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Topography of Somerton, Oxfordshire.

113 Mr. URBAN,

Feb. 1. yet, slipping them off from above I

of Oxford, there is a valley of con- the end and pull it clean out as it siderable extent. The river Cherwell were from a sheath of stone, so little runs through it, fertilizes, and adds cohesion had the one to the other. considerably to its beauty. About The reason of which I guess may three 'iniles south-east of Deddington, be, that the pores of the plant, posthis valley opens with peculiar charms, sest with its own juice, and already and is finely featured. At this point furnish'd with a congenial salt, might are situated the three villages of North- well resuse adventitious onest." Astou, Middle-Aston, and Steeples In a subsequent part of his work, Aston, which derive their cominion Dr. Plot recurs to this subject, and name from their situation on the eastern gives a representation of the grass : side of the vale. Opposite to then, “ Hither also must be referr'd the and in full view of a richly luxuriant fresh-water Adarce, made at the Cascountry, is Somerton. It takes its ap- cade at Sommerton, which, though but pellation from Somme (Celtic) a valley; a meer incrustation, and formed not of er near or at the bottom of, and ton a itself, but ad formam ulierius, viz. of hill. The situation is very favourable, the grass about which it gathers, and being entirely excluded from the eastern therefore none of the Lithophyta, yet winds, and enjoying a view of the it haring some form (though but accibeautiful church of Deddington to the dental), I have thought rather fit to north, the park-like grounds of Col: misplace it here, than omit to shew Bowles and North-Astou immediately the reader how prettily the grass is opposite, and, in addition to the Chero sheathed with stone, which is accu. well, the Oxford Canal and its nume- rately expressed by [Plate VI.) fig. 101." rous boats enliven the scene,

In the time of the Romans, a PortThe parish extends from east to west way passed through the village. It about iwo miles, from north to south. was a branch of the Akeman-street, about a mile. The land is hilly, and, which led from the city of Alcester except a meadow of 100 acres, was en- .to Wallingford 8. The tract of the closed about 60 years ago. The soil is road is still distinguishable. light, of the stone brash sort, with At the period of the Domesday Sursome sand to the south-west.

vey, Rainald Wadard held “ Sumer. Dr. Plot, in his Natural History of tone” of Odo Bishop of Baieux, the Oxfordshire, speaking of the Alix of ri- half-brother of the Conqueror. It conrulets, mentions that here, as making tained nine hides. The arable land a cascade about seven feet high. It was nine carucates; of which two were was excellent for petrifactions, since" in demesne with one sert, and seven“the living blades of grass, of not above teen villeins and nine bordars held the half a year's growth, within that small remaining seven. There was a mill time are all covered with stone, and 'worth 20s. yearly, and the river anhang down the bank like so many nually produced 400 eels. There were icicles; the earth itself over which forty acres of meadow, and 156 of pas. it glides, as 'twere foliated over with a It had been worth gl. per ann. crust of stone like the mosco petroso of but its value was then advanced to 121.11 Ferante Imperato*.”

The lands of Bishop Odo having reThis incrustation or petrifaction, he verted to the Crown, tfic manor of further observes, is fixt only to the Somerion was next conferred on the superficial parts, as it were by aggrega- Barony of Arsic. Robert de Arsic tion, not entering the solid body.' siding with the rebellious Barons against “ The grașs, being one of the fluvia, King John, forfeited his estate to the lilia, is covered over with a soft stone; Crown, and it was given to Sampson and yet so, that broken off, the grass. de Gangy, who had stood firm to the appeared as fresh, and green as any King. Again, in the following year, other..not erusted, nothing of the the King disposed of it for the support blade being altered or impaired. Tho' of the garrison in Oxford Castle. The some of these petrified blades of grass.. hung down at least a foot in length, of Plot, ch. 2, sect. 26.

Ibid. ch. 5, sect. 141. * Plot, ch. 2, sect. 22.

Š Ibid. ch. 10, sect. 27. Gent. Mag. February, 1827.

!! Domesd. fo. 155 b.


Topography of Somerton, Oxfordshire.

[Feb. Arsics, however, must have either re- that he might give the manor of Sotained or recovered part of the manor, merton, and the right of a second since Walter de Grey, Archbishop of course of presenting to the Church, 10 York, bought of Robert de Arsic, and Sibil, the widow of the said Sir Thoat his death demised to his brother Ro- mas Giffard, for her lifet. bert, a moiety of the manor of Somer- Notwithstanding these several alie. ton, held by the service of keeping nations, the descendants of the Arsics Dover Castle.

seem to have retained the paramount In the chartulary of Eynsham Ab- interest in the manor of Somerton, bey, Oxfordshire, it is recorded that which descended from them through Alice de Langetot had given to that the families of Deincourt and Lovel, monastery three virgates of land she to the Greys of Rotherfield. After the had in Somerton, for the health of her battle of Bosworth, it was declared soul, and for those of her sons and forfeited by the latter family, and bedaughters, Hugh, William, and Robert, stowed on Jasper Duke of Bedford 1. Hawise, Beatrice, and Isabella; and At that Nobleman's death it again refor the souls of her husband Roger de verted to the Crown, and was grantChaisni, and her sons Ralph and Ro- ed to William Fermor, esq. Clerk of ger, and her daughters, &c. The date the Crown, who seated himself here, of this does not appear. *

and, leaving no issue male, bequeathed In 1291 the Prior of Merton had his estate at his death to his nephew here possessions, worth annually 24s. Thomas, in whose descendants (inany and 8d.

of whose epitaphs will be subsequently Roger, son of Sir Thomas Giffard, given) it continued till recently, acknt. paid a fine to the King, July 21, cording to the subjoined pedigree:

Thomas Ricards, 72d. w. Emmotte, dau, and h. of Simkin Hervey, esq.
alias FERMOR.

widow of Henry Wenman.

RICHARD FERMOR, Merchant of the Anne, dau. of Sir William FERMOR, 'to whom Staple of Calais, first master of Will Wm.Brown, Lord Somerton was given, marr. four Somers, the celebrated dester of Mayor of Lon- times, but died s.p. m.

Sept. 20, don.


Henry VIII.

Sir John FERMOR, ances- THOMAS FERMOR, 2d7 Bridget, dau. and coh. of Sir Henry tor of the Earls of Pom- surviving son, died Bradshaw, of Halton, knt. Chief Baron FRET. +

Aug. 8, 1580.

of the Exchequer. Sir RICHARD FERMOR, CORNELIA, dau. and coh, of Sir Ance, died Apr. 12, 1575. knt. Sheriff of Oxon. Cornwallis, kot. and grand-dau. of Mary, named in her fa1602.

John last Lord Neville of Latimer. ther's will.

HENRY FERMOR, TURSULA, dau. of Sir Peter Middleton, kat.; Jane, eldest dau. marr. died Jan. 30, great-grand-dau. of Charles Neville, last Earl Col. Thos. Morgan, of 1672, aged 60. of Westmoreland, died Sept. 8, 1669, aged 53. Heyford, North'tonsh. Richard FER-FRANCES, dau. of Sir Basil Brooke, of Madeley, Peter, and 'five other MOR, died Jan. Salop, knt. grand-dau. of John Lord Mordaunt children. 5, 1684.

of Turvey. HENRY FERMOR, diedHelen, dau. of Sir Geo. Browne, of Shefford, Richard, died May Feb. 3, 1683. Berks, K. B.; died Aug. 13, 1741.

18, 1730.


James FERMOR,MARY, dau. of Sir Rob. died Nov. 30, Throgmorton, of Wes1799.

ton, Bucks, bart.

Henrietta, died unm. Sept. 4, 1744 ; and six other daugh


HENRY FERMOR, died Jan. Frances, daughter of Edw. Shel- James, and four other 17, 1746-7, aged 31. don, of Weston,

children. WILLIAM FERMOR, died July 1, Henry.

Elizabeth, James, and Frances, 1806, aged 68.

died young

• Dugdale's Monasticon, new edit. vol. iji.


23. + Dodsworth MSS. vol. lii. 35.

I Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 242,

Topography of Somerton, Oxfordshire.

115 Of this family also, was Arabella the endowment of the Chapter of OxFermor, the heroine of Pope's “ Rape : ford a pension was to be paid out of it of the lock.”

of 7s. Odt. Tusmore is now the residence of Among the Rectors have been : this branch of the Fermors. Their William Juxon, the eminent Archancient mansion at Sonjerton, which bishop of Canterbury. He was prethey deserted about the beginning of sented to Somerton in 1614; and held the last century, is now entirely dila- the living for many years, whilst he pidated, except the window of the

was president of St. John's College, Hall. Over this was an apartment Oxford. During his incumbency he called the Prince's Chamber, of which rebuilt the rectory, and reglazed the some old people in the village recollect east window of the chancel, placing to have seen a portion. It had its therein his arms, viz. Or, a cross Dame from the circumstance of James Gules between four negroes' heads Duke of York (the misguided Abdica- couped Sable, wreathed Or, with the tor of his kingdom) having honoured date 1630. This, a beautiful speciSomerton with a visit, and slept in men of stained glass, is now carefully that room. Tradition reports,' that preserved in the hall-window of the when he came to the throne, he gave Parsonage. to the village a charter for a fair, which Edwiu Marten, of New College, was held in a place now called Broad- Oxford, B.C.L. 1713, D.C.L. 1718, pound. The Fermors retained the who married in 1716 the widow of Lordship of Somerton many years after Sir Robert Howard, of Ashted in Surdiscontinuing to reside there; but sold rey, K. B. younger son of the first Earl it about ten years since to the present of Berkshire. Earl of Jersey. It is worth upwards On a recent repair of the parsonage, of 1300l. per annum.

two antique spoons, of silver-gilt, were The village consists principally of a discovered. From the initials, R.H.M., street, extending north and south. The they are presumed to have belonged to following have been the returns to the the Marten family. several Population Acts:

The Register begins in 1627.

The Church, dedicated to St. James, 1801


254 is a handsome structure (engraved in 1811

314 Plate II). It is composed of a tower 1821. 71 71

400 (in which are five bells), nave, north The population is almost entirely and south ailes, chancel and a south employed in Agriculture. The wake chapel. The nave is about 52 feet follows the Sunday after St. James. long, and the chancel 33. On the

The Advowson of Somerton was north side of the tower is a carving of given by Robert de Arsic, to the reli- our Saviour between the two Thieves ; gious house of St. Thomas the Martyr and in the Church is one of the Last of Acon, reserving the right of the Supper, resembling that of Da Vinci, house of Medley, provided it were which has been lately repaired at the founded by the consent of the Bishop expense of the Rector, and placed over of Lincoln, and the Abbot and Con- the Communion-table. vent of Fescamp. The proctor of St. The Fermor epitaphs shall now be St. Thomas of Acon presented to the given. The first William was buried living in 20 Henry III. (1235.) It in the chapel on the north side of the came to the Fermors with the manor, chaucel, under an altar-tomb of grey and remained in that family till Henry marble, whereon are brass plates of Fermor, esq. who died in 1736, sold himself and last wife, I and under the impropriation to Dr. Crisp, who them the following inscription : sold it to the Rev. Barfoot Colston, Heare (pech buried Mr. William Canon of Salisbury, from whom it fermour Esquire, wbpehe was Lord of passed to the present Rector, the Rev.

+ Willis's Cathedrals,

P. Henry Wintle.

He married four, and another had this The value of the Rectory in the time epitaph at Hornchurch in Essex : of Henry the Eighth was 15l. 1s. 104d.;

Were (peth Katherin the daughter it is now worth 1501. per annum, be- of Sir William Paulet, tinpabt, wof sides the glebe. It pays: Surrogates, of William Fermour, Ilarke of the 2s.; Bishops, 36. 8d. ; Archdeacon, 8s. rown; who died map 26 the second 71d. ; yearly tenths, 1l. 10s. 2fd. In of Henry the eighte.






............. ar


Topography of Somerton, Oxfordshire.

[Feb. this towne and patron of this churcb; , On Ursula, wife of Henry : also Clarke of the Crowne in the

Hic jacet Ursula Fermor, Henrici FerHing's Bench in Hing Henry the 7th and ling Denrp the 8th dapes, wbpeh Stockhill in como Eboracensi equitis aurati

mor armigeri conjux, Petri Middelton de died the 20th day of 7ber in the pear of

et uxoris Mariæ Engleby, our Lord Bod 1552. iInd also heare Iyeth IVestres Elizabeth Fermour his migeri et Annæ Nevil uxoris, tertia filia late wnffe, which was the daughter of Caroli Nevil istius nominis ultimi Comitum Dr Will'm Norrosse, linigbt, upon de Westmorland. Deo devota pauperibuswhose and all Christene Douis Ibu que misericors, piè et feliciter diem clausit

Domini have merep.

supremum, Septembris 80 ar

1669, ætatis vero 54. Thomas Ferior, the nephew and successor of William, was M.P. for To Richard, son of Henry and UrChipping-Il'icombe in 15 Eliz. (1572) sula, on a flat-stone adjoining to that He had, according to his will, (from of his father : which see some extracts in Brydyes's

Richardus Fermor de Tusmore armiger Peerage, vol. iv. p. 201) an alabaster hic requiescit, Henrici Ferior de Tusmore tomb erected in the same chapel, with armigeri, et uxoris Ursulæ Middleton filius, recumbent effigies of himself and wise. matrimonio junctus Franciscæ Brookes fiIt has this inscription round its verge: lnpiensi equitis aurati, et conjugis Francisca

liæ Basilii Brookes de Madeley in comu SaChome Farmar armigero, viro

Mordant, Johannis Mordant de Turvey in animi magnitudine contra hostes, ve

comicu Bedfordiensi baronis filiæ. Ex eâ neficentia erga doctos admirabili, Do:

adultos septem liberos silscepit ; quorum mino hujus territorii benignissimo, et

Henricus et Richardus fuêre seniores, Paris 110ve chole fundatori optimo, in

morbo correpti et extincti, in templo Beneperpetuam sui, sueque conjugis Brit: pitte, foemine lectissime, memoriam,

dic. monm Anglorum sepulti, Julij 30,

1679. Richardus vero Londini, Jan. 5, er testamento erecutores sui hoc monumentum flentes erererunt. Obiit vero anno Domini millesimo quin- There is something mysterious in gentesimo octogesimo, die Augusti the above passage which says that octava.

Richard's two sons died at Paris in On a flat stone, froin which the brass 1679, since there are other memorials image of a child has been removed, re- which state that they died, the young. mains this inscription.

est in 1730, and the eldest in 1083 (a Were (pech buried the badp of Anne year before his father's decease, which Farmor, daughter unto Thomas far- renders the circumstance the inore exmor Esq. who deceased the twelfth day traordinary). The epitaph of Richard is: of april, 4° 1575.

Hic jacet Richardus Fermor, Richardi The tomb of Sir Richard, son of Fermor de Tusmore armigeri filius; obiit Thomas, was erected on the south Maji 180 an. Doin. 1730. side of the Church close to the small

That on Henry : door. His epitaph is much obliterat- Hic jacet Henricus Fermor, de Tusmore ed; and the following are the only in com" Osoniensi armiger, filius Richardi legible words:

Fermor de Tusmore armigeri, et coojugis Quis jaceam hic quæris? jaceo hoc sub Franciscæ Brookes. Matrimonio sibi junxit Olim Rich....

(marinore pulvis Helenam Browne, filiam Georgii Browne de His son Henry has the following, Sherford in comu Berks equitis balnei, uxon a Aat stone in the centre of the prisq; Elizabethæ Inglefield, filive Francisci .chapel :

Inglefield de Wooton Basset in comu Wilts Hic jacet Henricus Ferinor, de Tusmore baronetti, et uxoris Winifreda Brinksley de in com" Oxoniensi armiger, filius Richardi Scholby in com" Lecestriensi. Ex hoc conFermor in eodem comų equitis aurati, et ux

jugio, præter filios Jacobum et Henricum, vris Cornelia Cornwallis, equitis au

filiabus septem relictis, mortuus Feb. 3, an.

Dom. 1688. rati, conjugisq; Luciæ Nevil filiae Johannis Nevil Baronis de Latimer istius nominis ul- To James, son of the last : tiini, filia fuit et cohæres. Ursulam Mid- Hic jacet Jacobus Fermor, de Tusmore dleton, Petri Middleton equitis aurati fili- in comu Oxoniensi armiger, filius Henrici am, uxorem ducens, ex eâ septem adultos Fermor de Tusmore armigeri, et conjugis suscepit liberos, quorum Richardus et Petrus Helene Browne. Matrimonio sibi juoxit

fuere seniores. Vitam omnimodè Christia- Mariam Throgmorton, filiam Roberti Thrognam 30 J’nii conclusit anno Dom'i 1672, morton de Weston in comu Bucks baronetti, detatis vero 61. Credo videre bona Domini ex quo conjugio sex susceptis liberis, quoin terrâ viventium.

rum seniores fuerunt Henricus et Jacobus :


Symptoms of Modern Infidelity.

