Waugh: Sketches of Lancashire Life (2)

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THE COTTAGE OF TIM BOBBIN,
AND THE VILLAGE OF MILNROW
 
(con't.)


    After spending a few days in the town, I set out to Milnrow again one fine afternoon.  The road leads by the "Railway Inn," near the station. The hay was mostly gathered in, but the smell of it still lingered on the meadows, and perfumed the wind, which sung a low melody among the leaves of the hedges.  Along the vale of the Roch, to the left, lay a succession of manufacturing villages, with innumerable mills, collieries, farmsteads, mansions, and cottages, clustering in the valley, and running up into the hills in all directions, from Rochdale to Littleborough, a distance of three miles.  As I went on I was reminded of "wimberry time," by meeting knots of flaxen-headed lads and lasses from the moors, with their baskets filled, and months all stained with the juice of that delicious moorland fruit.  There are many pleasant customs in vogue here at this season.  The country-folk generally know something of local botany, and gather in a stock of medicinal herbs to dry, for use throughout the year.  There is still some "spo'in'" at the mineral springs in the hills.  Whether these springs are really remarkable for peculiar mineral virtues, or what these peculiar virtues are, I am not prepared to say; but it is certain that many of the inhabitants of this district firmly believe in their medicinal qualities, and, at set seasons of the year, go forth to visit these springs, in jovial companies, to drink "spo wayter."  Some go with great faith in the virtues of the water, and, having drunk well of it, they will sometimes fill a bottle with it, and ramble back to their houses, gathering on their way edible herbs, such as "payshun docks," and "green-sauce," or "a burn o' nettles," to put in their broth, and, of which, they also make a wholesome "yarb-puddin'," mixed with meal; or they scour the hill-sides in search of "mountain flax," a "capital garb for a cowd;" and for the herb called "tormental," which, I have heard them say, grows oftenest "abeawt th' edge o' th' singing layrock neest;" or they will call upon some country botanist, to beg a handful of "Solomon's seal," to "cure black e'en wi'."  But some go to these springs mainly for the sake of a pleasant stroll, and a quiet fuddle; for they carry to the water a supply of strong infusions, which, when taken with it, in sufficient quantities, work considerable changes upon the constitution for the time.  One of the most noted of these "spoken" haunts is "Blue Pots Spring," situated upon a lone and lofty moorland, at the head of a green glen, called "Long Clough," about three miles from the pretty village of Littleborough.  The ancient Lancashire festival of "Rushbearing," and the hay harvest, fall together about the month of August, and make it a pleasant time of the year to the folk of the neighbourhood.  At about a mile on the road to Milnrow, the highway passes close by a green dingle, called "Th' Gentlewoman's Nook," which is someway connected with the unfortunate fate of a lady, once belonging to an influential family, near Milnrow.  Some of the country people yet believe that the place is haunted, and, when forced to pass it after dark has come on, steal fearfully and hastily by.

    About a mile on the road stands Belfield Hall, on the site of an ancient house, formerly belonging to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.  It is a large old building, belonging to the Townley family. The estate has been much improved by its present occupant, and makes a pleasant picture in the eye from the top of a dinge in the road, at the foot of which a by-path leads up to the old village of Newbold, on the brow of a green bank, at the right-hand side of the highway.  I stood there a minute, and tried to plant again the old woods, that must have been thick there, when the squirrel leaped from tree to tree, from Castleton Hall to Buckley Wood.  I was trying to shape in imagination what the place looked like in the old time, when the first rude hall was built upon the spot, and the country around was a lonesome and wild tract, shrouded by primeval trees, when a special train went snorting out by the back of the hall, and shivered my delicate endeavour to atoms.  I sighed involuntarily, but bethinking me how imagination clothes all we are leaving behind us in a drapery that veils many of its rough realities, I went my way, thankful for things as they are.  A little further on, Fir Grove bridge crosses the Rochdale canal, and commands a better view of the surrounding country.  I rested here a little while, and looked back upon the spot which is for ever dear to my remembrance.  The vale of the Roch lay smiling before me, and the wide-stretching circle of dark hills closed in the landscape, on all sides, except the south-west.  Two weavers were lounging on the bridge, bareheaded, and in their working gear, with stocking-legs drawn on their arms.  They had come out of the looms to spend their "baggin time'' in the open air, and were humming one of their favourite songs:


"Hey Hal o' Nabs, an Sam, an Sue,
     Hey Jonathan, art thea theer too,
 We're o' alike, there's naut to do,
     So bring a quart afore uz,
 Aw're at Tinker's gardens yester noon,
     An' what aw see'd aw'll tell yo soon,
 In a bran new sung; it's to th' owd tune,
     Yo'st ha't iv yo'n joyn choruz.
                                 Fal, lal, de ral."


At the door of the Fir Grove ale-house, a lot of raw-boned young fellows were talking with rude emphasis about the exploits of a fighting-cock of great local renown, known by the bland soubriquet of "Crash-Bwons."  The theme was exciting, and in the course of it they gesticulated with great vehemence, and, in their own phrase, "swore like horse-swappers."  Some were colliers, and sat on the ground, in that peculiar squat, with the knees up to a level with the chin, which is a favourite resting-attitude with them.  At slack times they like to sit thus by the road side, and exchange cracks over a quart of ale, amusing themselves meanwhile by trying the wit and temper of every passer by.  Nothing goes by without comment of some sort.  These humorous road-side commentators are, generally, the roughest country lads of the neighbourhood, who have no dislike to anybody, who will accommodate them with a tough battle; for they, like the better regulated portion of the inhabitants of the district, are hardy, bold, and independent; and, while their manners are open and blunt, their training and amusements are generally very rough.

    I was now approaching Milnrow, and here and there a tenter-field ribbed the landscape with lines of woollen webs, hung upon the hooks to dry.  Severe laws were anciently enacted for the protection of goods thus necessarily exposed.  Depredations on such property were punished after the manner of that savage old "Maiden" with the thin lip, who stood so long on the "Gibbet Hill," at Halifax, kissing evil-doers out of the world.  Much of the famous Rochdale flannel is still woven by the country people here, in the old-fashioned, independent way, at their own homes, as the traveller will see by "stretchers," which are used for drying their warps upon, so frequently standing at the doors of the roomy dwelling-houses near the road.  From the head of the brow which leads down into the village, Milnrow chapel is full in view on a green hill-side to the left, overlooking the centre of the busy little hamlet.  It is a bald-looking building from the distance, having more the appearance of a little square stone factory than a church.  Lower down the same green eminence, which slopes to the edge of the pretty little river Beal, stands the pleasant and tasteful, but modest, stone-built residence of the incumbent of Milnrow, the Rev. Francis Robert Raines, honorary canon of Manchester, a notable archæologist and historian; and a gentleman, much beloved by the people of the locality.

    There are some old people still living in Milnrow, who were taught to read and write, and "do sums" in Tim Bobbin's school; yet, the majority of the inhabitants seem unacquainted with his real residence.  I had myself been misled respecting it; but having obtained correct information, and a reference from a friend in Rochdale to an old relative of his who lived in the veritable cottage of renowned Tim, I set about inquiring for him.  As I entered the village, I met a sturdy, good-looking woman, with a chocolate-coloured silk kerchief tied over her snowy cap, in that graceful way which is know all over the country-side as the "Mildro Bonnet."  She stopt me and said, "Meastur, hea fur han yo com'd?"  "From Rochdale."  "Han yo sin aught ov o felley wi breechuz on, un rayther forrud, oppo th' gate, between an th' Fir Grove?"  I told her I had not; and I then inquired of her for Scholefield that lived in Tim Bobbin's cottage.  She reckoned up all the people she knew of that name, but none of them answering the description, I went on my way.  I next asked a tall woollen-weaver, who was striding up the street with his shuttle to the mending.  Scratching his head, and looking thoughtfully round among the houses, he said, "Scwofil?  Aw know no Scwofils, but thooze ut th' Tim Bobbin aleheawse; yodd'n bettur ash theer."  Stepping over to the Tim Bobbin inn, Mrs. Scholefield described to me the situation of Tim's cottage, near the bridge.  Retracing my steps towards the place, I went into the house of an old acquaintance of my childhood.  On the strength of a dim remembrance of my features, he invited me to sit down and share the meal just made ready for the family.  "Come, poo a cheer up," said he, " an' need no moor lathein'." [8]  After we had finished, he said, "Neaw, win yo have a reech o' bacco?  Mally, reytch us some chlyen pipes, an th' pot eot o'th' nook.  Let's see, hoo's lad are yo, sen yo; for aw welly forgetten, bith' mass."  After a fruitless attempt at enlightening him thereon in ordinary town-English, I took to the dialect, and in the country fashion described my genealogy, on the mother's side.  I was instantly comprehended; for he stopt me short with, "Whau then, aw'll be sunken iv yo are not gron'son to 'Billy, wi' th' pipes, at th' Biggins.'  "Yo han it neaw," said I.  "Eh," replied he, "aw knowed him as weel as aw knew my own feythur!  He're a fyrfo chap for music, an' sich like; an' he used to letter grave-stones, an' do mason-wark.  Eh, aw've bin to mony a orrytory wi' Owd Billy.  Whau—let's see—Owd Wesley preytched at his heawse, i' Wardle fowd once't. [9]  An' han yo some relations i' th' Mildro, then?"  I told him my errand, and inquired for Scholefield, who lived in Tim Bobbin's cottage.  As he pondered, and turned the name over in his mind, one of his lads shouted out, "By th' mon, feythur, he mhyens 'Owd Mahogany.'  Aw think he's code Scwofil, an' he lives i' th' garden at th' bothom o' th' bonk, by th' waytur side."  It was generally agreed that this was the place, so I parted with my friends and went towards it.  The old man came out without his hat, a short distance, to set me right.  After bidding me a hearty "good neet," he turned round as he walked away, and shouted out, "Neaw ta care yo coan th' next time yo com'n thiz gate, an' wi'n have a gradely do."

    About twenty yards from the west end of the little stone bridge that spans the river, a lane leads between the ends of the dwelling houses down to the water side.  There, still sweetly secluded, stands the quaint, substantial cottage of John Collier, in its old garden by the edge of the Beal, which, flowing through the fields in front, towards the cottage, is there dammed up into a reservoir for the use of the mill close by, and then tumbling over in a noisy little fall under the garden hedge, goes shouting and frolicking along the north-east side of it, over water-worn rocks, and under the bridge, till the cadence dies away in a low murmur beyond, where the bed of the stream gets smoother.  Lifting the latch, I walked through the garden to the cottage, where I found "Owd Mahogany" and his maiden sister, two plain, clean, substantial working people, who were sitting in the low-roofed, but otherwise roomy apartment in front, used as a kitchen.  They entered heartily into the purpose of my visit, and showed me everything about the house with a genial pride.  What made the matter more interesting was the fact, that "Owd Mahogany" had been, when a lad, a pupil of Collier's.  The house was built expressly for Tim, by his father-in-law; and the uncommon thickness of the walls, the number and arrangement of the rooms, and the remains of a fine old oak staircase, showed that more than usual care and expense had been bestowed upon it.  As we went through the rooms on the ground-floor, my ancient chaperone gave me a good deal of anecdote connected with each.  Pointing to a clean, cold, whitewashed cell, with a great flag table in it, and a grid window at one end, he said, "This wur his buttery, wheer he kept pullen, [10] an gam, an sich like; for their no men i' Rachdaw parish livt betthur nor Owd Tim, nor moor like a gentleman; nor one at had moor friends, gentle an simple.  Th' Teawnlo's took'n to him fyrfully, an thir'n olez other comin' to see him, or sendin' him presents o' some mak'."  He next showed me the parlour where he used to write and receive company.  A little oblong room, low in the roof, and dimly lighted by a small window from the garden.  Tim used to keep this retiring sanctum tastefully adorned with the flowers of each season, and one might have eaten his dinner off the floor in his time.  In the garden he pointed out the corner where Tim had a roomy green arbor, with a smooth stone table in the middle, on which lay his books, his flute, or his meals, as he was in the mood.  He would stretch himself out here, and muse for hours together.  The lads used to bring their tasks from the school behind the house, to this arbor sometimes, for Tim to examine.  He had a green shaded walk from the school into his garden.  When in the school, or about the house, he wore a silk velvet skull cap.  The famous radical, William Cobbett, used to wear a similar one, occasionally; and I have heard those who have seen both in this trim, say that the likeness of the two men was then singularly striking.  "Owed Mahogany" having now shown and told me many interesting things respecting Tim's house and habits, entered into a hearty eulogy upon his character as a man and a schoolmaster.  "He're a fine, straight forrud mon, wi no maffle abeawt him, for o' his quare, cranky ways."  As an author, he thought him "Th' fin'st writer at Englan bred, at that time o' th' day."  Of his caligraphy, too, he seemed particularly proud, for he declared that "Tim could write a clear print hond, as smo as smithy smudge."  He finished by sayin, that he saw him carried out of the door-way we were standing in, to his grave.

