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great ramparts, or banks ; according as the strength
or weakness of the ground required. These run
on the margin of the hill, and on the slope, having
the entrance on the eastern and western sides op-
posite to each other.


a Annals, 522.


Within the area, near the middle, is a bank,
which passes strait from the western side towards
the eastern : the remainder is destroyed. Farther
on is the vestige of another, running parallel.
These, when entire, would have formed a rectan-
gular camp, by the assistance of part of the ditches
on the sides of the hill.

Near this camp are several tumuli of the se-
pulchral kind ; but since Mr. Morton's time, their
number is evidently lessened ; for in his days, he
informs us, there were eighteen.

The northern end of the hill is formed into a
third camp, of a circular shape, and of vast
strength. Two ditches, of prodigious depth, with
suitable ramparts, and a deep entrance, cross the
area, and fall into the general surrounding ditches,
which have been deepened to add to the strength
of the third part. There are likewise the imper-
fect remains of another ditch and bank on the out-
side, a little south, designed to add to the security.

On the north-west part of the great rampart
of this round camp, is a large mount, either ex-
ploratory, or the spot where the chieftain pitched
his tent.

I must differ with Mr. Morton about the
makers of the first of these. camps or posts, which
were the Britons themselves. It has every agree-
ment with the multitudes of others scattered over

s 2


the kingdom, and suits exactly with the descrip-
tion left by Tacitus of the method of defence used
by our ancestors, Tunc montibus arduis, et <si qua
clementer accedi poterant in modum valli saxa prce-
struit. I shall not here repeat what I have fully
dwelt on in my Tours in JVales and Scotland*.

This post was in all probability made use of
when the victorious Ostorius was traversing this
island, to quell the commotions he found on his
arrival in Britain. It is evident, that the Britons
at this period made use of the same species of de-
fence which is proved to have been common to
the whole country. The Iceni lodged themselves
within a post of this kind, against this very ge-
neral, f Locum pugnce delcgere septum agresti ag-
gere et aditu angusto ne pervius equiti foret c ) but
it did not avale. The Coritani of these parts had
recourse to the strong hold of what I dare say
they called Ben Afon, or the head over the river ;
one of the streams which form the Nen, the river
Of this country, passing beneath.

This post proved no obstacle to the Conqueror;
he found it fit for a station : he contracted its li-
mits east into the shape of the camps of his peo-
ple, and made this a summer, as he did the warm

b Tour Scotl. 1772, part ii. 159. Tour Wales, 413. 8vo. ed.
ii. 62.
c Taciti Annal. lib. xii. c. 31.


bottom, near the fort, a winter station. Numbers
of Roman coins found on the spots, confirm this
conjecture. The Romans, as was usual with them,
latinized the British name, and formed from it
their Beiwenna ; which I beg leave to place here
rather than at TVedon, a place destitute of all clas-
sical traces.

I must add, that on the south-east side of
Borough-hill, about two or three hundred yards
below the ditches, is a lesser camp, surrounded
by a foss and bank. Mr. Morton guesses it to
have been the receptacle of the carriages of the
greater camp : I imagine it to have been a pro-
cesttHa, a sort of free post attendant often on
camps, where provisions and other necessaries
were brought.

As to the third division of the area of this hill,
it is probably Saxon ; the words borough, burgh,
berry, and bury, being the constant appellation
given by the Saxons to similar places. It is my
belief, that every post of this nature, occupied by
that nation in our island, had been originally Bri-
tish ; which the Saxons altered to their concep-
tions of strength and defence; this was usually
done by deepening the ditches, raising the ram-
parts, and clearing the area, and often by exalting
one part into what was called the donjeon, or keep.
These places were stationary, not properly camps;


for the antient Germans, from whom these inva-
ders were derived, and whose customs they re-
tained, made use of no other defence to their
camps than a barrier of waggons, with which they
formed the precinct. Omnes Barbari, says Ve-
getius, carris suis in orbem connexis ad similitu-
dinem castrorum securas a supervenient ibus exi-
gunt noctes A . Casar twice* mentions this custom
among the German nations ; and I am told, that
even in later days, this mode of defence has been
used, and called Waggenburg, or the camp of

Every thing on this hill must not be attributed
to remote antiquity ; for Charles I. a few days before
the fatal battle of Naseby, occupied this post, and
fortified it : so possibly some of the entrenchments
might be the work of that unfortunate monarch f .

I must not quit this place without mentioning

a spot which I overlooked. This is what Mr.

Burnt Morton calls the Burnt Walls; where many loads
Walls. , J

of walls and foundations have been dug up. The

precinct is about six acres, and was moated round.

The water that filled the moat was conveyed from

pools in Diwentry Park, a place not remote.

Tradition says, that within the area stood a seat

of John of Gaunt ; which is probable, as this ma-

* Lib. iii. c. 10. e Bell. Gal. lib. i. k lib. iv.

{ Whitelock, 150.


nor was once possessed by the earls and dukes of
Lancaster, in Edivard Ill's time, annexed to that
dutchy, and assigned to that great duke g .

Continue my journey: turn a little out of
my road, on the left, to Dodford church, and rind Church"
there a tomb of a cross-legged knight, armed in
mail, with both hands upon his sword, as if in the
attitude of drawing it. On his shield are, ill-bla-
zoned, vaire, argent and azure; two bars gules,
which denote the person here deposited to have
been a Keynes, one of the antient lords of the
place ; and, from the attitude of his legs, to have
lived during the fashionable madness of crusades.

Two ladies, in hoods, recumbent, said to have
been two sisters, co-heiresses of the manor, and
probably Margaret and Maud de Ayote, who
were possessed of it, I think, in the time of Ri-
chard II ; which manor descended to their father,
Laurence, from his mother Lettice, sister to Wil-
liam de Keynes.

A brass plate of William Wyde, who died
owner of this place in 1422, and another of his

An alabaster figure, armed, of John Cressy, a
successor of the former ; who distinguished him-
self in the French wars, under the duke of Eed-

s Hist. Northampt. 44.

164* WEDON.

ford, was captain of Lycieu.r, Orbef, and Pon-
tesque, in Normandy, and privy-counsellor in
France. He died in 1443, at Tove, in Lorrain h .

In this manor, the Wailing- street crosses the
road to Wedon : it enters the county at Dgzv-
bridge, on the edge of Leicestershire, passes close
by Borough-hill, and proceeds from Wedon to
Toucester and Stoney Stratford, where it enters
the county of Bucks.

Near the sixty-eighth mile-stone is the en-
trance to the new turnpike-road to Northampton,
which is above seven miles distant; and on an
eminence, a little to the left, is pleasantly seated
the church and village of Flore, or Flower.

A little beyond, on the right, lies the village
Wedon. f Wedon on the Street, or Weedon Bee; from
which I chuse to transfer the old Bennevenna to
Borough-hill, on account of deficiency of classical
evidence at this place, and the little difference of
distance from the other stations.

Sufficient honor will remain to Wedo?i\ in

* Hist. Northampt. 51.

1 Near Wedon the bank is covered with immense buildings
for the reception of all kinds of military stores ; a national
depot rendered too necessary by the exigency of the times.
The Grand Junction canal passes beneath, and forms a ready
communication by other canals from this central spot with
all parts of the kingdom. Ed.

WEDON. 265

allowing it to have been the site of the royal palace
of JVulfere k , the Mercian monarch ; afterwards
converted into a nunnery, at the instance of his
daughter, St. Werburg, who presided for a time
over it. Here she performed the miracle of the
wild geese ; who, at her word, forgot their nature,
were driven by her steward from their ravages
among the corn, into the grange, and, after re-
ceiving from her a severe check for their depreda-
tions, were commanded to take wing, and never
appear in her demesnes. They obeyed in part,
but kept hovering about, till one of their compa-
nions, which had been stolen (and some say eaten)
by a servant, was restored ; on which they bid an
eternal adieu to the fields of IVedon \

This nunnery was destroyed by the Danes;
but the memory of the foundress was preserved
in Leland's day, by a fair chapel dedicated to that
saint m .

After the Conquest, Roger de Thebovil gave
a moiety of lands in this monastery to the abbey
of Bee in Normandy ; which was, with many other
grants to the same house, confirmed by Henry II.
That abbey afterwards became possessed of the
whole, when it was made dependent on their great
cell or priory at Okeburn, in Wiltshire. Vast

k Bridges, 93. l Cress/ s Ch. Hist. 427.

m Leland Itin. i. 11.


privileges were bestowed in favor of the monks of
this abbey ; such as exemption from suit and ser-
vice to the county and hundred courts ; from toll
passage and pontage ; and exemption from forest
laws. They had also free warren, and right of
determining in murder, manslaughter, 8gc. 8$c. all
which perished at the dissolution of the priories ;
and this manor, as part of the possessions of Oke-
burn, was vested in the provost and fellows of
Eton college, by Henri/ VI ; in which it still con-
tinues n .

