Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

May, with their wholesome and preventive shears,
Clip your phylacteries, though balk your ears,

And succour our just fears,
When they shall read this clearly in your charge,
New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large.”

NOTES ON THE SONNET. Milton had declared with the Independents for liberty of conscience, finding the Presbyterianism of the Assembly as willing “ To force our consciences that Christ set free, as were ever Laud and the Bishops.” The ordinance for abolishing Archbishops and Bishops passed the Commons 9th Oct., 1646. The Directory was ordered to be used in all churches instead of the Liturgy, 3rd January, 1643. The “classic hierarchy,” line 7, refers to the “ Classis,” or class, or council, of the combined ministers and elders of all the Presbyterian congregations in a given district. “ A. S.” line 8, is meant for Adam Stewart, a conspicuous pamphleteer on the side of Presbyterianism against the fast growing Sectaries, Independents, Baptists, Brownists, &c.

“ Worse than those of Trent,” line 14, refers to the notorious packing of the Council of Trent by the Roman Catholic party so as to exclude the Protestants, just as did the Presbyterians, imitating the Catholic example, exclude from the Assembly all they could of those differing from them. May this be the reason, why the liberal-minded and largehearted Richard Baxter was not included in the Assembly ? The curious expression “ balk your ears," signifies restraining them, not cutting them off, as used the Star Chamber to do. The word “balk (a timber inclosure) is often used in connection with the Common-land inclosures of Rotherham. The famous final line of Milton's verse :

New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large " will find its illustration and confirmation in the careers of two eminent men of the period, Dr. Sanderson, and Rev. John Biddle, of whom the next chapter will treat.

[ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small]

CHAPTER VII.

ROBERT SANDERSON, AFTERWARDS BISHOP OF
LINCOLN, BORN AT GILTHWAITE HALL, NEAR

ROTHERHAM.

OBERT Sanderson was born, as relates good Isaac

, ,

was

the nineteenth day of September, in the year of our Redemption 1587. The place of his birth Rotherham, in the County of York, a town of good note and the more for that Thomas Rotherham, some time Archbishop of that See, was born in it.” As Robert was the second and younger son of Robert Sanderson, of Gilthwaite Hall, it would perhaps be more correct to say he was born in the near neighbourhood of Rotherham. The youth was educated at the Grammar School of Rotherham, which was then a mere remnant of the Archbishop's College, and situate under the old Town Hall, and next the “ Lord's Bakehouse,” both occupying the corner of the space next the church steps leading into " Jesus Gate," now College Street. The schoolmaster of the time was Robert Sanderson, and he may have been a relative of the owner of Gilthwaite Hall. As illustrating the Grammar School, at the appointment of the next master, the following entries in the Feoffees' accounts will be found noteworthy :1620—Spente at the puttinge in of Mr. Barrowe at his cominge in to be Scoulmeaster of a quart of wine and sugar,

10d. 1621 — For 2 dixionaries bought at York, 2nd Nov., 1621 :: 268. 8d. For a Calve Skyn to cover them

16d. Paid to John Parkyn for coueringe of them, and for a Sheep Skyn,

8d. If " dixionaries” were dear in those times, “calve skyn," "sheep-skyn' and book-binding seem to have been cheap enough.

Probably at the time Robert Sanderson entered the school the books were getting the worse for wear, though he would bring his own. As the lad, coming from his father's hall, would have a good walk of at least two miles, passing Whiston Village, with its old church on the hill, and crossing lonely Rotherham Moor, then infested by footpads, he would likely have to stay the day with his name sake at Rotherham, the early dinner being cooked, maybe, at the “Lord's Bakehouse," the scholar being brought and fetched by a serving man. Regularly would they see the line of pack-horses with jingling bells that then wended their course from Wellgate along the narrow, rough road of Hollowgate, winding up at the base of the Moor to Whiston, and on to Worksop, and the London Road. No doubt the school-lad at times wished himself beside one of those merry pack-horse drivers, whose cheery life the old song pictures :

“Oh ! the life of the drivers tlie sweetest of lives,

'Tis always glad-changing from village to town, —
We have presents for neighbours, for sweethearts, and wives,

And know of no care, of rancour, or frown ;-
For there's health in the breeze, and there's mirth in our veins,

We have vigour of limb, although used to all weather ;
We tire not, we faint not, but couple the reins,
And take a deep cup of pure comfort together ;

And merrily sing to our bells' sweet chime

Huzza ! huzza, for the baiting time.” But our young scholar had his grammar learning to pursue, to which he brought a vigorous mind and thorough inclination, destined, as he was, in after years to become one of the most learned doctors of his time. Isaac Walton records of the boy, “And in this time of being a scholar there, he was observed to use an unwearied diligence to attain learning, and to have a seriousness beyond his age, and with it a more than common modesty ; and to be of so calm and obliging behaviour that the master and whole number of scholars loved him as one man.”

At his thirteenth year his father removed his son from Rotherham to Eton, or Westminster, and then to Lincoln College, Oxford. His tutor reported that his pupil, Sanderson, had “a metaphysical brain and a matchless memory. In 1608 he was made a Rector of Logic, and in 1613 chosen

« PoprzedniaDalej »