G. F. (George Forrest) Browne.

The recollections of a bishop online

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IT was told of a preacher in Cambridge, very popular in my
undergraduate days, that when he was publishing a volume
of sermons the supply of ' proofs ' suddenly stopped. He
complained to the University Press. The manager replied
that they had run out of their stock of ' capital I ' and
they were having some more cast for him.

Again, it was told of a well-known bishop, that when
he was asked a question about his work, he replied that if
he had known all it meant he would have said ' no ' when
the bishopric was proposed to him.

The remark of that bishop expresses my feeling in
regard to this book of Recollections. And as one detail,
I know that although the printers' stock of ' capital I '
has not given out, an indecent amount of it has been used.
Over and over again the third person has been tried and
has been abandoned, the unfortunate writer sacrificing
his own feeling rather than give his reader stilted stuff to

It should be borne in mind that these are Recollections ,
not Notes from a Diary, a thing I never kept. In further
mitigation of inaccuracies, I would urge that wholesome
opportunities for correction have been lost in the move
from a large house to a minute one, involving the sacrifice
of the large majority of my books, and the hiding away of
important papers in recesses where they are not available.



There is one overwhelming regret as I part with the
book. It has been impossible to express my gratitude for
the extraordinary kindness of all sorts and conditions of
men and of women, and of children too, in all the phases
of a long and varied and happy life.


July 29, 1915.



The Queen's Coronation Prince Albert The Walls of York The
Chartists The Burning of the Minster Guy Fawkes James Wolfe
Lord Leighton The Forrests The Barony of Kendal James I
and Charles I The York Proctors A Citation in Church Middle-
thorpe and Bishopthorpe Archbishop Scrope Voltigeur and the
Flying Dutchman 1


Loss of Money Nun Monkton Farming and Horse-breeding The Red
House Marston Moor and Walter Scott A Wild Boar The Priory
Church Save the Hay A Village Jury Poachers Delirium
Tremens The Gentleman's Magazine The Leaden Statues The
School of York Doggerel Carmen ...... 20


Magdalene College and Catharine Hall Lady Betty Hastings' Exhibi-
tions Idleness Cricket and Boats Mathematical Tripos Condi-
tional Offer of a Fellowship The Cup in a Currant Tart Mistake
of Abolishing County Scholarships and Preferences Advantages of a
Break in a University Career ' Tales of a Grandfather ' Glenalmond
The Gladstones and Geordie Patton Disciplining Boys and Men
The Warden of Wadham William Bright Scarlet Fever
A Reformation Ordination Scottish Disabilities Dr. Trench
Malcolm MacColl Father Ignatius Jacobite and Nonjuror
Documents 41


The First Salmon Teinds Ice Problems The Estuary of the Tay A
Long Fight A Sporting Problem A Whirlwind William Selwyn
November Meteors The Three Icy Saints Ice in Summer
Mam Soul The Flyfishers* Dinner The Philosophy of Fishing
Stories Piscatorial Verses and Ambiguities A Plucky Fight A

Lost Opportunity Skill and Chance 62




' English Episcopalians ' Services Taken in the Kirk The Abbey
Church of lona Memorial of Scottish Bishops in Cruden Kirk
War and a School Picnic, at Port Erroll Combined War Service at
Cruden Scottish Ordinations The Glenalmond Jubilee Charles
Wordsworth and Mr. Gladstone Spontaneous Enthusiasm A
Fellowship Refused and Accepted A Choral Wedding Henry
Bradshaw 80


Fred Morshead and the Alps Dangers My Sisters President of the
Alpine Club Its Jubilee Kanchenjanga Lord Russell of Killowen
C. E. Mathews Leslie Stephen T. G. Bonney British Associa-
tion, Bath Speke and Burton Helvetic Societies The Matterhorn
Accident Whymper British Association, Bristol De Rougemont
The Excursions British Association, Dundee Grouse, and Neeps
Cornhitt Magazine Du Maurier Pall Mall Gazette Mr. George
Smith Occasional Notes Cambridge Letters .... 93


The Rectory of Ashley Roman Catholic Patron Act of Parliament
The Mastership of St. Catharine's Shilleto's Epigram Creation of
the University Reporter Discussions in the Senate Secretary of
Local Examinations Women Students A Senior Classic A Senior
Wrangler Secretary of Local Lectures First Visit of Local Dele-
gates to Cambridge Election to the Council Its Composition
Management of Business A Subpoena Lord Coleridge. . . 114


