Picture of William Camden

William Camden

places mentioned

Nottinghamshire, Derby and Warwick

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UPON the West side of Lincolnshire confineth the county of Nottingham, in the English-Saxon tongue Snottengaham-scyre , and in English Notthinghamshire, being fare lesse in quantity, limited Northward with Yorkshire, Westward with Darbyshire and in some parts with Yorkshire, and on the South side with Leicestershire. The South and East parts thereof are made more fruitfull by the Noble and famous river Trent, with other riverets resorting unto it. The West part is taken up with the Forrest of Shirewood, which stretcheth out a great way. This part because it is sandy, the inhabitants tearme The Sand; the other, for that it is Claish, they call The Clay; and so have divided their Country into these two parts.

2. The river Trent, in the old English-Saxon tongue teonta (which some Antiquaries of small note and account have called Triginta in Latine, for the affinity of the French word Trent, signifieth the number triginta , that, is thirty ), having gone a long journey so soone as he is entred into this shire and hath ran first by Steanford, where I have learned there be many tokens remaining of old antiquity, and peeces of Roman money oftentimes found; and then by Clifton, much inriched by one of the heires of Cressy, taketh in from the West the little river Lin, which rising neere unto Newsted, that is, New place , where sometime King Henry the Second founded a small Abbay, and which is now the dwelling house of the ancient family of the Burons, descended from Ralph de Buron, who at the first comming in of the Normans flourished in great state both in this country and also in Lancaster, runneth hard by Wallaton rich in veines of cole, where sir Francis Willoughby, a Knight nobly descended from the Greis Marques Dorset, in our daies built out of the ground with great charges ‡(yet for the most part levied out of his Cole-pits)‡ a stately house with artificiall workmanship, standing bleakely, but offering a very goodly prospect to the beholders far and neere. Then runneth it by Linton or Lenton, much frequented and famous in old time for the Abbay there of the Holy Trinity, founded by Wiliam Peverell, the base sonne of King William the Conqueror, but now all the fame is onely for a Faire there kept. Where on the other banke, at the very meeting well neere of Lin and Trent, the principall towne that hath given name unto this Shire is seated upon the side of an hill, now called Nottingham (by softning the old name a little) for Snottengaham , for so the English-Saxons named it of certaine caves and passages under the ground, which in old time they hewed and wrought hollow under those huge and steepe cliffes which are on the Southside hanging over the little river Lin, for places of receit and refuge, yea and for habitations. And there upon Asserius interpreteth this Saxon word Snottengaham in Latine Speluncarum domum , that is, An house of Dennes or Caves , and in the British Tui ogo bauc , which signifieth the very selfesame. The towne for the naturall site thereof is right pleasant: as where, on the one hand life faire and large Medowes by the rivers side, on the other rise hils with a gentle and easie ascent, and is plentifully provided of all things beside necessary for mans life. On the one side Shirwood yeeldeth store of wood to maintaine fire, although many use for that purpose stinking pit cole digged forth of the ground; on the other, Trent serveth it aboundantly with fish. And hence hath been taken up this od barbarous verse:

Shire-wood yeelds me fuell for fire,
As Trent yeelds fish, what I require.

3. At a word, for largenes, for building, for 3 faire Churches, a passing spacious and beutiful mercat place, and a most strong Castle, it maketh a goodly shew. The said Castle is is mounted upon a huge and steepe worke on the West side of the City, in which place it is thought that Castle stood in times past upon whose strength the Danes presuming held out against the siege of Aethered and Aelfrid so long, untill they frustrat of their purpose brake up their siege, trussed up bagge and baggage and dislodged. For when the Danes had taken this Castle, Burthred king of the Mercians (as mine author Asserius writeth) and the Mercians, addresse their messengers to Aethered king of the West Saxons and to Aelfred his brother, humbly beseeching them to come and aide them, that so they might give battaile unto the fore-named armie, which request they also easily obtained. For those two brethren slacking no whit in their promise, having levied from all partes a mighty armie, assembled their forces, entred Mercia, and seeking with one accord jointly to encounter the enimy, come as farre as to Snottenga-ham. And when the Painims, keeping themselves within the defense of the Castle, refused to give battaile, and the Christians with all their force could not batter the wall, after peace concluded betweene the Paganes and the Mercians, those two brethren with their bands returned home. But after this King Edward the Elder built the village Bridgeford just over against it, and compassed the towne about with a wall, which now is fallen downe, and yet the remaines thereof I have seene on the South side. And within a very few yeares after, in King Edward the Confessors time, as wee reade in Domesday booke , there were numbered in it one hundred and seventy three Burgesses, and from the two Minters there were paid forty shillings to the King. Also the water of Trent, the Fosse dike, and the waie toward Yorke were warded and kept, that if any man hindered the passage of vessels, hee was to make amends with the payment of foure pounds.

4. As for the Castle which now wee see, it may bee well of great name in regard both of the founder, and the worthinesse also of the worke. For William of Normandie built it to bridle the English, and so strong it was, as William of Newbourough writeth, as well by naturall situation as hand-labour, that it is held impregnabile (if it may have sufficient men to defend it) unlesse it be by famine. Afterward also King Edward the Fourth bestowed great cost in the repairing of it, and beautified it with faire buildings, whereto King Richard also the Third set his helping hand. Neither for all the charges and alterations of times hath it undergone the common condition or destiny incident to such great Castles, being never forced and won by assault. Once was it in vaine besieged by Henry of Anjou, at which time the soldiers lying in garison set fire upon the buildings joyning unto it. Once also was it suddenly surprised by Earle Robert de Ferrariis in the Barons war, who spoiled the inhabitants of all their goods. The Castellanes report many stories of David King of the Scots prisoner in it, and of Roger Mortimer Earle of March, taken here in a hollow secret passage under the ground, who because he prised his faith and loialty to his country lighter than Scotish gold, and with a vast minde designed other mischiefes, was afterwards hanged. Certes, in the first base court of the Castle we went downe by many steps or staires with candle light unto a vault under the ground and certaine close roomes wrought out of the verie rocke, in the walles whereof are engraven the stories of Christs passion and other things by the hand (as they say) of David the Second King of Scots, who was there imprisoned. But in the upper part of the Castle, which riseth up aloft upon a rock, we came also by many staires into another cave likewise under the ground, which they call Mortimers Hole, for that in it the foresaid Roger Mortimer lay hidden, when as, being guilty to himselfe of wicknesse, hee stood in feare of his life. As for the position of Nottingham, it seeth the North Pole elevated fifty three degrees, and hath the Meridian two and twenty degrees and foureteene minutes distant from the utmost point of the West, ‡whence Geographers beginne to measure the Longitude.‡

5. From hence the Trent runneth with a milde streame and passeth forward by Holme, called of the Lords thereof Holme Pierpount, whose family is both ancient and noble, and out of which Roger Pierpount was summoned by King Edward the Third unto the high Court of Parliament among the Barons of the kingdom, unto Shelford where Ralph Hanselin founded a Priorie, and the Lords Bardolph had a mansion but now the seat of that worshipfull stocke of the Stanhopes, knights, whose state in this tract hath growne great and their name renowned since they matched with an heire of Mallovell. From whence he runneth downe with a rolling streame to Stoke, a little village but well knowne for no small overthrow and slaughter that there happened, when Sir John Delapole Earle of Lincoln, who beeing by King Richard the Third declared heire apparent to the Crowne, seeing by the comming of King Henry the Seventh himselfe debarred of the hope of the kingdome, here in behalfe of a counterfeit Prince rebelliously opposed himselfe against a lawfull king, and so resolutly with his friends and followers lost his life. Not farre from hence ‡is Thurgarton where Dir Ralph D' Eincourt founded a Priorie, and somewhat higher‡ Southwell sheweth selfe aloft, with a Collegiat Church of Prebendaries consecrated to the blessed Virgin Marie, a place not verie faire in outward shew, I must needes say, but strong, ancient, and of great fame. Which, as they write, Paulinus the first Archbishop of Yorke founded, after hee had baptised the inhabitants of this shire in the river Trent, and so regenerated them to Christ. Since which time, the Archbishops of Yorke have had here a very faire and stately palace and three parkes stored with Dere adjoyning thereto. That this is the City which Bede calleth Tio-vul-Finga-cester I doe the more stedfastly beleeve, because those things which hee hath reported of Paulinus baptizing in the Trent neere unto Tio-vul-Finga-cester the private History of this Church constantly avoucheth to have beene done in this very place. From thence out of the East, Snite a little brooke runneth into Trent, which being but small and shallow watereth Langer, a place of name in regard of the Tibetots or Tipstofts Lords thereof, who afterwards became Earles of Worcester: also Wiverton, which from Heriz, a worshipfull man long since in these parts, came by the Brets and Caltostes unto the Chaworthes, who fetch their name out of the Cadurci in France, and derive their pedigree from the Lord of Walchervill.

