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viz., that the present church is a very six times the seed, and the yield per acre different building from that which existed something over two quarters. But such in the year with which our bailiff's account calculations are very likely to mislead us; is concerned. To begin with, the old we really have not sufficient data 10 gó church was covered with thatch or reed, upon, and I should not have ventured to and the bailiff enters on his debit side a touch upon this problem, if I were not payment for reed for the roof. But this is strongly persuaded that the late Mr. Thonot all. It appears that the church, too, rold Rogers very much underrated the was built of clay lump or stud work. For, yield of the arable land of the country in the as in the case of ihe house, which we Middle Ages. I do not for a moment suphave seen was repaired and rebuilt this pose that the soil was adequately tilled, or year, a certain expense was incurred in that the maximum crop upon any farm was carting water for mixing with the clay, so to be compared with that which was raised also was it necessary to pay for cartage of among us in the “roaring times,” or is water to the church for the same purpose ; raised by good farmers now; but it is not and there are two other charges, one for conceivable that the cultivation of any some iron work, possibly for the door, and land could have been carried on for a sucanother for two gates, which can only have cession of years if the harvest yielded no been to protect the approaches to the more than three or four times the quantity churchyard. The rector can hardly have of seed sown; the margin of profit would been yet in a position to build the beauti. not have sufficed to maintain the labor. ful chancel in which his body was laid ers. some twenty-five years later, for he had The rector of Harpley, or his father only recently come into possession of the before him, was a man who was in advance family estates, and his first duty was to of his time; for whereas there were at the erect a handsome tomb to his father, beginning of the fourteenth century many which accordingly he did erect at Lynn, manors on which the personal services as we find from an entry for the expenses or enforced labor — of the tenants were of a certain John de Chewyngton, who still exacted (the tenants being compelled appears to have been commissioned to to give so many days' labor in the year to look after the aforesaid tomb, and was sent the cultivation of the lord's domain, and to Lynn ad imaginem patris domini. to assist with their cattle in ploughing, Some years later the Rev. John undoubt- harrowing, and carting over the acres the edly did build the chancel of Harpley lord kept in his hand), it appears by this Church much as we have it now, and it is account that these services had been coma poble monument of the good man's pounded for by a money payment before large-hearted liberality, and of his cultured ihis date. The tenants of the manor had taste, and of his zeal "for the houses of been relieved of their most burdensome God in the land.”
imposts. It appears that the rector farmed some Taking the manor as a little domain eight hundred acres of land, including the which comprehended a geographical area pasture, the sheep walk, and meadows. of limited extent, with so many acres
The account shows that he sowed a total under cultivation and so many more of of 1833 acres, of which 43} acres were in waste, woodland, and heath, the greater wheat, 55 in barley, 21 in oats, and the portion in the hands of the tenants and rest in peas (22 acres), beans (1}. acres), scattered over the open fields, but the and the coarse grain known as siligo (201 compact central farm, as it may be called, acres). The peas, we find, were chiefly in the hands of the lord, and cultivated used for porridge, as some quarters of oats for his behoof — the most noticeable feawere, and the barley was chiefly used for ture of the village community is its selfbeer. The beans, it seems, were given to supporting character. The corn grown the poor, except a single bushel which upon the land was ground at the manorial went to the stable. There had been two mill; the wool was spun into thread, and great barley stacks standing when the the thread woven where it grew. The year began; one had yielded over ninety- cattle were slaughtered where they were two quarters, and the other a little over bred, when they had been used for a year nineteen quarters; the allowance for bar. or two to drag the plough or the cart. ley seed was three bushels an acre, and if Then their hides were dried and prepared we may assume that the same numbers of to be made into harness, and a large poracres were laid down in barley in 1305 astion of their flesh was salted down for were sown in 1306, we must conclude that winter consumption. the yield on the barley crop was more than Adjoining the manor house was a garden in which vegetables were grown, and came dry the owner took her back and the some garden seeds were distributed to calf was his ; the hirer took all the milk the poor, gratis. There are few subjects and made his profit by it if he could. over which so much obscurity still hangs This practice still survives extensively in as the subject of mediæval horticulture ; Dorsetshire, and the payment for the hire and in the account with which we are of the cows is very high - so high that it dealing, the only vegetable named is the is said to amount io as much as two-thirds leek, which our forefathers appear to have the market value of the animal for the loved extremely and to have cultivated mere annual hire. The rector of Harpley universally. The gardeners' rolls of the in 1306 let out his herd by the year in this priory at Norwich form, perhaps, the most way, reserving three cows, however, for important series of such rolls during the the requirements of the household, and fifieenth century which could anywhere his dairymaid's name was Emma. The be found in England, and they deserve to three cows reserved were apparently not be printed for the benefit of students; but more than enough to supply the milk for we must wait for better times before we the porridge; the servants were very libcan hope for their publication. The bailiff erally supplied with oatmeal; also, they at Harpley includes all his vegetables un- had rations of cheese, which, however, der the single designation of “Olera.” was not made in the dairy, but was bought Besides the garden there was an orchard, perhaps from the hirer of the other cows, and the crop this year was a large one; Goats are very rarely met with in our Norfor, after using all that were needed in the folk records ; but ihe Rev. John had a house, many bushels of apples were sold flock of goats at Wooton, which he let out by the bailiff. The late Mr. Thorold in the same way as he did his herd of cows. Rogers, though he had frequently met I rather suspect he did not like a bevy of with mention of hemp as cultivaied in women about him and his household; and England, said that he had “never seen milking and butter-making he therefore any entry of payment for such kind of would have nothing to do with. Let others labor" as the manufacture of ropes (Hist. milk the cows and the goats, and make of Prices, i. 28). It is plain that at Harp- their profit of the dairy business if they ley, as in many other places, there was a could — that should be their affair. hempland, and this year the bailiff brings I have said that when a cow or bullock into his account two payments for the was slaughtered the hide was turned into manufacture of hemp into traces, head leather, if leather was needed, for the barstalls, and ropes.
