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This engraving is from a drawing by in his own pay, and bore his dignity with Mr. Harding, who states that he made it the carriage of the proudest baron." His from a very rare engraving. The drawing bridle was of silver, his saddle of velvet, belongs to Mr. J. J. A. F., who favoured his stirrups, spurs, and bosses, double the editor by lending it for the present gilt. His expenses far surpassing the purpose.
expenses of an earl. He' fed with the
fattest, was clad with the softest, and kept St. Thomas of Canterbury, bishop and company with the pleasantest. And the martyr, attained the primacy during the king made him his chancellor, in which reign of Henry II. He advanced the office he passed the pomp and pride of interests of the church against the in- Thomas (Wolsey) Cardinal, as far as the terests of the kingdom, till a parliament one's shrine passeth the other's tomb in declared his possessions forfeited, and glory and riches. And, after that, he was Becket having left the kingdom, Henry a man of war, and captain of five or six seized the revenues of the see.
thousand men in full harness, as bright as It appears from an old tract that this St. George, and his spear in his hand; churchman was a swordsman. He ac- and encountered whosoever came against companied Henry in one of his campaigns him, and overthrew the jollyest rutter that with a retinue of seven hundred knights was in all the host of France. And out and gentlemen, kept twelve hundred horse of the field, hot from blood-shedding, was
he made bishop of Canterbury, and did from the spot precludes the possibility of put off his helm, and put on his mitre; my taking a drawing of the tomb, but I put off his harness, and on with his robes; have by me its measurement, and the inand laid down his spear, and took his scription, which I copied with as great cross, ere his hands were cold; and so care as possible when there. came, with a lusty courage of a man of The parish church of Morthoe, prowar, to fight another while against his bably built by Tracy himself, is situated prince for the pope; when his prince's on the bold and rocky coast of the north cause were with the law of God and the of Devon. It stands on an eminence, pope's clean contrary.”
near the sea-shore, is sheltered by hills on After his disgrace by the king he wore the north and south, but open towards the a hair shirt, ate meats of the driest, ex- west, on which side is the fine bay of communicated his brother bishops, and Woolacombe. The interior of the church “ was favoured with a revelation of his presents the humblest appearance; its martyrdom," at Pontigni. Alban Butler length is near 80 feet, its breadth 18, exsays, “ whilst he lay prostrate before the depting the middle, which, with an aisle, altar in prayers and tears, he heard a measures 30. On the west side is a voice, saying distinctly, Thomas, Tho- recess, 15 feet by 14, in the centre of mas, my church shall be glorified in thy which is the vault, containing the remains blood.' The saint asked, Who art thou, of de Tracy. The rustic inhabitants of Lord ? and the same voice answered, 'I the parish can give no other account of am Jesus Christ, the son of the living the tomb than the traditionary one, that it God, thy brother.” He then returned to contains the remains of a giant, to whom, England, excited rebellious commotions, in the olden time, all that part of the and on Christmas-day, 1170, preached his country belonged. last sermon to his flock, on the text, “ And The vault itself is 2 feet 4 in. high ; peace to men of good-will on earth.” 7 feet 6 in. long at the base ; three feet These are the words wherein Alban But- and a half broad at one end of ditto, and ler expresses the “text,” which, it may be two feet and a half, at the other. The as well to observe, is a garbled passage large black slab covering the top of the from the New Testament, and was altered vault is half a foot in thickness. Enperhaps to suit the saint's views and graved on this slab is the figure of a perapplication. Room cannot be afforded son in robes, holding a chalice in one in this place for particulars of his pre. hand; and round the border is an inscripceding conduct, or an exact description of tion, which is now almost illegible. 'I his death, which is well-known to have had a drawing of the whole, which I hare been accomplished by “ four knights," lost, but with the account I wrote at the who, from attachment to the king, ac- time of visiting the place, I have preserved cording to the brutal manners of those the inscription, as far as I was able to days, revenged his quarrel by killing St. make it out.* Thomas, while at prayers in Canterbury On the east side of the vault are three cathedral.
armorial bearings, and the carved figures of two nuns ; on the north is the cruci. fixion; on the west side, there is nothing
but Gothic carving; and the south end is The following interesting paper relates plain. to one of the knights who slew Becket
An old and respectable farmer, residing
at Morthoe, informed me that about fifty or SIR WILLIAM DE TRACY.
sixty years ago
a gentleman from Lon
don" came down to take an account of To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. the tomb, and carried away with him
the skull and one of the thigh bones of de June, 1826.
He opened and examined the Sir,-I beg leave to transmit to you vault with the connivance of a negligent an account of the burialplace of sir William de Tracy, one of the murderers of • Unfortunately it was not discovered that some Thomas à Becket, archbishop of Canter- not be represented by the usual Saxon types, till it
of the letters, in the inscription referred to, could bury, in the reign of Henry the Second. was too late to remedy the accident by having them I regret, at the same time, that distance engraven on wood ; and hence the inscription is, of
necessity, omitted. Editor,
and eccehtric minister, then resident in ing dragon--forgotten beneath the robe the parish, who has left behind him a fame of an obscure village rector ! The parish by no means to be envied.
of Morthoe is, however, not a rectory, but The gentleman alluded to by the worthy what is called a “ perpetual curacy," and yeoman was no doubt the celebrated an- the living is at present not worth much tiquary Gough, who, in his “ Sepulchral more than seventy pounds per annum. Monuments in Great Britain,” has given Since I have, by the merest accident, a long account of the life and burialplace got hold of Gough, I will extract what he of Tracy. In his introduction to that records of the forgotten Tracy, as it may laborious and very valuable work, page not be unentertaining to the lover of hisciii. he says :-" The instances of figures tory to peruse a detail of the ultimate fate cut in the slab, and not inlaid with metal, of one of the glorious four, who delivered nor always blacked, are not uncommon.” their country from perhaps the greatest Among the instances which he cites to pest that was ever sent to scourge it. illustrate this remark, he mentions the “ William de Tracy, one of the murslab on the vault of “ William de Tracy, derers of Becket, has been generally Rector of Morthoe, Devon, 1322."—Here supposed, on the authority of Mr. Risdon, we find the gigantic knight dwindled to a (p. 116.) to have built an aisle in the párson ; and the man whose name should church of Morthoe, Devon; and to have be for ever remembered with gratitude by therein an altar-tomb about 2 feet high, his countrymen, the hero who happily with his figure engraven on a grey slab achieved a far more arduous enterprise, a of Purbeck marble, 7 feet by 3, and 7 work of greater glory than did the re- inches thick, and this inscription, [in Downed but fabled saint, over the devour- Saxon capitals,]
“SYRE [Guillau) ME DE TRACY [gist icy, Diu de son al] ME
EYT MERCY. “On the upper end of this tomb is “ Anno, 1257, Cal. Junii, John Allcarved in relief the crucifixion, with the worthy, presented by Henry de Traci, virgin and St. John, and on the north guardian of the lands and heirs of Ralph side some Gothic arches, and these three de Brag. Anno, 1275. Thomas Capelcoats; I. Az. 3 lions passant guardant, lanus was presented to this rectory by Arg. 2. Arg. 3. two bars, G. Az. a saltire, Philip de Weston. In 1330, Feb. 5, Or.- - The first of these is the coat of Henry de la Mace was presented to this William Camville, formerly patron of rectory by William de Camville. In this church: the second, that of the 1381, Richard Hopkins was presented by Martins, formerly lords of Barnstaple, the dean and chapter of Exeter, who who had lands in this neighbourhood : are still patrons. the third, that of the Saint Albins, who “ It is probable that the stone with the had also estates in the adjoining parish inscription to William de Tracy did not of Georgeham.
originally belong to the altar-tomb on “ The figure on the slab is plainly that which it now lies; but by the arms seems of a priest in his sacerdotal habit, rather to have been erected for the patron holding a chalice between his hands, as William de Camville, it being unusual in if in the act of consecration.--Bishop those days to raise só handsome a monuStapledon's register, though it does not ment for a priest, especially as the altarcontain the year of his institution, fixes tomb and slab are of very different mathe date of his death in the following terials, and the benefice itself is of very terms, ' Anno, 1322, 16 Decr. Thomas inconsiderable value. It is also probable Robertus præsentat. ad eccles. de Morthoe the monument of Traci lay on the ground, vacantem per mortem Wilhelmi de Traci, and that when this monument was broken die dominic. primo post nativ. Virginis open, according to Risdon, in the last per mortem Will. de Campvill.'
century, this purbeck slab was placed “ The era of the priest is therefore upon the altar-tomb though it did not at 140 years later than that of the knight. first belong to it. It does not appear by the episcopal re- “ The Devonshire antiquaries assert that gisters that the Tracies were ever patrons Sir William de Tracy retired to this place of Morthoe, except in the following in- after he had murdered Becket. But this stances :
tradition seems to rest on no better au
thority than the misrepresentation of the King John in the last year of his reign, inscription here given, and because the and his estate was confiscated ; but on family of Traci possessed the fourth part his return to his allegiance, 2 Henry III. of a fee in Woolacombe within this it was restored He was living, 7 Henry parish, which is still called after their III. (Dugd. Bar. i. 622.) consequently
But the Tracies had many_pos- died about or after 1223, having survived sessions in this country, as Bovey Traci, Becket upwards of 57 years."* Nymett Traci, Bedford Traci, &c. Wile Another slight mention is made of liam de Traci held the honor of Barn- Tracy in p. 26. In describing Becket's staple, in the beginning of Henry the shrine he quotes Stowe to this effect,Second's reign. King John granted the “ The shrine of Thomas à Becket (says Barony of Barnstaple to Henry de 1'raci, Stowe) was builded about a man's height, in the 15th of his reign ; and the family all of stone, then upward of timber plain, seem to have been possessed of it in the within which was a chest of iron, conreign of Henry III. I am indebted to taining the bones of Thomas Beckett, the friendship of the present Dean of skull and all, with the wound of his Exeter for the above observations, which death, and the piece cut out of his scull ascertain the monument in question. laid in the same wound.” Gough re
“I shall digress no farther on this marks :-“He should have added the subject than to observe of sir William de point of Sir William Traci, the fourth Traci, that four years after the murder assassin's sword, which broke off against of Becket he had the title of Steward, the pavement, after cutting off his scull, i. e. Justice of Normandy, which he held so that the brains came out. but two years. He was in arms against
• In thulke stede the verthe smot, ye the other adde er ydo,
(Robert of Glouces. p. 476.)
This long extract, Mr. Editor, has, I
THE TOMB At Morthoe. confess, made me rather casuistical on the subject of Tracy's tomb. I shall, R. A. R.'s letter, submitted to me however, search some of the old chroni- through the kindness of Mr. Hone, cerclers and see if they throw any light tainly conveys much interesting miscelupon the biography of our knight. "Hume laneous information, although it proves mentions Tracy, and his three com- nothing, and leaves the question, of who panions, but is perfectly silent with re- is actually the tenant of this tomb, pretty spect to the cutting off the top of the much where he finds it. In my humble churchman's skull. His words are, opinion, the circumstance of technical
they followed him thither, attacked heraldic bearings, and those moreover him before the altar, and having cloven quartered, being found upon it, comhis head with many blows, retired without pletely negatives the idea of its being the meeting any opposition.” Should you, tomb of Becket's assassin. It is well in the mean time, insert this, you will known that the first English subject who shortly hear again from
arms quarterly, is Hastings, Your obedient servant,
earl of Pembroke, who died in the reign R. A. R. of Edward III. and is buried in Westmin
Family arms seem not to have been Distrusting his own judgment on the continuedly adopted, till towards the subject of the preceding letter, the editor time of Edward I. laid it before a gentleman whose erudition
W. P. he could rely on for the accuracy of any opinion he might be pleased to express, and who obligingly writes as follows :
* Gough's Sepul. Mon. vol. i. p. 39, 40.
