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Daniel Defoe

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Letter 8, Part 1: The Trent Valley

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SIR,—As I am to begin this circuit from the River Trent, and to confine my observations to that part of Britain which the Scots and Northumberlanders, and others on that side, call North by Trent, it seems necessary (at least it cannot be improper) to give some description of the river it self, and especially the course which it runs, by which, adding a little river call'd the Weaver, and a branch of it call'd the Dane in Staffordshire and Cheshire, the whole island of Britain is, as it were, divided into two parts.

The River Trent is rated by ancient writers as the third river in England, the two greater being the Thames and the Severn: It is also one of the six principal rivers which running across the island from the west to the east, all begin with the letter T ; namely, the Thames, Trent, Tees, Tine, Tweed, and Tay.

The Trent is not the largest river of the six; yet it may be said to run the longest course of any of them, and rises nearer to the west verge of the island than any of the other; also it is the largest, and of the longest course of any river in England, which does not empty its waters immediately into the sea; for the Trent runs into the Humber, and so its waters lose their name before they reach to the ocean.

It rises in the hills or highlands of Staffordshire, called the Moorlands, receiving, from the edge of Cheshire, and towards Lancashire, a great many (some say thirty, and that thence it had its name) little rivulets into it, very near its head, all which may claim a share in being the originals of the Trent; thus it soon becomes one large river, and comes down from the hills with a violent current into the flat country; where, being encreased by several other little rivers, it carries a deeper channel, and a stiller current; and having given its name to Trentham, a small market town in the same county, it goes on to Stone, a considerable town on the great road to West-Chester.

The original of its name is very uncertain, as is the case in most other rivers of England; that it takes the name of Trent, as above, because of its receiving thirty rivers into it, or because there are thirty several sorts of fish in it, or that, like the Tibiscus in Hungary, it is three parts water, and two parts fish; all these the learned and judicious Mr. Cambden rejects, as I do for the same reason, namely, because they have no authority for the suggestion.

One branch of the Trent rises within a quarter of a mile of the Dane, (viz.) from a moor adjoining to, or part of a little ridge of hills called Molecop Hill, near Congleton, and is within twenty two miles of the Irish Sea, or that arm or inlet of the sea which the Mersee makes from Frodsham to Liverpool and Hyle-lake; and as the Dane runs into the Weaver, and both into that arm of the sea, and the Trent into the Humber, which opens into the great German Ocean, those rivers may be said to cut the island across in the middle.

It is true, the northern part is much larger than the southern, now Scotland is united; otherwise the country south by Trent, including Wales, is by far the largest: But it must be allowed still, that the country south by Trent is the richest by far, and most populous; occasioned chiefly by the city of London, and the commerce of the Thames; as for the cities of Bristol, Exceter, and Norwich, which are large and very populous, and in some things drive a prodigious trade, as well in merchandise as manufacture, we shall find them matched, if not out-done, by the growing towns of Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, and Manchester, and the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, as shall be shown in its place.

The Trent runs a course of near two hundred miles, through the four counties of Stafford, Derby, Nottingham, and Lincoln; it receives, besides lesser waters, the larger rivers of the Sowe from the west side of the county, and from the town of Stafford; the Tame from Birmingham and Tamworth; the Soar from Leicester; and the Dove and Derwent, two furiously rapid streams, from the Peak of Derby; the Idle, a gentle navigable stream from Rhetford and Nottinghamshire; with part of the Wittham, called the Fossdike from Lincoln, also navigable; and the greatest of them all, the Don, from Doncaster, Rothram, and Sheffield, after a long and rapid course through the moors called Stanecross on the edge of Derby, and the West-Riding of Yorkshire.

The Trent is navigable by ships of good burthen as high as Gainsbrough, which is near 40 miles from the Humber by the river. The barges without the help of locks or stops go as high as Nottingham, and farther by the help of art, to Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire. The stream is full, the channel deep and safe, and the tide flows up a great way between Gainsborough and Newark. This, and the navigation lately, reaching up to Burton and up the Derwent to Derby, is a great support to, and encrease of the trade of those counties which border upon it; especially for the cheese trade from Cheshire and Warwickshire, which have otherwise no navigation but about from West Chester to London; whereas by this river it is brought by water to Hull, and from thence to all the south and north coasts on the east side of Britain; 'tis calculated that there is about four thousand ton of Cheshire cheese only, brought down the Trent every year from those parts of England to Gainsborough and Hull; and especially in time of the late war, when the seas on the other side of England were too dangerous to bring it by long-sea.

Thus much for the River Trent; The towns standing upon it, and especially on the north shore or bank are but few, at least of note: Beginning at the mouth of it, and going up the stream, all the towns, such as Burton, Stockwith, Gainsborough, and Newark, are on the south bank, and consequently have been spoken to already. The only towns of any note that are to be found on the north bank of Trent, are Nottingham, and the other Burton, of which I shall speak in their order; at present, as I took a different circuit in my riding, I must do so in my account of it also, or else if my pen does not follow my foot, I shall wander rather than travel, at least in my paper, whatever I did on my horse.

