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I

^arbarb Collese libraro

CHARLES JACKSON

(CUM at iSgS)

OF BOSTON

FOR ENGLISH HISTORY AND LITERATURE

RECORDS OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE,

OB PAPERS AND NOTES ON THE

HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES, AND ARCHITECTURE

OF THE COUNTY.

sooBTHBB WITH xmijraACTxoire ov

S(vd|itectural anH ^rciisological Sbotittj^

VOB TMM

COUNTY OF BUCKINGHAM.

PUBI^ISHED BY THE SOCIETY.

VOL. IV.

AYLESBURY:

PBINTBD BY G. T. DB 7B1IBB.

1870.

Harvard College Library Feb. 1, 1912 Qif t of Oharles Jackson of BostoD

\.

RECORDS OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE.

THE POETS OP BUCKINGHAMSHIBE.— WILLIAM COWPER.

An Address delivered by the Ybn. Abchdeacon Bicejbb* STSTH^ D.D., at the Annual Meeting of the Archrao- logical Society at Ohicheley Hall^ July 15^ 1869.

Thb Ooukty of BuCEiNOHAH Can claim the honour of aa association with several poets of distinction.

Edmund Wallbb^ bom at ColeshiU^ a detached

C^rtion of Hertfordshire in the parish of Amersham^ arch 30^ 1605^ was essentially a Buckinghamshire man* His father held a considerable estate in that parish. His mother was of the family of Hampden. The poet repre. sented Amersham in two or three successive parliaments. He was suocessM as an orator^ more so than as a states- man. In this latter capacity^ if we may accept Clarendon^s estimate of him, he was timorous and vacillating. He died at Hall Bam in Beaconsfield, October 21, 1687, and was buried in the churchyard of that parish. According to the inscription on his tomb, said to have been written by Rymer, the compiler of the :/' Fcedera,'' Waller appears to have retained his powers as a poet to extreme old age :

'^Edmundi Waller hio jaoet id quantum morti cntat^ Qui inter Poetas eui temporis facile prmceps, Lauream quam meruit adoleeoenty Ootogenarius hand abdicant."

A far more illustrious name than Waller's is that of bis contemporary, John Miltok.

4 BECOBDS OF BUCK1N6HAM8HIBE.

Milton was bom in London, December 9tli, 1608, about three years after Waller, thongh Waller outlived him thirteen years. He was descended of a good fanuly, to which Milton in Oxfordshire gave its name. His father, a scrivener by profession, and a man of learning and accomplishments, provided carefully for the education of the future poet. He sent him to St. Paul's, and after- wards to Christ's College, Cambridge. Milton the father possessed at this time a small estate at Horton in this county, where his son resided with him for five years after leaving Cambridge. During those years he read diligently the Grreek and Latin authors ; and laid the foundation of his future fame by producing his '^ Comus and Lycidas,'' and perhaps also his ^^L' Allegro and II Penseroso.'' After this he went abroad for some time ; * and it was in the course of his travels that he used those memorable words : " I hope by labour and intense study, which I take to be my portion in this life, joined with a strong propensity of nature, to leave something so written to after times as they should not willingly let it die.'' Milton was a striking example of the combination of lofty genius and intense application.

About the age of thirty*six his eyesight began to fail him, and at forty-six he was blind. But his spirit and his genius triumphed over this formidable obstacle to literary distinction.

His thoughts were at this time concentrated, it is said, upon three or four great objects : 1, A Latin Dictionary or Thesaurus; 2, An Epic Poem; 3, A History of England ; and 4, A Body of Divinity. As for the epic poem, ''Paradise Lost" seems to have been upon his mind from a very early period. It was first set forth in a dramatic form, after the manner of the ancient Mysteries. A sketch of it, in this its rudimental state, is printed in " Johnson's Lives of the Poets." Milton's blindness certainly retarded his progress in his other great literary pursuits ; but it was no bar to his powers of imagination; and so the epic poem advanced while the other great works stood still. It is probable that the great poet gave his last finishing touches to this inimitable poem during his residence at Chalfont St. GKles's, whither the Plague in London had driven him in 1665. It was at Chalfont also that he received from his

BICOfiDS OF BaCKINGHAXSHIBB. 5

firiend Mwood^ the Quaker^ the snggestion wUcli led to the production of ''Paradise Regained/^ It is probable that much of this poem was composed at Chalfont.