The death of Becket appears to have returned to his prayers before the tomb, been sincerely deplored by Henry II., in- which he continued all that day, and all asmuch as the pope and his adherents the next night, not even suffering a carpet visited the sin of the four knights upon to be spread beneath him, but kneeling the king, and upbraided him with his on the hard pavement. subjects by ecclesiastical fulminations. Early in the morning he went round He endeavoured to make peace with all the altars of the church, and paid his the church by submitting to a public devotions to the bodies of the saints there whipping. A late biographer records his interred; which having performed, he meanness in the following sentences : came back to Becket's tomb, where he
In 1174 king Henry went on a pilgri- staid till the hour when mass was said in mage to the tomb of the late archbishop the church, at which he assisted. Becket, with the fame of whose miracles During all this time he had taken no the whole realm was now filled, and kind of food; and, except when he gave whom the pope, by a bull dated in March his naked body to be whipped, was clad the year before, had declared a saint and in sackcloth. Before his departure, (that a martyr, appointing an anniversary fes- he might fully complete the expiation of tival to be kept on the day of his death, his sin, according to the notions of the in order (says the bull) that, being con- church of Rome,) he assigned a revenue tinually applied to by the prayers of the of forty pounds a year, to keep lights faithful, he should intercede with God always burning in honour of Becket about for the clergy and people of England. his tomb. The next evening he reached
Henry, therefore, desiring to obtain for London, where he found it necessary to himself this intercession, or to make others be blooded, and rest some days.* believe that the wrath of an enemy, to whom it was supposed that such power
NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. was given, might be thus averted from him, thought it necessary to visit the
Mean Temperature ...62 · 00. shrine of this new-created saint; and, as soon as he came within sight of the tower of Canterbury cathedral, (July 10,) at the
July 8. distance of three miles, descended from
CHRONOLOGY. his horse, and walked thither barefoot, over a road that was full of rough and July 8, 1533, Ariosto, the celebrated sharp stones, which so wounded his feet Italian poet, died at Ferrara : he was born that in many places they were stained in 1474, at the castle of Reggio in Lom. with his blood.
bardy. When he got to the tomb, which was then in the crypt (or under-croft) of the
The Season. church, he threw himself prostrate before it, and remained, for some time, in fer
In high summer, persons accustomed to
live " well” should diminish the usual vent prayer; during which, by his orders, the bishop of London, his name, de quantity of their viands and Auids : wine clared to the people, that “ he had neither should be taken very sparingly, and spiricommanded, nor advised, nor by any
tuous liquors seldom. Habits of indulartifice contrived the death of Becket, for gence at this period of the year fill many the truth of which, he appealed, in the graves. most solemn manner, to the testimony of God; but, as the murderers of that pre- It may not be amiss to cite late had taken occasion from his words,
A Curious ADVERTISEMENT, too inconsiderately spoken, to commit this offence, he voluntarily thus submitted From the Bahama Gazette, June 30, 1795. himself to the discipline of the church.”
WH After this he was scourged, at his own
THEREAS the subscriber, through
the pernicious habit of drinking, request aud command, by all the monks has greatly hurt himself in purse and of the convent, assembled for that purpose, son, and 'rendered himself odious to all from every one of whom, and from several his acquaintance, and finding there is no bishops and abbots there present, he re- possibility of breaking off from the said ceived three or four stripes. This sharp penance being done, he
* Lord Lyttletou.