Puslapio vaizdai

portraits of Henry VIII. and Anne of Cleves, painted by Holbein, and which, by the over-flattering likeness of Anne, occafioned fo much mifchief. This is fecurely depofited in a drawer of the library, and we must say that if Anne had been as comely-looking as there represented, even Henry could not have complained of her plainness. The library table is of the time of Henry III., and amongst the valuable collection of books is the original edition of 1521, of Henry VIII.'s Affertio Septem Sacramenta, contra M. Luther, which obtained for Henry the title of Defender of the Faith, from the Pope; with a curious frontispiece by Hans Holbein. There are also other relics of Henry VIII., and portraits of Luther and his wife, Catherine à Boria. On the table of the drawing-room is a pair of enamelled copper candlesticks, seven hundred years old, with an inkstand and other articles of nearly the fame age. The Doucean Museum contains the rich collection of works of art and antiquity, collected by Mr. Francis Douce, and bequeathed by him to Sir Samuel Meyrick, confifting of paintings of the Byzantine and Italian schools, tapestry, drawings, engravings, carvings in wood and ivory, enamels, cinquecent bronzes, coins and medals, crefts, antiquities of Greece, Egypt, Rome, Mexico, Perfia, China, and India. Befides this every room has its appropriate fittings and objects of historic and artistic intereft. During our vifit at Goodrich Court we were lodged in the chamber of William and Mary.

Fountains Abbey.

O part of England in the palmy days of Romanism could boast more fplendid monaftic buildings, or can now show more magnificent remains of them, than Yorkshire. Greatly varied in its scenery, this extensive county is traversed by dales and glens, presenting every attraction to that love of feclusion, and yet of ftately half religious, half baronial life, which distinguished the facred orders of the Roman church. Woods and rivers, and fair uplands, and wild forest tracks, gave every scope for the love of folitude, of the pomp and harmony of worship, or for the more worldly tastes for the chace, and the tributes of fish and feræ naturæ, and bovine and pecudine substantials for the refectory. Fountains and Rievaux, Jervaux and Byland, and many another name, raise visions of the now shattered grandeur of the monaftic ages, that had nothing to outvie it in any country of Europe. Of all these, and of all fuch fuperb feats of conventual power and splendour in England, none can equal in extent of ruin, as once in amplitude of estate, the noble pile of Fountains. We are told that after its original period of poverty and distress, a great prosperity flowed in upon the establishment. Many persons of power and opulence purchased, by large donations, a fepulture within the walls of the abbey. Favoured by popes, kings, and pre


lates, with various immunities and privileges, and enriched by a fucceffion of princely gifts, Fountains Abbey became one of the wealthiest monafteries of the kingdom. The church ranked amongst the fairest structures of the land, and the poffeffions attached to it comprehended a vaft extent, embracing the country from the foot of Pennigent to the boundaries of St. Wilfrid of Ripon, an uninterrupted space of more than thirty miles. Befides many other wide domains, the lands in Craven contained, in a ring fence, a hundred fquare miles, or fixty thousand acres, on a moderate computation.

We learn from the "Monafticon," on the authority of

Hugh, a monk of Kirkstall, that the fite of this monastery was granted in 1132, by Thurfton, Archbishop of York, out of his liberty of Ripon, which town, containing the venerable cathedral of St. Wilfrid, is not four miles off. He conferred it on certain monks, who separated themselves from what they deemed the lax discipline of the Benedictine abbey of St. Mary of York, and resolved to adopt the Ciftercian rule, which was then becoming famous from the reputed fanctity and daring enthusiasm of St. Bernard. Richard, the prior, with the fubprior, ten monks of St. Mary's, and Robert, a monk of Whitby, retired in the depth of winter to this secluded, and, at that period, wild and uncultivated dell, where they commenced a church in honour of the Bleffed Virgin. They found shelter, according to tradition, under a gigantic elm, which is said to have lived on for four hundred years; and, if fo, probably only fell with the abbey itself, for the royal commiffioners of Henry VIII. arrived to pronounce its doom in 1535. There are alfo remaining old yews still standing near the abbey mill, and probably planted by the first fathers of the place. Like the founders of many other monafteries, the monks were at first nearly driven away by starvation. They determined to accept the invitation of St. Bernard to go over and take refuge in his monastery of Clairvaux, in Champagne, but just at this juncture good fortune began to smile on them; they remained, and the monastery grew into the splendour and the wealth which we have mentioned.

The hiftory of Fountains Abbey is like hundreds of other fuch houses. In fome contentions in its earlier days between Murdoc, its abbot, and one William, for election to the archbishopric of York, the partizans of William fet fire to it, and burnt it down, hoping to have burnt Murdoc in it. It was foon rebuilt, for the ftyle of the main body of the abbey is

Early English, and though many additions were made to it, they must have been either very early, or only towards the conclusion of the papal ascendancy in England; for the main body of the building is in the Early English ftyle, and the tower in the Perpendicular. We are told that in 1203, Ralph, the ninth abbot, commenced the building of the choir, and that fucceffive abbots built the Lady Chapel, or chapel of the Nine Altars, and that these, with the great cloifter, the Infirmary, and the Xenodochium, or house of entertainment for the poor, were not completed till 1247. The great tower appears to have been built by the abbots Huby and Darnton at the end of the fifteenth century, and is of the style of that period, the Perpendicular; so that it must have been in the glory of its freshness when the commiffioners of Henry VIII. arrived in 1535 to terminate its ecclefiastical existence. It was finally surrendered in 1539 by Marmaduke Bradley, thirty-eighth abbot. According to the certificates delivered to the commiffioners, its income, including the tythes, was £998 6s. 71⁄2d., but it appears by another account to have realized annually £1,173 os. 7d.

The abbey and part of the eftates were fold by Henry VIII. to Sir Richard Gresham, the father of Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal Exchange in London. In the eighteenth century, the property was purchased by William Aislabie, the son of Mr. Chancellor Aislabie, the proprietor of the adjoining property of Studley Royal, also an original domain of the Abbey of Fountains, which had passed through the hands of the families of Aleman, Le Gros, Tempest, and Mallory; John Aislabie, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the beginning of the eighteenth century, having inherited it from Mary Mallory, his mother. The two properties were thrown together by the son of the Chancellor, the purchaser of Fountains, and now conftitute a property having few rivals

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