Abbildungen der Seite

shambles, which, were they shouldered down, would heighten the beauty of the place. Through the town runs a small stream of clear water, with a little square dipping place at every door. The first serge manufactory in Devonshire was in this town ; but it is now employed in the manufacture of lace, which is made broader here than any where else in England ; and of which great quantities are sent to London. A speci. men of lace has been shewn, the thread of which it was fabricated cost the manufacturer upwards of ninety guineas a pound at Antwerp; also lady's veils are made and fold from ten to seventy guineas. A dreadful firo happened here 1747, by which three-fourths of the town were consumed. By this, and similar accidents, however, the place has been eventually benefitted; for the houses which are rebuilt in the room of the old buildings, are said to be neater in their appearance and more commodious to the inhabitants.

The parish church stands most pleasantly on an hill above the town, whither I had an agreeable waik ; the edifice presented an antique appearance, and there were many tombs within the walls, which contained the bones of several persons of distinction. Around one of the pillars was entwined the following sentencem-Prax for the foul of-the name was almost obliterated. It had eviden:ly been inscribed there in the days of Popery, previous to the period of the Reformation. The church. yard was crowded with graves; and at the entrance of one of the fide doors, was fhewn me the spot where lay the remains of the Reverend Dr. William Harris, (who died 1770) author of the Lives of the Stuarts. He re. Gided in Honiton for many years, and sustained a cha. racter of great respectability. He published an Histo. rical and Critical Account of the Life of James the First, of Charles the First, of Oliver Cromwell, of Hugh Peters, and of Charles the Second, in two volumes. He began the Life of James the Second ; but the materials left behind him were too scanty for pub

lication, lication. I have, thus particularly enumerated his several publications, because his Life of Charles the Second is omitted in the list of his productions, with which we are furnished, in the late new edition of the Biographical Dictionary. Mr. Hollis was his munifi. cent patron, and has thus juftly characterised his labours--- All his works have been well received, and those who differ from him in principle, ftill value him in point of industry and faithtulness.”

This country church-yard seems to have been of that rustic cast which might have inspired the muse of a GRAY. In walking round it my eve was fixed on a row of graves, over which were railed respectively the graffy turf alone ; and on which the setting sun thone with splendour. An object so peculiar, called up to my mind the lines of Beattie, my favourite poet

Let vanity adorn the marble tomh,
With trophies, rhymes, and 'scuitchcons of renown,
In the deep dungeon of some gothic dome,
Where night and desolation ever frown.
Mine be ihe breezy bill that skirts the down,
Where a green grally turf is all I crave,
With here and there a violet bestrown
Fait by a brook or fountain's murmuring wave,

And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave! During my short stay at Honiton, I had an opportunity of being present, one Sunday evening, at a meeting of itinerant Quakers. Curiosity drew together a vast crowd of people in the General Baptist place of worship, which was obligingly lent the Friends for the purpose. Two women and a man, from America, held forth on this occasion. One of the women spoke well; indeed her countenance conciliated attention. Her features were marked by a pleasing folemnity, and her manner, though not entirely free from the usual tone, was characterised by a graceful fimplicity. The harangues of the two others were tediously long, and the audience discovered manifest signs of impatience

long long before the meeting came to a conclusion. The whole scene convinced me that such crowded assemblies cannot leave behind them any very serious impreffions. The Quakers are a reputable body of people ; but the singularities of their speech, and the peculiar form of their habiliments, are unworthy of the good sense which they discover on other subjects. Their hatred of war, their inviolable love of peace, and their habits of induftrious economy, however, entitle them, in spite of all their eccentricities, to the esteem of the community.

At Honiton, the worthy niece of the late Dr. William Harris Thèwed me a curious Latin book of heruncle's, printed in the time of the Protectorate, and executed with great typographical beauty. It contained a most extravagant panegyric on the character of Oliver Cromwell, and was decorated with a striking likeness of that celebrated man, on horseback. The resemblance between the two Latin terms, Olivus, an olive tree, and Oliverus, Oliver, is the foundation of this very complimentary performance. Accordingly the frontifpiece exhibits a fine lofty olive-tree, on the trunk of which, near the root, is infcribed in large letters Oliverus; and on its numerous branches, majestically stretching themselves forth on either side, are engraven the chiet virtues which adorn humanity. The author having informed us, at the commencement of the treatise, that by the trunk is meant OLIVER CROMWELL, a whole chapter is assigned to each of the virtues, shewing that they are all, in their full plenitude, centered in this great man; and that, therefore, he is entitled to universal admiration! This curiosity convinced me, that an exceffive adulation of men in power, is by no means peculiar to monarchical governments. Nor muft I omit to inform you, that a gentleman in this neighbourhood, at whole house I passed a very agreeable day, favoured the company with a sight of fome beautiful fofils, in which the taste of the Selector was conspicuSeveral exquisite botanical sketches were also


[ocr errors]

brought out for inspection, by particular request. To investigate the beauties of nature is a moft laudable employ; to the Supreme Author such an exercise of our powers is a tribute of praise, and to the contemplator of them it yields an heart-felt satisfaction.

My friend having joined me at Honiton, we next day proceeded eighteen miles onwards towards Taunton, in the county of Somerset. TAUNTON, is a corruption of the original name, Thone Town, or Tone Town, which ir derived from its fituation upon the banks of the river Thond or Tone. It is 145 miles from London, has been termed the key of the West of England, and Cambden calls it one of the eyes of the county. It is charmingly fituated in one of the richest vallies in the kingdom. The beauties of the vale of Taunton-Dean are every where known and admired. The town it. self is pleasant, the streets are spacious and handsome, and the lofty tower of St. Mary Magdalen, strikes the cye with grandeur and majesty. A castle was built here by one of the Bishops of Winchester, to the prelates of which see this town and deanery belonged, even before the conquest. It was a building of great extent; and in the hall, which with the outward gate and porter's lodge, are still ftanding, are, for the most part, held the affizes for the county. In Taunton a great many persons are engaged in the manufactures of ferges, du. roys, shalloons, and other woollen stuffs, in the weaving of which 1100 looms are faid to have been once employed. The filk manufactory, however, now begins io fourish here, and must contribute to its prosperity. The town is indebted to the activity of Sir Benjamin Hammet, a native of this place, for many of its modern improvements.

Here are two parish churches, and several respectable difsenting places of worihip, a well endowed grammarschool and alms houses. The election of members of parliament here is fingular; for every pot-walloper, that is, all who dress their own victuals, are entitled to


be ranked among the voters. Hence the inmates or lodgers, on the eve of an election, have each a fire in the street at which they dress victuals publickly, left their votes should be called in question! in the reign of William, the river Tone was made navigable for barges, from Taunton to Bridgewater. Of the rise, progress, and state of this town, Dr. Toulmin, in his history of Taunton, has given much curious information.

TAUNTON was the grand centre of the Duke of Monmouth's Rebellion, in the reign of James the Second, for here he was proclaimed king, and a company of

young girls, from ten to twelve years old, with chap. Jets of Aowers on their heads, presented a Bible to him on the occasion. As the excellive punishment of the infurgents is thought, by the English historians to have haftened the glorious Revolution of 1688 ; a few particulars may prove acceptable to the younger branches of your family. A just hatred of tyranny, and a proper sense of the superior freedom we now enjoy, are amongst the best legacies we can bequeath to a succeeding generation.

The Duke of Monmouth was the illegitimate son of Charles the Second, and, of course, the nephew of James the Second. Having, for state reasons, been exiled into Holland, he there formed a plan of invading this country in order to displace James, on account of his bigotted attachment to Popery. The chief purport of the insurrection, therefore, was to aid and lupport the Protestant religion, which was thought to be, at that period, not only endangered, but in a fair way of being destroyed.

The Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme, June 11, 1685, was proclaimed King at Taunton, the zoth, and totally defeated at Sedgemore, near BRIDGEWATER, the 5th of July. Thus terminated a rebellion rafhly undertaken and feebly conducted. The unfortunate Duke fied from the field of battle, till his horse funk under him--was found in a ditch with raw pease in his


« ZurückWeiter »