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From Sir Thomas Browne to Mr. John Aubrey.
(FROM AUBREY'S LETTERS IN THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM, VOL. I, ART. 29.]
I was not unmindful of Mr. Woods desires; butt the Deane, in whose hands the records are, being of late much out of the towne, occasiond this delay: I now send you inclosed what is to be found. You will find Mr. Robert Talbot named in the first of Edward the sixth ; butt when hee dyed as to the yeare is uncertaine, for after this I send, the church hath no register untill the 7th yeare of Queene Elizabeth, after which there is a good account of the prebends; but Mr. Talbots name not to bee found among them, so that hee dyed before that time.
Bishop Corbet never had any epitaph I could here of, though there are many that can remember his death, and some the place where hee was buried; and though there have been many bishops buryed in this church, yett there are butt 3 that have epitaphs, viz. Bishop Parkhurst, B. Overall, and B. Montague; the rest have fayre tombs, but no inscriptions. A clark of the church told mee, that in the late times above an hundred brasse inscriptions were stolne out of the church, and, therefore, to prevent all oblivion of the rest, I tooke the best account I could of them at the Kings returne, from an understanding singingman of 91 years old, and sett them downe in a booke, which otherwise would chance in a short time been forgotten; the churchmen little minding such things. Bishop Herbert, the founder of that church in William Rufus his time, was borne in Oxford, and so probably had his education there. I do not find that hee writt any thing; butt hee was a famous man, and great builder of churches; as this cathedrall, St. Margarets at Lynne a fayre church, St. Nicolas at Yarmouth, an handsome church at Elmeham in Norfolk, and St. Leonards chappell upon the hill by Norwich. In the 3rd or 4th of our Bishops there was also one John of Oxenford. For Broadgate Hall, I was of it butt about a yeare before it was made Pembroke Colledge. Bishop Bonner
was of that house, and Camden, as old Dr. Clayton told mee, and Noticia O.xoniæ mentions. Dr. Budden, also a civillian, was principall not very long before my time, and Dr. Clayton remembered him. Hee hath left some things in writing, but perhaps hee was first of Magdalen colledge, having writt the life of William of Waynfleet.
I am glad you have been so observant as to take notice of the Roman castrum in those parts you mention.
There hath been a Roman castrum by Castor neere Yarmouth, butt plowed up, and now nothing or litle discernable thereof; butt I have had many Roman coynes found thereabout: that castle you mention there is an old remainder of Sr. John Fallstafs house. There is also a Roman castrum 3 miles from Norwich, at Castor, anciently Venta Icenorum, containing about 30 akers of ground, where there are still playne marks of the 4 portæ, and I have had many coynes from thence, and some other antiquities. There is also a castrum at Brancaster by Burnham in Norfolk, containing 8 akers of ground; butt the rampier of that is almost digged downe. I hope you proceed in your observations concerning the Druids stones. I pray my humble service and good wishes unto that worthy gentleman Mr. Wood. I rest, Sr. your very respectfull freind and humble servant,
P. S.-My wife and daughters present their humble service. If you speake with my sonne who is at Dr. Ternes in Lymestreet, hee will give you some account of stones like Rollrich stones, the which hee observed as hee went from Magdeburg to Hamburgh. If I can do you any service I pray command it. I should bee glad to see you in these parts when I might have more time to enjoy you then your last haste afforded mee.
I was borne Novemb. 19, 1605. Aug. 24, Norwich, 1673.
I can heare nothing of the tree in Castor churchyard, though I have enquired of some of the parish who say
there is none now, nor do they remember any. (Directed on the back.) To my worthy friend Mr.
John A wbrey, at Mr. Henry Coleys howse at the
(Inclosure.) Dr. Corbet died the 28 July, 1635, was buried in ye quire as is supposed, but we find no remaines.
70. die Nov. anno primo, Ed. 6. In charta Edwardi Sexti pro fundatione Eccli. Cath. Sn" et individuæ Trinitatis apud Norvic.
Et ut Ecclesia Cathedralis prædicta de personis congruis in singulis locis et gradibus suis perimpleatur et decoretur dilectum nobis Johannem Salisbury sacræ Theologiæ professorem Episcopum Thetford primum originalem et modernum decanum predictæ Ecclie. Cathedralis, ac Thomam Tidman Sacræ Theologiæ professorem primum presbiterum prebendarium, Henricum Manuell clericum secundum presbiterum prebendarium, Robertum Talbot artium magistrum tertium presbiterum prebendarium, Edmundum Drake clericum quartum presbiterum prebendarium, Elizæum Ferrys Sacræ Theologiæ professorem quintum presbiterum prebendarium, et Johannem Hallybread Sacræ Theologiæ professorem Sextum presbiterum prebendarium predictæ Eccli“. &c. ( The above inclosure is written by a different hand,
on a small piece of paper, which is fastened to the foregoing letter, (art. 28,) in mistake for this second letter to Aubrey.)
END OF VOL. I.