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portion of the cohort, lay at Ambleside, and the 3rd cohort at Whitley Castle, in Northumberland. It is uncertain to which Legion they belonged, as the number is gone from the Bainbridge inscription.

Traces of the town are yet distinctly visible, and at various periods, altars, stones bearing inscriptions in honour of the Emperors Pertinax, Antoninus, and Geta, parts of statues, &c., have been dug up. One of these relics was a statue of Aurelius Commodus, in the dress of Hercules; another, an altar, inscribed by the soldiery to Venus Victrix. The military road leading to Bracchium struck out from Leeming Lane to the north-west, passed over Watlass Moor through Thornton Steward, where a local memory of it remains, and vestiges of a Roman camp may be seen, crossed the Iseur or Isis, (Yore) at Ulshaw, and continued its course through Middleham Parks to Aggleborough and Bracchium.

Reverting to these days, we find the Druidical religion superseded by another superstition, less sanguinary and more refined, but still foul and hideous. The Gods of the Pantheon were worshipped in Wensleydale, and altars were raised to Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Apollo, on places where, in after years, the triumphant standard of the Cross was reared. The Roman deities were indeed

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long to tell, though far renown'd,
Th' Ionian gods, of Javan's issue held;
Gods, yet confess'd later than Heav'n and Earth,
Their boasted parents." Titan, heaven's first-born,
With his enormous brood, and birthright seized
By younger Saturn: he from mightier Jove
His own and Rhea's son, like measure found,
So Jove usurping reigned: these first in Creté
And Ida known, thence on the snowy tops
Of cold Olympus, ruled the middle air,
Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff;
Or in Dodona; and through all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who, with Saturn old,
Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.


We may, perhaps, regard as a memorial of these times a beautiful spring on Witton Fell, yet designated Diana's Well. It rises in a spot which we may easily suppose Roman fancy would consecrate to the goddess of the chase. (1.),

But the Roman reign drew towards its close: the glory of the empire waned, and its armies were withdrawn from Britain. Harassed by barbarous enemies, the Britons called the Saxons to their aid, and the sons of Teuth hastened to the land which their children have possessed during the subsequent fourteen centuries. The Saxon princes established themselves monarchs in England. Wensleydale was at first a part of Deira, but after a time that province was united with Bernicia, and formed the kingdom of Northumbria. Now we find another change in religion; a fresh system of idolatry. The Scandinavian deities supplanted the gods of the Pantheon; thus, instead of Jupiter and Mercury, the Wensleydale men worshipped Woden and Thor. A temple or altar to the latter, probably gave name to Thoresby. On Aggle

borough there is a cairn, one hundred and twenty yards in circumference, called "Stone-Raise." It was opened some years ago, in search of treasure, and found to contain a kist-vaen, which, as usual, held the skeleton of some old chief.

The long dark night that had so long hung over England was now nearly ended; the day-spring was advancing; light was at hand.

""Tis past, the mingled dream; though slow and grey
O'er mead and mountain break the dawning day,

Though stormy wreaths of lingering cloud oppress,
Long time the winds that breathe—the rays that bless,
They come, they come.

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(1) The fountain is considered so pure that a very old rhyme is still current: "Whoever eats Hammer nuts, and drinks Diana's water (pron watter) Will never leave Witton while he's rag or tatter."

The Hammer woods contain excellent nuts, and the Witton people are proverbial for attachment to their native place.


how fair, how fleet
Along the mountains flash their bounding feet!
Disease and death before their presence fly,
Truth calls, and gladden'd Britain hears the cry,
Deserts the darken'd path her fathers trod,
And seeks redemption from the Incarnate God!

Soon, holy messengers of Truth were to arrive and turn the Saxons from being blind adorers of their deified ancestors, to become eminent members of Christ's Holy Catholic Church.

In the commencement of the seventh century (625), St. Augustine sent St. Paulinus into the kingdom of Northumbria. This great saint, the Apostle of the North, after many trials, had the happiness of converting St. Edwin, then king, to the Christian faith. The nobility and people, headed by the Pagan High-priest, Coifi himself, followed the sovereign's example. Pope Honorius sent a pallium to St. Paulinus, as Archbishop of York, and wrote a congratulatory letter to the king, at the same time providing for the episcopal succession, as St. Edwin had requested.

The conversion of Wensleydale to the Catholic Faith must be attributed to the labours of St. Paulinus. The churches being as yet too few and small to hold the crowds who flocked for baptism, the holy saint was wont to baptize in the river Swale, near Catterick, and possibly in the Yore also, though of this we have no precise account. Those were haypy days in Wensleydale. The banner of the Cross was unfurled, therefore, all was peace and joy.

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Lately, the roads were dangerous, but now, a weak woman might have walked with her new-born babe over the whole island without damage." Anxious to promote the comfort of his people in every way, amongst other things, the good king" for the refreshing of wayfaring men, ordained cups of iron, or brass, to be fastened by such clear wells and fountains as did run by the wayside,

which cups no man durst touch, further than to his own present use and necessity, for the love and good-will they bare to their Prince." Within man's memory, such an iron cup, of antique fashion, very possibly one of St. Edwin's, remained chained by a small well of beautiful water, called "The Faries' Well," at Harmby.

We have now fairly reached THE CATHOLIC DAY OF WENSLEYDALE, at which I purpose taking a hasty glance preparatory to viewing the valley in the time of persecution, and at the present hour. The day dawned in beauty, promising serenity and calm, and although clouds passed occasionally over the sky, for the most part it continued tranquil and lovely until the fearful tempest of the sixteenth century burst upon it. We have seen Wensleydale converted to the Faith by a missionary from Rome-we have seen the king of Northumbria professing obedience to the Holy See. These are not matters of supposition, but historical facts, recorded by contemporary writers. (1) What churches were built in Wensleydale at this period we know not precisely, though, doubtless, many were erected, (2) as the king, who resided much at his palace near Tanfield, was zealous for religion.

After St. Edwin had reigned seventeen years, six of which were spent in the service of Christ, it pleased God to raise him to the glory of martyrdom. Penda, king of Mercia, revolted from his allegiance, and raised a powerful army of veteran soldiers. He was a cruel prince and

(1) The whole tenor of the Anglo-Saxon history shews that the spiritual jurisdiction was considered as the exclusive privilege of the bishops, and that their kings were proud to uphold and enforce it with their temporal authority. "It is the right of the king." says Wihtred, King of Kent, a. D. 692, "to appoint earls, ealdormen, shire-reeves, and doomsmen; but it is the right of the Archbishop to rule and provide for the Church of God." The King, indeed, is sometimes called the Vicar of Christ: but the old homilist informs us, that this title was given to him, because it was his duty to defend with his army the people of Christ, from the evil designs of their enemies. (Whelock, p. 151.) In the book of Constitutions, it is said, that the King ought to be as a father to his people, and in watchfulness and care, the Vicar of Christ, as he is called. (Leg. Caz. p. 147.)

(2) At Wensley may be seen portions of Saxon monumental inscriptions.

a zealous idolater, warring expressly to extirpate Christianity, yet, strange to say, he was abetted by Cadwallo, king of the Welsh, who, though nominally a Christian, was so implacable against the English, that in his eagerness to destroy them, he regarded neither religion, nor churches, nor age, nor sex. A great battle was fought in Yorkshire, in which St. Edwin was slain, A. D. 633. His body was buried at Whitby, but his head was carried to York Minster, which he had founded. He is honoured on the 4th of October. The field of battle was called Heavenfield, now Hatfield, from the great number of Christians slain. After this event, Wensleydale again became part of Deira; the kingdom of Northumbria being divided; and idolatry was re-established for a short time under Osrich, an apostate. St. Paulinus with St. Edwin's widowed queen and her family retired into Kent, nor did he ever again re-visit Wensleydale, but died happily at Rochester, on the 10th of October, A. d. 644.

The Archbishop, however, did not leave his diocese destitute. His deacon James remained to take care of the distressed Church, and he baptized many; he resided at a village near Catterick, where he died in a very advanced age. A pious king succeeded the apostate Osrich. This was St. Oswald, a devout Christian and of holy life, who filled his dominions with monasteries and churches; so we cannot suppose he forgot Wensleydale. After he had reigned eight years, King Penda once more raised an army to destroy Christianity, and St. Oswald, meeting him with an inferior force, was slain at Maserfield, now Winwick, in Lancashire, on the 5th August, A.D. 642. When surrounded by his enemies, and all hope was at an end, he offered his prayer for the souls of his soldiers. Whence it became a proverb; "O God, be merciful to their souls, said Oswald, when he fell." Many Wensleydale Churches were subsequently dedicated to this royal martyr.

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