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being acknowledged as sovereign by all parties, that monarch, who had both talents and virtues, applied himself to heal the wounds of war, and assisted Ægelnoth the archbishop in repairing, or rather rebuilding the Cathedral, contributing at the same time munificently to the re-establishment of the city, which, in consequence, in a great measure recovered from its desolation, and at the time of the Domesday Survey, was again a place of considerable import
At the period of the Norman Conquest, if we may believe Stow,“ it exceeded London in its buildings;" but as this assertion is not supported by contemporary authorities, we shall perhaps be excused from affording it implicit credít. In 1161, Canterbury was destroyed by that common visitation of those days, a fire; indeed, had the object of the common builders of the time been destruction instead of preservation, they could not have more completely forwarded their intentions than by the manner in which they huddled their edifices together, and the materials of which they constructed them. In 1174, according to Brompton, and Henry of Huntingdon, another conflagration consumed nearly the whole of the city, most of the churches, and at length the Cathedral ; but Gervase, a monk, who was an eyewitness, although he describes, with great minuteness, the burning of the latter, does not at all allude to the destruction of the city, which creates a doubt as to its having occurred *; he however notices another fire in the year 1180, which did great damage; in 1247, St. Mildred's church, and a considerable portion of the city, were again destroyed; and Lambard informs us that “ now lately in the reigne of King Henrie the Eight, it was in some partes blasted with flame, wherein, amongst other thinges, divers good bookes, which a Monke of St. Augustine's had broughte from beyond the seas, were brought to ashes."
Nor has fire been the only enemy to whose ravages Canterbury has been exposed; in 1272, 1361, and 1785, violent tempests occasioned great devastation; and in 1382 and 1692, earthquakes were felt, which, however, caused more alarm than damage: the plague, also, has frequently visited the city, and in 1544, 1564, 1593, 1595, and 1635, its effects were most fatally experienced.
* His curious and interesting statement of the destruction of the Cathedral will be found at a subsequent page of this work.
The remaining events in the history of this city may be comprised in a very small space. The celebrated Kentish Association in favour of Charles I. originated here, from the following circumstances : On Christmas Day 1647, many of the inhabitants having assembled for the celebration of divine worship according to the liturgy of the Church of England, were molested by a party of the Puritans, and after repelling the assailants, seized on the magazines, and placed guards at the city gates as a measure of security against further insult. The Parliament, however, alarmed and irritated at these proceedings on the part of the “ disaffected,” sent a regiment of soldiers, who entered the city, burnt the wooden gates, and made several breaches in the wall. Several persons were apprehended as actors in the late disturbance, and among them Sir W. Mann, Mr. Lovelace, and Alderman Savine, who had particularly exerted themselves in allaying the ferment, and persuading the people to abstain from further violence; notwithstanding which they were confined in Leeds Castle upwards of two months, when they were admitted to bail. They were subsequently brought to trial at Canterbury; but the Grand Jury persisting in throwing out the indictment, were sharply reproved by the Bench; and the just indignation excited by this interference with the most sacred privilege of Britons, prompted them immediately to withdraw from the court, and after considerable discussion on the distracted state of the kingdom, they drew up a Petition to the Parliament, in which they demanded that “the King might be admitted, in safety and honour, to treat with both Houses; that the army might be disbanded; that the people be governed by the known and established Îaws of the kingdom; and that their property be no longer invaded by impositions and taxes, and particularly the Excise.”
This Petition was agreed to by the greater part of the Kentish gentry and clergy, and it was determined
that all who chose to attend its presentation to Parliament should assemble on Blackheath, on the 30th of May, 1648, and that, if necessary, they should “march with the sword in one hand and the Petition in the other.” They proceeded to raise forces, in consequence of this resolution; but one body being defeated near Maidstone by Lord Fairfax, the remainder retreated into Essex, under the command of the Earl of Norwich, and at Chelmsford were joined by Sir Charles Lucas and Lord Capel, with some forces which they had raised in Hertfordshire, but from desertions the united bodies scarcely amounted to 4000 men. Fairfax approaching with a superior force, they retreated to Colchester, where, after a siege of eleven weeks, they were compelled to surrender; and thus terminated this ill-fated attempt to restore the authority of Charles.
