Page images

bered that he had made use of the following remarkable words; “my man, Shuttleworth, of Hacking, made this form, and here will I sit when I come; and my cousin Nowel may make one behind me if he please;’ this is the exact relative situation of the two pews at present, “ and my sonne Sherburne shall make one on the other side, and Mr. Catteral another behind him, and for the residue the use shall be, first come first speed, and that will make the proud wives of Whalley rise betimes to come to church. These words were reported and authenticated by the clerk, and another witness, on the information of the last agent of the abbey; and it is not likely they would soon be forgotten, as they would probably occasion some mirth in the husbands, and some spleen in the proud wives of Whalley. Of this pew, the old wainscotting still remains, though the lattice work above has been cut away.” s The site of the abbey having been recently surveyed, is thus described by Dr. Whitaker”. “The whole area of the close, containing thirty-six acres, three roods, and fourteen perches, is

still defined by the remains of a broad and deep trench which

surrounded it; over this were two approaches to the house through two strong and stately gateways yet remaining. They are constructed in that plain and substantial style which characterized the Cistertian houses, a style which approximates to that of fortification, and shews that the monks did not obtain a licence to kernel and embattels without an end in view. Within this area, and on the verge of Calder, which formed the southwest boundary of the close, was the house itself, consisting of three quadrangles, besides stables and offices. Of these the first and most westerly was the cloister court, of which the nave of the conventual church formed the north side; the chapter-house and vestry yet remaining, the east; the dormitory also remaining, the west; and the refectory and kitchens, the south. The cloister was of wood, supported as usual, upon corbels, still remaining; the area with


[merged small][graphic][graphic]


in was the monks cemetery, and some ancient grave-stones are still remembered within it. Against the wall on the south side of this quadrangle, is a wide surbased arch, apparently of Henry the Seventh's time, which, under one span, has evidently embraced two tombs placed lengthways against each other. Beyond this court to the east, is another quadrangular area, formed by the choir of the church on one side, the opposite side of the chapter house, &c. on another, a line of ruinous buildings on the third, and a large distinct building, itself surrounding a small quadrangle, on the fourth. This appears evidently to have been the abbot's lodgings, and must have been a modern building at the dissolution, for which reason it immediately became the residence of the Asshetons; and, after many alterations, and a demolition of its best apartments, particularly a gallery nearly 150 feet in length, has still several good and habitable rooms, and is now preserved with due care by its noble owner. The ancient kitchen, the coquina abbs of the computus, whence such hecatombs were served up, remains, though roofless, with two huge fireplaces. On the southern side of this building is a small but very picturesque and beautiful ruin mantled with ivy, which appears to have been a chapel, and was probably the abbot's private oratory, But the conventual church itself, which exceeded many cathedrals in extent, has been levelled nearly to the foundation. This work of havoc was probably an effect of that general panic which seized the lay-owners of abbeys, on the attempt made by Queen Mary to restore the monks to their cloisters. ‘For now,' says Fuller, “the edifices of abbeys, which were still entire, ‘looked lovingly again on their ancient owners, in prevention ‘whereof such as possessed them for the present, plucked out ‘their eyes by levelling them to the ground, and shaving from ‘them as much as they could all abbey characters”.”

WOL. IX. - L The

* In the history already quoted from and referred to, is a ground Plan of the Abbey Church, with its connected buildings; also two views of the remains, and one of the cloisters. The latter are engraved from drawings of pecu- liar

[ocr errors]
[subsumed][ocr errors]

The last Abbot of Whalley was John Paslew, who, being arraigned and convicted of high treason, the abbey, with all its appurtenances, was seized into the king's hands, A. D. 1537. Since penning the above account, Dr. Whitaker has published a few supplementary pages to his former history of Whalley, and in these he states, that immediately after the attainder, the abbey and demesnes were committed, by letters patent, to the custody of John Braddyll, of the neighbouring house of Braddyll. “In the course of two or three weeks, Richard Pollard, Esq. one of the king's surveyors, came down, and let the demesnes in parcels for the latter half year, or from Lady-day to Michaelmas. Hence it appears that all the live stock must have been already disposed of. But, besides the demesnes, the tenants at will, who were all the inhabitants of the town, occupying with their houses small tene- ments of five, six, or eight acres each, were compelled to enter into new contracts, probably at advanced rents. The whole sum paid by them was only 18l. 2s. 0d. per annum. The price of houses from 1s. to 6d. and even 4d. each. The demesne lands averaged about 2s. per acre, Lancashire measure", and at this low rate produced 621. 11s. 2d. The herbage of the park and wood, (the Lord's park), two miles in circuit, was demised to Sir Alexander Osbaldeston, for 12l. This, I suppose, was pretty near the current price of land at the time. Every acre of land - then liar excellence, by Turner. In the Hall of this Abbey, says Mr. Pennant in his tour to Alston-Moor, “is a strange portrait of the Orkney hermaphrodite, who was born in 1615, dressed in a long plaid, fastened with a broach, a red petticoat, and a white apron, and at the feet appear the figures of a cock

and a hen, to denote the duplicity of the sex. This Epicene was presented at the court of Charles the Second, in 1662.”