    At the edge of dark, I bade adieu to Tim's cottage, and the comfortable old couple that live in it.  As I looked back from the garden-gate, the house wore a plaintive aspect, in my imagination, as if it was thinking of its fine old tenant.  Having heard that there was something uncommon to be learnt of him at the Tim Bobbin Inn, I went there again.  It is the largest and most respectable public-house in the village, kept in a fine state of homely comfort by a motherly old widow.  I found that she could tell me something of the quaint schoolmaster and his wife "Meary," who, as she said, "helped to bring her into th' world."  She brought out a folio volume of engravings from designs by Tim, with many pieces of prose and verse of his, in engraved fac-simile of his hand-writing.  The book was bound in dark morocco, with the author's name on the side, in gold.  I turned it over with pleasure, for there were things in it not found in many editions of his works.  The landlady shows this book with some pride to Tim's admirers; by some she had been offered large sums of money for it; and once a party of curious visitors had well-nigh carried it off by stealth in their carriage, after making fruitless offers of purchase, when the plan was detected in time, and the treasure restored to its proper custody.  I read in it one of his addresses to his subscribers, in which he says of himself,—"He's Lancashire born; and by the by, all his acquaintance agree, his wife not excepted, that he's an odd-fellow.  *      *      In the reign of Queen Anne he was a boy, and one of the nine children of a poor curate in Lancashire, whose stipend never amounted to thirty pounds a-year, and consequently the family must feel the iron teeth of penury with a witness.  These indeed were sometimes blunted by the charitable disposition of the good rector (the Rev. Mr. H――, of W――n): so this T. B. lived as some other boys did, content with water-pottage, buttermilk, and jannock, till he was between thirteen and fourteen years of age, when Providence began to smile on him in his advancement to a pair of Dutch looms, when he met with treacle to his pottage, and sometimes a little in his buttermilk, or spread on his jannock.  However, the reflections of his father's circumstances (which now and then start up and still edge his teeth) make him believe that Pluralists are no good Christians; that he who will accept of two or more places of one hundred a-year, would not say I have enough, though he was Pope Clement, Urban, or Boniface,—could affirm himself infallible, and offer his toe to kings: that the unequal distribution of Church emoluments is as great a grievance in the ecclesiastic, as undeserved pensions and places are in the state; both of which, he presumes to prophesy, will prove canker-worms at the roots of those succulent plants, and in a few years cause leaf and branch to shrivel up, and dry them to tinder."  The spirit of this passage seems the natural growth, in such a mind as his, of the curriculum of study in the hard college of Tim's early days.  In the thrifty home of the poor Lancashire curate, though harrowed by "the iron teeth of penury," Tim inherited riches that world's wealth cannot buy.  Under the tuition of a good old father, who could study his reflective and susceptible mind and teach him many excellent things, together with that hard struggle to keep the wolf from the door of his childhood which pressed upon his thoughts, he grew up contemplative, self-reliant, and manly, on oatmeal porridge, and jannock, with a little treacle for a God-send.  His feelings were deepened, and his natural love of independence strengthened there, with that hatred of all kinds of injustice, which flashes through the rich humour and genial kindness of his nature,—for nature was strong in him, and he relished her realities.  Poverty is not pleasant, yet the world has more to thank poverty for than it dreams of.  With honourable pride he fought his way to a pair of Dutch looms, where he learned to win his jannock and treacle by honest weaving.  Subsequently he endeavoured to support himself honourably, by pursuits no less useful, but more congenial to the bias of his faculties; but, to the last, his heart's desire was less to live in external plenty and precedence among men, than to live conscientiously, in the sweet relations of honourable independence in the world.  The feeling was strong in him, and gives dignity to his character.  As a politician, John Collier was considerably ahead of the time he lived in, and especially of the simple, slow-minded race of people dwelling, then, in that remote eastern nook of Lancashire, at the foot of Blackstone Edge.  Among such people, and in such a time, he spoke and wrote things, which few men dared to write and speak.  He spoke, too, in a way which was as independent and pithy as it was quaintly-expressive.  His words, like his actions, stood upon their own feet, and looked up.  Perhaps, if he had been a man of a drier nature,—of less genial and attractive genius than he was,—he might have had to suffer more for the enunciation of truths, and the recognition of principles which were unfashionable in those days.  But Collier was not only a man of considerable valour and insight, with a manly mind and temper, but he was also genial and humorous, as he was earnest and honest.  He was an eminently human-hearted man, who abhorred all kinds of cant and seeming.  His life was a greater honour to him even than his quaint pencil, or his pen; and the memory of his sayings and doings will be long and affectionately cherished, at least, by Lancashire men.


"Eh!  Whoo-who-whoo!  What wofo wark!
 He's laft um aw, to lie i' th' dark."


The following brief memoir, written by his friend and patron, Richard Townley, Esq., of Belfield Hall, near Milnrow, for insertion in Dr. Aiken's "History of the Environs of Manchester," contains the best and completest account of his life and character, which has yet appeared:—


    "Mr. JOHN COLLIER, alias TIM BOBBIN, was born near Warrington, in Lancashire; his father, a clergyman of the Established Church, had a small curacy, and for several years taught a school.  With the joint income of those, he managed so as to maintain a wife and several children decently, and also to give them a tolerable share of useful learning, until a dreadful calamity befel him, about his fortieth year—the total loss of sight.  His former intentions of bringing up his son, John, of whose abilities he had conceived a favourable opinion, to the church, were then over, and be placed him out an apprentice to a Dutch loom-weaver, at which business he worked more than a year; but such a sedentary employment not at all according with his volatile spirits and eccentric genius, he prevailed upon his master to release him from the remainder of his servitude.  Though then very young, he soon commenced itinerant schoolmaster, going about the country from one small town to another, to teach reading, writing, and accounts; and generally having a night-school (as well as a day one), for the sake of those whose necessary employments would not allow their attendance at the usual school hours.

    "In one of his adjournments to the small but populous town of Oldham, he had an intimation that the Rev. Mr. Pearson, curate and schoolmaster, of Milnrow, near Rochdale, wanted an assistant in the school.  To that gentleman he applied, and after a short examination, was taken in by him to the school, and he divided his salary, twenty pounds a year, with him.  This Tim considered as a material advance in the world, as he still could have a night-school, which answered very well in that populous neighbourhood, and was considered by Tim, too, as a state of independency; a favourite idea, ever afterwards, with his high spirits.  Mr. Pearson, not very long afterwards, falling a martyr to the gout, my honoured father gave Mr. Collier the school, which not only made him happy in the thought of being more independent, but made him consider himself as a rich man.

    "Having now more leisure hours by dropping his night-school there, he continued to teach at Oldham, and some other places, during the vacations of Whitsuntide and Christmas, he began to instruct himself in music and drawing, and soon was such a proficient in both as to be able to instruct others very well in those amusing arts.

    "The hautboy and common flute were his chief instruments, and upon the former he very much excelled; the fine modulations that have since been acquired, or introduced upon that noble instrument, being then unknown in England.  He drew landscapes in good taste, understanding the rules of perspective, and attempted some heads in profile, with very decent success; but it did not hit his humour, for I have heard him say, when urged to go on in that line, that 'drawing heads and faces was as dry and insipid as leading a life without frolic and fun, unless he was allowed to steal in some leers of comic humour, or to give them a good dash of the caricature.'  Very early in life he discovered some poetic talents, or rather an easy habit for humorous rhyme, by several anonymous squibs he sent about in ridicule of some notoriously absurd, or eccentric characters; these were fathered upon him very justly, which created him some enemies, but more friends.  I had once in my possession some humorous relations in tolerable rhyme, of his own frolic and fun with persons he met with, of the like description, in his hours of festive humour, which was sure to take place when released for any time from school duty, and not too much engaged in his lucrative employment of painting.  The first regular poetic composition which he published, was 'The Blackbird,' containing some spirited ridicule upon a Lancashire Justice, more renowned for political zeal and ill-timed loyalty than good sense and discretion.  In point of easy, regular versification, perhaps this was his best specimen, and it also exhibited some strokes of humour.

    "About this period of life he fell seriously in love with a handsome young woman, a daughter of Mr. Clay, of Flockton, near Huddersfield, and soon after took her unto him for a wife; or, as he used to style her, his crooked rib, who, in proper time, increased his family, and proved to be a virtuous, discreet, sensible, and prudent woman, a good wife, and an excellent mother.  His family continuing to increase nearly every year, the hautboy, flute, and amusing pencil were pretty much discarded, and the brush and pallet taken up seriously.  He was chiefly engaged for some time in painting altar-pieces for chapels and signs for publicans, which pretty well rewarded the labours of his vacant hours from school attendance; but after some time, family expenses increasing more with his growing family, he devised, or luckily hit upon, a more lucrative employment for his leisure hours:—this was copying Dame Nature in some of her humorous performances, and grotesque sportings with the human face (especially where the visage had the greatest share in those sportings), into which his pencil contrived to throw some pointed features of grotesque humour, such as were best adapted to excite risibility; as long as such strange objects had the of novelty to recommend them.  These pieces he worked off with uncommon celerity; a single portrait in the leisure hours of two days, at least, and a group of three or four, in a week.  As soon as finished, he was wont to carry them to the first-rate inns at Rochdale and Littleborough, in the great road to Yorkshire, with the lowest prices fixed upon them, the inn-keepers willingly becoming Tim's agents.  The droll humour, as well as singularity of style of those pieces, procured him a most ready sale, from riders out, and travellers of other descriptions, who had heard of Tim's character.  These whimsical productions soon began to be in such general repute, that he had large orders for them, especially from merchants in Liverpool, who sent them, upon speculation, into the West Indies and America.  He used, at that time, to say, that 'if Providence had ever meant him to be a rich man, that would have been the proper time, especially if she had kindly bestowed upon him two pair of hands instead of one;' but when cash came in readily, it was sure to go merrily: a cheerful glass with a joyous companion was so much in unison with his own disposition, that a temptation of that kind could never be resisted by poor Tim; so the season to grow rich never arrived, but Tim remained poor Tim to the end of the chapter.

    "Collier had been for many years collecting, not only from the rustics in his own neighbourhood, but also wherever he made excursions, all the awkward, vulgar, obsolete words, and local expressions, which ever occurred to him in conversation amongst the lower classes.  A very retentive memory brought them safe back for insertion in his vocabulary, or glossary, and from thence he formed and executed the plan of his 'Lancashire Dialect,' which he exhibited to public cognizance in the 'Adventures of a Lancashire Clown,' formed from some rustic sports and gambols, and also some whimsical modes of circulating fun at the expense of silly, credulous boobies amongst the then cheery gentlemen of that peculiar neighbourhood.  This publication, from its novelty, together with some real strokes of comic humour interlarded into it, took very much with the middle and lower class of people in the northern counties (and I believe everywhere in the South, too, where it had the chance of being noticed), so that a new edition was soon necessary.  This was a matter of exultation to Tim, but not of very long duration, for the rapid sale of the second edition soon brought forth two or three pirated editions, which made the honest, unsuspecting owner to exclaim with great vehemence, 'That he did not believe there was one honest printer in Lancashire;' and afterwards to lash some of the most culpable of those insidious offenders with his keen, sarcastic pen, when engaged in drawing up a preface to a future publication.  The above-named performances, with his pencil, his brush, and his pen, made Tim's name and repute for whimsical archness pretty generally known, not only within his native county, but also through the adjoining counties of Yorkshire and Cheshire: and his repute for a peculiar species of pleasantry in his hours of frolic, often induced persons of much higher rank to send for him to an inn (when in the neighbourhood of his residence), to have a personal specimen of his uncommon drollery.  Tim was seldom backward in obeying a summons to good cheer, and seldom, I believe, disappointed the expectations of his generous host, for he had a wonderful flow of spirits, with an inexhaustible fund of humour, and that, too, of a very peculiar character.

    "Blessed with a clear and masculine understanding, and a keen discernment into the humours and foibles of other, he knew how to take the best advantage of those occasional interviews in order to promote trade, as he was wont to call it, though his natural temper was very far from being of a mercenary cast; it was often rather too free and generous; more so than prudence, with respect to his family, would advise, for he would sooner have had a Lenten day or two at home, than done a shabby and mean thing abroad.

