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worth, the second with that which was at one time the • regality' of Hexhamshire.
These two areas are as different in their physical as in their historical attributes, and their diversity is to some extent typical of the varied scenery and interests to be found between the waters of Tyne and Tweed. The district round Bamburgh is somewhat bare and bleak, the keen east wind blowing in from the sea (combined, perhaps, with the fact that much of the land was of copyhold tenure) has deprived the country of trees, and the principal features of the landscape are the bold and rugged crags formed by the outcrops of the Great Whin Sill. The black mass of basalt upon which the castle of Bamburgh is placed is so obviously adapted to the purpose of defence, that it has, no doubt, been the site of a fortress from a very early and prehistoric period. The view which may be seen from the summit of the castle rock or from the chambers in the keep on a clear day is wide and brilliant. To the north, beyond a broad belt of waving bent grass and sparkling links, rise the ruined walls of the church of Lindisfarne; immediately opposite are the Farne Islands, with their clouds of screaming birds ; far to the south rise the basalt cliffs and ruined walls of Dunstanburgh. The scenery round Warkworth is in many respects similar in character to that of Bamburghshire, but the beautiful remains of Warkworth Castle, the product, for the most part, of a later age and a more highly developed art than that which produced Norman Bamburgh or Lancastrian Dunstanburgh, are in perfect harmony with the wooded valley and the still, clear waters of the Coquet. The river scenery of inland Hexhamshire is, however, in marked contrast to that of these sea-girt and northern regions, but the difference is no greater than that which is to be found between St. Cuthbert or Roger of Mowbray and St. Wilfrid. It is, perhaps, something more than an idle fancy that sees a similarity between St. Cuthbert and his rocky hermitage on Farne; between Roger of Mowbray and his basalt donjon; between the cultivated spirit of St. Wilfrid and the rich and gentle scenery of the Tyne valley. Yet Bamburgh and Hexham are alike in having been the scene of events of great historical and national importance, and centres of civil and religious life in the North in early times; the one as the capital of a kingdom and the other as the seat of a bishopric. "In proof of this it is enough to mention three illustrious names which they suggest: Oswald; Aidan; Wilfrid. VOL. CXCII. NO. CCCXCIII.
Bamburgh, known to the Celts as Dinguaroy, was from the earliest times the throne of a line of English kings. The English chieftain Ida, we are told, began to reign there in 547, and he it was who timbered Bebbanburu,' that is to say, set up a wooden stockade round the rock, upon which the castle was afterwards built. Bebba, the wife of Ethelfrith, bestowed her name upon the place, but in the earliest description of the royal city the name of Bebba's son Oswald is associated with it.
Bebba is a most strongly fortified city,' says the chronicler, ' not very large, being of the size of two or three fields, having one entrance hollowed out of the rock, and raised in steps after a marvellous fashion. On the top of the hill it has a church of extremely beautiful workmanship, in which is a shrine rich and costly, that contains, wraps in a pall, the right hand of St. Oswald the king, still incorrupt, as is related by Beda, the historian of this nation. To the west, on the highest point of the city itself, there is a spring of water, sweet to the taste and most pure to the sight, that has been excavated with astonishing labour.' This description of the place is still in outline correct; the two or three fields or wards, the entrance raised in steps, the church of beautiful workmanship, may even now be traced, and the marvellous well, sweet and pure, is there to this day. Sweet and pure also is the memory of Oswald. The work that he accomplished cannot be better described than in the account of the battle of Hefenfeld that is given in the fourth volume of this work. Referring to the church of St. Oswald, in the parish of St. John Lee, near Hexham, it is said :
• The church occupies a site remarkable in the history of Northumberland, for it was here that King Oswald set up before the coming battle the emblem of that faith in the reception of which, by his country, he was to be one of the chief instruments, and in the vital principles of which, as his after life witnessed, he was a genuine and consistent believer. Northumbria had before then become, at least to sonic extent, Christian, through the influence of King Edwin, and the missionary zeal and preaching of Paulinus; but it had returned to a belief in its former gods when, at Haethfelth in the year 633, Edwin was defeated and slain in a battle against Penda, King of Mercia, a steadfast adherent of the old Teutonic faith, and Cadwalla, nominally a Christian, the ruler over a part of Britain as yet unconquered by the English. Bernicia, released from the rule of Edwin by his death, had become again a separate kingdom under Eanfrid, son of Ethelfrid, its former king. He had been with his brothers for many years in exile among the Scots, and had there been educated in that branch of the Christian Church with which the saintly apostle from Ireland, , Columba, is identified. Eanfrid, who had relapsed into paganism, was, after scarcely a year's reign, slain in 634 by Cadwalla, when Bernicia fell under the tyranny and savage control of the British chief. His rule was not to last long, for the year had not expired when Oswald, a younger son of Ethelfrid, became the leader of the men of Northumberland in their rising against the alien oppressor, and when they threw off his yoke.
