« PreviousContinue »
loss by the burning of some valuable manuscripts, by some too scrupulous brethren; and next year, the Duke of Montague was proposed for, and accepted the chair of grand master.
* • • • *
In 1726, the masons of Wales attached themselves to the grand lodge of England, and the office of provincial master was instituted soon after. The Society was introduced into India in 1728, and the grand lodge of America constituted, by warrant from London 1735; and that of Holland, at Humburgh, in the same year. In 1738, the Book of Constitutions was published; the grand lodge of Prussia constituted under the Scotch constitution, and has ever since flourished in that country; and in 1774, the grand lodge of Antigua was established, by warrant from the grand lodge of England.
Correspondence was opened with the grand lodge of France m 1768; with that of Holland in 1770; and that of Berlin in 1776. On the 1st of May, 1775, the foundation-stone of the Freemasons' Hall was laid; and the building was opened and dedicated in solemn form on the 23rd of May, 1776, Lord Petre being then grand master.
In 1779, a correspondence was established with the grand lodge of Germany; and in 1782 an attempt was made to open one with those of Scotland and Ireland. This was not then effected J but in 1803 explanations were made to the grand lodge of Scotland regarding the schism in England; in consequence of which, two years after, the wished for union was accomplished; and in 1808 the same gratifying proposals were made from Ireland, and accepted with cordiality. Meantime, the same brotherly communication had been instituted with Sweden in 1799, and Prussia in 1805.
While these friendly communications with foreign brethren were going on, masonic benevolence, ever privately exercised, had made a public exertion in favour of the children of deceased brethren at home, in the establishment of the charity lor female children, in 1788; of the masonic society for the relief of sick, lame, or distressed brethren, and their widows, children, or orphans, in 1799. In the year 1816 freemasonry was revived in Russia, under the patronage of the emperor, and communications forwarded from the grand lodge at St. Petersburg]! to that in London.
JHanners ScCustoms of all Nations.
WATER AT SHAFTESBURY.
Motcomb, half a mile north from Shaftesbury, is noted for containing the wells from which the inhabitants of Shaftesbury are supplied with water. Great numbers of the inhabitants get their living by carrying water, for which they have three halfpence or twopence the horse load. On this account there is a particular custom yearly observed , according to ancient agreement, dated 1662, between the Lord of the Manor of Gillingham, and the Mayor and Burgesses of Shaftesbury. The Mayor is obliged, the Monday before Holy Thursday, to dress up a prize bezon, or bizant, somewhat like a May garland in form, with gold and peacocks' feathers, and carry to Enmori Green, half a mile below the town in Motcomb, as an acknowledgment for the water, together with a raw calf's head, a pair of gloves, a gallon of beer or ale, and two penny loaves of white whenten bread, which the steward receives and carries away for. his own use. The ceremony being over, the bizant is restored to the Mayor, and brought back by one of his officers with great solemnity. This bizant is generally so richly adorned with jSlate and jewels, borrowed from the neighbouring gentry, as to be worth not less than £\,5(I0. C. D.
TRINITY TERM ENDS 11th JUNE.
(For the Mirror.) '' On this day," says Brady, in his Calendaria, "Trinity Term ends; and immediately on the rising of the Court, commences that cessation from legal business emphatically denominated the "long vacation," or that space which our ancestors have wisely left undisturbed by law concerns, that the people may be the better able to attend to the different harvests throughout the kingdom. Thus the activity and bustle of the Inns of Court suddenly subside into a want of occupation, not unaptly displayed in the following anonymous parody :—
"My lord now quits bis veuerable seat,
From busiutss hurries lo his snug retreat,
"Now all is hush'd—asleep the eye of care—
Save where the porter whistles o'er the square. Or our dog barks, or basket-woman scolds:
"Save that from yonder pump and dusty stair Tlie moping shoe-black and the laundryiuuid
Complaiu of such as from the town repair,
H. B. A.
&pfnt of Stscoberg.
THE RIVER NIGER.
A Second Edition of the Literary Gazette of Snturduy last enables us to lay before our readers the following important discovery:—
"We have the gratification to state, that the great question respecting the course of the Niger, which has puzzled geography and literature for many centuries, nas at last been determined by British courage and perseverance. We have just received the annexed letter from our esteemed and intelligent friend, Mr. Fisher, surgeon of the Atholl, well known to the world for his own interesting voyages and travels; and we lose no time m communicating the important information to the public, through the pages of the Literary Gazette.
"His Majesty's Ship Atholl, at Sea, Bight of Biafra, Feb. 2, 1831.
"Dear Sir,—I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines, by a vessel that we have just now met on her way to England. My object in writing in this hasty manner is to acquaint Tou that the grand geographical problem respecting the termination of the Niger is Ht length solved.
"The Landers, after having reached Youri, embarked in a canoe on the Niger, or, as it is called there, the Quarra, and came down the stream until they reached the sea, in the Bight of Biafra. The branch by which they came to the coast is called the Nun, or Brasse River, being the first river to the eastward of Cape Formosa. On their way down the river they were attacked by the Hibboos (a fierce nation that inhabit its banks), and made prisoners, or rather captives; but the King of Brasse happening to be in that country buying slaves, got them released, by giving the price of six slaves for each of them. In the scuffle that ensued at the time they were taken, one of them lost his journul.
