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THOUGH the principal object of the following Work, as expressed in the Title Page, is, the information of Strangers, especially those resorting to the celebrated Spa of Leamington : yet the Writer had another object in view to which, he acknowledges, his hopes and his wishes were, with equal or greater ardour, directed. During his residence in Warwick, or its immediate vicinity, he has often had occasion to witness the regret, which, he believes, has long been felt, that no work of the nature of the present has yet appeared, of easy access, and comprising, within a moderate compass, the information, that might be collected concerning a town of such remote antiquity, and so much early and present celebrity. The hope, he ventured to entertain, of supplying that deficiency, and of offering to the Inhabitants of Warwick an acceptable present, the Writer is proud to own, has contributed more than any other
consideration to animate his exertions, in the collection of his materials and the choice of his topics. Having resided amongst them, nearly the fourth part of a century, differing from many in certain political, and from more in certain religious opinions, which he conceives to be of no small importance—he would hold it most unjust and most ungrateful not to acknowledge the numerous instances of real candour and kindness, which he has very generally received from them, during the whole course of that time. He has only to lament one striking exception, which occurred long ago ; and which if still remembered with feelings of regret—it is regret, he is sure, unaccompanied with the slightest resentment. Should the present attempt to lay before the Inhabitants of Warwick an Historical and Descriptive Account, tolerably complete, and in the main correct, of their ancient and interesting Town, and of other neighbouring places, be accepted by them, as some return for the great obligations, which their favorable opinion and their kind and friendly civilities have conferred upon him ; the dearest wish of the Writer will be accomplished, and his labours will obtain their best and most valued reward.
LEAM, Sept. 1, 1815.
Historical and Descriptive Account
Carly Historp. WARWICK founded by Gutheline-endarged by Guiderius-destroyed by the
Picts-repaired by Caractucus,fortified by the Romans-destroyed second time by the Picts rebuilt by Constantine- destroyed a third time by the Picts--rebuilt by Gwdyr— fourth time destroyed by the Sa.consrebuilt by Warremund—disputed whether a Roman Station—a fifth time destroyed by the Danes-rebuilt, and the Castle founded by Ethelfledam a sirth time destroyed by the Danes-rebuilt-fortified, and the Castle strengthened by order of William I.-paved and improved by Guy de Beauchamp,its ancient Churches und Edifices enumerated-represented
early in Parliament-incorporated-destroyed by Fire-rebuilt. GUTHELINE, or, as he is otherwise called, KimberLINE, who was King of the Britons, about the Christian era, is said by Rous, the celebrated antiqnary, himself a native of the place, to have been the FOUNDER of WARWICK.* Its name originally, according to him, was Caer-guthleon, and, by contraction, Caer-leon; from Caer, which signifies a city, and Guthlin, the name of its founder. Hle, also, asserts that the town was considerably enlarged and improved by GUIDERIUS, another British King ; that it afterwards suffered greatly, during the wars of the Picts and Scots ; and that it continued in a ruinous condition, till it was rebuilt by CARACTACUS, the most distinguished of all the early British Princes, who erected in it a manor house for himself, and founded a' church in the market-place, dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
• llis. Reg. Angl. p. 13, &c.
Destroyed by the Picts—Rebuilt by Gwdyr—Made a Bishop's See.
When this high-spirited but unfortunate prince, after a brave and vigorous resistance of nine years, was completely subdued by the power of the Roman arms, in the reign of the Emperor CLAUDIUS ; his general, Pub. Ost. SCAPULA, A. D. 50. in order to secure his conquests, as we are informed by Tacitus, erected various fortifications, on the rivers Avon and Severn ;* one of which, there is considerable reason to believe, was at Warwick, as will be more distinctly stated in the sequel of this chapter.
Arter its restoration and enlargement under the fostering cares of CaractAcus, and the final secession of the Romans, from the whole Island in the year. 426, Rous further asserts that Warwick was again laid in ruins, during one of those sudden and frequent wars which usually mark the character of barbarous ages ; and that it was again rebuilt by CONSTANTINE, another British king, who called it Caer-Umber. Upon his death, it was a third time exposed to the desolating calamities of war ; and, from that period, continued in a ruinous state, till it was a third time, rebuilt by another British king, named Gwdyr, who called it after himself, Caer Gwar. About that period of its bistory, if the fact be sufficiently verified, Warwick was made a Bishop's see, by DUBRETIUS, afterwards Bishop of St. Davids, who chose for his episcopal church, not St. John's, but another, All Saints', which stood on the site, where the Castle was afterwards built. This season of its prosperity was, however, short; and the town was exposed to new and dreadful devastations, during the time of the Saxon
cinctosquc castris Aplonain et Sabrinam fluvios cobibere parat. Tac. ANN. Lib. xii. s. 30.
Destroyed by the Sarons— Rebuilt by Warremund—and call'd Warreuyk.
invasions. But when that warlike people had completely established themselves in the country, and had divided it into provinces, the Kingdom of Mercia was allotted to WARREMUND ; and by him the town was once more rebuilt, and was called, after his name, Warrewyk. In the time of the Anglo-Saxons, however, this town was certainly called WERHICA, as appears from the inscription on an existing and genuine Saxon penny,* of HARTHACNUT, minted at this place. It is also written in the Saxon Chronicle WERINCA, and WÆRINGWIC, and the county is called WÆRINWICKSHIRE.Ş
But to this account of the foundation and the subsequent events, in the early history of Warwick, as related by Rous, and recited with approbation by DugDALE, some considerable objections have been opposed, by several antiquarians, and particularly by Dr. Thomas, the learned Editor of an enlarged edition of the Antiquities of Warwickshire, published in 1730. In his opinion, the town was not of British but of Saxon origin; and that it was ever a Roman station is a supposition atterly rejected by him. The facts, on which he principally relies, are, that no Roman antiquities have ever been discovered here; and that, there was a military station, beyond all doubt, at Chesterton, only six miles distant—whence it seems improbable that another should have been established, so near as Warwick. Upon the whole, however, not only
This curious coin, hitherto unpablished, and as to the name of this town; unique, is in the cabinet of WILLIAM STAUNTON, Esq. of Longbridge, near Warwick.
From wæring, a mound or bulwark, and wyk, or wick, a town, the curved bank of a river, or a castle. Sax. Cbron. p. 104.
| See Thomas' Edit. of DUGDALE, vol. i. p. 371. Ward's New Survey, p. 498.