It may be interesting^ in these days of multiplied authorship^ to know what was the kind of remuneration that the most gifted authors received for their writings. The MS. of '' Paradise Lost '' was sold, April 27, 1667, to a publisher named '' Samuel Simmons/' for the sum of £5, with the understanding that the author was to receive £5 more when 1300 copies had been sold.

Milton died November 10, 1674, and was buried in the Church of St. Giles, Cripplegate.

One more poet must receive a passing homage before we come to William Oowper. Thomas Gray, like Milton, the son of a scrivener, was bom in Gomhill, in the City of London, November 26, 1716. He was educated first at Eton, and then at Cambridge, where he entered as a pensioner at Peterhouse at the age of eighteen. There he spent almost the whole of his life; but from 1741 to 1758, his summer vacations were passed with his mother and aunt at Stoke Poges in this county. He was first pubUcly known as a poet in 1742, in which year he wrote his '' Ode on Eton College.'^ In 1 750 he produced his far-famed "Elegy in a Country Churchyard.'* More than one churchyard is claimed as having inspired this beautiful composition ; but there seems sufficient reason for giving the preference to Stoke. Mr. Gray was much esteemed by his contemporaries as a man of great learn- ing and varied accomplishments; and it is no small praise of him, that Cowper pronounced him to be the only poet, since Shakspeare, entitled to the character of sublime. Gray died at Cambridge, July 80, 1771; and was buried, by his own desire, in the same vault with his mother, in Stoke Churchyard. Nearly eighty years afterwards a monument was erected to his memory by Mr. John Penn in the adjacent grounds.

Thus, while South Buckinghamshire is identified with the sweetness and smoothness of Waller, the strength and originaUty of Milton, and the flowing cadences of Gray, the North of the County has its compensation in being enriched with the pleasing measures of the amiable, gifted, and pious Cowper.

William Cowpeb, the son of Dr. Cowper, Bector of

6 BliCOBDS Of BtTCKIKOHAltBHtBB.

Great Berkham steady and great nephew of Lord Ohan- oellor Cowper, was bom at his fathers rectory, November 15, 1781. His mother, who died when he was ftix years old, was a Miss Donne, of a Norfolk family, well known through the learned and accomplished Dean of St. PaaFs of that name. If it be tme that genius is generally transmitted through the female side, it is to his mother that Cowper may have been indebted for his exquisite sensibility and refined talents. Indeed, Cowper seems to acknowledge the obligation. At all events, she must have been a very remarkable person to have left such an impression as she did upon her little son, whose verses upon her picture, written many years afterwards, are amongst the most beautiful of his minor poems :

<' Hj mother 1 when I leanied that thou WMt dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the team I shed ; Hovered thj spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretoh eyen tnen, life's journey just hegunP Perhaps thon gaVst me^ though unseen, a kiss» Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in hliss. I heaid the beU toU'd on thy burial day, 1 saw the hearse that bore thee slow away. And, turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last: adieu."

Soon after this, his first great sorrow, the little William was sent to a boarding school at Market Street in Herts, where he was exposed to very savage treatment from a schoolfellow of fifteen years of age, one of the detestable race of cowardly bullies. The cruelty of this boy deeply afiected him. In his own words he was so afiiid of him that ^' he never dared to look higher up than his knees, and knew his dreaded approach better by his shoe buckles than by any other part of his dress.'' It is probable that this treatment, acting upon a child of a peculiarly gentle and sensitive nature, may have stimu- lated the OTowth of that mysterious malady whidi clung to him all his life, and at times altogether over-mastered him.

From Market Street he was removed to Westminster, where he remained till he was eighteen. He was popular as a schoolboy, and excelled in football and cricket* At eighteen he was placed in the office of a solicitor, Mr* Chapman, with whom he remained for three years. He

BI00BD8 or BvocNOHAmsna. 7

bad for a companion in this office^ Thnrlow^ the fatare Lord High Chancellor. There could have been little congeniality between young men of such yery different temperaments. Bnt they were bound together by a mutual esteem ; and it is greatly to the credit of Thuilow that he could appredate the moral worth as well as the abilities of Cowper* Upon leaving Mr. Chapman's office in 1752^ Cowper took chambers at the Middle Temple^ where he had been entered April 29^ 1748.

