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appointed excursion secretary.



REVIEWS AND NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.



i85



Other business having been transacted, Dr. Bensly
exhibited, by the kind permission of Mrs. Green, of
Caister Hall, near Norwich, a few Roman imperial
coins, discovered last year outside the camp at Caister,
and fragments of the urn in which they were con-
tained. The most rare coin appeared to be one of
the Emperor Otho's brief reign, a.d. 69. Accounts of
former discoveries of coins at Caister had been com-
municated to the society on two occasions some years
ago, by the late Mr. Fitch. Dr. Bensly also reported
a recent discovery of another Roman kiln for pottery
at Caister.

Mr. Bolingbroke then read an interesting paper on
the local history of " Plays and Playhouses."

^ * $

The annual meeting of the Suffolk Institute of
Archaeology and Natural History was held at
Bury St. Edmunds on April 22. The Rev. C. R.
Manning, Rector of Diss, presided. The hon. secretary
(Rev. F. Haslewood, F.S.A.) submitted the annual
report of the Council, which, after alluding to various
matters connected with the work of the society during
the year, proceeded to state that " ' Church Plate
in Suffolk continues to make satisfactory progress.
Six deaneries have been finished and published, and
it is proposed to continue this undertaking a branch
of work organized under the auspices of the Institute
which is attracting a good deal of notice, and which
bids fair to add greatly to the value of the operations
already completed." On the proposition of Mr. H.
C. Casley, seconded by the Rev. W. E. Layton, the
report was unanimously adopted.

Lord Henniker was again chosen president. The
hon. secretary (Rev. F. Haslewood) was unani-
mously reappointed, with thanks for his past services.
Mr. Beckford Bevan was formally re-elected treasurer.

The chairman suggested the desirability of making
the annual meeting more attractive by the reading of
papers and otherwise enkindling interest, so that
journeys involved might prove more profitable from
an archaeological point of view.



iRetuetos; anD U3otice0
of jReto T500&S.

[Publishers are requested to be so good as always to
mark clearly the prices of books sent for review, as
these notices are intended to be a practical aid to
book-buying readers.]

Our Sun God ; or, Christianity before Christ,
by John Denham Parsons. Published by the
Author. Pp. 214. Price 3s. 6d. net.
This is a puerile book, and as the author states that
it is but the first of a contemplated series of six, it is
true kindness to point out to him that he will be ex-
ceedingly lucky if he obtains six readers ! We never
read such strange reasons for taking up literature as
are contained in the last sentence of the preface, and
if the poor man felt that he must write, why, in the
name of all that is holy, should he select the most
profound of all sciences theology on which to let
VOL. XXXI.



his pen run loose? Here is the sentence: "The
author would like to explain that the four years' daily
research, of which this present volume is the first
tangible result, was more or less due to the fact that
in January, 1891, two disasters befell him his aged
father, since deceased, suddenly marrying again one
week, and the limited company, of which the author
had for ten years been an official, collapsing the week
after. Left thus, a bachelor of thirty, with an un-
expectedly small income, no home, and no enforced
occupation, the author has so far found it necessary
to busy himself in literary pursuits, for which he can
boast no particular qualification." We wish no man
ill, and certainly hope that no further misfortunes, or
a continuance of them, will detain Mr. Parsons in
the fields of literature. Possibly a wife might be a
useful corrective in diverting his thoughts from foolish
meanderings after sun-god philosophy. Seriously,
the book is twaddle from beginning to end.

* * *
The Friend of Sir Philip Sidney : being Selec-
tions from the Works in Verse and Prose of
Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke. Made by Alex-
ander B. Grosart. Elliot Stock. 24mo., pp.
xx, 255. Price 3s. 6d.
Brave Translunary Things from the Works in
Prose and Verse of Ben Jonson. Selected by
Alexander B. Grosart. Elliot Stock. 24mo.,
pp. xvi, 232. With portrait. Price 3s. 6d.
It is a pleasure to have to notice two more of the
dainty little volumes of the "Elizabethan Library"
series. Mr. Grosart is admirably qualified to make
happy selections, which is by no means so easy or so
speedy a task as some might suppose. Fulke
Greville's reputation as a high-thinking and brilliant
writer could well stand alone on its own merits, and
some may a little demur to the title of the bijou
volume which contains some of his gems. But others
will recollect that the title is taken from Lord Brooke's
tombstone, which was erected during his lifetime in
the church of St. Mary, Warwick. Of the threefold
manner in which this self-written epitaph modestly
connects this great man with his contemporaries, the
third statement is incomparably the finest compliment
to his memory. The inscription runs thus :
' ' Folke Grevill
Servant to Queene Elizabeth
Concellor to King James
Frend to Sir Philip Sidney.
Trophoeum Peccati."

