Imatges de pàgina

rustling among the ivy of the ruins; the river lulling, by its faint murmurings, its guardian genius to repose; and the owl, whose funereal shriek would some time die along the walls in mysterious echoes. I should then invoke the ghosts of the Abbey; and Fancy, with one stroke of her magic wand, would rouse them from their dusty beds, and lead them into the centre of the ruin. I should approach their shadowy existences with reverence; making inquiries respecting the customs, and manners, and genius, and fate of antiquity-desire to have a glimpse of the destiny of future ages, and enter upon conversations which would be too sacred and even dangerous to communicate.” The lines by Sir Walter Scott, on “Melrose Abbey by Moonlight,” are equally descriptive of Tinterne.*

It has been well observed, that, as the Abbey of Tinterne is the most beautiful and picturesque of all our Gothic monuments, so is the situation one of the most sequestered and delightful. One more abounding in that peculiar kind of scenery which excites the mingled sensations of content, religion, and enthusiasm, it is impossible to behold. There, every arch infuses, as it were, a solemn energy into inanimate nature; a sublime antiquity breathes mildly in the heart; and the soul, pure and passionless, appears susceptible of that state of tranquillity which is the perfection of every earthly wish.† By the late Sir C. Colt Hoare, a man of taste and many travelled acquirements, this "seat of devotion, solitude, and desolation,” is pronounced as surpassing every other ruin he had seen in England or in Wales. Captain Barber, whose “ Tour” is now very scarce, was so charmed with the scene, that he locked himself up in the Abbey, and employed several hours in delineating its picturesque features.

From the general aspect of this venerable pile—a coup d'æil that never fails to captivate the stranger-we proceed to a few detached features of the picture,

all more or less interesting as relics of men, and times, that have long passed away.

Walter de Clare, the founder, was grandson of Osbert, Lord of Tudenham and Wollaston, by gift of William the Conqueror. He departed this life on the 10th of March, 1139, and dying without issue, was succeeded by his brother, Gilbert & de Clare, who survived him nine years, and dying on the 6th

• If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,

Go visit it by the pale moonlight;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild but to flout the ruins gray......
Then go—but go alone the while-
And view St. Mary's ruin'd pile ;
Then, home returning, soothly swear
Was never scene so sad and fair !

| Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature.

| Prædictus conquestor dedit manerium de Wolleston et manerium de Tudenham in parte; et similiter dedit ei licentiam conquerendi super Wallenses postea, &c.-Monast. Angl. iv. 725. § Is bruder Sir Gileberð, that eir was of the londe, He bitoke mid gode wille the eritage an hond.

- Robert of Gloucester,




of January, 1148, was buried in the church of Tinterne. This Gilbert de Clare left two sons by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Walleran, Earl of MelentRichard, surnamed Strongbow, and Baldwin,* who, “fighting stoutly on the part of King Stephen, at the battle of Lincoln, was there taken prisoner.” Richard was one of the witnesses to that “solemn accorde," made in 1153, between King Stephen, and Henry, Duke of Normandy, whereby the latter was to succeed to the crown of England after the king's demise. In the year 1170 [16 Henry II.], the said Richard, Earl of Striguil or Pembroke, being stript of his paternal inheritance by King Henry II., invaded Ireland, and captured the cities of Dublin and Waterford. Soon after this event, when “the king, who was then at Argentine, was consulting with his nobles about an expedition into that realm; certain messengers from this earl being present, offered, on the part of Richard, the above-named cities, with all the castles which he had there captured, at the death of Dermot, king of Dublin, whose daughter and heiress he had married.” With this conciliatory offer, King Henry was so well pleased, that he restored to him all his lands, both in England and Normandy, and freely granted that he should enjoy all those in Ireland which he had received in dowery with his wife, constituting him at the same time constable or governor of that realm, and “thereupon passing thither, subdued it wholly without any considerable resistance."

the daughter of the said King of Dublin or Leinster, this last earl of his family, Richard Strongbowť left an only child, Isabel, who remained in ward fourteen years to the king, and was then given in marriage to William Marshall, who thereupon became Earl of Pembroke, Lord of Striguil, or Chepstow, and took possession of Leinster, with all the inheritance of the said Strongbow; and being thus advanced to that honour, he bore the royal sceptre of gold, with the cross on the head of it, at the solemn coronation of King Richard I.f The history of this family is given at full length in the Monasticon and Baronage of England, but it is much too diffuse for our purpose. William Marshall, who, by his marriage with Isabel, only child of Richard de Clare, came into possession of his estates and titles, was a great benefactor to the church; he built and endowed many religious houses both in England and Ireland; and having, by his last will and testament, constituted the abbot of St. Augustine’s at Bristol, and Henry Fitzgerald, his executors, he departed this life at Caversham, in the third of Henry II. Being thence carried to Reading, his body was received in solemn procession by the monks of the abbey, and placed in their choir, whilst mass was celebrated for him. It was then taken to Westminster, where


• Baronage, 208.

nones of April, 1176, and was buried in the Chapter| “He died untinely,” says the historian, “on the house at Gloucester."

| Bar. Monast.

the solemnity was again performed, and on Ascension-day it was consigned to the earth* with the following epitaph :

Sum qui Saturnum sibi sensit Hibernia: Solem

Anglia; Mercurium Normannia; Gallia Martem. These complimentary lines, meant to record his virtues, are characteristic of the times when heathen mythology was so frequently called in to assist in the eulogy of some great champion or benefactor of the Christian church. He certainly appears to have merited all that could be said of him as a great mover and promoter of monastic fraternities—especially the Cistercians; and in the same strain, Matthew of Paris has recorded that this mighty earl was a severe tamer of the Irish, a great favourer of the English, achieved much in Normandy, and was an invincible soldier in France—“Miles strenuissimus, ac per orbem nominatissimus.”+ But of the five sons whom he left behind, with the fair and flattering prospect that his name and titles would descend through many generations, all died prematurely and without issue. This deplorable fact was much commented upon at the time :-"Some did attribute it to God's especial judgment, by reason that, when the said William, first earl, was a great commander in Ireland, and, according to the practice of soldiers, exercised such cruelties of fire and sword as usually accompany that sort of life, he took away by violence two fair manors from a reverend bishop there, and possessed himself of them as the acquisition of war; and that the bishop, after frequent and earnest entreaties for their restitution, without any effect, did thereupon pronounce the sentence of excommunication against him for the fact, which he the earl contemned.” The bishop, † having proceeded to London, made his grievous wrong known to the king, showing wherefore he had excommunicated the said earl. “Whereupon the king, then very pensive, desired the bishop that he should go to his grave and absolve him, and then he would satisfy his desire. Whereupon the bishop went, and the king with him, and spoke as followeth : 'O William ! who liest here buried, and shackled with the fetters of excommunication, if these lands which thou most injuriously didst take from my church, be restored with full satisfaction, either by the king or any of thy kindred or friends, I then absolve thee: otherwise, I ratify that sentence to this end, that, being wrapt up with thy sins, thou mayest remain condemned in hell.'”

The king, who was “much displeased at these his expressions, blamed him for his ghostly rigour;" but anxious to remove the curse from the illustrious defunct, he sent private messages to the heir and his brothers, advising them in

# In the New Temple” or Temple Church, as recorded by Robert of Gloucester :

And Willam Jarı hal deide tho, that longe worth in mone,

And atte nywe temple was iburied at Londone.-Vol. ii. p. 518. | Mat. Paris, 1245.

Bp. of Fernis, a Cistercian monk, and an Irishman by birth.




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a friendly manner to come to terms with the bishop, and thus “in mercy

release their father's soul.” But the brothers were obstinate ; they would not restore even an acre of bog, nor a stock of timber; observing that, “as the old doting bishop hath pronounced the sentence unjustly, the curse will fall upon himself. For my part,” quoth the heir, “I will never lessen my patrimony descended to me by inheritance.” The king being still under tutelage, and fearing the resentment of so powerful a family, “forbore to displease them.” But the bishop, hearing thereof, was much grieved, taking more offence at their contumacy, than of the injury first done by their father; and going to the king, he said,

Sir, what I have spoken, I have spoken; and what I have written is not to be reversed: the sentence therefore must stand; the punishment of evil-doers is from God; and, therefore, the curse which the Psalmist hath written, shall come upon this earl, of whom I do thus complain. His name shall be rooted out in one generation, and his sons shall be deprived of the blessing—increase and multiply. Some of them shall die a miserable death, and their inheritance shall be scattered. And this, O king, thou shalt behold in thine own lifetime, yea, in thy flourishing youth.

Having spoken “thus much in the bitterness of his spirit, the bishop departed thence, leaving the defunct earl enthralled with that curse. Whereupon it happened that, in a few years after, all his sons died without issue."*

Wiilliam, his successor, who, “in his father's lifetime, had taken part with the barons, then in arms against the king, was one of those betwixt whom and the King those covenants were made, whereby the government of the realm was placed in xxv. of them, and the city of London thereupon put into their hands. Yea, so great a confidant was he of that rebellious pack, that they constituted him to be one of those xxv., for which respect amongst them he underwent the sentence of excommunication by the Pope. But upon the death of King John, which happened soon after, his noble father reduced him to obedience; so that he became loyal to King Henry the Third, and thereupon had a grant of the lands of Saier de Quinci, Earl of Winchester, and David, Earl of Huntingdon, two of those great rebels, for his support in the king's service."

A few years after this, "whilst he, the said William Marshall, was in Ireland, Leoline, Prince of Wales, took two of his castles; and having cut off the heads of those whom he found therein, manned them with his own soldiers. But when tidings thereof came to him, he soon returned into Wales; and

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William, eldest son of the above- named Earl filii Guilberti Strongbow, avi mei, et Willielmi MuriMarshall, gave a charter to the Abbey of Tinterne, scalli, patris mei, et Ysabellæ Matrisque meæ et antecesdated March 22, A.D. 1223. Pro salute animæ meæ sorum, ha:redum et successorum nostrorum. et pro animabus bonæ memoriæ Walteri filii Ricardi,

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having, with a great power, won them again, took the like revenge upon the Welsh: and thinking this not enough, he invaded the lands of Leoline, and wasted them with fire and sword. Whereupon Leoline advanced towards him with all his strength, but to little purpose ; for, encountering him in battle, the Marshall totally routed his whole army, of which to the number of nine thousand were slain and taken.” This earl married Eleanor, daughter of King John; and dying at Kilkenny, in 1231, was there buried in the choir of the Mendicant Friars.*

Richard, his brother and successor, being irritated by the violent conduct of the king and his ministry, formed an alliance with Llewellyn ap Jowarth, Prince of Wales, and in 1233 defeated the king's army at Grosinont; but with dutiful respect for his sovereign, he fell back with the Cam

brian army before sunrise, to allow his Majesty's retreat from the Castle of Gloucester. Henry, not appreciating the generous conduct of liis reluctant foe, resisted this attack; and on the return of the Lord Marshall to his estates in Ireland, he was treacherously wounded to death at Kildare, and there buried by the side of his brother William, whom he had survived only three

years. Gilbert, the third son, married a daughter of Alexander, King of Scotland, and died in 1242.

Tualter Marshall, the fourth son, died at Goodrich Castle, in December, 1245. And

Anselm, the fifth and last son of this doomed family, died like his brothers, childless, in the same month of the same year, in the Castle of Striguil or Chepstow, and was interred with his brother in Tinterne Abbey.

Of their five sisters, Eve, the youngest, married “William de Braliuse or Braose, † of whose family more hereafter.

Dudgale's Baronage.

Tho vr Hung Henry hurde of is deth telle, † His deeds, assassination, and burial, are thus re And of the prowesse that he dude, ar me liiin corded by Robert of Gloucester :

mizte quelle, “As noble bodi in he smot, he no de longe abide, And he vnderstod of his wit, and of is wisdom, He slou to ground her and ther, vaste on either Him thozte it was a gret love al is kinedom, side,

Vor is deth he made decl inou, and for is soule More prowesse ne mizte of bodi be,

he let do Than me mizte of Richard the marschal Almes dede mani on, and mani masse al so." there ise."

Baronage. Mat. of Paris. Mat. Westm.“ Being Then describing the nature of the wound given him suspected of overmuch gallantry towards the wife of by an assassin—"in aboute the fondement as he vn- Llewellyn, Prince of Wales (sister of King Henry), arined was,” adds

he was by him subtilely invited to an Easter feast, " At Kildar he was aslawe that in Yrlonde is, but after the entertainment was over, he was charged And at the frere prechors ibured, at Kil- therewith, and cast into prison, where he suffered death kenni, iwis.

by a barbarous murder. Some say he was hanged, and the princess with himn." -Dugdale. Bar. 419.

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