Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/129

This page needs to be proofread.

11 S. XL FEB. 6, 1915.]



Mr. Humphreys supplies two indexes one to subjects, and a full index of names, which number over two thousand seven hundred. Many are very quaint, such as John Bully, Blodletre, Balleslake, Cornmanger, Fermband, Goodwife, Herdingscroft, Cachebare, and Murymouth. Among familiar names we note that of Prideaux.

Two of the Lords of the Manor have been unfortunate. The Duke of Somerset was beheaded on the 22nd of January, 1552, and the Duke of Northumberland suffered the same penalty on the 22nd of August in the year following. In 1808 the manor was offered for sale, and it passed into the possession of John Snook, who conveyed it to the trustees of the first Duke of Wellington. The present Duke is now Lord of the Manor of Wel- lington Landside.

In the third and fourth parts we have Noncon- formist history. The Western counties have for generations been a stronghold of Nonconformity, and the author, who was born at Wellington, tells "how permanent in the town is the strong love of independent thought in matters of religion, and those who care to investigate more deeply the his- tory of the place will find that the same feelings and sympathies have dominated right back to 1662, the date of the Act of Uniformity."

The Congregational Church at Wellington, of which Mr. Joyce is the present pastor, was estab- lished in 1672, on a site within a few yards of the present building. Among the ministers was " that luminary of the eighteenth century," Risdon Darracott, named by Whitefield "the Star of the West," a friend of George Whitefield and Philip Doddridge, who with flaming zeal delivered his message in Wellington for eighteen years, 1741-59.

The history of the Baptists at Wellington is recorded in the fourth part. As early as 1690 they began to hold meetings in or near Wellington. The church then founded still exists. Mr. Joseph Baynes, the father of Thomas Spencer Bayries, who edited one of the editions of * The Encyclo- paedia Britannica,' occupied the pulpit from 1820 till 1862.

The successor to Mr. Baynes. the Rev. George Ward Humphreys, was the father of the author of this history. He remained there until 1900, when he retired from the ministry, and died on the 17th of April, 19l>7, aged 78. From his earliest years he had been a lover of books. As a boy he had known poverty, and struggled hard to pur- chase those he required for study. When leisure came he had two chief delights his library and his garden, and book catalogues and seed cata- logues were a perpetual source of pleasure to him.

The next part, No. V., will contain the history of the Society of Friends at Wellington.

Mr. Humphreys need not fear that he has gone too much into detail, for the work is bound to be a permanent source of reference. It is well printed, on good paper of quarto size.

Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, of the Reign of Elizabeth. July, 15S3July t 1584. Edited by Sophie Crawford Lomas. (Stationery Office.)

THE outstanding events of this year were the death of the Duke of Anjou by which the suc- cession of the French Crown went to Navarre and the murder of William of Orange. It is thus a year of importance in a period fairly familiar to the

general lover of history, and there is no need to remark on the crowd of picturesque and vivid characters which fill the European stage, nor to- point out the growing complexity and acerbity of the religious conflict, nor yet even to indicate? the rather numerous striking incidents of minor interest which fall within it. A year ago one set of strands in the web which will now attract close attention might have been passed over, by all except the professed student of history, as com- paratively dull. But operations in Flanders,, sieges of Dunkirk and Ypres, inundations of territory, fighting about Nieuport, Dixmude, Ostend the very names constrain one to linger and' imagine the bygone struggles of our forefathers in- these places where destruction has set its mark deeper than ever before. One Englishman Stokes describing the misery of the peasants, their lands and homes devastated by the opening of the dykes, might have written yesterday. His sympathetic tone is rather exceptional: infinitely more cruel though our modern warfare appears^ than that of the sixteenth century, our readiness to envisage the whole ot the misery war causes, seems vastly greater too. The sma'llness of the numbers engaged 500 or 1,000 men spoken of with respect as a considerable force strikes one; curiously now.

Elizabeth's ambassador at the French Court after the first few weeks, during which Cobham was still there was Sir Edward Stafford. The editor, duly mentioning the accusation of treachery brought against him, pleads that what was interpreted as treachery may well have been chiefly the man's extraordinary keenness in and aptitude for questing after information at any time and from any persons. Certainly the amount of detail he amassed is surprisingĀ ; and, far from being merely a sort of diplomatic collector, he showed himself able in delicate situations to hit upon the prudent thing to do, even when direc- tions from his mistress were not instantly available. The Court of France is, on the whole, the most interesting portion of the scene at this momentĀ ; and for the many lively descriptions of things, persons, and events there it is chiefly Stafford whom we have to thank.

A question of no little importance which will be-, raised anew by the perusal of these documents is that of the accuracy of historical estimates of" William of Orange. Has there or has there not gathered around his name something of a legend, a glamour which owes its charm more to the, imagination of the historian than to the witness, of contemporaries, and to the record of mere, facts? Here, at any rate, the colder, more repel- lent side of his character and career is the more in evidence. The affairs of the Netherlands are seen, in a welter of confusion, which one would have supposed to offer no unfavourable opportunity for the action of a leader who did m truth possess the qualities which Motley attributes to William. But as a man among men, as an influence on the spirit of his country to leave aside for the moment any consideration of action he appears here surprisingly ineffective. Nor, if we were to. judge from these documents alone, would his. death be reckoned a calamity of such vast and tragic import, or matter of such deep and wide- spread grief, as it has sometimes been represented.

There is an unusually full and good Index ta this volume, for which the editor is responsible.