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1831.]
Account of St. Bees, Cumberland.

301 sisted by the ebon tints of evening, rocks below the mountain called Tomand the roaring of the ocean, the fan- lyne, on the coast of Saint Bees, and, ciful may picture to himself worship- according to the custom of those days, pers bending amid the massy ruins, vowed to build a religious house, though here

the sound of the church should she be fortunate enough to esgoing bell” was never heard. Pass- cape. To her vow and escape the ing Keswick Bay (where the lapidary origin of the ancient monastery of may find pebbles of every hue, suscep- Saint Bees is attributed. The mists of tible of a beautiful polish, and suita- revolving centuries dwell upon her ble for snuff-boxes, brooches, &c.), memory, and many are the romantic Saint Bees head, the ancient Barugh, stories attached to her name, fit subpresents itself 220 feet above the level jects for the novelist and the poet. of the sea.

On this height the new This religious house was destroyed light-house, with nine reflectors, was by the Danes most probably about the erected in January 1822. The parish year 873, for at that time history of Saint Bees is large, as will be evi- mentions a very formidable irruption dent from the number of inhabitants of them. It was restored by William at the following periods, especially de Meschines, brother of Ranulph, when it is considered that in this re- first Earl of Cumberland, a family mote part of England, the habitations then lately brought over from the conare generally far apart :

tinent by William I. by whose grant 1688. 1801. 1811. 1821. they became possessed of the earldom 3,345. 13,246. 16,520. 19,169. of Cumbria. Saint Bees now became It was part of the kingdom of Cum- the cell of a prior and six Benedictine bria or Strath Cluyd Britons, which monks, to the abbey of St. Mary at was first inhabited, says Mr. Carte, York. Bishop Tanner mentions i by a Celtic race about 2000 years be

that under this cell there was a small fore the Christian æra.

That the ge

nunnery situate at Rottington, about nuine ancient Britons posted them- a mile from Saint Bees. This is conselves here, we have the authority of firmed by the ancient names of places Marianus himself,* not to mention still retained there, but few other vesthat there are many names purely tiges are now to be found. British. Although every part of it, Ranulph de Meschines, the son of where liable to aggression, was forti. William, by his charter, $ confirmed fied by the Romans, as appears from his father's grants to the prior and the ancient ruins, it was frequently monks, and still further increased the scene of bloody contention. Speed, them. William de Fortibus, Earl of speaking of Cumberland, says that it Albemarle, who married a descendant was strengthened with twenty-five of William de Meschines, by his charcastles, and preserved by the prayers ter || confirmed and still further inof six religious houses, in which latter creased his ancestor's grants. Amongst enumeration that of Saint Bees is men- other distinguished names, that of the tioned. The village was formerly prior of Saint Bees appears as a witknown by the names BEGOCK, BE- ness to “the rules and orders for the Goth, or Beghes, and the Church is burghers of Egremont,” by Richard styled in ancient evidences Kirkby de Lacy, about the reign of King John. Begog. The derivation of Begoth in the reign of Henry IV. a Richard seems to be, from two ancient British Hunte was appointed to Saint Bees, as words BEG OG ; by our interpretation, a free chapelry in the gift of the Crown, little, young, like the Gaelic oig, little. but the abbot of Saint Mary's remonThe name is supposed to have origi- strated with the King, and the grant nated from the Holy Bega, a pious was revoked. After the dissolution woman from Ireland, who is said to of monasteries, 7 Edward VI. Sir Thohave founded a small monastery here mas Chaloner became possessed of the about the year 650.+ Respecting this monastic property, paying to the holy woman, tradition is not entirely Crown yearly the fee farm rent of silent. It is said, that on her voyage 1431. 168. 25d. This yearly rent was from Ireland she was in imminent afterwards granted (4 and 5 William danger of being wrecked upon the

Notitia, No. 72. * See Camden, p. 1002.

§ 1 Dagd. Mon. 395. + Tanner's Noticia, No. 73.

ll i Dugd. Mon. 397.

sessor.

