Picture of Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe

places mentioned

Letter 3, Part 1: London to Winchester

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SIR,---I find so much left to speak of, and so many things to say in every part of England, that my journey cannot be barren of intelligence, which way soever I turn; no, tho' I were to oblige myself to say nothing of any thing that had been spoken of before.

I intended once to have gone due west this journey; but then I should have been obliged to croud my observations so close, (to bring Hampton-Court, Windsor, Blenheim, Oxford, the Bath and Bristol, all into one letter; all those remarkable places lying in a line, as it were, in one point of the compass) as to have made my letter too long, or my observations too light and superficial, as others have done before me.

This letter will divide the weighty task, and consequently make it fit lighter on the memory, be pleasanter to the reader, and make my progress the more regular: I shall therefore take in Hampton-Court and Windsor in this journey; the first at my setting out, and the last at my return, and the rest as their situation demands.

As I came down from Kingston, in my last circuit, by the south bank of the Thames, on the Surrey side of the river; so I go up to Hampton Court, now, on the north bank, and on the Middlesex side, which I mention, because as the sides of the country bordering on the river, lie parallel, so the beauty of the country, the pleasant situations, the glory of innumerable fine buildings, noblemens and gentlemens houses, and citizens retreats, are so equal a match to what I had described on the other side, that one knows not which to give the preference to: But as I must speak of them again, when I come to write of the county of Middlesex, which I have now purposely omitted; so I pass them over here, except the palace of Hampton only, which I mentioned in Middlesex, for the reasons above.

Hampton Court lyes on the north bank of the river Thames, about two small miles from Kingston, and on the road from Stanes to Kingston Bridge; so that the road straightening the parks a little, they were obliged to part the parks, and leave the Paddock, and the Great Park, part on the other side the road; a testimony of that just regard that the Kings of England always had, and still have, to the common good, and to the service of the country, that they would not interrupt the course of the road, or cause the poor people to go out of the way of their business, to or from the markets and fairs, for any pleasure of their own whatsoever.

The palace of Hampton-Court was first founded, and built from the ground, by that great statesman, and favourite of King Henry VIII. Cardinal Wolsey; and if it be a just observation any where, as is made from the situation of the old abbies and monasteries, the clergy were excellent judges of the beauty and pleasantness of the country, and chose always to plant in the best; I say, if it was a just observation in any case, it was in this; for if there be a situation on the whole river between Stanes-Bridge and Windsor-Bridge, pleasanter than another, it is this of Hampton; close to the river, yet not offended by the rising of its waters in floods, or storms, near to the reflux of the tides, but not quite so near as to be affected with any foulness of the water, which the flowing of the tides generally is the occasion of. The gardens extend almost to the bank of the river, yet are never overflow'd; nor are there any marshes on either side the river to make the waters stagnate, or the air unwholesome on that account. The river is high enough to be navigable, and low enough to be a little pleasantly rapid; so that the stream looks always chearful, not slow and sleeping, like a pond. This keeps the waters always clear and clean, the bottom in view, the fish playing, and in sight; and, in a word, it has every thing that can make an inland; or, as I may call it, a country river, pleasant and agreeable.

I shall sing you no songs here of the river in the first person of a water nymph, a goddess, (and I know not what) according to the humour of the ancient poets. I shall talk nothing of the marriage of old Isis, the male river, with the beautiful Thame, the female river, a whimsy as simple as the subject was empty, but I shall speak of the river as occasion presents, as it really is made glorious by the splendor of its shores, gilded with noble palaces, strong fortifications, large hospitals, and publick buildings; with the greatest bridge, and the greatest city in the world, made famous by the opulence of its merchants, the encrease and extensiveness of its commerce; by its invincible navies, and by the innumerable fleets of ships sailing upon it, to and from all parts of the world.

As I meet with the river upwards in my travels thro' the inland country, I shall speak of it, as it is the chanel for conveying an infinite quantity of provisions from remote counties to London, and enriching all the counties again that lye near it, by the return of wealth and trade from the city; and in describing these things I expect both to inform and divert my readers, and speak, in a more masculine manner, more to the dignity of the subject, and also more to their satisfaction, than I could do any other way.

There is little more to be said of the Thames, relating to Hampton-Court, than that it adds, by its neighbourhood, to the pleasure of the situation; for as to passing by water too and from London; tho' in summer 'tis exceeding pleasant, yet the passage is a little too long to make it easy to the ladies, especially to be crowded up in the small boats, which usually go upon the Thames for pleasure.

The prince and princess, indeed, I remember came once down by water, upon the occasion of her royal highnesses being great with child, and near her time; so near, that she was delivered within two or three days after: But this passage being in the royal barges, with strength of oars, and the day exceeding fine, the passage, I say, was made very pleasant, and still the more so, for being short. Again, this passage is all the way with the stream, whereas, in the common passage, upwards, great part of the way is against the stream, which is slow and heavy.

But be the going and coming how it will by water, 'tis an exceeding pleasant passage by land, whether we go by the Surrey side or the Middlesex side of the water, of which I shall say more in its place.

The situation of Hampton-Court being thus mention'd, and its founder, 'tis to be mention'd next, that it fell to the Crown in the forfeiture of his eminence the cardinal, when the king seiz'd his effects and estate, by which this and Whitehall, another house of his own building also, came to King Henry VIII. two palaces fit for the Kings of England, erected by one cardinal, are standing monuments of the excessive pride, as well as the immense wealth of that prelate, who knew no bounds of his insolence and ambition, till he was overthrown at once by the displeasure of his master.

Whoever knew Hampton-Court before it was begun to be rebuilt, or alter'd, by the late King William, must acknowledge it was a very compleat palace before, and fit for a king; and tho' it might not, according to the modern method of building, or of gardening, pass for a thing exquisitely fine; yet it had this remaining to itself, and perhaps peculiar; namely, that it shewed a situation exceedingly capable of improvement, and of being made one of the most delightful palaces in Europe.

This Her Majesty Queen Mary was so sensible of, that while the king had order'd the pulling down the old apartments, and building it up in that most beautiful form, which we see them now appear in, her majesty, impatient of enjoying so agreeable a retreat, fix'd upon a building formerly made use of chiefly for landing from the river, and therefore call'd the Water Gallery; and here, as if she had been conscious that she had but a few years to enjoy it, she order'd all the little neat curious things to be done, which suited her own conveniences, and made it the pleasantest little thing within doors that could possibly be made, tho' its situation being such, as it could not be allowed to stand after the great building was finished; we now see no remains of it.

The queen had here her gallery of beauties, being the pictures, at full length, of the principal ladies attending upon her majesty, or who were frequently in her retinue; and this was the more beautiful sight, because the originals were all in being, and often to be compar'd with their pictures. Her majesty had here a fine apartment, with a sett of lodgings, for her private retreat only, but most exquisitely furnish'd; particularly a fine chints bed, then a great curiosity; another of her own work, while in Holland, very magnificent, and several others; and here was also her majesty's fine collection of Delft ware, which indeed was very large and fine; and here was also a vast stock of fine China ware, the like whereof was not then to be seen in England; the long gallery, as above, was fill'd with this china, and every other place, where it could be plac'd, with advantage.

The queen had here also a small bathing-room, made very fine, suited either to hot or cold bathing, as the season should invite; also a dairy, with all its conveniences, in which her majesty took great delight: All these things were finish'd with expedition, that here their majesties might repose while they saw the main building go forward. While this was doing, the gardens were laid out, the plan of them devised by the king himself; and especially the amendments and alterations were made by the king, or the queen's particular special command, or by both; for their majesties agreed so well in their fancy, and had both so good judgment in the just proportions of things, which are the principal beauties of a garden, that it may be said they both order'd every thing that was done.

Here the fine parcel of limes, which form the semi-circle on the south front of the house, by the iron gates, looking into the park, were by the dextrous hand of the head gardener, remov'd, after some of them had been almost thirty years planted in other places, tho' not far of. I know the King of France, in the decoration of the gardens of Versailles, had oaks remov'd, which, by their dimensions, must have been above an hundred years old, and yet were taken up with so much art, and by the strength of such engines, by which such a monsterous quantity of earth was raised with them, that the trees could not feel their remove; that is to say, their growth was not at all hinder'd. This I confess, makes the wonder much the less in those trees at Hampton-Court gardens; but the performance was not the less difficult or nice, however, in these, and they thrive perfectly well.

While the gardens were thus laid out, the king also directed the laying the pipes for the fountain and jette d'eau's ; and particularly the dimensions of them, and what quantity of water they should cast up, and encreas'd the number of them after the first design.

The ground on the side of the other front, has receiv'd some alterations since the taking down the water gallery; but not that part immediately next the lodgings: The orange trees, and fine Dutch bays, are plac'd within the arches of the building under the first floor: so that the lower part of the house was all one as a green house for some time: Here stands advanced, on two pedestals of stone, two marble vases, or flower pots, of most exquisite workmanship; the one done by an Englishman, and the other by a German: 'Tis hard to say which is the best performance, tho' the doing of it was a kind of tryal of skill between them; but it gives us room, without partiality, to say they were both masters of their art.

The parterre on that side descends from the terrass walk by steps, and on the left a terrass goes down to the water-side, from which the garden on the eastward front is overlook'd, and gives a most pleasant prospect.

The fine scrolls and bordure of these gardens were at first edg'd with box; but on the queen's disliking the smell, those edgings were taken up, but have since been planted again, at least in many places, nothing making so fair and regular an edging as box, or is so soon brought to its perfection.

On the north side of the house, where the gardens seem'd to want skreening from the weather, or the view of the chapel, and some part of the old building requir'd to be cover'd from the eye; the vacant ground, which was large, is very happily cast into a wilderness, with a labyrinth, and espaliers so high, that they effectually take off all that part of the old building, which would have been offensive to the sight. This labyrinth and wilderness is not only well design'd, and compleatly finished, but is perfectly well kept, and the espaliers fill'd exactly, at bottom to the very ground, and are led up to proportion'd heights on the top; so that nothing of that kind can be more beautiful.

The house itself is every way answerable on the outside to the beautiful prospect, and the two fronts are the largest, and, beyond comparison, the finest of the kind in England: The great stairs go up from the second court of the palace on the right hand, and lead you to the south prospect.

I hinted in my last that King William brought into England the love of fine paintings, as well as that of fine gardens; and you have an example of it in the cartoons, as they are call'd, being five pieces of such paintings, as, if you will believe men of nice judgment and great travelling, are not to be match'd in Europe: The stories are known, but especially two of them, viz. that of St. Paul preaching on Mars-Hill to the self-wise Athenians, and that of St. Peter passing sentence of death on Ananias; I say, these two strike the mind with the utmost surprize; the passions are so drawn to the life, astonishment, terror and death in the face of Ananias; zeal and a sacred fire in the eyes of the blessed apostle; fright and surprize upon the countenances of the beholders in the piece of Ananias; all these describe themselves so naturally, that you cannot but seem to discover something of the like passions, even in seeing them.

In the other, there is the boldness and courage with which St. Paul undertook to talk to a sett of men, who he knew despis'd all the world, as thinking themselves able to teach them any thing: In the audience, there is anticipating pride and conceit in some, a smile or fleer of contempt in others, but a kind of sensible conviction, tho' crush'd in its beginning, on the faces of the rest; and all together appear confounded, but have little to say, and know nothing at all of it, they gravely put him off to hear him another time; all these are seen here in the very dress of the face; that is, the very countenances which they hold while they listen to the new doctrine, which the apostle preached to a people at that time ignorant of it.

The other of the cartoons are exceeding fine; but I mention these as the particular two which are most lively, which strike the fancy the soonest at first view: 'Tis reported, but with what truth I know not, that the late French king offer'd an hundred thousand louis d'ors for these pictures; but this, I say, is but a report: The king brought a great many other fine pieces to England, and with them the love of fine paintings so universally spread itself among the nobility and persons of figure all over the kingdom, that it is incredible what collections have been made by English gentlemen since that time; and how all Europe has been rumag'd, as we may say, for pictures to bring over hither, where, for twenty years, they yielded the purchasers, such as collected them for sale, immense profit: But the rates are abated since that, and we begin to be glutted with the copies and frauds of the Dutch and Flemish painters, who have imposed grossly upon us. But to return to the palace of Hampton-Court: Queen Mary liv'd not to see it compleatly finished; and her death, with the other difficulties of that reign, put a stop to the works for some time, till the king reviving his good liking of the place, set them to work again, and it was finished, as we see it: But I have been assur'd, that had the peace continu'd, and the king liv'd to enjoy the continuance of it, his majesty had resolv'd to have pull'd down all the remains of the old building; such as the chapel, and the large court within the first gate, and to have built up the whole palace after the manner of those two fronts already done. In these would have been an entire sett of rooms of state for the receiving, and, if need had been, lodging, and entertaining any foreign prince, with his retinue; also offices for all the Secretaries of State, Lords of the Treasury, and of trade; to have repair'd to for the dispatch of such business, as it might be necessary to have done there upon the king's longer residence there than ordinary; as also apartments for all the great officers of the houshold; so that had the house had two great squares added, as was design'd, there would have been no room to spare, or that would not have been very well fill'd: But the king's death put an end to all these things.

