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thority than the misrepresentation of the inscription here given, and because the family of Traci possessed the fourth part of a fee in Woolacombe within this parish, which is still called after their name. But the Trades had many possessions in this country, as Bovey Traci, Nymett Traci, Bedford Traci, &c. William de Traci held the honor of Barnstaple, in the beginning of Henry the Second's reign. King John granted the Barony of Barnstaple to Henry de Traci, in the 15th of his reign; and the family seem to hare been possessed of it in the reign of Henry III. I am indebted to the friendship of the present Dean of Exeter for the above observations, which ascertain the monument in question.
"I shall digress no farther on this subject than to observe of sir William de Traci, that four years after the murder of Becket he had the title of Steward, i. e. Justice of Normandy, which he held but two years. He was in arms against
King John in the last year of his reign, and his estate was confiscated; but on his return to his allegiance, 2 Henry III. it was restored He was living, 7 Henry III. (Dugd. Bar. i. 622.) consequently died about or after 1223, having survived Becket upwards of 57 years."#
Another slight mention is made of Tracy in p. 26. In describing Becket's shrine he quotes Stowe to this effect,— "The shrine of Thomas a Becket (says Stowe) was builded about a man's height, all of stone, then upward of timber plain, within which was a chest of iron, containing the bones of Thomas Beckett, skull and all, with the wound of his death, and the piece cut out of his scull laid in the same wound." Gough remarks :—" He should have added the point of Sir William Traci, the fourth assassin's sword, which broke off against the pavement, after cutting off his scull, so that the brains came out.
'In thulke stede the verthe smot, y' the other adde er ydo,
(Robert of Glouces. p. 476.)
This long extract, Mr. Editor, has, I confess, made me rather casuistical on the subject of Tracy's tomb. I shall, however, search some of the old chroniclers and see if they throw any light upon the biography of our knight. Hume mentions Tracy, and his three companions, but is perfectly silent with respect to the cutting off the top of the churchman's skull. His words are, "they followed him thither, attacked him before the altar, and having cloven his head with many blows, retired without meeting any opposition." Should you, in the mean time, insert this, you will shortly hear again from
Your obedient servant,
R. A. R.
Distrusting his own judgment on the subject of the preceding letter, the editor laid it before a gentleman whose erudition lie could rely on for the accuracy of any opinion he might be pleased to express, and who obligingly writes as follows :—
The Tomb At Morthoe.
R. A. R.'s letter, submitted to me through the kindness of Mr. Hone, certainly conveys much interesting miscellaneous information, although it proves nothing, and leaves the question, of who is actually the tenant of this tomb, pretty much where he finds it. In my humble opinion, the circumstance of technical heraldic bearings, and those moreovei quartered, being found upon it, completely negatives the idea of its being the tomb of Becket's assassin. It is well known that the first English subject who ever bore arms quarterly is Hastings, earl of Pembroke, who died in the reign of Edward III. and is buried inWestminster abbey.
Family arms seem not to have been continuedly adopted, till towards the time of Edward I.
The deaih of Beckct appears to have been sincerely deplored by Henry II., inasmuch as the pope and his adherents visited the sin of the four knights upon the king, and upbraided him with his subjects by ecclesiastical fulminations. He endeavoured to make peace with the church by submitting to a public whipping. A late biographer records his meanness in the following sentences:
In 1174 king Henry went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of the late archbishop Becket, with the fame of whose miracles the whole realm was now filled, and whom the pope, by a bull dated in March the year before, had declared a saint and a martyr, appointing an anniversary festival to be kept on the day of his death, in order (says the bull) that, being continually applied to by the prayers of the faithful, he should intercede with God for the clergy and people of England.
Henry, therefore, desiring to obtain for himself this intercession, or to make others believe that the wrath of an enemy, to whom it was supposed that such power was given, might be thus averted from him, thought it necessary to visit the shrine of this new-created saint; and, as soon as he came within sight of the tower of Canterbury cathedral, (July 10,) at the distance of three miles, descended from his horse, and walked thither barefoot, over a road that was full of rough and sharp stones, which so wounded his feet that in many places thoy were stained with his blood.
When he got to the tomb, which was then in the crypt (or under-croft) of the church, he threw himself prostrate before it, and remained, for some time, in fervent prayer; during which, by hh orders, the bishop of London, in his name, declared to the people, that " he had neither commanded, nor advised, nor by any artifice contrived the death of Becket, for the truth of which, he appealed, in the most solemn manner, to the testimony of God; but, as the murderers of that prelate had taken occasion from his words, too inconsiderately spoken, to commit this offence, he voluntarily thus submitted nimself to the discipline of the church."