From this period the city has been undisturbed by any serious tumults, and the citizens have peacefully pursued their avocations; their annals being marked only by the occasional introduction of a new manufacture, or the erection of a new street. Its principal manufactures are those of silk and cotton, the former being introduced by the Protestants who fled from the persecutions of the Duke of Alva in Flanders, about the middle of the sixteenth century; and the latter by Mr. J. Callaway, about 1789. The silk manufacture has, however, much declined; and many of the poor are employed in the adjacent hop-grounds.
The civil government of Canterbury is vested in the Corporation, consisting of a Mayor, Recorder, twelve Aldermen (of whom one is the Chamberlain), twenty-four Common Councilmen (including the Sheriff of the City), a Town Clerk, a Coroner, and several inferior officers. A monthly Court of Burghmote is held for the transaction of civic affairs, which is called by the blowing of a horn, a custom which can be traced back as far as the thirteenth century.
The first charter, granting to the inhabitants the privilege of choosing their own magistrates, was obtained about the year 1234, when Henry III. empowered the citizens annually to elect two Bailiffs for their government. In 1448 Henry VI. gave them the liberty of appointing a Mayor instead of the Bailiffs; in 1461 Edward IV. constituted the City a County of itself, and by a new Charter confirmed all its former immunities: subsequent sovereigns granted new privileges, and the charter by which the
City is now governed, was obtained from James I. It was first represented in Parliament in the twenty-third year of Edward I. and has uninterruptedly continued to return two Members down to the present period the right of election is in the freemen, who are about 1600 in number. The population in 1821 was stated to be 12,745.
Having thus given a brief sketch of the History of this ancient City, we now proceed to notice its most Remarkable Edifices; and of these the first which demands attention is
This magnificent pile exhibits specimens of the style of almost every period, from the twelfth to the early part of the sixteenth century. Its general form is that of a double cross, with a circular termination at the east end, two massive towers at the west, and a third, more elegant and lofty, rising from the intersection of the nave and western transept. The whole length of the building, within the walls, is 514 feet; of the choir, 180; of the nave, to the screen at the entrance of the choir, 214; breadth of the choir, 40; length of the eastern transept, 154; of the western, 124; breadth of the nave, with its aisles, 71; height of the choir to the vaulting, 71; of the nave, 80; of the great central tower, 235; of the south-west tower, 130; and of the north-west tower, 100.
The West Front is not uniform in its appearance; the north-west tower is of Norman architecture, and had an octagonal spire, erected by Archbishop Arundel, who also gave five bells, which were hung in this tower, from which circumstances it was called the Arundel Steeple. The spire having been much da. maged by the great storm in 1703, was soon after taken down, and the bells were, in 1726, removed, in consequence of the decayed state of the tower. The south-west tower is supported on the western side by two very large buttresses, ornamented with niches, the upper part being embattled, and finished by four elegant pinnacles at the corners, with smaller ones interposed. This is called the Chicheley Steeple, having been commenced by that prelate, although not completed until after his death. The centre has a low recessed entrance, ornamented with shields and canopied niches, over which is a large and finely proportioned window, filled with richly stained glass, and containing, among other figures, those of Canute, Edward the Confessor, Harold, William I. and II., Henry I., and Stephen.
The South Porch is a handsome fabric, having a large niche on each side of the gate, and a range of five elegant canopied arches above; the roof is beautifully groined and vaulted, ornamented with twentyeight achievements; on the sides are several other shields, supported by angels; and the whole is elegantly wrought and finished.
The whole south side of the building is highly ornamented, but very various in its architecture and decorations. Between the south porch and western transept, are seven large graduated buttresses, with ornamental niches, and terminated by pinnacles; from the upper part of these a flying buttress unites each with the buttresses supporting the roof of the nave, which are likewise terminated by pinnacles. At the end of the transept is a very large and beautiful window, and below this the entrance called