Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

the people north of the Humber and to the Forth became simply Northumbrians, and as such are known in subsequent history. To this day, indeed, they are almost a separate people in many respects. The unity of the people gave political importance to the kingdom outside its own boundaries. So great had been the conquests of the three successful kings that they obtained a supremacy over a large portion of the English people, and it seemed almost possible for this supremacy to become the means of welding the various tribes of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, with Britons, Picts, and Scots, into one nation, having York as its capital.

About 658 the kingdom was at the height of its power, and as a Christian State it was doing battle with Mercia, which represented the old heathenism. Mercia triumphed, and Northumbria receded, and so, for the present, the dream of a united State was ended. The kingdom kept within its own bounds, and was saved from barbarism by Christianity and learning, by which it became more famous than it had ever been before.

The Church was the first in the field, and, indeed, she was the mother of learning. The good St. Gregory of Rome, who himself disclaimed any supremacy over the churches, instructed Augustine to divide Britain into two archbishoprics, Canterbury for the south and York for the north, the native British part being excluded for some centuries. These two cities became, therefore, the ecclesiastical centres of Britain, though the hold of York upon the Far North was not strong. In 627 Paulinus was made Archbishop of York, and tried to convert the Northumbrians. In this he failed, and retired to Kent. King Oswald invited Aidan from Iona to undertake the conversion of his people, and the see was formed at Lindisfarne, where a school was also established. Missionaries from this school went to various parts of the land, and among the most eminent of them were two brothers—Cedd, who became Bishop of the East Saxons, and Chad, who was the founder of the See of Lichfield, for the Mercian kingdom. The Conference at Whitby, in 664, tended to unite the kingdoms as well as the Churches, by bringing the north and the south together. With the failure of the supremacy of Northumberland a new life and energy was built up in the north, and it looked rather to Iona and Ireland (then called Scotia) for its religious centre, so that there was a close connection between Britain and Ireland. The meeting of kings and prelates at Whitby altered this, and a union with Canterbury was the result, especially as at this time there was no Archbishop at York, and the learned Theodore was the sole Archbishop in the whole of Britain.

York still continued to be the greatest centre of English life and learning, though its political importance had somewhat decreased. A great scholar was born in 673, who was not only the most learned man of his age, but who was the cause of the great spread of learning in Northumberland. The Venerable "Bæda, or Bede, gathered around him, at the Monastery of Jarrow on the Tyne, numbers of students, said to amount to six hundred. He was the true father of national education, for he taught his pupils to translate from Latin into the native Northumbrian tongue.

He was also connected with the monastery or school at Wearmouth, and libraries were formed there, and at the monastery or school which had been formed at York. Bede stands alone as a translator and historian, and his influence extended to York and other places.

He died in 735, after a life of literary labour, and one of his pupils was Alcuin, a native of York. Alcuin was educated by two learned Archbishops, Egbert and Albert, and he became the most learned and accomplished man of his age, adding to the fame of York as a place of learning. He was invited by Charlemagne, Emperor of the West, to his dominions, where he founded various schools of learning: Thus, in the middle of the eighth century, York and Northumberland became the literary centre of Christian Europe in its western parts. A great school had been founded at Canterbury, and the influence of this in the south, and of York in the north, penetrated throughout all England, and created a great advance of learning. Whitby had been early famous for its Abbey, under the Lady Hilda, and it producedone of the greatest lights of the day in the humble cowherd named Cædmon. The first true English song was heard there, and it was a spontaneous talent which produced it. "What shall I sing ?” he said ; and the answer was, “The beginning of created things And so the poet sang, in Northumbrian speech, of the creation of the world, of the leading events in the history of Israel, the birth of Christ, and of the future state.

During this most glorious period of the history of the kingdom, Alfred, or Ælfrith, was king from 685 to 705, and he and his successors were in intimate communication with the sovereigns of Western Europe, as this was considered the most powerful kingdom in the country, and York the greatest capital. This state of things continued until 827, when Northumberland-nominally, at leastsubmitted to the supremacy of Egbert, King of the West Saxons ; but it was not until the time of Athelstan that there was a real King of all England in fact and in name.

Serious troubles again affected York and the Earldom of Northumberland, when the Danes conquered the country in 867, and finally settled in it, becoming blended with the people. Guthrum, however, was supreme over the old kingdom, as well as a great part of the east country, being recognised as king at York, whilst Alfred reigned over the remainder of England.

În time the two peoples became one, superior in energy to the inhabitants of other parts of the country, and retaining the distinctive characters of their Anglian and Scandinavian forefathers.

