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however be the work of a Norman operative, not only on account of its elegance; but for the following reasons. Planche whilst he states, how the “pryck spur” appears on the *Saxon illuminations and gives us an illustration ; still tells us, that it retained its single goad during the reigns of Rufus, Henry I and II, to that of John. I have had no opportunity of examining these illuminations ; but I wondered at finding the Cottonian representation of three royal personages on horseback without a spur, thougb depicting their costumes, as well as the harness and equipments of their steeds. Moreover, in the compartments of that historical memorial of the eventful period, which saw the Saxon dynasty swept from their possessions by adventurers from Normandy, I mean the Bayeux Tapestry, there are figured many horsemen, who wear the spear-headed spur. Harold on his way to Bosham with his hawk and hounds has his heel armed nearly in a similar way; but a needle like goad springs from a flattish globe. His followers, who accompany him, have none. On the other hand, in the selfsame worsted work, the Norman knights are as much recognised by the “pryck spur," as their shorn chin and lip. The Conqueror himself and the soldiers he is addressing on the field of Hastings, Toustain when carrying the consecrated banner, together with many other instances, might be referred to. The rowel spur is supposed to have been introduceil between the years 1307 and 1327; yet the registrum Honoris de Richmond testifies to the contrary, if it is to be relied upon. There, on the occasion of William bestowing lands on his nephew, the Earl of Brittany, both himself on his throne, his knights standing behind, and the grantee upon his knees, display rowelled spurs of no common dimensions. Thus, if Mr. Amyot's defence of the Antiquity of the Bayeux Tapestry be conclusive, the prick spur was used by the Normans at Hastings; and their successors, even beyond the reign of the first Edward, imitated them, as many a royal and official seal can testify. They borrowed it not from the vanquished; though, since the marriage of Ethelred, “ that fine sleeping figure of a king" with Emma, “the Flower of Normandy," and sister of its king, there had been much communication between the two nations. Let, however, the prick spur of Castle hill be of Saxon or Norman origin, either a hunter's, or a rad-knight's, it is immaterial to my history; except as a corroboration, that the ruins of the dwelling I have been attempting to describe, were not the home of a serf or ceorl, but of a knight. Still, Byron would have scouted the idea, that so elegant an instrument and one of such small girth could ever have been adapted for the heel of a splayfooted Saxon.

* The Saxons it would appear used little cavalry; for it is said that the Earl of Hereford destroyed the efficiency of the Saxon troops by making them fight the Welsh on horseback," against the custom of their country."

William had conquered at Hastings; but unmindful of the amnesty he had promised to the Saxon race, he harried them by his exactions, and the result was the great northern insurrections, which converted Amounderness into a desolation and laid “wasta" a portion of Leyland. To guard against such in future, he encouraged his barons to erect strongholds ; so Roger de Poictou, in the interval between the conquest and the survey, built those of Lancaster and Liverpool, and probably a third at Penwortham on the Ribble ; for no baron's name occurs in connection with it, before the defection of the superior lord; when it was granted by the Conqueror to a Bussel, the conjoint lord of the fief of Blackburnshire. The castle was ready for his reception, the Saxon Ham, after having afforded shelter, as the prick-spur manifests, to some knightly representative of the Saxon king, or visitor of the works, had disappeared at the time of the elevation of Castle hill; and the baronial residence of the Bussels is likewise now no more. Like the building that preceded it, its history will remain a blank, except some happy visit of a society, such as ours, disclose its foundations and the archives of its owners. It was, however, no vast structure. It could have been little more than a donjon keep, comfortless as a domicile, since every window was a shot hole, and air and light could not be admitted without inviting an enemy; but it was strong as a fortalice. It stood, I opine, on the ground now occupied by the church, and a military eye would at once fix on such a position, where two sides are protected by the river and its high cliffs. Besides, here rises the Castle hill to which it gave name, only separated from it by a ditch, said by Baines to have been “forty yards square.” More fortunate than its subordinate one at Weeton, the site therefore of Penwortham's Norman stronghold has not entirely been lost. Moreover its early demolition will account for the little we know of it, and its total disappearance may be chiefly ascribed to the great slips of the river cliffs, which old documents assert were of frequent occurrence. The area therefore of the upper plateau, as well as the lower must have been larger and may have been the sites, with the keep between, of the outer and inner ballia. This is not a mere conjecture; though there are no signs of ditch, or walls, with the exception of the one named, which appears only to have surrounded the keep. Grose's military antiquities contain a similar plan of a Norman fortalice and represent such an eminence as Castle hill, as being always, or nearly so, erected in the outer bailey, for a Court bill, or tribunal, where the baron, as high justiciar, executed justice. For this particular reason, and for a specula, the erectors of Penwortham's fortress had elevated and conically shaped the hill, so often referred to, by bisecting the butt end of the upper plateau with a ditch, and applying the sand and marl thrown out to accomplish the object they had in view. Of this we had occular proof, as well as how the elevation had been effected at two different times; for at some four or five feet from the present summit, at G. in figures 4 and 5, we cut through a thin viscous layer of black surface soil, on which some remains of a pavement were visible.

Castle hill then, in all probability, was the tribunal of Penwortham's baron, where *Ranulph, Earl of Chester, held his court, after he had received confirmation from Henry III. of the lands between the Ribble and Mersey, and succeeding mass and mesne lords their courts leet and baron, or as it is usually styled, the “King's Court,"—the Aula regis. And it was no uncommon meeting place. The Constablewick of Garstang, to the date of 1816, issued its laws and regulations from Constable hill, on the Wyre. But Castle hill, we have seen, was more than this. The Mote hill of Warrington more nearly resembles it, seeing that different people in succession have occupied it, as remains declare ; but the round hill near Cartmel, called Castle Head, approaches closer to it still. Here there were discovered about a half century ago,-“Parts of a human skull, vertebræ, &c., jaws of a large species of deer, teeth of buffaloes and other animals, tusks of a boar, &c., rings of silver, brass, and iron, beads of blue rag stone, lead and clay, 95 sticas of Northumbrian kings, 75 Roman coins, iron ore, petrified bone, pebbles, pottery and imitations of muscles.” These, however, were not exhumed from the ruins of a dwelling. I find nothing to compare with Castle hill : it is unique, at least I know of no parallel.

* Coucher Book in Duchy Office, n. 78. + Tradition says, that a verdict of the Aula regis of Penwortham, not a century and a half ago, executed a criminal, but whether on Castle hill or in Hangsman's tield I cannot learn,



By David Buxton, Esq.

(Read 11th December, 1856.)

· To descant, here, upon the pleasures to be derived from literary pursuits, would be to repeat, very unnecessarily, an oft-told tale. They are as various in kind, as they are inexhaustible in extent. Addressing minds of very different capacities, and influenced by very dissimilar tastes, Literature furnishes the requisite stimulus to the enquiries of each, and dispenses an appropriate reward to all. And still more, I think we may readily trace in ourselves the disposition and the habit to notice the different peculiarities of familiar authors, and even to note the various characteristic features of each individual writer, at different times, according to the temper of mind in which we read. Who amongst us is not conscious of these varying moods? Do we not sometimes dip into a favourite book, in the lazy temper which only wishes for amusement ? and sometimes too, let us hope, with the worthier disposition which seeks the instruction which sound wisdom can afford, or the ennobling thoughts which the rapt poet can inspire ? Are we not sometimes inclined to receive, implicitly, whatever the author lays down ? and, anon, pugnaciously resolved to dispute every proposition he advances ? In reading a good poet, I think we must, at times, find ourselves disposed to let our admiration rest chiefly upon the vigour of his conceptions; at other times, perhaps, upon his power of illustration ; then, upon his force of expression ; and again, upon his grace of diction, or melody of language. These are all so many claims upon our admiration, which works of the highest character irresistibly urge ; and the fact that some particular merit seems to come more closely into view at one time than at another, arises solely from our own varying moods, which prompt us always to take the highest pleasure in that which, at the moment, is most congenial and accordant with themselves. The glorious work which, in its completeness and greatness, commands our admiration, stands ever unchangeably the same ; the soaring mountain which pierces the clouds with its summit, and glasses itself in the liquid depths below, remains as immutable as it is immovable ; but its aspects of loveliness and grandeur change perpetually with the lights and shadows of the hour, and are presented in different phases as we change our point of view. So with the creations of human genius. We see their various features, at various times, because we observe from different points, and through the medium of different emotions. Yet, to every tone of human feeling they are faithfully respondent; answering now with tenderest sympathy; then with enkindling fervour ; but always with unerring truth : almost infinite in their various modifications, yet exquisite in all. Whose writings, for instance, can in this respect be put in comparison with those of Shakspeare ? What fun is more genial than his! what wisdom more profound! what pathos more touching, -what tragic terrors more sublime ! what pictures of nature and of man so vivid and lifelike ; what lines more musical; and what words more significant and apt, than may be found in almost prodigal abundance throughout his matchless works !

In a Paper which I had the honour to read before the Society two years ago,* there occurs the following passage :-"I do not pause to point out the resemblances which may be traced between many familiar passages in modern poetry, and some which are to be found in Cowley. That is a branch of literary investigation, which, if followed out, would reveal some curious facts. I hope some member of the Society having the requisite leisure may be induced to take up the subject, and bring his reading to bear upon it, in its threefold aspect of unconscious resemblance, avowed imitation, and arrant plagiarism.” (p. 60.)

That friendly challenge, has, to my disappointment, not been taken up. It only remains, therefore, for me to attempt to do, what I would far rather have seen more efficiently done by abler hands. And here I must premise, that I shall limit myself to English Poetry alone. I do not propose to travel out of the domain of our own language. Our indebtedness to the poetry of the Classical and other tongues, is a matter of familiar knowledge to us all; but the subject is too wide to be entered upon now, and it is besides,

• Cowley and the Poets of the Seventeenth Century, Transactions, vol. vii. p. 49.

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