    "Amongst other persons of good fortune, who often called upon him at Milnrow, or sent for him to spend a few hours with him at Rochdale, was a Mr. Richard Hill, of Kibroid and Halifax, in Yorkshire, then one of the greatest cloth merchants, and also one of the most considerable manufacturers of baizes and shalloons in the north of England.  This gentleman was not only fond of his humorous conversation, but also had taken up an opinion that be would be highly useful to him as his head clerk, in business, from his being very ready at accounts, and writing a most beautiful small hand, in any kind of type, but especially in imitation of printed characters.  After several fruitless attempts, he at last, by offers of an extravagant salary, prevailed upon Mr. Collier to enter into articles of service for three years, certain, and to take his family to Kibroid.  After signing and sealing he called upon me to notice that he must resign the school, and to thank me for my long-continued friendship to him.  At taking leave, he, like the honest Moor:—


        'Albeit, unused to the melting mood,
 Dropped tears as fast as the Arabian trees,
 Their medicinal gum.'


And in faltering accents, entreated me not to be too hasty in filling up the vacancy in that school, where he had lived so many years contented and happy: for he had already some forebodings that he should never relish his new situation and new occupation.  I granted his request, but hoped he would soon reconcile himself to his new situation, as it promised to be so advantageous both to himself and family.  He replied, that it was for the sake of his wife and children, that he was at last induced to accept Mr. Hill's very tempting offers; no other consideration whatever could have made him give up Milnrow school, and independency.

    "About two months afterwards, some business of his master's bringing him to Rochdale market, he took that opportunity of returning by Belfield.  I instantly perceived a wonderful change in his looks: that countenance which used ever to be gay, serene, or smiling, was then covered, or disguised with a pensive, settled gloom.  On asking him how he liked his new situation at Kibroid, he replied, 'Not at all;' then, enumerating several causes for discontent, concluded with an observation, that 'he never could abide the ways of that country, for they neither kept red-letter days themselves nor allowed their servants to keep any.'  Before be left me, he passionately entreated that I would not give away the school, for he should never be happy again till he was seated in the crazy old elbow chair within his school.  I granted his request, being less anxious to fill up the vacancy, as there were two other free-schools for the same uses within the same townships, which have decent salaries annexed to them.

    "Some weeks afterwards I received a letter from Tim, that he had some hopes of getting released from his vassalage; for, that the father having found out what very high wages his son had agreed to give him, was exceedingly angry with him for being so extravagant in his allowance to a clerk; that a violent quarrel betwixt them had been the consequence; and from that circumstance he meant, at least hoped, to derive some advantage in the way of regaining his liberty, which he lingered after, and panted for, as much as any galley-slave upon earth.

    "Another letter announced, that his master perceived that he was dejected, and had lost his wonted spirits and cheerfulness, had hinted to him, that if he disliked his present situation, he should be released at the end of the year; concluding his letter with a most earnest imploring that I would not dispose of the school before that time.  By the interposition of the old gentleman, and some others, he got the agreement cancelled a considerable time before the year expired; and the evening of the day when the liberation took place, he hired a large Yorkshire cart to bring away bag and baggages by six o'clock the next morning, to his own house, at Milnrow.  When he arrived upon the west-side of Blackstone Edge, he thought himself once more a FREE MAN; and his heart was as light as a feather.  The next morning he came up to Belfield, to know if he might take possession of his school again; which being readily consented to, tears of gratitude instantly streamed down his cheeks, and such a suffusion of joy illumined his countenance, as plainly bespoke the heart being in unison with, his looks.  He then declared his unalterable resolution never more to quit the humble village of Milnrow; that it was not in the power of kings, nor their prime ministers, to make him any offers, if so disposed, that would allure him from his tottering elbow chair, from humble fare, with liberty and contentment.  A hint was thrown out that he must work hard with his pencil, his brush, and his pen, to make up the deficiency in income to his family; that he promised to do, and was as good as his promise, for he used double diligence, so that the inns at Rochdale and Littleborough were soon ornamented, more than ever, with ugly grinning old fellows, and ambling old women on broomsticks, &c., &c.

    "Tim's last literary productions, as I recollect, were 'Remarks upon the Rev. Mr. Whittaker's History of Manchester, in two parts:' the 'Remarks' will speak for themselves.  There appears rather too much seasoning and salt in some of them, mixed with a degree of acerbity for which he was rather blamed.

    "Mr. Collier died in possession of his faculties, with his mental powers but little impaired, at nearly eighty years of age, and his eyesight was not so much injured as might have been expected from such a severe use of it, during so long a space of time.  His wife died a few years before him, but he left three sons and two daughters behind him."


    In a sketch like this, it is not easy to select such examples from Collier's writings as will give an adequate idea of their manner and significance.  His inimitable story, called "Tummus and Meary," will bear no mutilation.  Of his rhymes, perhaps the best is the one called "The Blackbird."  The following extract from Tim's preface to the third edition of his works, in the form of a dialogue between the author and his book, though far from the best thing he has written, contains some very characteristic touches:—

        "Tim.  Well, boh we're had enough o' this foisty matter; let's talk o' summat elze; an furst tell me heaw thee went on eh thi last jaunt.

        "Book.  Go on!  Belaydy, aw could ha' gwon on wheantly, an' bin awhoam again wi'th' crap eh meh slop in a snift, iv id na met, at oytch nook, thoose basthartly whelps sent eawt be Stuart, Finch, an Schofield.

        "Tim.  Pooh!  I cannot meeon heaw folk harbort'nt an cutternt o'er tho; boh what thoose fause Lunnoners said'n abeawt te jump, at's new o'er-bodyt.

        "Book.  Oh, oh!  Neap aw ha't!  Yo meeo'n thoose lung-seeted folk at glooar'n a second time at books; an whooa awr fyert would rent meh jump to chatters.

        "Tim.  Reet mon, reet; that's it,—

        "Book.  Whau then, to tello true, awr breeod wi' gorse waggin'; for they took'n me mo i'th reet leet to a yure.

        "Tim.  Heaw's tat, eh Gods' num!

        "Book.  Whau, at yoad'n donned me o'thiss'n, like a meawntebank's foo, for th' wonst, to mey th' rabblement fun.

        "Tim.  Eh, law!  An did'n th' awvish shap, an th' peckl't jump pan, said'n they?

        "Book.  Aye, aye; primely i'faith!—for they glooarn't sooar at mo; turn't mo reawnd like a tayliur, when be mezzurs folk; chuckt mo under th' chin; ga' mo a honey butter-cake, an said opponly, they ne'er saigh an awkert look, a quare shap, an a peckl't jump gee better eh their live.

        "Tim.  Neaw, e'en fair fa' um, say aw!  These wur'n th' boggarts at flayd'n tho!  But aw'd olez a notion at tear'n no gonnor-yeds.

        "Book.  Gonnor-yeds!  Naw, naw, not to marry!  Bob, aw carry't mysel' meety meeverly too-to, an did as o bidd'n mo.

        "Tim.  Then theaw towd um th' tale, an said th' rimes an aw, did to?

        "Book.  Th' tale an th' rimes!  'Sflesh, aw believe eh did; boh aw know no moor on um neaw than a seawkin' pig.

        "Tim.  'Od rottle the; what says to?  Has to foryeat'n th' tayliur findin' th' urchon; an th' rimes?

        "Book.  Quite, quite; as eh hope to chieve!

        "Tim.  Neaw e'en the dule steawnd to, say aw!  What a fuss mun aw have to teytch um tho again!

        "Book.  Come, come; dunna fly up in a frap; a body conno carry oytch mander o' think eh their nob.

        "Tim.  Whau boh, mind neaw, theaw gawmbin' tyke, at to can tell th' tale an say th' rimes be rot tightly.

        "Book.  'Fear me na,' said Doton; begin.

        "Tim.  A tayliur, eh Crummil's time, wur thrunk pooin' turmits in his pingot, an fund an urchon i'th hadloont reean. [11]  He glendurt at't lung, boh could may nowt on't.  He whoav't hi whisket o'ert, runs whoam, an tells his neighbours he thowt in his guts at he'd fund a think at God ne'er made eawt, for it'd nother yed nor tale, nor hont nor hough, nor midst nor eend!  Loath t' believe this, hauve a dozen on um would gu t' see iv they couldn' may shift t' gawm it; boh it capt um aw; for they newer a one on um e'er saigh th' like afore.  Then theyd'n a keawneil, an th' eend on't wur at teyd'n fotch a lawm, fause owd felly, het [12] an elder, at could tell oytch think,—for they look'nt on him as th' hamil-scoance, an thowt him fuller o' lest than a glow-worm's a—se.  When they're towed him th' case, he stroke't his beeart; sowght; an order't th' wheelbarrow wi' spon-new trindle t' be fotcht.  'Twur dun; an they beawln't him away to th' urchon in a crack.  He glooart at't a good while; dried his beeart deawn, an wawtud it o'er with his crutch.  'Wheel me abeawt again, o'th tother side,' said he, 'for it sturs, an by that, it should be wick.'  Then he dons his spectackles, stare't at't again, an sowghin', said, 'Breether, its summat: boh feyther Adam nother did, nor could kersun it.  Wheel mo whoam again!'

        "Book.  Aw remember it neaw, weel enough: boh iv these viewers could gawm it oytch body couldna; for aw find neaw at yo compare'n me to an urchon, ut has nother yed nor tale; 'sflesh, is not it like running mo deawn, an a bit to bobbersome.

        "Tim.  Naw, naw, not it; for a meeny o' folk would gawm th' rimes, boh very lite would underston th' tayliur an his urchon.

        "Book.  Th' rimes;—hum,—lemme see.  'Sblid, aw foryeat'n thoose, too, aw deawt!

        "Tim.  Whoo-who whoo!  What a dozening jobberknow art teaw!

        "Book.  Good lorjus o' me; a body conna do moor thin they con, con they?  Bon iv in teytch mo again, an aw foryeat um again, e'en raddle meh hoyd tightly, say aw.

        "Tim.  Mind te hits, then!

"Some write to show their wit and parts,
 Some show you whig, some tory hearts,
 Some flatter knaves, some fops, some fools,
 And some are ministerial tools.


        "Book.  Eigh, marry; oytch body says so; an gonnor-yeds they are for their labbor.

        "Tim

Some few in virtue's cause do write,
But these, alas! get little by't.



        "Book.  Indeed, aw can believe 'o!  Weel rime't, heawe'er; gu on.

        "Tim

Some turn out maggots from their head,
Which die before their author's dead.


        "Book.  Zuns!  Aw Englanshire 'll think at your glentin' at toos fratchin', byzen, craddlinly tykes as write'n sich papers as th' Test, an sich enwve-tales as Cornish Peter, at fund a new ward, snyin' wi' glums an gawries.

        "Tim.

Some write such sense in prose and rhyme,
Their works will wrestle hard with Time.


        "Book.  That'll be prime wrostlin', i'faith; for aw've yerd um say, time conquers aw things.

        "Tim.

Some few print truth, but many lies
On spirits, down to butterflies.


        "Book.  Rees abeawt boggarts; an th' t'other ward; and th' mon i'th moon, an sich like gear: get eendway; it's prime, i'faith.

        "Tim.

Some write to please, some do's for spite,
But want of money makes me write.


        "Book.  By th' mass, th' owd story again!  Bob aw think eh me guts at it's true.  It'll do; yo need's rime no moor, for it's better t'in lickly.  Whewt [13] on Tummus an Mary."