From hence I was led by my curiosity about
Castle two miles westward, to Castle Dikes, in the parish
of Farthingstone, remarkable for some antient
works attributed to the Saxons. They are placed
on the brow of a steep hill, commanding a vast
view ; but at present so overgrown with thick
woods, that I had but a very indistinct sight of
them. They appeared to comprehend near thir-
teen acres of ground, and to consist of strong-
holds, divided from each other by a ditch of stu-
pendous breadth and depth. A plat, called the
Castle-yard, stands to the south-west of these, en-
trenched on all sides but the south-west, compre-

n Hist. Northampt. 93 ; in which Mr. Bridges denies that
there ever was a priory here, as Sir W. Dugdale and Bishop
Tanner imagine.



hending about seven acres, on which, tradition
says, a town was situated.

Mr. Morton informs us, that a vaulted room,
formed of squared stones, was discovered in his
time, and beneath that another, which falling in
accidentally, a smell, resembling that of putrid
carcases, issued from it. Two or three rude
sculptures were also discovered among the rub-

It is conjectured that this place was burnt by
the Danes ; for vast masses of cinders, mixed with
pebbles and clay, have been found in different
parts ; and many of the stones had on them the
marks of fire . There is no account left of the
particulars of their ravages ; so this rests upon
conjecture, as well as the notion of Ethelfleda
having been founder of this place, among her
other great works performed in 9 1 3.

On my return to the great road, about two
miles from the place, I visited the church of Stow- stow-nine-
nine-Churches, to see the most elegant tomb which Churches -
this or any other kingdom can boast of; that of
Elizabeth, fourth daughter of John Lord Latimer,
wife, first to Sir John Danvers, of Dantrey, Wilt-
shire, and afterwards to Sir Edmund Cary, third
son of Henry Lord Hurisdon. Her figure is of

Mr. Morton, 543.


white marble, lying recumbent on a slab of black.
The attitude is the most easy possible, that of one
asleep ; her head, covered with a loose hood, re-
clines on a rich cushion. One hand is placed on
her breast, the other lies on one side. Round her
neck is a quilled ruflf. The fashionable stiffness
of her embroidered stays is a disadvantage to this
elegant sculpture. Her gown flows to her feet in
easy folds, and covers them. She lies on a long
cloak, lined with ermine, fastened at her neck with
rich jewels. At her feet is a griffin holding a
shield of the family-arms. The whole rests on a
white marble altar-tomb, with inscriptions and
arms on the sides. After informing us of her pa-
rentage, marriages, and children, are these lines :

Sic familia prseclara -\ /-iEtatis 84-,
Praeclarior prole > 1 Anno

Virtute prasclarissima.) (.Dni. 1G30.
Comrautavit Saecula ; non obiit.

She left three sons and seven daughters by her
first husband. Sir Charles, the eldest, lost his
head through his unfortunate attachment to the
ill-fated Earl of Essex ; Henry, an able warrior,
died Earl of Danby, full of years and glory ; Sir
John married into the great family of the New-
ports, in Shropshire.

This noble monument was erected by the lady
in her life-time, and was the chef ' d 'autre of that


great statuary Nicholas Stone, master-mason to
king James and Charles I. statuary and stone-
cutter ; so humbly does he stile himself. It ap-
pears by a note of his, that, " March the 16. 1617.
" I undertook to make a tomb for my lady, mo-
" ther to Lord Davers; which was all of whit mar-
" bell & touch p ; and I set it up at Stoxv of the
" nine Churches, in Northamptonshire, som 2 yeare
" after. One altar tombe : for the which I had
" 220 li. "

Opposite to this is a very handsome cenotaph,
in memory of the Reverend Doctor Thomas Tur-
ner, born at Bristol in 1645, and buried in 1714,
at Corpus Christi college, Oxford, of which he
had been president.

He laid out his great income in acts of hospi-
tality and charity; and on his death, after be-

* Touch, Pierre de Touche was a name applied to any black
stone which was used for the touching or trying of gold. At
length the statuaries bestowed it on all the black marbles, be-
cause they were sometimes used for that purpose.

