A History of Horncastle from the Earliest Period to the Present Time/Chapter 3

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Having, so far, dealt with the more or less conjectural, prehistoric period of Horncastle's existence in Chapter I, and with the Manor and its ownership in Chapter II, we now proceed to give an account of the town's institutions, its buildings, and so forth. Among these the Parish Church, naturally, claims precedence.



THIS is probably not the original parish church. There is no mention of a church in Domesday Book', and although this is not quite conclusive evidence, it is likely that no church existed at that date (circa 1085 A.D.); but in Testa de Nevill (temp. Richard I.) we find "Ecclesia de Horncastre," named with those of (West) Ashby, High Toynton, Mareham (-on-the-Hill), and (Wood) Enderby, as being in the gift of the King;[1] while at an Inquisition post mortem, taken at Horncastle, 8 Richard II., No. 99,[2] the Jurors say that "the Lord King Edward (I.), son of King Henry (III.), gave to Gilbert, Prior of the alien Priory of Wyllesforth, and his successors, 2 messuages, and 6 oxgangs (90 acres) of land, and the site of the Chapel of St. Laurence, with the appurtenances, in Horncastre," on condition that they find a fit chaplain to celebrate mass in the said chapel three days in every week "for the souls of the progenitors of the said King, and his successors, for ever." This chapel probably stood near the street running northwards from the Market Place, now called St. Lawrence Street, though, a few years ago, it was commonly called "Pudding Lane." It is said to have formerly been a main street and at the head of it stood the Market Cross. Bodies have at various times been found interred near this street, indicating the vicinity of a place of worship, and, when a block of houses were removed in 1892, by the Right Honble. E. Stanhope, Lord of the Manor, to enlarge the Market Place, several fragments of Norman pillars were found, which, doubtless, once belonged to the Norman Chapel of St. Lawrence.[3]

The date of St. Mary's Church, as indicated by the oldest part of it, the lower portion of the tower, is early in the 13th century. "It is a good example of a town church of the second class (as said the late Precentor Venables, who was a good judge) in no way, indeed, rivalling such churches as those of Boston, Louth, Spalding or Grantham; nay even many a Lincolnshire village has a finer edifice, but the general effect, after various improvements, is, to say the least, pleasing, and it has its interesting features. The plan of the church (he says) is normal; it consists of nave, with north and south aisles; chancel, with south aisle and north chantry, the modern vestry being eastward of this; a plain low tower, crowned with wooden spirelet and covered with lead. Taking these in detail: the tower has two lancet windows in the lower part of the west wall, above these a small debased window, and again, above this, a two-light window of the Decorated style, similar windows on the north and south sides, and at the top an embattled Perpendicular parapet. The tower opens on the nave with a lofty arch, having pilaster buttresses, which terminate above the uppermost of two strings; the base is raised above the nave by three steps, the font being on a projection of the first step. This lower portion of the tower is the oldest part of the church, dating from the Early English period. The chamber where the bells are hung is, by the modern arrangement, above this lower compartment, and is approached by a winding staircase built on the outside of the southern wall, a slight disfigurement."

There are six bells, with the following inscriptions:—

(1) Lectum fuge. Discute somnum. G. S. T W. H. Penn, Fusor, 1717.
(2) In templo venerare Deum. H. Penn nos fudit. Cornucastri.
(3) Supplicem Deus audit. Daniel Hedderley cast me. 1727.
(4) Tho. Osborn fecit. Downham, Norfolk. 1801. Tho. Bryan and D. Brown, Churchwardens.
(5) Dum spiras, spera. H. Penn, Fusor, 1717. Tho. et Sam. Hamerton Aeditivi.
(6) Exeat e busto. Auspice Christo. Tho. Loddington, LL.D., Vicar H.P. 1717.

Near the south Priest's door, in the chancel, a bell, about 1 ft. in height, stands on the floor, unused; this was the bell of a former clock in the tower. The "Pancake Bell" is rung on Shrove Tuesday, at 10 a.m.; the Curfew at 8 p.m., from Oct. 11 to April 6, except Saturdays, at 7 p.m., and omitting from St. Thomas's Day to Plough Monday. The "Grammar School Bell" used to be rung daily, Sundays excepted, at 7 a.m., but of late years this has been discontinued, the Governors refusing to pay for it.

The fabric of the nave is of the Decorated style, though modern in date, with Perpendicular clerestory, having five three-light windows, on the north and south sides. The arcades are of four bays, with chamfered equilateral arches, springing from shafted piers; the capitals of the two central ones being ornamented with foliage of a decorated character; the others being plain. Each aisle has three three-light windows, of decorated style, in the side wall, and a fourth at the west end; these are modern, the north aisle having been re-built in 1820 and the south aisle in 1821. There are north and south porches.

The chancel arch is modern, the carving of its caps being very delicate. On the north side the outline of the doorway, formerly leading to the rood loft, is still visible, and below, on the west side of the chancel wall, is a well-carved statue bracket of floriated character, which was transferred from the chancel, and on the south side a still older one, much plainer.

The east window of the chancel is said to be an enlarged copy of the east window of the neighbouring Haltham Church. It has five lights, with flamboyant tracery above, and is filled with rich coloured glass, by Heaton,

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St. Mary's Church.

Butler & Bayne; the subjects being, on the north side, above "The Annunciation," below "The Nativity;" 2nd light, above "The Adoration," below "The Flight into Egypt;" central light, above "The Crucifixion," below "The Entombment;" next light, on south, above "Women at the Sepulchre;" below "Feed my Lambs;" southernmost light, above "The Ascension," below "Pentecost." In the upper tracery are "Censing Angels" and "Instruments of the Passion." This window cost about £280 and is dedicated to the memory of the late Vicar, Prebendary W. H. Milner, who was largely instrumental in the restoration of the church, in 1861, and died Oct. 3, 1868.

In that restoration the architect was the late Mr. Ewan Christian, and the contractors for the work Messrs. Lea & Ashton of Retford. The cost of the restoration of the chancel was defrayed by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., as Lord of the Manor and Lay Rector, the rest being done by subscriptions amounting to about £4,000.

The present organ was originally designed by Mr. John Tunstall, and built by Messrs. Gray & Davidson, of London, at a cost of about £400. As re-constructed by Mr. Nicholson, of Lincoln, it contains 3 manuals, a fine pedal organ with 45 stops, and more than 2,500 pipes. It cost more than £2,000, £1,350 of which was contributed by the late Henry James Fielding, Esq, of Handel House, Horncastle. At a later date a trumpet was added, costing £120, the result being probably as fine an instrument as any in the county. For many years the organist was Mr. William Wakelin, whose musical talent was universally acknowledged; on his unfortunate sudden death, on March 1st, 1908, he was succeeded by Mr. Hughes, recently Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral.

Beneath the east window is a handsome carved Reredos of Caen stone, somewhat heavy in style, having five panels, two on each side containing figures of the four evangelists, the central subject being "The Agony in the Garden." In this the figure of the Saviour is exquisitely designed; below are the three sleeping disciples, while above are two ministering angels, one holding a crown of thorns, the other the "cup of bitterness." The panels have richly crocketed canopies, the central one being surmounted by a floriated cross. They are filled with diaper work, and the supporting pilasters are of various-coloured Irish marbles. The whole was designed by C. E. Giles, Esq., cousin of the late Vicar, Prebendary Robert Giles.

In the jamb, south of the Communion Table, is a Piscina; in the north wall a square aumbrey and a curious iron-barred opening, which was probably a Hagioscope for the Chantry behind. The present Vestry in the north-east corner is modern, built on the site where there was formerly a coalhouse, and, at a later date, a shed for the town fire-engine.

The Chancel has an arcade of three bays on the south side, filled with good 14th century carved oak screen work, separating it from the south-side chapel, said to have been anciently called "The Corpus Christi Chapel," and has two bays on the north, the easternmost being occupied by the organ, separating it from St. Catherine's Chantry;[4] the other having similar screen work. In the south wall of the chancel are a Priest's door and three four-light Perpendicular windows, with a fourth in the east wall. Gervase Holles states that he saw in this south-east window figures of St. Ninian, with lock and chain, and of Saints Crispinus and Crispinianus with their shoe-making tools.[5] It is probable, therefore, that the old glass of the window was supplied by a shoemaker's guild. The window is now filled with good coloured glass by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, dedicated to the memory of the late Vicar, Rev. Arthur Scrivenor, who died 27 August, 1882, aged 51 years. It is of peculiar design, the subjects being chosen to represent his life of self-denying labour. There are four lights with eight subjects taken from St. Matthew's Gospel, arranged in two tiers, as follows:—(1) "Come ye blessed of my Father;" (2) "I was an hungred and ye gave me meat;" (3) "I was thirsty and ye gave me drink;" (4) "I was a stranger, and ye took me in;" (5) "Naked, and ye clothed me;" (6) "I was sick, and ye visited me;" (7) "I was in prison, and ye came unto me;" (8) "These shall go into life eternal." There are eight compartments in the upper tracery, containing the emblems of the four evangelists, and two angels, and the Alpha and Omega.

