Page images




Printed by Wood and Innes,

Poppin's Court, Fleet Street.

Review and Magazine,

8c. &c. &c.

For SEPTEMBER, 1808.

If perfect and faultless composition is ever to be expected froin humau faculties, it must be at some happy period, when a noble and graceful simplicity, the result of well regulated and subcr magnanimity, reigns through the general manners."

Eluy on Shakespeare, ty Mrs. MONTAGU.

The Itinerary of Archbishop Balduin through Wales, A. D.

MCLXXXVIII, by Giraldus de Barri; translated into English, and illustrated with Views, Annotations, and a Life of Giraldus. By Sir RICHARD COLT HOARE, Bart., F. R.S., F. A. S. g vols. 4to. Pp. vol. I, cxci, and 919; vol. II, 440: with Indexes, and fifty-nine Plates. 8l 9s. Miller.


lumes without first expressing our satisfaction at the excellent example which the worthy Baronet, who has been the means of their publication, affords to the different classes that compose the upper ranks of society. Born to a station in life which far removes him from the necessity of exertion, and with a fortune at command that secures to him a full sufficiency of praise, (for where is it that affluence will not attract fatterers ?) he disdains to depend alone on the accident of birth for pre-eminence, and toils for fair and honourable fame in the paths of literature and of art. The specious frivolities of fashionable gaiety, which have folly for their origin, and, too often, guilt for their end; which deprive nobility of its best robe, respect, and degrade and brutalize in proportion to the ardour with which they are pursued, 'have for him no charins. " With an eve that can see nature,” to employ the words which he has himself quoted from those maxims of ancient wisdom, the Triads, a lcart that can feel nature, and a resolution that dares follow nature,” he secks the meed of distinction by cultivating the higher powers of NQ, CXXII, VOL. XXXI.


the mind, and not like the Grevilles of the day, by patron izing the sing-song agents of foreign espionage and imposition, or aiming at a disgraceful and degrading notoriety, by regulating the etiquette of a ball and music-room !

Sir Richard commences his work with a short Dedication addressed to “ the historian, the antiquarian, and the artist, and “ more particularly to the Society of British Antiquarians, whose labours are so successfully employed in the investigation of our national antiquities." We must here enter our protest against the use of the word. antiquarian as a substantive, and that the more strongly, lest the use made of it by our author should extend an error that is already but too prevalent; and further, we have no “Society of British Antiquarians." The title of that learned body to which Sir Richard alludes, and of which he is a most distinguished member, is simply the Society of Antiquaries of London.'

The first volume consists of three principal divisions, viz. “ first, the Life of Giraldus de Barri, with an account of his manuscripts at Oxford, Cambridge, Lambeth, and in the British Museum ; second, an introduction to the history of Cambria, prior to the date of the Itinerary in 1188; in which the several Campaigns of Julius Cæsar, Plautius, Claudius, Ostorius, Suetonius, Frontinus, and Agricola, arc described and explained by maps; the various Roman inscriptions relating to the Legio Secunda Augusta, and the Legio Vicesima Valens Victrir, stationed in Wales, given, with an account of those legions, and also of the Roman cities, stations, and roads in Wales; the course of Offa's and Wat's dykes, &c.; and, third, the Itinerary of Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, through Wales in the year 1188, on the service of the Holy Cross, written in Latin, by Giraldus de Barri, and now for the first time published in English; with numerous annotations describing the ancient and present state of Wales, its castles, abbies, scenery, &c.” The following extract from the Preface points out the causes that led to this publication.

My friend Mr. Wyndhain, who first called the attention of the public to the various beauties and antiquities of Wales, was the first also (as a tourist) who took notice of Giraldus. For

many successo ive years he (Giraldus ) has been my companion through the principality, and I found him so entertaining, though frequently so eccentric, that I resolved to take him as ny guide, and to follow hijn and his crusaders throughout their whole expedition. His descriptions are in general very accurate, and his topographical remarks just ; his narrative is interspersed with many interesting historical facts and anecdotes ; and his fabulous stories and miracles, when we cona sider the age of bigotry and superstition in which they were recounted and credited, will, ia these more enlightened days, excite rather our laughter than surprise." P. i.--" Few countries," Sir Richard remarks in continuation, “ abound so much in traditionary history as Wales, and much historical fact may be deduced from these traditions, however apparently clothed in the habit of fiction and romance: the name of each individual place, river, mountain, and I might alınost add, each field, las its signiticant meaning; and I know of nothing which contributes more to throw light on the ancient history of Cambria than the names of places judiciously investigated, and not too fancituliy etymologyzed." P. v.

