The Every-Day Book, Vol. II July, 1826
William Hone


1. July.

1.1. 1826-07-00

Our saxon father did full rightly call
This month of July "Hay-monath," when all
The verdure of the full clothed fields we mow,
And turn, and rake, and carry off; and so
We build it up, in large and solid mows.
If it be good, as every body knows,
To "make hay while the sun shines," we should choose
Right "times for all things," and no time abuse.


In July we have full summer. The "Mirror of the Months" presents its various influences on the open face of nature. ‘"The rye is yellow, and almost ripe for the sickle. The wheat and barley are of a dull green, from their swelling ears being alone visible, as they bow before every breeze that blows over them. The oats are whitening apace, and quiver, each individual grain on its light stem, as they hang like rain-drops in the air. Looked on separately, and at a distance, these three now wear a somewhat dull and monotonous hue, when growing in great spaces; but these will be intersected, in all directions, by patches of the brilliant emerald which now begins to spring afresh on the late-mown meadows; by the golden yellow of the rye, in some cases cut, and standing in sheaves; by the rich dark green of the turnip-fields; and still more brilliantly by sweeps, here and there, of the bright yellow charlock, the scarlet corn-poppy, and the blue succory, which, like perverse beauties, scatter the stray gifts of their charms in proportion as the soil cannot afford to support the expenses attendant on them."’

On the high downs, ‘"all the little molehills are purple with the flowers of the wild thyme, which exhales its rich aromatic odour as you press it with your feet; and among it the elegant blue heath-bell is nodding its half-dependent head from its almost invisible stem,—its perpetual motion, at the slightest breat of air, giving it the look of a living thing hovering on invisible wings just above the ground. Every here and there, too, we meet with little patches of dark green heaths, hung all over with their clusters of exquisitely wrought filigree flowers, endless in the variety of their forms, but all of the most curiously delicate fabric and all, in their minute beauty, unparalleled by the proudest occupiers of the parterre. This is the singular family of plants that, when cultivated in pots, and trained to form heads on separate stems, give one the idea of the forest trees of a Lilliputian people."’ Here, too, are the ‘"innumerable little thread-like spikes that now rise from out the level turf, with scarcely perceptible see-heads at top, and keep the otherwise dead flat perpetually alive, by bending and twinkling beneath the sun and breeze."’

In the green lanes ‘"we shall find the ground beneath our feet, the hedges that enclose us on either side, and the dry banks and damp ditches beneath them, clothed in a variety of flowers that we have not yet had an opportunity of noticing. In the hedge-rows (which are now grown into impervious walls of many-coloured and many-shaped leaves, from the fine filigree-work of the white-thorn, to the large, coarse, round leaves of the hazel) we shall find the most remarkable of these, winding up intricately among the crowded branches, and shooting out their flowers here and there, among other leaves than their own, or hanging themselves into festoons and fringes on the outside, by unseen tendrils. Most conspicuous among the first of these is the great bind-weed, thrusting out its elegantly-formed snow-white flowers, but carefully concealing its leaves and stem in the thick of the shrubs which yield it support. Nearer to the ground, and more exposed, we shall meet with a handsome relative of the above, the common red and white wild convolvolus; while all along the face of the hedge, clinging to it lightly, the various coloured vetches, and the enchanter's night-shade, hang their flowers into the open air; the first exquisitely fashioned, with wings like the pea, only smaller; and the other elaborate in its construction, and even beautiful, with its rich purple petals turned back to expose a centre of deep yellow; but still, with all its beauty, not without a strange and sinister look, which at once points it out as a poison-flower. It is this which afterwards turns to those bunches of scarlet berries which hang so temptingly in autumn, just within the reach of little children, and which it requires all the eloquence of their grandmothers to prevent them from tasting. In the midst of these, and above them all, the woodbine now hangs out its flowers more profusely than ever, and rivals in sweetness all the other field scents of this month.’

‘"On the bank from which the hedge-row rises, and on this side of the now nearly dry water-channel beneath, fringing the border of the green path on which we are walking, a most rich variety of field-flowers will also now be found. We dare not stay to notice the half of them, because their beauties, though even more exquisite than those hitherto described, are of that unobtrusive nature that you must stoop to pick them up, and must come to an actual commune with them, before they can be even seen distinctly; which is more than our desultory and fugitive gaze will permit,—the plan of our walk only allowing us to pay the passing homage of a word to those objects that will not be overlooked. Many of the exquisite little flowers, now alluded to generally, look, as they lie among their low leaves, only like minute morsels of many-coloured glass scattered upon the green ground—scarlet, and sapphire, and rose, and purple, and white, and azure, and golden. But pick them up, and bring them towards the eye, and you will find them pencilled with a thousand dainty devices, and elaborated into the most exquisite forms and fancies, fit to be strung into necklaces for fairy Titania, or set in broaches and bracelets for the neatest-handed of her nymphs.’

‘"But there are many others that come into bloom this month, some of which we cannot pass unnoticed if we would. Conspicuous among them are the centaury, with its elegant cluster of small, pink, star-like flowers; the ladies' bed-straw, with its rich yellow tufts; the meadow-sweet—sweetest of all the sweetners of the meadows; the wood betony, lifting up its handsome head of rose-coloured blowwoms; and, still in full perfection, and towering up from among the low groundlings that usually surround it, the stately fox-glove.’

‘"Among the other plants that now become conspicuous, the wild teasal must not be forgotten, if it be only on account of the use that one of the summer's prettiest denizens sometimes makes of it. The wild teasal (which now puts on as much the appearance of a flower as its rugged nature will let it) is that species of thistle which shoots up a strong serrated stem, straight as an arrow, and beset on all sides by hard sharp-pointed thorns, and bearing on its summit a hollow egg-shaped head, also covered at all points with the same armour of threatening thorns—as hard, as thickly set, and as sharp as a porcupine's quills. Often within this fortress, impregnable to birds, bees, and even to mischievous boys themselves, that beautiful moth which flutters about so gaily during the first weeks of summer, on snow-white wings spotted all over with black and yellow, takes up its final abode,—retiring thither when weary of its desultory wanderings, and after having prepared for the perpetuation of its ephemeral race, sleeping itself to death, to the rocking lullaby of the breeze.’

‘"Now, too, if we pass near some gently lapsing water, we may chance to meet with the splendid flowers of the great water lily, floating on the surface of the stream like some fairy vessel at anchor, and making visible, as it ripples by it, the elsewhere imperceptible current. Nothing can be more elegant than each of the three different states under which this flower now appears; the first, while it lies unopened among its undulating leaves, like the halcyon's egg within its floating nest; next, when its snowy petals are but half expanded, and you are almost tempted to wonder what beautiful bird it is that has just taken its flight from such a sweet birth-place; and lastly, when the whole flower floats confessed, and spreading wide upon the water its pointed petals, offers its whole heart to the enamoured sun. There is I know not what of awful in the beauty of this flower. It is, to all other flowers, what Mrs. Siddons is to all other women."’* 1

1.2. July 1.

1.2.1. COCKLETOP.Munden.—Farren.

July 1, 1826.— Mr. Farren appeared in the part of Old Cockletop, in O'Keefe's farce of Modern Antiques, at the Haymarket theatre. This will be recollected as a crack character of Munden's; and it was one which he had hit so happily, that it became almost impossible for any other actor to play it very successfully after him. There was a sort of elfin antic—a kind of immateriality about the crotchets of Munden in Cockletop. His brain seemed to have no more substance in it than the web of a spider; and he looked dried up in body and mind, almost to a transparency; he might have stood in a window and not been in the way—you could see the light through him. Farren is the bitterest old rascal on the stage. He looks, and moves always, as if he had a blister (that wanted fresh dressing) behind each ear; but he does not touch the entirely withered, crazy-brained, semi-bedlamite old rogue, in the way that Munden did. Munden contrived to give all the weakness possible to extreme age in Cockletop, without exciting an iota of compassion. All that there was of him was dry bones and wickedness. You could not help seeing that he would be particularly comical under the torture; and you could not feel the slightest compunction in ordering that he should undergo it. There never was any thing like his walking up and down Drury-lane stage in astonishment, and concluding he must be "at next door," when he returns home from his journey and finds all his servants in mourning! And the cloak that he wore too! And the appendage that he called his "storm-cap!" He looked like a large ape's sking stuffed with hay, ready to hang up in an apothecary's shop! You ran over all the old fools that you knew, one after the other, to recollect somebody like him but could not succeed! Farren plays Foresight as well as Munden; and he plays Cockletop very successfully; but it is hardly possible for one eminent actor to follow another in trifling characters, where the first has made a hit rather by his own inventions than by any thing which the author has set down for him. Munden's dancing in the ghost-scene with the servants, and his conclusion—striking an attitude, with the fingers of one hand open like a bunch of radish, as the fiddler, used to keep the audience in convulsions for two minutes. Farren avoided this trick, probably lest he should be charged with imitation; but acknowledged talent like his may use a latitude: he has originality enough to warrant his at least not avoiding the device which has been used by any actor, purely because it has been used by somebody else before him. Some passages that he gave were quite as good as Munden. In the scene where he fancies himself taken ill, the pit was in two minds to get up and cheer. He made a face like a bear troubled suddenly with symptoms of internal commotion! one who had eaten a bee-hive for the sake of the honey, and began to have inward misgivings that there must have been bees mixed up along with it. And Farren possesses the gift too—a most valuable one in playing to an English audience—of exhibiting the suffering without exciting the smallest sympathy! Whenever there is any thing the matter with him, you hope he'll get worse with all your soul; and, if he were drowning—with that face!—he must die:—you could not, if you were to die yourself, take one step, for laughing, to save him.* [Note: The Times, July 3, 1826.]


The sun comes on apace, and thro' the signs
Travels unwearied; as he hotter grows,
Above, the herbage, and beneath, the mines,
Own his warm influence, while his axle glows;
The flaming lion meets him on the way,
Proud to receive the flaming god of day.
In fullest bloom the damask rose is seen,
Carnations boast their variegated die,
The fields of corn display a vivid green,
And cherries with the crimson orient vie,
The hop in blossom climbs the loft pole,
Nor dreads the lightning, tho' the thunders roll.
The wealth of Flora like the rainbow shows,
Blending her various hues of light and shade,
How many tints would emulate the rose,
Or imitate the lily's bright parade!
The flowers of topaz and of sapphire vie
With all the richest tinctures of the sky.
The vegetable world is all alive,
Green grows the gooseberry on its bush of thorn,
The infant bees now swarm around the hive,
And the sweet bean perfumes the lap of morn,
Millions of embryos take the wing to fly,
The young inherit, and the old ones die.
'Tis summer all—convey me to the bower,
The bower of myrtile form'd by Myra's skill,
There let me waste away the noontide hour,
Fann'd by the breezes from yon cooling rill,
By Myra's side reclin'd, the burning ray
Shall be as grateful as the cool of day.


Mean Temperature . . . 61 . 07.

1.3. July 2.

1.3.1. Will Wimble.

On the second of July, 1741, died at Dublin, Mr. Thomas Morecroft, ‘a baronet's son, the person mentioned by the 'Spectator' in the character of Will Wimble.’

This notice is from the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1741, as also is the following:—

On the same day, in the same year, the earl of Halifax married Miss Dunck, with a fortune of one hundred thousand pounds. It appears that, ‘"according to the will of Mr. Dunck, this lady was to marry none but an honest tradesman, who was to take the name of Dunck; for which reason his lordship took the freedom of the sadlers' company, exercised the trade, and added the name to his own."’