* Mr. Walpole, in the 2d vol. of his Anecdotes of Painting,
p. 23, informs us, that this able artist was born at Woodbury,
near Exeter, in 1586, and died in London, 1647. I refer the
reader to that elegant performance for a list of his works. Let
me add, that the first time I saw this beautiful tomb, it was
going fast to decay ; but, since that time, has been fully re-
stored, by the care of the worthy rector and (I think) patron
of this church, Doctor Lloyd.


queathing A000 to his relations and friends, left
the rest of his wealth to pious uses. He aug-
mented the stipends of the poorer members of
Ely cathedral, in which he was prebendary : he
left of. 100 to be expended in apprenticing poor
children of that city : he left . 6000 for improving
the buildings of the college he presided over : and
finally, left o\20,000 to be laid out by his execu-
tors in estates and lands, to be settled by them on
the governors of the charity for the relief of the
poor widows and children of the clergy. Accord-
ingly they purchased this manor, and other estates
here, and at West Wratling in Cambridgeshire,
to the amount of upwards of . \ 000 a year, and
settled them, in 1716, agreeable to his will r .
This manor was purchased from Edward Hooley,
Esquire, for . 16,000; which occasioned the ho-
norable mark of gratitude in this church. It is
singular, that Francis Turner, bishop of Ely, lost
his preferments in 1690, for refusing the oaths to
William and Mary, when this gentleman, his bro-
ther, had the good fortune to preserve his, without
injuring his conscience.

In 1702, the last year allowed for undergoing
the test, he left London on the 28th of July, and
went to Oxford with a full resolution to sacrifice

r Willis's Cathedrals, ii. 389.


all his preferments on the first of August, the last
day allowed by the act. He wisely made no re-
signation, well knowing that his refusal would be
ample deprivation. Whether he was forgotten, or
whether the omission was winked at, does not ap-
pear ; but he retained all his benefices to his dying
day 5 .

This charitable divine is placed standing in a
graceful attitude, in his master of arts robes, in
his own hair, under a canopy supported by two
fluted pillars of the Corinthian order, of colored
marble. On the side of him is Religion, repre-
sented by a woman on a celestial globe, with a
cross in one, and a font in the other hand. On
the last is inscribed phskeia kagapa amiantos
itapa to Ei. The doctor stands on a terres-
trial globe, with a book in his hand, in which is
written thn iiapakatahkhn $taaeon. The
account of his various charities is placed on the

To the corner of an aile, to make room for this
sumptuous monument, was removed the tomb of
a cross-legged [knight, armed in mail, and partly
covered with a surtout. One hand is on his breast,
the other on his sword. On an enormous shield,
which is belted to his body, is a rude figure of a

* Bentham's Hist, Ely, 263.


lion passant guardant, and crowned. He is sup-
posed to be one of the Gilbert de Gants, the an-
tient owners. There were five of them. The first
was great nephew to the Conqueror ; the last died
in 1295.

From hence I descended to the great road : the
country hilly and clayey. The quarries are of a
coarse grit stone, often filled with shells, but of
too shattery a nature to be used, except in ordi-
nary buildings. A few miles farther is an emi-
nence, caHed Forsters Booth, so named from a
booth erected here by one Forster, a poor coun-
tryman. It grew at length into a scattered street
of several houses and carriers inns, through which
runs the Wat ling-street road in a direct line to
Toucester, four miles distant.
Toucester. This is a pretty considerable town, seated on a
plain, on a small stream called the Tove, from
which the name is derived ; Toucester, or the castle
on the Tove. The great tumulus on the east side
of the town, points out the site of the speculum or
watch-tower. The Roman coins found in digging
about, prove it to have been an appendage to a
Roman station, whose name has never reached us.
The Saxons took advantage of this little fortress,
and added the foss which surrounded it. From
them it received its present title of the Bury, or


Borough, to which has been since added the dou-
ble tautology of Berry Mount hill.

The Saxons called the town Tqfeceastrc. In
the time of Edxvard the Elder it was almost ru-
ined by the ravages of the Danes ; but in 92 1 the
king determined to restore it, and for that purpose
detached part of his forces ; who, soon after their
arrival, were attacked by the Danes resident in
Northampton and Leicester l ; but, assisted by the
townsmen, they repelled the barbarians ; and Ed-
ward, in order to prevent future insults, fortified
the whole place with a stone wall". But time
hath destroyed every vestige of it.