The Proctorship High Opinion of Undergraduates Prevention Prefer-
able to Cure Giving them Time The Court of Heads of Houses
H. M. Stanley Punishing Twice for the Same Offence Proctorial
Stories A Cabinet Minister Dinners with the Judges The Power
of Arrest Sir Wilfrid Lawson and the Undergraduates More
Stories The Boat Race The Borough Police Sir George Paget's
Fine \ :.,> "',, v .' .'....,,., 138


The Cambridge University Commission, 1877-81 Composition and Tone
of the Commission A Treasury Minute A Fixed Easter Dr. Phil-
pott's Ability Amendments to Graces Sir George Stokes Somno-
lence Lord Rayleigh Contributions of the Colleges Death of
Cockburn, C.J. Dr. Bateson G. W. Hemming Boards of Studies
General Board Great Results Scope of Questions Professorial
Fellowships Entrance Scholarships, Sharp Criticisms Vacating
Fellowships Preachers Before the University Sir Roundell Palmer
Endowments Available for Poor Men Supernumerary Fellows and
Scholars College Statutes Bend Or's Derby .... 159



The Weannouth Pandect The Laurentine Library, Florence Cassio-
dorius Dr. P. Corssen Rome A Cambridge Gathering Marble
Screens Florence Again Padre Agostino Disney Professorship
Scheme of Lectures Scandinavian Sagas Sigurd Fafnesbane
Weyland Smith Runes and Ogams . . . . . . 182


Archaeology Byzantine Origin of Anglian Work The Home of James
the Deacon The Wilne Font An Early Norman Font Kirk
Braddan An Arabic Inscription The Brough Stoue The Bishop
of Dowcus An Inscription at Bath S. Fabricatus Stonehenge
The Barbed Wire The Leaning Stone The Date The Caedmon
and Bede Crosses The Date of the Bewcastle and Ruthwell
Crosses Crosses at S. Fetronio in Bologna 198


Dr. Thompson Birched by the Same Man Archdeacon Balaton The
York Accent My Grandmother Dr. Bateson His Death The
Mastership of St. Catharine's G. F. Reyner Dr. Perowne His
Fate Vice-Chancellor A Drawer of Reports James Stuart A
Parting Presentation Henry Bradshaw Proposed Union of King's
and St. Catharine's Henry Fawcett His Fishing Achievement
Dr. Lightfoot Romauntsch Studies His Latest Climb Dr. Hort
Romauntsch Statutes of the Engadine Wallon King Leopold and
Spa Dr. Westcott Dr. Lightfoot's Funeral St. Ignatius' Church
Dr. Westcott on Oxford His Latest Letter to Me His Latest
Vote His Pectoral Cross Compulsory Greek . ... 217


Borough Elections Choosing a Candidate County Elections Lord
Royston The King's Story Lord Hardwicke My Father and
Grandfather University Elections Walpole and Denman Raikes
and Stuart Voting a Peer Threat of the Clock Tower Murder
of Professor Palmer Debate on University Seats in the Commons
Professors as Representatives County Council Election Election of
Aldermen The Liberal-Unionist Split Leadership A Bona-fide
Pair A Beneficent Caucus Friendly Terms Offer of University
Seat 245


The University Carlton Club Edward Gibson and Alfred Austin Lord
Randolph Churchill His Reporting Continental Chaplaincies
Bennett of Bournemouth Appeal on Church Reform Address to
the Archbishops and Bishops Carlisle Church Congress Examina-
tion for Holy Orders Reading Prizes Debating Prizes Reception
of Archbishops and Bishops, July 1888 Prince Albert Victor's
Honorary Degree The Prince of Wales (King Edward) in 1864
The Honpitium SaUatoriwn Risks of Public Functions . . 267



Grants to University Colleges University of London, ' Teaching ' Com-
mission Doctors' Robes Thirlwall Prize Election of Chancellor
Canonry of St. Paul's Presentations Honorary Degree Orator's
Speech Honorary Degrees : Durham, Oxford, Bristol Claim of
Degrees for Women A University for Women . . . .291


The St. Paul's Reredos Dr. Temple's Umbrella Examining Chaplain
Sermons Speeches Monosyllabic Articles and Sermons Stories
of Dr. Temple London Diocesan Home Mission Candelabra and
Altar Cloths Mosaics at St. Paul's Lists of Bishops and Deans
Series of Kings and Bishops The Lessons on Great Days Amen
Court Archbishop Benson and Church Instruction Lectures at St.
Paul's on English Church History The Church Historical Society
The London Council for University Teaching St. Paul's School
The Chief Khama Archbishop Nicolas The Suffragan System
Offer of the Bishopric of Stepney Delays Reason for Leaving
London Primate Alexander, at St. Paul's and at Cambridge. . 312


