Imágenes de páginas

my Bibliotheca Theologica, God willing, I shall fully declare."

About the same time the attention of Ussher was turned to a very different subject, by the constant disputes and litigations to which it had given rise, and he composed a work on the original and first institution of Corbes, Herenaches, and Termon lands. This treatise was not publishedm but sent over to Archbishop Bancroft, and presented by him to King James. The substance of it was printed by Sir Henry Spelman in his Glossary, and due acknowledgments made to the author, whom he designates as "Literarum insignis Pharus." In this learned treatise Ussher maintains that the Termon lands were those set apart for the endowments of churches, as by the Canons of various Councils it was ordered that a bishop should not consecrate a church until an instrument of such donation were presented to him. The name he derives from the Irish Tearmain, signifying a sanctuary, and brings forward as an example Termonfechin, the sanctuary of Fechin, with little expectation, no doubt, that ere long those lands would form his residence as Archbishop of Armagh. Of these Termon lands the bishops were the chief lords. The Herenachs he supposes to have been archdeacons, not the archdeacons who exercise jurisdiction under the bishop, but those who, according to primitive practice, were of a rank inferior to presbyters. The Corbes were of a still higher rank, and were the rural deans, archpresbyters, or chorepiscopi, from which latter name, by a barbarous contraction, the word was derived, comorbanus, corbanus, corba". Both Corbes and Herenachs were anciently married men, until celibacy was enforced upon the clergy, and we find their sons succeeding to their offices. The Herenachs held these lands

m It was first published by General Vallancey in the "Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis," from the MS. in the handwriting of Ussher preserved in the library of Trinity College, and dated 1609. It will be found in vol. xi. of the Archbishop's works, p. 419.

[ocr errors]

Colgan derives it from comorban, a successor, as frequent mention is made in the Annals of Ireland, of the comorbans of St. Patrick, Albe, Jarlath, Columb, Fechin, and others.-Trias. Thaum. p. 293.

from the bishop, dean, and chapter, and had renewals upon the first entry of every new Herenach, and upon the consecration of every new bishop; the Herenach was bound to reside upon and manure the land, out of the profits to pay rent to the bishop, to keep hospitality, and to repair part of the fabric of the church. A certain portion of free land remained to the Herenach, which was termed ad honorem villa, and was not chargeable with any rent. The first mention of a Corbe is in the Annals of Ulster, at the year 858, or 859 according to the ordinary computation. There it is recorded, "that O'Carroll, King of Ossorye, assisted with other kings, brought his army into the field against the King of Taraughe: but Imfeathgna, Patrick's Corbe, and Imsuairlech Finno his Corbe, interposing themselves, O'Carroll was persuaded to yield to St. Patrick and his Corbe." Ussher has brought forward various passages from ancient records, more particularly those of Armagh, in support of his theory: however, he concludes his tract with great modesty: "So would I have none to imagine, that I take upon me peremptorily to determine any thing in this matter of antiquity, as being not ignorant with what obscurities questions of that nature are involved, especially where help of ancient monuments is wanting."

In 1609, Dr. Chaloner and Mr. Ussher went to London for the purpose of purchasing books for the library of Trinity College. During this visit he increased the number of his acquaintance among the learned men then in England, Sir John Bourchier, afterwards Earl of Bath, Dr. Davenant, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, Sir Henry Savile, Mr. Selden, Mr. Briggs, Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, and many others, with whom he kept up a correspondence

• I am indebted to my friend, Dr. Todd, for a correction of the Archbishop's quotation from the Annals of Ulster. He mistook the preposition im for part of the name. It should be Feathghna Corbe of Patrick, and Suairlech Corbe of Finnian.

[ocr errors]

P In the College accounts for the September quarter of that year is the following entry: Laid out by Dr. Chaloner and Mr. Ussher, in London, for books, globes, &c., £107 6s."

4 Dr. Parr mentions Camden, Cotton, and Ward; but it appears that Ussher had been in correspondence with these individuals some years before.

during the remainder of his life. His name was now so well known in London, that some notice was taken of him at Court, and he preached before the household. Dr. Smith says: "Neque enim coram Regia Majestate, conscensis sacris rostris, comparuit, sive defuit opportunitas sive potius a propria modestate inhibitus retractusque." On his return to Ireland he induced the learned Thomas Lydiat to accompany him, and he procured for him chambers in the College, and an appointment of Reader, with a salary of £3 6s. 8d. per quarter. The first entry in the account book is to Mr. Lydiat, partly for reading, partly by way of benevolence, £5, December 23, 1609. It is not accurately known how long he remained in Ireland. He certainly had returned to London in August, 1611, for in the collection of letters there is one from him to Ussher dated August 22, 1611.

Thomas Lydiat is one of the instances selected by Dr. Johnson to prove the vanity of literary expectations:

Hear Lydiat's life and Galileo's end.


