Page images

No. III.

Parochial Fragments, &r.

“ Liberal, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand;

Nor was perfection made for man below :
Yet all her schemes with nicest art are plann'd
Good counteracting ill, and gladness woe.”

BEATTIE's Minstrel, Book i. vi. “I would not, as some, to seem impartial, do no right to any. When actions are honourable, the honour is as much the history, as the fact; and so for infamy. It is justice, as well historical as civil, to give to every one his due. And whoever engageth in such designs as these, and governs himself by other measures, may be a chronographer, but a very imperfect, or rather insipid, historian.”

AUTHOR's Preface to Life of Lord Keeper Guilford, p. 15. “ Slander is like the fish called the remora, which, sticking to the helms of great ships, disorders the steerage. Ordinary persons are obnoxious to slander; but, for the most part, it is frivolous, slightly regarded, and turns to merriment. But, when applied to great men and ministers of state, it disturbs the course of affairs, and the whole government feels it."

Life of Lord Keeper Guilford. Vol. č. p. 162. 8vo.

“Wealth, and honour, and power, and favour, are of God; but we have but stolen them from God, or received them by the hand of the devil, if we be come to them by ill means. And if we have them from the hand of God, by having acquired them by good means, yet if we make them occasions of sin, in the ill use of them after, we lose the comfort of the Holy Ghost, which requires the testimony of a rectified conscience, that all was well got, and is well used.”

Donne's Serm. xxviii. p. 279.

“ 'Tis highest Heaven's command
That guilty aims should sordid paths pursue ;
That what ensnares the heart should maim the hand,
And Virtue's worthless foes be false to glory too.


Ode xviii.

Parochial Fragments,

&c. &c. &c.


I am glad to see you

back again.
I was afraid


had dered out for the day, under the idea that I was too much occupied to revert to our conversation of yesterday.


I had made an engagement, Eubulus, with old James Long, the Clerk, and I found him such a faithful chronicler, that it was difficult to get away. I hardly thought to have seen the old man again! But,--for I had taken the poems of Douza in my pocket,

“ Post divortia longa, post tot annos
Usurpare palàm data est potestas
Mutuâque frui allocutione;

Quem nec spes mihi porrò erat videndil." The conversation of the old man and his remarks on bygone days cannot but rivet attention.


So I told you on a former occasion.


We examined the Church throughout, as I had often done before, but he seemed delighted to point out afresh what he thought might have escaped my recollection. On parting he asked me if I knew the curious inscription on an old tomb-stone some paces westward from the Lych-gate'. See! I copied it.

1 Jani Douzæ Poemata, p. 205. Ed. 1609.

“ Here lieth the Bodie of John Parson : the only Sonne of William Parson of Salvington : who was buried the fowerth Day of March, 1633.

" Youthe was his age :

Virginitie his state:
Learning his love:
Consumption his fate."

EUBULUS. It is the only inscription in the churchyard " quaintly devised," and in a few years more it will be illegible. Nothing is now known of the individual, and although Parsons is a very common name in these parts, Parson is unknown. So little avails the stone.

“ Laudis titulique cupido
Hæsuri saxis cinerum custodibus; ad quæ
Discutienda valent sterilis mala robora ficus,

Quandoquidem data sunt ipsis quoque fata sepulcris 8." It is as Sir T. Browne remarks in that beautiful treatise, his Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial, “ Grave stones tell truth scarce forty years. Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks. To be read by bare inscriptions like many in Gruter, to hope for eternity by enigmatical epithets or first letters of our names, to be studied by antiquaries, who we were, and have new names given us like many of the mummies, are cold consolations unto the students of perpetuity, even by everlasting languages."


I fancy I know most that appertains to the history of the Church and Parish of West Tarring, but I should be glad you would read to me what is contained in that little book of in which is noted down all the Ecclesiology of the district.

2 This is the old name for the gate through which the corpse enters the churchyard. Lich is the Anglo-Saxon word for corpse. Hence Lichfield, Lichwake, &c. &c. In the Churchwarden's Accounts for 1572 is the following entry : The lach of the Church lytyne gate vjd.” Drayton mentions the “Shrieking litch ovl." See Nares’ Gloss. cap. v. Litch-owl. 3 Juv. Sat. x. 143.

4 See c. v. Works, vol. iii. p. 491.



It is little enough, and for the most part extracted from Cartwright's “ History of the Rape of Bramber,” a hastily got up Book, and in need of much correction.

It will interest me none the less. Read on, do.


Tarring, Terring, or Torring, --for so it is severally written, -has the affix of West, to distinguish it from Tarring Neville, which is in the Eastern Division of the County, two miles and a half north of Newhaven, Rape of Pevensey. Whence the name is derived is not known, but the termination “ing” is common enough, and is simply the Anglo-Saxon “ Ing,signifying a pasture or meadow. So in the immediate neighbourhood we have Goring, Ferring, Lancing, and elsewhere Reading, Godalming, &c. It is much the same as “ ung” in German, when applied to places, though the Teutonic retains likewise the term ingen,as in Thuringen, &c.

Anciently West Tarring was a place of some note in these parts, and letters were directed to different villages, “near Tarring.” At the time referred to Steyning and Arundel would be the nearest towns. Shoreham was in itself inconsiderable, and but the port to the former; and as for Brighthelmstone, or Brighton, it was but “ a small fisher town 5," as Clarendon calls it, when he tells us that Colonel Gunter had provided a little bark there for the escape of Charles II., “where he went early on board, and by God's blessing arrived safely in Normandy."

The Manor of Tarring was given by King Athelstan to the Church of Christ in Dorobernia, or Canterbury, between the years A.D. 941 and A.D. 944. In “ Domesday” it is reckoned among the possessions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is stated to have always belonged to the monastery. At that time it had also two Churches. Of the second there is no traditionary record even, and it is not improbable that one of the chapelries


5 See b. xiii. vol. vi. p. 541. Ed. 1826. Dorobernia, below, is Canterbury, not as is the old Latin Grammar “ Dover." “ Audito regem Doroberniam profiscisci.”

« PreviousContinue »