The counties north by Trent are few; but most of them large; I mean on the side of England, (viz.) York, which I shall call three counties, as it is divided into three Ridings, and are large counties too; and Lancashire, which is very large, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, which are the most southerly, are but small; I shall begin there, and take them together.

As I am travelling now cross the island, and begin at the mouth of Trent, the first town of note that I meet with is Nottingham, the capital of that shire, and is the most considerable in all that part of England. The county is small, but, like the Peak, 'tis full of wonders; and indeed there are abundance of remarkables in it: (1.) 'Tis remarkable for the soil, which on the south part is the richest and the most fruitful; and on the north part the most wild and waste, and next to barren of any part of England within many miles of it. (2.) For the fine seats of noblemen and gentlemen, not a few; such as the Dukes of Shrewsbury, Kingston, Rutland, Newcastle, and several others. But as I purpose to begin at the south entrance, I mean at the town of Nottingham, I shall speak a little of that before I describe the country about it.

Nottingham is one of the most pleasant and beautiful towns in England. The situation makes it so, tho' the additions to it were not to be nam'd. It is seated on the side of a hill overlooking a fine range of meadows about a mile broad, a little rivulet running on the north side of the meadows, almost close to the town; and the noble River Trent parallel with both on the further or south side of the meadows: Over the Trent there is a stately stone-bridge of nineteen arches, and the river being there join'd into one united stream, is very large and deep; having, as is said, but lately received the addition of the Dove, the Derwent, the Irwash, and the Soar, three of them very great rivers of themselves, and all coming into the Trent since its passing by Burton in Staffordshire mentioned before.

The town of Nottingham is situated upon the steep ascent of a sandy rock; which is consequently remarkable, for that it is so soft that they easily work into it for making vaults and cellars, and yet so firm as to support the roofs of those cellars two or three under one another; the stairs into which, are all cut out of the solid, tho' crumbling rock; and we must not fail to have it be remember'd that the bountiful inhabitants generally keep these cellars well stock'd with excellent ALE; nor are they uncommunicative in bestowing it among their friends. as some in our company experienc'd to a degree not fit to be made matter of history.

They tell us there, speaking of the antiquity of Nottingham, that the hill where it was built, was called the Dolorous Hill, or the Golgotha of ancient time; because of a great slaughter of the Britains there by King Humber, a northern monarch; the same who, being afterwards drowned in the passage of the sea between Hull and Barton, gave name to that arm of the sea which is now called the Humber, and which receives the Trent, and almost all the great rivers of Yorkshire into it. They also tell us, those caves and cellars, mentioned above, served the people for a retreat in those days, from the pursuit of their enemies, and that from thence the town took its first name, which was Snottengaham, which signifies hollow vaults in a rock, Speluncarum Domum , or, as Mr. Cambden observes, the British word was Tui ogo bauc ; that is, the same as the Latin, and meant a house of dens, or secret caves to hide in; but this is remote.

Besides the situation of Nottingham towards the river; it is most pleasantly seated to the land side; that is to say, to the side of the forest on the north of the town. And here they have (I.) a most pleasant plain to accommodate the gentlemen who assemble once a year (at least) for the manly noble diversion of racings, and chiefly horse-races; 'tis a most glorious show they have here when the running season begins; for here is such an assembly of gentlemen of quality, that not Bansted Down, or New Market Heath, produces better company, better horses, or shews the horse and master's skill better.

At the west end of the town there is a very steep hill, and the south side of it a cliff, which descends in a precipice towards the river; on this hill stood an old castle, but when, we know not; so that if we may plead its antiquity, 'tis only because we have no account of its beginning; the oldest thing that we read of it is, that there was a tower here which the Danes obstinately defended against King Alfred, and his brother Æthelred.

This castle, or some other building in the room of it, remained till the time of the late wars; 'tis evident it was standing in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; Mr. Cambden says, William the Norman built it; and, as he says, it was done to awe the English; it was so strong that nothing could ever reduce it but famine; after this it was repair'd and beautified, or rather rebuilt, by Edward IV. who added fine apartments to it, which Richard III. his brother, enlarged.

It was so strong, it seems, that it had not been subject to the ordinary fate of other fortify'd places; namely, to be often taken and retaken; for it was never storm'd, that is to say, never taken sword in hand; once it was indeed taken by surprize in the barons wars by Robert Earl Ferrers, who also plundered the town, (city 'twas then call'd.)

The stories that people tell us here, of one of the Davids, King of Scotland, kept prisoner in it, I believe little of, any more than I do that of Roger Mortimore Earl of March, and his being hid in a vault under ground in this castle, whence being discovered, he was taken, brought to justice, and hang'd for treason; yet the place where they say he was taken, is shewed still to strangers, and is call'd Mortimer's Hole, to this day.

It is true, that here are such places; Mr. Cambden also gives an account that in the first court of the castle there is a way down by a great many steps to a vault under ground, where there are chambers cut out of the stone, and the people offer'd to carry us down the same; but we did not like the aspect of it, so we ventur'd rather to take their words.

