The Project Gutenberg eBook of Some of Our East Coast Towns

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Some of Our East Coast Towns

Author: J. Ewing Ritchie

Release date: January 4, 2017 [eBook #53890]

Language: English


Transcribed from the 1893 Edmund Durrant & Co. edition by David Price, email

Some of
Our East Coast Towns.


Author ofEast Anglia&c.

Decorative graphic





p. iiNOTEWith one exception and some few additions these articles have appeared in theChristian World.”






One of our Young Boroughs (Chelmsford)



In an Ancient City (Colchester)



A Quiet Suffolk Town (Hadleigh)



A Grand Mediæval Town (Bury St. Edmunds)



Ipswich: the Pride of the Orwell



Living Norwich



A Day at Lynn



Framlingham and its Castle






International Haverhill



the Oldest Essex Borough (Maldon)


p. 1I.

Chelmsford, one of the youngest of the Essex Boroughs, and almost a suburb of Greater London by means of the Great Eastern Railway, was, when I first knew it, a dignified county town, the leading people of which considered a second post from London as a daily nuisance, and had no taste for what is practically too near the rush and roar of modern life.  The old stage-coaches stopped and changed horses at quaint old hotels, which have long disappeared.  Now, as you drop down from the railway station, past the Quakers’ chapel on one side, and the big brewery on the other, all is modern, and except the church which stands on your left, there is little left to recall the past.  In the square, opposite the Shire Hall, there is a modern statue which recalls to memory Chief Justice Tindal, who, born in 1776, at a house called Coval Hall, was educated at the Chelmsford Grammar School, and died at Folkestone, in 1846.  The statue is erected on the p. 2site of an ancient conduit, which stood long upon the spot, with a Latin inscription which few Essex people cared to read.  Not far off is the Corn Exchange, which, what time corn was a commodity worth dealing in, was on Fridays as busy as Mark Lane itself.

But on the whole the town is modern, and all of the modern time.  It is respectable, thoroughly so, quite as much as any London square or street.  Its great industry is a modern one—the manufacture of Electric apparatus, by the firm of Crompton and Co., Ltd., a firm which has for some time occupied a leading place in connection with the installation of Electric light, and has been the means of lighting not only Chelmsford, but many of the principal buildings in London.  If you want to see antiquity in Chelmsford, you must pay a visit to the Museum, now incorporated with the Essex Field Club, which is a very good one of its kind.  One of the best antiquarian magazines of the day is the Essex Review, published in High street, which is really a credit to the town.  But Chelmsford is of the present rather than the past.  Its men and women move with the times, perhaps in consequence of their nearness to the great metropolis.  It has literary and scientific tastes, of which the sette of Odde Volumes is an illustration; and it is further known to fame as the head-quarters of the Essex Bee-keeping Association, established in 1880, which has done much to develop the taste for, and the growth of, honey—an article not unknown to the ancients, and an industry by means of which many a careful cottager may pay his rent.  Of that association Mr. Edmund Durrant is the life and soul, and in all parts of the land he has lifted up his voice, on behalf of this new and desirable source of wealth in our country towns and village homes.  As to its Beef Steak Club, which was founded in Chelmsford in the time of the Georges—it was second to none.

“The position of the town at the junction of the rivers Chelmer and Cann probably” writes Mr. Christy, “led to its being inhabited in very early days.”  As Roman remains have been discovered there, there is p. 3reason to suppose that it was known to those enterprising people.

In the good old times, as some people call them, there was a Priory here (of which no trace now remains), where in the reign of Edward II. resided Thomas Langford, an author, of whose works I know little, save that a local historian describes them as curious.  A greater man, I apprehend, was Philemon Holland, a physician and translator of Livy, Pliny, and other classic authors.  He has better claims on us as having first translated Camden’s Britannia into English.  He was born in Chelmsford, in 1551, and educated at the Grammar School, a school which still exists, but in a recent building, the older one having passed into the hands of the County Council Technical Instruction Committee.  One of the old houses still remaining, “Springfield Mill,” is that in which Strutt wrote his Sports and Pastimes.

Chelmsford fell into Church hands at an early date: It owes indeed much of its prosperity to Maurice, Bishop of London, who, about the year 1100, built a bridge over the Cann, which brought the main stream of traffic through Chelmsford instead of Writtle.

The Church has been once at any rate in danger, that is in 1800, when a great part of the building fell down.  Hence arose a well-known local rhyme.

Chelmsford Church, and Writtle steeple,
Both fell down, but killed no people.

Chelmsford seems early to have struggled after a Reformed Church.  Strype tells us of one, William Maldon, who learned to read in order that he might study the Bible for himself, and there discovered how idolatrous it was to kneel to the crucifix, much to the anger of his father, who beat him till he was almost dead.  A little later we hear of George Eagles, who, for preaching, was hanged, drawn and quartered at Chelmsford, in Queen Mary’s reign, and whose head was set up in the market-place on a long pole.  Archbishop Laud found many victims in Essex.  p. 4One was Thomas Hooker, Fellow of Emanuel College, Cambridge, and lecturer at Chelmsford, where by his preaching he wrought a great reformation, not only in the town but in all the country round.  Happily for himself, Hooker escaped to America, where he died.  When the Quakers appeared, they were sorely handled by those who ought to have known better; for instance, in July 1655, there was a day of general fasting, prayer, and public collection of money for the poor persecuted Protestants of Piedmont.  John Parnell, the Quaker, embraced that opportunity for disturbing the people, and for this he was tried at Chelmsford, and sent to Colchester Castle where he died.  One of the ejected ministers at Chelmsford, Mark Mott, is described as an able preacher.  The congregational cause in Chelmsford, dates from the time of John Reeve, who took out a license for a Presbyterian Meeting-house, in 1692.  Edward Rogers, an ejected minister, succeeded him.  Before the year 1716, a meeting-house had been erected, and at that time a separation took place, which led to the erection of another meeting-house.  In 1716, the pastor at the old meeting was Nathaniel Hickford.  The congregation then consisted of seven hundred hearers, of whom twenty are described as having votes for the county, and eighteen as gentlemen.  The first pastor at the new meeting was Richard, the father of the well-known Nathaniel Lardner.  In 1763, the two churches united, but not long after they separated again.  The new meeting, which is still in the London road, was for some time under the pastoral care of the Rev. George Wilkinson, but lately resigned, and his place is filled by the Rev. MacDougal Mundle, whose popularity argues well for the cause with which he is connected, and the church over which he presides.

For another thing the Chelmsford of the past was distinguished, and that was by a mock election, a very proper thing, when election was a farce, and not as now, the opportunity of the free and independent democracy to utter their political opinions, and to send the wisest of the wise and the purest of patriots to Westminster p. 5as Members of Parliament.  An election is no farce now when the eyes of all England are on the electors, and orators from every corner of the land come to call on the electors to do their duty.  In old times men were merry, and made fun even of an election; at any rate they did this in Chelmsford, where at every county election, a mock contest was held on a small island between the two rivers known as Mesopotamia, (that blessed word, as the old woman said when she heard it in the course of her favourite parson’s sermon).  At this mock election, we are told, after the successful candidate was chaired with every mark of honour, he was ducked in the stream.  Sometimes one wishes that old customs were revived, I know at any rate more than one candidate, who if he were ducked in the stream, and left there, would be little missed by an enlightened public such as we have in this present age.

p. 6II.

About fifty miles away from London—you can run down in an hour by the Great Eastern—stands an ancient, if not the most ancient, city in England, where the mother of Constantine is said to have lived, where, at any rate, she founded a chapel, which still remains, and where Constantine the Great is said to have been born, and where old King Cole, that merry old soul, is reported to have reigned in all his glory.  It was built by the Roman Claudius, A.D., 44.  It boasts an old castle, which was terribly damaged by Cromwell’s soldiers when they took it after a severe siege, in which the inhabitants suffered terrible privations.  It has an ancient priory in ruins, but which is deeply interesting to antiquarians; and it contains old houses and winding streets, which are ever a delight and wonder to the intelligent of the rising generation.  Colchester, of which I write, is a busy place, and moves with the times.  As you look at it from the Great Eastern Railway, which sweeps around its base, it seems a city set upon a hill; and in the old coaching days, when we drove along its High street, now handsomer than ever, it was a great relief in the summer time, when we stopped there to change horses, after a long and dusty ride, to buy some of the fruits and flowers offered for sale, and for the production of which the country round is famous.  The Colchester p. 7people have a fine appreciation of their ancient and prosperous town, the streets of which are alive with military.  There is a large camp here, the gallant men of which seem to have a due appreciation of the fine complexion and healthy figures of the Essex servant girls.  It has its park and its promenades, a river which is rich in commerce and famed for its oysters, and if not quite up to the standard of Dr. W. B. Richardson, I must give its municipal authorities credit for doing the best they can, to bring it up to our modern ideas of sanitary excellence.  It has lately taken to making shoes in the swiftest manner possible, and threatens to be a formidable rival to Northampton, and assuredly, when I hear of the money made by many of its citizens, who, starting with the proverbial half-crown, have now accumulated handsome fortunes, I feel justified in asserting that grass does not grow in its streets.

The religious history of Colchester is deeply interesting.  That unfortunate Puritan, Bastwicke lived at the Red House, Red Lane.  Matthew Newcomen, one of the Puritan divines who took part in the Smectymnian Controversy, was the son of a rector of Trinity.  His brother Thomas, a Royalist, lived to be a Prebendary at Lincoln at the Restoration.  Colchester has done much for Nonconformity.  It was one of the earliest cities to do battle for religious freedom and the rights of conscience.  As far back as 1428 we find the keeper of Colchester Castle empowered to search out and imprison persons suspected of “heresie or Lollardie.”  In Queen Mary’s days fourteen men and eight women were brought from Colchester to London like a flock of sheep, but bound or chained together, to appear before Bonner, on account of religion; but several were burnt there at different times.  The first certain account of the Baptists of Colchester is that of Thomas Lamb, about the year 1630, who was one of the victims of Archbishop Laud.  For some time Baptists and Pædo-Baptists seem to have worshipped together here; they p. 8in time separated, and the present flourishing cause, under Rev. E. Spurrier, celebrated its bi-centenary last year.  From a MS. account in Dr. Williams’s library, we learn that in 1715 there were three Non-conformist congregations in Colchester—one Independant, one Presbyterian (with a total of 1,500 hearers), and one Baptist (with 200).  In the schoolroom of the Baptist church at Eld-street is a fine portrait of the Captain Murrell whose noble rescue of a shipwrecked crew in a stormy sea was the admiration of the whole civilised world a year or two since.  And it rightly hangs there, for as a boy he was brought up in its Sunday-school.  Close to the Baptist church in Eld-lane is the well-known Congregational church, a new and handsome structure, of which Rev. T. Robinson is the pastor.

Let me now take the reader to another Congregational church—that of Stockwell, of which the Rev. Thomas Batty is the present pastor.  It looks uncommonly well, considering how often it has been altered and enlarged.  Like all the other Nonconformist places of worship in Colchester, it is situated in an out-of-the-way part of the town.  The old Noncons were too much given to set their light under a bushel, but there were reasons for that which happily do not exist now.  But it is worth while looking at the place if only for the sake of seeing the monument to Mr. Herrick, the famous Independent parson, who preached there for fifty years.  It is said of him that whilst his preaching regaled the highest intellect, the common people heard him gladly.  The present occupier of the pulpit, who has been there twenty-five years, seems destined to achieve fame in many ways.  One of his latest inventions is a fire-globe, for warming rooms.

There were, to me, two specially interesting ecclesiastical edifices in Colchester.  One now utilised for industrial purposes, almost side by side with Mr. Batty’s chapel, was erected in 1691 for Nonconformist worship.  It was there Isaac Taylor preached, and there his p. 9celebrated daughters attended.  Their dwelling-house is close by, and there they wrote those charming poems and tales for infants’ minds which are popular in the nursery still.  It was there Isaac Taylor, of Ongar, learned to think, so as to become one of the foremost essayists of his age.  As you stand outside and look at the roof of the old tabernacle you will see that some part of it is more modern than the rest.  It appears there was an orthodox minister whose preaching was not acceptable to the Unitarian part of the congregation.  He would not go, and they resolved to make him, and to compel him to move they took off part of the roof.  The preacher, however, remained, and the small endowment with him, which has been transferred to Mr. Batty’s church over the way.  The other ecclesiastical edifice to which I allude is a small Episcopalian church of ancient date, which contains the tomb of the celebrated Dr. Gilberd.  But the great lion of Colchester is, of course, its castle, now utilised as a museum, full of interesting Roman remains found in the neighbourhood, and to which they are constantly being brought, as almost every excavation in the city disinters something or other left by those rulers of the ancient world.  In the castle is an interesting library, left to the city by Bishop Harsnett, a Colchester lad who became a great man—Archbishop of York, if I remember aright—but who in his old age was sadly worried by the Puritans.  Some of the books are in excellent preservation, and are marvels of typography.  I was especially struck with one, “Meditationes Vite Jesu Christi,” printed at Strasbourg in 1483.  No printer in our day could surpass such work.  We have gained much, but our old masters are our old masters still.  It is interesting to note that the library is used by Mr. Round, one of the Essex M.P.’s, for a Bible-class on Sunday afternoons.

