here till after the time of Henry VI. Erdeswik
mentions this to have been a manor belonging to
the bishop of Lichfield; which I find was alienated
to the king by bishop Sampson, in 1547.
The parish and village of Longdon succeed Longdon.
Rudgley. The church lies out of the road, on the
left; it is a vicarage, dedicated to St. James, and
belongs to a prebendship of Lichfield. The village
consists of scattered houses, extending for a vast
way on each side of the lane ; from whence
the name. This gave rise to a common saying in
The stoutest beggar that goes by the way,
Cannot beg through Long' in a summer's day.
This village antiently was full of gentlemen's
seats ; a most useful species of population to the
poor, whose distresses seldom fail reaching the
ears of mediocrity, but whose cries rarely attain
the height of greatness. Sir Edzvard Littleton had a
house here, called Chistal; Simon Rudgley, sheriffof
the county in the time of Edward III. had another;
the younger brother of the Astons had a seat here,
from the reign of Edward I ; the Brought ons had
Brought on Hall, from the days of King John;
and Adam Arblaster possessed Liszvys (now Long-
hall) in 1351, or the twenty-fifth of Edward III.,
in whose name it continued till of late, when it
was purchased by Francis Cob q , Esquire.
This manor is of vast extent. Above thirty
other manors, lordships, and villages, owe suit
and service, besides Cank, Heywood, and
Rudgley, to the court-leet, which is held here
every three weeks. It once belonged to the
bishop of Lichfield, but was alienated by Bishop
After winding up the steep of a high hill, an
advanced part of the forest of Cank, I turned out
Beaudesert. of the road to Beaudesert, the princely seat of
Lord Paget', placed on the side of a lofty sloping
eminence, sheltered above, and on each side, by
beautiful rising grounds, and embosomed in trees,
commanding in front, over the tops of far subja-
cent woods, a most extensive and agreeable view;
so that it well vindicates the propriety of its
This had been a place belonging to the bishops
of Lichfield, which, with the manors of Longdon,
Heywood, Berkswick, Cank, Rudgley, and Shug-
i On Mr. Cob's decease, Longhall became the property of
Miss Tysons. Ed.
T Earl of Uxbridge. Ed.
borrow, were part of the spoils of that see, wrested
from it in the time of Edward VI. with the con-
nivance of Richard Sampson, then bishop, who
accepted in their stead certain impropriations of
the value of an hundred and eighty-three pounds
a year. These livings at that time were good rec-
tories ; now poor vicarages, or mercenary curacies,
annexed to the bishoprick.
The leviathan who swallowed these manors,
was Sir William' Paget, created by EdzvardVl.
Baron Beaudesert. He first appeared in the reign
of Henri/ VIII. and from a low beginning, meri-
toriously rose to the dignity of secretary and am-
bassador to Charles V. and Francis I. In the
next reign, he was made chancellor of the dutchy
of Lancaster, and comptroller of the houshold ;
and obtained a peerage. In that of Mary he
became lord privy-seal, and was restored to the
order of the Garter, from which he had been de-
graded in the time of her predecessor. At the
accession of Elizabeth, at his own request, he was
permitted to retire from the service of the state,
being zealously attached to the religion of his
former mistress*. Yet his zeal for the old religion
produced in him no scruples about sharing in the
plunder of the church. The reforming Somerset,
* Fuller' t Worthies, 210.
and the papal Paget, agreed in that single point.
His posterity derive from him an uncommon extent
of interest and command.
Beaudesert was rebuilt by Thomas Lord Paget,
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is a very
handsome stone edifice, in form of an half H ; of
late most admirably improved, and fitted up by
the noble owner. It is totally disengaged from
the gateway, walls, and other obstructions that
encumbered it in the days of Plot 1 ; and the
grounds that environ it are disposed with the sim-
plicity which forms true grandeur.
Here is a gothic hall of eighty feet by twenty-
one ; a dining room of forty-two by twenty-seven ;
and a magnificent gallery of ninety-seven by seven-
teen. The other apartments are small.
Portrait of ^ n tne drawing-room is a fine portrait of the
LordPaget - founder of the family, the first Lord Paget, a
three-quarters length; in a bonnet, black gown
furred, with a great forked beard, the George, a
stick, and dagger. A fine performance of Hol-
From the house I ascended to the summit
of the hill, on the verge of Cank heath, to an an-
Castle- tient British post called the Castle- hill. It is
encompassed with a vast rampart and two ditches.
* See his plate viii. p. 126.
