Gambar halaman

authenticity, to investigate our Provincial dialects, and finally, to supply instructive Entertainment for an intellectual and high-minded People.

As the Work proceeded, an extensive Patronage, and numerous communications from Literary Friends, seemed to promise a successful result,-but, unfortunately, the failure of the publisher, and the "law's delay" in arranging his affairs, wholly blighted whatever hopes had arisen from the favourable manner in which the publication was received.-Although in nowise accountable for its termination, the desire of rescuing my Name from the implied demerit of an unfinished Work has induced me thus to complete it, at my own expense, in a SINGLE VOLUMe.

Without entering farther into a detail of circumstances, I shall proceed to the more pleasant task of expressing my grateful acknowledgments to my Friends for the many valuable Communications with which I have been honoured :—and it must be evident to every reader, how greatly the interest of this publication has been enhanced by such assistance.

For the series of Papers on the Superstitions and Fairy Mythology of Wales, as well as for those on the Malvern Hills, and of several others bearing the signature of Vyvyan, I am indebted to MR. C. V. CLIFFE; and it affords me great pleasure thus to testify my high opinion of his literary industry and attainments. The admirable papers on Architecture, with the attached initials E. T., were written by MR. E. TROTMAN; those on Chivalry, &c. and other articles, signed J. F. R. by MR. J. F. RUSSELL; and those on the Study of Antiquity, by MR. T. STACKHOUSE. Making their names thus public is an act of justice to their abilities. My sincere thanks are also due to SIR S. R. MEYRICK, SIR HARRIS NICOLAS, and SIR FREDERICK MADDEN; from whom, had the work proceeded, I had a well-founded hope of still farther aid. To MR. JOHN STEVENSON, and MR. J. M. MOFFATT, I am also highly indebted, as well as to various other gentlemen, whose names I am not permitted to particularize; independently of many valuable Correspondents, with whom I had no personal acquaintance, but from whose assistance the labours of editing a Weekly publication were greatly lightened.

In consequence of the long suspension of the "ILLUSTRATOR," (a delay over which I had no control,) I consider that it cannot now be carried on with any reasonable prospect of a successful issue,-yet, as I relinquish it with regret,-and as many-very many of my Friends and Correspondents express a similar feeling at its discontinuance, it is possible that, in the course of the ensuing Winter, I may engage in some new undertaking on a nearly similar plan, yet comprehending certain improvements which may still farther deserve the patronage of an enlightened Public.

Russell Institution,

April 21st, 1834.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

BORSTALL is situated on the western side of Buckinghamshire, near the borders of the county, and within two miles of Brill, which formed part of the ancient demense of the Anglo-Saxon kings, who had a palace there; to which Edward the Confessor frequently retired to enjoy the pleasure of hunting in Bernwood Forest. Tradition says, that the forest

* A close, near the church at Brill, called the " King's Field," is reputed to have been the site of the Palace.


[ocr errors]

about that time was infested by a wild boar, which was at last slain by a huntsman, named Nigel, to whom, in reward, the King granted some lands to be held by cornage, or the service of a horn; a mode of livery which in that age appears to have been common. On the land thus given, Nigel erected a large manor-house, and named it Bore-stall, or Boar-stall, in memory of the event through which he obtained possession. These circumstances are corroborated by


visions and obstructing the intercourse from the neighbouring country, soon became as great a nuisance to the king's garrison at Oxford, as their former neighbours had been to them; in consequence of which, Colonel Gage undertook to reduce it, and having, after a slight resistance, obtained possession of the church and outworks on the eastern side, he opened such a heavy fire against the manor-house and tower that it was shortly surrendered. On this oc

From an inquisition taken in the year 1265, it ap-casion, according to the "Historical Discourses" of pears that Sir John Fitz-Nigel, or Fitz-Neale, then Sir Edward Walker, the Lady Denham, the then held a hide of arable land, called the Dere-hide, at owner, being conscious of her disaffection, stole away Borstall, and a wood, called Hull Wood, by grand in disguise. In the following year, two attacks were serjeantry, as Keeper of the forest of Bernwood; that made on the royalists, at Borstall House, (the first by his ancestors had possessed the same lands and office General Skippon, and the next by Fairfax,) but both prior to the Conquest, holding them by the service of were unsuccessful. In 1646, on the 10th of June, a horn; and that they had been unjustly withheld by General Fairfax reduced it after an investiture of the family of Lazures, of whom William Fitz-Nigel, eighteen hours only, it being surrendered to him by father of John, had been obliged to purchase them.† the governor, Sir Charles Campion, who was subsePrior to this, William Fitz-Nigel had been obliged to quently slain at Colchester. pay King John eleven marks for the enjoyment of his father's office, and for liberty to marry at his own pleasure. Į

various transcripts relating to the manor, which are contained in a manuscript volume, in folio, composed about the time of Henry VI., and now in the possession of Sir Thomas Aubrey, Bart., the owner of this estate. It contains a rude delineation of the site of Borstall House, and its contiguous grounds; beneath which is the figure of a man on one knee, presenting a boar's head to the King, who is returning him a coat of arms.*