* This being customarily estimated at eight yards to the pole, will bear a proportion to the statute measure, as the square of eight to the square of five and a half, or as 256 to 121. Hence every customary acre of land will contain two statute acres and 560 square yards; and consequently land let at 2s. per acre, by the customary measure, does not amount fully to 1s. per acre, or less than one half. The same may be observed of the other propar. tions. - -


then let for 2s. is now worth thirty times the sum; and yet the price of the necessaries of life is not advanced in the same interval more than ten or twelve fold. The reason of this disproportion is, that in times when there is no trade, farmers must live wholly from the produce of their farms, and therefore require a much larger profit in them. This was also a reason why land-owners retained so large a portion of their estates in their own occupation. At the death of Sir John Towneley, of Towneley, A. D. 1541, the whole estate was valued at 100l. per annum. The same, when stripped of all additions by purchase or enclosures, is now worth 3000l. Nor was the price of lands in this district greatly advanced in the reign of James the First. In the year 1612, the demesnes of Towneley were surveyed, and valued at 2s. per acre. In the Parliamentary Survey, about forty years after", the same lands averaged between 4s. and 5s. Eight shillings per acre was about the average rent of farms here in the reign of Queen Anne. In half a century more it had increased in a ratio of two and a half to one. In the same interval, from that time

to the present, it may be generally considered as trebled again+.” In the church-yard of Whalley are three ancient stone Crosses, views of which are given in Dr. Whitaker's work; and this gentleman conjectures that they were raised in the time of Paulinus, whose ministry in Northumbria commenced in 625, and terminated in 631, when he was driven from that kingdom. Soon after the establishment of christianity in the Anglo-Saxon dominions, it was customary to raise stone-crosses in church-yards at the time of consecrating those places, and in many other situations upon the ratification of any solemn covenant or agreement 1. L 2 In

* This was in 1650, i.e. or 1651, thirty-eight or thirty-nine years after; but most of the surveys were made in 1650.

t History of Whalley, p. 124.

# See Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, Vol. II. Pref. p. 177; also Architectural Antiquities, Vol. I. where, in plate 1, fig. 4, will be seen the representation of a stone cross, similarly ornamented to one of those at Whalley,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In the village of Whalley is a small School of the foundation of Edward the Sixth, which, with those of Middleton and Burnley, have thirteen scholarships in Brazen-nose College, Oxford. This township, as distinct from the other parts of the parish, in 1801, contained 154 houses, and 876 inhabitants. .

LITTLE MITton is a hamlet and manor within the parish of Whalley, and with Henthorn and Coldcoats, form one township. It stands near the confluence of the Ribble, the Hodder, and the Calder rivers. The Manor-House, the seat of Richard Henry Beaumont, Esq. F. A. S. is a fine specimen of that style of domestic architecture which prevailed in the reign of Henry the Seventh. Its basement story is of stone, and the upper part is formed of wood. The Hall, with its embayed window, screen, and gallery over it, is peculiarly fine and curious: “the roof is ceiled with oak in wrought compartments; the principals turned in the form of obtuse Gothic arches; the pasterns deeply fluted; their capitals, where they receive the principals, enriched with carving; the walls covered with wainscoat, and the bay window adorned with armorial bearings in painted glass. The screen is extremely rich, but evidently of more modern style than the rest of the wood work. Upon the pannels of it are carved, in pretty bold relief, ten heads, male and female, within medallions, which have a rude kind of character, and were evidently intended for portraits.”

“The situation of Little Mitton is a remarkable instance of the

predilection of our ancestors for a southern aspect; to attain

which they have turned the front of the house against a marsh overgrown with alders, and have neglected one of the most delicious landscapes in Ribblesdale, which opens to the north and

[ocr errors]

The • History of Whalley, p. 237, in which there is an extremely fine print of the Hall at Mitton, from a drawing by W. M. Craig.

« PreviousContinue »