CANK FOREST. 133
The two entrances are opposite to each other, and
before the eastern are several advanced works. It
commands a vast view, and was well situated for
a temporary retreat. I refer the reader, for an
account of the uses of these entrenchments, to my
Welsh Tour n ; for they are common to most parts
of Britain. Doctor Plot ascribes this work
to King Canute; but I suspect it to be of earlier
From hence is an extensive view of the chace,
or forest, of Cank, or Cannock, which Plot de- Forest.
rives from the name of the Danish prince Canuti
Sylva. This vast tract was once covered with
oaks, but for some centuries past, has been
spoiled of its honors ; even old Drayton x de-
plores its losses, owing, as he says, to the avarice
of the times.
O woeful Cank the while,
As brave a wood-nymph once as any of this isle,
Great Ar den's eldest child !
Now by vile gain devourM !
But this change is much more beautifully de-
scribed by Mr. Masters, in his Itinerary y of
1675; in which he describes his journey in most
elegant Latin. His passage over Cank wood,
Vol. i. 412. x Polyolbion, song 12.
i Published under the title of Iter Boreale.
134 FAIRWELL CHURCH.
and the translation by my ingenious friend z , can-
not but be acceptable to every reader of taste.
Hinc mihi mox ingens ericetum coraplet ocellos,
Sylva olim passim nymphis habitata ferisque,
Condensaj quercus, domibus res nata struendis
Ornandoque foco, et validas spes unica classis.
Nunc umbris immissa dies, namque sequore vasto
Ante, retro, dextra, laeva, quo lumina cunque,
Verteris una humili consurgit vertice planta,
Purpureoque erice tellurem vestit amictu;
Dum floret suaves et naribus adflat odores
Hasc ferimus saltern amissaj solatia sylvae.
A vast and naked plain confines the view,
Where trees unnumber'd in past ages grew,
The green retreat of wood-nymphs ; once the boast,
The pride, the guardians of their native coast.
Alas ! how chang'd ! each venerable oak
Long since has yielded to the woodman's stroke.
Where'er the chearless prospect meets the eye,
No shrub, no plant, except the heath, is nigh ;
The solitary heath alone is there,
And wafts its sweetness in the desert air.
So sweet its scent, so rich its purple hue,
We half forget that here a forest grew. R. W.
Fairwell From Castle-hill I descended towards the great
road, and passed by Fairtvell church a , once con-
ventual, belonging to a priory of Benedictine nuns.
It originally was the property of canons regular,
z The Rev. Richard Williams, ot Fron, Flintshire.
* Called Eccksia Sanda Maria, Pugdale.
FAIRWELL CHURCH, 155
or hermits ; but at the request of Roger, Jeffry,
and Robert, brothers of Farewell*, and with the
consent of the chapter of Lichfield, was bestowed
on the priory, about 1140, by Roger de Clinton,
bishop of Lichfield ; who endowed it with the mill,
and all the lands between the brooks, then called
Chistals, and Blache Siche, with other emoluments
mentioned in his two grants. Henry II. was also
a great benefactor to these nuns, bestowing on
them three ploughlands at Fagereswell, one at
Pipe, and one at Hamerwich, and forty acres of
land cleared from wood, in the forest of Cank c ,
in 1527. On the suppression of the lesser reli-
gious houses, it was given to Lichfield, to increase
and maintain the choristers, in recompense of a
pension which should have been given by Cardinal
IVolsey, out of his college at Oxford d .
After a short ride, I reached the summit of
a long but gentle descent, from which is a fine
view of the city of Lichfield, lying at the foot of
it. The situation is delightful, in a fertile and dry
soil, with small risings on almost every side. The
cathedral, with its three spires, is a most striking
b Dugdale Mon. i. 441. c The same, 443, 444.
* Leland Itin. iv. 119. Rymer, xiv. 193. This place is
called in different places Fainveld, Faunveti, Fagrowell, and
136 LICHFIELD. ST. CHAD.
Lichfield. Lichfield is a place of Saxon origin, and owes
its rise to Ceadda, or Chad, the great saint of
Mercia. I omit the legend of the thousand Chris-
tians, disciples of St. Amphibolus, that were mar-
tyred here under Diocksian ; or the three kings
slain at this place in battle, as sculptured over the
town-hall. I take up its history about the year
656, when Oszvy, king of the country, established
a bishoprick here, and made Dwna, or D'mma,
the first prelate. To him succeeded Cellach and
Trumberct ; and on his demise, the famous Ce-
St. Chad. a dda. This pious man at first led an eremitical
life, in a cell, at the place on which now stands
the church of his name, and supported himself by
the milk of a white hind. In this place he was
discovered by Rufine, the son of Wolphere, who
was privately instructed by him till the time of
his martyrdom, before-recited. Remorse, and con-
sequential conversion, seized the Pagan prince.