Whoever built this great castle (for the dispute lies only between William the Conqueror and William de Peverell, his bastard son) I say, whoever built it, we know not; but we know who pull'd it down; namely, the government, upon the Restoration, because it had been forfeited, and held out against the Royalists: After the Restoration Cavendish, late Marquis of Newcastle, entirely bought it of King Charles II. or of the Duke of Buckingham, to whom he would have sold it; and, having bought it, went to work immediately with it, in order to pull it quite down; for it lay, as it were, waste to him, and useless. In the year 1674 he clear'd the old foundations, a small part excepted, and founded the noble structure which we see now standing; and which, thro' several successions, has revolved to the present branch of the house of Pelham, now Duke of Newcastle; who has beautified if not enlarged the building, and has laid out a plan of the finest gardens that are to be seen in all that part of England; but they are not yet finish'd; they take up, as they tell us, threescore acres of ground in the design, and would, no doubt, be exquisitely fine; but it requires au immense sum to go on with it.

In the great church of St. Mary's in Nottingham, we see the monument of the Plumtree's, an honourable family, who built the hospital at the bridge end; also the family of Holles Lord Houghton, Earl of Clare, and afterwards Duke of Newcastle, lye buried here. But the learned Dr. Thornton, in his antiquities of this county, having copied all the epitaphs and inscriptions in the churches of this town; if I should repeat them, it would look as if I wanted matter to fill up; just the contrary of which is my case to an extreme.

The beauties of Nottingham, next to its situation, are the castle, the market-place, and the gardens of Count Tallard; who, in his confinement here as prisoner of war taken by the Duke of Marlborough at the great Battle of Blenheim, amused himself with making a small, but beautiful parterre, after the French fashion. But it does not gain by English keeping.

There was once a handsome town-house here for the sessions or assises, and other publick business; but it was very old, and was either so weak, or so ill looked after, that, being over-crowded upon occasion of the assises last year, it cracked, and frighted the people, and that not without cause. As it happened, no body was hurt, nor did the building fall directly down. But it must be said, (I think) that Providence had more care of the judges, and their needful attendants, than the townsmen had, whose business it was to have been well assured of the place, before they suffered a throng of people to come into it; and therefore we cannot deny, but it was a seasonable justice in the court to amerce or fine the town, as they did; as well for the omission, as for the repair of the place. We are told now that they are collecting money, not for the repair of the old house, but for erecting a new one, which will add to the beauty of the town.

The Trent is navigable here for vessels or barges of great burthen, by which all their heavy and bulky goods are brought from the Humber, and even from Hull; such as iron, block-tin, salt, hops, grocery, dyers wares, wine, oyl, tar, hemp, flax, &. and the same vessels carry down lead, coal, wood, corn; as also cheese in great quantities, from Warwickshire and Staffordshire. By which the commerce of these counties is greatly increased. as I have mentioned already.

When I said the bridge over Trent had nineteen arches, I might as well have said the bridge was a mile long; for the Trent being, at the last time I was there, swelled over its ordinary bound, the river reached quite up to the town; yet a high causeway, with arches at proper distances, carried us dry over the whole breadth of the meadows, which, I think, is at least a mile; and it may be justly called a bridge, on several accounts, as another at Swarston is called, which is full a mile in length.

Nottingham, notwithstanding the navigation of the Trent, is not esteemed a town of very great trade, other than is usual to inland towns; the chief manufacture carried on here is frame-work knitting for stockings, the same as at Leicester, and some glass, and earthen ware-houses; the latter much increased since the increase of tea-drinking; for the making fine stone-mugs, tea-pots, cups, &. the glass-houses, I think, are of late rather decayed.

As there is a fine market-place, so is there a very good market, with a vast plenty of provisions, and those of the best sort, few towns in England exceeding it; to say nothing of their ale, as having reserved it to a place by it self.

As they brew a very good liquor here, so they make the best malt, and the most of it of any town in this part of England, which they drive a great trade for, sending it by land-carriage to Derby, through all the Peak as far as Manchester, and to other towns in Lancashire, Cheshire, and even into Yorkshire itself; to which end all the lower lands of this county, and especially on the banks of Trent, yield prodigious crops of barley.

The government of Nottingham is in the mayor, two sheriffs, six aldermen, coroners and chamberlains. twenty four common-council, whereof six are called juniors; the rest of course, I suppose, may pass for seniors.

I might enter into a long description of all the modern buildings erected lately in Nottingham, which are considerable, and of some just now going forward. But I have a large building in the whole to overlook; and I must not dwell too long upon the threshold.

The forest of Sherwood is an addition to Nottingham for the pleasure of hunting, and there are also some fine parks and noble houses in it, as Welbeck, the late Duke of Newcastle's, and Thoresby, the present noble seat of the Pierrepont's, Dukes of Kingston, which lies at the farthest edge of the forest. But this forest does not add to the fruitfulness of the county, for 'tis now, as it were, given up to waste; even the woods which formerly made it so famous for thieves, are wasted; and if there was such a man as Robin Hood, a famous out-law and deer-stealer, that so many years harboured here, he would hardly find shelter for one week, if he was now to have been there: Nor is there any store of deer, compared to the quantity which in former times they tell us there usually was.