In the north chancel wall are a Priest's door, two five-light windows, and one of three lights, with, at the east end, a two-light window, all modern. Here, externally, the parapet of St. Catherine's Chantry is embattled and enriched with panel work, and rises above the level of the rest of the wall. The clerestory of the chancel has six three-light windows on the south side, and five on the north. The easternmost on the north was inserted and made larger than the others in 1861, and, at a later date, was filled with good coloured glass by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, as a public memorial "To the glory of God, and in memory of Barnard James Boulton, M.D., who died March 15 1875." He was an active member of the restoration committeee in 1861. The subjects are, in the western light, "The cleansing of the leper:" in the centre, "Letting down the paralytic through the roof;" in the eastern light, "The healing of blind Bartimæus."

In the nave the second window from the west end of the south clerestory is a memorial of the late Mr. W. Rayson, builder, filled with good coloured glass. In the south aisle of the nave, the easternmost window is a good specimen of coloured glass by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, erected by public subscription in January, 1901, "To the glory of God, and in grateful commemoration of the 18 years' ministry of Canon E. F. Quarrington," who resigned the Vicarage in 1900. The cost of this window was about £80, the subject is "The Sermon on the Mount." The Saviour is represented as addressing the people, grouped around Him, of all classes, soldiers, Pharisees,

disciples, travellers, young men, women, and children, with the city in the background. In the tracery above are angels, with rich ruby wings, in attitudes of adoration.

The window next to this is filled with coloured glass, by Clayton & Bell, to the memory of Mrs. Salome Fox. In the upper tracery are the Alpha and Omega, with the date of erection "Anno Dm'ni MDCCCXCVII." In the central light below is the risen Saviour, seated on a throne, holding the emblem of sovereignty, with the inscription over His shoulders "Because I live ye shall live also." In each side light are three angels in adoration. An inscription runs across the three lights, "I am he that liveth and was dead, and, behold, I am alive for evermore" Beneath are three square compartments, representing (1) three women, (2) three soldiers, (3) the apostles SS. John and Peter at the sepulchre, with the inscription "Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" and again, below all, "To the glory of God, and in loving memory of Salome Fox, who died June 26, 1883, aged 65." This cost about £85.

The window at the west end of this aisle, by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, was filled with coloured glass, by the late Mr. Henry Boulton, in memory of his first wife, being partly paid for by a surplus of £40 remaining from what was collected for the chancel east window, and the rest (about £40 more) by Mr. Boulton himself. The subject is the Saviour's baptism in the Jordan.

In the north aisle of the nave, the easternmost window was erected in 1902, at a cost of £98, from a bequest of the late Mr. Charles Dee, as a memorial of his friend the late Mr. Robert Clitherow. The subject is "The good Samaritan," who, in the central light, is relieving the wounded wayfarer; while, in the side lights, the Priest and Levite are represented as passing him by. In the two upper quatrefoils are angels holding scrolls, with the inscriptions (1) "Let your light so shine before men," (2) "That they may see your good works." An inscription runs across the three lights, "Blessed is he that provideth for the sick and needy, the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble;" and, below all, "To the glory of God, and in memory of Robert Clitherow, a truly christian gentleman, by his faithful servant."[6] The artists were Messrs. Clayton & Bell.

The next window to this, also by Messrs. Clayton & Bell, is considered the best specimen of coloured glass in the church. It was erected by public subscription, largely through the exertions of the late Mrs. Terrot, then of Wispington Vicarage, near Horncastle, her husband, the Rev. Charles Pratt Terrot, a clever artist and learned antiquary, supplying the design. It is inscribed "To the glory of God, and in memory of Frederick Harwood, formerly churchwarden, who died March 12, 1874, aged 51 years." Mr. Harwood was an indefatigable church worker, and died suddenly, after attending a Lent service, when he occupied his usual seat, near this window. It is of three lights, the subjects being six, (1) the centre light illustrates "Charity;" a female figure above, holding one child in her arms and leading others; while below is "Joseph in Egypt, receiving his father, Jacob." (2) The west light illustrates "Faith," a female above, holding a cross and bible, and below "Abraham offering his son Isaac." (3) The east light illustrates "Hope," a female above, leaning upon an anchor, and below "Daniel in the den of lions." The grouping of the subjects and arrangement of the canopies are admirable.

The west window in the same aisle contains a handsome memorial, by Preedy, of the late Vicar, Prebendary Robert Giles. It is of three lights, the subjects being from St. Peter's life: (1) the south light shewing "The net cast into the sea," "Depart from me, &c."; (2) the central light, Peter's commendation by the Saviour, "Thou art Peter, &c."; and (3) the north light, Peter's release from prison, "Arise up quickly, &c." The tabernacle and canopy work are good. The cost of this was about £140. Mr. Giles succeeded Prebendary Milner, as Vicar, and died 12 July, 1872.

The two lancet windows in the lower part of the west wall of the tower, which were enlarged at the restoration, are filled with good coloured glass. They bear no inscriptions but are memorials of deceased younger members of the families of the late Dr. B. J. Boulton, and of the late Mr. Richard Nicholson. The southern one represents "The Good Shepherd," carrying a lamb in his arms; the northern, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," shewing the saviour receiving little children into his arms. Within the tower is also placed a List of Benefactors of the town; also a frame containing the Decalogue, supported by two painted figures, life-size, representing Aaron with his censer, and Moses with his rod; on one side of this is the Lord's Prayer, on the other the Apostles' Creed.[7]

The roof of the nave, for some years hidden by a flat whitewashed ceiling, is of Spanish chestnut, with finely carved figures of angels, which support the intermediate principals. In front of the tower arch stands the Font, of caen stone, on octagonal base; the bowl has 8 elaborately carved panels, in three of which are engraved, on scrolls, the words "One Lord," "One Faith," "One Baptism."[8] The Pulpit, at the north-east corner of the nave, is also of Caen stone, in similar style, with four decorated panels, having, beneath the cornice, the inscription "He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully;" the book-rest is supported by the figure of an angel, with outspread wings. The Reading Desk, on the opposite side, consists of open tracery work, carved in modern oak The Lectern, an eagle of brass, was presented, in 1901, by the Misses Walter, in memory of their father, Mr. Joseph Walter, for many years churchwarden.[9] The seats in the chancel have handsomely carved poppy heads, and are placed east and west, instead of, as formerly, north and south, facing west.

On the south side of the chancel arch, in the west face of the wall, is a small stone, bearing the names of "Thomas Gibson, Vicar. John Hamerton and John Goake, Churchwardens, 1675." On the south wall of the chancel south chapel is also an illuminated sheet of iron bearing the following inscription to the same Vicar:—"Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Mr. Thos. Gibson, A.M., 44 years Vicar of this parish. He lived in such times when Truth to the Church, and Loyalty to the King met with punishment due to the worst of crimes. He was by the rebellious powers carried away prisoner four times from the garrison of Newark for a dissenting teacher, afterwards sequestrated, and his family driven out, by the Earl of Manchester. He survived the Restoration, and was brought back at the head of several hundreds of his friends, and made a Prebendary in the Cathedral Church of Lincoln. As his enemies never forgave his zeal to the Church and Crown, so nothing but the height of christian charity could forgive the insults he met with from them. He died April 22, 1678."[10] Above this is a shield, containing three storks, proper, on an argent field; and with a stork, as crest.

On the north clerestory wall of the nave are tablets in memory of Jane, wife of Thomas Taylor, to the east; in the centre to Thomas Taylor, Surgeon, and Margaret his wife, to Mary Anne, wife of Thomas Hardy Taylor; and to the west of these, to Anne, wife of Erasmus Middleton, to Erasmus Middleton, and to their daughter, Grace, wife of James Weir, and to James Weir, who died Dec. 15, 1822. On the south clerestory wall, westward, is a tablet to the memory of Thomas Bryan, Hannah his wife, and their son Edward, all interred at Scrivelsby; another, to the east, is in memory of Edward Harrison, M.D., his wife, and his brother, erected by his nephew.

In the north aisle of the chancel is a modern, canvas, lozenge-shaped, framed copy of an older memorial, formerly painted on the south wall, on which are depicted the arms of Sir Ingram Hopton, with this inscription:—"Here lieth the worthy and memorable Knight, Sir Ingram Hopton, who paid his debt to nature, and duty to his King and country, in the attempt of seizing the arch rebel (Cromwell) in the bloody skirmish near Winceby, Oct. 6, 1643."[11] The motto is Horatian (the first lines from Odes iii., xiv., 14-16; the other two from Odes iv., ix., 29-30).

Nec tumultum,
Nec mori per vim, metuit, tenente
Cæsare terras.
Paulum sepultæ distat inertiæ,
Celata virtus.

Close to this, and above the arch leading into the nave, are a number of scythes, some with straight wooden handles, attached to the wall, which are said to have been used at the Winceby fight.[12]

On the wall of the north aisle, nearest the archway into the chancel, on a small slab of Purbeck marble, is a brass of Sir Lionel Dymoke, kneeling on a cushion; on either side were formerly small shields displaying the arms of Dymoke, Waterton, Marmyon, Hebden and Haydon;[13] and on small brasses were the figures of two sons and three daughters. Parts of these are now lost. The figure of Sir Lionel is in the attitude of prayer, from his left elbow issues a scroll with the inscription "S'cta Trinitas, unus Deus, miserere nob." Beneath is another inscription, "In Honore s'cte et individue trinitatis. Orate pro a'i'a Leonis Dymoke, milit' q' obijt xvij die me'se Augusti, A° D'ni M° cccccxix. Cuj' a'i'e p' piciet, de.' Amen." Below this monument, in the pavement, is a brass, now mutilated, of the same Sir Lionel Dymoke, wrapped in a shroud, with two scrolls issuing from the head, the lettering of which is now effaced. Beneath is an inscription also now obliterated, but which Mr. Weir gives as follows:—

Leonis fossa nunc hæc Dymoke capit ossa.
Miles erat Regis, cui parce Deus prece Matris,
Es testis, Christe, quod non jacet hic lapis iste,
Corpus ut ornetur, sed spiritus ut memoretur.
Hinc tu qui transis, senex, medius, puer, an sis,
Pro me funde preces, quia sic mihi sit venie spes.

The actual suit of armour worn by this Sir Lionel Dymoke was formerly in the church, since in the evidence taken after the "Lincolnshire Rising," in 1536, it was shewn that "one Philip Trotter, of Horncastle," took it from the church, and himself wore it, while carrying the standard at the head of the insurgents. (State Papers Domestic, Henry VIII., vol. xi, No. 967)[14]

In the Harleian MS. in the British Museum, among his "Lincolnshire Church Notes," Gervase Holies (circa 1640) mentions several other arms and inscriptions, as then existing, which are now lost.[15]

In the pavement of the former vestry, in the south chancel aisle, is a slab with the inscription running round it, "Here lyethe the boyddes of Thomas Raithbeck & Ame his wyf, ye founders of the Beid hous. Departed thys world, in ye fayth of Christ, ye last day of October, in ye yere of our Lord, MDLXXV." In the pavement at the east end of the south aisle of nave is a slab bearing the names of William Hamerton and his wife Elizabeth; and westward of this another slab, in memory of "Sarah Sellwood, wife of Henry Sellwood, Esq.,[16] who died Sep. 30, 1816, aged 28 years." The late Poet
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Brass of Sir Lionel Dymoke, in St. Mary's Church.

Laureate, Alfred, afterwards Lord Tennyson, married Mr. Sellwood's daughter Emily Sarah, the marriage being solemnised at Shiplake after the family had left Horncastle. The Laureate's elder brother, Charles Tennyson, married another daughter, Louisa, afterwards taking the additional name of Turner. He held the vicarage of Grasby near Caistor.

Other monuments are, on the wall of the south aisle, a tablet inscribed "To the memory of Elizabeth Kelham, only surviving child of Richard Kelham, Rector of Coningsby. She was pious, virtuous, and charitable, and died 26 Feb., 1780, aged 58. Reader, imitate her example. Erected by Robert Kelham, her nephew, as a grateful acknowledgment of her regard towards him." On the north wall of the chancel is a marble tablet in memory of "George Heald, Armiger, e Consultis Domini Regis, in Curiâ Cancellariâ. Obiit 18 May, 1834." Inscriptions below are to his wife and daughter. Another tablet, of black marble, records the death of Elizabeth, first wife of the Rev. John Fretwell, Curate, Dec. 4, 1784, and of his son, Matthew Harold, Sept. 11, 1786.[17] Another tablet is in memory of "Clement Madeley, DD., 42 years Vicar, who died Good-Friday, 1845, aged 73;" also of his wife Martha, who died 1807, and of his son Houghton, who died 1838, erected by his daughter, M. A. Dymoke,[18] wife of Rev. John Dymoke, Champion.

In a glass covered case in the north aisle of the chancel are three volumes of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, 1632 edition, these were formerly chained to a desk, and parts of the chains remain. They were given by Nicolas Shipley, gentleman, in 1696, who also presented a brass chandelier of 24 sockets; he was among the benefactors to the poor of the town. The present glass case and desk on which the case rests, were given by the late Vicar, the Rev. A. Scrivenor. Along with these vols. are "The History of the Old and New Testaments, gathered out of sacred scripture and writings of the fathers, a translation from the work of the Sieur de Royaumont, by several hands. London, printed for R. Blome, I. Sprint, John Nicholson and John Pero, 1701." There are some good old engravings of "The Work of Creation," "The Temptation and Fall of Man," "The Expulsion from Paradise," "The Murder of Abel," "Ishmael Banished," &c. The first of these is dedicated to "Her sacred Majesty, Mary, by the grace of God, Queen of England, Scotland, France, Ireland, &c., by Her Majesty's most obedient servant Richard Blome." The next is dedicated to "Her sacred Majesty Katherine, Queen Dowager of England," by the same; another is dedicated to "Her Royal Highness Ann, Princess of Denmark;" and other plates are dedicated to various Lincolnshire worthies, some of these are rather damaged, and the fine old bible is imperfect.

Various old documents may here be quoted, which give items of interest connected with this church. In Lincolnshire Wills, 1st series, edited by Canon A. R. Maddison, F.S.A., 1888, is that of James Burton of Horncastle, of date 9 June, 1536, which mentions the lights burnt in the church at that time before different shrines; these were in all 23, of which 7 were in honour of the blessed virgin, one was called "The light of our Lady of Grace," another "Our Lady's light at the font" Mention is also made of a "St. Trunyan's light;" this last saint is connected with a well at Barton-on-Humber, but nothing further is known of him under that name. It has been suggested that it is a corruption of St. Ninian (Lincs, Notes & Queries, vol. i, 149), and in connection with this it is interesting to refer to the fact that Gervase Holles, whose description of Horncastle windows we have already quoted, states that there was a window to St. Ninian placed in the chancel south aisle, by the Guild of Shoemakers. Here, then, it is possible, the "St. Trunion's" or St. Ninian's "light" may have been burned, as the emblem of some whilom Horncastrian's faith.

A Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 19 Richard II., No. 83 (11 Dec., 1395), shows that Albinus de Enderby and others assigned a messuage, with appurtenances, in Horncastle, to pay a chaplain to say daily masses in the church of the blessed Mary, for the soul of Simon de Dowode, and other faithful deceased. Wood Enderby was at that time a chapelry attached to Horncastle Church.

The right of sanctuary, enjoyed by felons, who sought refuge in a church, was a very ancient institution, dating from Saxon times, and only abolished by James I., in 1621, because the great number of churches in the country rendered it so easy a matter for highwaymen, then very numerous, to avail themselves of the privilege, that justice was too often defeated and crime encouraged. According to custom, if the offender made confession before a coroner, within 40 days, and took the prescribed oath at the church door, that he would quit the realm, his life was spared. A Close Roll, 13 Henry III., Aug. 22, 1229, states that the King, at Windsor, commands the Sheriff of Lincolnshire (Radulphus filius Reginaldi) to send two coroners to see that a robber who keeps himself in the church at Horncastle abjures the kingdom, (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. i, p. 49). It is a somewhat curious coincidence, that a similar document, of date 16 Henry III, Aug. 22, 1232, only three years later, records a similar incident; and the malefactor is ordered to "make the assize, and abjuration of the kingdom, according to the custom of the land and according to the liberties granted to Walter, Bishop of Carlisle," (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, p. 58). We have the explanation of this later instruction in a Memoranda Roll of 4 Ed. III., 1330, which states that Henry III. granted, by charter dated 16th July, in the 15th year of his reign, to Walter, Bishop of Carlisle, and his successors, that they should claim "all chattels of felons and fugitives within their manors," the crown giving up all claim to the same in their favour; and the case is added of Robert Mawe, a fugitive, whose chattels were demanded by the Bishop, and £34 exacted on that account "from the township of Horncastre."

It is remarkable that the two cases, above quoted, should have occurred at the same date, August 22. An explanation of this has been suggested in the fact that an old calendar shows that August 22 was a day sacred to St. Zaccheus; and as that saint set the example of restoring four-fold what he had unlawfully taken, that day may have been selected for the robber to surrender his chattels in reparation of his offence. A not improbable explanation, however, may be found in the fact that the great August fair, established by Royal Charter, closed on August 21st, and unruly characters were often left, as dregs of such gatherings in the place, murders even being not uncommon. By charter of the same king the Bishop of Carlisle had power to try felons at Horncastle, and a spot on the eastern boundary of the parish is still known as "Hangman's Corner," where those who were capitally convicted in his court were executed.