    To a liberal and observant stranger, one of the richest results of a visit to this quarter will arise from contemplation of the well-defined character of the people that live in it.  The whole population is distinguished by a fine, strong, natural character, which would do honour to the refinements of education.  A genteel stranger, who cannot read the heart of this people through their blunt manners, will, perhaps, think them a little boorish.  But though they have not much bend in the neck, and their rough dialect is little blest with the set phrases of courtesy, there are no braver men in the world, and under their uncouth demeanour lives the spirit of true chivalry.  They have a favourite proverb, that "fair play's a jewel," and are generally careful, in all their dealings, to act upon it.  They feel a generous pride in the man who can prove himself their master in anything.  Unfortunately, little has yet been done for them in the way of book-education, except what has been diffused by the Sunday-schools, since the times of their great apostle, John Wesley, who, in person, as well as by his enthusiastic early preachers, laboured much and earnestly among them, in many parts of South Lancashire.  Yet nature has blest them with a fine vein of mother wit, and has drilled some useful pages of her horn-book into them in the loom, the mine, and the farm, for they are naturally hard-workers, and proud of honest labour.  They are keen critics of character, too, and have a sharp eye to the nooks and corners of a stranger's attire, to see that, at least, whether rich or poor, it be sound, and, as they say, "bothomly chlyen," for they are jealous of dirty folk.  They are accustomed to a frank expression of what is in them, and like the open countenance, where the time of day may be read in the dial, naturally abhorring "hudd'n wark un meawseneeses."  Among the many anecdotes illustrative of the character of this people, there is one which, though simple, bears a strong stamp of native truth upon it.  A stalwart young fellow, who had long been employed as carter for a firm in this neighbourhood, had an irresistible propensity to fighting, which was constantly leading him into scrapes.  He was an excellent servant in every other respect, but no admonition could cure him of this; and at length he was discharged, in hope to work the desired change.  Dressing himself in his best, he applied to an eminent native merchant for a similar situation.  After other necessary questions, the merchant asked whether he had brought his character with him.  "My character!" replied our hero, "Naw, aw'm a damned dhyel better beawt it!"  This anecdote conveys a very true idea of the rough vigour and candour of the Lancashire country population.  They dislike dandyism and the shabby-genteel, and the mere bandbox exquisite would think them a hopeless generation.  Yet, little as they are tinctured with literature, a few remarkable books are very common among them.  I could almost venture to prophecy before going into any substantial farmhouse or any humble cottage in this quarter, that some of the following books might be found there,—the Bible, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, the Book of Common Prayer, and often Wesley's Hymn-book, Barclay's Dictionary, Culpepper's Herbal, with sometimes Thomas à Kempis, or a few old puritan sermons.  One of their chief delights is the practice of sacred music; and I have heard the great works of Haydn, Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven executed with remarkable correctness and taste, in the lonely farmhouses and cottages of South Lancashire.  In no other part of England does such an intense love of sacred music pervade the poorer classes.  It is not uncommon for them to come from the farthest extremity of South Lancashire, and even over the "Edge" from Huddersfield, and the border towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire, to hear an oratorio at the Free Trade Hall, returning home again, sometimes a distance of thirty miles, in the morning.

    I will now suppose that the traveller has seen Tim Bobbin's grave, and has strolled up by Silver Hills through the scenery of Butterworth, and, having partly contemplated the character of this genuine specimen of a South Lancashire village and its inhabitants, is again standing on the little stone bridge which spans the pretty River Beal.  Let him turn his back to the Rochdale road a little while; we have not done with him yet.  Across the space there, used as a fair ground at "Rushbearing time," stands an old-fashioned stone ale-house, called "Th' Stump and Pie Lad," commemorating, by its scabbed and weatherbeaten sign, one of the triumphs of a noted Milnrow foot-racer, on Doncaster race-course.  Milnrow is still famous for its foot-racers, as Lancashire generally is more particularly famous for first-rate foot-racers than anywhere else in the kingdom.  In that building the ancient lords of Rochdale manor used to hold their court-leets.  Now, the dry-throated "lads o' th' fowd" meet there nightly, to grumble at bad warps and low wages, equal and "fettle th' nation" over pitchers of cold ale.  And now, if the traveller loves to climb "the slopes of old renown," and worships old heraldries and rusty suits of mail, let him go to the other end of the village.  I will go with him, if, like me, while he venerates old chronicles, whether of stone, metal, or parchment, because the spirit of the bygone sometimes streams upon us through them, he still believes in the proverb, that "every man is the son of his own works."  I will go with him, if he will accept my company, after I have whispered to him that the true emblazonry of my own shield is, in one quarter, an empty cobbler's stall; in another, two children yammering over a bowl of oatmeal porridge; for the crest, a poor widow at her washing mug, with a Bible on each side of the shield for supporters; and the motto at the foot, "No work, no meat."  If he likes my heraldry, I would gladly go with him; if not, prosperity to his solitary speed.  I will play the finger-post to him with right good will.  There is something at the other end of Milnrow worth his notice.

    Milnrow lies on the ground not unlike a tall tree laid lengthwise, in a valley, by a river side.  At the bridge, its roots spread themselves in clots and fibrous shoots, in all directions; while the almost branchless trunk runs up, with a little bend, above half a mile towards Oldham, where it again spreads itself out in an umbrageous way at the old fold of houses called "Butterworth Hall."  In walking through the village, he who has seen a tolerably built woollen-mill will find no wonders of the architectural art at all.  The houses are almost entirely inhabited by working people, and marked by a certain rough, comfortable ,solidity—not a bad reflex of the character of the inhabitants. At the eastern extremity, a road leads on the left hand to the cluster of houses called "Butterworth Hall."  This old fold is worth notice, both for what it is, and what it has been.  It is a suggestive spot.  It is near the site once occupied by one of the homesteads of the Byrons, barons of Rochdale, the last baron of which family was Lord Byron, the poet.  A gentleman in this township, who is well acquainted with the history and archaeology of the whole county, lately met with a licence from the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, dated A.D. 1400, granting to Sir John Byron and his wife leave to have divine service performed within their oratories at Clayton and Butterworth, in the county of Lancashire. (Lane. MSS., vol. xxxii., p. 184.)  This was doubtless the old wooden chapel which traditionally is said to have existed at Butterworth Hall, and which is still pointed out by the names of two small fields, called "Chapel Yard" and "Chapel Meadow."  These names occur in deeds at Pike House (the residence of the Halliwell family, about two miles off), in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and are known to this day.  It is probable that the Byrons never lived at Butterworth Hall after the Wars of the Roses.  They quitted Clayton, as a permanent residence, on acquiring Newstead, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, although "young Sir John," as he was called, lived at Royton Hall, near Oldham, another seat of the family, between 1592 and 1608.

    At Butterworth Hall, the little River Beal, flowing down fresh from the heathery mountains, which throw their shadows upon the valley where it runs, divides the fold; and upon a green plot, close to the northern margin of its water, stands an old-fashioned stone hall, hard by the site of the ancient residence of the Byrons.  After spending an hour at the other end of the village, with the rugged and comfortable generation dwelling there, among the memorials of "Tim Bobbin"—that quaint old schoolmaster, of the last century—who was "the observed of all observers" in this place, in his day, and who will be remembered long after some of the monumental brasses and sculptured effigies of his contemporaries are passed by with incurious eyes—one thinks it will not be uninteresting, nor profitless, to come and muse a little upon the spot where the Byrons once lived in feudal state.  But let not any contemplative visitor here lose his thoughts too far among antiquarian dreams, and shadows of the past, for there are factory bells close by.  However large the discourse of his mind may be, let him never forget that there is a strong and important present in the social life around him.  And wherever he sets his foot in South Lancashire, he will now sometimes find that there are shuttles flying where once was the council chamber of a baron; and that the people of these days are drying warps in the "shooting-butts" and tilt-yards of the olden time!

    The following information respecting the Byron family, Barons of Rochdale, copied from an article in the Manchester Guardian, by the eminent antiquarian contributor to that journal, will not be uninteresting to some people:—


Byrons, of Clayton and Rochdale, Lancashire, and Newstead Abbey, Notts., are descended from Ralph de Buren, who, at the time of the Conquest, and of the Doomsday Survey, held divers manors in Notts and Derbyshire.  Hugo de Buron, grandson of Ralph, and feudal Baron of Horsetan, retiring temp. Henry III. from secular affairs, professed himself a monk, and held the hermitage of Kirsale or Kersal, under the priory of Lenten.  His son was Sir Roger de Buron.  Robert de Byron, son of Sir Roger de Buron, in the 1st John, [1199-1200], married Cecilia, daughter and heiress of Richard Clayton, of Clayton, and thus obtained the manor and estates of Clayton.  Failsworth and the township of Droylsden were soon after added to their Lancashire estates.  Their son, Robert de Byron, lord of Clayton, was witness to a grant of Plying Hay in this country, to the monks of Cockersand, for the souls of Henry II. and Richard I.  And his son, John de Byron, who was seated at Clayton, 28th Edward I. [1299-30], was governor of York, and had all his lands in Rochdale, with his wife Joan, by gift of her father, Sir Baldwin Teutonicus, or Thies, or de Tyas, who was conservator of the peace in Lancashire, 10th Edward [1281-82].  Her first husband was Sir Robert Holland, secretary of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster.  Their son was Sir John de Byron, knight, lord of Clayton, who was one of the witnesses to the charter granted to the burgesses of Manchester, by Thomas Grelle, lord of that manor, in 1301.  The two first witnesses to that document were "Sirs John Byron, Richard Byron, knights."  These were father and son.  Sir John married Alice, cousin and heir of Robert Bonastre, of Hindley, in this county.  Their son, Sir Richard, lord of Cadenay and Clifton, had grant of free warren in his demesne lands in Clayton, Butterworth, and Royton, on the 28th June, 1303; he served in parliaments for Lincolnshire, and died before 21st Edward III. [1347-8].  His son was Sir James de Byron, who died before 24th Edward III. [1350-51].  His son and heir was Sir John de Byron, who was knighted by Edwards III. at the seige of Calais [1346-7], and, dying without issue, was succeeded by his brother, Sir Richard, before 4th Richard II. [1380-81].  Sir Richard died in 1398, and was succeeded by his son, Sir John le Byron, who received knighthood before 3rd Henry V. [1415-16], and as one of the knights of the shire, 7th Henry VI. [1428-9].  He married Margery, daughter of John Booth, of Barton.  His eldest son, Richard le Byron, dying in his father's lifetime, and Richard's son, James, dying without issue, the estate passed to Richard's brother, Sir Nicholas, of Clayton, who married Alice, daughter of Sir John Boteler, of Beausey or Bewsey, near Warrington.  Their son and heir was Sir John, who was constable of Nottingham Castle, and Sheriff of Lancaster, in 1441 and 1442.  Sir John fought in the Battle of Bosworth Field, on the side of Henry VII., and was knighted on the field.  Dying without issue in 1488, he was succeeded by his brother (then 30), Sir Nicholas, sheriff of Lancaster, in 1459, who was made Knight of the Bath in 1501, and died in January, 1503-4.  This son and heir, Sir John Byron (the one named in the above document), was steward of the manors of Manchester and Rochdale, and, on the dissolution of the monasteries, he had a grant of the priory of Newstead, 28th May, 1540.  From that time the family made Newstead their principal seat, instead of Clayton. This will explain, to some extent, the transfer of Clayton, in 1547, from this same Sir John Byron to John Arderon or Arderne.  Either this Sir John or his son, of the same name, in the year 1560, inclosed 260 acres of land on Beurdsell Moor, near Rochdale.  His three eldest sons dying without issue (and we may just note that Kuerden preserves a copy of claim, without date, of Nicholas, the eldest, to the sergeant of the king's free court of Rochdale; and to have the execution of all attachments and distresses, and all other things which belong to the king's bailiff there), Sir John was succeeded by his youngest son, Sir John, whom Baines states to have been knighted in 1759—probably a transposition of the figures 1579.  This Sir John, in the 39th Elizabeth [1596-7], styles himself "Farmer of the Manor of Rochdale," and makes an annual payment to the Crown, being a fee farm rent to the honour of Rochdale.  In the first Charles I. [1625-6] the manor of Rochdale passed from the Byrons; but in 1638, it was reconveyed to them; and, though confiscated during the commonwealth, Richard, Lord Byron, held the manor in 1660.  Sir John's eldest son, Sir Nicholas, distinguished himself in the wars in the Low Countries, and at the battle of Edgehill (23rd October, 1642).  He was general of Cheshire and Shropshire.  His younger brother, Sir John, was made K.B. at the coronation of James I. and a baronet in 1603.  Owing to the failure of the elder line, this Sir John became ancestor of the Lords Byron.  Sir Nicolas was succeeded by his son, Sir John, who was made K.B. at the coronation of Charles I.; was appointed by that king Lieutenant of the Tower, in 1642, contrary to the wish of parliament; commanded the body of reserve at Edgehill; and was created Lord Byron of Rochdale, 24th October, 1643.  In consequence of his devotion to the royal cause (for be fought against Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Preston, in August, 1648), his manor of Rochdale was sequestered, and held for several years by Sir Thomas Alcock, who held courts there in 1654, two years after Lord Byron's death.  So great was his lordship's royalist zeal, that he was one of the seven specially exempted from the clemency of the government in the "Act of Oblivion," passed by parliament on the execution of Charles I.  Dying at Paris, in 1652, without issue, he was succeeded by his cousin, Richard (son of Sir John, the baronet just mentioned), who became second Lord Byron, and died 4th October, 1679, aged 74.  He was succeeded by his eldest son, William, who died 13th November, 1695,and was succeeded by his fourth son, William, who died August 8th, 1736, and was succeeded by a younger son, William, fifth Lord Byron, born in November, 1722, killed William Chaworth, Esq., in a duel in January, 1765, and died 19th May, 1798.  He was succeeded by his great nephew, George Gordon, the poet, sixth Lord Byron, who was born 22nd January, 1788, and died at Missolonghi, in April, 1824.  In 1823, he sold Newstead Abbey to James Dearden, Esq., of Rochdale; and, in the same year, he sold the manor and estate of Rochdale to the same gentleman, whose son and heir they are now possessed.  The manorial rights of Rochdale are reputed (says Baines) to extend over 32,000 statute acres of land, with the privileges of court baron and court leet in all the townships of the parish, including that portion of Saddleworth which lies within the parish of Rochdale; but excepting such districts as Robert de Lacy gave to the abbots of Whalley, with right to inclose the same."


