« ZurückWeiter »
447 wealthy clothier, who entertained the Queen and her retinue on the occasion.
Sissinghurst Castle, in the parish of Cranbrook, was an ancient seat belonging to the Baker family:
in the seven years' war upwards of three thousand French prisoners were confined within its walls. It is now falling into ruin, and a few years inore will level it with the ground.
Glastonbury also, in the vicinity of Cranbrook, is well worth the inspection of the traveller-and several characters have flourished there, distinguished for their virtue and piety. .
From Cranbrook we pass over to Tunbridge Wells on the way we meet with Penshurst Park and Palace, marked by its antiquity. The palace is memorable, for having been the seat of the Sydneys. Sir Philip, the author of the Arcadia, was born there 1554, and died 1596, of a wound in Holland. His last expressions, addressed to his brother, were" Love my memory-cherish my friends--but, above all, govern your will and affections by the will and words of your Creator!!* Camden calls him the glory of his family, the hope of mankind, and the darling of the learned world. His descendant, the famous Algernon Sydney, perished on the scaffold, in the reign of Charles the Second. His Discourse on Government displays a profound knowledge of civil policy. In the park, the Oak, said to be planted at Sir Philip Sydney's birth, measures upwards of twenty-two feet in circumference. It is celebrated by Waller, in these lines, dated from Penshurst
TUNBRIDGE WELLS lies in a romantic situation, between hills, whose barrenness constitutes the peculiarity of the scenery. The water was accidentally found out in the reign of James the First, and ever since that period has been increasing in celebrity. The well itself is walled round, excepting the opening where we enter it. The shops on each side, in the valley, extend themselves in succession. They are filled with articles, particularly turnery-ware, wrought with ingenuity. A library presents itself for the improvement of the subscribers. In the centre of these buildings is a small gallery, designed for an orchestra, where a band of music, at stated times, plays for the amusement of the company. Here is a chapel of ease, neat and spacious-also places of worship for the Dissenters. The adjacent hills are covered with lodging-houses-known by the names of Mount Sion, Mount Ephraim, &c. appellations taken from Sacred History. · Perhaps they were adopted merely for the sake of singularity. . Not far from these wells are rocks, well worth inspection. The great and good' Dr. Isaac Watts, who often visited this place, struck with their appearance, preached a. sermon on the occasion. :
From the Wells to the town of Tunbridge the
SEVEN OAKS. distance is about five miles, on a sandy road. They are confounded together, but are distinct, and therefore call for a separate description. - The town of Tunbridge, thirty miles from London, stands on the Medway, here dividing itself into five small streams, over which there are as many bridges, whence many suppose the name of Town of Bridges is derived. Upon a spacious wharf lies a quantity of oak timber, brought from the Wealds of Kent and Sussex, till it can be conveyed down the river to Chatham for the use of the navy. The principal street is broad and airy—and persons of fortune have been induced to settle in so pleasant a situation. The castle, now in ruins, bears a venerable aspect—and formerly its walls enclosed six acres of ground. In the town is a free grammar-school, founded by Sir Andrew Judde, who was Lord Mayor of London in the reign of Edward the Fifth—it is under the management of the Skinners' Company, some of whose members occasionally visit it. Its master was the ingenious Dr. Vicesimus Knox, author of Essays, Winter Evenings, Treatise on Education, &c. He politely accompanied me through the several departments of the seminary—which were neatly laid out; and his library, enriched with beautiful editions of the classics, was decorated with the busts of Homer, Virgil, Cicero, and other characters of antiquity. · Pursuing the direct road to London, we should pass through the small town of Seven Oaks, in a healthy situation. Not far from the town are to be 450
WESTERHAM, discerned Chevening-house, the seat of the late seientific Earl Stanhope; and Montreal, the seat of the Lord Amherst, whose heroic deeds are well known in the western world. The country boasts a fertile soil, and is enriched by rural scenery.
Near Seven Oaks lies the parish of Westerham, which gave birth to Bishop Hoadley and General Wolfe. Hoadley was the illustrious friend of civil and religious liberty, which he defended for a series of years against a host of enemies, with uncommon ability. He was successively Bishop of Bangor, Hereford, Salisbury, and Winchester, where dying at an advanced age, in the year 1761, a plain monument is erected to his memory:
While Fortune smiles, let Pride's vain minions claim
WOLFE was a young man of talents, and disclosed an early passion for military glory. Though our parlours be decorated with the representation of his death on the plains of Canada, yet few young persons are acquainted with the particulars of the event. In his Siege of Quebec, he overcame difficulties with an alertness which exceeds credi.
451 bility. Being only in the thirty-third year of his age, he exhibited the courage of a veteran; and having used every stratagem to induce the French to come forth from the city to battle, he succeeded. But there tears will flow—there, when within the grasp of victory, he first received a ball through his wrist, which wrapping up he went on with alacrity, animating his troops; but in a few minutes after a second ball through his body obliged him to be carried off to a small distance in the rear. When roused from fainting, in the last agonies, by the sound—They run! he eagerly asked
Who run? and being told the French, and that they were defeated, he said–Then, I thank God, I die contented! and instantly expired. His corpse was brought over to England, and buried with military honours in Westminster Abbey.
In the vicinity of Seven Oaks, also, is Chipsteadplace, a venerable mansion, standing in the centre of a park, which, though not extensive, contains within its boundaries an epitome of rural scenery. Throughout the grounds are scattered several inscriptions, according with the name by which the particular spot is distinguished, and commemorative of the interesting events of modern British history. A rivulet at the bottom of the park enlivens the scene, and heightens the beauty of this charming situation.
Chipstead-place was the seat of the late Charles Polhill, Esq. who was for a long time senior magistrate in the county of Kent, having filled that respectable office for upwards of fifty years with