ness room or other purposes. Sixty years There are indications that the rector of ago — I am told by old men who can look Harpley was rather a "high farmer.” His back so far -- in every considerable village implenients, such as they were, had a good in Norfolk there was a tan vat, where the deal spent upon them, and whereas at this farmers took their hides to be cured. It time wheeled carts were in Norfolk by no appears to have been a very long and a means universally used, Mr. Gurnay's very nauseous process; but, of course, the carts appear to have been all not only fur: laudatores temporis acti assure me that nished with wheels, but the wheels had there is no such leather now as they used iron tyres, or the next best substitute for to have when they were boys. tyres, to wit, thick iron plates, called “That was more juicy like! There was strakes, attached to the fellies by long more suppleness and heart to the old spikes which were riveted on the inner leather. Why, Lor’ bless you, I never surface of the woodwork. The sheep- remember my father with more than one fold, too, was apparently constructed with pair o' leather breeches all his life. You exceptional care, and afforded much more couldn't wear that leather out. My father 'd protection and warmth for the lambs than think nothing of riding fifty miles in they was customary in Norfolk, even fifty years breeches, and going to church in 'em o' ago, among any but the leading sheep Sunday !” breeders of the county.
In the account we are dealing with, I At the beginning of this century it was find a payment entered for making tallow not uncommon for the Norfolk farmers into dip candles. Here again I have met and resident gentry to let out their herds with some curious explanation of this enof cows at so much a head for the "sea-try in the reminiscences of our reverend son.” The owner had to feed the cattle seniors. Sixty years ago, on a substantial and house them, and if a cow chanced to farm, the dip candles were almost always die, he had to supply her place with an. bought of the tallow chandlers, by whom other of equal value. When a cow be. I they were made on a large scale; but the mould candles were always made in the During this time two horses were kept in house, and generally by the mistress of the home stable for domestic as distinct the establishment. The mould was noth- from farming purposes, and they had the ing more than a tin tube which was set liberal allowance of about half a peck of upright on a dish, half full of moist sand, oats a day. The rector had besides his to keep the tallow from escaping. There “palfrey," and during the whole period of was a great deal of knack and dexterity thirty.one weeks the account shows that required in working the cotton-wick (the there was an average of seven other riding housewife used to buy this in balls of the borses belonging to the guests, and at travelling pedlars) into the middle of the least two more belonging to one Simon tallow, which was poured hot into the Tripping, who, I think, must have been tube ; and my informant told me, with the great man's huntsman. some pride, that his mother was noted as The allowance of oats for porridge in the best candle maker in the neighbor- the kitchen was about a bushel a week. hood, her wicks were always“ straight There were about one hundred and ten and stretched as they ought to be.” quarters of barley and malt made into
There are two or three omissions in the beer, which, reckoning an average of two account which are a little puzzling. There bushels to the barrel for the strong beer is no mention of butter, eggs, or honey and at least as much more for the small, directly or indirectly. As to the butter, gives us certainly not less than one thou. it is just possible, but very improbable, sand barrels for the year's consumption. that none was used in the household, but But the consumption of food was enor. it is hardly conceivable that there should mous: 31 swine, i.e., a bog a week, II have been no bee hives, and no careful sheep, 4 piglings, 113 head of poultry, and storing of the produce, and quite incon- no less than 86 geese, were consumed by ceivable that no account was kept of the the household, and no less than 52 quareggs. In the thirteenth century - and itters of wheat — not to speak of the inferior must be remembered that we are now only sorts of "bread stuffs," which I suspect six years out of that century — I doubt were largely distributed as maintenance whether it would be possible to produce a | allowance for the dependents on the rent roll of any Norfolk estate which does estate. Making all
wance for the not enter the rent paid by the tenant in great feast to which we shall come by and eggs, as well as the other portion paid in by, I can hardly estimate the number of oats, in addition to the mere money pay persons eating the rector's bread — and ment. In this balance sheet the bailiff by that I mean eating the white bread he sets down, (1) the payment in composition ate himself — during his winter residence of personal services ; (2) the number of at Harpley at less than fifty or sixty perbushels of oats; (3) the money rent; and sons. It is a startling view of the way of all this very minutely, but not a word life which a rich man led in those days – about the eggs, which, in a manor of this but it must be remeinbered that he stayed pretension, would amount to many hun. at home and that he had no luxuries dreds and