We are glad to find a favourite passage on the right
and poor use of knowledge from Humane Learning
included in the excerpts :

" Some seek knowledge merely to be known,
And idle curiosity that is ;
Some but to sell, not freely to bestow ;
These gain and spend both time and wealth amiss,
Embasing arts, by basely deeming so ;
Some to build others, which is charity ;
But these to build themselves, who wise men be."
The subject of love's despondency, and the misery
engendered by change of feeling on the part of the
loved one, though the lover would not for worlds
have his own love undone, and scorns even to con-
demn for a moment the change he cannot understand,
has never been better or more wholesomely expressed

2 P



1 86



HE VIEWS AND NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.



than by Fulke Grcville in his Crlica. Just a few
line-; arc (riven from the long quotation aptly selected
by Mr. Grosart

" Like ghosts raised out of graves, who live not, though

they go ;
Whose walking, fear to others is, and to themselves a

woe ;
So is my life by her whose love to me is dead,
On whose worth my despair yet walks, and my desire is

fr-d :
I swallow down the bait which carries down my death ;
1 cannot put love from my heart while life draws in my

breath ;
My winter is within, which withcreth my joy ;
My knowledge, seat of civil war, where friends and foes

destroy ;
And my desires are wheels, whereon my heart is borne,
With endless turning of themselves, still living to be

torn.
My thoughts are eagles' food, ordained to be a prey
To worth ; and being still consum'd, yet never to decay.
My memory where once my heart laid up the store
Of help, of joy, of spirit's wealth, to multiply them more,
Is now become the tomb wherein all these lie slain,
My help, my joy, my spirits' wealth all sacrifie'd to

pain.''

Mr. Grosart gives an interesting and spirited little
sketch but far too brief of the life and works of
"rare Ben Jonson." The selections are excellent,
poetry and prose being intermingled, though the
former predominates. We thought we knew our
Jonson fairly well, but this delightful little book in-
troduces us to new l>eauties, as well as reminding us
of many a favourite and familiar passage. The
arrangement of subjects is alphabetical. We have
but space for a single quotation, and it shall be one
of prose : Nature not exhausted. " I cannot think
that Nature is so spent and decayed that she can
bring forth nothing worth her former years. She is
always the same, like herself, and when she collects
her strength is abler still. Men are decayed, and
studies : but she is not."

* * *
The Letters of Hargrave Jennings. Edited
by Invictus. Boards, 4to., pp. 71. Bath :
Robert H. Fryar. Printed for subscribers only.
Persons who study the " occult " may, perhaps, find
more to interest them in this book than we do. Mr.
Hargrave Jennings was a gentleman who thought no
small things of himself or of his mental abilities.
That exalted opinion is enunciated, with reiterated
emphasis, in a series of egotistical letters contained
in the book before us. One quotation, from a letter
dated August 10, 1887, will amuse, and probably
satisfy, our readers. Writing to his anonymous corre-
spondent, Mr. Jennings thus refers to the Antiquary :
" I have been invited by the proprietors of the Anti-
quary, in which that attack arising from envy appears,
to reply to this article, commenting from (sic) my ' Rosi-
crucians ' last edition but I firmly refused, although
I could have annihilated the conceited critic in a few
lines. It would not have become me to take any
notice of such a contemptible effort." This, and more
that follows in the same strain as to other critics, is a
fair sample of Mr. Jennings's letters. The only matter
for surprise is that any person should be capable of



writing of himself as that gentleman did. The book,
we may add, is nicely printed in a large type, on clear
paper, and the impression limited to 100 copies. It
contains some fearful and wonderful things in the way
of hieroglyphics. More we need scarcely say regard-
ing it, or Mr. Hargrave Jennings.

$ $ $

Ancient and IIoi.y Wells ok Cornwall. By
M. and L. Quiller Couch. Cloth, 8vo., pp. vii,
217. London: Charles J. Clark. Price 5s.

