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from a gallery on the top of a turret there into the arms of her lover.' He observes, as impugning the truth of the story, that the gallery appears to have been the work of James or Charles the First's time.' This may have been founded upon Aubrey's story: though the abbey church had then been destroyed, there is a galleried tower of later date.

From the Sheringtons the property descended to Sir Anthony Mildmay of Apthorp, Northamptonshire, by his marriage with Grace, daughter of Sir Henry Sherington, but had no issue ; so that the whole inheritance of Lacock came to her sister Olive, the wife of John Talbot, Esq. of Salwarp, county Worcester, fourth in descent from John the second Earl of Shrewsbury, from whom it has descended to Henry Fox Talbot, Esq., who in this delightful retreat, in chemical researches for his own recreation, here worked out the secret of Photography. He took up the ground to which Davy and Wedgwood had made their way. Paper was the medium, which he made sensitive to light by nitrate of silver, and then fixed the image by common salt. He first called his process Photogenic Drawing, then Calotype, which his friends changed to Talbotype, in imitation of Daguerre's example. Mr. Fox Talbot is stated, in the Quarterly Review, No. ccii., to have sent his method to the Royal Society in the same month that Daguerre's discovery was made known, January 1839 ; but Sir David Brewster dates Mr. Talbot's communication six months earlier.

1 As a new art, which gave employment to thousands, Mr. Fox Talbot brought photography to a high degree of perfection. “He

Lacock Abbey, as it now exists, consists of the octangular turret, with a gallery, already referred to ; and the cloisters, of the time of Henry iv. There are several sepulchral relics, as grave-stones, coffin-lids, etc. The site of the church is now a terrace-walk. The residential portion of the building has handsome bayed windows, pierced parapet, and twisted chimney-shafts. The middle chamber of the tower is reserved as a depository for writings; here is the Magna Charta of King Henry II., of inestimable value, being the only one perfect in the kingdom. It is 12 inches broad ; and in length, including the fold, 20.1 inches : the seal is of green wax, pendent by a skein of green silk. This charter seems to have been designed for the use of the knights and military tenants in Wiltshire, and to have been deposited here by the Countess Ela, who succeeded her husband in the office of Sheriff of Wiltshire.

expended large sums of money in obtaining for the public the full benefit of his invention ; and towards the termination of his patent he

l liberally surrendered to photographic amateurs and others all the rights which he possessed. As Mr. Talbot had derived no pecuniary benefit from his patent, he had intended to apply to the Privy Council for an extension of it ; but in this he was thwarted by interested parties.' * Although,' says Sir David Brewster, ‘we are confident that a jury of philosophers would have given a verdict in favour of Mr. Talbot's patent, taken as a whole, and so long unchallenged, yet we regret to say that an English judge and jury were found to deprive him of his right, and transfer it to the public. The patrons of science and art stood aloof in the contest; and none of our scientific institutions, and no intelligent member of the Government, came forward to claim from the State a national reward to Mr. Talbot. How different in France was the treatment of Niepce and Daguerre !

It is very

A singular domestic relic is shown here—the Nuns' Boiler, which formerly stood in the abbey kitchen. massive, is supported on three legs, and bears this inscription :


'I was moulten or made by Peter Waghuens, of Mechlin, in the year 1500. Praise be to God and glory to Christ.'

Mrs. Crawford, in a sketch of the old place, remarks : * There is something highly picturesque and moving to the feelings in the appearance of this fine abbey, standing in a fertile vale, with its old avenue, broad terrace-walks, and extensive cloisters, breathing, as it were, the heavenly music of those holy spirits that once animated the vestal forms of beauty now mouldered into dust, and of which the profane foot that treads over it takes no account.

“The entrance-hall is a magnificent apartment, with a double row of niches round its sides, filled with statues : one of a bishop, with a book in hand, is instinct with life. Over the high mantel are the effigies of the Countess of Shrewsbury and her two beautiful nieces, habited as nuns. From a door on one side of the hall you enter the inner cloisters, which still bear the name of “the nuns' buryingground.” The great dining-room has full-length portraits painted on panel. There is a gallery hung with pictures, among which is the legendary leap of the nun, who “escaped with her lover, having leaped from the high tower, in which

the abbess had confined her, and sustained no injury from her fall but the fracture of her little finger."' Mrs. Crawford relates some interesting recollections of an inmate of the abbey, Lady Shrewsbury, a strict Catholic, eighty years of age, who had been in her youth a great beauty. She had frequently friends staying here ; the Blounts, Cliffords, and Hydes being her most frequent guests. The family priest, a sort of Will Wimble,' had three rooms for his special use : a bed-chamber hung with tapestry, and filled with all sorts of curious things; and two chambers—a printingoffice and turning-shop.

Lady Shrewsbury was pious without parade, and one of the old aristocracy, without any of those unbecoming airs of pride too often attending high rank. She was sent by her father, Lord Dormer, to a French convent to be educated. Her own account of her first interview with the Earl of Shrewsbury is amusing : 'Being told that an English gentleman had brought letters from my father, I hurried into the Lady Abbess' parlour, where the Earl, then a beautiful young man, was waiting to see me. I had been so long within those dismal walls, and never seen a man but our own confessor, and a hideous-looking creature who came to draw my tooth, that the Earl looked like an angel to me.' They were soon married, and spent some time at the French court. On her arrival in England, Lady Shrewsbury went, in all her bridal state, to visit her sister, Miss Dormer, at the convent where she was passing her novitiate, previously to her taking the veil. Lady Shrewsbury used all her sisterly arts

to entice back the young recluse to the gay world she had forsaken,-but in vain.


Mrs. Crawford appends : Half-way up to Bowden Hill, and between Bowood and Lacock Abbey, stands Spye Park, the seat of the Bayntons, a family of great antiquity. In 1652, at the defeat of Sir William Waller by the Lord Wilmot, Bromham House, the former seat of the Bayntons, was burnt down, after which they removed to Spye Park. There is now in the Royal Museum a curious old pedigree, showing that the Bayntons, in the reign of Henry II., were Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Sir Henry Baynton held the office of knight

marshal to the king, a place of great authority at that time ; and his son, who was slain at Bretagne in the year 1201, was a noble Knight of Jerusalem. Sidney, in his Treatise on Government, mentions this family of great antiquity, and that in name and ancient possessions it equals most, if it is not far superior to many, of the nobility. As all old mansions in the country must be associated with some portion of the superstitious and the wonderful, Spye Park was not without its share. There was a story told (and credited by the peasantry) of a knight, clad in armour, haunting one of the chambers-supposed to be the spirit of the gallant Sir Henry Baynton, who was beheaded at Berwick, in the time of Henry iv., for taking part with the rebel Earl of Northumberland. More modern spirits also were said to trouble


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