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Bishop Warburton's papers some receipts of rents due to him as Rector of Firsby, in Lincolnshire, would be obliged to the Rector or any neighbouring Clergyman, to inform him whether the Bishop ever was Rector of Firsby, and if he was, when he was instituted to the living and how long he held it. That he was Rector of Firsby, and for many years, is an undoubted fact. But with respect to the time of his institution to the living, or his resignation of it, I am sorry to say, I cannot give your Correspondent any satisfactory accounts. There are many letters from the Bishop in his own hand-writing, in the possession of a lady very advanced in years, in this neighbourhood, whose father was his agent for a consider able period of his incumbency. I looked over these letters in the hope that they might enable me to give the particular information wanted, and any other notices likely to prove acceptable. But they are all very short, and relate almost solely to the business of receiving and remitting his rents.
The first of them was written in the year 1745, and the last in 1755, in which last year it is probable he resigned the living; and as the lady abovementioned informed me, in favour of a Mr. Hoyle a relation of his. They are nearly all of them franked by R. Allen, and are dated either from Prior Park, or Bedford-row, London. The remittances are desired to be sent to Mr. Knapton, Bookseller, Ludgate street. In a postscript to one of his letters, he speaks of the consternation the people in his neighbourhood
* Vol. LXXXVI. Part ii. p. 487.
were in, in consequence of the advance of the rebels. In another, though not of the same date, he mentions his having to go up to London to preach at Lincoln's Inn.
He seems to have been more inattentive to the temporalities of his living than I was prepared to expect. He tells his agent Mr. Wright (on whom he is perpetually bestowing the most lavish encomiums for his fidelity and industry, and who in truth was a very respectable character) that his former agent and tenants had not only withheld the rent of the glebe from him, but that they had actually bought and sold it one amongst another, and that it was only in consequence of their having quarrelled in dividing the spoils that he came to hear of their villainy.
To the spiritual concerns of the parish he seems to have been sufficiently attentive. He repeatedly enjoins Mr. Wright, to whom he entrusted the important task of finding him a Curate whenever one is wanted, to take care that he is of a sober virtuous character, and resident in the parish. On one occasion, it would appear, there had been some small interval of time when, from the want of a Curate, the duty of the parish had not been regularly performed, and that in consequence he received a letter from a person in no wise concerned, complaining of the matter. With the Bishop's answer, as it is short, and written in that forcible style which characterizes all his writings, I shall conclude this letter:
"You talk as if you wrote by the direction of I can't tell what gentle.men and clergy.—1 cannot think that any who bear either of those names would be so impertinent as to concern themselves in a matter which belongs only to me and my parish.
"However, long before your letter came, I wrote to Mr. Wright that I must have a resident Curate of good and irreproachable character. And 1 make no doubt from his care and integrity, but that he will procure one as soon as possible.-You seem to be in a great hurry, but a worthy unexceptionable Curate is not to be got at the shortest warning for residence.
"Yours, &c. W. WARBURTON. "To Mr. Whyle."
THE RECTOR OF FIRSBY.
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chard II. in 1399, but surrendered to the ambitious Harry of Lancaster, who found in it a considerable treasure of the King's, exceeding 200,000 marks. In 1460, it was given to the Duke of York by Henry VI. It subsequently fell into a dilapidated state; and Leland, about 1500, describes it as being ruinated." In January 1636, Lieutenant-Colonel Coningsby, being appointed Commissary-General of and for all the Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales, on behalf of the Parliament, Beeston Castle war, with others, put into a tenantable state, and, on the night of February 21st, 1642, received a garrison of 300 men. In December 1643, the Parliament troops were dispossessed by
HE Castle of Beeston, in the county of Chester, (see Plate I.) affords a fine specimen of Norman Architecture. It is built upon the summit of an insulated rock, at an altitude of upwards of three hundred and fifty feet; and owes its foundation to Randle Blundeville, the sixth Earl" Palatine of Chester, who exercised the authority of a Sovereign Prince within his dominions.* Higden in forms us, that after the Earl" was come from the Holie Land," he built the Castle of Beeston, about the year 1220. The fortress is irregular in its architecture. The keep (the entrance to which forms the subject of the accompanying Plate) occupies nearly an acre of land; and the only access to it is over a narrow platform, up a steep flight of steps, between the towers. Two sides of the keep are protected by a moat cut out of the solid rock, and of considerable depth: the other sides are now open to a frightful precipice. The outer court of the Castle is defended by a wall and eight round towers. In the inner balium is a well, once nearly 300 feet deep, and originally sunk to the level of the brook below; the bottom of which the peasantry of the neighbourhood firmly believe to contain a vast store of riches, concealed there during the civil wars. The walls are beautifully covered with ivy, and the base of the hill abounds with a variety of plants, of much rarity,
The Castle continued in the possession of the local Earls until 1237, when, on the death of John Scott, Henry III. took possession of the earldom, and with it this magnificent fortress. In 1265, it was honoured with the presence of Prince Edward, with his prisoners Humphrey de Bohun, Henry de Hastings, and Guy de Montfort. In 1333, Edward III. gave it to his illustrious son the Black Prince. It was garrisoned for Ri
The first Earl of Chester was Gherbod, but it can scarcely be said that he took possession of his territory. He was succeeded by Hugo Lupus. All criminal indictments were in the name of the Earl; and, instead of "contra coronam et dignitatem," the form ran" contra dignitatem gladii Cestriæ."
+ The outer court of the Castle contains a quarry of grey stone. GENT. MAG. March, 1820.
stratagem: the celebrated Captain Landford, who rendered himself so conspicuous in the Irish war, and eight of his men, availing themselves of a dark night, mounted the precipitous ascent, escaladed the wall, and got possession of the upper ward. The governor, Captain Steele, who surrendered the place, was afterwards shot, at Nantwich, for cowardice. In the winter of 1644, it was closely besieged by the troops of the Parliament; but, the ensuing March, was relieved by the two Princes, Maurice and Rupert. It was again attacked in April; but the besiegers abandoned the works they had constructed, and retreated towards Nantwich, on bearing of the approach of the King. The event of the battle of Rowton, on the 25th September, again placed it in a state of siege, and after a long and spirited resistance, it was, on the 6th Nov. 1645, surrendered to Sir William Brereton, the provisions being entirely exhausted. After the capture of Chester, it was completely dismantled by order of the Parliament, and soon fell into ruins.
The site of the Castle was alienated from the Earldom by Elizabeth, who gave it to Sir Christopher Hatton, from whom the Beestons purchased it. It is now the property of Sir Thomas Mostyn, Bart. M. P.
The view from the summit of the hill is truly splendid, extending over the whole Vale Royal of Cheshire to the estuaries of the Dee and Mersey. The precipice side of the Castle rises perpendicularly from the base of the hill at least 160 feet; and looking
downward brings to mind the words of our immortal Shakspeare, "How fearful
And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low ! The crows and choughs that wing the midway air,
Shew scarce as gross as beetles.
I'll look no more,
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight Topple down headlong."
The key of the Castle is now in the hands of the Female Warden, an old woman in the village of Beeston, who receives occasionally a few shillings from the curious visitor.
Beeston Castle, during the period of the threatened invasion in 1803 and 1804, was fixed upon by the Lieutenancy of the County as the site for a signal station and beacon. The Emperor of St. Helena, "not having screwed his valour to the sticking place," did not attempt his promised visit; and the projected preparations to "give note" of his arrival were, consequently, not made.
It is distant about 11 miles E. S. E. from Chester; and, the canal to Nantwich, &c. passing close to the hill, a trip to the old ruin is a favourite holiday indulgence among the Cestrians.
"Thy daughter is dead, disease not the
will but disease our better mirth." I think it very expressive, and full as good a compound as any of the other dias's now in use.
14. DISPERPpled. "They leave traiterously the flocke to the woulfe, to be disperpled abrode and torne in pieces."
Erasmus, 10 John, p. 76. b.
15. DISPARCled. "Then all his (Darius) men for feare disparcled." Brende's Quintus Curtius. Both these words are now well supplied by the word dispersed, (derived from the Latin).
"And will set them to ear his ground, and
"When the labourers that cultured and eared the earth." Ibid. 128.
The words car, earing, and eared, are in such common use in the Scriptures, and in divers authors, for "to plough," "ploughing," and "plowed," that I am quite astonished at Dr. Johnson's entire omission of them, especially as Bailey (as well as Skinner) has the Saxon verb active," to ear, (derived from the Latin aro) to till, to plough," &c. and gives us one of the quotations above (45 Genesis) and also the word "earable," from whence our present word arable. They ought each of them to have a place in the new Dictionary.
"The more pity that great folk should have countenance to drown or hang themselves more than their even Christian." Hamlet. "Despitous is he that hath disdain of his neighbour, that is to say, of his even Cristen." Chaucer. The Persone's Tale. De Superbia. "Yf thy brother or even Chrysten offende the correcte him." Bishop Fisher on
the seven penetencyall Psalmes. I need not multiply the instances in which the word even was formerly used in the sense of equal or fellow Christian. Latimer has it frequently in that sense, and so have Gower and other antient authors. Ash (from Carew) admits it, but says it has grown obsolete. (Vide also Skinner). I must own I could wish to retain it in this sense, for surely it is very expressive, and had doubtless an allusion to the path of life all humble-minded Christians were travelling together, pari passu.
18. FORCE. "It is lytel force to the, it skilles the nothing, whether we be saved or damned."