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the Dissolution, “a White Doe, say the aged people of the neighbourhood, long continued to make a weekly pilgrimage from Rylstone over the fells of Bolton, and was constantly found in the Abbey Church-yard during divine service; after the close of which she returned home as regularly as the rest of the congregation.”— Da Whitaken 's History of the Deanery of Craven.— Rylstone was the property and residence of the Nortons, distinguished in that ill-advised and unfortunate Insurrection, which led me to connect with this tradition the principal circumstances of their fate, as recorded in the Ballad. * Bolton Priory,” says Dr Whitaker in his excellent book, The History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven, “stands upon a beautiful curvature of the Wharf, on a level sufficiently elevated to protect it from inundations, and low enough for every purpose of picturesque effect. • Opposite to the East window of the Priory Church, the river washes the foot of a rock nearly perpendicular, and of the richest purple, where several of the mineral beds, which break out, instead of maintaining their usual inclination to the horizon, are twisted by some inconceivable process into undulating and spiral lines. To the South all is soft and delicious; the eye reposes upon a few rich pastures, a moderate reach of the river, sufficiently tranquil to form a mirror to the sun, and the bounding hills beyond, neither too near nor too lofty to exclude, even in winter, any portion of his rays. “But, after all, the glories of Bolton are on the North. Whatever the most fastidious taste could require to constitute a perfect landscape is not only found here, but in its proper place. In front, and immediately under the eye, is a smooth expanse of park-like enclosure, spotted with native elm, ash, etc. of the finest growth : on the right a skirting oak wood, with jutting points of grey rock, on the left a rising copse. Still forward, are seen the aged groves of Bolton Park, the growth of centuries; and farther yet, the barren and rocky distances of Simon-seat and Barden Fell contrasted with the warmth, fertility, and luxuriant foliage of the valley below. “About half a mile above Bolton the valley closes, and either side of the Wharf is overhung by solemn woods, from which huge perpendicular masses of grey rock jut out at intervals. “This sequestered scene was almost inaccessible till of late, that ridings have been cut on both sides of the River, and the most interesting points laid open by judicious thinnings in the woods. Here a tributary stream rushes from a waterfall, and bursts through a woody glen to mingle its waters with the Wharf: there the Wharf itself is nearly lost in a deep cleft in the rock, and next becomes a horned flood enclosing a woody island—sometimes it reposes for a moment, and then resumes its native character, lively, irregular, and impetuous. “The cleft mentioned above is the tremendous Sraid. This chasm, being incapable of receiving the winter floods, has formed, on either side, a broad strand of naked gritstone full of rock-basins, or pots of the Linn, which bear witness to the restless impetuosity of so many Northern torrents. But, if here Wharf is lost to the eye, it amply repays another sense by its deep and
Note 7. Page 192, col. 1. who loved the Shepherd Lord to meet.
At page 9o of this volume, will be found a poem entitled, a Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle, upon the Restoration of Lord Clifford the Shepherd to the Estates and Honours of his Ancestors.” To that Poem is annexed an account of this persouage, chiefly extracted from Burn's and Nicholson's History of Cumberland and Westmorland. It gives me pleasure to add these further particulars concerning him from Dr Whitaker, who says, “ he retired to the solitude of Barden, where he seems to have enlarged the tower out of a common keeper's lodge, and where he found a
retreat equally favourable to taste, to instruction, and to devotion. The narrow limits of his residence shew that he had learned to despise the pomp of greatness, and that a small train of servants could suffice him, who had lived to the age of thirty a servant himself. I think this nobleman resided here almost entirely when in Yorkshire, for all his charters which I have seen are dated at Barden. • His early habits, and the want of those artificial measures of time which even shepherds now possess, had given him a turn for observing the motions of the heavenly bodies, and, having purchased such an apparatus as could then be procured, he amused and informed himself by those pursuits, with the aid of the Canons of Bolton, some of whom are said to have been well versed in what was then known of the science. a I suspect this nobleman to have been sometimes occupied in a more visionary pursuit, and probably in the same company. • For, from the family evidences, I have met with two MSS. on the subject of Alchemy, which, from the character, spelling, etc., may almost certainly be referred to the reign of Henry the Seventh. If these were original y deposited with the MSS. of the Cliffords, it might have been for the use of this nobleman. If they were brought from Bolton at the Dissolution, they must have been the work of those Canons whom he almost exclusively conversed with. • In these peaceful employments Lord Clifford spent the whole reign of Henry the Seventh, and the first years of his son. But in the year 1513, when almost sixty years old, he was appointed to a principal command over the army which fought at Flodden, and shewed that the military genius of the family had neither been cbilled in him by age, nor extinguished by habits of peace. ... He survived the battle of Flodden ten years, and died April 23d, 1523, aged about 70. I shall endeavour to appropriate to him a tomb, vault, and chantry, in the choir of the church of Bolton, as I should be sorry to believe that he was deposited, when dead, at a distance from the place which in his lifetime he loved so well. • Ily his last will he appointed his body to be interred at Shap, if he died in Westmorland; or at Bolton, if he died in Yorkshire.” with respect to the Canons of Bolton, Dr Whitaker shews from MSS. that not only alchemy but astronomy was a favourite pursuit with them.
