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In 1513, ROGER LUPTON, the learned Provost of Eron, then Vicar of Copredy, in the County of Oxford, gave 6l. 13s. 4d. to keep the Parish Clock in repair, and to ring daily both winter and summer, the Curfew and Day Bell.22
And, in 1691, John Cary, of Woodstock, directed 10s. to be paid annually to the Clerk or Sexton, to ring the eight o'Clock Bell at night, for the guide and direction of Travellers.23
And it was during this dreary and wild state of the Country, that we find benefactions for the better maintenance of Herdsmen, to tend the cattle within the bounds of their Parochial limits.
It is curious to mark the progress of improvements, and to compare ancient contrivances with modern elegance.
22 Rep. XII. p. 187. 23 Rep. XII. p. 328.
We are told that ALFRED the Great, in order that he might more exactly measure the hours, made use of burning tapers of equal length, which he fixed in Lanthorns, -an expedient suited to that rude age, when the geometry of Dialling, and the mechanism of Clocks and Watches, were totally unknown.
In 1609, NICHOLAS SPICER granted certain lands and tenements to The Corporation of Exeter, in trust, to pay, among other disbursements, 40s. annually towards the better maintenance of Candle-light in the dark nights, between the feasts of All Saints and the Purification, to be placed in such convenient parts of the City, as to The Corporation should be thought meet, to give better light to people passing and going in the Streets,--and he also gave 6s. 8d. yearly to the night Bellman of the same City.25
In 1656, John WARDALL gave to The Grocers' Company a tenement, known by the name of “ The White Bear,” in Walbrook, to the intent that they should yearly pay to the Churchwardens of St. Botolph Billingsgate, 41. to provide a good and sufficient iron and glass Lantern, with a candle, for the direction of Passengers, to go with more security to and from the water-side, all night long, to be fixed at the North-East corner of the parish of St. Botolph, from the feast-day of St. Bartholomew to Lady-day, out of which sum, 1l. was to be paid to the Sexton, for taking care of the Lantern. 26
25 Rep. VIII. p. 71.
“ Lantern and Candle-Light” was anciently accounted one of the “ Cries” of London, being the usual words of “ The Belman.” It is mentioned as such in the following passage, —
“ Lanthorne and Candle light here
HEYWOOD's Rape of Lucrece, Hence two tracts of DECKER's had the title of “ Lanthorn and Candle-light,” or " The Belman.”. NARES.
26 Rep. VI. p. 276.
STREWING OF RUSHES IN CHURCHES AND GREAT HALLS-AND PREACHING IN THE OPEN AIR.
Although the age of King HENRY the Eighth, when inspected at a distance, affords many scenes of Magnificence, yet when examined more closely, it is diversified with much simplicity of manners, and plainness or penury in the chief comforts of modern life.
The floors of their houses, composed of clay, were foul and loathsome,—and ERASMUS ascribes the frequent and destructive visitations of the Plague in England to the nastiness and dirt, and slovenly habits among the people. “The “ floors," says he, “ are commonly of “ clay, strewed with rushes, under which " lies unmolested an ancient collection of “ beer, grease, fragments, bones, spittle, “ excrements of dogs and cats, and every thing that is nasty.” 27
27 Epist. 432.
HOLINSHED, who lived in the reign of Queen ELIZABETH, gives a very curious account of the plain, or rather rude, way of living of the preceding generation.
In describing the increase of Luxury, he observes, “Neither do I speak this in
reproach of any man, God is my judge, “—but to show, that I do rejoice rather " to see how God has blessed us with his
good gifts, and to behold how that in a “ time wherein all things are grown to
most excessive prices, we do yet find w the means to obtain and atchieve such “ furniture as heretofore has been impos“sible. There are old men yet dwelling “ in the village where I remain, which “ have noted three things to be marvel“ lously altered in England within their “ sound remembrance,
“ One is, the multitude of Chimnies lately erected,—whereas, in their
young days, there were not above two or three, “ if so many, in most Uplandish towns of “the Realm (the Religious Houses and “ Manor Places of their Lords always ex