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So be thou pardon'd. Tho' thy rash offence
Char. Then comfort, mistress Frankford;
Susan. How is it with you?
to see it.
Mrs. Fra. Pardoned on earth, soul, thou in heaven art free
“ The Lancashire Witches,” which Heywood wrote, in conjunction with Brome; and “ Fortune by Land and Sea," a delightful comedy, in which he was assisted by William Rowley;
have been purposely omitted in this notice, partly on account of their not being wholly the productions of Heywood, and partly, in consequence of the length to which the article has extended without them.
ART. VIII.-IPOTYMNAEMATA.-The Inn-Play; or, Cornish
Hugg Wrestler. Digested in a Method which teacheth to break all Holds, and throw most Falls mathematically. Easie to be understood by all Gentlemen, &c.; and of great use to such who understand the Small-Sword in Fencing. And by all Tradesmen and Handicrafts, that have competent knowledge of the use of Stilliards, Bar, Crove-Iron, or Lever, with their Hypomochlions, Fulciments, or Baits. By Sir Thomas Parkyns, of Bunny, Baronet.
Luctamur Achivis doctius unctis.
Hor. Ep. Lib. 2. Ep. 1. ad Aug.
The Second Edition corrected, with large additions. Nottingham:
Printed and Sold by William Ayscough, in Bridlesmithgate, and Timothy Goodwin, Bookseller, over against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street, 1714. Price One Shilling.
Sir Thomas Parkyns, Bart. of Bunny Park, Nottinghamshire, the author of the ingenious and singular work before us, upon the Cornish Hugg, or, Inn-Play Wrestling, was a man who did not content himself with a mere theoretical knowledge of the art which he professed mathematically to teach, -for there was scarcely a sinewy and dangerous problem in his treatise which he had not worked, with his own limbs, upon the Nottinghamshire peasantry of 1690—when he was young, lusty, and learned, and could throw a tenant, combat a paradox, quote Martial, or sign a mittimus, with any man of his own age or county. He was, it will be allowed, a skilful wrestler, a subtle disputant, and a fair scholar,--and with certain eccentricities which he could afford to indulge in, he passed a very reputable life for a baronet ;-doing all the good he could to the peasantry of his neighbourhood, both in body and mind ;-at once shewing them how to be strong,—and enabling them to be happy!
Before we enter into the merits of this little work upon Inn-Play Wrestling—a brief account of the author, Sir Thomas Parkyns, which we have collected from the History of Nottingham, and other sources, may not be uninteresting,—particularly
appears to have been a baronet of no common mould, and to have been famous for certain peculiarities, which have not survived him in any after-race of baronets. To men'like ourselves, of contemplative habits, it is like some healthy exercise to reflect only upon the restless gentleman's vehement pursuits ;-his Midsummer day's wrestling,---running, and bellringing - enough to have laid the whole baronetage of the pre
in their leaden coffins. Sir Thomas Parkyns was born in the year 1636,—but whether at his paternal seat, Bunny Park, Nottinghamshire, or in London, we are unable to collect; probably in London, as we find bim early at Westminster School, wrestling his way through the classics, under the celebrated Dr. Busby. The epigrams of Martial appear, first, to have led him to turn serious thoughts towards wrestling--and he does not relish the poet the less for finding that he himself practised this healthy art, after his daily prayers and family business.
“ Rure morans quid agam, respondeo pauca rogatus,
VOL. XI, PART I.
Stringo libens, animo gaudens, ac fænore liber;
“ So soon as this epigram of Martial's became my lesson under Dr. Busby, at Westminster school, and that I had truly construed and exactly parsed every word, as we did all our authors, that they might be the better understood, easier got memoriter, and without book for our future benefit; and I searching in “Godwin's Roman Antiquities” for the meaning of oleo corpusq; frico, I found that wrestling was one of the five Olympic games, and that they oiled their bodies, not only to make their joints more supple and pliable, but that their antagonist might be less capable to take fast hold of them. This, with running, leaping, quoiting, and whorle bars, were the famous and most celebrated games of Greece, continued with great solemnity for five days, in honour of Jupiter Olympius, from whence the Romans borrowed their Pentathlum, which was composed of running, wrestling, leaping, throwing, and boxing; likewise it gave me a curiosity, when I found the famous poet Martial, my author, was proud of the account he gives of his country life, after his orisons to his god, Agriculture, and his family business he had directed, and, with his book, had stirred up his muse, that he prepared himself for this heroic exercise of wrestling, which they always performed before their full meal, being their supper, when all exercises were over, for you never meet with, in that poet, ad prandium, but always ad cænam vocare."
From Westminster, Sir Thomas, after a due course of little-to-do, and Busby, went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and read the mathematics, as we afterwards gather, for the chief purpose of accomplishing himself as a scientific wrestler. It appears, by his own account, that Sir Isaac Newton observed in him a singular love for the sciences,-or, as he himself calls it,“ an inclination that way,”—for he invited him to his lectures, although a fellow commoner,-a distinction shewn to few of that rank.
