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that being the only place comprising an episcopal manor that was near the borders of the three counties.
The word “manor,” it may be here observed, is Scrooby not used in its more ordinary sense, to
denote a district throughout which certain feudal privileges are enjoyed, but a mansion house. This is sufficiently manifest even from the way in which Bradford speaks of it; but we may add that the houses of the great nobility in those parts of the kingdom were often called manors, as still Worksop Manor, Winfield Manor, Sheffield Manor, Brierley Manor, and several others. Scrooby Manor was near to the borders both of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, though itself in the county of Nottingham. It was also an ancient possession and occasional residence of the Archbishop of York.
No reasonable doubt can therefore ever arise that
Further the seat and centre of that religious comproofs.
munity which afterwards planted itself on the shores of New England was at this Nottinghamshire village of SCROOBY, a place little known to fame, but acquiring from this accident a certain amount of historical interest. The claims of this village, though hitherto unnoticed, do not rest entirely on
what I have now said ; for to make their establishment quite complete, recourse was had to the Rolls which contain the Assessments of the Subsidies granted by Parliament, and there was found that in the thirteenth year of Elizabeth, 1571, there was a William Brewster assessed in the township of Scrooby-cum-Ranskil on goods of the annual value of Three Pounds ; 8 and in other accounts, that in 1608, William Brewster, and two other persons, all described as “of Scrooby, Brownists or Separatists,” were certified into the Exchequer for fines imposed upon them by the Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, for nonappearance to a citation. Further evidence of Brewster's residence at Scrooby will appear as we proceed.
Scrooby will be found in the maps about a mile and a half south of Bawtry, a market and post town situated on the boundary line between Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. It was itself in the time when
8 Two other persons were assessed with him, viz. William Dawson, and Thomas Wentworth who then resided at the manor and who describes himself in his will “ of Scrooby Manor, Esquire.” He was a younger brother of William Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, Esquire, Great Grandfather of Thomas Earl of Strafford.
Brewster resided there one of the post towns on the great road from London to Berwick.
Leland, who visited the place in 1541, gives this Early to account of it :-“In the meane townlet of pographical
eticeby. Of Scrooby I marked two things—the parish church not big but very well builded; the second was a great manor place, standing within a moat, and longing to the Archbishop of York; builded in two courts, whereof the first is very ample and all builded of timber, saving the front of the house that is of brick, to the which ascenditur per gradus lapideos. The inner court building, as far as I marked, was of timber building, and was not in compass past the fourth part of the outer court."9 It had belonged to the see of York in the time of Domesday book. The archbishops not unfrequently resided here, it being favourably situated for the enjoyment of field-sports, an exercise in which bishops in the old time greatly delighted. Archbishop Savage in particular, we are expressly told by Godwin, often made this his place of residence for the purpose of hunting in Hatfield chase. 10 Margaret, Queen of Scotland, daughter of King Henry VII, slept here on her way to Scotland, 12th June, 1503. When Wolsey was dismissed by his tyrannical master to his northern diocese he passed some weeks at Scrooby, and very pleasing is the picture which his faithful servant Cavendish has drawn of him as he then appeared,“ ministering many deeds of charity and attending on Sundays at some parish church in the neighbourhood, hearing or saying mass himself and causing some of his chaplains to preach to the people: and that done he would dine at some honest man's house of that town, where should be distributed to the poor a great alms, as well of meat and drink, as of money to supply the want of sufficient meat, if the number of the poor did so exceed of necessity.”ll A few years later King Henry VIII slept in this house for one night during his northern progress in 1541.
9 Itinerary, vol. I, p. 36. 10 De Presulibus, vol. ii, p. 71.
A great change took place at Scrooby in the time of Archbishop Sandys, who was elevated to the see of York in 1576. He was a produced there
Sandys. prelate worthy to be held in esteem on many accounts, but it seems hard to justify his proceedings in respect of the temporalities of
11 Life of Wolsey, Singer's edition, 8vo, 1825. vol. i, p. 260.
his sees. He was the first Protestant bishop who raised a powerful family out of the goods of the
church, and this he did by granting leases of episcopal · lands to his sons. Samuel had six, Miles five, Edwin
four, Henry two, Thomas two, George two; as they are enumerated by Lord Burghley himself, in his own hand, in a manuscript now in the British Museum.12 Scrooby was the subject of one of the leases granted to Samuel his eldest son,13 and it must have been under him that the Brewsters held the manor.
12 Vol. 50 of the Lansdowne MSS. art. 34.
13 The archbishop's conduct in respect of this lease seems to require a special justification, for there exists a letter of his which is printed by Le Neve, p. 61, in which he excuses himself from granting a lease of it to the Queen, on the ground of the injury which would thereby be done to his see. He speaks of Scrooby as a usual residence of the archbishops, and says, that he himself had lived for four months together there and at Southwell; and that “the reserved rent for this newly-conceived lease is £40. by year, and yet the annual rent thereof to the bishop is, £170. by year; but this is a small loss to that which followeth. I am compelled by law to repair two fair houses standing upon these two manors (Southwell and Scrooby), by this lease, if it should pass, I am excluded out of both.” He presses other arguments, and makes it appear, that if such a lease were granted, the loss to the see would be £60,000. [query £6000?] at least ; “ too much, Most Gracious Sovereign, too much to pull from a bishoprick inferior to many others in revenue, but superior in charge and countenance.” This letter was written on November 24th, 1582; and yet on the 20th of