NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. XL MARCH 28, iocs.
tion, beneficence, and piet)^ but as dens of lu.st, imposture, and greed, and always speak of "Owd Harry the Eight' an' Crom'al " (meaning Cromwell, Earl of Essex, but confusing with Oliver Cromwell), 4 ' who hanged t' owd monks, and turned out t' nuns, wi' A'chbishop Cranmer a-helpin' on 'em," with deep affection and admiration. Some- times I have had the comment added, " What we wants nowadays is a Crom'eling-time to come again, an' to hang all them as wants the monks to come back ! " Scott, in a note to ' The Monastery,' I think, remarks upon these traditions, always unfavourable to the monks, and expresses his wonder at them.
This universal tradition about the monas- teries is far better evidence of what they were than all the sentimental theories of modern romancers, especially as the con- demnatory traditions are fully in accord with the evidence of even Catholic writers who were contemporary with Henry VIII. and his ministers ; these writers being themselves Koman Catholics, and some of them monks as well. See also Benvenuto Cellini's 'Auto- biography ' on the same subject. He was a devoted Catholic.
An English clergyman once wrote to my late friend, the eminent convert to the Roman communion from our Church, the Rev. Waldo Sibthorp, to ask if he believed the " reports " sent in by Henry VIII. 's visitors, who ex- amined into the monasteries, were honest and truthful in depicting the frightful moral corruption of the monks, and received the answer in a letter, afterwards printed in The Life of Waldo Sibthorp/ that he saw no reason to doubt that the reports correctly de- scribed the actual state of the matter ; and Sibthorp gave his reasons for thinking so, which your readers can see in the book I allude to.
The abolition of the monastic institutions under Henry VIII. was not a freak of his personal passion, but a determined policy our statesmen had decided on as early as the days of Henry IV., and had been contem- plating from the period of Edward III as our statute book shows. The Tudors were put and kept on the throne for the express purpose of effecting that object, and Cardinal Wolsey began the final execution of
.s predecessors' policy, and Thomas Crom- well, Cranmer, and Ferrar only took advan- tage of Henry's quarrel with the Pope over a desired divorce to utilize the king's passion to give force to the final blow intended for ever to crush the Papal claims to power or influence in Britain.
FERRAR FENTON, F.R.A.S.
FEES FOR SEARCHING PARISH REGISTERS
(9 th S. x. 148, 394 ; xi. 130). By H. H. D.'s remarks on his experience in inspecting parish registers are called up for me certain recollections which give rise to the question whether there is discourtesy only on the part of the clergy concerned. I have also recollections of inconvenience occasioned by the presence of a stranger bringing no in- troduction of any kind in one's house for a whole day, whom one had to move from room to room as domestic arrangements required. If the fees that I have understood may be asked for are illegal, they ought surely to be made legal without delay, in order that custodians of parish registers may have some defence against needless appli- cations. When the day arrives that registers of parishes shall be collected in some central diocesan office, the officials in charge will doubtless require fees. For my part, I am always glad to know how I can make some return for aid afforded when I am seeking information, and in such a case as the search of a register 1 regard the payment of a fee as serving this purpose. F. JARRATT.
The Exeter transcripts are preserved in St. James's Chapel, situated on the east side of the south tower of the cathedral. The clergyman H. H. D. refers to was the late Rev. Reginald Porter, of Kerin, a village situated about three miles west of the estuary of the Exe. He was a good man, but possessed peculiarities that undoubtedly lost him many friends. The Rev. F. C. Hingeston-Randolph is the learned rector of Ringmore in the South Hams. Amongst many other works he has published, in seven large volumes, the 'Episcopal Registers of Exeter' (commencing with Bishop Brones- combe, A.D. 1257-80), and is the acknowledged authority in the West Country upon its local registers. H. H. D. may depend its rector knew what he was talking about when he affirmed the registers of Ringmore " contained nothing worth noting." HARRY HEMS.
Fair Park, Exeter.
CRAIGCROOK (9 th S. xi. 146). In 'Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk,' the date of which may be 1817, is the following description of Craig- crook, Jeffrey's country residence, about three miles from Edinburgh (Peter Maurice loquitur) :
"I drove to Craigcrook, Mr. Jeffrey's villa, motto gustosamente, the expectation of the manif9ld luxuries I hoped to enjoy there the prospective delights both of palate and intellect being heightened and improved by the preliminary grati- fication I tasted while the shandrydan rolled along between the refreshed green of the meadows and