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as a memorial of my gratitude for his signal and continual favours; I leave to the Library of the Cathedral at Wells, all my books of which my Lord Weymouth has the duplicates and of which the Library there has not: or, in case I outlive my Lord, I leave to the Library aforesaid (Wells) to make their choiceof all of which they have not duplicates; and the remainder of my books not chosen for the Library, I leave to be divided between my two nephews, Isaac Walton and John Beacham, excepting those books which I shall dispose of to others I bequeath to the Library at Bath all my French, Italian, and Spanish books." *
According to an old catalogue preserved in the library the number of books, pamphlets, &c., now there, that had belonged to the bishop, is nearly one thousand.
There is a large collection of Civil War tracts, and a great number of old geographical works of voyages and travels descriptive of the world as then known. Also many valuable works on antiquities, coins, and the like, such as are now seldom met with in private houses; fine and costly volumes, the like of which indeed are not often
Printed in Bowles's Life of Bishop Ken, vol. ii., p. 306.
I may take this opportunity of printing a letter upon this subject, which I discovered at Longleat, written by Mr. Hawkins, the Bishop's executor, to Thomas, Viscount Weymouth.
"My Lord. Knowing certainly of the account Mr. Ord gave yr. Ldship concerning the death of my Ld. Bp. Ken made me presume on pardon for omitting the giving it myself at that time both of hurry and affliction and being now unable to give farther particulars than are known to yr. Ldship. I shall only add that by his Will now in my custody (and which I shall copy from), he gives to your Ldship all his books of which your Ldship has not the duplicates as a memoriale of his gratitude for your signall and continued favours, wh. Will, if yr. Ldship gives leave 1 shall show you when I can wait on you: in the meantime and because the remainder of his books are to severall I have ventured to lock his Dore, of which Mr. Ord has the key and I myself have lockt on a padlock. I am as in Duty bound so with great respect, My Lord, yr. Ldship's most obedient servant,
- March 27, 1711.
To Rt. Hon. Thos. Ld. Vist. Weymouth,
St. James's Square, London."
I also discovered at Longleat, thirteen original letters in the handwriting of the Bishop himself, which were quite unknown to his biographers. The following account of the Bishop's death is from a letter by Hilkiah Bedford to Thomas Hearne. "May 17, 1711. Bp. Ken died at Longleat March 19, 1710-1, a little after 5 in the morning, and was buryed about the same hour on the Wednesday following in the parish (Frome) Church-yard. His last illness of about 8 days continuance, mostly a difficulty of breathing, call'd by the Physicians a nervous Asthma. Siez'd first in January last abt. 5 in the morning wth. violent coughing at Mrs. Thynne's at Lewston in Dorcetshire. About a week after he was again early in the morning taken with a dead palsey in his left side, wch. lasted a day or 2, but the hand remain'd useless to his death. About a fortnight after that, he was siez'd with spitting blood, yet he was well enough to remove to Longleat 9 days before he dyed, and design'd in 3 or 4 days after he got thither to go to Bathe."
"Jun. 19, 1711.
Bp. Ken was bury'd before 6 in the morning by his own appointment, for the more privacy: attended to the grave only by my Lord Weymouth's steward (I think) and 12 poor men that carried him by turns and had 5s a-piece for it: the coffin cover'd with a few yards of black cloth instead of a Pall, and that given to the Minister of the Parish for a gown."
printed in our days. I must not omit to mention that the room I am speaking of-the Old library upstairs-is indebted for its contents not only to Lord Weymouth and Bishop Ken. At the further end of it, occupying the entire wall, is a very wonderful collection of publications, all upon one single subject, but that a subject of never-ceasing interest-the great French Revolution of 1792. The collection embraces, I believe, almost everything that was published in France during that terrible period of the history of France; and it includes all books, pamphlets, and narratives published not only in Paris itself, but in all the provincial cities and towns; describing all the horrors that took place over the whole country. Whether quite unique or not I cannot say, but this collection is certainly a very remarkable and valuable one, and was added to the literary treasures of the house by the present owner. Taking this Old library of Longleat altogether, it is, both from its mere construction, as well as its interesting contents, one of the most curious rooms to be seen in any house in England.
I now come to the MS. treasures. I don't know how it is, but so it is there is always a certain charm about an old MS. which a printed book does not possess. If of any printed book there are only two copies left or known, still there may be more yet to come to light. At any rate it has been printed, and so far is supposed-if forgotten or rare now-to have been better known once. But an old MS. !—which none or few have ever seen, which has never been printed-about that there is an undefinable and sometimes romantic idea that it must contain something wonderfully curious. So, carrying you in my cursory description to the collection of MSS. in the Old library, I must say at once that it is simply possible only to give a very merest outline of what they are; for they cannot be properly appreciated, even by connoisseurs, without being very carefully and leisurely examined one by one.
The MSS. of which I am speaking occupy two shelves; total length 36ft. They are volumes large and small, from largest folio to smallest duodecimo. They were some years ago in a dilapidated condition externally, and the ancient leaves were on the eve of parting company with one another, through mere antiquity; but they were
most carefully attended to, and were all, by the order of their present owner, placed in proper hands in London, and now stand secure for many generations to come. Not to weary you with too minute detail, I will name a few of the most important among them. The Bible in English, after the translation usually ascribed to John Wiclif, 15th century; a large thick folio, pure vellum, 398 pages; a fine and valuable MS. written in a plain Gothic hand, profusely ornamented with initial letters in blue and minium. It contains the whole of the Old and New Testaments, beginning with the prefatory epistle of St. Jerome, addressed to "Brother Ambrose." It once belonged to Sir Henry Spelman. "The Homilies of Origen on the Old Testament," a very fine folio volume in vellum of 146 leaves. A Latin psalter of the fourteenth century with initial letters. Another noble volume of the twelfth century, the works of Zacharias of Chrysopolis. I need scarcely remind you that on the breaking up of the monasteries the fine old MSS. which had been written and preserved in their libraries met with very rough usage. They were converted into covers of copy books, used for strong backing in binding of printed books; indeed for all sorts of purposes. I have found several at Longleat scribbled over by persons trying their pens or drawing caricatures. And in this particular volume of Zacharias of Chrysopolis there is on one page a farm bailiff's account -"William Hayman's account for bullocks, 12 May, 35 Henry VIII." Next is a "Liber Pontificalis" of thirteenth century, containing the forms of certain services used in consecration of churches or cemeteries, in the office of matrimony, benediction of rings, appointment of abbesses, and the like. "The Life of Christ," by Bonaventure, Bishop of Albania and Cardinal, translated into English by John Morton; fifteenth century. This is a very interesting MS., in the quaintest English possible, and intended, as the preface says, "for folk of simple understanding: children that haven nede to be fedde with mylke of light doctrine, and not with sad meat of great clergy and high contemplation." The spelling and words are very curious. The teaching of St. John, it says, was given as "treacle" against the venom of "dyverse heretykes ;" and instead of being called the Redeemer, our Lord is spoken of as the "agen
bier" (Buyer-again). The elders are called" Aldermen :" the Ruler of the Feast at the Marriage in Cana "The Archi-tricline" (from the Greek). There is also a volume of old English religious poems of the fifteenth century, some of them very simple and touching, none of which, so far as I know, have ever been printed. Lydgate's "Lite of the Virgin Mary," a MS. of the fifteenth century, afterwards printed by Caxton.
Among a different class of subjects, relating to monastic establishments, may be named "Privileges of the Sanctuary of St. Peter at Westminster," an interesting MS. volume of the fifteenth century. Prefixed to it is a charter of King Edgar, by which he ordains that the Church of St. Peter at Westminster shall become a sanctuary for fugitives of every degree; and other charters of Edward the Confessor and William I. confirming the privileges. There are many registers of various abbeys, and amongst them one of great Glastonbury, of the fourteenth century, a fine folio of 440 pages in vellum. Prefixed to it is a Bull of Pope John XXI., addressed to Adam, abbot of the monastery, according permission for his confessor to
1 The following are specimens of the style of the "Speculum Vitæ: ".
I. Christ before Pilate.
"There was geven him none reste but ever travayle in paynes and sorowe. And yf thou wilt knowe in what conflytte and batayle he was, beholde and see. First, one despitouslye leyth hande on him and taketh him. Another crying pytteth upon him blaspheme. Another spyteth in his face. Another sotely asketh of him manye questyones in desceyte for to acuse him. Another draweth him forth befor the Justice. Another styffely accuseth him. Another hydeth his eyen. Another buffeteth and scorneth him. Another dispoileth him. Another byndeth him hard to the pylere. Another with sharpe scorges sore beteth him. Another unbyndeth him. Another casteth on him that olde sylkene mantelle. Anothere putteth in to his hand a rede. Another taketh it wodelye from him and smyteth his sore hede full of thornes. Another in scorne kneleth before him: and so forth now one and now another. Divers and mayne wth. alle ther wytte and migt besyen them to tormente him in the worste maner. They leiden him as a theefe nowe to the byshop Anne and now to Cayphas now to Pylate and now to Herowde: now hyderward, and nowe thedirward: now inne and now owte. Oo my lorde God what is alle this. Loo, thenketh ye not here a full harde and contennele bitter bataylle. Yitt abyde a litle whyle and ye shal see harder."
II. The taking down from the Cross.
"Take now good hede in maner of taking down. There are sette tweyne ladders on the sydes of the Crosse, one agens anothere. and Joseph gothe up on the ladder, standying on the right halfe, and besyeth him to drawe out the nayles of the handes: but hit is full harde. for the nayle is grete and longe and hard dryven in to the tree and with owte grete thrystyng downe of oure lorde's handes it may noute be done, but that is no fors, for oure lorde knoweth that he doth alle trewly and with gode entente: and therefore he accepted the dede. And when the nayle was drawe out, John makyth sygne to Nichodeme for to take hit to him privily: so that oure lady see hit nout for disconfortyng. And after in the same maner Nichodeme drawith owte the nayle of the lyfte hande, and takith hit privily to John. And then Nichodeme cometh down for to draw owt the thrydde nayle of the feete."
forgive the sins of the said abbot when in articulo mortis, like as the Roman Pontiffs were accustomed to do. This is dated at Avignon. Then follow the prefatory matters appointed by Edward I. to be prefixed to all monastic chartularies, having relation to his right to a feudal superiority over Scotland. These are six in number:-1. The Genealogy of the Kings of England, (beginning from Adam) down to Edward III. 2. Concerning the origin of Giants in the Island of Albion. 3. Of the length and breadth of England. 4. A citatory letter of Pope Bonafice for the kingdom of Scotland. 5. A Declaration of the King of England about the affairs of Scotland. 6. A letter of the barons to Pope Boniface on behalf of the rights of the Kingdom of Scotland. The date of the last charter registered appears to be about 1361. At page 427 is a register of deeds in the Treasury at Wells in the eighth year of Bishop William de Marchia, A.D. 1301. This list is not found in the Glastonbury Cartulary in the Bodleian Library, (Wood's MS. A.) There are also registers, more or less perfect, of Maiden Bradley Priory, Co. Wilts, Cirencester Abbey, Co. Glouc., and of St. Mary of Tame, Co. Oxon. Also a rental of the Cistercian Abbey of Strata Florida, Co. Cardigan, a book of expenses of Shaftesbury Abbey, 24 H. VIII., Sir W. Uvedale being then Seneschal, and a rental of lands at Prestbury, belonging to the Bishoprick of Hereford. The very old register of Hereford of temp. Edw. I. or II., mentioned in Tanner's "Notitia," p. 172, as being at Longleat, is not to be found there now.
Another most curious and valuable MS. relating to Glastonbury Abbey, entirely unknown to Bishop Tanner, Dugdale, and other collectors of monastic records, came to light only a few months ago. It is a Latin Register of the Abbey made in the first year of HENRY DE SOLIACO, ABBOT, A.D. 1189, 1 Rich. I., only 100 years later than the Domesday Book of William I. It is, in fact, a "Domesday Book of the Abbey," corresponding exactly, in form, with the "Domesday Book of St. Paul's London," published by the Camden Society, and so admirably edited by the late Archdeacon Hale. But besides the estates belonging to the abbey, with the names of the tenants, description of their tenures, &c., it contains an account of the establishment maintained in the abbey itself, the different officers,