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REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
1. The Fourth Volume of Wood's Athenæ and Fasti Oxonienses, with a Contimuation to the End of the Seventeenth Century, by Philip Bliss, Fellow of St. John's College. Lackington and Co. THE Three former Volumes of this useful and laborious Work have been noticed in vol. LXXXV. i. p. 139. ii. 233. LXXXVII. ii. 425. And it is with much satisfaction that we see the original production of Anthony à Wood most ably edited by Mr. Bliss; and perceive that he is actually proceeding with a new volume, for which it would not be easy to find a more accurate or a more diligent Compiler. But he shall speak for himself:
"I cannot suffer this last portion of Anthony à Wood's laborious undertaking to appear before the public, without offering, in my own person, as editor, a few words of acknowledgment and apology :of acknowledgment for the indulgent man. ner in which the additional notes to the original work have been generally received; aud of apology to the purchasers for the delay which has taken place in the publication of the present volume.
"Those persons who are conversant with literary undertakings, similar to this ATHENE OXONIENSES, will have no difficulty in ascribing the late appearance of this volume to the laborions task of forming a general fodex; they will also allow for the length of time absolutely necessary to perfect so extensive, so troublesome, and yet so indispensable a portion of the work; and I may be permitted to hope, as I certainly believe, that all who have occasion to refer to it, will find it at once so ample, and of such important utility, as fully to compensate for any disappointment they may have experienced from the delay.
which means the original chronological arrangement would be fully and most pro-1 perly adhered to. To this proposition I at once acceded; and the more readily, because I found, that had I continued my additions, I must have extended the old work to five, instead of four volumes, as originally proposed. The reader will therefore perceive that the additional notices after col. 475 and 882, extend only to those persons whose deaths occurred previously to 1700 the others are reserved for the new portion of the work, which will, by this arrangement, be uniform and continuous. In the mean time the reader has a complete history of the Oxford writers for two centuries; he possesses every word contained in the two former editions of Wood's Athena, with some new lives, and a large number of additional uotes and anecdotes ; together with a reference (it is believed) to every name that occurs throughout the four volumes.
"I shall now naturally be expected to say something on the subject of the New Athena; and it affords me the highest satisfaction to state, that by the liberal con duct of the proprietors of the work, and their ready acquiescence in all my wishes, I shail be enabled to prosecute this arduous undertaking without delay. Although I have already made very considerable collections for this purpose, I am not igno, rant that a great deal remains to be done; that it will require much time, and no small labour, to render a work composed of such various materials, and derived from such different sources, of general interest and utility. Nor is it so much with a view to lighten my own labours, as to ensure accuracy, and increase the value of what I shall offer to the public, that I again venture to solicit assistance, and request communications, from such persons as are in pos session of authentic documents relative to our Oxford writers; promising on my part, that I shall thankfully receive their aid, and that I will use their information faithfully, and with all impartiality.
"Nothing remains but that I should repeat my thanks for the valuable assistance I have received from my literary friends throughout the progress of the work now before the public. I am not conscious of having availed myself of any information without acknowledging the obligation at the time; but I cannot suffer this last vo
"An apparent incongruity will be discovered in the latter part of this fourth volume, which requires some explanation. When I first came to the account given by Bishop Tanner, from Wood's papers, of the writers living at the time of our au. thor's death, it was my intention to have added further particulars of their lives, with a continued list of their publications; and it will he seen that I proceeded upon this plan for some few pages: it was then remarked to me by a friend on whose judg-lume to appear without expressing how ment I place implicit reliance, that, to preserve the unity of the work, the lives of those persons who died after the year 1699, should be reserved for the New Athenæ, by CONT. MAC. January, 1820.
much I owe to Mr. Heber. I have to thank him for the loan of two valuable copies of the old Athena, with manuscript notes; I have to remind him of numerous
2. The History and Antiquities of the Metropolitical Church of York, illustrated by a Series of Engravings of Views, Plans, Elevations, and Details, of the Architecture of that Edifice; with Biographical Anecdotes of the Archbishops. By J. Britton, F. S. A. 4lo. 1819.
TO elucidate the Architecture and History of our Cathedrals, is an undertaking of such magnitude, demanding such energy and perseverance, we will also add, such a co-operation of men of talent and ability, that it appears an exertion better suited to the united labours of a Society than to the efforts of an individual. It is, however, highly honourable to an individual, to engage in an enterprize so replete with difficulties, undaunted by apparent obstacles, and zealously striving to accomplish, with unabated excellence of execution, a work which, when completed, will contain an unrivalled mass of architectural information and of graphic beauty.
The pre-eminence of York Minster over our other Cathedrals is generally admitted. Willis expressly says that "every thing of this Church is so very magnificent, that it deserves a particular representation, for words cannot express the beauty and elegance of the architecture of each part." There is indeed a certain uniformity of style pervading the whole, which renders it more generally pleasing than a structure more heterogeneous in its parts, although at the same time of less interest to the antiquary and to the student of our antient architecture.
In this latter respect it cannot enter into competition with the rival fabric at Canterbury; which, although far inferior in regularity of structure, in general dimensions, and in the extent
and beauty of its facade, yet from the complexity of its plan, the extent of its crypts, the richness of its tombs and chapels, and the number of ancipal edifice, together with the variety tient buildings annexed to the prinof styles and dates that it exhibits, possesses attractions more powerful for the architectural antiquary, and indeed the general visitor, than are to be found in that of York.
Indeed, in these particulars, the latter must yield the palm of superiority to its nearer neighbour at Lincoln, which possesses more architectural beauties and interesting features. These comparative and distinctive peculiarities can only be known and appreciated by a careful and impartial examination of the different edifices and, as this advantage can be enjoyed but by comparatively few persons, we are more indebted to those authors and artists who enable us to contemplate them with nearly equal effect, and certainly more leisurely, and with opportunity of more exact comparison, in our own libraries.
The History of the Cathedral in the volume before us, is introduced by some preliminary observations relative to the city itself, the existence of which can be traced back, with tolerable precision, nearly two thousand years, although of course but faintly marked. It is rendered memorable by the decease of two Roman Eperors, and the inauguration of a third: nor less so by Edwin having here openly renounced the tenets of his ancestors, and adopted the Christian religion. His conversion was effected partly by the zeal of his Queen, Ethelburga; partly by the exhortations of Boniface, the Roman pontiff, and Paulinus. Tradition also relates that he had been predisposed towards it in consequence of a vision which appeared to him during his banishment at the Court of Redwald, King of the Angles, whose protection he sought against the persecutions of Ethelfrid. This legendary narrative will perhaps excite the scepticism of modern readers: however, it is certain that in consequence of the admonitions of Paulinus, he convened an assembly of his counsellors and priests to discuss the propriety of adopting the new faith, when his determination was speedily fixed by the advice of
Coifi, the chief of the priests, who, so far from endeavouring to support their own religion, was zealous in rejecting it as a vain and unprofitable superstition; and, not contented with a mere abjuration, he manifested the sincerity of his sentiments by openly profaning those very altars at which he had served. In the 11th year of his reign Edwin was baptized at York, in a church erected there by himself of timber, and dedicated to the apostle Peter. This may be considered as the origin of the august and stupendous fabric which has subsequently procured for the city a higher degree of reputation than it could otherwise have obtained. It is not to be expected that we should pursue at length the sequel of the history, as it would not only protract this critique beyond its limits, but anticipate that information which we presume most of the readers of this article will be rather disposed to seek from the work itself.
After relating the death of Edwin, who fell (A. D. 633) in a contest against the leagued Kings Cadwallo and Penda, the writer proceeds to give some account of Osric and anfrid, the immediate successors of Edwin, and apostates from the faith; also of Oswald, who re-established the Christian religion. He then continues his history by acquainting us of some of the early Bishops, and of the disputes for precedency which took place between the two archi-episcopal Sees.
We cannot spare much room for quotation, but in order to afford our readers a specimen of the style and of the matter, we shall make an extract from this part of the work.