    The article goes on to say that the manor of Rochdale was anciently held by the Ellands of Elland, and the Savilles, and that on the death of Sir Henry Saville, it appears to have merged in the possession of the Duchy of Lancaster; and Queen Elizabeth, in right of her duchy possessions, demised that manor to Sir John Byron, by letters patent, dated May 12th, 27th year of her reign (1585), from Lady-day, 1585, to the end of thirty-one years.

    The eye having now satisfied itself with what was notable in and about Milnrow, I took my way home, with a mind more at liberty to reflect on what I had seen.  The history of Lancashire passed in review before me, especially its remarkable latest history.  I saw the country that was once thick with trees that canopied herds of wild quadrupeds, and thinnest of people, now bare of trees, and thickest of population; the land which was of least account of any in the kingdom in the last century, now most sought after; and those rude elements which were looked upon as "the middlings of creation," more productive of riches than all the Sacramento's gold, and ministers to a spirit which is destined to change the social aspect of Britain.  I saw the spade sinking in old hunting grounds, and old parks now trampled by the fast-increasing press of new feet.  The hard cold soil is now made to grow food for man and beast.  Masses of stone and flag are shaken from their sleep in the beds of the hills, and dragged forth to build mills and houses with.  Streams which have frolicked and sung in undisturbed limpidity this thousand years, are dammed up, and made to wash and scour, and generate steam.  Fathoms below the feet of the traveller, the miner is painfully worming his way in tunnels, and the earth is belching coals at a thousand mouths.  The region teems with coal, stone, and water, and a people able to subdue them all to their purposes.  These elements quietly bide their time, century after century, till the grand plot is ripe, and the mysterious signal given.  Anon, when a thoughtful barber sets certain wheels spinning, and a contemplative lad takes a fine hint from his mother's tea-kettle, these slumbering powers start into astonishing activity, like an army of warriors roused to battle by the trumpet.  Cloth is woven for the world, and the world buys it, and wears it.  Commerce shoots up from a poor pedlar with his pack on a mule, to a giant merchant, stepping from continent to continent, over the oceans, to make his bargains.  Railways are invented, and the land is ribbed with iron for iron messengers to run upon, through mountains and over valleys, on business commissions; the very lightning turns errand-boy.  A great fusion of thought and sentiment springs up, and Old England is in about its ancient opinions.  A new aristocracy rises from the prudent, persevering working people of the district, and threatens to push the old one from its stool.  What is to be the upshot of it all?  The senses are stunned by the din of toil, and the view obscured by the dust of bargain-making.  But, through an opening in the clouds, hope's stars are shining still in the blue heaven that overspans us.  Take heart, ye toiling millions!  The spirits of your heroic forefathers are watching to see what sort of England you will leave to your sons!

Ed.―see also Tim Bobbin's "Tummus and Meary."

 
HIGHWAYS AND BYEWAYS FROM ROCHDALE
TO THE TOP OF BLACKSTONE EDGE.

 

"And so by many winding nooks be strays,
 With willing sport."--S
HAKSPERE.


WELL may an Englishman cherish the memory of his forefathers, and love his native land.  It has risen to its present power among the nations of the world through the ceaseless efforts of many generations of heroic people; and the firmament of its biography is illumined by stars of the first magnitude.  What we know of its history previous to the conquest by the Romans, is clouded by much conjecture and romance; but we have sufficient evidence to show that, even then, this island gem, "set in the silver sea," was known in distant regions of the earth, and prized for its natural riches; and was inhabited by a brave and ingenious race of people.  During the last two thousand years, the masters of the world have been fighting to win it, or to keep it.  The woad-stained British savage, ardent, imaginative, and brave, roved through his native woods and marshes, hunting the wild beasts of the island.  He sometimes herded cattle, but was little given to tillage.  He sold tin to the Phœnicians, and knew something about smelting iron ore, and working it into such shapes as were useful in a life of wild, wandering insecurity and warfare, such as his.  In the slim coracle, he roamed the island's waters; and scoured its plains fiercely in battle, in his scythed car, a terror to the boldest foe.  He worshipped, too, in an awful way, in sombre old woods, and  in colossal Stonehenges, under the blue, o'erarching sky.  On lone wastes, and moorland hills, we still have the rudely magnificent relics of these ancient temples, frowning at time, and seeming to say, as they look with lonely solemnity on nature's ever-returning green, in the words of their old Druids


"Everything comes out of the ground but the dead."


But destiny had other things in store for these islands.  The legions of imperial Rome came down upon the wild Celt, who retired, fiercely contending, to the mountain fastnesses of the north and west.  Four hundred years the Roman wrought and ruled in Britain; and he left the broad red mark of his way of living and governing stamped upon the face of the country, and upon its institution, when his empire declined.  The steadfast Saxon followed,—"stubborn, taciturn, sulky, indomitable, rock-made,"—a farmer and a fighter; a man of sense, and spirit, and integrity; an industrious man and a home-bird.  The Saxon never loosed his hold, even though his wild Scandinavian kinsmen, the sea-kings, and jarls of the north, came rushing to battle, with their piratical multitudes, tossing their swords into the air, and singing old heroic ballads, as they slew their foe-men, under the banner of the Black Raven.  Then came the military Norman,—a northern pirate, trained in France to the art of war,—led on by the bold bastard, Duke William, who landed his warriors at Pevensey, and then burnt the fleet that brought them to the shore, in order to bind his willing soldiers to the desperate necessity of victory or death.  Duke William conquered, and Harold, the Saxon, fell at Hastings, with an arrow in his brain.  Each of these races has left its distinctive peculiarities stamped upon the institutions of the country; but most enduring of all,—the Saxon.  And now, the labours of twenty centuries of valiant men, in peace and war, have achieved a matchless security, and power, and freedom for us, and have bestrewn the face of the land with "the charms which follow long history."  The country of Caractacus and Boadicea, where Alfred ruled, and Shakspere and Milton sang, will henceforth always be interesting to men of intelligent minds, wherever they were born.  It is pleasant, also, to the eye, as it is instructive to the mind.  Its history is written all over the soil, not only in the strong evidences of its present genius and power, but in thousands of interesting relics of its ancient fame and characteristics.  In a letter, written by Lord Jeffrey, to his sister-in-law, an American lady, respecting what Old England is like, and in what it differs most from America, he says:—"It differs mostly, I think, in the visible memorials of antiquity with which it is overspread; the superior beauty of its verdure, and the more tasteful and happy state and distribution of its woods.  Everything around you here is historical, and leads to romantic or interesting recollections.  Gray grown church towers, cathedrals, ruined abbeys, castles of all sizes and descriptions, in all stages of decay, from those that are inhabited, to those in whose moats ancient trees are growing, and ivy mantling over their mouldering fragments;  *   *   *  and massive stone bridges over lazy waters; and churches that look as old as Christianity: and beautiful groups of branch trees; and a verdure like nothing else in the universe; and all the cottages and lawns fragrant with sweet briar and violets, and glowing with purple lilacs and white elders; and antique villages scattering round wide bright greens; with old trees and ponds, and a massive pair of oaken stocks preserved from the days of Alfred.  With you everything is new, and glaring, and angular, and withal rather frail, slight, and perishable; nothing soft, and mellow, and venerable, or that looks as if it would ever become so."  This charming picture is almost entirely compounded from the most interesting features of the rural and antique; and is, therefore, more applicable to those agricultural parts of England which have been little changed by the great events of its modern history, than to those districts which have undergone such a surprising metamorphosis by the peaceful revolutions of manufacture in these days.  But, even in the manufacturing districts, where forests of chimneys rear their tall unbending shafts, upon the ground once covered with the green woodland's leafy shade, sparsely dotted with quaint old hamlets, the venerable monuments of old English life peep out in a beautiful way, among the crowding evidences of modern power and population.  And the influences which have so greatly changed the appearance of the country there, have not passed over the people without effect.  Wherever the genius of commerce may be leading us to, there is no doubt that the old controls of feudalism are breaking up; and in the new state of things the people, of South Lancashire have found greater liberty to improve their individual qualities and conditions; fairer changes of increasing their might and asserting their rights; greater power and freedom to examine and understand all questions which come before them, and to estimate and influence their rulers, than they had under the unreasoning domination which is passing away.  They are not a people inclined to anarchy.  They love order as well as freedom, and they love freedom for the sake of having order established upon just principles.

    The course of events during the last fifty years has been steadily upheaving the people of South Lancashire out of the thraldom of those orders which have long striven to conserve such things mainly as tended to their own aggrandisement, at the expense of the rights of others.  But even that portion of the aristocracy of England which has not yet so far cast the slough of its hereditary prejudices as to see that the days are gone which nurtured barbaric ascendance, at least perceives that, in the manufacturing districts, it now walks in a world where few are disposed to accept its assumption of superiority, without inquiring into the nature of it.  When a people who naturally aspire to independence, begin to know how to get it, and how to use it wisely, the methods of rule that were made for slaves, will no longer answer their purpose; and as soon as a man begins to feel that he has a trifle of "divine right" in him as well as other mortals, the pride of little minds in great places, begins to canker him, and they must give him the wall now and then, and look somewhere else for a foot-licker.  The aristocracy of England are not all of them overwhelmed by the mysterious dignity of their "prestige of ancient descent."  There are naturally-noble men among them, who can discern between living truth and dead tradition; men who do not think that the possession of a large landed estate entitles its owner to extraordinary rights of domination over his acreless neighbours; or that, on that account alone, the rest of the world should fall down and worship at the feet of a very ordinary person, more remarkable for an incomprehensible way of deporting himself, and for a curious pride of caste, than for being a worthier man than his neighbours.

    Through the streets of South Lancashire towns still occasionally roll the escutcheon equipages of those exclusive, aristocratic families, who yet turn up the nose at the "lower orders;" and cherish a dim remembrance of the "good old times" when these lurdanes wore the collars of their ancestors upon the neck.  To my thinking, the very carriage has a sort of lonely, unowned and unowning look, and never seems at home till it gets back to the coach-house; for the troops of factory lads, and other greasy, hard-working rabble, clatter merrily about the the streets, looking villainously unconscious of anything particularly august in the nature of the show which is going by.  On the driving-box sits a man with a beefy face, and a comically-subdued way of holding his countenance, grand over all with "horse-gowd," and lace, and gilt buttons, elaborate with heraldic device.  Another such person, with great silky calves, and a "smoke-jack" upon his hat, and breeches of cerulean plush, stands holding on upon the platform behind.  It is all no use.  There are corners of England where such a sight is still enough to throw a whole village into fits; but, in the great manufacturing towns, a travelling instalment of Womb-well's menagerie, with the portrait of a cub rhinoceros in front, would create more stir.  Inside the carriage there reclines,—chewing the bitter cud of unacknowledged pride,—one of that rare brood of dignitaries, a man with "ancestors," who plumes himself upon the distinguished privilege of being the son of somebody or another, who was the son of somebody else, and so on;—till it gets to some burglarious person, who, in company with several others of the same kidney, once pillaged an old estate, robbed a church, and did many other such valiant deeds, in places where the law was too weak to protect the weak; and there is an eternal blazon of armorial fuss kept up in celebration of it, on the family shield.  But, admitting that all these things were quite in keeping with the spirit and necessities of the time, and with "the right of conquest," and such like, why should their descendants, in these days, take to themselves mighty airs on that account, and consider themselves the supreme "somebodies" of the land, for such worn-out reasons?  Let any unwise aristocratic landlord who still tunes his pride and purposes according to the old feudal gamut of his forefathers, acquaint himself well with the tone of popular feeling in the manufacturing districts.  Let "John" lower the steps, and with earth-directed eyes hold the carriage door, whilst our son of a hundred fathers walks forth into the streets of a manufacturing town, to try the magic of his ancient name among the workmen as they hurry to dinner.  Where are the hat-touchers gone?  If he be a landlord, with nothing better than tracts of earth to recommend him, the mechanical rabble jostle by him as if he was "only a pauper whom nobody owns," or some wandering, homeless cow-jobber.  He goes worshipless on his way, unless he happens to meet with some of the servants from the hall, or his butcher, or the parish clerk, or the man who rings the eight o'clock bell, and they treat him to a bend sinister.  As to the pride of "ancient descent," what does it mean, apart from the renown of noble deeds?  The poor folk in Lancashire cherish a kind old superstition that "we're o' somebory's childer,"—which would be found very near the truth if fairly looked into.  And if Collop the cotton weaver's genealogy was correctly traced, it would probably run back to the year "one," or, as he expresses it himself, to the time "when Adam wur a lad."  Everything has its day.  In some parts of Lancashire, the rattle of the railway train, and the bustle of traffic and labour, have drowned the tones of the hunting horn, and the chiming cry of the harriers.  But whatever succeeds the decay of feudalism, the architectural relics of Old English life in Lancashire will always be interesting as such, and venerable as the head of a fine old man, on whose brow "the snow-fall of time" has long been stealing.  May no ruder hand than the hand of time too hastily destroy these eloquent and instructive footprints of old thought which remain among us!  Some men are like Burns's mouse,—the present only touches them; but any man who has the slightest title to the name of a creature of "large discourse," will be willing, now and then, to look contemplatively over his shoulder, into the grass-grown aisles of the past.

