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long street, parallel with the river, which is navigable to this place for vessels of 150 tons burthen. It carries on a considerable trade in corn and other commodities to and from the coast, and also participates with Hull in the trade to the Baltic. Though the paralyzing effects of war have, in common with other commercial places, been felt here; yet centrally situated on a tide river, with which a communication is preserved, by means of canals from distant parts of the interior, it must, as long as a spirit of activity and industry remains, necessarily command a considerable share of trade. By the Readley Canal, which, uniting the Trent and the Dune, passes through a rich country to Rotherham, a communication is opened to Yorkshire; by the Chesterfield canal, which joins the Trent at Stockwith, four miles below the town, an easy access is opened to the counties of Nottingham and Derby; and at Torksey, about seven miles south, the FossDyke admits the vessels of this port to Lincoln.
The church is a neat modern structure, of that motley architecture which is the disgrace of the present enlightened æra. Such incongruous edifices are a burlesque upon improvement, and a stigma on the national taste. In a more appropriate style is the fine stone bridge, of three elliptical arches, over the Trent, completed in 1791. It is private property; and even foot passengers are subject to a toll. The elevated road towards Bawtry was formed at the same time. In digging to lay the foundation of the western butment of the bridge, an ancient dagger was found, supposed to be of Danish fabrication. The town-hall, in the market place, is occasionally used as an assembly room. It is a brick building, under which are shops, and a dismal place called the gaol. The sessions for this part of the county were formerly held here; but for some years past have been removed to Ritson. The old hall, commonly called the palace, is a singular edifice. It is constructed principally of oak timber framing, and forms three sides of a quadrangle, open to the south. The Western exterior consists of a stack of large chimnies, built of þrick. At the north-east çorper is an embattled tower, having
small windows, coped with stone, the arches of which are of the flat pointed style. Hence to the southern extremity of the eastern end, the facing is brick, with stone-coped windows. In the lower story of this wing is a large room, till lately used as a ball-room. On the northern side is a small handsome building, formerly the chapel. The staircase, made of oak, was very spacious; and a few years ago this, with the kitchen, and two immense fire-places remained entire. In the arches, within the hall, are niches, with figures of kings, warriors, &c. The highest tower is twenty-six yards in height; and the whole building was about six hundred feet square. It was once moated round, part of which is still visible, and had large gardens and fish-ponds. At the south end of the eastern wing is a sun-dial, bearing the date 1600; whence a conjecture has been formed, that it was erected about that time; but the building is evidently much older, though probably of a later period than the time of John of Gaunt, whose palace it is said to have been. It is now converted into apartments for families. In 1742 it was inbabited by Sir Neville Hickman, Bart. and is now the property of his descendent, Miss Hickman, of Thonock Grove.
Gainsborough is famous in history, as being the anchoring place of the Danish ships, when the sanguinary tyrant Sweyne ravaged and laid waste many parts of the country. Returning from his horrid expedition, Mathew, of Westininster, informs us, that he was here stabbed by an unknown hand, and thus received the punishment due to his crimes. On the south part of the town was an old chapel of stone, in the time of Leland, in which, tradition says, many Danes, were buried. Some ages afterwards, Gainsborough formed part of the possessions of William de Valence, who obtained for it the privilege of a fair in the time of Edward the First. The Barons of Burgh, who formerly tesided here, were descended from this nobleman, by the Scotch Earls of Athol, and the Percys, Earls of Northumberland.
Of this family, Thumas, Lord Burgh, grandson of Thomas, who was created Lord Burgh by King Henry the Eighth, was born here. He lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth, by whom
he was appointed to the highest trusts, and distinguished himself both in a diplomatic and military capacity. This town was also the birth-place of WILLIAM DE GAINSBOROUGH, who was bred a franciscan in Oxford, became an ambassador to King Edward the First; and for his zealous defence of the Pope's infallibility was, by Boniface the Eighth, preferred to the see of Worcester, where he died A. D. 1308. The learned and pious Simon Patrick, Bishop of Ely, was born here in 1626, and died in 1707.
The town has a good market on Tuesdays, and gives title of Earl to the noble family of Noel.
Half a mile to the north of this place, on a ridge that runs along the eastern bank of the Trent, are some embankments called the “CASTLE Hills.” The central encampment contains an area one hundred and seventy yards in circumference, surrounded by a double foss and vallum, These are higher and deeper towards the south-west than on the south-east, where the descent is immediate to the plain. On the south side of this circular work, and joining it, is another inclosed area, of an oblong shape, and surrounded, except the side towards the central camp, by a high raised mound, without a foss. The length froin east to west is one hundred and fifty yards, and breadth from north to south fifty. On the northern side is another oblong inclosure, extend ing eighty yards, but the mound less perfect, and the site lower than the one to the south. The circular part appears to have been a Roman work, and the additions are probably Danish. Near this are several subordinate works; and aloug the ridge, to the southward, are various inclosed areas, both circular and oblong, of great dimensions; and many remains of antiquity have, at different times, been found in digging.
This station appears to have been occupied by the contending parties during the civil wars, Rushworth says, that near Gainsborough, Cromwell defeated General Carendish, who was slain in a quagmire, by Cromwell's lieutenant, in 1643. The Lord Willoughby had before taken this town, aud made the Earl of Kingston prisoner. The Earl being sent to Hull, was shot, in mistake, by the royalists in his passage over the Humber.
• At HEYNINGS, two miles from Gainsborough, was a cistertian nunnery, founded by Reyner Evermue about the year 1180. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and had a prioress and twelve puns; valued at the dissolution, according to Speed, at 581. 138, 4d. when the site was granted to Sir Thomas Henneage. Gough, by mistake, states its revenues at 4951.
MANLEY WAPENTAKE, contains the following parishes and townships :--western division; Althorpe, Amcotts township, Belton, Butterwick west township, Crowle, Eastoft township, Epworth, Garthorp township, Haxey, Keadby township, Luddington, Owston, Wroot. Eastern division; Ashby township, Bottesford, Broughton, Brumby township, Burring, ham township, Butterwick East township, Froddingham, Hibalstow, Holme township, Manton, Messingham, Redbourn, Scawby with Sturton, Scunthorpe township, Waddingham, Yaddlethorp township. Northeru division; Appleby, Aukbo, rough, Burton-upon-Stather, Crosby township, Flixborough, Gunhouse township, Halton West, Roxby cum Risby, Whitton, Winteringham, and Winterton.
The river island of Axholme comiains eight parishes, which are subdivided into thirteen constableries. The chief, or principal of these is Epworth, the manor of which, held by lease under the crown, includes the parishes of Epworth, Haxey, Owston, and Belton, also the townships of Diddithorpe and Althorpe.
HAXEY, whence the river island of Axholme derives its name, Camden says, “was anciently called Axel. But it hardly deserves the name of a town, it is so thinly inhabited.” By the returns of the population made to parliament in 1801, it appears that the place then consisted of 323 houses, and contained 1,541 inhabitants. Here is the site of a castle which once belonged
In the year
to the Mowbrays, formerly lords of this neighbourhood, but the building was demolished in the baronial wars. 1173, according to Mathew Paris, Roger de Mowbray, repouncing his allegiance to the old king *, repaired a castle at Kinnard Ferry, in the isle of Axholme, which had been destroyed of old. A body of Lincolnshire men crossed over in boats, and laid siege to the castle; forced the constable and all his men to surrender, and razed the castle. Lelānd says, " there was a castle at the south side of the chirch garth of Ortun, whereof no peacę now standith ; the dike and the hill wher the arx stoode yet be seene; it was sumtyme caullid Kinard t."
Near Milwood Park, formerly a seat of the Mowbrays, stood, according to Leland, a “fair carthusian monastry," in the church of which was buried John Mowbray, second Duke of Norfolk, and grandson of the first, who died in the eleventh year of Henry the Sixth. It was founded about the nineteenth year of Richard the Second, by Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, and Earl Marshal of England, who was afterwards Duke of Norfolk. The yearly revenues of this priory at the dissolution were, according to Dugdale, 2371. 155. 2d. The site of it was granted, in the thirty-second of Henry the Eighth, to Mr. John Candish, who, Leland observes, in his time had turned “ the monasterie to a goodly manor place.” It went by the name of “the Priory in the Wood;" or, “ the house of the visitation of the Blessed Virgin, near Eppworth, in the isle of Axholm,”
Is a long straggling towu, the living of which is a rectory, and was held by the pious divine, Samuel Wesley, father of the celebrated
Henry the Second, so called with respect to his son, who was in rebelLiou against his father.
+ Leland's Itin. Vol. I. fol. 40 and 41.