1.3.2. (For the Every-Day Book.)



From "the Seven Starres of Witte."

You cannot barre love oute
Father, mother and you alle,
For marke mee he's a crafty boy,
And his limbes are very smalle;
He's lighter than the thistle downe,
He's fleeter than the dove,
His voice is like the nightingale;
And oh! beware of love!
For love can masquerade
When the wisest doe not see;
He has gone to many a blassed sainte
Like a virgin devotee;
He has stolen thro' the convent grate,
A painted butterfly,
And I've seene in many a mantle's fold
His twinkling roguish eye.
He'll come doe what you will;
The Pope cannot keepe him oute;
And of late he's learnt such evill waies
You must hold his oathe in doute:
From the lawyers he has learned
Like Judas to betraye;
From the monkes to live like martyred saintes
Yet cast their soules awaye.
He has beene at courte soe long
That he weares the courtier's smile;
For every maid he has a lure,
For every man a wile;
Philosophers and alchymistes
Your idle toile give o'er,
Young love is wiser than ye alle
And teaches ten times more.
Strong barres and boltes are vaine
To keepe the urchin in,
For while the goaler turned the keye
He would trapp him in his gin.
You neede not hope by maile of proofe
To shun his cruell darte,
For he'll change himselfe to a shirt of maile
And lye nexte to your hearte.
More scathfull than an evill eye,
Than ghost or grammerie,
Not seventy times seven holy priestes
Could laye him in the sea.
Then father mother cease to chide
I'll doe the best I maye,
And when I see young love coming
I'll up and run awaye.


On the second day of July, 1744, is recorded the birth of a son to Mr. Arthur Bulkeley.

The child's baptism is remarkable from these circumstances. The infant's godfathers, by proxy, were Edward Downes, of Worth, in Cheshire, Esq. his great-great-great-great uncle; Dr. Ashton, master of Jesus-college, Cambridge, and his brother, Mr. Joseph Ashton, of Surrey-street, in the Strand, his great-great-great uncles. His godmothers by their proxies were, Mrs. Elizabeth Wood, of Barnsley, Yorkshire, his great-great-great-great aunt; Mrs. Jane Wainwright, of Middlewoodhall, Yorkshire, his great-great grandmother; and Mrs. Dorothy Green, of the same place, his great grandmother. It was observed of Mrs. Wainwright, who was then eighty-nine years of age, that she could properly say, "Rise, daughter, go to thy daughter; for thy daughter's daughter has a son."

Mrs. Wainwright was a sister to Dr. Ashton and his brother mentioned above, whose father and mother were twice married, ‘"first before a justice of peace by Cromwell's law, and afterwards, as it was common, by a parson; they lived sixty-four years together, and during the first fifty years in one house, at Bradway, in Derbyshire, where, though they had twelve children and six servants in family they never buried one."’


Mean Temperature . . . 62 . 12.

1.4. July 3.

1.4.1. Dog days begin."ALL—FOR A PENNY!"

On the third of July, 1751, William Dellicot was convicted at the quarter-sessions for Salisbury, of petty larceny, for stealing one penny; whereby his effects, consisting of bank-notes to the amount of 180l., and twenty guineas in money, were forfeited to the bishop, as lord of the manor; but his lordship humanely ordered 100l. of the money to be put to interest for the benefit of the wretch's daughter; 20l. to be given to his aged father, and the remainder to be returned to the delinquent himself.* 2


A correspondent's muse records an accommodation, which may be extended to other resorts, with the certainty of producing much satisfaction in wearied pedestrians. CONGRATULATORY VERSES TO THE NEW SEATS IN THE REGENT'S-PARK, 1826 versus CHAIRS.
I covet not the funeral chair
Th' Orlean maid was burnt it, when
Enthusiasts' voices rent the air
To clasp their Joan of Arc again.
I, learned Busby's chair, chuse not, 3
Nor of a boat in stormy seas,
Nor on a bridge—the stony lot
Of travellers not afraid to freeze.
I covet not the chair of state,
Nor that St. Peter's papal race
Exalted for Pope Joan the great,
But seek and find an easier place.
To halls and abbeys knights repaired,
And barons to their chairs retired;
The goblet, glove, and shield, were reared,
As war and love their cause inspired.
Saint Edward's chair the minster keeps,
An antique chair the dutchess bears; 4
The invalid—he hardly sleeps,
Though poled through Bath in easy chairs. 5
The chairs St. James's-park contains,
The chairs at Kew and Kensington,
Have rested weary hearts and brains
That charmed the town, now still and gone.
I covet not the chair of guilt
Macbeth upbraided for its ghost;
Nor Gay's, on which much ink was spilt,
When he wrote fables for his host.
What of Dan Lambert's?—Oberon's chair?
Bunyan's at Bedord?—Johnson's seat?
Chaucer's at Woodstock?—Bloomfield's bare?
Waxed, lasting, ended, and complete. 6
Though without back, and sides, and arms,
Thou, REGENT'S SEAT! art doubly dear!
Nature appears in youthful charms
For all that muse and travel here.
Canal, church, spire, and Primrose hill,
With fowl and beast and chary sound,
Invite the thought to peace, for still
Thou, like a friend, art faithful found.
A seat, then, patience seems to teach,
Untired the weary limbs it bears;
To all that can its comforts reach,
It succours through the round of years.
Whatever hand, or name, is writ
In pencil on thy painted face;
Let not one word of ribald wit
Produce a blush, or man disgrace.

1.4.3. "BUSBY'S CHAIR."

Talking of this—a word or two on "Sedes Busbeiana."

The humorous representation of "Dr. Busby's Chair," (on p. 34 of this volume,) [link] personifying the several parts of grammar, as well as some of a schoolmaster's more serious occupation, said to have been from an original by sir Peter Lely, is ascertained by the editor to have been a mere bagatelle performance of a young man some five-and-twenty years ago. It was engraved and published for Messrs. Laurie and Whittle, in Fleet-street, took greatly with the public, and had "a considerable run."


Mean Temperature . . . 60 . 30.

1.5. July 4.


This day is thus noticed as a festival in the church of England calendar and the almanacs, wherein he is honoured with another festival on the eleventh of November.

The word "translation" signifies, in reference to saints, as most readers already know, that their remains were removed from the graves wherein their bodies were deposited, to shrines or other places for devotional purposes.


"Give a dog an ill name and hang him"—give hackney-coachmen good characters and you'll be laughed at: and yet there are civil coachmen in London, and honest ones too. Prejudice against this most udeful class of persons is strong, and it is only fair to record an instance of integrity which, after all, is as general, perhaps, among hackneymen, as among those who ride in their coaches.

HONESTY REWARDED.—A circumstance took place on Tuesday, (July 4, 1826,) which cannot be made too generally known among hackney-coachmen, and persons who use those vehicles.

A gentleman took a coach in St. Paul's churchyard, about twenty minutes before twelve, and was set down in Westminster exactly at noon. Having transacted his business there, he was proceeding homeward a little before one, when he suddenly missed a bank note for three hundred pounds, which he had in his pocket on entering the coach. He had not observed either the number or date of the note, or the number of the coach. He therefor returned to the bakers in the city, and ascertained the number and date of the note, then proceeded to the bank of England, found that it had not been paid, and took measures to stop its payment, if presented. After some further inquiry, he applied about half-past three, at the hackney-coach office in Essex-street, in the Strand, and there to his agreeable surprise, he found that the coachman had already brought the note to the commissioners, at whose suggestion the gentleman paid the coachman a reward of fifty pounds. The name of the honest coachman should be known: it is John Newell, the owner and driver of the coach No. 314, and residing in Marylebone-lane.

It should also be know, that persons leaving property in hackney-coaches, may very generally recover it by applying without delay at the office in Essex-street. Since the act of parliament requiring hackney-coachmen to bring such articles to the office came into effect, which is not four years and a half ago, no less than one thousand and fifty-eight articles have been so brought, being of the aggregate value of forty-five thousand pounds, and upwards.* [Note: Daily papers.]

Descend we from the coach, and, leaving the town, take a turn with a respected friend whither he would lead us.


(For the Every-Day Book.)

I love our real old English footpaths. I love those rustic and picturesque stiles, opening their pleasant escapes from frequented places, and dusty highways, into the solitudes of nature. It is delightful to catch a glimpse of one on the village green, under the old elder-tree by some ancient cottage, or half hidden by the overhanging boughs of a wood. I love to see the smooth dry track, winding away in easy curves, along some green slope, to the churchyard, to the embosomed cottage, or to the forest grange. It is to me an object of certain inspiration. It seems to invite one from noise and publicity, into the heart of solitude and of rural delights. It beckons the imagination on, through green and whispering corn fields, through the short but verdant pasture; the flowery mowing-grass; the odorous and sunny hayfield; the festivity of harvest; from lovely farm to farm; from village to village; by clear and mossy wells; by tinkling brooks, and deep wood-skirted streams; to crofts, where the daffodil is rejoicing in spring, or meadows, where the large, blue geraneum embellishes the summer wayside; to heaths, with their warm, elastic sward and cromson bells, the chithering of grass-hoppers, the foxglove, and the old gnarled oak; in short, to all the solitary haunts, after which the city-pent lover of nature pants, as "the hart panteth after the water-brooks." What is there so truly English? What is so linked with our rural tastes, our sweetest memories, and our sweetest poetry, as stiles and fieldpaths? Goldsmith, Thomson, and Milton have adorned them with some of their richest wreaths. They have consecrated them to poetry and love. It is along the footpath in secluded fields,—upon the stile in the embowered lane,—where the wild-rose and the honey-suckle are lavishing their beauty and their fragrance, that we delight to picture to ourselves rural lovers, breathing in the dewy sweetness of a summer evening vows still sweeter. It is there, that the poet seated, sends back his soul into the freshness of his youth, amongst attachments since withered by neglect, rendered painful by absence, or broken by death; amongst dreams and aspirations which, even now that they pronounce their own fallacy, are lovely. It is there that he gazes upon the gorgeous sunset,— the evening star following with silvery lamp the fading day, or the moon showering her pale lustre through the balmy night air, with a fancy that kindles and soars into the heavens before him,—there, that we have all felt the charm of woods and green fields, and solitary boughs waving in the golden sunshine, or darkening in the melancholy beauty of evening shadows. Who has not thought how beautiful was the sight of a village congregation pouring out from their old grey church on a summer day, and streaming off through the quiet meadows, in all directions, to their homes? Or who, that has visited Alpine scenery, has not beheld with a poetic feeling the mountaineers come winding down out of their romantic seclusions on a sabbath morning, pacing the solitary heath-tracks, bounding with elastic step down the fern-clad dells, or along the course of a riotous stream, as cheerful, as picturesque, and yet as solemn as the scenes around them?

Again I say, I love fieldpaths, and stiles of all species,—ay, even the most inaccessible piece of rustic erection ever set up in defiance of age, laziness, and obesity. How many scenes of frolic and merry confusion have I seen at a clumsy stile! What exclamations, and charming blushes, and fine eventual vaulting on the part of the ladies, and what an opportunity does it afford to beaux of exhibiting a variety of gallange and delicate attentions. I consider a rude stile as any thing but an impediment in the course of a rural courtship.