probably thousands. Another absolutely none. There is indeed one significant omission is all mention of any payment made to Stephen the jeweller at titbes, except the tithe of lambs or offer- Lynn, but it was a payment not in money ings paid to the Rev. John as rector of the but in corn ; the good man received four parish ; although his payments of tithes bushels of wheat ad oblacionem, which I due from himself at Wooton and elsewhere suspect means a present, and I further are duly entered. I can only explain the suspect that it was in return for work bedifficuliy by conjecturing that another stowed on Sir John Gurnay's tomb. functionary had to keep account of such After all, "it's the hoffle weemen as small matters as the eggs, honey, hemp, takes it out of yur," as an old misogynist fax, and perhaps garden produce, and that of my acquaintance, long since dead, used this account, with the rallies, was rendered to delight in asseverating. Men can do to the steward of the household probably without luxuries, and only begin to crave at the same time as the farm bailiff pre- for them when the enticements of ladies' sented his account, viz., at the Michaelmas society makes them effeminate and danaudit.
diacal. There would be no peacocks with The state kept up by the rector of the dazzling plumage if there were no pea. Harpley during his thirty-one weeks' resi. hens. And the Rev. John Gurnay had dence at the manor house, fairly staggers no milliners' bills to keep him awake at us when we come to analyze it. He re- night; no drawing-room which had to be sided there during the winter months only. / “ done up" periodically; no ball dresses
to provide for wife or daughter; no religious observances. The sacraments school bills to pay for the boys; no nurs- they had a right to, and the parish priest erymaids or governesses ; no wife to who was not ready at the call of the peni. worry bim with her extravagance. No! tent to listen to the cry of remorse and to Nothing of this sort. That's one side of give the awful absolution to such as were the picture — and every picture has two agonized with a horror of sin, would have sides, the front and the back — and you had to answer for his cruel negligence and may take your choice which you prefer if suffer severely for the wrong. At any you can't have both.
moment of the day or night the call might The rector of Harpley could not marry come that the angel of death was knocking if he wished, and when he was admitted at some lowly door; and the priest must to holy orders - and, let us hope, received needs go forth to touch with the holy oil them with a view to doing his duty ac- the frail body that had almost done its cording to his light as a country parson work, carrying with him the host, and in the Norfolk village – he gave up all standing by the bed of the dying while the dreams of wife and children. The joy of passing bell was tolling. In the stormy, wedded love and the serene happiness of moonless night, before he laid his head what we understand by domestic life were upon his pillow, he had to be sure that the not for him. So it is not to be wondered lamp over the altar, which it was sacrilege at that in his bailiff's account we have to neglect, was burning brightly and duly the name of only one woman – Emma, the fed - and there was work to be done for dairy woman, who milked the cows, pre. the dead as well as for the living — the sided over that brewery which had so masses to be said for the souls of the demuch to answer for in those thirty-one parted, and the commemorations which weeks of the rector's residence, looked had been imposed upon the ministers of after the poultry, and had her hands full; the sanctuary, and which they neglected but it is almost certain that she was mar- at their peril. It was not an age of moth. ried and had perhaps a family, for the ers' meetings and tract distributing and account shows that she had her rations district visiting, as we do these things of corn supplied her, which she of course now; but we mistake it very much indeed took home and dealt with as she pleased. if we assume that the absolutely necessary In the manor kitchen there would be just daily duties of a village priest in the first as many women cooks as there are in a half of the fourteenth century were as few college kitchen ; that is, there were none in number as those of our modern country at all.
parson. How did the Rev. John spend his time Moreover, the way in which he was from one week's end to another? Well, looked after by his superiors would make he may have spent it in various ways. In us feel very uncomfortable now. Twice a the first place, I suspect that he spent a year he had to present bimself at the great deal more of his time in his church Synods held in Norwich Cathedral, and to than some country parsons do now. We give an account of himself; and although have seen that he rebuilt a portion (and it may be true that, if he sent up his fees that the most sacred and important por- by deputy not much was said about his tion, as it was then esteemed) of his absence, yet in theory be was bound to be church within a few years of the time in his place, and might be called upon to that we are dealing with — and in any answer for his non-attendance. Every case it was much more the habit of clergy- year, too, the archdeacon, who was a very men then to worship God in the church formidable personage with very real power itself than it is now.