Of the many distinguished natives of Colchester, I have already mentioned the Newcomens.  Another famous name connected with the town is that of Daniel Whittle Harvey, a great man in London on p. 10the Liberal side, and, perhaps, still remembered by the joke in Punch, where, when a cabman asks another what the V.R. on his badge implied, replied, “It’s Vittle Harvey to be sure.”  He commenced his career as articled clerk to a Colchester solicitor, and very early developed a considerable talent for public speaking.  He became a somewhat ardent Radical, and was so zealous at public meetings in favour of Reform that he was induced in 1812 to contest the borough, but was defeated by the Conservatives.  “His determination and perseverance,” writes Mr. Charles Benham in his Colchester Worthies, “urged him not to abandon his attempts, which were afterwards more successful, and he was several times returned at the head of the poll.”  He was subsequently appointed by the Corporation of London, Chief Commissioner of the City Police.  He held that office simultaneously with his seat in Parliament until the passing of the new Police Act, when he was no longer eligible for his seat in Parliament, which he relinquished in 1834, maintaining his official appointment till his death, which was about 1864.  Colchester has supplied London with two Lord Mayors—one of them, Sir Thomas White, was Lord Mayor of London in 1553.  He received the honour of Knighthood for preserving the peace of the city in Wyatt’s Rebellion.  He made various benefactions in different towns, including Colchester, in 1566.  The second was David Williams Wire, who was in D. W. Harvey’s office in his youth, and was one of the first Dissenters to become Lord Mayor.  He died in 1860, and was buried at Lewisham.

Science owes not a little to natives of Colchester.  One of the most distinguished of them was Dr. William Gilbert, born in 1540.  The house in Colchester where he received Queen Elizabeth as a guest remains to this day, and a very attractive old house it is.  He was chief physician to the Queen, who valued him highly, and wonderful to say, allowed him an annual sum to encourage him in his studies.  He was also chief physician to James I.  In 1600 he published his famous p. 11book, “De Magnete,” the first work ever written on electricity.  It indicates great sagacity on the part of the writer.  The word electric was first given to the world in it.  He also wrote a learned work about the world, which was published at Amsterdam after his death.  In all English-American and Continental Pharmacopœias we have Dr. Griffiths’ mixture reproduced under the title of Mixtura ferri composita.  It was in a work published at Colchester by Dr. Moses Griffiths that that prescription originally appeared.  It is still frequently used.  Only the other day, as it were, a celebrated, fashionable and wealthy surgeon died at the West end of London.  I refer to Sir William Gull, the son of a Colchester mariner, who ultimately moved to Thorpe, near Clacton, where the son was brought up at a village school.  He chose to be a schoolmaster, and assisted for a time at a Colchester seminary.  He then went to be usher in a school at Lewes, where he developed great scientific tastes, which gained for him a post at Guy’s Hospital in connection with cataloguing the Museum.  This led him to devote his attention to medicine, and having commenced practice, he soon rose to distinction.  He attended the Prince of Wales, in conjunction with Sir William Jenner, throughout a dangerous attack of typhus fever, and was rewarded with a baronetcy.  He died in 1890, and was buried at Thorpe, where there is a handsome monument to his memory.  Nor in this catalogue of Colchester natives would we fail to omit the ladies.  Let us give the first place to the far-famed Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, daughter of Charles Lucas, and born at Colchester.  There were highly educated and gifted women then as now, and the fair Margaret early exhibited a taste for literature.  She became the second wife of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, to whom she was married in 1645.  Two years previously she visited the Court of Charles I., then at Oxford.  She was appointed one of the Maids of Honour to the Queen Henrietta Maria, and accompanied her Majesty to France.  She published ten volumes of letters—plays, poems, p. 12philosophical discourse, and the life of her husband the Duke.  Her town residence was in Clerkenwell, a more fashionable locality at that time than it is to-day.  The lady was certainly eccentric, but she is said to have been distinguished by pious and charitable works, and for them, perhaps as much as for her literary talent, deserves her tomb in Westminster Abbey, where she was buried in 1673.

Colchester contains a population of 34,549, and is connected by railway with most of the towns of the district.  By means of its river Colne it is also a port, and has fine oyster beds, where the “Colchester Natives” are reared, which are celebrated all the world over.  Its oyster feast is one of the most famous institutions of the place, though who was the Mayor who founded the feast is lost in the mists of antiquity.  After the oyster-spatting season is over, that is about the middle of September, the Corporation holds a meeting on board a boat in the river, and proclaims the fishery to be open.  The fishing is a source of profit to the Corporation.  In the warm seasons—that was before 1870 (immense numbers of oysters were produced in 1865)—they realised as much as £18,318, the price being £4 a bushel.  Since then, from the greater scarcity of oysters, and the enlarged market for them due to railway facilities, prices have been £12 and £14 for the same quantity, and it is at that price, I believe, they are now sold.  The Colne fishery is about four miles and a half in extent; it contains the best fattening grounds in the kingdom, and the River Colne itself is one of the best spatting grounds in the district producing native oysters.  We call them native, because so many oysters come from Holland and elsewhere, and are merely fattened in English waters.  In London, when you buy a native, you are not sure that you get the genuine article.  At the Colchester feast the Mayor treats you to the native in all its primitive beauty and simplicity.  I own the oyster is not lovely to look at, and the sight of a hall filled with rows of tables, on which were placed plates containing a dozen for each p. 13guest, with glasses of stout or bottles of Chablis or Sauterne, lacks somewhat of the warmth of colour to which we are more or less accustomed in our civic feasts in town.  It must also be remembered that these entertainments take place by night, when the gas sparkles in a hundred chandeliers.  At Colchester the hour of the feast is 2 p.m., and oysters and stout, place them how you will, cannot be made to look picturesque.  At one time these Colchester feasts were confined to the members of the Corporation and the officials.  That custom has been changed for a better one, and many of the principal citizens and others are bidden to the feast.  Strangers are also invited, and I have to thank more than one worthy Mayor for favouring me with an invitation.  It is the privilege of the Mayor of Colchester for the time being to provide for all the expenses of the feast except a portion of the oysters, which are found by the Fishery Board, and the Mayor sends out all the invitations.  The feast always takes place about October 22nd.  Those who do not care for oysters had better stop away, as little else besides oysters and brown bread and butter is provided.  Only a few ham sandwiches were added, but the oyster was, as it deserved to be, the staple of the feast; and I fancy most of us managed to consume about a couple of dozen each.  It may be that others exceeded that moderate allowance, but in neither eating nor drinking was there any sign of excess.  There was a time when oysters and stout were connected with Bacchanalian orgies.  That time, happily, has long passed, and instead we listened to oratory as we smoked the meditative cigar or the Lilliputian cigarette, or gazed with an admiring eye on the tasteful way in which the hall had been prepared for the occasion.  Music also lent its charms.  Colchester is a garrison town, and at present the Royal Munster Fusiliers hold the fort.  It was their band that played on the occasion, with great applause.  It was not pleasant to turn out of the hall, which had begun to grow additionally cheerful in consequence of the gas, p. 14and to make one’s way along the wet and deserted streets of the ancient town.  I need not add that I was all the better for what I had eaten and heard.  There are delicate questions, worthy of any abler intellect than mine to settle, as to the proper way of eating an oyster.  According to some theories, you should take the Great Eastern to Burnham, get on board a fishing-smack, and gulp down the delicious bivalve as he comes fresh and juicy from his watery bed.  Others there are who contend for the same operation on the River Colne; and I have met with low-minded people who say that no oyster eats so pleasantly as that purchased at a common street stall, as the vendor has less capital than the regular dealer, and thus lays in a fresher stock as he requires them.  If I consult my old friend Sir Henry Thompson, the great authority in such matters, I read, “Oysters are in fact the first dish of dinner and not its precursor; the preface and not the possibly obtrusive advertisement.”  “It is,” he remarks, “a single service of exquisite quality served with attendant graces.”  Sir Henry evidently has never been to a Colchester oyster feast, or he would have had a word to say in its favour.  “It is not worth going to,” said a gentleman to me one day.  Yet when I entered the hall shortly after he was the first to come and shake hands with me, and on that dull, rainy day he had travelled many miles to be at the oyster feast.  The fact is, in dull days one is glad of any excuse for going out and having a chat with one’s friends, and it does one good to hear bishops and Dissenting ministers, as they did at Colchester, talk in favour of Christian unity, or the local M.P.’s talk of national ditto, or the mayors of the leading Essex towns vindicate that local self-government which we all hold to be an important element in the preservation and expansion of our national life.

p. 15III.

One of the oldest towns in Suffolk is Hadleigh.  You take the train at Liverpool-street; at Bentley change on to a branch line, and in twenty minutes you are there.  If we are to believe the annalist Asser, its origin is to be traced as far back as Alfred the Great’s time, or the latter half of the ninth century.  Asser relates that the Danish Chief Guthrum, after having been defeated by King Alfred, embraced Christianity, was appointed governor of East Anglia; that he divided, cultivated, and inhabited the district, and that when he died he was buried in the royal town called Headlega.  Be that as it may, in the ancient church of Hadleigh, according to popular belief, there still remains his tomb.  The principal event in connection with Hadleigh is that there Dr. Taylor was burnt to death by the Roman Catholics.  The little town, says Fox, first heard of the pure Gospel of Christ from the lips of the Rev. Thomas Bilney, who preached there with great earnestness, and whose work was greatly blessed, numbers of men and women becoming convinced of the errors and idolatries of Popery, and gladly embracing the Christian faith.  After the martyrdom of Bilney, Dr. Rowland Taylor was appointed vicar.  He possessed the friendship of Cranmer, and it was through him that he obtained his living.  In Queen Mary’s time the Church was no place for such as he.  He p. 16was hauled up before Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.  The Bishop, with other bishops, sent him back to Hadleigh to burn to death.  “On his way Dr. Taylor was very joyful; he spoke many things to the sheriff and yeomen of the guard that conducted him, and often moved them to weep by his earnest calling upon them to repent and turn to the true religion.”  At Hadleigh he was burnt, much to the sorrow of his flock, who revered and loved him.  A very modest monument marks the site of the scene of the martyrdom and the triumph, as it then seemed, of Popery and arbitrary power.  On the monument, which stands on a grass plot guarded by rails, is an inscription to the memory of Dr. Taylor, ending as follows:

Triumphant Saint, he braved and kissed the rod,
And soared on seraph wing to meet his God.

The lines were the composition of Dr. Nathan Drake, a doctor of medicine, much given to literature, and the author of many books—now rarely seen and never read—who lived and died at Hadleigh.  In the church also, the great ornament to the town is a memorial of Dr. Taylor, and in the vestry of the Congregational chapel, just opposite the church, is a rude engraving of the martyrdom, which ought to be reproduced.

Dissent does not fare badly in the town.  The Congregational body rejoices in two ministers, and the chapel, a very handsome one, is well attended.  It will seat a thousand hearers.  The Salvation Army have just commenced preaching in the town, and, as usual, they have drawn some of the people away.  The Primitive Methodists and the Baptists have also places of worship at Hadleigh.  The parish church can hold 1,200 people, but I do not hear that it is better attended than the Congregational chapel.  Congregationalism has a long history in Hadleigh.  One of its most successful preachers was the Rev. Isaac Toms, who held his ministry there for fifty-seven years.  “His memory,” writes the Rev. Hugh Pigot, formerly curate p. 17of Hadleigh, “is mentioned with respect as that of a kind and gentlemanly old man, who, while maintaining his own views, did yet regularly attend the week-day services at the Church.”  He was born in London, 1710, and his first engagement is said to have been with a city knight, of Hackney, with whom be continued as chaplain and tutor till 1742.  He refused, from conscientious scruples, to accept preferment in the Established Church when offered him by his patron.  He is said to have been eminent for his attainments as a scholar, and to have enjoyed the friendship of such men as Dr. Doddridge and Dr. Watts.  In the vestry there is preserved a letter written by him to Washington’s private secretary during the American War.  Dissent has grown in the place since his day.  In a return made to Bishop Secker by Dr. Tanner, and preserved in the Rectory, there is to be found the following:—About 100 Presbyterians of no note; Robert Randall, a wool-comber, and his three children, and Birch, shopkeeper, Anabaptist; no Anabaptist teacher, no Methodist, no Moravian; one Presbyterian Meeting-house, one Presbyterian teacher—viz., Isaac Toms; the said house and teacher generally thought to be duly licensed and qualified according to law.  Their number not increased at all of late years.  The parish remarkably happy in regard to Dissenters, their number very trifling in proportion to the whole number of inhabitants, which, A.D. 1754, was computed in the town, 2,092; in the hamlet, 168—2,260.  As we have seen, Popery had done to death vicar and curate, yet in 1754 we find Dr. Tanner thus writes concerning it: “Eight poor Papists—James Nowland (a taylor) and his daughter, Widow Rand and her daughter, Widow Hoggar, the wife of Ralph Adams, a sadler, and Barry, a taylor, all quiet people.  No person lately perverted to Popery; no Popish place of worship; no Popish priest doth reside in or resort to this parish; no Popish school; no confirmation or visitation hath been lately held by a Popish bishop.”  p. 18Queen Mary, and Bonner, and Gardiner, had all laboured in vain.  Compulsory establishment of religion never succeeds in the long run.

In the churchyard of Hadleigh there are no monuments which require description.  There is, however a curious inscription on a headstone on the south-east side leading to the market-place regarding the name and fame of one John Turner, a blacksmith, who died 1715.

My sledge and hammer lie declined,
My bellows have quite lost their wind;
My fire’s extinct, my forge decayed,
My vice is in the dust all laid;
My coal is spent, my iron gone,
My nails are drove, my work is done;
My fire-dried corpse lies here at rest,
My soul smoke-like is soaring to be blest.

Hadleigh has seen better days.  At one time it flourished by reason of its cloth trade; then it took to making silk, and up to recent times it did a great trade in malt.

I would not live in Hadleigh all my life, but it is certainly a quiet corner into which to creep, and houses are to be had a bargain, considering, after all, how near it is to town.  I can’t find that Hadleigh has given birth to any great men.  It may be that they may come in time.  One distinguished personage born there, Bishop Overall, was one of the translators of the Bible, and wrote that part of the Church Catechism which treats of the Sacraments.  Another, William Alabaster, wrote a play called Roxana, which was so pathetic when acted at Trinity College, Cambridge, that it drove a young woman quite out of her wits.  No wonder our Puritan forefathers had a horror of the stage.

One of the most eminent men born in Hadleigh, was Dr. Reeve, whose monument is in the Octagon chapel, Norwich, written by the earliest of English German scholars.  William Taylor still records his worth and fame, a student at the University of Edinburgh, he became intimate with Francis Horner, and helped to p. 19write in the early numbers of the Edinburgh Review.  In 1802, he was elected a member of the far famed Speculative Society.  In London, where he went to continue his professional studies, he frequently met Coleridge, and the elder Disraeli at dinner.  In the spring of 1805, while travelling on the continent—a place then rarely visited by the English, he saw Napoleon on the morrow of Austerlitz—was introduced to Haydn—was present when Beethoven conducted Fidelio—heard Humboldt relate his travels—and Fichte explain his philosophy.  Thus, as life opened around with him, with the most brilliant prospects, he died at his father’s house Hadleigh, in September, 1814.  It was his son, who for a while was the editor of the Edinburgh.

In modern history, Hadleigh may claim to have made its mark.  It was there that the Oxford movement commenced, when in 1833 the Rev. James Rose, the rector, assembled at the parsonage (the present handsome building evidently has been built since then) the men who were to become famous as Tractarians.  They had met there to consider how to save the Church.  Lord Grey had bidden the Bishops to put their houses in order—ten Irish Bishoprics had been suppressed—a mob at Bristol had burnt the Bishop’s palace.  The Church seemed powerless and effete.  The friends who met at the Hadleigh Rectory resolved to commence the Oxford Tracts.  Mr. Rose was the person of most authority.  As Dean Church writes: “As far as could be seen at the time, he was the most accomplished divine and teacher in the English Church.  He was a really learned man.  He had intellect and energy, and literary skill to use his learning.  He was a man of singularly elevated and religious character; he had something of the eye and temper of a statesman.”  “The Oxford movement owed to him,” again writes Dean Church, “not only its first impulse, but all that was best and most hopeful in it, and when it lost him it lost its wisest and ablest guide and inspirer.”  He and Mr. Palmer, and Mr. A. Perceval, formed, as it were, the right p. 20wing of the little council.  Their Oxford allies were Mr. Froude, Mr. Keble, and Mr. Newman.  From this meeting resulted the Tracts for the Times, and the agitation connected with them.  Now that the tumult of the strife is over, it is evident that they gave new life to the Church; that they saved it—for a time.

The world of art also is indebted to Hadleigh.  It was the birthplace of Thomas Woolner, the great sculptor.  “There is” wrote a critic in The Century, “no living artist, whose work a man of letters approaches with more instructive interest than that of Mr. Woolner, himself, almost as eminent as a poet as a sculptor.  His place in literature as the author of My Beautiful Lady, and Pygmalion, has long been decided, and needs no re-illustration.  But after all the profession of Mr. Woolner’s life has been sculpture.  Thomas Woolner, was born at Hadleigh, on the 17th December, 1825.  At the age of thirteen he began life as the pupil of Mr. Behmes, sculptor in ordinary to the Queen.  There may be persons living at Hadleigh, who remember the boy sculptor, and who could possibly give interesting facts respecting his early proclivities.”  Alas, Hadleigh seems to have preserved no memory of him whatever.  A lady resident in the town writes me, “I have heard that my grandfather, of Shelley Hall, once lent money to Thomas Woolner’s father.  I have asked several of the inhabitants if they remember Thomas Woolner, but I have not been successful in getting information at present.”

p. 21IV.

On one of the hottest of our summer days I chanced to fall into conversation with an elderly decayed tradesman, living in a house erected for such as he.  “Are you comfortable?” I said.

“Well,” was the reply, “we do our best to make ourselves as comfortable as we can.”

I was struck with the good sense of his answer.  Ah, thought I, as we parted, how much happier we would all be if we did as the decayed tradesman did.  The conversation took place opposite the grand Abbey-gate of the ancient town of Bury St. Edmunds.  No Englishman should wander off to the Continent until he has first visited Bury St. Edmunds, a town full of busy life, peopled with more than 16,000 inhabitants, which rejoices in a rich historic past, and which, especially if you are there on a market-day, strikes the stranger as a place of immense activity and bustle.  It is eighty-three miles from Liverpool-street, and you can see all its lions—and they are very numerous—in a day.  On the eastern ridge of it—as Carlyle wrote in Past and Present—still runs, long, black, and massive, a range of monastic ruins.  Its chief claim to fame is that it was the burial place of the young Saxon king known as Edmund, who, in 870, was cruelly murdered by the Danes at Hoxne, not far off.  After the lapse of many years, the body was brought p. 22to Bury, where it was placed in the renowned Abbey, which owes much of its greatness to Edward the Confessor, and which for more than six hundred years remained one of the chief ecclesiastical centres of mediæval England.  Piety, wealth, and superstition did much for the place.  Its churchyard is one of the most picturesque in all the land.  Its churches are marvels of beauty, and one of them contains the tomb of Mary Tudor, Queen of France, and third daughter of Henry VII. of England.  Bury is famous as being the spot where the Barons met before enforcing the signature of Magna Charta by King John, who, on his return from France in 1214, met the nobles at Bury, and confirmed on oath a charter restoring the laws enacted by Edward the Confessor, and abolishing the arbitrary Norman code.  You have to pay sixpence to visit the Abbey grounds, which are left in good order, and which ought to be thrown open to the public; but many people will not grudge the money when they come to the spot where is an inscription denoting that Cardinal Langton and the Barons swore at the altar that they would obtain from King John the satisfaction of Magna Charta, and another, close by, giving the names and titles of the twenty-five Barons who thus met.  A few yards off are the ruins of the refectory where was held the Parliament which decided on the impeachment of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.  Many Parliaments were held at Bury; many kings and queens and mighty personages came there.  It had its martyrs—like Coping, who was hanged for not believing the Prayer-book, and Lawes, an innocent clergyman, who, with forty others, was condemned and executed for witchcraft.  The Jews, also, were very badly treated when, as usual, they were charged with the murder of a Christian child.  The house where the chief Jew lived is still to be seen near the Market Place.  It is now utilised by the police, who will shortly be removed to a finer building which is being erected in the neighbourhood.

According to Carlyle, Bury St. Edmunds “is still a prosperous, rising town; beautifully diversifying with p. 23its clean brick houses, ancient clean streets, the general grassy face of Suffolk looking out right pleasantly from its hill-slope towards the rising sun.”  The earliest reliable records tell of its foundation about 631 by Siegbert, King of the East Anglians.  Many of the monks of the Abbey did good service to literature,—such as John Lydgate, who conducted a school of rhetoric there.  In its Grammar School many distinguished men were educated,—such as Archbishop Sancroft, John Gauden (Bishop of Worcester), John Warren (Bishop of Bangor), Thomas Thurlow (Bishop of Durham), Tomline (Bishop of Winchester), Blomfield (Bishop of London), Lord Cranworth, Lord Keeper Guildford, Sir Thomas Hanmer (Speaker of the House of Commons and the first editor of Shakespeare), Baron Alderson, and Chief Baron Reynolds.  One of its masters, the late Dr. Donaldson, was referred to on one occasion as one of the most learned men in Europe.  There are many scholastic establishments in the town.  One of the most successful in our time is the East Anglian School, founded by the Wesleyans, and carried on by them in a handsome block of buildings occupying a commanding site.

As was to be expected, the town is Churchy, and its politics are Conservative.  The Salvationists, I am told, are doing well, and I have boyish memories of a fat man of the name of Elven, who was rather a leading man among the Suffolk Baptists; but what I was chiefly impressed with was his size.  The family of the late Crabbe Robinson, one of the first of “our foreign correspondents,” was long distinguished in Bury St. Edmunds.  One of his brothers was Mayor several times.  They were all connected with the Presbyterian church in the place; one of Lady Howley’s, kept alive by a scanty endowment—not much matter as things are.  The present worthy minister is a vegetarian, and has a large garden in which he grows his vegetables.  If he is succeeded by a flesh-eating parson, I fear at the present price of butcher’s meat the latter will have rather a hard time of it.  It is interesting to note p. 24that the celebrated Ouida was born in Bury St. Edmunds, and that Robertson, of Brighton, commenced his career here as an articled clerk to a local solicitor.

Blomfield, grandfather of the Bishop of London, kept a school here, and Crabbe Robinson was one of his pupils.  The preacher at that time at the Independent chapel was Mr. Waldegrave.  Crabbe Robinson describes him as “an ignorant, noisy, ranting preacher; he bawled loud, thumped the cushion, and sometimes cried; he was, however, a kind man, and of course he was a favourite of mine.”  As an illustration of the state of religion among the Independents a hundred years ago, it is curious to notice Robinson’s mother’s experience, which he quotes.  “There was no allusion to the Trinity,” he writes, “in it, or any other disputed doctrine.  Indeed, the word belief scarcely occurs.  The one sentiment which runs throughout is a consciousness of personal unworthiness, with which are combined a desire to be united to the Church, and a reliance on the merits of Christ.”  One of the great men who lived later on at Bury was Capel Lofft, a gentleman of good family, an author also on an infinity of subjects.  Capel Lofft is chiefly remembered now as the earliest patron of the poet Blomfield.  He was acting as Magistrate at Bury, and was a leader among the Liberals of the place.  Another distinguished East Anglian, who lived near Bury at that time was the celebrated agricultural writer, Arthur Young.  It was to Bury Madame de Genlis fled for safety on the outbreak of the French Revolution.  The celebrated Pamela escaped with her.  Another French refugee who found temporary shelter at Bury was the Duke de Liancourt.  It was he who brought the news of the capture of the Bastille to the unfortunate Louis, who exclaimed, “Why, that is a revolt.”  “Sire,” answered Liancourt, “it is not a revolt—it is a revolution.”  A Miss Bude, of Bury, who afterwards became the wife of Clarkson, the philanthropist, Mr. Robinson mentions as “the most eloquent woman I have ever known, with the exception of Madame de Staël.”  It was at Bury that Robinson, who had been called to the p. 25bar, made his debut.  At his first dinner with the barristers at the Angel Inn, among the company was Hart, one of the most remarkable men of the circuit.  He was originally a preacher among the Calvinistic Methodists.  It was said to him once, “Mr. Hart, when I hear you in the pulpit I wish you were never out of it; when I see you out of it, I wish you were never in it.”  Bury Gaol had acquired some celebrity for the superior way in which its criminal population were looked after.

Bury St. Edmunds may claim to have given shelter to the immortal Daniel Defoe.  He had been in the pillory before the Royal Exchange, in London, near the Conduit at Cheapside, and the third day at Temple Bar.  He was the hero of the people, who garlanded him with flowers, repeating as they did so, with special gusto, the lines:—

Tell them the men that placed him here
   Are scandals to the times,
Are at a loss to find his guilt,
   And can’t commit his crimes.

But his imprisonment ruined him financially, his brick works at Tilbury failing through his absence.  On the intercession of Harley, he was released early in August, 1704, and at once retired to Bury St. Edmunds to avoid the public gaze, and to recruit his health.  He was not idle there, for he issued pamphlets within a month, besides his reviews.  The chapel where he attended yet remains.  The old Presbyterian Chapel in Churchgate Street must have been erected when he was there.  It is a fine old-fashioned red-brick building, where Rev. Mr. Kennard at present preaches to a rather scanty congregation.

But the modern inhabitants of Bury do not come up to the high literary standard of their predecessors, such as Richard D’Aunger Vyle, tutor to Edward III.; Jocelin of Brakeland, whose chronicle of the monastery is referred to as vividly personifying the religious life of the middle ages; and John Lydgate, who took charge of the School of Rhetoric in the town, and wrote numerous poems, such as the Storie of Thebes, The p. 26Troy Book, and London Lickpenny, one of our earliest satires.  Nor must we forget Richard Byfield, one of Tyndal’s friends, who was formerly Chamberlain for the Monastery.  Richard de Bury, Chancellor to Edward III., and author of the Philobiblion, deserves honourable mention here as a native of the town.  Fielding, in his Amelia, sends one of his characters to Bury for recovery of health, and describes it as a gay and busy town.  Mrs. Inchbald, whose history reads like a romance, was born in a small farm-house at Standingfield, close by Bury St. Edmunds.  The mother, Mrs. Simpson, had a strong taste for the theatre, and her family loved acting quite as much as she did.  They all diligently attended the Bury Theatre—even the rehearsals.  The actors and actresses were looked up to, almost worshipped, and when the theatre was closed the chief amusement of the family consisted in reading aloud the scenes which had been enjoyed so heartily.  The unmarried son left the farm for the stage, and Elizabeth longed to do the same.  Before reaching the age of thirteen, she frequently declared that she would rather die than live any longer without seeing the world.  When a few years older, and ripe in maiden charms, she made her way to London, married an actor, and became an actress; wrote her simple story which yet finds readers, and died in the sixty-eighth year of her age, after she had burnt her memoirs, which would have been well worth reading, and for which she had been offered a thousand guineas.  Another well-known name connected with Bury was that of Calamy, the elder, a rigid Presbyterian, who, about 1630, was one of the town lecturers at Bury.  Subsequently he became Rector of Aldersmanbury, London, and one of the Assembly of Divines, and frequently preached before Parliament.  He lived to see London in ashes, the sight of which broke his heart.  His son Edmund was born at Bury, became a distinguished preacher, was ejected, and formed a congregation in Currier’s Hall, near Cripplegate, London.  His son, who was likewise a leading London p. 27preacher, was the editor of the Abridgement of Mr. Baxter’s History of His Life and Times, and left behind him An Historical Account of My Own Life, a valuable contribution to the annals of his times published in 1829.