It is quite unnecessary to enlarge in the pages of the
Antiquary on the interest which is attached to the
study of holy wells and their legends. Thanks to the
labours of Mr. R. C. Hope our readers have had, for
some time past, the subject constantly before them,
and the interest which has been generally taken in
Mr. Hope's papers on the subject, has fully attested
the importance of this branch of the study of folk-lore.
As time goes on, and as more of the beliefs and super-
stitions connected with the holy wells of Christendom
are collected, and are scientifically collated and com-
pared with those of heathen countries, we may learn
much which at present can only be guessed at as
possible or probable. In some such way as this, light
may be thrown on many obscure points connected
with the archaic superstitions and beliefs of primitive
man. This is pretty generally recognised, and this it
is which makes the subject one not merely of interest
and fascination, but also of value in connection with
the study of ethnology and folk-lore.

What Mr. R. C. Hope has been doing in regard to
the country at large, the authors of this book have
done for Cornwall in particular. There was every
inducement for them to do this, as, besides the general
importance of the subject, it is in Cornwall more than
anywhere else, that the holy wells retain the structural
surroundings with which the piety of the Middle Ages
enshrined them. These little structures are a very
interesting feature of the Cornish wells, and although
they also exist elsewhere, it is in Cornwall only that
so large a proportion of them can still be seen. They
are well illustrated in the book before us, and by the
kindness of the authors we are enabled to reproduce
a couple of the pictures, which give a very good idea
of the kind of thing these Cornish well-shrines are.

One of them, that of the Jesus Well at St. Minver,
is of interest, both on account of a rather unusual dedi-
cation, and also in respect of the position of the well
on a bare spot, exposed to the storms which devastate
the coast, and where its position would have been
hidden, and lost beneath the drifting sand, if it had not
the protection afforded by the humble, square super-
structure erected over it. Here, as late as 1867, we
are told that a woman, who suffered from a form of
erysipelas, which had refused to yield to medical treat-
ment, obtained relief by reciting the " Litany of the
Holy Name of Jesus," and bathing in the water of the
well.

The other illustration is that of the ancient well at
Menacuddle, which seems not to possess any religious
dedication. It exhibits, however, more architectural
features than the humbler structure at St. Minver, and
it may be taken as representative of the larger and
more elaborate type of a Cornish well-shrine. The
authors say : " It is a beautiful little Gothic building,



REVIEWS AND NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.



187




JESUS WELL, ST. MINVER.




MENACUDDI-E WELL.



1 88



R E VIEWS AND NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.



and is still used as a wishing-well, if one may judge
from the pins which lie in its granite basin."

We have said enough to indicate the interest of this
work on the Cornish wells. It originated with the
late Mr. Quiller Couch, and the notes which he
collected have since been pieced together by two
members uf his family, and committed to the press in
the form in which we have them here. The result is
an excellent little book, dealing in an attractive
manner with a subject, which as we have said before,
is one of no little importance.

Of the ninety- five Cornish wells included in the
book, three arc known as the " Fairies' Well," two as
the "Giant's Well," and the rest are either dedicated
to a saint, or are simply known by the name of the
place where they are situated. It is strange to find a
St. Cuthbert's Well so far afield from Durham as
Cornwall, but the explanation is given by the authors.
There is, too, the notable dedication of the well
at St. Minver to the sacred name of our Lord.
These Christian dedications probably point to an older
Pagan dedication, which the early missionaries of the
Gospel christianized, but which had their origin in
the remote past, a fact which is still testified to by the
superstitions connected in the popular mind, even at
the present time, with the wells. These superstitious
beliefs the Christian faith has crystallized rather than
supplanted. We have great pleasure in very cordially
commending the book, which we hope may be followed
by similar works dealing in detail with the holy wells
of" other counties.

* 4> *
Chapters in the Early History of the'Church
of Wells. By the Rev. C. M. Church, M.A.,
F.S.A., Subdeanand Residentiary. Cloth, 8vo.,
pp. xiii, 450. London : Elliot Stock. Taunton :
Barnicott and Pearce.
Of all our English cathedrals, that of Wells is one
of the most charming and beautiful. In size it is sur-
passed by most of the others, but for completeness of
arrangement, for grace of design, and picturesque
fitness of its situation, it knows few equals, and is
perhaps excelled by none.