After this he was scourged, at his own request and command, by all the monks of the convent, assembled for that purpose, from every one of whom, and from several bishops and abbots there present, he received three or four stripes.
This sharp penance bring done, he
returned to his prayers before the tomb, which he continued all that day, and all the next night, not even suffering a carpet to be spread beneath him, but kneeling on the hard pavement.
Early in the morning he went round all the altars of the church, and paid his devotions to the bodies of the saints there interred; which having performed, he came back to Becket's tomb, where he staid till the hour when mass was said in the church, at which he assisted.
During all this time he had taken no kind of food; and, except when he gave his naked body to be whipped, was clad in sackcloth. Before his departure, (that he might fully complete the expiation of his sin, according to the notions of the church of Home,) he assigned a revenue of forty pounds a year, to keep lights always burning in honour of Becket about his tomb. The next evening he reached London, where he found it necessary to be blooded, and rest some days.*
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature . . 62 • 00.
July 8, 1533, Ariosto, the celebrated Italian poet, died at Ferrara: he was born in 1474, at the castle of Reggio in Lombardy.
In high summer, persons accustomed to Jive "well1' should diminish the usual quantity of their viands and fluids: wine should be taken very sparingly, and spirituous liquors seldom. Habits of indulgence at this period of the year fill many graves.
It may not be amiss to cite
A Curiovs Advertisement, From the Bahama Gazette, June 30,1795.
WHEREAS the subscriber, through the pernicious habit of drinking, has greatly hurt himself in purse and person, and rendered himself odious to all his acquaintance, and finding there is no possibility of breaking off from the said
* Lord l.yitlcton.
practice, but through-the impossibility to find the liquor; he therefore begs and prays that no persons will sell him, for money or on trust, any sort of spirituous liquors, as he will not in future pay it, but will prosecute any one for an action of damage against the temporal and eternal interests of the public's humble, serious, and sober servant,
Witness William Andrews.
the most public streets of Oldham, in Lancashire, during the open day. It is presumed that, as the brooks from which these animals were wont to be supplied with drink had been dried up from the long-continued drought, they were obliged to throw themselves upon the mercy and protection of their " good neighbours in the town."•
At the commencement of July, 1826, hedgehogs were seen wandering along
In this month we have a host of whizzing insects to prevent our lassitude becoming downright laziness. From the kind of resentment they excite, we may pretty well imagine the temper and disposition of the persons they provoke.
• Manchester Gazette.
The Drowning Fly.
In yonder glass behold a drowning fly!
Smile not, spectators, at this humble deed;
Naturalists Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 63 • 07.
Every year on the ninth of July, the eve of the great fair of Wolverhampton, there was formerly a procession of men in antique armour, preceded by musicians playing
the fair tune, and followed by the steward of the deanry manor, the peace officers, and many of the principal inhabitant;. Tradition says, the ceremony originated when Wolverhampton was a great emporium of wool, and resorted to by merchants of the staple from all parts of England. The necessity of an armed force to keep peace and order during the fair, (which is said to have lasted fourteen days, but the charter says only eight,) is not improbable. This custom of walking the fair, as it was called, with the armed procession, &c. was first omitted about the year 1789.*
Mean Temperature ... 63 ■ 87.
On the tenth of July, 1740, died sir Charles Crispe, hurt, of Oxfordshire. He was great-grandson of sir Nicholas Crispe, bart. who spent lOO.OOOi. in the service of king Charles I. and II. He took out a commission of array for the city of London, for which the parliament offered 1000/. reward to bring him alive or dead. The city of London sent him commissioner to Breda, to invite over king Charles II. who took him in his arms, and kissed him, and said, "Surely the city has a mind highly to oblige me, by sending over my father's old friend to invite me." He was the first who settled a trade to the coast of Africa.*
On the eleventh of July, 180«, gene ml Hamilton of New-York was killed in a duel by colonel Burr, the vice-president of the United States.
To Men of Honour.
Whereas certain persons who contemn the obligations of religion, are nevertheless mindful of the law of the land: And whereas it is supposed by some of such persons, that parties contemplating to fight a duel ana bound over before a magistrate to keep the peace, may, notwithstanding, fight such duel in foreign parts: Be It Known, that the law which extends protection to all its subjects, can also punish them for breach of duty, and that, therefore, offences by duelling beyond sea, are indictable and punishable in manner and form, the same as if such duels were fought within the United kingdom.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 62 • 85.
After this warning against a prevailing offence, we may become acquainted with the character of an unoffending individual, through the pen of a respected friend to this work.
