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HARBLEDOWN. in 1660, and dined with the mayor on his restoration.
Faversham Abbey was once a famous building, wafting its blessings and curses far and wide, according to the characters of the individuals concerned with these sons of superstition and folly. A few walls now remain; their examination may gratify the lover of antiquity.
Leaving Faversham, we soon ascended Boughton-Hill, from the summit of which the fertility of Kent is seen to advantage ! The isle of Sheppy, with the ships at the Nore, are beheld on one side, whilst the country through which you have jour. neyed in the way from Chatham, with the town of Faversham, and its white spire, lies extended before you :
- The spacious vale with flowers
Descending the hill we meet with the village of Harbledown, noted for the salubrity of its air, and the pleasantness of its situation. Here is an hospital, built and endowed by Archbishop Lanfranc, 1084, which once contained a precious relic, called St. Thomas Becket's slipper, mentioned by Erasmus as the upper leather of an old shoe, adorned with crystals set in copper! The pilgrims, who were on their way to the shrine of St. Thomas, at Canterbury, used to stop here, and kiss this bauble, deeming it a preparation for their solemn approach to the tomb. Nor is this the
SIR THOMAS MORE'S SCULL. 383 only old shoe which has been held in veneration, Boswell, speaking of the escape of the Pretender, in 1746, after the battle of Culloden, tells us the following anecdote :-" Thewanderer's shoes being very bad, Kingsburg (a friend) provided him with a new pair, and taking up the old ones, said, I will faithfully keep them till you are settled at St. James's. I will then introduce myself by shaking them at you, to put you in mind of your night's entertainment and protection under my roof: he smiled, and said, Be as good as your word-Kingsburg kept the shoes as long as he lived, and after his death a jacobite gentleman gave twenty guineas for them.” These shoes ought to have been laid up along with the slipper of Becket, as a valuable bequest to mankind.
We were now so far advanced toward the end of our journey, that we had, in full view, the Cathedral church of Canterbury rearing aloft its towers with archiepiscopal dignity. Indeed, having passed the church of St. Dunstan, we soon alighted in the ancient and metropolitan city of Canterbury.
I shall close this letter with remarking, that a scull used to be preserved in St. Dunstan's church, said to be that of Sir Thomas More, who was be headed on Tower-Hill, July 5th, 1545. It was kept in a niche of the wall, inclosed by an iron gate; though it is reported that his favourite daughter, Mrs. Margaret Roper, was, according to her desire, buried with it in her arms! Sir THOMAS, who had been Lord High Chancellor
s, who hared with it in' was, accordin
SIR THOMAS MORE. of England, was a singular character: and Addison well observes, respecting the magnanimity with which he behaved on the scaffold, “ that what was only philosophy in this extraordinary man, would be frensy in one who does not resemble him, as well in the cheerfulness of his temper as in the sanctity of his life !”
I remain, dear Sir,
· P. S. In the Life of the late Bishop of Landaft, written by himself, the illustrious Prelate mentions that his improvement in the article of gunpowder saves the nation 50,000l. per annum, for which he was complimented by his Majesty at the Levee, and on account of which he ought to have received a distinguished reward.
· LETTER IV.
CANTERBURY; STORY OF ST. DUNSTAN; ANTIQUITY OF THE
CITY; CAECQUER INN; TWO BANKS ; DUNGELL; CATHEDRAL; SHRINE OF ST. THOMAS A BECK ET ; CANTERBURY TALES; MONUMENT OF THE CATHEDRAL; ITS FONT; TILLOTSON ; EXTENT OF TAE DIOCESE OF CANTERBURY; ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH ; RUINS OF AUGUSTINE ABBEY; HOPS; THEIR HISTORY AND CULTIVATION ; BARTON MILLS; STURRY ; ITS RURAL SITUATION; ENGRAVINGS FROM TITIAN ; SOCIAL VISIT TO HEARNE BAY.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND, CANTERBURY is situated on the river Stour; and being spread over a considerable portion of ground, contains a great number of inhabitants. Some pretend to insinuate that the place existed 900 years before Christ. Its antiquity, indeed, is so great, that we cannot ascertain the precise period of its commencement. In Canterbury there are fourteen parish churches, beside the cathedral, which adds greatly to the appearance of the city. The parish of St. Dunstan is called after Dunstan the famous Saint, and Archbishop of Canterbury, who died A. D. 988, and concerning whom the monks gravely tell the following story :-Dunstan losing favour with the king, retired to a little cell, built against the church wall of Glastonbury. Here he amused himself with forging useful things in brass and iron. One evening, working very busily at his forge, the Devil, in the appearance of a man, thrust hiz head in at the window of his cell, and asked him
CANTERBURY. to make something or other for him. Dunstan, intent on his work, made no answer, on which the Devil beginning to swear, betrayed the lurking fiend. The holy blacksmith putting up an ejaculation, pulled his tongs, which were redhot, out of the fire, seized the Devil by the nose; and squeezing him, made his infernal Majesty roar at such a rate, that he awakened the people for many miles round!
. : Canterbury is mentioned in the earliest account of our island. Its walls, its gates, and several of its churches, mark its age, and afford materials for the gratification of curiosity. It has two markets weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday, the latter being best attended. The principal street is large and handsome; the Chequer Inn, which once occupied a considerable portion of ground, may be seen from it, and is rendered famous for having been the house where pilgrims (according to Chaucer), took up their abode during their visit to this city. Two banks were opened in Canterbury in 1781, and 1791, the one under the firm of Gipps, &c. the other under that of Baker (now one of the members for the city), Denne, Kingsford, Halford, and Kingsford. From the favourable situation of the city, with respect to the adjacent country, it is probable that it must always enjoy no small share of prosperity.
The corporation of Canterbury consists of a mayor, recorder, twelve aldermen, a sheriff, and twenty-four common council-men. The city is distributed into four streets, disposcd in the form of a