We give elsewhere a list of the Incumbents of St. Mary's, but we may here refer to probably the most distinguished of them all. A Patent Roll, of date 11 June, 1344 (18 Edward III.), states that Thomas, Bishop of Lincoln (N.B. This was Thomas Bec, consecrated July 7, 1342, died Feb. 1, 1346, buried in the north transept of the Cathedral), "by command of the Most Holy Father, Pope Clement VI., reduces the taxation of the church at Horncastle, with the chapels of Askeby (West Ashby). Upper Tynton (High Toynton), Maring (Mareham-on-the-Hill), and Wod Enderby, to the same church annexed, to the sum of 50 marks (£33 6s. 8d.), which were previously taxed at the immoderate sum of £77 sterling." This is stated to be done "of the sincere love with which we value our very dear clerk. Master Simon de Islep, parson of the church aforesaid." This is also confirmed to "his successors, parsons or rectors, of the said church. Witness the King, at Westminster." The merits of this worthy, so valued by the Holy Father, not long afterwards received further recognition, since in 1350, only 6 years later, he was promoted to the highest dignity in the land, next to the sovereign himself, as Archbishop of Canterbury.[19] An earlier Rector, John de Langion, had been made Bishop of Chichester, A.D. 1305. These are the only incumbents of Horncastle who have attained the Episcopal Bench, (Horncastle Register Book, edited by Canon J. Clare Hudson, 1892).

The promotion of the Rector, Simon de Islep, led to more than one lawsuit. The Bishop of Carlisle, being at that time heavily in debt, as Lord of the manor, to which, as has already been stated, the advowson of the church of St. Mary was attached, had in January, 1347-8 granted the manor to Hugh de Bole, and others, on their annual payment of £129 19s. 2½d, for three years. On the vacancy thus occurring the Bishop was summoned to appear at Westminster, before Justice John de Stonor, and others, to answer to William Widuking, of Saundeby, executor of the will of the said Hugh de Bole, who claimed, as tenant of the manor, the right to nominate to the vacant benefice. The Bishop resisted this claim, and the case was argued before the King's Bench, in Hilary term, 1350, when the Bishop was defeated, the claim of William Widuking being allowed. (County Placita, Lincoln, No. 46. Pleas at Westminster, 24 Ed. III., roll 104.)

Seventeen years later, on the death of John de Kirkby, Bishop of Carlisle, who had presented Simon de Islep to Horncastle, the temporalities of the bishopric for the time lapsed to the King; and Thomas de Appleby, the succeeding Bishop, with John de Rouceby, clerk (who afterwards became Rector of Horncastle), were summoned to answer to the King, that the King be allowed, through the said lapse, to appoint to the vacant Benefice of St. Mary. The Bishop and John de Ronceby brought the case before the court, but they admitted the justice of the King's plea, and judgment was given for the King. (De Banco Roll, 41 Ed. III., m. 621.) Apparently, as a compromise, the King appointed John de Rouceby. This John de Rouceby, while Rector of Horncastle, was murdered on the high road to Lincoln in 1388, (Horncastle Register Book, p. 2).

We may here observe, that in the above documents, the Incumbent of St. Mary's Church is styled "Parson" or "Rector," not, as he is at the present day, "Vicar." On this change of status we are able to give the following particulars. Among the Bishop "Nicholson MSS,," which are in the custody of the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, and consist of extracts from the old "Bishops' Registers," it is stated (vol. iv, p. 349) that Bishop Stern of Carlisle, under agreement with the Bishop of Lincoln (Dr. Robert Sanderson in 1660, appropriated the Rectorial appurtenances of the Benefice of St. Mary to the See of Carlisle. This, however, would seem to be only a confirmation, or renewal, of what had been done long before, since as far back as 1313, the Bishop of Carlisle petitioned the Pope, to allow the church revenues of St. Mary, Horncastle, to be appropriated to that See, which had been "wasted by war and other calamities;" the Rector of the day only stipulating for pensio congrua being reserved to him for his lifetime. (Carlisle Episcopal Registers, xix, p. 181 b). This was repeated about 1334 (Ibid:, p. 187, a. Quoted Horncastle Register Book, p. 2). The title Rector accordingly disappears and from about 1400 only that of Vicar is used, the Bishops of Carlisle themselves having become the "Rectors." Early in the 19th century (21 March, 1803) the Bishop of Carlisle leased the manor, with appurtenances, to Sir Joseph Banks, and his representatives are now Lay Rectors.

The appointment of one of the early Rectors is a sample of the abuses connected with Papal supremacy in those times. Peter de Galicia was nominated Rector in May, 1313, he was a foreigner and probably drew his income without ever residing at Horncastle. Having influence at the Papal Curia, he negociated for the Bishop of Carlisle the transfer of the Rectorial appurtenances of Horncastle to that See; only, as has been stated, taking care that he had his own pensio congrua. Becoming dissatisfied with the benefice he ultimately exchanged it for the Rectory of Caldbeck in the diocese of Carlisle. These proceedings are given at length in Bishop de Kirkby's Register; his Italian name was Piero de Galiciano. He was succeeded in 1334 by Robert de Bramley, Rector of Caldbeck. (Carlisle Episcopal Registers, quoted Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. v, pp. 244-5).

Horncastle was one of the centres of disturbance at the the time of the "Lincolnshire Rising" (already referred to) or "Pilgrimage of Grace," in 1536, and St. Mary's Church was the main cause of the local agitation. William Leche, brother of the parson of Belchford, was a ringleader in the town. The plundering of churches, by the King's "visitors," for the "valor ecclesiasticus," on the plea of regulating ceremonial, but more really with a view to replenishing the royal coffers, was the great grievance with the people. Much evidence on the subject is found among State Papers Domestic, vol. xi, 28 Henry VIII. One witness, Edward Richardson of Thimbleby, states that William Leche, on Tuesday, 2nd Oct., "stirred the people to rise to save the church jewels from the Bishop's officers," who were acting by the King's orders, the Bishop being the King's confessor. Robert Sotheby of Horncastle, being sworn before Sir Anthony Wyngffeld and Sir Arthur Hopton, says that "David Benet, a wever, rang the comon bell," to rouse the people. The said Robert stated that he and William Bywater, being churchwardens, were going to see the work of the plumbers, and in the meantime the said Davy rang the common bell; and that "William Leche was the first begynner and sterer of the whole rysinge there." The mob marched about with a standard, carried by Philip Trotter, clad in the armour of Lionel Dymoke, which he had taken from the church of St. Mary. The devices on the standard were "a plough," to encourage the husbandmen; the "challice and Host," because the church plate and jewellery were to have been taken away; the "wands" were to encourage the people "to fight in Cristis cause;" the "horn" betokening Horncastle.

About 100 persons marched to Scrivelsby, and threatened to drag out Edward Dymoke, the sheriff, and other gentlemen. The sheriff, Thomas Dymoke, Robert Dighton, and one Saundon, afterwards went into the field, and conversed with Leche, who said the Rising was because the Visitors would take the church goods. The mob took the old gentleman, Sir William Saundon, and "harried him forth by the arms towards Horncastell, till from hete and weryness he was almost overcum." A horse was brought for him by one Salman of Baumbrough, but one of the rebels strake the horse on the head, so that both horse and rider fell to the ground, and they then said he must "go afote as they did." He was afterwards confined in the "Moot Hall," at Horncastle, and "they sware him, whether he will, or no." Many witnesses testified to the activity of Leche, in going to private houses and inducing the men to join, and that the gentlemen only joined from fear of violence. Richard Mekylwhite of Horncastle was accused by Thomas Lytellbury, that he was "a great procurer" (of men), and was "one of the causers of George Wolsey's death," (a servant of the late Cardinal Wolsey).

William Leche, with a great company, went to Bolingbroke, to take the Bishop's Chancellor, Dr. John Rayne, who was lying there, sick; he was brought on horseback to Horncastle amid cries of "kill him! kill him!" He begged Philip Trotter to save him, who said he would do what he could; the Chancellor gave him xxs., but he in effect did the reverse of helping him. On reaching the outskirts of the town, "many parsons and vicars among" the rebels cried "kill him!" whereat William Hutchinson and William Balderstone, of Horncastle, "pulled him viantly of his horse, kneling upon him, and with their staves slew him." The Vicar of Thornton gave xvs. to the rebels. The Vicar of Horncastle, at that time John Haveringham, seems to have avoided being mixed up with this movement, as many of his brethren were. The whole affair barely lasted a week, and it does not appear that the church plate suffered. The King issued a proclamation from Richmond, 2 December following, that he pardoned all except the wretches in ward at Lincoln, T. Kendal the Vicar of Louth, and William Leche of Horncastle.