He was now twenty-one years of age^ and at this period he became subject to a deep dejection of spirits to that morbid melancholy which darkened so much of his after life^ and from under the shadow of which he seldom^ if ever^ entirely emerged. He became from this time, to use his own figure^ ^' as a stricken deer.''* At first he found some relief from reading '^ Herbert's Poems." He then tried change of air in the South of England; and when lookmg np<m some beautiful prospect near Southampton one eabn and fine morning, the brightness and stillness of the scene seems to have penetrated him. All at once the weight of his misery was remoyedj and he became light and joyful*

Three years afterwards he moved from the Middle to the Inner Temple, about which time he was made a " Commissioner of Bankrupts." But the study of the law was not to his taste ; and even then he was begin- ning, as he says, " to ramble from the thorny paths of jurisprudence into the primrose paths of literature and poetry." His biographer Southey informs us that he was at this time associated with several literary persons of distinction, as Colman, Churchill> Lloyd, and others ; but he adds that his mind just then was ^^ pro- bably more on love than on literature." He formed an attachment to a first cousin, Theodora Cowper, sister to the wife of Sir Thomas Hesketh. But the attachment was objected to far more reasons than one; and the engagement was broken off, though the two cousins never ceased to love one another.

About this time Cowper obtained, through family interest, the " Clerkship of the Journals of the House of Lords." But the anxiety of preparation for the

<*I was a stricken deer, thsi toft the herd

hmg tisM," ** Tuk;' Book lU.

8 BBOOBBB OF BUCEINaHAMSHIBS.

dnties of this office^ and the dread of the publicity into which it would bring him^ caused a return^ in an aggra- vated form^ of his old malady.

It now became necessary to remove him altogether from London; and through the interposition of that kind and tender Providence which never failed him^ he was placed under the care of Dr. Cotton, an intelligent and most humane physician, then living at St. Alban's. In a few months the disease yielded to Dr. Cotton's judicious treatment; and again the afflicted poet recovered for a time peace and comfort of mind.

It is impossible to compare without deep emotion the Sapphics in which he describes his state of mind while under the full influence of this dark and diseased melan- choly, with his first Christian effusions of thankfulness upon his amendment. Let a stanza or two from each be quoted.

In his miserable dejection, when he looked upon himself as lost, and saw the light of hope gradually receding from him and fading in the distance, he thus writes:

" Hard lot ! enoompassed with a thousand dangersi Weary, faint, trembling with a thousand terrors,'* I'm oaUed in anguish to reoeiTe a sentenoe

Worse than Abiram's.*'

But on his recovery, his feelings of gratitude gash forth in words vhich must penetrate every heart :—

*< How blessed Thy creature is, O God,

When with a single eye He TiewB the lustre of Thj Word, The Day-spring from on high.

The soul a dreary proTince onoe,

Of Satan's dark domain, I^ls a new empire formed within,

And owns a heavenly reign."

Cowper remained with his kind friend Dr. Cotton for about eighteen months, and was then removed to Hun- tingdon, in order that he might be within easy reach of his brother, Mr. John Cowper, then residing upon his fellowship at Cambridge. This removal took place in 1765; and he entered his lodgings at Huntingdon, on June 22nd, in that year.

There was a family settled at that time at Huntingdon,

BIC0BD8 Of BUCKIN0HAM8HIBS. 9

of the name of XTnwin^ consisting of father^ mother^ son^ and daughter. Morley Unwin^ the father^ was an elderly man^ a clergyman^ occupying a commodious house in the High Street^ in which he received a few pupils^ and prepared them for the University. Mrs. Unwin, whose fortunes were from this time so interwoven with those of Cowper^ and who became^ in fact^ a kind of second mother to the poet^ is described as '' a person of lively talents^ with a sweet and serene countenance.^^ The daughter was no less pleasing than the mother. The son^ equally good and agreeable^ was a student at Gam- bridge. To this family Cowper was at once drawn as by instinct; andj in a very short time^ we find him settled as a lodger in their house. But two years brought a sad and sudden change to the family. Mr. Unwin the elder was killed by a fall from his horse^ in July 1767^ and the httle establishment at Huntingdon was broken up. Cowper and the Unwins had now another home to seek; and by the advice and persuasion of Rev. John Newton, the curate of Ohiey, who had some knowledge of the Unwins, and through them of Cowper, the^ were induced to settle at Olney. Here a house was taken for them, so (near the Vicarage, that, by opening a doorway through the garden-wall, the two families could com- municate without going into the street.

