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This saint of falconers doth stive so high into the air, that my industry cannot fly home after the same, so as to give a good account thereof to the reader. All that I can retrieve of her is digested into these following particulars;
1. She was a female whose sex (dubious in the English) is cleared in the Latin Camden, Tibba minorum gentium Sancta.*
2. Though gentium may import something of heathenism, Sancta carries it clear for Christianity; that she was no Pagan deity amongst the Britons (who were not our ancestors, but predecessors), but a Popish she-Saint amongst the Saxons.
3. She could not be Saint Ebba, a virgin Saint, of whom formerly in Northumberland, whom the country-people nick-name Tabbs for St. Ebbs.
4. My best inquiry, making use of mine own and friends' industry, perusing authors proper to this purpose,† cannot meet with this Tibb with all our industry.
But I will trouble myself and the reader no longer with this saint, which if she will not be found, even for me let her be lost; only observe, after that superstition had appointed saints to all vocations (St. Luke to painters, St. Crispin to shoemakers, &c.) she then began to appoint patrons to recreations; and surely falconers [generally] according to the popish principles, if any, need a saint, both to protect them in their desperate riding, and pray for a pardon for their profane oaths in their passions.
Euρna, at last we have found it. She was no Pagan deity, but a Saxon saint, as plainly appeareth, because the passage concerning her is commanded to be expunged out of Camden by the Index Expurgatorius; bearing a pique thereat, as grating against their superstitious practice. The same, no doubt, with Tibba, virgin and anchoress, who, living at Dormundcaster, died with the reputation of holiness about the year 660. However, reader, I am not ashamed to suffer my former doubts and disquisitions still to stand, though since arrived at better information.
BENEFACTORS TO THE PUBLIC.
WILLIAM BROWNE, Esq. twice alderman of Stamford, merchant of the Staple, was (as I am credibly informed) extracted from the ancient family of Brownes of Toll-Thorp in this county. He built, on his own proper cost, the beautiful
• Though it be Diva in his first and quarto Edition, yet it is Sancta in his last. I mean in the text, whereon I rely, though Dira again in the margin.-F.
+ Cæsar Baron. Not. on Martyrolog. Rom. Fran. Haræus de Vitis Sanct Laurent. Sur. Carthusian. Pet. de Natalib. Catal. Sanctorum, &c.
Printed at Madrid, by Lewes Sanchez, anno 1612. SMS. de Vitis Sanctorum Mulierum Angliæ. p. 177
steeple, with a great part of the church, of All-Saints in Stamford; and lieth therein, with his wife, buried in a chapel proper to his family. He also erected, anno 1493, the old Bead-house in that town, for a warden, confrater, twelve poor old men, with a nurse-woman to attend them: to this he gave the manor of Swayfeld (seven miles from Stamford), worth four hundred pounds per annum, besides divers lands and tenements elsewhere. I am loath to insert, and loath to omit, what followeth in my author; viz. "That the pious and liberal gift is much abused by the avarice and mis-employment of the governors thereof:"* and charitably to presume that such faults (if any) are since, or will be suddenly, amended.
SINCE THE REFORMATION.
JOHN HARRINGTON the elder, son to Sir James Harrington, was born at Exton in this county, where their ancient family had long flourished:-a bountiful housekeeper, dividing his hospitality between Rutland and Warwickshire, where he had a fair habitation. He was one of the executors to the lady Frances Sidney, and a grand benefactor to the college of her founding in Cambridge. King James created him baron of Exton; and his lady, a prudent woman, had the princess Elizabeth committed to her government. When the said princess was married to Frederick prince Palatine, this lord (with Henry Martin, doctor of the laws) was sent over to the Palatinate, to see her highness settled at Hidleburgh, and some formalities about her dowry and jointure performed. This done (as if God had designed this for his last work), he sickened on the first day of his return; and died at Wormes in Germany, on St. Bartholomew's day, anno Domini 1613. The lord John his son (of whom in Warwickshire) did not survive him a year; both of them signally eminent, the one a pattern for all good fathers, the other for all gracious sons; and pity it is the last had not issue to be a precedent to all grand-children: but God thought it fit, that here the male issue of that honourable family should expire.
JEFFREY was born in the parish of Okeham in this county, where his father was a very proper man, broad shouldered and chested, though his son never arrived at a full ell in stature. And here we may observe Pliny's observation† not true, KATȧ TáνTOÇ, " In plenum autem cuncto mortalium generi minorem staturam indies fieri, propemodum observatur, rarosque patribus proceriores," &c.
It seems that families sometimes are checquered, as in brains so in bulk, that no certainty can be concluded from such alternations.
* Mr. Richard Butcher, in his Survey of Stamford, p. 39.
