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British works near Bitta ford Bridge, Devon. [Oct. adorn the county of Devon, none ex- from six to eight feet high, and disceeds that on the moor between the tant from each other about two hunvillage of Bittaford Bridge and Har- dred yards. They are all more or less ford Church, in the hundred of Er- injured, from the great quantities of mington, either in extent or interest. stone constantly taken from them by The village of Bittaford Bridge, con- the neighbouring farmers for the pursisting of a few scattered cottages pose of making fences, &c. There with a small inn, is situated in a little are likewise several small circular dell facing the south, thirteen miles buildings of rough stones, rudely put from Plymouth, at the junction of the together without any kind of cement, Totnes and Exeter roads. Harford standing on low mounds of earth. Church* is distant from it two miles The wall of the one I examined was to the northward.
four feet high on the outside, and This hoary monument of the valour thirty-seven paces in circumference ; of our ancestors commences within a but on the inside, from the soil that quarter of a mile of the above village. partly filled it, it was not more than The first thing that attracts the atten. twenty paces round, and two feet tion are several large stones surround- high : the hillock on which it stood ed by an earthen circle many yards in was about a yard in height, and sixtycircumference, and a few inches above six paces round at the base. the surface of the ground; these are Near the northern extremity of the in the north-western corner of a field same common is a pile of rocks, peron the right hand side of the road, pendicular on the north side, but on near a rivulet : two of them are erect, the south of rather easy ascent, surthe others are lying half buried in the mounted by an immense slab, somesoil. The highest is about five feet in what oblong in form ; near the southheight, and three wide at the broadestern margin of which is an irregular, part; the other, which is closely con- shallow rock-bason, with a channel nected with it, is four feet high and leading to the edge of the rock : whethree broad at the top, but gradually ther this excavation be of Druidical increases in breadth towards the origin or not, I must leave to those ground, and at length terminates in a who are better able to determine ; alpoint; neither of them is more than a though I consider it as likely to have foot in thickness. This doubtlessly been employed in the mystic rites of covers the remains of some chieftain. the hierarchy of ancient Britain, as
Further on are a range of barrows, any of those attributed to that sacred running nearly in a direct line across body by Borlase. the moor, south-west and north-east, Yours, &c. Joseph CHATTAWAY. when they ascend a hill, on the summit of which are three, giving name to it, “Three-barrow Tor." They
Oct. 6. are composed of stones of all sizes and IN pursuing some inquiries reweights, from a few ounces to as specting the ill-fated Queen Anne many pounds, varying from sixty to Boleyn,
attention was directed to eighty paces round at the base, and a passage in Dr. Nott's memoir of Sir
Thomas Wyatt, (prefixed to his edition This church stands on the east bank of of that accomplished Knight's poems) the romantic little river Erme, which is to this effect: here crossed by an ancient bridge, and is a “ It is certain that Wyatt was questioned prominent feature in the landscape. It con- as to the nature of his intimacy with the unsists of a nave, chancel, and south aisle, fortunate Queen."-p. xxiv. with a neat tower at the west end. The in
the only proof advanced in support of terior cannot boast of much beauty, the win
the accuracy of this assertion, being dows being entirely stripped of their fretwork, and the only monument a plain
contained in the following note: tablet on the north wall. The church
Wyatt, in one of his sonnets, which yard is pretty, and contains an ancient tomb
begins, or two. Yet, however interesting Harford
• You that in love find luck and abundance,' Church
may be to the tourist from its pic- makes a pointed allusion to the danger he turesque situation and the grandeur of the had once incurred in May, when in consesurrounding scenery, it has but little to re- quence of some unfortunate attachment, he commend it to the antiquary.
says that his wealth, and his very life, were
1831.] Sir T. Wyatt's presumed intimacy with Anne Boleyn, 303 brought into great perplexity. It should might seem to be left at the reader's be remembered, that Anne Boleyn was are option whether he would enumerate rested on the first of May; that she was as one of these, the enquiry into his trieu the 12th, and executed the 19th ; and conduct with respect to Anne Boleyn; that during the whole of that time inquiries did it not remain to be established on and examinations were going forward of all
something like respectable authority, who were in any shape suspected to have
that there was such an enquiry. Dr. had any improper intimacy with her.”Ibid. nole.
Nott gives it as certain that he was Now did this sonnet refer only to a
questioned, and a later biographer, danger“ he had once incurred in May," proceeding less cautiously, boldly as
serts in the same decisive tone, not it might seem possible that an allu
that he was examined, but that, “he sion to Anne Boleyn was intended by
was accused of being her paramour.” its author ; but when we meet with such lines as,
(Aldine Poets, vol. ii. p. 7.) To ascer
tain how far these charges can be “Let me remember the haps most unhappy, ported, is the object of the present ar
supThat me betide in May most commonly,'
ticle; and if any other sources worthy and,
of credit, besides the two of which I “ In May my wealth, and eke my life, I say, shall make use, remain to be noticed,
Have stoud so oft in such perplexity," (either for or against,) I shall be most it does appear to me, that nothing happy to be informed of them. more was meant than a mere repining
From what is termed “ Sir Thomas that the month generally considered Wyatt's Oration to the Judges,” (Nott, as the most joyous and auspicious p. 284, Ald. P. p. liii.) we certainly throughout the year, should to him learn that he had been confined in the have been the season for the occur- Tower about this period, and further, rence of several of the most unfortu- that he was not liberated until the nate incidents in his life, extending latter end of 1536. It is moreover afeven so far as to the endangering of firmed (Nott, p. xxviii.) that at the his existence. At any rate, how a commencement of the above-mentioned pointed allusion to a danger once in- year, he “stood high in favour with curred, can be implied from lines the King, for Henry had bestowed which expressly mention several, is, I the honour of knighthood upon him a must confess, beyond my comprehen- short time previous to his arrestation.” sion to discover. Even to become Dr.Nott, however (from inattention to aware that he bewails his misfortunes the Old Style), has probably antedated as the “consequence of some unfortu- this occurrence a twelvemonth; since, nate attachment,” requires a some- in one of the records he quotes, it is what powerful stretch of the imagi- stated to have been in the March of nation.
the 28th year of the King's reign, t Having shown that a reference is consequently in 1536-7, not 1535-6, made to more than one of these unlucky and the King's instructions to Sir “haps,” as taking place in May, it Thomas for his Embassy to Spain,
* This poem
printed by Dr. Nott, from Sir T. Wyatt's own MS. part of which, including this now mentioned, is in his own hand-writing (Pref. i. ii. Notes, p. 538). It would have been unnecessary to have mentioned this, had it not happened that in the Aldine edition of his Poems recently published, one line of this Sonnet occurs with a different reading to that cited above, apparently following the old printed copies,
“ In May my wealth, and eke my wits, I say,' This has given the editor of that volume occasion to say, that this passage may be supposed with equal if not greater probability to refer to some other circumstance rather than to the accusation that he had been criminally connected with the Queen, for not merely were his wealth and wits' brought into perplexity, but his life itself was then endangered;" thus, though intending to oppose, unconsciously assisting the argument of the learned Doctor, for there can be little doubt as to which is the most correct reading of the two.
+ “Sir Thomas Wyott. Dubbed on Esterday anno 28, the 18 day of Marche 1536." Cotton. MSS. Claudius, C. iii. There is, it must be remarked, an inconsistency in this eutry, as the festival of Easter cannot in any year occur earlier than the 21st of March. In 1537 it happened on the 1st of April.
304 Sir T. Wyatt's presumed intimacy with Anne Boleyn. [Oct. where he did not arrive until April or Though it had not been brought as the May 1537, are directed to Thomas ground of his accusation, would it not Wyatt, Esquire. The knighthood may have been drawn forth to aggravate have been conferred on his taking or induce the matter? Undoubtedly leave of the King for this mission. it would, either in the Queen's life in
If there was anything in the shape his first trouble, and it would have of evidence, to show that the Knight done well to revenge if he had done her was suspected of any improper in- this wrong, or after to her overthrow, timacy with the Queen, it might not or else in his second trouble against seem an unreasonable conjecture that him. But no one word is or was in it the imprisonment above noticed was touching any such matters.”-(Ibid. in some way connected with that cir
p. 437.) cumstance. The testimony of George From these extracts, it is clear that Wyatt, the poet's grandson, who, we their author, though supposed to be are told, beeing yonge had gathered the grandson of the Knight, though a many notes towching” Anne Boleyn zealous enquirer after information on (Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, 1827, p. this subject, and also, though living at 420), is directly in favour of the a period so shortly removed from the position to which I incline, — that date of its occurrence (George Wyatt Dr. Nott's assertion is gratuitous. was born in 1538, and died in 1624), This author, in a passage refuting some could not obtain any more certain eviof the calumnies and falsehoods re- dence on this point, than that afforded specting his illustrious ancestor, con- by his grandfather's "oration," or, in tained in Sanders's book “ De Origine other words, defence, at his last indict. ac Progressu Schismatis Anglicani,” ment. How, then, were the two recent says, “this is true also, that Sir Tho. editors of Wyatt's Poems able to settle, mas Wiat was twice sifted and lifted with so much certainty, a question so at, and that nobleman (the Duke of susceptible of dispute ? From whence Suffolk) both times his most heavy did they obtain the requisite knowledge adversary, as I have to show under for this purpose? They pretend to no the Knight's own hand, in his answer new discovery of documents relative to his last indictment. Neither could to this passage in Wyatt's life ; and, I ever learn what might be the cause our ignorance, for aught that I have of his so perpetual grudge, save only ever heard to the contrary, is to the that it appeareth to be as old as this." full as great as that of George Wyatt, (Extracts from the Life of the Virtuous, who, could the truth have been arrived Christian, and Renowned Queen Anne at, possessed advantages which it is Boleigne, Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, not likely ever did, or ever can fall to ed. 1827, p. 431.)
the lot of any other writer on this Again in another page he argues, subject. “ that his defence then (at his second I have now gone through all the trial) may and is to be esteemed his evidence which I have collected on defence now also, in this case not to this head. If Dr. Nott, and the be contemned, and may thus be consi- anonymous author of Wyatt's life dered. This reporteth that he was prefixed to the Aldine edition of twice winnowed. The matters were his poems, can produce no stronger the same both times, the accusations authority for their most unqualified so frivolous, the inducements and assertions, than that we have been proofs so idle, that they prove nothing canvassing (and it is fair to conclude more than that there lacked no wills in they cannot, since no other is given), his adversary to do him hurt, than that they must be content to have them rethey had any least colour of matter to ceived, not in the specious garb they work it. Nothing so impertinent, now assume as facts, but as conclunothing so unlikely that they allege sions perfectly gratuitous. not. Yea, and his most trusty and The detection of error is said to be best services they had the chief mat- one step towards the attainment of ters of their accusation; nothing was truth ; and, if in the present instance so fond that they ripped not up to his this should be the result, I trust you discredit, at the least if it might have will require no further apology for been. Yet in all this was no word or trespassing so long on your attention. signification of any such matter. Yours, &c.
J. B. M.