Mr. Newton's life had been an eventful one. He was formerly the captain of a Liverpool slave-ship ; and having gone through many dangers and vicissitudes, he became deeply impressed with religion, and entered holy orders. Much has been said and written upon the question how far Mr. Newton's particular religious teach- ing was adapted to a person of Cowper's delicately organized mental constitution. And certify the change from the calm and soothing influences of the daily service at Huntingdon, which Cowper regularly attended, to the excitement of prayer and class meetings, and of visiting the sick and dying at Olney, in all of which Newton required him to take a part, must have been very trying to such a tender mind, and such ^' a wounded and yet lively imagination'' as Cowper's. Some have been of opinion that the life which Cowper led during his first years at Olney, had a tendency to increase the morbid propensity of his delicately bah^ced constitution.

10 BECOBDS or BUCEXNaHAMSHIia.

while others have thoaght that the best remedy for his disease of mind^ was the powerful counter-stimulant of enthusiasm. For my own part^ I am contented to beUeve that he was all along under the influence of a kind Providence, ever leading him '^ by the right way " to his heavenly rest. Certainly no one will question the strength and earnestness of Mr. Newton's religious con- victions; and, doubtless, the circumstances in which Cowper was thus placed, tended to develop the moral beauty of his character. His religious spirit responded to real piety in any form ; while his retirement, made pleasant to him by the society of those who loved and appreciated him, was favourable to the cultivation of his poetic powers.

During his residence at Oluey, Cowper became ac- quainted with Lady Austen, widow of Sir Robert Austen, Bart., and sister to the wife of a clergyman then living at Clifton Reynes. She was a person of a lively sprightly wit; and though the acquaintance was not long con- tinued, she helped greatly for a time to cheer him in some of his hours of melancholy. It is to this lady that we are indebted for the diverting "History of John Gilpin.'^ One evening, when the poet was unusually depressed, she amused him with the outlines of the story, as one that she had heard in her childhood. The story was eagerly assimilated by Cowper ; and it so tickled his fancy, that in the course of the night, he turned it into that ballad which has since been the source of merriment to thousands.

Cowper was an admirable letter- writer, an art which has certainly not profited by the penny postage system. In his letters his playful humour manifests itself con- tinually. I cannot refrain from giving you one specimen^ of about the date of 1783. A fire had taken place at OIney. In the confiision following the fire, a riot occurred, and many robberies were committed. A cul- prit was convicted of having stolen some iron-work, and was sentenced to be whipped at the cart's tail, from the stone house to the high arch, and back again. Cowper thus amusingly describes the operation :

** He aeemed to thow groat fortitude ; but it was all an imposition on the public. The beadle who whipped him, had filled his left hand with red ochre, through which, tStm every stroke, he drew ike luh of his whip,

BICOBM Of BUOKmaHAMSHIBI. 11

iMtring the ftppeuimoe of a woond upon the ■kin, bat in reality never hurting him at all. This being peroeived by the constable, who followed the b^dle to see that he did his duty, he (the oonstable) applied his cane without any such management or precaution, to the shoulders of the beadle. The scene now became interesting and exciting. The beadle could by no means be induced to strike the tifdef hard, which proToked the constable to strike harder ; and so this double flogging continued, until a lass of Silver End, pityine the pitiful beadle, thus suffering under the hands of the pitiless constable, joined the procession, and placing herself immediately behind the constable, seized him by his capillary club, and pulling him backwards by the same, slapped his face with a most Ama- zonian fury. This concatenation of events has taken up more of my paper than I intended ; but I could not forbear to inform you how the beadle thrashed the thief^ and the constable the beadle, and the lady the con- stable, and how the thief was the only person concerned who suffered nothing." Lttter to Bev, J, Neurton, Nov, 17, 1783.

