Picture of Thomas Pennant

Thomas Pennant

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AFTER a ride of two miles from hence, I entered Coventry, a great and antient city. The time of its foundation is unknown. By the addition of tre, a town, it should seem as if it had been inhabited by the Britons, before the Saxons added the word coven to it, as is conjectured, from a nunnery very antiently established here. The site of the old town is supposed to have been on the north side of the present, not only because great foundations are discovered about the spot called St. Nicholas Church-yard, but, I may add, from the tumulus near it, on the Atherston road, called Barrs Hill, on which might have been a castelet.

THE certainty of there having been a convent here in early times, depends on the authority of John Rous ;1 who says, that when the traitor Edric ravaged this country, in 1016, he burnt the nunnery in this city, of which a holy virgin, St Osburg, had been abbess.

On its ruins, Leofric, fifth Earl of Mercia, and his countess Godeva, founded a monastery. At that period Coventry must have been a considerable place, and its inhabitants numerous, otherwise the fair Godeva could never have made so great a merit of riding naked through the town, to redeem it from the intolerable taxes and grievances it at that time labored under. The cause must have been equal to the deed. Her husband long resisted her importunity in its behalf, on account of the profits that accrued to him: at length he thought to silence her by the strange proposal: she accepted it, and, being happy in fine flowing locks, rode, decently covered to her very feet with her lovely tresses. The history was preserved in a picture, about the time of Richard II. in which were pourtrayed the earl and countess. He holds a charter of freedom in his hand, and thus addresses his lady:

I Luriche (Leofric) for love of thee,
Doe make Coventre toll-free.

Legend says, that previous to her ride, all the inhabitants were ordered, on pain of death, to shut themselves up during the time; but, the curiosity of a certain taylor overcoming his fear, he took a single peep, which is commemorated even, at present, by a figure projecting from a window in Smithford street. To this day, the love of Godeva to the city is annually remembered, by a procession: and a valiant fair still rides, (not literally like the good countess, but) in silk, closely fitted to her limbs, and of color emulating their complexion.2

AFTER the Conquest, the lordship of this city fell, by the marriage of Lucia (daughter to Algar, successor and son of Edwin, and grandson of Leofric) with her third husband Randle Meschine, to the Earls of Chester .3 Randle bestowed on it the same privileges that Linsda enjoyed, and bestowed great part of the city on the monks. When Henry III. took the earldom of Chester into his hands, the remainder of Coventry fell to William de Albany Earl of Arundel, in right of his wife Mabil, daughter of Hugh Ceveilioc. On the death of Hugh Earl of Arundel, in 1243, it fell to Roger de Montalto, who had married Cecilia, his youngest sister. After that, it was granted by his grandson Robert, in default of issue, to Isabel, queen mother of Edward III. with remainder to John of Eltham, afterwards Earl of Cornwall; and then to Edward king of England. It thus became annexed to the earldom of Cornwall, and became more immediately the object of royal favor. Edward III. in the eighteenth of his reign, by letters dated the 20th of January, made it a corporation, consisting of a mayor and two bailiffs, whom the inhabitants were to select from among themselves. The first mayor was John Ward, who was chosen in the year 1348.

Henry VI. in 1451, bestowed on this city a very particular mark of his affection, by erecting it, with a considerable district around, into a county,4 by the name of the city and county of Coventry; and ordered that the bailiffs from that time should be sheriffs: so that at present, it is governed by a mayor, recorder, two sheriffs, ten aldermen, thirty-one superior and twenty-five inferior common-council-men. Henry came expressly to Coventry, heard mass in St. Michael's church, presented the church with a gown of cloth of gold, and then created the first sheriffs.

THE representatives are returned by the sheriffs of the city, after being chosen by the freemen, who are all enrolled, and are freemen from having served seven years as apprentices within the city or suburbs. To be qualified to vote, a man must have been enrolled a full year before the time of an election. He must produce his indentures before the mayor at a time appointed, and take an oath that he hath not absented himself from the service of his master during the term of his apprenticeship.

THE city sent members in the four first parlements of Edward I. That privilege was interrupted (except in the eighth of Edward II. and twentieth and twenty-fifth of Edward III.) till the thirty-first of Henry VI. when it was resumed.

AMONG all its privileges, unfortunately for the magistrates, it has that of life and death.5

THE county of Coventry extends about four miles round the city, but the service of an apprenticeship in this extent beyond the city and suburbs does not entitle a man to his freedom, or to the privilege of a vote; neither can a man, though possessed of land to the amount of 1000l.. per annum, that lies within the county of Coventry, be entitled to vote at an election for the county of Warwick, so that the land-owners of the county of the city of Coventry may truly be said not to be represented in parlement.

A TRIAL of this particular was made in the general election of 1774, and claims to vote for the county of Warwick upon freehold in two parishes were given in, which, being in the county of Coventry, were not admitted. It was therefore required to give the votes upon freehold in the county of Warwick. The freeholders had not been called upon to vote for seventy years, but they had it upon record, that lands within the county of Coventry were not entitled to vote at an election for the county of Warwick .

Two parlements have been held in this city, in the great chamber of the priory. The first, in 1404, by Henry IV. which was stiled Parliamentum indoctorum; not that it consisted of a greater number of blockheads than parlements ordinarily do, but from its inveteracy against the clergy, whose revenues it was determined not to spare: whence it was also called the Laymen's Parlement .

THE other was held in the chapter-house of the priory, in 1459, by Henry VI. and was called Parliamentum diabolicum, by reason of the multitude of attainders passed against Richard Duke of York, and his adherents.

THE trade of this city consisted originally in the manufacture of cloth, and caps, or bonnets,6 which arose to a great degree of consequence, as early as 1436, and continued till the seventeenth century, when it was changed for the worsted business; and, for a long time, the making and sale of shags, camblets, lastings, tammies, &c. &c. proved very extensive and profitable; but this gradually migrated into Leicestershire and Northamptonshire; and at present, only a few articles, such as camblets and lastings, constitute the woollen trade.7

I MUST remark, that in the beginning, or middle, of the sixteenth century, Coventry had a vast manufacture of blue thread; which was lost before the year 1581.8 So famous was it for its dye, that true as Coventry blue became proverbial.

ABOUT eighty years ago, the silk manufacture of ribands was introduced here, and, for the first thirty years, remained in the hands of a few people, who acquired vast fortunes; since which, it has extended to a great degree, and is supposed to employ at lest ten thousand people; it has likewise spread into the neighboring towns, such as Nuneaton, and other places. Such real good results from our little vanities!

THERE are about a dozen traders in Coventry, who have houses in London; to which they send up weekly great quantities of ribands; and, before our unhappy breach with America, a very extensive trade was carried on with the colonies: but the home-consumption has been always reckoned most material. A few ribands are exported to Spain, Portugal, and Russia; but the French undersell us at those markets.

WITHIN these few years, four or five houses have begun to introduce the making of gauzes; and for that purpose chiefly, employ hands from Scotland. This branch is at present in its infancy. A manufacture of broad silks was likewise set up, which, I am sorry to find, does not go on with the expected success.

THE military transactions of this city are very few. It was an open town for many centuries, and, of course, incapable of sustaining a siege. The walls were not begun till the year 1355, and then by virtue of a licence granted by Edward III. twenty-seven years before; nor were they finished in less than forty. They were built with money raised by taxes, and by customs on the wine, malt, oxen, hogs, calves, and sheep, consumed in Coventry. These walls were of great strength and grandeur, furnished with thirty-two towers and twelve gates; they continued till the 22d of July 1661, when great part of the wall, and most of the towers, and many of the gates, were pulled down, with certain circumstances of disgrace, as a punishment for the disloyalty of the inhabitants, for refusing admission to their monarch Charles I. on the 13th of August 1642. His majesty, after setting up his standard at Nottingham, had sent to this city, to acquaint them that he meant to reside there for some time, and desired quarters for his forces in and about the place. The mayor and aldermen, with many expressions of affection, offered to receive the king, but refused admittance to any of the soldiery. Incensed at this, his majesty attacked the city, and with his ordnance forced open one of the gates; but was repulsed by the valour of the citizens, and obliged to retire with loss.9 In the following month Coventry was regularly garrisoned by the parlement,10 and remained in its possession during the whole war.

I SHOULD have mentioned before, that in the fifteenth century another monarch had been denied the possession of this city. The great Earl of Warwick armed it against Edward IV. in 1470, when he attempted entering on the side of Gosford Green. The king amply repaid the insult on the citizens, who perhaps acted by constraint. He deprived them of their privileges, and made them pay five hundred marks for their recovery, by having the sword restored to them.

BEFORE the building of the walls, there had been, from very early times, a castle on the south side of the town, near Chylesmore, with a park belonging to it. This had been the residence of the kings and earls of Mercia: it afterwards fell to the earls of Chester, and at length was vested in the royal line. No vestige of it is now to be seen: in its place is a very antient wooden building, the remains of the manor-house of Chylesmore, probably built after the demolition of the castle. It was of Saxon origin, and was bestowed by the Conqueror on Robert de Marmion, the same to whom he had granted Tamworth and its dependencies.

KING Stephen forcibly took this fortress from Randle de Gernons Earl of Chester. The earl, in 1146, attempted to reduce it, not by siege, but by erecting a fort near it, in order to distress the garrison, by cutting off supplies. The king twice attempted its relief; the first time without success, but in the second action he defeated the earl, forced him to fly, covered with wounds, and then demolished the castle.11 There was a great enmity between Robert, son of the first Robert Marmion, and Randle de Gernons, and he determined to dispossess the earl of his castle in the year 1142; it being at that time the place of his residence. Marmion seized on the priory and fortified it, after expelling the monks. He then sunk pit-falls in the adjacent fields, and covered them lightly with earth, in order to entrap any who attempted to approach him. But seeing the earl's forces drawing near, he went out to reconnoitre, and was caught in his own snares; for falling into one he broke his thigh, and was seized by a common soldier, who instantly cut off his head.12

I SHALL take notice of the ecclesiastical history, churches, remains of religious houses, and the public buildings, in the course of my walk through the city, in which I was accompanied by the Reverend Doctor Edwards; whose hospitality and politeness I have more than once had occasion to experience.

Coventry is seated on ground gently sloping on most sides: its length, from Hillstreet-gate to Gosford-gate, is about three quarters of a mile, exclusive of the suburbs. The streets in general are narrow, and composed of very antient buildings, the stories of which, in some, impend one over the other in such a manner, as nearly to meet at top, and exclude the sight of the sky. By the appearance of the whole, it is very evident that it never underwent the calamity of fire; which, deprecated as it ought to be, is usually the cause of future improvement.

THE number of inhabitants, taken at different periods, in the last two hundred years, is very different. Before 1549, they were found to have been 15,000; but on that violent convulsion, the Dissolution, trade grew so low, and occasioned such a dispersion of people from this city, as to reduce them to 3,000. To remedy this evil, Edward VI. granted the city a charter for an additional fair. To this cause perhaps was owing the increase, by the year 1586, to 6,502. In 1644, when the inhabitants were numbered, from the apprehension of a siege, they were found to amount to 9,500.13 By Bradford's Survey14 of Coventry, made in 1748 and 1749, there appears to have been 2,065 houses, and 12,117 people. The accounts of the present population vary from 20,000 to 30,000; but, from my enquiries, the middle sum between both may come nearest the truth.15

THE city is watered by the Radford and the Sherburn brooks, which, from N. and S. meet within the walls, and, after a short current, bound the north-eastern parts without the walls.

WE began our progress from the Chester road, on the western side of the city, at the reliques of Sponne hospital, consisting of the chapel and gateway. It was founded for the lepers which happened to be in Coventry, by Hugh Ceveilioc Earl of Chester, out of affection to William de Auney, a knight of his houshold, afflicted with the leprosy. Here was also a priest, to pray both for the living and the dead; also certain brethren and sisters, to pray, with the lepers, for the good estate of all their benefactors. This hospital is said once to have belonged to the abbey of Basingwerk, in Flintshire; but at length was appropriated to the monks of Coventry, from whom it passed to the crown, in the time of Edward IV; who gave it to the canons of Studley, in order to obtain their prayers for him, and all his connections.

THAT loathsome disorder, which gave rise to this, and numbers of other similar foundations, was introduced into England in the reign of Henry I. and was supposed to have been brought out of Egypt, or perhaps the east, by means of the crusades. To add to the horror, it was contagious; which enhanced the charity of a provision for such miserables, who were not only naturally shunned, but even chaced, by royal edict, from the society of their fellow-creatures.16 All the lesser Lazar houses in England were subject to the rich house at Burton, in Leicestershire; which again was subject to that in Jerusalem .17 They were usually dedicated to St. Lazarus, from whom they derived their name.

A LITTLE farther is the entrance into the city; within my memory under a venerable and magnificent gate, called Sponne Gate; demolished in 1771, in order to give admittance to the enormous waggons, loaden beyond the height of arches erected when war was our chief trade.

IMMEDIATELY within the walls, on the left, stands the church of St. John, a very handsome building, with a neat but not lofty tower, placed in the centre: the inside is in form of a cross, intersected by a short transept: the windows high, and forming a long range, with very narrow divisions. This church was originally a chapel to the merchants gild, the most antient in Coventry, licensed by Edward III. in 1340, for a fraternity of brethren and sisters, with a warden, or master, to be elected out of the body, who might make chauntries, bestow alms, and do other works of piety; constitute ordinances, and purchase lands to the value of £ .20 a year, within the liberty of the city, for founding a chauntry of six priests, to sing mass every day in the churches of the holy Trinity and St. Michael, for the soul of king Edward, queen Philippa, their children, and for the souls of the gild, and others. Soon after, Isabel, queen-mother, assigned the land on this spot, then called Bablake, for building a chapel, in which masses were to be sung daily for the same purposes, which was finished and dedicated in 1350. At length, in 1399, licence was given for celebrating divine service here, provided it might be done without injury to the mother-church.18

ON the dissolution, its revenues were found to be £ .111 13s. 8d. which supported a warden and eight priests, who had chambers in the precinct, a master of a grammar-school, two singing-clerks, and two singing-boys, and several poor men, who had been brethren of the gild. The church has of late years been rebuilt; made a rectory by act of parlement, in 1734, and settled on the master of the free-school of Coventry .19

BEHIND this church is Bablake hospital, an old building, with a court in the middle: one part is occupied by Bond's alms-houses, founded in 1506, by Thomas Bond, mayor of Coventry in 1497, for ten poor men and one poor woman, with a priest to pray for the soul of the founder, his grandfather, father, and all Christian souls. At that time the revenues were £ .49. 11s. 7d. In the first20 of Edward VIth's time, they were vested in the city. The revenues being improved, they maintain at present eighteen old men and a nurse, each of whom has three shillings a week, a black gown, and other emoluments. About the year 1619, an infernal ambition of becoming chief of the house, seized one of the alms-men; who, to attain his end, poisoned eight of his brethren; five of whom instantly died. On detection, the wretch effected his own destruction by the same method, and was buried with the usual marks of infamy. Had his fortune flung him into a higher station, his deeds would have paralleled him with Cesar Borgia, or his more monstrous father, Pope Alexander VI.

THE other part of the building is allotted for the blue boys: a foundation owing to a very singular accident. Mr. Thomas Wheatly, mayor of Coventry in 1556, and ironmonger and card-maker by trade, sent his servant, Oughton, to Spain, to buy some barrels of steel gads; which he thought he did, in open fair. When they were brought home and examined, they were found to contain cochineal and ingots of silver. Mr. Wheatly kept them for a considerable time, in hopes of discovering the owner; for his servant did not know from whom he bought them. At length he applied the profits, as well as much of his own estate, for the support of poor children.

FROM thence my walk was continued along the west side of the city, to Bishopsgate-street. A little without is the head of the great canal, which, passing by the neighboring collieries at Hawkesbury, is to extend to Brinklow, Hill-Morton, Braunston in Northamptonshire, return into Warwickshire, and, after passing by Banbury, conclude at Oxford .21 By another branch, likewise begun near to Coventry, it is to pass by Atherston and Tamworth, and to unite with the great Staffordshire canal on Fradley heath, three miles N. E. of Lichfield ;22 which, by means of the Stour Port canal, would have become the uniting spot of the commerce of the Thames, the Severn, and the Trent, had Britain flourished in the manner it did when these vast designs were undertaken, in the full intoxication of its prosperity. At present it is only finished as far as Atherston .23

AT the lower end of this street is the free school, dedicated to St. John Baptist: it sprung out of an hospital, founded in the beginning of the reign of Henry II. by Laurence, prior of Coventry, and his convent, at the request of Edmund, archdeacon of Coventry, for the reception of the sick and needy. At the dissolution, John Hales, clerk of the hanaper in the time of Henry VIII. a gentleman who had a large share in the plunder of the church, and having neither wife nor child, converted this foundation, which he had purchased at a very cheap rate, into a free-school, and endowed it with CC marks a year in land. At first, the boys were instructed in the church of the White. Friars; but the magistrates finding that Mr. Hales had bought the lands but not the church, took advantage of the flaw, removed the scholars to the present place, and pulled down the church.24 The chapel, now reduced to one aile, is the present school; and the master resides in the house belonging to the antient master of the hospital. The school has also a library belonging to it. Mr. Hales died in 1572: his fortunes, which chiefly lay in Warwickshire, devolved to John, son of his eldest brother Christopher, who made his residence at Hales Place, the antient house of the White Friars in this city, and in 1660 was dignified by Charles II. with the title of Baronet.

PASS by Cookstreet Gate, on the outside of the city, and a little further, by the Three Virgins, or Priory Gate, between which there is a complete part of the wall. On the outside was a paved road, in imitation of the military way from turret to turret on the famed wall of Severus :25 and besides, here were four other similar roads, which went a mile each way from the city.

AT a small distance without the Priory Gate, is Swanswell Pool, which works the wheel that supplies a part of the city with water. This did belong to the priory, but was at the dissolution purchased by the corporation from the crown.26

FROM hence I returned to the priory, seated on the south side of the brook Sherburn. What bears that name is an uninhabited house,27 of much later date than that monastery; but built on some part of the site of this great foundation.

ABOUT the year 1043, earl Leofric and his fair countess more than repaired the loss in 1016, in the destruction of the famous Savon nunnery, by founding in its stead a magnificent monastery. They placed here an abbot and twenty-four monks of the Benedictine order; enriched the very walls and the church with massy gold and silver, and endowed it with half the town and twenty-four manors. All this they did with the advice of king Edward the Confessor and the reigning pope, and dedicated the church to the honor of God and his blessed mother, St. Peter, St. Osburg, and all saints. The pious founders were buried, according to the custom of the times, in the porches; for the distasteful custom of church interment did not prevale till long after.

THE first abbot was Leofrin; but that dignity was of short duration, for, on the removal of the see of Lichfield to this place, in 1095, by Robert de Limisic, the office was suppressed, the bishop being in such cases always esteemed supreme of the house28 in his stead; a prior was appointed, but without derogating from the honor of the house; for the priors were barons in parlement as well as the preceding abbots, and the place a mitred abbey. This first prelate was more attracted by the wealth of the house than by any spiritual call; for he at once scraped from a single beam five hundred marks worth of silver, in order to carry on the intrigue at Rome against the poor monks. He reduced them to such short commons, that he depressed their spirits, discouraged all sorts of knowlege among them, and, in short, rendered them too dejected to think of obtaining any redress.

THIS was a prelude to greater misfortunes. In the latter end of the following century, Hugh Novani, a Norman, became bishop. He soon quarrelled with the monks; who, in a synod held before the high altar, doubtless on some high provocation, broke his head with the holy cross.

Tantaene animis coelestibus irae!