Proctor in Convocation Fees for Letters Patent Cardinal Vaughan
Relations as Suffragan with Dr. Temple The Prince of Wales
and the East End His Kindness at Sandringham and Biarritz The
Death of Dr. Benson Richborough The Granville Cross The
Board of Works The Abbey Field at Canterbury The Cardinal
Archbishops of Reims The 1300th Anniversary of King Ethelbert'a
Baptism Visit of Bishops to Richborough and the Cross The
Diamond Jubilee Service on Sunday, June 20, 1897 Procession
and Service on Tuesday, June 22 The Body Guard and the Beef-
eaters The Queen's and the Prince's Thanks The Visit of the
Bishops to Glastonbury 338


Election, Confirmation, Homage, and Enthronement Church and State :
their Several Functions Bishops in Parliament At the Coronation
of Edward VII Ritual Questions Incense Criticism of a Bishop
Heterogeneous Composition of the See of Bristol The Old Palace and
the New The Greek Church 364


The Abbey Church of Malmesbury King Athelstan Round Skulls
Protection of Ancient Monuments Cathedral and Parish Churches
Relations of Bristol with Wales Welsh Service at St. Paul's Bangor
and Deiniol The Royal Yacht The Lambeth Conference Pledging
to Holy Isle Philanthropy in Bristol Helpfulness and Friendliness
Archdeacon Robeson Church Extension University of Bristol
Lord Roberts The Charitable Trusts Act, 1914 Presentations and
Farewells . .392



from a Photograph &y Mist Olive Edit.



Facing page


From a Photograph by the Hoy. Esmi Irby.


By Letlie Ward.

. 372




The Queen's Coronation Prince Albert The Walls of York The Chai-tiflta
The Burning of the Minster Guy Fawkes James Wolfe Lord Leighton
The Forresta The Barony of Kendal Jamea I and Charles I The
York Proctors A Citation in Church Middlethorpe and Bishopthorpe
Archbishop Scrope Voltigeur and the Flying Dutchman.

MY earliest clear recollection of a public event is the
Coronation of Queen Victoria. Wagons were drawn through
the streets of York, with hand printing-presses in them
perpetually striking off little papers with ' God bless our
young Queen.' Men stood in the wagons with long wands
in their hands. They put the little papers into the split
end of the wand and handed them up to the nursery windows
of the houses. The same was done on the day of the Queen's

There is in memory a rather terrible recollection of the
first visit of the Queen and her husband Prince Albert to
York. She had been well known there as Princess Victoria,
the Archbishop of York, Dr. Vernon Harcourt, having been
her preceptor. There was a great gathering of carriages
in the station yard, at that time within the walls of the
city. The Archbishop's carriage and the Lord Mayor's
and many private carriages were to join in the procession.
My father's carriage had a pair of very fresh horses, and
when the clash of the military bands and the ringing cheers
burst out as the Queen and the Prince seated themselves
in their open carriage, it was too much for our horses and
they bolted, running the pole into the back of the royal


carriage, where the footmen were standing in their places
on a shelf. The Prince stood up and delivered his senti-
ments, in German as we supposed. I can never forget his
just wrath. Unfortunately we missed the meaning, though
we felt the force, of his words. No doubt they were all that
his native tongue so well adapted for such an occasion
could do in the way of objurgation.

The mention of the station within the walls of York
recalls two reminiscences. My father took me as a boy to
see the first passenger train come into York through the
walls. It came, memory says, with one of the front wheels
of the engine red-hot. My father told me that after the
station had been built and the lines laid outside and within,
a legal question was raised, Who could give permission
for the walls of York to be pierced ? It turned out that
the Archbishop was from the earliest times the custodian
of the walls of York, and his permission was sought and
obtained. Even in recent times the responsibility of
ecclesiastics for the defence, and therefore the upkeep, of
the walls in the neighbourhood of the Minster has been
a practical matter. The College of Minor Canons was
responsible for a certain number of yards of wall north of
Bootham Bar, the Canons for another portion, and so on.
York is a useful example of the feature so often observed
in ancient cities on the Continent, the Cathedral Church
being placed very near to the walls, or, it may be, the walls
being carried very near to the Cathedral Church. The
walls were pierced in 1840. The archway was to be com-
pleted on April 14 of that year. The station buildings were
opened in the first week of January 184 1. 1

The other reminiscence is from a later time, the Chartist
troubles of 1848. A special train was bringing a large party
of Chartists from Leeds to make a demonstration at York,
on Knavesmire. I went to the walls to see the train come
in. The Lord Mayor was on the platform, with the General
Officer commanding the district. The troops, Lancers as

1 This was ten years after the accidental death of Mr. Huskisson at the
opening of the Liverpool and Manchester JRailway, and fifteen' years after the
opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.


far as I remember, were drawn up on either side of the
line, the heads of the horses facing each other across the
line. Those were days when railway carriages were locked,
and people hadn't keys. The train steamed very slowly
in. The front compartment, where the leaders were, was
unlocked, and the leaders were free to come out. They
appeared on the platform and entered into parley with the
civic and military authorities. While this was going on,
an engine was being quietly attached to the rear of the train.
The leaders were placed in their compartment again and
locked in, and the train steamed slowly out on its way back
to Leeds.

The most impressive and vivid of early reminiscences
was, naturally, the burning of York Minster in May 1840,
in my seventh year.

The eastern part of the Minster had been burned in
1829, four years before my birth, by Jonathan Martin, a
man who had brooded over things until his mind was
unhinged. He had attended a service, and then hid behind
a slab tomb till all had left and he was alone in the great
church. He collected the service books into the pulpit
and the Archbishop's throne and set fire to them. There
was an immense conflagration, confined fortunately to the
parts east of the stone screen on which the organ stood.
The enormous and priceless east window was saved.

The fire of 1840 dealt with the nave and transepts, and
the south-west tower where the bells were. The nursery
windows of my father's house in Petergate looked straight
across to the sounding boards of the bell tower ; and one
evening, when my father and mother were out at a concert,
my small brother, aged four and a half, and I, instead of
being in bed, were watching a dull little light, as of one
weak candle, which shewed through the sounding boards.
Suddenly it grew in size and became a blaze. It spread,
and began to roar, and we bolted into bed and got under
the clothes to escape from the glare. How long we remained
there I have no idea.

Meanwhile the news had spread that the Minster was
on fire. A rumour reached the Festival Concert room,

B 2


where my father and mother were, and my father went out
to see. He returned instantly and cried out ' The Minster's
on fire ! ' * Who says so ? ' some one asked. ' I do,' my
father replied. Then the concert came to an end.

My mother made her way down Blake Street to come
to our rescue, for we were close to the burning tower, and
by this time the nave too was ablaze. A cordon of mounted
soldiers from Fulford had already been drawn round the
Minster Yard, and at the end of Blake Street my mother
was stopped. She pleaded that she had seven young
children just under the fire. The officer in charge said his
orders were precise ; people could pass out, no one was to
pass in. My mother always told us that the officer was
a very nice looking, very young man. ' I just smiled in his
face and ducked under his horse, and he didn't call me back.'
So we were taken out of bed and wrapped in blankets ;
my older sisters walked or ran, we two boys and a baby
girl were carried. When we reached Stonegate a fresh
troop of horse came full speed down the narrow street ;
we were squeezed into an opening on the west side of the
lane, at which I still look with interest, and we narrowly
escaped being run over by the galloping horses. We were
taken to my grandfather's house in Castlegate. It is quite
vividly in remembrance that as we passed along the New
Market there was a fizzling noise and a smell of something
burning. It was a piece of charred wood that had
fallen from the sky and burned my blanket. We heard
afterwards that the great stream of blazing particles was
carried miles out into the country by the strong wind that
was blowing. The brilliant stream was a wonderful sight
while my blanket was being ' put out,' and, unless my
recollection is at fault, the wind must have been something
like north-west.

My father spent the night on the roof of his house,
removing the burning embers which fell there in showers.
He was the ' official ' of many of the ' peculiars ' then in
existence, and he had large stores of ancient documents in
tin boxes ; these he placed in a large old stone cistern half
full of water, where they were safe.


The next morning the scene of desolation was most
mournful ; mounted soldiers at all parts of the ruin ; two
were near the stone screen where the organ was. Some
parts of the Minster Yard were still inches deep in water.
In front of the west end were lava-like streams of molten
bell metal.

The cause of the fire was exactly what we had seen from
our nursery window. Probably we were the only witnesses.
Workmen had left a dip candle burning on the carpenters'
table in the lower bell chamber. It had melted down and
fallen over, setting fire to shavings on the table.

It may be not without interest to mention here a fact
connected with my father's house which did not become
known to me till many years after this. The house, by the
way, is now a private hotel, opposite the south door of the
church of St. Michael le Belfry, the end house but one in
that part of Petergate. The house was leasehold of the
Dean and Chapter, and at my father's death it came into
our hands and we entered into contract to sell it. While
the legal steps were being taken, a York paper was sent to
me describing a fire that had taken place in the house, and
stating that many of the citizens had taken the opportunity
of seeing the house in which Guy Fawkes was born and lived.
This was the ancient house which we had used for various
purposes as out-houses, at the end of the small garden
behind the dwelling-house. My interest in old things would
certainly have prevented my selling Guy Fawkes's house
if only we had known the fact in time. Still later, only a
few years ago, another fact was discovered which would
have made it impossible to part with the house. That
fact was that an aunt of mine with seven ' greats ' in
Henry VIII 's time married a great-uncle of Guy Fawkes,
the head of an important Yorkshire family.

Those were not all of the links with Guy Fawkes. He
was a schoolfellow at the old School of York, to whose
unique history reference will be made later on. In the
reign of Philip and Mary some royal assistance was given
to the school, probably only something formal ; it is
said to be the only school to which those sovereigns


gave assistance. Their intervention, however slight, bore
remarkable fruit. The old ecclesiastical order was strong
in the north country, and the old School of York had the
training of many of the Yorkshire gentlemen, among them
several of those who were connected with the plot. Guy's
father Edward was a proctor of the ecclesiastical court of
York ; Edward's father was registrar of the exchequer
court of the arch-diocese of York, and his mother was a
Haryngton, 1 of an ancient Yorkshire family ; she left by
will to her grandson Guy her best whistle and an angel
of gold. Father, mother, and son, were all on the com-
municants' roll of St. Michael le Belfry. Guy's mother
married, as her second husband, Dionis Baynbrigge, of
Scotton, whose mother was a Vavasour, and she and her
Fawkes children went to live at Scotton, in the West Riding,
with Roman kinsfolk all round Vavasours, Slingsbys,
Inglebys, Pulleyns, and many more. Here, too, Guy came
upon the two Winters, who eventually became parties in
the Gunpowder Plot. Under these influences Guy and his
mother joined the Roman Catholics.

Late in Elizabeth's reign Guy sold his considerable
property in and near York. Curiously enough the earliest
conveyance of the site on which the school removed from
the Minster Yard now stands, was granted by Guy Fawkes,
and bears his signature, well written, Guye Fawkes ; the date
is August 1, 1592. He took his money away with him to
Spain, and came back to England as Guido.

The fact of his having been a schoolfellow of ours made
it unseemly to burn him on Guy Fawkes Day, and we had
to select personages for that distinction. I remember one
rather remarkable selection in my time. We had a school-
fellow who took a great interest in ecclesiastical affairs,
Charles Best Robinson, afterwards Charles Norcliffe of
Langton Wold. The time was that of the ' papal aggression '
under Pio Nono, and Robinson was up in arms against the
Government for their failure to take his view and be ' down
with the Roman titles.' A select band of four or five of us
prepared, with great attention to detail under Robinson's

1 My collateral relationship to Guy is through this lady.


guidance, a bulky representation of the Pope. The dress
was white, the triple crown was my work, a work of high
art. The inscription on the breast was a real masterpiece,
for which I am not quite sure which of us had the credit

OH ! NO !

NO ! NO !

We then subscribed for an open carriage and a pair of horses
to take our effigy down into York, where feeling ran high.
Unfortunately or as I should now no doubt think it proper
to say fortunately we had to pass the large house of an
important magistrate, Danson Richardson Currer, after-
wards Roundell, the father of a former schoolfellow of whose
Oxford cricket we were very proud, Charlie Currer. He
came out, stopped the carriage and its foot procession, had
the carriage turned, saw us all back into the school grounds
and the effigy taken out and the carriage sent away. We
burned our victim with enjoyment not dimmed by the
fiasco of the afternoon.

Guy Fawkes had nothing to do with the Gunpowder
Plot in its inception. He had played an important part

Online LibraryG. F. (George Forrest) BrowneThe recollections of a bishop → online text (page 1 of 39)