Those good old turn-stiles too,—can I ever forget them? the hours I have spun round upon them, when a boy; or those in which I have almost laughed myself to death at the remembrance of my village pedagogue's disaster! Methinks I see him now. The time a sultry day;—the domine a goodly person of some eighteen or twenty stone;—the scene a footpath sentinelled with turn-stiles, one of which held him fast, as in utter amazement at his bulk. Never shall I forget his efforts and agonies to extricate himself, nor his lion-like roars, which brought some labourers to his assistance, who, when they had recovered from their convulsions of laughter, knocked off the top, and let him go. It is long since I saw a turnstile, and I suspect the Falstaffs have cried them down. But, without a jest, stiles and fieldpaths are vanishing every where. There is nothing upon which the advance of wealth and population has made so serious an inroad. As land has increased in value, wastes and heaths have been parcelled out and enclosed, but seldom have footpaths been left. The poet and the naturalist, who before had, perhaps, the greatest real property in them, have had no allotment. They have been totally driven out of the promised land. Nor is this all. Goldsmith complained, in his day, that—

"The man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied;
Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe, that wraps his limbs in silken sloth,
Has robbed the neighbouring fields of half their growth;
His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green."

And it is but too true that "the pressure of contiguous pride" has driven farther and farther, from that day to this, the public from the rich man's lands. "They make a solitude and call it peace." Even the quiet and picturesque footpath that led across his lawn, or stole along his wood-side, giving to the poor man, with his burden, a cooler and a nearer cut to the village, is become a nuisance. One would have thought that th rustic labourer with his scythe on his shoulder, or his bill-hook and hedging mittens in his hand, the cottage dame in her black bonnet and scarlet cloak, the bonny village maiden in the sweetness of health and simplicity, or the boy strolling along full of life and curiosity, might have had sufficient interest, in themselves, for a cultivated taste, passing occasionally at a distance across the park or lawn not only to be tolerated, but even to be welcomed as objects agreeably enlivening the stately solitude of the hall. But they have not. And what is more, they are commonly the most jealous of pedestrian trespassers who seldom visit their own estates, but permit the seasons to scatter their charms around their villas and rural possessions without the heart to enjoy, or even the presence to behold them. How often have I myself been arrested in some long-frequented dale, in some spot endeared by its own beauties and the fascinations of memory, by a board, exhibiting, in giant characters, Stopped by an order of Sessions! and denouncing the terms of the law upon trespassers. This is a little too much. I would not be querulous for the poor against the rich. I would not teach them to look with an envious and covetous eye upon their villas, lawns, cattle, and equipage; but when the path of immemorial usage is closed, when the little streak, almost as fine as a mathematical line, along the wealthy man's ample field, is grudginly erased, it is impossible not to feel indignation at the pitiful monopoly. Is there no village champion to be found bold enough to put in his protest against these encroachments, to assert this public right—for right it is, as authentic as that by which the land itself is held, and as clearly acknowledged by the laws? Is there no local "Hampden with dauntless breast" to "withstand the little tyrant of the fields," and to save our good old fieldpaths? If not, we shall, in a few years, be doomed to the highways and the hedges: to look, like Dives, from a sultry region of turnpikes, into a pleasant one of verdure and foliage which we may not approach. Already the stranger, if he lose his way, is in jeopardy of falling into the horrid fangs of a steel-trap; the botanist enters a wood to gather a flower, and is shot with a spring-gun; death haunts our dells and copses, and the poet complains, in regretful notes, that he—

"Wanders away to field and glen
Far as he may for the gentlemen."

I am not so much of a poet, and so little of a political economist, as to lament over the progress of population. It is true that I see, with a poetical regret, green fields and beautiful fresh tracts swallowed up in cities; but my joy in the increase of human life and happiness far out-balances that imaginative pain. But it is when I see unnecessary and arbitrary encroachments upon the rural privileges of the public that I grieve. Exactly in the same proportion as our population and commercial habits gain upon us, do we need all possible opportunities to keep alive in us the spirit of nature.

"The world is too much with us, late and soon
Getting and spending; we lay waste our powers,
Little there is in nature that is ours."


We give ourselves up to the artificial habits and objects of ambition, till we endanger the higher and better feelings and capacities of our being; and it is alone to the united influence of religion, literature, and nature, that we must look for the preservation of our moral nobility. Whenever, therefore, I behold one of our old fieldpaths closed, I regard it as another link in the chain which Mammon is winding around us,—another avenue cut off by which we might fly to the lofty sanctuary of nature for power to withstand him.



To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

My dear Sir,— To your late interesting notices of "Bells" and "Bell-ringing," the following singular letter, which appears in a Suffolk paper, may be added. I happen to know something of this "jangling;" and when I resided in the town of Bury St. Edmund's some years back, was compelled to listen to "the most hideous noise" of St. James's lofty opponents. But "who shall decide when doctors disagree?"—Why, Mr. Editor,—we will. It is a hardship, a cruelty, a usurpation, a "tale of woe." Listen to St. James's statement, and then let us raise our bells, and ring a "righte sounde and merie" peal, such as will almost "split the ears of the groundlings."—

"Sir,—since we have been repeatedly asked why St. James's ringers lost the privilege of ringing in St. Mary's steeple, as far as it lies in our power we will answer it. Ever since the year 1714, up to the period of 1813, the rining in this town was conducted by one company only, who had the liberty of ringing at both steeples; and in St. Mary's steeple there are recorded two peals rung by the Bury company, one of which was rung in 1779, and the other in 1799. In 1813, the bells of St. Mary's wanting some repairs, the ringers applied to the church-wardens, and they having declined doing any thing to them, the ringers ceased from ringing altoether until the bells were repaired. At length an offer was made to the churchwardens to raise a young company, which offer was accepted by them, and the bells were partially repaired. In consequence of which a company was raised, and a part of it consisted of old men who were incapable of learning to ring; youth being the only time when such an art can be acquired. It was agreed that when this company could ring one course of eight (or 112 changes), that each one should receive one pound, which they have never asked for, well knowing they were never entitled to it; at the same time, it appears evident that the parish consented they should learn to ring. In 1817, only two years and a half after the company was raised, three bells wer obliged to be rehung, at nearly twenty pounds' expense. Taking an account of the annual repairs of the bells, and the repairs in 1814, the three years of sixteen-change ringers cost the parish nearly thirty pounds, which would have rehung the whole peal, being a deal more than what the old ringers would have caused them to be repaired for in 1814. We, the present company of St. James's ringers, are well aware that St. Mary's company had the offer to learn to ring in September, 1814, which we made no opposition to; and if St. Mary's had learnt, we sould have gladly taken them by the hand as brother ringers; but after twelve years' arduous struggle in endeavouring to learn to ring, they are no forwarder than the first week they began. They could only then ring (no more than they can now) sixteen changes, and that very imperfectly, being but a very small part of the whole revolution of changes on eight bells, which consist of 40,320. We, St. James's ringers, or 'old ringers,' as we have been commonly called, often get blamed for the most hideous noise made in St. Mary's steeple; and after the jangling of the bells, miscalled ringing, which they afforded the other evening, we indulge in the hope that our future use of the steeple will be generally allowed.

"We are, Sir, most gratefully,
"Your humble servants,


Ah! much respected "St. James's company," do "indulge the hope" of making St. Mary's bells speak eloquently again. If my pen can avail, you shall soon pull "Old Tom's" tail in that steeple; and all his sons, daughters, and kindred around him, shall lift up their voices in well-tuned chorus, and sing "hallelujahs" of returning joy. "Those evening bells, those evening bells," which used to frighten all the dogs and old women in the parish, and which used to make me wish were suspended round the ringers' necks, shall utter sweet music and respond delightedly to lovers' vows and tales whispered in shady lanes and groves, in the vicinity of your beautiful town. You, worthy old bellmen, who have discoursed so rapidly on the marrieages of my father, and uncle, and cousin, and friend, and acquaintance, who would have (for a guinea!) paid the same compliment to myself, (although I was wedded in a distant land, and like a hero of romance and true knight-errant, claimed my fair bride, without consulting "father or mother, sister or brother,") and made yourselves as merry at my expense, as my pleasantest friends or bitterest enemies could have wished, had I hinted such a thing!

Oh! respectable churchwardens—discharge the "young company," who chant unfeelingly and unprofitably. Remember the "old ringers!"

"Pity the sorrows of the poor old men."

Respect talent—consider their virtues—patronise that art which "can only be attained when young"—and which the "young company" cannot attain—(does this mean they are stupid?)—and console the "old ringers," and let them pull on until they are pulled into their graves! Think how they have moved the venerable tower of old St. James's with their music* 7 — nay, until the very bricks and stones above, wished to become more intimately acquainted with them! Do not let a stigma be cast upon them—for, should the good town's-people imagine the "most hideous noise" was caused by the "old ringers," their characters are gone for ever—they dare not even look at you through a sheet of paper! How "many a time and oft" have they fired their feux de joie on the king's birthday—how many thousand changes pealed for the alderman's annual feast—how many "tiddle-lol-tols" played on the celebration of your election—parish dinners, &c. &c. Then think of their fine—half-minute—scientific—eloquent "tolls" for the death of the "young—the brave—and the fair!" Oh!—respectable gentlemen in office — "think of these things."

I can aver, the ringers of St. Mary's are only to be equalled in the vairety of their tunes, and unaccountable changes, by "the most hideous noise" of our Waterloo-road bellmen. I suppose they are a "young company." I can only say, then, I wish they were old, if there were any chance of their playing in tune and time.

And now, farewell, my good "old ringers" of St. James's. I have done all I can for you, and will say there is as much difference between your ringing and the "young company" at St. Mary's, as there is between the fiddling of the late Billy Waters and Signor Spagnoletti, the leader of the large theatre in the Haymarket!

Farewell! May you have possession of St. Mary's steeple by the time you see this in the Every-Day Book; and may the first merry peal be given in honour of your considerate and faithful townsman—

S. R.


Mean Temperature   .   .   .   60   .   67.

1.6. July 5.


On the fifth of July, 1685, the duke of Monmouth's enterprise against James II. was ended by the battle of Sedgemoor, near Bridgwater, in Somersetshire. The duke's army consisting of native followers attacked the king's veteran troops, routed them, and would finally have conquered, if error in Monmouth as a leader, and the cowardice of lord Gray, one of his commanders, had not devoted them to defeat.

1.6.2. Letter of
Oliver Cromwell
Now first published.

To several letters of distinguished individuals, first brought to light in these sheets, the editor is enabled to add another. If the character of the writer, and the remarkable event he communicates, be considered in connection with the authority to whom the letter was addressed, it will be regarded as a document of real importance.

July 1, 1826.

Sir,—I had intended to have sent you this communication in time for insertion under the date of the twenty-sixth of June, which, according to the New Style, corresponds with the fourteenth, on which the letter was written, a copy of which I send:—it is from Oliver Cromwell to the Speaker Lenthall, giving an account of the battle of Naseby.—It was presented to me a great many years ago by a friend in Northamptonshire, and is, I think, an historical curiosity.—I make no comment on its style; it speaks for itself.

I am, &c.

