The Salamanca Corpus: The Bishoprick Garland or a Collection of Legends, Songs, Ballads, &c. …(1834)

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Dodsworth’s Collections, Bodleian Library.
“The black lion under the oaken tree,

Made the Saxons fight, and the Normans flee.”

* The story has nothing very improbable, and something like real evidence still exists. According to all tradition, the rustic champion of Cleves sleeps beneath a coffin-shaped stone in Merrington church-yard, rudely sculptured with the instruments of the victory, a sword and spade on each side of a cross.

It was not unusual, either in England or abroad, when a man had slain a boar, wolf, or spotted pard, to bear the animal as an armorial ensign in his shield. The seal of Roger de Ferie still remains in the Treasury, exhibiting his old antagonist, a boar passant. The seal of Mande, his daughter, wife of Alan, of Merrington, has the boar’s head, couped.—Surtees.

The name of Ferie does not now occur in the Parish, but in 1587, (3rd Sept.) John Ferrye or Ferye on the Hill, who appears to be a stout yeoman, makes his will, leaving considerable property to his sons Thomas, John, and Robert, and to his daughter Agnes.
The crest of the ancient family of Brackenbury, of Sellaby, (of which Sir Robert Brackenbury, Constable of the Tower, temp. Ric. III. was a junior member, is “a tree vert, under which is a Lion couchant, sable.”
Of the Felling, County of Durham, now of Gosforth,

County of Northumberland.
“Like as the brand, doth flame and burn,

So we from death to life should turn.”

An old rhyme, or motto of the Brandling family, whose crest is an Oak tree in flames —perhaps a border beacon— the name first occurring on the border, as burgesses of Berwick.
“The Collingwoods have borne the name,

Since in the bush the buck was ta’en;

But when the bush shall hold the buck

Then welcome faith, and farewell luck.”

The crest of the Collingwoods is, A stag at gaze, under an oak tree, proper. A branch of this family, (originally of Eslington, Co. Northumberland,) was seated in the County of Durham, at Dalden, Eppleton, and Hetton-on-the-Hill. The allusion is obscure, and at present difficult to unriddle.
“At the Wesgate came Thornton in,

With a hap and a halfpenny in a ram’s skin.”

“In at the Westgate came Thornton in,

With a happen hapt in a Ram’s skin.”

These lines are given variously, but their tendency is to relate the poverty of the afterwards rich merchant, of Newcastle, Roger Thornton, who purchased the Isle, &c. of the De la Poles, and whose daughter and heir carried large estates in marriage to Sir George Lumley, Knight, direct ancestor to the Lumleys, of Lumley Castle, Co. Pal.

A similar story is told of Bacon the Groover, swimming the Tyne, with a leathern bag in his mouth, containing a few halfpence.

Ra. Spearman, Esq.
The subject of the following ballad is the Rebellion of 1569, an event so well known in history that it would seem unnecessary to present any detail. The deliverance of the Queen of Scots,* and the re-establishment of the ancient religion, were the motives —but the execution was weak, timid, and vacillating, and the

* A warrant was issued to pay the Earl of Shrewshury £13,624, for keeping the Queen of Scots “from Candlemas, in the 11th year of the Queen’s Majesty, to the 15th Feb. 1573, which is five whole years, one month, and two weeks, after the rate of £52. the weeke.”—Privy Seal Papers.

two principal actors were at length deserted by their followers. The Earl of Northumberland was betrayed by the Scots, and executed at York, 22 Aug. 1572; and the Earl of Westmoreland escaped over sea; and died at Nieuport in Flanders, in penury and disgrace, —the last of his family.

The Rising of the North.

(percy’s* copy.)

“Listen, lively lordlings all,

Lithe and listen unto mee,

And I will sing of a Noble Erle,

The Noblest Earle in the North Countrie.

Earl Percy is unto his garden gone,

And after him walkes his faire Ladie:

I heard a bird sing in mine eare,

That I must either fight or flee.

‘Now heaven forfend, my dearest lord,

That ever such harm should hap to thee,

But goe to London to the Court,

And faire fall truth and honestie.’

‘Now nay, now nay, my ladye gay,

Alas! thy counsell suits not mee;

* The editor of this collection had the advantage of being at Dromore for a short period in 1798, and of enjoying the Bishop’s hospitality. The “Rising of the North,” was his favourite ballad, which he recited with great energy and effect. An English lady present thought to flatter him by singing the ballad of “Oh! Nanny” —he listened with patience, and at the conclusion he told the lady, in his gentlest mood, that when he wrote the song there was not a single Scotch word in it.
Mine enemies prevail so fast,

That at the court I may not bee.’

‘O goe to the court yet, good my lord,

And take thy gallant men with thee:

If any dare to do you wrong,

Then your warrant they may bee.’

‘Now nay, now nay, thou lady faire,

The court is full of subtiltie;

And if I goe to the Court, lady,

Never more I may thee see.’

‘Yet goe to the Court, my Lord,’ she sayes,

‘And I myselfe will ryde wi’ thee:

At court then for my dearest lord

His faithfull borrowe I will bee.’

‘Now nay, now nay, my ladye deare;

Far lever had I lose my life,

Than leave among my cruell foes

My love in jeopardy and strife.

‘But come thou hither, my little foot-page,

Come thou hither unto mee,

To Maister Norton thou must goe

In all the haste that ever may bee.

‘Commend me to that gentleman,

And beare this letter here fro mee;

And say that earnestly I praye

He will ryde in my companie.’

One while the little foot-page went,

And another while be ran;

Untill he came to his journey’s end,

The little foot-page never blan.

When to that gentleman he came,

Down he kneeled on his knee;

And tooke the letter betwixt his hands,

And lett the gentleman it see.

And when the letter it was redd

Affore that goodlye companye,

I wis, if you the truthe wold know,

There was many a weeping eye.

He sayd, ‘Come hither, Christopher Norton,

A gallant youth thou seemst to bee;

What doest thou counsell me, my sonne,

Now that good Erle’s in jeopardy?’

‘Father; my counselle’s fair and free;

That Erle he is a noble lord,

And whatsoever to him you hight,

I wold not have you breake your word.’

‘Gramercy, Christopher, my sonne,

Thy counsell well it liketh mee,

And if we speed and scape with life,

Well advanced shalt thou bee.

‘Come you hither, my nine good sonnes,

Gallant men I trowe you bee;

How many of you, my children deare,

Will stand by that good Erle and mee?’

Eight of them did answer make,

Eight of them spake hastilie,

‘O Father, till the daye we dye

We’ll stand by that good Erle and thee.’

‘Gramercy new, my children deare,

You showe yourselves right bold and brave;

And wethersoe’er I live or dye,

A father’s blessing you shal have.

‘But what sayst thou, O Francis Norton,

Thou art mine eldest sonn and heire:

Somewhat lyes brooding in thy breast;

Whatever it bee, to mee declare.’

‘Father, you are an aged man,

Your head is white, your bearde is gray;

It were a shame at these your yeares,

For you to ryse in such a fray.’

‘Now fye upon thee, coward Francis,

Thou never learnedst this of mee:

When thou wert yong and tender of age

Why did I make so much of thee?’

‘But, father, I will wend with you,

Unarm’d and naked will I bee;

And he that strikes against the crowne,

Ever an ill death may he dee.’

Then rose that reverend gentleman,*

And with him came a goodlye band,

* Old Norton was living long after the Rebellion in Spanish Flanders.
The Act of Attainder, 13th Eliz. only mentions Richard Norton the father, and seven sons, viz. Francis, George, William, Marmaduke, Sampson,
To join with the brave Erle Percy,

And all the flower o’ Northumberland.

With them the noble Nevill came,

The Erle of Westmorland was hee;

At Wetherhye they mustred their host,

Thirteen thousand faire to see.

Lord Westmorland his ancyent raisde,

The Dun Bull he rays’d on hye,

And three dogs with golden collars

Were there sett out most royallye.

Erle Percy there his ancyent spred,

The half-moone shining all soe faire:

The Norton’s ancyent had the crosse,

And the five wounds our Lord did beare.

Christopher, and Thomas; and in “a list of the Rebells in the late Northern Rebellion that are fled beyond seas,” apparently made for the Queen’s perusal, (Lansdown MSS. No. 683) the same seven sons are named. Of the Durham gentry who took part in this Rebellion, Anthony Welbury was pardoned, July, 1571, and Robert Claxton, in March, 1572, at the suit of the Earl of Leicester. †

The Queen allowed the Countess of Westmoreland and her three daughters £200 per ann. during her royal pleasure, which was further augmented in May, 1577, to £300.

King James encreased the grant to 200 marcs to each of the three daughters for life, viz. Margaret Pudsey, Catherine Grey, and Anne Ingleby; and granted £50 per ann. to the Lady Adeline Neville, sister to the attainted Earl. †

Thus perished the princely house of Westmoreland; and now “of all this stately branching cedar, whose boughs shadowed the land, the house of Abergavenny, not distinguished in modern Peerage either by superior titles or splendid fortunes —alone remains.”

