dinas Brân, where probably grief and shame put an end to his life. He left four children under age, Madoc, Llewelyn, Gryffydd, and Owen. EDWARD I. gave the guardianship of Madoc, the eldest (who was to have for his share the lordship of Bromfield and Yale, the castle of Dinas Brán, and the reversion of Maelor Saesneg, after the death of his mother) to John earl Warren; and of Llewelyn (who was to possess the lordships of Chirk and Nan-heudwy) to Roger Mor­timer, son of lord Mortimer, of Wigmore. These lords soon con­spired to free themselves from their charge, and possess them­selves of their estates: and accordingly caused the poor children to be drowned under Holt-bridge. This I discovered in a manu­script, communicated to me by the Reverend Mr. PRICE, keeper of the Bodleian library. Before that, the manner of their deaths was current in the country, under the fable of two young fairies, who had been destroyed in that manner, and in the same place; but the foundation of the tale was, till very lately, totally lost.

[Page 211]HAVING now brought the succession to the required period, I shall only say, that Gryffydd, the third son, was suffered to enjoy his portion of Glyndyfrdwy; from whom sprung OWEN, the great revenger of the wrongs of his family: and the fourth son, Owen, received for his share, Cynllaeth. This afterwards de­volved to Gryffydd, father of Glyndwr.

THE barbarity of the two guardians, so far from being pu­nished by their master, was rewarded. Warren had the grant of Dinas Brân and all Bromfield confirmed to him, dated from Rudland, October 7th, 1281*; Mortimer that of Chirk. The for­mer began immediately to secure his ill-gotten possessions by building Holt Castle; but dying, left the finishing of it to his son William. Before this grant, a family of the name of Holt, held this place; I suppose under its lord paramount. These estates continued in the family till 1347, when, on the death of John earl Warren, they devolved to Edward Fitz­alan earl of Arundel, in right of his wife Alice, sister to the for­mer. Warren had been divorced from his wife Joan de Baars, and had obtained from Edward II. a grant of his Welsh estates, and others in Surrey and Sussex, in favor of John and Thomas, sons of his by Maud de Nereford, to whom he had been contracted before his marriage with Joan. These children, probably, died without issue; the estates reverting, as he had in such a case provided, to his own right heirs.

THEY continued with the Fitzalans during three generations. Richard II. probably seized on them after the execution of Richard earl of Arundel; for we find that unhappy prince had lodged in Holt Castle, during his Irish expedition, jewels to the value of [Page 212] two hundred thousand marks, and a hundred thousand marks in coin*; which, with the fortress, were delivered to Bolingbroke, previous to the deposal of Richard. Thomas, the son of Richard, was restored in blood in the following reign. He died in 1416, without issue; and his unsettled estates fell to his sissters, Elizabeth, who had married Thomas Mowbray duke of Norfolk, but then wife to Sir Gerard Useflect; and Joan, who had mar­ried William B [...]auchamp lord of Abergavenny. This occasioned a further division of these estates. Joan's share fell again, by a daughter, to Nevil lord Abergavenny; after which, I lose fight of the succession till the reign of Henry VII. when that prince made a grant of them to Sir William Stanley. On his execu­tion, Henry not only resumed the lordship, but seized on his vast effects; and found in Holt Castle, in money and plate, forty thousand marks, besides jewels, household goods, and cattle on his ground.

HENRY VIII. bestowed this lordship on his natural son Henry Fitzroy duke of Richmond; and had possession given him at its capital of Holt, in 1534, by the duke of Norfolk and others. He enjoyed his honor but a short time, dying at the age of seven­teen, in the year 1536.

IN the following reign, I find it in possession of Thomas Seymour lord admiral, and turbulent brother to the protector Somerset. He made the fortress at Holt subservient to his ambi­tious designs; and formed there a great magazine of warlike stores§. His deserved but illegal execution again flung Brom­field into possession of the crown.


[...] CASTLE

[Page 213]THE great earl of Leicester was in possession of Chirk; and, probably, of the whole lordship of Bromfield.

IN 1643, Holt Castle was in the hands of the crown; but in that year was feized for the use of the parlement, by Sir Wil­liam Brereton and Sir Thomas Middhton *. The royalists reco­vered the possession. In February 1645-6, it was closely besieged by major-general Mytton, and vigorously defended by the go­vernor, Sir Richard Lloyd of Ecclusham near Wrexham, till the beginning of April, when it was surrendered on articles; the governor having permission to go beyond sea, with three hun­dred pounds; and his lady, to enjoy his lands, being three hundred pounds a year Immediately after the parlement got possession, it was ordered to be demolished.

THE lordship is at present in the crown, under the direction of the steward of Bromfield and Yale; an office in his majesty's disposal: but a grant of the minerals (the far more valuable part) was made to the Grosvenour family in the reign of Charles I. subject to the annual payment of twenty shillings. An attempt was made by king William to alienate these important do­mains in favor of the earl of Portland, and his heirs for ever; but on a vigorous representation of the illegality, but par­ticularly on the noble speech of Robert Price Esq after­wards baron of the exchequer, his majesty thought fit to with­draw the grant already made out in the treasury. The whole rents at that time resulting to the crown, amounted only to a thousand a year, besides mises, reliefs, and other contingent profits. The mise was, in Wales, a customary present made to [Page 214] the prince on his accession, in old times, in cattle; but after its conquest, changed into money. It amounted to about five thousand pounds. It was payed thrice in the time of James I, first, at his coming to the crown; secondly, on the creation of his son Henry prince of Wales; thirdly, on the creation of Charles.

ON leaving Holt, I returned over the bridge; and, passing along a portion of CHESHIRE, in a flat country, with a pleasing view of the Broxton hills on the left, I reached the site of Shocklach castle. This, with great part of the antient hundred of Dudestan, was held after the Conquest by Robert Fitzbugh, from Hugh Lupus. It belonged to the barony of Malpas; but on the division of it, one part came to John de Sutton baron of Dudley, the other to Urien de Sancto Petro. What is remarkable, it was held of queen Elizabeth, as of her ma­nor of East Greenwich. Nothing, excepting a foss, marks the place of this fortress. On the opposite side of the road is a vast mount, probably of far greater antiquity than the castle; and explora­tory, commanding a great view around. By the name of Stret­ton, a neighboring place, I conjecture that a Roman road went this way; but my time did not permit me to search after it.

AT a small distance from Shocklach castle, I entered Maelor Saesneg, a hundred of FLINTSHIRE, disjoined from the rest of the county. At the time of the making of the, Doomsday book, the lands about Worthenbury, Overton, [Page 215] and Bettisfield or the present parish of Hanmer, belonged to the hundred of Dudestan. But long before the forming of the new hundreds, which, according to Sir Peter Leicester, did not happen much later than the reign of Edward III. it is certain these places reverted to the descendants of the princes of Powis. it seems as if it acquired the name of Saesneg, from its having been the jointure of Emma, widow of Gryffydd ap Madoc, who was an Englishwoman. It consists of these parishes; Worthenbury, Bangor, Hanmer, and the chapelry of Overton, on this side of the Dee, of Erbistock on the other side, opposite to Overton; and of Hope in the other portion of the county of Flint *. Part only of Erbistock is in Flintshire; the rest in Denbighshire. Be­sides these parishes, are several spots that belong to this hun­dred, insulated by the last county, which form nearly a con­nection between this and the other part of the hundred. The chain is supposed to have been once entire; but as many of the links were osten fields, which (by reason of their small­ness) were neglected, and lost. One of the townships of Dutton, in Holt parish, is known to have belonged to this hundred; as that of Abenbury Vechan, in that of Wrexham, does at present. Osley and Mereford, the last in the parish of Gresford, were, by the 33d of Henry VIII. added to Flintshire, and assist to continue the chain towards Hope, the distant portion of this hundred. These were but recently made parts of Flintshire, in comparison of the rest of Maelor Saesneg; which was declared to constitute part of the county by Edward I. in the Statutum Walliae.

[Page 216]THE lordship or superiority of the hundred was granted (I be­lieve) by Henry IV. to Sir John Stanley knight, and continued in his family till the 41st of Elizabeth; when William earl of Derby devised it to Sir Randle Brerelon; and it has since devolved to Sir Walden Hanmer baronet, and Philip Lloyd Fletcher esquire.

THIS part of Flintshire is under the same government as the rest; excepting the obligation of attending the county courts, which is dispensed with by reason of its distance from the towns where they are held. It has also a coroner of its own; but eli­gible by the county at large.

THE limit between this part of the hundred and Cheshire is Flannen Brook: about a mile beyond is the village and church of Worthenbury; the last, a new and neat brick building, dedi­cated to St. Deiniol; a rectory taken out of Bangor, and made a separate parish by an act of the second of William and Mary, in the presentation of the family of Emral. The name in the Doomsday book is Hurdingberie; before the Conquest held by earl Edwin.

I TOOK my quarters at Broughton; BROUCHTON. a venerable wooden house, in possession of my respected kinsman Peter Davies Esq in right of his lady, eldest sister to the late Broughton [...] Esq. The Whiteballs were originally of Staff [...]rashire; but settled here in 1663, by virtue of a marriage between Rowland Whitehall and Elizabeth daughter of John Brouglton. The Broughtons de­rived themselves from the great Weish stock Tudor Trovor, earl of Hereford, and assumed their name from this place, in the reign of Henry VII.

[Page 217]AT the back of this house* lies the noted common of Threap­wood, from time immemorial a place of refuge for the frail fair, who make here a transient abode, clandestinely to be freed from the consequences of illicit love. Numbers of houses are scattered over the common for their reception. This tract, till of late years, had the ill-fortune to be extra-parochial: at first, either because it was in the hands of irreligious or careless owners, or was situated in forest or desert places, it never was united to any parish. The inhabitants, therefore, considered themselves as be­yond the reach of law, resisted all government; and even opposed the excise laws, till they were forced to submit, but not without bloodshed on the occasion. The very name of the place speaks the manners of the dwellers, Threap-wood, derived from the Anglo-Saxon Threapian, to threap (a word still in use); signifying to persist in a fact or argument, be it right or wrong. It is seated between the parishes of Malpas, Hanmer, and Worthenbury; but belonged to none, till it was, by the late militia acts, decreed to be in the last. Still doubts arise about execution of several laws within this precinct. It is to be hoped, that legislature will take an opportunity of rendering the magisterial power as valid here as in other places; especially when it is to be considered, that there are to the amount of two hundred and sixty-seven inha­bitants, who want instruction in the doctrine of universal submis­sion to law.

FROM Broughton I made an excursion to Hanmer, HANMER. distant about five or six miles: passed over part of Threap-wood; and observed [Page 218] in the inclosares; some venerable oaks, the remains of the antient forest. Cross Sarn-bridge, over the Wich-brook, which rises about two miles above, in part of the parish of Malpas, but in the county of Flint, near the Wiches; where are brine-springs and salt-works. Reach a house called Willington-cross. The country, which hitherto had been uncommonly wet and dirty, now changes to a sandy soil, and becomes broken into small risings. The part about the little town of Hanmer is extremely beautiful; varied with a lake of fifty acres, bounded on all sides with small cultivated eminences, embellished with woods. The town, church, and the chief seat of the family of the Hanmers, a modern brick house, adorn one part; and on the opposite side of the water, on the sire of the old house of Greddington, another seat is pro­jected by that eminent lawyer, Lloyd Kenyon, esquire.

THE church is a very handsome embattled building,CHURCH. of the reign of Henry VII. in whose time numbers of churches were re-built alter the long desolation of civil war. The roof is of wood: that of the Fe [...]s chapel, and of the north aile, are divided in small squares, and carved in a most elegant style. In the win­dows of the former was some painted glass, with dates, expressing the time of its being made, at the cost of the Hanmers; who [...] the presentation of the vicarage granted to them by the abby of Heg [...], near Shrewsbury, in 1424.

IN the Hanmer chapel are two mural monuments, in me­mory of two most distinguished personages, with inscription in elegant Latin. One to Sir Thomas Hanmer, baronet, knight of the shire for the county of Flint, who died in 1678: the other commemorates a speaker of the house of commons in the latter part of the reign of queen Anne, the noted Sir [Page]


[Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 219] Thomas Hanmer *, editor of the magnificent edition of Shake­spear.

ABOUT two miles farther is Bettissield; BETTISFIELD. an old brick house be­longing to the same family. I observed here a head of the late Sir Thomas Hanmer, by Kneller, in a long wig and cravat; an ele­gant figure of a lady Hanmer, with a forehead-cloth, in an elegant white undress, studying Gerard's herbal; and a small portrait of a lady Warner, a la magdalene, LADY WARNER. with long disheveled hair, and a scull in her hand. She was a daughter of the house, and wife to a Sir John Warner; who, not content with quitting the religion of thir parents, determined to quit the kingdom, and embrace the mo­nastic life. Their friends applied to the king (Charles II.) to divert them from their resolution. His majesty, with his wicked wit, told them, that if Sir John had a mind to make himself one of God Almighty's fools, they must have, patience. Sir John became a Jesuit, and assumed the name of brother Clare; she a poor Clare, of which order she performed the noviciate­ship with marvellous obedience! I am black, but comely, was the text of a preacher, one day exhorting her (in what is called a cloathing sermon) to humility; expressing, that she must make herself black (alluding to the habit) in the eyes of the world, to become more fair in the sight of the LORD. The abbess on this said to the poor novice, You also, SISTER CLARE, must black your­self. On which she went instantly into the kitchen, where she blacked her face and hands with the soot of the chimney; and thus became an instructive example to the admiring sisters!

[Page 220]BETTISFIELD has for centuries belonged to the Hanmers. Before the battle of, [...], a division of their estates was made. Jenkin Hanmer, the brother-in-law to the great Glynd [...]r, divided his estates among his four sons. He gave Hanmer, and his lands at Llwyn Derw or Ockenlolt, obtained with his first wife Margaret, daughter of Davydd ap Bleddyn Vychan, to their son Gryfsydd. By his second marriage, with Eva daughter to Davydd ap Grono ap Jerwerth of Llai, he had John, Edward, and Richard. To John he gave Halghton (a hous;e in this neighborhood) and Llai; to Edward, lands in Fenns, a place likewise not remote; and to Richard, lands in Betisfield. Jenkin soon after fell, valiantly. fighting, in the field rear Slrewstury, against the usurper B [...] ­breke. John departed from the principles of his father, and em­braced the side of the house of Lancaster, in the reign of Hen­ry VI. John Mowbray duke of Norfolk, and Grey lord [...], carried fire and sword through his esates in 1463, and burns his house at Halghton; which induced him, the year following to make his submission to the victorious Edward *.

ALL these estates, excepting Halghton, are now united, and in possession of Sir Walden Hanmer baronet.

ON leaving Broughton, I took the road towards Banger. On the right lies Emral Hall, the seat of the Pul [...]ston; a family seteled here in the time of Edward I. but took their name from Puleydon, a township in Shropshtre. The first who possessed the place was Roger, a favorite officer of the king; who, after the con­quest of.Wales, appointed him collector of the taxes raised towards [Page 221] the support of the war against France; but the Welsh, unused to these levies, seized on de Pulesdon and hanged him*. His son Richard was appointed, by the same prince, sheriff of Caernarvon, with a salary of forty pounds, and all arrears. His son, ano­ther Richard, held, in the 7th or Edward II. lands in the parish of Worthenbury, by certain serviccs, & per ammabrogium, or a pe­cuniary acknowlegement paid by tenants to the king, or vassals to their lord, for the liberty of marrying, or not marrying. Thus Gilbert de Maisuil gave ten marks of silver to Henry III. for leave to take a wife; and Cecily, widow of Hugh Povere, that she might marry whom she pleased, It is strange that this ser­vile custom should be retained so long. It is pretended, that the Amobyr among the Welsh, the Lyre-wite among the Semons, and the Marcheta mulierum among the Scots, were fines paid by the vassal to the superior, to buy off his right to the first night's lodging with the bride of the person who held from him: but I be­lieve there never was any European nation (in the periods this custom was pretended to exist) so barbarous as to admit it. It is true, that the power above cited was introduced into England by the Normans, out of their own country.AMORYR. The Amoryr, or rather Gobr merob, was a Eritish custom of great antiquity, paid other for violating the chaslity of a virgin; or for a marriage of a vassal§, and signifies the price of a virgin. The Welsh laws, so far from encouraging adultery. checked, by severe sines, even unbecoming liberties. The Amolyr was intended as a preserva­tive [Page 222] against lewdness. If a virgin was deflowered, the seducer, or, in his stead, her father, paid the fine. If she married, he also paid the fine. There is one species so singular as to merit men­tion: if a wife proved unfaithful to her husband's bed, the poor cuckold was obliged to pay his superior five shillings as long as he did cydgysgu, [...] sleep with her; but if he forbore cohabiting with her, and she cydgysgu'd with her gallant, the fine fell on the offending fair.

THE Saxons had their Lyre-wyte or Lecher-wyte, LYRE-WYTE. for the same end that the Welsh had their Amobyr. The crime is mentioned often in the Saxon laws*: once, with a cruel penalty denounced against the offender; and a second time, with a strong dehorta­tion from the commission. In general, the crime was expiated by money, according to the degree of the person injured. The [...] at this time commute, in certain degrees of offence; but oftener punish it with burning, and other excruciating deaths.

CONTINUE my journey to Bangor, BANGOR. seated on the banks of the Dee; which is here bounded on both sides by rich meadows. The church has been built at different times; but no part very antient. It is a rectory, dedicated to St. Dinoth abbot of Ban­cornaburg or Bangor, in the days of St. Augustine. It is in the gift of Philip Lloyd Fletcher Esq. This place is celebrated for being the site of the most antient British monastery, or rather seminary, which contained two thousand four hundred monks; who, dividing themselves into seven bands, passed their time [Page 223] alternately in prayer and labor*; or, as another writer says, a hundred (by turns) passed one hour in devotion; so that the whole twenty-four hours were employed in sacred duties. This pious community was dispersed, after the slaughter of their bre­thren at the battle of Chester, and their house overthrown. Wil­liam the monk, and librarian of Malmsbury, cotemporary with king Stephen, speaks of the remains in his days; saying that no place could shew greater remains of half-demolished churches, and multitudes of other ruins that were to be seen in his time. Mention is made of two gates of the precincts, that were a mile distant, with the Dee running between them; one was called Porth Clais, the other Porth Wgan. The name of the first is retained in that of a place called Clai; of the other in a house called Hogan. The precincts must have been large, as the monks maintained themselves by the labor of their own hands. The simple and unlearned provided meat and cloathing for the learn­ed, and distributed to the poor all superfluities. It sent forth many thousands of religious; and its same would have been immaculate, had it not produced the celebrated Pelagius, about the year 400, the same who is usually stigmatized by the name of the arch-heretic. Two of his tenets, perhaps, in these days, may give him many proselytes: ‘That good works were meri­torious; and that unbaptized infants ran no hazard of dam­nation.’

[Page 224]THE monks of this community, in common with all the Bri­tish clergy, were strenuous opposers of the usurpation of the church of Rome. Seven bishops, and a great number of learned men, were deputed from Bangor to meet the famous missionary Augustine the monk; when he insisted on their concurrence with his demands, with such insolence, that they left him, determined to maintain the original rites of their own church; which re­mained pure, and independent of all foreign prelates, for many centuries after that period. Augustine threatened the Britons with the resentment cf the Saxons. How far he instigated Edi [...]fred in his invasion does not appear; but, if BEDE may be depended on, the massacre of the monks almost immediately followed his menaces*.

I COULD discover no remains of this once noted place; but was informed, that squared stones have been often ploughed up in a field called the Stanyards; probably the site of some of the antient buildings.

THIS place had been also the site of the supposed Bo [...]ium or Bovium, a Roman station. Leland says, that in his time Ro­man money was found there. I could find neither coins or in­scriptions, or any thing of higher antiquity than four stone coffin-lids, engraven in the annexed plate, and an antient cross; all dug up in the church-yard. No 1. has on it the arms of the earls Warren: 2. the same, quartered with arms un­known to me: 3. is inscribed Hic jacet ITHEL CADWGAY:

[Page 224]


[Page 225]the 4th, inscribed Hic jacet WILLIAM LE FRENS; probably a person of Norman extraction. I find the name in Sir Peter Leicester's Cheshire *: one Hugh de Frenos, who married Alice, daughter of Lacy earl of Lincoln, and widow of Thomas earl of Lancaster, beheaded 1321. The cross is far the most antient. The ingenious herald, Mr. Wilkinson, imagines, that the gryphon and the lion (which are both ancient British arms) looking to­wards the cross, may signify the early embracing of Christianity by the nations of our island.

THE antient British boats, the vitilia navigia of Pliny; the mo­dern coracles; are much in use in these parts for the purposes of salmon-fishing. They have now lost the cause of their name, being no longer covered with coria or hides, but with strong pitched canvas. They hold only a single person, who uses a paddle with great dexterity. The Britons had them of large size, and even made short voyages in them, according to the accounts we receive from Lucan.

THE bridge is a beautiful light structure, and consists of five arches. A learned schoolmaster, in the following inscription, has commemorated the time of its reparation.


[Page 226]ON crossing the Dee, EYTON. entered into Denbighshire again; and, turn­ing short to the left, after two miles riding, visited Eyton, the seat of Kenrick Eyton Esq. This house was head of a nume­rous race of gentry, that took their name from the place, so called from its situation. The Dee rolls beneath, and forms a long and solemn reach, overshadowed by hanging woods. At Overton bridge, which lies about a mile beyond Eyton, the chan­nel is contracted, and the stream flows picturesquely between lofty banks, admirably described by the inimitable pencil of Mr. SAND [...]Y. This bridge consists of two neat arches, and was first built of stone by the munificence of Gwenhwyvar, daughter of Jerwerth Ddu of Pengwern, near Llangollen; a maiden lady who resided at Eyton with her sister Margaret, who was married to Madoc ap Evan Eyton *.

OVERTON,OVERTON. or Overton Madoc, the Ovreton of the Doomsday book, is a pleasant village, seated on a high bank, about a mile beyond the bridge, above a rich meadowy flat of a semi­circular form, varied by the Dee, and bounded in front with fertile and wooded slopes; while the lofty and naked mountains soar beyond, and close the scene.

THIS place was called, at the time of the Conquest, Ovre­tone; had then a Saxon owner; but was granted to Robert Fitz­bugh. I find in 1278, or the 7th of Edward I. that it was in possession of Robert de Crevecoeur, who obtained for it a weekly market on a Wednesday . In the 21st of the same reign, the king directed Reginald de Grey, justice of Chester, to go persona­lly [Page 227] to Overton, and there to assign to the burgesses, or such as would become inhabitants, competent land, within the de­mesnes of Overton castle and wood, to build them burgages with*. Such encouragement did this wise prince give to po­pulation, to secure the frontiers of his new conquest. In 1331, or the 5th of Edward III. it was granted, with other lands in this Maelor, to Eubule le Strange, baron of Knockyn .

THERE are no reliques of the castle; which stood in a field still called Castlefield, fronting the Dee. Tradition says, that it had been the residence of Madoc ap Meredydd prince of Powys and lord of Overton; from which the place received the addition of Madoc.

THE church is a handsome building; and the church-yard reckoned among the wonders of Wales, on account of its hand­some yew-trees. The place is only a curacy, in the parish of Bangor, in the diocese of Chester.

OVERTON is one of the contributory boroughs which send a member for that of Flint; which is done by the inhabitants of Overton-foreign and Knolton, paying scot and lot. This right had been settled in the years 1728 and 1737; but a doubt arising, whether payment of taxes by the landlord was sufficient, in 1741, it was determined by parlement in the negative. Han­mer, and several other places, laid in a clame to vote; but it was rejected by the commons in the beginning of this cen­tury.

[Page 228]GWERNHAILED,GWERNHAILED. the seat of Mr. Fletcher, in this parish, must not pass unnoticed. Few places command so rich a view; and few have been more judiciously improved. It stands on the lofty brow that skirts the country. Beneath runs the Dee; bounded on the opposite side by most beautiful meadows and varied in the distance with numbers of hills; among which those of Caer-gwrle form a most noble and conspicuous mass.

IN this neighborhood I visited the fine collection of birds at Bryn y p [...]s, BRYNY PYS. the seat of Richard Parry Price Esq.NEW VULTURE. Among other [...] were a pair of vultures; which I take the liberty of mentioning in this place, as being an undescribed species. They were the smallest of the genus, not above half as big again as the kite. Their bill whitish, long, and but little hooked; cere bluish; orbits naked and flesh-colored; irides straw-colored; head and neck, contrary to the character of the genus, cloathed with feathers; craw pen­dulous; head, neck, back, breast, belly, and lesser coverts of the wings, of a pure white; greater coverts, and primaries, black, the last tipt with white; the lower part of the tail black; the end white; legs dirty white, roughened with scales.

INHABIT Angola. Were very restless and querulous; and much more active than is usual with this sluggish race. They are now dead; but their exuviae, stuffed so as to mimic life, are placed in the matchless Museum of ASHTON LEVER Esq which is f [...]r the most instructive and elegant of any in Europe; and from which the mere admirer will receive equal pleasure with the profoundest connoisseur.



[Page 229]I MUST not leave this neighborhood without observing that the little owl*, that rare English species, has been shot in some adjacent woods. It is very frequent abroad; where they collect in autumn and the spring in great flocks, in order to migrate in search of field-mice. Childrey, in his Britannia Baconica mentions two instances of armies of strange painted owls, that came in 1580, and in 1648, into Essex, and waged war against the multiludes of mice in those times destroying the country: but whether they were owls of this species I cannot determine. I am assured by Mr. STUART, that this kind visits Attica in vast flocks every spring, and breeds there. It is no wonder that the Athenian goddess should have this bird as her conco­mitant, being so very common there. It is very frequently ex­pressed on the Athenian coins and sculptures; and I have seen it placed on the hand of a statue of hers, in the noble collection belonging to William Weddel Esq at Newby in Yorkshire.

WITHIN a small distance from Overton, I entered the county of SALOP or SHROPSHIRE, at Trench-lane, once infamous for its depth and badness. This county was peopled by the Cornavii; and, till the time of Offa, was divided between the princes of Powys and the Mercian king­dom: but Offa, after his expulsion of the Welsh from their an­tient seat of Pengwern or Shrewsbury, added their part to his dominions. At the Conquest, it was possessed by the brave [Page 230] Edwin, the last earl of Mercia. On his death, it was bestowed by the Conqueror on Roger de Montgomery, a potent Norman, the first earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury.

THE country,ELLESMERE. for the greatest part of the way to Ellesmere, is flat, dirty, and unpleasing. On the approach to the town, be­comes more agreeable; and about it, breaks into most beauti­ful risings, fertile, and finely wooded; the bottoms are indeed destitute of rivers; but frequently filled with little lakes, called here meres, elegantly bordered by the cultivated hills. It is singular that none of them are the parents of streams; their encrease from rains and springs, and their loss by exhalations, keep such equal pace!

ELLESMERE is a town seated on a lake of a hundred and one acres in dimensions; and whose greatest depth is twenty-six yards; well stocked with fish.

THE environs have two advantages superior to the other lakes. A good town borders on one side: the fine park of Ockle, or Ottley, is a great ornament to another. The property of the water is in the duke of Bridgewater.

THE town is of Saxon origin, and takes its name from the water; which was called Aelsmere, or the greatest mere, being the chief in this part of the county. The place has little to boast of except its situation. The principal trade is that of malt; the barley of the neighborhood being remarkably good.

THE castle stood on a vast artificial mount on a rising ground,CASTLE. with three great ditches on the more accessible side. At present not a vestige is to be seen; the top being formed into a bowl­ing-green, that may vie with any in England for the elegance [Page 231] and extent of inland prospect; of the lake beneath; of the rich country and woods surrounding the town. At a distance, Chester and the Broxton hills; Wrexham and the Caergwrle mountains; Castle Dinas Brân, and the Berwyn alps; and some of those of Merionethshire; Llanymynach hill, the Breyddin, Pimhill, Cleehill, and the noted Wrekin.

I CANNOT trace the founder of the castle, nor yet the time of its destruction. The place was possessed, as I before said, by Edwin immediately before the Conquest; and on that event, by Roger de Montgomery.

IN 1177, it was transferred to a prince of North Wales. Henry II. in that year, assembled a council at Oxford, and, among other regulations for the security of the kingdom, bestowed on David ap Owen his natural sister Emma, with the lordship of Ellesmere as a portion. This the politic monarch did, in hopes of retaining the affections of David, and to prevent a breach with the Welsh; who gave him such great disturbance, and so often baffled his greatest endeavors to subdue them during the reign of Owen Gwynedd father to David. This alliance answered his purpose; for the English remained unmolested during the life of that prince.

AFTER his decease, Robert Lupus held, by his bailiff, this manor.

AFTER this, it came a second time into the hands of a prince of Wales. King John, by grant dated from Dover, April 16th 1204, bestowed it, with Joan, his natural child by Agatha daughter of Robert Ferrers earl of Derby, on Llewelyn ap Jorwerth. It is probable that John hoped, by means of his son-in-law, to ter­rify [Page 232] the lord marchers into obedience: but the unfortunate mo­narch reaped no benefit from the alliance. Joan proved un­faithful to our prince's bed; who hanged William de Breos, author of his disgrace, and turned his arms against the English. This induced John to divest Llewelyn of the government of so im­portant a fortress as a frontier castle; for, by a writ dated from Warwick, in the tenth year of his reign, he orders the govern­nor, Bartholomew Turol, to deliver it instantly to William earl of Salusbury and Thomas of Endinton. But still left the revenues of the lands to his daughter.

IN the fourth or Henry III. or the year 1219, Roger L'Estrange yielded to the king the manors of Colmere and Hampton; but received them again, together with the hundred of Ellesmere and its castle; but for life only.

In 1236, or the 21st of the same monarch, it appears that John L'Estrange was governor of the castle. Four years after this, Henry determined no longer to leave a place of this con­sequence in the hands of the Welsh. Accordingly, we find him obliging David ap Llewelyn to make a formal renunciation of this territory, which he cedes for ever. The treaty was dated from Alnet on the Elwy, on the feast of the decollation of St. John the Baptist, in 1240.

IN 1252, the 37th of Henry III. the manor and castle of Ellsmere were committed to John de Grey, paying an annual fine of ten shillings.

IN the 43d year, or 1258, Peter de Montfort was governor of the castle. In the 51st, the manor, castle, and hundred were granted to Hamon L'Estrange and his [...], with a provision



[Page 233] out of the escheat of the manor, castle, and hundred, of a hundred pounds a year. This nobleman took a large share in the barons wars; was excommunicated for his insolence by the archbishop of Canterbury; but returning to his allegiance, was employed in places of trust, which he discharged with the ut­most fidelity. It is said that he purchased the manors of Coal­mere and Hampton from Peter de Montfort, which he left to his brother Sir Roger L'Estrange. Edward I. in the fourth year of his reign, on the surrender of the grant of Hamon (which was to him and his heirs) confirmed it anew, on condition he would receive the castle and hundred of Ellesmere for life, and the remainder to the king in fee. This Roger, by the king's warrant, granted several parcels of the manor to different per­sons: and about the same time, the wastes and commons were inclosed and converted into freeholds.

In 1320, Edward II. on the insurrection of the earl of Lan­caster, appointed Oliver de Ingehan governor of the castle. Ed­ward III. in 1329, after causing the encroachments made on this manor to be reduced, bestowed the castle, and the hamlets of Colmere and Hampton, on Sir Eubule L'Estrange, younger son of baron L'Estrange of Knockin. They continued in his line till 1477, the 17th of Edward IV; when, by the marriage of Joan, daughter of the last male heir, with George Stanley, eldest son to Thomas first earl of Derby, they were conveyed to that great house, which was possessed of them till 1549, the 42d of Eliza­beth; when William earl of Derby had licence from the queen to alienate them; which he did, to Richard Spencer and Edward Savage; and they, to Sir Thomas Egerton keeper of the great seal, and afterwards chancellor of England and baron of Ellesmere. [Page 234] It is now in possession of his descendant, the duke of Bridgewater, who has vast property about the town; but no seat, except a very mean one, called Birch.

THE church antiently belonged to the knights of St. John of Jerusalem. It was granted to them by Llewelyn; and Ed­ward III. confirmed to their prior the donation. The vica­rage is in the gift of the duke of Bridgewater. The chapels of Cockshute, Dudleston, and Penley, are dependent on it.

IN the church is an alabaster figure of Sir Francis Kynaston of Ottley; and another of his lady, much mutilated. He died in 1590. The venerable house to which this knight belonged, was one of the most antient freeholds now in the parish; being found to have been the property of e Kynastons in 1308, the 2d of Ed­ward II. It has been distinguished by many eminent persons; particularly another Sir Francis, esquire of the body to Charles I. famous for his Latin translation of the Loves of Troilus and Cres­sida, from the English of Chaucer.

From Ellesmere I continued my journey towards Oswestry. From an eminence called the Perthy, have a most extensive view of the flat part of the county, bounded by the hills of Den­bighshire, Montgomeryshire, and Shropshire. Amidst them appear the vast gaps, through which the Severn and the Dee rush upon the plains out of their mountanous confinement. This tract is intermixed with woods, fertile land, and moors of great extent. After a ride of two or three miles along the flat, reach HALSTON, the seat of the Myttons, HALSTON. my maternal ancestry; a good house, built about the year 1690, with the advantage of wood and [Page 235] water, managed with excellent taste by my worthy cousin John Mytton Esq. The house is situated on an elevated plot of ground, which rises out of an extensive flat, great part of which was subject to frequent floods; an inconvenience which has since been removed by the present owner, at the expence of much trouble and money, in draining considerable tracts of low ground; whereby the neighborhood is rendered more healthy and pleasant. This flat, being well dotted with trees, agree­ably foreshortens the prospect, till it is bounded by the magni­ficent scenery of the surrounding hills, which distinctly form, in various shapes, many pleasing points of view. A very extensive wood flanks each side of the house, which is bounded by a fine piece of water, made by extending the banks of the river Perry, and by conveying a branch of it through the lower parts of the wood, inclosing several islands, whose shores are shaded by very large full-grown oaks; which all together forms one of the most pleasing artificial pieces of water that is to be met with. The rest of the grounds are watered with the river Perry; a stream which used to abound with excellent pike, perch, trout, dace, gudgeons, cray-fish, and eels, till modern luxury gave an additional spur to the dexterity of poachers; a grievance complained of, though encouraged, in this as well as in most rivers in the kingdom. The Perry rises in the hills, in the parish of Syllatyn, and passes through several moors to the village of Ryton, and afterwards falls into the Severn a little be­low Montford bridge.