This manor, after various changes, became the
property of the famous Sir Richard Empson, one
of the instruments of the avarice and oppression
of Henry VII; who, in 1509, lost his head, with
Edmund Dudley, on Tower-hill ; perhaps more
deservedly than legally. Empson was the son of
a sieve-maker in this town : by his great abilities
in the profession of the law, he was promoted to
the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster ; but
by his unbounded submission to the will of his ra-
pacious master, fell a victim, in the next reign, to
the demands of an enraged nation. At present,
the manor belongs to the Earl of Ponifret, who

Sax. Chr. 107. " Ibid. 108.



derives it from his ancestor Richard Fermor, a
merchant of Calais, and a younger brother of the
antient house of the Fewnors, of Oxfordshire.
Church. There was a church here at the Conquest,
which was given by the Conqueror to the abbey
of St. Wandragasile, in Normandy. In the pre-
sent, is nothing remarkable, excepting the tomb
of IVilliam Sponne, archdeacon of Norfolk, and
rector of this parish in the reign of Henry VI.
who founded here a college and chantry for two
priests to say mass for his soul, and the souls
of his friends. At the dissolution, it was worth
. 19- 6s. Sd. a year x . He was also a great be-
nefactor to the town, and his charities are still felt
here, governed by feoffees, consisting of fifteen of
the principal inhabitants.

His figure is represented recumbent, dressed
in a red gown, which reaches round his feet, with
ermine hood and sleeves. Beneath is another re-
presentation of him after death, with a sunk nose
and emaciated body, and all the changes wrought
by that fell monster on the human frame.

The town is supported by the great concourse
of passengers, and by a manufacture of lace, and
a small one of silk stockings. The first was im-
ported from Flanders, and is carried on with much

* Tanner, 388.




success in this place, and ' with still more in the
neighboring county of Buckingham.

I took a walk about a mile east of the town,
to see Easton-Neston, the seat of the Earl of Pom-
fret. The wings were built by Sir Christopher
IVren, in 1682 ; the centre by Hawkesmore, about
twenty years after, who is said to have departed
greatly from the original design. It has nine win-
dows in front, and is enriched with pilasters. The
inside has been long since despoiled of its curious
portraits and valuable statues : the latter having
been presented to the university of Oxford, by the
late Countess of Pomfret, grandaughter to the lord
chancellor Jeffries.

This manor was purchased by the same Richard Manor.
Termor, in 1530, from Thomas, son of Sir Richard
Empson. The antient house stood below the
church, in a park inclosed by Sir Richard, by li-
cence from Henry VII, at the time it came into
the possession of Mr. Termor. He lived here
with boundless hospitality, till the year 1540,
when, for sending Sd. and a couple of shirts, to
one Nicholas Thane, his confessor, then in prison
at Buckingham for denying the king's supremacy,
he incurred the tyrant's displeasure. He fell under
a praemunire, and, in his old-age, being stripped
of all he had, was forced to live with the parson of
Wapenham (whom he had presented), and with

t 2


whom he lived for several years, an example of
consummate piety and resignation y .

The recovery of part of his fortune was owing
to a singular accident. During his prosperous
days he kept, as was usual in those times with
people of rank, a fool or jester : his was the noted
Wil. Som- Wil. Sommers, who, for his drollery, was promoted
to the same office under Henry VIII. I have a
very scarce print of this illustrious personage, by
Delaram, with all the insignia of his place about
him. Wil. with a gratitude not frequent at courts,
remembered his old master ; and in the latter days
of Henry, when his constitution was weakened
by infirmities, took occasion, by some well-timed
speech, to awaken the king's conscience; who,
touched with a compunction rarely known to him,
ordered restitution z ; but died before it could be
effected. His pious successor, Eckvard VI. re-
stored to him this manor, that of Toucester, and
some others of his estates, and added many grants,
by way of compensation for the injury done him ;
but all fell short of the great losses he had sus-
tained from the cruel father. He returned to his
house, which he enjoyed only two years, dying in
January 1552-3. He seemed to have a presage of
his end ; for on the day of his death he had in*

y Bridges, 290. z Collins's Peerage, v. 50,


vited a number of his friends and neighbors; took
his leave of them, retired to his closet, and was
found dead in an attitude of devotion*. His tomb,
with his figure in brass, and that of his wife, are
still to be seen in the adjacent church.

There are, besides, several other family-monu- Chdrch.
ments. Sir John Termor (son of Richard) and
Maud his wife, are represented kneeling at a desk,
beneath an arch: she is dressed in a great ruff
and lappets. He, perhaps out of respect to his

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