In 1780, Mr. Newton left Olney, liaving been ap- pointed to the Rectory of St. Mary Woolnoth, in London. But Cowper's genius was continually creating new friendships for him. In 1784, he made the acquaintance of Sir John and Lady Throckmorton^ of Weston. In 1786; Lady Hesketh, now a widow, came to Olney, and took lodgings in the Vicarage; but not long after her arrival, arrangements were made for the removal of Cowper to Weston. Mrs. Unwin was still to him as a mother, and Lady Hesketh as a sister; and here, in their companionship, he fed upon the simple beauties of the park and neighbourhood, scenes which had always delighted him, and which he had constantly visited with Mrs. Unwin, while they lived at Olney.

Oowper's two greatest works are probably the " Task,'' and the " Translation of Homer." Of these, the '^ Task " is perhaps the most interesting and popular, because it reveals so much of the poet's mind, and illus- trates his power of discovering the beauties of Nature in her simplest attire. It would not do to contrast Olney and its neighbourhood with some of the beautiful scenery of the West or North of England. The sedgy and sluggish Ouse will not bear comparison with the rush- ing Severn, or the sparkling Trent. But, nevertheless, Cowper has given a charm to this neighbourhood, and made it poetic ground. He does not describe the most beautiful scenes in Nature ; but he discovers what is most lovely in ordinary scenes. And thus his poetical eye,

12 UCOBDB OF BUOKINGHAIIBHIIUB.

and his moral hearty could detect beauty even in the low flats of the valley of the Oase.

How beantiAil^ because how true to Nature^ is that description in the ^'Task^^' where he says^ addressing Mrs. Unwin :

*' Thou know'st mj praise of Nature most sineere, And that my rapture is not oonjured np To serye occasions of poetic pomp ; But genuine ; and art partner oi them all. How oft, upon yon eminence our pace Has slackened to a pause, and we naye borne The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew ; ^ While adnuration feeding at the eye And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene. Thence with what pleasure haye we just disooyered The distant plough slow moTing, and beside His labouring team, that swerred not from the traoki The sturdy swain, diminished to a boy. Here OusCi slow winding through a leyel plain Of spacious meads, with cattle sprinkled o'er, Conducts the eye along his Minuous course Delighted, lliere, fast rooted in his bank. Stand, neyer oyerlooked, our fayonrite elms That screen the herdsman's solitary hut ; While far beyond and oyerthwart the stream. That as with molten glass inlays the yale. The sloping land recedes into the clouds ; * Displaying in its yaried side the grace Of hedgerow beauties numberless, square tower, Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells Just undulates upon the listening ear, Groyes, heaths, and smokingj yillages remote. Scenes must be beautiful which daily yiewed Please daily, and whose noyelty sunriyes Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years.*'

**Ta8k," Book 1. 1.150, etc.

Or again:

" My charmer is not mine alone, my sweets And she that sweetens all my bitters too Nature, enchantinff Nature, in whose form And lineaments Diyine I trace a hand That errs not, and find raptures still renewed, Is free to all men, uniyersal prise."

** Task," Book m.

Or, once more, those touching lines on the Poplar Field :—

'* The poplars are fell'd, farewell to the shade, And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade ; The winds play no longer and sing in the leayes. Nor Ouse on his bosom their image reoeiyes.

BBOOBBS OF BUCEXNGHAMSHIBE. 18

Twelre Tears have di^Med sinoe I last took a yiew Of mj mToarite field, and the bank where they grew, And now in the gmse behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat, that onoe lent me a shade.

The blaokbird is fled to another retreat, Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat, Aod the scene where his melody charmed me before, Besounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fogitive years are all hasting away,

And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,

With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,

Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.

The change both my heart and my fancy employs, I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys ; Short-liyed as we are, yet our pleasures we see Hare a still shorter date, and die sooner than we."

Cowper's translation of Homer was the result of long acqnaintance with the original. He had studied Homer with interest when a boy at Westminster. He read him again, with a fnend named Alston, daring his residence in the Temple. On this occasion the two stadents compared the original with Pope's translation ; and they both came to the conclusion, confirmed by the general judgment of the literary world since, that Fope, notwithstanding his great merits as a laborious scholar and most elegant writer, had failed in doing justice to Homer. Indeed, it was Cowper's admiration of the original, together with his dislike of Pope's rendering of it, that induced him to entertain the idea of a new translation. Pope's version is indeed a paraphrase or imitation rather than a translation. It is, as has been well said, '' Pope's Iliad rather than Homer's Iliad, a happy adaptation of the Homeric story to the spirit of Ei^lish poetry." * Pope's failure must be attributed to the measure which he chose. He was an excellent rhymist and most polished versifier ; but in his transla- tion he has too often sacrificed the original to the exigencies of his rhyme and his metre. Gowper, in selecting blank verse for his measure, allowed himself greater fireedom ; and the result is that he made a great step towards recovering the spirit of the original. It

Lord D«rby» PM&od to hii Oiad.

14 BUCOBDB 01* BUOKIKOHAICSHIBS.

remained for a great Btatesman and scholar of onr own age, not only to Bnrpaes Pope, but to riyal Cowper in the exactness, the elegance, and the simplicity of his transla- tion.

But I must not any longer weary yonr patience. Mrs. Unwinds declining health and Oowpei^s increasing melan- choly obliged them to leave Weston ; and they quitted Buckinghamshire in the summer of 1795. A little inci- dent shows how much the poet felt his removal from these familiar and much-loved scenes. While the final preparations were making for his departure, he wrote on the panel of the window-shutter in his bed-room the couplet, still shown to the visitor :

''Farewell, dear icenes for ever cloied to me, Oh ! for what Borrows muBt I now exchange ye."

JUI722

- 28, 1796.

Norfolk was now their destination ; and under the guidance of Mr. Johnson, a relative of Gowper's on hia mother's side, they finally settled at East Dereham, where in the following year Mrs. Unwin died. Four years afterwards (April 25, 1800) the poet breathed his last, still under a cloud of delusion, which proves that not to all faithful Christians is it granted to die in conscious hope. But the calm expression of happy surprise to be seen on his countenance after death, seemed Hke a reflec- tion of the brightness into which he had passed from out of the shadows of mortality.

It is impossible to contemplate the life of Cowper and not be moved to sympathy and admiration. Struggling, as he did, through all his life, with disease of mind, through some mystery of his original organization, he was nevertheless most mercifully preserved, and enabled to cultivate successfully those higher gifts which Grod had bestowed upon him. His pieiy, his genius, and his sorrows attracted to him the warm sympauiies of the good, the gifted^ and the gentle. Most men owe much to the ministries of women; but perhaps there never wafi an instance of one more indebted to these ministries than Cowper. In Mrs. Unwin and Lady Hesketh more especially, he found gentle spirits who could soothe him in his despondency, and by whose support he was

BB00BD8 OF BUCEINGHAMSHIBB. 15

enabled to exercise powers which might otherwise have been exting^hed. Sad as is his history^ he was^ through his faith in Gk)d^ yet able to hold on to the end. It is refreshing to notice how^ when at times he saw Revelation throngh a dark and troabled medium^ and was haunted by the delusion that he was the victim of a horrible decree, the bright countenance of living Nature could calm his mind^ and give him a peace and a hope which he was altogether right in ascribing to the Spirit of God. The places fi^quented by such a man are consecrated places. His spirit seems still to hover around them ; and as we pass amongst them^ we tread with lighter step^ and speak with softer tones. The poet's history can never be separated from the scenes which we have this day been visiting ; and this must be my excuse for having intro- duced a subject which some might possibly deem to be irrelevant. But surely antiquarians and archsBologists may learn a lesson &om the scenes of Cowper's literary labours. It has been well said that:

*^ Past and Future are the wing* On whose support, harmoniously conjoined, Hoyes the great spirit of human knowledge." *

It is true that our business lies chiefly with the past. The objects which we investigate are objects which derive their interest from their antiquity objects which have come down to us from remote ages, and have hitherto escaped the ravages of time. But there is a Present^ as well as a Past and a Future ; and to the Present, not less than to the Past or the Future, belong the triumphs of

Senius and the victories of grace. Their influence is un- ying. They live in every age in the hearts of those who can appreciate them, and who strive, however humbly, to imitate them. Moreover, the face of Nature, in which Cowper beheld the reflections of Deity, is no less pleasant to all those who look on it aright, than it was to him. It has still the same intrinsic power. It looks on sad hearts to cheer them, on intellectual hearts to elevate them, on faithful hearts to strengthen them. Nay more, in its continual renewal, it is the type of an unfading Spring, and the pledge of an everlasting Day; the

•WoxdAworth.

16 SBC0BD8 OF BaCKIKQHAlCSHIBB.

earnest of the reanion in the world to come, of all those in every age who have loved what is Bbautwul, and fol- lowed what is True. E. B.

WOOBURN.

A veiy handsome restoration of Wooburn Church has been completed, and was reopened by the Bishop of Oxford, October 14, 1869. Some account of the parish and its history may be suitable before giving details of the work. The parish is very extensive, and lies chiefly in the valley extending from Cookham Bridge (across the Thames) to Loudwater in High Wycombe parish, but it also reaches up the hills to Beaconsfield and Penn on the one side, and Flackwell Heath and Little Marlow on the other.

''Woobum, Wabome, Ubum, Ugboume, as it is variously spelt,'' we learn from Langley's History of the Hundred of Desborough, '^ signifies, a winding, deep and narrow valley, with a rivulet at the bottom, and the declivities interspersed with trees.'' This is a fair description of the place, and the views are veiy beautifiil from the different hills on both sides. The Parish is composed of various hamlets: ^the Town, Wooburn Green, the Moor, Ber^hers Hill, Holtspur, Northern Woods, Gores End, Egnam's Green, Spring Gardens^ Bourne End, Havens Lea, Harvest Hill^ and the Common.

On the stream, which runs through the whole extent of the parish, are several paper, millboard, and com mills. In former days the making of lace was a most profitable employment : in the Bev. D. Lyson's Magna Britcunma we read, '^Lace-making is carried on to a very great extent in the hundreds of Bumham and Des- borough, particularly in the parish of Wooburn, where lace of a high price is made in considerable quantities." A woman is still living who made the lace for the Princess Charlotte's wedding dress.

Earl Harold held the manor of Wooburn before the Norman invasion. William the Conqueror subsequently (a. n. 1066) divided it into two manors, bestowing one

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(Bishop's Woobnm) on liis cousin, Bemegins^ BisHop of Lincoln; and the other Woobum (Deyn Court) on another relative, Walter Deyncourt. The mansion of the latter was adjoining the church ; and Woobum House, on the manor of Bishop's Woobum, became the Palace of the Bishops of Lincoln. In 1330 the living became a vicarage, the great tithes having been appropriated to the see by Bishop D'Alderby, by leave of the Pope, on the Bishop's temporalities being seized. These were Bomish days, and in Bishop Smith's time (who died 1513), fearful persecutions were carried on at Woobum House. '^ Thomas Chase, of Amersham, was thrust into the prison. Little Ease, in the Bishop's Palace. Chase was brought before the Bishop, and after much cruelty, was bound with chains, gyves, and manacles, and put into this wretched prison. When they could not prevail on him to deny his faith, they strangled him, as was witnessed by the keeper of the prison. They then secretly buried him in Norland Wood, in the way between Woobum and Little Marlow." Fox, P^-g© 711. "Thomas Harding, of Chesham, was found guilty of having certain books in English of the Holy Scriptures under the boards of a floor. He was brought before Bishop Longland, at Wooburn Palace, who, with his chaplains, grossly insulted him, and put him in the prison of Little Ease. The Bishop condemned him to the flames, which sentence was carried out by Boland Messenger, Yicar of High Wycombe, in the dell going' to Botley, at the north end of the town of Chesham." Fox, page 896.

Bishop Atwater succeeded Bishop Smith: he had been Fellow of Eton, and he died at Woobum Palace 1520. Bishop Longland, confessor to King Henry VIII., laid out considerable sums on the Palace, and gave the second bell to Wooburn Church. He died May 7, 1547, at Woobum, and was buried in Eton College Chapel. Bishop Henry Holbeach, on succeeding to this bishopric, at once exchanged the manor of Wooburn. The Crown then granted it to John, first Earl of Bedford, whose son sold it to Sir John Groodwin, 1580.