There is an anecdote of Rowland Hill, the eccentric preacher, in connection with Bury, too good to be omitted.  He had come to preach at the Congregational Chapel, and, there being no railway then, had travelled in his own carriage, and with his own horses.  Very properly he was anxious about the accommodation provided for the latter.  The minister, Mr. Dewhirst, told him that he need be under no apprehension on that score, as he had a horse-dealer, a member of his church, who would look after them.  “What!” said Rowland Hill, in astonishment, “a horse-dealer a member of a Christian Church! who ever heard of such a thing?”  Evidently at that time horse-dealers had a somewhat doubtful reputation.  Is it not delightful to think how much honester they are now?

Politically Bury St. Edmunds is extinct.  It returned two members since 1292.  Formerly the constituency consisted only of the Corporation.  In 1832 it was enlarged so as to embrace the resident Freemen and the ten-pound householders, and it was the custom for the Duke of Grafton and the Marquis of Bristol each to return a member.  Field-Marshal Conway, the friend of Horace Walpole, was the most distinguished man Bury St. Edmunds ever returned to Parliament.  It is an anomaly that gives Bury the right to return the one member left it by recent legislation.  But we rejoice in anomalies.  For instance, look at Ireland.  Ireland is inferior to the great metropolis, either in regard to population or property, but Ireland rejoices in nearly double the number of legislators it sends to the Imperial Parliament.

p. 28V.

Lying in a valley surrounded by hills, up which the town is gradually climbing, and watered by the picturesque Orwell, which elevates the town to the dignity of a port, and within little more than an hour and a half’s run from London by the Great Eastern Railway, Ipswich may claim to be a place well worth visiting, while to the trader it is known and appreciated as a busy and thriving town.  When I first knew it—at a time a little antecedent to the advent of the illustrious Mr. Pickwick—it was not much of a place to look at.  With the exception of the space opposite the Town Hall, a handsome building all of the modern time, the people seemed sadly hampered for want of room.  In this respect the place has been wonderfully improved of late, as much as any town in Her Majesty’s dominions; not even Birmingham more.  It was one of the first places to have an Arboretum, which is well kept up for the health and comfort of its people.  Then by the river a pleasant promenade has been formed, where, when the tide comes up from Harwich, bringing with it a faint touch of the briny, you may fancy that you are by the side of the sea itself.  That River Orwell is a sight in itself, and is utilised by the young and vigorous as regards boating and bathing in a way conducive to the development of health and muscle alike.  The corn market at Ipswich is one of the most important in the kingdom, and the public buildings are numerous, and p. 29boast not a little of architectural skill, as, for instance, the Grammar School, the theatre, Tacket Street Chapel—one of the oldest representatives of Nonconformity in the place—the pile of buildings forming the offices of The East Anglian Daily Times—the most successful of the East Anglian dailies, which would be a credit even to the metropolis.  One of the handsomest piles of buildings in the town is that occupied by the Museum, the Schools of Art and Science, and the Victorin Free Library.  Since their completion in 1881, the whole of the valuable books and archælogical treasures belonging to the Corporation have been classified and attractively arranged for inspection by visitors.  The old Judge’s chambers have now been turned into a club, which supplies a want felt in such a place.  I think Ipswich was one of the first towns to start a Mechanics’ Institute, still in vigorous existence; while all over Europe you may meet with agricultural machines that had their birth in the great works of Ransomes, Sims, and Jefferies—names dear to the farmer all the land over.  Ipswich is now also becoming celebrated for its boots and shoes, while its tasteful shops indicate a considerable amount of intelligence and wealth as existing among its people to the present day.

Ipswich contains no less than thirteen churches, built, for the most part, in the Perpendicular style of architecture.  Portions of some, however, are of earlier date.  The oak door at St. Mary at the Elms, for instance, is in the Norman style, but slightly enriched, and therefore probably of the older or primary Norman.  The Town Hall stands upon the Cornhill, upon the site of St. Mildred’s Church, many centuries disused.  There also stood an ancient Hall of Pleas; and a Sociary or Seating Room of the Corpus Christi Guilds was erected there in Henry VIII.’s time.  The mansions of Ipswich merchants in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, still to be found ornamenting the parish of St. Clement’s, are worthy of close inspection, as they attest the wealth and importance of those who once inhabited them.  Very many of the houses bear dates, and have fine p. 30ornamental exteriors.  Many of the fine carved corner posts of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries still remain.  A gateway, an interesting relic of the great Cardinal Wolsey, who was a native of Ipswich, stands abutting upon College Street, and near the East end of St. Peter’s Church.  It is of brick and small, and was probably not the chief place of egress attached to the building, which was undoubtedly built in a style of magnificence, and in accordance with the fine taste in architecture which the Cardinal was known to have possessed.  Over the doorway are the arms of Henry VIII., and on each side of the Royal coat is a trefoil-headed niche, though now containing no figures.  The place was erected in 1528.  In the early part of the present century Ipswich was evidently a declining town.  In 1813 its population was only 13,670, when Windham, the great statesman, who visited the place, speaks of it in very favourable terms as a town, picturesque and pleasant.  At this present time the town has a population of 57,260.  One of the most eminent men born in Ipswich was Firmin, the London draper, who was a philanthropist of the noblest character, and who did much for the poor both at Ipswich and in London.  He was a Unitarian when to be anything but orthodox was considered in all circles as a matter of serious censure, and yet he was a friend of a Liberal Bishop.  He is buried in Christ Church, Newgate Street, close to the great school for which he did so much, and to the funds of which he was such a liberal contributor.  In every way he is to be considered a credit to his native town, and as one of the foremost men of the age in which he lived, and which he so greatly adorned.  He set a good example that many of our merchant princes have not been slow to imitate.  Had he been orthodox his fame would have been greater still.

One of the oldest houses in Ipswich is that known as Christ Church, the dwelling place of the Fonnereaus for many generations.  It is one of the oldest houses in England, and has been inhabited for 350 years.  There is not a better example of Elizabethan building to be p. 31met with anywhere.  More than once has Royalty been hospitably entertained there.  The most celebrated Royal visitor was Queen Elizabeth, who made a tour of the Eastern Counties in 1589, and rode through Essex and Suffolk with a crowd of attendant cavaliers.  Her Majesty reached Ipswich in August, and was entertained there four days.  Local tradition says that the bed Her Majesty slept in may be seen to this day in the haunted chamber of the old mansion.  Long before the house was built, there was on the spot the convent and priory of Christ Church, tenanted by monks, known as Black Canons of St. Augustine, who took an active part in the business of the town, and to whom King John granted a charter for a market, which became a very popular one.  As regards the park, the legend is that the bowling-green on the summit, now surrounded by a double avenue of magnificent limes, was one of those places selected by the Druids for purposes of worship.  It is certain that the Danes, who were much given to sailing up and down the Orwell, on plunder bent, chose this very spot as the site of what may be called a hall of justice.  There is reason to believe that on this very green Charles II. played bowls.  There was a celebrated Lord Rochester who visited the house, and found the park-keeper driving two donkeys for the purpose of keeping the turf in good order.  Further tradition says that in order not to hurt the turf the donkeys wore boots, which induced the facetious Earl to observe that Ipswich was “a town without people, that there was a river without water, and that asses wore boots.”  Christ Church is now on sale.  Ultimately it is to be hoped it will be purchased by the Corporation for a people’s palace and park.

In the old times Ipswich must have been a much more picturesque place than it is to-day.  All its old records are religiously preserved by a worthy townsman, Mr. John Glyde, in his Illustrations of Old Ipswich, a handsome work, which is a credit to the town, and which ought to find a place in the library of East Anglians wealthy enough to purchase it.  He p. 32writes lovingly of its gates and walls indicating the lamentable state of insecurity by which our forefathers were embarrassed in those good old times, when the Curfew Bell tolled every evening at eight o’clock.  “There is, perhaps,” says an antiquarian writer, “no house in the kingdom which, for its size, is more curiously or quaintly ornamented than the ancient house still standing in the Butter Market.”  The tradition is that Charles II. was hidden for awhile in that house after his defeat at Worcester.  Be that as it may, the Ipswich traders, like John Gilpin, were men of credit and renown, and Fuller, in the seventeenth century, spoke of the number of wealthy merchant houses in Ipswich.  It was in the reign of Elizabeth, remarks Mr. Glyde, that Ipswich seems to have attained the zenith of its fame.  There is scarcely a branch of foreign commerce carried on at the present time, with the exception of trade with China, that was not prosecuted with more or less entirety in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.  At that time Ipswich was much richer in shipping than Yarmouth, Southampton, or Lynn.  Foreign weavers discovered the advantage of using English wool, and the gold of Flanders found its way into the pockets of English traders.  The town still boasts a memorial of Cardinal Wolsey’s munificent liberality.  One of its representatives was no less a distinguished person than Bacon—

The wisest, greatest, meanest of mankind.

Cavendish, the explorer of the world, was one of the personages at one time often to be seen in its streets—streets along which had ridden in triumph Queens Mary and Elizabeth, to say nothing of the Saxon Queen, who at one time resided in the town.  But if Ipswich knows no longer the grandeur and pageantry of the past, if its Black Friars are vanished, it is still the abiding place of that new and better spirit to which Cromwell appealed, and not in vain, when he sought to make this England of ours great and free.

p. 33“I knew of no town to be compared to Ipswich,” wrote old Cobbett, “except it be Nottingham, and there is this difference that Nottingham stands high and on one side looks over a fine country whereas Ipswich is in a dell, meadows running up above it and a beautiful arm of the sea below it.  From the town itself you can see nothing, but you can in no direction go from it a charter of a mile without finding views that a painter might crave, and then the country round is so well cultivated.”  A good deal has been done for Ipswich since Cobbett’s day.  It has its public promenades and in the neighbourhood of the river there still lingers somewhat of the scenery Gainsborough loved to paint.  There is also a good deal of literary association connected with Ipswich.  The White Horse Inn still remains in much the same state as it was in the times of Mr. Pickwick, “famous,” wrote Dickens, “in the neighbourhood, in the same degree as a prize ox, or county paper chronicled turnip or unwieldy pig for its enormous size.”  Any one who has sojourned there will find it easy to understand how the illustrious Pickwick came to mistake a lady’s bed-chamber for his own.  Why should not the Great White Horse be as dear to the admirers of Dickens as the Leather Bottle at Cobham?  If the admirers of Pickwick rush as they do by hundreds to Cobham to view the room where Pickwick slept, why, it may be asked, should not a similar patronage be extended to the Great White Horse at Ipswich.

Curious people besides Pickwick and his friends have favoured Ipswich.  There lived there in the reign of William III., a family known as the “odd family,” a most appropriate name, as the following facts clearly prove.  Every event, good, bad, or indifferent, came to that family in an odd year, or on an odd day of the month, and every member of it was odd in person, manner, or behaviour.  Even the letters of their christian names always amounted to an odd number.  The father and mother were Peter and Rahab; their seven p. 34children (all boys) bore the names of Solomon, Roger, James, Matthew, Jonas, David, and Ezekiel.  The husband possessed only one leg, and his wife only one arm; Solomon was blind in his left eye, and Roger lost his right optic by an accident.  James had his left ear pulled off in a quarrel; Matthew’s left hand had but three fingers; Jonas had a stump foot; David was humpbacked; and Ezekiel was 6ft. 2in at the age of 19.  Every one of the children had red hair, notwithstanding the fact that the father’s hair was jet black and the mother’s white.  Strange at birth all died as strange.  The father fell into a deep sawpit and was killed; the wife died five years after of starvation.  Ezekiel enlisted, was afterwards wounded in 23 places, but recovered.  Roger, James, Matthew, Jonas, and David died in 1713, in different places on the same day; Solomon and Ezekiel were drowned in the Thames in 1723.

Thomas Colson, known to Ipswich people as Robinson Crusoe, died in the year 1811.  He was originally a wool-comber, then a weaver, but the failure of that employment induced him to enter the Suffolk Militia, and while quartered in Leicester with his Regiment, he learned the trade of stocking weaving, which he afterwards followed in Suffolk.  But this occupation he shortly exchanged for that of fisherman on the Orwell.  His little craft, which he made himself, was a curiosity in its way, and seemed too crazy to live in bad weather, and yet in it he toiled day and night, in calm or storm.  Subject to violent chronic complaints, with a mind somewhat disordered, in person tall and thin, with meagre countenance and piercing blue eyes, he was thus described by a contemporary poet—

With squalid garments round him flung,
And o’er his bending shoulders hung,
A string of perforated stones,
With knots of elm and horses bones.
He dreams that wizards leagued with hell,
Have o’er him cast their deadly spell;
Though pinching pains his limbs endure,
He holds his life by charms secure,
And, while he feels the torturing ban,
No wave can drown the spell-bound man.

p. 35—But this security was the means of his death.  In October, 1811, there was a great storm on the Orwell, and he was driven in his boat on the mud.  He refused to leave his vessel, though advised and implored to do so.  The ebb of the tide drew his boat into deep water, and he was drowned.

Amongst the charitable women of Ipswich must be mentioned Miss Parish, a maiden lady, who died there in 1810.  She seems to have relieved everyone who was in distress.  At the time of her death she had actually twenty pensioners living in her house, besides children supported at different schools, while numbers were cheered by her occasional donations.  She was a good Samaritan indeed.  It is to be hoped there are to be found many such in the Ipswich of to-day.

p. 36VI.

We have heard a good deal of Norwich.  When the summer comes, some enterprising journalist manages to find his way there, and if he has a copy of Evelyn, waxes eloquent over its gardens, and market-place, and ancient castle, and its memories of Sir Thomas Browne.  I write of the Norwich of to-day—of living Norwich—a city with a population of more than a hundred thousand—that has renewed its youth—that is marching on like John Brown’s soul; a Norwich that was, as I first remember it, a seat of Parliamentary and political corruption, of vice and ignorance, of apathy and sloth.  It is a grand old city, none grander anywhere in England.  It is a place to me of pleasant memories, and the stranger within its gates must admit the charm of its grey towers and churches, its cathedral, its well-wooded suburbs extending over a wide range of hills.  In that respect some claim for Norwich that it resembles Jerusalem.  From all I can make out I should be inclined to give Norwich the preference.  It has fewer Jews and not so many fleas.

And first let me speak of living Norwich religiously.  One of our wise kings said that the spire of Harrow was an outward and visible sign of the Church.  Norwich rejoices in many such signs.  Perhaps one of p. 37the most prominent at this time is the new Roman Catholic Cathedral at the end of St. Giles’s, which has been nine years in building, which is being erected regardless of expense, and which is far from completed yet.  I heard Cardinal Manning, who was the most complete exemplification of the union of the wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove I ever saw, in one of his sermons compare the Church of Rome to a lamb in the midst of wolves.  At Norwich, as in most parts of England, the lamb is by no means a little one, and it may be in time it will develop into a ram, and a ram can do not a little mischief.  What sign of life does the State Church give?  Norwich is full of parsons; are any of them men of note?  It had one it borrowed from dissent, Dr. Cunningham Geikie, but he could not stand the climate, and now lives at Bournemouth.  What sign of life, again I ask, does the Norwich State Church exhibit?  Alas, the reply is not satisfactory.  With the exception of its new Dean, there is no clergyman of note among them.  Dean Lefroy is able, earnest, active, a worker in many ways, social as well as religious, and on Sunday evening fills the nave of the Cathedral, where he conducts a service minus the Church prayers, and plus Moody and Sankey hymns.  He is Evangelical, and is making that influence felt.  He is an Irishman, and as a matter of coarse fervid and eloquent.  When he came to Norwich, I am told, he expressed his hope that he should soon empty some of its many chapels.  At present he has not succeeded in the attempt.  I don’t think his church understands the way to go to work aright in that respect.  When I was last in Norwich the Primitive Methodists were in full conference.  All the religious bodies in Norwich gave them hearty greeting except the Church, and the intolerance of its attitude naturally occasioned considerable unfriendly comment.  Wesleyan Methodism in Norwich and throughout Norfolk is making great headway.  Still true to its old policy, which has been defined as a penny a week, a shilling a quarter, and justification by faith, it has gone in heartily p. 38for the Forward Movement, and the evidences are to be met with everywhere.  Congregationalism is also preparing to commence a new cause in a hitherto neglected district, and it is time it did, as it is nearly forty years since the new Chapel-in-the-Field, now under the ministerial care of the Rev. J. P. Perkins, started on its successful career.  It already has two prosperous mission stations as centres of religious activity and life.  It is needless to say that Princes Street Chapel flourishes and prospers as it has ever done since Rev. George Barrett—one of the most winning of men in the Congregational ministry—has occupied its pulpit.  The establishment of the Pleasant Sunday Afternoons during the past two years has been attended with great success and blessing.  The large congregations which crowd the Church Sunday by Sunday prove that this class meets a need.  It is a pleasing feature of this work that it has called into active service some members of the church who in the past had engaged in no recognised form of Christian work.  I was interested to find that at the old aristocratic Unitarian Chapel, known as the Octagon, they have Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Services and that Rev. J. P. Perkins has conducted a service there.  In Norwich, as elsewhere, all the churches of all religious bodies suffer more or less by the tendency of people successful in business to live as much out of the city as possible.  Christian young men and women seem well looked after.  The Church young men have a good institution in a street leading into Orford Hill, while the others meet in one of the old mansions in St. Giles’s Street.  Education prospers in the old city.  I found a junior institute in connection with the Church where the classes are well attended; and the Board School educates 12,000 children, while the denominational schools between them muster but 6,000.  The School Board has established one of a higher grade, which is a great success, while the great Norwich publishers, Jarrold and Son, by their publications have done much to supply the people with healthy and popular literature.

p. 39To commercial Norwich I can devote but little space.  The city has flourished by reason of its being placed on two rivers—the Wensum and the Yare.  The Great Eastern Railway gave it a tremendous lift, and, next to Mr. Colman, is perhaps the largest employer of labour in the district.  The celebrated Carrow Works of Messrs. J. and J. Colman, manufacturers of mustard, starch, corm-flour, and laundry-blue, are known all the world over.  Next in importance is the manufactory of Norwich ales, as the county of Norfolk has long been celebrated for its growth of the finest malting barley, and Norwich is, unfortunately, overdone with public-houses.  I find that Messrs. Colman have established extensive Sunday and week-day schools for the children of their workpeople, and employ two Bible-women to visit them in their homes.  I cannot find that the Norwich brewers have distinguished themselves much in this way, though it is to be feared that the need of such agencies among their workpeople must be greater than it is amongst those employed by Messrs. Colman.  Norwich is a great place for clothing and the manufacture of boots and shoes.  I suppose Harmer and Co. are at the head of the great clothing factories.  Their new factory in St. Andrew’s is an ornament to the city, and is perhaps one of the finest in the world.  It boasts a marvellous system of ventilation introduced by an American company, which has never before been tried in this country, and which every one interested in such matters ought to study.  Mr. Harmer, who in 1888 was Mayor of Norwich, takes a deep interest in its welfare, and is certainly a man whose opinions deserve consideration.  He thinks that the contemplated legislation, which has for its ultimate object the doing away with outdoor work, will press very hardly upon the working classes of the city, and will be more injurious to them than their employers.  The practice of the firm has been to take into their employ young girls leaving school, who soon acquire much dexterity in their work, and who, when they marry, can be—and many of them are supplied with sewing machines to use at home.  p. 40Be that as it may, he has done more than any one in the great work of showing how a factory can be rendered healthy, and is to be held in reverence as one of our greatest practical sanitary reformers.  One word more.  Norwich is the centre of a great agricultural district, and its cattle market may be described as the largest of the kind in all England.  In one year alone as many as 95,000 beasts, 137,000 sheep, and 14,000 pigs were received for the market.  Till we all become vegetarians, Norwich will, by reason of its cattle market alone, flourish as a living city famed for its flesh pots, and beloved of John Bull.

Norwich has been a famous city ever since, at any rate, the time when Sir Thomas Browne wrote his famed Religio de Medici there.  It was to the house of Mrs. Taylor, wife of a Norwich tradesman, that Sir James Mackintosh and the other leading Liberals of the day used to repair to hold high discourse on the origin of society and the rights of man.  Windham, one of the greatest statesmen of his day, the friend of Johnson and Burke, represented Norwich.  There lived William Taylor, the friend and correspondent of Southey, who was the first to open up to the public the vast treasury of German thought.  Harriet Martineau was born there, as was likewise her more celebrated brother James, who still lives to illustrate the mental and religious speculation of our day.  A grand old city is Norwich, with its castle, now a museum, looking over it all, with its St. Andrew’s Hall, now utilised for concerts and public meetings, with its great markets, with its Colman’s Mustard Mills, with its old houses and narrow streets.  The workman, with his strikes, has driven away from Northampton a good deal of its boot and shoe manufacture.  What Northampton has lost Ipswich, Colchester, and especially Norwich, have gained.  There is beautiful country round Norwich; and Norwich ought to be eminently holy, for there are forty churches there, many of them very ancient.  We hear a good deal of the piety of our forefathers.  In Norwich we realise that fact as well as anywhere.  Norwich, p. 41consequently, is the home of bell-ringers.  Mr. Suffling tells us, “I suppose no other place in England can boast of so many bell-ringers, or such good ones, as Norwich.”  On certain occasions you are deafened by the clamour of its bells.

Away from Ipswich, and Colchester, and Norwich there is a delicious sleepiness about the old East Anglian towns, as if they feel they have done their duty in their day and are out of the world.  They are all in a declining way.  They have all seen better days.  They have not quite died out, because the Great Eastern Railway has connected them all together and insists on their sharing in the labours and triumphs of the present day.  But they had rather not.  They would rather live on their past glories—Bungay, with its renowned castle, Framlingham with its castle still more renowned, Bury with its memories of its martyr king, Woodbridge mildly illuminated by the fame of Bernard Barton, the Quaker poet, Beccles with its fine church, Halesworth where Archbishop Whateley was for many years the rector.  They are all places to live in happily if you have had enough of excitement and would shun the wicked world and its ways.

p. 42VII.

One of the most curious corners of old England is known, and has been known to the community for many years, as King’s Lynn, Norfolk, on the borders of the Wash.  It was a great place for traders.  By means of it in the olden time many a tun of good red wine came into the country, and it is still a great place for trade, as it has fine docks, available to steamers with a tonnage of 2,000 tons.  Thus Lynn is a great port for the landing of foreign sugar (which ought to be made at home) from Hamburg.  A hundred years ago its annual shipping revenue was only exceeded by the ports of London, Liverpool, Bristol and Hull.  It is also easily available by means of railway communication, which renders it accessible from all quarters—the Great Northern, the Midland, and the Great Eastern all find their way to Lynn.  The population has rather declined since the last census; but still the town is a large one—upwards of 18,000 in population—and one wonders how all the people hidden away in its shops and narrow streets can manage to find a living.  The fact is, it is the centre of an enormous agricultural district, and thus twice a week has a large extra population, drawn thither by the attractions of its Saturday and Tuesday markets.  There seems to be no great manufacturing industry, the chief being that of Mr. Savage, who employs about three hundred people, all engaged in the manufacture of various p. 43kinds of roundabouts and steam velocipedes, such as are seen at our country fairs.  It is the most important business of the kind in the Eastern Counties, and of it the people of the Town of Lynn are justly proud.  Nevertheless, to most of us the charm of Lynn is chiefly antiquarian.  Its wonderful old churches are well worth visiting.  In the good old times Lynn was a fortified town, and there are still abundant remains of the old walls, as well as a handsome Gothic structure, known as the South-gate.  Unfortunately the East-gate, an equally fine specimen of ancient architecture, was demolished in the first year of the present century.  In the centre of one of the public walks, well shaded by trees, which in summer cast a grateful shade, stands an ancient chapel, known as the Red Mount, a great resort for pilgrims.  Stowe tells us it was in the reign of King John that Lynn was fortified.  The cup used by the Mayor on the occasion of municipal festivities is said to have been the gift of that monarch, as is likewise the sword usually borne before the Mayor.  In the Museum is preserved one of the old ducking stools, which have gone out of fashion in consequence of the increasing good temper of the ladies in these latter days.  There is an immense deal to see in Lynn.  I would gladly have tarried there longer, especially as I obtained good quarters at the Temperance Hotel, which seemed to be much patronised by commercial men.  I found many of them there after the day’s work was over, reading one or other of the good books provided for them by the Christian Commercial Travellers’ Society, a society which does much good in many ways.  Lynn has a good hospital and a fine library.

Lynn has given birth to some notabilities, at any rate.  In 1752 Fanny Burney was born there, who wrote novels which still find readers.  The fair Fanny lived to be the friend of Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale, and, as Madame D’Arblay, left us diaries and letters which give us a vivid idea of life when George III. was king.  As is the case generally, nothing in her childhood p. 44indicated that she would, while still a young woman have secured for herself an honourable and permanent place among English writers.  Then there is the great African explorer and artist, Thomas Baines, whose name, says a writer in The Cape Monthly Magazine, must ever be associated with the explorers of the country north of the Cape Colony, in the same rank with Livingstone, Chapman, Anderson, and Green—a man to whom the wilderness brought gladness and the mountains peace.  He was a native of that nursery of the Anglo-Saxon race whose energy he so truly inherited—Norfolk.  He was born at Lynn in 1822.  “His father,” writes his biographer, “also a man of considerable energy, was the master of a small vessel belonging to that port, and no doubt his marine life, as well as the striking scenery of the Norfolk coast, gave a tinge to the early artistic tendencies of his son.”  As was the case with our great painter of cattle, it was while he was learning coach painting that he became an artist.  He landed at the Cape, where he managed to obtain a scanty living by painting African landscape, and teaching drawing.  And then, when there was war with the natives, he won reputation by painting the leading incidents of the engagements.  It is to the credit of Lynn that on his return to his native town, in 1857, he was presented with the Freedom of the Borough.  Alas! his career as an explorer and discoverer was cut short by African fever, and he now sleeps in Durban Cathedral, where a monument records his memory.  Eugene Aram was an usher in the Lynn Grammar School; Sawtree, a Wycliffe priest, burnt at Smithfield in 1400, came from Lynn; and Bishop Goodwin, just deceased, was born at Lynn in 1818.  John Copegrave, a Provincial of the Austin Friars, and author of the Chronicle of England, and Geoffry, a great grammarian, and author of a Latin-English Dictionary, were natives of Lynn.

