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panion poem. In a glass case are a first edition of
Paradise Regained, given by a learned antiquary,
and a Latin book with the poet's monogram carefully
but simply written on the title-page. These are the
only genuine relics of Milton in the room. There is
another Latin book, a folio, inscribed on the fly-leaf
in a dashing hand, "John Milton, 1679," which the
janitress informed me was his autograph. On my
telling her that it was not so, that Milton died in
1674, and that I was acquainted with his writing,
having read Lycidas in his own hand at Trinity
College, Cambridge, she regarded me much as I
conceive the chairman of the Protestant Alliance
would a ritualist if he were to endeavour to explain
the Prayer Book to him. She merely repeated that
it was known to be his. In the same case are some



10 THE LETTERS OF PETER LOMBARD

small cannon balls which have been found in the
churchyard, fired, it is said, in wantonness by
Cromwell's soldiers against the church, on their
coming hither after the battle of Aylesbury.

Things have changed since the notorious pluralist,
Pretyman, came here once a year or so to his cure of
souls, and when he appeared the people used to walk
out of church. So the clerk told me, a remarkably
intelligent old fellow of 79. And this hideous abom-
ination lasted for 42 years. Pretyman was the cleric
who complained that what with his enforced atten-
dance at, Lincoln, at Winchester, at Wheathamstead,
at Harpenden, at Chalfont, and at Nettleham, he
found it very difficult to get his three months' holiday.
He left a legacy behind him here of bitter hostility to
the Church, which remains even to this present, though
by the blessing of God it is now melting away.

The old clerk showed me from one of the drawers
in the vestry the rusty clapper of a bell. It is that of
the Sanctus bell, from which this clapper was removed
when it was converted into the striking bell of the
church clock. It is curious, however, to learn that in
this parish the practice of ringing the Sanctus is still in
a manner kept up. A bell is rung, not in the correct
place, but as soon as the Holy Sacrament is finished.



1890

February 2%th.
Our railway destination is Petersfield. Note the
name. There are a hundred of these " — fields" in
East Hants and Sussex. The affix means a clearing,
and points back to the clearings which were made in
the great Andred forest more than a thousand years
ago. I have often speculated whether Petersfield
must not have been the place where Nicholas Nickleby
met Mr. Crummies, and made his engagement with
him. I know well the house at Portsmouth where
Dickens was born ; I also know that in which Nickleby
and Smike took up their abode. The author has
painted it to the life, and has succeeded by his art in
making one fact as real as the other. It is a healthful
mental exercise to see localities which a great author
has peopled with the creatures of his imagination, and
to compare your preconceived ideas with the realities.

But Petersfield looks prosaic enough to-day. A



12 THE LETTERS OF

brand new hotel, never dreamt of by Manager
Crummies, blocks up the view of the town. If you
ever go there, reader, and can find an hour to spare,
go down into the old town — it is ten minutes' walk —
look at the old-fashioned inn, and the market-place,
with its antique gables, and the statue of Dutch
William, with its pompous Latin inscription. It is
the popular tradition here that the sculptor, on having
it pointed out to him that he had fashioned the eques-
trian without stirrups, went home and destroyed
himself in despair and remorse. It may comfort
people, I hope, to know that the same fiction is told
of half-a-dozen statues in England, and that it is a
fiction. George IV., it will be remembered, is repre-
sented at Charing Cross in the same Billy Button
fashion. One likes to put the two monarchs in juxta-
position, and is comforted to think that the one
nearest our own time is the more respectable of the
two. But this is by the way. The most interesting
object in Petersfield is the church. I do not like to
attempt the description of it from memory, and I did
not visit it on this occasion. But I believe, if the
reader will visit it, he will find the chancel arch and
its surroundings one of the most beautiful pieces of
work in England, of exquisite carving, and, as I
believe, unique in its architectural peculiarities.



PETER LOMBARD 13

We drive away westwards, surrounded by spurs of
the beautiful South Downs ; there on the left is
massive Butser Hill, and underneath it the secluded
village of Catherington, where Charles Kean and his
wife lie buried. On our right is Stonar Hill, from
the top of which you get a view as fine as England
anywhere can show, and that is saying much. Spread
out before you are the ranges both of the North and
South Downs, the valley of West Sussex, Bramshot
Heath, the houses of many artists, scattered villages
with towers and spires, chequered hills and valleys.
Here is a steep hill, clothed with woods to the very top.
At a fox hunt some thirty years ago, Reynard ran
straight up it, and it may be imagined how the horse-
men were bothered. They might as well have at-
tempted to ford the Straits of Dover as get up there.