Since the death of King William, Hampton-Court seem'd abandon'd of its patron: They have gotten a kind of proverbial saying relating to Hampton-Court, viz. That it has been generally chosen by every other prince, since it became a house of note. King Charles was the first that delighted in it since Queen Elizabeth's time; as for the reigns before, it was but newly forfeited to the Crown, and was not made a royal house till King Charles I. who was not only a prince that delighted in country retirements, but knew how to make choice of them by the beauty of their situation, the goodness of the air, &c. he took great delight here, and, had he liv'd to enjoy it in peace, had purposed to make it another thing than it was: But we all know what took him off from that felicity, and all others; and this house was at last made one of his prisons by his rebellious subjects.

His son, King Charles II. may well be said to have an aversion to the place, for the reason just mention'd, namely, the treatment his royal father met with there; and particularly that the rebel and murtherer of his father, Cromwell, afterwards possess'd this palace, and revel'd here in the blood of the royal party, as he had done in that of his sovereign; King Charles II. Therefore chose Windsor, and bestow'd a vast sum in beautifying the castle there, and which brought it to the perfection we see it in at this day; some few alterations excepted, done hi the time of King William.

King William, for King James is not to be nam'd as to his choice of retir'd palaces, his delight running quite another way; I say, King William fix'd upon Hampton Court; and it was in his reign that Hampton Court put on new cloaths, and being dress'd gay and glorious, made the figure we now see it in.

The late queen, taken up for part of her reign in her kind regards to the prince her spouse, was oblig'd to reside where her care of his health confin'd her, and in this case kept for the most part at Kensington, where he died; but her majesty always discovered her delight to be at Windsor, where she chose the little house, as 'twas call'd, opposite to the castle, and took the air in her chaise in the parks and forest, as she saw occasion.

Now Hampton Court, by the like alternative, is come into request again; and we find his present majesty, who is a good judge too of the pleasantness and situation of a place of that kind, has taken Hampton-Court into his favour, and has made it much his choice for the summer's retreat of the Court, and where they may best enjoy the diversions of the season: When Hampton Court will find such another favourable juncture as in King William's time, when the remainder of her ashes shall be swept away, and her compleat fabric, as design'd by King William, shall be finish'd, I cannot tell; but if ever that shall be, I know no palace in Europe, Versailles excepted, which can come up to her, either for beauty and magnificence, or for extent of building, and the ornaments attending it.

From Hampton Court I directed my course for a journey into the south west part of England; and, to take up my beginning where I concluded my last, I cross'd to Chertsey on the Thames, a town I mentioned before; from whence crossing the Black Desert, as I call'd it, of Bagshot-Heath, I directed my course for Hampshire, or Hantshire, and particularly for Basingstoke; that is to say, that a little before I pass'd into the great western road upon the heath, somewhat west of Bagshot, at a village called Blackwater, and enter'd Hampshire, near Hartleroe.

Before we reach Basingstoke, we get rid of that unpleasant country, which I so often call a desart, and enter into a pleasant fertile country, enclosed and cultivated like the rest of England; and passing a village or two, we enter Basingstoke, in the midst of woods and pastures, rich and fertile, and the country accordingly spread with the houses of the nobility and gentry, as in other places: On the right hand, a little before we come to the town, we pass at a small distance the famous fortress, so it was then, of Basing, being a house belonging then to the Marquis of Winchester, the great ancestor of the present family of the Dukes of Bolton.

This house, garrison'd by a resolute band of old soldiers, was a great curb to the rebels of the Parliament Party, almost thro7 that whole war; till it was, after a vigorous defence, yielded to the conquerors, by the inevitable fate of things at that time. The old house is indeed demolish'd; but the successor of the family, the first Duke of Bolton, has erected a very noble fabrick in the same place, or near it, which, however, is not equal to the magnificence which fame gives to the ancient house, whose strength of building only, besides the out-works, withstood the battery of cannon in several attacks, and repuls'd the Roundheads, three or four times, when they attempted to besiege it: 'Tis incredible what booty the garrison of this place pick'd up, lying, as they did, just on the great western road, where they intercepted the carriers, plundered the waggons, and suffer'd nothing to pass; to the great interruption of the trade of the city of London.