He was the son of Christopher Lydiat, lord of the manor of Aulkryngton, or, as it is commonly called, Okerton [he calls it Alerton, in a letter to Ussher: see Works, vol. xv. p. 39], near Banbury in Oxfordshire, and citizen of London. He was elected on the foundation of Winchester College, and thence proceeded to New College, Oxford, of which he was elected a Fellow in 1591. His desire to undertake the duties of a clergyman was impeded by a defective memory and an imperfection of utterance, as he states himself in the dedication of a sermon to Bishop Bancroft of Oxford, and resigning his fellowship, he entered on his small patrimonial property at Okerton. His first work was published in 1605, Tractatus de variis Annis." Of this he published a defence in 1607, against the arrogant censures of Scaliger, who used the most scurrilous and indecent language in speaking of him; and he again attacked the proud dictator of literature in his " Emendatio Temporum ab Initio Mundi hucusque compendio facta contra Scaligerum et alios." This was dedicated to Henry Prince of Wales, who made the author his chronographer and cosmographer. Wood says, that all his hopes of advancement were blighted by the death of the Prince, and that then he accepted Ussher's offer, and went with him to Ireland. This is a mistake, for Lydiat went to Ireland in 1609, and returned to England before the death of the Prince. The ultimate provision intended for him in Ireland seems to have been the school of Armagh, then worth fifty pounds per annum. On returning to England, he found the living of Okerton, which he had before declined, again vacant, and, with some re

About the times that Lydiat left the College, the provostship became vacant by the resignation of Alvey, and was offered by the Fellows to Ussher, but he declined

luctance, he accepted it. He is reported to have composed there 600 sermons, on the Harmony of the Gospels. Having become security for a friend he was unable to pay the debt, his patrimony having been expended in the publication of books, and he was thrown into the Bocardo prison at Oxford. From this he was liberated by the generosity of Sir William Boswell, Archbishops Laud and Ussher, and some other friends. Selden refused to contribute, in resentment for a supposed slight offered him by Lydiat, who called him, in the Marmora Arundeliana, simply an industrious writer. These misfortunes do not appear to have damped his zeal for the advancement of learning, for no sooner had he been released from prison, than he presented a petition to Charles I. for his patronage in an intended voyage to the East to collect manuscripts. The Civil War put a stop to any hopes of success from such a petition, and his loyalty exposed him to new troubles. He states, in a letter to Sir William Compton, governor of Banbury Castle, that "he had been twice pillaged by the Parliament forces of Compton House to the value of at least £70, and was forced, for a quarter of a year, to borrow a shirt to shift himself; also that he had been twice carried away from his home, and barbarously treated by the soldiers. The cause of which ill usage was, that he had denied them money, and defended his books and papers, and, while a prisoner in Warwick Castle, had spoken much for the King and bishops." He at length rested from his labours on the third of April, 1646, in the 75th year of his age. After the Restoration, the Warden and Fellows of New College placed a stone with an inscription over his grave in Okerton churchyard, and erected a monument to his memory in their cloister.

In the Biographia Britannica, it is stated that, soon after his return, he entered into the married state with a sister of Ussher, for which fact the authority given is the alleged subscription of "your loving brother-in-law" to some letters. The letters, however, are only signed, "your loving friend and brother," which latter appellation Ussher bestows upon others of his correspondents among the clergy. Mr. Briggs, indeed, says, “I pray you salute from me your brother, Mr. Lydiat ;" but this was in a letter dated August, 1610, so that Lydiat must have been married before he had been a year in Ireland, if that be considered authority. I cannot find any proof that Lydiat was married to a sister of Ussher, or indeed that he was married at all. The recorded incidents of his life seem to prove he never was.

• Dr. Parr, and he is, of course, blindly followed by all the other biographers, says, that Ussher was offered the provostship in 1610, when in his thirtieth year. But the offer must have been made in 1609, for on the 14th of November, 1609, the election of Temple was confirmed by the Fellows, Masters of Arts, and Lecturers, and he entered upon his office the 23rd of December, 1609.

the honour. It cannot be very clearly ascertained what was his reason for refusing such a situation: Dr. Parr states, that it arose "from his fear of its proving a hindrance to his studies;" perhaps, also, he thought its duties would interfere with his visits to England, which would be necessary for the completion of the studies in which he was engaged; and perhaps he shrunk from encountering the difficulties in which the unsettled state of the College must involve its new Provost, difficulties which could only be overcome by greater promptness and decision, than ever appeared in his character. Dr. Smith says that Ussher recommended and procured the election of William Temple. It is to be hoped he did not, for Temple does not seem to have been at all fitted for his situation. Temple was the third appointment made by the English government, of persons whom they were anxious to get rid of, and unwilling to promote in England. Temple had been secretary to the unfortunate Earl of Essex at the time of his death, and fled into Ireland to escape the enmity of Cecil: there he remained in retirement till he was appointed Provost: though the appointment was nominally in the Fellows, yet in no case was it ever made without the direction of the government. Temple had strong puritanical tendencies, and resisted the orders of Archbishop Abbot to wear a sur

The letter of Archbishop Abbot, the Chancellor of the University, to Archbishop Jones, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, gives a curious account of Irish uniformity at that time, and I therefore give an extract from it. Feb. 25, 1613.


His Majesty hath been informed by some or other lately come out of Ireland, of an abuse which his Highness doth exceedingly take at heart, and that is, that at the cathedral churches in Dublin as also at the College, the Prebendaries and dignitaries of the one, and the Provost and fellows of the other do refuse to come into the quire or into the chapel on Sundays and Holydays in their surplices and hoods fit for their degrees. I cannot express to your Lordship how exceedingly his Majesty is offended thereat, and therefore hath been pleased to command me to write a peremptory direction with all speed and with all the authority which his Highness can give me, that you call before you the dignitaries and prebendaries of the cathedral churches who offend in this kind, as also the Provost and such of the fellows as transgress, and that you let them know that it is his Majesty's express commandment, that they con

« AnteriorContinuar »