6. Now doth the Trent divide it selfe ‡nere Averham or Aram, an ancient habitation of the Suttons gentlemen of respective worth,‡ and runneth hard under a good great towne called Newark, as one would say, The new work , of the new castle, which castle so fresh and of so beautifull building, as Henry of Huntingdon tearmeth it, Alexander that bountifull minded Bishop of Lincoln built, which Prelate, that I may use the words of an ancient Historian, carrying a most brave and gallant minde, builded both this castle and another also with most profuse and lavish expense. And because such manner of sumptuous building little became the gravity and dignity of a bishop, hee to take awaie the envie and hard conceit of the world for such building and to expiat, as it were, the offence that grew thereby, founded as many monasteries and filled them with religious Bretheren. Neverthelesse, this vaine prodigality and lavish spending that was in a militarie Bishop, was pursued afterwards with condigne punishment. For King Stephen, who laboured nothing more than to establish his tottering estate in his kingdome by seizing into his hands all the strongest holds thereof, brought this Prelate, what with hard imprisoning and, in a sort, with famishing him, to that passe that, will' d hee nill' d hee, at length he yeelded up unto him both this Castle and that other at Sleford in Lincolnshire. Neither is there any other memorable matter here to be related, but that King John finished in this place the most wearisome course of his troublesome life, ‡and King Edward the Sixth incorporated it of one Alderman and twelve Assistants.‡ From hence the river, gathering himselfe againe into one chanell, runneth directly Northward, beset on both sides with villages, neither affordeth it any matter worthy of remembrance before it come to Littleborrough, a little towne in deed and truely answering to the name, where, as there is at this day a Ferrie much used, so there was in times past that station whereof Antonine the Emperour once or twice made mention, and which according to sundry copies is called Andelocum or Segelocum. This towne have I heretofore sought for in vaine about the Country adjoyning, but now i am verily perswaded and assured that I have found it out, both for that it standeth upon the old port High-waie, and also because the field lying to it sheweth expresse tokens of walles, and besides affordeth unto plowmen every day many peeces of the Roman Emperours coine, which because swine many times rooting into the ground turne up with their snouts, the country people call Swines-penies. Which also, according to their simple capacity, are of opinion that their fore-fathers in times past fensed and mounded that field with a stone-wall against the waters of Trent that useth in Winter-time to overflow and make great flouds.

7. In the West part of this Shire, which they tearme The Sand, and where Erwash a little riveret hieth apace into Trent, Strelley, in old time Strellegh, sheweth it selfe, a place that gave both surname and habitation to the familie of the Strelleies, commonly called Sturleyes, Knights, one of the most ancient houses in all this Country. More inward, the Forest Shirwood (which some expound by these Latine names Limplida Sylva , that is, a Shire or Cleere wood , others Praeclara Sylva in the same sence and signification) in ancient times over-shadowed all the Country over with greene leaved branches, and the boughes and armes of trees twisted one within another so implicated the woods together that a man could scarcely goe alone in the beaten pathes. But now the trees grow not so thicke, yet hath it an infinite number of fallow Deere, yea and Stagges with their stately branching heads feeding within it. Some towns also: among which Manfield carrieth away the name, as maintaining a great Mercat passing well served, and aswell frequented. The name of which town they that delineat the pedegree of the Graves of the great family of Mansfield in Germany use as an argument to prove the same, and set downe that the first Earle of Mansfield was one of King Arthurs Knights of the Round Table, borne and bred at this Mansfield. Indeed our Kings used in old time to retyre themselves hether for the love of shunting, and, that you may read the very words out of an ancient Inquisition, Willielmus Fauconberge tenebat manerium de Cukeney in hoc comitatu in sergientia per sevitium ferrandi palfredum regis quando rex veniret ad Mansfield , that is, William Fauconberge held the Manour of Cuckeney in this Country in Serjencie, by service to shooe the kings palfrey when the King came to Mansfield. ‡ And the hereditarie Forresters or Keepers of this forrest of Shirewood were men in their times of high estimation, viz. Sir Gerarge de Normanvile in the time of the Conquest, the Canzes and Birkins, by whose heire it came to the Everinghams. Of which family Sir Adam Everingham was summoned to Parlaments in the reignes of King Edward the the Second and King Edward the Third. At which time they were seated at Laxton, anciently called Lexington, where also flourished a great family so surnamed, whose heires were maried into the houses of Sutton of Averham and Markham.‡ Out of this wood there spring many riverets that runne into the Trent, but Idle is thought to be the chiefe: upon which neere unto Idleton in the yeare 616 that felicity and prosperous successe which for a long time had accompanied Ethered that most puissant king of the Northumberland, was overtaken and forsooke him quite. For whereas before time hee had alwaies fought his battailes most fortunately, heere (fortune turning her wheele) hee was by Redwald king of the East Angles vanquished and slaine, who in his roome made Edwin, then banished from the kingdome due unto him from his ancesters, soveraigne ruler over the Northumbers. This little river Idle runneth down not farre from Markham, a village verily but small to speake of, yet gave it name to the familie of the Markhams, which for worth and antiquity hath bin verie notable, being descended from one of the heires of Cressy, ‡and formerly from an heire of Lexington, as I lately shewed.‡ The greatest ornament of this family was Sir John Markham, who sitting Lord chiefe Justice of England, guided the helme of Justice with so an even an hand and so great equity (a thing that I would have you to read in the English histories) that his honor and glorie shall never perish. Six miles from it Westward is Workensop, a towne well knowne for the liquorice that there groweth and prospereth passing well, famous also for the Earle of Shrewburies house which within our remembrance George Talbot Earle of Shrewburie built with that magnificence as beseemeth so great an Earle, and yet such as was not to bee envied This Workensop from the Lovetofts first Lords thereof under the Normans reigne, descended by the Furnivalles and Nevil unto the Lords Talbots with a very goodly inheritance. Of which Lovetofts, George Lovetoft in the time of King Henry the First founded heere an Abbay, the ruines whereof I have seene toward the East side of the towne, amidst most pleasant and plentifull pastures, and the West part of the Church standeth still passing faire to be seene with two tower steeples. A little higher upon the same river I saw Blithe a famous Mercat towne, which Bulley or Busley, a Nobleman of the Normans blood, fortified with a Castle, but now the very rubbish thereof is hardly to be seene, time so consumeth all things. But the Abbay there was founded by Robert Busley and Foulke De Lasieurs, and this is the farthest towne almost in Nottinghamshire Northward, unlesse it be Scrooby, a little towne of the Archbishops of Yorke situate in the very confines and frontires of Yorkshire.

8. William surnamed the Conqueror appointed over this shire William Peverell his base sonne, not with the title of Earle, but of Lord of Nottingham: who had a sonne that died before his father, and he likewise had a sonne of the same name, whom King Henry the Second disinherited for that hee went about to poison Ranulph Earle of Chester. Much about this time Robert de Ferrariis, who rifled and ransacked Nottingham in a Donation which he made unto the Church of Tuttesbury, stiled himself thus, Robertus comes iunior de Nottingham , that is, Robert the younger Earle of Nottingham. But afterwards King Richard the First gave and confirmed unto his brother John the Earledome and Castle of Nottingham with all the Honour of Peverell. Many yeeres after, King Richard the Second honored John Lord Mowbray with this title of Earle of Nottingham: who dying a young man without issue, his brother Thomas succeeded after him. He being by King Richard the Second created Earle Mareshall and Duke of Norfolke, and soone after banished, begat Thomas Earle Mareshal, whom King Henry the Fourth beheaded, and John Mowbray, who, as also his sonne and Nephew were likewise Dukes of Norfolke and Earles of Nottingham. But when as their male issue failed, and that Richard the young sonne of King Edward the Fourth, being Duke of Yorke, had borne this title with others by his wife and heire of the Mobraies but a smalle while, King Richard the Third honored William Vicount Barkley, descended from the Mowbraies, with this title of Earle of Nottingham, and whereas he died without issue, King Henry the Eight bestowed the same honour upon his illegitimate sonne Henry Fitz-roy when he created him Duke of Richmond; but he departed this life in the flower of his age, leaving no child. Afterward this title lay extinct, untill in the yeere of our Lord 1597 Queene Elizabeth by solemne investiture adorned therewith Charles Lord Howard of Effingham and High Admiral of England, descended from the Mowbraies, in regard of his service (as appeareth in the Charter of his Creation) right valiantly and faithfully performed against the Spanish Armado in the yeere 1588, as also at the winning of Caliz in Spaine, where was Lord Generall of the forces by sea, like as the Earle of Essex of those by land.

There are in this County Parish Churches 168.


DARBYSHIRE, called on old English-Saxon Deorbi-scire , lieth close to Nottinghamshire Westward, confining with Leicestershire upon the Southside, like as with Staffordshire on the West and Yorkshire in the north, resembling, as it were, the forme of a Triangle, but not with equall sides. For whereas about the point of it lying Southward it is scarce six miles broad, it so enlargeth and spreadeth it selfe on both sides that where it looketh into the North it carrieth much about thirty miles in breadth. The river Derwent that runneth along the middest of it, divideth it after a sort in two parts: which river, breaking out of the North limit thereof and taking his course Southward, sometimes with his blacke waters stained with the soile and earth that it passeth by, rumbleth downe apace into the Trent. For Trent overthwarteth the said narrow point that I spake of, lying Southward. The East side and the South parts are well manured, not unfruitfull, and besides, well stored with parkes. The West part beyond Derwent, with they call the Peake, being all of it hilly, or a stony and craggie ground, is more barraine, howbeit rich in lead, yron, and coles, which it yeeldeth plentifully, and also feedeth sheepe very commodiously.