117 mortalitatis vinculis absolutus obdormivit in ter; and was the son of Anthony MorDonino, Nov. 30, an. Domi 1722.

gan of Mitchell Town in MonmouthOn Helen, and Henrietta, his mo- shire, esq. by Bridget, daughter and ther and sister :

heiress of Anthony Morgan of HeyHie jacet Hellena Fermor, Henrici Fer-, ford in Northamptonshire, esq. It is mor de Tuse arm. conjux, Georgii Browne a remarkable genealogical incident that de Shefford in com. Berks. equiţis balnei his mother's second husband was also filia ; obiit Aug. 18, 1741.

a Morgan (Sir William of Tredegar in Hic jacet Hearietta Fermor, filia Henrici Monmouthshire), and thus that lady, Fermor de Tusmore arınigeri; obiit 4 Sep- though twice married, never lost her tembris, anno salutis inillesimo septimo cen

maiden name. See the pedigree in tesimo quadragesimo quarto, ætatis vero

Baker's Northamptonsh. vol. 1. p. 184. suæ 49. R. I. P.

The site of a Parish School at SoThe next is on Henry, son of James:

merion was provided by the will of Hic jaces Henricus Fermor de Tusmore Thos. Fermor, esq. June 15, 1580, in in comicatu Oxoniensi armiger. Filius fuit wliich “ the Castell-yerde and the primogenitus Jacobi Fermor de Tusinore Chappell therein standing (the waterarmigeri, ex suâ conjuge Maria Thock

mill only excepted)" were given for Sibi matrimonio juoxit Francis

the purpose. With the 100l. which he cam Sheldon, filian Edvardi Sheldon de Westva in comitatu Warwicensi armigeri; left to support the School, an annuity of

10l. per unn. (not land), was unfortuex quo conjugio quinque suscepit liberos, Gulielmum scilicet, Elizabetham, Henri- nately purchased, and even part of this cum, Jacobun, et Franciscain. Reliquis stipend is withheld from the Master, præmaturi murte ereptis, solos Gulielmum because, when the property on which et Henricum post se viventes reliquit. Ob. it was fixed passed inio other hands, 17 Jan. tatis anno 82, Dom. 1746-7. it was not duly mentioned in the conOn William, son of Henry: veyance. The Countess of Jersey has

founded a school for female children. Sacred to the memory of William Fermor, esq. who died 1st July, 1806, aged has escaped the injuries of the æra of

In the Churchyard is a cross, which The latest epitaph to any of the fa- enthusiasm. On its south side is a

fine crucifix iu basso relievo. H.W. mily is that of Richard Fermor, esq. who died May 6, 1817, aged 88.


Feb. 1. The following is also on a stone in the Fermor chapel :

THE habitual practices of society,

and the current habits which we Hic jacet quod reliquum est eximii viri

are accustomed to acquire, seldom Thomæ Morgan armigeri, cujus splendidos

come into strict review, until we are natales generosior animus illustravit; qui about to withdraw from the world, Heyfordiæ in agro Northoneosi diu privatus

and to retire from its daily occupations. vixit,suum vivere contentus, nam augustiore genio conversari non poterat. This is a time which is a great cause Tandem, periculorum non minus quàm glo- for thankfulness whenever it is allowed riæ contemptor, Regize Militiæ uomen de- to us at any period, but more espedit, in quâ fortissimus Chiliarcha occubuit; cially before the decline of our faculties, reliqua mandamus famæ.

as our last day here approaches. Here lies enterred what death has left be- In that season we shall be ready to hind

thank Dean Stanhope for the excellent Of noble dust once join'd t'a noble mind : sentiment which will enable every one If you would learne who 'tis, goe aske of in retirement to examine himself truly Fame,

"the innocence of the heart is abFor only that can sound great Morgan's solutely necessary to preserve the freename!

doin of the mind." "If we apply this Were we to follow the advice of the gentle touchstone to ourselves, we shall rhapsodical panegyrist, it is to be feared clearly see, that any carelessness of thai lady Fame would now have for- their innocence is a proof of infidelity; gotten her lesson. Her better sister for without it, who shall'attain either History, however, iuforms us that, in the means or the desire to prepare bis plain ierms, this Colonel Morgan was mind for the great change that apslain at Newbory in the Royal service, proaches without it, who does not Sept. 20, 1643. He was son-in-law of rebel against some divine command ? Sir Rich. Fermor of Somerton, having or reject some proffered degree of remarried Jane the Knight's eldest daugh- ward? who does not, without it, com

68 years.


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