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In a letter from Dr. Brett to Dr. Warren, president of Trinity-hall, Cambridge, dated September 1, 1723, it is said, that about Michaelmas, 1720, the doctor went to pay a visit to Heneage, Earl of Winchelsea, at Eastwellhouse, where that nobleman shewed him an entry in the parish register, which the doctor transcribed immediately into his almanack; it stood thus: "1550, Richard Plantagenet was buryed the 22 daye of December." The register did not mention whether he was buried in the church or churchyard, nor could any memorial be retrived of him, except the tradition preserved in the family, and some remains of his house. The story of this man, as it was related by the Earl of Winchelsea, is thus :-When Sir Thomas Moyle built Eastwell-house, he observed, that when his chief bricklayer left off work, he retired with a book. Sir Thomas had a great curiosity to know what book the man read; but was some time before he could discover it, he always putting the book up if any one came towards him. At last, however, Sir Thomas surprised him, and snatched the book from him, and looking upon it, found it to be Latin: hereupon he examined him, and finding he pretty well understood that language, enquired how he came by his learning? On which the man told him, as he had been a good master to him, he would venture to trust him with a secret he had never before revealed. He then informed him, that he was boarded with a Latin schoolmaster, without knowing who his parents were, till he was fifteen or sixteen years old; only a gentleman who tock occasion to acquaint him he was no relation to him, came once a quarter and paid for his board, and took care to see that he wanted for nothing; and one day this gentleman took him, and carried him to a fine great house, where he passed through several stately rooms, in one of which he left him, bidding him to stay there; then a man finely dressed, with a star and garter, came to him, asked him some questions, talked kindly to him, and gave him some money; then the forementioned gentleman returned and conducted him back to his school. Some time after. the same gentleman came to him again with a horse, and proper accoutre
ments, and told him he must take a journey with him into the country. They then went into Leicestershire, and came to Bosworth Field, and he was carried to Richard the Third's tent. The king embraced him, and told him he was his son. "But child," said he, "to-morrow I must fight for my crown, and assure yourself if I lose that, I will lose my life too, but I hope to preserve both. Do you stand in such a place, (directing him to a particular place) where you may see the battle out of danger, and when I have gained the victory, come to me. I will then own you to be mine, and take care of you; but if I should be unfortunate as to lose the battle, then shift as well as you can, and take care to let nobody know I am your father, for no mercy will be shown to any one so nearly related to me." Then the king gave him a purse of gold, and dismissed him. He followed the king's directions, and when he saw the battle was lost, and the king killed, he hastened to London, sold his horse and fine clothes, and the better to conceal himself from all suspicion of being the son of a king, and that he might have the means to live by his honest labour, he put himself apprentice to a bricklayer, but having a competent skill in the Latin tongue, he was unwilling to lose it, and having an inclination to reading, and no delight in the conversation of those he was obliged to work with, he generally spent all the time he had to spare in reading by himself. Sir Thomas said, "you are now old, and almost past your labour, and I will give you the running of my kitchen as long as you live." He answered, "Sir, you have a numerous family; I have been used to live retired; give me leave to build a house of one room for myself in such a field, and there, with your good leave I will live and die; and if you have any work that I can do for you, I shall be ready to serve you. Sir Thomas granted his request; he built his house, and there continued to his death. This Richard Plantagenet must have lived to the age of 81, for the battle of Bosworth was fought the 22d of August, 1485, at which time he was between fifteen and sixteen.
* One of those little moral hymns which the Zampognari or pipers, from the Abruzzi and Calabrian mountains, sing before the images of the Virgin at the corners of the streets in Rome and Naples at the season of Advent, accompanied by the sound of their rustic bagpipes.
Shed o'er the earth its lightest ray;
But one than all the rest more bright
Guided the Eastern Magi onward by its pure and golden light.
Then o'er the world reigned Peace and Love;
The lion and the simple sheep,
The pard and kid
Or o'er the lawns securely sleep;
The wolf and lamb, the calf and bear,
Repose in safety each, nor seek the forest's dark and leafy lair.
The Shepherds as they watched their flocks,
A sunlike angel saw descend,
Who sweetly said,
"Be not dismayed,
With joyful tidings here I wend!
For Earth puts on her loveliest guise,
And shines in heavenly beauty now, transformed anew to Paradise.”