    It was in that pleasant season of the year when fresh buds begin to shoot from the thorn: when the daisy and the little celandine, and the early primrose, peep from the ground, that I began to plot for another stroll through my native vale of the Roch, up to the top of "Blackstone Edge."  These lonesome and craggy mountain wastes are familiar to me.  When I was a child they rose up constantly in sight, to the east of Rochdale town, with a silent, majestic look.  The sun came from behind them in a morning, pouring its flood of splendour upon the busy valley, the quiet winding river, and its little tributaries.  I early imbibed a strong attachment to these hills, and oft as opportunity would allow, I rushed towards them, as if they were kindly and congenial to my mind.  And now in the crowded city, when I think of them and of the country they look down upon, it stirs within me a


"Wide sea that one continuous murmur breaks
 Along, the pebbled shore of memory."


But at this particular time, an additional motive enticed me once more to my old wandering ground.  The whole of the road leading to it was lined with interesting places and associations.  But, among the railways, and manifold other ways and means of travel in England, which now cover the country with an irregular net-work, I found, on looking over a recent map, a little solitary line, running here and there, in short, broken distances; and, on the approach of towns and habited spots, diving under, like a mole or an otter.  It looked like a broken thread, here and there, in the mazy web of the map, and it was accompanied by the words "Roman Road," which had a little interest for me.  I know there are people who would sneer at the idea of any importance being attached to a broken, impracticable, out-of-the-way highway, nearly two thousand years old, and leading to nowhere in particular except, like the ways of the wicked, into all sorts of sloughs and difficulties.  With them, one passable macadamised road, on which a cart could go to market, is worth all the ruined Watling-streets in Britain.  And they are right, so far as their wisdom goes.  The present generation must be served with market stuff, come what may of our museums.  But still, everything in the world is full of manifold services to man, who is himself full of manifold needs.  And thought can leave the telegraphic message behind panting for breath upon the railway wires.  The whole is either "cupboard for food," or "cabinet of pleasure;" therefore, let the hungry soul look round upon its great estate, and turn the universe to nutriment, if it can; for


                        "There's not a breath
 Will mingle kindly with the meadow air,
 Till it has panted round, and stolen a share
 Of passion from the heart."


And though the moorland pack-horse and the rambling besom-maker stumble and get entangled in grass, and sloughs, and matted brushwood, upon deserted roads, still that nimble Mercury, Thought, can flit over the silent waste, side by side with the shades of those formidable soldiers who have now slept nearly two thousand years in the cold ground.

    It has not been my lot to see many of the vestiges of Roman life in Britain; yet, whatever the historians say about them has had interest for me; especially when related to the supposed connection of the Romans with my native district, for, in addition to its growing modern interest, I eagerly seized every fact of historical association calculated to enrich the vesture in which my mind had long been enrobing the place.  I had read of the Roman station at Littleborough, of the Roman road in the neighbourhood, of interesting ancient relics, Roman and other, discovered thereabouts, and other matter of the like nature.  My walks had been wide and frequent in the country about Rochdale, and many a time have I lingered and wondered at Littleborough, near the spot where history says that the Romans encamped themselves, at the foot of Blackstone Edge, at the entrance of what would then be the impassable hills, and woody glens, and swampy bottoms of the Todmorden district.  Yet I have never met with any visible remnants of such historical antiquities of the locality; and though, when wandering about the high moors in that quarter, I have more than once crossed the track of the Roman road up there, and noticed a general peculiarity of feature about the place, I little thought that I was floundering through moss and heather, upon one of these famous old highways.  I endeavoured to hold the bit upon my own eagerness; and read of these things with a painful reservation of credence, lest I should delude myself into receiving the mythical invention of a brain mad with ancientry for a genuine relic of the old.  But one day, early in the year, happening to call upon a young friend of mine, in Rochdale, whose tastes are a little congenial to my own, we talked of a stroll towards the hills; and he again showed me the line of the Roman road, on Blackstone Edge, marked in the recent Ordnance map.  We then went forth bareheaded, into the yard of his father's house, at Wardleworth Brow, from whence the view of the moorland hills, on the east, is fine.  The air was clear, and the sunshine so favourably subdued, that the objects and tints of the landscape were uncommonly distinct.  He pointed to a regular belt of land, of greener hue than the rest of the moorland, rising up the dark side of Blackstone Edge.  That green belt was the line of the Roman road.  He had lately visited it, and traced its uniform width for miles, and the peculiarities of its pavement of native sandstone, overgrown with a thick tanglement of moss, and heather, and moorland lichens.  He was an old acquaintance, of known integrity and sound judgment, and, withal, more addicted to figures of arithmetic than figures of speech, so, upon his testimony, I resolved that I would bring my unstable faith to the ordeal of ocular proof, that I might, at once, draft it out of the region of doubt, or sweep the beguiling fancy from the chambers of my brain, like a festoonery of cobwebs from a neglected corner.  The prospect of another visit to the scenery of the "Edge," another snuff of the mountain air, and a little more talk with the hearty, old-world folk in the villages upon the road thither, rose up pleasantly in my mind, and the purpose took the shape of action about St. Valentine's tide.

    Having arranged to be called up at five on the morning of my intended trip, I jumped out of bed when the knock came to my chamber-door, dressed, and started forth to catch the first train from Manchester.  The streets were silent and still, except where one or two "early birds" of the city had gathered round a lingering "saloop" stall; or a solitary policeman kept the lounging tenor of his way along the pavement; and here and there a brisk straggler, with a pipe in his mouth, his echoing steps contrasting strangely with the sleeping city's morning stillness.  The day was ushered in with gusts of wind and rain, and, when I got to the station, both my coat and my expectations were a little damped by the weather.  But, by the time the train reached Rochdale, the sky had cleared up, and the breeze had sunk down to a whisper, just cool enough to make the sunshine pleasant.  The birds were twittering about, and drops of rain twinkled on the hedges and tufts of grass in the fields; where spring was quietly spreading out her green mantle again.  I wished to have as wide a ramble at the farther end as time would allow; and, as moor-tramping is about the most laborious foot exercise that mortal man can bend his instep to, except running through a ploughed field, in iron-plated clogs,—an ordeal which Lancashire trainers sometimes put their foot-racers through,—it was considered advisable to hire a conveyance.  We could go further, stop longer, and return at ease, when we liked, after we had tired ourselves to our heart's content upon the moors.  I went down to the Reed Inn, for a vehicle.  Mine host came out to the top of the steps which lead down into the stable-yard, and, leaning over the railing, called his principal ostler from the room below.  That functionary was a broad-set, short-necked man, with a comely face, and a staid laconic look.  He told us, with Spartan brevity, that there had been a run upon gigs, but he could find us a "Whitechapel," and "Grey Bobby."  "Grey Bobby," and the "Whitechapel" were agreed to at once, and in ten minutes I was driving up Yorkshire-street, to pick up my friends at Wardleworth Brow, on the eastern selvedge of the town.  Giving the reins to a lad in the street, I went into the house, and took some refreshment with the rest of them, before starting; and, in a few minutes more, we were all seated, and away down the slope of Heybrook, on the Littleborough Road.  Our little tit had a mercurial trick of romping on his hind legs, at the start; but, apart from this, he went a steady, telling pace, and we looked about us quite at ease as we sped along.


    Heybrook, at the foot of Wardleworth Brow, is one of the pleasantest entrances to Rochdale town.  There is a touch of suburban peace and prettiness about it; and the prospect, on all sides, is agreeable to the eye.  The park-like lands of Foxholes and Hamer lie close by the north side of the road.  The lower part of these grounds consist of rich, flat meadows, divided by a merry little brook, which flows from the hills on the north above "Th' Syke."  In its course from the moors, to the river Roch, it takes the name of each locality it passes through, and is called "Syke Brook," "Buckley Brook," and "Hey Brook;" and, on its way, it gathers tributary rindles of water from Clough House, Knoll, and Knowl Syke.  As the Foxholes ground recedes from the high road, they gradually undulate, until they rise in an expansive, lawny slope, clothed with a verdure which looks—when met with summer rain or dew"like nothing else in the universe," out of England.  This slope is tastefully crowned with trees.  Foxholes Hall is situated among its old woods and lawns, retiringly, upon the summit of this swelling upland, which rises from the level of Heybrook.  It is a choice corner of the earth, and the view thence, between the woods, across the lawn and meadows, and over a wide stretch of picturesquely-varied country, to the blue hills in the south-east, is perhaps not equalled in the neighbourhood.  Pleasant and green as much of the land in this district looks now, still the general character of the soil, and the whole of its features, shows that when nature had it to herself very much of it must have been sterile or swampy.  Looking towards Foxholes, from the road-side at Heybrook, over the tall ancestral trees, we can see the still taller chimney of John Bright and Brothers' mill, peering up significantly behind; and the sound of their factory bell now mingles with the cawing of an ancient colony of rooks in the Foxholes woods.  Foxholes is the seat of the Entwisles, a distinguished old Lancashire family.  In the time of Camden, the historian, this family was seated at Entwisles Hall, near Bolton-le-Moors.  George Entwisle de Entwisle left as heir his brother William, who married Alice, daughter of Bradshaw, of Bradshaw.  His son Edmund, the first Entwisle of Foxholes, near Rochdale, built the old hall, which stood on the site of the present one.  He married a daughter of Arthur Ashton, of Clegg; and his son Richard married Grace, the daughter of Robert Chadwick, of Healey Hall.  In the parish church there is a tablet to the memory of Sir Bertin Entwisle, one of the bold soldiers who fought at Agincourt, on St. Crispin's Day, in Henry the Fifth's time.  When a lad, I used to con over this tablet, and by some alchemy of the mind, I wove a whole world of romance around this mysterious "Sir Bertin," and connected him with all that I had heard of the martial prowess of old English chivalry.  The tablet runs thus:—


    "To perpetuate a memorial erected in the church of St. Peter's, St. Albans (perished by time), this marble is here placed to the memory of a gallant and loyal man—Sir Bertin Entwisle, Knt., viscount and baron of Brybeke, in Normandy, and some time bailiff of Constantine; in which office he succeeded his brother-in-law, Sir John Ashton, whose daughter first married Sir Richard le Byron, an ancestor of the Lords Byron, of Rochdale, and, secondly, Sir Bertin Entwisle, who, after repeated acts of honour in the service of his sovereigns, Henrys the Fifth and Sixth, more particularly at Agincourt, was killed in the first battle of St. Albans, and on his tombstone was recorded in brass the follow inscription:―'Here lyeth Sir Bertin Entwisle, Knight, who was born in Lancastershyre, and was viscount and baron of Bryboke, in Normandy, and bailiff of Constantine, who died, fighting on King Henry the Sixth's party, the 28th May, 1455, on whose souls Jesus have mercy.'"


Close by the stone-bridge at Heybrook, two large old trees stand in the Entwisle grounds, one on each bank of the stream, and partly overhanging the road; they stand there alone, as if to mark where a forest has been.  The tired country weaver carrying his piece to the town, lays down his burden on the parapet, wipes his brow, and rests under their shade.  I have gone sometimes, on bright nights, to lean upon the bridge and look around there, and I have heard many a plaintive trio sung by these old trees and the brook below, while the moonlight danced among the leaves.

