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had finished the road, the building of a bridge at Boroughbridge was advertised, and Metcalf sent in his tender with many others. At the same time he frankly stated that, though he wished to undertake the work, he had not before executed anything of the kind. His tender being on the whole the most favourable, the trustees sent for Metcalf, and on his appearing before them, they asked him what he knew of a bridge. He replied that he could readily describe his plan of the one they proposed to build, if they would be good enough to write down his figures. It is doubtful if the trustees were able to follow his rapid calculations, but they were so much struck with the readiness, and apparently complete knowledge of the work he proposed to execute, that they gave him the contract to build the bridge, and he completed it within the stipulated time in a satisfactory and workmanlike
He next agreed to make the mile and a half of turnpike-road between his native town of Knaresborough and Harrogate-ground with which he was more than ordinarily familiar. Walking one day over a portion of the ground
over which the road was to be made; whilst still covered with grass, he told the workmen that he thought it differed from the ground adjoining it, and he directed them to try for stone or gravel underneath; and, strange to say, not many feet down, the men came upon the stones of an old Roman causeway, from which he obtained much valuable material for the making of his new road. At another part of the contract there was a bog to be crossed, and the surveyor thought it impossible to make a road over it. Metcalf assured him that he could readily accomplish it; on which the other offered, if he succeeded, to pay him for the straight road the price that he would have to pay if the road were constructed round the bog. Metcalf set to work accordingly, and had a large quantity of furze and ling laid upon the bog, over which he spread layers of gravel. The plan answered effectually, and when the materials had become consolidated it proved one of the best parts of the road.
Metcalf was upwards of seventy years old before he left off road making. He was still hale and hearty, wonderfully active for so old a man, and always full of enterprise. Occu
pation was absolutely necessary for his comfort, and even to the last day of his life he could not bear to be idle.
In the year 1810, this strong hearted and resolute man-his life's work over-laid down his staff and peacefully departed in the ninetythird year of his age; leaving behind him four children, twenty grand-children, and ninety great-grand-children.
KING EDWARD THE SIXTH.
EDWARD, the Sixth King of England of that name, was the only son of King Henry the Eighth, by his best beloved queen, Jane SeyHe was born at Hampton Court on the 12th day of October, being St. Edward's Eve, in the year 1537, and lost his mother the day after he was born.
He was soon after christened, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk being his godfathers, according to his own journal; though Hall says the last was
only his godfather when he was bishopped.* He continued under the care and charge of the women till he was six years old, and then he was put under the government of Dr. Cox and Mr. Cheek. The one was to be his preceptor for his manners, and the knowledge of philosophy and divinity; the other for the tongues and mathematics. And he was also provided with masters for the French, and all other things becoming a prince, the heir of so great
He gave, very early, many indications of a good disposition to learning, and of a most wonderful probity † of mind, and, above all, of great respect to religion and everything relating to it. So that, when he was once in one of his childish diversions, somewhat being to be reached at that he and his companions were too low for, one of them laid on the floor a great Bible that was in the room to step on; which he beholding with indignation, took up the Bible himself, and gave over his play for that time. He was in all things subject to the orders laid down for his education, and profited so much in learning, that all about him conceived great hopes of extraordinary things from
To bishop, to confirm. † Probity, sincerity.
him, if he should live; but such unusual beginnings seemed rather to threaten the too early end of a life that, by all appearance, was likely to have produced such astonishing things. He was so forward in his learning that before he was eight years old he wrote Latin letters to his father, who was a prince of that stern severity that one can hardly think those about his son durst cheat him by making letters for him.
I now come to the last and fatal year of this young king's life and reign. He had, last year , first the measles, then the small-pox, of which he was perfectly recovered. In his progress he had been sometimes violent in his exercises, which had cast him into great colds; but these went off, and he seemed to be well after it. But in the beginning of January this year he was seized with a deep cough, and all medicines that were used did rather increase than lessen it; upon which a suspicion was taken up, and spread over all the world, so that it is mentioned by most of the historians of that age, that some lingering poison had been given him, but more than rumours and some ill-favoured circumstances I could never dis
* A royal journey.