As some species of expiation, he preferred the
apostle to the vacant see. He built himself a
small house near the church, and, with seven or
eight of his brethren, during the interval of preach-
ing, read and prayed in private. On the approach
of his death, flights of angels sang hymns over his
cell. Miracles at his tomb confirmed the holiness
of his life. A lunatic, who by accident escaped
from his keepers, lay a night on it, and in the
LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL. 137
morning was found restored to his senses. The
very earth taken out of it, was an infallible remedy
for all disorders incident to man or beast. Cead-
da e was of course canonized; a shrine was erected
in honor of him ; great was the concourse of de-
votees : the place increased and flourished.
The history of our cathedrals is, in its begin-
ning, but the history of superstition, mixed with
some truth and abundance of legend : humiliating
proof of the weakness of the human mind ! yet all
the fine arts of past times, and all the magnificent
works we now so justly admire, are owing to a
species of piety that every lover of the elegance
of architecture must rejoice to have existed.
We are told, that in the days of Jaruman, Cathedral,
about the year 666, the cathedral was founded. founded.
I shall not trouble the reader with a dry list
of prelates, but only mention those distinguished
by some remarkable event, that befel the see
during their days.
In those of Winfrid, successor to St. Chad, in
674, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, thought
fit to divide the bishoprick into two, and to esta-
blish the other at Sidnacester, in Lincolnshire, the
present Stow. Winfrid disapproving this defalca-
tion, was deprived for contumacy. The diocese
e Bede Hist. lib. ir. c. 3.
138 LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL.
might well bear dividing ; for at that time it con-
tained the whole kingdom of Mercia. At present,
it comprehends all Staffordshire, except Brome
and Clent, which belong to Worcester ; all Derby-
shire; the larger part oilVarwickshire ; and about
In 786, in the time of Bishop Adulf, Off a,
king of the Mercians, procured liberty from the
pope to erect the see into an archbishoprick ; and
of assigning him for suffragans Winchester, Here-
ford, Lagecester (Leicester), Helmham, and Dun-
wick. This honor died with Adulf.
A bishop Peter, in 1067, the year succeeding
the Conquest, removed the see to St. John's, in
Chester; where he died, and was interred, in 1085.
His successor, Robert de Limesey, smitten with
the love of the gold and silver f with which the
pious Earl Leofric had covered the walls of his
new convent at Coventry, in 1095 removed the
see to that city, and at once scraped from a single
beam, that supported a shrine, 500 marks worth
of silver 6 .
Bishop I NO w speak of a prelate of a different temper;
to whose munificence both the church and city
were highly indebted. Roger de Clinton, conse-
f Wharton's Angl Sacr. i. 433.
* William of Malmsbury, as quoted by Dugdale, Hist. War-
wick, i. 157.
LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL. 139
crated in 1129, took down the antient Mercian
cathedral. We are not informed of the dimen-
sions or nature of that building, any more than
we are of the one erected by this bishop. It must
have been, according to the reigning mode of the
times, of the species of architecture usually called
Saxon, with massy pillars and round arches. There
is not at present the least relique of this stile. But
I am unacquainted with the accident, or calamity,
which destroyed the labors of this pious prelate ;
who took up the cross, and died at Antioch, on a
pilgrimage to the holy sepulchre.