E. S. F.

"Being Commanded by you to this Service, I think myself bound to acquaint you with the good hand of God towards you and us: We marched ysterday after the King, who went before us from Daventry to Haversbrowe, and quartered about Six Miles from him—he drew out to meet us—Both armies engag'd.—We, after three hours fight—very doubtful,—at last routed his army—kill'd and took about 5000—very many officers—but of what quality, we yet know not.—We took also about 200 Carag. all he had—and all his Guns being 12 in number—whereof two were Demi Culverins and I think the rest Fasces—we pursued the Enemy from three miles short of Haversbrowe to nine beyond—Ever to sight of Leicester, whither the King fled.—Sir—this is none other but the hand of God:—and to him alone belongs the Glory—wherein none are to share with him.—The General servbed you with all faithfulness and honor—and the best recommendation I can give of him is, that I dare say, he attributes all to God and would rather perish than to assume to himself, which is an honest and thriving way—Yet as much for Bravery must be given him in this Action as to a man.—Honest men served you faithfully in this Action.—Sir, they are trusty—I beseech you, in the Name of God, not to discourage them.—I wish this Action may beget thankfulness and Humility in all that are concern'd in it—He that ventures his Life for the good of his Country—I wish he trusts God for the Liberty he fights for.—In this, he rests who is your must humble Servant

"O. Cromwell."

" Haversbrowe , June 14, 1645."

The gentleman who possesses Cromwell's original letter is known to the editor, who thus publicly expresses his thanks to him, as he has done privately, for having communicated so valuable an historical document to the public, through the Every-Day Book.

Edinburgh .

With the particulars respecting this foundation in the present volume , it was intended to give the two engravings subjoined. They were ready, and the printer waited for them, and delayed the publication an entire day, while the engraver's messenger carried them about with him, without the accompaniment of a recollection that they were in his pocket, until after the sheet had appeared without them. This is a disclosure of one of the many "secret sorrows" lately endured by the editor, who begs the reader to bear in mind that the cuts belong to col. 766.


This armorial bearing is carved on many parts of the edifice.

The present fac-simile of his signature, is from one engraved from his subscription to an "acompt," in his "Memoirs" before quoted.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

June 24, 1826.

Sir,—It was about this season of the year, though I am not aware of any precise day being fixed for the excursion, that the chief magistrate of the city, in the stately barge, attended by all the "pride, pomp, and circumstance" of flags, gilding, and music, used, when I was a boy, which is a good thirty years ago, to proceed up the river Thames as far as Staines, and, I believe, pour a glass of wine, or perform some such ceremony, upon a stone, which, standing in a meadow a short distance above Staines-bridge, marks the city's watery jurisdiction. The custom may, for aught I know to the contrary, be still continued, though I suspect it has become obsolete, and my conjecture is strengthened by not observing in your Every-Day Book any mention of this civic excursion, or "Swan-hopping," as I believe it was called. My reason for reviving the memory of it now, is to introduce and authentic anecdote. Your invitations to correspondents have been frequent; and should I be fortunate enough to assist you to a column in a way that will be gratifying to you and your numerous readers, I shall rejoice in the opportunity.

I am, Sir, &c.


1.6.5. City Swan-hopping.

The following curious circumstance occurred, several years ago, at a tavern in the vicinity of Putney-bridge. Several members of one of the city companies having accompanied the chief magistrate on an excursion up the river, quitted his lordship, and landed at the house in question. A boat containing a party of six ladeis, elegantly dressed, and rowed by two watermen, in scarlet jackets, put in at the same time.

The happy citizens relieved from the controul of their dames, could not resist this opportunity of showing their gallantry and politeness. They stepped forward and offered their aid to assist the ladies in landing; the offer was accepted; and this act of civility was followed by others. They walked, talked, and laughed together, till dinner was announced. The gentlemen went to the larger room; the ladies sat down to a repast laid out for them by their order in a smaller one.

After some time the ladies again returned to the lawn, where the gentlemen occasionally joined them and continued their civilities till the watermen informed them the tide served for their return to town. The gentlemen then assisted the ladies on board, and wished them a safe voyage. Soon after they called for their bill, which was handed to the chairman in due form; but it is impossible to express the surprise which marked his countenance on reading the following items:—"dinner, desert, wine, tea, &c. for the ladies, 7l. 10s.;" together with a charge of twelve shillings for servants' refreshements. The landlord was sent for and questioned as to this charge, who said the ladies had desired the bill should be delivered to their spouses, who would settle it. An explanation now took place, when it appeared the parties were strangers to each other; for these sprightly dames, taking advantage of the occasional civilities of the gallant and unsuspecting swan-hoppers, had imposed themselves on honest Boniface, nothing loth perhaps to be imposed on, as the wives of the city company, and, as such, had been served with an elegant dinner, desert, wine, &c. which they had left their husbands to pay for. The discovery at first disconcerted the gentlemen, but the wine they had drank having opened their hearts and inspired them with liberality, they took the trick put upon them in good part, and paid the bill; and the recollection of the wives of the city company, long afterwards afforded them an ample subject for conversation and laughter.


To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

SIR,—The following beautiful lines were written in the summer of the year 1808, at Sheffield, and have not been published; as they are no mean effusion, perhaps they will not disgrace your interesting little work.

Believe me, Sir, &c.
C. T.

July 9, 1826.


When the sun's dazzling brightness oppresses the day,
How delightful to ramble the forests among!
And thro' the arched boughs hung with woodbine so gay,
To view the rich landscape, to hear the sweet song!
And lo! where the charms of the wild woodland vale,
Expanding in beauty, enrapture the sight;
Here the woods in dark majesty wave in the gale,
There the lawns and the hills are all blazing in light.
From yonder high rocks, down the foaming stream rushes,
Then gleams thro' the valley o'ershadowed with trees,
While the songsters of spring, warbling wild from the bushes,
With exquisite melody charm the faint breeze.
The peasant boy now with his cattle descends,
Winding slow to the brook down the mountain's steep tide;
Where the larch o'er the precipice mournfully bends,
And the mountain-ash waves in luxuriance beside.
And mark yonder oak—'tis the cliff's nodding crest,
That spreads its wide branches and towers sublime;
The morning's first glances alight on its breast,
And evening there spends the last glimpse of her time.
But hark! the storm bursts, and the raging winds sweep—
See the lightning's swift flash strikes its branches all bare!
E'en the leaves, where the sunbeams delighted to sleep,
Are scorched in the blaze, and are whirled thro' the air.
Yet the shrubs in the vale closely sheltered from harm,
Untouch'd by the tempest, scarce whisper a sound;
While the mountains reecho the thunder's alarm,
The winds are restrained by the rock's massy bound.
Thus the rich and the great who engross fortune's smiles,
Feel the rankling of care often torture their rest,
While peace all the toils of the peasant beguiles,
Or hope's higher raptures awake in his breast.
Then mine be the lot of the willow that weeps,
Unseen in the glen o'er the smooth flowing rill,
'Mongst whose pensile branches the flow'ret creeps,
And the strains of the night-bird the ear sweetly thrill
Some nook in the valley of life shall be mine,
Where time imperceptibly swiftly glides by,
True friendship and love round my heart shall entwine,
And sympathy start the warm tear in my eye.
Then haply my wild harp will make such sweet notes,
That the traveller climbing the rock's craggy brow,
May stop and may list, as the music still floats,
And think of the bard in the valley below.



Mean Temperature   .   .   .   61   .   32.

1.7. July 6.


This day is still marked in our almanacs, on account of its being adhered to, in a few places, as a "good old day," of the "good old times."

In the Parish of Puxton, Somerset.

The subjoined letter was duly received according to its date, and is now in due time inserted. The editor has very few omissions of this kind to apologize for: if he has prematurely, and therefore unduly, introduced some communications which arrived too late for ther proper days, he may be excused, perhaps, in consideration of the desire expressed by some correspondents, that their papers should appear in a "reasonable" time or not at all. Unhappily he has experienced the mishap of a "reasonable" difference, with one or two of his contributors. From the plan of this work, certain matters-of-fact could only range, with propriety, under certain days; while it has been conceived of, by some, as a magazine wherein any thing could come, at any time. In this dilemma he has done the best in his power, and introduced, in a few instances, papers of that nature out of place. On two or three occasions, indeed, it seemed a courtesy almost demanded by the value of such articles, that they should not await the rotation of the year. The following curiously descriptive account of a remarkable local custom is from a Somersetshire gentleman, who could be relied on for a patient endurance of nine months, till this, its due season arrived.

Sir,— Having observed in your Every-Day Book, p. 837, vol i. mention of an ancient custom of dividing lands, which formerly took place on the Saturday before old midsummer-day, in the parish of Puxton, in Somersetshire, (taken from Mr. Collinson's history of that county,) I now send you a more explicit and enlarged account, with the marks as they were cut in each person's allotment.

The two large pieces of common land called Dolemoors, which lie in the parishes of Congresbury, Week St. Lawrence and Puxton, were allotted in the following mannter. On the Saturday Preceding midsummer-day O.S. the several proprietors (of the estates having any right in those moors) or their tenants, were summoned at a certain hour in the morning, by the ringing of one of the bells at Puxton, to repair to the church, in order to see the chain (kept for the purpose of laying out Dolemoors) measured. The proper length of such chain was ascertained by placing one end thereof at the foot of the arch, dividing the chancel from the body of the church, and extending it through the middle aisle, to the foot of the arch of the west door under the tower, at each of which places marks were cut in the stones for that purpose. The chain used for this purpose was only eighteen yards in length, consequently four yards shorter than the regular land-measuring chain. After the chain had been properly measured, the parties repaired to the commons. Twenty-four apples were previously prepared, bearing the following marks, viz. Five marks called "Pole-axes," four ditto "Crosses," two ditto "Dung-forks, or Dung-pikes," one mark called "Four Oxen and a Mare," one ditto "Two Pits," one ditto "Three Pits," one ditto "Four Pits," one ditto "Five Pits," one ditto "Seven Pits," one "Horn," one "Hare's-tail," one "Duck's-nest," one "Oven," one "Shell," one "Evil," and one "Hand-reel."

It is necessary to observe that each of these moors was divided into several portions called furlongs, which were marked out by strong oak posts, placed at regular distances from each other; which posts were constantly kept up. After the apples were properly prepared, they were put into a hat or bag, and certain persons fixed on for the purpose, began to measure with the chain before-mentioned, and proceeded till they had measured off one acre of ground; at the end of which, the boy who carried the hat or bag containing the marks took out one of the apples, and the mark which such apple bore, was immediately cut in the turf with a large knife kept for that purpose: this knife was somewhat in the shape of a scimetar with its edge reversed. In this manner they proceeded till the whole of the common were laid out, and each proprietor knowing the mark and furlong which belonged to his estate, he took possession of his allotment or allotments accordingly, for the ensuing year. An adjournment then took place to the house of one of the overseers, where a certain number of acres reserved for the purpose of paying expenses, and called the "out-let or out-drift," were let my inch of candle.

During the time of letting, the whole party were to keep silence, (except the person who bid,) under the penalty of one shilling. When any one wished to bod, he hamed the price he would give, and immediately deposited a shilling on the table where the candle stood; the next who bid, also named his price and deposited his shilling in like manner, and the person who first bid was then to take up his shilling. The business of letting thus proceeded till the candle was burnt out, and the last bidder, prior to that event, was declared the tenant of the out-let, or out-drift, for the ensuing year.

Two oeverseers were annually elected from the proprietors or their tenants. A quantity of strong ale or brown-stout was allowed for the feast, or "revel," as it was called; also bread, butter and cheese, together with pipes and tobacco, of which any reputable person, whose curiosity or casual business led him to Puxton on that day, was at liberty to partake, but he was expected to deposit at his departure one shilling with the overseer, by way of forfeit for his intrusion. The day was generally spent in sociality and mirth, frequently of a boisterous nature, from the exhilarating effects of the brown-stout before alluded to; for it rarely happened but that some of the junior part of the company were desirous of making a trial of their skill in the sublime art of pugilism, when hard knocks, thumps, bangs, and kicks, and consequently black eyes, bloody noses, and sore bones, were distributed with the greatest liberality amongst the combatants.

"And now the field of Death, the lists
Are enter'd by antagonists."

In this stage of the business, some venerable yeoman usually stepped forward and harangued the contending parties, in some such speech as the following, which I am sorry to say was most commonly thrown away upon these pot-valiant champions:--

"What rage, O friends! what fury
Doth you to these dire actions hurry?
What towns, what garrisons might you,
With hazard of this blood subdue,
Which now y'are bent to throw away
In vain untriumphable fray?"

Yet after these civil broils, the parties seldom bore each other any grudge or ill-will, and generally at the conclusion of the contest,

"Tho' sorely bruis'd, their limbs all o'er
With ruthless bangs still stiff and sore,"
they shook hands, became good friends again, and departed with the greatest sang-froid to apply
"Fit med'cines to each glorious bruise
They got in fight, reds, blacks, and blues;
To mollify th' uneasy pang
Ov ev'ry honourable bang."

In the year 1779, an attempt was made to procure an act of parliament for allotting these moors in perpetuity; but an opposition having been made by a majority of the proprietors, the plan was relinquished. I have now by me a printed copy of the bill drawn up on that occasion. The land, however, was actually enclosed and allotted in the year 1811, and the ancient mode of dividing it, and consequently the drunken festival, or revel, from that time discontinued.

The following marks are correct delineations of those used, being taken from the originals in the book appropriated for the purpose of keeping the accounts of this very singular and ancient usage.

Figure 2. The Marks for Allotting Dolmoors.

I have from my youth lived within a few miles of the place mentioned, and have often heard of the "humours of Dolmoor revel," and on one occasion attended personally the whole day for the purpose of observing them, and ascertaining the customs of the rude, rural festival. As the customs before-mentioned are now become obsolete, it would be pleasing to many of your readers, to see them recorded in your very interesting and popular work. These customs originated in all probablility with our Saxon ancestors, and it would be unpardonable to consign them to total oblivion.

I am, Sir,
Yours respectfully, G. B.

After this description of the method of "laying out of lands," at a period of teh year when steam boats are conveying visiters to the "watering places on the Thames," it seems prudent and seasonable to notice another custom--


In the Fens of Essex and Kent.

And, first, as to this "grave" custom on the London side of the Thames, we have the epistolary testimony of a writer in the year 1773, viz.--

Sir, -- Nothing but that unaccountable variety of life, which my stars have imposed upon me, could have apologised for my taking a journey to the fens of Essex. Few strangers go into those scenes of desolation, and fewer still (I find) return from thence--as you shall hear.

When I was walking one morning between two of the banks which restrain the waters in their proper bounds, I met one of the inhabitants, a tall and emaciated figure, with whom I entered into conversation. We talked concerning the manners and peculiarities of the place, and I condoled with him very pathetically on his forlorn and meagre appearance. He gave me to understand, however, that his case was far from being so desperate as I seemed to apprehend it, for that he had never looked better since he buried the first of his last nine wives.

‘Nine wives!’ rejoined I, eager and astonished, ‘Have you buried nine wives?’

‘Yes,’ replied the fen-man, ‘and I hope to bury nine more.’

‘Bravissimo!’--This was so far from allaying my astonishment, that in increased it. I then begged him to explain the miraculous matter, whcih he did in the following words:--

‘Lord! master,’ said he, ‘we people in the fens here be such strange creatures, that there be no creatures like us; we be like fish, or water-fowl, or others, for we be able to live where other folks would die sure enough.’

He then informed me, that to reside in the fens was a certain and quick death to people who had not been bred among them; that therefore when any of the fen-men wanted a wife, they went into the upland country for one, and that, after they carried her down among the fens, she never survived long: that after her death they went to the uplands for another, who also died; then ‘another, and another, and another,’ for they all followed each other as regular as the change of the moon; that by these means some "poor fellows" had picked up a good living, and collected together from the whole a little snug fortune; that he himself had made more money this way than he ever could do by his labour, for that he was now at his tenth wife, and she could not possibly stand it out above three weeks longer; that these proceedings were very equitable, for such girls as were born among themselves they sent up into the uplands to get husbands, and that, in exchange, they took their young women as wives; that he never know a better custom in his life, and that the only comfort he ever found against the ill-nature and caprice of women was the fens. This woman-killer then concluded with desiring me, if I had a wife with whom I was not over head and ears in love, to bring her to his house, and it would kill her as effectually as any doctor in Christendom could do. This offer I waved [sic]; for you know, sir, that (thank God) I am not married.

This strange conversation of my friend the fen-man, I could not pass over without many reflections; and I thought it my duty to give notice to my countrymen concerning a place which may be converted in so peculiar a manner to their advantage. 8

So far is from the narrative of a traveller into Essex , who, be it observed, "speaks for himself," and whose account is given "without note or comment;" it being certain that every rightly affected reader will for a correct opinion of such a narrator, and of the "fearful estate" of "upland women" who marry "lowland men."

As regards the "custom of Kent," in this matter, we have the account of a "Steam-boat Companion," who, turning "to the Kentish shore," says thus:--


Divides the isle of Grean from All-hallows, on the main land, and from the cliff marshes.

Who would believe while beholding these scenes of pleasure before us, that for six months in the year the shores of this hundred (Hoo) were only to be explored by the amphibious; that the sun is sel dom seen for the fog, and that every creature in love with life, flies the swamps of Hoo, preferring any station to its ague dealing vapours, its fenny filth, and muddy flats; a station, that during the winter season is destitute of every comfort, but fine eels, luscious flounders, smuggled brandy, Holland's gin, and sea-coal fire. We will here relate a whimsical circumstance that once took place in this neighbourhood while we were of the party.

It was at that time of the year when nature seems to sicken at her own infirmities, we think it was in the month of November, we were bound to Sheerness, but the fog coming on so gloomily that no man could discover his hand a yard before him, our waterman, whether by design or accident we cannot pretend to say, mistook the Thames, and rowed up the Yenlet creek. After a long, cold, and stubborn pull, protesting at the time he had never (man or boy) seen any thing so dismal, he landed us near Saint Mary's, that church yonder, with the very lofty and white spire, and then led us to an alehouse, the sign of which he called the Red Cock and Cucumber, and the aleman he hailed by the merry name of

John Piper,

And a very pleasant fellow John turned out to be; if he was a little hyperbolical, his manner sufficiently atoned for the transgression. The gloom of the day was soon forgotten, and the stench arising from filthy swamps less regarded. At our entrance we complained heavily of the insupportable cloud with which we had been enveloped.

‘Ha! ha! ha!’ sang out the landlord, ‘to be sure it is too thick to be eaten with a spoon, and too thin to be cut with a knife, but it is not so intolerable as a scolding wife, or a hungry lawyer.’

‘Curse the fog,’ cried our waterman,

‘Bless the fog,’ answered our landlord, ‘for it has made a man of me for life.’

‘How do you make that appear?’ we requested to know.

‘Set you down, sir, by a good sea-coal fire, for we pay no pool duties here, take your grog merrily, and I'll tell you all about it presently,’ rejoined the tapster, when drawing a wooden stool towards us, while his wife was preparing the bowl, John Piper thus began:--

‘You must know, sir, I was born in this fog, and so was my mother and her relatives for many past generation; therefore you will see, sir, a fog is as natural to me as a duck-pool to a dab-chick. When poor dame Piper died, I found myself exceedingly melancholy to live alone on these marshes, so determined to change my condition by taking a wife. It was very fortuante for me, sir, I knew a rich old farmer in the uplands, and he had three blooming daughters, and that which made the thing more desirable, he had determined to give each a portion of his honourably acquired property. The farmer had for many years been acquainted with my good father, gone to rest, and this gave me courage to lay my case before him. The elder girl was the bird for me, the farmer gave his consent, and we were married. Directly after, I quitted the uplands for the fog, with a pretty wife and five hundred golden guineas in my pocket, as good as ever bribed a lawyer to sell his client, or a parliament-man to betray his country. This was a good beginning, sir, but alas! there is no comfort without a cross; my wife had been used from her infancy to a fine keen open air, and our lowland vapours so deranged her constitution, that within nine months, Margaret left me and went to heaven.’

‘Being so suddenly deprived of the society of one good woman, where could I apply for another, better than to the sack from whence I drew the first sample? The death of my dear wife reflected no disgrace on me, and the old man's second daughter having no objection to a good husband, we presently entered into the bonds of holy matrimony, and after a few days of merriment, I came home with Susan, from the sweet hills to the fogs of the lowlands, and with four hundred as good guineas in my purse as ever gave new springs to the life of poverty. Similar causes, sir, they say produce similar effects; and this is certainly true, for in somewhere about nine months more, Susan slept with her sister.’

‘I ran to the uplands again, to condole with my poor old Nestor, and some how or other so managed the matter, that his youngest daughter, Rosetta, conceived a tender affection for Piper. I shall never forget it, sir, while I have existence; I had been there but a few days, when the good farmer, with tears in his eyes, thus addressed me: 'Piper, you have received about nine hundred pounds of my money, and I have about the same sum left; now, son, as you know how to make a good use of it, I think it is a pity it should go out of the family; therefore, if yu have a fancy for Rosetta, I will give you three hundred pounds more, and the remnant at my departure.'’

‘Sir, I had always an aversion to stand shilly shally, 'make haste and leave nothing to waste,' says the old proverb. The kind girl was consenting, and we finished the contract over a mug of her father's best October. From the hills we ran to the fogland, and in less than two years more, poor Rosetta was carried up the churchway path, where the three sisters, as they used to do in their infancy, lie by the side of each other; and the old man dying of grief for the loss of his favourite, I placed him at their head, and became master of a pretty property.’

‘A short time after, a wealthy widow from Barham, (of the same family,) came in the summer time to our place. I saw her at church, and she set her cap at Piper; I soon married her for her Eldorado metal, but alas! she turned out a shrew. 'Nil desperandum' said I, Piper, to myself, the winter is coming in good time; the winter came, and stood my friend; for the fog and the ague took her by the hand and led her to Abraham's bosom.’

‘An innkeeper's relict was the next I ventured on, she had possessions at Sittingbourne, and they were hardly mine before my good friend, the fog, laid Arabella 'at all-fours' under the turf, in St. Mary's churchyard; and now, sir, her sister, the cast-off of a rich Jew, fell into my trap, and I led her smiligh, like a vestal, to the temple of Hymen; but althought the most lively and patient creature on earth, she could not resist the powers of the fog, and I for the sixth time became a widower, with an income of three hundred a year, and half the cottages in this blessed hundred. To be brief, sir, I was now in want of nithing but a contented mind; thus, sir, through the fog you treated with such malignity, I became qualified for a county member. But alas! sir, there is always something unpleasant to mingle with the best of human affairs, envy is ever skulking behind us, to squeeze her gall-bag into the cup of our comforts, and when we think ourselves in safety, and may sing the song of 'O! be joyful,' our merriment ends with a 'miseracordia.'"’

After a short pause, ‘Look, sir,’ said Piper, in a loud whisper, ‘at that woman in the bar, now making the grog, she is my seventh wife; with her I had a fortune also, but of a different nature from all the rest. I married her without proper consideration—the wisest are sometimes overtaken; Solomon had his disappointments; would you think it, sir? she was fogborn like myself, and withal, is so tough in her constitution, that I fear she will hold me a tight tug to the end of my existence, and become my survivor.’

‘Ha! ha! ha!’ interjected Mrs. Piper, (who had heard all the long tale of the tapster,) ‘there is no fear about that, John, and bury as many upland husbands, when you lie under the turf, as you, with the fog, have smothered wives.’

Our Yorick now became chop-fallen, and a brisk wind springing up from the north-west, the fog abated, and we took to our boat.* 9

If there be truth in these narratives, the "lowland lasses" of the creeks, have good reason for their peculiar liking to "highland laddies;" and "upland" girls had better "wither on the virgin thorn," than marry "lowland" suitors and—

"Fall as the leaves do
And die in October."

Far be it from the editor, to bring the worthy "neither fish nor flesh" swains, of the Kent and Essex fens and fogs, into contempt; he knows nothing about them. What he has set down he found in "the books," and, having given his authorities, he wishes them every good they desire—save wives from the uplands.


Mean Termperature . . . 61 . 75.

1.8. July 7.


Strange to say, the name of this saint, so obnoxious to the early reformers, is still retained in the church of England calendar; the fact is no less strange that the day of his festival is the anniversary of the translation of his relics from the undercroft of the cathedral of Canterbury, in the year 1220, to a sumptuous shrine at the east end of the church, whither they attracted crowds of pilgrims, and, according to the legends of the Romaish church, worked abundant miracles.

Figure 3. St. Thomas a Becket.

This engraving is from a drawing by Mr. Harding, who states that he made it from a very rare engraving. The drawing belongs to Mr. J. J. A. F., who favoured the editor by lending it for the present purpose.

St. Thomas of Canterbury, bishop and martyr, attained the primacy during the reign of Henry II. He advanced the interests of the church against the interests of the kingdom, till a parliament declared his possessions forfeited, and Becket having left the kingdom, Henry seized the revenues of the see.

It appears from an old tract that this churchman was a swordsman. He accompanied Henry in one of his campaigns with a retinue of seven humdred knights and gentlemen, kept twelve hundred horse in his own pay, and bore his dignity with the carriage of the proudest baron. "His bridle was of silver, his saddle of velvet, his stirrups, spurs, and bosses, double gilt. His expenses far surpassing the expenses of an earl. He fed with the fattest, was clad with the softest, and kept company with the pleasantest. And the king made him his chancellor, in which office he passed the pomp and pride of Thomas [Wolsey] Cardinal, as far as the one's shrine passeth the other's tomb in glory and riches. And, after that, he was a man of war, and captain of five or six thousand men in full harness, as bright as St. George, and his spear in his hand; and encountered whosoever came against him, and overthrew the jollyest rutter that was in all the host of France. And out of the field, hot from blood-shedding, was he made bishop of Canterbury, and did put off his helm, and put on his mitre; put off his harness, and on with his robes; and laid down his spear, and took his cross, ere his hands were cold; and so came, with a lusty courage of a man of war, to fight another while against his prince for the pope; when his prince's cause were with the law of God and the pope's clean contrary."

After his disgrace by the king he wore a hair shirt, ate meats of the driest, excommunicated his brother bishops, and "was favoured with a revelation of his martyrdom," at Pontigni. Alban Butler says, ‘"whilst he lay prostrate before the altar in prayers and tears, he heard a voice, saying distinctly, 'Thomas, Thomas, my church shall be glorified in thy blood.' The saint asked, 'Who art thou, Lord?' and the same voice answered, 'I am Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, thy borther.'"’ He then returned to England, excited rebellious commotions, and on Christmas-day, 1170, preached his last sermon to his flock, on the text, "And peace to men of good-will on earth." These are the words wherein Alban Butler expresses the "text," which, it may be as well to observe, is a garbled passage from the New Testament, and was altered perhaps to suit the saint's views and application. Room cannot be afforded in this place for particulars of his preceding conduct, or an exact description of his death, which is well-known to have been accomplished by "four knights," who, from attachment to the king, according to the brutal manners of those days, revenged his quarrel by killing St. Thomas, while at prayers in Canterbury cathedral.

1.8.2. The following interesting paper relates to one of the knights who slew Becket—


To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

June, 1826.

Sir,—I beg leave to transmit to you an account of the burial place of sir William de Tracy, one of the murderers of Thomas a Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, in the reighn of Henry the Second. I regret, at the same time, that distance from the spot precludes the possibility of my taking a drawing of the tomb, but I have by me its measurement, and the inscription, which I copied with as great care as possible when there.

The parish church of Morthoe, probably built by Tracy himself, is situated on the bold and rocky coast of the north of Devon. It stands on an eminence, near the sea-shore, is sheltered by hills on the north and south, but open towards the west, on which side is the fine bay of Woolacombe. The interior of the church presents the humblest appearance; its length is near 80 feet, its breadth 18, excepting the middle, which, with an aisle, measures 30. On the west side is a recess, 15 feet by 14, in the centre of which is the vault, containing the remains of de Tracy. The rustic inhabitants of the parish can give no other account of the tomb than the traditionary one, that it contains the remains of a giant, to whom, in the olden time, all that part of the country belonged.

The vault itself is 2 feet 4 in. high; 7 feet 6 in. long at the base; three feet and a half broad at one end of ditto, and two feet and a half, at the other. The large black slab covering the top of the vault is half a foot in thickness. Engraved on this slab is the figure of a person in robes, holding a chalice in one hand; and round the border is an inscription, which is now almost illegible. I had a drawing of the whole, which I have lost, but with the account I wrote at the time of visiting the place, I have preserved the inscription, as far as I was able to make it out. 10

On the east side of the vault are three armorial bearings, and the carved figures of two nuns; on the north is the crucifixion; on the west side, there is nothing but Gothic carving; and the south end is plain.

An old and respectable farmer, residing at Morthroe, informed me that about fifty or sixty years ago "a gentleman from London" came down to take an account of the tomb, and carried away with him the skull and one of the thigh bones of de Tracy. He opened and examined the vault with the connivance of a negligent and eccentric minister, then resident in the parish, who has left behind him a fame by no means to be envied.

The gentleman alluded to by the worthy yeoman was no doubt the celebrated antiquariy Gough, who, in his "Sepulchral Monuments in Great Britain," has given a long account of the life and burialplace of Tracy. In his introduction to that laborious and very valuable work, page ciii. he says:—‘"The instances of figures cut in the slab, and not inlaid with metal, nor always blacked, are not uncommon."’ Among the instances which he cites to illustrate this remark, he mentions the slab on the vault of ‘William de Tracy, Rector of Morthoe, Devon, 1322."’—Here we find the gigantic knight dwindled to a parson; and the man whose name should be for ever remembered with gratitude by his countrymen, the hero who happily achieved a far more arduous enterprise, a work of greater glory than did the renowned but fabled saint, over the devouring dragon—forgotten beneath the robe of an obscure village rector! The parish of Morthoe is, however, not a rectory, but what is called a ‘"perpetual curacy,"’ and the living is at present not worth much more than seventy pounds per annum.

Since I have, by the merest accident, got hold of Gough, I will extract what he records of the forgotten Tracy, as it may not be unentertaining to the lover of history to peruse a detail of the ultimate fate of one of the glorious four, who delivered their country from perhaps the greatest pest that was ever sent to scourge it.

‘"William de Tracy, one of the murderers of Becket, has been generally supposed, on the authority of Mr. Risdon, (p. 116.) to have built an aisle in the church of Morthoe, Devon; and to have therein an altar-tomb about 2 feet high, with his figure engraven on a grey slab of Purbeck marble, 7 feet by 3, and 7 inches thick, and this inscription, [in Saxon capitals,]’

‘"SYRE [Guillau] ME DE TRACY [gist icy, Diu de son al] ME EYT MERCY.’

‘"On the upper end of this tomb is carved in relief the crucifixion, with the virgin and St. John, and on the north side some Gothic arches, and these three coats; I. Az. 3 lions passant guardant, Arg. 2. Arg. 3. two bars, B. Az. a saltire, Or.——The first of these is the coate of William Camville, formerly patron of this church: the second, that of the Martins, formerly lords of Barnstaple, who had lands in this neighbourhood: the third, that of the Saint Albins, who had also estates in the adjoining parish of Georgeham.’

‘"The figure on the slab is plainly that of a priest in his sacerdotal habit, holding a chalice between his hands, as if in the act of consecration.——Bishop Stapledon's register, though it does not contain the year of his institution, fixes the date of his death in the following terms, 'Anno, 1322, 16 Decr. Thomas Robertus prœsentat. ad eceles. de Morthoe vacantem per mortm Wilhelmi de Traci, die dominic, primo post nativ. Virginis per mortem Will. de Campvill.'

‘"The era of the priest is therefore 140 years later than that of the knight. It does not appear by the episcopal registers that the Tracies were ever patrons of Morthoe, except in the following instances:—’

‘"Anno, 1257, Cal. Junii, John Allworty, presented by Henry de Traci, guardian of the lands and heirs of Ralph de Brag. Anno, 1275. Thomas Capellanus was presented to this rectory by Philip de Weston. In 1330, Feb. 5, Henry de la Mace was presented to this rectory by William de Camville. In 1381, Richard Hopkins was presented by the dean and chapter of Exeter, who are still patrons.’

‘"It is probable that the stone with the inscription to William de Tracy did not originally belong to the altar-tomb on which it now lies; but by the arms seems rather to have been erected for the patron William de Camville, it being unusual in those days to raise so handsome a monument for a priest, especially as the altar-tomb and slab are of very different materials, and the benefice itself is of very incosiderable value. It is also probable the monument of Traci lay on the ground, and that when this monument was broken open, according to Risdon, in the last century, this purbeck slab was placed upon the altar-tomb though it did not at first belong to it.’

‘"The Devonsire antiquaries assert that sir William de Tracy retired to this place after he had murdered Becket. But this tradition seems to rest on no better au thority than the misrepresentation of the inscription here given, and because the family of Traci possessed the fourth part of a fee in Woolacombe within this parish, which is still called after their name. But the Tracies had many possessions in this country, as Bovey Traci, Nymett Traci, Bedford Traci, &c. William de Traci held the honor of Barnstaple, in the beginning of Henry the Second's reign. King John granted the Barony of Barnstaple to Henry de Traci, in the 15th of his reign; and the family seem to have been possessed of it in the reign of Henry III. I am indebted to the friendship of the present Dean of Exeter for the above observations, whcih ascertain the monument in question.’

‘"I shall digress no farther on this subject than to observe of sir William de Traci, that four years after the murder of Becket he had the title of Steward, i.e. Justice of Normandy, which he held but two years. He was in arms against King John in the last year of his reign, and his estate was confiscated; but on his return to his allegiance, 2 Henry III. it was restored. He was living, 7 Henry III. (Dugd. Bar. i. 622.) consequently died about or after 1223, having survived Becket upward of 57 years."*’ 11

Another slight mention is made of Tracy in p. 26. In describing Becket's shrine he quotes Stowe to this effect,—‘"The shrine of Thomas à Becket’ (says Stowe) ‘was builded about a man's height, all of stone, then upward of timber plain, within which was a chest of iron, containing the bones of Thomas Beckett, skull and all, with the wound of his death, and the piece cut out of his scull laid in the same wound."’ Gough remarks:— ‘"He should have added the point of Sir William Traci, the fourth assassin's sword, which broke off against the pavement, after cutting off his scull, so that the brains came out.’

'In thulke stede the verthe smot, yt the other adde er ydo,
And the point of is suerd brec in the marbreston a tuo,
Zat thulke point at Canterbury the monckes lateth wite,
Vor honor of the holi man yt therewith was ismite.
With thulke strok he smot al of the scolle & eke the crowne
That the brain ron al ebrod in the pauiment ther donne.'"
((Robert of Glouces. p. 476.))

This long extract, Mr. Editor, has, I confess, made me rather casuistical on the subject of Tracy's tomb. I shall, however, search some of the old chroniclers and see if they throw any light upon the biography of our knight. Hume mentions Tracy, and his three companions, but is perfectly silent with respect to the cutting off the top of the churchman's skull. His words are, ‘"they followed him thither, attacked him before the altar, and having cloven his head with many blows, retired without meeting any opposition."’ Should you, in the mean time, insert this, you will shortly hear again from

Your obedient servant,


Distrusting his own judgment on the subject of the preceding letter, the editor laid it before a gentleman whose erudition he could rely on for the accuracy of any opinion he might be pleased to express, and who obligingly writes as follows:—

R. A. R.'s letter, submitted to me through the kindness of Mr. Hone, certainly conveys much interesting miscellaneous information, although it proves nothing, and leaves the question, of who is actually the tenant of this tomb, pretty much where he finds it. In my humble opinion, the circumstance of technical heraldic bearings, and those moreover quartered, being found upon it, completely negatives the idea of its being the tomb of Becket's assassin. It is well known that the first English subject who ever bore arms quarterly is Hastings, earl of Pembroke, who died in the reign of Edward III. and is buried in Westminster abbey.

Family arms seem not to have been continuedly adopted, till towards the time of Edward I.

W. P.


The death of Becket appears to have been sincerely deplored by Henry II., inasmuch as the pope and his adherents visited the sin of the four knights upon the king, and upbraided him with his subjects by ecclesiastical fulminations. He endeavoured to make peace with the church by submitting to a public whipping. A late biographer records his meanness in the following sentences:

In 1174 king Henry went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of the late archbishop Becket, with the fame of whose miracles the whole realm was now filled, and whom the pope, by a bull dated in March the year before, had declared a siant and a martyr, appointing an anniversary festival to be kept on the day of his death, in order (says the bull) that, being continually applied to by the prayers of the faithful, he should intercede with God for the clergy and people of England.

Henry, therefore, desiring to obtain for himself this intercession, or to make others believe that the wrath of an enemy, to whom it was supposed that such power was given, might be thus averted from him, thought it necessary to visit the shrine of this new-created saint; and, as soon as he came within sight of the tower of Canterbury cathedral, (July 10,) at the distance of three miles, descended from his horse, and walked thither barefoot, over a road that was ful of rough and sharp stones, which so wounded his feet that in many places they were stained with his blood.

When he got to the tomb, which was then in the crypt (or under-croft) of the church, he threw himself prostrate before it, and remained, for some time in fervent prayer; during which, by his orders, the bishop of London, in his name, declared to the people, that ‘"he had neither commanded, nor advised, nor by any artifice contrived the death of Becket, for the truth of which, he appealed, in the most solemn manner, to the testimony of God; but, as the murderers of that prelate had taken occasion from his words, too inconsiderately spoken, to commit this offence, he voluntarily thus submitted himself to the discipline of the church."’

After this he was scourged, at his own request and command, by all the monks of the convent, assembled for that purpose, from every one of whom, and from several bishops and abbots there present, he received three or four stripes.

This sharp penance being done, he returned to his prayers before the tomb, which he continued all that day, and all the next night, not even suffering a carpet to be spread beneath him, but kneeling on the hard pavement.

Early in the morning he went round all the altars of the church, and paid his devotions to the bodies of the saints there interred; which having performed, he came back to Becket's tomb, where he staid till the hour when mass was said in the church, at which he assisted.

During all this time he had taken no kind of food; and, except when he gave his naked body to be whipped, was clad in sackcloth. Before his departure, (that he might fully complete the expiation of his sin, according to the notions of the church of Rome,) he assigned a revenue of forty pounds a year, to keep lights always burning in honour of Becket about his tomb. The next evening he reached London, where he found it necessary to be blooded, and rest some days.* 12 NATURALIST'S CALENDAR.

Mean Temperature . . . 62 . 00.

1.9. July 8.


July 8, 1533,Ariosto, the celebrated Italian poet, died at Ferrara: he was born in 1474, at the castle of Reggio in Lombardy.

1.9.2. THE SEASON.

In high summer, persons accustomed to live "well" should diminish the usual quantity of their viands and fluids: wine should be taken very sparingly, and spirituous liquors seldom. Habits of indulgence at this period of the hear fill many graves.


It may not be amiss it cite A CURIOUS ADVERTISEMENT,
From the Bahama Gazette, June 30, 1795.

WHEREAS the subscriber, through the pernicious habit of drinking, has greatly hurt himself in purse and person, and rendered himself odious to all his acquaintance, and finding there is no possibility of breaking off from the said practice, but through the impossibility to find the liquor; he therefore begs and prays that no persons will sell him, for money or on trust, any sort of spirituous liquors, as he will not in future pay it, but will prosecute any one for an action of damage against the temporal and eternal interests of the public's humble, serious, and sober servant,


Nassau, June 28, 1795.


At the commencement of July, 1826, hedgehogs were seen wandering along the most public streets of Oldham, in Lancashire, during the open day. It is presumed that, as the brooks from which these animals were wont to be supplied with drink had been dried up from the long-continued drought, they were obliged to throw themselves upon the mercy and protection of their ‘"good neighbours in the town."’* 13


In this month we have a host of whizzing insects to prevent our lassitude becoming downright laziness. From the kind of resentment they excite, we may pretty well imagine the temper and disposition of the persons they provoke. THE DROWNING FLY.
In yonder glass behold a drowning fly!
Its little feet how vainly does it ply!
Its cries we hear not, yet it loudly cries,
And gentle hearts can feel its agonies!
Poor helpless victim—and will no one save?
Will no one snatch thee from the threat'ning wave?
Is there no friendly hand—no help nigh,
And must thou, little struggler—must thou die
Thou shalt not, whilst this hand can set thee free,
Thou shalt not die—this hand shall rescue thee!
My finger's tip shall prove a friendly shore,
There, trembler, all thy dangers now are o'er.
Wipe thy wet wings, and banish all thy fear;
Go, join thy num'rous kindred in the air.
Away it flies; resumes its harmless play;
And lightly gambols in the golden ray.
  Smile not, spectators, at this humble deed;
For you, perhaps, a nobler task's decreed.
A young and sinking family to save:
To raise the infant from destruction's wave!
To you, for help, the victims lift their eyes—
Oh! hear, for pity's sake, their plaintive cries;
Ere long, unless some guardian interpose,
O'er their devoted heads the flood may close!


Mean Temperature   .   .   .   63   .   07.

1.10. July 9.


Every year on the ninth of July, the eve of the great fair of Wolverhampton, there was formerly a procession men in antique armour, preceded by musicians playing the fair tune, and followed by the steward of the deanry manor, the peace officers, and many of the principal inhabitants. Tradition says, the ceremony originated when Wolverhampton was a great emporium of wool, and resorted to by merchants of the staple from all parts of England. The necessity of an armed force to keep peace and order during the fair, (which is said to have lasted fourteen days, but the charter says only eight,) is not improbable. This custom of walking the fair, as it was called, with the armed procession, &c. was first omitted about the year 1789.* 14


Mean Temperature   .   .   .   63   .   87.

1.11. July 10.


On the tenth of July, 1740, died sir Charles Crispe, bart. of Oxfordshire. He was great-gradnson of sir Nicholas Crispe, bart. who spent 100,000l. in the service of king Charles I. and II. he took out a commission of array for the city of London, for which the parliament offered 1000l. reward to bring him alive or dead. The city of London sent him commissioner to Breda, to invite over king Charles II. who took him in his arms, and kissed him, and said, ‘Surely the city has a mind highly to oblige me, by sending over my father's old friend to invite me.’ He was the first who settled a trade to the coast of Africa.* 15


Mean Temperature   .   .   .   62   .   85.

1.12. July 11.


On the eleventh of July, 1804, a general Hamilton of New-York was killed in a duel by colonel Burr, the vice-president of the United States.

To Men of Honour.

WHEREAS certain persons who contemn the obligations of religion, are nevertheless mindful of the law of the land: And whereas it is supposed by some of such persons, that parties contemplating to fight a duel and bound over before a magistrate to keep the peace, may, notwithstanding, fight such duel in foreign parts: BE IT KNOWN, that the law which extends protection to all its subjects, can also punish them for breach of duty, and that, therefore, offences by duelling beyond sea, are indictable and punishable in manner and form, the same as if such duels were fought within the United kingdom.


After this warning against a prevailing offence, we may become acquainted with the character of an unoffending individual, through the pen of a respected friend to this work.

1.12.4. CHEAP TOMMY.
For the Every-Day Book.

If I forget thee, worthy old Tam Hogg,
May I forget that ever knives were cheap:—
If I forget thy barrow huge and steep,
Slow as a snail, and croaking like a frog:—
Peripatetic, stoic, "cynic dog,"
If from my memory perish thee, or thine,
May I be doomed to gnaw asunder twine,
Or shave with razor that has chipped a log!
For in thy uncouth tabernacle dwelt
Honest Philosophy; and oh! far more
Religion thy unstooping heart could melt,
Nor scorned the muse to sojourn at thy door;
What pain, toil, poverty didst thou endure,
Reckless of earth so heaven might find thee pure!

In my native village of Heanor, in Derbyshire, some sixteen or seventeen years ago, there appeared a singular character, whose arrival excited a sensation, and became an epoch in its history. Some boys who had been strolling to a distance brought an account that a little man, with a barrow as large as a house, was coming along the lane, at "a snail's gallop." Forth sallied a troop of gazers, who found a small, thick-set, round-faced man, in an old, red, soldier's jacket, and cocked hat, sitting on the handle of his barrow, which was built and roofed after the manner of a caravan; and was a storehouse of some kind of merchandise, what they yet knew not. He sat very quietly as they came round him, and returned their greetings in a way short and dry, and which became markedly testy and impatient, as they crowded more closely, and began to ask questions. ‘Not too fast, my masters; not too fast! my first answer can't overtake your twentieth question.’ At length he rose, and, by the aid of a strong strap passed over his shoulders, heaved up the handles of his barrow, and placing his head against it, like a tortoise under a stone, proceeded at a toilsome rate of some few hundred yards per hour. This specimen of patient endurance amazed the villagers. A brawny labourer would have thought it a severe toil to wheel it a mile; yet this singular being, outdoing the phlegmatic perseverance of an ass, casting Job himself in the background for patience, from league to league, from county to county, and from year to year, urged on his ponderous vehicle with almost imperceptible progression.

It was soon found that he was not more singular in appearance, than eccentric in mind. A villager, thinking to do him a kindness, offered to wheel his barrow, but what was the surprise of the gazers to see him present the man payment when he had moved it a considerable way, and on its being refused, to behold him quietly raise the barrow, turn it round, and wheel it back to the identical spot whence the villager set out.

On reaching the hamlet, he took up his quarters in a stable, and opened his one-wheeled caravan, displaying a good assortment of cutlery ware. It was there I first saw him, and was struck with his grave an uncomplying air, more like that of a beadle stationed to keep off intruders, than of a solicitous vender of wares. He was standing with a pair of pliers, twisting wire into scissor-chains; keeping, at the same time, a shrewd eye upon the goods. The prices were so wonderfully low that it was whispered the articles could not be good, or they were stolen: yet I did not perceive that either idea was suffiient to dissuade the people from buying, or from attempting to get them still lower. Then it was that his character and temper showed themselves. He laid aside the goods attempted to be chaffered for, saying,—‘You shall not have them at all, I tell no lies about them nor shall you.’ In fact his goods were goods. So much so, that many of them are in use in the village to this day: he desired only such a profit as would supply the necessities of one who never slept in a bed, never approached a fire for the sake of its warmth, nor ever indulged in any luxury. His greatest trial appeared to be to bear with the sordid spirit of the world. When this did not cross him he became smiling, communicative, and, strange as it may seem, exceedingly intelligent. I well recollect my boyish astonishment when he quoted to me maxims of Plato and Seneca, and when I heard him pouring out abundance of anecdote from the best sources. He had a real spirit of kindliness in him, though the most immediately striking features of his mind were shrewdness and rigid notions of truth; which, as he practised it himself, he seemed to expect from the whole world. He had a tame hedgehog which partook his fare, slept in a better next than himself, and was evidently a source of affectionate enjoyment. He was fond of children; but he had a stern spirit of independence which made him refuse gifts and favours, unless permitted to make some return. My mother frequently sent him warm messes in the wintry weather, and he brought her a scissor-chain and a candlestick of brass-wire. He was a writer of anagrams, acrostics, and so forth; and one epitaph written for one of his bystanders was,—

Too bad for heaven, too good for hell,
So where he's gone I cannot tell.

He always slept with his barrow chained to his leg; and on Sundays kept himself totally shut up, except during service time, standing the day through, reading his bible.

When his character was known, he grew to be a general favourite. His stable became a sort of school, where he taught, to a constant audience, more useful knowledge than has emanated from many a philosopher, modern or antique. The good-will he excited evidently pleased the old man; he came again and again, till at length years rolled away without his reappearance, and he was considered as dead. But not so. For ten or eleven years he was still going on his pilgrimage, a wanderer and an outcast; probably doing voluntary penance for some sin or unhappiness of youth; for he carefully kept aloof of his native country, Scotland, and though he spoke of one living sister with tearful eyes, he had not seen her for many, many years. In 1820 he had found his way to Midsomer Norton, near Bristol, where he was hooted into the town by a troop of boys, a poor, worn-down object, of the most apparent misery. This I accidentally learnt, short time ago, from a little book, the memorial of his last days, written by the worthy clergyman of that place, and published by Simpkin and Marshall, London.

What a tale would the history of those years have displayed. What scenes of solitary travel, exhaustion, suffering, insults, and occasional sympathy and kindness, breaking, like cheering sunbeams, through the ordinary gloom. His barrow was gone! Poverty had wrung from him or weakness had compelled him to abandon, that old companion of his travels. I have often thought what must have been his feelings at that parting. Poor old man, it was his house, his friend, his dog, his everything. What energies had he not expended in propelling it from place to place. It could not have been left without a melancholy pang,—without seeming to begin a more isolated and cheerless existence. But I cannot dwell upon the subject. It is sufficient to say that he found in the rev. William Read, who wrote the little book just mentioned, and excellent friend in the time of final need. That he retained the same character to the last; displaying, in a concluding scene of such bodily wretchedness and sufferings as has seldom been paralleled, the same astonishing endurance, nay ebullient thankfulness of heart; and that his piety seems to have worn off much of his asperity of manner.

A didactic poem called "The Flower Knot," or, "The Guide Post," was found after his death, a composition of no ordinary merit, from which we will quote two passages, and bid a final adieu to our old friend under every name of Thomas Hogg, Tam Hogg, or Cheap Tommy.

"Pope calls it feather—does he not say right?
'Tis like a custard weak, and bears no weight;
But had it not that wiping feather been
The poet's lines had never shone so clean.
Wisdom on foot ascends by slow degrees;
But wit has wings, and soars aloft with ease.
The seetest wine makes vinegar most sour,
So wit debased is hell's consummate power."
"Fountain of song, it prayer begins and ends;
Hope is the wing by which the soul ascends.
Some may allege I wander from the path,
And give to Hope the proper rights of Faith.
Like love and friendship, these, a comely pair,
What's done by one, the other has a share:
When heat is felt, we judge that fire is near,
Hope's twilight comes,—Faith's day will soon appear.
Thus when the christian's contest doth begin
Hope fights with doubts, till Faith's reserves come in.
Hope comes desiring and expects relief;
Faith follows, and peace springs from firm belief.
Hope balances occurrences of time;
Faith will not stop till it has reached the prime.
Just like copartners in joint stock of trade,
What one contracts is by the other paid.
Make use of Hope thy labouring soul to cheer,
Faith shall be giv'n, if thou wilt persevere.
We see all things alike with either eye,
So Faith and Hope the self-same object spy.
But what is Hope? or where, or how begun?
It comes from God, as light comes from the sun."



In consequence of this interesting narrative concerning Thomas Hogg, the "little book—the memorial of his last days" by the rev. Mr. Read, was procured by the editor. It is entitled "The Scottish Wanderer," and as our kind correspondent "H." has only related his own observations, probably from apprehension that his narrative might be deemed of sufficient length, a few particulars are extracted from Mr. Read's tract respecting the latter days of the "singular character."

Mr. Read commences his "Memoir of Thomas Hogg," by saying—‘On Sunday the ninth of January 1820, as I was proceeding in the services of the day, my attention was attracted by a wretched object seated in the nave of the church. There was an air of devout seriousness about him, under all the disadvantages of tattered garments and squalid appearance, which afforded a favourable presentiment to my mind. When the service was over the stranger disappeared.’

Mr. Read conceived that he was some poor passing beggar, who had been allured by the fire in the stove, but to his surprise on the following Sunday the same object presented himself, and took his station, as before, near the stove. He seemed to be a man decrepit with age: his head resting upon his bosom, which was partly exposed, betokened considerable infirmity. Under a coarse and dirty sackcloth frock was to be seen a soldier's coat patched in various places, which was strangely contrasted with the cleanliness of his shirt. His whole appearance was that of the lowest degree of poverty. His devout attention induced Mr. Read when the service was concluded to inquire who this old man was. "Sir," replied his informant, "he is a person who works at the blacksmith's shop; he is a remarkable man, and carries about with him a bible, which he constantly reads."

In the course of the week Mr. Read paid him a visit. He found him standing by the side of the forge, putting some links of iron-wire together, to form a chain to suspend scissors. The impressions of wretchedness excited by his first appearance were greatly heightened by the soot, which, from the nature of his occupation, had necessarily gathered round his person; and after a few general observations Mr. Read went to Mr. H. S., the master of the shop, who informed him that on Tuesday the fourth of January, in the severely cold weather which then prevailed, this destitute object came to his shop, almost exhausted with cold and fatigue. In his passage through the neighbouring village of P--------, he had been inhumanly pelted with snow-balls by a party of boys, and might probably have perished, but for the humanity of some respectable inhabitants of the place, who rescued him from their hands. Having reached Mr. S.'s shop, he requested permission to erect, in a shed which adjoined the shop, his little apparatus, consisting of slight table, with a box containing his tools. the benevoletn master of the premises kindly stationed him near the forge, where he might pursue his work with advantage. In the evening, when the workmen were about to retire, Mr. S. asked him where he intended to lodge that night. The old man inquired if there were any ox-stall or stable near at hand, which he might be permitted to occupy. His benefactor offered his stable, and the poor creature, with his box and table upon his back, accompanied Mr. S. home, where as comfortable a bed as fresh straw, and shelter from the inclemency of the weather, could afford, was made up. One of Mr. S.'s children afterwards carried him some warm cider, which he accepted with reluctance, expressing his fears lest he should be depriving some part of the family of it.

The weather was very cold: the thermometer, during the past night, had been as low as six or seven degrees of Fahrenheit. In the morning he resumed his post by the side of the forge. Mr. S. allowed him to retain his station as long as he needed it; and contracted so great a regard for him, as to declare, that he never learned so complete a lesson of humility, contentment, and gratitude, as from the conduct of this man.

The poor fellow's days continued to be passed much in the manner above described; but he had exchanged the stable, at night, for the shop, which was warmer, as soon as his benevolent host was satisfied respecting his principles; and with exemplary diligence he pursued his humble employment of making chains and skewers. He usually dined on hot potatoes, or bread and cheese, with occasionally half a pint of beer. If solicited to take additional refreshment, he would decline it, saying, ‘I am thankful for the kindness,—but it would be intemperate.

At an early hour in the afternoon of the first Saturday which he spent in this village, he put by his work, and began to hum a hymn tune. Mr. S. asked him if he could sing. ‘No, sir,’ he replied. ‘I thought,’ added Mr. S., ‘I heard you singing.’ ‘I was only composing my thoughts a little,’ said the poor man, ‘for the sabbath.’

1.13. July 12.

1.14. July 13.

1.15. July 14.

1.16. July 15.

1.17. July 16.

1.18. July 17.

1.19. July 18.

1.20. July 19.

1.21. July 20.

1.22. July 21.

1.23. July 22.

1.24. July 23.

1.25. July 24.

1.26. July 25.

1.27. July 26.

1.28. July 27.

1.29. July 28.

1.30. July 29.

1.31. July 30.

1.32. July 31.

Mirror of the Months.
Gentleman's Magazine.
Vide Every-Day Book, No. 54, vol. ii.
Sedan chairs were first introduced into England in 1634. The first was used by the duke of Buckingham, to the indignation of the people, who exclaimed, that he was employing his fellow creatures to do the service of beasts.
Query,—a pun on Charing-cross. Printer's devil.
Bloomfield, poor fellow, declared to the writer, that one of his shop pleasures was that of the shoemaker's country custom of waxing his customers to the seat of St. Crispin, preparatory to the serving out the pennyworth of the oil of strap.
A few years ago it was unsafe to ring the ten bells in St. James's steeple. It has been repaired—I cannot say its fine Saxon architecture either beautified or improved.
Universal Magazine.
The Steam-boat Companion, by Thomas Nichols, 1823, p. 150.
Unfortunately it was not discovered that some of the letters, in the inscription referred to, could not be represented by the usual Saxon types, till it was too late to remedy the accident by having them engraven on wood; and hence the inscription is, of necessity, omitted.—Editor.
* Gough's Sepul. Mon. vol. i. p. 39, 40.
Lord Lyttleton.
Manchester Gazette.
Shaw's Staffordshire.
Shaw's Staffordshire.

William Hone, ed.. Date: 2003-05-27
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