Politically, Lynn has rather a celebrated history.  Formerly it was a close borough, belonging to the Walpole family.  The great Whig Minister represented p. 45it in Parliament, as did also his equally celebrated son.  Lord George Bentinck, it may be remembered, sat for Lynn, also the great diplomatist Sir Stratford Canning, known and feared in Turkey.  But Lynn has opened its eyes and burst its old traditions.  For the first time in its history it has a Liberal majority on its Town Council; of course the Noncons. in the place have had much to do with this.  I find that no less than six of the members of the Congregational church, under the care of Rev. A. Furner, are members of the Corporation.  Congregationalism in such a city of churches and antiquity as Lynn is, has not been much of a success.  Baptists and Independents were both at a low ebb, but they are reviving greatly, and the night I was there I attended a meeting in the mission-hall, where I found a clergyman and his Dissenting brethren standing side by side.  The Baptists, who are now doing well since Rev. Thomas Perry has been amongst them, have an interesting history.  In 1687, Mr. Thomas Grantham, a General Baptist Minister, well-known in Lincolnshire, and related to some of the first families in that county, came to Lynn at the period referred to, and obtained permission to preach in the town-hall.  He died at Norwich in 1692.  In 1690, a persecution broke out against the Baptists at Lynn, and James Markam, their minister, was proceeded against under the Conventicle Act, for attempting to establish “a new religion,” on the deposition of two informers, and a fine of £20 was levied on the house in which they met, £20 on the preacher, and 5s. on each hearer.  In 1818, there were many high Calvinists among the Lynn Baptists, and some of the most devoted friends of the cause, believing such sentiments to be an unfair view of the Gospel and injurious, withdrew, and went to the Independent Chapel.  In 1839, the veteran preacher, Thomas Wigner, came to Lynn, little anticipating, he tells us, that in the then state of his health he would be there long, but he was there many years.  Lynn has a Union chapel, and it must be remembered, to its credit, that its pulpit was occupied by Rev. William Hull, a very superior preacher indeed, p. 46of whom the late Dean Stanley declared that he was the Robertson of the Nonconformist Church.

One of the most celebrated of Lynn residents was, perhaps, the Rev. William Richards, M.D., who was for twenty years pastor of the General Baptist Church in that town.  He commenced his career in Wales, not many miles from Haverford West.  In 1773, at the age of 24, he entered the Bristol “Academy.”  Two years later he became co-pastor at Pershore, with the late Dr. John Ash, author of the English Dictionary.  Perhaps it was through contact with Dr. Ash that he first conceived the idea of writing his very popular Welsh-English Dictionary.  In 1776, he settled at Lynn, and during his residence there wrote, besides many other works, a “History of Lynn” in two octavo volumes, printed in 1812, at Lynn, by W. G. Whittingham.  He willed his library to the Brown University, Rhode Island, from which university he received his doctor’s degree.  He died in 1818, in Wales, where for supposed unsoundness in the faith—a groundless charge, however—he suffered a good deal.  Dr. Richards was a man of exemplary life, of much learning and of downright independence of judgment, and from all I can learn of him he deserved to be remembered at Lynn and throughout the country.  Since his time, there has been advance in politics in Lynn, as well as elsewhere.  When the judicious Dod published his Electoral Facts, the town had one newspaper—Conservative, of course—with a circulation of 654 copies; now it has a Liberal newspaper as well, and both papers enjoy a large circulation; and owing to the facilities afforded by the Great Eastern Railway, Lynn has its London morning papers down by nine o’clock.  At the period of the passing of the Reform Act, Lynn had a voting force of 660.  One of the best things I saw in Lynn, as I was groping my way in the uncertain light, was the fine schoolroom of the Congregational Church, filled with a cluster of clean, happy looking girls, all hard at work sewing.  I knew no living soul.  I felt I was an intruder, and popped out as speedily as I popped in; but I have the picture p. 47before me as I write, of happy girls under the sanction of the Christian Church, preserved from the contagion of the streets, learning to work.  Christianity has been dogmatic long enough, a little mild and benevolent socialism will not do it much harm.  This old world town may be described as a city of churches, and one of its most characteristic remains is Road Mount Chapel, a curious octangular structure containing a beautiful but tiny perpendicular apartment, that once contained the rood of our lady of Lynn.  Every schoolboy knows how unwarily, King John nearly lost his life in crossing Lynn Wash, and did lose all his baggage, devoured by the unexpected flood.

p. 48VIII.

“I often wonder,” said a local tradesman to me the other day as I was contemplating the majestic ruins of Framlingham Castle and the seat of power in the Eastern Counties, “that the Great Eastern Railway does not run excursion trains here.”  I must own that I shared in that feeling.  I am sure thousands would rush from town to see the place if they had a day excursion there.  The railway in question has done a good deal for Framlingham.  When I knew it as a lad it was out of the world altogether.  It laid quite off the turnpike road.  To get to London a Framlingham resident had to make his way to Wickham Market.  Now it has a railway to itself, and that railway takes you to London, and thus makes Framlingham a living part of the British Empire of to-day.  In one respect this has been a great gain for the town, as it led to the establishment, in 1864, of the Albert Memorial College, a handsome pile of buildings adapted for the accommodation of 500 boys.  The object of the institution is to provide for the middle classes, at a moderate cost, a practical training, which shall prepare the pupils for the active duties of agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial life, and qualification for the Civil Service and other competitive examinations.  The religious instruction is in accordance with the doctrines and practice of the Church of England.  But I am glad to find that there is a conscience clause for the sons of Dissenters who are exempted from Church of England teaching p. 49and from Sunday attendance at the parish church or college chapel.  It speaks well for the school that, though at one time it was in a declining state, for the last few years it has been in a very prosperous condition.  It is interesting, as you stand on the lawn in front of the college and look at the decaying ruins of Framlingham Castle, to note how we have swept into a younger day.  Ages have passed away since Hugh Bigod lived there; indeed, the origin of the castle is somewhat obscure.  Its last royal occupant was Queen Mary.  Thence she proceeded in state to take possession of her crown, amidst crowds of misguided men, who had rallied round her standard in the hope that she would respect the work of Reformation begun by her father, and continued by her brother.  When the castle was built, brute force ruled the land.  When the new college was erected, it had come to be understood that knowledge was power.  The college flourishes; the old castle is a ruin.  The world moves, after all.

I find Framlingham itself but little changed.  There was a barber who, in my youth, had a picture of Absalom caught by his hair in the wood, while David cries—

Oh, Absalom, my son, my son,
Thou wouldst not have died,
Hadst thou a periwig on!

—That barber is no more, and I know not what has become of his sign.  As an object lesson in history, undying interest attaches to Framlingham Castle and its adjacent church.  The castle must have been one of the largest in England.  As our Quaker poet, Bernard Barton, wrote—

Still stand thy battlemented towers,
   Firm as in bygone years;
As if within yet ruled the powers
   Of England’s haughtiest peers.

When I first knew the castle it was used as a poor-house.  The home of the Bigods and the Howards is p. 50utilised in this way no longer.  The castle hall is now devoted to the recovery of small debts and other equally local matters.  In the good old times the nobles settled debts, small or great, in a much easier way.

The church was erected by one of the Mowbrays, and the tower, which is a handsome one, and from the top of which, on a clear day, you get a view as far as Aldeburgh, contains a clock presented by Sir Henry Thompson, our great surgeon, in memory of his father, a highly-respected inhabitant of Framlingham, who did much for the Congregational cause in that town.  “Sir Henry Thompson was my Sunday School teacher,” said an intelligent tradesman to me, “and I have the book in which he signed his name as having taken the Temperance Pledge.”  Framlingham—let me state by way of parenthesis—early gave in her adhesion to the Temperance movement.  In the cemetery there is a monument to a worthy inhabitant of the name of Larner.  He was the great Apostle of Temperance in the Eastern Counties.  “He was for years,” Mr. Thomas Whittaker writes, in his Life’s Battles in Temperance Armour, “the man of Suffolk, the moving power, the undaunted spirit, the unwearied defender; and when it is remembered how special were the difficulties and how numerous the foes, the way in which he brought the whole district under his influence, and even to treat him with loving respect, it is the more remarkable.  When he died the heart pulsation seemed to stop.”  Out of the world as Framlingham is, and old-fashioned as is the town even to this day, there is a good deal of life in it, and especially so in religious matters.  Including the college chapel, there are nine places of worship in it, for a population not much over two thousand.  As far as I can make out, the Salvation Army here, as elsewhere, has helped to thin the attendance at most of the existing places of worship.  If they can show a more excellent way it is rather a reflection upon the existing pulpits of the place.  In spite of the Salvation Army, I met a man in the street who complained to me that Framlingham was dull.  “You p. 51see, sir,” said he, “we are in an agriculturists’ district, and the farmers ha’n’t got any money.”  It seems to me that they ought to have—at any rate, the public has to pay quite enough for its beef and mutton, and such farming produce as butter, and milk, and eggs.  One odd thing in Framlingham is a tomb in a garden, which you pass on your way from the station, which preserves the memory of one Thomas Mills, a native, who seems to have made money, which he bequeathed to charitable purposes.  Normans and Saxons seem to have had between them a good deal to do with Framlingham Castle and Church.  At one time or other one of the parsons connected with the place was Catholic and Protestant, and thus went with the times.  At a later period one had a more sensitive conscience, and was one of the ejected.  Framlingham, like most English towns, seems to have been inhabited by all sorts and conditions of men.  But its castle ought to be a rare place for excursionists to visit, and the country round is rich in rural charms.  In the world, Framlingham, now that its castle is a ruin, and the power of the feudal lords gone, does not seem to have done much.  It has had its day, and that day with its lords and ladies, and fighting men, must have been a grand one.  Perhaps it’s as well that they

Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waiting.

p. 52IX.

In the year 1727 there was born in Sudbury, and baptized in the Independent Meeting there, Thomas Gainsborough, one of the earliest and the greatest of English painters.  The family were Dissenters, and in the meeting-house, now under the care of the Rev. Ira Bosely, who seems very happy and successful in his new sphere of labour, are the memorials of two of them who were buried in the graveyard attached.  There are two bequests of the Gainsborough family for the support of the minister for the time being, of which the present incumbent made favourable mention when I saw him the other day, in the comfortable manse attached to the meeting-house.  One of the items in the ancient account-book seemed to be curious.  It was as follows: “Four shillings for tobacco.”  I have only to assume in the good old times our pious ancestors had an idea of Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Services, and for that purpose possibly the tobacco had been acquired.  Be that as it may, we may be sure the Gainsborough family were as remarkable as any that then attended on the means of grace.  In person, Mr. Gainsborough’s father is represented as a fine old man, who wore his hair carefully parted, and was remarkable for the whiteness and regularity of his teeth.  According to the custom of the last century he always wore a sword and was an adroit fencer, possessing the fatal facility of using the weapon in either hand.  He introduced into Sudbury the straw trade from Coventry, and p. 53he managed to keep it in his own hands.  He had a large family of five sons and four daughters.  One of the latter married a Dissenting Minister at Bath.  One son, John, was a great mechanical genius, and invented wings, by means of which he essayed to fly, but, to the amusement of the spectators, found himself, instead of soaring into the air, dropped in a ditch by the way.  Humphrey Gainsborough, the painter’s second brother, settled as a Dissenting Minister at Henley-on-Thames.  Of him, the celebrated Edgeworth, the father of the equally celebrated daughter, says he had never known a man of a more inventive mind.  Thomas, the artist, must have inherited something of his artistic skill from his mother, for she herself loved to paint fruit and flowers, but with the boy, painting became the one great object of his life, and he was always at it, even when he should have been studying at the ancient grammar school where he was a pupil; and thus it is Sudbury has two great men to boast of—Thomas Gainsborough, the artist, and Simon de Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was beheaded by the populace in Wat Tyler’s rebellion, and whose skull is still shown you in St. Gregory’s Church.  I have known many thick skulls in East Anglia, but surely that of the martyred Archbishop must have been one of the thickest to have lasted all this time.

Sudbury was the painter’s studio.  It is now a clean, well-built, and slightly uninteresting provincial town, with a population of about eight thousand.  But, said a commercial traveller to me, as I was deploring the barrenness of the land, “It is a good place for business.”  It lies in the flat country of the valley of the Stour, a river which expands into a lake when the waters are out.  When Gainsborough was a boy it was ancient and picturesque—and dirty.  At any rate it is thus described in a poem written by Daniel Herbert, one of the old Noncons., a bunting manufacturer, and occasional preacher in the old meeting-house, who tells us

I live at Sudbury, that dirty place,
Where are a few poor sinners saved by grace.

p. 54—Well, the dirt is gone; but when as late as the disfranchisement of the burgh, for bribery and corruption, which took place early in the reign of Queen Victoria, when the free and independent returned to Parliament a gentleman of colour, renowned for his vanity and wealth, it was evident that a good many poor sinners remained who had not been saved by grace.

Allan Cunningham treats the marriage of Gainsborough as all conventional writers do.  The lady—her name was Margaret Burr, and she had £200 a year of her own—made Gainsborough “a prudent, a kind, and a submissive wife.”  As the lady was but sixteen, and her husband was eighteen, at the time of their wedding, one cannot be surprised to find at a later period Gainsborough looking upon his wife as a somewhat unsuitable companion.  Cunningham writes, “The courtship was short.  The young pair left Sudbury, leased a small house at a rent of £24 a year in Ipswich, and, making themselves happy in mutual love, conceived they were settled for life.”