Woobum Deyncourt continued in the Deyncourt family till William Lord Deyncourt, dying 1422, was succeeded by his sister Alice, * who married WilUam

* His other aister, Margaret, married Lord Protector CromwelL

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the Lamentations of Jeremiah^ and verses to Mr. Waller^ the poet^ who had a seat at Beacons6eld the adjoining parish. Amongst others^ the celebrated Dr. Owen was patronized by his lordship^ and in his last affliction^ he

Sinned his final letter to his congregation firom Woobnm oase. The Dttke of Wharton, son of the above nobleman, appears to have been a perfect contrast to his father and grandfather. He was both wild and eccentric. He mortgaged Woobum manor to Col. Ohartres, who re- sided there some years. After his decease, the manor of Woobnm was sold to John Morse, Esq., who died in 1739, and was succeeded by his niece, Elizabeth, the wife of Peregrine Bertie, Esq., in whose family it continued till 1784, when it was sold to Mrs. Du Pr^. James Du Pr^, Esq., the present lord of the manor, inherited it from her.

The old mansion was taken down 1750, and the pre- sent one raised upon its site. Sir Oiffin Wilson resided in it about twenty years, till his death in 1848. It is a handsome and commodious house, and now the residence of A. Qilbey, Esq., who has greatly improved it and the surrounding grounds.

In a sketch of the history of Wooburn the origin of Core's End Chapel should not be omitted. Much may be traced to the labours of the eminent Nonconformist ministers who were entertained at the Duke of Wharton's mansion; but the following was a main ingredient. Mr. Thomas Ghrove, was bom at Core's End, Wooburn, where his parents had considerable property. He was a pious man, and having been brought up in the Established Church, he was desirous of becoming one of its ministers. With this view he entered, as gentleman commoner, at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He there found several like- minded with himself. They united in private religious duties, for mutual edification. This was reported to the heads of houses (these were dark times, but let us con- fess it, and be thankful for brighter days) and six of them were found guilty of praying, reading, and expounding the scriptures. In the judgment it was stated, *^ Thomas Grove hath by his own confession preached to a mixed multitude in a bam, and offered up extempore prayer." To this Mr. Ghrove demurred, saying this was not even

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oharged on his trials and he denied it; however^ he was put down guilty^ and expelled with the others. Mr. Grove retonled to his patrimonial estate^ Core's End^ and commenced preaching |the gospel in his own hoase. On this proving too small^ he fitted up a barn for the purpose ; he gathered a foUowing of 300 ; and the bam was twice enlarged before the building of the present chapel. Mr. T. English^ a most estimable man, and of a very catholic spirit, followed him. One of his congrega- tion, Mr. Wm. Davis, built Loudwater Episcopal Chapel, and Mr. Bevel and others purchased and enlarged a house as the residence of the Core's End minister.

In 1806, the Bev. Thomas George Tyndale was ap- pointed to the parish ; he was probably the first resident vicar for many years. He built a school-room at Woobum Green, and formed several useful associations in the parish. Subsequently he went to Holton Bectory, Oxford, and was followed in Woobum by Bev. C. Bridges, author of '' Exposition of the CXIX. Psahn,'' " The Christian Alinistry,'' etc., etc. ; Bev. J. Mortimer, author of " Ser- mons on Death;'' the Bev. A. Dallas, author of Cottager's Guide to the New Testament ; " the Bev. Marmaduke Thompson, and the Bev. W. Du Pr^, who was the im- mediate predecessor of the present incumbent, Bev. F. B, Ashley, who was inducted 1847.*

The Deyn- Court family had a mansion as already stated close to the church. The ancient and picturesque cottages adjoining still retain the name, and indeed formed part of the mansion. They present several objects of interest. There was formerly ^' a chapel adjoining the house, built in the form of a cross."

In Langley, we read '^the church (St. Paul's) is a large ancient building, consisting of a nave, and two aisles covered with lead, with a good tower, in which there is a clock and a ring of six bells (two bells have been added since). On the roof are several Latin inscriptions in old character, much defaced. The font is a curious and very ancient piece of carved work, with some remains of arms, among which are three fleur-de-lis." He might have added