“ I advise all my scholars never to exercise upon a full stomach, but to take light liquids of easy digestion, to support nature and maintain strength only. Whilst at Westminster I could not learn any thing, from their irregular and rude certamina or struggles ; and when I went to Cambridge, I then, as a spectator, only observed the vast difference betwixt the Norfolk Out-Players, and the Cornish Huggers, and that the latter could throw the other when they pleased. I do confess the small knowledge I shew to have in my several pieces of architecture, &c. with my useful hydraulics, and the use and application of the mathematics here in wrestling, I owe to Dr. Bathurst my tutor, and Sir Isaac Newton, Mathematic Professor, both of Trinity College in Cambridge. The latter, seeing my inclinations that
way, invited me to his public lectures, for which I thank him, thcugh I was Fellow Commoner, and seldom, if ever, any such were called to them. But when I went to Gray's Inns of Court, and applied myself to the several masters of the academy, to learn fencing and vaulting, I met with Mr. Cornish (by name) my Inn-Play Wrestling-master; and when I found so much variety in the several holds, that it was impossible to remember half of them, without committing them to paper, and telling him my design, he said, he had taught five hundred scholars, but never any one could set them down, and that it would be in vain to attempt any such thing. However, once in two months I showed him what I had done ; and then, about twenty-six years ago, digested it in this method I here present you with, but have added through practice much to it since.”
By the foregoing passage it is seen that Sir Thomas Parkyns was entered of Gray's Inn; but his legs and arms being greater favourites with him than his head, he appears to have immediately put himself under the proper masters, for perfecting himself in all the manly exercises.
He came to his title early in life, and took possession of the family estate, Bunny Park. He was made a justice of the peace for Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, and endeavoured, by all the means in his power, to do good to the peasantry and indigent people around him. To this end, he studied physic, for the sole purpose of benefiting the poor and his tenantry.
Sir Thomas was particularly partial to Latin sentences and quotations, of which our readers will see ample proof in the course of the extracts we shall give them ; but not satisfied with inlaying his writings with them, this eccentric baronet took every slight occasion to inscribe them on wayside benches, door-posts, window-seats, and other convenient tablets, of a like, or an unlike, nature. Upon a seat, which stood by one of the Bunny roads, he caused to be indited this truly urbane invitation to a strayer, from a man of property :
“ Hic sedeas, Viator, si tu defessus es ambulando.” Another inscription took its birth from one of the judges, while on the circuit, having ascended his pad (for, at that time, justices, “ assigned to hold pleas,” were not ashamed to ride, from court to court, on a galloway) by the help of Sir Thomas's horseblock. This was an honour not to be let slip; and the block-a block no longer-told its classic story thus
“ Hinc Justiciarius Dormer equum ascendere solebat !"
Happy and long was the life which Sir Thomas Parkyns led at Bunny Park; and “a bold peasantry, its country's pride, by his advice and example, grew up gallantly around him. He gave prizes of small value, but large honour, to be wrestled for, on sweet Midsummer eves, upon the green levels of Nottinghamshire; and he never felt so gratified with the scene, as when he saw one of his manly tenantry, and the evening sun, go down together. He himself was no idle patron of these amusements--no delicate and timid super-intendant of popular sports, as our modern wealthy men, for the most part, are; for he never objected to take the most sinewy man by the loins, and try a fall for the gold-laced hat he had himself contributed. His servants were all upright, muscular, fine young fellows,-civil, but sinewy,-respectful at the proper hours, but yet capable, also, at the proper hour, of wrestling with Sir Thomas for the mastery; and never so happy, or so well-approved, as when one of them saw his master's two brawny legs going handsomely over his head. Sir Thomas prided himself
, indeed, in having his coachman and footman (chosen, like Robin Hood's men, for having, in a trial, triumphed over their master) lusty young fellows, that had brought good characters for sobriety from their last places, and had laid him on his spine !
One of our amiable baronet's whims, and heaven had given him his share, was an ardent love, through lite, of curious stone coffins ; of these he had a very rare, and we should rather imagine, an unexampled collection, which he kept with great nicety in Bunny church. This passion for securing a comfortable final tenement before a gentleman is every way fitted to inhabit it, has, even in the present age, been indulged in, as all observant people, who have passed Shoreditch churchyard, must have noticed. Dr. Gardner, the declared enemy to worms, having taken a snug little vault there, ready for the day when the worm shall triumph in its turn; and the vault (the doctor, like Sir Thomas Parkyns, being fond of inscriptions) bears these words inscribed :-Dr. Gardner's last and best bed-room.
The mere empty passion, however, for a score or two of stone coffins, did not satisfy the capacious soul of the titled champion of Bunny. He loved to read a moral in every thing; to find" tongues in the trees, books in the babbling brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every thing.” The coffins ranged before him, humbled him moderately; but he, full of life, as he was out of doors, required strong inducements to humility within. In the field, he was mighty ;-he wished to be tamed in the house of prayer; and he, therefore, caused his own monument, or “the marble effigies of Sir Thomas Parkyns," as he called it, to "be put up in the chancel of his church, that he might look upon it, and say, "What is life ?!” In his monument, as in all things else, wrestling was not neglected. His