This enraged the proud prelate (as he was called by those meek monks) to lay his complaint against them at Rome. The pope attended to it, expelled the antient inhabitants, and placed in their room a set of secular canons. The monks, now driven into the wild world, had only the satisfaction of seeing their persecutor struck with deep remorse; for, in 1198, lying on his death-bed, in the abbey of Bec in Normandy, he was seized with fierce horrors at his conduct towards those holy men; implored forgiveness, and desired their intercession with the Almighty in his behalf. He requested to be buried in the habit of the order, that he might receive the benefit of its protection in the other world, and finally consigned himself to purgatory, ibi in diem judicii cruciandus .

LUCKILY at the time of this event, Thomas, a monk of Coventry, happened to be at Rome soliciting the cause of his brethren: but Innocent III. (then pope) was so enraged by his importunities, as to order him to withdraw. The poor monk, with tears, replied, 'Another pope will come, to whom I shall not sue in vain. I therefore will patiently wait your death, as I have that of your two predecessors.' "Here is a devil of a fellow" (says his Holiness, in high wrath, to his attendants) "by St. Peter! he shall not wait for my death; so I will not put him off any longer, but make out the purpose of his petition before I put a morsel more into my mouth."29

THIS troublesome affair ended, they were replaced with double advantage; their privileges, as if by way of atonement for their short sufferings, increased beyond all reason; for in the time of Edward III. they obtained, that they and their tenants, except those who held by knight service more than half a knight's fee, should be quit of murder, robbery, suit to the county or hundred courts, aid to the sheriffs, view of frankpledge, and repair of the king's castles or pools.30 Reign after reign they received fresh emoluments; so that in the end they became possessed of revenues to the amount of £ .731. 19s. 5d., or, after reprises, £ .499. 7s. 4d. 31

AMONG the sacred furniture was an image of the Virgin Mary, adorned with a chain of gold enriched with gems, bestowed by the Countess Godeva on her death-bed: to which the devotees were to say as many prayers as there were in it precious stones.

AND besides this, an arm of St. Augustine of Hippo, which Agelnethus, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1020, bought at Rome from the pope, for the small sum of C talents of silver, and one of gold.32

BUT even this arm had not power to ward off the blow given by the more irresistible one of Henry VIII; who, not content with the expulsion of its inhabitants, and seizure of the revenues, directed this noble pile to be levelled with the ground; which he did, notwithstanding the earnest prayers of its bishop, Rowland Lee, one of his most servile tools. A deed equally wanton and impious!

THE loss is the more to be regretted, as this cathedral is supposed to have been built on the model of that of Lichfield, and to have been equally beautiful. Nothing remains except a fragment, constituting part of a private house, to be seen with difficulty, and after'some search. The palace stood between the priory and St. Michael's, and was sold in 1651, for its materials, to Nathaniel Lacy and Obadiah Chambers, for the sum of one hundred guineas. The last prior, Thomas Camsel, in 1538, was prevaled on to make a surrender of the house, either through fear of death for withstanding the tyrant's pleasure, or through lucre of pension; for he had not less than £ .133. 6s. 8d. annuity, besides other allowances to the monks.33 The site was then granted to John Combes and Richard Stansfield, after flourishing under monastic government above five hundred years.

WHEN the cathedral was standing, Coventry possessed a matchless group of churches, all within one cemetery. St. Michael's at present is a specimen of the most beautiful steeple in Europe: a tower enriched with saintly figures on the sides; an octagon rising out of it, and that lengthened into a most elegant spire. Every part is so finely proportioned, that it is no wonder Sir Christopher Wren spoke of it as a masterpiece of architecture. The outside is extremely handsome; the inside light and lofty, consisting of a body and two ailes, divided by four rows of high and airy pillars and arches. The height of the steeple and length of the church are the same, three hundred and three feet; the width of the latter a hundred and four.

IN king Stephen's time, this church was a chapel to the monks; it became afterwards a vicarage, and on the dissolution fell to the gift of the crown. This, Trinity, and St. John's, form the parishes of this great city; so numerous are the dissenters.

ITS beautiful steeple was begun in the reign of Edward III. in 1372, by two brothers, Adam and William Botener, at their own charges, which amounted annually to one hundred pounds; nor was it finished in less than twenty years. By the stile of architecture, I agree with Sir William Dugdale, that the present body was built in the reign of Henry VI. Some ornament was also added to the steeple at the same time. Coventry seems to have been particularly favored by Henry, or, to speak more properly of that meek prince, by the heroine Margaret; for this city used to be stiled the secret harbour of that queen.

TRINITY church, and its spire, would be spoken of as a most beautiful building, was it not eclipsed by its unfortunate vicinity to St. Michael's. Within are two epitaphs, which I give for their singularity. One is on Philemon Holland, the famous translator. He was schoolmaster and physician in the city. A wag made this distich on one of his labors:

Philemon with translations doth so fill us,
He will not let Suetonius be Tranquillus .

HE was called translator-general of his age; acquired much credit by his fidelity, but none greater than by his translation of Camden, in that great antiquarian's life-time, and by his consent; to whose work he made considerable additions.

HE wrote a great folio with one pen, and, as he tells us, did not wear it out:

With one sole pen I writ this book,
Made of a grey goose quill:
A pen it was when it I took;
A pen I leave it still.34

AT length (if I may be allowed to pun with Fuller) death translated this translator to the other world, in 1636, at the good old age of eighty-five; leaving behind this epitaph of his own composition:

Nemo habet hic, nemo'? hospes salveto, Philemon
Holland hac recubat rite repostus humo:
Si quaeras ratio quaenam sit nominis, haec est,
Totus terra fui, terraque totus ero:
At redivivus morte tua servabor, Iesu ,
Una fides votis, haec est via sola salutis.
Hac spe fretus ego, culpa poenaque solutus
Jamque renatus, et inde novo conspectus amictu,
Coetu in sanctorum post redimitus ero.
Claudicat incessu senior mea musa, videsne?
Claudatur capulo mecum simul ipsa, valcto.


Ad liberos et nepotes superstites.
Dantque omnes una dudum de stirpe creati
Henrice ah! septem de fratribus nne superstes
Orphanici patris Gulielmi naper adempti
Et mihi (bis puero) nutricis Anna, Maria
Cumque tuis angelis Elizabeta; valete.35

THE other, which is in St. Michael's church, commemorates a Captain Gervas Scrope, written, as the proem tells you, in the agony and dolorous pains of the gout, soon before his death.

Here lies an old tennis-ball,
Was racketted from spring to fall,
With so much heat and so much haste,
Time's arm for shame grew tir'd at last.
Four kings in camps he truly serv'd.
And from his loyalty ne'er swerv'd.
Father ruin'd, the son slighted,
And from the crown ne'er recruited.
Loss of estate, relations, blood,
Was too well known, but did no good.
With long campaigns, and pains of gout,
He could no longer hold it out.
Always a restless life he led;
Never at quiet till quite dead.
He married, in his latter days,
One who exceeds the common praise;
But wanting breath still to make known
Her true affection and his own,
Death timely came, all wants supply'd,
By giving rest, which life deny'd.

ON leaving these churches, I surveyed with indignation, such as antiquaries experience, the site of the elegant and antient cross, till of late years such an ornament to the city. I am not furnished with an apology for the corporation who destroyed this beautiful building; so must leave it doubtful, whether the gothic resolution was the result of want of money, or want of taste. In 1629, the city paid it such respect, as to expend £ .323 4s. 6d. in its repair.36

IT was built, or rather begun, in 1541, to replace another cross, taken down some years before. The founder was Sir William Hollies, lord mayor of London, and son of Thomas Hollies, of Stoke near this city, who left by his will two hundred pounds towards the design. The base was hexangular, finely ornamented with gothic sculpture; above, rose three stories of most light and elegant tabernacle-work, lessening to the summit. In the niches were saints and English monarchs, from Henry II. to Henry V. and around each story a variety of pretty figures with flags, with the arms of England or the rose ofLancaster expressed on them: and on the summit of the uppermost plate Justice, and other gracious attributes.

A LITTLE south of St. Michaels, stands St. Mary Hall, at present used for corporation-assemblies. This place was built in the beginning of the reign of Henry VI: a venerable pile, whose entrance is beneath a large gateway, over which are the figures of a king and queen sitting; probably Henry and his consort Margaret. Within this building is a fine old room: in the upper end is a noble semicircular window, divided into nine parts, elegantly painted with figures of several of our monarchs, with coats of arms and ornaments, but now very imperfect: those in the windows on the one side are lost; several of those on the other are entire, and were designed to represent some of our great nobility, who had honored this hall with their presence as brothers and sisters of the gild, for whose use this hall was founded. This had been the gild of St Katherine, established by certain citizens of Coventry, in 1343, by licence of Edward III; after which it was united to those of the Holy Trinity, Our Lady, and St. John the Baptist .

THE illustrious personages represented here, are William Beauchamp, lord of Abergavenny, and fourth son to Thomas Earl of Warwick; and by him is his countess Joan, daughter of Richard Earl of Arundel .

Richard Eeauchamp Earl of Warwick, and his second wife Isabella, daughter of Thomas Lord D'Espencer; Humphry Earl of Stafford, with a battle-ax in his hand; and one of the John Mowbrays Dukes of Norfolk. All those great men are dressed with the magnificence and luxury of the east, in long robes lined with ermine, and with large and singular hoods. These were the garments of peace, when they passed the festive day in honor of their fraternity.

ALONG the walls are ranged a number of Latin verses, with a sort of Sternhold translation opposite. I shall only give the latter, as Doctor Stukely has already preserved the former in his Itinerary .

Edward the floure of chivalre, whilesome the Black Prynce hyghte,
Who prisoner tooke the French king John, in claime of grandames right;
And slew the kyng of Brame in field, whereby the ostrich penn
He won, and ware on crest here first; which poesie bare Ich Dien .
Amid their martial feats of arms, wherein he had no peere,
His countie eke to shew this seate he chose and lov'd full deer.
The former state he gat confirmed, and freedom did encrease;
A president of knyghthood rare, as well for warre as peace.

Since time that first this antient town Earl Leofrike feoffed free,
At Godines suite and merit strange, or else it could not bee.
In princes grace by long descent, as old recordes do date,
It stood manteind, until at length it grew to cities state.
Quene Isabel, sole heire of Frannce, great favor hither caste,
And did procure large fraunchises by charter ay to last.
We owe, therefore, in loialtie our selves, and all wee have,
To Elizabeth, our ladie liege; whom God in mercy save.

When florishing state gan once to fade, and commonwealth decay,
No wonder that in cities great; for what endureth aye?
John, late Duke of Northumberland ,37 a prince of high degree,
Did graunt faire lands for commons weale, as here in brass you see.
And Leicester mid thos great affairs, whereto high place doth call,
His father's worthy steps hath traced to prop, that his might fall
On forth in prince and countrie's cause hold forth this course your days:
Such deeds do noble bloud commend, such bring mortal praise.

IN the apartments of this building are held the balls and assemblies of the city. In one of the drawing-rooms is to be seen, in high preservation, a piece of antiquity equally delicate and curious; an unique, which Coventry alone has the happiness of possessing. Here it is known by the name of The Lady's Spoon, but is doubtless no other than the Scaphium of the antients, described by Coelius Rhodiginus and Pancirollus, Rerum memorabil. deperd. 38

THE front of the Drapiers Hall is very elegant, ornamented with Tuscan pilasters, and does much credit to the city. It was lately rebuilt on the site of the antient hall, founded by certain drapiers, whose names have long since perished.

FROM hence we crossed the city to the Grey Friars, which stood on the south side. This order arrived in Coventry before the year 1234, when they had only an oratory, which was covered with shingles from Kenelworth wood, by an order of Henry III. to the sheriff of Warwickshire. Both the house and church, of an order devoted to poverty, were built by pious alms, on a spot of ground bestowed on them by the last Randle Earl of Chester, out of his neighboring manor of Cheylesmor. The church seems not to have been built till the time of Edward III. when the Black Prince permitted the friars to take stone out of his park of Cheylesmor for that purpose. A beautiful steeple, with a spire springing from an octagon, is all that remains of this church. Dugdale supposes the Hastings to have been great benefactors; for numbers of them were interred here, in a chapel of their name, and many in the habit of the order, from a superstition of the respect the Evil Spirit would pay to it on the last day.

THESE friars were celebrated for their annual CORPUS exhibitions of the mysteries called Corpus Christi plays, which they performed on that day, to their great emolument, before crowds of spectators, who resorted hither at that season from all parts. Like Thespis of old, they are recorded

Plaustris vexisse poemata,

and to have gone to the most advantageous parts of the city, with portable theatres drawn on wheeled carriages, from which they exhibited their pageants, which amounted to forty. The subjects are announced in a sort of prologue, by a person called Vexillator, who probably carried a flag painted with the subject of the day, and at the same time gave out to the crowd the history it was to expect. The history is taken up at the creation, and ends with the last day. I have said much of these religious dramata in my Welsh Tour ,39 therefore will not pester the reader at present with more than Eve's rhetoric, after being tempted by the serpent, to persuade poor Adam to taste of the forbidden fruit.