† Lib. vii. c. 16.
His father, who kept and ordered the baiting bulls' for George duke of Buckingham (a place, you will say, requiring a robustious body to manage it), presented him, at Burleigh on the Hill, to the duchess of Buckingham, being then nine years of age, and scarce a foot and a half in height, as I am informed by credible persons then and there present, and still alive. Instantly Jeffrey was heightened (not in stature but) in condition, from one degree above rags into silk and satin, and two tall men to attend him.
He was, without any deformity, wholly proportionable; whereas often dwarfs, pigmies in part, are giants in another. And yet, though the least that England ever saw, he was a proper person compared to him of whom Sabinust doth write, in his comment upon the Metamorphosis:
"Vidit Italia nuper virum justâ ætate, non majorem cubito, circumferri in caveâ psittaci, cujus viri meminit in suis scriptis Hieronymus Cardanus;" (there was lately to be seen in Italy a man of a ripe age, not above a cubit high, carried about in a parrot's cage, of whom Hierome Cardan, in his writings, makes mention.)
It was not long before he was presented in a cold baked pie to king Charles and queen Mary at an entertainment; and ever after lived (whilst the court lived) in great plenty therein, wanting nothing but humility (high mind in a low body), which made him that he did not know himself, and would not know his father, and which by the king's command caused justly his sound correction. He was, though a dwarf, no dastard; a captain of horse in the king's army in these late civil wars, and afterwards went over to wait on the queen in France.
Here being provoked by Mr. Crofts, who accounted him the object not of his anger but contempt, he shewed to all, that habet musca suum splenum; and they must be little indeed that cannot do mischief, especially seeing a pistol is a pure leveller, and puts both dwarf and giant into equal capacity to kill and be killed. For the shooting the same Mr. Crofts he was imprisoned. And so I take my leave of Jeffrey, the least man of the least county in England.
NAMES OF THE GENTRY OF THIS COUNTY,
RETURNED BY THE COMMISSIONERS IN THE TWELFTH YEAR OF KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
William bishop of Lincoln, and William de Souche de Harringworth, chevalier ;-Thomas Grenham, and William Beaufo, (knights of the shire);-Commissioners to take the oaths. Johannes Basings de Empyng- Johannes Colepepar de Exham, mil. ton, mil.
* John Armstrong of Cheshunt.
† Lib. vi. fab. 19.
It remaineth now that we give in a list of the sheriffs of this shire; and here Rutland conceiveth it to sound to her credit, that whereas other shires ten times bigger than this (viz. Norfolk and Suffolk) had but one sheriff betwixt them; this little county never took hands to hold with a partner, but had always an entire sheriff to itself; though anciently the same person (generally honourable) discharged the office for many years together, as by the ensuing catalogue will appear.
Richard de Humet, from 10 to 26 Henry II.
William Albeney et William Fresney, 2 to 9 Rich I.
William Albevine solus, 9 Rich. I. to 1 king John.
Benedic. de Haversham, 1 to 2 king John.
Robert Malduit, 2 to 5 king John.
Ralph Normanvill, 5 to 12 king John.
Robert de Braibro et Henry filius ejus, 12 king John to 2 Henry III.
Alan Basset, 2 to 12 Henry III.
Jeffrey de Rokingham, 12 to 38 Henry III.
Anketyn de Markinal, 43 Henry III. to one Edw. I.
Edmund earl of Cornwall, 17 to 29 Edw. I.
John Burley, 29 to 30 Edw. I.
Marg. widow to Edmund earl of Cornwall, 30 Edw. I. to 6 Edw. II.
Marg. widow of Pierce Gavester earl of Cornwall, 6 to 9 Edw. II.
Hugo de Audley, 9 to 17 Edw. II.
Edmund earl of Kent, brother to the king, 17 Edw. II. to 1 Edw. III.
Hugo de Audley earl of Gloucester, 1 to 22 Edw. III.
Name. and Arms.
1 Joh. Wittlebury.
2 Tho. de Burton.
Az. a fess betwixt three talbots' heads erased O.
3 Joh. Basings.
4 Will. Moorwood.
5 Joh. de Wittlesbury.
6 Will. Flore
7 Walt. Skarle.
8 Joh. de Calveley.
Ermine, a cinquefoil Erm.
11 Joh. Wittlebury.
12 Walt. Skarles.
13 Edw. Comes Rutland,
21 Tho. Ondeley.
9 Rob. de Veer.
Quarterly G. and O. in the first a mullet Arg.
1 Tho. Ondeley.
for eight years.
Quarterly France and England; a label
with nine torteauxs.
(Recorda manca-all this king's reign.)
a label Arg. charged