2. In the South corner the first place worth the naming that offreth it selfe to sight is Greisely castle, more than broken downe, which together with a little Monasterie was founded in times past in honor of Saint George by the Greiseleies Lords thereof, who fetching their descent from William the sonne of Sir Niele of Greiseley about the the very Conquest of England by the Normans, have flourished unto these daies in great worship, the which they have not a little augmented long since by marrying with the daughter and heire of the ancient family of Gasteneys. Upon the river Dove, which untill it entreth into Trent divideth this country from Staffordshire, we meete with nothing in this shire but small country villages, and Ashburne a mercate towne, where the house of the Cokains flourished a long time, and Nordbury, where the right ancient family of the Fitz-Herberts have long inhabited, out of which Sir Anthonie Fitz-Herbert hath deserved passing well of the knowledge and profession of the Commons law. Not farre from which is Shirley an ancient Lordship of the well renowned family of the Shirleys, who derive their pedigree from one Fulcher, unto whom, beside the antiquity of their house, much honor and faire lands have accrued by marriage with the heires of the Breoses, the Bassets of Norbury, the Stantons, Lovets &. And heere stand round about many places which have given name and habitation to worshipfull families: as Longford, Kniveton, Kniveton, from whence came those Knivetons of Mercaston and Bradley, of which house Saint Lo Kniveton is one, to whose judicous and studious diligence I am deeply endebted; also Keidelston, where the Cursons dwelt, as also at Crokhall. ‡But whether Sir Robert Curson Knighted by King Henrie the Seventh, made a Baron of the Empire by Maximilian the Emperor in the yere 1500 for is singular valor, and thereupon by King Henry the Eighth made a Baron of England with a liberall pension assigned, was descended from these Cursons, I dare not affirme.‡ Heereby is Radborn, where Sir John Chandos Knight, Lord of the place, laid a goodly foundation of a great and stately house: from whom by a daughter it came by hereditarie succession unto the Poles, who dwell heere at this day. But these particularities I leave for him who hath undertaken the full description of this shire.

3. But upon Trent, so soone as ever he hath taken to him the river Dove, is Repandunum to be seene, for so doe our Historie-writers call it. The Saxons named it Hrepandun , and we at this day Repton, which from a great and faire towne is become a poore small village. For in old time very famous it was by reason of the buriall of Aethelbald that good King of the Mercians, who through the treachery of his owne people lost his life, and of the other Kings of Mercia; as also for the unfortunate calamity of Burthred the last King of the Mercians, who when hee had enjoied his kingdome, partly by way of entreaty and partly by meanes of briberie, full twenty yeeres, was heere deprived of his Kingdome by the Danes, or rather freed and exempted from the glittering miserie of princely State, and so became an example to teach men in how ticklish and slippery a place they stand which are underpropped onely with money. Then not farre from Trent is Melborne, a Castle of the Kings, now decaying, wherein John Duke of Burbon, taken prisoner in the battaile of Agincourt, was detained 19 yeeres under the custodie of Sir Nicolas Montgomerie the younger. Scarce five miles hence Northward the river Derewent hath his walke; who in the utmost limit, as I said before, of this shire Northward deriving his head out of the Peak hils, being one while streitned betweene crags, and sometimes another while watering and cherishing the fresh greene meddowes, by mossie and morish grounds holdeth on his course for thirty miles or there about directly, as it were, into the South. Howbeit in so long a course hee passeth by nothing worth looking on except Chattesworth, a very large, faire and stately house which Sir William Candish, or Cavendish, descended out of that ancient house of Gernon in Suffolk, began, and which his wife Elizabeth, and after Countess of Shrewsbury, hath of late with great charges fully finished.

4. But where Derwent turneth somewhat Eastward, when it is once past Little Chester, that is, Little City , where old peeces of Roman money are oftentimes gotten out of the ground, Darby sheweth it selfe, in the English-Saxon tongued named Northworthig , and by the Danes (as Aethelward that ancient writer witnesseth) Deoraby , the chiefe towne of all this shire: which name, being taken from the river Derwent and contracted from Derwentby , it hath bestowed upon the whole County. A proper towne it is, none of the least, not without good trade and resort unto it. On the East side of it, the river Derwent, making a verie faire shew, runneth downe carrying a full and lofty streame under a beautifull stone bridge, upon which our devout forefathers erected a faire Chappell, which now is neglected and goeth to decay. Through the South part thereof runneth a pretie cleere riveret which they call Mertenbrooke. Five Churches there bee in it, of which the greatest, named All Hallowes, dedicated to the memorie of All-Saints, hath a tower steeple that for height and singular fine workemanship excelleth. In which Church the Countesse of Shrewsburie, of whom erewhile I spake, trusting her selfe better than her heires, providently erected a sepulchre for her selfe, and as religiously founded an Hospitall hard by for the maintenance of twelve poor folke, eight men and foure women. Memorable in old time was this place, because it had beene a lurking hole and a Rendevous for the Danes, untill Ethelfleda that victorious Lady of the Mercians by a suddaine forceable surprise made a slaughter of the Danes and became Mistresse of it. In the time of King Edward the Confessor, as we find in Domesday booke , it had 143 Burgesses, whose number notwithstanding decreased so that in William the Conquerours reigne there remained onely an hundred: And these paid unto the king at the feat of Saint Martin 12 Trabes of Corne. But now all the name and credit that it hath ariseth of the Assises there kept for the whole shire, and by the best nappie ale that is brewed there, a drink so called of the Danish word oela somewhat wrested, and not of alica , as Ruellius deriveth it. The Britans termed it by an old word kwrw , in steede whereof curmi is read amisse in Dioscorides, where hee saith that the Hiberi (perchance he would have said Hiberni , that is, The Irishmen ) in lieu of wine use curmi , a kind of drinke made of Barly. For this is that Barly-wine of ours which Julian the Emperor, that Apostata , calleth merrily in an Epigramme πυρογενῆ μᾶλλον καὶ Βρόμον, οὐ Βρόμιον. This is the ancient and peculiar drinke of the Englishmen and Britans, yea and the same very wholsome, howsoever Henrie of Aurenches the Norman, Arch-poet to King Henrie Third, did in his pleasant wit merrily jest upon it in these verses:

Of this strange drinke, so like to Stygian Lake
(Most tearme it Ale), I wote not what to make.
Folke drinke it thicke, and pisse it passing thin:
Much dregges therefore must needs remain within.

Howbeit, Turnebus that most learned Frenchman maketh no doubt but that men using to drinke heereof, if they could avoid surfetting, would live longer than those that drinke wine, and that from hence it is that many of us drinking Ale live an hundred yeeres. And yet Asclepiades in Plutarch ascribeth this long life to the coldnesse of the aire, which keepeth in and preserveth the naturall heat of bodies, when he made report that the Britans lived untill they were an hundred and twenty yeeres old. But the wealth of this towne consisteth much of buying of corne and selling it againe to the mountaines, for all the inhabitants be as it were a kind of hucksters or badgers [salesmen].

5. Not farre from hence doth Derwent carry his streame, where by Elwaston Sir Raulph Montjoye had lands in the time of Edward the First, from whence came Sir Walter Blunt, whom King Edward the Fourth advanced to the honor of Baron Montjoye with a pension: whose posterity have equalled the nobility of their birth the ornaments of learning, and principally among them Charles, late Earle of Devonshire, Baron Montjoy, Lord Lieutenant generall of Ireland, and Knight of the order of the Garter. Beneath this Elwaston, Derwent disburdeneth himselfe into the chanell of Trent, which within a while admitteth into it the river Erewash, that in this part serveth as a limit to divide this country from Nottinghamshire. Nere unto this river standeth Riseley, a possession of the Willoughbies: of which family was that Sir Hugh Willoughby, as I have heard say, who whils he endevored to discover the Frozen Sea nere unto Wardhous in Scandia, was frozen to death together with his company in the same ship. Hard by it also is Sandiacre, or, as others will have it, Sainct Diacre, the seat of the family of the Greies of Sandiacre, whose inheritance Sir Edmund HIlary in right of his wife was first possessed of, and whose sonne became adopted into the name of the Greies, and, a few yeeres after, the one of his daughters and heires wedded to Sir John Leake, and the other to John Welsh.

6. On the East side of this shire there follow in order Northward these places, Codenor, in old time Coutenoure Castle, which belonged to the Barons Grey, called thereupon Lords Grey of Codenor, whose inheritance in the foregoing age came to the Zouches by the marriage that Sir John de la Zouch, the second sonne of William Lord de la Zouch of Haringwith, contracted with Elizabeth the heire of Henrie Greie the last Lord of Codenor. Then Winfeld, a very great and goodly Manour, where Raulfe Lord Cromwell in the reigne of Henrie the Sixth built a sumptuous and stately house foor those daies. After it, you see Alffreton, which men thinke to have beene built by King Alfred, and of him to have taken that name. Which towne had also Lords entituled thereupon de Alfreton, of whom the second, named Robert, the sonne of Ranulph, built in the most remote angle and nouke of this shire the little Abbay De Bello Capite , commonly called Beau-chiefe, but a few yeeres after, for default of heires makes, the family of Chaworth and the Lathams in Lancashire possessed their inheritance by two daughters. These bare for their Armes two Chevrons , as they tearme them, Or, in a shield Azur , which very same coat the Musares, that is The doubters and delaiers , who were called Barons of Staveley, changing the colours only gave, who during the reigne of King Edward the First had an end in Sir Nicholas Musard, and his eldest sister was married to Ancher Frechevill, whose posterity flourisheth heere still at this day. Higher yet in the very East frontier of this country, upon a rough and craggie soile, standeth Hardwic, which gave name to a family in which which possessed the same: out of which descended Lady Elizabeth Countesse of Shrewsbury, who beganne to build there two goodly houses joining in maner one to the other, which by reason of their lofty situation shew themselves afarre off to be seene, and yeeld a very goodly prospect. This now giveth the title of Baron to Sir William Cavendish her second sonne, whom King James of late hath honored with the honor of Baron Cavendish of Hardwic.

7. More inward in the Country is seated Chester-field in Scarsdale, that is, in a Dale compassed in with cragges and rockes. For such rockes the Englishmen were wont to tearme scarres. Both the new name it selfe and the ruines of the old Walls doe prove that this Chester-feld was of good antiquity, but the ancient name thereof is by continuance of time worne out and quite lost. ‡King John made it a free Burrough when he gave it to William Briewer his especiall favourite.‡ In writers it is famous only by occasion of the war betwixt King Henry the Third and his Barons, wherein Robert Ferrars the last Earle of Darby of that name, being taken prisoner and deprived of his honour by authority of the Parliament, lived afterwards as a privat man, and his posterity flourished with the title onely of Barons. Hard to this Chesterfield Westward lieth Walton, which from the Bretons came hereditarily by Loudham to the Follambs, men of great name in this tract. And Eastward Sutton, where the Leaks held a long time a worshipfull port, in Knights degree.

A little from hence is Bolsover, an ancient Castle situate somewhat with the highest, which belonged to the Hastings Lords of Abergavenney, in right of exchange with King Henry the Third: who being altogether unwilling that the Earledome of Chester, unto whom this Castle had appertained, should be divided and bestowed among distaves, assigned here and there other possessions unto the sisters of John Scot the last Earle.

8. The West part beyond Derwent, which throughout riseth high and peaketh up with hils and mountaines, whence in old time it was called in the old English tongue Peac-lond , and is at this daie, haply for that cause, named the Peake (for that word among us signifieth to appeare aloft ), is severed from Staffordshire by the Dove, a most swift and cleere river, of which I shall speake hereafter. This part, although in some place it hath craggy, rough and bare scarres and cragges, yet by reason that under the upper crust of the earth there is limestone, which supplieth a batling [fertile] fruitfull slugh or humour, there been in it greene grassie hils and vales, which bring forth full oates and feed safely both droves of greater beasts and also many flockes of sheepe. For there is no more danger now from wolves, which in times past were hurtfull and noisome to this Country, and for the chasing away and taking of which some there were that held lands here at Wormhil, who thereupon were surnamed Wilvehunt, as appeareth plainely in the Records of the Kingdome. But so plentifull is it of lead that the Alchymists, who condemne the Planets, as convict of some crime, unto the mettall mines, have upon a ridiculous error written that Saturne, whom they make the Lord and Dominatour of lead, is liberally affected to England in granting lead, but displeased with France, to which hee hath denied the same. And verily I think that Pliny spake of this Country when he said this, In Britaine in the verie crust of the ground, without any deepe mining, is gotten so great a store of lead that there is a law expressely made of purpose, forbidding men to make more than to a certaine stint [measure]. For in these mountaines fertile lead stones are daily digged up in great aboundance, which upon the hill tops lying open to the West winde, neere unto Creach and Workes-Worth (which hereupon tooke name of the lead-workes) when the Westerne winde beginnes to blow (which winde of all others they have by experience found to hold longest), they melt with mighty great fires of wood into lead, in troughes or trenches which they digge of purpose for it to runne into, and so make it up into Sowes [pigs]. Neither onely lead, but stibium also, called in the Apothecaries shops antimonium , is heere found by it selfe in veines: which minerall the women of Greece used in old time to colour their eye-browes with, whereupon the poet Ion in Greeke tearmeth it ὀμματόγραφον. Mistones likewise are heere hewed out, as also grindle-stones and whetstones to give an edge unto iron tools, and sometimes in these mines or quarries is found a certain white fluor (for such stones comming out of Mines, that bee like unto precious stones, learned minerall men call Floures), which for all the world resembleth Christall. Besides Workes-worth, lately mentioned, wee meet with never another place worth the remembrance, unlesse it be Haddon by the river Wie, the seat for many yeares togither of the Vernons, who as they were very ancient, so they became no lese renowned in these parts in so much as Sir George Vernon knight, who lived in our time, for his magnificent port that hee caried, the open house that hee kept, and his commendable hospitality, that the name among the multitude of a Pety King in the peak. By his daughters and heires a goodly and great inheritance was transferred unto Sir John Mannours sonne of Thomas Earle of Rutland, and to Sir Thomas Stanley sonne of Edward Earle of Darby. There adjoyneth unto this Bakewell upon the same riveret, which among these hils maketh it selfe way into Derwent. This was by the Saxons called Baddecanwell , and Marianus writeth that King Edward the Elder erected there a Burrough. Now whether it borrowed this name or no of the hote waters, which the ancient Englishmen, as also the Germans in their language termed bade and baden , whence came Baden in Germany and Buda in Hungarie, I know not. Certes, at the spring head of Wie not farre from hence there rise and walme up nine fountaines of hote waters, the place at this day is called Buxton Well, which being found by experience holsome for the stomach, sinewes, and the whole bodie, George Earle of Shrewsbury lately beautified with buildings, and so they are begunne againe to bee restored unto by concourse of the greatest gentlemen and of the nobility. At which time, that most unfortunately Lady Mary Queene of Scots bad farewell unto Buxton with this Distichon, by a little change of Caesars verses concerning Feltria, in this wise:

Buxton, that of great name shalt be of hote and holsome baine [bath],
Farewell, for I perhaps shall not thee ever see againe.

9. But that these hote waters were knowen in old time, the port-way or High paved street named Bath-gate, reaching for seven miles together from here unto Burgh a little village doth manifestly shew. Neere unto this Burgh there standeth upon the top of an hill an old Castle sometimes belonging to the Peverels, called The Castle in the Peake, and in Latin De Alto Pecco , which King Edward the Third togither with a Manour and an Honour gave unto his sonne John Duke of Lancaster, what time as hee surrendered the Earledome of Richmond into the Kings hands. Under which there is a cave or hole within the ground called, saving your reverence, The Devils Arse, that gapeth with a wide mouth and hath in it many turnings and retyring roomes, wherein, for sooth, Gervase of Tilbury, whether for want of knowing the truth, or upon a delight hee had in fabling, hath written that a Shepheard saw a verie wide and large Country with riverets and brookes running here and there through it, and huge pooles of dead and standing waters. Notwithstanding, by reason of these and such like fables, this Hole is reckoned for one of the wonders of England, neither are there wanting the like tales of another cave, but especially of that which is called Elden Hole, wherein there is nothing to bee wondered at but that it is of an huge widenesse, exceeding steepe, and of a mervailous depth. But whosoever have written that there should bee certaine tunnels and breathing holes out of which windes doe issue, they are much deceived. Neither doe these verses of Alexander Necham, which hee wrote as touching the Mervailes of England, agree to any of these two holes:

A Cave to strong Aeolian winds alwaies enthrald there is,
From two-fold tunnell maine great blasts arise and never misse.
A cloth or garment cast therein by force aloft is sent,
A mighty breath or pourfull puffe doth hinder all descent.

But all the memorable matters in this high and rough stony little country one hath comprised in these foure verses:

There are in High Peake wonders three,
A deepe hole, Cave, and Den,
Commodities as many bee,
Led, Grasse, and Sheepe in pen.
And Beauties three there are withall,
A Castle, Bath, Chatsworth.
With places more yet meet you shall
That are of meaner worth.

‡To these wonders may be added a wonderful well in the Peake Forrest not far from Buxtons, which ordinarily ebbeth and floweth foure times in the space of one houre or thereabout, keeping his just tides, and I know not whether Tideswell a Mercat towne heereby hath his name thereof.

10. The Peverels, who I have said before were Lords of Nottingham, are also reported to have been Lords of Darby. Afterward King Richard the First gave and confirmed unto his brother John the Counties and Castles of Nottingham, Lancaster, Darby &. with the Honours thereto belonging, with the honour also of Peverell. After him these were Earles of Darby out of the family of Ferrars (so far as I am able to gather out of the Registers of Tutbury, Merival, and Burton Monasteries): William Ferrars, son to the Daughter and heire of Peverell, whom King John with his own hand (as we finde in an ancient Charter) invested Earle of Darby. William his sonne, ‡who brused with a fall out of his Coach died in the yeare 1254.‡ And this Williams sonne Robert, who in the Civill war lost this title and a great estate by forfaiture, in such sort as that none of his posterity, although they lived in great port and reputation, were ever restored to that honour againe. But most of this Roberts possessions King Henry the Third passed over unto Edmund his owne younger sonne, and King Edward the Third (I write out of the very Originall Record), by authority and advise of the Parliament, ordeined Henry of Lancaster, the sonne of Henry Earle of Lancaster, Earle of Darby, to him and his heires, and withall assigned unto him a thousand markes yeerely during the life of his father Henry Earle of Lancaster. From that time this title was united to the line of Lancaster, untill King Henry the Seventh bestowed the same upon Thomas Lord Stanley, who before had wedded Margaret the Kings mother, to him and the heires males of his body. ‡He had for his successor his grandson Thomas, begotten by George his sonne of Joan the heire of Lord Strange of Knocking. This Thomas had by the sister of George Earle of Huntingdon Edward, the third Earl of this family, highly commended for hospitality and affability. Who by the Lady Dorothy daughter to the first Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolke begat Henry the fourth Earle, eft-once honorably employed, who left by Lady Margaret daughter of Henry Earle of Cumberland Ferdinand and William, successively Earles of Darby. Ferdinand died in strange maner in the flower of his youth, leaving Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir John Spenser of Althorp three daughters, Anne married to Grey Bruges Lord Chandos, Francis wife to Sir John Egerton, and Elizabeth wife to Henry Earle of Huntingdon.‡ William the sixth Earle now enjoyeth that honour, ‡having issue by Elizabeth daughter to Edward late Earle of Oxford.‡

11. And thus much of the Counties of Nottingham and Darby, of which they inhabited a part who in Bedes time were called Mercii Aquilonares , that is, The Northren Mercians , for that they dwelt beyond the Trent northward, and they held, as he saith, the land of seven thousand families.

This County holdeth in it Parishes 106.


HAVING now travailed in order through the Countries of the ancient Coritani, I am to survey the regions confining, which in ancient time the people called Cornabii or Cornavii inhabited, the derivation or etymologie of whose name let other sift out. As for my selfe, I could draw the force and signification of that word to this and that diversly, but seeing none of them doth aptly answere to the nature of the place, or the disposition of the people, I chuse rather to reject them than here to propound them. According therefore to my purpose, I will severally runne over those Provinces which after Ptolomees description the Cornavii seeme to have possessed, that is to say, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, and Cheshire. In which there remaineth no footing [trace] at this day of the name Cornavii, although this name continued even untill the declining state of the Romane Empire. For certaine Companies and Regiments of the Cornavii served in pay under the late Emperours, as wee may see in the Booke of Notitia Provinciarum.


THE Country of Warwick, which the old English Saxons as well as we called Warwickshire, being bounded on the East-side with Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and the Watling-street way, which I spake of, on the South with Oxfordshire and Glocestershire, on the West for the greatest part with Worcester shire, and on the Northside with Staffordshire, is divided into two parts, the Feldon and Woodland, that is, into a plaine champian [flatland] and a woody country: which parts the river Avon, running crookedlie from North-east to South-west, doth after a sort sever one from the other.

2. The Feldon lieth on this side Avon Southward, a plaine champian country, and, being rich in corne and greene grasse, yeeldeth a right goodly and pleasant prospect to them that looke downe upon it from an hill which they call Edge-hill. Where this hill endeth neere unto Wormington wee saw a round fort or militarie fense cast up of a good bignesse, which, as others of that kinde, wee may well thinke to have beene made for the present and not long to continue, by occasion of some enemies that in times past were readie to invade those parts. Of the redy soile heere come the names of Rodway and Rodley; yea and a great part of the very Vale is therefore termed The vale of the Red-horse, of the shape of an horse cut out in a red hill by the Country people hard by Pillerton. In this part the places worth naming are Shipston and Kinten, the one in times past a mercat of Sheepe, the other of Kine, whereupon they gat those names; also Compton in the Hole, so called for that it lieth hidden in a valley under the hils, yet hath it delights and pleasures about it, and from thence a noble familie hath taken the name, out of which the most excellent Prince Queene Elizabeth advanced Sir Henry Compton to the honour of a Baron in the yeare of our redemption 1578. Likewise Wormeleighton, so highly commended, and notorious for good Sheep pasture, but now much more notable since that King James created that most right worshipfull Sir Robert Spenser, of whom I have already spoken, Baron Spenser of Wormleighton. Moreover, Shugbury, where the stones called astroites , resembling little starres, are found, which the Lords of the place surnamed thereupon Shugbury have long shewed in their Coat Armour. Southam a mercat towne well knowne, as also Leamington (so called of Leame a small brooke that wandereth through this part of the shire), where there boileth out a spring of salt water, and Uthrintdon, now Long Ichingdon, and Harbury. Neither verily are these two places memorable for any other cause but for that Fremund sonne to King Offa was betwixt them villanously in times past slaine by those that forelaied [ambushed] him, a man of great renowne and singular piety to Godward, unto whom nothing else procured envie and evil will but because in an unhappie time hee had by happie conduct quelled the audacious courage of his enemies. Which death of his notwithstanding turned to his greater glorie. For, beeing buried at his fathers Palace, now called Off-Church, hee liveth yet unto posterity, as who beeing raunged in the Catalogue of our Saints hath among the multitude received divine honours, and whose life is by an ancient writer set out in a good Poeme, out of which let it bee no offence to put downe these few verses following touching the murderer, who upon an ambitious desire of a kingdome slew him:

Past hope, whiles Fremund liv' d, to speed of wished regalty,
All secret and worthy meanes he plots to make him die.
With naked sword, prophane slave he, assaileth cowardly
His Lord unawares, and as he lay beheads him cruelly.
At Wodford thus Prince Fremund did this glorious crowne attaine,
Whiles, slaying guilty folke, at once himselfe is guiltlesse slain.

3. Thus much of the Feldon, or champion part, which that ancient Fosse-way (a thing that would not bee overpassed) cutteth overthwart, the ridge whereof is seene in pastures lying now out of the way neere unto Chesterton, the habitation of that ancient familie of the Peitoes, out of which was that William Peito, a Franciscane Frier, whom Paul the Fourth Pope of Rome, of stomach to worke Cardinall Pole displeasure (would you think these heavenly wights were so wrathfull?) created, though in vaine, Cardinall and Legate of England, having recalled Cardinal Pole to Rome before, to bee accused and charged as suspected corrupt in religion. But Queene Marie, albeit shee were most affectionatly devoted to the Church of Rome, interposed, or rather opposed, her selfe so that Peito was forbidden to enter into England, and the powre Legantine left entier and whole to Cardinall Pole. Here I wot not whether it would bee materiall to relate how in the reigne of Edward the Fourth certaine writers in bookes of purpose penned made complaint of Covetousnesse, who that shee having assembled heereabout flocks of sheepe as a puissant powre of armed forces, besieged many Villages well peopled, drave out the husbandmen, wonne the said villages, destroied, rased, and depopulated them in such miserable sort heere about that one of the said writers, a learned man of those daies, cried out with the Poet in these terms:

What could more cruelly be done
By enemies to Citties wonne?

4. But neere unto the river Avon, where carrying as yet but a small streame he closely entereth in to this County, first offereth it selfe Rugby, having a Mercat in it standing chiefely of a number of Butchers. Then Newnham Regis, that is, Kings Newenham , standing upon the other side of the river, where three fountaines walme out of the ground streined, as it should seeme, though a veine of Alum, the water whereof, carrying both colour and taste of milke, is reported to cure the stone. Certes, it procureth urine abundantly, greene wounds it quickly closeth up and healteth, being drunke with salt it looseth, and with suger, bindeth the belly. After it Bagginton, which had a Castle to it, and belonged sometime to the Bagottes, as noble a familie then as most other. Within a little whereof standeth Stoneley, where King Henrie the Second founded an Abbay, and just over against it stood in old time a Castle upon Avon called Stoneley-holme, built in Holmeshul, which was destroied when the flaming broiles of Danish warres under King Canutus caught hold of all England.

5. Then runneth Avon unto the principall downe of the whole shire, which wee call Warwicke, the Saxons Warryng-wyc , Ninnius and the Britans Caer Guaruic and Caer Leon. All which names, considering they seeme to have sprung from guarth , a British word which signifieth a garison , or from Legions that were were set in certaine places for guard and defence thereof, have in some sort perswaded mee (although in these Etymologies I love rather to be a Scepticke than a Critick) that this is the very towne of Britaine which the Romans called Praesidium, where, as we find in the Noticia or Abstract of Provinces , the Captaine of the Dalmatian horsemen abode under the command of dux Britanniae. This Cohort or band was enrolled out of Dalmatia, and (to note thus much by the way) such was the provident wisdome and forecast of the Romans that in all their Provinces they placed forraine souldiers in garrison, who by reason of their diversity as well of maners as of language from the naturall inhabitants, could not joyne with them in any conspiracy, for (as he writeth) Nations not indured to the bridle of bondage easily otherwise start backe from the yoake imposed upon them. Heereupon it was that there served in Britaine out of Africke the Moores, out of Spaine the Astures and Vectones, out of Germany the Batavi, Nervii, Tungri, and Turnacenses, out of Gaul the Lingones, Morini, and from other remoter places Dalmatians, Thracians, Alani &., as I will shew in their proper places. But now to the matter. Neither let any man thinke that the Britans got the word guarth from the Frenchmen, seeing the originall is an Hebrew word (if we may beleeve Lazius), and in that originall most Nations doe accord. But that this was Praesidium, that is, The Garison towne , both the Authority of our Chronicles teacheth, which report that the Romane Legions had their aboad heere, and the site also it selfe in the very navel and mids almost of the whole Province doth imply. For equally distant it is of the one side from the East Coast of Norfolke, and on the other side from the West of Wales, which kind of situation Praesidium a towne of Corsica had, standing just in the middest of the the Iland. And no marvaile it is that the Romans kept heere Garison and a standing company of soldiers, seeing it standeth over the river Avon upon a steepe and high rocke, and all the passages into it are wrought out of the very stone. That is was fortified with a wall and ditches it is apparent, and toward the South West it sheweth a Castle passing strong, as well by Nature as handy-worke, the seat in times past of the Earles of Warwicke. The towne it selfe is adorned with faire houses, and is much bound [obliged] to Ethelfled, Lady of the Mercians, who repaired it (when as it it was greatly decaied) in the yeere 911. In very good estate also it was upon the Normans entring into this land, and had many Burgesses, as they tearme them, and twelve of them, as we find written in King William the Conquerors Domesday booke, were bound to accompany the King of England into his warres. Hee that upon warning given went not paied an hundred shillings to the King. But if the King made a voyage by sea against his enemies, they sent either four Boteswans or foure pound of Deniers. In this Burgh the king hath in his Demeines one hundred and thirteen Burgesses, and the Kings Barons have an hundred and twelve. Roger the second, of the Normans bloud, Earle of Warwicke built afterwards in the very hart of the towne a most beautifull Church to the blessed Virgin Mary, which the Beauchamps that succeeded adorned with their tombes, but especially Richard Beauchamp, Earle of Warwicke and Governour of Normandy, who died at Roan in the yeere 1439 and after a sumtuous funerall solemnized in this Church lieth entombed in a magnificent tombe ‡with this inscription:

Pray devoutly for the soule (whom God assoile) of one of the most worshipfull Knights in his daies of manhood and cunning, RICHARD BEAUCHAMPE late Earle of Warwicke, Lord Despenser of Bergavenny and of many other great Lordships, whose body resteth heere under this tombe, in a full faire vault of stone set in the bare Roche. The which visited with long sicknesse in the Castle of Rohan, therein deceased full Christianly the last day of Aprill in the yeere of our Lord God 1439, hee being at that time Lieutenant Generall of France and of the Duchie of Normandy, by sufficient authority of our Soveraigne Lord King Henry the Sixth. The which body by great deliberation and worshipfull conduct by sea and land, was brought to Warwick the fourth of October the yeere abovesaid, and was laied with ful solemne exequies in a faire chest made of stone in the West dore of this chappell, according to his last will and testament, therein to rest till this Chappell by him devised in his life were made; the which Chappell, founded on the Roche, and all the members thereof his executors did fully make and apparel, by the authority of his last will and testament. And thereafter by the said authority they did translate worshipfully the said body into the vault aforesaid. Honored be God therefore.

6. Neere unto Warwicke Northward is Blaclow hill to be seene, on which Piers de Gaveston, whom King Edward the Second had raised from a base and low estate to be Earle of Cornwall, was by the Nobles of the Kingdome beheaded: who presuming of the KIngs favour and fortunes indulgence, tooke unto him so great and licencious liberty that when he had once corrupted the Kings heart, he despised all the best men and proudly seized upon the estates of many, and as he was a crafty and old beaten fox, sowed discords and variance betweene the Prince and the Peeres of the Realme.

7. Under this hill, hard by the river Avon standeth Guy-cliffe, others call it Gib-cliffe, the dwelling house at this day of Sir Thomas Beau-forte, descended from the ancient Normans line, and the very seat it selfe of pleasantnesse. There have yee a shady little wood, cleere and cristall springs, mossy bottomes and coves, medowes alwaies fresh and greene, the river rumbling here and there among the stones with his stream making a milde noise and gentle whispering, and besides all this, solitary and still quietnesse, things most gratefull to the Muses. Heere, as the report goes, that valiant Knight and noble Worthy so much celebrated, Sir Guy of Warwick, after he had born the brunt of sundry troubles and atchieved many painful exploits, built a Chappell, led an Eremits life, and the end was buried. Howbeit, wider men doe thinke that the place tooke that name of later time by far, from Guy Beauchamp Earle of Warwicke, and certaine it is that Richard Beauchamp Earle of Warwicke built Saint Margarets Chappell heere, and erected a mighty and giantlike statue of stone, resembling the said Guy.

8. Avon now runneth downe from Warwicke with a fuller streame by Charle-cot, the habitation of the renowned ancient familie of the Lucies Knights, which place long agoe descended hereditarily to them from the Charlcots, who upon a pious and devout minde founded a religious house at Thellisford for entertainment of poore folke and pilgrims. For that little river was called Thelley, which by Compton Murdack, the possession sometime of the Murdackes, and now of the Vernaies, Knights, and by this Thellisford goeth into Avon, which within a while runneth hard by Stratford, a proper little mercate towne, beholden for all the beauty that it hath to two men there bred and brought up, namely, John of Stratford Archbishop of Canterburie, who built the church, and Sir Hugh Clopton Maior of London, who over Avon made a stone bridge supported with foureteene arches, not without exceeding great expenses. This Hugh was a yonger brother out of that ancient family which from Clopton, a Manour adjoining, borrowed this surname, since the time that Walter de Cocksfeld called Knight Mareschall setled and planted both himselfe and his successours at Clopton. The inheritance of these Cloptons is in our time descended to two sisters coheires: the one of which is married to Sir George Carew Knight, Vicechamberlaine to our most gracious Lady Queene Anne, whom King James hath entituled Baron Carew of Clopton, and whom I am the more willing to name with honour in this respect, if there were none other, for that he is a most affectionat lover of venerable antiquity. Neither seeth Avon any other memorable thing upon his bankes but Bitford, a mercate towne, and some country villages, being now ready to enter into Worcestershire.

9. Now let us enter into the Woodland, which beyond the river Avon spreadeth it selfe Northward much larger in compasse than the Feldon, and is for the most part thicke set with woods, and yet not without pastures, corn-fields, and sundry mines of Iron. This part, as it is at this day called Woodland, so also it was in old time knowen by a more ancient name Arden, but in the selfesame sense and signification, as I thinke. For it seemeth that Arden among the ancient Britans and Gaules signified a Wood , considering that we see a very great wood in France named Arden, a towne in Flanders hard by another wood, called Ardenburg, and that famous wood or forest in England by a clipped word likewise cleped Den, to say nothing of that Diana which in the ancient inscriptions of Gaule is surnamed Ardwena and Ardoina, that is, if I doe not mis-conceive, Of the wood , and was the same Diana which in the inscriptions of Italy went under the name of Nemorensis. Of this forest, Turkill of Arden, who flourished heere in all honor under King Henrie the First, tooke his name, and his ofspring, which was of great worship and reputation, spred very much over all England for many yeeres successively ensuing. In the West side of this country, the river Arrow maketh hast to joine himselfe in society with Avon by Studly Castle, belonging some time to John the Sonne of Corbutio. But whether this river Arrow tooke name of swiftnesse, as Tigris in Mesopotamia (for arrow with us, like as tigris among the Persians, betokeneth a shaft), or contrariwise of the still streame and slow course, which ar in the old French and British tongue implied, let other men looke who have better observed the nature of this river. Upon this river standeth Coughton, the principall Mansion house of the Throckmortons, a family of Knights degree, which being spred into a number of faire branches, and fruitfull of fine wits, flourished in this tract especially, ever since they matched in marriage with the daughter and heire of Speney. Not farre from hence is Oulsey, which also was in ancient time well knowne by the Lords thereof, the Butlers, Barons of Wem, from whom it was devolved hereditarily to the Ferrars of Ousley. Whose inheritance, within a short time, was divided betweene John Lord of Greistocke and Sir Raulph Nevill. Beneath it, upon Arrow, standeth Beauchamps-Court, so named of Baron Beauchamp of Powicke, from whom by the onely daughter of Edward Willoughbey, sonne to Robert Willoughbey Baron Broke, it came to Sir Foulque Grevill a right worshipfull person both for his Knights degree and for kind courtesie: whose onely sonne, carrying likewise the same name, hath consecrated himselfe so to true Vertue and Nobility, that in nobility of minde he farre surmounteth his parentage and unto whom for his exceeding great deserts toward me, although my heart is not able either to expresse or render condigne thankfulnesse, yet in speech will I ever render thankes, and in silence acknowledge my selfe most deeply endebted.

10. Under this towne there runneth into Arrow the river Alne, which, holding on his course through the woods, passeth under Henley a prety mercate towne, a Castle joining whereunto belonged to the family of the Mont-forts, being noble men of great name, which for the pleasant situation among the woods they called by a French name Bell-desert , but this together with the ruins is now buried quite and scant to be seene at all. These were descended not from the Almarian family of the Montforts of France, but from Turstand de Bastanberg a Norman, whose inheritance passed away at length by the daughters unto the Barons of Sudley and to the Frevills. In the very place were Arrow and this Alne doe meete together we saw Aulcester, by Matthew Paris called (and that more rightly) Allencester, which the inhabitants affirme to have beene a most famous and ancient towne, and thereupon they will have the name to be Ouldcester. This (as we read in an old Inquisition) was a Frank-burogh of our Lord King Henrie the First, and the same King gave that Borough to Robert Corbet for his service, and when the said Robert died, it came by descent to Sir William of Botereux, and to Sir Peter Fitz-Herbert. And when William of Botereux died, the moiety of that Borough fell by descent into the hand of Sir Reginald of Botereux as to the heire, who now holdeth it. And when Peter Fitz-Herbert died, that moiety descended into the hand of Herbert, the sonne of Peter, which Herbert gave it to Sir Robert de Chaundoys. But now it is decaied and of a very great towne become a small mercate of wares and trade, howbeit exceeding much frequented for the Corne-faire there holden. ‡This hath for a neere neighbour Arrow, according to the name of the river, whose Lord Thomas Burdet for his dependence upon George Duke of Clarence, words unadvisedly uttered and hardly construed through the iniquitie of time, lost his life. But by his grand daughter married to Edward Conway brother to Sir Hugh Conway of Wales, a gracious favorit of King Henrie the Seventh, the Knightly family of the Conwaies have ever since flourished and laudably followed the profession of Armes.‡ But East from the river, and higher among the woods, which now begin to grow thin, stand these townes under-named: Wroxhal, where Hugh de Hatton founded a little Priorie; Eadesley, belonging in times past to the Clintons, how to the Ferrars; also Balshall, sometimes a Commandery of the Templars, which Roger de Mowbray give unto them, whose liberality to the order of Templars was so great that by a common consent in their Chapiter they made a decree that himselfe might remit and pardon any of the brotherhood whomseover, in case he had trespassed against the statutes and ordinances of that order, and did withall before him acknowledge the crime: yea and the Knights of the order of Saint John of Jerusalem, unto whom the Templars possessions in England were assigned over (for our ancestours in those daies held it a deadly sinne to prophane things consecrated to God) granted in token of thankfulnesse unto John Mowbraie of Axholme, the successour of the foresaid Roger, that himselfe and his successours in every of their Covents and assemblies should be received and intertained alwaies in the second place next unto the King.

