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February 20.

St. Tyrannio, Bp. &c. A.D. 310. Sts. Sadoth, Bp. &c. A.D. 342. St. Eleutherius, Bp. A.D. 532. St. Mildred, Abbess. St. Eucherius, Bp. A.D. 743. St. Ulruck.

St. Mildred

This saint was the first abbess of Minster, in the isle of Thanet, founded by king Egbert about 670, in satisfaction for having murdered his two nephews, Etheldred and Ethelbright; to which satisfaction he was "miraculously terrified, by seeing a ray of bright light dart from the heavens upon their grave." In 1033, her remains were removed to St. Augustine's monastery at Canterbury, and venerated above all the relics there, and worked miracles, as all saints' relics did in those favoured times. The churches of St. Mildred, Bread-street, and St. Mildred in the Poultry, London, are dedicated to her.* [1]

In St. Mildred's church in the Poultry, Thomas Tusser, whose "Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandrie" have been cited in former pages of this work, was buried, and on his tomb this


     clad in earth, doth lie,
That sometime made
     The pointes of Husbandrie:
By him then learne thou maist;
     here learne we must,
When all is done, we sleepe,
     and turne to dust:
And yet, through Christ,
     to Heaven we hope to goe;
Who reades his bookes,
     shall find his faith was so.† [2]

St. Ulrick.

Of this saint, who died the 28th of February, 1154, Butler says little.

"THE FLOWERS of the LIVES of the most renowned SAINCTS of the three kingdoms, England, Scotland, and Ireland, written and collected out of the best authours and manuscripts of our nation, and distributed according to their feasts in the calendar, By THE R. FATHER, HIEROME PORTER, Priest and Monke of the holy order of Sainct Benedict, of the Congregation of England, Printed at DOWAY with licence, and approbation of the Oridnary, M.DC.XXXII," relates of this saint, that he was born in a village called Lonton, or Litton, near Bristol, with many marvels concerning him, and among them this:—He became a priest, but kept hawks and dogs for sport, till he met a beggar who asked alms. Ulrick said, he did not know whether he had aught to bestow: "Look in thy purse," quoth the beggar, "and there thou shalt find twopence halfpenny." Ulrick finding as he was told, received thanks, and a prophecy that he should become a saint, whereupon he starved and hermitized at Hessleborough, in Dorsetshire, about thirty miles from Exeter. "The skin only sticking to his bones," his daintiest food was oaten-bread and water-gruel. He passed many nights without sleep, never slept but when he could not keep awake, and never went to bed, "but, leaning his head to a wall, he tooke a short allowance;" and when he awoke, "he would much blame and chastise his body, as yielding vnto ouermuch nicenesse." His pillow was ropes of hay, his clothing poor, and lined next the skin with a rough shirt of hair-cloth, till his flesh having overcome its uneasiness, he wore next his skin an iron coat of mail. In the sharpest cold of winter, having first put off his iron shirt, he was wont to get into a vessel of cold water and recite psalms. His coat of mail hanging below his knees, he went to the knight who gave it to him, to take counsel therein. His military adviser persuaded him to send it to London to be cut; but he gave the knight "a payre of sheares." The knight hesitated, the other entreated. "The one falls to his prayers, the other endeavours with iron and steale to cut iron and steale, when both their labours tooke prosperous effect; for the knight, in his cutting worke, seemed rather to divide a piece of cloath than a peece of iron." Then the saint, "without any sheeres, pulled asunder the little rings of that part of his coate cutt off, and distributed them charitably to all that desired, by virtue whereof manie diseases were cured." Envying such rare goodness, and infernal spirit, inmost horrible shape, dragged him into the church, and ran him round the pavement, till the apparition of a virgin stopped this rude behaviour; however, the infernal took advantage of the saint when he was sick, and with a staff he had in his hand gave him three knocks on the head, and departed. The devil tormented him other ways; he cast him into an intolerable heat, then he gave him an intolerable cold, and then he made him dream a dream, whereby the saint shamed the devil by openly confessing it at church on Easter-day before all the people. At length, after other wonders, "the joints of his iron coate miraculously dissolved, and it fell down to his knees." Upon this, he foretold his death on the next Saturday, and thereon he died. Such, and much more is put forth concerning St. Ulrick, by the aforesaid "Flowers of the Saincts," which contains a prayer to be used preparatory to the perusal, with these words, "that this holy reading of their lives may soe inflame our hearts, that we may follow and imitate the traces of their glorious example, that, after this mortall life, we may be made worthie to enjoy their most desired companie."


Navelwort. Cynoglossum onphalodes.
Dedicated to St. Mildred.


On the 20th of February 1749, Usher Gahagan, by birth a gentleman, and by education a scholar, perished at Tyburn. His attainments were elegant and superior; he was the editor of Brindley's beautiful edition of the classics, and translated Pope's "Essay on Criticism" into Latin verse. Better grounded in learning than in principle, he concentrated liberal talents to the degrading selfishness of robbing the community of its coin by clipping. During his confinement, and hoping for pardon, he translated Pope's "Temple of Fame," and his "Messiah," into the same language, with a dedication to the duke of Newcastle. To the same end, he addressed prince George and the recorder in poetic numbers. These efforts were to no avail. Two of his miserable confederates in crime were his companions in death. He suffered with a deeper guilt, because he had a higher knowledge than ignorant and unthinking criminals, to whom the polity of society, in its grounds and reasons, is unknown.

Accomplishments upon vice are as beautiful colours on a venomous reptile. Learning is a vain show, and knowledge mischievous, without the love of goodness, or the fear of evil. Children have fallen from careless parents into the hands of the executioner, in whom the means of distinguishing between right and wrong might have gecome a stock for knowledge to ripen on, and learning have preserved the fruits to posterity. Let not him despair who desires to know, or has power to teach—

There is in every human heart,
Some not completely barren part,
Where seeds of truth and love might grow,
And flowers of generous virtue blow:
To plant, to watch, to water there,
This be our duty, be our care.



Notes [All notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Butler's Lives of the Saints. [return]

2. Stow. [return]