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plunged into the water. There is no doubt, we believe, that, by the law, .common scolds,' if convicted under an indictment, are still punishable by the cucking-stool, as drunkards are by the stocks. Lord Chief Baron Comyns, who died 1740, ruled that every lord of a leet ought to maintain a cucking-stool, sometimes

a called a 'tumbrel,' or ' trebucket,' as well as stocks, in his manor; and the Court of Queen's Bench contains the record of Mrs. Saxby's case, who in Michaelmas Term (3 Anne), 1703, was adjudged to undergo this punishment.

The industry of Wiltshire is mainly agricultural; but it is by no means remarkable for a very high standard of farming. Many of the Down farms are, however, extremely well cultivated, and the rapid extension of tillage over these high plains threatens before long to leave but little of their original sheep-walks. The chief products of the county are corn and wool. Its cheese, ale, and bacon are also of noted excellence, so that substantial fare is not wanting to the inhabitants. At the beginning of the century Wiltshire had breeds of horned sheep and long-horned' cattle peculiar to it, and which went by its name, So great has been the change, that perhaps it would be difficult to find at present a single flock or herd of either.

In the retentive soils of the vales, especially that of the north, the extension of tile-draining and the removal of the high hedges and close trees which formerly choked up the land, have of late years greatly benefited both the agriculture and climate. The stimulus to improvements afforded by Agricultural Associations has not been wanting ; indeed the county has rather run to seed in this direction. The Bath and West of England Society, founded in the last century by the Benetts and Lethbridges, and long presided over by the venerable Lord Lieutenant, was perhaps too expansive in its sphere; but there can be no need for frittering away the strength of the county on some half-dozen local Associations, especially since the railway system has so greatly facilitated the concentration of visitors and stock at any one spot. Unluckily the old jealousy so generally prevalent between neighbouring towns, which, like those of Wiltshire, are nearly equal in population, has hitherto interfered to prevent such an amalgamation. The Quarter Sessions of the county are divided between the four towns of Devizes, Salisbury, Warminster, and Marlborough. The Assizes are held alternately at the two former places. The corn-markets of the three first towns have always been of considerable importance, while Marlborough has been chiefly noted for its wool and sheep fairs. The Chippenham Railway Station, from which branches ramify in all directions,

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has of late conferred great eminence on the market of that place, especially for cheese.

The wools for which the county has always been famous were from a very early period spun and woven into cloth in the neighbourhood of fulling-mills erected on the Western Avon and its tributary streams, especially at Bradford, Trowbridge, Warminster, Westbury, Melksham, Chippenham, and Malmesbury. These manufacturing towns still maintain a very considerable reputation. At the recent Great Exhibitions of London and Paris prizes were awarded to several of the Wiltshire clothiers. Salisbury was long renowned for its flannels and fine cutlery. At present we believe the trade in both is gone. The carpets of Wilton have long been famous. On several streams paper-mills are worked. Four canals. traverse the county, and greatly facilitated its commerce before the construction of the railways, which to some extent now supersede them. Wiltshire possesses field, its oldest strata belonging to the colitic series. Much iron ore occurs in some of its green-sand beds, and since the opening of the branch railroad to Devizes, which exposed rich strata of this mineral, the idea has been entertained of working them on a large scale. Speculation is just now rise on this subject, and before long perhaps the tranquil and now secluded vale of Avon will seethe with furnaces and smelting-houses.

In other respects the natural history of Wiltshire offers little peculiarity. The great bustards, for which its downs were once famous, have disappeared before the advancing plough and the more general practice of sporting. So lately as in Pennant's time, he says flocks of fifty or more might be seen together; of late years the occurrence of a single individual has been a nine days' wonder. Two, however, were undoubtedly taken within a short time past—one in 1849, near Stonehenge, another near Marlborough Forest only in the last year: this is now in the collection of the Rev. G. Marsh, at Sutton Benger. It is told that a bustard in 1805 attacked a traveller on horseback on the downs near Heytesbury: it was probably defending its nest from presumed attack. The horseman, it seems, only thought of saving himself, and the bird escaped. More than one tale of this kind, indeed, is told about the downs; but none more striking than that which we well remember at the time to have created no small excitement--the attack made by a lioness on the Exeter mail while changing horses by night at Winterslow Hut, on Salisbury Plain. The beast fastened upon the shoulder of one of the leaders, which it savagely tore with teeth and claws, and was with great difficulty beaten off and retaken by the owners of the travelling caravan, from which

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it had escaped. As a sporting country Wiltshire has always maintained a high reputation. In early days hawking and beagling were the chief amusements. Sir Ralph Sadleir, of Everley, a worthy Knight, Grand Falconer to Queen Elizabeth, was so fond of hawking that when appointed to guard the unfortunate Mary at Tilbury, he could not refrain from his favourite amusement, and not being able to deny Mary's desire to accompany him, though his sport led them some distance from the castle, he got a severe reprimand from the Queen for his carelessness. A curious portrait of Sir Walter Hungerford, of Farleigh Castle, still preserved there, represents him mounted, in armour, surrounded by hawks, a greyhound, a hare, a heron, and other fowl, with the following inscription :

* Sir Walter Hungerforde, Knight, had, in quene Elizabeth's tyme, the second of her raine for foure yere together a baye horse, a blacke grehounde, a leveratt, his offer was for foure yere to all Englande not above his betters, he that sholde shewe the best horse for a man of armes, a grehounde, for a hare, a hawke for the ryver, to wynne a hunderd pounds, that ys, a hunderd a pese. Also he had a ger-falcon whiche he kept for xviii yere, and offered to flye for a hunderd pounde, and was refused by for all.'

Its downs are still famous for the coursing-matches for which they are so well adapted. The fox-hounds of the Duke of Beaufort, Lord Gifford, Mr. Asheton Smith, and the South-Wilts Hunt, share the county between them, but are not confined to it, ranging into Gloucestershire, Berks, and Hants likewise. The kennels and stables of Tidworth are the pride of Wiltshire sporting men, and are arranged with a perfection of which probably no other example is to be found. They accommodate three packs of hounds, and above thirty hunters, which lead no life of idle luxury, as 'the Squire,' Mr. Smith, before his great age incapacitated him, took the field on every week-day during the season. The conservatories and gardens are in their way equally unrivalled,

Of late the Wiltshire Downs have from the elasticity of their turf been found eminently adapted to the training of racers. And now in several of their quiet out-of-the-way villages stables have been built, and a population of jockeys, stable-boys, and other queer-looking characters introduced. The hills above afford admirable galloping-ground, and their seclusion is expected to facilitate the secrecy of trial running so necessary to determine the powers of a young racer. In spite of this, however, it is said that many a sly' tout,' as the curious in this line are called, lies perdu at times in a furze bush to witness—himself unseen-the running ; thus obtaining information which may be worth thousands to his employers. A year or two back Wiltshire was able

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to boast of carrying off the blue riband of the turf.'

Wild Darrell,' the winner of the Derby of 1856, was in every way a Wiltshire horse ; born and reared in Wiltshire, owned by a Wiltshire Squire, and trained and ridden by an honest Wiltshire groom. Old Aubrey quotes a proverb current in his day

• Salisbury Plain-never without a thief or twain ;' or, as in another place he records, 'a gallows or two, with its appendages.' The rural police, wisely established throughout Wiltshire on the first passing of the permissive Act, has in the present day rendered highway robbery almost unknown, and even all but eradicated sheep-stealing, which used to be a regular business in the Down country. But if it were true that the loneliness and open character of the Plain' facilitated in some degree the waylaying of travellers, it also told sometimes with equal effect against the thieves. We remember one remarkable case in which a robbery having been committed on a high road across the downs, some mounted farmers returning from market came up shortly after with the injured party. The story was soon told, and the thief then just disappearing in the distance pointed out, chace was instantly made on his track. He became aware of the pursuit and started for a run; but of course, after a breathing gallop more exciting than any fox-hunt over the open down, where not a bush gave him a chance of shelter, the pursuers came up with the quarry-only, however, to see him drop dead from overexertion. An inquest being held, the verdict of the jury of bumpkins was felo de se.' On the coroner's asking an explanation, it was given by the foreman in these words, 'Why, we finds as he busted his-self.'

But we must bring to a close our ramble over the airy hills and rich vales of this truly English and old-fashioned county, of which its natives and inhabitants are justly fond—especially delighting in its chief characteristic, the downs—than which, says our old friend John Aubrey, nothing can be more pleasant, and in the summer time do excel Arcadia in verdant and rich turfe, and moderate aire, but in winter are sometime colde and rawe. The innocent lives here of the shepherds doe give us a remembrance of the golden age. But the true Arcadia and the Daphne is about Vernditch and Wilton. Those Romancy plains

. and boscages did no doubt conduce to the heightening of Sir Philip Sydney's phansie. He lived much in these parts, and the most masterly touches of his pastoralls he wrote here upon the spot where they were conceived.'

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ART.

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Art. V.-1. Report of the Committee of the Lower House of

Convocation on Home and Foreign Missions. July, 1857. 2. Report of the Committee of the Upper House of Convocation

appointed to consider and report on the most desirable Modes of making fresh Exertions for sustaining and extending the Missionary

Efforts of the Church, both at Home and Abroad. July, 1857. 3. The Duties of the Deacons and Priests of the Church of Eng

land compared. By Wm. Hale Hale, Archdeacon of London.

1853. 4. Charge addressed to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of London.

By W. H. Hale, Archdeacon of London. 1853. 5. On Religious Restoration in England: a Series of Sermons.

By Chr. Wordsworth, D.D. 1854.
HE wisest of mankind has told us that in a multitude of

counsellors there is safety ; but unfortunately the same high authority has left us no instructions for extracting from the multitude their aggregate wisdom, and we much doubt whether the best receipt for the purpose is to shut them up in a committeeroom and to order them to prepare a ‘Report.' Such, at least, is the reflection suggested by a perusal of the paper of suggestions on Church subjects which was laid on the table of the Lower House of Convocation towards the close of its last session. The Committee by whom it was prepared is composed of men who, for the most part, are distinguished not more by their learning and ability than by their practical knowledge of all that relates to the ministry, and any one of them we venture to think would have produced on bis own undivided responsibility, and from the stores of his own experience, a better digested scheme of Church Extension than is here set forth with the united sanction of all.

From the production of a single mind we might, at least, expect distinctness of aim and consistency of design; but not even the title of the Report on Home and Foreign Missions' is in accordance with its contents. Ample as are its professed subjects, comprehending all that is remote and diving into all that is obscure, penetrating to the lowest depths of social wretchedness at home and abroad to the uttermost deserts of heathenism, yet their limits are exceeded by the range which the Committee have given to their survey, embracing as it does almost all that bas ever been suggested for the improvement of our Church system, from

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* The title of the Report is, 'On Home and Foreign Missions :' and in the first paragraph the subject is divided thus: ‘1. me Missions. 2. Foreign Missions. 3. Finance. The inaccuracy of this divisiou is, perhaps, more apparent than real ; but this slip shows the haste with which the Report has been put together.

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