My semely spouse and good husbond,
Lystenyth to me ser, I zow pray;
Take yis fayr appyl all in zow hond,
Yerof a mursel byte & asay
To ete this appyl loke that ze fond
Goddys felaw to be alway;
All his wisdom to undyrstonde,
And Goddys per to be for ay.
All thyng for to make,
Both fysch & foule, se & send,
Byrd & best, wakyr & lond,
Yis appyl you take out of myn hond
A bete herof you take.40

Henry VIII. put an end to the performances of these poor friars, who had the honor of falling with the greater monasteries; having escaped the wreck of the lesser, because they had nothing worth seizing to gratify his rapacious court. But the king, not content with their ruin, added to it the mortifying obligation of making their surrender on the 5th of October 1538, and to sign it with their names and common seal. The instrument is curious, and worthy perusal.

For as moche as we the wardens and freers of the house of Saynt Frances in Coventre, commonly callyd the Grey Freers in Coventre, in the county of Warwick, doo profoundly consider, that the perfection of Christian livynge dothe not consist in dume ceremonies, werynge of a grey coot, disgeasinge our selfe aftur straunge fashions, do kynge, noddynge, and beckyng, in guyrdyng our selves wythe a gurdle fulle of knotts, & other like papisticall ceremonies, wherein we have ben mooste principally practised and mislyd in tymss paste; but the very true waye to plese God, and to live a tru Christian mon, wytheout all ypocrisie and fayned diseimulation, is sinceerly declared unto us by our Mr. Christe, his evangelists and apostles; being myndyd hereafter to followe the same, conformynge our self unto the will and plesure of our supreme hedde under God in erthe, the kynges majestie, and not to folowe henseforth the superstitious traditions of any forinsecall potentate or peere; wythe mutuall assent and consent do surrendre and yelde up into the hondes of the same, all our seide house of Saynt Frances, in the cite of Coventre, commonly callyd the Grey Freers in Coventre, wythe also the londs, tenements, gardens, medows, waters, pondiards, fedings, pastures, comens, rents, reversions, & alle other our interest, ryghtes, or titles appertaining unto the same; mooste humbly beseechinge his mooste noble grace to dispose of us, and of the same, as beste shall stonde wythe his mooste gracious pleasure. And further, frely to graunte unto every on of us his license under wretyng & seealle, to chaunge our habits into secular fashion, and to receive suche maner of livinges as other secular priests commonly be preferred unto. And we all faithfully shall pray unto Almighty God long to preserve his mooste noble grace wythe increase of moche felicite and honour. And in witnes of alle and u singular the premisses, we the seide warden and covent of the Grey Freers in Coventre to thes presences have putte our covent seealle, the fivithe day of October, in the thertythe yere of the raynge of our mooste soveraynge lord king Henry the eyghte.

Per me Johannem Stafford, Guardian,
Per me Thomas Maller ,
Per me Thomas Sanderson ,
Per me Johannem Abell ,
Per me Johannem Wood ,
Per me Rogerum Lilly ,
Per me Thomam Aukock ,
Per me Matheum Walker ,
Per me Robartum Walker ,
Per me Thomam Bangsit ,
Per me Willielmum Gosnelle.

Which said house, or site, was in the thirty-fourth of Henry VIII. granted by the king (inter alia) to the mayor, bailiffs, and commonalty of this city, and their successors for ever.

NOT far from the friary is a fine gate, called The Grey Friars Gate, the most beautiful of any left standing.41

A LITTLE further to the east is Cheleysmor, where is still to be seen part of the manor-house; a wooden building, with a gateway beneath. This, or some other on the site of it, had been the residence of the lords of the place, and of the kings and earls of Mercia; after that, of the earls of Chester; and finally, it fell to the crown, when that earldom was resumed: which, with the park, about three miles in circumference, belongs to the Prince of Wales as Earl of Chester .42 The castle stood not remote from the manor-house.

FROM hence we proceeded to the Carmelites, or White Friars; whose house stands at the east end of the city: another order devoted to poverty, who lived on charity both from the living and the dead; for they often received legacies, supposed expiations for sins. Their house was built about the year 1342, by Sir John Poultney, four times lord mayor of London; a gentleman deservedly celebrated for his pious munificence.43 At the dissolution it was granted to Sir Ralph Sadler. It was afterwards sold to John Hales, who, residing here, occasioned it to be called Hales' Place .

HERE are considerable remains of the building: part of the arched cloisters, the refectory and dormitory, and vast vaulted rooms, which served as magazines for provisions. A very handsome gateway, with three niches on the front, is still standing; and on an inner gate are three arrows, the arms of the Hales. Sir Christopher Hales, Baronet, and after him Lady Hales, resided at the White Friars many years in the memory of some who were lately living: during which time the premises were kept in good repair. The mansion-house was afterwards sold, and is now filled with weavers and Jersey-combers.44

IN the course of my walk a chamber was shewn to me, in Gosford-street, noted for the melancholy end of Mary Clues, in February 1772; who was found almost consumed by fire, occasioned by an accident of a most uncommon nature. She had been confined to her bed by illness, the consequence of intemperance. The room was floored with brick; the bed furnished with only one curtain, and that was next to the window. The fireplace was on the other side. She was left, the evening before the accident, with two small bits of coal put quite back in the grate, and a rushlight on the chair, by the head of the bed. The next morning a great smoke was perceived in the room. On bursting open the door some flames appeared, which were easily extinguished. The remains of the woman lay on the floor, but the furniture of the room was only slightly damaged; the bedstead superficially burnt, but neither sheets, feather-bed, or blankets destroyed.

THE solution of this phenomenon is rather ridiculous. Mrs. Clues was excessively addicted to dram-drinking: she would drink a quart in a day, either of rum or anise-seed water; and by those means, filling her veins with pure spirits, became as inflammable as a lamp. She tumbled out of bed, took fire by the candle, and in about two hours was fairly burnt out to her thighs and one leg, and nothing left except her bones, completely calcined.45

THIS is not the only instance I have read of persons being burnt by their own phlogiston, natural or acquired. Two Courland noblemen, after a drinking-match of spirituous liquors, died scorched and suffocated: and the Countess Cornelia Baudi, of Cesena in Italy ,46 was found in the situation of Mary Clues, but without imputation of the guilty origin. Semele was certainly one of those combustible ladies; but the gallant Ovid has ascribed her fatal end to another cause.

                        Corpus mortale tumultus
Non tulit AEthereos; donisque jugalibus arsit.

