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therefore, accepted the thoughtful offer, and the civil photographer's eight-year-old daughter was rewarded for her trouble with a shilling.
The clerk, a poor old man, was at home, and at once got the keys and hobbled with us to the church as fast as his crippled legs would allow. He told us that he was 'hard of hearing,' which was manifest, and further informed us that his father was born a hundred and two years ago. Yes, sir,
Yes, sir, my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have all been sextons here'-of which fact he seemed very proud.
We were taken at once to the vestry, and, opening a little cupboard in the wall, there the clerk showed us the shrivelled head of the Archbishop-and a gruesome sight it was, with the ears and skin upon it dried up like parchment, looking even more ghastly than that of an Egyptian mummy. The head had been recently varnished by a local doctor, so we were informed, the better to preserve it. Below it, in puzzling old English letters, is the following inscription, which I have faithfully transcribed, omitting only one word difficult to decipher :
The Head of Simon Theobald who was born at Sudbury ..
R’thenn called Simon of Sudbury. He was sent when but a Youth into fforeign Parts to Study the Civil Law. Whereof he was made Doctor. He visited most of the Universities of ffrans.
was made Chaplain to Pope Innocent and Auditor Rota,
a Judge of the Roman Court. By interest of this Pope he was made Chancellor of Salisbury. In the Year 1361 he was consecrated Bishop of London, and in the Year 1375 was translated to the See of Canterbury and made Chancellor of
England. while he was Bishop of London he Built the
upper part of St. Gregory's in Sudbury : and where his ffather's House Stood he erected a College of Secular Priests and endowed it with the Yearly Revenue of one Hundred
AN ARCHBISHOP BEHEADED.
Twenty-two Pounds eighteen shillings, and was at length
Richard 2d 1382.
The body of the unfortunate Archbishop lies beneath an altar-tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. It seemed to us a pity that his head is not allowed to rest in peace there also, instead of being made a sort of vulgar peepshow of, to gratify idle curiosity. The day for relics has gone by.
St. Gregory's Church, which stands upon the site of an earlier Saxon one of wood, possesses many ancient and curious tomb-slabs. The clerk, who, in spite of his age and infirmities, manifestly took a great interest and pride in the church, pointed out some of these to us, one half hidden under matting, and another wholly hidden under the organ. He told us that several of the memorial slabs had been removed from the chancel when it was restored, in order, we presumed, to make room for the trumpery modern tiles that now have place there. Probably it was then that the old roof was painted a crude blue, and adorned (save the mark !) with gilt stars.
Perhaps the finest of these memorials to the long departed dead is one consisting of a large grey stone slab, with a deep recess, evidently in times past containing a brass. This stone has been much worn by the overflow of water from the piscina-such, at least, the clerk told us, was the opinion of certain antiquaries who had inspected it. Then we were shown another slab, the matrix upon which exhibits a mitre in outline ; this, therefore, we judged, had contained an exceedingly fine brass to a bishop, but who the bishop was there is nothing now left to show. Then we had pointed out to us what we were told was a very curious and beautifully engraved slab; but this being more or less hidden by the deal flooring of the organ, we were unable to judge of its merits ; the clerk, however, said, “That be to the father and mother of the man whose head I showed you in the vestry.' What authority he had for this statement I know not.
Then we were taken to the outside of the church and shown still another ancient stone slab, with the matrix of a very fine brass thereon, which matrix indicates that the brass was of a man and a woman. This interesting stone was removed from the chancel and turned out into the churchyard at the time of the restorations, and is now fast being worn smooth by the frequent tread of worshippers. “You see, sir,' remarked the clerk philosophically, “it baint much use being a great somebody after you're dead.'
In the churchyard here is a tombstone, bearing the date of 1706, to a certain Thomas Carter : “A Sudbury camel that passed through the eye of a needle.'
From Sudbury we made our way to Halstead, our road leading us through a very pretty country. No observant person can travel through rural England without perceiving that important changes are gradually but surely taking place therein. Of old the country community was roughly divided into three main classes : the landlord, the tenant farmer,
OLD AND NEW ENGLAND.
and the labourer. In the ancient homes we have the stately mansion (taking the place of the lordly feudal castle), the pleasant and picturesque farmstead, and the humble cottage. Now everywhere throughout the land a fresh class is making itself apparent. Not a large land-owning one this, but a well-todo middle-class that desires a medium-sized but luxurious home with a few acres around. These new homes of the people meet the traveller's view on
Almost any village that can boast of healthy and picturesque surroundings has one of these fresh comers in its vicinity. Then, too, the large farms, for want of tenants, are being converted into smaller holdings; such holdings necessitate new buildings, which are raised upon the most economical principles, the outcome of all this change being that the recent structures are plain, uninteresting, and mean-looking, in marked contrast with the old-time farmstead with its wealth of spacious barns, granaries, stabling, and the like, so suggestive of contented, abiding, and ample prosperity.
Even that pleasantly familiar and characteristic feature of the English landscape, the tangled hedgerow, is in a measure threatened ; modern scientific farming (that delights in silos, steam-threshers, and machinery) has found it more profitable to keep this closely shorn and unpicturesquely prim, than to let it
grow in its own charming, wild, wayward fashion : and now, but too frequently, when fresh fencing is required, wire and posts are employed as being more economical than the old-fashioned thorn, and not taking anything out of the ground.
What, I wonder, would England be without its green hedges ? They are such every-day features in the country that we hardly realise how much they have to do with its beauty ; but anyone who has travelled in a hedgeless land, such as America, must, on his return home, if he observes things at all, have perceived what a wonderful charm the too little appreciated hedges lend to the landscape.
But of all the modern contrivances for spoiling rural beauty (one that unfortunately asserts its hideous existence far and near), surely nothing can approach the cheap, ready-made, corrugated iron structures ; they are the perfection of ugliness, but they are economical ; and in this competitive moneyseeking age, what is beauty in the balance with gold ? An iron church made in Birmingham, purchased to seat so many persons at so much a head, set
up the midst of the pleasant green country, is as great an eyesore as can be conceived, the worst enemy to rural beauty I wot of, and I would pray in a barn rather than worship in such a fane. Little wonder indeed that Mr. Ruskin became wrathful and indignant when asked to subscribe towards an iron church, and this is how he replied to the request : 'I am scornfully amused at your appeal to me, of all people in the world the precisely least likely to give you a farthing Can't you preach and pray behind hedges-or in a sandpit-or a coal-hole-first? And of all manner of churches idiotically built, iron churches are the damnablest to me.'
Fortunately, in the country, churches of corrugated iron (set up, be it marked, not built) are rare;