If I forget thee, worthy old Tam Hogg,
May I forget that ever knives were cheap:—
Slow as a snail, and croaking like a frog :—
Peripatetic, stoic, " cynic dog,"
If from my memory perish thee, or thine,
Or shave with razor that has chipped a log!
For in thy uncouth tabernacle dwelt
Religion thy unstooping heart could melt,
Nor scorned the muse to sojourn at thy door;
What pain, toil, poverty didst thou endure,
Reckless of earth so heaven might find thee pure!
In rny native village of Heanor, in Derbyshire, some sixteen or seventeen years ago, there appeared a singular character, whose arrival excited a sanation.
and became an epoch in its history. Some boys who had been strolling to a distance brought an account that a little man, with a barrow as large as a house, was coming along the lane, at " a snail's gallop." Forth sallied a troop of gazers,
who found a small, thick-set, round-faced man, in an old, red, soldier's jacket, and cocked hat, sitting on the handle of his barrow, which was built and roofed after the manner of a caravan; and was a storehouse of some kind of merchandise, what they yet knew not. lie sat very quietly as they came round him, and returned their greetings in a way short and dry, and which became markedly testy and impatient, as they crowded more closely, and began to ask questions. "Not too fast, my masters; not too fast! my first answer can"t overtake your twentieth question." At length he rose, and, by the aid of a strong strap passed over his shoulders, heaved up the handles of his barrow, and placing his head against it, like a tortoise under a stone, proceeded at a toilsome rate of some few hundred yards per hour. This specimen of patient endurance amazed the villagers. A brawny labourer would have thought it a severe toil to wheel it a mile; yet this singular being, outdoing the phlegmatic perseverance of an ass, casting Job himself in the background for patience, from league to league, from county to county, and from year to year, urged on his ponderous vehicle with almost imperceptible progression.
It was soon found that he was not more singular in appearance, than eccentric in mind. A villager, thinking to do him a kindness, offered to wheel his barrow, but what was the surprise of the gazers to see him present the man payment when he had moved it a considerable way, and on its being refused, to behold him quietly raise the barrow, turn it round, and wheel it back to the identical spot whence the villager set out
On reaching the hamlet, he tooV up his quarters in a stable, and opened his one-wheeled caravan, displaying a good assortment of cutlery ware. It was there I first saw him, and was struck with his grave and uncomplying air, more like that of a beadle stationed to keep off intruders, than of a solicitous vender of ivarcs. He was standing with a pair of pliers, twisting wire into scissor-chains; keeping, at the same time, a shrewd eye upon the goods. The prices were so wonderfully low that it was whispered the articles could not be good, or they were stolen: yet I did not perceive that either idea was sufficient to dissuade the people from buying, or from attempting to get them still lower. Then it was
that his character and temper showed themselves. He laid aside the goods attempted to be chaffered for, saying,— "You shall not have them at all, I tell no lies about them nor shall you-" In fact his goods were goods. So much so, that many of them are in use in the tillage to this day: he desired only such a profit as would supply the necessities of one who never slept in a bed, never approached a fire for the sake of its warmth, nor ever indulged in any luxury. His greatest trial appeared to be to bear with the sordid spirit of the world. When this did not cross him he became smiling, communicative, and, strange as it may seem, exceedingly intelligent. I well recollect my boyish astonishment when he quoted to me maxims of Plato and Seneca, and when I heard him pouriDg out abundance of anecdote from the best sources. He had a real spirit of kindliness in him, though the most immediately striking features of his mind were shrewdness and rigid notions of truth; which, as he practised it himself, he seemed to expect from the whole world. He had a tame hedgehog which partook his fare, slept in a better nesl than himself, and was evidently a source of affectiouate enjoyment. He was fond of children; but he had a stern spirit of independence which made him refuse gifts and favours, unless permitted to make some return. My mother frequently sent him warm messes in the wintry weather, and he brought her a scissor-chain and a candlestick of brass-wire. He was a writer of anagrams, acrostics, and so forth; and one epitaph written for one of his bystanders was,—
"Too bad for heaven, too good for hell. So where he's gone 1 cannot tell."
He always slept with his barrow chained to his leg; and on Sundays kept himself totally shut up, except during service time, standing the day through, reading his bible.
When his character was known, he grew to be a general favourite. His stable became a sort of school, where he taught, to a constant audience, more useful know ledge than has emanated from many a philosopher, modern or antique. The good-will he excited evidently pleased the old man; he came agaii, and again, till at length years rolled avay without his reappearance, and hf wa.' considered as dead. But not so. For ten ot eleven