IN Gosford-street I took horse to visit Combe abbey, the seat of Lord Craven; passed through Gosford-gate, and,by a green of the same name, memorable for the single combat which was to have been fought there in September 1398, between the Duke of Hereford 47 and the Duke of Norfolk, earl marshal.48 The former had basely betrayed a private conversation, in which he said that Mowbray had dropt several expressions of a treasonable nature. The accusation was denied, and, according to the barbarous usage of the times, Mowbray demanded the privilege of acquitting himself by single combat. Each of the dukes, agreeable to the laws of chivalry, flung down his glove, which was taken up before the king and sealed49 (I suppose, to prevent any future denial of the challenge). The king appointed Coventry for the place of combat, and caused for that purpose a vast and magnificent theatre to be erected on this green.50 The rival dukes made all requisite preparation, and particularly about the essential article armour. Froissart relates the steps they took; which shews the preference which was given to foreign armourers. This I shall deliver in the words of his noble translator.51

These two lordes made provision for that was necessarye for them for their battayle. The Earl of Derby 52 sent his messangers in to Lombardy, to the Duke of Myllayn, Sir Galeas, for to have armure at his pleasure. The duke agreed to the erles desyre, and caused the knight that the erle had sent thyder, whose name was Fraunces, to se all the dukes armorye; and whan the knight had chosen such as he lyked, than the duke furthermore, for love of the erle of Derby, he sent four of the best armourers that were in Lombardy to ye erle into Englande with the knight, to thentent yt thei shuld arme & make armure accordyng to the erles entent. The Erle Marshal, on his part, sent in to Almayn, and in to other places, to provyde him for the journey. The charge of these two lords was greate. But the Erie of Derby was at mooste charge.

THE armour of the great men was uncommonly splendid and expensive; usually inlaid with gold and silver, with most elegant devices and patterns. That of Francis I. in possession of Mr. Walpole, and that of George Earl of Cumberland, at Appleby castle, exist as specimens of the great attention given to that circumstance. Besides beauty, the utmost regard was paid to the essential requisite of its being proof. This was to be the result of the skill of the armourer, not of art-magic; for the combatants were to clear themselves by oath, from having any commerce with incantations, or of rendering their armour or bodies invulnerable by any charm. Let their cause be ever so bad, they determined to die like good Christians; disavowed all dependence on the power of Satan, and supplicated the prayers of the pious spectators.

Add proof unto my armour with thy prayers,
And with thy blessings steel my lance's point.53

I SHALL give the consequence of this important affair in the very graphical words of honest Holinshed, who minutely describes the pomp and ceremony preceding the resolution taken by the unfortunate monarch, which in the end cost him his crown and life.

At the time appointed, the king came to Coventrie, where the two dukes were readie, according to the order prescribed therein; comming thither in great arraie, accompanied with the lords and gentlemen of their linages. The king caused a sumptuous scaffold, or theater, and roial listes there to be erected and prepared. The Sundaie before they should fight, after dinner, the duke of Hereford came to the king (being lodged about a quarter of a mile without the town, in a tower that belonged to Sir William Bagot) to take his leave of him. The morrow after, being the daie appointed for the combat, about the spring of the daie came the duke of Norfolke to the court, to take leave likewise of the king. The duke of Hereford armed him in his tent, that was set up neere to the lists; and the duke of Norfolke put on his armor betwixt the gate and the barrier of the town, in a beautiful house, having a fair perclois of wood towards the gate, that none might see what was done within the house.

The duke of Aumarle that daie being high constable of England, and the duke of Surrie marshal, placed themselves betwixt them, well armed and appointed. And when they saw their time, they first entered into the lists with a great company of men, apparelled in silke sendal, imbrodered with silver both richlie and curiouslie; everie man having a tipped staff, to keep the field in order. About the houre of prime came to the barriers of the lists the duke of Hereford, mounted on a white courser, barded with green and blew velvet, imbroidered sumptuously with swans and antelopes of goldsmiths worke, armed at all points. The constable and marshal came to the barriers, demanding of him what he was? he answered, ' I am Henrie of Lancaster, duke of Hereford, which am come hither to do mine indevor against Thomas Mowbraie duke of Norfolke, as a traitor untrue to God, the king, his realrne, and me.'—Then incontinentlie he sware upon the holie Evangelists, that his quarrel was true & just; and upon that point he required to enter the lists. Then he puts up his sword, which before he held up naked in his hand, and, putting down his visor, made a cross on his horsse, and with speare in hand entered into the lists, and descended from his horsse, and set him down in a chaire of green velvet, at the one end of the lists, and there reposed himself, abiding the comming of his adversarie.

Soone after him entered into the field, with great triumph, King Richard, accompanied with all the peerses of the realme; and in his companie was the earle of Saint Paule, which was come out of France, in post, to see this challenge performed. The king had there above ten thousand men in armour, least some fraie or tumult might rise amongst his nobles, by quarrelling or partaking. When the king was set in his seat, which was richly hanged and adorned, a king at arms made open proclamation, prohibiting all men, in the name of the king, and of the high constable and marshal, to enterprise or attempt to approach, or touch any part of the lists, upon pain of death, except such as were appointed to order or marshal the field. The proclamation ended, another herald cried, 'Behold here Henrie of Lancaster duke of Hereford, appelant, which is entered into the lists roiall, to do his devoir against Thomas Mowbraie duke of Norfolke, defendant, upon paine to be found false & recreant.'

The duke of Norfolke hovered on horsseback at the entrie of the lists, his horsse being barded with crimson velvet, imbrodered richlie with lions of silver and mulberie trees; and when he had made his oth before the constable and marshal, that his quarrel was just & true, he entered the field manfullie, saieng aloud, 'God, and him that hath the right;' and then he departed from his horsse, & sate him downe in his chaire, which was of crimson velvet, courtined about with white and red damaske. The lord marshall viewed their spears, to see that they were of equall length, and delivered the one speare himself to the Duke of Hereford, and sent the other unto the Duke of Norfolke by a knight; then the herald proclamed, that the traverses & chaires of the champions should be removed, commanding them, on the king's behalf, to mount on horssebacke, and address themselves to the battel and combat.54

The duke of Hereford was quicklie horssed, and closed his bauier, and cast his speare into the rest; and when the trumpet sounded, set forward couragiouslie towards his enemie six or seven pases. The duke of Norfolke was not fullie set forward, when the king cast downe his warder, and the heralds cried ' Ho, ho.' Then the king caused their speares to be taken from them, and commanded them to repaire againe to their chaires; where they remained two long houres, while the king and his councell deliberatlie consulted what order was best to be had in so weightie a cause. Finallie: after they had devised, and fullie determined what should be done therein, the heralds cried 'Silence;' and Sir John Bushie, the king's secretarie, read the sentence and determination of the king and his councell, in a long roll; the effect whereof was, that Henrie duke of Hereford should, within fifteene daies, depart out of the realme, and not to returne before the terme of ten yeares were 'expired, except by the king he should be repealed againe; and this upon paine of death: and that Thomas Mowbraie duke of Norfolke, bicause he had sowen sedition in the relme by his words, should likewise avoid the realme, and never returne againe into England, nor approch the borders or confines thereof, upon pain of death: and that the king would stale the profits of his lands, till he had levied thereof such summes of monie as the duke had taken up of the king's treasurer, for the wages of the garrison of Calis; which were still unpaid.

