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and zealously enforced the doctrine of the Trinity; which the latter as violently denied and opposed, in the evening. This dispute excited much notoriety, and occasioned very full assemblies. As religious zeal often produces intemperate language, and this stimu. lates the bad passions of men, we might rationally expect to find both actively exerted upon a subject like the present. Accordingly, at one time, the sexton stopped Mr. Jackson on the pulpit stairs, and opposed his preaching: at another time, the same preacher was commanded by the churchwardens to leave the pulpit, in the midst of his discourse. This dispute was at length settled by a process of law and it appears, among the entries in the books already quoted, that the churchwardens “Paid to the ringers, upon news that the parish's appeal to the arches was allowed good against Mr. Jackson, 6s."-Another sum of 6s. was paid them “ when the good news came of the parish's casting Mr. Jackson in the Duchy Chamber.”—The bill for retaining council on this occasion amounted to 361. 17s.6d.
The altar piece in this church, representing the Ascension, and painted by C. F. Vanni, was presented by Sir William Sketlinge ton, Bart. The parish register records the calamitous effects of a plague which raged here in the years 1610 and 1611-during which period above 166 persons were buried in this parish. In the marriage register is an entry of the names of Thomas Tilsey and Ursula Russel, the first of whom being “ deofe and also dombe," it was agreed by the bishop, mayor, and other gentlemen of the town, that certain signs and actions of the bridegroom should be admitted instead of the usual words enjoined by the protestants' marriage ceremony. “ First he embraced het with his árines, and tooke her by the hande, put a ringe upon her finger, and laide his hande upon his harte, and upon her harte; and helde
his handes towards heaven; and, to shew his continuance to dwell with her to his lyves ende, he did it by closing of his eyes with his hands, and diggine out the earthe wilh bis fete, and pullinge as though he would ringe a bell, with diverse other signes approved."
In a part of the church called Heyrick's chancel, are tombs and inscriptions to several persons of that family, who “ derived their lineage from Erick the Forester, a great commander, who opposed the landing of William the Conqueror *."
St. Margaret's Church, according to Leland's account, is "the fairest church in that place, which once was a cathédral church, and near which the Bishop of Lincolne hath a palace, whereof little yet standeth.” This edifice consists of a nave, side ailes, chancel, and a handsome tower, and was annexed as a prebend to the college of Lincoln, by the bishop of that diocese, at the time when the other churches of the town were given to the abbey. The right of presentation to this church is vested in the prebendary; and this parish, with the neighbouring dependent parish of Knighton, are exempted from the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon of Leicester. The interior of “this church is handsome; the nave and side ailes are supported by Gothic arches, whose beauty and symmetry are not concealed by awkward galleries. Several elegant modern monuments adorn the walls, and in the north aile is the alabastet tomb of Bishop Penny, many years abbot of the neighbouring monastery of St. Mary de Pratis. In the churchyard, the military trophies of a black tomb commemorate Andrew Lord Rollo. This nobleman was an instance of the attraction which a martial life affords to an elevated mind, for he entered the service at the age of forty, when generally the habits and inclinations of life are so fixed as scarcely to admit any change. After many years of severe and dangerous services, be: died at Leicester, as the inscription informs us, on his way to Bristol, for the recovery of his health, 1765+." It may be observed of this, and the other churches of Leicester, that their floors are considerably lower than the level of the church-yards,
Throsby's History, &c. of Leicester, p. 271, where, and in his “ Leicestershire Views," is a "pretty full pedigree,” Sc. of this “ ancient and respectable family."
+ Walk through Leicester, p. 16.
and the streets; whence it is inferred, that the latter must have gradually accumulated from rubbish, &c. posterior to the building of the former, which are entered by a descent of several steps.
Besides the foregoing churches on the establishment, Leicester contains some chapels, or meeting-houses, belonging to different sects of dissenters. The principal of these, called the Presbyterian or Great Meeting-house, was built in 1708, and has seats calculated to accommodate eight hundred persons. Opposite this is another meeting-house, appropriated to a sect denominated In dependents: near which is another religious structure, raised in 1803, by, and for the use of a society, known by the title of Episcopalian Baptists.