AT this place was born the famous general Mytton, GENERAL MYT­TON. who commanded the parlement forces in Charles I.'s civil wars; by [Page 236] whose military prowess most of the castles in North Wales were subdued; but finding that Cromwell and his party had farther designs than the mere defence of liberty (the cause in which he engaged) resigned his command and retired.

HERE is a well-chosen library, and a good collection of pic­tures: amongst which are some very capital; particularly, Jacob, and his son Reuben shewing Josepb's bloody shirt, by Guer [...]; a head, by Raphael; St. Peter, by Guido; king David, by Dominichino. *. Mr. William Mytton's curious manuscripts of the Shropshire antiquities are preserved here; a work which he had been many years engaged in with indefatigable attention, but, unfortunately for the public, died before he could complete his design. To his labors I owe frequent obligations in this part of the work.

IN Saxon times,ANTIENT OWN­ERS. the lordship of Halston belonged to Edric. At that time there were on it two Welshmen and one French­man. After the Conquest, it became the property of Guarine, sheriff of Shropshire, ancestor to the Fitzalans earls of Arundel, by marriage with a Mellet Peverel, who received this as part of her fortune. Afterwards, it became a commandery belonging to the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, bestowed on them by [Page 237] some of the Filzalans. In the 26th of Henry VIII. it was valued at 160 l. 14 s. 10 d. a year*.

AT the dissolution, Henry VIII. empowered, by his letters patent, John Sewster Esq to dispose of this manor to Alan Horde, who did homage for it; and afterwards exchanged it for other lands, with Edward Mytton of Habberley; which alienation was confirmed afterwards by queen Elizabeth.

THE chapel is a donative, without any other revenue than what the owner is pleased to allow his chaplain; and is of exempt jurisdiction.

THE name imports something of sanctity, signifying the Holy Stone. Probably a cross or stone, the object of supersti­tion, might once have stood here; but that and its legend are quite lost. That it had been a sanctuary is evident. In the reign of Richard I. Meyric Llwyd, descended from Hêdd Mol­wynog, one of the fifteen tribes of North Wales, indignant at certain injuries done his country, by the introduction of new laws and new customs, seized several of the king's officers ap­pointed to see them executed, and slew some, and hung others. He fled the rage of his enemies, and took refuge at this place.

AT a mile's distance from Halston, WHITTINGTON. I reached Whittington; a village of ninety-four families, seated in a parish of the same name. The number of families in the whole amounts to two hundred and seventy-five. The population has of late encreased pretty much. The addition to the numbers in the parish have chiefly been confined to the village, owing to the several houses built for [Page 238] the conveniency of laborers, by the family of the Mytton [...] which evinces the duty and utility of rural residence in our gentry, by promoting population, and cherishing the industrious poor.

MR. LLOYD, in his Archaeologia *, imagines this place might have been celebrated under the name of Drév Wen, or the Whe [...]e Town, by Llowarch Hén, a noble bard of the race of the Cum­brian Britons, who flourished in the year 590. Here, says he, was slain Condolanus, a chieftain of his country, in an attempt to expel a set of Irish invaders:

Y Drév Wen ym mron y coed:
Yseu yu y hevras erioed:
Ar wyneb y gwelht y gwaed.
Y Drév Wen yn yd hymyr
Y hevras y glàs vyvyr
Y gwaed y dan draed y gwŷr.

Some part of this is too obsolete to be translated. It expresses in general the rage of a battle; and that the grass under the feet of the warriors was stained with blood.

OUR bards also make this place the property of Tudor Trevor, a British nobleman who lived in the year 924, and in right of his mother Rhiengar grandaughter and heiress of Caradoc-Freichfras, slain by the Saxons in the battle of Ruddlan , in 795) earl of Hereford; and in the right of his father Ynyr ap Cadvarch, lord of both Maelors, Chirk, Whittington, and Oswestry, Ewias, and Urchenfield.

[Page 239] AFTER the Conquest, it was held by Roger earl of Shrews­bury. It is called in the Doomsday book Wititone. It had at that time eight berewicks or corn-farms; twelve bovarii or ox­stalls; and a league of wood. The mill yielded five shillings, and the Welsh residents there paid twenty shillings.

ON the forfeiture of the cruel Robert earl of Shrewsbury, it was bestowed on William, a sister's son of Pain Peverel, lord of Whittington; and by the marriage of his second daughter Mellet, with Guarine de Mets, a noble Lorrainer, it became his property, about the year 1083, The deeds of arms, and feats of chivalry, made their progeny the admiration of the times, and the subject of high-flown romance. Guarine, then lord of Ab­berbury, and sheriff of the county, hears of the resolution of Mellet to marry no one but the knight of most distinguished prowess. The emulous youths were to assemble at Peverel's place, or the castle in the Peak, there to approve their worth. Our knight appears among the rest, with his sylver shelde, and a proude pecok upon his beualme creste; overthrows his rivals; car­ries off the fair prize; and receives the lordship of Whittington as her dower. His posterity assumed the name of Fitz-warine; continued lords of this place for near four hundred years; and every heir, for nine descents, preserved the Christian name of Fulk.

THIS warlike race, and their warlike neighbors the Welssh, had perpetual feuds: their spirits were too congenial to enjoy peace. Guarine and the prince of Wales instantly attacked each other. The son of Conan had the advantage*, and carried destruction [Page 240] through all the borders. Guarine died in the reign of [...] and left behind him a son, the first Fulk Fitz-warine, one of the great glories of his race, who shone pre-eminent in the [...] line.

LOVE was the first inducement, in the days of chivalry, to great actions in youthful breasts. Fulk becomes enamour [...] with Hawise, the daughter of his guardian Joos. At her request he relieves the father from most eminent danger; and recent her hand in reward.

To him was entrusted by Henry I. the care of the march [...] about the year 1122; from which he was styled Fulco [...], or the lieutenant. It was not long before he found employ for [...] sword. The brave Gryffydd ap Conan carried his arms [...] the borders; had a personal engagement with our hero; [...] ­ed a wound in his shoulder, and was obliged to seek safety flight; but the victor did not escape unhurt*. In future en­terprizes he was less fortunate: the British prince wrested from him the lordship and castle of Whittington; which, by a su­ceeding treaty with Henry II. in the second year of his reign Owen Gwynedd thought proper to retain; and Fulk was [...] pensated by a grant of the honor of Alston in Gwynedd­shire. He died in an advanced age, and was buried at Abberbury.

I MUST not forget, that it is related of this Fulk, that being at the play of chess with John, second son to Henry II. he received from him a blow with the board, which he returned with such violence, as almost to demolish the young prince.

[Page 241] THE succeeding Fulk did not degenerate from his ancestors. He rendered himself so renowned in the wars abroad, that a French romance was composed on the actions of himself and progenitors; and translated into English, under the title of the Gestes of GUARINE and his sonnes *. It consists, as in the case of most writings of this nature, of a mixture of some truth with much fiction.

To him was restored the castle of Whittington and its depen­dencies, after satisfaction had been made by king John to Wrenoc and Wennen, the sons of Meyric, on whom the prince of Wales had bestowed it in the reign of Henry II. Wrenoc received cer­tain lands in the neighborhood, which he was to hold by the service of being the king's Latimer, or interpreter, in these parts, between the Welsh and the English . Fulk, notwithstanding this, fell afterwards from his allegiance to John; and was excommu­nicated by name for his defection from that monarch: but his sufferings were in the cause of liberty; for he was among the glorious band who obtained from John the charter so highly prized by every true Briton.

IT appears that he did not neglect, in the following reign, to obtain a confirmation of these estates, and to secure them to all posterity. He obtained in 1219 from Henry III. a grant of Whittington to him and his heirs; for which he gave the king two hundred and sixty-two pounds, and two coursers. He also procured the liberty of a market here on a Wednesday, and a

[Page 242] fair on St. Luke's day; for which he presented his majesty with a palfrey.FAIRS. The first is lost. There are still considerable fairs or shews of cattle on the last Thursdays in April, July, and September.

FROM another favor bestowed on him by the same monarch, in the year 1220, it appears, that probably the castle of Whitting­ton had been dismantled by the Welsh; for Henry gives permis­sion to this Fulk to fortify it. The memory of this is still pre­served in a room in the gateway, by the figure of a knight on horseback coarsely painted on the wall, with the following lines, now almost obliterated, placed beneath:

This was Sir Foulk Fitz-warren, late a great and valiant knight,
Who kept the Britons still in awe, and oftimes put to flight.
He of this castle owner was, and held it by command
Of Henry, late surnamed the third, then king of all this land.
His grandfather, a Lorrainer, by fame was much befriended,
Who Peverley's daur took to wife, from this Foul [...] descended.
His antient feats of chivalry in annals are recorded,
Our king of England afterwards him baron made, and lorded.

DUGDALE informs us, that this baron was drowned in a river at the battle of Lewes, fighting in behalf of the king; but Mr. Mytton reasonably supposes, that it must have been his son who appeared in the field that day: for, from the time that this Fulk was appointed lieutenant of the marches by Richard I. to that of the battle, seventy-five years had elapsed; so it is pro­bable that he was dead, or at lest unable to act the warrior. His son, therefore, must have been the person who fell in that fatal action; followed by a body of hardy soldiers, raised in [Page 243] these marches, inured to war by their frequent conflicts with the Welsh.

IMMEDIATELY on the defeat, the rebel victor, Montfort earl of Leicester, appointed Peter de Montfort, a creature of his own, governor of this castle; and soon after, making use of the cap­tive monarch's power against himself, obliged him* to resign to Llewelyn ap Gryffydd prince of Wales, the hundred of Ellesmere, several of the border castles, and among others that of Whit­tington and its appertenances. This writ was dated from Here­ford, June 22d 1265. Henry also ceded to him the sovereignty of Wales, and homage of all the Welsh barons, and the lord of Whittington. These grants were afterwards confirmed to him by Henry, with the homage of the neighboring counties (which were usually paid to princes ancestors) in consideration of 30,000 marks paid by Llewelyn.

IN 1281, Fulk attended Edward I. in his expedition against the Welsh; and was rewarded by the grant of free-warren on his lands in this manor.

IN 1300, he had a feud with his potent neighbor Richard earl of Arundel; but it was prevented by the interference of the king.

HE died in the reign of Edward II. His son was at that time in France, in his majesty's service; whose lady, Alionora, had livery of the manor till her husband could return to do homage.

IN 1329, or the 3d of Edward III. the new earl was accused by Edmund earl of Kent, uncle to the king, of raising seditious [Page 244] reports, that Edward II. was still alive; and endeavouring to excite a rebellion. For this offence his castle of Whittington was seized; but, by the intercession of his peers, restored to him the following year.

IN the insurrection of Owen Glyndwr, the vassals favored his cause: but their lord obtained a pardon for them from Henry IV.

IN 1420, the 8th of Henry V. this illustrious race became ex­tinct in the male line; the last Fulk dying in his non-age, leav­ing Elizabeth, his only sister, heiress to his estates. She married Richard Haukford Esq who dying in 1430, the 9th of Henry VI. left an only daughter Thomasine. She married Sir William Bourchier, created, on that account, lord Fitz-warine. A descendant of his, John earl of Bath, exchanged this manor with Henry VIII. for other lands. Edward VI. granted it to Henry Grey duke of Suffolk: and Mary, on his attainder, bestowed it on Henry last earl of Arundel of the name of Fitz-alan. It was by him mortgaged to one William Albany, and other citizens of London. The last released their title to Albany, who foreclosed the estate. His great grandaughter, and sole heiress, married Thomas Lloyd of Aston, Esq in this county.

THE castle stands on a flat: the gateway,CASTLE. and the ruins of two vast round towers, with cruciform slips by way of windows, still remain; and the bare vestiges of two others may yet be traced. It had been surrounded by a moat, and several vast ditches, which comprehended several other works. The moat was filled by a rivulet that rises near Pentre Pant, in the parish of Sela­tyn. On entering this parish, it is lost for near a mile, and emerges in the fields on the back of the castle.

[Page 245] IT is probable, that this was a place of defence from the time of its earliest possessors. No place on the borders of unfriendly nations could possibly remain unfortified; but the architect of the castle whose ruins we now contemplate, was certainly the great Fitz-warine, granson of Guarine, founder of the family. These were among the greatest of the barons called Lord marchers of Wales; of whose origin an ample account will be given in the appendix.

THE steward of the manor holds annually a court-leet and court-baron in a room in the castle;STEWARD. to which the inhabitants are summoned, and fined one penny each for non-attendance. Chief-rents are payed to the lord; and a heriot of the best beast is clamed at the death of most of the freeholders within the lordship.

THE church,CHURCH. dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 25 l. 4 s. It is a small building, supposed to have been originally designed as the chapel to the castle, and made out of the refuse materials of that fortress by its founder. According to the tradition of the place, he was buried in the porch, it being an act of devotion, in those days, for all persons, on their entrance into churches or religious houses, to pray for the souls of the founders and benefactors. Fulk Fitz-warine, seventh of the name, who had the greatest revenue of any of the family, by will, dated the 15th of Rich­ard II. directed that his body should be buried in the chancel. The largest part of his estates were in other counties; but he gave this place the preference, as the antient seat of the family.

[Page 246] IN the year 1630, a commission was issued from the council in the marches of Wales, to John Trevor and Richard Lloyd, gentle­men, to make a terrier of the glebe-land, and to return an in­ventory of the furniture belonging to it; among which were found three pair of armour, furnished with two pikes and two head-pieces. These seem to have been designed for the use of the rector, for the defence of the castle, in case of any sudden inroad of the Welsh.

AFTER leaving the village, in the road towards Oswestry, I observed on the right Tre-newydd, a seat of Watkin Williams Esq in right of his mother, heiress of the place. Her gran­father, Edward Lloyd Esq who died in 1715, was eminent for his learning, and had prepared materials for the history of this his native country. Continue my journey to OSWESTRY, a considerable town, about two miles distant from Whittingtion; OSWESTRY. a place celebrated in Saxon history and legendary piety. On this spot, on August 5th 642*, was fought the battle between the Christian Oswald, king of the Northumbrians, and the Pagan Penda, king of the Mercians. Oswald was defeated, and lost his life. The barbarian victor cut the body of the slain prince into pieces, and stuck them on stakes dispersed over the field, as so many trophies; or, according to the antient verses that relate the legend, his head and hands only were thus exposed:

Cujus et abscissum caput abscissosque lacertos,
Et tribus affixos palis pendere cruentos
Penda jubet: per quod reliquis exempla relinquat
Terroris manefesta sui, Regemque beatum
Esse probet miserum: sed causam fallit utramque,
Ultor enim fratris minime timet Oswius illum
Immo timere facit. Nee rex miser, immo beatus
Est, qui fonte boni fruitur semel, et sine fine.
'Three crosses, rais'd at Penda's dire commands,
'Bore Oswald's royal head and mangled hands:
'To stand a sad example to the rest,
'And prove him wretched who is ever blest.
'Vain policy! for what the victor got
'Prov'd to the vanquish'd king the happier lot:
'For now the martyr'd saint in glory views
'How Oswy with success the war renews:
'And Penda scarcely can support his throne,
'Whilst Oswald wears a never-failing crown.'

IT is probable that the Britons bestowed on the spot where the battle was fought, the name of Maes hîr, or the long field, or combat, from the obstinacy of the conflict. The Saxons, for a considerable time, retained the name of the place where the action was fought, with the addition of their own vernacular word feld, or selth, a field; as maserfeld, maserfelth, and corruptly, masafeld.

Campus Mesafeld sanctorum canduit Ossa *.
The bones of saints at Mesafeld were bleach'd.

[Page 248]IN after-days, the name became entirely Saxon; and from the fate of the king was styled Oswald's tree; now Oswestry; and by the Welsh rendered Croes-oswallt. Before this event, and for a long space beyond, this tract was the property of the Bri­tons; till it was. conquered by Offa, and brought within the verge of his famous ditch.

A PRINCE so dear to the church as Oswald, and so attached to the professors of the monastic life, received every posthumo [...] honor that they could bestow. He was raised to the rank of [...] saint; and his sanctity confirmed by numberless miracles. [...] reliques (which were removed the year following by Osw [...] we [...] efficacious in all disorders incident to man or beast. The [...] spot on which his pious corpse had lain, imparted its virtue [...] the mere contact:MIRACLE. the horse of a traveller, wearied by exc [...] of labor, stopt here, lay down, and, rolling about in agony, luckily tumbled on the place where Oswald fell. No sooner had he touched the ground, than he sprung up in full vigor. His master, a man of great sagacity! marked the spot; mounted his nag, and soon reached his inn. There he found a young wo­man ill of the palsy. He told the adventure of his horse; per­suaded her friends to try the same remedy; caused her to be transported there; and she instantly found the same be­nefit*.

A CHURCH arose on the place of martyrdom,CHURCH. dedicated to the saint. A monastery was founded, which bore the name of [Page 249] Blan [...]-minster, Candida ecclesia album monasterium, and White-minster. It is very singular, that no evidences exist, either of the time of the foundation or of the dissolution. The last must have hap­pened in Saxon days; for, immediately after the Conquest, the church of St. Oswald was bestowed on the abby of Shrews­bury. Bishop Tanner doubts whether there ever was a monastery here*: but the authority of Leland puts this much out of the question—that there once stood here some sort of religious foun­dation; for he expressly says, that the cloisters, with tombs of the monks, remained in the memory of man. I am in­clined to think it to have been collegiate; a species of esta­blishment very frequent in places of martyrdoms or of assassina­tions, reverential or expiatory, according to the nature of the event. Something of this kind existed here toward the [...] end of the reign of Henry II; for Reinerus bishop of St. [...] (who had a house near the place) alienated all the tythes of [...] and corn of this church and its chapels. These served to main­tain twelve priests; but Re [...]er bestowed the revenues on the monks of Shrewshury; and by the papal authority expelled the antient seculars. I must remark, that most of them had law­ful wives; for the Welsh clergy, for a long time, resisted the im­position of the church of Rome in the article of celibacy, as well as several others.

GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS attended the archbishop of Cantenbury to this place, in order to incite people to take arms for the [Page 250] purposed Crusade. It is singular, that he mentions as little of* as he does of [...]. He says he went from Chester towards Album Monasterium, where he was met by Gryffydd ap Med [...], and [...], and several other Welshmen of distinction. Some under­took the romantic war; and, according to custom, were make [...] with the sign of the cross by Rei [...]er. When that business [...] over, they entered the town. of [...], and were most mag­nificently entertained by the young earl of earl of Arunded, after the [...] fashion; which G [...]raldus seems to think savored too much of laxury.

SOME writers entertain doubts, whether this place was the Al [...]m Monasterium visited by Giraldus; and endeavor to fix it [...] W [...]lu [...]ch; but those may be easily removed; when it is cer­tain that it was in Pow [...]s [...]and, a pretension that the other has [...] clame to: besides, Osw [...]s [...]try and [...] are mentioned as distinct places in the Rot [...] Wa [...]ae. R [...]h, the third earl [...] Ch [...]ter, took the [...] of Blo [...], from being born at the place; and John [...] dates from Alla [...] Monosterium. In 12 [...]1, a grant of certain lands, which he had made to the [...]ee of St. A [...] .

AT Present,OSWALD'S WELL. there is not a relique of any old building ex­cepting of the ruins of a chapel over a remarkably fine [...] that still bears the name of the saint: and near the church is [...] spot moated round, whose house is now quite unknown.

[Page 251]I MUST add,CAE-NET. that near the town is a field called Cae-nes, or Heaven-field, which some have imagined to have been the place of his martyrdom. His life and death hath given two places that title; for the Saxon Heafenseld in Northumberland has the same meaning; and received it on account of the victory he obtained there over the Cumbrian prince; Oswald attributing his success solely to the intervention of Heaven.

THE present church is of no great antiquity;CHURCH. is spacious, and has a handsome plain tower. We learn from a monument in memory of Mr. Hugh Y [...], that the old church was demolished in 1616. I suppose that the present immediately rose on the ruins. It stands quite out of the town, in a suburb without the New-gate; is a vicarage, under the patronage of the earl of Powys, who is also lord of this extensive manor. Part of this parish still use the Welsh language; for which reason, divine ser­vice is in a certain proportion read by the minister.

THE town was fortified with a wall and four gates.WALLS AND GATES That called the Black-gate is demolished; the New-gate, the Willow-gate, and the Beatrice-gate, still remain. The last is a handsome build­ing, with a guard-room on both sides; and over it the arms of the [...]-ala [...]s, a lion rampant. It probably was built by Thomas earl of Arundel, in the beginning of the reign of Henry IV. who bestowed the name on it in honor of his wife Beatrix, natural daughter to the king of Portugal.

OVER the New-gate is the figure of a horse in full speed, with an oaken bough in his mouth. There is a conjecture, but I will not pretend to say how well warranted, that it alluded to the g [...]ous breed of horses which Po [...]ysland of which this was part [Page 252] was [...] for, [...]ived from fome tine Spanish stallions, intro­ [...] by [...]word B [...]sme earl of [...]ews [...]ury.

[...] were beg [...]n in the year 1277, or the sixth or Edward I. who granted a [...]rage or [...]o [...]l on the inhabitants of the county, [...] for six years; in which time it may be supposed they [...]. They were about a mile in compass, and had [...] on the outsde, capable of being filled with water from the neighboring [...]l [...]ts.

THERE are only a few fragments of the castle remaining.CASTLE. It stood on an artificial mount, with a great foss, extending to the Beatrice-gate on one side, and on the other to the Willow-gate. Our Welsh historians attribute the foundation to Mad [...] ap Mer [...] ap B [...]yn prince of Pow [...]s, in 1148*. Leland gives some color to this, by sayins, that in his time there was a tower called [...]; but the L [...]sh records place it in possession of A [...] a noble N [...]an, who received it immediately from [...] the Conqueror, on his accession. This A [...]n was the stock of the Fitz-ala [...] earls of A [...]n [...]el; a potent race, that flourished (with fewer checks than usual with greatness) for near five hundred years.

SIR WILLIAM DU [...]LE says, that there was a castle at [...] at the time of the Conquest; which I think pre­ [...]e. The artificial mount on which it was placed indica [...] to have been earlier than the N [...]rman aer [...]. The Brit [...]ns and the [...] gave their fortresses this species of elevation. The Norm [...]n bulk on the f [...]m and natural so [...]l or rock; but often [Page 253] made use of these mounts, wnich they found to have been the site of a Saxon castle. I believe this to have been the case with that in question. A Fitz-alan repaired or re-built, and added to that which he met with here: a tower also (as is not unfrequent) might receive th [...] name of M [...]dor, complimentary either to the son of Meredydd, or some other great man of the same title.

THIS castle was the residence of the Norm [...]n owners, and had been completely finished. I had its [...] or yard, which compre­hended that part or the town still called the Bail [...]y head: its Barbican or outer-gate, where the maimed and blind were com­monly relieved; a mount on the outside of the great ditch was the site of this building; and, from the use, bears to this day the name of Cripple-gate. Lastly, it had its chapel, placed at a little distance, dedicated to St. Nicholas, and was in the gift of the earls of Arundel.

I WILL not tire the reader with a dry list of successors to this place, or the guardians of such who were under age. I will only observe, that after the execution of Edmund earl of Aru [...]del, on the reign of Edward II. his queen, to shew her predilection to her gentle Mortimer, obtained the possession of it for that favorite.

THE town was favored with considerable priveleges from its [...]als. Its first charter, from its brevity called by the Welsh [...] Gw [...]a, or the short charter*, was granted by William earl [...], in the reign of Henry II.SHARTA [...] G [...]T [...]. I must observe here, that [...] [...]parted to the burgesses the same priveleges with [...] of [...] [...]ury.

[Page 254]THE same William, in a scutage made in kins; John's ti [...] was not to do ward at any place but Blanc-minster, for the knights fees held by him: nor to furnish more than ten soldier [...], horse, or foot, within the county of Salop; nor more than five out of it.

HIS son John took part with the barons against king J [...] who in revenge marched to Oswestry in 1216*, and reduced the town to ashes. On the death of that prince, he was reconciled to his successor, Henry III.FAIR. and in 1227, obtained for his m [...] ­nor of Blanc-minster the grant of a fair, upon the eve, the day, and the day after the feast of St. Andrew. He also make the bailliffs clerks of the market, with power to imprison [...] persons who used fraudulent ways in buying or selling; [...] which they payed the consideration of twenty marks. These people frequently abused their power: it is therefore no wonder that so many of the grievances which the Welsh so much com­plained of to Edward I. should originate from this place.

IN 1233, this unfortunate town experienced a second destruc­tion, being again burnt by Llewelyn ap J [...]rwerth prince of Wales . Provision was now made against future insults; for, in the next reign, that of Edward I. the town was surrounded with walls. This happened when that politic monarch meditated the conq [...] of Wales; therefore thought proper to secure this town, [...] of the keys of the country, with proper defence.

IN 1 [...]18, the reign of his unfortunate son, Edmund earl of Arundel was commanded to raise two hundred foot- [...] [Page 255] diers out of Colne and this neighborhood, to repel the Scots.

IN 1331, Edward III. granted another fair to this town; and in 1346, directed Edmund Fitz-alan to raise two hundred of his vassals from Clun and Oswestry, to attend him in the French wars.

IN 1397, Richard earl of Arundel being attainted and executed, the king, Richard II. seized all his lands and manors, and granted them to William le Serope earl of Wiltshire, one of his fa­vorites.FIRST ROYAL CHARTER. He also granted to the town the first royal charter, incorporating it by the name of the bailiffs and burgesses of OSWESTRY infra Palatinatum CESTRIAE in marchid inter ANGLIAM [...]t WALLIAM. This was also founded upon the conssitution of that of Shrewsbury. They were exempted throughout the king­dom (the liberty of the city of London excepted) de Theolonio, Lastugie, Passagio, Pontagio, Stallagio de L [...]ne, et de Danegeldis, et S [...]y [...]it, et omnibus allis consuetudinibus et exactionibus.

ITS new lord, the earl of Wiltshire, fell a victim to the po­pular fury,THOMAS EARL OF ARUNDEL. on the deposal of his royal master; and Thomas the son of the attainted earl, restored in blood. He proved a great benefactor to the corporation: he gave it a release, in 1406, from a hundred pounds that they were indebted to him, in considera­tion of the distresses the town suffered during the insurrection of Glyndwr. He also obtained a pardon from the king for his vassals in Chirk, [...]r [...]field, and this manor, for the share they took in that commotion.

IN the same year with the release, he granted a most ex­tensive charter to the town, containing many matters that shew [Page 256] the customs of the times; and merits, on that account, a detail of some of the particulars. To began with a most essential one;HIS CHARTER. ‘Neither the lord or his heirs should confiscate or seize the effects of persons dying with or without will in the corpora­tion: THAT no burgess should be compelled to be the [...]o [...]d's receiver-general; but only collector of the issues arising within the borough: THAT the burgesses should be discharged from all fees demanded by the constable of the castle, or any [...] his menial servants, for any felonies or trespasses committed out of the same liberties, when brought to the prison of the castle; saving, that the constable might receive one penny a [...] his own election, from every mansion-house in the town; and a farthing of every cottage on the feast of St. Stephen annually THAT the burgesses should be freed for the future from [...] excise of ale brewed and sold in the town, which had been hitherto payable, at the rate of seven pence for every Br [...] cervi [...] exposed to sale: THAT they were to be freed from the duty of Amobr or Lyrewite *: THAT whoever lived in the house of a burgess, and happened to die there, the bur­gess was to have a herlot after his decease; in the same man­ner as the [...], or freeholders residing on the lands of the lord in the hundred of Oswestry: THAT no Shrewsbury ale should be sold in the town without license, while any ale brewed in the town was to be had, under the penalty of six shillings and eight pence: THAT none of the inhabitants of the lord­ [...]hips of Oswestry, Mel [...]erl [...]y, Kinards [...]ey, Egerley, Ruyton and [Page 257] the eleven towns*, should drive or carry any cattle, corn, or victuals, or other wares, to any foreign fair or market, before the same had been first exposed to sale in the town of Os­westry, under the penalty of six shillings and eight pence: THAT none of the lord's tenants should be compelled to pay the redditus advocarii for the security of the cas;tle, &c. &c.

UNTIL the time of the above-mentioned charter,GUARD AT THE GATES. the lord's Welsh tenants of the hundred of Oswestry were accustomed by their tenure to keep watch and ward for three days and three nights at the four gates of the town, during the fairs of St. Andrew and St. Oswald, with a certain number of men called Kaies [...] but these treacherously, with others, ravaged and plundered the place. On this the tenants were compelled to pay a sum of money as wages to a sufficient number of Englishmen, as the burgesses should think convenient, for the custody of the four gates; and the Welshmen were for ever to be discharged from that duty.

THE vassals of the earls of Arundel in these parts were of a mixed nature; either descendants of the Norman followers of their ancestor Alan, or of the native Welsh, who were most nu­merous, and bore an hereditary dislike to their co-tenants of foreign stock. The welsh part was called walcheria, and lay in the upper part of the manor.

THIS charter of earl Thomas was confirmed by his several suc­cessors, to the time of Henry VIII. Charles II. granted another; [Page 258] in which a mayor, twelve aldermen, fifteen common-council, a high-steward, and recorder, compose the body corporate.

ABOUT a mile from Oswestry, in the parish of Sellatyn, lies a fine military post, on an insulated eminence of an oblong form, which has been fortified with much art. The top is an exten­sive area, containing fifteen acres, three roods, and eight perches, of fertile ground, surrounded with two ramparts and fosses of great heighths and depths. At a distance from these, at the foot of the hill, is another deep foss, which surrounds the whole, and ends (as do the two others) at the two entrances; which are placed diagonally opposite to each other. On the slope of the hill, on both sides of one entrance, are a range of deep oblong trenches, running transversely between the second ditch and another, which seems to be designed for their immedi­ate protection; for the first extends no farther than these trench­es; the other, to no great distance beyond them.

THIS place is called Old Oswerstry,OLD OSWESTRY.H [...]n Ddinas, and antiently Caer Ogyrfan, from Ogyrfan a hero co-existent with Arthur. There is no certainty of the origin of it: some ascribe it to Oswald or to Penda, and imagine that it was possessed, before the battle of Maserfeld, by one of those princes. Others think it to have been the work of the antient Britons; to which opinion I in­cline. The strength, and the labor in forming it, evince that it was not a sudden operation, like that of a camp. Its con­struction, even to the oblong trenches, is British; for example, that of Bryn y Clawddiau, on the Clwydian hills, which divide Flintshire from the vale of Clwyd, is a similar work.

[Page 259]A GREAT dike and foss,WAT'S DIKE. called Wat's, is continued from each side of this post. This work is little known, notwithstanding it is equal in depth, though not in extent, to that of Offa. We shall here trace the course of each. Wat's can only be dis­covered on the southern part to Maeshury mill, in Oswestry parish, where it is lost in a morassy ground: from thence it takes a northern direction to Hen-ddinas, and by Pentre'r Clawdd to Gobowen, the site of a small fort, in the parish of Whittington: then crosses Prys Henlle common, into the parish of St. Martin, near which is a mount called Bryn y Castell: crosses the Ceiriog between Brynkinallt and Pont y Blew forge, and the DEE below Nant y Bela; from whence it passes through Wynn-stay park, by another Pentre'r Clawdd, or township on the ditch, to Erddig, the seat of Philip Yorke Esq where there was another strong fort on its course: from Erddig it goes above Wrexham, near Melin Pule­ston, by Dolydd, Maesgwyn, Rhos-ddu, Croes-oneiras, Mr. Shakerley's Gwersyllt; crosses the Alun, and through the township of Llai, to Rhydin, in the county of FLINT; above which is Caer-estyn, a British post: from hence it runs by Hope church, along the side of Molesdale, which it quits towards the lower part, and turns to Mynydd Sychdyn, Monachlog near Northop, by Northop mills, Bryn▪ moel, Coed y Llys, Nant y Flint, Cefn y Coed, through the Strand fields, near Holywell, to its termination below the abby of Basingwerk. I have been thus minute in giving its course, because it is so often confounded with OFFA'S ditch, which attends the former at unequal distances, from five hundred yards to three miles, till the latter is totally lost.

OFFA'S ditch extended from the river Wye, OFFA'S DIKE. along the counties of Hercford and Radnor, into that of Montgomery, where I shall [Page 260] take it up at its entrance into NORTH WALES, at Pwll y Piod, an ale-house on the road between Bishop's-castle and Newtown; from thence passes northward, near Mellington-hall, near which is an [...]ncampment called Caer-din, by Brompton mill, where there is a mount; Linor park near Montgomery, Forden heath, Nant-cribba, at the foot of an antient fortress, Layton-hall, and Buttington church. Here it is lost for five miles; the channel of the Severn. probably serving for that space as a continuation of this famous boundary; which, just below the conflux of the Bele and the Severn, appears again, and passes by the churches of Llandysi [...] and Llanymynech, to the edge of the vast precipitous limestone-rock in the last parish: from this place it runs by Tref y Clawdd, over the horse-course on Cefn y Bwch, above Oswestry, then above Sellatyn; from whence it descends to the Ceiriog, and thence to Glyn, where there is a large breach, supposed to be the place of interment of the English who fell in the battle of Cregen, hereafter to be mentioned: it then goes by Chirk-castle; and, below Cefn y Wern, crosses the Dee, and the Rhiwabon. road near Plâas Madoc, forms part of the turnpike-road to Wrexham, to Pentre Bychan, where there is a mount; then by Plâs Bower to Adwy'r Clawdd, near Minera; by Brumbo, crosses Cegidog river, and through a little valley on the south side of Bryn Yorkyn moun­tain to Coed Talwrn and Cae-deon, a farm near Treyddin chapel, in the parish of Mold (pointing towards the Clwydian hills); be­yond which there can no farther traces be discovered.

No reason appears why its course was not continued from sea to sea. It seems probable that Offa imagined that the Clwydian hills, and the deep valley that lies on this side at their base, [Page 261] would serve as a continuance of his prohibitory line: he had carried his arms over most part of Flintshire, and vainly ima­gined, that his labors would restrain the Cambrian inroads in one part, and his orders prevent any incursions beyond these na­tural limits, which he had decreed should be the boundaries of his new conquests. The weakness of this great work appeared on the death of Offa: the Welsh, with irresistible fury, despised his toils, and carried their ravages far and wide on the English marches. Superior force often repelled our countrymen. San­guinary laws were made by the victorious Harold against any that should transgress the limits prescribed by Offa. The Welsh­man that was found in arms on the Saxon side of the ditch, was to lose his right-hand*.

IT is observable, that in all parts the ditch is on the Welsh side; and that there are numbers of small artificial mounts, the sites of small forts, in many places along its course. These were garrisoned, and seem intended for the same purposes as the towers in the famous Chinese wall, to watch the motions of their neighbors, and to repel the hostile incursions.

IT is remarkable, that Wat's dike should have been overlooked or confounded with that of Offa, by all writers, except by Tho­mas Churchyard the poet, who assigns the object of the work: that the space intervening between the two was free ground, where the Britons and Saxons might meet with safety for all com­mercial purposes.

[Page 262]From Oswestry I took the road to Sellatyn, SELLATYN. a parish contain­ing about six hundred inhabitants. Its register commences in 1557; was fortunately saved from the great wreck of such re­cords by Mr. Wilding, an Oliverian rector in the civil wars. It appears from it, that the state of population in the first and the last twenty years was as follows:


THIS happy disproportion of encrease between births and bu­rials, seems to arise from the hilly situation of the parish; which slopes down to the moory flats of those of Oswestry and Whit­tington, without partaking the lest of their nature. The improve­ments in agriculture contribute much to retain numbers of the inhabitants, by finding them a wholesome and innocent em­ploy: the want of which exiles multitudes, in many places, to the vice and disease of great cities.

THE first house I visited is Porkington, PORKINGTON. the seat of Robert Go­dolphin Owen Esq. This place takes its name from a singular entrenchment in a neighboring field, called Castell Brogyntyn, a fort belonging to Owen Brogyntyn, a natural son to Owen Mad [...]ap Meredydd prince of Powis Vadog *. It is of a circular form, sur­rounded with a vast earthen dike, and a deep foss. It appears, [Page 263]


[Page 263]by an old drawing in Mr. Mytton's collection, to have had two entrances, pretty close to each other, projecting a little from the sides, and diverging; the end of each guarded by a semi-lunar curtain. These are now destroyed. The whole parish consists of a single township, which also bears the same title with the mansion.

THE name of the house was soon altered to one very nearly resembling the present. In 1218, Henry III. in an address to Llewelyn prince of Wales, informs him, that among others, Ble­ddyn Filius Oeni de PORKINTON* had performed to his majesty the service he owed.

I MUST now make a very long transition from this period to that which produced another distinguished personage of this family.SIR JOHN OWEN. Here is preserved the portrait of Sir John Owen knight, of Clenneney in Caernarvonshire; a gallant officer, and strenuous supporter of the cause of Charles I. He greatly signalized him­self at the siege of Bristol, when it was taken by prince Rupert, and was desperately wounded in the attack. Congenial qualities recommended him to his highness; who, superseding the appoint­ment of archbishop Williams to the government of Conway castle, in 1645, constituted Sir John commander in his place. This fortress was soon given up to general Mytton, by the con­trivance of the prelate, and the power of his friends: and the knight retired to his seat in the distant parts of the county. In 1648, he rose in arms to make a last effort in behalf of his fallen master, probably in concert with the royalists in Kent and [Page 263] [...] [Page 263] [...] [Page 264] Essex. He was soon attacked by William Lloyd, sheriff of the county, whom he defeated, wounded, and made prisoner. He then laid siege to Caernarvon; but hearing that certain of the parlement forces, under the colonels Carter and Twisleton, were on their march to attack him, he hastened to meet them, and took the sheriff with him on a litter. He met with his enemies near Llandegai: a furious recontre ensued, in which Sir John had at first the advantage; but falling in with their reserve, fortune de­clared against him: in a personal contest with a captain Taylor, he was pulled off his horse, and made prisoner; and his troops, disheartened by the loss of their commander, took to flight. The sheriff died the same day. The victory was esteemed of that consequence, that captain Taylor, who was the messenger of the news to the parlement, received a reward of two hundred pounds out of Sir John's estate*.

SIR JOHN was conveyed to Windsor castle, where he found four noblemen under confinement for the same cause. On the 10th of November, a vote past for his banishment, and that of the lords Goring, Loughborough, Capel, the earl of Holland, and major-ge­neral Langhern ; but after the execution of their royal master, sanguinary measures took place. The duke of Hamilton, the earl of Holland, and the lords Goring and Capel, were put upon their trials. Sir John shewed a spirit worthy of his country. He told his judges, that ‘he was a plain gentleman of Wales, who had been always taught to obey the king; that he had served him honestly during the war; and, finding many honest [Page 265] men endeavored to raise forces, whereby he might get him out of prison, he did the like;’ and concluded like a man who did not much care what they resolved concerning him. In the end he was condemned to lose his head; for which, with a hu­morous intrepidity, he made the court a low reverence, and gave his humble thanks. A by-stander asked what he meant: he replied aloud, ‘It was a great honour to a poor gentleman of Wales to lose his head with such noble lords; for by G—, he was afraid they would have hanged him.’

SIR JOHN, by mere good-fortune, was disappointed of the honor he was flattered with; being, as his epitaph says, Famae plus quam vitae sollicito. He neither solicited for a pardon, nor was any petition offered to parlement in his favor; which was strongly importuned in behalf of his fellow-prisoners. Ireton proved his advocate, and told the house, ‘That there was one person for whom no one spoke a word; and therefore requested, that he might be saved by the sole motive and goodness of the house.’ In consequence, mercy was extended to him; and, af­ter a few months imprisonment, he was, on his petition, set at liberty. He retired again into his country, where he died in 1666; and was interred in the church of Penmorva in Caer­narvonshire, where a small monument preserves the following epitaph.

[Page 266]M. S. JOHANNIS OWEN de Clenneney in Co. Carnarvon militis, viri in patriam amoris ardentissimi:

in regem (beatissimum martyrem CAROLUM Ium)
indubitatae fidelitatis clari;
qui ad sacrosanctam majestatem a perduellionum
rabie eripiendam, summa pericula, lubentissè obivit,
Hostium copias non semel fudit, ac fregit;
religionem vindicavit:
Donec, infelici sorte in perditissimorum hominum manus,
Regali jam sanguine imbutas,
inciderit Dux praestantissimus:
Unde supplex sese obsessum redimerat
nisi quod Heroi consummatissimo
Famae plus, quam vitae sollicito, tale [...] displicuit.
collo igitur imperterrite oblato,
securis aciem retudit divina vis;
volucrisque fati tardavit alas, donec senex laetissimus
CAROLUM 2dum et sibi et suis restitutum viderat.

Ao. Doni. 1666. et Aetatis suae 66. placidé expiravit.

FROM Porkington, SELLATYN CHURCH. I ascended to the parish-church. The legend of the foundation is, that a noble Briton being engaged in the chace, found in a thicket on this spot a white hind; which determined him (after the example of Ethelred king of the Mercians, in the instance of St. John's church Chester) to dedicate it to sacred uses. He accordingly translated to this place the an­tient church, which, tradition says, stood before on a spot still called Bryn hên Eglwys, or the hill of the old church.

[Page 267]THAT high-church meteor,DOCTOR SACHE­VEREL. that party-tool, Doctor Sacheverel, was, in 1709, presented to this living; not so much on account of its value, as to give him a pretence of making a progress through a long extent of the kingdom; and of trying the incli­nations of the people in the rich and populous counties he was to pass through. He was met on the confines of this by 5000 horsemen, among which were the first fortunes of Shropshire. He met with respect, in every town, little short of adoration. The crowd in Oswestry was so great, that a good old woman could see only a small part of the holy man; yet consoled her­self with having a sight of his ever-blessed wig as he rode along.

FROM hence I hastened towards Chirk castle, keeping a lower road between the two dikes. On approaching the village of Chirk, is a very deep valley, consisting of fertile meadows, wa­tered by the brook Ceiriog, and finely bounded by lofty wooded banks. On the very verge of that next to Chirk, stands an ar­tificial mount; and, I think, the vestige of another, on the other side of the road which goes between them. These were explo­ratory, and probably designed also for defence; and might have had on them a small fort for the protection of the pass. I imagine these mounts to have been Saxon, and coeval with the great labor of Offa, which runs at a small distance from them.

IN this deep valley,BATTLE OF CRO­GEN. which winds along the foot of the vast Berwyn mountains, was a bloody conflict between part of the forces of Henry II. and the Welsh, in 1165. Henry had determined once more to attempt the subjection of Wales, and to revenge the ravages carried through the borders by its gallant prince [Page 268] Owen Gwynedd; for that end, he assembled a vast army at Os­westry. Owen, on the contrary, collected all his chieftains, with their dependants, at Corwen. The king, hearing that his antago­nist [...] so near, resolved to bring the matter to a speedy deci­sion. He marched towards him; and in this valley, finding himself intangled in impenetrable woods, and recollecting his ill­fortune among the forests of Eulo, directed his vanguard to make the passage clear, by cutting down the trees, in order to secure himself from ambuscade. The pikemen, and flower of his army, were posted to cover the workmen. The spirit of the common soldiers of the Welsh army grew indignant at this attempt; and, without the knowlege of their officers, fell with unspeakable fury on these troops. The contest was violent; numbers of brave men perished; in the end, the Welsh retired to Corwen. Henry gained the summit of the Berwyn; but was so distressed by dreadful rains, and by the activity and prudence of Owen, who cut him off from all supplies, that he was ob­liged to return ingloriously, with great loss of men and equipage*.

THIS conflict is sometimes called the battle of Corwen; but with more propriety that of Crogen: for it happened beneath Castelh Crogen, the present Chirk castle; and the place is still called Adwy'r Beddau, or the pass of the graves of the men who were slain here.

THE church of Chirk is dedicated to St. Mary; CHURCH OF CHIRK. and was for­merly an impropriation belonging to the abby of Valle Crucis.

[Page 269]Within is a profusion of marble, cut into human forms, memorial of the later lords of the place, or their ladies.MONUMENTS. The best is a bust of Sir Thomas Middleton, with a peaked beard, long hair; armed: and by him is another of his lady, a Napier of [...]. Sir Thomas was a successful and active commander on the side of the parlement dur­ing the civil wars. Towards the end of his life, he found that he had undesignedly established a more intolerable tyranny than that which he had formerly opposed. In 1659, he took arms, in conjunction with Sir George Booth, in order to restore the antient constitution. Sir George was defeated by the vigilant Lambert; and Sir Thomas forced to take refuge in his castle, where, after two or three days shew of defence, he was constrained to surrender on such conditions as the conqueror was pleased to dictate.

THE other monuments are composed of large and very ill-executed figures of lady Middleton, wife to Sir Thomas Middleton baronet, son of the former. She was daughter of Sir Thomas Willraham of Woodhey; and died at the early age of twenty-two, in the year 1675.

SIR RICHARD MIDDLETON, and his lady, Frances daughter of Sir Thomas Whitmore of Buildas. He died in 1716; she in 1694. At their feet lies their son Sir William, who survived his father only two years, dying at the age of twenty-four.

ON a small mural monument, is an elegant epitaph on Doctor Walter Balcanqual, a Scotch divine of distinguished character. In 1617, he was appointed master of the Savoy hospital, which he soon resigned in favor of the able but desultory Marc Antonio di Dominis, archbishop of Spalato, in reward for his conversion to Protestantism. In 1618, he was sent to represent his country in [Page 270] the famous synod of Dort. He was promoted to the deanery of Rochester; and, in 1639, to that of Durham; but by his great loyalty, having rendered himself hated by his countrymen, was, in 1645, obliged to take refuge in Chirk castle; but, sink­ing under the fatigue of the journey, and severity of the weather, died on Christmas-day. The epitaph was composed by Dr. Pearson bishop of Chester, at the request of Sir Thomas Mid­dleton, by whom the monument was erected.

THE castle lies about a mile from the village,CASTLE. in the course of Offa's dike, on the summit of a lofty hill, projecting from the great mass of the Berwyn mountains. Before the foundation of the present castle, stood another, called Castell Crogen; and the territory around bore the name of Tref y Waun, the property of the lords of Dinas Brân. It continued in their possession till the death of Gryffydd ap Madoc, a strenuous partizan of Henry III. and Edward I. Edward, on the decease of Gryffydd, rewarded two of his favorites with the guardianship of the two eldest-sons of Gryffydd: Madoc, to John earl Warren; and Llewelyn to Roger Mortimer, son of Roger baron of Wigmore: who, as before related, quickly dispatched the unhappy youths, and possessed themselves of their fortunes. Earl Warren seized on the lordships of Bromfield and Yale; Mortimer on those of the present Chirk and Nan-heudwy. He became the founder of the castle. It continued in his family but a short time, being sold by his grandson John, to Richard Fitz-alan earl of Arundel. The Fitz-alans possessed it for three generations; after which it passed to Thomas Mowbray duke of Norfolk, and justice of North Wales, Chester, and Flint, in right of his wife Elizabeth, elder sister to Thomas earl of Arundel. On



[Page 271] the disgrace and exile of Mowbray, in 1397, it probably was resum­ed by the crown; and granted again to William Beauchamp lord of Abergavenny, who married the other sister; and by the marriage of his grand-daughter, sole heiress of Richard Beauchamp earl of Worcester, with Edward Nevil (afterwards lord Abergavenny) was conveyed into that family, in the reign of Henry VI*.

THE next possessor which occurs to me, is the unfortunate Sir William Stanley, who, as Leland says, 'repayred it welle.' After his ungrateful execution, it became forfeited to his rapacious master; and, as I conjecture, was bestowed, in 1534, along with Holt Castle (another of Sir William's castles) by Henry VIII. on his natural son Henry Fitz-roy duke of Richmond and Somerset . By his early death, it reverted again to the crown.

IN the following reign, I imagine it to have been granted to Thomas lord Seymour, brother to the protector Somerset; for I find him in possession of Holt , to which it was an ap­pendage.

ELIZABETH granted it, with the same lordships, to her worth­less favorite Dudley earl of Leicester. On his death, Chirk Castle became the property of lord St. John of Bletso; whose son, in 1595, sold it to Sir Thomas Middleton knight, mayor of London in 1614.

THIS exalted pile has much to boast of in its vast view into seventeen counties; a most elegant and varied extent! The castle is square, and has five rounders uncommonly clumsy and [Page 272] heavy. Lord Clarendon and others speak of the entire demoli­tion of this fortress after its reddition to Lambert. Only one side, with three towers, were pulled down, which Sir Thomas Middle­ton lived to re-build in one year.

THE chief apartments are a saloon, fifty-six feet by twenty-seven; and a drawing-room within: a gallery, a hundred feet by twenty-two, filled with portraits. Among them are those of the duke of Ormond, and his son lord Ossory; the most virtuous cha­racters, and the greatest ornaments of the vicious age of Charles II. admired, revered, unimitated. Ossory died before his father; who bore his loss with the firmness of a Roman, founded on the certain hopes of a Christian. I can scarcely say whether he passed a finer eulogy on his son, or satyr on the times, by declaring, he would not change his dead son for any living one in EUROPE.

LORD keeper Sir Orlando Bridgeman, keeper of the great seals, in his robes, and with lank hair. He presided over two courts of justice with the most amiable character; and lost the seals for his refusal, in 1672, to affix them to the king's insidious declaration of liberty of conscience.

LADY BRIDGEMAN, second wife to Sir Orlando, and mother to Charlotte wife to Sir Thomas Middleton.

SIR THOMAS MIDDLETON in armour; grey-beard, and long black hair. The same gentleman who is mentioned in the ac­count of the tombs.

HIS daughter, countess of Warwick, dowager to Edward Rich earl of Warwick, and afterwards wife to Mr. Addison, and the re­puted cause of his intemperance.

[Page 273]THE usual appertenance to antient castles, the dungeon, must not be forgotten. The descent is by forty-two steps; but, according to the laudable usage of its present lord, the captives endure but a short and easy confinement; and even that passes impercep­tibly, amidst the good cheer and generous liquors bestowed on them by the kind warder, to whose custody they are com­mitted.

RE-PASSING through the castle-gate,BARBAROUS CUSTOM. I recollect a barbarous privelege, retained longer in this country than in any other part of Britain, that of exempting from capital punishment even the most atrocious assassin, by payment of a certain fine. This was practised by the lord marchers of these parts in the fifteenth century; and continued in Mowddwy in Merionethshire till it was abolished in the 27th of Henry VIII *.

THIS custom was derived from the antient Germans, who accept­ed a fine of cattle as a compensation for murder; which satisfied the relations, and was not detrimental to the public, which could not fail being injured by the extension of private re­venge .

THE Saxons continued this custom under the name of Were-geld; WERE-GELD. and accordingly set a price on every rank, from the king to the peasant . The head of the king was valued at thirty thousand thrymses, or 4,500 l.; half to be paid to his relations, and half to the kingdom for the loss it had sustained: that of a countryman was esteemed at two hundred and sixty-six, or 39 l. 18 s.

[Page 274]THE Were-geld of a Welshman was very low; for, unless he had property enough to be taxed for the king's use, his life was not reckoned of higher price than seventy thrymses, or ten guineas. The money or fine was distributed, as in the time of the antient Germans, among the relations of the deceased; and oftentimes part went to the lord of the soil, as compensation for his loss.

THE Welsh had in like manner their Galanas and Gwerth, GWERTH. of the same nature with the former; but our fine was usually paid in cattle, the wealth of the country.

BUT the Gwerth was not only a compensation for murder or homicide; but for all species of injuries. To cuckold the prince was expiated at a very high rate *; the offender was fined in a gold cup and cover, as broad as his majesty's face, and as thick as a ploughman's nail who had ploughed nine years; and a rod of gold as tall as the king, and as thick as his little finger; a hundred cows for every cantref he ruled over, with a white bull with different colored ears to every hundred cows.

THE recompence to a virgin who had been seduced is very sin­gular: on complaint made that she was deserted by her lover, it was ordered by the court, that she was to lay hold of the tail of a bull three years old, introduced through a wicker-door, and shaven, and well-greased. Two men were to goad the beast: if she could by dint of strength retain the bull, she was to have it by way of satisfaction; if not, she got nothing but the grease that remain­ed in her hands . I fear by this, and other penalties for the [Page 275] same offence, that the crime was not held by my countrymen to be of a very deep dye.

WELSH, SAXONS, and NORMANS, had each their pecuniary atonements for lesser injuries. A Welshman, for the loss of his finger, received one cow and twenty pence; of his nose, six oxen and a hundred and twenty pence; and for being pulled by the hair, a penny for every finger, and two-pence for the thumb, the instruments of the insult *. The Saxons had similar fines and the Normans, like persons of nice honor, provided a penalty of five sous for a lug by the nose, and ten pour un coup au derriere .

THE Scotch had also similar compensations for homicides and injuries; which, in their old laws, passed under the name of Cro, Galnes, and Kelchyn §: and lastly, the Irish had their Eric, or satisfaction for blood |. In fact, it prevaled over all parts of Europe, with variations conformable to the several complections of the country.

I CANNOT but relate the occasion of this digression. Two villains, who had committed a most horrid murder in the re­mote of parts Wales, had fled into this neighborhood for pro­tection, about the latter end of the fifteenth century. Two fa­milies at that time divided the country with their feuds; the Kyffins and the Trevors: who were ready at any time to receive [Page 276] under their protection, any banditti that were recommended to them by their remote friends, when their villanies rendered it unsafe for them to remain at home. The Trevors at this time gave asylum to these murderers. The friends of the person they had slain wished for revenge: being at that time in league with the Kyffins, a plot was laid to surprize the assassins. Jevan ap Meredeth, a gentleman of Caernarvonshire, who was most anxious to obtain redress for the injury, came over with six men, and was directed to keep himself concealed, least the Trevors should be alarmed, and frustrate his design. He accordingly kept within all day, and watched all night: at length the villains fell in­to his hands. The Trevors instantly pursued him; when he was told by the Kyffins, that if he was overtaken, and the offenders rescued, he would lose his revenge; for, according to the cus­tom of the country, they would be carried before the gate of Chirk-castle, and be instantly cleared, on the payment of five pounds. This determined Jevan to order his followers to strike off their heads on the spot. One of them executed his order but faintly; when the criminal told him, that if he had his neck under his sword, he would make it take a better edge *.

I WISH the cause had been better, that applause might have been given to this contempt of death; but such assassins as these could scarcely be animated with the prospect of immortality; which made their remote ancestors, inspired by the Druid songs, think it disgraceful to preserve a life that was so soon to return.

[Page 277]THE same consideration influenced the antient Danes; a warrior fell *, laughed, and died. Thus was the end of the Scandinavian hero, Agnerus.

Herculè nemo illo visus mihi fortior unquam;
Semivigil subsedit enim cubitoque reclinis
Ridendo excepit lethum, mortemque cachinno
Sprevit: et Elysium gaudens successit in orbem.
Magna viri virtus, quae risu calluit uno
Supremam celare necem, summumque dolorem
Corporis ac mentis laeto compescere vultu!
SAXO GRAMM. p. 36. l. 29.
Ne'er did I yet such fortitude behold!
By the stern king of terrors uncontrol'd
The hero fell. Upon his arm reclin'd,
With laughing extasy his breath resign'd.
Th' Elysian fields just op'ning to his view,
To Odin's hall with eager haste he flew:
With joy, with triumph, he resign'd his breath,
And smil'd away the agonies of death.
R. W.

ON leaving the castle,CEFN UCHA. I ascended the front of Cefn Ucha, amidst the magnificent and flourishing plantations that arise under the direction of the present owner. This lofty hill extends towards Llangollen, and affords a prospect uncommonly great. The distant view is boundless. One side impends over a most beautiful val­ley, watered by the Dee; diversified with groves, and bounded towards the end by barren and naked rocks, tier above tier.

[Page 278]DESCEND towards Llangollen, seated on the river, environed by lofty mountains. On gaining the bottom, I made a little devia­tion to the left,PENGWERN. to visit Pengwern, or Llys Pengwern, a seat of Tudor Trevor earl of Hereford about the year 924,TUDOR TREVOR. and of his second son Lluddocca, from whom the Mostyns are lineally de­scended. It is still possessed by Sir Roger, the Pen Cenedl of his name.

LITTLE remains of the old house, excepting a narrow, vaulted room, whose roof is formed or nine strong ribs of stone, covered with narrow flags layed over them like planks. The room above seems to have been covered in the same manner. The family resided here for about four hundred years, till its acqui­sition of Mostyn, by the marriage of the heiress, as before related.

LLANGOLLEN is a small and poor town,LLANGOLLEN. seated in a most romantic spot, near a pretty common watered by the Dee, which, emblematic of its country, runs with great passion through the valley. The mountains soar to a great height above their wood­ed bases; and one, whose summit is crowned with the antient castle Brân, is uncommonly grand.

I KNOW no place in North Wales, where the refined lover of picturesque scenes, the sentimental, or the romantic, can give a fuller indulgence to his inclination. No place abounds more with various rides or solemn walks. From this central spot, he may (as I have done) visit the seat of Owen Glyndwr, and the fine vallies of the Dee, to its source, beyond the great Llyntegid: or pass the mountains to the fertile vale of Clwyd; or make the tour of Wrexham; or visit the places which I have just left.


M. Griffith del. CASTLE D


W. Matt [...] [...]ulp. [...]NAS BRAN.

[Page 279]AMONG the walks on the banks of the Dee, the venerable re­mains of the neighboring abby, and the arduous ascent of Castell Dinas Brân, are so engaging, that I believe no traveller of taste will think a repetition of them tedious.

THE church of Llangollen is dedicated to St. Collen ap Gwynn­awg, CHURCH. ap Clydawg, ap Cowrda, ap Caradog Freichfras, ap Llyr Merim, ap Einion Yrth, ap Cunedda Wledig, by Ethni Wyddeles, daughter to Matholwch lord of Cwl in the kingdom of Ireland; which saint was buried here; and has left behind him a legend worthy of the Alcoran itself.

THE bridge,BRIDGE. which was founded by the first John Trevor bishop of St. Asaph *, who died in 1357, is one of the Tri Thlws Cymru, or three beauties of Wales: but more remarkable for its situa­tion than structure. It consists of five arches; whose widest does not exceed twenty-eight feet in diameter. The river usually runs under only one; where it has formed a black chasm of vast depth, into which the water pours with great fury, from a high broken ledge, formed in the smooth and solid rock, which composes the whole bed of the river. The view through the arches, either upwards or downwards, is extremely pictu­resque.

NEAR the foot of the bridge, opposite to the town,CASTELL DINAS BRAN. begins the ascent to Castell Dinas Brân, whose remains nearly cover the summit of a vast conoid hill, steeply sloped on every side. The form is oblong: the materials the coarse stone of the country, with here and there a few free-stone moldings. The side, which [Page 280] is less steep, defended by deep trenches, cut through the solid rock. This was one of our primitive Welsh castles. The foun­der is unknown. I dare not attribute its origin and name to Brennus king of the Gauls, who besieged the capitol; and is fabled to have come into these parts to fight with his brother Belinus: nor yet do I derive it from Bryn, a hill, nor Bran, a crow; but from the mountain river Brân, that runs down its side.

IT had been the chief seat of the lords of Jâl or Yale; and probably was founded by one of them. In the reign of Henry III. it was the retreat of Gryffydd ap Madog, who traiterously siding with the English against his countrymen, was obliged to secure himself in this aërial fastness.

ON the death of Gryffydd, Edward I. ungratefully bestowed on John earl Warren, the wardship of the eldest son of his old partizan; as he did that of the second on Roger Mortimer. Both the guardians understood the meaning of the favor; and accor­dingly made away with the poor children, and received full possession of their estates *, as before related. From the Warrens it passed by marriage to the Fitzalans, and followed the succession of the lords of Bromfield.

THE time of its ruin is unknown. Leland speaks of it as a demolished place; and adds, that an eagle built annually in the neighboring rocks; that a person was wont to be lowered down in a basket to take the young; and was obliged to have another basket over his head, to save him from the fury of the old birds.

[Page 281]IN 1390,MYFANWY VE­CHAN. this castle was inhabited by a celebrated beauty, de­scended from the house of Tudor Trevor, and whose father pro­bably held the castle under the earls of Arundel. The name of the lady was Myfanwy Vechan; she made a conquest of Howel ap Einion Lygliw, a celebrated bard, who composed the following ode, addressed to her; which an ingenious friend was pleased to favor me with in an English dress.

NEUD wyf ddihunwyf, hoen Creirwy hoywdeg, A'm hudodd, &c.

Sorrowing I strike the plaintive string;
Deign, cruel maid, to hear me sing;
And let my song thy pride controul,
Divine inchantress of my soul!
Sure Creirwy's charms must yield to thine,
And Garwy's * sufferings to mine.
Far from Myfanwy's marble tow'rs,
I pass my solitary hours.
O thou that shinest like the sky,
Behold thy faithful Howel die!
In golden verse, in flowery lays,
Sweetly I sang Myfanwy's praise;
Still the disdainful, haughty fair,
Laughs at my pain, and my despair.
[Page 282]What tho' thine eyes, as black as sloes,
Vie with the arches of thy brows;
Must thy desponding lover die,
Slain by the glances of thine eye?
Pensive, as Trystan *, did I speed
To Brán, upon a stately steed:
Fondly I gaze; but hard's my doom,
Oh fairer than the cherry's bloom!
Thus at a distance to behold
Whom my fond arms would fain enfold.
How swift, on Alban steed, I flew,
Thy dazzling countenance to view!
Though hard the steep ascent to gain,
Thy smiles were harder to obtain,
Thy peerless beauties to declare
Was still thy zealous lover's care,
O fairer thou, and colder too,
Than new-fall'n snow on Aren's brow!
O, lovely flow'r of Trevor's race,
Let not a cruel heart disgrace
The beauties of that heavenly face!
Thou art my daily thought; each night
Presents Myfanwy to my sight;
And death alone can draw the dart
Which love has fixed in my heart.
Ah! canst thou, with ungentle eye,
Behold thy faithful Howel die?
For thee my verse shall ever run,
Bright rival of the mid-day sun!
[Page 283]Shou'dst thou demand thy lover's eyes,
Gladly to thee I'd sacrifice
My useless sight, that only shews
The cruel author of its woes,
Refulgent in her golden bower,
As morning in her eastern tow'r,
Thy name, the echoing vallies round,
Thy name, a thousand hills resound,
Myfanwy Vechan, maid divine!
No name's so musical as thine;
And every bard with rapture hung
On the soft music of my song.
For thee I languish, pine, and rave,
White as Dwrdwy's curling wave.
Alas! no words can speak my pain,
While thus I love, but love in vain!
Wisdom, and Reason, what are they,
What all the charms of Poësy,
Against the fury of thy darts,
Thou vanquisher of human hearts?
When first I saw thee, princely maid!
In scarlet robes of state array'd,
Thy beauties set my soul on fire,
And every motion fann'd desire:
The more on thy sweet form I gaz'd,
The more my frantic passion blaz'd.
Not half so fine the spider's thread,
That glitters on the dewy mead,
As the bright ringlets of thy hair,
Thou beauteous object of my care!
[Page 284]But ah! my sighs, my tears are vain;
The cruel maid insults my pain!
And canst thou, without pity, see
The victim of thy cruelty—
Pale with despair, and robb'd of sleep,
Whose only business is to weep?—
Behold thy bard, thy poet, languish?
Oh! ease thy bard's, thy poet's, anguish;
And for Heaven's sake, some pity shew,
Ere to the shades of night I go!
O, fairer than the flowers adorning
The hawthorn in a summer's morning!
While life remains, I still will sing
Thy praise, and make the mountains ring
With fair Myfanwy's tuneful name;
And from misfortune purchase fame.
Nor even to die shall I repine,
So Howel's name may live with thine,

R. W.

AFTER a short repose,RHIWABON. on my descent from the castle, I made an excursion to Rhiwabon, a few miles from Llangollen. For some time the ride was along the sides of the Dee, which wa­tered a beautiful narrow vale. The hills at length approximate so nearly, as only to leave room for a most picturesque passage, shaded with trees. Cross a bridge called the New bridge, and ascend for some space, leaving on the left considerable pits both of coal and canal: reach the village of Rhiwabon, which takes its name from the Avon, or little river on which it lies.

[Page 285]THE church is dedicated to St. Mary. CHURCH. It has been lately fit­ted up in a very neat manner by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, who bestowed on it an organ, and a small font; the last, on occasion of the christening of his eldest son in 1772: is of white marble, supported by a tripod of distinguished elegance.

THE monument to his first wife,MONUMENTS. lady Harriet Somerset, is in fine taste. The figure of Hope reclines on an urn, and is at­tended with her usual emblem of an anchor. A serpent with its tail in its mouth, expressive of eternity, includes the inscription on one side of the pedestal.

As a contrast to this excellent performance of Mr. Nollikin, is placed against the wall a great monument of Henry Wynn Esq tenth son of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir, who died in 1671. His attitude is that of a fanatical preacher; and his dress a full-buttoned coat, short skirts, and square shoes; a most un­happy subject for the sculptor. On one side kneels Sir John Wynn of Wynn-stay, baronet; and on the other, Jane his wife, daughter to Eyton Evans, by whom he acquired the estate. He died at the age of ninety-one, in 1718; and left his fortune to the late Sir W. W. Wynn. He is represented blind: this accident (in his extreme age) is mentioned in his epitaph as a benefit, since his inward perceptions were improved by this bodily defect. It reminds me of two lines of Waller, in which the same idea is much better expressed:

The soul's dark cottage batter'd and decay'd
Lets in new light, thro' chinks which time hath made.

[Page 286]IN the same chapel is an antient tomb, of the altar fashion, with monkish pleureurs on the sides, and angels holding shields of now defaced arms. On the top are recumbent two figures; an armed man with a collar of SS. and a lady lying on a cloak: at their feet a lion with a monk sitting on it, with his head reclined on one hand.

AROUND the edges of the tomb is this inscription:

Orate pro anima Johannis ap Elis Eyton, armigeri qui obiit vicessimo octavo die menfis Septembris anno Domini 1526; et pro anima Elizabeth. Calfley uxoris ejus, quae obiit xi. die menfis Junii anno Domini 1524; quorum animabus pro­picietur Deus. Amen.

THIS gentleman joined Henry VII. before the battle of Bos­worth; and for his good services had considerable grants of land in these parts. He was of the house of Eyton before-men­tioned. His grandfather was twice married to the same lady; who, on some pretence of consanguinity, had been divorced from him after bearing him a son of the name of Ellis: but, obtaining a dispensation, they were re-united in form. After the second marriage, were born other children. A division of the estates was then made: Rhiwabon and Watstay fell to the share of Ellis; and Eyton to John, the first of the second brood *.

ON the other side of the altar is a noble monument to the late Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, whose virtues are still fresh in the minds of his countrymen. A fall from his horse, on Sep­tember 26th 1749, deprived the world of a useful citizen. Rys­brack [Page 287] has preserved his figure in a graceful attitude. The late Doctor King of St. Mary-hall thus expressed the qualities of his mind:


Qui ab illustri Britannorum veterum stirpe oriundus, majoribus suis se dig­nissimum semper praebuit, et non modo nomine, sed virtute et fide hominem vere Britannum. Admodum juvenis in senatum electus confestim cunctis in­notuit gravitate et judicio: Postquam vero et ipse de republica coepit dispu­tare, et libertatis patrocinium ac defensionem suscipere, incredibilem animi magnitudinem, atque ejus constantiam omnes ita suspexerunt, ut, cum senatus princeps, tum patriae pater meritò haberetur. Tam rectis studiis et ea singulari bonitate fuit praeditus, ut non posset fieri, quin maximam sibi gratiam et ve­nerationem compararet vir innocentissimus, idemque prudentissimus pater-familias, continentissimus maritus, benignissimus hospes, optimus literarum patronus, et assiduus DEI et CHRISTIANAE veritatis cultor. Ad haec quam suavis et jucundus fuit in convictu! Quanta fides ejus sermonibus! Qualis in ore probitas et decor! Quae mensae reverentia! Quae in cultu moderatio! Quae in omni vita modestia, elegantia, comitas, liberalitas! Talis tantique viri im­maturo interitu quam grave damnum fecit Britannia; quum cuncti qui ejus virtutes cognoverint (cognovit penitùs qui haec moerens scripsit) eo erepto, miserorum omnium perfugium, bonorum omnium delicias, doctorum om­nium praesidium, Walliae suae decus et ornamentum, et clarissimum reipublicae lumen ereptum et extinctum esse fateantur!

THE park of Wynn-stay reaches to the village of Rhiwabon; and is most advantageously situated.WYNN-STAY. The grounds well-wooded; the views distinct and extremely elegant; especially those towards [Page 288] the Berwyn mountains, and the august breach made into them beyond Llangollen by the rapid Dee, through the country of the irregular and wild GLYNDWR.

NANTY BELE,NANTY BELE. or the Dingle of the Martin, lies about a mile from hence, and merits a visit from every traveller. From a rock at its extremity, is a magnificent view of the Dee, rolling awefully in a deep chasm fringed with woods; at last terminat­ing sullenly in a black and still pool. Towards the north is a great view of the conic mountain, and the rude fortress of Dinas Brân, rising amidst a fertile vale, and bounded by the barren Alps.

THE house has been built at various times. The most antient is a gateway of wood and plaister, dated 1616. On a wall within the court, is this excellent distich, allusive to the name of the house;—Wynn stay, or rest satisfied with the good things Providence has so liberally showered on you.

Cui domus est victusque decens, cui patria dulcis
Sunt satis haec vitae, caetera cura, labor.

The former name of the place was Wat-stay, from its situation on the famous dike; but was changed to the present by Sir John Wynn, out of respect to his own name. It was originally called simply Rhiwabon, and had been the residence of Madeg ap Gryffydd Maelor, founder of Vale Crucis *.

THE new part was built by the late Sir Watkin; is of itself a good house; yet was only part of a more extensive design. It is [Page 289] finished in that substantial yet neat manner becoming the seat of an honest English country gentleman; adapted to the recep­tion of his worthy neighbors, who may experience his hospitality without dread of spoiling the frippery ornaments, becoming only the assembly-rooms of a town-house, or the villa of a great city. The present owner meditates the re-building of the old part; and, as he has already shewn such good judgment in a noble room, in which simplicity is joined with grandeur, there is little doubt but he will preserve a style of local propriety throughout the whole.

THE present set of pictures belonging to the house are por­traits of the families of Wynn and Williams. Here is a very fine three-quarters of the old Sir John Wynn of Gwedir, in a high hat, and with a vast white beard, and in the dress of the times of James I. I reserve further mention of him till I arrive at his antient seat.

HIS son, Sir John Wynn knight, is drawn half-length; a young man, with whiskers and a peaked beard; dark hair; great flat ruff; black vest; white girdle, stuck with points; a white flowered baldric. Sir John died on his travels, at Lucca, and was succeeded by his brother Richard. A most exquisite head of Sir Richard, by Vandyck, is preserved here. He was gentleman of the privy-chamber to Charles I. when prince of Wales, and attended him in the romantic journey he took into Spain, in 1623, to visit his designed bride. Sir Richard drew up an admirable account of his travels, which is printed among other scarce tracts, by Mr. Thomas Hearn. On the accession of Charles to the throne, he was appointed treasurer to the queen; [Page 290] and, dying without issue, was succeeded by his brother Owen.

A HALF-LENGTH of Henry Wynn Esq another son of the old Sir John, and representative of the county of Merioneth, in the last parlement of James I. He is painted in black hair, a great [...]-over, and a letter in his hand. Here is also a portrait of [...] brother, a captain of a man of war, in the same dress: Both of them good performances.

HERE are, besides, several more modern portraits; such as of the two late dukes of Beaufort in their robes. A composition, with Charles duke of Beaufort leaning on the late Sir Watkin's shoulder, looking at the horse legacy. This figure of Sir Wat­kin is the strongest resemblance of him of any.

TWO portraits of the late owner of this place, and his first lady, by Dahl. His full wig and dress gives a very disadvan­tageous idea of him. The fashion is equally the misfortune of the artist and his employer.

A THREE-quarters length of Sir John Wynn baronet, with a full wig and cravat. The same whose monument we have be­fore mentioned.

TWO very fine full-lengths of Charles II. and his queen, close this short list.

ON my return to Rhiwabon, I passed through the turnpike to­wards Wrexham. On the road I digressed a little to the left, to visit a great Caer in this parish, called the Garthen, GARTHEN. i. e. Caer-ddm, seated on the summit of a hill commanding a most extensive view a [...]urd, of the fine and fertile country of Maelor Gymraeg, or Bromfield; and part of Maelor Saesneg, or English Maelor, [Page 291] mostly flat and wooded. This Caer contains about four acres of ground, protected in some parts by one, in others with two very strong dikes and deep ditches. The inner dike is made of loose stones, with a wall of vast thickness on the top. Within the area are many vestiges of buildings, the habitations of the old possessors. It lies between the Offa's and the Wat's dike. Part of the turnpike-road is formed for a considerable way along the top of the first, which shews its prodigious thick­ness.

I PURSUED the tract of Wat's dike to Erddig, ERDDIG. the elegant seat of Philip Yorke Esq a place where nature has been lavish of beauties, and improved by the excellent taste of the worthy owner. Two little vales bound his lands, watered by a pretty stream, and bordered with hanging woods. Along one side of the bank runs the dike; and at the end, between the two vales, impending over them, are small but strong entrenchments. One surrounds a work of a pentagon form; beyond which, at the very verge, is a mount that seems to have been a dernier resort to the garrison, in case they had been beaten out of the former. These compose what is called the Roman fort; but there are neither coins or any thing else to confirm the conjecture of its having been one. A fragment of wall cemented with mortar is all that remains of this castelet.

WREXHAM lies at a small distance from this place.WREXHAM. This town is the largest in North Wales, and the parish the most populous. It appears by the antient name to have been of Saxon origin; being called Wrightesham. I can trace it no farther back than the time of the last earl Warren, who had a grant of [Page 292] it * Leland speaks of it as a place where there were some merchants and good buckler-makers . The parish is at this time noted for a manufactory of instruments of war; but altered for those of offence, instead of defence. Near the place is a great foun­dery for cannon, under the direction of Mr. Wilkinson, who supplies many parts of Europe with this ratio ultima regum; and in the late war between Russians and Turks, furnished both parties with this species of logic.

THE church of Wrexham is the glory,CHURCH. not only of the place, but of North Wales; being a magnificent pile, erected in the time of Henry VII. The date on the steeple is 1506. The inside of the church is very spacious; and consists of a nave, two ailes, and a chancel. Above the pillars is abundance of grotesque carv­ing, in ridicule of the regular clergy, and the female religious, abbesses and nuns; and over the arches of the nave, are many of the arms of the old British and Saxon princes.TOMBS. The tombs are numerous. The most antient is of a knight all armed: at his feet is a dog, and beyond that a dragon, whose tail ter­minates in a serpent's head. On his shield is a lion rampant. Around is an inscription; but all I could make out was Hic jacet * * * * * * * * * * ap Howel . This had been dug up, and is now reared against the steeple.

THAT of Hugh Bellot vicar of Gresford, and afterwards bishop of Bangor and of Chester, is the next. He lies in his robes re­cumbent, near the altar. It was his request to be interred in the parish where he died. His death happened at Berse, near this [Page 293] town, in 1596. His funeral was celebrated at Chester, and his body deposited here.

ALMOST opposite to the prelate is a magnificent monument, in memory of Mrs. Mary Middleton, daughter of Sir Richard Middleton of Chirk castle *. She is represented rising out of her tomb in all the fulness of youth and beauty. She died a very withered old woman; but I like the thought of the sculptor, allusive to the sublime passage in the burial-service: The irum­pet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Above is a shattered pyramid, and, what might have been well excused, the gross representation of the angelic beings founding the awakening call.

IN a corner of one aile is a small but elegant monument of the Reverend Mr. Thomas Middleton, and his wife Arabella Hacker, by Roubiliac. Their faces are in profile on a medallion, with a curtain lightly hanging on one side.

AMONG the epitaphs are some to every taste. That to a wor­thy usher, my earliest instructor, in the school of this town, merits preservation.

Febr. 28, 1743. obiit


Vir cruditus, affabilis et benevolus,

Qui nil turpe vel in se admisit

Vel fovit in aliis.

[Page 294]THAT in the church-yard, on Elibu Yale of Plas Gronow Esq. expresses an uncommon variety of fortune *:

Born in America, in Europe bred,
In Africa travell'd, and in Asia wed,
Where long he liv'd and thriv'd; at London dead.
Much good, some ill, he did; so hope all's even,
And that his soul thro' mercy's gone to heaven.
You that survive, and read, take care
For this most certain exit to prepare:
For only the actions of the just,
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.

OF the following, the first is simple; the second, what the Spectator calls light, but nervous; and the third informs you, that the deceased had lived, but not that he died.

Here lies a churchwarden,
A choyce flower in that garden,
Joseph Critchley by name,
Who lived in good fame:
Being gone to his rest,
Without doubt he is blest.

Died 10th of March 1671/ [...].

Here lies interr'd beneath these stones,
The beard, the flesh, and eke the bones,
Of Wrexham clerk, old Daniel Jones.


[Page 295]
Here lies John Shore,
I say no more,
Who was alive
In sixty-five.

October 9th.

ON the outside of the church is great variety of ludicrous and gross sculpture.STEEPLE. The steeple is a fine tower, richly ornamented on three sides with rows of saints placed in rich gothic niches. Among them is St. Giles, the patron saint of the church, with the hind which miraculously nourished him in the desert. At each corner is a light turret with a winding stair-case, twenty-four feet high: the whole height of the steeple is a hundred and thirty-five feet.

Two casualties are recorded to have befallen this building. The steeple was blown down on St. Catherine's day, 1331; and the church was burnt about the year 1457. In order to rebuild it, an indulgence of forty days, for five years, was granted to every contributor to so pious a work.

THE church is a vicarage, formerly an impropriation, belong­ing to the abbey of Valle Crucis; but on a dispute between A [...]n the second, bishop of St. Asaph, was restored to the see *. This great cure is assisted by two chapels; Minera, or Mwyn glawdd, the Mine upon the ditch, from that of Offa running by it: this is a rich mineral tract, in the mountanous part of the parish. The other chapel is that of Berse, or Bersham, a recent founda­tion.

[Page 296]THE free-school is endowed with ten pounds a year, paid by the mayor of Chester, being the bequest of Valentine Broughton, alderman of that city, for the instruction of twelve boys.

THE western part of this parish is hilly and mineral.MINES. Part of the mines on the waste are the property of lord Grosvenour, and some belong to the corporation of Chester. Brombrough, another township on the heights, produces coal. In this place the inha­bitants of Holt had, by the charter granted to them in 1410, by Thomas earl of Arundel, the liberty of digging for turf and coal. The far greater part of the parish is either flat, or composed of gentle risings, extremely fertile and pleasant, inhabited by a nu­merous gentry, who still preserve the character left of their pre­decessors, by honest Churchyard, the simple swan of the reign of Elizabeth.

They are the joye and gladnesse of the poore,
That dayly feede the hungrie at their doore:
In any soyle where gentlemen are found,
Some house is kept, and bountie doth abound.

FROM Wrexham I made an excursion to Gresford, and on my road called at Acton, ACTON. the seat of my good friend Ellis Yonge Esq. This place was formerly the property of the Jefferies, a race that, after running uncontaminated from an antient stock, had the dis­grace of producing in the last century George Jefferies, CHANCELLOR JEFFERIES. chancellor of England; a man of first-rate abilities in his profession, but of a heart subservient to the worst of actions. His portrait is a fine full-length, in the robes of his office, painted by Sir Godfrey Knel­ler *. [Page 297] Charles II. sat to this great painter; who survived to draw George I. and to receive from him the dignity of baronet. Jef­feries was sixth son of John Jefferies, and Margaret daughter to Sir Thomas Ireland of Beausey, near Warrington. Here is pre­served a good portrait of the old gentleman, in black, sitting: it was drawn in the 82d year of his age, in 1690. George had the common school education of the country, from which he was removed to that of Westminster. He never had an academic edu­cation, but was placed immediately in the inner temple, where he was chiefly supported by his grand-mother.

HE was never regularly called to the bar. The accident of the plague in the neighborhood of London first introduced him into his profession; for, in 1666, he put on a law-gown, and pleading at the Kingston assizes, where few counsel chose to at­tend, he from that time acted without any notice being taken of his obtrusion. About this time, he made clandestine addresses to the daughter of a wealthy merchant; in which he was assisted by a young lady, the daughter of a clergyman. The affair was discovered, and the confidante turned out of doors. Jefferies, with a generosity unknown to him in his prosperous days, took pity and married her. She proved an excellent wife, and lived to see him lord chief justice of England. On her death he married the widow of Mr. Jones of Montgomeryshire, and daughter to Sir Thomas Blodworth.

[Page 298]HIS first preferment from the court was that of a Welsh judge. In 1680, he was made chief justice of Chester. After this, he rose with great rapidity; and, as is well known, fell as suddenly. His conduct, as chancellor, was upright and able; as a politi­cian, unrestrained by any principle; devoted to the worst mea­sures of an infatuated court. He was extremely given to the bottle; and paid so little respect to his character, that one day having drank to excess with the lord treasurer and others, they were going to strip, and get upon a sign-post to drink the king's health, had not they been prevented *. He died soon after his commitment, either from hard-drinking or a bro­ken heart, and so was preserved from the infamy of public execution.

GRESFORD or Croes-ffordd, the road of the cross, GRESFORD: lies about two miles further. The church is seated on the brow of a lofty eminence, over a beautiful little valley, whose end opens into the vast expanse of the vale royal of Cheshire; and exhibits a view of uncommon elegance.CHURCH. The church is extremely handsome; but less ornamented than that of Wrexham, though built in the same reign. On the top of the tower are images of the apostles. On one side, in a niche, is another of Henry VII. The neat re­paration of the inside, is owing to the direction and excel­lent judgment of the reverend Mr. Newcome, the present vicar.

[Page 299]HERE are two antient monuments: one,TOMBS. much hid by a pew, a flat stone, with a shield and other sculpture. The arms on the shield are three mullets on a bend. These shew the de­ceased to have been one of the later posterity of Ithel ap Ednyfed, whose father had the townships of Gresford and Allington bestow­ed on him for services done to Bleddyn ap Cynvyn, in the wars against the English. Ithel inherited also Lleprog Vawr, Lleprog Vechan, and Trefnant in Englefield. Many of his offspring were buried here †.

IN the north aile is a tomb of a warrior armed in mail. On his shield is a lion rampant; and round the verge, Hic jacet MADOC AP LLEWELIN AP GRUFF. He was of Eyton, Erlisham, and Rhiwabon. He was buried on St. Mathias's day, 1331.

HERE are,THE TREVORS. besides, some mural monuments of the Trevors of Trevalyn. The first is of John Trevor Esq placed in ar­mour, in a reclining posture, with an inscription in Welsh on a tablet, concealing half his body. It signifies, that he died in London in June 1589; and that his son, Sir Richard, caused his bones to be removed to this place.

SIR RICHARD erected his own monument in 1638, in the 80th year of his age, representing himself in armour kneeling: and his wife Catherine, daughter of Robert Puleston Esq of Emral, by him. The inscription informs us, that it was chiefly in me­mory of his lady, that he caused this memorial to be erected.* [Page 300]He served many years in the Irish wars; was governor of Newry, and the counties of Down and Ardmagh; council of the marches, and vice admiral of North Wales; and lived (as he tells us) to see his children's children's children. There is another mo­nument to his lady, who is placed kneeling with her five daughters.

AT their neighboring seat of Trevalyn, is a singular portrait of Sir Richard, dressed in black. Above hang his arms, with the words So then: beneath are some medicines, and Now thus: allu­sive to his former and present state.

A [...] the extremity of the lofty slope that impends over the plains, and affords an almost boundless view to the north and north-east,THE ROFTS. is a peninsulated field, called the Rofts, that formed, in old times, a strong British post. It is defended by three strong dikes and fosses, cut across the narrow isthmus that connects it to higher parts of the parish. On two sides it is inaccessible by reason of the steepness of the declivity; and on the fourth, which fronts Cheshire, and is of easier ascent, had been pro­tected by two or three other ditches, now almost levelled by the plough. In one corner of this post is a vast exploratory mount. This seems to have been an important station; an outguard to our country against invaders; which made an arti­ficial elevation quite necessary, in order to observe the motions of an enemy.

IT lies, I think, in the manor of Merford; which, with that of Horsley, was, by act of parlement, in the reign of Henry VIII. [...]ng into the county of Flint; but whether they extend to the [Page 301] parish of Hope in Flintshire, or are surrounded by Denbighshire, I am uncertain.

FROM hence I returned by the same road to my quarters at Llangollen.

IN the morning I took a ride to view the country that lies to the south-west. The road lay on the same side of the river with the town: I kept ascending a hill cloathed in many parts with birch. From the summit was a most elegant view; one way, of the antient castle on its conic hill, and the mural ranges of the Glisseg rocks in various tiers behind. Beneath, on the other side,LLANDYSILIO. lies the house of Llandysilio, the seat of Thomas Jones Esq in a pretty vale, watered by the Dee, that winds along the bottom, after passing between two rocky promontories, that barely give it a channel.

THE church is dedicated to St. Tysilio, CHURCH. prince of Powys, son of Brochwel Ysgithrog, by Arddun Benasgell, or Arddun with the winged head, daughter of St. Pabo post Prydain, or the pillar of Britain. This parish is in the hundred of YALE;YALE. which contains, besides those of Bryn Eglwys, Llandegla, Llanarmon, and Llan­verres.

AFTER a descent of no great length, enter MERIONETHSHIRE, into that portion for ever to be distinguished in the Welsh annals, on account of the hero it produced, who made such a figure in the beginning of the fifteenth century. This tract [Page 302] was antiently a comot in the kingdom of Mathraval, or Powys; and still retains its former title Glyn-dwrdwy, GLYN-DWRDWY. or the valley of the Dee. It extends about seven miles in length; is narrow, fertile in grass, bounded by lofty hills, often cloathed with trees; and lies in the parishes of Llangollen, Llandy [...]ilio, Llan­santffraid, and Corwen.

THIS tract once belonged to the lords of Dinas Brân. Af­ter the murder of the two eldest sons of Gryffydd ap Madoc the last lord, the earl Warren, who had usurped the property of the eldest, appears to have been seized with remorse for his crime; and, instead of removing the other object of his fear, as a Machiavelian politician would have done, procured from Edward I. a grant of this tract to Gryffydd Vychan, third bro­ther to the unhappy youth, dated from Rudland the 12th of February 1282 *.

OWEN was fourth in descent from this nobleman.O. GLYNDWR, HIS DESCENT. His father's name was Gryffydd Vychan; his mother's, Elena, of royal blood, and from whom he afterwards clamed the throne of Wales. She was eldest daughter of Thomas ap Llewelyn ap Owen, by his wife Elinor Goch, or Elinor the red, daughter and heiress to Ca­therine, one of the daughters of Llewelyn last prince of Wales, and wife to Philip ap Ivor of Iscoed. She probably was married before the death of her father, otherwise the jealousy of Ed­ward, about the succession to the principality, would have made her share the fate of her sister Gwenllian; who, perforce, took the veil in the convent of Shaftesbury.

[Page 303]WRITERS vary in the account of the day of the birth of Glyndwr. BIRTH. One manuscript fixes it on the 28th of May 1354: that preserved by Lewis Owen, places the event five years earlier; for the year 1349, says he, was distinguished by the first appear­ance of the pestilence in Wales, and by the birth of Owen Glyndwr.

HEROES are often introduced into the world by some strange phoenomenon,OMENS. that presages their future celebrity, or the hap­piness or misery they were to bring upon their country; but it is probable that their course is finished, before superstition in­vents the tale, and adopts it to their actions. Holinshed re­lates one on this occasion, correspondent to a blemish we could wish to clear the character of our countryman from. His cru­elty was foretold at his nativity, by the marvellous accident of his father's horses being found standing that night in the stables up to their bellies in blood. Shakespear omits this cir­cumstance; but, in his spirited character of Owen, puts these beautiful lines into his mouth, finely descriptive of the vain-glory and superstition of the old British chieftain.

At my birth
The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes;
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clamorous in the frighted fields:
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary,
And all the courses of my life do shew,
I am not in the roll of common men.

[Page 304]HIS bard, Jolo Goch, gives him incense of a far superior kind: and I fear the poet's ardor to celebrate his patron, carried him to the borders of blasphemy; for, in his Cowydd y Seren, or Poem of the star, he describes three that appeared to mark three great events; for, to the star which foretold the birth of our SAVIOUR, he adds another which presaged that of Arthur; and a third which marked the great deeds of Glyndwr, in 1402, the meridian of his glory *.

HE appears to have had a liberal education. His ambition overcame the prejudices of his country against the English; and determined him to seek preferment among them. He entered himself in the inns of court, and studied there, till he became a barrister. It is probable, that he quitted his profession; for we find, that he was appointed scutiger, or squire of the body to Richard II. whose fortunes he followed to the last; was taken with him in Flint castle; and, when the king's houshold was dis­solved, retired, with full resentment of his sovereign's wrongs, to his patrimony in Wales. I judge that he was knighted before the deposal of his master; for I find him among the witnesses in the celebrated cause between Sir Richard le Scrope and Sir Ro­ [...] le Grosvenour, about a coat of arms, under the title of Sir [...] de Glendore. His brother also appears there by the name of Tudor de Glendore. This cause lasted three years, and ended in 1389 .

[Page 305]JOLO GOCH,HIS HOUSE. the celebrated poet of this period, resided here for some time. He came on a pressing invitation from Owen; who, knowing the mighty influence of this or­der of men over the antient Britons, made his house, as Jolo says, a sanctuary for bards. He made them the instru­ments of his future operations, and to prepare the minds of the people against the time of his intended insurrec­tion. From Jolo I borrow the description of the seat of the chieftain, when it was in full splendor. He compares it, in point of magnificence, to Westminster abby; and informs us, that it had a gate-house, and was surrounded with a moat.

THAT within were nine halls, each furnished with a ward­robe; I imagine, filled with the cloaths of his retainers, accor­ding to the custom of those days.

NEAR the house, on a verdant bank, was a wooden house, supported on posts, and covered with tiles. It contained four apartments, each subdivided into two, designed to lodge the guests.

HERE was a church in form of a cross, with several cha­pels.

THE seat was surrounded with every conveniency for good living; and every support to hospitality: a park, warren, and pigeon-house; a mill, orchard, and vineyard; and fish-pond, filled with pike and gwyniads. The last introduced from the lake at Bala.

[Page 306]A HERONRY, which was a concomitant to the seat of every great man, supplied him and his guests with game for the sport of falconry.

A PLACE still remains, that retains the name of his park. It extends about a mile or two beyond the site of his house, on the left-hand of the valley.

THE vestiges of the house are small. The moat is very ap­parent: the measurement of the area it inclosed, is forty-six paces by twenty-six. There is the appearance of a wall on the outside, which was continued to the top of a great mount, on which stood the wooden house. On the other side, but at a greater distance, I had passed by another mount of the same kind, called Hêndom; which probably might have had formerly a building similar to that described by the bard. This, per­haps, was the station of a guard, to prevent surprize or insult from the English side. He had much to apprehend from the neighboring fortress of Dinas Brân, and its appendages, possessed by the earl of Arundel, a strenuous supporter of the house of Lancaster.

THE bard speaks feelingly of the wine, the ale, the braget, and the white bread; nor does he forget the kitchen, nor the important officer the cook; whose life (when in the royal service) was estimated by our laws at a hundred and twenty-six cows *. Such was the hospitality of this house, that the place of porter was useless; nor were locks or bolts known. To sum up all, no one could be hungry or dry in Sycharth, the name of the place.

[Page 307]THE bard pays all due praise to the lady of the house, and her offspring.

A Gwraig orau o'r gwragedd,
Gwynn y myd, o'i Gwin a'i medd.
Merch eglur, Llin marchawglyw,
Urddol, hael, o reiol ryw.
A'i blant, a ddeuant bob ddau
Nythod tèg o bennaethau!
HIS wife, the best of wives!
Happy am I in her wine and metheglin.
Eminent woman of a knightly family.
Honorable, beneficent, noble.
His children come in pairs;
A beautiful nest of chieftains.

THE lady whom he thus celebrates, was Margaret daughter of Sir David Hanmer of Hanmer, in the county of Flint, one of the justices of the king's bench, by appointment of Richard II. in 1383, and knighted by him in 1387 *. Her nuptials were previous to her father's promotion; for it is certain that some of the daughters were married, and his sons grown to men's estate, before Glyndwr appeared in arms in the year 1400.CHILDREN. They followed him into the field, and commanded under him. It is probable that most of them fell gloriously in battle. Mr. Brown Willis, indeed, says, that on their father's death they fled into Ireland; that one of them settled in Dublin, and took the name [Page 308] of Baulf *, or the strong; and was ancestor to a reputable family in that city.

HE matched his daughters into considerable families.

HIS eldest, Isabel, to Adam or Adda ap Jorwerth Ddu.

HIS second, Elizabeth, or as some say Alicia, was married to Sir John Scudamore of Ewyas, and Holm-Lacy, in the county of Hereford.

JONET, to John Crofts of Croft Castle, in the same county.

LORD GREY of Ruthyn took, through necessity, Jane, after he was made prisoner by her father, who forced him into the alliance.

HIS youngest daughter, Margaret, was married to Roger Mon­nington of Monnington, in the county of Hereford, towards the borders of Brecknockshire. The estate still continues in the name and family. I have had the pleasure of seeing at my house two ladies, owners of the place, direct descendants from the daughter of Glyndwr.

HIS illegitimate issue were, his son Jevan; a daughter, mar­ried into the house of Gwernan; another, named Myfanwy, to Llewelyn ap Adda of Trefor; and Gwenllian, to Philip ap Rys of St. Harmon in Radnorshire.

LEWIS GLYN COTHI, a bard of the time of Henry VI. speaks in high terms of her father Glyndwr:

Ei Thad oedd dwysawg eadarn,
A holl Gymru fu'n ei farn.

'Her father was a potent prince. All Wales was in his council.'

[Page 309]I MUST not omit notice of a mistake of the English historians, who mention the marriage of another daughter of Glyndwr to Edmund earl of March. This, they assert, was also effected by force, after the earl became his prisoner: but it does not appear that he ever was Glyndwr's captive; or that March had any other wife than Anne †, daughter to Edmund earl of Stafford; besides, the Welsh histories are totally silent on that head.

SUCH was the state of the domestic affairs of Glyndwr at the change of government in 1399. His resentment against the usurper was whetted by wrongs public and private: by the murder of the unhappy Richard, to whom he was strongly attach­ed by being a personal favorite; and by the strong partiality the Welsh had for their late king.

IN the very first year or the new reign, he experienced the frowns of the court.OPPRESSED BY LORD GREY. Reginald lord Grey of Ruthyn, taking ad­vantage of the deposal of Richard, instantly seized on a certain common, called Croeseu, which Glyndwr, in a former reign, had recovered from him by course of law. Owen fought justice without having recourse to violence: he laid his case be­fore parlement; but his suit was dismissed without re­dress.

THIS insult was aggravated by another injury. When Henry went on his expedition against the Scots, Owen was to have been summoned, among other barons, to attend the king with his vassals. The writ for that purpose was delivered to Reginald , who designedly neglected to deliver it till the time was nearly [Page 310] elapsed, and it became impossible for him to obey. Regineld returned to the king, and misrepresented the absence of O [...]n as an act of wilful disobedience; and, by this piece of treachery, took possession of all his land; and on this, under pretence of forfeiture, invaded such parts of Glyndwr's estates as lay adjacent to his own.

THE danger of driving into desperate measures a person of his interest, spirit, and abilities, was foreseen by John Trevor bishop of St. Asaph, who advised more temperate proceedings; that Owen was by no means a despicable enemy; and that the W [...]lsh would certainly be provoked into a general insurrection. His advice was rejected, and he was told there could be no fear about such a bare-footed rabble*.

IT does not appear that Glyndwr, till this period, had any settled design of flinging off the English yoke. Ambition now came in, and joined with his revenge.ASSERTS HIS CLAME TO WALES. He revolved in his mind his own genealogy: he derived himself from the antient race of British princes; and, apparently laying aside all sense of private wrong, made open clame to the throne of Wales. To encou­rage his countrymen, strongly attached to the prophecies of an­tient times, he reminded them of those of Merlin and other sages. His bards set before them the great qualities of their leader; and taught them to expect from his valor and con­duct, the freedom of antient Britons from the galling weight of the Saxon yoke. His chief bard, Gryffydd Llwyd, after regretting his absence, chaunts his praise, and predicts the [Page 311] success of the war. The Cowydd, or poem, begins thus in the original:

Eryr digris afrised
OWAIN, &c.

THE reader will receive it agreeably paraphrased by a bard of 1773.

CAMBRIA'S princely eagle, hail!
Of Gryffydd Vychan's noble blood!
Thy high renown shall never fail,
Owain Glyndwr, great and good!
Lord of Dwrdwy's fertile vale,
Warlike, high-born Owain, hail!
Dwrdwy, whose wide-spreading streams,
Reflecting Cynthia's midnight beams,
Whilom led me to thy bower;
Alas! in an unguarded hour!
For high in blood, with British beverage hot,
My awful distance I forgot;
But soon my generous chief forgave
The rude presumption of his slave.
But leave me not, illustrious lord!
Thy peaceful bow'r, and hospitable board,
Are ill exchang'd for scenes of war,
Tho' Henry calls thee from afar.
My prayers, my tears were vain;
He flew like lightning to the hostile plain.
While with remorse, regret, and woe,
I saw the god-like hero go;
[Page 312]I saw, with aching heart,
The golden beam depart.
His glorious image in my mind
Was all that Owain left behind.
Wild with despair, and woe-begone,
Thy faithful bard is left alone,
To sigh, to weep, to groan!
Thy sweet remembrance, ever dear,
Thy name, still usher'd by a tear,
My inward anguish speak;
How could'st thou, cruel Owain, go,
And leave the bitter streams to flow
Down Gryffydd's surrow'd cheek?
I heard (who has not heard thy fame?)
With extasy I heard thy name
Loud echo'd by the trump of war,
Which spoke thee brave, and void of fear;
Yet of a gentle heart possess'd,
That bled within thy generous breast,
Wide o'er the sanguine plain to see
The haveck of hostility.
Still with good omens may'st thou fight.
And do thy injur'd country right!
Like great P [...]dragon * shalt thou soar,
Who bade the din of battle roar,
[Page 313]What time his vengeful steel he drew
His brother's grandeur to renew,
And vindicate his wrongs;
His gallant actions still are told
By youthful bards, by Druids old,
And grateful Cambria's, songs.
On sea, on land, thou still didst brave
The dangerous cliff and rapid wave;
Like Urien, who subdu'd the knight,
And the fell dragon put to flight,
Yon moss-grown fount beside;
The grim, black warrior of the flood,
The dragon, gorg'd with human blood,
The water's scaly pride.
Before his sword the mighty fled:
But now he's number'd with the dead.
Oh! may his great example fire
My noble patron to aspire
To deeds like his! impetuous fly.
And bid the Saxon squadrons die:
So shall thy laurel'd bard rehearse
Thy praise, in never-dying verse;
Shall sing the prowess of thy sword,
Beloved and victorious lord!
In future times thy honor'd name
Shall emulate brave Urien's same!
Surrounded by the numerous foe,
Well didst thou deal th' unequal blow.
How terrible thy ashen spear,
Which shook the bravest heart with fear,
[Page 314]Yon hostile towers beneath!
More horrid than the lightning's glance,
Flash'd the red meteors from thy lance,
The harbinger of death.
Dire, and more dire, the conflict grew;
Thousands before thy presence flew;
While borne in thy triumphal car,
Majestic as the god of war,
Midst charging hosts unmov'd you stood,
Or waded thro' a sea of blood.
Immortal fame shall be thy meed,
Due to every glorious deed;
Which latest annals shall record,
Beloved and victorious lord!
Grace, wisdom, valor, all are thine,
Owain Glyndwrdwy divine!
Meet emblem of a two-edg'd sword,
Dreaded in war, in peace ador'd!
Steer thy swift ships to Albion's coast,
Pregnant with thy martial host.
Thy robes are white as driven snow,
And virtue smiles upon thy brow:
But terrible in war thou art,
And swift and certain is the dart
Thou hurlest at a Saxon's heart.
Loud same has told thy gallant deeds;
In every word a Saxon bleeds.
Terror, and flight, together came,
Obedient to thy mighty name:
Death, in the van, with ample stride,
Hew'd thee a passage deep and wide.
[Page 315]Stubborn as steel, thy nervous chest
With more than mortal strength's possess'd;
And every excellence belongs
To the bright subject of our songs.
Strike then your harps, ye Cambrian bards;
The song of triumph best rewards
An hero's toils. Let Henry weep
His warriors wrapt in everlasting sleep;
Success and victory are thine,
Owain Glyndwrdwy divine!
Dominion, honor, pleasure, praise,
Attend upon thy vigorous days!
And, when thy evening sun is set,
May grateful Cambria ne'er forget
Thy noontide blaze; but on thy tomb
Never-fading laurels bloom!

He first appeared in arms in the summer of the year 1400APPEARS IN ARMS. He naturally directed his attack against the lands of his enemy lord Grey; and immediately recovered what he had unjustly been dispossessed of, during the absence of the former. As soon as the news reached Henry, he sent lord Talbot and lord Grey to reduce him. They arrived with such speed, that they surrounded his house before he had any notice; but he had the good fortune to escape into the woods. He immediately raised a powerful band of men; and, after causing himself to be proclamed prince of Wales, on the 20th of September, surprized, plundered, and burnt to the ground the town of Ruthyn, BURNS RUTHYN. at the time a fair was held [Page 316] there. After which he retired to his fastnesses among the moun­tains. One, I imagine to have been the great strength, sur­rounded by a vast rampart of stones, near Corwen, called Caer Drewyn.

HENRY,FIRST MARCH OF HENRY AGAINST HIM. determined to suppress this revolt in the beginning, marched in person against Owen, and penetrated as far as the isle of Anglesea, putting to the sword all that resisted. He plun­dered the convent of Llanvaes *; slew some of the monks, and took the rest away with him; at length set them at liberty, and made restitution to the monastery; but peopled it again with English religious. The monks of Llanvaes had been Franciscans; an order who were firm adherents to the late prince; and who, in general, were suspected of promoting the insurrection of Glyn­dwr, and even of inviting him to invade England. This occa­sioned a persecution of them, and several were executed on that account. Their intelligence with Glyndwr is very evident from the favor he shewed the order on the taking of Cardiff, in the year 1402; when he burnt the whole town, excepting the street inhabited by the Franciscans.

THE king returned without effecting any material action; for, on his approach, Owen retired among the Snowdon hills§.

THE proclamation for assembling the forces for this expedi­tion, was dated on the 19th of September, from Northampton, and addressed to the lieutenants of Warwickshire, Leicester, and [Page 317] eight other counties; in which all persons capable of bearing arms, within their jurisdiction, were directed to array themselves, and be ready to march to such place as his majesty directed; who acquaints the lieutenants, that he should lie at Coventry on his road to Wales the Monday following*.

ON the same day he issued out an order to the bailifss and good people of Shrewsbury, SHREWSBURY SE­CURED BY HENRY: to take proper steps to secure that important place; and that they oblige all the Welsh resident in the town, to give security for their loyal behaviour; and in case of refusal, to commit them to prison.

ON the eighth of November in the same year,WHO GRANTS OWEN'S ESTATES TO THE EARL OF SOMERSET; he made a grant of all the estates of Glyndwr, in North and South Wales, to his brother John earl of Somerset ; an act as weak as it was irri­tating: for Owen was so far from being in any danger of be­ing dispossessed of them, that at this very time he was growing more powerful by the accession of new forces. It is remark­able, that his revenue in money at this period did not exceed three hundred marks; which shewed that his rents in kind must have been very considerable.

BUT the last public act of this year was conciliating.AND OZERRS PAR­DON TO THE WELSH. The king made one endeavour to bring back the Welsh to their al­legiance by fair means; and for that end issued a proclamation, on the 30th of November, offering to take under his protec­tion all that would resort to the city of Chester, and there make their submission to his son Henry prince of Wales; PRINCE HENRY FIRST APPEARS. after which they should be at liberty to return to their respective [Page 318] homes*. Henry was at that time but twelve years of age; so early was he initiated into state affairs; so early appeared those sparks of genius, which shone afterwards with such bril­liancy.


THE first half of this year passed without any memorable action.OWEN AUGMENTS HIS FORCES. Owen was busied in augmenting his forces; he made considerable levies in Wales; and received continual addition to his strength, by the great resort of his countrymen of all orders, who had gone into England for the sake of education, or to gain a livelihood by different occupations.

THE state of Henry's affairs,STATE OF HEN­EY'S AFFAIRS AT THIS TIME. in respect to the European mo­narchs, the badness of his title to the crown of England, and the repentance of several of the great men for their disloy­alty to their late prince, were circumstances highly in favor of Glyndwr.

CHARLES VI. of France, father-in-law to the unhappy Rich­ard, prepared to revenge his deposal and murder. The confu­sion of his own affairs, luckily for Henry, prevented the resent­ment of the French monarch. He contented himself with re­ceiving back, his daughter Isabel, and her paraphernalia: and Henry gladly renewed a truce with him for thirty years.

THE Scots taking advantage of his situation, threatened him with invasion. This made it dangerous for him to engage in a distant war, and obliged him to continue for a considerable time in the central parts of his dominion, to act according to the ne­cessity [Page 319] of events. In respect to the Welsh, he contented himself with issuing out pardons*, (at the instance of prince Henry,) to all that had appeared in arms in the counties of Caernarvon, Anglesey, and Flint, and the people of Denbigh and Merioneth; HENRY OFFERS NEW PARDONS. to the in­habitants of Chirkland, Bromfield, and Yale; to the hundred of Oswestry; and to those of Ellesmere and Whittington; which I find were then reckoned parts of Wales. Owen himleif, Rice ap Tudor, William ap Tudor, and all such as were in actual custody, or such who should continue in arms, were excepted. The first pardon was given out the 10th of May, the latest, the 5th of June, and, as will appear, with some effect.

GLYNDWR's fortune and interest lay, as was before mentioned, both in North and in South Wales. This summer he marched with a hundred and twenty men of arms, and, with great policy,OWEN POSTS HIM­SELF ON PLIN­LIMMON. posted himself on Plinlimmon hill, a lofty mountain, the limits of Cardiganshire and Montgomeryshire, admirably adapted for receiving succours from his vassals and friends in each part of the princi­pality. From hence his followers made plundering excursions, and were the terror of all that declined espousing his cause. The county of Montgomery suffered greatly.PLUNDERS MONT­GOMERY. He sacked the capital town, burnt the suburbs of Pool, and ravaged all the borders. He destroyed the abby of Comhere in Radnorshire; took the castle of Radnor, and caused the whole garrison, to the number of three­score,BEHEADS SIXTY MEN. to be beheaded on the brink of the castle-yard. The provocation to this piece of cruelty does not appear.

[Page 320]THE Flemings, inhabitants of Ross, Pembroke, and Cardigan­shire, suffered so greatly from Glyndwr, that they determined to attempt to remove so troublesome a neighbour.SURPRISED; They assembled a body of fifteen hundred men, and made so expeditious a march, as to surround Owen and his forces, at a place called Mynydd Hyddgant, before he had any notice of their approach. They hemmed him in on every side; and, notwithstanding he could make no retreat without great disadvantage, he made a long; and manful defence. At length, finding it impossible to subsist in that place, he determined to cut a passage through the enemy, or perish in the attempt.YET DEFEATS THE ENEMY. He knew that neither he nor his men were to expect any mercy; so, actuated by despair, they fell furiously on the Flemings, and, after a strong dispute, flung them into great disorder; which Owen taking advantage of, redoubled his attack, and at length put them to night, leaving two hundred of their party dead on the spot.

THIS victory added greatly to the reputation of Glyndwr. Mul­titudes resorted to his standard, and contributed to make him a most formidable enemy.

HENRY, alarmed at his successes, marched a second time in per­son.HENRY'S SECOND MARCH. He entered Wales with a great army about the beginning of June *, destroyed the abby of Strathfleur in Cardiganshire, and ravaged the country; but was obliged to make a disgraceful retreat, after his forces had suffered greatly by famine, and the great fatigues they continually underwent.

[Page 321]THE monk of Evesham * relates an instance of paternal affec­tion, much to the honor of our country. A Welshman, having made a rash promise to the king to betray Glyndwr, refused af­terwards to perform it; and, eagerly stretching out his neck to the headsman, told him to strike, for that he had two sons at that time in the service of his chieftain; therefore would on no account reveal his councils, which would prove so penal to them.

IT is probable,CORRUPTS SOME OF OWEN'S FRIENDS. that during this expedition Henry found means to corrupt the fidelity of several of the friends of Glyndwr; for we find a free pardon granted to William ap Tudor, (a gentleman who had been excepted in the pardon of last year) and to thirty-one principal persons of the country. This is dated from West­minster on the 8th of July .

THIS defection seemed to have very little effect on the spirit of Glyndwr. He acquired new friends, and such addition of strength, that the king resolved to go again in person against him. He issued out his orders to the lieutenants of Devonshire, and one and twenty other counties, to repair with their forces to Wor­cester on the first of October. Our old historians are silent about the event of this expedition; but Mr. Carte says, that it was un­fortunate as the former.MAKES A THIRD EXPEDITION. Thus concluded the transactions of this year.


THIS year was ushered in with a comet,A COMET. or blazing-star; which the bards interpreted as an omen favourable to the cause of Glyn­dwr. It served to infuse spirit into the minds of a superstitious [Page 322] people: the first success of their chieftain confirmed their belief, and gave new vigor to their actions.

LORD GREY was the first that felt the effects of Owen's power. That nobleman, strongly attached to Henry, and impatient of the injuries which he and his friends received from Glyndwr, raised a considerable army; encountered him; was defeated, and made prisoner.OWEN DEFEATS LORD GREY. Historians differ about the scene of action. The Welsh lay it on the banks of the Fyrnwy, in the county of Montgo­mery. The English say that it was in the neighborhood of Ru­thyn; and that Owen advancing towards the castle with a party of men, drew his incautious rival into the field, where he fell into an ambush, and was taken, and carried fast bound into confinement, amidst the savage fastnesses of the Snowdon hills*. This relation seems probable, not only as the castle of Ruthyn was the chief seat of lord Grey, but a fortress of such strength as to baffle all attempts of Glyndwr, in the infancy of his insur­rection, without having recourse to stratagem.

LORD GREY remained for a long time in captivity,MAKES HIM PAY A GREAT RANSOM nor did he gain his liberty till he paid to him the vast sum of ten thou­sand marks. He was such a personal favorite with the king, who, pitying the severity with which he was treated, and ad­miring the firmness with which he resisted the offers of Glyndwr to make him swerve from his loyalty, that his majesty issued out a special commission, dated the 10th of October in this year, empowering Sir William de Roos, Sir Richard de Grey, Sir William de Willughby, Sir William de Zouch, John Henry, William Vans, [Page 323] John Lee, John Longford, Thomas Payne, and John Elnstow, to treat with Owen and his council about the ransom. It was agreed to pay six thousand marks on the day of St. Martin * following, and give, as hostages for the payment of the remainder, his eldest son, and some other persons. And, in order to raise the money, Henry gave licence to Robert Braybrook bishop of London, and two others, feoffees of divers lordships for lord Grey, to sell the lordship of Herteleigh in Kent. He also absolved him for six years from the forfeiture of two-thirds of the profits of his Irish estates, usually exacted from such who were non-resident in that kingdom.

AFTER this he was set at liberty, and he and his tenants suf­fered to enjoy their property without molestation. It is probable, that Owen engaged his lordship to observe a neutrality, as another term of redemption. Lord Grey seemed likewise to think it necessary to secure both his people and himself by an alliance with Owen; for no sooner was he released, than he married Jane, AND MARRY ONE OF HIS DAUGH­TERS. third daughter of the furious chieftain. He had no issue by this lady. The match was probably compulsive; at best, political. Some of the English historians pretend that he died in captivity: but that he obtained his liberty, and long survived this treaty, is evident: for in 1409, he was ordered by Henry to his estates, to repel the ravages his father-in-law made on the borders. He even lived to serve in the French wars in the reign of Henry V. and his successor, and died in the year 1440.

[Page 324]OWEN, after securing this potent enemy, began to give a free rein to his revenge; to punish such of his countrymen whom he considered as traitors to the generous cause of freedom, by an unnatural adherence to the English, whose yoke they had borne for such a length of time.

HE burnt the houses of Kevn y fan, and Cesail-gyfarch, be­longing to Jevan ap Meredyth, a partizan of the house of Lan­caster; and to whom, and Meredyth ap Hwlkin Llwyd of Glyn-l [...]ivon was intrusted (under an English captain) the castle of Caernarvon. This place was so closely blocked up by the friends of Glyndwr, that Jevan happening to die there at that time, it was found ne­cessary to carry his corpse by sea, in order to inter it in the parish­church of Penmorva, on the other side of the county*.

HOWEL SELE of Nannau in Merionethshire, STORY OR HOWEL SELE. first cousin to Owen, had a harder fate. He likewise was an adherent to the house of Lancaster. Owen and this chieftain had been long at variance. I have been informed, that the abbot of Kymmer, near Dolgellu, in hopes of reconciling them, brought them together, and to all appearance effected his charitable design. While they were walk­ing out, Owen observed a doe feeding, and told Howel, who was reckoned the best archer of his days, that there was a fine mark for him. Howel bent his bow, and, pretending to aim at the doe, suddenly turned and discharged the arrow full at the breast of Glyndwr, who fortunately had armour beneath his cloaths, so received no hurt. Enraged at this treachery, he seized on Sole, burnt his house, and hurried him away from the place; nor could ever any one learn how he was disposed of: till, forty [Page 325] years after, the skeleton of a large man, such as Howel, was dis­covered in the hollow of a great oak, in which Owen was sup­posed to have immured him in reward of his persidy. The ruins of the old house are to be seen in Nannau park, a mere compost of cinders and ashes.

IT must be observed, that when Owen was carrying him away, his relation Gryffydd ap Gwyn, of Ganllwyd in Ardudwy, attempted his rescue, but was defeated with the loss of numbers of his men, and of his houses of Berthlwyd and Cesn Coch, which were burnt to ashes.

IT was about this period that Owen wreaked his revenge on the ecclesiastics who had favored the cause of the English. BURNS ST. AS [...]PH AND BANGOR. His conduct in this instance fe [...]rs indefensible, for he paid no regard to the most sacred edifices, but sacrilegiously destroyed the ca­thedrals of Bangor and St. Asaph, with the episcopal palace, and the canons houses belonging to the last. He vented, in a parti­cular manner, his resentment against the last; as the bishop, John Trevor, received his preferment from Richard, OF BISHOP TRE­VOR. yet was so disloyal as to pronounce against his unfortunate master the sentence of deposition, in favor of the usurping Henry; and afterwards to accept an embassy to the court of Spain, to justify Bolingbroke's proceedings to the reigning prince.

HENRY considered him as a sufferer in his cause; therefore gave power to the bishops of Hereford, Voltorno, and Bangor, to suffer him to hold in commendam the living of Meivod, with the chapels of Pool and Kegidva, or Guilsfield, in order to support his dignity during the ravage of his diocese*.

[Page 326]TREVOR returned to England about the time of the destruction of his cathedral. Two years after this, he revolted from Henry, and joined with Glyndwr, to whom he adhered the rest of his days. He appeared in arms with him in the year 1409. In the year following, on the decline of Owen's affairs, he retired to Paris, died, and was buried in the chapel of the infirmary of the abby de St. Victoire there; and the following epitaph inscribed to his memory: Hic jacet Reverendus in CHRISTO Pater Jobannes Episcopus Asaphensis in Wallia, qui obiit A. D. 1410. Die Veneris x mensis Aprilis; cujus anima feliciter requieseat in pace. Amen.

GLYNDWR was pleased to confirm Trevor in his see,OWEN CONFIRMS HIM IN HIS SEE; on return­ing to his allegiance; but deposed from that of Bangor Richard Younge, AND DEPOSES THE BISHOP OF BAN­GOR. for his adherence to the usurper, and kept him in close confinement. Owen also appointed in his room Llewelyn, or, as some call him, Lewis Bifort; whose name is mentioned in 1406, among the chief of the inhabitants fined or outlawed on account of Glyndwr's insurrection in the isle of Anglesey. He afterwards joined with the earl of Northumberland and lord Bardolph, and was taken prisoner in the castle of Bramham Moor, in February 1407-8, when those two noblemen were slain: but the bishop's life was spared, as he was found unarmed.

HENRY was alarmed at the successes of Glyndwr, and resolved to march in person against him once more. He issued out w [...]ts§ to the lieutenants of Nottingham and Derby, and to those of thirty two other counties, dated from the castle of B. [...], [Page 327] June 5th; in which he requires them to assemble the forces of their respective jurisdictions, and to attend him at Lichfield on the 7th of July, in order to suppress this dangerous revolt.

BEFORE the king could assemble his forces, news arrived of the great victory which Glyndwr obtained, on the 22d of June, GAINS A GREAT VICTORY AT PIL­LETH. over Sir Edmund Mortimer. Owen, after the defeat of lord Grey, pursued his resentment against all the chieftains unfavorable to his de­signs; advanced with his army towards Herefordshire, and the borders of South Wales; and carried fire and sword through the lands of his opponents. None suffered so severely as the vassals and tenants of Edward Mortimer earl of March, a child of ten years of age, who, with his brother Roger, was in the custody of the king at that time. Henry was very sensible of the just title this child had to the crown, being desended from Lionel duke of Clarence, third son to Edward III. His title had even been acknowleged in parlement. This increased his majesty's apprehensions, and made him consider the misfortunes of that family the strengthening of his own throne.

SIR EDMUND MORTIMER, uncle to this youth, unable any longer to bear the depredations of Owen, collected a large body of his nephew's tenants and retainers out of the county of Here­ford, and the adjacent parts, particularly from Melienydd in Radnorshire, and with these marched against the invader. A bloody action ensued on Bryn-glas, a mountain near Pilleth, a little south-west of Knighton, in Radnorshire. Victory de­clared in favor of our countryman. Some writers assert, that the archers of Mortimer's army bent their bows against their own party*. Another says, that March's Welsh tenants took [Page 328] to flight at the first onset, and occasioned the defeat. The loss chiefly fell on the people of Herefordshire. Eleven hundred fell on the side of Mortimer. ‘The shamefull villanie used by the Welshwomen towards the dead carcasses,’ says Holinshed, ‘was such as honest eares would be ashamed to heare, and continent toongs to speak thereof. The dead bodies might not be bu­ried, without great summes of monie given for libertie to con­veie them awaie*.’

SHAKESPEAR flings a fine horror over this dreadful tale, in relating,

When, all athwart there came
A post from Wales loaden with heavy news;
Whose worst was, that the noble Mortimir,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken;
A thousand of his people butchered,
Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
Sach beastly, shameless transformation
By those Welshwomen done, as may not be,
Without much shame, re-told or spoken of.

I WISH I could exculpate my countrywomen from this heavy charge. It originates from Thomas de Walsmgham, an historian who, it must be confessed, wrote within forty years of this event. To his authority I beg leave to oppose that of another antient writer, who ascribes these barbarities to a follower of Glyndwr, [Page 329] one Rees a Gyrch *. I flatter myself that this was the case; for, had it been otherwise, it would have been totally unnecessary to discourage the English, by an express law, from marrying with such furies as the Welshwomen were represented to have been.

MANY historians pretend, that the young earl of March was present at this defeat; was made prisoner; and, to ensure his allegiance, obliged to marry a daughter of Glyndwr. But at this time he endured another species of confinement at Windsor: his uncle commanded the forces of the family,TAKES PRISONER SIR EDMUND MORTIMER and lost his liberty in the battle. Great instances were made to Henry for leave to ransom him; but the jealous king, rejoicing in the misfortunes of this rival house, suffered him to continue in the power of his enemy; alleging, that Sir Edmund had treacher­ously flung himself into the hands of Glyndwr.

AFTER this victory, Glyndwr received from all parts of Wales accession of strength. Notwithstanding Henry was indifferent about the fate of the Mortimers, his own safety now required him to act with vigor. The design of assembling his army at Lichfield was laid aside. New writs were issued out, dated the 31st of July. It was resolved to distract the Welsh by three in­vasions from different quarters. The rendevous of the first army was to be at Shrewshury, to be commanded by the king in person; the second at Hereford, to be assembled by Edmund earl of Stafford, Richard earl of Warwick, and the lords Grey, Alergavenny, Audeley, and Berkly; and the third, under the con­duct [Page 330] of prince Henry, at Chester. The forces were to be assem­bled at each place by the 27th of August *.

OWEN, assured that these preparations could not take effect till a certain time, gave loose to his resentment, in the beginning of August, against the inhabitants of Glamorganshire, who had sided with the English. RAVAGES GLA­MORGANSHIRE. He marched into that county, ravaged it on all parts; and, after burning the bishop's castle and the arch­deacon's house at Llandaff, in the same inroad he likewise burnt Cardiff and Abergavenny; and then returned to make head against the English.

THE Scots, at this time, took advantage of the commotions of the Welsh; and, under the command of the great Douglas, invaded England with a body of twelve or thirteen thousand men. It is almost certain, that they acted in concert with Glyndwr. Both nations were united in a common hatred of the English. Both had felt the weight of their power. The Scots meditated their inroad at the very time that Henry had drawn his forces to the borders of Wales, and, as they hoped, left the northern bor­ders unguarded. Henry had intelligence, that it was to take place on the assumption of the blessed Virgin, or the 15th of August; and, in order to defeat it, directed the lieutenant of the county of Lincoln to hasten towards the north, with all the men he could raise.

HENRY,HENRY'S FOURTH MARCH. during this time, proceeded on his expedition against the Welsh. It does not appear whether the army under his son, and that under the earl of Arundel (on whom the command of the [Page 331] second army was bestowed) made separate diversions into differ­ent parts of the country in his favor; or whether he united their forces with his own. The event of his invasion was very unfor­tunate. Glyndwr, who had too much prudence to hazard a battle against so superior an army, retired to the fastnesses of the mountains; and drove away the cattle, and destroyed every means the English had of subsistence. The season proved uncommonly bad; for the very elements seem to have warred against them.UNSUCCESSFUL. A continued course of storms and rains, with the continual watching against an enemy ever hovering over them, and ready to take every occasion of falling on them from the heights, wasted the army with sickness and fatigue; and obliged the king once more to make a most inglorious retreat.

THE English, OWEN REPUTED A MAGICIAN. willing to cover their shame, attributed the cause of their disgrace to the incantations of the British chieftain; 'who,' as an old historian expresses, ‘through art magike (as was thought) caused such foule weather of winds, tempest, raine, snow, and haile, to be raised for the annoiance of the king's armie, that the like had not beene heard of.’ Perhaps Glyndwr, as well to infuse terror into his foes, as to give his people a more exalted notion of him, might politically insi­nuate his skill in spells and charms, that they might suppose him aided by more than mortal power. This species of credu­lity was not only strong at this time, but even continued to more enlightened days.

OWEN, by the mouth of Shakespear, speaks thus of his in­tercourse with the tribe of spints, and of his skill in the mystic arts of divination:

[Page 332]
Where is he living, clipt in with the sea
That chides the banks of England, Wales, or Scotland,
Who calls me pupil, or has read to me?
And bring him out, that is but woman's son,
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art,
Or hold me pace in deep experiments.
I can call spirits from the vasty deep!

THE poet, on this occasion, plays finely with the warmth of Glyndwr; and draws from him that characteristic spirit of our country, which is nobly prompt to rise on the appearance, or sometimes even on the very apprehension of insult.

HENRY quickly received news from the north, that served to alleviate the ill success of his invasion. The earl of Northum­berland, and other northern barons, had assembled their forces to oppose the Scots, then on their return home; overtook them on Holyrood-day, or the 15th of September, BATTLE OF HO­MELDON: on Homeldon hill near Wooler, and gained over them a complete victory. Numbers of the Scotch nobility were slain in the fight; and numbers taken, among whom was their gallant commander Archibald earl or Douglas, styled by his countrymen Tyneman, from the loss of men that attended him in all his conflicts.

THIS battle was productive of great events; and proved in the end the destruction of the Percy family. It was usual for the prisoners to fall to the share of the victors; and that each person who was fortunate or brave enough to make a captive, should receive the reward of his valor, by having liberty to ran­som him, according to his rank or abilities.ITS CONSE­QUENCES. Henry Percy sur­named Hotspur, had himself, by the fortune of war, been made [Page 333] prisoner by the Scots, and was redeemed according to the antient custom of arms. The victors at this time expected and clamed the same right; but Henry, wishing to detain, as hostages for the peaceable conduct of the Scottish nation, these illustrious captives, sent directions to the earl of Northumberland, that he should by no means set them at liberty; but that he should deliver them to him. Henry softened this demand by rewarding Northumber­land with a considerable grant of lands on the borders of Scot­land *; and parlement even sent him a letter of thanks for his good services.THE PERCIES DIS­CONTENTED; Notwithstanding this, the Percies were greatly dissatisfied. Whether their high spirit resented the invasion of the antient title of victors to their prisoners; or whether they were seized with remorse for their disloyalty to their former master; or whether they were actuated by the ambition of be­coming independent; or whether all these causes might not co­operate, is not very certain; yet, from this time, they formed their design of flinging off their allegiance to Henry.

A GREAT discontent with his government at this period began to seize the nation. The affection for the murdered Richard revived. So willing were the people to imagine him still alive, that the many reports invented on that subject were greedily swallowed; and a proneness to revolt almost generally ap­peared.

THE first step taken by the Percies, was the release of the Scottish prisoners without ransom.RELEASE THEIR PRISONERS. This gained the heart of Douglas; who went home, raised a body of men, and joined in the enterprize.

[Page 334]SIR EDMUND MORTIMER,GLYNDWR SETS MORTIMER AT LIBERTY. from the time of his defeat, was treated with the utmost humanity and respect. Glyndwr, politi­cally determined to make use of this important prisoner as an instrument of his ambition, reminded him of the right of his, house to the crown of England, and flattered him with the hopes of restoring it to the throne* of his ancestors. The Percies, to whom he was allied, had made frequent instances to Henry for his ransom, who, on false and injurious pretences, constantly refused attention to their request; notwithstanding, he never rested till he had procured the enlargement of his favorite, lord Grey.

THE Percies now began to extend their views; and to form a confederacy that promised fair to effect another revolution. They entered into an alliance with Glyndwr; obtained the release of Mortimer; and, like the famous triumvirate of Rome, deter­mined to divide the empire between them.

THEIR place of meeting,CONSPIRACY OF THE PERCIES: the Mutina of these heroes, was at the house of David Daron, or of Aberdaron, dean of Bangor , son of Evan ap Dafydd ap Gryffydd, descended from Caradoc ap Jestyn, a prince of Wales. He was a man of interest and wealth; entered strongly into their views; and in consequence, in the year 1406, was outlawed for his attachment to them.

HERE the three chieftains formed the division of Britain.UNITE WITH GLYNDWR.Sir Edmund Mortimer, in behalf of his nephew the earl of March, took all the country from the Trent and Seven to the eastern and southern limits of the island; Northumberland was to have all the [Page 335] counties north of the Trent; and Glyndwr every thing that lay beyond the Severn westward.

IT was on this occasion that Owen, to animate his country­men, called up the antient prophecy, which predicted the de­struction of Henry, under the name of the Moldwarp, cursed of GOD'S own mouth. Himself he styled the dragon; a name he assumed in imitatation of Uther, whose victories over the Saxons were foretold by the appearance of a star with a dragon beneath; which Uther used as his badge; and on that account it became a favorite one with the Welsh. On Percy he bestowed the title of lion, from the crest of the family; on Mortimer, that of the wolf, probably from a similar reason. And these three were to divide the realm between them.

GLYNDWR was now in the meridian of his glory.CONCENTION OF THE ESTATES OF WALES. He assem­bled the estates of Wales at Machynlleth, a town of Montgomery­shire: he caused there his title to the principality to be acknow­leged, and was formally crowned.

AT this meeting he narrowly escaped assassination.DAVID GAM CON­SPIRES AGAINST OWEN. Among the chieftains, who appeared to support his title, came a gentleman of Brecknockshire, David Gam, or the one-eyed; a man, says Mr. Carte *, who held his estate of the honor of Hereford, who had long been in the service of Bolingbrook, and was firmly at­tached to his interest. Notwithstanding he had married a sister of Glyndwr, yet such a furious hatred had he conceived to his cause, that he appeared at the assembly with the secret and treacherous resolution of murdering his prince and brother-in-law. [Page 336] Carte says, that he was instigated to it by Henry; but gives no authority for his assertion. Party-zeal, or hopes of reward, probably determined him to so nefarious a deed, He was a fit instrument for the purpose: a man of unshaken cou­rage; which was afterwards put to the proof in the following reign, at the battle of Azincourt. This was the gentleman who was sent to explore the numbers of the enemy before the action; and who informed the king, that there were enough to kill, enough to be taken prisoners, and enough to run away. In the battle, David, his son-in-law Roger Vychan, and his relation Waltar Llwyd, rescued the king, when environed with his foes. They saved his life at the expence of their own, and fell with many mortal wounds. The king, after the victory, ap­proached the place where they lay weltering in their blood; and, in the moment of death, bestowed on them the only reward of their valor which he could confer in that sad time, the ho­nor of knighthood.

BUT to return to the subject immediately under consideration.DETECTED The plot of David against Glyndwr was discovered. He was arrested and imprisoned; and would have met with his merited punishment, if he had not been saved by the intercession of Owen's best friends and warmest partizans*. He was pardoned on a solemn promise of attachment to the cause of Glyndwr and his country. It appears, that our chieftain did not chuse to rely on his promise; but kept him in close confinement till the year 1412, as will appear in the transaction of that period.

[Page 337]GLYNDWR, as usual, wreaked his vengeance on the lands and dependents of Dafydd Gam; entered his country, and burnt his house; and, while it was burning, calling one of David's tenants, spoke thus merrily to him in verse; which shews the general turn of our people to the rhyming art:

O gweli di wr coch Cam
Yn ymofyn y Gyrnigwen:
Dywed ei bod hi tan y lan
A nôd y glo ar ei phen.


PREPARATIONS were made with great vigor by all parties.HOTSPUR MARCH­ES TO SHREWSBU­RY. Hotspur, leaving his father ill at Berwick, marched with his forces from the north; and, passing through Cheshire, a county ever affectionate to Richard, was joined there by a numerous party. Percy sent to Owen, to desire he would meet him; but our countryman declined to comply: howsoever, numbers of the Welsh joined Hotspur, and marched with him to Lichfield, carry­ing the stag, the badge of the late king, as a party distinc­tion. In that city he published his reasons for taking arms against Henry, whom the family had so lately placed on the throne*. From hence he led his army towards Shrewshury; probably because he found himself too weak to attack the usurper; for it seems as if his intention had been to have met him on his march, had Glyndwr joined him with his whole force. Glyndwr, on the other hand, had formed a considerable [Page 338] army in Wales; and Sir Edmund Mortimer had raised the vassals of his nephew.

IN the month of March, Henry gave a strong proof of the high opinion he had of his son Henry of Monmouth, afterwards king of England, at this time only fifteen years of age; for by writ, dated from Westminster the 7th of that month, he appoints him his lieutenant for Wales * and all the adjacent counties, with full powers to raise men, and to act against the insurgents as he should think proper: to enquire into all treasons; to ex­amine who supplied the rebels with arms or provisions; and to grant pardon to all who would lay down their arms, and give security for their peaceful behaviour.

HAVING thus provided, as he imagined, for the security of the borders of England on the side of Wales, he began to consi­der of his march against the Percies. But hearing that Glyn­dwr , by reason of want of provisions, was preparing to make an inroad into the borders, issued orders from Westminster, dated June 12th, to the lieutenant of Gloucestershire , to prepare to repel the invasion, with forces he should assemble for that purpose. Henry then made a most expeditious march to Burton upon Trent, where we find him on the 16th, on his way against the northern rebels§.HENRY GOES TO MEET HIM. Here he understood that Percy, with his army, had advanced towards Shrewshury, and was preparing to effect a junction with the forces of Glyndwr and Mortimer. He well knew the importance of preventing it from taking place; [Page 339] and directed his march towards that town, as is said, by the advice of the earl of Dunbar, a Scottish nobleman, who had espoused his cause. The dispatch with which the king executed this resolu­tion, saved his crown. Glyndwr, who had assembled his forces at Oswestry, had sent off only his first division, amounting to four thousand men, who behaved with spirit in the day of ac­tion*; in which fell his brother-in-law Sir Jenkin Hanmer . Henry prevented him from proceeding with the rest, by posting himself between Glyndwr and Shrewsbury, and at the critical time that the northern rebels were about to scale the walls. Percy quitted the attempt; and, after rejecting the offer of peace, attacked the royal army at Battlefield, three miles from the place.PERCY DEFBATED AND SLAIN. He behaved with the spirit worthy of his name; fell valiantly, and with him the hopes of his party. This action happened on the 21st of June. Glyndwr had the mortification of being obliged to remain all the time inactive, at the head of twelve thousand men, at Oswestry. GLYNDWR CON­TINUES AT OS­WESTRY. The Welsh historians pass an unjust censure on him for his conduct on this occasion, and blame him for what, it seems, he could not effect. His great oversight appears to me to have been the neglect of attacking Henry immediately after the battle, when the royal forces had sustained a vast loss, and were overcome with fatigue; when his own followers, and the remains of the northern troops, would have formed an army nearly double to that of the king; when Northumberland, now recovered from his illness, was in full march towards him, the army of Mortimer entire, that of the king [Page 340] constrained to go northward. Glyndwr carried on a marauding war, and plundered the now defenceless marches. The king returned successful from the north to the borders of Wales, de­termined to chastise the insurgents; but was obliged to desist from his enterprize, for want of money to pay his troops, and provisions to subsist them. He did propose to remedy the first, by seizing on the superfluous wealth of the prelates; but was prevented by the spirit of the archbishop of Canterbury, who boldly declared, that none of his province should be spoiled on any account; which frustrated Henry's intent on Glyndwr. The prelate was afterwards better advised, and made a grant of the tenth towards the king's necessary charges*

NOTHING more was done this year than the securing the Welsh castles,HANRY SECURES THE WELEN CAS­TLES. and placing over them persons of known fidelity. The king dates his writ from Worcester, the 8th of September; and, addressing it to Guy Mohun bishop of St. David, at that time keeper of the privy-seal, and treasurer of England, commits to him the custody of the castle of Llangadyn; that of Llanyndovery to John Touchet lord Audley; Laghern to Sir Henry le Scrope; Crickhowel to John Pauncefort; Tretour to James Berkley; Aher­gavenny and Harald Ewyas to Sir William Beauchamp; Goderych to Sir Thomas Nevil de Furnivale; Erdesley to Sir Nicholas Montgo­mery; Carleon and Usk to Sir Edward Charlton of Powys; Caer­ph [...]lli and Gwialacy to Constantia lady Despenser; Menerbere to Sir John Cornwall; Payne Castle and Royl to Thomas earl of Warwick; Huntyngdon to Anne countess of Stafford; Lynhales and Dorston to [Page 341] Sir Walter Fitz-Walter; Stepulton to John Brian baron of Bursord; Brawpton to Brian de Brampton; and to Sir John Chandos the castle of Snowdon*.

THE last public act relating to the insurrections of die marches, was to empower the prince of Wales to treat with certain Cheshire gentlemen about their fines, for appearing in arms in the battle of Shrowshury.

ON the 14th and 15th of the same month, he gives power to William Beauchamp to pardon certain of the vassals on his lands of Abergavenny and Ewyas Harald, who had appeared in arms in behalf of Glyndwr; and to the famous Sir John Oldcastle, John ap Henry, and John Fairsord, clerk, to pardon the inhabitants of Brecknock, Built, Cancresselly, Hay, Glynbough, and Dynas; to re­ceive their weapons; and to oblige them to take an oath of fide­lity. In this the king only secures their persons, but reserves to himself their forfeited lands, goods, and chattels. The first is dated from Hereford; the other from Devenok .


NOTWITHSTANDING the French king had consented,CONDUCT OF THE FRENCH. through the necessity of his own affairs, to a truce of thirty years with Henry, yet he never could be brought to acknowlege his title to the crown. In his treaties, Charles styles him only notre cousin d'Angleterre , or Henry of Lancaster, or our adversary of England, or the successor of the late king Richard §. There is all the ap­pearance of a correspondence between Charles and the English and [Page 342] Welsh insurgents in the last year; and that the expedition to­wards Shrewshury, and an invasion of England by the French, were concerted, to distract the attention of Henry. Their fleets hovered over our coasts under other pretences. They even landed in the isle of Wight, and did considerable damage to the country.

AN open war was daily expected with France. The parlement took the safety of the king's person into consideration. His houshold was regulated; and in particular, it was ordered, that no Frenchman or Welshman should remain about his majesty's person*.

THE wisdom of this provision soon became very apparent.GLYNDWR SENDS EMBASSADORS TO CHARLES VII. A league, offensive and defensive, was formed between Charles and Owen. Owen sent his chancellor Griffith Yonge, doctor of laws, and his kinsman John Hanmer, embassadors to the French. Their appointment is dated from Dolgellu, in a princely style: Datum apud Doleguelii, 10 die mensis Maii, MCCCC. quarto et princi­palus nostri quarto; and begins, OWINUS Dei gratia princeps WAL­LIAe, &c.

