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"being unwilling to leave the world worse than he found it," as an inscription on his portrait notifies—tried in a court of law whether the old road-way, which had been for some years stopped, was legally closed. The point was stoutly contested by the- Crown, but the cobbler was the conqueror, and the right of way has remained undisputed ever since. A similar "attempt to obstruct the road through this park," says Lysons, " had been made once before, in Oliver Cromwell's time. In 1662 the jury presented that the highway for horse and foot, leading from the Wick to Hampton Court, through the hare-warren, was stopped up by pales lately erected by Oliver Cromwell, and continued then stopped up." But this was not the whole extent of the Protector's encroachments and misdoings: for the same jury " presented also, that by turning the course of the new river water into the ponds lately digged by Oliver Cromwell in the hare-warren, and by the overflowing of the same water, the common highway leading from the Wick to the heath-gate was made very dangerous and unsafe to pass for man, horse, and carriage."
Bushy Park is said to have taken its name from the hawthorns which are so abundant in it. They have been thinned a good deal at different times, but yet form a good-sized thicket. At all seasons Bushy Park is beautiful, but it is in its utmost glory in the spring, or in that sweet
"Season atwixt June and May, Half prankt with spring, with summer half imbrown'd."
Then the hawthorns are a miniature forest of brilliant blossoms, aud the numerous limes load the air with the perfume of their delicious bloom; aud above all, the matchless avenue of horse-chestnuts is in full flower. Majestic as the horse-chestnut always looks when in flower, the splendid appearance of abroad avenue of them, extending for above a mile in length, can hardly be imagined. The chestnut avenue was planted by William, and the trees are now in their full maturity. This chestnut avenue is the boast of Bushy and of Hampton—and well it may be: it would be worth while to make a journey of twice the distance from London only to see it in its prime.
Altogether Hampton Court (with of course Bushy Park, which is but an adjunct to it) is undoubtedly the most delightful place in the vicinity of London to which the inhabitants of the crowded capital can resort for a holiday. Its popularity appears to be continually on the increase; and it will doubtless continue to increase, with the progress of the people generally in good taste, and the love of harmless and healthy pleasures.
The palace and gardens are open to the public every day except Friday; no restraint is placed on the movements of the visitors, nor is any fee permitted to be taken (except in the vinery and private garden, where, I believe, a trifle is expected by the gardener); and the attendants invariably give the most proper attention aud afford every required information and facility.
Between the bridges of Hampton and Kingston the Thames makes a bold reach of about a couple of miles, skirting in its way two sides of Hampton Court park. From the Surrey side of the river the palace is seen to great advantage, with the avenues of noble trees diverging from it in various directions. From the towing-path, which is carried along the Middlesex side of the stream, the prospect is of another kind, but not unpleasing. Thames Ditton, with its couple of aits, and the punts and boats that lie off the ferry, makes a pretty little rustic river-side picture—Hofland, I think, has painted or sketched it more than once. After passing Thames Ditton the buildings straggling along the opposite bank engage attention ; and soon the dark irregular mass of houses forming Kingston town comes into view, with the old church tower rising above them, and backed by some uplands, just distant enough to partake of an aerial hue; while the broad placid river and the bridge add a very picturesque finish to the scene.
Kingston-upon-Thames is a long quiet town, without anything very rememberable in its appearance. A few years ago it had a rather more than usually countrified air, considering its nearness to London—but that is pretty well worn off now. It has a town-hall with a statue of Queen Anne in front, and some other public buildings, but none remarkable for size or elegance. Some portions of the church are of ancient date, but thechurch itself has been so often repaired, altered, and beautified, as no longer to retain any feature of interest.
But though the town possesses few objects of which it can boast, it is proud of its history. From the earliest times it was a place of importance. Antiquarian inhabitants contend that there was a Roman town, or a considerable station, on the site of, or close by, the present town; Gale says, improbably enough, it was the Tamesis of Antoninus; it has also been claimed as the place where Csesar crossed the Thames. Thus much is certain, that many Roman articles have been found in the town; and the vestiges of a cemetery a little distance from it. In the Saxon times it was a royal town; the name Cyningestane having been bestowed on it from its possessing the stone on which the Saxon kings sat at their coronation. A list is confidently given of some eight or nine Saxon monarchs, ending with Ethelred in 978, who were crowned here. It was at Kingston that the unseemly event is said to have occurred at the coronation of Edwy in 955, which not only led to desperate evil in the following years of his reign, but has in our own day stirred up plenteous strife and some scandal among the historians. Before his coronation, Edwy, though quite a youth, had married Elfgiva, a lady of great beauty, but, according to the ecclesiastics, who strongly opposed the marriage, within the proscribed limits of relationship. During the feast which followed the coronation, Edwy suddenly left the table where the nobles were carousing, and withdrew to the chamber of Elfgiva, The nobles appear to have complained of the absence of the King, and Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, loudly expressing his indignation at the sovereign preferring the society of women to that of his counsellors, called upon some one to compel him to return. Dunstan, the fiery abbot of Glastonbury, at once rushed into the royal apartment, and having angrily reviled Elfgiva and her mother, dragged the King back by force to the hall. • The remainder of the story belongs not to Kingston. How the lady brought the King to banish the haughty priest—her own seizure by Odo, and his brutal branding of her face with a heated iron, and afterwards sending her to Ireland as a slave; her escape to England, capture, and murder by being hamstrung and left to perish (a kind of punishment, "though cruel, not unusual in that age," as an historian of this age mildly puts it) ;—all this is well known, as is also the deposition of Edwy, and his speedy death; or may be seen in the histories of his reign.
In the Domesday-book Kingston is stated to be a royal demesne. It owes its first charter to John. A meeting, which led to no result, is said to have taken place here between Prince Edward and Simon Montfort in 1263; in the next year Henry III. took and demolished a castle which stood at Kingston, and which was held by the Earl of Gloucester for the Barons. Sir Thomas Wyat, when marching to London, on his revolt against Mary, after the execution of Lady Jane Grey, crossed the Thames at Kingston: the bridge had been broken by the Queen's council, in order to prevent his passage, but it was hastily repaired by his followers. In the great civil war Kingston