    The whole valley of the Roch is a succession of green knolls and dingles, and little receding vales, with now and then a barren stripe, like "Cronkeyshaw," or a patch of the once large mosses, like "Turf Moss;" and little holts and holms, no two alike in feature or extent; dotted now and than with tufts of stunted wood, with many a clear brook and silvery rill between.  On the south side of the bridge at Heybrook, the streamlet from the north runs through the meadows a short distance, and empties itself into the Roch.  The confluence of the waters there is known to the neighbour lads by the name of the "Ghreyt Meetin's," where, in past years, I have


                 "Paidle't through the burn
 When simmer days were fine,"


in a certain young companionship—now more scattered than last autumn's leaves; some in other towns, one or two only still here, and the rest in Australia and the grave.  We now no longer strip in the field there, and, leaving our clothes and books upon the hedge side, go frolicking down to the river, to have a brave water battle and a bathe—finishing by drying ourselves with our shirts, or by running in the wind on the green bank.  I remember that sometimes, whilst we were in the height of our sport, the sentinel left upon the brink of the river would catch a glimpse of the owner of the fields, coming hastily towards the spot, in wrathful mood; whereupon every naked imp rushed from the water, seized his clothes, and fled from field to field, till he reached some nook where he could put them on.  From the southern margin of the Roch the land rises in a green elevation, on which the hamlet of Belfield is seen peeping up.  The tree tops of Belfield Wood are in sight, but the ancient hall is hidden.  It stands close by the line of the Manchester and Leeds Railway.  The dell on the north, below the hall, is occupied by the print works of Messrs. Phillipi and Co., who occupy the hall.  A little vale on the west, watered by the Biel, divides Belfield Hall from the hamlet of Newbold, on the summit of the opposite bank.  So early as the commencement of the twelfth century, a family had adopted the local name, and resided in the mansion till about the year 1290, when the estate was transferred to the family of Butterworth, of Butterworth Hall, near Milnrow.  I find the Belfield family mentioned in Gastrell's "Notitia Cestriensis," p.40, under the head "Leases granted by the bishop," where the following lease appears:—"An. 1546.  Let by H. Ar. Belfield and Robt. Tatton, for 40 years, exceptis omus vicariis advocationibus ecclesiariu quarumeunque, (ing) to find great timber, tiles, and slate, and tenants to repair and find all other materials."  The following note is attached to this lease:—"Arthur Belfield, of Clegg Hall, in the parish of Rochdale, gent., son and heir of Adam Belfield, was born in 1508, and succeeded his father in 1544.  He is described in the lease as 'off our sayde sovaraigne lord's houshold, gentylman;' but what office he held is, at present, unknown.  He was a near relative of the Hopwoods, of Hopwood, and Chethams, of Nuthurst."  In the year 1274, Geoffry de Butterworth, a descendant of Reginald de Boterworth, first lord of the township of Butterworth, in the reign of Stephen, 1148, sold or exchanged the family mansion of Butterworth Hall, with John Byron, ancestor of Lord Byron, the poet, and took possession (by purchase or otherwise) of Belfield, which was part of the original possession of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem.  When the monks of Stanlaw, in Cheshire—disliking their low swampy situation there, which was subject to inundation at spring tide—removed to the old deanery of Whalley, before entering the abbey there, in the roll of the fraternity four seem to have been natives of Rochdale, among whom was John de Belfield, afterwards Abbot of Whalley, of the ancient stock of Belfield Hall, in Butterworth.  Robert de Butterworth was killed at the battle of Towton, in 1461.  The last of the name, at Belfield, was Alexander Butterworth, born in 1640, in the reign of Charles the First.  The present occupants of the estate have tastefully preserved all the old interesting features of the hall, whilst they have greatly improved its condition and environments.  The stone gateway, leading to the inner court-yard of Belfield Hall, is still standing, as well as a considerable portion of the old hall which surrounded this inner court.  The antique character of the building is best seen from the quadrangular court-yard in the centre.  The door of the great kitchen formerly opened into this court-yard, and the viands used to be brought out thence, and handed by the cooks through a square opening in the wall of the great dining-room, on the north side of the yard, to the waiters inside.  The interior of the building still retains many of the quaint features of its olden time—heavy oak-beams, low ceilings, and tortuous corners.  Every effort has been made to line the house with an air of modern comfort; still the house is said to be a cold one, partly from its situation, and partly from the porous nature of the old walls, producing an effect "something like that of a wine-cooler."  That part of the building which now forms the back, used, in old times, to be the main front.  In one of the rooms there are still some relics of the ancient oak-carving which formerly lined the walls of the hall. Among them there are three figures in carved oak, which once formed part of the wainscot of a cornice, above one of the fire-places.  These were the figures of a king and two queens, quaintly cut; and the remnants of old painting upon the figures, and the rich gilding upon the crowns, still show traces of their highly-ornamented ancient appearance.  The roads in the neighbourhood of the hall are now good.  The hamlets of Newbold and Belfield are thriving, with substantial healthy dwellings.  Shady walks are laid among the plantations; and the springs of excellent water are now gathered into clear terraced pools and a serpentine lake, glittering among gardens and cultivated grounds.

    Leaving Heybrook, we passed by Hamer Hall, which was the seat of a family of the same name, before Henry the Fourth's time.  A large cotton-mill now stands close behind the hall.  A few yards through the toll-bar, we passed the "Entwisle Arms," bearing the motto, "Par se signe à Azincourt."  A traveller, seldom needs to ask the names of the old lords of the land in England.  Let him keep an eye to the sign-boards, and he is sure to find that part of the history of the locality swinging in the wind, or stapled up over the entrance of some neighbouring alehouse.  And, in the same balmy atmosphere, he may learn, at least, as much heraldry as he will be able to find a market for on the Manchester Exchange.  The public-house signs in our old rural towns are generally very loyal and heraldic, and sometimes touched with a little jovial devotion.  The arms of kings, queens, and bishops; and mitres, chapel-houses, angels, and "amen corners," mingling with "many a crest that is famous in story;" the arms of the Stanleys, Byrons, Asshetons, Traffords, Lacys, Wiltons, De-la-Warres, Houghtons, Molyneuxs, Pilkingtons, Radcliffes, and a long roll of old Lancashire gentry, whose fame is faintly commemorated in these alehouse signs, and among the mottoes of these emblazonments, we now and then meet with an ancient war-cry, which makes one's blood start into tumult when we think how it may have sounded on, the fields of Cressy, Agincourt, Towton, or Flodden.  Among these are sprinkled spread eagles, dragons, griffins, unicorns, and horses, black, white, bay, and grey, with corresponding mares, and shoes enow for them all.  Boars, in every position and state of temper; bulls, some crowned, some with rings in the nose, like our friend "John" of that name.  Foxes, too, and dogs, presenting their noses with admirable directness of purpose at something in the next street; and innocent-looking partridges, who appear reckless of the intentions of the sanguinary blackguard in green, who is erroneously supposed to be lurking behind the bush, with a gun in his hand.  Talbots, falcons, hawks, hounds and huntsmen, the latter sometimes in "full cry," but almost always considerably "at fault," so fax as perspective goes.  Swans, black and white, with any number of necks that can be reasonably expected, stags, saints, saracens, jolly millers, boars' heads, blue bells, pack-horses, lambs, rams, and trees, of oak and yew.  The seven stars, and now and then a great bear.  Lions of all colours, conditions, and positions—resting, romping, and running; with a numbers of apocryphal animals, not explainable by any natural history extant, nor to be found anywhere, I believe, except in the low swamps and jungles of some drunken dauber's brain.  Also a few "Jolly Wagoners," grinning extensively at foaming flagons of ale, garnished with piles of bread and cheese, and onions as big as cannon-balls, as if to outface the proportions of the Colossus of Rhodes, who sits there in a state of stiff, everlasting, clumsy, good-tempered readiness, in front of his never-dwindling feed.  Marlborough, Abercrombies, and Wellingtons; Duncans, Rodneys, and Nelsons, by dozens.  I have seen an admiral painted on horseback, somewhere, but I never saw Cromwell on an alehouse sign yet.  In addition to these, there are a few dukes, mostly of York and Clarence.  Such signs as these show the old way of living and thinking.  But, in our manufacturing towns, the tone of these old devices is considerably modified by an infusion of railway hotels, commercials, cotton-trees, shuttles, spindles, wool-packs, Bishop Blazes, and "Old Looms;" and the arms of the ancient feudal gentry are outnumbered by the arms of shepherds, foresters, moulders, joiners, printers, bricklayers, painters, and several kinds of odd-fellows.  The old "Legs of Man," too, are relieved by a comfortable sprinkling of legs and shoulders of mutton—considerably overdone by the weather, in some cases.  Even alehouse signs are "signs of the times," if properly interpreted.  But both men and alehouse signs may make up their minds to be misinterpreted a little in this world.  Two country lasses, at Rochdale, one fair-day, walking by the Roebuck Inn, one of them, pointing to the gilded figure of the animal, with its head uplifted to an overhanging bunch of gilded grapes, said, "Sitho, Sitho, Mary, at yon brass dog, heytin' brass marrables!"

    About half-a-mile up the high road from Heybrook, and opposite to Shaw House, the view opens, and we can look across the fields on either side, into a country of green pastures and meadows, varied with fantastic hillocks and dells, though bare of trees.  A short distance to the north-west, Buckley Hall lately stood on a green eminence in sight from the road.  But the old house of the Buckleys, of Buckley, recently disappeared from the knoll where it stood for centuries.  Its thick, bemossed walls are gone, and all its quaint, abundant outhousing that stood about the spacious balder-paved yard behind.  This old hall gave name and residence to one of the most ancient families in Rochdale parish.  The building was low, but very strongly built of stone of the district, and heavily timbered.  It was not so large as Clegg Hall, nor Stubley Hall, nor as some other old halls in the parish, but, for its size, it proved a considerable quarry of stone and flag when taken down.  The first occupier was Geoffry de Buckley, nephew to Geoffry, dean of Whalley, who lived in the time of Henry the Second.  A descendant of this Geoffry de Buckley was slain in the battle of Evesham ("History of Whalley.")  The name of John de Buckley appears among the monks of Stanlaw, in the year 1296.  The arms of the Buckleys, of Buckley, are gules, a chevron sable; between three bulls' heads, armed proper; crest, on a wreath, a bull's head armed proper.  Motto, "Nec temere nec timede."  These were their arms, but I know not who claims them now.  There is a chantry chapel, at the south-east corner of Rochdale parish church, "founded in 1487, by Dr. Adam Marland, of Marland; Sir Randal Butterworth, of Belfield; and Sir James Middleton, 'a brotherhood maide and ordayned in the worship of the glorious Trinity, in the church of Rochdale;' Sir James being appointed Trinity priest during his lyfe; and, among other things, he was requested, when he went to the lavoratory, standing at the altar, and, twice a week, to pray for the cofounders, with 'De profundis.'"  In this little chantry there is a recumbent stone effigy of a mailed warrior, of the Buckley family, placed there by the present lord of the manor, whose property the chapel is now.  I know that some of the country people who had been reared in the neighbourhood of Buckley Hall, watched its demolition with grieved hearts.  And when the fine old hall at Radcliffe was taken down not long since, an agèd man stood by, vigorously denouncing the destroyers as the work went on, and glorying in every difficulty they met with; and they were not few, for it was a tough old place.  "Poo," said he, "yo wastril devils, poo!  Yo connut rive th' owd hole deawn for th' heart on yo!  Yo'n ha' to blow it up wi' gunpeawdhur, bi'th mass.  It war noan bigged eawt o' club brass, that wur nut, yo shabby thieves!  Tay th' pattern on't, an yo'n larn summit!  What mak' o' trash wi'n yo' stick up i'th plaze on't, when its gwon?  Those wholes u'll bide lheynin again, better nor yors!  Yo'n never big another heawse like that while yo'n teeth an' e'en i' yo'r yeds!  Eh, never, never!  Yo' hannut stuff to do wi'!"  But down came the old hall at Radcliffe; and so did Buckley Hall, lately; and the materials were dressed up to build the substantial row of modern cottages which now stand upon the same site, with pleasant gardens in front, sloping down the knoll, and over the spot where the old fish-pond was, at the bottom.  Some of the workpeople at the neighbouring woollen mill find comfortable housing there now.  There is an old tradition, respecting the Buckley family, connected with a massive iron ring which was found fastened in the flooring of a deserted chamber of the hall.  A greyhound belonging to this family, whilst in London with its master, took off homeward on being startled by the fall of a heavy package, in Cheapside, and was found dead on the door-step at Buckley Hall at five next morning, after having run one hundred and ninety-six miles in sixteen hours.  When visiting relatives of mine near Buckley, I have met with a story in the neighbourhood relating to one of the Buckleys of old, who was a dread to the country side; and how he pursued a Rossendale rider, who had crossed the moors from the wild, old forest, to recover a stolen horse from the stables of Buckley Hall by night; and how this Buckley, of Buckley, overtook and shot him, at a lonely place called "Th Hillock," between Buckley and Rooley Moor.  There are other floating oral traditions connected with Buckley Hall, especially the tale of "The Gentle Shepherdess," embodying the romantic adventures and unfortunate fate of a lady belonging to the family of Buckley, of Buckley.  And in this wide parish of Rochdale, in the eastern nook of Lancashire,—once a country fertile in spots of lone and rural prettiness, and thinly inhabited by as quaint, hearty, and primitive a people as any in England,—there is many a picturesque and storied dell; some tales of historic interest; and many an interesting legend connected with the country, or with the old families of the parish;—the Byrons, of Butterworth Hall, barons of Rochdale; the Entwisles, of Foxholes; the Crossleys, of Scaitcliffe; the Holts, of Stubley, Grislehurst, and Castleton; the Cleggs, of Clegg Hall, the scene of the tradition of "Clegg Ho' Boggart;" the Buckleys, of Buckley; the Marlands, of Marland; the Howards, of Great Howard; the Chadwicks, of Chadwick Hall, and Healey Hall; the Bamfords, of Bamford; the Schofields, of Schofield; the Butterworths; the Belfields; and many other families of ancient note, often bearing the names of their own estates, in the old way.