Sudbury was the birth-place of Enfield, whose Speaker was a well-known text book in the past generation.  Then our William Durbyn, author of the well-known Commentary on the Epistle of Jude, was also born there.  He died a martyr for the truth’s sake in Newgate in 1685.  The Grammar School of Sudbury dates as far back as 1591.  Protestant as the town was, the Sudbury burghers marched to Framlingham to defend Mary’s rights against the attempted usurpation of Northumberland and his faction, she assuring them of her protection in the observance of their religion—a promise she shamefully failed to keep.  It seems that Wilson, the Sudbury lecturer and preacher, was so harassed by the Bishop and Archbishop, that with Winthrop, afterwards Governor of Massachusetts, he went over with a large band of the later Pilgrim Fathers to New England.  Sudbury itself at one time seems to have rejoiced in a Christian toleration as refreshing as it was rare.  In 1670, or thereabouts, it p. 55was the practice of the Nonconformists to preach in All Saints Church, while one of the early pastors of the Congregational Church lived with his family in All Saints Vicarage for eleven years.  It appears from the town records that this church was without a regular incumbent for a long time, and that after the Dutch war, the church was used as a prison for the Dutch prisoners, there being at one time 500 of them quartered in the town.

The country round the old town—the town of Gainsborough’s boyhood—must have been singularly picturesque.  The boy painter saw in it a beauty which he never forget; he told Thicknesse, his first patron, that “there was not a picturesque clump of trees, nor even a single tree of any beauty; no, nor hedge-row, stem or root,” in or around his native town, which was not from his earliest years treasured in his memory.  It is interesting to note the painter’s progress.  As you walk from the railway you come to Friar Street, where the painter married and took a house for a short while.  A few steps further on bring you to Sepulchre Street, and you see the site of the house where he was born, opposite which is now the Christopher Inn.  There was a large garden behind the house; and it was there the young artist sketched the face of the culprit whom he watched steal his father’s pears.  That was his first attempt at portrait-painting, and a very successful one, as it led to the conviction of the culprit.  The Pear Tree is still shown.  Apparently Sudbury is famous for its pears.  I saw many of them in the gardens belonging to some of the better houses.  It was a pleasure for me to attempt to follow in the artist’s steps.  For instance, I made my way to Brandon Wood, where the poet loved to go sketching.  If the town is improved so as to be almost unrecognisable, the features of the country remain the same; nature builds more enduringly than man.  There are trees in Brandon Wood that might have been there in Gainsborough’s time.  Over the Essex border, a couple of miles off, is a landscape which still remains as it is drawn in our National p. 56Gallery.  His paintings of a view near Sudbury and a neighbouring church are more or less still true to life.

Modern Sudbury seems to know but little of her most distinguished son.  It is true that he left it at the age of eighteen to take up his residence at Ipswich, then at Bath, and afterwards in London, where he was somewhat of a rival to Sir Joshua Reynolds, and where he achieved fame and fortune as one of the founders of the Royal Academy.  It is true that he sleeps not on the banks of the Stour, but on those of the Royal Thames at Kew, the village dear to his patron, George III.  But Sudbury is singularly careless of the artist’s memory.  As I passed the Liberal Club I accosted a respectable individual—I assume he was such, as he was evidently a member of the club—and in answer to my enquiries (he was an elderly man) he said, “I have lived in Sudbury all my life, and have no idea where Gainsborough was born,” but he did point me out the residence of Mr. Duport, a relative of the artist’s, and where some of his family portraits were preserved; but I am unable to state whether they are there now, as the house was shut up.  There ought to be a good many of Gainsborough’s early attempts to be found in Sudbury, as he was very liberal in giving them to his friends.  It is not too late for Sudbury to wipe off the reproach of her neglect.  It is not too late to mark the sites illustrated by his genius; or to do honour to the memory of her greatest glory; or to show to the lads of the Grammar School there what one of its alumni did, and how he did it, and what he became.  In these days culture and education are supposed to work wonders.  In the career of Gainsborough, we note the success of one who had little of either, but who did wonders, nevertheless, by his industry and genius alone.  We may note that after Gainsborough left his native town he rarely seems to have visited the place, only occasionally to give his vote on the Tory side.

There may yet be letters of Gainsborough to appear, to interest the reading public.  The latest published is that which Mr. Redgrave has reprinted.  It bears the p. 57date of 1776.  It was written to his sister in what Mr. Redgrave describes as a clear, graceful hand.  It throws a little light on his character.

“What will become of me, time must show; I can only say that my present position with regard to encouragement is all that heart can wish; but as all worldly success is precarious, I don’t build happiness or the expectation of it upon present appearances.  I have built upon sandy foundations all my life long.  All I know is that I live at a full thousand a year’s expense, and will work hard and do my best to get through withal; and if that will not do let them take their lot of blame and suffering that fall short of their duty both towards me and themselves.  Had I been blessed with your penetration and blind eyes towards foolish pleasures, I had steered my course better; but we are born with different passions and gifts, and I have only to hope that the great Giver of all will make better allowances for us than we make for one another.”

So far it is clear Gainsborough feels the helpless and unsatisfactory character of his past life.  We then have an insight—not very pleasant—into his family relationships.  He speaks of his wife as “weak and good, and never much forward to humour his happiness.”  His eldest daughter, Peggy, “is a sensible good girl, but insolent and proud in her behaviour to me at times.”  Then his second daughter, Molly, he detects apparently writing letters to a Mr. Fischer, against whom the painter had long been on his guard.  “I have never suffered that worthy gentleman ever to be in their company since I came to London, and behold, while I had my eye upon Peggy, the other slyboots has, I suppose, been the object all along.”  And Molly wins the day and marries Mr. Fischer after all.  Of domestic felicity the great artist seems to have had but a small share.  Perhaps that was his own fault.

Sudbury ought to be more patronised than it is.  Its river affords ample opportunities for boating; and it has a Temperance Hotel—perhaps the best in all Suffolk—where the tourist may rest and be thankful.

p. 58X.

As tenants of uncertain stay,
So may we live our little day
That only grateful hearts shall fill
The homes we leave in Haverhill.

Thus writes the poet Whittier, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the City of Haverhill in America.  Most of us know there is a Haverhill in England, where resided Mr. D. Gurteen, who died recently in his eighty-fourth year, one of the grand old men—occasionally met with—who have spent all their lives in promoting the best interests, moral and pecuniary, of the community amongst whom they live.  He was born when Haverhill was in a state of decay, its chief manufacture, that of silk, having dwindled all to nothing.  He has almost rebuilt the place, and made it one of the most prosperous of our East Anglian towns.  Haverhill, in a remote corner of East Anglia, is intimately connected with the American Haverhill.  That was founded by the grandson of a well-known Haverhill clergyman—Rev. John Ward—one of the early Puritans who suffered for conscience sake, and against whom Romanising archbishops like Laud—in whose seat the present Archbishop of London tells us he is proud to be placed—made constant war.  John Ward, whose monument is still to be seen in Haverhill Church, had a descendant named Nathaniel, who was educated at Cambridge, and went out into the wilderness of New England rather than remain the victim of persecution in the old country.  He was a ripe scholar, and a man of p. 59great practical ability, a Puritan of the Puritans, who helped to mould the character and make the laws of the people of whom he became the minister.  The hardy settlers, who had hitherto toiled in hope, overjoyed at Ward’s coming, insisted on naming their plantation—hitherto called Pentucket, after the Indian tribe who had lived there till bought out by the whites—Haverhill, from the birthplace of their honoured minister.  In the recent celebration Haverhill in England was not forgotten.  Mr. Alderman Gurteen and the rector were invited.  The rector could not go.  Mr. Alderman Gurteen could, and he crossed the Atlantic, bearing with him an address, handsomely got up, to the New England Haverhill.  He was received with open arms, and on his return was honoured with a dinner in the Town Hall, presided over by his respected father, Mr. D. Gurteen, J.P., and there he delivered himself of his American experiences, and was listened to eagerly by a sympathetic audience, among whom I had the good luck to be one.

New Haverhill stands on the banks of the Merrimack, at a distance of some sixteen miles from the sea.  The Merrimack deserves a line as the most noted water-power stream in the world.  Haverhill lies on the north edge of Essex county, itself the north-eastern corner of Massachusetts.  In the Haverhill of to-day there are over 250 firms engaged in the manufacture of shoes, and giving employment to 18,000 operatives, and distributing annually over 2,225,000 dollars in wages, and shipping 300,000 cases of completed boots and shoes.  It is a big city, thirty-three miles off Boston by rail.  The situation is picturesque, with an undulating surface, watered by lovely lakes and the glorious river.  Haverhill rejoices in a Town Hall, one of the handsomest of its kind in New England, and twenty-four church organisations divided among eleven different denominations.  No city in the commonwealth has grown so fast within the last ten years.  I learn from a local paper that its population is “energetic, prosperous, and cultivated.”  One of the things which seem to have struck p. 60Mr. Alderman Gurteen, as indeed it would some of us, was a handsome and commodious building known as the Old Ladies’ Home, intended to provide for such women as need it, a home in their declining years.  Again, there is a Children’s Aid Society, formed and managed by women, to furnish a real home for destitute children.  Haverhill has also a noble hospital, where almost every religious society in the city supports free beds.  Such is the Haverhill of to-day.  It has suffered from fire; from Indians, who rushed through it with their murderous tomahawks: (one of the things Mr. Alderman Gurteen was taken to see at the exhibition in connection with the anniversary, was the basket of grass in which Hannah Duston, one of Haverhill’s ancient heroines, carried the scalps of the Indians in the course of an unnatural conflict with the English).  It was, too, a little Haverhill girl, saved in a cellar from massacre of the Indians by a negro girl, that was the ancestress of John Lothrop Motley.  The whole world owes Haverhill much.

Of course, Mr. Alderman Gurteen was taken to see Whittier, the poet, who lived in a house with his three cousins and a little niece at Haverhill, where they yet show you the photograph of the cottage in which he was born, and the barn-like school in which he was educated.  The poet, he has passed away since this was written, at the ripe age of eighty-two, enjoyed life; took an interest in all that passes, and, tall and thin, certainly did not look his age.  He had written for the celebration a poem from which I have quoted above.  Haverhill is proud of her shoes—but of her poet more.  His way of life is familiar to them all—his early hours, his simple habits, his pet squirrels, who come to be fed, his plain living, and high thinking.  He is a Quaker in speech, and talks to Englishmen of Henry Vincent, whom he knew, and George Thompson, with whom he fought for the anti-slavery cause.  He is a charming old man, says Mr. Gurteen, and upright as a dart.  He was much interested in the address from the English Haverhill.  In fact, all whom Mr. Gurteen met with p. 61in his international trip acted as friends.  They were, he says, a downright good lot of men and women, and what pleased him most was their devotion to the old country.  He was delighted with everything he saw, “They are a right noble people, and our sort to a T.”  It was the same everywhere.  For instance, at Albany Mr. Gurteen and his daughter (who I should have said, accompanied him, and was as much charmed with America as he was) put their heads into a chapel, which happened to be open, and were accosted by a gentleman, with the remark that there was “no service to-night.”  He told him in return that he was a stranger, and had only looked in from curiosity.  “Where from”? he asked, and when the reply was “England,” the gentleman put out both hands, and said, “Welcome, welcome; I am glad to shake hands with any one from the old country,” and lit up the whole place in the twinkling of an eye.

Am I not right in calling such a visit an international one?  Such visits are the true peacemakers, and strengthen the bonds of unity between nations better than can be done in any other way.  Mr. Alderman Gurteen is a fair representative of what is best in a social and commercial and political and religious life.  Old Haverhill could not have sent the new Haverhill a better specimen of the English citizen of to-day.  The more we send such men to America on international visits, and the more America sends such men to us—whatever politicians on both sides the Atlantic may say or do to create bad feeling—the stronger and more lasting will be the tie that makes England and America—mother and daughter—one in heart and aim.  Haverhill is deeply associated with Puritan History and the Pilgrim Fathers.  Its greatest preacher was the Rev. John Ward, who is still commemorated by a tomb in Haverhill Church.  One of his sons, Samuel, was a town preacher to the Corporation of Ipswich for thirty years.  Another celebrated preacher was the saintly Samuel Fairclough, who was born at Haverhill in 1594, and passed from Cambridge p. 62University to become successively Lecturer at Lynn and Clare, which latter post he vacated to become Rector of Kedington, until he was ejected thence in 1692 by the iniquitous Act of Uniformity.

Our Essex Haverhill may be quoted as a remarkable illustration of what a man can do for his native town.  The late Mr. Gurteen was often called the King of Haverhill, this title being based upon the fact that he was practically the maker of that flourishing town.  The firm of which he was the head employ three thousand hands in the manufacture of drabbets and other fabrics, both linen and cotton, and in the making-up of clothes for the home and export trade.  Mr. Gurteen’s liberality was commensurate with his business success.  He presented the inhabitants with a Town Hall, costing £5,000, as a thank-offering on the jubilee of his wedding-day; built a Congregational Church at something like the same expenditure, and was the originator and principal supporter of many other improvements for the benefit of his native town.

p. 63XI.

One of the famous books of the last generation was that of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque.  If the Doctor had extended his journey as far as Maldon, in Essex, he would have been well rewarded for his pains.  Essex can boast of two towns set upon a hill.  One is Colchester, the other is Maldon; but as regards picturesqueness, Maldon bears away the palm.  Everywhere you have a fine view of the country—on one side the Chelmer reaching away to Chelmsford, on the other the Blackwater making its winding way to the German Ocean.  At one time this Blackwater was a source of trouble, as by means of it the Danes used to sail up, as it were, into the very bowels of the land, murdering, and plundering, and ravishing, and pillaging everywhere.  There is no fear of that now; it is a thing of the past.  Said a friend of mine the other day, as we stood admiring the peaceful prospect lying at our feet, “from my bedroom window I can see eight churches,” and, strict Noncon. as he is, I fancy the sight is pleasanter to him than that of Danish pirates landing from their ships to carry terror and devastation all over the land.  Maldon claims to be the oldest borough in Essex, and to have a history, if rather a dull one.  Up to the time of the last Reform Bill it returned two members, and as a matter of fact, the candidate who bribed most freely was the winning man.  p. 64Now-a-days it is only at an election that the passions of the people are aroused.  There is a rector who preaches in an ancient church, there is a Congregational chapel, which I am told is in a flourishing condition; there are Baptists and Wesleyans, and all work together pleasantly excepting when an election ensues.  Then the people are aroused, and bad passions come into play, and friends quarrel never to be friendly again, although the cynical observer might exclaim—

Strange such difference there should be
’Twixt tweedledum and tweedledee.

