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Even Scotland's dauntless king, and heir, 8c.
Before his standard fled.-P. 93. Every one has heard, that when David I., with his son Henry, invaded Northumberland in 1136, the English host marched against them under the holy banner of St. Cathbert; to the efficacy of which was imputed the great victory which they obtained in the bloody battle of Northallerton, or Cuton-moor. The conquerors were at least as much indebted to the jealousy and intractability of the different tribes who composed David's army; among whom, as mentioned in the text, were the Galwegians, the Britons of Strath-Clyde, the men of Teviotdale and Lothian, with many Norman and German warriors, who asserted the cause of the Empress Maud. See CHALMERS' Caledonia, p. 622.; a most laborious, curious, and interesting publication, from which considerable defects of style and manner ought not to turn aside the Scottish antiquary.
And turned the Conqueror back again.-P. 94. Cuthbert, we have seen, had no great reason to spare the Danes, when opportunity offered. Accordingly, I find in Simeon of Durham, that the Saint appeared in a vision to Alfred, when lurking in the marshes of Glastonbury, and promised him
assistance and victory over his heathen enemies: a consolation which, as was reasonable, "Alfred, after the victory of Ashendown, rewarded, by a royal offering at the shrine of the Saint. As to William the Conqueror, the terror spread before his army, when he marched to punish the revolt of the Northumbrians, in 1096, had forced the monks to fly once more to Holy Island with the body of the Saint. It was, however, replaced before William left the North; and, to balance accounts, the Conqueror having intimated an indiscreet curiosity to view the Saint's body, he was, while in the act of commanding the shrine to be opened, seized with heat and sickness, accompanied with such a panic terror, that, notwithstanding there was a sumptu. ous dinner prepared for him, he fled without eating a morsel, (which the monkish historian seems to have thought no small part both of the miracle and the penance,) and never drew his bridle till he got to the river Tees.. .
The sea-born beads, that beur his name.-P. 94. Although we do not learn that Cuthbert was, during his life, such an artificer as Dunstan, his brother in-sanctity, yet, since his death, he has acquired the reputation of forging those Entrochi which are found among the rocks of Holy Island, and pass there by the name of St. Cuthbert's Beads. While at this task, he' is supposed to sit during the night upon a certain rock, and use another as his anvil. This story was perhaps credited
in former days; at least the Saint's legend contains some not more probable.
. . i .::old Colwulf.-P.95. in .. .
Ceolwolf, or Colwulf, King of Northumberland, flourished in the eighth century. He was a man of some learning ; for the venerable Bede dedicates to him his " Ecclesiastical His: tory.” He abdicated the throne about 738, and retired to Holy Island, where he died in the odour of sancity. Saint as Colwulf was, however, I fear the foundation of the penancevault does not correspond with his character; for it is recorded among his memorabilia, that, finding the air of the island raw and cold, he indulged the monks, whose rule had hitherto confined them to milk or water, with the comfortable privilege of using wine or ale. If any rigid antiquary insists on this objection, he is welcome to suppose the penance-vault was intended, by the founder, for the more genial purposes of a cellar... . These penitential-vaults were the Geissel-gewolbe of German convents. In the earlier and more rigid times of monastic discipline, they were sometimes used as a cemetery for the lay benefactors of the convent, whose unsanctified corpses were then seldom permitted to pollute the choir. They also served as places of meeting for the chapter, when measures of uncommon severity were to be adopted. But their most freqnent use, as implied by the name, was as places for performing penances, or undergoing punishment.
Note XVI. Tynemouth's haughty Prioress.-P. 98. That there was an ancient priory at Tynemouth is certain. Its ruins are situated on a high rocky point; and, doubtless, many a vow was made the shrine by the distressed mariners, who drove towards the iron-bound coast of Northumberland in stormy weather. It was anciently a nunnery; for Virca, abbess of Tynemouth, presented St. Cuthbert (yet alive) with a rare winding-sheet, in emulation of a holy lady called Tuda, who had sent him a coffin: But, as in the case of Whitby, and of Holy Island, the introduction of nuns at Tynemouth, in the reign of Henry VIII., is an anachronism. The punnery at Holy Island is altogether fictitious. Indeed, St. Cuthbert was unlikely to permit such an establishment; for, notwithstanding his accepting the mortuary gifts above mentioned, and his carrying on a visiting acquaintance with the abbess of Coldingham, he certainly hated the whole female sex; and, in revenge of a slippery trick played to him by an Irish princess, he, after death, inflicted severe penances on such as presumed to approach within a certain distance of his shrine.
Alive, within the tomb.-P. 103. It is well known, that the religious, who broke their vows of chastity, were subjected to the same penalty as the Roman
vestals in a similar case. A small niche, sufficient to enclose their bodies, was made in the massive wall of the convent; a slender pittance of food and water was deposited in it, and the awful words, VADE IN PACEM, were the signal for iminuring the criminal. It is not likely that, in latter times, this punishment was often resorted to; but, among the ruins of the abbey of Coldingham, were some years ago discovered the remains of a female skeleton, which, from the shape of the niche, and position of the figure, seemed to be that of an immured nun.