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possible way once in a century, rather than to have it done badly jive times, or every twentieth year. 3. Let them be cautious how they entrust the task of drawing up the requisite designs to any country builder or architect whatever; they will not pay the tenth part of a farthing more for engaging in their service the talents of such men as Salvin, Pugin, or Barry, than for getting the work done by any of their local friends who happen to want a job—for a job will otherwise most assuredly be made of it. A mere builder should never be allowed to design a church. 4. Let them remember that there is something sacred and holy in the associations connected with those places, where our forefathers prayed and are buried, which we cannot ourselves originate. And that, although an old Church repaired, may not be so symmetrical as a new one built, yet it is beautiful and harmonious from the traditions that hang over it; and that what it loses in architectural comeliness, it gains in moral influence. There never was an old Church in Wales yet, that might not have been repaired or enlarged, so as to have afforded ample accommodation for any congregation that would probably meet within its walls. 5. Let them, if a new Church must be built, preserve some reminiscence in its style of the old one. Let it be as a daughter to a mother; more fair and beautiful, because younger— but still keeping the same family lineaments in her face. And if the new Church is to be erected on another site from the old one, let the latter not be totally destroyed, but rather let it be repaired, at least in part, so that all recollection of its venerable existence perish not in the land. 6. Let whatever is done in such matters be done in a Christian, not a Pagan spirit. Let the national style of architecture be strictly observed in its minutest detail—not contaminated nor debased by modern and ignorant innovation. Let the genius that directed the first building of St. David's, and Llandaff, shew itself even in the humble mountain Church. Let all things be done decently and in order, and with uniformity, and with respect for what was good and beautiful in former days, and is so still ; and then, and then only, shall repairs and restorations be successful, because good. As an instance in point, of the practical application of some of the above ... we will advert to the case of Llanberis church, Caernarvonshire. We have been informed that it is the intention of the parochial authorities to take down this church, and build a new one. If this be true, we have to express our unqualified regret at, and condemnation of the measure. We do not hesitate to say that the church of Llanberis is the greatest architectural curiosity in that country, and we could not point out its parallel in any part of Europe we have seen, unless, perhaps, in some of the more remote portions of the Bernese Alps, or in the Vaudois country. We do not mean to say that the building is suited to the wants of the parish ; far from it; a new church is much wanted for the district; but the old church, from the extreme rudeness and singularity of its construction, should not only be allowed to stand, but should be carefully repaired and
preserved as an architectural curiosity. Not a single tourist who goes up to the pass of Llanberis but would turn in to see the old church, and would gladly pay money for the sight, if he knew what an extraordinary thing it was. To those who have never visited it, we may describe it as a barn externally, and internally as a small ship, with her decks taken out, and turned upside down. Such another curious piece of timber work we do not know of. One thing is certain, the church was built somewhere in the fifteenth century, of the rudest materials, without any refinement of art, but with a great deal of good sense; it has therefore lasted about four hundred years. Now we defy any architect or builder living in North Wales to replace it with a church that shall be in as good condition as this is at the end of the same time, with all the appliances of modern science to boot.
Let the Llanberis authorities build a new church by all means they really want one — but let them preserve the old one as ca
carefully as they would preserve Dolbadern Tower, or even the sacred head of Snowdon itself. The church is quite as great a curiosity as the tower, and they are objects of this kind that bring a large class of tourists into the county. Follow out the opposite course of action ; destroy all the mediæval remains of the country; blow up all the rocks of the best waterfalls -pull down Rhaiadr y Wenol, for instance, or Pistill y Cain ; knock over the rocks on the Trifaen ; would the country gain much by so doing? To demolish a building merely because it is old and inconvenient is about on a par with collecting all the Greek and Roman coins of antiquity and melting them down into sterling pounds, shillings, and pence.
1. Bishop GASTRELL'S NOTITIA CESTRIENSIS. Now first printed from
the original MS. with illustrative and explanatory notes. By the Rev. F. R. Raines, M.A., F.S.A., &c. Vol. I., (Chetham's Society's
Publications, Vol. VIII.,) 1846. Here is a book of the right sort; one of the most valuable and strictly professional books which, as Antiquaries, we have had the pleasure of seeing. We cannot do better than introduce it to our readers by the opening passages of its introduction—let it speak for itself, in fact.
The Notitia Cestriensis of Bishop Gastrell has been pronounced by one of thə most accomplished historians of the present day, “the noblest document extant on the subject of the ecclesiastical antiquities of the diocese," and every portion of the work is intrinsically valuable both to the clergy and laity, as an accurate historical record of a vast and important diocese. The rights of patrons and the endowments of churches, the foundation of schools and the origin of charities, the privileges of individuals and the customs of parishes, though subects of large extent, are all stated with such minuteness and truth, as to render the facts recorded important historical information, which might elsewhere be searched for in vain.
The entire authenticity of the statements is indisputable. They are a full and distinct exponent of the state of the diocese of Chester as it existed in the very stirring and remarkable age in which the work was compiled.
In the revolution of more than one hundred and thirty years extensive changes have taken place in the diocese, and various new laws and opinions, new regulations and habits of thought have been introduced, while others, of a nature and tendency perhaps more than equivocal, are still struggling for developement. The diocese will, however, sustain no damage by a comparison of its ecclesiastical condition in the time of Bishop Gastrell and in our own day, although truth demands the willing admission that more practical good has been achieved for the diocese during the last twenty years, than in the entire century which elapsed after Gastrell's death. The extreme destitution of a large proportion of the livings (or rather “leavings” as they have been called) at the commencement of the eighteenth century, and the consequent non-residence of the higher, and the almost inevitable inefficiency of the lower, clergy, were evils of general and fearful magnitude, which are now considerably ameliorated ; whilst the large and judicious extension of the means of grace and of popular education in all their efficiency and purity, have already tended to overcome some of the most formidable of our public maladies, and have proved, if proof were needed, that our security and happiness as a nation depend much more upon our religious and moral elevation, than upon the success of our arms, the triumphs of our fleets, or the boundless extent of our territory. And these blessings have been in no inconsiderable degree secured to us in consequence of the old land-marks of the country having been strengthened and not subverted. But such observations, more properly belong to a life of the learned and pious prelate, who laboured with untiring energy to carry out the principles here adverted to, and whose Historical Notices of the Cheshire portion of his diocese are now printed for the first time. A life, and a selection from a portion of his private correspondence, have been already, in some measure, prepared for the press, which the Chetham Society design to print with the Lancashire part of the Notitia, and it will, therefore, be unnecessary in this place to allude further to the subject. It is hoped that this notice of an intended Life of Bishop Gastrell may lead to the discovery of other letters or general information illustrative of his lordship's character, the communication of which will be very acceptable to the editor.
The text of this work we do not advert to, further than to speak of its value to the Cheshire Antiquary; but we are anxious to signalize its large body of notes, as large as the text, as containing proofs of so much Antiquarian learning and research, that they reflect the highest credit on their author. Mr. Raines is one of the most indefatigable antiquaries and writers we have the honour of knowing; his own MSS. collections threaten to rivalize with those of Cole, in size and value; and he has drawn successfully upon these stores, as well as public collections, for the full elucidation of the volume before us. Publications of this kind are equally creditable to their Editor, and to the Society by whom they are published; and in this respect, the Chetham Society yields nothing to the parent Camden Society, of London.
The following biographical notice, contained in the note to page 9, concerns the Cambrian reader: —
Richard Vaughan, D.D., a native of Caernarvonshire, educated at St. John's College in Cambridge, and one of the queen's chaplains. He was B.D. in Qctober, 1588, when he was collated by Bishop Aylmer to the archdeaconry of Middlesex. He was also a canon of Wells. He succeeded Bellot in the see of Bangor, being consecrated November 22d, 1595, and was also his successor at Chester, being translated thither, according to Lee, May 16th, 1596, which is probably the correct date, although the generality of his biographers state that he did not become bishop of Chester until 1597, which might be the date of his consecration. He was translated to London December 24th, 1604, and dying of apoplexy on the 30th March, 1607, was buried in St. Paul's cathedral. ood says he was accounted an excellent preacher and a pious liver. His daughter Elizabeth married Thomas Mallory, B.D., dean of Chester, and had lentiful issue. His niece married the celebrated critic, Dr. William Watts, archeacon of Wells, the friend of Vossius and Spelman.
It appears from the Bishops' Registers, that, like some of his predecessors, he was much concerned to repress the spirit of insubordination and impatience of episcopal restraint which he found existing among his clergy. Failing in his attempts to act as the spiritual adviser and comforter of his clerical brethren, and to uproot their antipathy to certain ancient and decent ecclesiastical forms, he frequently cited them to appear before him in the parish church of Aldford, in which village he then resided, and publicly vindicated in their presence the polity of the Church. A formidable combination of clergy, laity, and strong prejudices, was not, however, easily overcome, and the exclusively sectarian spirit which animated these good but mistaken men could not be subdued; instead of a kind and grateful feeling being excited towards the bishop, who was really conciliatory and forbearing in his first . and sought to avoid rather than provoke controversy, he was regarded
y them as their spiritual enemy, and one who sought to fetter their independence
and destroy their liberty. On the 3d of October, 1604, a large body of Lancashire dissentients appeared before the bishop at Aldford. They were the “ringleaders” of nonconformity in South Lancashire; and from their zeal, piety, and laborious discharge of their ministerial functions in populous parishes, merited, and apparently received, kind and impartial treatment; but their minds were warped by inveterate prejudices, and they endured their self-imposed trials with the fortitude of confessors and the spirit of martyrs. Amongst these ancient and pertinacious worthies were Richard Midgley, sen. (then deprived of the vicarage of Rochdale, though a preacher in the diocese); Joseph Midgley, his son, vicar of Rochdale, (afterwards deprived); William Barnes; Ellis Saunderson, vicar of Bolton; James Gosnall; Thomas Hunt, minister of Oldham, o tutor of Sir George Radcliffe, the friend and secretary of the Earl of Strafford); Richard Rothwell, (a convert of the elder Midgley, and in 1619 chaplain of the Earl of Devonshire at Hardwicke); James Ashworth ; and Edward Walsh, vicar of Blackburn, (who resigned his living from scruples as to the use of the surplice, and lived and died in retirement at Walsh. fold, near Over Darwen).
These were all publicly admonished by the bishop, and required to conform to the liturgy and ceremonies of the church, and also to subscribe, ea animo, to the three articles in the 36th canon. They were all cited to appear again at the same place on the 28th of November next following, but the only one who complied with the order was Rothwell. They appear to have been “revolters after subscription,” and such as were contemplated in the 38th canon.
In those days, when roads were proverbially bad and public conveyances unknown, a journey to Aldford must have been attended with serious inconvenience, especially on a gloomy and boisterous November-day. It may, however, tend to mitigate our sympathy with these courageous men to know, on unquestionable authority, that at this time “they were very factious and insolent.”—Burnet's Hist. of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 20.
We subjoin an extract from the text, referring to two of the Welsh livings most anomalously in the gift of the See of Chester:—
LLANGATHEN.—An. 19 H. 8. Let by the prioresse and convent of nuns at Chester to John Harris, clerk, and Sir Will. Thomas, for 69 years; rent £17 13s. 4d. during the life of liarris, and £17.6s. 8d. after his death, at Mayday and Michs. ; tenant to repair both church and chancell, and to pay the curate of Llanyhernyan 6s. 8d.—Indear.
An. 16 Jac., let to Sir J. Vaughan for 3 lives Rect. of Llang: with the church or chap. of Llanyhernian, with all tyths, great and small, and the adv. of the rect. church, vicaridge, and chap. of Llangat, and Llanyhernian aforesaid. Rent £186s. 8d. at Lad. and Michs. ; tenant to repair chancell and other buildings, and bear all charges. 321.
