« НазадПродовжити »
dison to the memory of his parents, but its inscrip, tion cannot now be deciphered: a richly-ornamented Chapel, also built by this munificent prelate, stands at the north-west corner of the Church, but, like every other part of the fabric, is in a state of disgraceful dilapidation. The altar-screen is beautifully carved, but is in a great measure hidden by painted boards placed before it. In this town are also some places of worship for Dissenters, and a Free School of some reputation, of which the father of Mr. Coleridge, the poet, was once the Master. The parish is extensive, and forms a Hundred within itself.
PLYMOUTH. This town is situated at the head of the capacious haven or Sound which bears its name, formed by the junction of the rivers Tamar and Plym, and their confluence with the sea; it stands at the mouth of the last-named river, and is 216 miles from London. It existed in Saxon times, under the name of Tameorwerth, which was afterwards changed to Sutton, or South-town, and in 1439 it is mentioned in the Charter granted by Henry VI under its present appellation. Plymouth does not appear to have attained any degree of importance until the beginning of the fourteenth century, when by the judicious encouragement of the Priors of Plympton, to whom it belonged, the inhabitants had much increased in number, and carried on a considerable trade. In 1339, however, the French landed, but after destroying most part of the town by fire, were repulsed with great slaughter, by Courtenay, Earl of Devon, at the head of his vassals and others: the same enemy again did much mischief here, in 1377 and in 1403, and in consequence of its last misfortune the place was nearly deserted, and was dwindling into a fishing-village, when the prudence or benevolence of the Prior of Plympton again restored it, by rebuilding many of the houses at his own expense, and granting them at low rents to persons willing to settle; by these judicious measures a new spirit was infused into the remaining inhabitants, their numbers were much augmented by the arrival of strangers, and the harbour again became the scene of activity and business.
In 1439, as already mentioned, Plymouth was in
corporated, and its Charter was confirmed and enlarged by Queen Elizabeth, at the solicitation of Sir Francis Drake*. In 1579, 1581, and 1626, the plague made dreadful ravages here; in 1588 the English fleet assembled in the Sound for the purpose of opposing the Spanish Armada, and many of the inhabitants of this town distinguished themselves in the subsequent destruction of that boasted armament. In 1595 the Spaniards landed in Cornwall, and burnt several towns, but were shortly afterwards defeated, and twenty-two chests of spiritual artillery, consisting of Bulls, Pardons, Indulgences, &c. with which they had been furnished by the Pope, but had abandoned in their retreat, were brought to Plymouth, and burnt in the market-place. At the commencement of the Civil War this town declared for the Parliament, and was besieged by Prince Maurice from the 15th September to the 25th Deceniber, 1643, the inhabitants defending themselves with the most determined bravery, until relieved by the Earl of Essex. It was subsequently invested by the King in person, and lastly by Sir Richard Granville, but in all instances with the same result. In 1683 the Charter of the town was seized by Charles II, but was restored in 1697. The Mayor and Corporation have the privilege of electing the two Members by whom Plymouth is represented in Parliament; its first return was about the year 1300.
The growth of the Royal Dock-yard, and its appurtenances, having been already related under the head of Devonport, it merely remains to give an account of the present state of Plymouth, properly so called, which, even after the separation of its modern rival, contains a population of more than 30,000 persons, and a larger proportion of handsome public and private edifices, than almost any provincial town in the kingdom.
Until the early part of the present century, Plymouth was by no means remarkable for the elegance of its buildings; but within the last twenty years a very great improvement has been effected in this particular; and the change in the manners and pursuits of the inhabitants is equally remarkable. Among the structures raised within this period, the splendid pile containing the Royal Hotel and Theatre, commenced in 1811, and completed in 1813, is the most conspicuous; it is a noble building of Grecian archi. tecture: the Hotel comprises the usual apartments for the accommodation of visitants, with elegant Ball and Assembly Rooms, of the finest proportions and most extensive dimensions; and the entrance to this part of the building is by a portico of four Ionic columns, from the best Grecian examples. The Royal Theatre is approached from the northern front, which is 270 feet in length, by a grand portico of eight columns, of the same order as the preceding; beneath this portico are three doorways, two of which lead to the Theatre, and the third to the Assembly Rooms. The Theatre is elegantly fitted up; its arrangements for the accommodation of the audience are judicious; and every precaution against fire has been adopted, by the use of iron for the roof, and for every part of the interior in which it could be introduced: the season lasts several months, and the performances are respectable and well-attended.
* This brave admiral conferred a greater benefit on the town, by causing water, then an article of great scarcity, to be conveyed from Dartmoor hither, by a channel nearly 24 miles in length; he also erected seyeral mills on the stream, for the use of the townsmen, and all this being done at his own expense, he vested it, as a free gift, in the Mayor and Corporation for ever, who now derive a very large income from selling it to the inhabitants.
Near this building is the Atheneum, a fine edifice, also of classical architecture, and having in front a portico of four Doric columns, leading to a vestibule, also ornamented with pillars of the same order. This structure was completed in 1819, and was intended for the meetings of the Plymouth Institution, a Society formed in 1812 for the promotion of science, literature, and the fine arts, and which already possesses a large number of casts from the most valuable remains of Grecian sculpture; a Museum, containing a collection of fossils, minerals, preserved birds, insects, shells, &c.; andga Laboratory, furnished with the necessary apparatus. Lectures and essays are delivered here weekly by the members, and discussions take place, in the Hall, or Lecture Room, a fine apartment, which is also occasionally devoted to an Echibition of Paintings, principally the works of Devonian artists, which was commenced in 1815, and has frequently to boast productions of great merit.
Another handsome modern building is the Freemasons' Hall, recently completed, and containing, beside the apartments exclusively appropriated to the use of the fraternity by whom it was raised, many other rooms and offices, occupied as sale-rooms, &c. The Hall is a noble apartment, of large dimensions, and splendidly decorated.
Plymouth is divided into two parishes: the Church of St. Andrew is the most ancient, and is a respectable structure, with a western tower, surmounted by pinnacles; the interior is neat and commodious, and it contains some remarkable monuments. Charles Church is so called in memory of “the blessed Martyr” Charles I, who has thus been, somewhat profanely, raised to the dignity of a saint, while his claims to the character of an honest man appear rather problematical; the Church itself does not demand particular notice: Dr. Hawker, author of several well-known works on religious subjects, was during many years Vicar of this parish. "A Chapel of Ease, dedicated to St. Andrew, was erected in 1823; it is a neat structure, of classical architecture; the interior is elegantly fitted up. Many places of worship for Dissenters of various depominations are also established in this town; and the Schools, Hospitals, Almshouses, and other charitable institutions, are numerous. Here is also a spacious Guildhall, rebuilt about thirty years ago, and containing some good portraits, among which is one of Sir Francis Drake, the great benefactor of the town; an excellent Market-place, occupying three acres, judiciously arranged, and abundantly supplied; an Exchange, on which the merchants assemble in considerable numbers; a Public Library, the first literary institution established here; and the usual melancholy concomitants of our populous towns, Prisons, and a Workhouse.
The principal Government establishment at Plymouth is the Victualling Office, an extensive range of buildings, containing the granaries and ovens used in supplying the ships in the Harbour with bread, and a variety of storehouses and offices connected with the service: it is situated under the eastern wall of the Citadel, which was built in 1670, and is nearly the oldest of the fortifications which defend the town.
The excellence of the Harbour has been already noticed; that part called Sutton Pool, may be considered as private or commercial; it is, except at the entrance, completely surrounded by warehouses, ship-yards, wharfs, &c.; and is the resort of the coasting and fishing vessels, by which a very considerable trade is carried on; the principal commodities imported consist of coals, timber, wines, spirits, provisions, and other articles for the consumption of the inhabitants; while the exports are chiefly lime, marble, granite, and metallic and mineral productions.
Plymouth has given birth to several distinguished persons, among whom may be mentioned, “the renowned" Sir John Hawkins, who was born here in 1520, and was one of the most distinguished naval commanders of his day. He was Treasurer of the Navy under Elizabeth, and was vice-admiral of the fleet fitted out to oppose the Armada, his bravery on which occasion was rewarded with the honour of knighthood. In 1595 he went with Drake on an expedition against the Spanish settlements in the West Indies, which proved unsuccessful, owing to the want of concert between the commanders: and this circumstance is said to have so much mortified Sir John, as to hasten his death, which took place at sea, in November, 1595, when he had nearly completed his 75th year. The only stain in the character of this brave man, and it is one of dreadful magnitude, is his having been the first Englishman engaged in the slave trade; he made three voyages to Africa with this nefarious object, and was rewarded for the supposed benefit conferred on his country in the introduction of this new branch of commerce, by the addition of a crest to his arms, representing gro, bound with a cord, all proper!
Joseph Glanvil, the author of a Treatise on Witchcraft, was born at Plymouth in 1636, and after receiving his education at Oxford, took orders, and in 1666 obtained the rectory of Bath Abbey-church, in which city he spent the greater part of his future life. He was one of the earliest members of the Royal Society, and distinguished himself as an advocate of the philosophy of Bacon, in opposition to the defenders of that of Aristotle. His enlightened