The battle which resulted in the defeat and death of Cadwalla took place, according to Beda, at a place before then called Hefenfelth, which he interprets, the heavenly plain. Oswald's force was small, but, as Beda says, strong in the faith of Christ ; strong too, we may not doubt, in the hatred of a hostile and oppressive race. Cadwalla was in command of a large and, as he thought, irresistible army. Oswald encamped his men on ground strongly defended by nature on one side, and situated to the north of the Roman wall, which (then standing) afforded a protection against Cadwalla advancing from the south, probably along Watling Street. Of the details of the battle we know nothing. How it ebbed and flowed, how the small body of men, fired with patriotic and religious ardour, withstood the assault of the larger one, Aushed with previous victories and maddened with the desire for vengeance on a people who had driven out their fellow countrymen, no one has recorded; but Beda tells us something of the events which took place immediately before the fight, and most moving and inspiriting they are. The spot where Oswald had camped commands a prospect over a wide and far-stretching land of hill and valley, an outlook dear to all Northumbrian hearts; an epitome indeed of that larger country which makes up Northumberland. To his little army it was home, with all the ties which braced their nerves and inflamed their courage to sweep away the invader and oppressor from the land. But another, it may have been an even stronger, impulse, which on many a field, has led to victory, was added; the strength that flows from a fervour begot by faith. Before daybreak Oswald, himself holding the wood while it was being fixed in the hole prepared for it, ordered the cross, the sacred standard under which they were to fight, to be set up. Kneeling at its foot he said : * Let us all bow the knee and together pray the Almighty God, living and true, that He will in His mercy save us from the proud and savage enemy, as He knows that we have undertaken a just war for the salvation of our nation." The fight began, as Beda's words seem to imply, by the attack of Oswald's troops; the battle went against Cadwalla, his army was broken, and himself flying southward from the field was slain at Denisesburne, now Rowley Water, a tributary of the Devil's Water, about seven miles distant from the site of the cross of victory.
• The issue of the battle had an influence which extended far beyond the Kingdom of Bernicia. In its far-reaching consequences it may rank among the events which have had a deep, moving, and lasting effect upon the fortunes of England itself. After the death of Cadwalla and the complete rout of his army, which appears to have inflicted a crushing blow upon what at one time seemed to be the almost overwhelming force of the Celtic power, there was no more
aggressive action on the part of the British tribes against the English. It cannot be doubted that in the end the Britons would have succumbed to the more powerful and persistent race which had, like themselves at an earlier time, invaded the island from over sea. But that event might have been delayed, and the course of England's progress have been altered, had Cadwalla been the victor at Hefenfelth. However much the kindred tribes of Angle, Saxon, and Jute were divided by many and diverse conflicting interests, this was, after Cadwalla's death, to be fought out among themselves, without the interference of any alien opponent, and they were to be at last welded, with the exception of a small Celtic country in the west, into a nation one in spirit as in language, from the Firth of Forth to the shore of the southern sea.