The County Gaol was erected in this town, in the year 1791, at an expense of six thousand pounds, which were raised by a countyrate. It occupies the site of an old prison, and is built after the plan recommended by Mr. Howard, with solitary cells, &c. The architect was George Moneypenny, who, unfortunately, was doomed to be one of the first prisoners for debt. In the front elevation are sculptured, in bold relief, the Cap. of Liberty, the Roman fasces and pileus encircled by heavy chains: beneath which, ia large letters, the name of the architect,
The Town Gaol is a commodious stone building, designed by Mr. Johpson, a native of this town, and executed by Mr. Firmadge. On taking down the old gaol, in 1792, for the purpose of erecting the present, the labourers discovered the reinains of the chapel of St.John, which was supposed to have been destroyed during thecontests between Henry the Second and his son. A regular semicircular arch of stone, with ornaments of chevron work, was taken from these ruins, and preserved by Mr. Throsby, the industrious historian of the town: who had also fragments of a Roman column, several pieces of Roman pottery, many coins, and other relics of antiquity.
The Free Grammar School, according to Leland and Carte, was founded by Thomas Wigston, who was a prebendary of the collegiate church, where his remains were interred. This school was considerably augmented and new-established in 1573, in the
fifteenth of Elizabeth, when a new school-house was erected. Several other public schools are established in the town, among which is one called the Green Coat School, for 35 boys, who are instructed in the common routine of education, and cloathed in green coats, with red collars. St. Mary's School-house was built by public subscription, in 1785, and is founded for 45 boys and 35 girls, who are provided with cloaths and education. The building is contiguous to St. Mary's church, and cost 600l. for erecting. St. Martin's School is intended for the poor children of that parish, and its school house is a handsome building, which cost 9501. At the southern extremity of the town is a large pile of building, called The Infirmary. This useful structure and establishment originated with Wm. Watts, M. D. and the house was erected in 1771. It is a plain square building, with two uniform wings, and is calculated to admit, exclusive of the fever ward, fifty four patients. Adjoining the infirmary is an Asylum for the reception of indigent lunatics, for the foundation and sup port of which, Mrs. Topp left a legacy of 1000l., and Mrs. Ann Wigley bequeathed 2001. for the same benevolent purpose. la an open square called the market-place is a plain building, known by the name of the Exchange, where the town magistrates hold their weekly meetings, and transact public business.
The Hotel, an handsome modern building, was erected from the designs of Mr. Johnson, architect, and was originally intended for a coffee-house, tavern, &c. but is now appropriated to assembly rooms and a library. The ball room is fitted up in an elegant manner, having a coved ceiling, enriched with three paintings in circular compartments, representing Aurora, Urania, and Night; these are from the pencil of Mr. Reinagle, who has also decotated the walls with painted representations of dancing nymphs. Eight beautiful lustres, besides branches for lights, combine to ornament the room. Adjoining this, is a convenient and commodious Theatre, which was also built by Mr. Johnson, and is at pre sent under the management of Mr. Macready, who belongs to the greater theatres of Birmingham and Manchester. In the class
of places devoted to the recreation and comfort of the inhabitants of Leicester, may be noticed the New Walk, which occupies a space of three-quarters of a' miłe in length, by twenty feet in width. The ground was given by the corporation, and the expense of laying it out, planting, &c. was defrayed by a public subscription. It extends in a south-east direction from the town, and from different stations, many pleasing views are obtained of the town, the meadows, and the surrounding country.
Among the curiosities of the town, the Old Wooden Bedstead, said to have belonged to king Richard, and' on which he slept, or rather reclined, the night preceding the memorable Battle of Bosworth*, must not be unnoticed. This ancient relic was fora merly preserved at a public house called the Blue Boar, afterwards changed to the Blue Bell Inn, an old timber building, having its upper stories overhanging the basement. “ Antiquaries have spoken of this bedstead as belonging to the king, rather than to the master of the house; and this opinion has been thought favoured, by the circumstance of a large sum in gold coins, partly of Richard's reign, accidently discovered in its double bottom. The bedstead is of oak, highly ornamented with carved work, and is now in the possession of Thomas Babington, Esq. M.P. There seems but little reason to suppose that a royal General, while ata tending the march of his army, should unnecessarily encrease his baggage by so cumbrous a piece of furniture, or that a sovereign, guarded by nearly all the military force of the nation, should find it expedient to hide his gold like a private unprotected person. The bedstead, therefore, it may safely be inferred, belonged not to a monarch, but to the master of a good inn; and the
was secreted in it by some person anxious to secure his property from the dangers threatened by times of civil distraction t." * VOL. IX.
* Some account of this will be given in a subseqnent part of the present yolume.
+ Walk through Leicester, p. 32. Views of the bedstead and house are given in Nichols's History, &c. of Leicestersliire.