In the 28th of Edward I., anno 1300, John FitzNigel gave his daughter in marriage to John, son of Richard de Handlo, who, in consequence of this match, became in a few years Lord of Borstall, and in 1322, (6th of Edward II.) he obtained license from the King, to fortify his mansion at Borstall, and make a castle of it." In 1327, (2nd of Edward III.) the said John was summoned to parliament as a baron, but his son, or grandson, Edmund, dying in his minority, in 1356, this estate afterwards passed, by heirs female, into the families of De la Pole, James, Rede, Denham, Banistre, Lewis, and Aubrey. The latter has been in possession nearly a century and a half. Sir Thomas Aubrey, Bart. the present owner, resides at his seat, near Aylesbury. Bernwood was not disafforested until the reign of James I.


At an early period of the Civil Wars, Borstall House was garrisoned for King Charles, but in the spring of 1644, when it was thought expedient to abandon some of the lesser garrisons, this mansion was evacuated, and the fortifications were partly dismantled. This, however, had scarcely been effected, than the parliamentary garrison at Aylesbury, which had experienced much inconvenience by the incursions from Borstall, took possession, and by seizing pro

• Vide“ Archæologia,” vol. iii. where the plan is engraved.

+ Vide Bishop Kennet's "Parochial Antiquities of Ambrosden," &c., p. 265. Ibid, p. 166.

BORSTALL TOWER, the north front of which is represented in the annexed cut, is a good specimen of the castellated architecture of the time of Edward II. Its form is square, with embattled turrets at each angle; the entrance to the tower is over a bridge of two arches, which supplies the place of the ancient drawbridge, destroyed by order of parliament, when the tower and house were dismantled, in the year 1644. The gateway is secured by massive doors, strengthened with studs and plates of iron. Each of the northern turrets contains three apartments, which are light and lofty; the southern turrets contain spiral staircases, with stone steps leading to the upper apartments; the space over the gateway includes two large rooms, but the principal apartment is on the second story, and occupies the whole space between the turrets. Modern improvement has somewhat decreased its dimensions, by cutting off the recesses, formed by the bay windows, at each end and over the gateway, but it is still a noble room; the bay window last mentioned still retains part of the stained glass it was formerly decorated with, particularly an escutcheon of the De Lazures and the De Handloos. The roof is nearly flat, and forms a beautiful terrace; it was formerly covered with lead, which has since been replaced by copper, thinly leaded, to preserve it from corrosion. The south front, as seen from the pleasure ground, is peculiarly light and pleasing. Since the Aubrey, (who died a few years ago, at the age of demolition of the old mansion by the late Sir John eighty-seven,) one side of the moat has been filled up, but the other three sides still remain. A neat pa

rochial chapel was erected in 1819, on the ancient site, by the late Sir John Aubrey; the chancel is lit by a handsome window, and contains an elegant monument in dove-coloured and white marble, to the memory of the two wives of Sir John; and another, a very chaste specimen, in the perpendicular Gothic style, has been erected to the memory of Sir John Aubrey himself, who is buried in the vault beneath the chancel.



its being more expensive than that of the others.
This objection may be met by the same reply as
before, that it is not to the style itself, but to the
Of this we have a perfect
degree of judgment with which it is treated, that the
expense is attributable.
demonstration in the instances of three or four churches
erected in this style, within the last few years, and
which do honour to the metropolis, whose cost has
not exceeded the moderate limits of expenditure, that
were thought to constitute the great excellence of the
modern Grecian system of church-making.

It is not to be denied, indeed, that an architect now thinks it impossible, consistently, to imitate the style of the middle ages without filling his windows with elaborate tracery, loading his cornices or stringmouldings with foliage, and vaulting his interiors with large groined ceilings, will find such a scheme altogether incompatible with limited means; but it is equally certain that if he apply an analogous rule of proceeding to the treatment of the other styles he will find himself involved in no less a difficulty. It may be granted further that the old English mode is not quite so manageable as to admit of the square openings and wide sashes, of the flat copings and level ceilings of modern domestic architecture; but it must be allowed in return, that in the former case the production however simplified bears a distinctive character, whereas, in the latter, we frequently cannot apply any epithet of classification to the mass of structures that are, indeed, mere brick boxes to hold human creatures.

It forms a happy sign of improvement in the national taste, that we may now be allowed to institute a comparison of the ancient architecture of Greece and Rome with that of the middle ages in our own country and others adjacent-a permission, which to have asked a century ago would have been thought to stamp any one as an ignorant barbarian. That the case, however, is one not thus easily to be set aside by an affectation of classical accomplishment, (a feeling, perhaps, naturally enough attending the revival of classic literature,) will be evident upon a review of those qualities which are admitted by all to be decisive upon the value of an architectural system.

But, the considerations of convenience and economy being disposed of, to what extent do the three styles in question relatively promote the ends of architecture as an ornamental science? That the great characteristic of the ancient Greek remains is extreme beauty, both in the detail and in the mass, must on all hands be admitted. It seems, however, to be a beauty inseparable from strict simplicity of

If the praise of convenience be claimed for the Italian and Greek modes, it would be difficult to prove that the Pointed style is in this particular at all their inferior. The difficulties experienced in the treatment of the latter are almost wholly accidental, and not such as grow out of any natural intractability of that style. These difficulties, perhaps, may be assigned to two causes; the one, that our forefathers were alike ignorant and careless of the refinements of modern luxury, and consequently have not left arrangement; and accordingly we find in none of the us examples for all those conveniencies of arrange-much-admired remains of Grecian temples, any conment, which modern habits and superfluous luxuries siderable diversity of plan, or variation of form from require, the other, that our architects have for cen- that of the original parallelogram. This simplicity turies made so little use of the Pointed style, that was indeed so general, that, but for the varied they have failed from neglect of study to become ac-decorations of sculpture, it would probably have soon Let the latter occupy been attended with satiety and change. quainted with its resources. as much of their efforts and attention as the exotic styles have done, and it will soon be found to be destitute of no quality of convenience, whether in public or domestic edifices.

An objection is frequently raised against the adoption of the old English mode, on the supposition of

The Romans, as if desirous of having a world of their own in architecture as in arms, borrowed from the Greeks only a few crude ideas of component parts, and forthwith struck out for themselves a variety of bold attempts, deriving new and valuable aid in their execution from the great discovery of the

principle of the arch. Their Italian successors, collateral decorations. In the treatment of this style systematizing their ideas, and adding new devices we have not, as in the case of Grecian art, to look as their wants and luxuries required, have produced abroad for windows, ceilings, pavements, &c. unknown a style which, though inferior to the Grecian in the to the inventors of that system; but we have in this beauty and finish of its component parts, much a prototype for all the principal accessories sufficient surpasses it in the grandeur of its combinations, and for our direction in similar compositions. Indeed, to in the varied character of its picturesque masses. do justice to the recommendation of this department In illustration of these distinctive peculiarities of the of architecture would be far beyond our limits; and Italian style, it would be scarcely possible to refer almost the only remaining objection to its use that we to a finer example than the dome of the metropolitan can anticipate, is that arising from its solemnity of cathedral; together with which we might particu- character. That its prevailing aspect is that of grafarize the steeples of some half-dozen churches, vity, and often of solemnity, is admitted, and we among which the former rises preeminent. But if grant therefore that it would not be suited for the to each of these styles, distinguished as it is by its purposes of a theatre; but the exceptions are few, own attribute of the beautiful or the picturesque, we compared with the many advantageous opportunities grant its own share of merit, we can scarcely refuse for its application. In short, adapted as it is to our a double portion of approval to a style which unites climate and scenery, interesting as it is from old asin itself the qualifications of both the former, and sociations, and applicable as it is to all the great that to an unlimited degree. Such is the Pointed purposes of architectural science, we must confess style of architecture, stigmatized as it has been with it to be a subject every way worthy of the enthe appellation of "gothic," by those whose con-thusiastic study of the artist, and the zealous patrontracted minds would not allow them to confess the age of the Englishman.

E. T.

existence of any beauty which was not regulated by arithmetical calculations, and geometrical problems. If the highest display of elegant combination be not found in the ever-varying designs of the old English windows, in the diversified exuberance of the appropriate foliage, bosses, and crockets, of the cornices, ceilings, and pinnacles,-in the undulating forms and appropriate character of mouldings, in the clustered richness of the tall column or the sweeping arch, in the luxuriant tracery or branching ribs of the vaulted ceilings,-or in the elaborate varieties of screen, niche, canopy, altar, and stall,-it is to be found nowhere. Nor is the excellence of this style less in the command which it has of the picturesque in the external distribution of its masses, its shadowy or its flying buttresses, its dignified porches, its rising gables, its varying outlines of plan, broken only to enhance the interest, and its elegant and airy finishings of battlement, pinnacle, and tower, by which the eye is carried off into the clouds. But of all the combinations in which this great style displays its master-power, there is none so impressive as the effect of a well-composed interior. The Greek interiors were of no account; and even the finest efforts of Rome never made the slightest approximation to the overpowering grandeur of effect displayed in York Minster, or in King's College Chapel, those monuments of the artificial sublime. But we may also notice an additional advantage in the Pointed style, as resulting from the completeness of all its


To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,

To slowly trace the forest shady scene
To climb the trackless mountain,—
This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold

Converse with nature's charms, and view her stores


By C.



GENTLE READER, imagine thyself with him who, with the "hand of his heart," is tracing these lines ON THE SUMMIT OF THE MALVERN HILLS. The breeze free, clear, and cutting; the month October, and the day sunny and joyous, though at intervals chequered, like life, with clouds, which cast their light and shade with magical effect, over the surface of that vast and matchless panorama.

Whatever may be asserted to the contrary, Cowper never wrote a truer line than when he said, "God made the country but man made the town." We know this jars with the sentiments of the large class of matter-of-fact people, the nil admirari description of travellers, who can hurry through the finest scenes, and cry "'tis all barren;" such persons view even the ocean as merely facilitating the purposes of traffic. To the lover of the country, mountains stand pre

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »