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the new subscription at 4 per cent. ? What interest.could any one have not to subscribe, who at such a time intends to sell his stock? His 3 per cents sold to Government at 75, and turned into a 4 per cent. would afterwards, when sold in the market, produce 5 per cent. more than if it had not been subcribed into the new fund."
The same object was contemplated, and somewhat similar means proposed by Dr. Price, in the preface to the third edition of his work on Reversionary Payments. In the event of the several funds rising considerably above par, he recommended that, instead of lowering the interest on such funds, the capitals should be reduced to a smaller amount under a higher denomination of stock.
“ The 3 per cents," says he, “ being at 110l. and consequently an immediate loss of iol. arising to the proprietors from every 1001. paid off, in order to prevent this loss, they would probably consent to a deduction from their capital of double this sum, provided what remained was made irredeemable for fifteen years, and the same interest continued. In this case they would submit for the present to no more than the imposition of a new name on their ca. pital. That is, every proprietor of 1001. stock, being to receive 31. per annum for it, as he had always done, he would suffer only the inconvenience of having it called by the name of 80l. stock."
This brief extract contains the sun and substance of the two Tracts now before us ; with the exception that, instead of waiting for a favourable turn of affairs, and availing ourselves of it, as Dr. Price recommends, Mr. Brickwood and his parliamentary colleague press the necessity of creating an occasion, and of instantly putting their experiment to the test. Still, we repeat, the arguments used by them in support of their respective projects deserve attention, and seem well calculated to correct certain errors in which this country has too long persevered.
ART. VI. Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the
Town and Soke of Horncastle, in the County of Lincoln. By George Weir. Second Edition. 8vo. Sherwood and Co. 1822.
In this systematizing age topographical works might if necessary be arranged in various classes from the extensive
and elaborate county history down to the one shilling guide to a miserable fishing village which in the summer season claims the distinction of a watering place. In such a classification the local histories of cities, towns, and districts, might probably hold the second rank, and among such the work before us must be placed.
The Soke of Horncastle would thirty years since have been fairly described as the first habitable land at which the traveller arrives after passing from Boston over the great range of the Lincolnshire fens. Important changes have however taken place, an extent of more than forty thousand acres which formerly constituted the fen, which in winter was frequently a more or less continuous sheet of water, and in summer was partially grazed by vast herds of cattle turned loose upon the waste; this whole.country on which not a tree could then be found is now drained, inclosed, under regular, courses of husbandry and thickly inbabited. However these changes may have benefited the agriculturist, one class of beings has greatly suffered by the new system of affairs; the myriads of geese which this district supported and which (plucking times excepted) must have enjoyed the paradise of their nature, have nearly disappeared. The prevalence of intermittent fevers in the fen districts is a fact so well known, that it has even left the whole county under an accusation of unhealthiness, but a singular circumstance has been brought forward by a distinguished physician ; that since the drainage although agues have considerably diminished, pulmonary complaints which were before rare have now become more common. In some respects we regret that the fens do not come within the plan assigned by Mr. Weir to his work, for there is much in the natural history of such a country that is peculiar ; the birds, insects, and plants differ widely from those of more favoured regions and have never received the attentive investigation they deserved, and though the face of the country is so changed that many of these characteristics are lost; yet there are still the remains of curious customs and local peculiarities which if well collected and illustrated would be by no means devoid of interest.
To return to the work before us, Horncastle from which the Soke is named, will be recognized by many as having long been celebrated for the largesť horse-fair in England. According to our author the site of the present town was formerly occupied by a Roman fortification. Or this, the coins which are still found, with the remains of Roman masonry and pottery afford ample proof. He considers it to have been the Benovallum, (p. 4) of Ravennas and his reasoning
on the subject if not conclusive, appears as satisfactory as the nature of the subject will admit. It is situate
the river Bane, and is the only place thus circumstanced where Roman vestiges have been observed to any extent.
“ It is indeed probable that the Romans were induced at first to make a station at this place, from its convenient situation, easily rendered defensible by a vallum or temporary barrier drawn across the confluence of the two rivers from one bank to the other.' P. 4.
We bave quoted this passage for the purpose of suggesting tliat it is not at all necessary to the author's argument that the term vallum should imply a “temporary” barrier ; for although from the mode of its construction it might frequently be used as such, yet the Romans used the same term in cases where permanence was required, and thus we find it terminating the names of some of their regularly fortified stations. According to Salmasius vallus is a sort of derivative from varus a forked stick, but Virgil in describing one of the works of the farmer mentions the sharpening of stakes and forked sticks, calling the former valli. Cæsar has minutely described the method of raising a defence of stakes (valli) with a ditch before them, and from this part of the construction came the word vallum, signifying the fence of a fortification, and even by corruption it was used at times for a turf wall.
By the Saxons it is conjectured, (p. 5.) that the name was changed to Hyrncastre, and on the authority of Leland, it is. stated that Horia the Saxon “enstrengthened this fortress." This statement of the Saxon possession and name in the fifth century may at first sight appear to invalidate that of the anonymous Ravennas (of Ravenna) who it is believed wrote about the end of the ninth century, and calls the place still Benovallum, but it must be remembered that this writer appears to have compiled his geographical work from numerous Roman documents in which he would find their pames of places still retained. Grants to faithful or at least successful warriors in feudal times and subsequent donations to religious establishments form the connecting links by which as might be expected the history is attached to the sale and purchase records of present times. In these transitions the only events of great public importance arose out of the troubles of the civil wars, and the neighbourhood of Horncastle seems to have witnessed some bloody fights between the forces of Charles and the parliament.
Among the antiquities of the place the coins of its Roman inbabitants form an interesting feature ; those of Caligula are the earliest, and those of Valentinian the latest that have come under the author's notice.
The present state of the town is next described, and a condensed but accurate account is given of the neighbouring parishes ; in which the descriptions of their churches, and the annals connected with them form of course prominent features. The recent coronation gives a peculiar degree of interest to the account of Scrivelsby, the residence and service fee of the hereditary champions of England.
“ At the time of compiling the Doomesday survey, it appears that part of this parish, then called Scrivelesby was annexed to the Soke of Horncastle, which was then retained by the conqueror. By the same record the manor appears to have been then holden by Robert de Spencer, but by what service is not said. How it passed from De Spencer to the family of Marmyon ; whether by inheritance, or escheat of the crown, and subsequent grant, cannot now be ascertained. It was however shortly after in the tenure of Robert Marmyon, whose male descendants enjoyed the same until the twentieth year of Edward the First, (1292, when Philip last Lord Marmyon died seized of this manor, holden by barony, and the service of champion to the kings of England on their coronation day; and seized also of the castle of Tamworth in Warwickshire, held therewith as parcel of his barony, but by the service of knights' fees, to attend the king in his wars in Wales. This Philip had only female issue, and between them his great estates here, in Warwickshire, Leicestershire, and elsewhere, were divided. By this partition, the manor and barony of Scrivelesby were allotted to Joan, the youngest daughter, by whose granddaughter and heir the same passed in marriage to Sir John Dymoke, who with Margaret, his wife, had livery thereof in the twenty-third year of Edward the third.
“ At the coronation of Richard the second, Sir John Dymoke claimed in right of his wife, to perform the office of champion : this right was counter-claimed by Baldwin Freville, who as Lord of Tamworth, also claimed to perform that service; but the commissioners of the court of claims deciding in favour of Sir John Dymoke, he performed that office ; and from that period to the present time, nearly five hundred years, their male issue have continued in possession of the same inheritance. The present champion, the Rev. John Dymoke is the seventeenth of his family from Sir John Dymoke, who has inherited that high and singular office." P. 62.
Bolingbroke is interesting as the birth place of our fourth · Henry, but of an extensive castle which formerly existed there scarcely a vestige now remains. Revesby and its Abbey, the seat of the late lamented president of the Royal Society gives the author an opportunity of inserting a short
memoir of that distinguished character. Tattershall Castle though now but a ruin is one of the finest specimens of brickwork in the kingdom. The place was originally the service fee of Eado and Pinço, two Norman barons, and after passing through various hands it became the property of the Lord Treasurer Cromwell, who in 1440, erected the present castle.
“ The part now remaining is a rectangular brick tower of exquisite workmanship, about one hundred feet in height, divided into four stories, and flanked by four octagonal turrets; and is raised on ponderous arches, forming spacious vaults, which extend through the angles of the building, into the bases of the turrets. Under the crown of these vaults was a deep well which is now filled up: The walls are of great thickness particularly that on the east side, in which are several galleries and narrow rooms, arched in a curious manner, through which communications were obtained with the principal apartments in the several stories, from the great stairs in the south-east turret. The east wall also contains the chimnies." P. 87.
Two exceedingly rich ornamented chimney pieces still remain, and a good plate of them is given in the work.
In conclusion we have an outline of the natural history of the district. Its geological features are first noticed and are illustrated by a map and section of the strata. From its situation on the eastern coast of this island any one acquainted with the subject would be able pretty nearly to foretell the nature and succession of strata so completely at the top of the British series of superposition. Accordingly we find cbalk, sandstone, and shale with clay and abundance of alluvial matter. In a work like the present minute details are perhaps not to be expected, but unless we are greatly mistaken there is yet in this part of the county of Lincoln, a wide field for the cautious research of some accurate geologist. Further investigation might perhaps refer the upper bed of clay to some known deposition analogous to it in another part of this island. We have next the two well known beds of chalk ; the beds of a brick red colour which in this county and in Yorkshire, sometimes alternate with the common white chalk are singular and have been little examined, it would be a point of some interest to ascertain whether the organic remains of these beds differ from those contained in the white deposite. A stratum of “ coarse brown pebly sand,” then an alternating bed of oolites and clay,” then another bed of sandstone " varying from a light grey to a dark brown," and Jastly a “ bed of sbale,” 150 yards in thickness conclude the features of the district.