CHARLES received them with open arms. The league was signed at Paris on the 14th of June. The persons that acted on the part of Charles were James Bourbon earl of March, and John bishop of Carnot.LEAGUE CON­CLUDED BETWEEN THEM.Owen's ambassadors signed their part on the 14th of July, in the house of Ferdinand de Corbey, chancellor of France; several prelates and persons of high rank attending as [Page 343] witnesses*. Glyndwr ratified this treaty on the 12th of. [...] 1405, from his castle of Lampadarn .

THE affairs of Glyndwr bore so prosperous an aspect, that about this time Trovor bishop of St. Asaph revolted from Henry, and joined with his countryman; whether actuated by remorse for his dealings with his old master, or tempted by the hopes of preferment under a new government, is not evident.

OWEN opened the campaign of this year with vigor. He laid waste the country of his enemies; took several castles,GLYNDWR RE­TEATS BEFORE THE ENGLISH: among others, those of Harlech and Aherystwyth. Some he dis­mantled, and others he reserved, and garrisoned. He then di­rected his march into Montgomeryshire, and fell in with an English army at Mynydd cwm du. They attacked him, slew many of his men, and obliged him to retreat. He soon repaired this dis­grace; for, collecting his forces again, he pursued the victors with such expedition,DEFEATS THEM. that he overtook them at a place called Craig y Dorth, near Monmouth; defeated, and pursued them to the very gates of every town or castle they had fled to.

THE English historians mention the defeat of Glyndwr. They inform us, that the English army was commanded by Richard Beauchamp earl of Warwick, who took the banner of Glyndwr ; but are silent in respect of the revenge that so immediately fol­lowed. The king undertook nothing this year against Glyndwr. Beauchamp had large possessions in the county of Monmouth, and found it requisite to raise his vassals to preserve his country from desolation.

[Page 344]1405.

THIS year opened with an attempt of a very extraordinary nature; nothing less than to free from their confinement the young earl of March and his brother,ATTEMPTS TO STEAL AWAY THE EARE OF MARCH. with the intent of setting up the title of the first first that of Henry, and to involve the whole kingdom in his quarrel. There were many engaged in the design. Wales was to have been his asylum, and Glyndwr his pro­tector: such deep intelligence had he with the dissaffected, even near the seat of the court. March was kept in close custody at Windsor, a royal residence, amidst guards, and secured by every precaution that a jealous usurper could invent. Notwithstanding, a plot was laid. Constance lady Spencer, widow to lord Spencer, and sister to the duke of York, contrived their deliverance. She procured false keys, stole away the two youths, and was has­tening with them towards Wales, when they were seized and brought back. The lady was imprisoned. A severer fate at­tended the poor smith that made the keys, who was beheaded, after having both his hands chopped off*.

FORTUNE now began to frown upon Glyndwr. The first experience he had of her mutability was on the 11th of March: BATTLE OF USKE; a body of his partizans, to the amount of eight thou­sand, had assembled out of Glamorganshire, Uske, Netherwent, and Overwent. As usual, they began their march with desolat­ing the country; and burnt part of the town of Grosmont, in the county of Monmouth. Henry prince of Wales was at that time at Heresord, with the army entrusted to him by his father, [Page 345] ready to open the campaign. He there received an account of the defeat of these malecontents, by a handful of men commanded by Sir Gilbert Talbot, joined by Sir William Newport and Sir John Greindre. He transmitted the account to his father, in a letter written in an uncommon strain of piety and dutifulness, contra­dictory to the popular opinion of his early licentiousness; for at that time he was only seventeen years of age. He begins with imploring Heaven for its favor towards his father: Je supplie vraiement que DIEU vous montre graciousment pour vous son miracle on toutes parties, loez soit il en toutes ses ocures.—Il est bien voirs, que la victoire n'est pas en le multitude de people mes en la puissance de DIEU.

IT seems that the Welsh forgot the antient spirit of their coun­try; and yielded an easy victory to the enemy. Eight hundred or a thousand were stain. No quarter was given on the occa­sion, except to one person, un grant chiefteyn entre eulx. The humanity of young Henry appears to great advantage on this affair. He tells his father, that he would have sent the prisoner to him, but that he could not yet ride with any ease (I sup­pose on account of his wounds) mes il ne poet chivacher uncore a son aise *.

To repair this disaster, Glyndwr instantly sent one of his sons with another army. They probably were reinforced by the fugitives from the last action.OF PWLL MELYN. Another battle was fought on the fifteenth of the same month, at Mynydd y Pwll Melyn in Brecknockshire, again fatal to the cause of Owen. Fifteen hun­dred [Page 346] of his men were slain or taken prisoners: among the last was his son; among the first his brother Tudor, who resembled Glyndwr so greatly, that a report was spread of his death, to the great dejection of his countrymen: but, on examining the dead body, it was found to want a wart over the eye, which dis­tinguished our chieftain from his brother. According to Carte *, young Henry commanded at this battle.

HOLINSHED mentions another defeat which the Welsh sus­tained in the month of May, in which Gryffydd Yonge, Owen''s chancellor, was made prisoner. I suspect that the historian con­founds this action with that near Grosmont; but that the chan­cellor was the great chieftain there made prisoner, must be a mistake; for we find him witness, the next year, to a pardon granted by Owen to one Jeven Gôch.

AFTER these defeats, all Glamorganshire submitted to the king, a few faithful friends only excepted; who, on discovering that Owen was alive, fled and joined him. It was at this time that he suffered those distresses which the English attribute to the latter part of his life. During this dispersion of his friends, he was obliged to seek protection from a few trusty partizans; and often to conceal himself in caves and desert places. A cavern near the sea-side, in the parish of Llangelynin, in the county of Merioneth, is still called Ogof Owain, in which he was secretly supported by Ednyfed ap Aaron, of the tribe of Ednowain ap Bradwen.

THE bard Jolo Gôch deplores his absence; and calls him home from different parts of the globe, to re-possess himself of [Page 347] his principality. He in one place supposes him to be at Rome, and entreats him to return laden with tokens from St. Peter.

ABOUT this time the earl of Northumberland began another conspiracy; which was detected, and several of his adherents were executed. Among others, one Sir John Griffith, a Welsh knight; which makes it probable, that the earl and Glyndwr still acted in concert. The king, by his activity, quickly frus­trated this plot; seized on the earl's castles, and obliged him to fly into Scotland for protection. With him fled the bishops of St. Asaph and Bangor *, and the abbot of Welbeck. The two first were probably placed by Glyndwr about the earl, to consult the proper measures for the successful execution of their designs.

HENRY then returned,HENRY MARCHRS AGAIN INTO WALES and marched into Wales with an army of 37,000 men. The same ill-fortune attended him in this as in former expeditions. The weather proved so bad, that he was obliged to make a hasty retreat to Worcester, aggravated with the loss of fifty of his carriages. Shakespear makes our chieftain thus vaunt the frequent defeats of his antagonist, even before the battle of Shrewshury:

Three times hath Henry Bolingbreke made head
Against my pow'r; thrice from the banks of Wye,
And sandy-bottom'd Severn, have I sent
Him bootless home, and weather-beaten bask.

[Page 348]NOTWITHSTANDING the ill success of the king, the affairs of Owen would, in all probability, have found a sad change, had not, at this very period, his ally Charles VI.FEENCH ASSIST OWEK. sent him a most sea­sonable assistance; which, for a considerable time, prolonged the war, and delayed his total ruin. A considerable armament was made in the ports of France. It was planned by the duke of Orleans *, regent of France during the insanity of Charles. The invasion was to have taken place the preceding year; and (as Rapin observes) seems to have been intended to coincide with the insurrection of Scroope archbishop of York, and other noblemen in the north. Their attempt proved fatal to them. But the sleet, consisting of a hundred and forty ships, sailed from Brest the latter end of June, with an army of twelve thousand [...]. According to the historian of this reign, Mademoiselle de Lassan , there were among them eight hundred men at arms, six hundred cross-bows, and twelve hundred foot-soldiers, all chosen troops.

OUR historians say, that they were commanded by the Mare­chal de Montmorency; but I cannot discover that any of that great houss was engaged in the expedition. The fleet was under the command of Renaud de Trie, lord of Serisontaine, admiral of France; the land, forces under that of Jean de Rieux, lord of Rieux and Rochsort, Marshal of France. Under him served Jean, or, as Moreri calls him, Aubert de Hangest Sire de Hugueville, master or the cross-bows; and who, by reason of the age and infirmi­ties [Page 349] of Ricux, seems to have been the acting general. According to the genius of the nation, the officers made the most bril­liant appearance; and Hugueville actually sold to the church of Paris his fine estate of Agencourt near Mondidier, in order to furnish himself with a magnificent equipage*.

THE sleet had a very favorable passage; but, by neglect of pro­viding sufficient quantity of fresh water, most of the horses pe­rished.LANDIN WALES. According to the best authority, the forces landed, under the command of Hugueville, in Milsord Haven. He im­mediately marched towards Caermarthen, which he besieged and look by capitulation. The garrison were suffered to depart, and had liberty to take their effects with them.

HE declined making any attempt on Pembroke, by reason of the strength of the castle; but sat down before Haversord-west: where the earl of Arundel made so gallant a defence, that the French were obliged to raise the siege with considerable loss. Glyndwr had, by this time, reached Tenbigh with ten thousand men, where he was joined by Hugueville. As soon as the neces­sary preparations were finished, they marched through Glamor­ganshire, reached Worcester, and burnt the suburbs, and ravaged the country round§.

As soon as Henry heard of the intended invasion, he issued out a proclamation, dated from Westminster, July 2d; in which he directs the lieutenants of several counties to raise forces to repel the foe. Lord Berkley, and Henry Pay admiral of the [Page 350] cinque ports, commanded at sea, and burnt, according to our ac­counts, fifteen of the French ships as they lay at anchor in Mil­ford Haven; and afterwards (joined by Sir Thomas Swinborn) took fourteen more in their passage to Wales, laden with ammuni­tion and provisions for the army*. Madamoiselle de LUSSAN takes notice of the first; but candidly confesses, that the French were so terrified with the appearance of thirty sail of our ships, that they themselves directed the destruction of these vessels.

IN the beginning of August, Henry received advice that the French were landed; and again sends out a proclamation, dated from Pontesract, August 7th, addressed to the lieutenant of the county of Hereford, with orders to raise without delay his forces, and repair with them to the city of Hereford. It is in this proclamation he expressly calls the French general, lord of Hugue­vilie.

HENRY marched in person to oppose an enemy now grown so very formidable;HENRY MARCHES AGAISST THEM but Hugueville, after plundering the country, on the king's approach, made a sudden retreat, and posted him­self on a high hill, about three leagues from Worcester, with a deep valley between his and the royal army. Each endeavored to bring the enemy to make the attack; and for eight days they respectively presented themselves in order of battle, and so con­tinued from morning till night; but neither party ventured to descend from its advantageous situation. During this time, there [Page 351] were several skirmishes. The loss on both sides was about two hundred, besides numbers wounded. The French lost Patrouil­lart de Trie, lord of Mouci and Plessis, chamberlain to the king, and brother to the admiral; a gallant officer, whose fate was much lamented by the army **. There fell that day also the lord of Martelonne, and the lord of La Valle; and, as Hall says, the bastard of Bourbon. Our historians seetn to exaggerate their loss, adding to it that of five hundred other gentlemen; but Monstrelet asserts, that on a review of the French troops, when they returned home, only sixty were found mis­sing.

THE camp that Owen is supposed to have possessed, is on Wobury hill, in the parish of Whittley, exactly nine miles north-west of Worcester, It is surrounded with a single foss; and contains near twenty-seven acres. It probably had been an antient British post; but was extremely convenient for Glyndwr, not only by reason of its strength, but, as Wales lay open to him, he had it in his power to retreat among the mountains whenever he found it necessary. I never had an opportunity of examining the na­ture of the ground, and how far it suits the description given by Monstrelet; but the public will have their curiosity amply grati­fied by the pen of my friend Dr. NASH, now employed in forming the history of his native county.

HENRY acted the part of a prudent general, by cutting off the means of every supply from the enemy; who, worn with famine and fatigue, in the midnight of the eighth day decamped [Page 352] with the utmost secrecy, and retired into Wales *. Monstrelet makes the king quit his station first, and return the same night to Worces­ter; and adds, that the French attacked him in his retreat, and took from him eighteen waggons loaden with provisions. Hall, on the contrary, assures us, that Henry ‘chased the enemy from hilles to dales, from dales to woddes, from woddes to marishes, and yet could never have them at any advantage. A worlde it was to see his quotidiane removyng; his paynfull and busy wan­deryng, his troublesome and uncertayne abidyng, his con­tinual mocion, his daily peregrinacion in the desert felles and craggy mountains of that barreine, unfertile, and depopulate countrey.’ In the end, the king, unable any longer to subsi [...] his army in a country which Glyndwr had expressly destroyed to dutress his enemy, was obliged to desist from his pursuit, and to return to Wercester; and, as Hall owns, in his retreat, lost ‘cer­tayn cariages laden with vitayle, to his great displeasure, and to the great comforte of the Welsh.

I MUST enquire when Henry had leisure for so long and tedioas a campaign;TIME OF THIS CAMPAIGN. for I find him the 22d of August at Pontesrad, the 27th at Worcester, and the 4th of September at Heresord. In four days from that time, it appears he was at Faxflete.

AT Beverley, the 13th of the same month. At Bishopthorp in the same county from the 16th to the 21st; the next day at Cawoed. After which there is an unaccounted gap of time, till he appears again at Worcester the 6th of October. I am thus minute, to shew that Henry possessed a strength of body equal [Page 353] to his activity of mind; otherwise he never could have slown with that rapidity from place to place, nor have guarded against enemies so remote as the Scots and Welsh, at nearly the same period.

IT seems as if all his forces destined to oppose the last, were arrived at their places of rendezvous before the 6th of October. * From that time he was in all probability engaged in this expe­dition; Hall assigning (among other reasons for the king's de­sisting from his enterprize) the approach of winter, which ren­dered a campaign amidst the mountains highly unsafe. Accor­dingly we find him at Dunstable, on his road to London, the 3d of November , and at his palace at Westminster soon after.

THE French, after their slight, never made any farther attempt. Glyndwr placed them in quarters, where they remained till they quitted the kingdom; when he furnished the greater part with vessels to transport them to France. FRENCH QUIT WALES Fifteen hundred remained in Wales till the March following, when they were carried home by a person styled by de Lussan, Le Begue de Volay |

AFTER the defeat of Gryssydd son of Glyndwr, by Henry prince of Wales, that youthful warrior undertook the siege of Llan­bedr castle, in the county of Cardigan. SIEGE OF LLAN­BEDR CASTLE. After some time, the governor placed there by Glyndwr agreed to give it up, in case it was not relieved between the 24th of October and the feast of All Saints. He was to surrender it in good condition; not to injure the habitations in the town, nor seize any ships that should be [Page 354] driven into the port by distress of weather: that he should have free pardon, and have liberty, at the end of the term, to depart with all his effects, and those of his friends. I observe, among the instruments of war which were to be delivered up, were canones, Anglicè gunnes; which had been invented by the French about twenty-six years before this period. He took the sacra­ment in witness of his sincerity, and delivered hostages for the performance of his agreement. He probably relied on the as­sistance of the French for relief. Henry apprehended the same. But, in order to frustrate any attempts of that kind, he issued out a writ, dated from Cawood the 22d of September, to the lieutenants of Devonshire, and of other counties, to raise their forces, and to rendezvous at Evesham on the 10th of October *. This caution took effect so far, as to oblige Rees ap Gryffydd ap Shenkin, alias Rees ap Llewelyn, to agree to the terms proposed; but seemingly without any design of preserving them; for, no sooner was the prince departed, than Rees permitted Glyndwr to turn him and his garrison out, under pretence that they had been guilty of treason in submitting without his consent.

I MUST conclude the transactions of this year, with remarking the solicitude of the lords and commons about the relief of the lord of Coitie, SIEGE OF COITIE CASTLE BY GLYN­ [...]WR. then besieged in the castle of the same name, seated near the river Ogmore in Glamorganshire. Henry was little con­cerned about his fate; but several prelates and persons of rank in both houses offered a loan, for the purpose of raising forces for his rescue. At length it was agreed by king and parlement, [Page 355] that those loans should be repaid out of the first payments of the subsidy at that time granted*.


FROM the latter end of last year, the affairs of Glyndwr began to decline. He had still strength sufficient to keep within his mountanous territories; but was too weak to meditate any thing more than marauding invasions.FRENCH SEND MORE FORCES The French continued to give him some assistance. They sent a sleet of thirty-eight sail. I imagine, from the small number, that they were wearied of their ally; yet were willing to keep up, for their own interest, the spirit of the insurgents. Eight of these ships, laden with men at arms, were taken; the rest escaped in great confusion to Wales .

ABOUT this time Owen was considerably weakened by the de­fection of the inhabitants of Ystrad Tywy.

THE presence of that brave and active prince Henry of Mon­mouth, who at the express request of parlement resided in some part of Wales, was no small check on the enterprizing temper of Glyndwr, nor a less terror to the Welsh, who had felt the force of his arms. At the same time, parlement, sensible of the folly of the premature grants before made of the estates of the insurgents, entered on record, that no heritages conquered from the Welsh, be given away till one quarter of an year after|: [Page 356] so precarious seemed the tenure, even in the declining state of our chiestain. I may remark, that he still had strength enough to give protection to the English fugitives. The great earl of Northumberland, and lord Bardels, found here a hospitable asy­lum, after the S [...]ts, to whom they had entrusted themselves, meditated the giving of them up to Henry, in exchange for cer­tain prisoners. Sir David Fleming of Cumbernauld generously warned them of the intentions of his countrymen; who in re­venge took away his life*.

BEFORE the expiration of this year, Henry made a grant in fee to Sir John Tibetot, speaker of the house of commons, and father to the accomplished peer John earl of Worcester, of the estates of Richard ap Gryffydd ap Vychan, in the counties of Caer­marthen and Cardigan, forfeited by his adherence to the party of Glyndwr .

GLYNDWR again was not behind hand in acts of regal power;GLYNDWR CRANTS A PAR­DON. for about this he grants a pardon to one John ap H [...]d ap Jevan gôch; anno principatus nostri VI* datum apud Kevn Llan­vair X die Jon per ipsum principem. On the seal was the portrait of Owen seated in a chair, holding a sceptre in his right hand, and a globe in the left.

IT is observable, that among the witnesses are Gryffydd his eldest son, and Gryffydd yonge his chancellor; both of whom, the English historians say, were made prisoners, and sent to the Tower. As Henry shewed no mercy to the partizans of Owen, it is [...] probable that these two would have escaped his rage, had [...] [Page 357] ever been in his power. The other two witnesses are Meredith, another of his sons, and Rhys ap Tudur, and Gwillim ap ******.

NOTWITHSTANDING this ostentation of regal power,HIS AFFAIRS DE­CLINE. the affairs of Glyndwr evidently declined. The garrisons placed in most of the different fortresses of North Wales had kept the maritime parts from rising in any numbers in his favor. In the island of Auglesca, he seems to have had a very strong party. It does not appear that there ever was any battle in that island. It is my opi­nion, that the partizans of Owen had passed the Menai, and, while their zeal was warm, had joined his army; and, like the custom in all feudal times, returned to their homes when wearied with the campaign, or satiated with plunder.

BY the latter end of this year, they had submitted to the royal authority: for I find, from a transcript of a manuscript found among the papers of the learned EDWARD LLWYD of the Mu­saeum, this particular:

‘IN an inquisition taken at Beaumaris, upon Tuesday, the day next before the feast of St. Martin the bishop, (which is the 11th of November) in the 8th year of king Henry IV. anno Domini 1406, before Thomas Twkhwl, Philip de Mainwaring, and Robert Paris the younger, commissioners, by virtue of a commission from prince Henry, son and heir apparent of the king, prince of Wales, duke of Acquitaine, Lancaster, and Cornwall, and earl of Chester, unto them, or any two of them, directed, were indicted, presented, and fined, the several per­sons and inhabitants of the isle of Anglesea, ANGLESEA FINED BY THE KING. whose names are hereunder written, for being in arms and rebellion with Owen Glyndysrdwy and others.’

[Page 358]I REFER the reader for the particular of their names to the Appendix. I only shall observe here the Cwmmwds, the num­bers of persons fined in each, and the sum total of them and the fines.

In Llivon411100188

I MUST observe, that the greatest of the fines is £. 8. 3 s. 4 d. and the lest, 2 s. and that two priests are fined five pounds each, I suppose, for misleading their flocks. Several persons are out­lawed, and the goods of those slain in battle forfeited to the king, according to the following valuation:

A horse020
steer or hei­fer010
A yearling calf004
cronnach of wheat034
ditto oats020

[Page 359]1407.

HISTORY furnishes us with very few materials respecting the transactions of this year. They were probably few and unim­portant. Owen had lost the fortresses of Llanbedr * (which was soon retaken) and that of Harlech. He was consined to the hills, and seems never to have quitted his fastnesses but to make a praedatory war. The earl or Northumberland and lord Bardols, about this time, apprehending that Owen was too weak to pro­tect them, quitted Wales, and soon after lost their lives in a des­perate effort to restore their cause, on Bramham-moor in York­shire.


IN this year I discover nothing relative to the Welsh affairs, farther than a due compliment paid to the prince of Wales by the commons; who, by their speaker, desired the king to give public thanks to young Henry for his great fatigue and good conduct in Wales; for which both king and prince returned their compliments again to the commons.


IN this year Glyndwr again began to make head.MAKES HEAD A­GAIN. By him­self, or his partizans, he made great devastations on the marches, and in those parts of Wales that were well affected to the English government. The estates of Edward de Charlion lord [Page 360] Powys suffered gre [...]ly. Henry therefore directs a write to [...] nobleman to raiss his sorces and supp [...]s, in the most [...], manner, this new disturbance, [...]ded, as it appears, by [...] himself and the bishop of St. [...]. Lord Pouys [...] the same time instructed not to quit the country, but to [...] all his castles garrisoned, and not to permit any of his [...] to be deserted. This is dated from Westminister the [...] of May *.

LIKE orders were issued to Edward duke of York, Th [...]s [...] of Arundel, Richard earl of Warwick, Reginald lord Grey, [...]x­stantia lady Despenser, (who had now made her peace with the crow [...] [...] Court, and William Beauchamp.

THIS activity proved fatal to Rhys Ddu and Philip [...], two of Owen's best officers, whom he had sent into Sh [...], where they committed great excesses. They were both made prisoners, sent to London, and executed. Caxton relates, that Rhys was taken before the justices, condemned, and drawn on a hurdle through the city to Tyburn, where he suffered the death of a traitor. His quarters were sent to four other cities; his head placed on London bridge.

ON the 18th of November, in this year, Henry issued out an order to the constable of Windsor castle, to deliver to Sir Wil­liam Liste knight, marshal of England, the following Welsh pri­soners:

  • [Page 361]Howel ap Jevan ap Howell.
  • Walther ap Jevan Vechan.
  • Rys ap Jevan ap Rys.
  • Jevan Goch ap Morgan.
  • David ap Tudor.
  • Rys ap Meredyd.
  • Madoc Bery.
  • Jenkin Backer.
  • David ap Cad.
  • Thomam Dayler *.

AFTER this follows a warrant to Sir William to receive them. I imagine, that all these gentlemen were delivered to the marshal for execution; who, by his commission, seems to have been expressly appointed for that purpose; certis de causis ad ea omnia et singula quae ad officium Marescalli Angliae pertinent ex­ercenda per litteras nostras patentes quam diu nobis placuerit, duraturas deputavimus.

TOWARDS the latter end of the year, several of the officers of the lords marchers, either through dislike to the war, or for the sake of preserving their country from the fury of the Welsh, of their own authority formed a truce with Glyndwr and his partizans. This only served to enable them to make their in­roads on other parts with more security. Many of the loyal borderers were slain, and others plundered, in consequence of these agreements. Henry was highly irritated, and immediately issued out writs to Thomas earl of Arundel, Sir Richard L'E-strange lord of Knockyn, Ellesmere, and other borderirg manors, Edward Charlton lord Powys, and Reginald lord Grey of Ruthyn, and to the deputy-lieutenant of Heresordshire, directing them to [Page 362] cause all such illegal compacts to be rescinded, and Glyndwr and his adherents to be pursued, and attacked with the utmost vi­gor.

FROM this period Owen never made any attempts worthy of historic notice. Numbers of his followers deserted; which obliged him to confine himself to the hills, and to act entirely on the defensive. Notwithstanding his power was reduced, he was far from being subdued. The years 1410 and 1411 were passed without any memorable actions. The English were con­tent with the ease they enjoyed by restraining the outrages of the mountaneers.Glyndwr maintained that extensive tract that forms the Alps of our country, and kept his prisoners so securely consined, that even Henry, in 1412, was under the necessity of permitting (by writ*) his esquire Llewelyn ap Hoel, father to the noted David Gam, to make use of Sir John Tiptoste and William Botiller, to treat with Owen about the redemption of his son, who was kept forti et durâ prisonâ, or to endeavour to seize fome of Glyndwr's friends to exchange for Gam. TREATY. What the result of this affair was, does not appear. It serves, though, to disprove the opinion, that David escaped to England after his infamous at­tempt in 1402; for which, as is now evident, he suffered a most fevere, but merited captivity of ten years, from which all the power of his English friends could not release him.

THE prison where Owen confined his captives was not far from his house,THE PRISON OF GLYNDWR. in the parish of Llansanfraid Glyndwrdwy; and the place is to this day called Carchardy Owen Glyndwrdwy. Some [Page 363] remains are still to be seen near the church, which form part of a habitable house. It consists of a room thirteen feet square, and ten and a half high. The sides consist of three horizontal beams, with upright planks, not four inches asunder, mortised into them. In these are grooves with holes in the bottom, as if there had been originally cross-bars, or grates. The roof is exceedingly strong, composed of strong planks almost conti­guous. It seems as if there had been two stories; but the up­per part at present is evidently modern.

IT is singular, that the government did not take advantage of two Welshmen of rank, whom they had this year in their power, and whom they might have made the price of the liberty of their partizan. These were Rhys ap Tudur of Penmynydd in Angle­sea, and his brother. Perhaps they were taken after the treaty had its effect; perhaps their crimes were too enormous for par­don: but whatsoever the case was, they were both conveyed to Chester, and there put to death.

I MUST not omit, that in 1410, Henry prince of Wales gave a free pardon to certain of his tenants in the comot of Coleshill, in the county of Flint *, for the share they had in what was styled the rebellion of Glyndwr. That county was much divided in those troubles. Howel Gwynedd, descended from Edwin lord of Tegengle, a valiant gentleman, who sided with our chieftain, was in one of tire preceding years surprised by his enemies from the town of Flint. He probably was posted within the trenches [Page 364] of Moel y Gaer, in the parish of Northop; on which he was without process, beheaded.


HENRY died in the beginning of this year;HENEY DIES. and left his youth­ful successor so engaged in his preparations for the conquest of France, as to lose ail thoughts of the entire subjection of his British dominions. Glyndwr remained still inaccessible; but was so closely guarded, as to cease to be tremendous. The W [...]sh who had submitted, now began to indulge their revenge against such of the English who had slain, or otherwise injured any of their relations or friends in the late war. This revenge was taken by various kinds of distress and imprisonment, till they had cleared themselves by compurgation, or made some satis­factory agreement. To remedy this, Henry the Vth, in his first year, abolishes* the Assach, or oath of 300 men, necessary, ac­cording to the custom of Wales, to clear a person accused of any crime.ASSACH. Before that, an Englishman was liable to continue in jail for life, as it seems impossible for one of that hated nation to procure even a far less number of compurgators than this strange law required for his acquittal. Henry made the attempt penal, and the prosecutor liable to an imprisonment of two years, to pay treble damages, and to pay beside, a fine and ransom before he could be released.

[Page 365]THIS was the last of the many laws enacted against the Welsh on occasion of this insurrection.SEVERE LAWS. They were certainly very se­vere; yet, perhaps, no more than what any government would have directed, against a people that had submitted to conquest near a hundred and twenty years, and who were considered in no other light than that of rebellious subjects.

ON the first insurrection, conciliatory methods were tried, and pardons offered. After experience of the little effect these had on the minds of the Welsh, every lenient step was laid aside, and laws of a very severe nature were put in force against them.

THE first was in the year 1400. It was found expedient to prevent, as much as possible, all intercourse between the Welsh and English. The first were strongly attached to the cause of Richard; the last had many secret favorers of that unhappy prince among them. There appeared much danger, if the for­mer were permitted to strengthen their interest in England: a coalition fatal to the new government was apprehended. As a preventative, it was enacted: That no person born on both sides of Welsh parents should purchase lands or tenements near any of the cities or towns on the marches of Wales, on pain of forfeit­ing them to the lord paramount where such estates lay: That no Welshman should be received into any corporation town; or, if they had been settled in any such before, they were to find security for their good and loyal behaviour; they were to be totally disquali­fied from any civil office, and never allowed to carry any weapons.

IN case any Welshman refused to restore to any Englishman the cattle, horses, or the like, (which he had forcibly taken) within seven days, the Englishman was allowed to retaliate.

[Page 366]So little trust was there in justice from our countrymen, that it was enacted, that no Englishman should be condemned at the suit of a Welshman, unless by English justices, or English bur­gesses.

So greatly did the government apprehend the seduction of English loyalty by the charms of our countrywomen, that the Eng­lish were prohibited from marrying with a Welshwoman, under the pain of being disqualified from holding any office in Wales.

IN 1402, there is a very particular statute, intended to remedy the mischiefs resulting from some customs peculiar to Wales. This directs,KYMHORTHA. that nul westour, rymour, minstrall, ne vagabond, soit aucunement sustenuz en la terre de Gales, par faire kymorthas ou coillage sur le commune poeple illoeqes. I cannot give a better trans­lation, than that in the observations on the antient statutes, by my esteemed friend the honorable DAINES BARRINGTON; which is to this purpose: THAT no host*, rhymer, minstrel, or other vagabond, should presume to assemble or collect together.

THE word kymhortha is mis-spelt from the Welsh cymmorth, or the plural cymmorthau, assemblies of people to assist a neigh­bor in any work. Such are very frequently in use at present. There are cymmorthan for spinning; for works of husbandry; for coal-carriage. But at this time, these meetings were mere pretences; and their end was the collecting a sufficient number [Page 367] of able-bodied men to make an insurrection. Of such a nature, in old times, were the hunting-matches in Scotland. The legisla­ture in that part of Great Britain found the evils resulting from them, and at length suppressed them by a law.

BUT cymhorthau of our countrymen were at this period of a most tremendous nature. They were composed of men the most dreaded by tyrants and usurpers; of BARDS, who animated our nation, by recalling to mind the great exploits of our an­cestors, their struggles for liberty, their successful contests with the Saxon and Norman race for upwards of eight centuries. They rehearsed the cruelty of their antagonists, and did not forget the savage policy of the first Edward to their proscribed bre­thren. They brought before their countrymen the remembrance of antient prophecies. They shewed to them the hero Glyndwr, descended from the antient race of our princes; and pronounced, that in him was to be expected the completion of every predic­tion of our oracular MERLIN. The band of minstrels now struck up; the harp, the crwth, and the pipe, filled the mea­sure of enthusiasm which the others had begun to inspire. They rushed to battle, fearless of events, like their great ancestry, moved by the Druids songs; and scorned death, which conferred immortality in reward of their valor,

Inde ruendi
In ferrum mens prona viris, animaeque capaces
Mortis, et ignavum est rediturae parcere vitae.

[Page 368]
Hence they no cares for this frail being feel.
But rush undaunted on the pointed steel:
Provoke approaching fate, and bravely scorn
To spare that life which must so soon return.

WE find that Glyndwr maintained his situation for two year; longer. In 1415, his affairs bore so respectable an aspect, that the king condescended to enter into a treaty with him; and for that purpose deputed, from the castle of Porchester *, Sir G [...]ocrt Talbot, with full powers to negotiate with Owen, and even to offer him and his followers a free pardon, in case they sliould request it. Some writers say, that this grace was obtained by the mediation of David Holbech, deputy steward of the lordships of Bromfield and Yale. DIATH OF OWEN. The event of this affair does not appear. It is probable that it was interrupted by the death of our hero, which happened on the 20th of September, on the eve of St. Matthew, in the sixty-first year of his age, at the house of one of his daughters; but whether that of his daughter Scudamore or Monnington, is uncertain; but, according to the tradition of the county of Hereford, it may be supposed to have been at that of the last. It is said, that he was buried in the church-yard of Monnington; but there is no monument, or any memorial of the spot that contains his remains.

BOTH the printed histories, and the manuscript accounts, re­present his latter end to have been very miserable; that he was dered from place to place in the habit of a shepherd, in a l [...] [Page]


[Page 369] and forlorn condition; and was even forced to take shelter in caves and desert places, from the fury of his enemies*. This does not wear the face of probability; for, had his situation been so deplorable, majesty would never have condescended to propose terms to such a scourge as Glyndwr had been to his kingdom. This retreat, and the distresses he underwent, were probably after the battle of Pwll Melyn in 1405, from which he quickly emer­ged. Death alone deprived Owen of the glory of accepting an offered accommodation. The treaty was renewed by the same minister, on the 24th of February 1416, with Meredydd ap Owen, the son of Glyndwr; which it is to be supposed took effect, and peace was restored to England, after an indecisive strug­gle of more than fifteen years. Our chieftain died unsub­dued; unfortunate only in foreseeing a second subjugation of his country, after the loss of the great supporter of its inde­pendency.

HAVING now collected every thing in my power relating to this celebrated Briton, I return, by the same road, cross the Dee at Llangollen; and, after a ride of about a mile, turn a little out of the road, in a fertile little vale, to the abby of

LLAN-EGWEST,ABBY OF VALLE CRUCIS. GLYN-EGWEST MONACHLOG, or DE VALLE CRUCIS, solemnly seated at the foot of the mountains, on a small meadowy flat, watered by a pretty stream, and shaded with hang­ing woods. This was a house of Cistertians, founded in the year 1200, by Madoc ap Gryffydd Maelor, lord of Bromfield, and grandson [Page 370] by the mother's side to Owen Gwynedd prince of Wales. I cannot discover any of the endowments, further than half the tithes of Wrexham, bestowed on it by Reyner bishop of St. Asaph, who died in 1224; and the other half, by his successor bishop Abraham, in 1227. The following bishop, Howel ap Ednysved, presented it with the church of Llangollen *. The monks ob­tained besides the patronage of several other livings; such as Wrexham, Rhiwabon, Chirk, Llausanfraid, and Llandegla; but their title to these, as well as to Llangollen, was disputed by bi­shop Anian, commonly known by the name of Y Brawd duo Nannau, or the black brother of Nanney, a Dominican, consecrated in 1268 who brought his cause before the pope's delegates, the official of Canterbury, and the abbot of Tallelechew, and ob­tained a decision in favor of him and his successors; but as there was some doubt about the patronage of the church of Llan­degla, they allotted (in lieu of it) to the abby a third of the tithes of Bryn-Eglwys .

THE landed endowments were not inconsiderable.REVENUES. In the year 1291, the abbot was found to have near the monastery, a grange, with three ploughlands, a mill, and other conveni­encies, valued at — £. 3 0 0

The granges of Bodhange, Tregam, Rudryn, and Baketon, set for — 5 10 0

Also the dairy-farm of Nante, the grange of Nu­stroyz, Convenet, and Grennychamt, set for — 3 19 8

Also the grange of Wyrcessam, consisting of one ploughland and some pasture, valued at — 0 15 0 [Page 371] And thirty cows, at the expence of thirty shillings.

THE whole of his establishment was fourteen pounds fourteen shillings and eight pence*. At the dissolution, the revenue of the house was found to be (according to Dugdale) 188 l. per An­num. Speed makes it 214 l. 3 s. 5 d. The last abbot was John Herne, who received an annuity of 23 l. on his surrender. This, and 10 l. 13 s. 4 d. in annuities to some surviving monks, were the only charges remaining in 1553.

THIS place remained in the crown till the 9th of James I. who granted it to Edward Wotton, afterwards created lord Wotton. In 1654, we find a lady Margaret Wotton, a recusant, to have been in possession; and that it was put under sequestration by orders of the commissioners from the ruling powers.

THERE still remain the ruins of the church,CHURCH. and part of the abby: the last inhabited by a farmer. The church was built in form of a cross, in different styles of architecture. The most antient is that of the east end, where the windows are in form of long and narrow slips, pointed at top. The window at the west end is large, divided by stone tracery; and above is a round window of elegant work. Above it is an inscription in memory of the person who repaired or re-built this part: an honor frequently paid to benefactors of this kind. It is in this form; ĀD. ADAM. DMS. Fecit Hoc opus. Pace Beata quiescat. Amen. And just beneath, are the letters M. D... probably part of the date; the rest being lost. We cannot ascertain the person intended in this line. He was pro­bably [Page 372] one of the house of Trevawr, in which that name occurs more than once; as, Adam or Adda Vawr of Trevawr; and Adam or Adda ap Jorwerth Ddu of Pengwern.

THE capitals of the pilasters within the church, are finished with elegant foliage. In the north transept, is a cloister of two arches; an arch that once contained a tomb; and near it a double benetoire, or holy-water pot.

MUCH of the building is made of the coarse slaty stone of the country. The door and window frames of fine free­stone.

THE abbot's apartment was contiguous to the church. There opens from it a small space, where he might stand to hear the holy offices performed below.

THE lower part of the abby is vaulted, and supported by rows of low pillars; now divided into different rooms. In front is a large window with curious stone tracery, which reaches to the ground. Within seems to have stood a small stair-case, which led to the fratry, a paved room above the arches.

IN one of the present bed-chambers is a stone (now part of a chimney-piece) carved with running foliage, with this imperfect inscription: Hie jacet.... ARVRVET. This is the only relique of any tomb; that of the founder, who was buried here*, is no more: nor yet that of Gryffydd ap Madoc Maelor, lord of Dinas Brân; who, after siding with the enemies of his country, in 1270 was deposited within these walls.





[Page 373]ABOUT a quarter of a mile higher up the vale,PILLAR OF EAISEQ in the hedge of a meadow, I met with the remainder of a round column, perhaps one of the most antient of any British inscribed pillar now existing.

IT was entire till the civil wars of the last century, when it was thrown down and broken by some ignorant fanatics; who thought it had too much the appearance of a cross, to be suf­fered to stand. It probably bore the name of one; for the field it lies in is still called Llwyn-y-Groes, or the Grove of the Cross, from the wood that surrounded it. It was erected at so early a period, that there is nothing marvellous, if we should perceive a tincture of the old idolatry, or at left of the primeval customs of our country, in the mode of it when per­fect.

THE pillar never had been a cross; notwithstanding folly and superstition might, in later times, imagine it to have been one and have paid it the usual honors. It was a memorial of the dead; an improvement on the rude columns of Druidical times and cut into form, and surrounded with inscription. It is among the first lettered stones that succeeded the Meini-hirion, Meini­Gwŷr, and Llcchau. It stood on a great tumulus; perhaps always environed with wood (as the mount is at present) according to the custom of the most antient times, when standing. pillars were placed under every green tree *.

It is said that the stone, when complete, was twelve feet high. It is now reduced to six feet eight. The remainder of the [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 374] capital is eighteen inches long. It stood infixed in a square pe­destal, still lying in the mount; the breadth of which is five feet three inches: the thickness eighteen inches.

THE beginning of the inscription gives us nearly the time of its erection: Concenn filius Cateli, Catteli filius Broch­mail, Broch­mail filius Eliseg, Eliseg filius Cnoillaine, Concenn itaque prone­pos Eliseg edificavit hunc lapidem proavo suo Eliseg.

THIS Concenn, or Congen, was the grandson of Brochmail Ys­cithroc, the same who was defeated in 607 at the battle of Chester *. The letters on the stone were copied by Mr. Edward Llwyd: the inscription is now illegible; but, from the copy taken by that great antiquary, the alphabet nearly resembles one of those in use in the sixth century.

ONE of the seats of Concenn and Eliseg was in this country. A township adjacent to the column bears, from the last, the name of Eglwyseg; and the picturesque tiers of rocks are called Gliseg for the same reason. The habitation of this prince of Powys in these parts was probably Dinas Brân, which lies at the head of the vale of Gliseg. Mr. Llwyd conjectures, that this place took its name from the interment of Eliseg; by a similar in­stance in the county of Caermarthen; where the place in which a monumental stone stands, is called Pant y Polion, corruptly for Pant Pawlin, from Paulinus, the person it was inscribed to:

Servator fidei patriaeque semper amator:
Hic PAULINUS jacet cultor pientissimus aequi.

[Page 375]THERE are two ways from this pillar: the usual is along the vale, on an excellent turnpike-road leading to Ruthyn; the other is adapted only for the travel of the horsemen; but far the more preferable, on account of the romantic views. I returned by Valle Crucis; and, after winding along a steep midway to the old castle, descended, and after crossing the rill of the Brán, ar­rived in the valley of Glisseg; VALLEY OF GLISSEG. long and narrow, bounded on the right by the asbonishing precipices, divided into numberless paral­lel strata of white limestone, often giving birth to vast yew-trees: and on the left, by smooth and verdant hills, bordered by pretty woods. One of the principal of the Glisseg rocks is honored with the name of Craig-Arthur. That at the end of the vale is called Craig y Forwyn, or the maiden's; is bold, precipitous, and termi­nates with a vast natural column.

THIS valley is chiefly inhabited (happily) by an independent race of warm and wealthy yeomanry, undevoured as yet by the great men of the country.

IN order to get into the great road, I pursued a path up a steep ascent to the left; and about mid-way visited a house noted for being the residence of one Edward Davies, a low partizan. and plunderer on the side of the usurper during the civil wars. He was best known in his own country by the title of Cneifiwr Glâs, CNEIPIWR GLAS. or the Blue Shaver, from his rapacity, and the color of his cloaths; and was considered as a fit instrument of the tyranny of the times. In 1654, he was appointed, by the commissioners for sequestration, steward of the court-leet within the manor of Valle Crucis, being recommended to the office by colonel George Twisleton, The Cneifiwr seems to have not been over-true to his [Page 376] own party, when his interest stood in the way. He was accus­tomed to take even the royalists under his protection, on receiving a proper reward. He once concealed Sir Evan Llwyd of Bodi­dris, at the time that a considerable sum was ordered for his apprehension. He lodged him in a cellar below the parlor; then summoning his people, ordered them, in a seeming rage, to sally out in quest of Sir Evan, stamping with his foot, and declaring, that if the knight was above ground, he would have him.

AFTER continuing an ascent for a little space longer, reach the pass called Bwlch y Rhiw Velen, BWLCH Y RHIW VELEN. and fall again into the great road. This place is distinguished by the deaths of two of the sons of Llowarch Hên, LLOWARCH HEN. the Cumbrian prince of the sixth century; who were slain in battle, and whose loss the princely bard, their father, deplores in an elegy, of which these lines are a fragment:

Bedh GUELL yn y Rhiw Velen
Bedh SAWYL yn Llan Gollen *.
GUELL found a grave in Rhiw Velen,
SAWYL, in Llan Gollen.

LLOWARCH HEN left his country to expel the Saxons and Irish out of this part of Britain. He leaves us ignorant of the event: all he acquaints us with is, that he lost twelve sons in the gene­rous attempt.

[Page 377]FROM the height above Rhiw Velen, is a very extensive pro­spect of the hundred of Yale; hilly, fertile in grass, abundant in cattle; but in this part dreary, and destitute of hedges and woods: banks, for the most part, supply the place of the first; and brakes of the latter. After some descent, cross the Alyn, Here a trifling rill (which, after running for some time, receives much increase) waters the rich vales of Mold and Hope; and passes between the picturesque banks from near Caergwrle to Gresford, where it goes through an extensive flat, and falls into the Dee midway between Holt and Eaton Boat. Leave, a little to the left, a place called Havod yr Abad, the site of one of the country-seats of the abbot of Valle Crucis. Close to the road­side lies Tommen y Rhodwydd, once a fortress known by the name of the castle of Yale *, built by Owen Gwynedd, about the year 1148. This is the place Leland, mistakenly, calls a castle belonging to Owen Glyndwr ‡. It consists of a vast artificial mount, with another still loftier near one end, the keep of the place. These are surrounded with a great foss and rampart; and have only a single entrance. At present, there are not the lest reliques of the superstructure: which was probably of wood; for we are told, that this short-lived castelet was burnt nine years after its erection, by Jorwerth Goch ap Meredydd §.

IT is in this manner we must account for the total disappear­ance of many Welsh castles, whose names are preserved in history;WOODEN CASTLES. and whose vestiges we have sought for in vain. They were made of wood, as was very customary with several antient na­tions, [Page 378] and with others of later date. The Persians, on the ap­proach of the Spartans, secured themselves within their wooden walls: and Cesar found great resistance from a tower in the Al­pine castle of Larignum, made of the timber of the Larix, or the Larch, which was found to be incombustible*. In later times, the castle of Bamborough was built originally by Ida with wood; the burgh of Murray was fortified by the Danes with the same material. The people of the same county, in 1228, had castles of wood and, a century after these, more recent instances: William de Melton, archbishop of York in 1317, fortified the mount in that city, called the Old Bale, with planks eighteen inches thick.

WHENSOEVER we find an antient fortress totally vanished, and we cannot account for the disposal of the materials in the erecting of any neighboring buildings, we must suppose that they had been constructed of wood; and that they had been destroyed by fire, either flung into them by means of torches, or by veltae, or vast masses of combustibles rolled against them by the force of numbers, as was the practice of the antient Scandi­navians, described by Olaus Magnus.

FROM Tommen y Rhodwydd I crossed the country for about two miles to the village of Llandegla, LLANDEGLA. noted for its vast fairs for black cattle. The church is dedicated to St. Tecla, virgin and martyr; who, after her conversion by St. Paul, suffered under Nero at Iconium.

[Page 379]ABOUT two hundred yards from the church, in a quillet called Gwern Degla, rises a small spring, with these letters cut on free-stone: A. G [...]: G.ST. TECLAS'S WELL. The water is under the tutelage of the saint; and to this day held to be extremely beneficial in the Clwyf Tegla, St. Tecla's disease, or the falling-sickness. The patient washes his limbs in the well; makes an offering into it of four pence; walks round it three times; and thrice repeats the Lord's prayer. These ceremonies are never begun till after sun-set, in order to inspire the votaries with greater awe. If the afflicted be of the male-sex, like Socrates, he makes an of­fering of a cock to his Aesculapius, or rather to Tecla Hygeia; if of the fair-sex, a hen. The fowl is carried in a basket, first round the well; after that into the church-yard; when the same orisons, and the same circum-ambulations are performed round the church. The votary then enters the church; gets under the communion-table; lies down with the Bible under his or her head; is covered with the carpet or cloth, and rests there till break of day; departing after offering six pence, and leaving the fowl in the church. If the bird dies, the cure is supposed to have been effected, and the disease transferred to the devoted victim.

FROM hence I visited the house of Bodidris, BODIDRIS. a large and antient place, belonging to Evan Lloyd Vaughan Esq of Corsygedol, in right of his mother Margaret, daughter of Sir Evan Lloyd ba­ronet, the last male of the family: descended from ynyr ap Howel ap Moriddig ap Sandde Hardd; who, by his valor at the battle of Corwen; in 1165, obtained from his prince the honorable dis­tinction in his arms of four bloody strokes, or, in the heralds [Page 380] phrafe, paly of eight, or and gules. For, while he was talk­ing to his prince after the fight, with his left hand smeared with blood, he accidentally drew it across his sword, and left on it the marks of his four fingers. The prince observing this, ordered him to carry them on his shield; and at the same time bestowed on him the township of Gelligynan in this neighbor­hood, as a more substantial mark of his favor.

BODIDRIS takes its name from Idris, son of Llewelyn AUR­DORCHOG, or of the goden torques, the antient lord of Yale. It stands in two counties, Flintshire and Denbighshire; the long table in the hall having an end in each.

FROM hence I continued my journey to Llanarmon, LLAMARMON a village whose church is dedicated to St. Germanus bishop of Auxerre; who, with St. Lupus, contributed to gain the famous Victoria Alleluiatica over the Picts and Saxons near Mold. He was a most popular patron, and has numbers of other churches in Wales un­der his protection. An image of an ecclesiastic, still to be seen in the church-wall, is called his. In Leland's days, there was a great resort of pilgrims, and large offerings at this place*; and, probably, to this imaginary reseinblance of him.

IN the church is the tomb of a grandson of the bloody-fingered warrior above mentioned, carrying on his shield the arms won by his ancestor, inscribed around, Hic jacet Grusudd ap Lhewelyn ap Ynyr. At his feet lies a dog gnawing a heap of intestines. The tradition of the country is, that he engaged in [Page 381] a crusade, in which he lost his life by a wound in the abdomen; that his bowels fell out, and were seized by a dog, as expressed by the sculptor. If he fell in the romantic cause of the holy sepulchre, the artist must have forgot to have placed him cross-legged, the monumental distinction of all such knights-errant. The tomb is a chest cut out of one stone, in which his body was put, and sent home. The lid is another stone, with his effigies carved out of it.

SEPULCHARAL tumuli are very frequent in this parish.TUMILI. I was present at the opening of one, composed of loose stones and earth, covered with a layer of soil about two feet thick, and over that a coat of verdant turf. In the course of our search, were discovered, towards the middle of the tumulus, several urns made of sun-burnt clay, of a reddish color on the outside, black within, being stained with the ashes they contained. Each was placed with the mouth downwards on a flat stone; above each was another, to preserve them from being broken by the weight above. Mixed with the loose stones, were numerous fragments of bones; such as parts of the thigh-bones, the arm-bones, and even a scull. These had escaped the effects of the fire of the funeral pile, and were deposited about the urns; which con­tained the residuum of the corpse, that had been reduced to pure ashes.

I SHALL mention in the following pages the high antiquity of this custom; that it was in use with the most polished nations, with the Greeks and with the Romans, as well as with the most barbarous. The antient Germans practised this rite, as appears [Page 382] from Tacitus *. The Druids observed the same, with the wild addition of whatsoever was of use in this life, under the notion that they would be wanted by the deceased in the world below; and in confirmation of this, arms, and many singular things, of unknown use, are to this day discovered beneath the places of antient sepulture.

THE remote Sarmatae, and all the Scandinavian nations, agreed in the burning of the dead; and the Danes distinguished by this, and the different funeral ceremonies, three several epochs.

THE first, which was the same with that in question, was called Roisold and Brende-tiide, or the age of burning.

THE second was styled Hoigold, and Hoielse-tiide, or the age of tumuli, or hillocks. The corpse at this period was placed entire, with all the ornaments which graced it during life. The bracelets, or arms, and even the horse of the departed hero, were placed beneath the heap. Money, and all the rich property of the deceased, used to be buried with him, from the persuasion that the soul was immortal| and would stand in need of these things in the other life. Such was the notion both of the Gauls and of the northern nations. Among the last, when py­racy was esteemed honorable, these illustrious robbers directed that all their rich plunder should be deposited with their re­mains§, in order to stimulate their offspring to support them­selves, and the glory of their name, by deeds of arms. Hence it is we hear of the vast riches discovered in sepulchres, and of [Page 383] the frequent violation of the remains of the dead, in expecta­tion of treasures, even for centuries after this custom had ceased.

THE third age was called Christendoms-old, when the introduc­tion of Christianity put a stop to the former customs: for 'Christians,' as the learned physician of Norwich observes, ‘ab­horred this species of obsequies; and though they stickt not to give their bodies to be burnt in their lives, detested that mode after death; affecting rather depositure than absumption, and properly submitted unto the sentence of GOD, to return not unto ashes, but to dust again.’

FROM the remarks of these able writers, we may learn the time of the abolition of the custom of burning among the se­veral nations; for it ceased with paganism. It therefore fell first into disuse with the Britons; for it was for some time retained by the Saxons after their conquest of this king­dom; but was left off on their receiving the light of the go­spel. The Danes retained the custom of urn-burial the last of any: for of all the northern nations who had any footing in these kingdoms, they were the latest who embraced the doc­trines of Christianity.

I CANNOT establish any criterion by which a judgment may be made of the people to whom the different species of urns and tumuli belonged, whether they are British, Roman, Saxon, or Danish.

SOME of the tumuli consist of heaps of naked stones, such as those in the isle of Arran; in many parts of Scotland; and in some parts of Cornwall.

[Page 384]OTHERS are composed, like this of Llanarmon, with stones and earth, nicely covered with earth and sod. Of these the base is in certain places level with the ground, in others, surrounded with a trench: they were sometimes formed of earth only. Others are of a conoid form, and some oblong; of which there is an example in the neighborhood of Bryn y pys, called the Giant's Grave. Finally, other places of antient sepulture con­sisted only of a flat area, encompassed, like the Druidical circles, with upright stones; and such were those of Ubbo, and of king Harald, in Sweden *.

THE urns are also found placed in different manners, with the mouth resting downwards upon a flat stone, secured by an­other above; or with the mouth upwards, guarded in a like way.

VERY frequently the urns are discovered lodged in a square cell composed of flags. Sometimes more than one of these cells are found beneath a carn or tumulus. I have even met with, near Dupplin in Perthshire, not fewer than seventeen, disposed in a circular form. When numbers are found together, the tu­mulus was either a family-cemetery, or might have contained the reliques of a number of heroes who perished with glory in the same cause: for such honors were paid only to the great and good.

THE urns found in these cells are usually surrounded with the fragments of bones that had resisted the fire; for the friends of the deceased were particularly careful to collect every particle; [Page 385] which they placed, with the remains of the charcoal, about the urns, thinking the neglect the utmost impiety, We have no certainty of the ceremonies used by the antient Britons on these mournful occasions; but, from many circumstances which we continually discover in our tumuli, there appear many, analo­gous to those used in antient Greece and Rome.

THE Greeks first quenched the funeral pile with wine, and the companions or relations of the departed performed the rest. Such was the ceremony at the funeral of Patroclus.

Where yet the embers glow,
Wide o'er the pile the sable wine they throw,
And deep subsides the ashy heap below.
Next the white bones his sad companions place,
With tears collected in the golden vase.
The sacred reliques to the tent they bore;
The urn a veil of linen cover'd o'er.
That done, they bid the sepulchre aspire,
And cast the deep foundations round the pyre;
High in the midst they heap the swelling bed
Of rising earth, memorial of the dead*.

THE duty of collecting the bones and ashes fell to the next of kin. Thus, Tibullus pathetically entreats death to spare him in a foreign land, least he should want the tender offices of his nearest relations:

[Page 386]
Me tenet ignotis aegrum Phaeacia, terris
Abstineas avidus, mors violenta, manus!
Abstineas, mors atra! precor, non hic mihi mater,
Quae legat in maestos ossa perusta sinus.
Non soror, Assyrios cineri quae dedat odores,
Et fleat effusis ante sepulcra comis.
DELIA non usquam*!
Here, languishing beneath a foreign sky.
An unknown victim to disease, I lie;
In pity, then, suspend thy lifted dart,
Thou tyrant, Death; nor pierce my throbbing heart:
No mother near me, her last debt to pay,
Collect my bones, my ashes bear away;
No sister o'er my funeral pile shall mourn,
Nor mix Assyrian incense in my urn:
Nor, Deita, thou, oh thou my soul's first care!
Shall with thy dear, dishevell'd locks, be there.
R. W

I BEG leave to add the account given by Virgil of the funereal rites of Pallas . We find in it many ceremonies that were used by the northern nations. Animals of different species were burnt or deposited with the body. The spoils of war, and weapons of various kinds, were placed on the pile; the bones and ashes were collected together; and a heap of earth, or a tumulus, flung over them. Each of these circumstances are continually disco­vered in our barrows. Horns, and other reliques of quadrupeds, weapons of brass and of stone, all placed under the very same sort of tombs as are described by Homer and Virgil. Perhaps [Page 387] the other ceremonies were not omitted; but we have no record that will warrant us to assert that they were in all respects simi­lar.

Jam pater Aeneas, &c.
The Tuscan chief and Trojan prince command,
To raise the funeral structures on the strand.
Then to the piles, as antient rites ordain,
Their friends convey the relicks of the slain.
From the black flames the sullen vapours rise,
And smoke in curling volumes to the skies.
The foot thrice compass the high-blazing pyres;
Thrice move the horse, in circles, round the fires.
Their tears, as loud they howl at ev'ry round,
Dim their bright arms, and trickle to the ground.
A peal of groans succeeds; and heav'n rebounds
To the mixt cries, and trumpet's martial sounds.
Some, in the flames, the wheels and bridles throw,
The swords and helmets of the vanquishi'd foe:
Some, the known shields their brethren bore in vain,
And unsuccessful jav'lins of the slain.
Now round the piles the bellowing oxen bled,
And bristly swine: in honour of the dead,
The fields they drove, the fleecy flocks they slew,
And on the greedy flames the victims threw.

SINCE I am engaged in this funebrious subject, it will be fit to observe, that a discovery of an entire skeleton, placed between flags of a proportionable size, was made near this place. This, [Page 388] as well as others similar in different parts of our islands, evinces that the antient inhabitants did not always commit their bodies to the fire: for, besides this instance, a skeleton thus inclosed was found in one of the Orknies *, and others in the shire of Murray; and with one of the last was found an urn with ashes, and several pieces of charcoal which-shews, that each practice was in use in the same age.

FROM Llanarmon I continued my journey along the bad roads of that parish. The country now grows more contracted, by the approximation of the hills. On one side are the rocky ledges of limestone, in the township of Tre'r Yrys, rich in lead-ore; and which is supposed to have taken its name from Gyrys, who made the first collection of Welsh proverbs, known by the name of Mad-waith bén Gyrys o Jal, or the good work of old Gyrys of Yale.

ON the left are the Clwydian hills, which divide this country from the vale of Clwyd. These are cultivated pretty high; are free from rocks, covered with heath.

THERE is a Bwlch, or pass through these hills, of a most re­markable name, lying between the summits called Moel Eithinen, and Moel Fenlli, in this parish. This is called Bwlch Agricla, or the pass of Agriccla; and, since there is no other translation to be given of the welsh word, we may conjecture this to have been his passage to Mona. That the Romans were in after-times resident in these parts, is evident from the number of coins found [Page 389] in the neighborhood, particularly in the parish of Llanverres, where abundance of Denarii have been met with.

MOEL FENLLI, or Benlli's hill, is remarkable for having on it a strong British post, guarded as usual by dikes and fosses. This probably was possessed by a chieftain of that name; for Nen­nius * speaks of such a regulus of the country of Yale; but, as too usual with our antient historians, blends so ridiculous a legend with the mention of him, as would destroy belief of his existence, did not the hill remain a possible evidence. St. Ger­manus, says the abbot, designed to make this Benlli a visit; but meeting with a most inhospitable reception, was kindly enter­tained by a servant of the king in his humble cottage; who killed his only calf, dressed, and placed it before the saint and his companions. This goodness met with its reward; for lo! the next morning the identical calf was found alive and well with its mother.

A LITTLE beyond this pass, entered the parish of Llanverres, rich in mineral. Pass through the village, and by the church. The last is dedicated to St. Berres (Britius) disciple of St. Mar­tin the Hungarian, and his succesor in the bishoprick of Tours, the latter end of the fourth century. The church at this time was rebuilding, chiefly by the bounty of Mrs. Catherine Jones of Clommendy.

THE east end of the old church was repaired in 1650, by Dr. John Davies, the author of the Welsh-Latin dictionary, a most skilful antiquary; native of this parish.

[Page 390]IN the course of my ride, cross the turnpike-road between Mold and Ruthyn; which, after a long ascent, passes Bwlch Pen­y-Barras, a spot extremely worthy of the traveller's attention, on account of the beautiful view over the vale of Clwyd.

MY route this time led me eastward, along the great road, into the county of FLINT.

THIS spot being confirmed to it by the event of a most ex­pensive law-suit, by the court of exchequer, in 1763, between the Grosvenour family and the lords of the manor of Mold: the first claming it as part of his mineral grant of the hundred of Yale; the others affirming it to be part of the county of Flint, and within the parish of Mold. The decision, which was in favor of the lords of Mold, is recorded on an arch over a noted stone, called Carreg Carn March Arthur; which was then ad­judged to be the boundary of the parish of Mold in the county of Flint, and of Llanverres in that of Denbigh.

I CONTINUED along the great road; and, within two miles of Mold, hung long over the charming vale which opens with ex­quisite beauty from Vron, the seat of the ingenious Richard Williams Esquire. Cambria here lays aside her majestic air, and condescends to assume a gentler form, in order to render less violent her approaching union with her English neighbor. It were to be wished she had acted with more moderation, and not outshone it at a rate, the most partial Saxon must allow it to have done.

[Page 391]THIS was antiently called Ystrad-Alun, or the Strath of the alun; a comot in the cantref Y Rhiw: inhabited by a hardy race, at perpetual feud with the men of Cheshire on one side, and the men of Yale on the other: for my countrymen never suffered their active swords to rust; in default of Saxon, they would take up with the blood of their Cambrian neighbors.

ON the first regulation of the Welsh counties by Henry VIII. this vale, then called Molesdale, with the continuation of it which went under the name of Hopesdale, were annexed to the county of Denbigh; but, in the 33d year of the same monarch, were given to Flintsire.

ALMOST the whole is seen from this spot; a delicious compo­sition of rich land finely bounded by gentle risings, watered by Alun, and varied with a pretty town and fine church in the middle; with numbers of seats, groves, and well-cultivated farms. Among the former appears conspicuous, Leeswood, the creation of the late Sir George Wynne, rising palace-like along a fine slope on the south side of the vale, surrounded with woods and lawns; a sad Mausoleum of fugacious wealth! The distant view is not less beautiful. The three fine estuaries of the Dee, Weever, and Mersey, the hills of Cheshire, and the more remote range of those of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, complete this beautiful scene.

FROM hence to the town of Mold is a pleasant ride. Mold consists principally of one broad and handsome street on a gentle rising, in the midst of a small but rich plain. The church is placed on an eminence; and is of the time of Henry VIII. [Page 392] adorned with a very handsome steeple built of late years. Before the Reformation, it belonged to the abby of Bustlesham, or By­sham, in Berkshire. The living is a vicarage, and has dependent on it the chapelries of Nerquys and Treuddyn.

THE architecture of the church is of the gothic of that pe­riod, the windows large, and their arches obtuse. Within and without, is a row of animals carved, as usual at that period. The same may be observed on the old building over St. Winifrede's well. The inside is extremely elegant; con­sists of a nave and two ailes, supported by seven arches, whose pillars are much to be admired for their lightness. They consist of four round pilasters, with the intermediate space hollowed, and the capitals elegantly carved. Between the springs of every arch is an angel holding a shield, on which are either the arms of benefactors, or the instruments of the Passion. The arms of the Stanlies, who long possessed this manor, are very frequent. Among the other sculptures, is the Veronica, or face of our Saviour impressed on a handkerchief given to him by a woman on his way to the place of crucifixion. He took it, wiped his face, and returned it with the miraculous impression. This precious relique is preserved in St. Peter's at Rome, and the woman worshipped as a saint, under the name of the Handker­chief; which at first was called the Vera Icon, or true image; but becoming thus personified, received the title of St. Veronica. Beneath two windows above the chancel, are carved in a rude manner, the nails, pincers, and other tokens of the cruci­fixion.

[Page 393]AT the eastern ends of the two ailes are three gothic niches elegantly carved. They formerly were filled with images, now destroyed. The two in the south aile are almost hid with mo­numents. Among them is a very superb one in memory of Robert Davies, Esq of Llanerch, with his figure in a standing attitude, and dressed in a Roman habit.

NEAR it is a mural monument of his ancestor, another Robert Davies, of Gwysaney *, the paternal seat of the family, and the residence, before the acquisition of Llanerch in the vale of Clwyd, by the marriage of this gentleman with Anne daughter and heiress to Sir Peter Mutton knight.

NOT far from Mold stands Gwysaney; a most respectable old house, beautifully situated. It was of strength sufficient to be garrisoned, in the time of the civil wars; and was taken, on the 12th of April 1645, by Sir William Brereton .

NEAR this is an antient mural monument,MONUMENTS. in memory of,Robert Warton, alias Parfew. He was first abbot of Bermondsey, and elected to the see of St. Asaph in 1536. He lived much at Denbigh and Wrexham during his continuance in this see and was removed to that of Hereford in 1554, where he died in 1557. He was unjustly accused of impairing the revenues of this dio­cese: on the contrary, it appears, that he had been a consi­derable benefactor to the churches of Gresford, Wrexham, and Mold; which, probably, he found in an unfinished state. He was interred at Hereford, under a handsome tomb with his effi­gies; [Page 394] but this grateful memorial of his benevolence to the church of Mold was erected, as an inscription beneath once informed, by one John ap Rys. Hoc opus factum fuerit, per John ap Rys. Above are his arms in a shield, quartered with those of the see of St. Asaph; and over them a label, inscribed, Robtus pmissione Divinâ Epus ASSAV. An angel supports one end; a bishop the other.

THE epitaph on the reverend Doctor Wynne, composed by him­self, several years before his decease, merits publication.


Some time fellow of All-Souls College in Oxford, and rector of Llanvechan in this diocese, departed this life aged*

In conformity to an antient usage, from a proper regard to decency, and a concern for the health of his fellow-creatures, he was moved to give particular directions for being buried in the adjoining church-yard, and not in the church.

And, as he scorned flattering of others while living, he has taken care to prevent being flattered himself when dead, by causing this small memorial to be set up in his life-time.

GOD, be merciful to me a sinner! Heb DDUW, Heb ddim.

[Page 395]At the north-end of the town stands the mount, to which it owes the British and Latin names, YR WYDDGRUG, and MONS ALTUS, the lofty or conspicuous mount. This is partly natural, partly artificial. Our British ancestors, and afterwards the Saxons and Normans, taking advantage of so defencible an emi­nence, cut it into form, and placed on it a castle. It is possible, that the Romans might also have had some concern in it; for a beautiful gold coin of Vespasian was found here; but this being the only proof of its having been possessed by them, I shall not insist on it any farther than to urge the probability; Mold being in the neighborhood of many of their mines, and of places where much of their money has been found.

THE mount is now called the Bailey-hill, from the word Bal­lium, or castle-yard. It appears to have been strongly for­tified by great ditches, notwithstanding its arduous ascent. It is divided into three parts: the lower Ballium or yard; the up­per; and the keep, or Donjon. The tops of the two first are levelled by art; and all are separated by deep fosses. The keep was on a part greatly and artificially elevated; and around its edges are a few stones, the only reliques of the fortress. On one side of the upper yard are found vast quantities of bones, some human; others of animals, mostly domestic, such as of oxen, sheep, horses, and hogs; and a few remnants of horns of stags and roe-bucks.

THE summit of this hill commands a short but most exqui­site view of the circumjacent vale; and to the west, Moel famma rises with aweful pre-eminence among the Clwydian hills.

[Page 396]THE first certain account I have of this place is in the reign of William Rufus, when we find it in possession of Eustace Cruer *, who then did homage for Mold and Hopedale; he, probably, hav­ing been the person who had ravished them from the antient owners.

IN the end of the reign of Henry I. or the beginning of that of Stephen, Robert, called, from his residence at this place, de Mont­alto, high steward of Chester, and one of the barons of the Nor­man earls, became owner of it. We are informed, that the castle was at this time very strong; and that it had been often besieg­ed; but never taken, till the Welsh, no longer able to bear the ravages of the garrison, attempted, in 1144,1144. the reduction of it, under the conduct of their gallant prince Owen Gwynedd. The garrison, for a considerable time, defended the place with great courage; but at length it was taken by storm; part of the defendants slain, the others taken prisoners, and the fortress razed to the ground.

AFTER this it was again restored; for we find in the aerae Cambro-Britannicae ,1198. that it was taken, in the winter of 1198, by Llewelyn ap Jorwerth: and about the year 1267 it was a third time besieged, taken, and demolished, by Gryffydd ap Gwenwynwyn, lord of Powis.

THE gentry of Ystrad-alun or Molesdale were among the prin­cipal complainants of wrongs done to them by Roger de Clifford, justiciary of Chester, and his deputy Roger Scrochil, a little be­fore [Page 397] our subjection by Edward I. They alleged, that their lands were taken from them; that they were grievously and unjustly fined on trivial occasions; and that, after paying a sum for exemp­tion from English laws, they were obliged to submit to a trial by jury, or by twelve men, contrary to the usage of their country*.

MUCH of the country was, in this reign, so covered with, woods, that Edward, before his conquest of Wales, was obliged to cut a passage through them, in the tract between Mold and a place then called Swerdewood; and to direct, that nothing should be required for the damage done to the owners. I find he called in a number of cutters for this purpose; and in the next year, not fewer than two hundred cutters and colliers (carbonarii) who were summoned out of the forest of Dean, and the county of Hereford, under the conduct of Gilbert de Clare earl of Gloster.