From Nottingham, a little mile west on the road to Derby, we saw Woollaton Hall, the noblest antient-built palace in this county, the mansion of the antient family of Willoughby, now Lord Middleton, created baron in the late Queen Anne's time. The house, the gardens, the great hall, the monuments of the family in the church of Woollaton, and the pedigree of that noble family, are well worth a stranger's view.

The park, walled in with a new brick-wall, is much finer than the great park adjoining to the castle of Nottingham, being much better planted with timber; whereas that at Nottingham was all cut down, and sequestred in the late wars.

This house, all of stone, was built by Sir Francis Willoughby, second son of the honourable ------ Willoughby Esq; slain in the 4th of Edward VI. in the rebellion or tumult at Norwich, anno 1546, and Dame Anne, daughter of the Marquis of Dorchester; the first and eldest son, Sir Thomas Willoughby, dying unmarried. The stately fabrick shews the genius, as well as the wealth, of the founder; the hall, at the first entrance, is so high that a man on horseback might exercise a pike in it. The figure of building, as an artist said of it to me, was rather antick than antient; the architect is noble, and the order of building regular, except the four pavilions of the Dorick order on the top, which they alledge is inexcusable in architecture. Some, who excuse the design, will have it to be, that the upper building is an attick, and set on to grace the other. But I must be allowed to differ from that opinion too.

However it be, take it all together, the building is far beyond any thing in this part of England, of equal antiquity, Belvoir, or Bevoir Castle excepted, and even not that for excellence of workmanship.

One of the ancestors of this noble family, Sir Richard Willoughby, was judge of the Court of King's Bench for almost thirty years; from the third year of King Edward III. to his thirty third year; in which time he greatly advanced the honour and estate of his family.

Another branch was less fortunate, though not less famous, namely, Sir Hugh Willoughby, the famous navigator and searcher out of new discoveries; who, after many extraordinary adventures in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, went at last in search of the north east passages of Nova Zembla; and having beaten up and down among the ice a long time, was at length driven into a small fuell or inlet of the sea, near the Mer Blanch, or White Sea; and being out of his knowledge, was there found the next spring frozen to death with all his ship's company, every one of them.

The monuments of this antient and wealthy family, for many years past, are still to be seen at Wollaton Church. Some of them are very magnificent; and others of them being very antient, are solemn even in their very ruins.

For monuments of men, like men, decay.

Having thus passed the Rubicon (Trent) and set my face northward, I scarce knew which way to set forward, in a country too so full of wonders, and on so great a journey, and yet to leave nothing behind me to call on as I came back, at least not to lead me out of my way in my return. But then considering that I call this work, a Tour, and the parts of it, Letters; I think, that tho' I shall go a great length forward, and shall endeavour to take things with me as I go; yet I may take a review of some parts as I came back, and so may be allowed to pick up any fragments I may have left behind in my going out.

I resolved indeed first for the Peak, which lay on my left-hand north east; but, as I say, to leave as little behind me as possible, I was obliged to make a little excursion into the forest, where, in my way, I had the diversion of seeing the annual meeting of the gentry at the horse-races near Nottingham. I could give a long and agreeable account of the sport it self, how it brought into my thoughts the Olympick Games among the Greeks; and the Circus Maximus at Rome; where the racers made a great noise, and the victors made great boasts and triumphs: But where they chiefly drove in chariots, not much unlikes our chaises, and where nothing of the speed, or of skill in horsemanship could be shown, as is in our races.

It is true, in those races the young Roman and Grecian gentlemen rode, or rather drove themselves; whereas in our races the horses, not the riders, make the show; and they are generally ridden by grooms and boys, chiefly for lightness; sometimes indeed the gentlemen ride themselves, as I have often seen the Duke of Monmouth, natural son to King Charles II. ride his own horses at a match, and win it too, though he was a large man, and must weigh heavy.

But the illustrious company at the Nottingham races was, in my opinion, the glory of the day; for there we saw, besides eleven or twelve noblemen, an infinite throng of gentlemen from all the countries round, nay, even out of Scotland it self; the appearance, in my opinion, greater, as it was really more numerous, than ever I saw at Newmarket, except when the king have been there in ceremony; for I cannot but say, that in King Charles II.'s time, when his majesty used to be frequently at Newmarket, I have known the assembly there have been with far less company than this at Nottingham; and, if I might go back to one of these Nottingham meetings, when the Mareschal Duke de Tallard was there, I should say, that no occasions at Newmarket, in my memory, ever came up to it, except the first time that King William was there after the Peace of Ryswick.

Nor is the appearance of the ladies to be omitted, as fine and without comparison more bright and gay, tho' they might a little fall short in number of the many thousands of nobility and gentry of the other sex; in short, the train of coaches filled with the beauties of the north was not to be described; except we were to speak of the garden of the Tulleries at Paris, or the Prado at Mexico, where they tell us there are 4000 coaches with six horses each, every evening taking the air.

From hence I was going on to see Rugford Abbey, the fine seat of the late Marquis of Hallifax, but was called aside to take a view of the most famous piece of church history in this part of the whole island, I mean the collegiate church of Southwell.

Paulinus, Archbishop of York, was (so antient record supplies the tale) the founder of this church, having preached to the people of the country round, and baptized them in the River Trent; the antient words imports Christianized them, by dipping them in the River Trent. Whether our Antipedo-Baptists will take any advantage of the word, I know not; but I cannot see any doubt but that antiently baptism was performed in the water; whether it was performed there by immersion, putting the person into the water, or pouring the water upon him, we know not; neither do I see any extraordinary, much less any essential difference in it, be it one way or the other; but that is not my business, especially not here: The reason of naming it, is to give you the pious occasion which made the good bishop build this church, namely, that having converted a whole province, or part of one at least, he was desirous they should not want a place of worship to serve God in.

The thing which makes this foundation the more remarkable, is, that though it was surrendered into the king's hands, with all the rest of the religious foundations, in the reign of King Henry VIII. yet it was restored whole as it was before, in the 35th of the same reign.

But because I love to speak not from my self in cases where good authorities are to be had, and that in a cursory view of a place, such as that of a journey must be, the outsides or appearances of things only are to be seen, or such farther knowledge as may be obtained by report of inhabitants; for I copy nothing from books, but where I quote the books, and refer to them; I say, for this reason I give you an account of this venerable pile, its foundation and present constitution, from a reverend and very good friend, and one of the present prebendaries the place, and whose authority I do, and the reader may depend upon, as follows, (viz.)


Southwell, in the county of Nottingham, is about nine miles north east from Nottingham, four miles west from Newark, eight south east from Mansfield, and about two south west from the River Trent. The soil of it rich clay and marle; the air very good, and well watered; the River Greet runs by it. It is a market town, and the market day Saturday; it is remarkable for no sort of manufacture.

There is in it but one church, which is both parochial and collegiate; which, I think, is the case of no other in England, except Rippon in Yorkshire.

The parish consists of Southwell, and the hamlets of Eastrope, which joins to Southwell on the east; Westrope, about a quarter of a mile west of Southwell; and Normanton, about a mile north; it contains about 350 families. There is a parish-vicar so called, who is generally one of the vicars choral, whose business it is to visit the sick, bury the dead, etc. the preaching part being performed by the prebendaries. This vicarage was lately augmented by Queen Anne's Bounty, which benefit fell to it by lot.

The collegiate church consists of 16 prebendaries or canons, 6 vicars choral, an organist, 6 singing-men, 6 choristers, a register to the chapter, a treasurer; an auditor, a verger, etc. The prebenda are all in the gift of the Archbishop of York. All the rest of the members disposed of by the chapter.

The foundation of this church is doubtless very antient. It is generally supposed to be founded by Paulinus, the first Archbishop of York, about the year 630.

The church was, by the several members thereof, viz. the archbishop, the prebendaries, vicars choral, chantry priests, and by the chapter, surrendered to the king, 32 Henry VIII. as appears by the records in Chancery; and was actually in the king's possession, until by Act of Parliament, anno 35 Henry VIII. it was refounded, and restored to its antient privilege, and incorporated by the name of the Chapter of the Collegiate Church of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Southwell.

Afterward, by the statute for the dissolution of chantries, anno primo Edward VI. it was conceived, that the said church was again dissolved. But the members of the church did not quit their possession till the 4th and 5th of Philip and Mary, when ----- Griffin, the Attorney General, exhibited an Information of Intrusion against the Chapter, pleading the Crown's title to their lands, by virtue of the Act of Edward VI. But upon full hearing it was adjudged that the Chapter was not adjudged within the said statute; and therefore the Bill was dismissed; and the Chapter continued to enjoy their rights and privileges.

Queen Elizabeth confirmed the same, and gave statutes to the said church, with this preamble: Eliz. Dei Grat. Regina, &. Dilectis subditis nostris, Capitulo, cæterisq; Ministris Ecclesiæ nostræ Colleg. Beatæ Mariæ Virginis de Southwell per Illustrissimum Patrem nostrum Hen. VIII. nuper Regem Ang. fundatae. Notwithstanding this, in King James's reign, the same plea was revived against the church, by the then Attorney General, and met with the same success; that is, was dismissed. And King James, in the second year of his reign, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal, confirmed and established the said church in perpetuity, according to the refoundation and restitution thereof by King Henry VIII.

There is no dean of this church; but the evidentiary for the time being has the government of it; and one of the prebendaries, by the statutes, is obliged to be resident, which at present is by agreement and by consent of the archbishop, performed by every one in their turns, and each prebendary keeps residence a quarter of a year.

Most of the prebendaries, I think twelve of them, have prebendal houses in the town of Southwell. But those being let out on lease, they now keep residence in a house built for that purpose about 30 years ago, in the east end of the college of the vicars; which house is ready furnished, and kept in repair at the charge of the chapter.

The prebendaries preach in their turn every Sunday morning, and on such festivals, &. as preaching is required. In the afternoon on Sundays there is a lecture usually preached by the residentiary for the time being.

