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apparently ceased, and to remark how beneficially a scanty supply of water is economized and regulated by so unbooked for an agent as the tide in the channel, acting as a sort of temporary valve to the little spring.3 In a similar manner to the one described, but on a far larger scale, the fresh water is driven back in the Severn itself, on the borders of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, long after the tide is in full ebb lower down in that river.
The smaller circular enclosure mentioned before (chap. I.), as near the well, may have been used for the superstitious rite of burning bones and refuse on the nativity of St. John (24th June). The church was certainly, and the well most probably, dedicated to the Baptist, a saint who found much favour with the Normans. The annual "fires of St. John" were kindled to drive away the dragons supposed to be most active at midsummer, and by tainting open wells and springs to occasion a general mortality. Durandus (lib. viii. c 14) assigns another reason for the rite,—to commemorate the burning of the Baptist's bones by the heathen. A finger, or, according to some accounts, a hand or arm alone escaped combustion, and was sent to the Knights of Rhodes by Bajazet, as the most invaluable of relics. This cremation took place, it is said, at Sebaste or Samaria, by the express order of Julian. The carrying about of torches or blazing brands intimated that John was " a burning and a shining light;" the rolling wheel over the fire alluded to the decrease of daylight after the solstice and longest day, and further symbolized the downward career and decrease of the forerunner, compared with the increase of his divine and heavenly master. Children in Cornwall were swung across the fire to make them grow. More may be found on this subject in a MS. by a monk of Winchcomb, preserved in the Harleian Collection, (Cat. vol. ii. p.
3 It is not improbable that the name Severn, "Hqfren," "sea flowing," may have been derived from the singular damming up of the stream by the tidal water, and the consequent alternate rise and fall of the fresh water in that fine river.
661). This writer differs from Paciaudius, (Dissert. viii. c 2,) stigmatizing the popular customs, amongst which was that of dancing, as heathenish. Petrarch (lib. i. epist. 4) poetically notices the lustrations and washings on the banks of the Rhine,4 performed in honour of the Baptist. At length, such were the manifold immoralities of the vigil or wake, that the festival was turned into a fast. This may account for the Newton wake or Mabsant being held on "the Decollation" (old style) instead of the "Nativity of St. John." It is to be feared the change of day has not wholly obviated abuses.
The name Jordan Sanford, before mentioned, would suggest itself to those who specially honoured the Baptist.
As the societies of Disciplinanti or " Flagellants," who scourged their bodies in public penance, placed themselves under the tutelage of this saint in the twelfth century, there is reason to think that the stone pulpit in Newton Church, composed of three pieces of limestone, on which the Flagellation of Christ is rudely sculptured, belonged to the older building, round which the new colony was first planted, whether erected by the De Cardiffs or the De Sanfords.
The present church, dedicated to John the Baptist, whose head is represented on the west front of the tower, consists of chancel, nave and tower. The chancel seems to have been rebuilt in the sixteenth century; in the north wall of the nave is a doorway and passage with two small flights of stairs in the thickness of the wall. That on the left hand leads to the stone pulpit, and on the right was the ascent to the roodloft, over which the woodwork of the roof was somewhat more ornamented. On the south side of the nave, near the eastern angle, where formerly stood a saint's bell turret, there was a rude fresco of Adam and Eve, now effaced. On the semicircular
4 " Pare herbis odoriferis incinctse, reductisque post cubitum manicis, Candidas in gurgite manus, ac brachia lavabant."—F. JPetrarchw Opera. "Dicamus de tripudiis quae in Vigilia S. Joannis fieri stone pulpit, the rim of which is ornamented with seven knots of stiff• flowers, two figures, perhaps intended for Paynims or Saracens, are represented as scourging our Saviour, whilst in the wall above two grotesque angels support an hour glass. By the removal of the screen between the nave and chancel, some smaller arches, probably three in number, have been replaced by one of very inartificial and poor construction. The internal pointed arch under the tower is of far better workmanship. The tower itself is of the Tudor era, and was probably erected when Jasper Duke of Bedford was lord of the older manor. Its roof is saddle-backed, or gabled, as it has been called; the plain but characteristic porch has been fitted up for a vestry. Outside of the porch has been placed for many years the oldest monumental stone hitherto found. (See engraving.) This stone has been so fully described by the writer's father, that it is thought best to append his account of its discovery, slightly abbreviated:—
"Remarks On A Tombstone Found In Newton Church.— By The Rev. R. Knight, M.A., Vicar Of TewkesBury.—July 4, 1812.
"This stone, apparently a hard sandstone of the same kind as the receptacle in which the cross was mortised, (still extant in the churchyard,) measures in length about five feet three inches; in breadth, at the head of it, rather more than one foot six inches; at the foot, before it was broken, one foot three inches. It was found covered with three or four inches of mould in that part of the nave of the church which adjoins the southern abutment of the arch leading into the chancel. The following ichnographical sketch may give a tolerable idea of its situation.
