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

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See Hist. of Hartlepool, p. 147.

The tragedy of Bowes, in Yorkshire, a village within a short distance of Barnard Castle, has been immortalized by Mallet. The parish register states, that Roger Wrightson, junior, and Martha Railton, both of Bowes, [were] buried in one grave; he died in a fever, and upon tolling his passing bell, she cried out “my heart is broke,” and in a few hours expired, purely as was supposed from love, aged about twenty years each. Buried 15th of March, 1714. The melancholy history of their unhappy love is well known in the ballad of Edwin and Emma.

Alone appall’d, thus had she past

The visionary vale;

When, lo! the death bell smote her ear,

Sad sounding in the gale.

* * * * * * * * *

I feel, I feel, this breaking heart

Beat high against my side:

From her white arm, down sunk her head—

She, shivering, sigh’d and died.


O, Sir Henry Vane, Sir Henry Vane,

The Lord deliver me from Sir Henry Vane!

Oliver Cromwell’s exclammation the last time he ever attended the House of Commons as a Member.

Ludlow’s, Memoirs.
Milton’s beautiful Sonnet naturally finds a place here.—
Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old,

Than whom a better Senator ne’er held

The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, repell’d

The fierce Epirot; and th’ African bold,

Whether to settle peace, or to unfold

The drift of hollow states, hard to be spell’d;

Then to advise how war may, best upheld,

Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,

In all her equipage: besides to know,

Both spiritual power and civil, what each means,

What serves each, thou hast learn’d, which few have done.

The bounds of either sword to thee we owe,

Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans

In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.

So many, and in such various shapes, has the brag appeared, that it became necessary to procure the best local information on the subject, and an old woman [M.A.] of respectable appearance, of about 90 years of age, living near the spot, was universally
referred to as knowing “most” about it; and her deposition is therefore given verbatim.

She said, I never saw the “brag” very distinctly, but I frequently heard it.

It sometimes appeared like a calf with a white handkerchief about its neck, and a bushy tail.

It came also like a galloway, but more often like a coach horse, and went trotting along the “lonin, afore folks, settin up a great nicker and a whinney every now and then;” and it came frequently like a “dickass,” and it always stopped at the pond at the four “lonin ends, and nickered and whinnied.”

My brother once saw it like four men holding up a white sheet. I was then sure that some near relation was going to die; which was true. My husband once saw it in the image of a naked man without a head.

I knew a man of the name of Bewick that was so frightened, that he hanged himself “for fear on’t.” Whenever the midwife was sent for, it always came up with her in the shape of a “galloway.”

Dr. Harrison wouldn’t believe in it; but he met it one night as he was going home, and it “maist” killed him, but he never would tell what happened, and didn’t like to talk about it; and whenever the “brag” was mentioned, he sat “trimilin and shakin” by the fireside.

My uncle had a white suit of clothes, and the first time he ever put them on he met the “brag,” and he never had them on afterwards, but he met with some misfortune; and once when he met the “brag” and had his white suit on, (being a bold man,) and having been at a christening, he was determined to get on the brag’s back; but when he com to the four “lonin ends,” the brag “joggled him so sore,” that he could hardly keep his seat, and at last it threw him off into the middle of the pond, and then ran away, setting up a great nicker and laugh, just “for all the world like a christian.”

But this I know to be true of my own knowledge, that when my father was dying, the brag was heard coming up the lonin like a coach and six, and it stood before the house, and the room “shaked,” and it gave a terrible yell when my father died, and then it went clattering and gallopin down the lonin, as if “yeben and yerth was coming together.”

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