The Chapter of Southwell have a peculiar jurisdiction, and there are 28 parishes subject to it; to most of which they have the right of presentation; besides some others in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. This jurisdiction is exercised by a commissary or vicar-general, chosen by the Chapter out of their body, who holds visitations, &. twice a year. And besides these, there are two synods yearly, to which ail the clergy of the county of Nottingham pay their attendance. And a certain number of the prebendaries, and others of the considerable clergy, are appointed commissioners, by a commission granted by the Archbishop of York to preside at the synods.

There are many privileges belonging to this church; one of which is, That every parish and hamlet in the county pay certain small pensions yearly to the church, called Pentecostal Offerings.

There are houses for the vicars choral adjoining to the residence house, built about a square; with a gate locked up every night, and the key kept by the residentiary. There are but five of the vicars have houses allotted them in the college. The other vicar, being parish vicar also has a vicarage house in the town. There are prayers twice every day at the usual hours, and likewise at six or seven in the morning, from Ashwednesday to St. Matthew's Day.

The civil government of the jurisdiction of Southwell, is distinct from the county at large. It is called the Soke of Southwell cum Scrooby, which is another town in this county. There are about 20 towns subject to this jurisdiction.

The Custos Rotulorum , and the Justices of the Peace, are nominated by the Archbishop of York, and constituted by a commission under the Great Seal of England; who hold their session both at Southwell and Scrooby, and perform all other justiciary acts distinct from the county. There is no Custos Rotulorum yet appointed in the room of Lord Lexington, who died about two years ago; but a new commission is expected as soon as the archbishop is confirmed.

The Names of the present Prebendaries and Prebends, are.

The Reverend:
Mr. Geo. Mompesson. Oxton I Pars.
Mr. Tho. Sabourne. North Muskam.
Mr. John Pigot. Beckingham.
Mr. Edward Clark. Dunham.
Mr. Benjamin Carter. Sacrista.
Mr. Stephen Cooper. Normanton.
Mr. Samuel Berdmore. Oxton 2 Pars.
Mr. Thomas Sharp. Norwell Overall.
Mr. Robert Ayde. Woodborough.
Mr. John Lloyd. South Muskam.
Mr. Robert Marsden. Norwell Palishall.
Mr. John Abson. Eaton.
Mr. Humphrey Bralesford. Norwell 3 Pars.
Mr. Ri. Wood, Present resid. North Severton.
Mr. Henry Cook. Rampton.
Mr. Edward Parker. Halloughton.

The Present Vicars.
Mr. Benjamin Cooper.
Mr. John Barnard.
Mr. Charles Benson.
Mr. Samuel Bird.
Mr. Joseph Ellis.
Mr. William Hodgson.
An Organist.
Six Singing-Men.
Six choristers, besides six more
boys who attend as proba-

The present Register and
} Mr. Jos. Clay.
The Treasurer ---
The Virger
Mr. George Cooper.

The fabrick of the church is at present in good and decent order. It is a strong building of the Gothick order, very plain. I remember to have met with this passage in some of our old writings; That when the dispute was about the dissolution of the church, I think in King James's reign; among other things, it was urged by the Chapter, that the church of Southwell was a plain fabrick, free from all superstitious ornaments; that there were no painted figures in the glass-work, nor images, nor so much as a nitch capable of placing an image in; which I think is true. And from hence too it has been conjectured concerning the antiquity of this church, that it was probably built, before image-worship was practised or thought of in the Christian Church.

This church was a great part of it burnt down in the year 1711, by lightning; of which I find this memorandum in one of our books, viz. "On Monday the 5th of November, 1711. about ten a-clock at night, the top of the ball on one of the south spires of this collegiate church of Southwell was fired by lightning; which, backed by a furious wind that drove it almost directly on the body of the church, in a few hours burnt down the spire and roof, melted down the bells, and spared nothing that was combustible, except the other spire, till it came to the quire, where, after it had consumed the organs, it was by singular providence stopt and extinguish'd."

This is a pretty exact account; to which I must add, that the damage was computed at near 4000l . which great misfortune was happily repaired by the industry of the Chapter, joined with the help of the then Archbishop of York, Dr. Sharp; who not only contributed largely themselves, but by their solicitations obtained a brief, which, with the liberal contributions of several of the nobility and gentry, and the inhabitants of Southwell and its neighbourhood, enabled them to repair the church, and to put it in as good order as it was before the fire.

Among the benefactors ought particularly to be remembered with gratitude the last Dutchess Dowager of Newcastle, who, at the intercession of the archbishop, kindly seconded by her chaplain Dr. Brailsford, now Dean of Wells,

l .
Gave 500
Dr. Sharp, Archbishop 200
The late Duke of Leeds 200
The Earl of Thanet 50
The late Duke of Rutland 60
Bartholomew Burton, Esq; 30
Sir William Daws, late Archbishop 100

The church is built in form of a cross; a great tower in the middle, in which are eight bells, and two spires at the west end. There is a handsome chapter-house on the north side of the quire.

The length of the church from east to west is 306 feet, of which the choir is — feet; the length of the cross isle from north to south is 121 feet; the breadth of the church 59 feet.