"The controversy which had been kept up for ages before, with occasional modifications of asperity, was at length to be decided in the reign of the Conqueror, though the successors to the see of York continued to urge their unavailing pretensious for a considerable time afterwards. The King having appointed an ecclesiastic, named Thomas, who was of the same, country with himself, to the vacant see of York, the latter refused to profess obedience to Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury. This necessarily revived the contest which had been comparatively suspended for a long time; and both prelates having
proceeded to Rome to urge their respective claims before the Pope, he referred them back to the English King, who, in a council which he called at Windsor, A. D. 1072,
pronounced by Hugh, the Pope's Legate,
sophistry than argument.
jurisdictions, she, though presiding over
the Prelates of York were extremely For several years after this event, reluctant to admit the supremacy of the rival see, and at length yielded only at the express command of the Roman pontiff.
Having bestowed so much attention on this first chapter, we can only recapitulate the heads of those that remain.
The second relates to the foundation of the present church, and the successive additions that have been made to it. Wilfrid's Cathedral was destroyed by fire in 741. The second edifice built by Egbert experienced a similar fate during the siege of the Norman garrison by the Danes and Northumbrians (1069). Thomas, the Archbishop, soon restored it to even more than its pristine splendour, but in vain, for it was doomed to suffer a third time. Archbishop Roger rebuilt the Choir (1171) but the present one was erected by Archbishop Thoresby between the years 1361 and
The third chapter, which will, perhaps, be more generally interesting than the others, contains a description
of the Church, accompanied by criti-
it might reasonably be presumed, even if
3. The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Edmonton, in the County of Middlesex, comprising an Account of the Manors, the Church, and Southgate Chapel, with other interesting matter: to which is added an Appendix, containing a Schedule of every Parcel of ancient Inclosure within the Parish, the Name of the Owner, the exact Measure, the Corn Rents payable in lieu of Tythes, and the several Allotments of the inclosed Common, Marshes, and Waste Land, discharged from the payment of Tythes. Selected from eminent Authors, and authentic Documents. By William Robinson, Gent. F.S. A. 8vo. pp. 331. Nichols and Son.
In our last Volume, Part ii. p. 432, Mr. Robinson was introduced as the Historian of Tottenham. He now appears, in due form, as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, to record the History of another considerable Township in Middlesex; and it is but common justice to say that he possesses every requisite qualification."
"In reviewing the Topographical recommendations of the parish of Edmonton,
But whatever chasms time may have left in the ancient history of Edmonton, they are amply compensated for, by the copious information I have been able to adduce respecting its modern state. This circumstance will stamp it with an importance, that cannot fail to render it interest
in number) are some good Portraits; Among the Embellishments (XIII but the plate which is of the most real consequence is a Map of the Parish, which is a copy of the survey made in 1801 and 1802, and corrected by the original.
The History is well digested; and that it contains not merely dry matters of antiquarian research, may appear from the following extracts:
"Norden, in his Speculum, says:
"There is a fable of oue Peter Fabell that lyeth in this church, who is said to have beguiled the devill by policie for money; but the devill is deceit itself, and hardly deceived.'
"Belike (says Weever) he was some ingenious conceited gentleman who did use some fleightie tricks for his own disport. He lived and died in the reign of Henry VII. says the book of his merry pranks.'
"This book, which is mentioned by Weever, is a very scarce pamphlet, and is called The Life and Death of the Merry Devil of Edmonton, with the pleasant pranks of Smug the Smith, Sir John, and mine host of the George, about stealing
"On the title-page there is a wood cut, with the figure of a man upon a horse,
"The pleasant pranks compose the greater part of the book, which informs us that Maister Peter Fabell, otherwise called the Merry Devil of Edmonton (for the many excellent jeasts he did,) was a man of good descent; and a man, either for his gifts externall or internall, inferior to few. For his person he was absolute. Nature had never showne the fulnesse of her skill more in any than in him: for the other, I meane his great learning (including many misteries) hee was as amply blest as any.'
"Very pleasant, kinde, and freeharted was hee, to or with his familiars: very affable, and courteous to strangers, and very liberal, full of commisseration and pitie to the poore and needy: both abroad from his purse, and at home from his table. In his time very well knowne to him, and some time (in pastime) very familiar with him, were these men: Oliver Smug, Sir John the merry Parson, Banks the miller, and mine Host of the George:. in whose companies many times for recre. ation, he would spend some hours. In