Basingstoke is a large populous market town, has a good market for corn, and lately, within a very few years, is fallen into a manufacture, viz. of making druggets and shalloons, and such slight goods, which, however, employs a good number of the poor people, and enables them to get their bread, which knew not how to get it before.

From hence the great western road goes on to Whitchurch and Andover, two market towns, and sending members to Parliament; at the last of which, the Downs, or open country, begins, which we in general, tho' falsly, call Salisbury-Plain: But my resolution being to take in my view what I had pass'd by before; I was oblig'd to go off to the left hand, to Alresford and Winchester.

Alresford was a flourishing market town, and remarkable for this; That tho' it had no great trade, and particularly very little, if any manufactures, yet there was no collection in the town for the poor, nor any poor low enough to take alms of the parish, which is what I do not think can be said of any town in England besides.

But this happy circumstance, which so distinguish'd Alresford from all her neighbours, was brought to an end in the year------, when, by a sudden and surprizing fire, the whole town, with both the church and the market-house, was reduc'd to a heap of rubbish; and, except a few poor hutts at the remotest ends of the town, not a house left standing: The town is since that very handsomely rebuilt, and the neighbouring gentlemen contributed largely to the relief of the people, especially, by sending in timber towards their building; also their Market-house is handsomely built; but the church not yet, tho' we hear there is a fund raising likewise for that.

Here is a very large pond, or lake of water, kept up to a head, by a strong batterd'eau , or dam, which the people tell us was made by the Romans; and that it is to this day part of the great Roman highway, which leads from Winchester to Alton, and, as 'tis supposed, went on to London, tho' we no where see any remains of it, except between Winchester and Alton, and chiefly between this town and Alton.

Near this town, a little north-west, the Duke of Bolton has another seat, which, tho' not large, is a very handsome beautiful palace, and the gardens not only very exact, but very finely situate, the prospect and visto's noble and great, and the whole very well kept.

From hence, at the end of seven miles over the Downs, we come to the very ancient city of Winchester; not only the great church, which is so famous all over Europe, and has been so much talk'd of, but even the whole city has, at a distance, the face of venerable, and looks ancient a far off; and yet here are many modern buildings too, and some very handsome; as the college schools; with the bishop's palace, built by Bishop Morley, since the late wars; the old palace of the bishop having been ruin'd by that known church incendiary, Sir William Waller, and his crew of plunderers; who, if my information is not wrong, as I believe it is not, destroyed more monuments of the dead, and defac'd more churches, than all the Round-heads in England beside.

This church, and the schools, also are accurately described by several writers, especially by the Monasticon , where their antiquity and original is fully set forth: The outside of the church is as plain and course, as if the founders had abhor'd ornaments, or that William of Wickham had been a Quaker, or at least a Quietist: There is neither statue, or a nich for a statue, to be seen on all the outside; no carv'd work, no spires, towers, pinacles, balustrades, or any thing; but meer walls, buttresses, windows, and coins, necessary to the support and order of the building: It has no steeple, but a short tower covered flat, as if the top of it had fallen down, and it had been cover'd in haste to keep the rain out, till they had time to build it up again.

But the inside of the church has many very good things in it, and worth observation; it was for some ages the burying place of the English Saxon kings; whose reliques, at the repair of the church, were collected by Bishop Fox, and, being put together into large wooden chests, lin'd with lead, were again interr'd at the foot of the great wall in the choir, three on one side, and three on the other; with an account whose bones are in each chest, whether the division of the reliques might be depended upon, has been doubted, but is not thought material, so that we do but believe they are all there.

The choir of the church appears very magnificent; the roof is very high, and the Gothick work in the arch'd part is very fine, tho' very old; the painting in the windows is admirably good, and easy to be distinguished by those that understand those things: The steps ascending to the choir make a very fine show, having the statues of King James, and his son King Charles, in copper, finely cast; the first on the right hand, and the other on the left, as you go up to the choir.