For a final notice of old records connected with the church, we may mention a matter of less importance, but one which we can hardly realise, in these days of religious liberty, when everyone is "a law unto himself" in matters of faith, and even largely in practice. The parish book of the adjoining Thimbleby, which is in the soke of Horncastle, shews that, as late as the year 1820, the parish officials ordered all paupers, in receipt of parish relief, to attend the church services, on pain of forfeiting the aid granted; and cases are named where the payment was stopped until the offender had given satisfaction. The State Papers Domestic of 1634 show that, at Horncastle, there was a like strictness. Luke Burton of this town was fined 1s. for being "absent from divine service," and again a like sum as "absent from prayers." Even "a stranger, a tobacco man," was fined 1s. for the same offence; and 3s. 4d. for "tippling in time of divine service." John Berry, butcher, was fined 1s. "for swearing." Simon Lawrence, for selling ale contrary to law, was fined 20s.; the same "for permitting tippling, 20s.;" while for "selling
A History of Horncastle page 49.jpg

Ancient Scythes in St. Mary's Church.

ale without a licence," William Grantham and Margaret Wells were "punished upon their bodies." (State Papers Domestic, vol. 272, No. 23, Chas. I.)

Rectors and Vicars.

We here give a list of these as compiled by Canon J. Clare Hudson, in his 1st volume of the Horncastle Parish Register Book, 1892.


1236-7 Geoffrey de Leueknor by the Bishop of Carlisle (admitted on condition it be found the same church with the churches of [Wood] Enderby, and [High] Toynton and another, which Osbert the last rector held, be one benefice).
1239-40 (Delegates of the Pope in a dispute between G. parson of the church of Horncastre and Francis, parson of the church of [West] Askeby, concerning the church of Askeby, decide that G[eoffrey] and his successors, are to hold the church of Askeby, and pay to Francis annually for life 27 marks sterling, and the bishop confirms this ordinance)
1246 Adam de Kirkby.
12— Ralph Tulgol
1275 Hugh de Penna (otherwise Hugh de la Penne, Assize Roll, 4 Ed. I. Lincs. Notes & Queries, iv, p. 220).
1295 John de Langton.
1305 Gilbert de Haloughton.
1313 Peter de Galicia.
1334 Robert de Bramley.
13— William de Hugate.
1349 Simon de Islep, resigned in 1349, on becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.
1357 William de Hugate, presented by Gilbert, Bishop of Carlisle, on exchange.
1369 John de Rouceby.
1388 William Stryckland.
1401 Thomas Carleton, Chaplain.
1445 Robert Somercotes.
14— John Eston.
1492 John Ffalconer.
1517 Richard Denham.
1524 Barnard Towneley.
1531 Robert Jamys, Chaplain.
1535 John Havringham.
15— Arthur Layton.
1538 Peter Wallensis.
1557 Henry Henshoo, or Henshaw.
1560 Clement Monke.[20]
1584 Francis Purefey.
1587 Richard Foster.
1593 John Jackson.
1595 Robert Hollinhedge.
1634 Thomas Gibson.
1678 John Tomlinson.
1678-9 Thomas Loddington.
1724 James Fowler.
1779 Joseph Robertson.
1802 Clement Madely.
1845 Thos. James Clarke.
1853 Wm. Holme Milner.
1868 Robert Giles.
1872 Arthur Scrivenor.
1882 Edwin Fowler Quarrington
1900 Alfred Edgar Moore.

For some of the earlier details I am indebted to the Rev. W. O. Massingberd.

The Parish Registers of Horncastle are of some interest. They date from 1559, the year following the "Injunction" issued by Queen Elizabeth (the 3rd of its kind) ordering the regular keeping of such records; similar, earlier, though less stringent, orders having been made in 1538, 1547 and 1552. Besides the records of baptisms, marriages and burials, there are occasional notes on peculiar passing events, which we may here notice. One of these occurs in 1627, "Upon Monday, beinge the xxviijth day of January was a great Tempest of Winde, the like hath not often been in any age; like wise upon Friday the 4th of November 1636 in the night time there happened a more fearful (wind than) before.

Mr. Weir, in his History of Horncastle, quotes a note (folio 42 b of the Register): "On the vth daie of October one thousand six hundred and three, in the ffirst yere of oure Sov'aigne Lord King James was holden in Horncastell Church a solemnn fast from eight in the morning until fower a clock in the after noone by five preachers, vidz. Mr. Hollinghedge, Vicar of Horncastell, Mr. Turner of Edlington, Mr. Downes of Lusbye, Mr. Philipe of Solmonbye, Mr. Tanzey of Hagworthingha', occasioned by a generall and most feareful plague yt yere in sundrie places of this land, but especially upon the Cytie of London, p'r me Clementem Whitelock." (Parish Clerk.)

We may observe that at this time there perished in London more than 30,000 persons; but the great plague, or "black death," occurred 61 years later (1664-5), which carried off from 70,000 to 100,000 persons. Between these periods, and previously, various parishes in our neighbourhood suffered from this visitation; for instance at Roughton, which is in the soke of Horncastle, there were 43 burials, including those of the Rector and two daughters, in the year 1631-2; while in the adjoining parish of Haltham (also in the soke) although there was no increase of mortality at that date, there had been 51 deaths in the year 1584; there being a note in the register for that year, "This yeare plague in Haltham." The turn, however, for Horncastle came in the year 1631, when the register shows that between May 3 and Sep. 29, there were no less than 176 deaths; in one case 7 in a family (Cocking), 5 in a family (Halliday), in other cases 4 (Joanes), and again (Hutchinson) 4, (Fawcitts) 4, (Cheesbrooke) 4, &c. In August alone there were 86 deaths, and not a single marriage through all these months, whereas the following year there were only 25 deaths in the whole twelve months. Truly Horncastrians were, at that dread time, living with the sword of Damocles hanging over them. A note in the margin in this year is as follows, "Oct. 5th, buryalls since July 23, 144; burialls since Easter 182."

We have already given the history of the Vicar, Rev. Thos. Gibson, he is referred to in the two following notes in the Register. At the end of folio 81a (1635) we find, after the signature of himself and churchwardens, "Thomas Gibson, Clerk, Master of the free school of Newcastel uppon Tine, one of the Chapleins of the Right Reverend Father in God Barnabas, by Divine P'vidence Lo. Bpp. Carliel, presented by the said Lo. Bpp., was inducted into this Vicarage of Horncastel April xiiij, 1634." At the end of folio 85a (1639) after similar signatures is this: "The sd Mr. Thomas Gibson, being outed of Horncastle by Cromwell's Commissioners, removed to Nether Toynton, lived there one yeare, after restored againe, taught some Gentlemen sonnes in his owne house, was afterward called to ye scole at Newark, where he continued one yeare, then was importuned to Sleeford, whether he went ye week after Easter 1650, continued there until May ye first 1661; then, the King being returned, he returned to his Vicaridge, and was by Doctor Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Linkcoln made Preban of Saint Mairie Crakepoule in the Church of Linkcoln."

It may be observed that the spelling in those times, the entries doubtless being often made by the parish clerk, was rather phonetic than orthographic. Many names occur which still survive, but here spelt variously, for instance Fawssett has been a name well known in Horncastle in modern times in a good position, in town and county, here we find it in generation after generation as Fawcet, Fawset, Faucitt, &c. The name Raithbeck is of continual occurrence, it is now probably represented by Raithby. Castledine occurs several times, being probably the phonetic form of the modern Cheseltine. The present name Chantry appears as Chauntry. Palfreyman, or Palfreman, occurs on several occasions, they were of a respectable family in the county, William Palfreyman being Mayor of Lincoln in 1534; Ralph Palfreyman, clerk, was presented to the Benefice of Edlington, by his brother Anthony, merchant of the Staple, Lincoln, in 1569.

In folio 69a (1628) is the entry "Tirwhitt Douglas, daughter unto Mr. George Tirwhitt, christened Jan. 8." Her father George Tyrwhitt was a scion of the old county family of the Tyrwhitts of Kettleby, Stainfield, &c., by Faith, daughter of Nicholas Cressy of Fulsby, who married Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Ayscough, of another very old county family. She was named Douglas, though a female, after her kinswoman, Douglas, daughter of William, first Lord Howard of Effingham. Her sister married Sir Edward Dymoke of Scrivelsby. She herself is mentioned among the benefactors to the poor of Horncastle, as leaving a charge of 10s. on a farm at Belchford, as an annual payment, on her death in 1703.

Another name of frequent occurrence, though now extinct, is that of Hamerton. John Hamerton (as already stated) is mentioned, with John Goake, on a tablet inserted in the wall on the south side of the chancel arch, as being churchwarden in the vicariate of Thomas Gibson, in 1675, and throughout the early registers successive generations of this family are recorded. They may have been humble scions of the Hamertons, of Hamerton, Yorkshire, a branch of whom were among the landed gentry near the Scottish border; but at Horncastle they were engaged in trade. John Hamerton, christened Dec. 10, 1575, whose probable father, another John Hamerton, was buried Sep. 3, 1584, married Feb. 2, 1613, Grace Broxholme, whose father John Broxholme is described as "Gent" in 1611. Thomas Hamerton in 1603 was a draper, another Thomas Hamerton in 1613 was a "yoman," John in 1615 was a tanner, Thomas in 1606 and 1617 was a tanner, Robert son of Thomas in 1619 was a tanner, William in 1620 was a glover. In 1630, Thomas, buried Jan. 24, is designated "Mr." On June 16, 1633, Katherine Hamerton is married "by Licence" to George Colimbell. A rise in status is indicated by the two latter entries, and accordingly, in the records of the neighbouring parish of Edlington we find "Geo. Hamerton, gent., and Sarah Hussey married July 21, 1699;" the Husseys being probably connected with the county family, the head of which was Lord Hussey of Sleaford. The John Hamerton, churchwarden in 1675, was born Jan. 22, 1636, son of John and Dorothy Hamerton. The marriage of the parents is not given in the register, the father therefore probably married an "outener," as they are provincially termed. The interesting point however in connection with this family is, that although they have long ago been extinct, they have left their mark behind them still surviving in the town. Near the junction of East Street with South Street there still exists at the back of the second shop, in the former street (a repository for fancy needlework), a room lined with good oak wainscoting, with finely carved mantelpiece, over which is an inscription, richly carved in relief, with the letters "Ao Di" to the left, and to the right the date "1573;" while above, in the centre, are the initials "J H" and "M H;" separated by a floriated cross and encircled by a wreath. This would doubtless be John Hamerton and his wife Mary (or Margaret) Hamerton, the original builders of the house. Two doors beyond is Hamerton Lane, and the title deeds, which the present writer has inspected, show that the whole of this block of buildings now forming five shops and two private residences, once formed one large dwelling place, belonging to the Hamerton of that day, with a frontage in East Street of more than 20 yards, and in South Street of 70 or 80 yards, with extensive back premises and gardens attached. The J.H. and M.H., of whom we have here such interesting relics, were probably the grandfather and grandmother of the John Hamerton of the time of the Commonwealth and Charles II., and the extent of the buildings occupied by them show that they were wealthy.

Tanning was at one time the chief trade of the town, there being within the writer's recollection several tan yards, now no longer existing. The Bain water was said to be specially suited for this purpose. We have seen that several of the Hamertons were tanners, and they had evidently prospered in their calling.

One more name in the register deserves a brief notice, that of Snowden (spelt there Snoden). We have, at various dates, from 22 Oct.. 1629, onwards, the baptisms of the whole family of Mr. Rutland Snowden, and the burials of some of them. The Snowdens were originally a Notts. family, of the smaller gentry class, but Robert Snowden, third son of Ralph Snowden, of Mansfield Woodhouse, became Bishop of Carlisle, and, ex officio, Lord of the Manor of Horncastle. The Bishops of Carlisle had, as has been already stated, a residence in Horncastle, near the present Manor House, and the Bishop's widow, Abigail, probably resided there. In her will, dated 15 April, 1651, and proved 7 May in the same year, she mentions her sons Rutland and Scrope; there was also another son Ralph. Rutland married on Xmas day, 1628, Frances, widow of George Townshend, Esq., of Halstead Hall, Stixwould, and Lord of the Manor of Cranworth, Norfolk, by whom he had a large family. His granddaughter, Jane Snowden, married Charles Dymoke, Esq., of Scrivelsby; she died childless and founded and endowed the village school and almshouses at Hemingby. Another granddaughter, Abigail, married Edward Dymoke, younger son of Sir Edward Dymoke, of Scrivelsby, as shewn by the register there, on 18 July, 1654, and she thus became ancestress of the Tetford branch of the Dymokes, now also of Scrivelsby.

Rutland Snowden, who graduated B.A. at Christ's College, Cambridge, 1617-8, took his M.A. degree at St. John's College, Oxford, 1623, and was admitted a member of Gray's Inn in the same year. He was buried at Horncastle, 1654 (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, pp. 14-16). That was a period of national disturbance, and the people of Horncastle, with the Winceby fight of 1643, were more or less drawn into the vortex. Abigail Snowden, widow of Bishop Robert of Carlisle seems to have been brought into much trouble, owing to her son, Rutland, having espoused the Royalist cause. Among Exchequer Bills and Answers (Chas. I., Lincoln, No. 86) is a petition shewing that Francis, Bishop of Carlisle, leased to Rutland Snowden and his assignees, for three lives, the manor, lands, parsonage, and other premises at Horncastle, on payment of £120. Subsequent proceedings would seem to imply that this lease was previously granted to the said Abigail herself, as shewn by the following: "To the Honourable the Commissioners for compounding with delinquents. The Humble Petition of Abigail Snowden, widow, sheweth that Richard Milborne, late Bishop of Carlisle, did, 22 Sep., 1623, for valuable consideracions, demise the manor and soke of Horncastle (parcel of ye lands of ye Bishopricke) unto your petitonr, during the lives of Rutland Snoden, Scroope Snoden, and George Snoden, and for the life of the longest of them; that the said demise being allowed good unto her by the trustees ... yet hath bene, and is, sequestrated, for the delinquensie of the said Rutland Snoden ... the petitioner prayeth ... that your petitioner may have releife ... as to you shall seem meet. And yr petitioner will praie, &c. Abigail Snoden, 24 Nov., 1650." A note adds that the matter was "Referred to Mr. Brereton, to examine and report."

It was reported on by Peter Brereton, 31 Jan. following (Royalist Composition Papers, 1st series, vol. 58, No. 515). As this is a fair sample of the treatment by the Parliamentary officials of Royalist "delinquents" and their friends, we here give further particulars.

A similar petition was presented by "John Bysse, gent." (given in Royalist Composition Papers, 1st series, vol. 8, No. 167). Further, Abigail Snowden bequeathed her interest in the above lease to Thos. Toking, who was of Bucknall and of Ludgate Hill, London. Accordingly, two years later, we have another attempt at recovery, as follows: "To the Honourable Commissioners for compounding with Delinquents. The humble petition of Thomas Toking, of Co. Lincoln, gent., sheweth, that a lease was made to him by Abigail Snowden, widow, deceased, of the manor, &c., &c., which had been sequestered many years, for the delinquency of Rutland Snowden ... and that he (T. Toking) has more to offer, for the clearing of his title. He prays therefore for a commission of enquiry. 21 Oct., 1652." Reply: "not sufficient proof."

The said Thos. Toking again petitions, stating, that he is willing, to avoid further trouble, to submit to "a reasonable composition." This is again "referred to Mr. Brereton," 7 Feb., 1653. On 21 Sep., 1653, the order was issued that "the Petitioner be admitted for compounding." Again "Referred to Mr. Brereton." The result, however, was that Mr. Thomas Toking died before obtaining the "relief" petitioned for.

N.B. Besides the "delinquency" of having "adhered to, and assisted, ye forces against the Parliament," it was charged against Rutland Snowden that he had "more wives than one." He "rendered his estate in fee" at Horncastle, in Nov., 1645, for which his fine, at one-tenth was £188 (Royalist Composition Papers, 1st series, fol. 113). His son, a second Rutland Snowden, was among the Benefactors of Horncastle, as he bequeathed to the poor of the town, 1682, "one house of the yearly rent of 26s.," to be "paid in bread, 6d. every other Sunday;" a considerably larger sum at that time than now.

We find the names of Rutland Snoden of Horncastle, and Scrope Snoden of Boston, in the list of Lincolnshire Gentry, entitled to bear arms, made by the Heralds, at their Visitation in 1634; along with other well known names in the neighbourhood, such as Dymoke, Heneage, Laugton, Massingberd, Tyrwhitt, &c. (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. i, p. 106). The Snowden arms are said, in Yorke's Union of Honour, to have been "Azure a lion rampant, or."

(Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, p. 16).

A History of Horncastle page 55.jpg

The Old Vicarage.

The Vicarage of St. Mary's Church formerly stood at the north-east corner of the churchyard, forming part of a block of small houses. It was a poor residence, but occupied until his death in 1845, by the Vicar, Clement Madely, DD. The whole block was, about that time, taken down, the space being, later on, covered with the present substantial buildings. His successor, Rev. T. J. Clarke, rented a good house in South Street, now occupied by Mrs. Howland,. Mr. Clarke was succeeded by the Rev. W. Holme Milner, in 1853, and he built the present vicarage.

St. Mary's Churchyard was closed, for burials, in 1848, when the churchyard of Holy Trinity was consecrated.

We here give a list of the Church Plate, which is more than usually valuable.