at his back, held his courts and made in. As the services of his church required quiries, and irregularities and neglect were his attendance, and the elaborate ritual in looked into, and sometimes grave charges that church, varying with every saint's day were brought against the parson which or festival, gave him always something to might involve serious consequences if prepare for, something to interest him in they were not disproved. The machinery the actual conduct of divine worship, so of ecclesiastical discipline in these times the claims of his parishioners were in was incomparably more powerful than we those days much more defined and much have any acquaintance with in this nine. more imperative than we quite realize teenth century, and if it was not always now. The people may have been very employed effectively, and if it tended to ignorant, and they may have been very fall out of use and to be well-nigh forgotsuperstitious; but they were very scru- ten, it could be put in motion at any mopulous, even the worst of them, in their ment when occasion served; let but the
fires be lighted and the wheels would such like vermin had to be kept down, "grind exceeding small.”
and, moreover, their skins were worth I do not mean to imply that in the thir- money. The hares and the rabbits had teenth century any Norfolk parish was skins too, and their flesh was good for left to only a single ministering priest. food, and the big bustard was a dainty dish So far from this, I suspect that no one to set before a king, and the dogs could man could have done all that was expected run them all down if you kept them up to of the parson of any considerable village the mark. But they had to be hunted with then. As a fact, I believe it would have care and skill. Even nowadays it is not been difficult, perhaps impossible, to find a everybody who is fit for an M. F. H., and Norfolk village in which there were not the care of the kennels calls for brains. two or more ministering clergy, the un- In this very year, 1306, some of those beneficed“chaplains " as they were called, Harpiey hounds had misbehaved themwho constituted a very numerous class. selves. Mr. Bulur sternly records the These “chaplains ” were the will-makers fact that they had killed two of the geese and conveyancers, the accountants, “men the curs ! - mangled them so that they of business," and the schoolmasters of the were not fit to send into the kitchen. Oh! villages; in fact, the educated class and Don and Juno, and Tig and Ponto, and the educators of the country folk, while Samson and Stormaway! How you did they were always ready to take the heavy catch it for those geese! Don't think the . work off the shoulders of their more for worse, I pray you, of the Rev. John if tupate brethren, whose income was cer. he were a hunting parson. Men have tain and their position secure. Yet, after been that before now, and yet have had making all reasonable abatements, it is the fear of the Lord before their eyes, and certain that the resident rector of Harpley have been no unfaithful or unfeeling pas. had a good deal more on his hands, and tors of their little flocks, nor neglected was responsible for a great deal more pas. the poor and needy, the sick, the sad, or toral work than the present rector of the the dying. parish, and if he did not do it all himself But, as I have said, and I must needs he had to provide that it should be done. say it again, the rector of Harpley had
But the Rev. John Gurnay was not only other duties and interests besides those rector of Harpley, and so responsible for which his parish and his people imposed the religious life of the parish as an eccle upon him. He was clearly a very busy siasticai territory, he was besides this a man of considerable landed property. As It may safely be affirmed as a general such he had other duties and responsibil- rule, that the less a man has to do the less ities than those which fell upon him as you can depend upon him for doing that. a beneficed clergyman. Periodically – If you want to get a job done in a hurry, probably at intervals of two months -- he beware of looking to the man of leisure to had to adjudicate upon the disputes and do it for you. It is the man who has all serious quarrels of the people who were his time employed and who has not a minhis subjects in the little domain — to safe- ute in the day to spare, who is the man guard his own and their interests against who can always find a minute to help a any invasion of their rights, to inflict pun- lame dog over a stile. The Rev. John ishment upon the unruly, to arbitrate be was one of these restless, energetic men tween man and man, to be the general – with a head upon his shoulders and a referee in matters great and small in a full allowance of brains inside that head hundred different ways. A busy man and -and I am now going to tell you what the an energetic one, he was also a man before worthy gentleman did and what he brought his age. He was before his age in his about in this year 1306— that is, five hunarchitectural taste and knowledge, for the dred and eighty-six years ago. specimens of church building of the deco- If you look at an old map of Norfolk — rated period are rare in Norfolk. The not one of your modern ugly things all rage for church building in the county be. seamed and scarred with the tracks of gan at least half a century later.
those odious railways which are the great
obliterators of so much that is picturesque We have seen that he was a hospitable and romantic and peaceful and humanizing gentleman who entertained his friends in on the face of the earth; but if you look å bountiful way. Everybody hunted in at an old map, say of a hundred years ago those days - even bishops and abbots and — or, if you can get it, earlier — you will monks and country parsons hunted. The see that there really was only one way of foxes and the badgers and the weasels and entering the county from the west, and