When these judgements were once read, the king called before him both parties, and made them to sweare that the one should never come in place where the other was, willinglie, nor keepe any companie togither in any forren region: which oth they both received humblie, and so went their waies. The duke of Norfolke departed sorrowfullie out of the realme into Almanie, and at the last came into Venice, where he, for thought and melancholic, deceassed; for he was in hope (as writers record) that he should have beene borne out in the matter by the king; which, when it fell out otherwise, it greeved him not a little. The duke of Hereford tooke his leave of the king at Eltham, who there released foure yeares of his banishment; so he tooke his jornie over into Calis, and from thence went into France, where he remained.

A woonder it was to see what number of people ran after him, in everie towne and street where he came, before he tooke the sea, lamenting and bewailing his departure; as who should saie, that when he departed, the onlie shield, defense, and comfort of the commonwealth was vaded and gone.

ABOUT two miles from Coventry, I crossed the little river Sow at Binly bridge, a little beyond which stands the beautiful small church of that name, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, formerly belonging to the monks of Coventry; now a curacy in the gift of Lord Craven, who rebuilt the church with uncommon elegance. The roof is coved, and ornamented with scriptural histories, in form of medallions, and with pious ornaments of crosses, crowns, and thorns, and other decorations adapted to the place. The altar is in a tribune, with marble pillars; and its window consists of glass painted with a fine holy family, by Mr. William Pecket .

1 Leland (iv. 124.) says it was founded by king Canute.

2 This custom is not continued with its former regularity, and the representative of the fair Godeva is now more nomically clad in white linen. ED.

3 Leicester, 127. Camden, i. 611.

4 Accurately laid down in Mr. Beighton's map of Warwickshire .

5 The magistrates never avail themselves of this privilege, as the judges in the Midland circuit regularly preside at the assizes, and are paid by the sheriffs. ED.

6 Anderson's Dict. i. 262.

7 The Editor has been favored by Robert Simson, Esq. with the following observations on the present state of the manufactures in the city of Coventry:

"THE manufactory of woollen cloth continued till 1696, about which period it was nearly lost by the long war between England and France, which destroyed the Turkey trade; about which time the making of mixt or striped tammies was introduced. The worsted manufactory was afterwards increased by the making of lastings, camblets, callimancoes, and shalloons; but this trade, except shags, has wholly emigrated into Northamptonshire and Yorkshire .

RIBANDS still remain the staple trade.

THE trade in gauzes speedily declined, and has been for many years discontinued.

THE manufactory of shags is still important, and has lately been increased by the making of silk shag for the covering of men's hats. In the whole about two hundred looms are employed, which gives a further employment to about a thousand persons.

THE manufactory of watches was introduced about the year 1770; within the last twenty years it has increased rapidly, and is yet in a progressive state; it employs about seven hundred persons.

ABOUT the year 1793 a manufactory of calicoes was established, which upon an average makes about five hundred pieces per week.

A fancy-net trimming manufacture employs a considerable number of hands, and is in a progressive and flourishing condition." ED.

8 Anderson's Dict. i. 422.

9 Vicar's Parliament. Chron. 141.

10 Whitlock, 63.

11 Leicester's Cheshire ex gestis Stephani, 124.

12 Dugdale's Warwickshire, ii, p. 1132.

13 Dugdale, i. 146, 150, 152.

14 Published by Jefferys, in 1750.

15 On a survey made in 1694, the population of Coventry amounted to 6,710 souls. The present numbers are about 25,000; the returns made to government under the recent act, stating them at 16034, are glaringly incorrect. When an allowance of bread, meat, and beer, was distributed to as many of the inhabitants as chose to accept it, on the occasion of the Jubilee 1809, there were fourteen thousand applicants. ED.

16 Edward III. drove from London all the lepers, except fourteen, who clamed admittance into St. Giles's hospital.

17 Tanner, 239.

18 Dugd. W. i. 188.

19 Ecton, 93.

20 Dugd. W. i. 193.


Distances.     Coventry to Hill-Morton, 20 1 0  
Napton   Napton Field, 17 1 5, rise 88 f.
    Claydon, 8 5 1  
    Oxford, 36 0 7, fall 204.


Distances.     Staffordshire canal to Atherston, 21 0 0 rise 95.
  Coventry , 14 4 0  
Branches to coal mines, 1 4 0  

23 These great undertakings are now completed; the former is distinguished by the name of the Oxford, the latter by that of the Coventry canal. Near Braunston the Oxford unites with the Grand Junction canal, which forms a more ready communication with the Thames, and serves to supply the metropolis with coal from the central parts of the kingdom. The shares in the Coventry canal, originally of one hundred pounds, now sell for eight hundred guineas. ED.

24 Dugd. W. i. 179, 180.

25 Tour Scotl. .vol. iii. 288.

26 Dugd. W. i. 146.

27 It is now occupied. ED.

28 Willis's Abbeys, i. 70.

29 Dugdale, W. i. 161.

30 Dugdale, i. 161.

31 Tanner, 567.

32 Dugdale W. i. 158. Goodwin, 78.

33 Stevens, i. 223. Willis's Abbeys, i. 72.

34 Fuller's Worthies, 127, 128.

35 Copied from Dugdale .

36 Dusdale W. i. 146.

37 John Dudley, beheaded in 1553: a character as wicked as that of his son.

38 As quoted by the learned author of The Dialogue on Decency, &c. &c. 40, 41.—I greatly lament that the citizens of Coventry, mistaking my panegyric for ridicule, have destroyed this matchless morsel.

39 Tour 1773, p. 137. 8vo. ed. 1810. i. p. 185.

40 Stevens, i. 145, &c.

41 This elegant gate was taken down in 1781. ED.

42 The Prince of Wales, under the act for redeeming the land-tax, has sold the manor-house and park to the Marquis of Hertford: great part of it is now enclosed. ED.

43 Burton's Leicestershire, 191.

44 White Friars has been purchased by the city of Coventry for a house of industry: the exterior of tbe antient part has been preserved; the cloisters are glazed, and fitted up as a dining-room for the poor inhabitants. ED.

45 Philosoph. Trans. LXIV. part i. p. 340.

46 Annual Register, 1763.

47 Afterwards Henry IV.

48 Thomas Mowbray .

49 Polychronicon cccxxiv.

50 Vita Ricardi II. 145.

51 Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners .

52 The Duke of Hereford .

53 Shakespeare. Richard II. in a speech of Hereford on this occasion.

54 Holinshed's Chr. 494.

Thomas Pennant, The Journey from Chester to London (London: Wilkie and Robinson, 1811)

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