11. More North-east, where wild brookes meeting together make a broad poole among the parkes, and so soone as they are kept with bankes runne in a chanell, is seated Kenelworth, in times past commonly called Kenelworde, but corruptly Killingsworth, and of it taketh name a most ample, beautifull and strong Castle, encompassed all about with parkes, which neither Kenulph, nor Kenelm, ne yet Kineglise built, as some doe dreame, but Geffrey Clinton Chamberlaine unto King Henrie the First, and his sonne with him (as may be shewed by good evidences), when he had founded there before a Church for Chanons Regular. But Henrie his nephew in the second degree, having no issue, sold it unto King Henrie the Third, who have it in franke marriage to Simon Montfort Earle of Leicester together with his sister Aeleonor. And soone after, when enmity was kindled betweene the King and Earle Simon, and he slaine in the bloudy warres which he had raised upon faire pretexts against his Soveraigne, it endured six months siege, and in the end was surrendred up to the King aforesaid, who annexed this Castle as an inheritance to Edmund his sonne Earle of Lancaster. At which time there went out and was proclaimed from hence an Edict, which our Lawyers used to call Dictum de Kenelworth , whereby it was enacted, That whosoever had tooke armes against the King should pay every one of them five yeeres rent of their lands &. A severe, yet a good and wholsome course, without effusion of bloud against rebellious subjects, who, compassing the destruction of the State, built all their hopes upon nothing else but dissentions. But this Castle through the bountifull munificence of Queene Elizabeth, was given and granted to Robert Dudlie Earle of Leicester, who, to repaire and adourne it, spared no cost, insomuch as if a man consider either the gallant building or the large parkes, it would scorne (as it were) to be ranged in a third place amongst the Castles of England.

12. Next after this, to keepe on the journey that my selfe made, I saw Solyhill, but in it, setting aside the Church, there is nothing worth sight. Then Bremicham, full of inhabitants and resounding with hammers and anvils, for the most of them are Smiths. The lower part thereof standeth very waterish, the upper riseth with faire buildings, for the credite and praise whereof I may not reckon this in the last place, that the Noble and martiall family of the Bremichams Earles of Louth &. in Ireland fetched their originall and name from hence. Then in the utmost skirt of this shire North-westward, Sutton Colfield, standing in a woddy [marshy] and on a churlish hard soile, glorieth in John Voisy Bishop of Excester there borne and bred: who in the reigne of King Henrie the Eighth, when this little town had lien a great while as dead, raised it up againe with buildings, priviledges, and a Grammer schoole. As I went downe from hence Southward I came to Coleshull, a towne sometime of the Clintons, and to Maxstocke Castle neighbouring to it, which acknowledgeth by a continuall line of hereditarie succession for his Lords the Limseies, who were also Lords of Woverley, the Odingsells, that came out of Flanders, and the Clintons, men of greatest worth and worship in these times.

13. Lower yet, in the mids of this Woodland standeth Coventry, so called, as we take it, of a Covent of Monkes, considering that we tearme in our tongue such a brotherhood a Covent and Covenn, and it is oftentimes in our Histories and Pontificall Decrees named Coventria , as for example in this one passage, Vel non est compos sui episcopus Coventrensis, vel nimis videtur a se scientiam repulisse. Yet there be that would have this name to be taken from that little brooke that runneth within the Citie at this day called Shirburn, and in ancient Charter of the Priorie is written Cuentford. Well, whence so ever it was so called, in the foregoing age growing wealthy by clothing and making of caps, it was the onely mart and Citie of trade in all these parts, frequented also and peopled more than ordinarily a midland place, as being a Citie very comodiously seated, large, sweet, and neat, fortified with strong walles, and set out with right goodly houses, among which there rise up on high two Churches of rare workmanship, standing one hard by the other and matched, as it were, as concurrents, [rivals] the one consecrated to the Holy Trinity, the other to Saint Michaell. Yet hath it nothing within it that one would say is of great antiquity. And the most ancient monument of all, as it may seeme, was the Monastery or Priory, the ruins whereof I saw neere unto those Churches: which Priory King Canutus founded first for religious Nunnes, who when they were within a while after throwen out, in the yeere 1043, Leofricke Earle of the Mercians enlarged, and in a maner built anew, with so great a shew and bravery of gold and silver (these be the very woords of William Malmesbury) that the wals seemed too narrow for to receive the treasure of the Church, and the cost bestowed there was wonderfull to as many as beheld it: for out of one beame were scraped 50 markes of silver. And he endowed it with so great livings that Robert de Linsie Bishop of Lichfield and Chester translated his See hither, as it were to the golden sand of Lydia, to the end (for so writeth the said Malmesbury) that out of the very treasure of the Church he might by stealth convey wherewith to fill the Kings hand, wherewith to avoid the Popes businesse, and wherwith to satisfie the greedinesse of the Romanists. But this See few yeeres after was removed againe to Lichfield, yet so as that one and the selfesame Bishop carried the name both of Lichfield and of Coventry. The first Lord of this Citie, so farre as I can learne, was this Leofricke, who being very much offended and angrie with the Citizens, oppressed them with most heavy tributes, which he would remit upon no other condition, at the earnest suite of his wife Godiva, unlesse she would her selfe ride on horse-backe naked through the greatest and most inhabited street of the Citie: which she did in deed, and was so covered with her faire long hare that (if we may beleeve the common sort) she was seene of no bodie, and thus she did set free her Citizens of Coventry from many payments for ever. From Leofricke it came into the hands of the Earles of Chester by Lucie, his sonne Anglars daughter: for she had beene beene married to Raulph the first that name and the third Earle of Chester out of his line: who granted unto Lichfield the same liberties that Lincolne had, and gave a great part of the Citie unto the Monkes. The rest and Chilmor, which is the Lords Manour hard by the Citie, hee reserved to himselfe and to his heires. After whose death, when for want of issue male the inheritance was divided betweene the sister, Coventry came at length mediately by the Earles of Arundell unto Roger Mont-hault, whose grand sonne Robert, passed over all his right, for default of issue male of his body begotten, unto Queene Isabell mother to King Edward the Third, to have and to hold during the whole life of the Queene herselfe, and after her decease to remaine unto John of Eltham the said Kings brother, and to the heires of his body begotten, and for default, the remainder to Edward King of England &. For thus it is to be seene in the Fine, in the second yeere of King Edward the Third. Now the said John of Eltham was afterwards created Earle of Cornwall, and this place became annexed to the Earledome of Cornwall. From which time it hath flourished in great state. Kings have bestowed sundry immunities upon it, and King Edward the Third especially, who permitted them to chuse a Maior and two Bailifes, and to build and embatle a wall about it: also King Henrie the Sixth, who laying unto it certaine small townes adjoining, granted That it should be an entier County corporate by it selfe (the very words of the Charter runne in that sort) in deed and name, and distinct from the County of Warwicke. At which time in lieu of Balifes he ordained two Sherifes, and the Citizens beganne to fortifie their Citie with a most strong wall, wherein are beautifull gates, and at one of them, called Gosford Gate, there hangeth to be seene a mighty great Shield bone of a wild Bore, which any man would thinke that either Guy of Warwicke or else Diana of the Forest (Arden) slew in hunting, when he had turned up with his snout that great pit or pond which at this day is called Swansewell, but Swinsewell in times past, as the authority of ancient Charters doth prove. As touching the longitude of this City, it is 24 degrees and 52 scruples, and for the latitude it is 52 degrees and 25 scruples. Thus much of Coventry. Yet you have not all this of me, but (wilingly to acknowledge by whom I have profited) of Henrie Ferrars of Baddesley, a man for parentage and for knowledge of antiquity very commendable, and my especiall friend: who both in this place and also else where hath at all times courteously shewed me the right way when I was out, and from his candle, as it were, hath lighted mine.