After a succession of twelve prelates, Walter Bishop
de Langton, treasurer of England, was consecrated
bishop of this see, in 1296. He was highly fa-
vored by Edward I. His prosperity was inter-
rupted by the resentment of the prince, who meanly
revenged on the bishop a short imprisonment he
had suffered in the time of his father, for riotously
destroying his deer. After a persecution and con-
finement of above two years, he emerged from all
his difficulties, and resumed his pastoral charge in
a manner that did him great honor. He may be
considered as the third of this cathedral : to him
we are indebted for the present elegant pile. He
laid the foundation of our Lady's chapel ; an edi-
fice of uncommon beauty, finished after his death
with money left for that purpose. He built the
140 LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL.
cloysters, and expended <. 2,000 upon a shrine
for St. Chad. He bestowed on the choir several
rich vestments, a chalice, and two cups of beaten
gold, to the value of o.200. To the vicars choral
he gave a standing cup, and an annual pension of
of. 20, and procured for them and the canons great
immunities : in particular, there was an order from
the king to the justices of Staffordshire, that, with-
out trial, they should hang upon the next gallows
divers persons that by force kept their lands from
them. This prelate also surrounded the close with
a wall and ditch, made the great gate h at the west
end, and the postern at the south. He gave his
own palace, at the west end of the close, to the
vicars choral, and built a new one for himself at
the east end. He partly built, or enlarged, the
castle at Eccleshal, and the manors of Heyzvood
and Shugboroxv, and the palace in the Strand. He
finished his useful life in November 1321, and was
, buried in the chapel of his own founding.
The cathedral continued in the state it was left
k In the west entrance into the close is a handsome range of
buildings containing apartments for sixteen widows of clergy-
men of the diocese of Lichfield, each of whom enjoys an an-
nuity of forty pounds, which will probably be soon increased
to sixty. This munificent establishment was founded by the
late Mr. Newton. The antient gate which stood here was
taken down in the year 1 800. Ed.
LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL. Ml
by Bishop Langton, till the time of the dissolution,
when the rich shrine of St. Chad, and other ob-
jects of similar devotion, fell a prey to the rapacity
of Henry VIII. The building continued in its
pristine beauty till the unhappy wars of the last
century, when it suffered greatly by three sieges.
The situation of the place on an eminence, sur- Cathedral
rounded by water and by deep ditches, and forti-
fied with walls and bastions, rendered it unhap-
pily a proper place for a garrison.
In 1643, it was possessed by the royalists of
the county, under the Earl of Chesterfield; when
it underwent the attack rendered memorable by
the death of Lord Brook, commander of the par-
lementary forces. His lordship, while reconnoi-
tring the cathedral, in a wooden porch in Dams
street, was shot March Q, 1643, by a musket-ball
which penetrated his eye. That day happened to
be the festival of St. Chad, the patron of the
church. The cavaliers attributed the direction of
the fatal bullet to the influence of the Saint, in
resentment of the sacrileges this nobleman was
committing; on his cathedral. What share the
Saint had in this affair, I will not pretend to say ;
but the musket was aimed, and the trigger drawn,
by a neighboring gentleman posted in the leads,
known by the name of diimb Dyot. The death
of Lord Brook gave very short respite to the gar-
142 LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL.
rison ; which was taken almost immediately after,
by Sir John GelL
In April, in the same year, it was attacked by
Prince Rupert. At that time it was commanded
by Colonel Rousxvel; a steady governor over an
enthusiastic garrison. He defended the place with
vast resolution. A breach was made by the blow-
ing up of a mine. The attack was made with great
bravery, but great loss. At length the garrison
surrendered, on the most honourable conditions 1 .
The colonel took care to plunder the church of the
communion-plate, during the time the fanatics
were in possession. They used every species of
profanation; hunted a cat in it with hounds, to
enjoy the fine echo from the roof; and brought a
calf, dressed in linen, to the font, and sprinkled
it with water, in derision of baptism k .
The prince appointed Colonel Hercey Bagot *
1 Clarendon, ii. 235. k Mr. Greene's MSS.
1 During the time this gentleman commanded at Lichfield,
he received the following extraordinary challenge from a Cap-
tain Hunt, a parlementary commander in Tamworih. Mercu-
rius Aullcus, p. 1347.
" Bagot, thou sonne of an Egiption hore, meete mee half the
" way to morrow morning, the half way betwixt Tamworth
"and Litchfeald, if thou darest; if not, I will whippe thee
" when soever I meete thee.
" Tamworth, this Tho. Hunt."
" Decemb. 1044.
Colonel Bagot met him, and, after a brisk action, whipped
LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL. 143
the governor ; who kept possession till the ruin of
the king's affairs, in 1 646 ; when the colonel, and
other commanders, being satisfied that the king
had not an hundred men in any one place in the
field, nor any garrison unbesieged, surrendered on
very honorable terms, on the 10th of July, to
Adjutant Louthian m .
The state of this church, after so many sieges,
may easily be conceived. The honor of restoring
it to its former splendor, was reserved for John Restored
. ^ r\ \ BY Bishop
Uacket, presented to this see in 1 661 . On the very Hacket.
next day after his arrival, he set his coach-horses,
with teams, to remove the rubbish ; and in eight
years time restored the cathedral to its present
beautiful state, at the expence of twenty thousand
pounds'; one thousand of which was the gift of
the dean and chapter ; the rest was done either at
his own charge, or by benefactions resulting from
his own solicitations. He died in 1670. A very
handsome tomb was erected in the choir to his
memory, with his effigies laid recumbent on it,
the fellow himself into his retreat, and narrowly missed taking
m Articles qf Surrender.
n Br. Biogr. W. 2457. A MS. with which Mr. Greene fa-
vored me, makes the sum much less. See Appendix, No. III.
H4 LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL.
with a mitre on his head, and in his episcopal
The west front is of great elegance, adorned
with the richest sculpture, and, till of late, with
rows of statues of prophets, kings of Judak, &c.
and, above all, a very bad one of Charles II. who
had contributed to the repair of the church, by a
liberal gift of timber. This statue was the work
of a Sir William Wilson, originally a mason from
Sutton Coldfield, who, after marrying a rich wife,
arrived at the dignity of knighthood.
The sculptures round the doors were very ele-
gant ; but time, or violence, hath greatly impaired
James II. when Duke of York, bestowed on this
church the magnificent west window. The fine
painted glass was given of late years, by Dean
Rich north Th e northern door is extremely rich in sculp-
tured moldings ; three of foliage, and three of small
figures in ovals. In one of the lowest is repre-
sented a monk baptizing a person kneeling before
him. Probably the former is intended for St.
Chad ; the latter for Wulferus. It is a misfor-
tune, that the ornaments of this cathedral are made
of such friable stone, that what fanaticism has
spared, the weather has impaired.
In the front are two fine spires, and a third in
the centre, of a vast height, and fine proportion.
The roof was till of late covered with lead, but
grew so greatly out of repair, that the dean and
chapter were obliged to substitute slates instead
of metal, on account of the narrow revenues left
to maintain this venerable pile; and, after the
strictest ceconomy, they will be under the necessity
of contributing from their own income, in order to
complete their plan. The excellent order that all
the cathedrals I have visited are in, does great
credit to their members ; who spare nothing from
their own incomes to render them not only decent,
The body is lofty, supported by pillars formed
of numbers of slender columns, with neat foliated
capitals. Along the walls of the ailes are rows of
false arches, in the gothic stile, with seats beneath.
The upper rows of windows, in the body, are
of an uncommon form, being triangular, including
three circles in each.
In each transept are two places, formerly cha-
pels ; but at present serve as consistory courts
and the vicar's vestry-room.
The choir merits attention, on account of the
elegant sculpture about the. windows, and the em-
battled gallery that runs beneath them. On each
side are six statues, now much mutilated, placed
146 S T - MARY'S CHAPEL.
in beautiful gothic niches, and richly painted. The
first on the left is St. Peter; the next is the Vir-
gin ; the third is Mary Magdalene, with one leg
bare, to denote her legendary wantonness. The
other three are St. Philip, St. James, and St.
Christopher, with Christ on his shoulders.
The beauty of the choir was much impaired by
the impropriety of a rich altar-piece , of Grecian
architecture, terminating this elegant gothic build-
St. Marys Behind this is St. Mar if s chapel, with a stone
Chapel. ** r
skreen, the most elegant which can be imagined,
embattled at top, and adorned with several rows
of gothic niches, of most exquisite workmanship ;
each formerly containing a small statue. Beneath
them are thirteen stalls, with gothic work over
each. In this chapel are nine windows, more
narrow, lofty, and of more elegant construction,
than any of the others ; three on each side, and
three at the end.
This altar-piece was removed in 1788, and St. Mary's
chapel injudiciously added to the choir, which gives it a most
disproportionate length. The slender windows at the east end
are filled with painted glass, seven of which were brought from
the great abbey of Herkenrode in the bishopric of Liege, and
are of extreme beauty. The elegant stone skreen now forms
the western enclosure of the choir, and supports the organ.
SHRINE OF S T - CHAD. MONUMENTS. 147
In this chapel stood the shrine of St. Chad.. Shrine of
1 , .St. Chad.
Here was interred Ceolred ? , king of the Mercians;
and in later times, here was placed the magnifi-
cent tomb (on the site of the shrine) of the first
Lord Paget, adorned with columns, with two Monu
kneeling; figures of a man and woman between
the front and back pillars. These were destroyed
in the blind fury of civil war; as was another fine
tomb of a Lord Basset of Drayton, who died in
1389. Few indeed escaped. Of those are the
effigies of the great Bishop Langton, with his pas-
toral staff in one hand, and the other hand in the