The constitutional history of the church of Wells is
of exceptional interest and importance from many
points of view. Not only is this so because that at
Wells, of all the churches of secular canons in this
country, the adjacent residences and buildings have
l>een preserved in a more complete form than else-
where, but also because the church of secular canons
at Wells was associated in cathedrality with that of the
Benedictine church of Bath. Hence the double title
of the bishop of the single see. In the Mercian diocese
a similar state of affairs existed. There the secular
church of Lichfield was concathedral with the monastic
church of Coventry. And at Dublin the two churches
of St. Patrick and Christ Church, the one secular and
the other originally monastic, are still both reckoned
of cathedral dignity. The union of two churches in this
manner was very unusual, but it was also to be found at
Besancon, at St. Lizier, and at Sisteron, in France, as
well as in a very few other cases. At St. Lizier, and
at Sisteron, the chapters were both composed of
secular clergy, and in all cases the arrangement would
seem to have been the result of a compromise effected
between the rival claims of competing chapters, not



unfrequently a struggle between the secular and the
religious clergy. The subject is one which has hitherto
scarcely received the attention which it demands.
We therefore welcome all the more cordially a scholarly
work like that before us on the early history of the
church of Wells.

Several of the chapters in this book appeared
originally as papers in Arcfncologia, which in itself is
a sufficient testimony to their value. They have been
expanded, and others added to them, and in their
present form they constitute a valuable contribution to
the history of the church and see of Wells. The
period covered by the Ixiok ranges from 1 1 36 to 1333,
and the author has divided the subject into seven
chapters, which, together with a number of appendices,
the introduction, and an index, make up a goodly
volume of 450 pages. In addition to this, there are
several plates with excellent illustrations. The
chapters are as follow, and their enumeration gives a
pretty clear idea of the arrangement of the book as a
whole : Chapter I. is devoted to Bishop Robert
(1136-1166); Chapter II. to Bishop Reginald (1 174-
1191) ; Chapter III. to Savaric, Bishop of Bath and
Glastonbury (1 192-1205); Chapter IV. to Bishop
Jocelin ( 1 206- 1 242) ; Chapter V. to Roger of Salis-
bury, first Bishop of Bath and Wells (1244- 1247);
Chapter VI. to the Chapter of Wells (1242-1333);
and Chapter VII. to the interior arrangement of the
church of the thirteenth century. Then follow some
twenty appendices, all of more or less value and
importance. Appendix X. deals with the chapel east
of the cloister, the foundations of which were only
discovered last year. We regret that we have not
space to enter into detail in regard to the many points
of interest suggested in Canon Church's pages. It
need hardly be said that the work is one of much im-
portance and value, and that it throws a great deal of
fresh light on many matters connected with the con-
stitutional history of the Somerset diocese. It is
written with that care and accuracy which always
mark the work of the true scholar. We have only
detected a single mistake, and that occurs on p. 250,
where " Ecclesia Morinensis " is referred to Tournay,
and not, as it should be, to Terouane, the hapless city
levelled with the ground by the Emperor Charles V.,
after which the former diocese of Terouane was
divided, and the sees of St. Omer, Boulogne-sur-Mer,
and Vpres constituted out of it. The illustrations in
the book are excellent, and we hope that Canon
Church may be induced to continue his labours in
another volume at least down to the era of the Re-
formation, and so cover the whole of the history of the
church of Wells during the middle ages.

* * *s

Books Fatal to their Authors. By P. H.

Ditchfield, M.A., F.S.A. Cloth, foolscap 8vo.,

pp. xv, 224. London : Elliot Stock. Price

4s. 6d.

Under a strange title, Mr. Ditchfield has produced

a very interesting book, which is issued as one of the

Book Lovers' Series. The book is full of all manner

of curious and out-of-the-way information concerning

writers of past ages, whose books have brought them

to trouble, and, not unfrequently, have cost them their

lives. Many of the stories told in this book are, of

course, well known, but a great many more are not so,



SHORT NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE.



189



and have been unearthed by Mr. Ditchfield, who must
have devoted a great deal of diligent research to the
discovery of the history of the writers and their ill-fated
books. The book is altogether something out of the
common, besides being pleasantly written and full of
information not to be easily met with elsewhere.

Mr. Ditchfield has divided the subject-matter under
eleven heads, in as many chapters, viz. : ( 1 ) Theology ;
(2) Fanatics and Free Thinkers ; (3) Astrology,
Alchemy, and Magic ; (4) Science and Philosophy ;
(5) History ; (6) Politics and Statesmanship ; (7) Satire ;
(8) Poetry; (9) Drama and Romance; (10) Book-
sellers and Publishers ; (11) Some Literary Martyrs.
As may be anticipated, however, it is theology which
has most often brought an author into trouble, and in
many of the cases cited under the other heads by Mr.
Ditchfield, it has been the odium theologicum which
was the real motive power that wreaked its vengeance
on some unfortunate author.