IN the year 1322, Sir Gryffydd Llwyd, a valiant gentleman, who was knighted by Edward I. on bringing the news of the birth of his son Edward of Caernarvon; and who, after our con­quest, adhered to the English, till he thought their yoke into­lerable; rose in arms, over-run all North Wales and the Marches; and, among others, seized on this castle; but his attempt was unsuccessful, being defeated and taken prisoner.

[Page 398]FROM this time we hear no more of it as a place of defence, Matthew Paris and Dugdale * confound it with Hawarden, and assert it to have been attacked or taken by David, brother to the last Llewelyn. Mold continued in possession of the posterity of Robert, 1302. who did homage for it in 1302, at Chester, to Edward prince of Wales; 1327. but in 1327, the last baron, in default of male issue, conveyed it to Isabel, queen of Edward II. for life; and afterwards to John of Eltham, younger brother to Edward III; who died without issue, and his possessions reverted to the crown.

I AM uncertain how long the crown reserved this lordship. I find it was granted to the Stanley family, perhaps to Sir John Stanley, by Henry IV. at the same time that he bestowed on him Hope and Hopedale. The earls of Derby possessed it till the exe­cution of earl James; after which, both the manor of Hope and Mold were purchased by certain persons, who enjoyed them till the Restoration: after that event, a reference was made by his majesty, in 1662, to the lords, respecting the re-purchase of those manors by the earl of Derby; in which it had been agreed by his lordship, to pay the parties, on the 26th of March 1664, the sum of eleven thousand pounds, and to be put into full possession of the manors. The lords imagined that every thing had been adjusted; but the earl of Derby refusing to per­form his part, the referrees layed the affair before the king; who, on the 14th of June 1664, ordered that the former purchasers should remain in quiet possession. The Derby family, by some [Page 399] means, regained the lordship of Hope; but that of Mold is at present the property of lady Vincent. The mineral advantages of the manor, which have, at times, been very considerable, are equally, divided between her ladyship, the Trevors, and Mr. Lloyd of Tyddyn.

FROM Mold, I took the west side of the vale; a tract filled with numbers of gentlemen's seats of independent fortunes, as yet not caught and absorbed in the gulphy vortex of our Leviathans. These are the remnants of the custom of gavel-kind, so prevalent formerly in North Wales, and which have re­mained unimproved by those accidents which, by time and chance, happen to many. I digressed a little to the right, to see the magnificent gates of Leeswood, the seat of the late Sir George Wynne baronet: and a little higher up to Tower, TOWER. to enjoy the witty, the lively and agreeable conversation of the reverend Doctor William Wynne (now departed). This gentleman was one of those who kept the patrimony derived from a long train of an­cestors, without increase, yet without impair. The house is small; but part of it is a true specimen of the border-houses on the confines of England and Scotland: a square tower: of three stories. In the lower, still remains a staple in the ceiling; a memorial of the rudeness of the times. During the wars be­tween the houses of York and Lancaster, this place was inhabited by Reinallt ap Gryffydd ap Bleddyn, one of the six gallant captains who defended Harlech castle on the part of Henry VI. He and his people were in continual feud with the citizens of Chester. In 1465, a considerable number of the latter came to Mold fair; a fray ensued between the two parties; a dreadful [Page 400] slaughter was made on both sides: but Reinallt got the victory; took prisoner Robert Bryne linen-draper, and mayor of Chester in 1461, whom he led to his tower, and hung on the staple in his great hall. An attempt was made afterwards to seize Reinallt; and two hundred tall men sallied from Chester for that purpose. He retired from his house to a neighboring wood, permitted part of his enemies to enter the building; then rushing from his cover, fastened the door; and, setting fire to the place, burnt them with­out mercy: he then attacked the rest, pursued them to the sea-side, where those who escaped the sword, perished in the channel. His actions were celebrated at the time, in poems still extant; particularly by Lewis Glyn Cothi, in an Awdl *, in praise of Reinallt. It seems Lewis had married a widow of Chester, against the consent of the inhabitants; who spoiled him of all his ef­fects. This whetted the poet's satyr: ‘Who summons the ministry of angels and of devils to his assistance; and pours a profusion of curses on Caer Lleon and its people. He wishes water to drown, fire to burn, and air to infect the hated place; and that grass might grow in every part, except the sacred edifices, of this habitation of the seven deadly sins.’

THE TOWER, in old times, was called after the name of this hero. It was also named Bryn-coed, from the wood that might have surrounded it. In the time of Leland it was inhabited by John Wynn ap Robert.

[Page 401]I DESCENDED into my former road, and passed along the course of the Terrig, or the violent; TERRIG. at this time a trifling brook; but often of a tremendous swell and fury. On quitting its chan­nel, go by Leeswood, or Coed-Llai, the antient seat of my worthy relation Thomas Eyton esquire. The Davieses of Gwasaney, the Wynnes of Tower; and this family, sprung from Kynrig Evell, or the Twin, son of Madoc ap Meredydd prince of lower Powys *. He was styled lord of Eglwyseg; and had beside, for his portion, Molesdale, and Treuddyn in the parish of Mold; which, by the custom of gavel kind, became divided among his posterity; part of which, these families, his descendants, still enjoy.

FARTHER on is Hartsheath, the house of Guillim Wardle esquire, descended, by the female line, from the Lloyds of the same place. It is most beautifully seated on a long rising, insulated by the vale, and finely wooded and cultivated. The house stands on the southern extremity, and commands a most elegant view of the valley, divided by the insulated rock of Caergwrle, soaring out of the valley, and capped with a ruined castle.

A LITTLE further up the vale stands Plâs-Têg; PLAS-TEG. a singular house, belonging to the Trevors; but, for numbers of years, oc­cupied by farmers. The Trevors acquired it by the marriage of Robert Trevor of Brynkinalt, with Katherine daughter of Llewelyn ap Ithel of the Mold and Plâs-têg. It is built with great regularity and simple grandeur. In the centre is a hall forty-three feet long by twenty-three. A spacious stair-case; and above, is a dining-room of the same dimensions with the hall, and twelve feet nine inches high. At each corner of the house is a square wing or tower, [Page 402] consisting (as does the centre) of five floors. In each is a room twenty-two feet six, by nineteen six; and within each of these rooms a closet thirteen feet seven inches square.

THIS house was built in 1610 by Sir John Trevor *, a second son of the branch of Trevalun. The design is attributed to Inigo Jones; but I doubt the tradition. It wants both the Grecian-gothic ornaments of his worse days, and the pure Grecian of his best.

FROM hence I pursued my journey to Caergwrle, CAERGWRLE. a village on the banks of the Alun, in the parish of Hope or Estyn, whose form speaks it to have been a Roman station, which appears very evident to the antiquarian eye, from the summit of the adjacent rock, the site of the castle. The precincts shew them­selves to have been rectangular, with one side formed by the s [...]ope along the banks of the river. Here is yet preserved the antient disposition, in three broad streets, running parallel, and three narrower intersecting them at right angles. It had been only a small place, an out-post to Deva; but had the usual con­comitants of Roman luxury.RO [...]. In Camden's time (1606) a hy­ [...] was discovered near the place five ells long, four broad, and half an ell high, cut out of the live rock. The s [...]oo [...] was of brick set in mortar: the roof supported by brick pillars; and consisted of polished tiles, perforated; on these were laid certain brick tubes which conveyed the heat to the room above. On some of those tiles were inbscribed LEGIO XX. which point out the founders. I have also been credibly informed, that Roman bricks were found in the ruins of the old house of [Page 403] Hope, the seat of the family of the same name. I have also heard, that large beds of iron cinders have been discovered near Caer Estyn in this parish, the supposed works of the Romans.

BESIDES these proofs, here is the trace of a Roman road, pointing from the village towards Mold, and is visible in two or three places; especially in the fields on this side of Plâs-têg. I think that part of the present road was a portion of the Roman. An artificial mount stands close on its course.ROADS. Another road points towards Hawarden; which increases my suspicion of that having also been a Roman out-post. As the word street is generally a sign of a Roman road, there might have been a third on the Wrexham side of Caergwrle; for we find on that road, Croes y street passing over a place called Cesn y Bêdd, or the hill of the grave, and leading to the castle. These roads were one way into some of the mineral parts of Wales, where Roman money had been found.

MR. EDWARDS makes a happy conjecture respecting the ety­mology of the name of this place. Caer Gawr Lle, or the camp of the Giant Legion, Lleon Gawr; for the Britons bestowed that title on the twentieth legion, to imply its power; a turn analo­gous to Victrix, giving it the strength of a giant*.

THIS place, in the division of Wales by Roderic the great, formed part of the Cantref y Rhiw. When the Saxons made a con­quest [Page 404] of our borders, they comprehended it in their hundred called Exestan, and added it to the county of Chester. We find in the Doomsday book, that Hope (which gives name to the parish) was held at that period by one Gislebert; before by Edwevi [...] a freeman. In after times, this tract was known by the name of Hopedale. On the division of Wales into counties by Edward I. it was annexed to Flintshire; was severed from it, and added to Denbighshire by Henry VIII.; and in the same reign, restored to the former county. It is a common notion in the country, that the last was effected by the interest of the earl of Derby, in or­der to have his Welsh estates in the same county; for at that time, the family was possessed of Hawarden, Molesdale, and this manor; which had been granted, on January 1st 1401, by Henry IV. to Sir John Stanley. The family had at the same time, the lordship of Maelor Saesneg, which was a portion of Flintshire since its first being formed into a county. This manor of Hope is the only one possessed at present in Wales by the earl of Derby.

THE castle of Caergwrle stood on the summit of a great rock,CASTLE. precipitous on one side, and of steep ascent on the others. Some of the walls, and part of a round tower still remain, suf­ficient to shew, that its size was never great. Close to it, on the accessible parts, it was protected by very deep fosses cut through the rock. On the north-east side, there is a pretty extensive area; and round its verge the vestiges of a rampart of earth and stones, and a foss, such as usual in the British posts: it may be therefore supposed, that it had been possessed by the Britons in early times; and that it served to defend, in conjunc­tion [Page 405] with Caer Estyn, CAER ESTYN. a British post of one rampart and ditch on the opposite side of the dale above the village, the entrance through this pass into Wales. The vale almost closes in this place, leaving only room enough for the Alun to flow through its picturesque dingles, till it gains the open country near the church of Gresford.

I CANNOT trace the founder of this castle.FOUNDER. It probably was one of the few Welsh fortresses that we have to boast of. Its oblong form; its comparative deficiency of towers; and its ge­neral agreement in structure, with others whole origin I am ac­quainted with, make me willing to suppose it the work of our countrymen, after they had recovered possession of this tract. In the reign of Owen Gwynedd, I find it part of the estates of Gryffydd Maelor *.

DAVID, brother to Llewelyn, last prince of Wales, held it from Edward I. David made great complaints of the injurious treat­ment he met with from Roger de Clifford, the justiciary of Chester, who cut down his woods about Hope; and endeavored to dispos­sess him of his rights. When David took up arms in defence of his brother, he left a garrison in this castle; but in June 1282, it surrendered to the English monarch. As soon as it came into his possession, he bestowed it, with all its apperte­nances, on his beloved consort Eleonora ; from which it ac­quired the name of Queen Hope. The queen lodged here in her way to Caernarvon, where her husband sent her to give the Welsh [Page 406] a ruler born among them. Either at this time, or soon after, the castle was burnt by a casual fire.

IN 1307, the first of Edward II. this castle and manor was granted to John de Cromwell, JOHN DE CROM­WELL. on condition that he should repair the castle, then in a ruinous state: and in 1317, he was direct­ed to raise fifty foot-soldiers for the wars in Scotland, out of his lands in this country*. From his death, I find a gap in the succession, till the time they were given to Sir John Stanley.

CAERGWRLE, with Hope, is a prescriptive borough, and, in conjunction with Flint, &c. sends a member to parlement.

WEST of the castle, on a lofty hill,BRYN YORKYN. is Bryn Yorkyn, the pa­ternal seat of Ellis Yonge Esq a descendant of the fertile stock of the often mentioned Tudor Trevor. Jorwerth, the twelsth in descent, marrying the daughter of William le Yonge of Croxton , called his children after their mother's name, which was conti­nued by the family.

LLEWELYN AP DAVYDD AP MEREDYDD, a descendant of Ynyr of Yale, had estates in this parish, which were forfeited in the reign of Henry IV, for his adherence to Owen Glyndwr, and bestowed on Jenkin Hope, great grandson of Hugh Hope of Hawarden .

THE parish is divided by the Alun: the village and church of Hope lies about a mile from the castle on the north side of the stream.CHURCH. The church is dedicated to St. Cynfar. The monu­ments of note are, two to the Trevors of Plâs-têg; one, which [Page 407] is mural, to Sir John Trevor knight, founder of that house, and secretary to the earl of Nottingham, victor over the invincible armaaa, and comptroller of the navy in the reigns of Eliza­beth and James I. He died at his neighboring seat, in 1629, aged 67.

THE other is also mural; with two kneeling figures: the man in a gown and ruff; the lady with a kerchief over her neck. This wants an inscription; but by the arms appears to have be­longed to a Trevor.

ABUNDANCE of limestone is burnt into lime on Caergwrle hill; a lofty mountain, composed of that species of stone; from which a vast trade is carried into Cheshire. ENTROCHI. Near the top are found in loose earth, numbers of the bodies called entrochi, of a curious and uncommon sort, with round protuberant joints. Fossilists suppose them to have been parts of some species of ar­borescent sea-star, whose branches bear a resemblance to these substances.

IN former times, millstones were cut out of the rock on which the castle stands, which is composed of small pebbles lodged in grit.

ON Rhyddyn demesne, belonging to Sir John Glynne, adjoining to the Alun, are two springs, strongly impregnated with salt;SALT SPRINGS. to which, in dry weather, used to be a great resort of pigeons to pick up the hardened particles. These were formerly resorted to, as a remedy in scorbutic cases. The patients drank a quart or two in a day; and some boiled the water till half was wasted, before they took it. The effect was, purging, griping, and sickness at the stomach, which went off in a few days, and then [Page 408] produced a good appetite. Dr. Short gives an instance of a woman in a deplorable situation from a deep scurvy, who was perfectly restored by the use of these springs.

FROM the village of Hope, I returned on the north side of the valley; re-passed Mold; and, about a mile west of the town, visited Maes-Garmon; MAES-GARMON. a spot that still retains the name of the saintly commander in the celebrated battle, the Victoria Alleluic­tica, fought in 420, between the Britons, headed by the bishops Germanus and Lupus, and a crowd of pagan Picts and Saxons, who were carrying desolation through the country. This event hap­pened in Easter week, when the Christian army, wet with their recent baptism in the river Alun, were led by their holy com­manders against the pagan host. Germanus instructed them to attend to the word he gave, and repeat it. Accordingly, he pro­nounced that of ALLELUIA. His soldiers caught the sacred sound, and repeated it with such ecstatic force, that the hills resounding with the cry, struck terror into the enemy, who fled on all sides; numbers perished by the sword, and numbers in the adjacent river*.

SUCH is the relation given by Constantius of Lyons, who wrote the life of St. Germanus, within thirty-two years after the death of the saint. It has been objected by cavillers, that the Saxons were not at that time, possessed of Britain. That may be admitted; but the learned USHER overthrows the objec­tion, by rightly observing, that those people had, long before, [Page 409] made temporary invasions of our island, and committed great ravages in several parts; and calls to witness Ammianus Mar­cellinus *: and to his authority, I may add, that the Romans found it necessary to have, in the later times, a new officer to watch their motions, and repel their invasions, a comes littoris SAXONICI per BRITANNIAS.

MAES-GARMON, the scene of this celebrated victory, lies near Rhual, the pleasant seat of Thomas Griffith Esq whose uncle, Nehemiah Griffith, erected a column, with the following inscrip­tion, to perpetuate the memory of the spot.

Ad Annum CCCCXX Saxones Pictiq. Bellum adversus Britones junctis viribus susciperunt In hac regione Hodieq. MAESGARMON appellata; cum in praelium descenditur, Apostolicis Britonum Ducibus Germano et LUPO, CHRISTUS militabat in Castris: ALLELUIA tertio repetitum exclamabant Hostile agmen terrore prosternitur: Triumphant Hostibus fusis sine sanguine palma Fide, non Viribus obtenta M. P. in VICTORIAE ALLELUIATICAE memoriam N. G. MDCCXXXVI.

[Page 410]FROM hence I proceeded towards Kilken; and saw in my way, Hesp-alun *;HESP-ALUN. the place where the river Alun, like the sullen Mole or mourning Guadiana, sinks under ground, and conti­nues a subterraneous course for half a mile, and then emerges to the day. About two miles distant from this place lies the church or Kilken, beneath Moel Famm [...], the highest division of the Clwydian hills.CLWYDIAN HILLS. These run in a chain from above Presta [...]yn on the estuary of the Dee, from north to south as far as Moel Yr accre in Llanarmon parish; when they join the Mountain Cefn du, extending to the parish of Gwyddelwern. These admit no passage the whole way, excepting that of Bodvari, without climbing the steep sides, and going through the bwlchs formed high up between the round heathy heads that rise from the mass, more than two-thirds of the way to the summits; and which form, from the west side of the vale of Clwyd, a most beautiful view, especially in the season when it glows with the p [...]rple flowers of the heath. A few birds, lovers of exalted situations, are still to be found here; a few black and red grous have escaped the rage of shooters; and I have seen the ring­euz [...] about the lower parts. These hills are composed of a mixed soil, clay, and gravel. The stone is of a shattery lami­nated nature, and bad for most o [...]conomic uses. The sides abound in springs, which descend in small rills, to the great be­nefit of the inhabitants of the rich slopes.

THE church of Kilken is remarkable for its carved roof;KILLEN CHURCH. which is said to have been brought from the church at Basingwere [Page 411] abby on the dissolution: and thus to have fulfilled a prophecy of our Robin Ddu, who, when he saw it put up by the monks, observed, it would do very well for a church beneath Moel Famma.

IN this parish, on the side of the turnpike road, not far from Kilken hall, is the noted Fsynnon Leinw, or the flowing well; FSYNNON LEINW. a large oblong well with a double wall round it. This is taken notice of by Camden for its flux and reflux; but the singula­rity has ceased since his time, according to the best information I can receive.

NEAR this well, is Kilken hall, a seat of a branch of the Ma­styns, now the property of the reverend Mr. Edwards of Pentre, in Montgomeryshire, in right of his wife, Charlotte Mostyn, heiress of the place.

THIS fountain lies in the vale of Nannerch; VALE OF NAN­NERCU. which extends one way to Mold; and at the other joins with that of Bodvari, the inlet into the vale of Clwyd. The Wheeler, a pretty stream, rises on the east side; and after a short course, falls into the Clwyd. The house of Penbedw, the seat of Watkin Williams Esq is a great ornament to this little valley.PENBEDW. In this gentleman's library are some remains of the collection of Sir Kenelm Digby, some cu­rious illuminated books; and the superb pedigree* of the Digby family, and its alliances, with all the arms and tombs that were extant, painted in the most exquisite manner, at the expence of [Page 412] above a thousand pounds; a vast sum at the time of the com­pilation, in the year 1634.

PENBEDW is seated in a manor of the same name, granted, in 1544, by Henry VIII. and witnessed by queen Catherine Parr, to Peter (Pyers) ap Howel, alias Peter Mostyn, of Wespre, in consideration of the payment of seventy-three pounds in hand. The grant recites, that it had been parcel of the possessions of the earl of Kent.

IN the meadows below the house,BRITISH POSTS. is part of a druidical circle, and a small tumulus. On one of the summits of the mountain, at a great height above the house, is a very strong British post, with two ditches of prodigious depth, with suitable dikes on the accessible sides: and on that which is inaccessible, is a smooth terras, levelled along the hill, probably a place for exercising the possessors. This post is called Moel ARTHUR, probably in honor of our celebrated prince.MOEL ARTHUR. This is one of the chain of posts that defended the country of the Ordovices, and their suc­cessors, against the inroads of invaders. They are far from being peculiar to that nation; but were the common mode of defence throughout the whole island. I conjecture that their origin was very early; but that they were occasionally made use of in after times, even as low as that of Owen Glyndwr. Al­most all are rendered defensible in the same manner, by deep ditches and high-banks, formed either of earth or of loose stones, with one, but generally two entrances. In the description of that of Caractacus by Tacitus, their formation is exactly shewn: Tunc montibus arduis, et si qua clementer accedi poterant, in modum. [Page 413] valli saxa praestruit *. They are of no certain shape; but the pre­cinct conforms to that of the hill.THEIR USES. They are generally destitute of water; which evinces, that they were not intended as places of long abode, but merely temporary retreats for their families, herds, and flocks on a sudden invasion. The fighting men kept the field, while all that was dear or valuable, was committed to these asyla under a proper garrison.

THEY are always placed within sight of one another; so that by fires, or other signals, notice might be given of the approach of an enemy.FIRT, MOEL HIR­ADDIG. The first that forms this chain is Moel Hir­addig, about two or three miles from the sea, on a rocky hill, in the parish of Cwm. Possibly, prior to the castle of Diserth, another post might have been on that rock; and in such case, should be esteemed the first post, the guard of the shore, and the great artificial mount above Newmarket, called Cop yr Gol­e [...]i, or Mount of Light; which may be seen from most of the others, might be the spot from whence the signal might be given of the approach of the enemy by sea; whether they were Saxons or plundering Scoti.

THE next to Moel Hiraddig, MOEL Y GAER. is a Moel y Gaer, in the parish of Bodvari, above the entrance of the inlet into the vale of Clwyd.

THE third are the vast entrenchments on Bryn y Cloddiau, or the hill of ditches.BRYN Y CLODD­IAU. This is the largest we have; being a mile and a half in circuit, and defended by single, double, triple, and even quadruple ditches, according to the exigencies of the [Page 414] sides. In the foss next to the area, are numbers of hollows, as if designed for lodgments of men, or a particular guard.

MOEL ARTHUR is the next. Almost opposite to it, on Helkin mountain,MOEL Y CRIO. on the highest part, is Moel y Crio; a vast artificial mount, that seems to be a middle post between this, and the Moel y Gaer in Northop parish;SECOND, MOEL Y GAER. but our ignorance in the art military of those days, prevents us from pointing out the imme­diate use.

NEXT succeeds Meel Fenlli. MOEL FENLLI, AND THIRD, MOEL Y GAER. Beneath that is another post, on a lesser hill which juts into the vale of Clwyd, and is called by the common name of Moel y Gaer. These are all that seem des­tined for the defence of this part of the country.

CAER-ESTYN,CAER ESTYN. and the post opposite on Caergwrle rock, de­fended that front. Farther on was Hawarden; and still farther, where the vale of Cheshire gains upon our country, was that of the Rosts, in the parish of Gresford. I could give a long list of these posts, perhaps as far as the Severn sea, in the country of the Silures, and the Trans-s [...]brine parts of the Cornavii; but their suffice for the present purpose. I shall endeavor (in Mr. [...]a [...]s's map) to point out the whole of these fastnesses of our di [...]t [...]ant ancestors.

SOON after passing Penbedw, NANEERCH. I reached Nannerch, a hamlet with a small church, noted for little but a monument, in memory of Charlot [...] Theophila Mostyn, wife to Richard Mostyn Esq former owner of Peabedw, and daughter and co-heiress (with her si [...]ter Magare [...]ta Maria, who married Sir John Conway of Bediruddan, to John Digby, son of the famous Sir Kenelm; by which means, se­veral choice morsels of his collection came into our country.

[Page 415]GRATITUDE to the worthy rector of this place, the reverend Mr. John Lloyd, for the many informations I received from him, respecting the antiquities of our country, urges me here to make my best acknowlegements. Few possess so large a share of the knowlege of our language, and of our history; and few have been so liberal in the communication.

THIS valley is a boundary of the mineral tract of our county.MINERAL TRACT. I shall now take a kind of bird's eye view of the whole, which I surrounded, beginning with the northern extremity. The highland part may be divided into two.FIRST DIVISION. The first is insulated by valley, plain, and sea. The farther point is Dalar Goch, or the rock of Diserth, bounded by the rich, arable slats of Rud­land; the course is continued southward through the parishes of Cwm, Dimeirchion, and Caerwys, bounded by the vale of Clwyd, and that of Bodvari. The parishes of Ysgeiviog and Nannerch succeed, and after them a portion of Kilken, when this mineral tract takes a turn above the parish of Mold at Rhos Esmor in that of Nor­thop; and then faces the east in the parishes of Halkin and Holy­well, in those of Whiteford, Llanasa, Gwaenyskar, and Meliden, and makes a point towards the west, where it unites with the rock of Diserth.

THE second division is separated from the first by a deep de­pression of the country between Rhos Esmor, SECOND DIVISION. and the parish of Mold. There is even in the lower parts, on the west side, a chain of mines. But the land rises again at Mold mountain, and the mineral tract is continued through the parishes of Llanverres, the eastern sides of Llanarmon, Llandegla, the Glisseg rocks, and Minera above Wrexham.

[Page 416]THE middle of the first division is entirely limestone, as is the western side, from Dalar goch to Rhos Esmor: from thence, or on the eastern side the strata alters.LIME-STONE. Towards the skirts of the hills,CHERT. it changes to that flinty substance called chert, more or less pure.SHALE. Lower down it degenerates into shale of a black stone, soon dissoluble in the air. So far lead-ore is found. Sy [...] after this strata, free-stone commences,FREE-STONE. and coals are found, which continue to the shore, and under the sea, till they appear on the opposite side in the peninsula of Wiral, and again be­yond the estuary of the Mersey.

THE same observations might be made on the strata in the se­cond division. Limestone beds are continued on the western. side beyond the Gliseg rocks, and in their neighborhood on both sides of the Dee. The veins in Minera lie in an impure gritty chert. The sudden change of Strata is very observable. The transition may be immediately seen on each side of the narrow vale of Nannerch, limestone forming the one, and the shattery slaty stone composing the other.

WAS I to continue my aerial speculation, I should see a dis­continuance of the limestone strata till they rose on the opposite side of the vale of Clwyd. My eye would catch the most remote part on the northern side of Red Wharf-bay in Anglesea, insulated far from any other. The great promontories of Llandudus and Rhiwledin, or the greater and lesser Ormshead, the first (at times rich in copper) would next appear. Penmaen Rhos, and the continued precipices along the coast of Denbighshire, succeed in the nearer view, many of them productive of lead ore. And, finally, the detatched rocks of Henllan beyond Denbigh, and [Page 417] Coed Marchon beyond Ruthyn, which yield to the industrious farmer, by their excellent lime, a manure more certainly pro­ductive of wealth, than the precarious search after the deep-hid minerals.

THE limestone and the chert of our mineral tracts are of unknown depth; neither their bottom, nor that of the fissars or veins which cross them, have ever been discovered.DEPTH OF VEINS. The ore of lead has been followed to the depth of a hundred and thirty, or a hundred and forty yards, and then has ceased; but the unprofitable vein appears below unclosed. Our mines, as I have shewn before, have been worked from very early times*, but not without long interruptions. But as several of our veins have been pursued for a hundred years past, the point may be affirmed of the depth to which they bear ore in our coun­try.

THE veins run either north and south, or east and west.THEIR COURSE. But it is remarkable, that the lead ore got in the first, scarcely ever produces a quantity of silver worth the refiner's labor. The ores of Mold mountain, and Minera, yield scarcely any silver.

THE minerals of the tracts in question, are ore of lead, ca­lamine, or Lapis calaminaris; and a mineral, that answers the same purpose, called by the miners black jack.

OUR ores of lead differ in quality. The lamellated,ORES OF LEAD: THEIR PRODUCE OF LEAD. or com­mon kind, usually named potters ore, yields from fourteen to sixteen hundred and a quarter of lead, from twenty hundred of the ore: but the last produce is rare.

[Page 418]THE quantity of silver produced from our lead is also va­riable.OF SILVER. The upper part of a vein of lead ore is always richest in silver; the bottom, in lead. Our refiners will assay any lead that will yield ten ounces in the ton of lead and upwards. The usual produce is fourteen ounces: sixteen have been gotten; but acquisitions of that kind within this circuit are extremely uncommon.

SOME years ago, a green lead ore was discovered in the silver rake on Halkin mountain.GREEN LEAD-ORE. Only a small quantity was found, which yielded about thirteen hundred and a quarter from a tun of the ore. It was of a very stubborn quality, and resisted the greatest powers of the blast furnace before it would yield any metal.

THE brown or whitish stoney species of ore called Caulk, BROWN, OR CAULK. pro­duce from five hundred and a quarter to eleven hundred of lead from the ton. The smelters likewise get from what is called waste, or the hillocks, which are the refuse of good ores, so mixed with clay, gravel, stone, or calamine, as not to be separated but by fire, from ten to thirteen hundred of lead per ton.

WE have had at different periods mines productive of vast wealth in several parts of this tract.RICH MINES. The richest vein was dis­covered about fifty years ago at Rowley's rake, or Pant y Pwll dwr on Halkin mountain, continued with some interruption into a small inclosure, the property of Sir George Wynne of Leeswood, and the freehold of Mr. David Hughes; which, in less than thirty years, yielded to different proprietors, adventurers, and smelters, above a million of money. The reader will naturally expect to find in these parts a nation of Craesus's; but citò parta, [Page 419] citò dilabuntur. It is at this time an undetermined question, whether more wealth has been gotten out of the earth, or more lost in the search after the prizes in this subterraneous lottery.

MUCH of the ore obtained in our country is smelted in the several furnaces belonging to different companies: much also is exported in the form of ore. I wished to be acquainted with the annual quantity smelted from those of the country; but found, by reason of the ores imported from Scotland and other parts, that the computation would be of insuperable difficulty. All the lead and ore is exported from the port of Chester, a small quantity excepted, consumed by the plumbers and other trades in the adjacent parts. I therefore refer the reader to pages 196, 197, for the number of tuns sent from that port in the years 1771, 1776. By the favor of Mr. Jken, collector, I am per­mitted to say, that, from the year 1758 to Christmas 1777, the following quantities have been entered in the custom-house, fo­reign and coast-ways.

Lead. 79533 Tons. 11 c. 2 qrs. 16 lb.

Lead ore. 12840 T. 6 c.

Litharge. 2767 T. 7 c.

I CANNOT ascertain the quantity of ounces of silver produced from our ores, for the reasons just assigned. I can only say, that the company of a single smelting-house, did obtain in the [Page 420] Year

  • 1754—12160. Oz.
  • 1755—1276. Oz.
  • 1756—7341. Oz.
  • In 1774—5693. Oz.
  • 1775—6704. Oz.
  • 1776—4347. Oz.

THE reader need not be told, that the former were the years of mineral plenty; and such, which I must say, are seldom known. There are five other smelting houses; but I believe none equalled this in the quality of silver. This precious metal is chiefly bought by the artificers at Sheffield and Birmingham.

CALAMINE is found in great abundance in the veins of lime­stone and chert, in the same manner as the ores of lead. Where there is plenty of the former, there is little or none of the lat­ter. The calamine is also entirely confined to the eastern side of the country. About a thousand tons of this mineral is an­nually exported. I have mentioned, in p. 62. how little it was known in Flintshire till within these sixty years; and may here add, that we were indebted to John Barrow, a native of Somerset­shire, who being well acquainted with that mineral in his own country, pointed out to us its uses.

CALAMINE assumes various shapes and colors. Green, yellow, red, and black, often has a stony appearance, and often like the lattice work of bones. The richest looks like bees-wax; but that species is not common any more than the curious cry­stallized specimens.

THE ores of Zink, called here black jack, are met with in our mines. We have it in a metallic form of a bluish grey color; [Page 421] and again in form of the dark semipellucid ambers. Cromsted calls the first ZINCUM ferro sulphurato mineralisatum; the other ZINCUM calciforme cum ferro sulphuratum, No 1. a.

THESE were engrossed by patent by a Bristol company, and carried there to aid the making of brass.

SPARS of different kinds are found in the limestone veins; particularly the species called Iceland crystal,ICELAND CRYS­TAL. spatum islandicum *, the refracting spar, which represents objects seen through it double.

PETROLEUM, or rock-oil, is found sometimes in crevices of the mines;FAIRIES BUTTER. has an agreeable smell, and is esteemed serviceable in rheumatic cases, if rubbed on the parts affected. The miners call it Ymenyn tylwyth têg, or the fairies butter, belonging to the benign species; perhaps the same with those (in superstitious days called knockers) which, by repeated strokes,KNOCKERS. were believed to di­rect the miners to a rich vein. But, in fact, the noises often heard in mines are always discovered to proceed from the drop­ping of water. These daemones montani, as Agricola * calls them, never infest our mines, except in form of damps of both species, the suffocating and the fire. The last is very frequent in the coal-pits, but rare in the mines of lead, unless in those parts where the shale begins, or stone attendant on coal. The first kills instantaneously, by its mephitic vapor, and is a disaster com­mon to neglected vaults, and draw-wells. The other is inflam­mable, [Page 422] and burns and destroys in a dreadful manner,FIRE-DAMP. as the colliers, through negligence, in not setting fire to the vapor be­fore it gets to a head, do often experience. The most tremen­dous instance was on February 3d, 1675, in a coal-work at Mos­tyn, which I shall relate from the Philosophical Transactions *; and so conclude the account of our mineral concerns.

The damp had been perceived for some time before,IN MOSTYN COLLIERY. resem­bling fiery blades darting and crossing each other from both sides of the pit. The usual methods were taken to free the pit from this evil. After a cessation of work for three days, the steward thinking to fetch a compass about from the eye of the pit that came from the day, and to bring wind by a secure way along with him, that, if it burst again, it might be done without danger of men's lives, went down, and took two men along with him, which served his turn for this purpose. He was no sooner down, but the rest of the work­men that had wrought there, disdaining to be left behind in such a time of danger, hasted down after them; and one of them, more indiscreet than the rest, went headlong with his candle over the eye of the damp-pit, at which the damp im­mediately catched, and flew to and fro over all the hollows of the work, with a great wind, and a continual fire; and, as it went, keeping a mighty great roaring noise on all sides.

THE men, at first appearance of it, had most of them fallen upon their faces, and hid themselves as well as they could, in [Page 423] the loose, slack, or small-coal, and under the shelter of posts; yet, nevertheless, the damp returning out of the hollows, and drawing towards the eye of the pit, it came up with incredible force; the wind and fire tore most of their clothes off their backs, and singed what was left, burning their hair, faces, and hands; the blasts falling so sharp on their skin, as if they had been whipt with cords. Some, that had lest shelter, were carried fifteen or sixteen yards from their first station, and beaten against the roof of the coal, and sides of the post, and lay afterwards a good while senseless; so that it was long be­fore they could hear or find one another. As it drew up to the day-pit, it caug