  1. Paten, silver, 15 oz. 2 dwt., given by Mrs. Hussey, 1718.o
  2. Paten lid, silver, 2 oz. 2 dwt., old, no date.
  3. Paten, pewter, no date.
  4. Chalice, silver gilt, 7 oz., old, no date.
  5. Chalice, silver gilt, 13 oz. 4 dwt. In memoriam, J.H., 1879.
  6. Chalice, silver gilt, 13 oz. 2 dwt.*
  7. Flagon, silver, 59 oz., given by Susannah Lascells, 1741.
  8. Flagon, silver, 58 oz. 2 dwt., given by Susannah Lascelles, widow, Christmas, 1734.o
  9. Alms basin, silver, 6 oz. 6 dwt., given by Thomas Hargreaves, Esq., 1735. T.M.H. on handle.
  10. Alms Basin, silver, 7 oz. 6 dwt., given by Clement Madely, vicar, 1835.
  11. Paten, silver gilt, 13 oz. In Memoriam, J.H. 1879.
  12. Paten, silver. 4 oz. 2 dwt., no date.o
  13. Cruet with silver stopper, H.T.C. 1872.
  14. Those marked with asterisk are used at Holy Trinity Church.

We cannot here omit our tribute to the energy, liberality, and taste of the various parties connected with the restoration of St. Mary's Church, begun in 1859, and happily completed in April, 1861. With a persevering vicar, in Prebendary W. H. Milner, undaunted by difficulties, to head the movement; a working committee, no less resolute, to support him (among whom figured foremost the late Dr. J. B. Boulton and Mr. F. Harwood); with an architect of cultivated taste and wide experience, in Mr. Ewan Christian; and with the able contractors, Messrs. Lee & Ashton, to carry out his designs; and with a body of subscribers, headed by the Lord of the Manor, J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., all doing their best; the work was bound to be a marked success, of which all might be proud. St Mary's now probably approaches nearer to its original conception (if it does not, indeed, surpass it) than it has ever done in recent times. Erected, as it first was, in an age marked by "zeal" for church construction, even if sometimes "without knowledge;" stimulated, perhaps in an unwholesome degree, by the prevalent superstition and mariolatry, we yet feel bound, considering the noble structures which those builders have transmitted to us, (as Prior the poet says) to be "To their virtues very kind, and to their faults a little blind." But, as to the restoration in the present instance, few, save the older ones among us, who remember the condition into which the fabric had lapsed, can realise the great changes which were effected, or the advantages secured to present worshippers. The space formerly wasted by a western vestibule, with its boarded partition, and baize-covered doors, leading into nave and aisles, reducing by several feet the length of sitting space; the basement of the tower shut off, and occupied only by the bell ringers, who are now removed to the chamber above; the chancel aisles unused for seats and partially blocked up; the high square pews, rising in tiers westwards, roomy enough for undisturbed slumber; above all, the heavy galleries, with pews, made by faculty private property; all these arrangements so curtailed the accommodation, that the congregation, at its best, could be little more than half what it has been in recent years; while the tout ensemble, not omitting the flat whitewashed ceiling, put up, it has been said, by a kind lady, because the vicar, sensitive to cold, felt the draughts through the fine wooden roof thus hidden above, had an effect the very opposite of stimulating devotion, bad alike for minister and people. Under the restored condition, with sixty additional seats provided in the tower, the south chancel aisle also seated, and every available space utilized, there is now ample accommodation for some 800 worshippers, and on special occasions more than 1,200 have been seated (the late Mr. W. Pacy counted about 1,250 passing out at the evening service at the re-opening in April, 1861); while the services, and the surroundings, are alike calculated to inspire feelings of reverence, with hearty earnestness of worship; this is the result mainly due to the "decency and order" effected through the care and self-denying efforts of the restorers, for which all should be grateful.

We should here add that in the year 1892, it being found that decay had occurred in the walls and other parts of the church, about £150 was raised by subscription, and once more the fabric was put into a complete state of repair.

  1. Quoted Weir's History of Horncastle, note p. 29, ed. 1820.
  2. On Saturday, next the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, 21 Jan., 1384-5, held by John de Feriby, Escheator of the King, in the County of Lincoln.
  3. Most of these fragments were removed by Mr. Stanhope to Revesby Abbey. Two of them are preserved in the garden of Langton Rectory, near Horncastle.
  4. The origin of this Chantry is shewn by the following documents:—In the archives of Carlisle Cathedral is a copy, in Latin, of a Privy Seal State Paper, Domestic, vol. i, 5039, of date 5 May, 6 Henry VIII. (A.D. 1514), slightly imperfect, but running thus: "The King to all ... greeting. Know that we, of our special grace ... by these presents do grant ... for us, our heirs and successors ... to the devout woman, the Lady Margaret Copuldyke, widow, and Richard Clarke, tanner, of Horncastle, that they found a fraternity, or guild, to the honour of St. Katharine, and for the extending of divine teaching, in the Parish Church of the blessed Virgin of Horncastell, and mortain licence to acquire land of the annual value of 25 marks" (£16 15s. 4d.). Another document, a Chantry Certificate, Lincoln. No 33 (55), Ed. VI. (1552), states that "the Guild of St. Katharine, in Horncastell, was founded by Joan Copuldyke, widow, and others, with the intention that one Chaplain for ever, should celebrate divine services in the church, for the souls of the founder, and others; the profits of the land and possessions are received by the Alderman of the Guild." They are described as "worth yearly; £13 8s. 8d., with fees, wages, rents and other reprises, £7 15s. 3d. The clear value, reprises deducted, yearly, £5 13s. 10d.," with "goods, chattels and ornaments worth £1 10s." It is to be observed that Gervase Holles says, that at the time of his vist, she was named "Margaret," in a window then existing in the church. A Patent Roll, 3 Ed. VI., pt. 5, m. 4, gives various lands and tenements, with which this chantry was endowed, in Horncastle, Spilsby, Thornton and Roughton, occupied by about 100 tenants; and states that all these were granted "by the King to Robert Carr, gent., of Sleaford, and John Almond, their heirs and assigns." Witness, the King, at Westminster, 15 July, 1549. This is further confirmed by an Inquisition post mortem, 5 Eliz., pt 1, No. 67 [This was "in return for a payment by them of £1,238 11s. 10d."] Among the signatories to a declaration of the Royal supremacy (Lincoln Chapter Housebook, B. 3, 14, p. 39) are the names of Robt. James, Vicar of Horncastle, Michel Whithed, Curate of Horncastle. Hugh Doddington, "Cantuarista" of Horncastle (probably Chaplain of this Chantry). It was also served by Robert Geffrey in 1552. Chantry Certificates, Lincoln, 33 (55).
  5. Harleian MS. No. 6829, p. 241. In a window in the north aisle was the inscription "Orate pro ái'â Thomæ Coppuldike, armig., et D'næ Margaretæ, Consortis suæ, fundatoria gildæ cantar .... fenestram fieri fecit. Ano D'ni 1526." In the eastern window of the south aisle was the inscription "Orate pro benefactoribus artis sutorum, qui istam fenestram fieri fecerunt, sc'æ Nenianæ cum sera et catena. Item S'ci Crispinus et Crispinianus cura instrumentis calceariis." Here it is distinctly stated that a Guild of Shoemakers gave the window, and that Crispinus and Crispinianus, the patron saints of shoemakers, were there represented. A note in the same MS. states that Frances, wife of Gervase Holles, died at Horncastle and was buried there. (These passages are quoted in Weir's History of Horncastle, pp. 30, 31, note, edition of 1820).
  6. Mr. Dee had formerly been a Clerk in Mr. Clitherow's office, as Solicitor.
  7. This was formerly the altar-piece below the east window of the chancel, before the present reredos was placed there, and dedicated at the Harvest Festival, 22 Sept., 1870.
  8. It may here be stated, that the former font was quite as good as the present one, octagonal in form, and of perpendicalar design, in harmony with older portions of the church. It was, however discarded at the restoration, and, for some time, hidden away among rubbish, but eventually presented to the restored church of the neighbouring parish of Belchford. The bowl of the present font is too small to answer the requirements of the Rubric, and is not in keeping with the architecture of the church.
  9. A Lectern, consisting of a large eagle, of cast iron, bronzed, on the model of one in St. Margaret's Church, Lynn, was presented by the late Prebendary Samuel Lodge, Rector of Scrivelsby. This is still preserved in the south chancel chapel.
  10. Walker in his Sufferings of the Clergy (1714) gives an account of Thomas Gibson, which we here abridge. Born at Keswick (in the diocese of Carlisle), he went to Queen's College, Oxford, was appointed Master of the Free School at Carlisle, there promoted to the similar post at Newcastle, and finally preferred by the Bishop of Carlisle to the Vicarage of Horncastle in 1634. In consequence of a sermon preached by him, at the Election for Convocation, he was seized, in 1643, and carried as a prisoner to Hull. Being released after four month's detention, and returning to Horncastle, he was charged with teaching "ormanism" (arminianism), and committed to the "County Jail" at Lincoln, a Presbyterian minister being appointed in his stead at Horncastle. In 1644 Colonel King, the Governor of Boston under the Parliament, ordered a party of horse to seize him (apparently having been released from Lincoln) and to plunder his house, but an old pupil, Lieut. Col. John Lillburn, interceded for him with his superior officer, Col. King, and the order was revoked. In the subsequent absence, however, of Lillburn in London, the order was repeated, and Mr. Gibson was made prisoner, his house plundered, and his saddle horse, draught horses, and oxen carried off. He was imprisoned at Boston, Lincoln and "Tattors-Hall Castle," where he had "very ill-usage for 17 weeks." He was sequestrated from his benefice and an "intruder," named Obadiah How, put in charge. He was now accused of defending episcopacy, "refusing the covenant," &c. He retired to a "mean house," about a mile from Horncastle, supposed to be at "Nether (Low) Toynton," where he and his family "lived but poorly for two years, teaching a few pupils." He was then appointed Master of the Free School at Newark, two years later removed to the school at Sleaford, being presented by Lady Carr. There he lived until the Restoration, and then resumed his Vicarage at Horncastle, until he died in 1678, aged 84. "He was a grave and venerable person (says Walker), of a sober and regular conversation, and so studious of peace, that when any differences arose in his parish, he never rested till he had composed them. He had likewise so well principled his parish that, of 250 families in it, he left but one of them Dissenters at his death." (Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, pt. ii, p. 252, Ed. 1714).
  11. There is an error in the date, which should be Oct. 11. Further, the term "arch rebel" is inappropriate, as Cromwell was, at that time, only a Colonel, far from having attained his later distinction; the term "skirmish" is also inadequate, as the Winceby battle was a decisive engagement, with important consequences.
  12. The origin of these scythes has of late years been a vexata questio. It has been suggested that they are not, as generally supposed, relics of the Parliamentary War, but of the earlier so-called "Pilgrimage of Grace," or "Lincolnshire Rising," a movement intended as a protest against certain abuses attending the Reformation, in the reign of Henry VIII. The evidence, however, gathered from various directions, would seem to be strongly corroborative of the old and more general opinion. History shows that, for many years, about the period of the Commonwealth, scythes were among the commonest, rude weapons of war. The artist Edgar Bundy, in his painting "The morning of Edgemoor," recently (1905) purchased for the National Gallery by the Chantry Trustees, represents a soldier armed with a straight wooden-handled scythe. The battle of Edgemoor was fought Oct. 23, 1642, one year before that of Winceby. We have also contemporary testimony in the Memoirs of the Verney Family (vol. i, pp. 109-118 and 315), members of which took part in the civil war of that period, that King Charles' forces consisted largely of untrained peasants, "ill-fed and clothed ... having neither colours, nor halberts ... many only rude pikes ... few a musket." To such the scythes used in their farm labour would be handy weapons in emergency. As a parallel to these cases Sir Walter Scott, in his preface to Rob Roy states that "many of the followers of MacGregor, at the battle of Prestonpans (Sep. 21, 1745), were armed with scythe blades, set straight upon their handles, for want of guns and swords." It is not without interest to note, that about 60 years ago there were exhumed, on the farm above Langton Hill, in Horncastle, the remains of 6 bodies, lying buried in a row, with scythe blades beside them. It is known that skirmishes between Royalists and Roundheads took place in this locality, and it can hardly be doubted that these also were relics of the Winceby fight The then tenant of the farm, Mr. Dobson (as the writer has been informed by his granddaughter, Mrs. H. Boulton of St. Mary's Square, Horncastle), carted these remains to the town and they were re-buried in the south side of St. Mary's Churchyard, while the scythes were added to those already in the church. An incident, which further confirms their connection with the Winceby fight, is that the present writer has in his possession a pair of spurs, which were found on the field of Winceby, remarkable for the long spikes of their rowels; and he himself once found the rowel of a spur, with similarly long spikes, within a few yards of where the bodies were discovered; and in the year 1905 he also examined several bones, pronounced by a doctor to be human, which were found near the same spot, while workmen were digging for the foundations of a house since erected there. On the other hand, as against the theory of the scythes having been used in the earlier "Pilgrimage of Grace," we are distinctly told that the mobs concerned in that movement were deprived of all weapons before they could use them. In the Lincoln Chapter House books (c. i, 20, f 193) is a letter from Richard Cromwell, dated Oct. 29, 1586, which says that he, and Admiral Sir John Russell, went to Louth, where "all the harness and weapons were seized, and conveyed to Lincoln," and that for the same purpose Mr. Bryan had been sent to Horncastle, and Mr. Brown to Market Rasen. On the whole, therefore, the preponderance of evidence is strongly in favour of the connection of all these scythes with the neighbouring Battle of Winceby—the original tradition.
  13. Weir, in his History of Horncastle gives the quarterings of these shields as follows:—

    (1) Sable, 2 lions passant in pale, ducally crowned, or, Dymoke impaling Barry of 6 ermines, and gules, 3 crescents, sable, Waterton; a crescent for difference.
    (2) Dymoke impaling Vairè, on a fess, gules frettè, or. Marmyon, in chief, ermine, 5 fusils in fess, Hebden, a crescent for difference.
    (3) Argent, a sword erect, azure, hilt and pomel gules.
    (4) Dymoke impaling quarterly, gules and argent, a cross engrailed. Countercharged, Haydon, a crescent for difference.

  14. The only other theft from the church, of which we have record, was when the vestry was broken into, in December, 1812, and the money collected for parish purposes was stolen. A reward of £50 was offered for information of the thief, but without result. (MS. notes by Mr. T. Overton, in possession of Mr. John Overton, of Horncastle.)
  15. Details of these are given by Holles, as follows:—

    In fenestra Insulæ Borealis.

    "Orate pro a'ia Thomæ Coppuldike Armig. & D'næ Margaretæ Consortis suæ fundatoris Gildæ Cantar ... Fenestram fieri fecit Ano Dni 1526."

    In superiori fenestra Borealis Cancelli.

    "Gules a lion passant guardant. Arg
    Sable, 3 flowres de lize betw: 6 crosses botony fitchy Arg.

    Gules, a cross sarcelly Arg."Bec.

    In fenestra Orientali Insulæ Australis.

    "Orate pro benefactoribus artis sutorum, qui istam fenestram fieri fecerunt stæ Ninianæ cum cera et catena. Item sti Crispinus et Crispianus cum instrumentis calceariis." (N.B. The feminine is an error of Holles, as St. Ninian was a man. Collier's History, vol. i p. 100).

    Fenestra Borealis superior.

    Empaled Sa, 2 lions passant arg. crowned or. Dymoke
    Or, a lion rampant double queue sa. Welles
    Empaled Quarterly Arg. a chevron betw: 3 bulls passant sa. Tourney
    B. a fesse betw: 3 goats' heads erased arg.
    Quarterly Arg. a chevron gobony sa.
    Arg. on a bend g. 3 roses arg.
    Quarterly Arg. a chevron betw: 3 griphons' heads erased, g. Tilney
    Arg. 3 bars g. over all a bend engrailed, sa. Ros
    Quarterly Quarterly or and g. a border sa. bezanty. Rockford
    Arg. 3 crosses botony fitchy B. semy of flowres de lize  
    Quarterly ermine and chequey or. and g. Gipthorpe
    Arg. a chevron betw. 3 roses, g. Taylboys, &c.

    Fenestra Australis superior.

    G. a fesse betw. 3 water bougets ermine Meres
    Empaled Marchants Mark.
    Arg. on a bend, G. 3 ferniers of the first

    Hic jacet Francisca filia primogenita Petri Fressheville de Stavely, in com. Derb. arm [ex priore uxore sua Elizabetha filia Gervasii Clifton de Clifton, in com. Nott. Militis] et quondam uxor Gervasii Holles de Burgh in cum. Lincoln. Militis, cui peperit Freschvillum Holles, et Margaretam, gemellos, et Franciscum Holles filium juniorem. Obijt Horncastell. Harleyan MS., No. 6829, p. 241.

  16. Mr. Sellwood lived in a house on the west side of the Market Place, now occupied by R. W. Clitherow, Esq., of a family long established in Horncastle.
  17. Mr. Fretwell was Curate of Horncastle and Rector of Winceby, (Directory of Horncastle, 1791-2). He would appear to have been, for a time, in sole charge of Horncastle, as we find that on one occasion (Feb. 23, 1790) "sensible of the distresses of the sick poor, he gave 1½ g. from the communion money to be laid out in Salop sago and Bowen's sago powder, to be distributed at the discretion of the Faculty." (See account of the Dispensary.)
  18. The vault of Dr. Madeley is within the chancel rails, beneath the tablet. His son was an officer in the 68th Regiment of Foot, in which also a Horncastle man, named Walker, was sergeant.
  19. There is still, in Westminster Abbey, a chantry named "The Islip Chapel," which is used as a Robing room, at the consecration of the Bishops.
  20. A List of Institutions given in Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. v, p. 236 has the date of C. Monke's appointment, 24 Oct., 1558 and gives his predecessor as Henry Henshaw. In a previous notice (Ibidem, p. 201) the latter is given as Henry Henshoo.