Privy Seal Records.
Then Sir George Bowes* he straitwaye rose,

After them some spoyle to make:

Those noble Erles turn’d backe againe,

And aye they vowed that knight to take.

That baron he to his castle fled,

To Barnard Castle then fled hee.

The uttermost walles were eathe to win,

The Erle’s have wonne them presentlie.

The uttermost walles were lime and bricke;

But thoughe they won them soon anone,

Long e’er they wan the innermost walles,

For they were cut in rocke of stone.

Then newes unto leeve London came,

In all the speede that ever might bee,

And word is brought to our royall Queene

Of the rysing in the North countrie.

Her grace she turned her round about,

And like a royall queene she swore,

I will ordayne them such a breakfast,

As never was in the North before.

Shee caus’d thirty thousand men be rays’d,

With horse and harneis faire to see;

Shee caus’d thirty thousand men be rays’d

To take the Earles i’ th’ North Countrie.

* Autograph of the Knight Marshal, Sir George Bowes.

Wi’ them the false Erle Warwick went,

Th’ Erle Sussex and the Lord Hunsden;

Untill they to Yorke castle came,

I wiss, they never stint ne blan.
Now spred thy ancyent, Westmorland,

Thy dun bull faine would we spye; *

And thou, the Erle o’Northumberland,

Now rayse thy half moone up on hye.

But the dun bull is fled and gone,

And the halfe moone vanished away;

The Erles, though they were brave and bold,

Against soe many could not stay.

Thee, Norton,† wi’ thine eight good sonnes,

They doom’d to dye, alas! for ruth!

Thy reverend lockes thee could not save,

Nor them their faire and blooming youthe.

Wi’ them full many a gallant wight

They cruellye bereav’d of life:

And many a childe made fatherlesse,

And widowed many a tender wife.

* The following fragment from an old ballad is graphically descriptive of the armorial bearings of the principal parties concerned:—
“Now the Percy’s Crescent is set in night,

And the Northern Bull the seas has ta’en,

And the Sheaf of Arrows is keen and bright,

And Barnard’s walls are hard to gain.”

† In the original confession of Christopher, (Harl. MSS. Cal. c. i. 377,) he says, that when the Earl of Northumberland went to his father, and told him his situation, “he petyd him, and wyoid to God he hayd not opinyd “thayt mater to him,... the Earl told him he was a Mane of honor, and his
This Bishoprick border song, was taken down from the chaunting of George Collingwood,* the elder, of Boltshurn, in the neighbourhood of Rookhope, who was interred at Stanhope, Dec. 16, 1785.

Rookhope is the name of a valley about five miles in length; lying in the north part of the parish of Stanhope, in Weardale. Rookhope-head is the top of the vale. The date of the event is precisely fixed on the 6th December, 1569, when the Tynedale robbers, taking advantage of the confusion occasioned by the rebellion of the Earls of Westmorland and Northumberland, and which particularly affected the Bishoprick of Durham, determined to make this foray into Weardale.

The late eminent antiquary, Joseph Ritson, wrote this ballad from the mouth of the reciter, and printed it as part of an intended collection of border ballads, which was never published.

“contreman, and was sarvand to his granfather, and brought up in his “house, which causid him to danger himselfe the more, and promysed him “to kepe his consell, but not to be any partaker in it.”

A letter from Lady Westmorland, dated 23rd March, 1569-70, entreats of Sir William Cecil to beg an audience from the Queen, and adding, “altho “my Lo. doings have bene suche as they moche abashe me so to do, yet “myne owne innocencie and the great desier I have to doo my humbte dutie “to her highness something imboldeneth me to contynew my suyt...... “otherwyse yt wold be a greater griff unto me, than all other miseries.” (Landsown MSS. 12, 44.)
In another letter to Lord Burleigh, from the same collection (v. 18, 94) a few years afterwards, she says, “As I am bound, I give your Lo. most “humble thanks, first for my poore hushand whom your carefull friendshyp “always sekyth to bryng to better estate, although it semyth that his own “cruell fortune repugneth all good menes and indevours that may be used “to do hym good: for myne owne part I hard not of hym a long tyme, “and whych greves me not a lyttle.”
* Pronounced Coulnet, at Stanhope.
His nephew Joseph Frank, Esq. sent the copy to Sir W. Scott, which he printed in his minstrelsy, and illustrations were added by Mr. Surtees.

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