The first English writer on whose woes Mr. Ditch-
field dilates is Dr. Samuel Clarke, the learned and
well-known Rector of St. James's, Piccadilly, in the
reign of Queen Anne. He was deprived of his pre-
ferment on account of his supposed Socinianism. Mr.
Ditchfield seems inclined to exonerate him from that
charge, but we think wrongly so. A copy of the
Book of Common Prayer, revised according to Dr.
Clarke's proposals, is before us, and the changes sug-
gested in the " Gloria Patri," in the opening sentences
of the Litany, in the " Gloria in Excelsis," and other
parts of the Prayer-Book, can only be explained on
the supposition that Dr. Clarke held Socinian or
Arian belief regarding the doctrine of the Trinity. It
seems quite evident that the charge brought against
him was not the mere outcome of some fanatical
heresy hunting, but was grounded on well established
facts. These facts, and not the merits or demerits of
the changes proposed by Dr. Clarke, are all that the
Antiquary can deal with, and they seem decisive
enough. Dr. Clarke's case is the only instance in
which we feel disposed to dissent from Mr. Ditchfield's
conclusion.

The book is full of a variety of matter. It is, as
the prospectus of it states, " a unique chronicle of
literary martyrdom." It is pleasantly written, in a
readable style, like all Mr. Ditchfield's books, and we
very cordially recommend it to our readers' notice.
At the end is an index, in which, however, we have
noted one or two misprints of names, as " London "
for " Loudun," and "Salisbury" for "Salzburg."
These are the only mistakes which we have noted
in the book. The index is otherwise full and trust-
worthy.



%Wt Jftotes anD
CorresponDence.

HILL OF SPAXTON.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE "ANTIQUARY."
Having been led casually into an inquiry concern-
ing this once-important family, now represented by
Earl Waldegrave, I send you the results obtained in



hope that they may prove of interest to your West-
Country readers, who may in turn be able to correct
and complete them. The most convenient plan
seems to be to give the names in the order in which
they are found in the Calendars of Inquisitiones Post
Mortem, appending details from Collinson's History
of Somerset (Bath, 1791), and other sources.

1. Ricarda Fychet (14 Ric. II. ; iii. 125 and 141).
She held properly at Inkpen and Bradfield (Berks),
Halton or St. Dominic's (Cornwall), Dittesham and
Chapleigh (Devon), and Spaxton (near Bridgewater)
and other places in Somerset. Polwhele {History of
Devon, iii. 484) quotes from Sir William Pole's notes
to the effect that Joan de Halton, heiress of a family
who had been settled at Halton from the Conquest',
married Roger Inkpen, of Inkpen, and their great-
grand-daughter and heiress, Ricarda, married Sir
Thomas Fychet, of Spaxton. In Gilbert's Cornwall
(i. 313) a different, but perhaps not irreconcilable,
account may be found.

2. Sir Thomas Fychet (15 Ric. II.; iii. 135).
The Fychets, said to be a branch of the Malets, of
Knmore, which lies just to the south of Spaxton, had
been settled at the latter place for many generations,
and this Sir Thomas, as well as his father, had repre-
sented Somerset in Parliament (1382 and 1385).
Collinson (i. 243) gives the date of his death as
10 Ric. II., but perhaps this is a mere slip of the pen.
From the Inquisitiones one would suppose that Sir
Thomas and his wife died about the same time
(1391); and it maybe noted that in St. Margaret's
Church, Spaxton, is a tomb with effigies of a knight
and his lady. Can these be identified as Sir Thomas
and Ricarda Fychet ?

3. Thomas Fychet, son of the last-mentioned
(19 Ric. II.; iii. 189). He held property at
Spaxton and other places in Somerset. Collinson
calls him " Sir Thomas," and says that his daughter
succeeded him. The following entry, however, shows
that it was his sister :

4. Isabella Hull, " wife of Robert Hull, sister and
heir of Thomas, son of Sir Thomas Fychet," gave
proof of age 20 Ric. II. (iv. 462) on succeeding to
the combined estates of the Fychet, Inkpen, and
Halton families. Hull and Hill are interchangeable
forms of the same name, and at that time there seem
to have been several distinct families of the name in
Devonshire and Cornwall. Foss, in his Lives of the
Judges (iv. 326), and the writer in the Dictionary of
National Biography, following him, confuse this
Robert Hull or Hill with a contemporary namesake



Online LibraryPhoebe PalmerThe Antiquary (Volume 31) → online text (page 33 of 67)