In these days of perpetual motion, when not only the loyal lieges of our sovereign lady, but the good citizens of the world beside, are making such marvellous efforts to subdue time and space, it may be found as instructive as it is obviously pertinent to institute comparison between the presentand those good old times "all times, when old, are good"-wherein your honest country gentleman deemed it prudent to devise his lands and tenements, and otherwise adjust his mundane affairs, ere he perilled life and limb, by coach or waggon, athwart that dreary stretch of country which lay between the great cities of York and London: by coach or waggon, we say, for the bold baron and his noble dame, of some centuries before, on steed and palfrey, scorning all other canopies but that of heaven, come not within the range of our similitude, maugre they flourished, like ourselves, in Iron Times. The wife of Bath, whose praise it was that—
"Girt with a pair of sporres sharpe,
would doubtless have felt herself insulted, had a carriage been selected for her use. At a time when roads were scarcely passable, the palfrey and the litter were the only modes of ladies' conveyance; and even after the introduction of coaches, the use of litters continued both in England and France. In 1527, when Wolsey visited the latter kingdom to negotiate a peace, we find that the dame regent, the king's mother, entered Amiens, “riding in a very riche chariot; and with her therein was the Queen of Navarre, her daughter, furnished with a hundred and more of ladies and gentlewomen following, every one riding upon a white palfrie; besides diverse and many ladies, some in riche horse-litters, and some in chariots." The king, though attired with the utmost magnificence, according to the military spirit of the age, rode into the city on a "goodly genet."
Stowe asserts that, "in the year 1564, Guilliam Boonen, a Dutchman, became the queene's coachman, and was the first that brought the use of coaches into England." The first engraved representation of an English coach is probably to be found in the fine old print of the Palace of Nonsuch, by Hoefnagel, which bears the date of 1582. Queen Elizabeth is there seated in a low heavy machine, open at the sides, with a canopy, and drawn by two horses only. Her attendants follow in a carriage of different form, with an oblong canopy.
Mary, Queen of Scots, whilst under the surveillance of the Earl Shrewsbury, appears to have travelled on horseback in her various journeys, and about the year 1640, the Countess of Cumberland, in a tedious transit from London to Londesborough, which occupied eleven days, either from the state of the roads, or from a distaste to metropolitan luxuries, seems to have ridden the whole way on horseback. In the correspondence of Sir George Radcliffe, we have many proofs of the serious inconvenience that
attended travellers in the early part of the 17th century; and the following is a curious instance of the simplicity of manners prevalent at the period. The editor observes-" at this time (1609) the communication between the north of England and the Universities was kept up by carriers, who pursued their tedious but uniform route with whole trains of pack-horses. To their care was consigned not only the packages, but frequently the persons of young scholars. It was through their medium, also, that epistolary correspondence was managed, and, as they always visited London, a letter could scarcely be exchanged between Yorkshire and Oxford in less time than a month. From a passage in one of the Paston letters, written about the close of the 15th century, we find that few opportunities occurred of transmitting letters from London to Norwich, except through the agency of persons who frequented the fairs held in the latter city. In the south of England, at a period long subsequent, the state of the public roads appears to have been equally defective, and convenience in travelling almost wholly neglected. In Dec. 1703, Charles, King of Spain, slept at Petworth, on his way from Portsmouth to Windsor, and Prince George of Denmark went to meet him there. "We set out" (as one of the attendants relates) "at six o'clock in the morning to go for Petworth, and did not get out of the coaches (save only when we were overturned or stuck fast in the mire) till we arrived at our journey's end. 'Twas hard service for the Prince to sit fourteen hours in the coach that day without eating anything, and passing through the worst ways that I ever saw in my life; we were thrown but once indeed, in going, but both our coach, which was the leading, and his Highness's body coach, would have suffered very often, if the nimble boors of Sussex had not frequently poised it or supported it with their shoulders from Godalmin almost to Petworth; and the nearer we approached to the Duke's house, the more unaccessible it seemed to be. The last nine miles of the way cost us six hours to conquer them, and indeed we had never done it, if our good master had not several times lent us a pair of horses out of his own coach, whereby we were enabled to trace out the way for him; they made us believe that the several grounds we crost, and his Grace's park, would alleviate the fatigue; but I protest I could hardly perceive any difference between them and the common roads."
In the time of Charles, surnamed the Proud, Duke of Somerset, who died in 1748, the roads in Sussex were in so bad a state, that in order to arrive at Guildford from Petworth, persons were obliged to make for the nearest point of the great road leading from Portsmouth to London. This was a work of so much difficulty as to occupy the whole day, and the duke had a house at Guildford which was regularly occupied as a resting place for the night by any part of his family travelling to London. A MS. letter from a servant of the Duke's, dated from London, and addressed to another at Petworth, acquaints the latter that his Grace intended to go from London thither on a certain day, and directs that "the keepers and persons who knew the holes and the sloughs, must come to meet his Grace with lanthorns and long poles to help him on his way."
The precise period at which a stage-coach first appeared upon the road, it is difficult to determine; but we have good authority for assigning the latter part of the reign of Charles I. as the probable date: certain it is, that
Coaches for hire were first established in 1625, and amounted at that time to twenty. They stood at the principal inns, and were called "Hackney Coaches," from their being first used to travel betwixt London and Hackney.