The choir is said to be the longest in England; and as the number of prebendaries, canons, &c. are many, it required such a length. The ornaments of the choir are the effects of the bounty of several bishops; the fine altar (the noblest in England by much) was done by Bishop Morley; the roof, and the coat of arms of the Saxon and Norman kings, were done by Bishop Fox; and the fine throne, for the bishop in the choir, was given by Bishop Mew, in his life-time; and it was well it was; for if he had order'd it by will, there is reason to believe it had never been done. That reverend prelate, notwithstanding he enjoy'd so rich a bishoprick, scarce leaving money enough behind him, to pay for his coffin.

There are a great many persons of rank bury'd in this church, besides the Saxon kings, mentioned above; and besides several of the most eminent bishops of the see: Just under the altar lyes a son of William the Conqueror, without any monument; and behind the altar, under a very fine and venerable monument, lyes the famous Lord Treasurer, Weston, late Earl of Portland, Lord High Treasurer of England under King Charles I. His effigy is in copper armour, at full length, with his head rais'd on three cushions of the same, and is a very magnificent work: There is also a very fine monument of Cardinal Beaufort, in his cardinal's robes and hat.

The monument of Sir John Cloberry is extraordinary, but more, because it puts strangers upon enquiring into his story, than for any thing wonderful in the figure, it being cut in a modern dress; the habit gentlemen wore in those times, which, being now so much out of fashion, appears mean enough: But this gentleman's story is particular, being the person solely entrusted with the secret of the Restoration of King Charles II. as the messenger that pass'd between General Monk on one hand, and Mr. Montague, and others entrusted by King Charles II. on the other hand; which he manag'd so faithfully, as to effect that memorable event, to which England owes the felicity of all her happy days since that time; by which faithful service, Sir John Cloberry, then a private musqueteer only, rais'd himself to the honour of a knight, with the reward of a good estate from the bounty of the king.

Every body that goes into this church, and reads what is to be read there, will be told, that the body of the church was built by the famous William of Wickham; whose monument, intimating his fame, lyes in the middle of that part, which was built at his expence.

He was a courtier before a bishop; and tho' he had no great share of learning, he was a great promoter of it, and a lover of learned men: His natural genius was much beyond his acquir'd parts, and his skill in politicks beyond his ecclesiastick knowledge: He is said to have put his master, King Edward III. to whom he was Secretary of State, upon the two great projects which made his reign so glorious, viz. First, upon setting up his claim to the crown of France, and pushing that claim by force of arms, which brought on the war with France, in which that prince was three times victorious in battle. (2.) Upon setting up, or instituting the Order of the Garter; in which he (being before that made Bishop of Winchester) obtain'd the honour for the Bishops of Winchester, of being always prelates of the Order, as an appendix to the bishoprick; and he himself was the first prelate of the Order, and the ensigns of that honour are joyn'd with his episcopal ornaments, in the robing of his effigy on the monument above.

To the honour of this bishop, there are other foundations of his, as much to his fame as that of this church, of which I shall speak in their order; but particularly the college in this city, which is a noble foundation indeed: The building consists of two large courts, in which are the lodgings for the masters and scholars, and in the center a very noble chapel; beyond that, in the second court, are the schools, with a large cloyster beyond them, and some enclosures laid open for the diversion of the scholars. There also is a great hall, where the scholars dine: The funds for the support of this college are very considerable; the masters live in a very good figure, and their maintenance is sufficient to support it: They have all seperate dwellings in the house, and all possible conveniences appointed them.

The scholars have exhibitions at a certain time of continuance here, if they please to study, in the new college at Oxford, built by the same noble benefactor, of which I shall speak in its order. The clergy here live at large, and very handsomely, in the close belonging to the cathedral; where, besides the bishop's palace, mention'd above, are very good houses, and very handsomely built, for the prebendaries, canons, and other dignitaries of this church: The deanary is a very pleasant dwelling, the gardens very large, and the river running thro' them; but the floods in winter sometimes incommode the gardens very much.

This school has fully answer'd the end of the founder, who, tho' he was no great scholar, resolv'd to erect a house for the making the ages to come more learned than those that went before; and it had, I say, fully answer'd the end, for many learned and great men have been rais'd here, some of whom we shall have occasion to mention as we go on.

Among the many private inscriptions in this church, we found one made by Dr. Over, once an eminent physician in this city, on a mother and child, who, being his patients, died together, and were bury'd in the same grave, and which intimate, that one died of a fever, and the other of a dropsy.