The life of Giraldus appears to have been principally drawn up from Wharton's* Anglia Sacra, a most interesting and useful collection to all searchers into ecclesiastical history, though but little known beyond the closets of the learned. Giraldus was the fourth son of William de Barri, and by the female line was grandson to Rhys ap Theodor, Prince of South Wales. He was born at the Castle of Manorbeer, in Peinbrokeshire, about the year 1146, “and at a very early age shewed strong marks of literary talents, and an earnest desire to dedicate himself to offices of religion.” This disposition of inind was strengthened by his uncle, David Fitzgerald, Bishop of St. David's, who undertook the care of his education, and drew him from the paternal roof, where the pursuits of his brethren and their companions being all military, afforded him no opportunity for studies congenial to his natural genius. In his twenty-third year he went to Paris, and became so distinguished for his assiduity and acquirements, that the Doctors of the University pointed him out as a pattern to the young men of his age. Returning to England about the year 1172, he entered into holy orders, and ever afterwards exerted his whole abilities in endeavouring to forward the interests of the Church, and that with such an unyielding firmness as raised him many enemies, and eventually barred his promotion to the Episcopal dignity. One instance of this determined inflexibility is thus related by Sir Richard.

“ Observing that, owing to the negligence of the prelates of the diocese of St. David's, the Church did not receive its dues, and that the Welsh paid no tythes either in wool or cheese, he went to Cauterbury, and having stated his complaints to Richard the Archbishop, was appointed his Legate in Wales, for the purpose of rectifying these and other abuses. He executed this commission with great spirit and success, and excommunicated without distinction those

* Not Warton, as Sir Richard has erroneously called him throughout his whole work.


who refused to pay their tythes. All but the men of Ros, or the Flemings, readily paid their tenths, and in revenge for their non-compliance, the Welsh plundered their farms and took away their sheep. Amongst those who resisted the demands of the clergy, was one William Karquit, Governor of the Province of Pembroke, who being jealous of the newly acquired ofhce of Giraldus, took away forcibly from the Priory at Pembroke eight yoke of oxen, and drove them to his own castle. Three tinies he was requested to restore them, and as often refused ; at last, being threatened with excommunication, he replied, "The Legate may indeed be proud and malicious, but I think him not bold enough to excommunicate the Constable of the King in his own castle.' He was then informed, that on hearing the bells of the monastery sound three times, he might Test assured that the sentence of excommunication had been passed. When the messenger returned, the monks and clergy were summoned together; the Legate in the most solemn manner passed sentence of excommunication, and the bells, as is usual on similar occasions, confirmed it by their peals.” P. xiii.

Whilst invested with the legatine character, and acting on those false principles of religion which even to this hour sway the conduct of the rigid Catholic, he also attempted to re-form the morals of the priests by depriving them of their wives, whom he stigmatized by the unhallowed appellation of concubines. The aged Archdeacon of Brecknock refused to submit to his injunctions, and was in consequence suspended from his preferment, which shortly afterwards was given to Giraldus by the metropolitan Archbishop. In this new office he acted with so much rigour that he was involved in frequent disputes; yet he almost always obtained the victory through his steady and unbending perseverance. On the decease of his uncle the Bishop in 1176, he was chosen to succeed him by the Canons of St. David's; but his election so highly displeased the King, . (Henry, the Second) that the latter threatened to dispossess them of their lands and revenues. Henry's opposition was founded on his knowledge of the character of the churchman; and though he was strenuously recommended in a council purposely summoned, and consisting of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his suffragan bishops, to appoint Giraldus to the vacant see, he still refused, saying “that it was neither expedient nor necessary to elect either a too upright or too active a man to the vacant bishopric, as such a choice might prove detrimental to the cathedral church of Canterbury, or even to the crown itself*.” Henry, it may be presumed, smarted

* Nec Regi nec Archiepiscopo opus est aut expediens, nimis probum aut strenurm, vel Angliæ Corona, vel Cantiæ Cathedra de trimentuan sentiat, in Ecclesiú Sancti David Episcopum esse,

« PreviousContinue »