On a pillar at the entrance into the choir, is this inscription:

Sint Reges Nutritii tui & Regina? Nutrices,
Ecclesiam hanc Collegiatam & Parochialem
Fundavit Antiquitas.
Refundavit Illustrissimus Henricus Rex Octavus,
Edwardo Lee Archiepiscopo Eborac. intercedente.
Sancivit Serenissima Elizabetha Regina,
Edvino Sands Eborum Archiepiscopo mediante.
Stabilivit Præpotentissimus Monarcha Jac. Rex,
Henrico Howard Comite Northamp. aliisque
Sint sicut Oreb & Zeb, Zeba & Salmana
Qui dicunt Haereditate possideamus
Sanctuarium Dei.

There are no very remarkable monuments in this church, only one of Archbishop Sands, which is within the communion rails, and is a fair tomb of alabaster, with his effigies lying on it at full length.------Round the verge of it is this inscription:

Edvinus Sandes Sacræ Theologiæ Doctor, postquam Vigorniensem Episcopatum Annos X, totidemque tribus demptis Londinensem gessisset Eboracensis sui Archiepiscopatus Anno XII" Vitæ autem LXIX?. obiit
Julii X. A.D. 1588.

At the head of the tomb is this inscription:

Cujus hic Reconditum Cadaver jacet, genere non humilis vixit, Dignitate locoque magnus, exemplo major; duplici functus Episcopatu, Archi-Episcopali tandem Amplitudine Illustris. Honores hosce mercatus grandi Pretio, Meritis Virtutibusque Homo hominum a Malitia & Vindicta Innocentissimus; Magnanimus, Apertus, & tantum Nescius adulari; Summe Liberalis atque Misericors: Hospitalissime optimus, Facilis, & in sola Vitia superbus. Scilicet haud minora, quam locutus est, vixit & fuit. In Evangelii prædicand. Laboribus ad extremum usque Halitum mirabiliter assiduus; a sermonibus ejus nunquam non melior discederes. Facundus nolebat esse & videbatur; ignavos, sedulatitis suæ Conscius, oderat. Bonas literas auxit pro Facultatibus; Ecclesiæ Patrimonium, velut rem Deo consecratum decuit, intactum defendit; gratia, qua floruit, apud Illustrissimam mortalium Elizabetham, effecit, ne hanc, in qua jacet, Ecclesiam ti jacentem cerneres. Venerande Præsul! Utrius memorandum Fortunæ exemplar! Qui tanta cura gesseris, multa his majora, animo ad omnia semper impavido, perpessus es; Careares, Exilia, amplissimarum Facultatum amissiones; quodque omnium difficillime Innocens perferre animus censuevit, immanes Calumnias; & si re una votis tuis memor, quod Christo Testimonium etiam sanguine non præbueris; attamen, qui in prosperis tantos fluctus, & post Aronum tot adversa, tandem quietis sempternæ Portum, fessus Mundi, Deique sitiens, reperisti, Æturnum lætare; vice sanguinis sunt sudores tui; abi lector, nec ista scias, tantum ut sciveris, sed ut imiteris.

At the feet under the coat of arms:

Verbum Dei manet in Æternum.

Round the border of another stone in the south isle of the choir.

Hic jacet Robertus Serlby, Generosus, quondam Famulus Willielmi Booth Archiepiscopo Eborac. Qui obiit 24? die Mensis Augusti, A.D. 1480, cujus animæ propitietur Deus. Amen.

On a stone fixed in the wainscot under one of the prebendal stalls in the choir, is this inscription, very antient, but without a date.

Hic jacet Wilhelmus Talbot, miser & indignus sacerdos, expectans Resurrectionem in signo Thau-----

I suppose it means a Tau to denote a cross.

On the south-side of the church in the churchyard,

Me Pede quando teris, Homo qui Mortem mediteris Sic contritus eris, & pro me quæro, preceris, without name or date.

Here was formerly a palace belonging to the Archbishop of York, which stood on the south side of the church, the ruins of which still remain; by which it appears to have been a large and stately palace. It was demolished in the time of the Rebellion against King Charles I. and the church, I have heard, hardly escaped the fury of those times; but was indebted to the good offices of one Edward Cludd, Esq; one of the Parliament side, who lived at Norwood, in the parish of Southwell, in a house belonging to the archbishop, where he lived in good esteem for some time after the Restauration; and left this estate at Norwood, which he held by lease of the archbishop, to his nephew Mr. Bartholomew Fillingham, who was a considerable officer in the Exchequer, and from whom Bartholomew Burton, Esq; who was his nephew and heir, inherited it, with the bulk of all the rest of his estate and who now enjoys it by a lease of three lives, granted by the late Archbishop Sir William Dawes. Here were no less than three parks belonging to the archbishop, which tho' disparked, still retain the name; one of which is Norwood Park, in which is a good house, which has been very much enlarged and beautified by the said Mr. Burton, who lives in it some part of the year.

There is a free-school adjoining to the church, under the care of the Chapter; where the choristers are taught gratis; and other boys belonging to the town. The master is chosen by the Chapter; and is to be approved by the Archbishop of York.