302

College of St.
Bees, Cumberland.

[April, and Mary) to Cuthbert Bishop of way for modern improvements some Chester and his successors, paying time since. The other monuments thereout to the Crown yearly 431.88.4d. now existing are comparatively moFrom Sir Thomas Chaloner these rich dern, and not worthy of any particupossessions passed into the highly re- lar notice. spectable family of the Wyburghs, The eastern part of the abbey was long resident at Saint Bees, but after- built in the thirteenth century, and wards removed to Clifton in West- had been for many years in ruins, till moreland, in consequence of marriage 1817, when it was fitted up as a colwith an heiress. Being great suf- lege, containing one large hall for the ferers in the reign of Charles I. from students, and a lecture room, the end the civil wars, these estates were of the ancient cross aisle being conmortgaged to the Lowther family, verted into another. Near the steps and on a suit in Chancery, instituted leading up to the college, are two muby Sir John Lowther of Whitehaven tilated stone figures, to which common in 1663, the estates passed into the report has given the names of Lord family of the Earl of Lonsdale, their and Lady Lucy. This institution or present noble and munificent pos- college was commenced under the

auspices of the Right Rev. George The parish of Saint Bees being ex- Henry Law, D.D. Lord Bishop of tensive, the church is the Mother Chester, and intended for the educaChurch for a distance of many miles, tion of those candidates for ordination including the populous town of White in the northern dioceses, who are haven, and five other chapelries, termed “ LITERATES." With the asnamely, Ennerdale, Eskdale, Nether sistance of the Earl of Lonsdale, the Wasdale, Wasdale Head, and Lows- college was fitted up, and the house water, together with numerous other built for the principal. One of the townships. Some of these have been lecture rooms is likewise used as a considered to have distinct parish library, and contains a very useful churches, but they are in fact nothing collection of divinity works. In this more than chapels of ease. There is room is a full-length likeness of the an order extant of the time of Bishop principal, executed by Lonsdale, and Bridgman (A.D. 1622), by which the presented by the students, as a testiinhabitants of these five chapelries are mony of their high respect. The stuenjoined to contribute to the repair of dents, previous to admission, are exthe Mother Church,* and at the pre- pected to be well versed in the Classent time yearly payments are made sics, so that the course of study does by them respectively.

not exceed two years. In this period The old abbey is built of free-stone. the standard divinity works are diliThe western part or nave, erected in gently studied, and such principles the reign of Henry I. is fitted up as inculcated as are likely to form faiththe parish church, the great door of ful ministers of the Gospel, who, as which is ornamented with grotesque far as their spheres for exertion will heads and chevron mouldings. In permit, may be able to preserve the 1705 the church was certified at 121. Church in its original purity, free per annum by James Lowther of from those errors which indistinct Whitehaven, esq. the impropriator. notions are apt to engender. The It is at present a perpetual curacy of present principal is the Rev. William small value, holden by the Rev. Dr. Ainger, D. D.; lecturer, the Rev. Ainger.

Richard Parkinson, M. A. There was formerly in the body of A short distance from the church the church, on the south side, an and college is a respectable farmeffigy in wood of Anthony the last house standing on part of the ancient Lord Lucy of Egremont, which, if a monastic premises, and retaining to true portraiture, showed him to be a this day the name of “The Abbey.” large bodied man, upwards of six feet In this immediate neighbourhood, sehigh, and proportionably corpulent. parated only by the high road to This monument was removed, to make Whitehaven, is the grammar school,

which has been long eminent in the * See Burn's Westmoreland and Cum

north, and has produced many very berland, vol. II. p. 47.

learned characters, amongst whom + Well engraved by Coney in Dugdale's was Bishop Hall, Master of Trinity Monast. iii. 574.

College, Dublin. It was founded in

1831.]
Grammar School of St. Bees.

303 the year 1587, by Edmund Grindall, of Queen's, or in default by the masArchbishop of Canterbury. Over the ter of Pembroke-hall. There have door of the school is the date 1583, as been between 150 and 200 scholars at there is likewise on the battlement of one time. The present Governors are the bridge leading to the school, with the Earl of Lonsdale, John Fox, D.D. the arms, so that it is probable that Provost of Queen's College, Oxford, the school house was built in that ex officio, the Rev. Mr. Scott, Rector year, though the school was not fully of Egremont, ex officio, and four established till afterwards. The be- others. nevolent founder obtained letters pa- The School has been long in a detent from Queen Elizabeth, dated 24 clining state, and probably at the preApril, 1583; and on the 3d of July, sent time has a smaller number of he solemnly delivered and published scholars than ever it had. Time will the Statutes for the regulation of the best show the cause of this, when school, in the presence of eight wit- under other care it may again attain nesses. During the life of the foun- its pristine celebrity. Its present conder, certain lands called Palmer's dition, however, must be lamented by Fields, at Croydon in the County of every friend of literature, but espeSurrey, of the value of 501. per an- cially by those who knew it as the num, were purchased in the names of scene of their youthful days,—by those the Governors. This estate was af- now occupying situations of rank and terwards improperly leased for 1000 affluence, for which they were fitted years, without fine or premium to the within its walls. I school! King James considerably in

GEORGE C. TOMLINSON. creased the revenues of the school, and several patents were granted and LETTER OF SAMUEL HARTLIB ON THE Acts of Parliament passed in its favour,

DEATH OF Des Cartes, &c. so that the present annual value of its lands is supposed to be at least 80001.

WE publish the following Letter

by favour of William Hamper, esq. while the income arising from them to

F.S.A. in whose collection the origithe school is stated to be less than

nal is preserved. It gives an amusing, 1001.f The royalty of Saint Bees still belongs to the school, and a court is

not to say ridiculous, picture of the yearly held at the

school house. T. opinions of the famous philosopher the school is attached a good library, life, and his somewhat Jewish con

Des Cartes, on the duration of human which has been greatly improved at various periods by Sir Joseph Wil

duct, in consequence, to provide for liamson, Secretary of State to Charles

his future support by means of a life II., Dr. Lamplugh, Archbishop of annuity. York, Bishop Barlow, Bishop Smith,

This singular feature of Des Cartes' the Earl of Lonsdale, &c.—By the philosophy is thus noticed in the BioStatutes only the inhabitants of Cum- graphical Dictionary: berland and Westmoreland are eligi

« Des Cartes, it is said, imagined it posble for instruction here, but custom

sible to prolong life very considerably behas rendered it the same as if free to

yond the common period, and thought he

had discovered the method of doing it. In every county in England; every scho

conversation with Sir Kenelm Digby, Des lar making a yearly offering to the Cartes assured him that, having already conmaster, according to his ability, which

sidered that matter, he would not venture to is termed “ Cock-Penny.” The mas- promise to render a man immortal; but that ter is to be a native of Cumberland, he was very sure it was possible to lengthen Westmoreland, Yorkshire, or Lanca- out his life to the period of the patriarchs. shire, and is nominated by the provost It seems evident to me, says he, in a letter

written to M. de Zylichem from Egmond, * It may not be improper to mention in 1638, when he had attained the age of that Archbishop Grindall is the Algrind of forty-two years, that if we only guarded Spenser, by transposition of the letters of against certain errors, which we are accushis name. He was born at Hensingham

tomed to commit in the course of our diet, near Saint Bees in 1519, died in 1583, and we might, without any other invention, atwas buried in the chancel of Croydun Church in the county of Surrey, where Since the above was written, a new there is a monument to his memory.-See Master has been appointed to the School, Bing. Brit.

in the person of Rev. John Fox, M.A. of † See Carlisle's Endowed Grammar Queen's

College, Oxford, the pephew of the Schools, vol. I.

worthy Provost.

304

Letter of Hartlib on Death of Des Cartes. [April, tain to an old age, much longer and more shew'n you, if j had had the happines happy than we do now. However, twelve

to have seene you once more before years after this declaration was made, our

you went from hence. And that more philosopher died.”

and better observations may bee made, Samuel Hartlib, the writer of the j shal in like manner endeavor that present epistle, was the son of a Pofish merchant. He settled in England those

both the Univ. may bee endowed with

räre optical treasures from about 1640; and at the period when

Augsburg. the country was impoverished by the

Yesterday I received a most sad civil war, and the country gentlemen and inixpected answer from my friends were glad to forget their political mis

at Amsterdam, bidding mee not to fortunes, and repair their shattered estates by agricultural employment, d. Carts, in as much as hee was de

urge any more accounts from Mons. gained considerable celebrity by his parted this world at Stockholme the scientific treatises on “ Husbandry.” 1 of Febr. styl. nov. in the French Cromwell, in consequence, granted Ambassador's house there. Hee rehim a pension of 3001. a year. A me

fused to take any physick but when moir of him will be found in Chal

it was too late ; hee was let blood mers's Biographical Dictionary. Of his correspondent Dr. Henry Q. doth hugely lament his death, and

thrice a day, but all in vaine. The More, there is also an article in that hath caused his whole effigies cuvaluable repository of biography, and riously to bee made in wax. Hee his life was published in 8vo, 1710, dyed of the same disease that Dr. by the Rev. Richard Ward, M.A. On Kinner, w'ch was a pleurisy: One first repairing to Cambridge, More, as

that knew him pretty well, told mee he himself tells us, “plunged himself

lately some strange th* [things] of immediately over head and ears in

him. For hee said that hee had acphilosophy,” and in the course of his quainted some of his best friends with studies, he became so captivated with the Platonic writers and mystic di- dies, w'ch should mainly tend to give

the whole designe of his life and stuvines, as to acquire the character of an enthusiast. He passed the greater the prolongation of natural life. For,

us at last a compleate Philosophy, with part of his life in close retirement at privatly to his confiding friends Cambridge, pursuing his philosophical would not stick to assert that it was studies; and, we are told, “had a great esteem for Des Cartes, with health as that wee might live without

possible in nature so to order one's whom he held a correspondence upon sicknesses to a thous. y. and that several points of his philosophy.” hims. did not despaire to arrive at Notwithstanding his speculative opi- such a period. And to accomplish the nions, he was accounted a man of the

better his learned Designe, after he most ardent piety, and wrote, some

came from the Warres, he made choice theological works, particularly “The of the Low c. as the freest Co’monw. Mystery of Godliness,” which were

where hee might live without conexceedingly popular. He died Sept. troule and as hee pleased, having put 1, 1687, aged 72.

the sum’e of 10 thous. gilders or more London, the 16 of March, 1649. upon life-rent, as they call it, wherby SIR, I should have taken it for a hee had a full subsistence as long as great favor, if you had bestowed upon hee should live. I shal now enquire mee a second visit, when you were not so much after the truth of this last at London. For j suppose it story, as what hee hath left of those would not have been impossible, but excellent gifts yet vnpublished which that wee should have agreed with Mr. are likelier to last a thous. y. and Word concerning time and place, preserve the effigies of his soule far when and where to have entertained better then any wax can doe that of you with the rare Perspective Glasse his body. Thus beseeching God so to w'ch hee brought from beyond the teach us to number our days that wee Seas. But, to make amends, j shall may apply our hearts unto wisdome, never cease till j have obtained one of I subscribe myselfe alw. Sir, your Hevelius' Selenographia for the Pub- very respective and faithful friend to lique Library at Camb. as j have done

SAM. HARTLIB. already a most stately one for Oxf. For his worthy and much honoured Library, w'ch the Author sent lately Friend Mr. Henry More, Fellow to my hands, and w'ch j could have of Christ's Coll. in Cambridge.

serve you,

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