• But the battle had another result. The seating of Oswald on the throne of Bernicia, the prize of his victory, was a vital element in the Christianising of Northumbria. Brought up among the Celtic monks of lona, he naturally turned to that place for aid in spreading the faith he had adopted among his people. Thus the Gospel was taught through that part of England, not from Gaul or Italy, but from the Church as it existed in Ireland, which had retained or adopted some forms of ritual and order that separated it from other members of the Western Church. They were differences of slight importance, but which became magnified in proportion to their smallness, until they tended to rend the Church in two. The Celtic pre-eminency thus seated in Northumbria lasted but a short time, and, after the Synod of Whitby in 664, when King Oswy gave way to the pressure from the Latin side in the controversy, Northumbria accepted the forms and usages of the rest of the western patriarchate, and Bishop Colman and his fellows returned to Iona. But the influence of their teaching remained, and some phases of religious thought and practice, which originated in the mission of Aidan and the Scottish monks of Iona, have left their traces in Northumbrian Christianity, itself one of the main issues of Oswald's kingship and of the battle which placed him on his throne.'
Oswald and Aidan, the king and the bishop, worked side by side for the same cause and in the same field ; a fact that cannot be better illustrated than by the simple story often told of the blessing of Oswald's hand by Aidan.
• The king and the bishop had just sat down to dinner one Easter Day, probably at Bamburgh, when the servant to whom Oswald had entrusted the duty of distributing his alms to the poor, suddenly entered to say that the streets were full of starving beggars. The king not only immediately ordered the meat that was still untasted to be carried out to them, but also that the silver dish containing it should be broken up for their benefit. Struck by this signal act of charity the bishop took hold of Oswald's right hand and blessed it, saying, "May this hand never perish." »
The memory of the king and bishop is preserved at
Bamburgh to this day by two buildings; that of the king by the remains of the church or chapel dedicated to St. Oswald upon the castle rock, that of the bishop by the fine parish church dedicated to St. Aidan. This church doubtless stands upon the site of an earlier wooden building erected by Aidan himself, for Beda tells us that Aidan had a church and chamber in the royal vill not far from the royal city on the rock of Bamburgh, a description which corresponds to the situation of the present building. Against the west
end of this church, which was made of wood, a tent had • been erected to shelter Aidan during his last sickness, and leaning against a post within it, which supported the west end of the building, he died on August 31, 651.'
The memory of great men belongs to no time or place, but it was at Bamburgh that Oswald and Aidan for the most part lived and worked, and it is with Bamburgh that their names will always be more especially connected. Wilfrid, however, the third of the great Northumbrian triumvirate, cannot be dissociated from Hexham, of which he was at one time the bishop, and where he founded a magnificent church. Born about 634 Wilfrid spent much of his time in travelling or at court, and, though he was a contemporary of Aidan and, like him, a bishop, it seems probable that there was little else in common between them. Wilfrid was in fact the champion of Latin as opposed to the Celtic Christianity which Aidan represented, and between these two schools or modes of thought the early Church, as has been said, threatened at one time to be torn in sunder. The writer on Hexham has observed that it is a matter of some (interest that the foundation of the church at Hexham took
place not long after the Synod of Whitby,' held in 664, ' where the long pending struggle was fought out and
decided,' and where Wilfrid, as the champion of the Roman Church, had won a complete victory. Wilfrid was in his fortieth year when he set about the erection of this his
greatest architectural work. An account of the building has been given by three writers, who were, doubtless, all familiar with it, namely Eddi, chaplain to Wilfrid, Symeon of Durham, and Richard, prior of Hexham. It appears to have had a long nave, which had arcades with capitals of
an ornate character,' and there was also a triforium with a clerestory, and, perhaps, transepts. Of this church there is still a portion remaining, namely, the crypt, which forms one of the architectural curiosities of Britain.
'It is a quite plain structure, and in it were no doubt deposited and