    In this part of South Lancashire the traveller never meets any considerable extent of level land; and, though the county contains great moors, and some mosses, yet there is not such another expansive tract of level country to be found in it as that lonely grave of old forests, "Chat Moss," which is crossed by the line of railway from Manchester to Liverpool.  South-east Lancashire is all picturesque ups and downs, retired green nooks, and "quips and cranks and wanton wiles," and silent little winding vales, with endless freaks of hill and hillock, knoll and dell, dingle and shady cleft, laced with numerous small stream lets and clear rindles of babbling water, up to the foot of that wandering wilderness of moorland hills, the "Back-bone of England," which runs across the island, from Derbyshire into Scotland, and forms a considerable part of Lancashire upon its way.  The parish of Rochdale partly consists of, and is bounded by, this tract of hills on the east and north; and what may be called the lowland part of the parish looks, when seen from some of the hills in the immediate neighbourhood, something like a green sea of tempest-tossed meadows and pasture lands, upon which fleets of cotton mills ride at anchor, their brick masts rising high into the air, and their streamers of smoke waving in the wind.

    Leaving the open part of the high-road, opposite Shaw House, and losing sight of Buckley, we began to rise as we passed through Brickfield up to Smallbridge.  This village is seated on an elevation, sloping gently from the northern bank of the River Roch, which rise continues slightly through the village and up northward, with many a dip and frolic by the way, till it reaches the hills above Wardle Fold, where nature leaps up in a very wild and desolate mood.  Some of the lonely heights thereabouts have been beacon-stations in old times, and their names indicate their ancient uses, as "Ward Hill," above the village of Wardle.  "Jack th' Huntsman" used to declare vehemently that Brown Wardle Hill was "th' finest hunting greawnd i' Lancashire."  And then there is "Tooter's Hill," "Hornblower's Hill," and "Hade's Hill."  From the summit of the last the waters descend on one side to the Irish Sea, on the west, on the other to the German Ocean, on the east.  The remains of a large beacon are still visible on the top of it.  Looking southward, from the edge of Smallbridge, the dale lies green and fair in the hollow below, and the silent little Roch winds through it towards Rochdale town.   The view stretches out several miles beyond the opposite bank of the river, over the romantic township of Butterworth, up to the Saddleworth Hills.  Green and picturesque, a country of dairy farms, producing matchless milk and butter; yet the soil is evidently too cold and poor by nature, for the successful production—by the modes of agriculture at present practised in the district—of any kind of grain, except the hardy oat, and that crop mostly thin and light as an old man's hair.  But even this extensive view over a beautiful scene, in other respects, lacks the charm which green woods lend to a landscape, for, except a few diminutive tufts and scattered patches, where young plantations struggle up, there are scarcely any trees.  From Smallbridge, taking a south-east direction, up by "Tunshill," "Dolderum," "Longden End" and "Booth Dheyn," and over the Stanedge-road into the ravines of Saddleworth, would be a long flight for the crow; but to anybody who had to foot the road thither, it would prove a rougher piece of work than it looks, and, before he had done it, he would not be likely to sneer at the idea of taking a guide, with a sufficient wallet of provision, for such a trip.  The village of Smallbridge itself consists principally of one street, about half a mile long, lining the high road from Rochdale to Littleborough.  It will have a dull, uninteresting look to a person who knows nothing previously of the place and its neighbourhood, nor of the curious generation dwelling thereabouts.  Smallbridge has a very plain, hard-working, unpolished every-day look.  No wandering artist, in search of romantic bits of village scenery, would halt enchanted with Smallbridge.  It has no architectural relic of the olden time in it, nor any very remarkable modern building—nothing which would tell a careless eye that it had been the homestead of many generations of Lancashire men.  It consists chiefly of the brick-built cottages inhabited by weavers, colliers, and factory operatives, relieved by the new Episcopalian church, at the eastern end, the little pepper-box bell-turret of which peeps up over the houses, as if to remind the rude denizens of the village of something higher than bacon collops and ale.  About half a mile up the road which leads out of the centre of the village, northward, in the direction of Wardle Fold, stands a substantial, plain-looking stone mansion, apparently about one hundred and fifty years old, called "Great Howarth."  It stands upon a shapely knoll, the site of an older hall of the same name, and has pleasant slopes of green land about it, and a very wide prospect over hill and dale.  Extensive alterations in the course of the last hundred years have removed most of the evidences of this place's age and importance; but its situation, and the ancient outbuildings behind, and the fold of cottages nestling near to the western side of the hall, with peeping bits of stone foundation, of much older date than the building standing upon them; the old wells, and the hue of the lands round about; all show that it has been a place of greater note than it is at present.  This Great Howarth, or Howard, is said to be the original settlement of the Howard family, the present Dukes of Norfolk.  Some people in the neighbourhood also seem to indicate this, for, as we entered Smallbridge, we passed by "The Norfolk Arms," a little public-house.  One Osbert Howard was rewarded by Henry I. ("Beauclerk") for his faithful services, with lands situate in the township of Honors-field, or Hundersfield, in the parish of Rochdale, also with what is called "the dignified title of Master of the Buck Hounds."  Robertus Howard, Abbot of Stanlaw, was one of the four monks from this parish whose names appear among the list of the fraternity, at the time of their translation to Whalley.  He died on the 10th of May, 1304.  Dugdale, in his "Baronage of England," says, respecting the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk:—"I do not make any mention thereof above the time of King Edward the First, some supposing that their common ancestor in the Saxon's time took his original appellation from an eminent office or command; others, afterwards, from the name of a place."  *   *   *  "I shall therefore (after much fruitless search to satisfy myself, as well as others, on this point) begin with William Howard, a learned and reverend judge of the Court of Common Pleas, for a great part of King Edward the First's and beginning of Edward the Second's time."  So that there seems to be a possibility of truth in the assertion that Great Howard, or Howarth, near Smallbridge, was the original settlement of the Howards, ancestors of the Dukes of Norfolk.  But I must leave the matter to those who have better and completer evidence than this.  Aiken, in his "History of Manchester," mentions a direful pestilence, which severely afflicted that town about the year 1615.  A pestilence called the "Black Plague" raged in the parish of Rochdale about the same time.  "The whole district being filled with dismay, none dared, from the country, to approach the town, for fear of catching the contagion; therefore, to remedy, as much as possible, the inconveniences of non-intercourse between the country and town's people, the proprietor of Great Howarth directed a cross to be raised on a certain part of his estate, near to Black Lane End, at Smallbridge, for the purpose of holding a temporary market there, during the continuance of the plague."  Thence originated "Howarth Cross," so named to this day; also, the old "Milk Stones," or "Plague Stones," lately standing at about a mile's distance from the town of Rochdale, upon the old roads.  I well remember two of these, which were large heavy flag-stones, with one end imbedded in the hedge side, and the other end supported upon rude stone pillars.  One of these two was in Milk Stone Lane, "leading towards Oldham, and the other at Sparth," about a mile on the Manchester road.  This last of these old "Milk Stones," or "Plague Stones," was recently taken down.  I find that similar stones were erected in the outlets of Manchester, for the same purpose, during the pestilence, about 1645.  The village of Smallbridge itself, as I have said before, has not much either of modern grace or antique interest about its outward appearance.  But, in the secluded folds and corners of the country around, there is many a quaint farmstead of the seventeenth century, or earlier, such as Waterhouse, Ashbrook Hey, Howarth Knowl, Little Howarth, Dearnley, Mabroyd, Wuerdle, Little Clegg, Clegg Hall (the haunt of the famous "Clegg Ho' Boggart").  Wardle Fold, near Wardle Hall, was fifty years since only a small sequestered cluster of rough stone houses, at the foot of the moorland heights, on the north, and about a mile from Smallbridge.  It has thriven considerably by manufacture since then.  In some of these old settlements there are houses where the door is still opened from without by a "sneck-bant," or "finger-hole."  Some of these old houses have been little changed for two or three centuries; around others a little modern addition has gathered in the course of time; but the old way of living and thinking lingers in these remote corners still, like little standing pools, left by the general tide of ancient manners, which has gone down, and is becoming matter of history or of remembrance.  There, and in the still more lonely detached dwellings and folds, which are scattered among the bleak hills and silent sloughs of the "Edge," they cling to the speech, and ways, and superstitions, and prejudices, and pastimes of their "rude forefathers of the hamlet."  A tribe of hardy, industrious, old-fashioned, simple-hearted folk, whose principal fear is poverty and "boggarts."  They still gather round the fire in corners, where factories have not yet reached them, in the gray gloaming, and on dark nights in winter, to feed their untutored imaginations with scraps of old legend, and tales of the local boggarts, fairies, and "feeorin," that haunt their native hills, and dells, and streams; and they look forward with joy to the ancient festivals of the year, as the principal reliefs of their lonely round of toil.  But Smallbridge had other interests for us besides those arising out of its remote surrounding nooks and population.  We had known the village ever since the time when a ramble so far out from Rochdale seemed an adventurous feat for tiny legs, and, as we passed each well-remembered spot, the flood-gates of memory were thrown open, and a whole tide of early reminiscences came flowing over the mind:—


                                      "Floating by me seems
 My childhood, in this childishness of mine:
 I care not'tis a glimpse of 'Auld lang syne'"


    The inhabitants of different Lancashire towns and villages have often some generic epithet attached to them, supposed to be expressive of their character; as, for the inhabitants of Oldham and Bolton, "Owdham Rough Yeds," and "Bowton Trotters;" and the people of Smallbridge are known throughout the vale by the name of "Smo'bridge Cossacks."  Within the last twenty years the inhabitants of the village have increased in number, and visibly improved in general education and manners.  Before that time the place was notable for its rugged, ignorant people; even in a district generally remarkable for an old-world breed of men and manners.  Their misdemeanours arose more from exuberant vigour of heart and body, than from natural moral debasement.  Twenty years since there was no church in Smallbridge, no police to keep its rude people in orderly trim, no very effective school of any sort.  The working weavers and colliers had the place almost to themselves in those days.  They worked hard, and ate and drank as plentifully as their earnings would afford, especially on holidays, or "red-letter days;" and, at by-times they clustered together in their cottages, but oftener at the road side, or in some favourite alehouse, and solaced their fatigue with such scraps of news and politics as reached them; or by pithy, idiomatic bursts of country humour and old songs.  Sometimes these were choice snatches of the ballads of Britain, really beautiful, "Minstrel memories of times gone by;" such as, unfortunately, we seldom hear now, and still seldomer hear sung with the feeling and natural taste which the country lasses of Lancashire put into them while chanting at their work.  Some of Burns's songs, and many songs commemorating the wars of England, were great favourites with them.  Passing by a country alehouse, one would often hear a rude ditty like the following, sounding loud and clear from the inside:—


"You generals all, and champions bold,
     Who take delight i'th field ;
 Who knock down palaces and castle walls,
     And never like to yield;
 I am an Englishman by birth,
     And Marlbro' is my name,
 In Devonshire I first drew breath;
     That place of noble fame."


Or this finishing couplet of another old ballad:—


"To hear the drums and the trumpets sound,
     In the wars of High Garmanie!"



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