Surrepuit natum febris matrem Abstulit Hydrops,
Igne Prior fatis, altera Cessit Aqua.

As the city it self stands in a vale on the bank, and at the conjunction of two small rivers, so the country rising every way, but just as the course of the water keeps the valley open, you must necessarily, as you go out of the gates, go up hill every way: But when once ascended, you come to the most charming plains, and most pleasant country of that kind in England; which continues, with very small intersections of rivers and valleys, for above fifty miles, as shall appear in the sequel of this journey.

At the west gate of this city was anciently a castle, known to be so by the ruins, more than by any extraordinary notice taken of it in history: What they say of it, that the Saxon kings kept their Court here, is doubtful, and must be meant of the West Saxons only; and as to the tale of King Arthur's round table, which, they pretend, was kept here for him, and his two dozen of knights; which table hangs up still, as a piece of antiquity, to the tune of 1200 years, and has, as they pretend, the names of the said knights in Saxon characters, and yet such as no man can read: All this story I see so little ground to give the least credit to, that I look upon it, and Jt shall please you, to be no better than a FIBB.

Where this castle stood, or whatever else it was, for some say there was no castle there, the late King Charles II. mark'd out, a very noble design; which had he livd, would certainly have made that part of the country, the New-Market of the ages to come; for the country hereabout far excels that of New-Market Heath, for all kinds of sport and diversion, fit for a prince, no body can dispute; and as the design included a noble palace, sufficient like Windsor, for a summer residence of the whole Court, it would certainly have diverted the king from his cursory journeys to New-Market.

The plan of this house has received several alterations; and as it is never like to be finish'd, 'tis scarce worth recording the variety: The building is begun, and the front next the city carry'd up to the roof, and cover'd; but the remainder is not begun: There was a street of houses design'd from the gate of the palace down to the town, but it was never begun to be built; the park mark'd out was exceeding large, near ten miles in circumference, and ended west upon the open downs, in view of the town of Stockbridge.

This house was afterwards settled with a royal revenue also, as an appenage, establish'd by Parliament upon Prince George of Denmark for his life, in case he had out-liv'd the queen: But his royal highness dying before her majesty, all hope of seeing this design perfected, or the house finished, is now vanish'd.

I cannot omit that there are several publick edifices in this city, and in the neighbourhood; as the hospitals, and the building adjoining near the east gate; and towards the north, a piece of an old monastry undemolish'd, and which is still preserved to the religion, being the residence of some private Roman Catholick gentlemen, where they have an oratory, and, as they say, live still according to the rules of St. Benedict. This building is call'd Hide-House; and, as they live very usefully and, to the highest degree, obliging among their neighbours, they meet with no obstruction or disturbance from any body.

Winchester is a place of no trade, other than is naturally occasion'd by the inhabitants of the city and neighbouring villages, one with another: Here is no manufacture, no navigation; there was indeed an attempt to make the river navigable from Southampton; and it was once made practicable, but it never answer'd the expence, so as to give encouragement to the undertakers.

Here is a great deal of good company; and abundance of gentry being in the neighbourhood, it adds to the sociableness of the place: The clergy also here are, generally speaking, very rich, and very numerous.

As there is such good company, so they are gotten into that new-fashion'd way of conversing by assemblies: I shall do no more than mention them here; they are pleasant and agreeable to the young people, and some times fatal to them, of which, in its place; Winchester has its share of the mirth: May it escape the ill consequences.

The hospital on the south of this city, at a miles distance on the road to Southampton, is worth notice: ‘Tis said to be founded by King William Rufus, but was not endow'd or appointed till later times by Cardinal Beaufort. Every traveller that knocks at the door of this house, in his way, and asks for it, claims the relief of a piece of white bread and a cup of beer; and this donation is still continued; a quantity of good beer is set apart every day to be given away; and what is left, is distributed to other poor, but none of it kept to the next day.

How the revenues of this hospital, which should maintain the master and thirty private gentlemen, who they call Fellows, but ought to call Brothers, is now reduc'd to maintain only fourteen, while the master lives in a figure equal to the best gentleman in the country, would be well worth the enquiry of a proper visitor, if such can be nam'd: ‘Tis a thing worthy of complaint, when publick charaties, design'd for the relief of the poor, are embezzel'd and depredated by the rich, and turn'd to the support of luxury and pride.

Daniel Defoe, A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, divided into circuits or journies (London: JM Dent and Co, 1927)

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