After London had grown in importance and become the capital of the whole country, York was considered the second city of England, which position it still nominally holds, by its chief magistrate being styled “ Lord Mayor”. In ecclesiastical matters it was the capital of the North, and until the foundation of the Archbishopric of St. Andrews, in 1446, all Scotland was really or nominally under its jurisdiction, with the exception of the Western Isles, which for two or three centuries were under the authority of Drontheim, in Norway.

York has lost its great school at St. Mary's Abbey, once so famous, and which ought to have been made into a University, so that it might have still remained the literary as well as ecclesiastical centre of the north of England. It is, however, well represented by its daughter, the Royal Grammar School of St. Peter. If the ancient glories are departed, compared with other places, York has a grand history to look back upon, and it has done its part in the life and learning of England.

ON A MAGICAL ROLL PRESERVED IN THE

BRITISH MUSEUM.

BY W. SPARROW-SIMPSON, D.D., F.S.A., SUB-DEAN OF

ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

On two previous occasions I have read papers before the Association upon some remarkable forms of popular superstition : the first paper, “ On the Measure of the Wound in the Side of the Redeemer", and its use as a charm; the second,“ On a Magical Roll of the Seventeenth Century. I

propose, in the present paper, to complete the trilogy by the examination of another Roll which preserves a charm very similar in its character to that indi- . cated above.

The Magical Roll which is the subject of the present memoir is printed in extenso as an appendix to it. Unhappily the Roll is somewhat defaced ; and the first

portion of it, which is by far the most interesting, is so illegible that a transcript of it must necessarily be frag. mentary and imperfect. But I have found in Hearne's Reliquiæ copious notes upon a similar parchment Roll, with which the MS. now printed may advantageously be compared, and which will in effect enable us to supply some of the lacuna.

Thomas Hearne tells us that he transcribed the “parchment Roll” on April 21, 1710. It was written, as he thinks,“ by an ignorant scribe about three hundred years ago. The Roll contained a picture of Our Lord, a picture of St. Veronica, figures of the three nails, the crown of thorns, the five wounds, the seamless coat, the dice, the scourge, the rod, the cock, the pillar, and the hammer--the usual symbols of the Passion. Then follows an indulgence of Pope Innocent :

“ Pope Innocent hath graunted to what man or woman that dayly worchyppeht the v pryncypall woundes of oure Lorde Jhesu

i See the British Archeological Association Journal for 1874, vol. xxx, pp. 357-74, and the Journal for 1884, vol. xl, pp. 297-332.

2 Reliquiæ Hearnianæ, edited by Philip Bliss, 2nd edition, vol. i, pp. 193-8. 8vo., Lond., 1869.

Cryste with v pater nosters, v aves, and a crede, pyteously beholdying or remembring the armys of Crystys passion, schall have the vii partes of there penaunce released yn the paynys of purgatory, and vii petycyons ryghtwysly asked:

The fyrst he schall not dye none evyll deth. “ The ij he schall not be slayne with no wepyn.

“The iij he schall not passe oute of thys wordyll withoute the sacrament of holy chyrche.

“ The iiij fals wytnesse schall not greve hym. “The v he schall have suffycyent goodes and honest lyvyng. “The vj he schall not be wrongfully yuged." “The vij he schall be defended from all wycked sprytes by the

grace of God."

The indulgence is succeeded by an exceedingly interesting hymn in English :

“ Jhesu, for thyne holy name,

And for thy bytter passyon,
Save us frome syn and schame
And fromme endles dampnacyon,
And bryng us to the blysse
That never shall have ende.

Swete Jhesu. Amen." A rude drawing of the cross, 4 inches in length, is then given. On the transverse beam, IN NOMINE IHESV SIGNO SIGNO; and on the stem, five Tau crosses, between which are the words (probably not very accurately copied) No, ME, TA, Yow; and below, one of the five wounds.

"Thys crosse xv tymys metyn ys the lenght of oure Lorde Jhesu Cryst, and what day ye looke theron and blesse yow therewith, there schall no wycked spryte have no power to hurte yow, nother thunder nor lytenyng, ne tempeste on londe nor upon watyr schall not greve yow, nor ye schall not be overcumme with youre enemy bodyly ne gostly ne comberyd with no fendys. And yef a woman have thys crosse on hyr whan sche travellyth of chylde, sche shall sone be delyverde, and the chylde schall have crystendū and the mother puryfycacyon of holy churche. Seint Cyriate and Seint Julitte desyred thes petycyonys of God, and he graunted them, as hyt ys regesteryd yn Rome at Saynte John Laterens." Then follows this antiphon with a various reading : "Salve decus parvulorum Miles Regis angelorum

1 Sic; but probably for "juged”, i.e., judged.

2 Hearne reads deus for decus, but I venture to restore the true reading : he also reads mile for miles.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »