« PreviousContinue »
the spot where Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, parted from his Duchess on his being banished 10 Epworth, after the challenge to combat with the Duke of Hereford. This is the statement of that celebrated antiquarian Dodsworth. We learn, however, from other authorities, that after that sentence was pronounced he was imprisoned in Windsor Castle, and then banished to Venice, where he died. Previous, however, to his final departure he might be permitted to visit Epworth, when the parting alluded to might take place. Why she was allowed to accompany him so far and not to proceed with him to Epworth, is not now very material to inquire. If he came from Retford to Bawtry this would be the spot where he would enter the Isle of Axholme. Had it not been for the authority of Arelebout's map, and the difficulty of accounting for the erection of a Cross in such a wild and unfrequented spot,
should have been inclined to suppose that the remains of the Cross, having on it Mowbray's arms, and now standing in Haxey town where the road crosses to Epworth, is the true Parting Cross, a representation of which is given on the other page. Not a vestige of any Cross remains near Idle Stop: it was most probably destroyed during the operations of Vermuyden in this neighourhood.
THINK that few persons who stand on the top of Hog. gat or Holgate Hill, and look at the landscape which is spread before their view, as represented in the annexed engraving, will be surprised that the Lord Paramount chose this situation for his demesne ; or wonder that the word Bel has been attached to so many of the neighbour
ing localities,—Bel-ton, Bel-toft, Bel-wood, Bel-shaw, and Bel-graves. Belinus or Bel was one of the names under which the Druids worshipped the sun as the author of fertility; and thus bel, in a figurative sense, was used to designate places remarkable for the fruitfulness of the soil, or the beauty of the situation.
When the Mowbrays had fixed their residence close to the vine garths at Epworth, the lawns, the woods, and the Belgraves were lands which they kept in their own hands; and we learn from an entry in the Survey of the Manor of Epworth, made in the time of the Commonwealth, that they were enclosed as a park. “All that messuage or house called the Lodge, in Bel