"It seemed to have been used for a step into the pew originally belonging to the supposed manor-house (of the Lougher Manor). Part of it had been chipped off to fit it to the base of the contiguous abutment. The head of the stone had been turned round from its proper position on that side of the church, and the characters were therefore inverted. The inscription, (of the twelfth or thirteenth century,) as far as it can be deciphered, may be read thus,—helped out by probable conjecture :—
HIC : JACET: JULIANA : DE : MIN
: CUJUS : ANIMA : QUIESCAT : IN : Pace.
"Various other tombstones, wholly obliterated, and strewed about the church and churchyard (1812), of the same nature, shape and size, may lead us to presume that they too once occupied a cemetery now destroyed. The stone pulpit bears evident marks of remote antiquity, and several instances of incongruous workmanship occur throughout the building, to warrant the hypothesis that they are fragments of a much more ancient church, standing, perhaps, at an earlier period, on the site of the present fabric."—R. K.
The abraded state of the strokes supposed to represent "M," as the first letter of the surname, has led me to conjecture that they may have stood for "S" and "A." If so, the three erased letters at the beginning of the lower line may have completed the name of "Sanford." This, however, is merely a guess, among others which may be hazarded. It is more certain that the name "De Sandford" was lost in the female line at an early period, as that of De Cardiff had previously merged in it, so far at least as Newton Nottage is concerned.
SUCCESSION OF PROPRIETORS.
III.—The earliest distinct notice relative to the Mesne Manors is contained in Lord Cawdor's MSS. It there appears that "Jenkin and Thomas Turbervill had the lordship of Newton Nottage, 19 Edward III., from Henry de Cockeshal and Johanna his wife." The seal of the deed is a cross (argent) between four escallop shells. This agrees, as to the arms, with the "Roll of the time of Edward II.," (p. 39,) often cited in the Specimens of inlaid Tiles of Neath Abbey. In a charter of Thomas, son of John Lovel, releasing lands (granted him by
William Burdon) to Thomas de Somerton, dated at "Notchasse, 25 Edward III." (1351), the name of "Thomas Turbervill" (two years later called "Bailiff of Glamorgan") occurs. As the earliest in my possession, it is given in a note.* "Johanna uxor Henrici de Coggeshal Ch'r," according to the Inquisitions post Mortem, died 49 Edward III., possessed of considerable property in Essex, into which county the name of "Nottidge" has John Norris of Penlline, according to one pedigree, was the wife of a later Tomkin or Thomas Turbervill of
8 Charter Of Thomas Lovel, To Thomas, Son Of Reginald De Somerton. 1351.—" Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Thomas Lovel filius et heres JohTs Lovel dedi concessi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi Thome de Som'ton omnia terras et tenementa quae habui de dono et concessione Willlm Burdon in feodo de Newton Nothasche aut in terris arabilibus boscis prtis pascuis pasturis et suis ptns sicut jacent per antiquas metas et bundas una cum viginti duob's denariis quos Abbas Monasterii be' Marie de Neth et ejusdem loci Conventus irn reddere consueverunt cum duob's denariis quos Willim' Burdon me annuatim reddere tenebatur, habend' et tenend omia predct' terras et tenementa &c. &c. &c. predict Thome de Som'ton et heredibus suis et assignatis libe quiete bene et in pace jure hereditario in p'petuum de capitali Domino feodi illius pr redditus et servicia inde debita et de jure consueta pro hac autem donatione concessione et presentis cartas confirmatione dedit inhi p'etus Thomas de Som'ton viginti marcas sterlingorum pro manibus et ego vero p'dictus Thomas Lovel &cc. omnia p'dicta &c. &c. &c. Thome de Som'ton et h. s. et a. contra omnes mortales warrantizabimus acquietabimus et in perpet' defendem's. In cujus rei testimoniu' huic p'resenti carte meae sigillum meum apposui His Testibus John Lovel, Thoma de Turbville, David Cantelow, Nicho. Cantelow, David Regny, et multis aliis. Dat' apud Nothashe die din et sexto mensis Maii. Anno regni Regis Edwardi
There is another quit claim from William, son of William Burdon, of these lands, &c, at Grove, dated 1353, "Kaerdyf, Monday in the Octaves of St. John ante Port' Lateran," 27 Edward III., and witnessed by "Lord Mathias Le Sor, sheriff of Glamorgan," three of the foregoing witnesses, also by " Wm Le Heyr," and "Richard Le Barber de Kaerdyf." Jn Somerton, in 1419 conveys the same to Thomas Nerber, and in 1467, the feoffees of Nerber Junior convey to "Richard Lougher de Skerr, Gentilman," 4th Nov. 7 Edward IV.
Lucy, third daughter of Sir
til post conquestum vicesimo qnto.: