« ZurückWeiter »
Death, however, by adding this industrious and respectable inquirer to the number of those concerning whom he had employed so much of his regard, prevented him from delivering to the public, with his own hand, the fruit of his researches. The task of publication, therefore, devolved on his succerfors; who appear to have performed it with solicitous and commendable attention.
We suppose that a description of the architecture of churches, correct appropriation of armorial enligns, extracts from regifters, inscriptions on tombs, &c. are not to be found with equal accuracy in any other work. Mr. Bigland brought down his collections to the year 1781: but, as several monuments, &c. have been erected since that tiine, the editors were very careful to have them inserted in their proper places ; or, where that cannot be effected, they will be added in the appendix, which method will also be observed as to any other more recent articles, such as canals, new roads, &c.
This work is given in the alphabetical form : the present vo. lume begins with the parish of Abbenhall, and concludes with that of Temple Guiting, being the 127th article. As a brief Specimen of the performance, we present the reader with an extract from the number by which it opens, viz. Abbenhall:
• This parish lies in the hundred of Saint Briavels and Forest Dean. cry, adjoining to Mitchell Dean on the south-east, and twelve miles west from the city of Gloucester. It is a small parish bordering on the north side of the forest of Dean, full of dingles and bottoms; and conGifts rather more of arable land than pasturage, with several commons covered with fern and bushes. The soil is chiefly light; some of it is sandy, and a small part rocky.
• A fine spring which rises out of a rock in the forest, at a small distance from this parish, runs through a considerable part of it; and after supplying several mills, and three iron forges, empties itself into the river Severn at Westbury. This spring, near its source, hav. ing passed through a small grove, falls into a Iquare bason (made to receive it) about five feet deep, and large enough for a person to bathe in, with steps on one side. The balon is called St. Anthony's well; and the water, which is extremely cold, is much ceiebrated in all the adjacent country, as a certain remedy for cutaneous discr. ders of every kind : it has been known to cure a cutaneous leprosy, even by a few times bathing. Nearly the fame quantity of water issues from the spring during every season of the year, and there is scarcely any visible decrease in the drieft fummers."
· There was formerly an iron furnace on this stream, which is now converted into a paper-mill, known by the name of Guns-mill. Mr. Lloyd, to whom it belongs, has a good house adjoining.
• The abbot of Flaxley had anciently a house here, and Sir Robert Alkyns supposes, from the fimilarity of the sound of Abbon to Abbor or Abbey, that is owes its name of Abbenhall to that circumstance.
• Maynard Colchester, Esq. possesses a considerable estate in this parih, and has a handsome seat here, called the Wilderness, at which he now resides. It is situated on the brow of an hill, and commands a prospect fo extensive, that thirteen counties may be discerned from it.
i Joseph Pyrke of Little Dean in this county, Esq. has a confiderable property in this parish, and Mr. Cheston, an eminent surgeon at Gloucester, has likewise an estate here.'
To the above description, is added an account of the rectory, incumbents, patrons, lords of the manor, freeholders, benefactions, marriages, births, burials, &c. with some inscriptions on tombs in the church and church-yard, beside other particulars, as they occur in different parishes, of which some naturally afford a greater variety than others.
We insert the following passage on account of the observa. tion on the name of the parish, though to some of our readers it will not be new ;- Buckland, or Bokelond; Sir Robert Atkyns, to whose opinions in matters of antiquity we willingly accede, reports, that the Saxons held their lands by two kinds of tenure, by oral iradition, and by written evidence. The one they termed Folk-land, the other Boc-land, and from the latter this parish derives its name.' In a note, Mr. Bigland observes, • In confirmation of this conjecture it appears, on consulting the Viliare, that there are few counties which have not a Buckland *.' In describing this parish, the number of acres which it contains is mentioned, viz. 1600 ; this is done in most instances, though not in all.
The medicinal spring at Cheltenham is particularly noticed in this volume; it was first known in 1916: in 1721, it was leased out for 6il. per anı), and a small pavilion was erected over the well. In 1738 Henry Skillicorne, the proprietor, built a commodious room for the reception of the company ; since which time many additional improvements have taken place, and iuch, it is added, as render it equal to most resorts of the kind. In 1788, at the depth of about fifty feet, a spring was discovered, and was found to possess all the specific medicinal qualities of the other, and to be much more copious; a circumstance which enables the proprietor to afford a more constant supply, for the chemifs, and for exportation.
The town of Cirencijter is the subject of 33 pages : but the greater part of this number is devoted to infcriptions in the church and church-yard. It is no doubt a place of high antiquity:
* Sce also our account of Mr. Collinson's History of SomersetShire. Rev. N. S. vol. xii. Gilcs Jacob, in his Law Dictionary, long ago, explained it in the same manner.
the same mahiceb, in his Law of Somerfer.
: . The Britons, (fays our author,) whose cities, according to the best authorities, were little more than a collection of huts, secured by a ditch, or rampart, possessed, according to Bede, but twenty-eight, which were dignified with that appellation. In that catalogue Cirencelter is omitted; bu: in one subsequently made by Henry of Hunte ingdon, it occurs under the name of Caer Cori. This may authentic cate the origin; but to the Romans it certainly owed its foundation and its consequence as a city; who were induced to fix on this situation by the meeting of three great roads which were completed by them. (These roads were, the great foss, or consular way, the Irman ftreet, and the Acman ftreet.) - Here they established a military sta. tion of the first importance, and making it the metropolis of the province of the Dobuni, it was thence called by Ptolemy Corinium Dobunorum.'
Clifton, an eligible situation in the vicinity of Bristol, is perhaps seldom considered as a part of the county of Glou. cester. The romantic scenes formed by the immense accli. vities of rocks, and the salubrious springs which issue from their base, have long rendered this a place of high distinction :
• These rocks are composed of lime-stone of an excellent quality, with lamina of vast size, all lying in an oblique pofition, extended for the space of several miles. From these clifts, the classes of botanilts may be enriched with an infinite variety of curious plants, many of which are peculiar to this foil. Internally are chasms and fiffures of unfathomable depth, the sides of which are clothed with a strong feruginous earth, on which the cryitals grow called the Brittol Stone : thele, if large, are seldom clear. Betoic paites and other fictitious jewels were brought to their present perfection, crystals col. lected here were held in great estimation, as approaching nearest to che diamond, both in consistence and brilliancy.'
In the notes, is added an account of the very rare plants which have been observed by the first botanists.
The forest of Dean forms one article in this volume :
. It is situated in the western part of the county, between the navigable rivers Severn and live. The quantity of land belonging to the crown within the last perambulation is about 23,015 acres, exclu. five of freehold prop rty. In different parts are 589 cottages, containing about 2000 inhabitants, and 1708 small inclosures, amounting 10 1385 acres, belonging to the forelt, but occupied by cottagers. As the whole foreft is extra-parochial, there are exempted from rates and taxes, have unlimited right of pasturage, beside the access to the wood and timber, and the privilege of linking mines.' .
The last parish, of which we shall take any particular no. tice, i: that of Fairford : the description here given corresponds very much with that which appeared in a pamphlet published little more than a year ago *. Among several objects here worthy of attention, the church, a beautiful struc* See M. Rev. for Jan. 1792, New Series, vol. vii. p. 95.
ture, and especially the stained glass of its window, rank with · the principal. Olie observation is related concerning the lat.
ter, which we do not recollect to have seen in the above-mentioned pamphlet: it is as follows :
• In the reign of Charles I. these windows ivere inspected by Sir Anthony Vandyke, who, says Hearne, often attirmed both to the · king and others, that many of the figures were so exquisitely weil done, that they could not be exceeded by the best pencil. The defigns are attributed to Albert Durer *; but it is improbable that at the age of 20 years he could have attained such proficiency, for he was born in 1471, and the glass was taken in 1492.'
The number of engravings in this volume is upward of forty ; twenty of them on the large folio leaf; the remainder, equally well executed, on a part of the running page. They are a great ornament to the work. The portrait of Sir Richard de la Bere is very remarkable and curious : it is said to be taken from an original, executed soon after the introduction of painting in oil into this kingdom. Sir Richard had per*sonally reicued the Black Prince from imminent danger on that day of triumph, the battle of Cressy, in the ycar 1346, and it has been a long-acknowleged tradition that this picture is nearly of equal antiquity. The knight is here represented in the attitude of receiving his cognizance from the prince.
The reader will easily perceive that Mr. Bigland's work must have proved very expensive, as well as laborious. The de. scriptions of parishes would no doubt admit of several other particulars; yet they appear to us more agreeable and instructive than some other publications of the kind; and, on the whole, we cannot but express our hope that the performance will meet with due encouragement from the public.
Art. VIII. Saggi Julla Gran Bretagna, &c. Essays on Great Bri
tain. Vol. I. Containing an exact Account of the British Em. pire ; an Abridgment of its History; and an Essay on the Englima Constitution. ' By F. Satres, 8vo. pp. 342. 75. Boards. Robson, White, &c. 1793. As this is only the first volume of three which the author n means to publish, feparatim, we shall not enter on a particular discussion of its merits, but only announce it as a work which promises much information to the author's countrymen, the Italians, who are in general partial to the English, and curious concerning our history, laws, and constitution. It
Mr. Bigland seems to think that Francesco Francia was the artist : he was born at Bologna in 1450, where he lived till 1518, peculiarly eminent in the art of encaustic painting.
will will likewise be no unprofitable acquisition to the Englilia themselves, and to other people of Europe who study the Italian language, and are fond of its literature,
Mr. Saftres, having resided many years among us, and speaking our language fluently, has had opportunities, not only by extensive reading but by conversation and observation, of gaining more knowlege of our hiftory, laws, manners, and government, than is usually acquired by foreigners who pretend to describe them.
Reserving for a future occasion a more minute account of this production, we shall at present only lay before our readers the contents of this first volume, and the author's plan for the continuation of the work. .
The title page is engraven, and is ornamented with a beautiful vignette by Bartolozzi. Prefixed to this volume is likewise a well-executed map of Great Britain, Ireland, and the islands adjacent ; and, after an Introduction of confiderable length, containing a Geographico-political description of the British Empire, we have an Epitome of the History of Britain ; and an Essay on the British Conftitution.
Mr. Sastres's principal authorities are such as will give weight to the information which he means to convey to his readers. For geography, topography, cultivation, and commerce, he chiefly relies on Camden, Campbel, and Adam Smith: for - history, on Hume; and for the Britis Laws and Conftitution, on Blackstone and De Lolme.
The author promises two subsequent volumes of essays : On the laws and manner of administering justice in the several Englija tribunals ; on the commerce, the manufactures, and the marine of Great Britain :--so that, when the work is terminated, we may perhaps expect a more ample and complete account of the present flate of our country, than any that has appeared since the reign of Queen Anne; when, if we mistake not, Chamberlain's Present State of Great Britain was first published.
ART. IX. Experiments and Observations relative io the Infinence lately
discovered by M. Galvani, and commonly called onirai Eleziricity. By Richard Fowler. 8vo. pp. 176. 35.6d. boards. Johnson.
1793. In the first section of this sensible investigation, the author 1 gives an account of the substances which he found capable of conducting the well-known influence, and of exciting the well-known contractions. He then enters inco an examinarion of the hypothelis of Doctors Galvani and Volta, which he deems improbable, He also gives his rcalons for thinking