1346, there did appear to John Fosser, then Prior of the abbey of Durham, commanding him to take the holy Corporax-cloth, where with St Cuthbert did cover the chalice when he used to say mass, and to put the same holy relique like to a banner-cloth upon the point of a spear, and the next morning to go and repair to a place on the west side of the city of Durham, called the Red Hills, where the Maid's Bower wont to be, and there to remain and abide till the end of the battle. To which vision, the Prior obeying, and taking the same for a revelation of God's grace and mercy by the mediation of holy St Cuthbert, did accordingly the next morning, with the monks of the said abbey, repair to the said Red Hills, and there most devoutly humbling and prostrating themselves in prayer for the victory in the said battle: (a great multitude of the Scots running and pressing by them, with intention to have spoiled them, yet had no power to commit any violence under such holy persons, so occupied in prayer, being protected and defended by the mighty Providence of Almighty God, and by the mediation of Iloly St Cuthbert, and the presence of the holy relique.) And, after many contlicts and warlike exploits there had and done between the English men and the King of Scots and his company, the said battle ended, and the victory was obtained, to the great overthrow and confusion of the Scots, their enemies: And then the said Prior and monks, accompanied with Ralph Lord Nevil, and John Nevil his son, and the Lord Percy, and many other nobles of England, returned home and went to the abbey church, there joining in hearty prayer and thanksgiving to God and holy St Cuthbert for the victory atchieved that day.” This battle was afterwards called the Battle of Neville's Cross from the following circumstance – • On the west side of the city of Durham, where two roads pass each other, a most notable, famous, and goodly cross of stone-work was erected, and set up to the honour of God for the victory there obtained in the field of battle, and known by the name of Nevil's Cross, and built at the sole cost of the Lord Ralph Nevil, one of the most excellent and chief persons in the said battle.” The Relique of St Cuthbert afterwards became of great importance in military events. For soon after this battle, says the same author, “ The prior caused a goodly and sumptuous banner to be made, (which is then described at great length,) and in the midst of the same banner-cloth was the said holy relique and corporax-cloth enclosed, etc. etc. and so sumptuously finished, and absolutely perfected, this banner was dedicated to holy St Cuthbert, of intent and purpose, that for the future it should be carried to any battle, as occasion should serve ; and was never carried and shewed at any battle but by the especial grace of God Almighty, and the mediation of holy St Cuthbert, it brought home victory; which banner-cloth, after the dissolution of the abbey, fell into the possession of Dean Whittingh AM, whose wife was called KAthARINE, being a French woman, (as is most credibly reported by eyewitnesses,) did most injuriously burn the same in her fire, to the open contempt and disgrace of all ancient and goodly reliques.”—Extracted from a book entitled, a Durham Cathedral, as it stood before the Dissolution of the Monastery.” It appears, from the old metrical History, that the above-mentioned banner was carried by the Earl of Surrey to Flodden Field.
Note 1 1. Page 199, col. 2.
An Edifice of warlike frame
It is so called to this day, and is thus described by Dr Whitaker. & Rylstone Fell yet exhibits a monument of the old warfare between the Nortons and Cliffords. On a point of very high ground, commanding an immense prospect, and protected by two deep ravines, are the remains of a square tower, expressly said by Dodsworth to have been built by Richard Norton. The walls are of strong grout-work, about four feet thick. It seems to have been three stories high. Breaches have been industriously made in all the sides, almost to the ground, to render it untenable.
« But Norton Tower was probably a sort of pleasurehouse in summer, as there are, adjoining to it, several large mounds (two of them are pretty entire), of which no other account can be given than that they were butts for large companies of archers.
• The place is savagely wild, and admirably adapted to the uses of a watch-tower.”
Note 12. Page 203, col. 1.