There was a time when it was otherwise.  For instance, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, we find the Maldon electors petitioning their representatives on their sufferings from Prelatic parsons.  “They are crueller,” so they affirm, “than the ostriches of the wilderness, and more unkind than the dragons.”  They ask to be relieved of the teaching of ungodly men such as have been “Popish priests, taylors, fletchers, serving-men, wheelwrights, and many of these alehouse haunters, dicers, quarrellers, whoremongers, and full of gross sins.”  Moved by this and similar appeals, the friends of the Puritans in the House of Commons endeavoured to obtain them some relief, but in vain—the Queen and her Bishops were of quite another way of thinking.  For taking their part the Maldon M.P. was committed to the Tower.  Matters became worse rather than better under James I., and it was not till the Civil War that a Commission was formed by Parliament for the purpose of investigating complaints against the existing ministry; and of that Commission Sir Henry Mildmay, M.P., for Maldon, was one.  Essex was full of Puritan divines.  One of these was Thomas Horrocks, the rector of Maldon, where, says Calamy, he was “a diligent and powerful preacher twelve years together, and was an instrument for converting many souls.”  After his ejectment he continued to preach, and was at length cast into the dungeon of the town, where he lay ten days.  A court being held in the town, he was accused of all sorts of crimes, and p. 65called by some of the aldermen heretic, schismatic, and traitor; and when he was pleading for himself, one of them rose from the bench and gave him a box on the ear, and beat off his satin cap.  At the time of the Revolution Mr. Joseph Billio came to Maldon to gather together under his ministry those whom Mr. Horrocks had prepared for separation.  On the site of the present meeting-house, one was erected to hold four hundred persons.  When Mr. Billio was succeeded by a minister of Unitarian sentiments, there was a split in the congregation, and a small place of worship was erected elsewhere.  In 1778 the congregation returned to their old place of worship.  In 1801 a new place of worship was erected on the site of the old one, which had now become insufficient.  It is there the present minister, the Rev. H. H. Carlisle, preaches.  The place will hold eight hundred hearers, and is well attended.  Attached to it is a fine modern lecture-hall and day-schools, which are well filled.  I was particularly struck with the bright and happy appearance of the boys and girls being trained there to become men and women.  With such training the old joke about Essex calves undoubtedly will lose a good deal of its point and power.

A very quiet place is Maldon—at one time a great centre of the corn trade, which, in consequence of railways, has shifted elsewhere—and which the Great Eastern Railway has brought within an hour and a half’s ride of London.  The population is about six thousand, and, by the last census, it seems slightly to have declined.  In the Town Hall are portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Anne, Charles II. and George III., and Dr. Plume, a Maldon celebrity, of whose career I have no particulars, save that he was a clergyman, and presented a library of over 6,000 volumes to the town.  It is open daily from 10 till 12.  The great artist, J. R. Herbert, R.A., was a native of the place, and Landseer studied there in his early days.  Its chief claim to fame seems to have been that it was the birthplace of Edward Bright, a shopkeeper in the town, who died in 1750, and was so enormously fat that he weighed about 616 lbs. p. 66and seven men were on one occasion buttoned in his waistcoat without breaking a stitch or straining a button.

Remains around Maldon testify to the antiquity of the place.  On the west side are the remains of a camp formed by Edward the Elder as far back as 920.  Near the town are the remains of a Lepers’ Hospital, which makes one note with thankfulness that, thanks to sanitary science in England, we have no need of such buildings now, and we rejoice that the good old times are gone.  By the side of the river, about a mile from the town, are the remains of Beeleigh Abbey, founded for monks of the Premonstratensian order in 1180; considerable remains still exist, but have been much altered in the process of converting the building into a farmhouse, still there is a good deal remaining well worthy the attention of the antiquary, though at one time the chapter-house, which has a fine groined roof, was used as a pig-sty.  In the Abbey was buried Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, in 1483.  One of the Maldon churches has a triangular tower.  It is said that only in Italy is there another tower of the same kind.  I may also state, as one of the peculiarities of Maldon, that the custom of Borough English, by means of which the youngest son succeeds to the copyhold estates of his father, still prevails there.  Thus altogether a pleasant ancient flavour attaches to the place, in spite of its Reform Club, which dates from 1874.  One might do worse than live at Maldon, where good houses are to be had at a bargain, and where in the summer-time, far from the wicked world, there is a good deal of boating, and where in the winter time, in the coming glacial era, which Sir Robert Ball confidently predicts as reserved for the people of England, you may skate as far as Chelmsford, a consummation by no means devoutly to be wished.  For bicycles Maldon is by no means favourable, incredible as it may seem to those who will persist in believing that Essex is a flat country.  There are two hills in the town, one of which is pronounced to be the most dangerous hill in all Essex for bicyclists.



The Holy City: Jerusalem: Its Topography, Walls, and Temples.  A New Light on an Old Subject.  By Dr. S. R. Forbes, author of “Rambles in Rome,” etc.  Crown 8vo, cloth, illustrated, 3s. nett.

The Essex Review.  Edited by E. A. Fitch, F.L.S., published quarterly.  Annual subscription 5s. post free; Single Nos. 1s. 6d. nett.  Vol. I., 1892, red cloth, 7s. 6d. nett.

The Ancient Sepulchral Monuments of Essex.  By Fred. Chancellor, F.R.I.B.A.  Imp. 4to, cloth, illustrated, £4 4s. nett.

Poems, by Alice E. Argent, with an introduction by the Right Rev. Bishop Claughton.  Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d. nett, post free.

Durrant’s Handbook for Essex.  A Guide to all the Principal Objects of Interest in each Parish in the County.  By Miller Christy, F.L.S.  With Maps, 2s. 6d. nett, post free.

“One of the very best Guide Books in Existence.”—Evening News.

The Birds of Essex.  A contribution to the Natural History of the County.  With numerous Illustrations, Two Plans, and one Plate (forming Vol. II. special memoirs of Essex Field Club).  By Miller Christy.  Demy 8vo, scarlet cloth, 15s. nett, post free.

A History of Felstead School.  With some account of the Founder and his Descendants.  By John Sargraunt, M.A.  Illustrated, nett 4s.

The Trade Signs of Essex.  A popular account of the origin and meaning of the Public House and other signs now or formerly found in the County of Essex.  With Illustrations.  By Miller Christy.  Demy 8vo, cloth, 7s. 6d. nett.

Daily Rays of Light for Sick and Weary Ones.  Compiled by Edith L. Wells, with a Preface by the Rev. Prebendary Hutton.  Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

The Limits of Ritual in the Church of England.  By Rev. R. E. Bartlett, M.A., late Fellow and Tutor Trinity College, Oxford; Bampton Lecturer, 1888.  Reprinted by permission from “Contemporary Review.”  Price 3d., by post, 3½d.; 2s. 9d. per doz., post free.

Homespun Yarns.  By Edwin Coller.  Crown 8vo, cloth 3s. 6d.

Royal Illustrated History of Eastern England.  By A. D. Bayne.  With many Illustrations.  2 vols., large 8vo, cloth, 15s.

Domesday Book relating to Essex.  Translated by the late T. C. Chisenhale-Marsh.  4to, cloth, 21s. nett.  Only a few copies unsold.

John Noakes and Mary Styles.  A Poem in the Essex Dialect.  By the late Charles Clark, of Totham Hall.  With a Glossary and Portrait, 1s. nett.

The History of Rochford Hundred, Essex.  Vol. I., 15s. 6d., vol. II., 18s. nett.  By Philip Benton.

A First Catechism of Botany.  By John Gibbs.  Second Edition, 12mo. boards, 6d.

The Symmetry of Flowers.  By John Gibbs.  18mo, sewed, 4d.

Forms and Services used in the Diocese of St. Alban’s.  Published by authority.  Lists on application.


EDMUND DURRANT & CO., 90, High Street, Chelmsford.


p. 68Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation,

Established by Royal Charter, A.D. 1720.


West End Branch: 29, PALL MALL,


Funds in Hand


Claims Paid



on Property of almost every description, at moderate rates.

PRIVATE INSURANCES.—Policies issued for Two Years and upwards are
allowed a liberal discount.

LOSSES OCCASIONED BY LIGHTNING will be paid whether the property
be set on fire or not.


MODERN AND IMPROVED SYSTEM OF ASSURANCE, of which the leading features are:










For the LATEST DEVELOPMENTS OF LIFE ASSURANCE, consult the Corporation’s full Prospectus.


LOANS are granted on security of Reversionary and Immediate LIFE
INTERESTS in connection with Policies of Assurance.


Bookseller, Printer, &c., 90, High Street.





‘We cordially recommend Mr. Ritchie’s Book to all who wish to pass an agreeable hour and to learn something of the outward actions and inner life of their predecessors.  It is full of sketches of East Anglian celebrities, happily touched if lightly limned.’—East Anglian Daily Times.

‘A very entertaining and enjoyable book.  Local gossip, a wide range of reading and industrious research, have enabled the author to enliven his pages with a wide diversity of subjects, specially attractive to East Anglians, but also of much general interest.’—Daily Chronicle.

‘The work is written in a light gossipy style, and by reason both of it and of the variety of persons introduced is interesting.  To a Suffolk or Norfolk man it is, of course, especially attractive.  The reader will go through these pages without being wearied by application.  They form a pleasant and entertaining contribution to county literature, and “East Anglia” will, we should think, find its way to many of the east country bookshelves.’—Suffolk Chronicle.

‘The book is as readable and attractive a volume of local chronicles as could be desired.  Though all of our readers may not see “eye to eye” with Mr. Ritchie, in regard to political and theological questions, they cannot fail to gain much enjoyment from his excellent delineation of old days in East Anglia.’—Norwich Mercury.

‘“East Anglia” has the merit of not being a compilation, which is more than can be said of the great majority of books produced in these days to satisfy the revived taste for topographical gossip.  Mr. Ritchie is a Suffolk man—the son of a Nonconformist minister of Wrentham in that county—and he looks back to the old neighbourhood and the old times with an affection which is likely to communicate itself to its readers.  Altogether we can with confidence recommend this book not only to East Anglians, but to all readers who have any affinity for works of its class.’—Daily News.

‘Mr. Ritchie’s book belongs to a class of which we have none too many, for when well done they illustrate contemporary history in a really charming manner.  What with their past grandeur, their present progress, their martyrs, patriots, and authors, there is plenty to tell concerning Eastern counties: and one who writes with native enthusiasm is sure to command an audience.’—Baptist.

‘Mr. Ritchie, known to the numerous readers of the Christian World as “Christopher Crayon,” has the pen of a ready, racy, refreshing writer.  He never writes a dull line, and never for a moment allows our interest to flag.  In the work before us, which is not his first, he is, I should think, at his best.  The volume is the outcome of extensive reading, many rambles over the districts described, and of thoughtful observation.  We seem to live and move and have our being in East Anglia.  Its folk-lore, its traditions, its worthies, its memorable events, are all vividly and charmingly placed before us, and we close the book sorry that there is no more of it, and wondering why it is that works of a similar kind have not more frequently appeared.’—Northern Pioneer.

‘It has yielded us more gratification than any work that we have read for a considerable time.  The book ought to have a wide circulation in the Eastern counties, and will not fail to yield profit and delight wherever it find its way.’—Essex Telegraph.

‘Mr. Ritchie has here written a most attractive chapter of autobiography.  He recalls the scenes of his early days, and whatever was quaint or striking in connection with them, and finds in his recollections ready pegs on which to hang historical incident and antiquarian curiosities of many kinds.  He passes from point to point in a delightfully cheerful and contagious mood.  Mr. Ritchie’s reading has been as extensive and careful as his observation is keen and his temper genial; and his pages, which appeared in The Christian World Magazine, well deserve the honour of book-form, with the additions he his been able to make to them.’—British Quarterly Review.


JARROLD & SONS, Paternoster Buildings, LONDON.




Author ofRambles in Rome,” “Footsteps of St. Paul in Rome,” etc., etc.

12mo, Cloth, Price 3/- nett.


Messrs. EDMUND DURRANT & CO. have the honour to announce their publication of this new work by the eminent Archæologist and Antiquary who has done so much towards elucidating and making popular the monuments and remains of Ancient Rome.

Dr. Forbes’ new topographical study is based on information afforded by the Sacred Scriptures and ancient writers, which, as he shows, agree, when read aright, with the existing remains and recent explorations.  The author gives simple solutions to the difficulties that have sometimes been made concerning the topography; and by his remarks renders the Bible notices clear.  All who are interested in the ground whereon our Saviour taught and trod, should possess this concise and valuable study on the City of Peace.

The work is well printed in clear type, and illustrated with maps and plans drawn and executed specially for the purpose, and by a chromo-lithographic representation of Solomon’s Temple, copied from the original recently found in the Catacombs at Rome, and now for the first time published.


The work can be obtained at any of the Offices of Messrs. THOS. COOK & SON, in Europe; or of the Publishers,


Price 3s. nett.