There are also two fellowships and two scholarships in St. John's College in Cambridge, founded by Dr. Keton, Canon of Salisbury, in the 22d year of King Henry VIII. to be chosen by the master and fellows of the said college, out of such who have been choristers of the church of Southwell, if any such able person for learning and manners, can be found in Southwell, or in the university of Cambridge; and for want of such, then out of any scholars abiding in Cambridge; which said fellowships are to be thirteen shillings and four-pence each better than any other fellowship of the college.

Hence crossing the forest I came to Mansfield, a market town, but without any remarkables. In my way I visited the noble seat of the Duke of Kingston at Thoresby, of the Duke of Newcastle at Welbeck, and the Marquis of Hallifax at Rufford, of Rugeford Abbey, all very noble seats, tho' antient, and that at Welbeck especially, beautify'd with large additions, fine apartments, and good gardens; but particularly the park, well stocked with large timber, and the finest kind, as well as the largest quantity of deer that are any where to be seen; for the late duke's delight being chiefly on horseback and in the chace, it is not to be wondered if he rather made his parks fine than his gardens, and his stables than his mansion-house; yet the house is noble, large, and magnificent.

Hard by Welbeck is Wirksop Mannor, the antient and stately seat of the noble family of Talbot, descended by a long line of ancestors from another family illustrious, though not enobled (of Lovetot's). This house, (tho' in its antient figure) is outdone by none of the best and greatest in the county, except Wollaton Hall, already mentioned; and that though it is, as it were, deserted of its noble patrons; the family of Shrewsbury being in the person of the last duke, removed from this side of the country to another fine seat in the west, already mentioned.

From hence leaving Nottinghamshire, the west part abounding with lead and coal, I cross'd over that fury of a river called the Derwent, and came to Derby, the capital of the county.

This is a fine, beautiful, and pleasant town; it has more families of gentlemen in it than is usual in towns so remote, and therefore here is a great deal of good and some gay company: Perhaps the rather, because the Peak being so near, and taking up the larger part of the county, and being so inhospitable, so rugged and so wild a place, the gentry choose to reside at Derby, rather than upon their estates, as they do in other places.

It must be allowed, that the twelve miles between Nottingham and this town, keeping the mid-way between the Trent on the left, and the mountains on the right, are as agreeable with respect to the situation, the soil, and the well planting of the country, as any spot of ground, at least that I have seen of that length, in England.

The town of Derby is situated on the west bank of the Derwent, over which it has a very fine bridge, well built, but antient, and a chapel upon the bridge, now converted into a dwelling-house. Here is a curiosity in trade worth observing, as being the only one of its kind in England, namely, a throwing or throwster's mill, which performs by a wheel turn'd by the water; and though it cannot perform the doubling part of a throwster's work, which can only be done by a handwheel, yet it turns the other work, and performs the labour of many hands. Whether it answers the expence or not, that is not my business.

This work was erected by one Soracule, a man expert in making mill-work, especially for raising water to supply towns for family use: But he made a very odd experiment at this place; for going to show some gentlemen the curiosity, as he called it, of his mili, and crossing the planks which lay just above the mill-wheel; regarding, it seems, what he was to show his friends more than the place where he was, and too eager in describing things, keeping his eye rather upon what he pointed at with his fingers than what he stept upon with his feet, he stepp'd awry and slipt into the river.

He was so very close to the sluice which let the water out upon the wheel, and which was then pulled up, that tho' help was just at hand, there was no taking hold of him, till by the force of the water he was carried through, and pushed just under the large wheel, which was then going round at a great rate. The body being thus forc'd in between two of the plashers of the wheel, stopt the motion for a little while, till the water pushing hard to force its way, the plasher beyond him gave way and broke; upon which the wheel went again, and, like Jonah's whale, spewed him out, not upon dry land, but into that part they call the apron, and so to the mill-tail, where he was taken up, and received no hurt at all.

Derby, as I have said, is a town of gentry, rather than trade; yet it is populous, well built, has five parishes, a large market-place, a fine town-house, and very handsome streets.

In the church of Allhallows, or, as the Spaniards call it, De Todos los Santos , All Saints, is the Pantheon, or Burial-place of the noble, now ducal family of Cavendish, now Devonshire, which was first erected by the Countess of Shrewsbury, who not only built the vault or sepulchre, but an hospital for eight poor men and four women, close by the church, and settled their maintenance, which is continued to this day: Here are very magnificent monuments for the family of Cavendish; and at this church is a famous tower or steeple, which for the heighth and beauty of its building, is not equalled in this county, or in any of those adjacent.

By an inscription upon this church, it was erected, or at least the steeple, at the charge of the maids and batchelors of the town; on which account, whenever a maid, native of the town, was marry'd, the bells were rung by batchelors: How long the custom lasted, we do not read; but I do not find that it is continued, at least not strictly.

The government of this town, for it is a corporation, and sends two burgesses to Parliament, is in a mayor, high-steward, nine aldermen, a recorder, fourteen brothers, fourteen capital burgesses, and a town-clerk: The trade of the town is chiefly in good malt and good ale; nor is the quantity of the latter unreasonably small, which, as they say, they dispose of among themselves, though they spare some to their neighbours too.

Daniel Defoe, A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, divided into circuits or journies (London: JM Dent and Co, 1927)

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