Moving on up hill and down dale, we come to the
hamlet of Langrish, a place of primrose dells, and
ferny hollows, and noble oaks. Twenty-five years
ago there was a good squire here who gave himself to
improve the cottages of the peasantry and look after
their water supply, and build them a church. It is a
simple affair, by Mr. Ewan Christian, but it is beauti-
fully proportioned and well situated beside a wood,
and makes a charming object in the landscape.



14 THE LETTERS OF

Again we move over the hills, and watch an occa-
sional hare frisking over the downs, and presently
look down upon a spread-out valley surrounded by
uplands. Here is the source of a stream which flows
away to Southampton Water making its way through
the South Downs. It is called the Meon, which
means, as I believe, " Flinty." The source of it is
called the Oxenbourne, which speaks for itself. But
this Meon river has a very interesting history con-
nected with it, carrying us back to the days of the
Heptarchy. The West Saxons established their
kingdom first at Southampton, then at Winchester,
and a povverful kingdom it was. The South Saxons
founded theirs in Sussex. But between them was a
colony all along the bank of the Meon river, who
were known as the Meonwaras, or " Men of Meon."
They were Jutes, kinsmen of the inhabitants of the
Isle of Wight, and for many years they remained
independent of both Saxon kingdoms.

March ftk.
The Meon river, which rises above Oxenbourne
and flows into Southampton water, becomes a con-
siderable little stream before it reaches the end, clear
and deep, and a capital trout stream. There are
three or four villages named after it, of which at



PETER LOMBARD 15

present I shall name only two, East Meon and West
Meon. From the former let me start now. Oxen-
bourne is within the parish of East Meon, which has
one of the finest parish churches in the country, built
by Bishop Walkelin, the famous architect of Win-
chester Cathedral, and added to and altered, like the
Cathedral, by subsequent builders. It is cruciform,
with a heavy Norman tower at the intersection,
surmounted by a lead-covered spire of, I think,
Edward III.'s time. There is also a rich Norman
west door, and above it a Perpendicular window.
Some forty years ago was published a volume by
Mr. Gresley, entitled Church Clavering. To this
volume is given a frontispiece representing East Meon
church, for no reason except that evidently some
good artist who was called on to illustrate the book
had made a sketch of it, and now utilised it. It is
exact in every line as the church was then, but it was
restored about twenty years ago, and not over well.
One or two characteristic features were obliterated,
but anybody who has Church Clavering will still
recognise the church without the least difficulty.

One act of vandalism was the removal of a Sanctus
bell, which until then hung outside the Norman
tower. Readers no doubt are aware that such a bell



16 THE LETTERS OF

was rung in the Middle Ages at the moment when
the Holy Sacrifice was pleaded at the altar, and so
those who were unable to attend knew what part of
the service was reached, and were able to join their
prayer with that of their brethren. When the church
was repaired I suppose the contractor said that as the
bell was never used it might as well be removed ; the
vicar saw no objection, and so it was carried off".
I myself mentioned it to the architect, who said he
would have it restored, but he probably forgot. It
has never been done. The late vicar, who came
some years after the alteration, endeavoured to trace
the bell to put it back, but could not find what had
become of it.

The font of this church, too, is very interesting,
evidently by the same hand which carved that in
Winchester Cathedral. There are two others like it
in the county. A model of this one is in the South
Kensington Museum. It has a remarkably large and
massive basin of black marble, square-sided, and
adorned with rude sculptures, all, so far as I remember,
from the early chapters of Genesis. (Winchester has
the story of St. Nicholas of Myra on it.) The most
learned of Hampshire antiquaries, Mr. F. J. Baigent,



PETER LOMBARD 17

has found evidence that these fonts were presented by
Bishop Henry of Blois, " in some ways the greatest of
Winchester Bishops," as Dean Kitchin calls him, the
founder of the beautiful Hospital of St. Cross. But
there is another curiosity in this church of which no
satisfactory explanation seems at present to be forth-
coming. In the south transept is a stone on the floor
inscribed with the words " Amens plenty." What does
it mean ? O that some reader of this might hit upon
it ! The only guess that has ever appeared possible
to me is that it refers to a skirmish in the Civil Wars
which took place here, and of which I hope to say
more hereafter, and that this is a contemptuous
epitaph by a Roundhead on the Cavaliers who were
killed and buried here. It does not run very easy,
but I am not prepared with anything better. East
Meon, before the Conquest, belonged to the king,
afterwards to the Bishop. The little bridge over the
Meon, which leads into the village, is called " Knus-
berry Arch" (more of it anon), and an old local
antiquary used to assert that the name meant Knut's
borough, and that the great Danish king lived here.
May be or not ; the Bishop had a country house here,
and the remains of it are still seen opposite the
church gate. It is in a woeful condition, but here

C



18 THE LETTERS OF

is the great guest chamber, with its arched roof and
beautiful corbels, pitiable to look upon. One is a
king's head, I think Edward II., another is the
Bishop.

March 14///.
Two miles from East Meon lies Westbury House,
a building of about 180 years old, surrounded with
splendid woods. The present building stands on
ancient foundations ; no wonder ; for Westbury is
named in Domesday. It is partly in East Meon,
partly in West Meon parish. In the Conqueror's
time it belonged to Hugh de Port, who was one
of the greatest landowners in Hants, I think the
greatest. He had another estate about three miles
further down the Meon river, called Warnford, and
the two are in several respects alike. In each case
the river flows along in front of the house, and by the
banks of it is a small church. That at Westbury is
in ruins, and that at Warnford is little better, though
it is still used as the parish church. More of Warnford
hereafter. But I have made these few notes on
Westbury ruin. It is a rectangular building, about
40 feet by 22. The east and west gables remain, and
the side walls are as high as the roof plates. It is
built of flint with stone facings. On the south side is



PETER LOMBARD 19

a two-light window almost complete, narrow lancets,
with a somewhat sharply pointed hood over them,
the moulding plain but good. Another window,
blocked up, is apparently of the same character, and
between them is a round-headed door. The tracery
of the east window is so destroyed that I could not
make it out, but it looked geometrical, at least I
thought I could discern signs of a quatrefoil. On
the north are also two windows, with very large
splays. On the west gable are two small rectangular
windows of excellent workmanship, and above these
a two-light window, apparently Perpendicular, but I
could not be sure because of the overhanging ivy.
Inside is the round bowl of the font, and close to it
the upper portion of a richly covered monumental
slab, consisting of a canopy cusped, and a head and
neck. The rest is clean gone.

Since the Reformation this chapel has thus stood
desolate. It is mentioned in the Visitation of that
time as a chapelry of East Meon, and I here subjoin
the inventories of East Meon church and this chapelry,
as well as of another chapel " in the field " belonging
to East Meon, which those who know it better than I
do may recognise. Perhaps it was at Oxenbourne,
but I have never seen any remains of it. But these

C 2



20 THE LETTERS OF

inventories were made in 1554, and they prove
conclusively that the vestments and other church
ornaments were in use until then. The object was to
abolish the form of service as carried on in the first
and second years of King Edward, as that of the
Elizabethan rubric was to restore that. These invent-
ories therefore are of great historical value.

Eastmeon.

A suit of vestments of blew silk.

Another suit of blew satin of Bridge.

Another suit of blew and white silk.

An old vestment of white fustian.

2 hearse cloths, whereof one silk

2 pairs of candlesticks of latten.

2 pairs of iron candlesticks.

A shovell, a bar of iron, and a pick axe.

2 altar cloths, six surplices.

3 copes, one of redd velvet, the other of greene velvet, the
3rd white damask.

A pair of organs, 2 barres of iron.

A cope of cloth of gold that was taken away by one
Nicholas Langridge which remaineth in his hands.

Our Lady Chapelle in the Field.

Goods and other ornaments belonging to the said Chapelle.

One vestment of yellow old fustian.
A chalice of silver with a paten.
2 small belles in the steeple.

The Chapelle of Westbury.

Goods and other ornaments belonging to the said Chapelle.

A vestment of redd silk.
A chalice with a |>.iten.
One hanging bell.



PETER LOMBARD 21

There it is, bad spelling and all. It may be well to
note that " Bridge " means Bruges in the Netherlands,
that the " hearse " was the bier, the " latten " was fine
brass beaten out into plates. The expression " pair of
organs" is curious. It was applied by our fathers
simply to what we call an organ. We still use the
same form of expression when we talk of a pair of
bellows. The " vestment," I need not say, was the
chasuble.

But I have one word more about Westbury. It
was here, and not at Westbury in Wilts, as some
histories have it, that the meeting of Henry I. and
Robert of Normandy took place. The one came from
Odiham, the other from Gosport. They were about
as likely to meet at Sheffield as all down in Wilts.
Westbury is only a short mile from the Gosport-road.

March 21.
Yet a mile further westward from Westbury, and we
are at West Meon, the furthest point of my pilgrim-
age into the Meon country for the present. A very
pretty village and not without historical interest.
Fifty years ago there used to be an old church here,
heavy and uncouth to look upon. It was partly
Norman, partly, I believe, Saxon, and, withal, a good



22 THE LETTERS OF

deal of it was modern churchwarden, but in the hands
of a skilful architect it might have been restored instead
of being pulled down. That church had, according
to tradition been founded by St. Wilfred of York
during his banishment into Sussex. He had come up
the Meon country and converted the people from
heathenism, and two churches further down the
valley unquestionably owe their foundation to him.

The old church had some relics which have quite
disappeared. The font has, after a good many ad-
ventures, been turned into a piscina in a London
church. 1 There are two latin inscriptions of great
length on the south wall. I wish some one had
copied them. They are quite gone. There was a
stone on the chancel floor to the memory of Elizabeth,
wife of Dr. Abraham Alleyne, rector of this parish,
who died in 1685. That was taken to form a basis
for the churchyard gates, and the inscription is
now all but trodden out. I could make out the
" Elizabethan " the last time I saw it. Abraham
Alleyne was an interesting man. Some day I may
have more to say about him. A few marble tablets

1 Since this was written, the Font has been restored to its
original use, and stands in S. Anne's, Brondesbury, with an
inscription saying that it was presented to that church by Canon
Benham.— Editor.



PETER LOMBARD 23

have been removed to the walls of the tower of the
new church. Ages hence no one will know that they
do not tell strict truth when two of them begin " In a
vault beneath this seat." One of these is to Stephen
Unwin, who was rector here for fifty years. He was,
if I recollect aright, the brother of Morley and uncle
of William Unwin, the two friends of Cowper. After
him came one Thomas Dampier, who was, however, a
year or two later made Bishop of Ely, but who pro-
cured the living for his brother John, and he also was
rector for near upon half a century. One of the
tablets is to him.

To a third of these mural monuments a curious
romance attaches. The space still open to me will
not allow me to relate it this week. Let me mention
instead that in the churchyard lie buried the father
and mother of Richard Cobden, of whom I have
heard old people, who remembered them, speak with
much affection and respect. In the same churchyard
is buried also John Lord, the author of Lord's Cricket
Ground. He left Marylebone in 1830, I believe, and
came down to end his days in the house in which I
began to write these Meon papers. He died suddenly
on the 15th of January, 1832. Let us hope that
the Marylebone club, for which he did so much, will



24 THE LETTERS OF

always keep in order the stone which covers him. A
coat of paint even now would not hurt it.

Another object of interest is the marriage register
of Wm. Howley, Rector of Ropley, a village some
seven miles off. Why he came here to be married I
know not, perhaps it was because his wife was below
him in social position. She could not write her name,
and a cross stands for her signature. They became
the parents of him who was called " the last Prince
Archbishop," a man of real dignity, and of vast
munificence. Merit or good fortune, or both, thus
raised the son of a peasant girl to an exalted
position, and he showed himself as worthy to fill
it as if he could have traced his lineage back to the
Conquest.

Here is an interesting fact connected with West
Meon which deserves, I think, to be chronicled,
communicated to me by my valued friend, Mr. F. J.
Baigent. Sigebert (alias Sebert) Buckley, the last
monk of Westminster, died at Punceholt (a hamlet in
the village) in 1610. He had survived the wicked
spoliation of the Abbey for seventy-two years. He
had long been quite blind. The Lovedeans and
Nortons, both well-known Roman Catholic families
there, had taken reverent care of the old man.



PETER LOMBARD 25

June 13.

The St. Paul's Ecclesiological had a pleasant day
at Waltham Abbey on Saturday. Londoners who
want a nice afternoon's excursion should take an
opportunity of running down there. The third-class
fare is is. yd. return. A walk of a quarter of an hour
from the station brings you to the Abbey, and a very
magnificent structure it is. The gentleman who read
us a good paper about it contends, as E. A. Freeman
also does, that it is substantially the work of King
Harold, and therefore antecedent to the Conquest. It
is well-known that the founder of Norman archi-
tecture in England was Edward the Confessor. The
chancel of the abbey is quite gone, probably Harold's
bones rest beneath the site of it, and may one of
these days be discovered. The western tower was
built in the days of Queen Mary. Near the south-
west corner of the church are the old pillory, stocks
and whipping posts. The latter is so beautifully
carved that the temporary tenants of it must have
been quite charmed during their occupancy with the
contemplation, for which their very close proximity
gave them abundant opportunity.

Sept. 5.

Sir John Monckton, the Town Clerk of the City of
London, and Mr. Sharpe, the Records Clerk, have



26 THE LETTERS OF PETER LOMBARD

just completed a valuable boon to the student of
mediaeval history. The Calendar of Wills enrolled in
the Court of Hustings from 1258 to 1688 is completed,
and a second part, which is in the press, will contain
an introduction treating of the bequests of goods and
chattels, wearing apparel, furs, armour, etc., as well as
of bequests to churches, hermits and anchorites, of
vestments, missals, breviaries, relics, etc. Among the
wills calendared will be found those of Sir William
Walworth, (the dagger with which he killed Wat the
Tyler is to be seen in Fishmongers' Hall) Richard
Whittington, four times Lord Mayor, Dean Colet, Sir
Thomas Gresham, etc. * The will of Sir Alexander
Furnell (A.D. 1440) is the first which is in English.



1892

Feb. 12.

A very interesting note for archaeological readers,
by a first-rate Hampshire antiquary : —

u Hampshire contains four very remarkable
Byzantine fonts. These are the well-known font in
Winchester Cathedral, and those in the parish churches
of St. Mary, Bourn, East Meon, and St. Michael's,
Southampton. These fonts differ from any others in
the country, both in regard to the stone of which they
are composed, and the style of their ornamentation.
The stone is a black marble, quite unlike any stone
found in this part of England. Some old accounts of
these fonts have described the stone as a black basalt,
but as fragments of it have been found to effervesce
when acted on with diluted hydrochloric acid, there
can be no doubt of its character as a hard black lime-
stone or marble, very rare, if not unknown, amongst
English stones. The St. Mary, Bourn, font is three
feet six inches square, and the block is twelve inches



28 THE LETTERS OF

deep. The diameter of the basin is two feet six
inches. This font at some period of its history appears
to have rested on a handsome base supported at its
four corners by cylindrical pillars like the ornamental
pillar supports of Purbeck marble which were such a
common form of ornamentation in the thirteenth
century. These ornamental pillars have long since
disappeared, and the font now rests on a low circular
pedestal of white stone which gives it an appearance
much too low and awkward, and one quite unworthy
of such a fine specimen of workmanship. The vicar
of the parish, the Rev. W. Barnes, is very desirous of
restoring the base of this most interesting font by
raising it and putting a basement step round it. There
can be no doubt as to the nature of the base it
formerly rested on, which was destroyed by the
vandalism of some past age. It is probable that the
four supporting pillars were originally composed of
the same stone as the material of the font itself, for
the remains of these broken columns may be seen at
the bottom of the block of black marble of which it is
composed.

One interesting consideration connected with these
Byzantine fonts is their probable origin. Were they
brought into Hampshire from the Byzantine empire



PETER LOMBARD 29

or were they made in the country by Byzantine
workmen ? Some circumstantial evidence points to the
twelfth or early part of the thirteenth century as the
probable date of the connexion of these fonts with
Hampshire. At that time the Venetians traded to
Southampton, and also largely to the Greek empire.
It is quite likely that Byzantine workmen of various
kinds may have occasionally found their way into
England through this traffic, and if no other circum-
stantial evidence existed we might perhaps conclude
that these fonts in Hampshire, which show such traces
of the influence of the style of art prevailing in the Greek
empire, were made in this country by workmen from
that part of the world, or native English workmen who
had acquired their art there. The details, however, of


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