Let to Rich. Ld. Vaughan, E. of Carbury, an. 1666, with the adv. of vic. and chap. Let an. 1695, for £60 fine, to Will. Davies: adv. of vic. and chap. reserved to Bp. Let an. 1703 to Will. Philips and others for the same fine. Let an. 1704 to the same persons in trust. Fine #45. Let an. 1713 to Tho. Gibson and Will. Lea in trust. Right of presenting to the church and chap. is reserved to the Bp.
LLANBEPLICK.—An. 30 H. 8. Let by nuns of Chester to Tho. and Rich. Grosvenour for 99 years. Rent £3.—Indez.
An 1604. Let to Hen. Vaughan the rect. proprietary or pars. of Llanbiblioke for 21 y. ; tenant to repair the chancell &c. and to bear all charges. 303.
An. 1623. Let to Edw. Lloyd, pars. of Bibiock als. Llanbiplick als. Llanpeplick, with all the free chap. or chappells belong. &c. and again an. 1628, wherein mention is made of the surrend. of lease 30 H. 8. 351.
An. 1660. Concurrent lease to Sam. Bird, confirmed by chapter, as appears from Chapt. Book an. 1661.
Let an. 1675 to John Keeling ; and again an. 1679, an. 1683, an. 1691. Let an. 1696 to Mrs. Dorothy Hickman, widow. Let an. 1701 to Rich. Langford, clerk, and Cornelius Evans; an. 1708, to the said Langford and Hen. White, fine £50; and an. 1716 for the same fine, and again an. 1721 upon certain trusts therein expressed. The tenant is to bear all charges. Bp. puts in the vicar, tho' no reserve of vicaridge be expressed in the lease.
The vicar hath a third part of the tyths, and yet the whole rectory is let in all the Bp's leases without augmentation of what is reserved for the vicar.
2. The HISTORY OF LUDLOW AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD, &c. By THOMAS
WRIGHT, Esq., M.A., CORR. MEMB. Inst. &c. Parts I., II.
Although this work first appeared in 1841, and can therefore hardly be designated as a new book, yet we cannot refrain from pointing it out to the notice of our readers, not only as being new, in a certain sense, to many of them, but also as containing a great body of history highly interesting to the Welsh antiquary. Mr. Wright has displayed in these parts, which we hope to see followed ere long by those still wanting to complete a volume, all that spirit of diligent and learned research for which he is so justly esteemed. The history of the Welsh Marches, is indeed rich in materials for the historian; nevertheless these materials lie wide from each other, and require much patience in collecting, as well as power of discrimination in selecting. It is not everybody that can write a good local history. Whosoever would attempt the task successfully, must be able to take his stand on elevated and central ground, from which he may carry his view over the whole field of past history, real and traditional, and then duly select, compare, and arrange the various portions of his work. It is precisely this kind of operation which Mr. Wright is so well able to perform; and the present work is a good instance of his skill
, not only as a compiler but as a writer. Our space will not allow of our going into that examination of the book which we could desire to make; but we consider its contents to be of so much value as illustrative of Welsh antiquities, and especially of the History of the Marches, (which comes within the scope of the Archæologia Cambrensis,) that we must content ourselves for the present with recommending it in general terms to our readers, -and shall probably revert to it on another occasion. The following extracts will give a good idea of the nature of the work, and the manner in which it is treated. We should add, that the illustrations, unfortunately too few in number, are very good :
It is a commonly received, but very erroneous, notion, that as the Saxon conquerors advanced, the British population quitted the land, and left it open to the invaders, taking refuge themselves in the highlands and parts not yet subdued. In the fifth century the inhabitants of the part of the island we now call England must have become essentially Roman; it was covered with Roman towns and villages ; a large portion of the landholders were no doubt Romans by family ; those of the higher caste, and the inhabitants of towns who were of British origin, had become Romans in manners and by alliance of blood; and the only pure British part of the population were the lower classes and the cultivators of the land - in fact, the serfs. It may fairly be doubted whether any other but the Roman language was in use. The picture of the Anglo-Saxon invasion resembled that of the irruption of the Franks into Gaul. Their fury was directed chiefly against the higher caste, a large portion of which fell in battle ; the towns were plundered and burnt, and their inhabitants massacred; but the mass of the population became the