—— despoil and desolation
« After the attainder of Richard Norton, his estates were forfeited to the crown, where they remained till the 2d or 3d of James; they were then granted to Francis Earl of Cumberland.” From an accurate survey made at that time, several particulars have been extracted by Dr W. It appears that the mansion-house was then in decay. Immediately adjoining is a close, called the Vivery, so called undoubtedly from the French Vivier, or modern Latin Wiverium; for there are near the house large remains of a pleasure-ground, such as were introduced in the earlier part of Elizabeth's time, with topiary works, fish-ponds, an island, etc. The whole township was ranged by an hundred and thirty red deer, the property of the Lord, which, together with the wood, had, after the attainder of Mr Norton, been committed to Sir Stephen Tempest. The wood, it seems, had been abandoned to depredations, before which time it appears that the neighbourhood must have exhibited a forest-like and sylvan scene. In this survey, among the old tenants, is mentioned one Richard Kitchen, butler to Mr Norton, who rose in rebellion with his master, and was executed at Ripon.”
Note 13. Page 204, col. 1. . In the deep fork of Amerdale. * At the extremity of the parish of Burnsal, the
On one of the bells of Rylstone church, which seems coeval with the building of the tower, is this cipher, 3). P. for John Norton, and the motto, * (5cb is agūr.”
Note 15. Page 205, col. 1.
Which is thus described by Dr Whitaker:—s On the plain summit of the hill are the foundations of a strong wall stretching from the S. W. to the N. E. corner of the tower, and to the edge of a very deep glen. From this glen, a ditch, several hundred yards long, runs south to another deep and rugged ravine. On the N. and W. where the banks are very steep, no wall or mound is discoverable, paling being the only fence that could stand on such ground.
• From the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, it appears that such pounds for deer, sheep, etc. were far from being uncommon in the south of Scotland. The principle of them was something like that of a wire mouse-trap. On the declivity of a steep hill, the bottom and sides of which were fenced so as to be impassable, a wall was constructed nearly level with the surface on the outside, yet so high within, that without wings it was impossible to escape in the opposite direction. Care was probably taken that these enclosures should contain better feed than the neighbouring parks or forests; and whoever is acquainted with the habits of , these sequacious animals, will easily conceive, that if the leader was once tempted to descend into the snare, an herd would follow.”
I cannot conclude without recommending to the notice of all lovers of beautiful scenery—Colton Abbey and its neighbourhood. This enchanting spot belongs to the Duke of Devonshire; and the superintendence of it has for some years been entrusted to the Rev. William Carr, who has most skilfully opened out its features: and, in whatever he has added, has done justice to the place by working with an invisible hand of art in the very spirit of nature.
in the following Poem I have allowed myself no further deviation from the original than was necessary for the fluent reading and in-tant understanding of the Author: so much, however, is the language altered since Chaucer's time, especially in pronunciation. that much was to be removed, and its place supplied with as little incongruity as possible. The ancient accent has been retained in a few conjunctions, as also and alway, from a conviction that such sprinklings of antiquity would be admitted, by persons of laste, to have a graceful accordance with the subject. The fierce bigotry of the Prioress forms a fine back ground for her tenderbeared sympathie, with the Mother and Child; and the mode in which the story is told amply atones for the extravagance of the miracle.
• O Lord, our Lord! how wondrously,' (quoth she) • Thy name in this large world is spread abroad! For not alone by men of dignity Thy worship is performed and precious laud; but by the mouths of children, gracious God! Thy goodness is set forth; they when they lie Upon the breast thy name do glorify.
wherefore in praise, the worthiest that I may, Jesu! of thee, and the white Lily-flower Which did thee bear, and is a maid for aye, To tell a story I will use my power; Not that I may increase her honour's dower, For she herself is honour, and the root of goodness, next her Son our soul's best boot.
• O Mother Maid! O Maid and Mother free! 0 bush unburnt' burning in Moses' sight! That down didst ravish from the Deity, Through humbleness, the spirit that did alight Upon thy heart, whence, through that glory's might, Conceived was the Father's sapience, Help me to tell it in thy reverence!
‘Lady, thy goodness, thy magnificence,
‘My knowledge is so weak, O blissful Queen!
• There was in Asia, in a mighty town, 'Mont; Christian folk, a street where Jews might be; Assigned to them and given them for their own
By a great Lord, for gain and usury,
‘A little school of Christian people stood
“Among these children was a widow's son,
“This Widow thus her little Son hath taught
“This little Child, while in the school lie sate
‘This Latin knew he nothing what it said,
• His Schoolfellow, who elder was than he, Answered him thus:—a This song, I have heard say, was fashioned for our blissful Lady free; Her to salute, and also her to pray To be our help upon our dying day. If there is more in this, I know it not; song do I learn,-small grammar I have got."