"Whilst ut Youri they got the Prayerbook that belonged to Mr. Anderson, the brother-in-law and fellow-traveller of the celebrated Mungo Park. They were upwards of a month at Fernando Po, whence they embarked, about ten days ago, in an English merchant-vessel bound to Rio Janeiro, on their way to England. From their taking that circuitous route, I am in hopes that this will reach you before they arrive, by which you will probably have it in your pewer to give the first news of this important discovery.
"I do not recollect of any thing else
to acquaint you with that is worthy of notice; and even if I did, I have no time to mention it, as the boat by which I send this (to the vessel) U just this moment ordered away.
"I must therefore bid you adieu for the present; and believe me, dear sir, yours very sincerely.
A mapper up or uocousidered trifles.
On a Porter who died suddenly under a load.
Pack'd up within these dark abodes,
When he that carried loads before,
In former times sovereign princes had their favourite oaths, which they made use of on all occasions when their feelings or passions were excited. The oaths of the English monarch* are on record, ami a list of them might easily be tr ade, by having recourse to the ancient writers of our history, from the conquest lo the reign of Elizabeth, who did not scruple, pia regina, et bona mater, of the Church of England as she was, to swear by " God's wounds," an oath issuing at this time frequently from vulgar mouths, but softened down to "zounds."
Brantome, who lived in the court of Francis the First, contemporary with Henry the Eighth of England, has recorded the oaths of four succeeding monarchs immediately preceding his time. He tells us that Louis the Eleventh swore by " God's Easter;" Charles the Eighth, by" God's tight;" Louis the Twelfth used an oath, still common among the French rabble," The Devil take me;" but the oath of Francis the First was polished enough for the present day: it was, " On the word of a gentleman."
K—tt, Norfolk. C H. B.
1 1. Dunwich, Suffolk.
2. Old Saru.m, Wilts.
3. Bramber, Sussex.
Proposed to be wholly disfranchised by "the Reform Bill."
We feel ourselves on ticklish—debateable ground; yet we only wish to illustrate the topographical history of the ubove places; their parliamentary history must, however be alluded to; but their future fate we leave to the 658 prime movers of government mechanics. Mr. Oldfield's History of the Boroughs, the best companion of the member of parliament, shall aid us: instead of companion we might, however, call this work his family, for there are six fullgrown octavo volumes, which would occupy a respectable portion of any library table.
Dunwich is a market town in the hundred of Blything, Suffolk, three and a half miles from Southwold, and one hundred from London. It was once an important, opulent, and commercial city, but is now a mean village. It was also an episcopal see, but William I. transferred the see to Thetford, and thence to Norwich. Dunwich stands on a cliff of considerable height commanding an extensive view of the German Ocean, and we learn that its ruin is owing chiefly to the encroachments of the sea. It is a poor, desolate place, as the cut implies. Mr. Shoberl, m the Beauties of England and Wales, tells us " seated upon a hill composed of loam and sand of a loose texture, on a coast destitute of rocks, it is not surprising that its building shall have successively yielded to the impetuosity of the billows, breaking against, and easily undermining the foot of the precipice." Certainly not, say we; and it is equally un-surprising that seven out of its eight parishes having been long ago destroyed, their political consequence should not exist beyond their extermination. Mr. Oldfield, whom we remember to have often met, was a man of jocose turn, and he has not spared Dunwich his whip of humour, for, speaking of its gradual decay by the sea, he says-^" the encroachment that is still making, (1816) will probably, in a few years, oblige the constituent body to betake themselves to a boat, whenever the king's writ shall summon them to the exercise of their elective functions; as the necessity of adhering to forms, in the farcical solemnity of borough elections, is not to be dispensed with."
We must be brief with its representative and political histcry. "Out brief candle!" It has sent members since the 23rd Edward I. Bribery and other irregularities against the sitting members in procuring votes were proved in 1696: in 1708, Sir Charles Bloyce, one of the bailiffs was returned, but upon a petition proving bribery, menaces, treatmg, &c. this was proved to be " no return :" Sir Charles was declared not capable of being elected, "as being one of the bailiffs; nor had the other bailiff alone any authority to make a return, the two bailiffs making but one officer.' '* In 1722 another bribery petition was presented, but the affair was made up, and the complaint withdrawn. After this display of venality, it is amusing to read that the corporation consists of two bailiffs and twelve capital burgesses.t
Mr. Oldfield described this borough fourteen years ago, as consisting of only forty-two houses, and half a church, the other part having been demolished. Here were six if not eight parish churches: namely, St. John's, (which was a rectory, and seems to have been swallowed up by the sea about the year 1540;) St. Martin's, St. Nicholas's, and St. Peter's, which were likewise rectories; and St. Leonard's and All Saints, which were impropriated. The register of Eye also mentions the churches of St. Michael and St. Bartholomew, which were swallowed up by the sea before the year 1331. The ocean here appears to have almost a corporation swallow. The walls, which encompassed upwards of seven acres of land, had three gates. That to the eastward is quite demolished; but the arches of the two gates to the westward continue pretty firm, and are of curious workmanship, which nature has almost covered with ivy. ...
By aid of the excellent parliamentary anatomy, in the Spectator newspaper, we learn that Dunwich, accordmg to the census of 1821, contained 200 persons.
The "patrons," or "prevailing influence," are Mr. M. Barne and Lord Huntingfield. The number of votes is 18.
■ The reader may often bare noticed in county advertisements the two sheriffs designated sio»c officer. Thus, in the advertisement of the recent Middlesex election:—
Sir Chapman Marshall, > Sheriff of Sir W. H. Poland. J Middlesex, t This reminds one of the admiration of the Lord Mayor in Richard III. by George the Second, so ili-timedly expressed by the King to Garrick, the stage king:— "Fine Lord Mayor ! capital Lord Mayor! where you get such Lord Mayor?"
The members "returned '' to the last parliament were F. Barne and the Earl of Brecknock, who were also returned at the recent election.
Old Sarum, Wilts, the second Borough, has been already fully illustrated in vol. x., No. 290, of The Mirror. It fell, or was rather pulled down, in consequence of a squabble between the civil ana ecclesiastical authorities; and soon after 1217, the inhabitants removed the city, by piecemeal, to another site, which they called New Sarum, now Salisbury. The site of the old city was very recently a field of oats; and the remains of its cathedral, castle, &c., were heaps of rubbish, covered with unprofitable verdure. We may therefore say,
Ubi seges, Sarum fuit.
Mr. Britton, in the Beauties of England and [Vales, discourses diligently of its antiquarian history, which we have glanced at in our tenth volume. It is in theparishof Stratford-under-the-Caslle; and under an old tree, near the church, is the spot where the members for Old Sarum are elected, or rather deputed, to sit in parliament. The father of the great Earl of Chatham once resided at an old family mansion in this parish; and the latter was first sent to parliament from the borough of Old Sarum, in February, 1735; yet " the great Earl Chatham called these boroughs the excrescences, the rotten part of the constitution, which must be amputated to save the body from a mortification."— (Oldfield.)
Few particulars of its representative history are worth relating. The borough returned members to Parliament 23rd Edward I., and then intermitted till 34th Edward III., 6ince which time it has constantly returned. By the return 1 Henry V. it appears that its representatives were with those of other boroughs elected at the county court.
Old Sarum was the property of the late Lord Camelford, who sold it to the Earl of Caledon. The suffrage is by burgage-tenure. The voters, seven, are nominated by the proprietor; but (says Oldfield) actually only one.
The population of Old Sarum is included m the parish, and is not distinguished in its returns.
The proprietor is Lord Caledon; and the members in the last parliament were J. J. and J. D. Alexander, who were again returned at the recent election.
The Cut is an accurate view of the old borough, with Salisbury Cathedral in the distance.
Bramber is here represented by the forlorn ruins of its Castle. It is Id the hundred of Steyning, rape of Bramber, Sussex, and is half a mile from Steyning. It sent members as early as the two previous boroughs; it afterwards intermitted sending, and sometimes sent in conjunction with Steyning, before the 7th Edward IV. There is much " tampering" in its representative records: m 1700, one Mr. Samuel Shepherd was charged with these matters here, and in Wiltshire and Hampshire, when he was ordered to the Tower of London; but a week afterwards, Mr. Shepherd was declared to have absconded. In 1706, a Mr. Asgill, one of the Bramber members, was delivered out of the Fleet by his parliamentary privilege, and the aid of the Sergeant-at-Arms and his mace; but in the following month he was expelled the house for his writings.
The right of election is in resident burgage-holders; and the number of voters is stated to be twenty. The place consists of a few miserable thatched cottages. The Duke of Norfolk is lord of the manor. The cottages are one half of them the property of the Duke of Rutland, and the other of Lord Calthorpe, who, since the year 1786, have each agreed to send one member.•
The history of the Castle seen in the Cut merits note, especially as it is the only relic of the former consequence of the place. It was the baronial castle of the honour of Bramber, which, at the time of the Conqueror's survey, belonged to William de Braose, who possessed forty other manors in this county. These were held by his descendants for severnl generations by the service of the knights' fees; and they obtained permission to build themselves a castle here; but the exact date of its erection is not known. Its ruins attest that it was once a strong and extensive edifice. It appears to have completely covered the top of a rugged eminence, which commands a fine view of the adjacent country and the sea, and to have been surrounded by a triple trench. The population of Bramber is in the Returns of 1821—ninety-eight persons. The members in the last parliament were the Honourable F. G. Calthorpe and John Irving; at the recent election, the members returned were J. Irving and W. S. Dugriale.
Such is an outline of the histories of the annexed three Boroughs. Two of them are sites of great beauty; and we leave the reader to reflect on these plea
* It is related, that in an election contest, in 178G, the tenant of one of the cottages bad the integrity to reject £1,000 fur his vole.