14. Neere unto Coventry, North-westward are placed Ausley castle, the habitation in times past of the Hastings, who were Lords of Abergevenney, and Brand, the dwelling place in old time of the Verdons. Eastward standeth Caloughdon, commonly Caledon, the ancient seat of the Lords Segrave, from whom it descended to the Barons of Berkeley by one of the daughters of Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolke. These Segraves since time that Stephen was Lord chiefe Justice of England, flourished in the honorable estate of Barons, became possessed of the Chaucombes inheritance, whose Armes also they bare, viz., A Lion rampant, Argent crowned Or, in a shield Sable. But John the last of them maried Margaret Duchesse of Northfolke, daughter of Thomas Brotherton, and begat Elizabeth a daughter, who brought into the Family of the Mowbraies the dignity of Marshall of England and title of Duke of Norfolke. Brinklo also is not farre from hence, where stood an ancient Castle of the Mowbraies, to which many possessions and faire lands thereabout belonged. But the very rubbish of this Castle time hath quite consumed, as Combe Abbay is scant now apparent, which the Camvills and Mowbraies endowed with possessions, and out of the ruines and reliques whereof a faire house of the Lord Harringtons in this very place is now raised. As you goe East-ward you meet anon with Cester-Over, whereof I spake incidently before, belonging to the Grevills, neere unto which the High- port-way Watling-street, dividing this shire Northward from Leicestershire, runneth on forward by High-crosse, whereof also I have already written, neere unto Nun Eaton, which in ancient time was named Eaton. But when Amice wife to Robert Bossu Earle of Leicester, as Henry Knighton writeth, had founded a Monastery of Nunnes, wherein her selfe also became professed , it beganne of those Nunnes to bee called Nun-Eaton. And famous it was in the former ages by reason of those religious Virgines holinesse, who devoting themselves continually to praiers, gave example of good life. A little from this there flourished sometimes Astley Castle, the principall seat of the familie of Astley, out of which flourished Barons in the time of King Edward the First, Second, and Third, the heire whereof in the end was the second wedded wife of Reginald Lord Grey of Ruthin, from whome came the Greies Marquesses of Dorset, some of whom were enterred in a most fine and faire Collegiat Church which Thomas Lord Astley founded with a Deane and Secular Chanons.

15. Somewhat higher, hard by Watling-street (for so with the common people we call the High-waie made by the Romans) were as the river Anker hath a stone bridge over it, stood Mandevesseduma a verie ancient towne, mentioned by Antonine the Emperour, which beeing not altogether deprived of that name is now called Mancester, and in Ninnius his Catalogue Caer Mancegued. Which name, considering there is a stone-quarry hard by, I may ghesse was imposed upon it of the stones digged forth and hewed out of it. For out of the Glossaries of the British tongue wee find that main in the British language signified a stone , and fosswad in the Provinciall Rome to digge out : which beeing joyned together may seeme verie expressely to import that ancient name Manduessedum. But what, how great, or how faire soever it hath beene in old time, a verie small village it is at this date, conteining in it scarce foureteene dwelling houses and those but little ones, and hath no monument of antiquity to shew beside an ancient mount which they call Old-burie. For on the one side Atherstone, a mercate towne of good resort, where there stood a Church of Augustine Friers, now turned into a Chappell (which neverthelesse acknowledgeth Mancester Church for her mother) and Nun-Eaton on the other side, by their vicinity have left it bare and emptie. Close unto Atherstone standeth Mery-Vale, where Robert Ferrars erected a Monastery to God and the blessed Virgin Mary, wherein himselfe enwrapped in an ox-hide for a shrouding sheet was interred. Beyond these Northeastward is Pollesworth, where Modwena an Irish virgin, of whom there went so great a fame for her holie life, built a religious house for Nunnes, which Richard Marmion a noble man repaired, who had his Castle hard by at Stippershull. Neere unto this place also there flourished in the Saxons daies a towne that now is almost quite gone, called then Secandunum, at this day Seckinton, where Aethelbald King of the Mercians in civill warre about the yeere of our Lord 749 was stabbed to death by Beared. And soone after Offa slew Beared, so that as by bloudy meanes he invaded the kingdome of Mercia, he likewise lost the same sodainely.

16. It remaineth now that wee reckon up the Earles of Warwick. For, to passe over Guare, Merind, Guy of Warwick, of whose actes all England resoundeth, and others of that stampe, whom pregnant wits have at one birth bred and brought forth into the world, Henrie the sonne of Roger de Beau-mont and brother to Robert Earle of Mellent, was the first Earle descended of Normans bloud: who had married Margaret the daughter of Ernulph de Hesdin Earle of Perch, a most mighty and puissant man. Out of this family there bare this honorable title Roger the sonne of Henry, William the sonne of Roger, who died in the thirtieth yeere of King Henry the Second, Walleran his brother, Henry the sonne of Walleran, Thomas his sonne, who deceased without issue in the 26 yeere of King Henry the Third, leaving behind him Margery his sister, who being Countesse of Warwicke and barraine, departed this life: yet her two husbands, first John Mareschal, then John de Plessetis or Plessy, in their wives right and through their Princes favor mounted up to the honorable dignity of Earles of Warwicke. Now when these were departed without any issue by that Margery, Wallerand uncle unto the said Margery succeeded them. After whom, dying also childlesse, his sister Alice enjoyed this inheritance. Afterwards her sonne William, called Malduit and Manduit of Hanslap, who left this world and had no children. Then Isabel the said William Malduits sister, being bestowed in marriage upon William de Beauchamp Lord of Elmesley, brought the Earldome of Warwicke into the family of the Beauchamps: who, if I deceive not my selfe, for that they came of a daughter of Ursus de Abtot, gave the Beare for their cognisance, and left it to their posterity. Out of this house there flourished six Earles and one Duke: William the sonne of Isabell, John, Guy, Thomas, Thomas the younger, Richard, and Henry, unto whom King Henry the Sixth graunted this preheminence and prerogative without any precedent, to be the first and chiefe Earle of England, and to carry this stile, Henricus praecomes totius Angliae et comes Warwici , that is, Henry chiefe Earle of all England and Earle of Warwicke. He nominated him also King of the Isle of Wight , and afterwards created him Duke of Warwicke, and by these expresse words of his Patent, granted That he should take his place in Parliaments and elswhere next unto the Duke of Norfolke and before the Duke of Buckingham. One onely daughter he had, named Anne, whom in the Inquisitions we finde entituled Countesse of Warwicke, and she died a child. After her succeeded Richard Nevil, who had married Anne sister to the said Duke of Warwicke, a man of an undaunted courage, but wavering and untrusty, the very tennisse-ball, in some sort, of fortune; who although he were no King was above Kings, as who deposed King Henry the Sixth (a most bountifull Prince to him) from his regall dignity, placed Edward the Fourth in the royall throne, and afterwards put him downe too, restored Henry the Sixth againe to the Kingdome, enwrapped England within the most wofull and lamentable flames of civill war, which himselfe at the length hardly quenched with his owne bloud. After his death, Anne his wife by act of Parliament was excluded and debarred from all her lands for ever, and his two daughters, heires to him and heires apparent to their mother, being married to George Duke of Clarence and Richard Duke of Glocester, were enabled to enjoy all the said lands in such wise as if the said Anne their mother were naturally dead. Whereupon the name, stile and title of Earle of Warwicke and Sarisbury was granted to George Duke of Clarence, ‡who soone after was unnaturally dispatched by a sweet death in a Butt of Malvesey by his suspicious brother King Edward the Fourth.‡ His yoong sonne Edward was stiled Earle of Warwicke, and being but a very child was beheaded by King Henry the Seventh to secure himselfe and his posterity. ‡The death of this Edward our Ancestors accounted to be the full period and finall end of the long lasting war between the two royall houses of Lancaster and Yorke. Wherein, as they reckoned, from the twenty eighth yeere of Henry the Sixth unto this, being the fifteenth of Henry the Seventh, there were thirteene fields fought, three Kings of England, one Prince of Wales, twelve Dukes, one Marques, eighteeene Earle, with one Vicount and twenty three Barons, besides Knights and Gentlemen, lost their lives.‡ From the death of this yoong Earle of Warwicke this title lay asleepe, which King Henry the Eighth feared as a fire-brand of the State, by reason of the combustion which that Richard Nevil, that whip-king (as some tearmed him) had raised, untill that King Edward the Sixth conferred it upon John Dudley, that derived his pedigree from the Beauchamps who, like unto that Richard abovesaid, going about in Queene Maries daies to turne and translate Scepters at his pleasure, for his traiterous deepe ambition lost his head. But his sonnes, first John, when his father was now Duke of Northumberland, by a curteous custome usually received, held this title for a while, and afterwards Ambrose a most worthy personage, both for warlike prowesse and sweetnesse of nature, through the favour of Queene Elizabeth received in our remembrance the honour of Earle of Warwicke to him and his heires males, and for defect of them, to Robert his brother and the heires males of his body lawfully begotten. This honour Ambrose bare with great commendation, and died without children ‡in the yeere one thousand five hundred eighty nine, shortly after his brother Robert Earle of Leicester.‡

In this Country there be Parish Churches 158.

William Camden, Britain, or, a Chorographicall Description of the most flourishing Kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland (London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1610) Copyright 2004 by Dana F. Sutton. This text was transcribed by Professor Sutton, of the University of California, Irvine, from Philemon Holland's 1610 translation [British Library Short Title Catalogue 4509, Early English Books reel 911:1]. For a full critical edition presenting Camden's original Latin text in parallel with Holland's translation, visit Professor Sutton's site at:


Placename mark-up by Humphrey Southall.

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