The Dissolution of the Convent; The Descent of the Demesnes of the Monastery, and of the Manor of Blyth, with Notices of the Families of Saunderson, Mellish and Walker.

The distant echoes of that storm which at length burst with such pitiless and unrelenting fury upon the Church had been at intervals long heard. So far back as the reign of Henry IV. the House of Commons passed a Bill for stripping the Church of its revenues, and applying them to the exigencies of the State. This was, in the words of Sir Thomas More, "about the time of a great rumble that the heretics made, when they would have destroyed, not the clergy only, but the king also, and his nobility too,'' and when "there was a foolish Bill and a false put into a Parliament or twain, and sped as they were worthy." Again, in the fourth year of Henry V when the sovereign was at war with France, all alien priories which were not conventual were by Act of Parliament dissolved, and their revenues granted to the Crown. And finally Wolsey, in 1524, obtained the royal and papal license to suppress forty small monasteries, and to appropriate their estates to his college of Christ Church.

The breach was thus made, the precedent established, and Henry VIII. proved himself an apt scholar in mastering and applying the lessons which others had taught him. Having succeeded by Act of Parliament in constituting himself head of the Church, or, in the exceedingly correct and candid admission of Lord Campbell, in making himself Pope in place of the sovereign pontiff of Rome, and having thus come to an open rupture with him, he found it necessary, with a view to secure his own ascendancy, to sap the fortresses and exterminate the forces of his adversary. The papal strength lay in the monastic orders, and accordingly Cromwell, the vicar-general of the king, appointed a commission of inquiry into the state and condition of the smaller monasteries, and in February, 1535-6, all houses possessing a revenue of less than 200l. a-year were destroyed, and their possessions made over to the crown. By this Act 376 convents were suppressed without opposition, for they were represented as being degenerate and corrupt; they had little or no connection or sympathy with the aristocracy, the younger members of whose families were generally located in the wealthier convents, and they were poor and feeble. This measure was a feeler: within three years of this first stroke, the king's rapacity, sharpened by his excessive profusion, impelled him to attack the greater and wealthier monasteries, and they in their turn, to the number of 269, fell.

The neighbouring convents of Roche and Worksop, possessing each of them an annual income of more than 200l., survived until the final measure of spoliation was consummated. The last abbot of Roche, Henry Cundal, with seventeen monks, surrendered his house to the king June 23, 1539; he received a pension of 33l. 6s. 8d. and his brethren pensions varying from 6l. 13s. 4d. to 3l. 6s. 8d. The revenues of Roche Abbey, in the 26th Henry VIII. amounted in the gross to 271l. 19s. 4d. and the clear income to 224l. 2s. 5d. The last prior of Worksop, Thomas Stokker, with fifteen of his brethren, surrendered his priory November 15, 1539, and received a pension of 50l. a-year, while they obtained pensions varying from 6l. to 2l. The gross income was estimated at 302l. 6s. 10d. and the reprisals at 62l. 11s. 5d. On the 22nd of November, 1541, a grant was made of the site and precincts of various messuages and lands of the priory of Worksop to Francis, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his heirs, at an annual rent of 23l. 0s. 8½d. and on service of finding the king a right-hand glove, and supporting his right arm whilst holding the sceptre, on the day of his coronation.

Our humble Priory of Blyth was suppressed before these its more opulent neighbours, namely, in 1535. Its income was returned as being 126l. 8s. 2½d. and reprisals 13l. 7s. 6d. I cannot discover anywhere what number of monks it then contained, or what pensions were allowed to them and their superior. In the second and third years of the reign of Philip and Mary, Cardinal Pole moved Parliament to inquire into and confirm the pensions granted by Henry VIII. to members of the dissolved houses. The return, entitled Cardinal Pole's Book, now in the general Record Office, contains but one notice of Blyth Priory. "Blythe Feod. Jervasii Clyfton militis, capitalis seneschalli ibidem, per an. XLS." We may conclude that Dalton, the last prior, and his monks were then dead, for I can hardly think that they were turned adrift out of their ancient and rightful home into a wide world without some provision, and I feel assured that, however much they, like their brethren throughout the kingdom, might become subjects for the scurrilous and ribald jests of the irreverent and the profane, they still received, in this barbarous disruption of their long-cherished habits, and friendships, and associations, the sympathy and kindness of the generous and the good.

On the 3rd of July, 1543, the king granted the site and demesnes of the Priory, of which, with the rectory, Gervase Clifton, of Hodsack, esquire, had received a lease for twenty-one years, bearing date the 10th of July, 1537, to Richard Andrews, of Gloucester, gentleman, and William Ramsden, of Longley, in the county of York, yeoman. These two men were among the chief monastic stock-jobbers of the day; they, in company with other members of their firm, bargained with Henry for the sites and demesnes of Blyth, Benedictine Priory; Caermarthen, Austin Canons; Denbigh, White Friars; Gloucester, White Friars; Malvern, Little, Benedictine Cell; Northampton, Black Friars and White Friars; Norwich, White Friars; Oxford, Black Friars, Grey Friars, and College of St. Mary; Roche, Cistercian Abbey; Sele (Sussex), White Friars; Shrewsbury, Austin Friars, Black Friars, and Grey Friars; Temple Comb, Somersetshire; Yarmouth, Black Friars; all of which they speedily sold again at remunerating prices.

The grant of the site and demesnes of Blyth Priory to Andrews and Ramsden, as we find it in the patent roll of the 35th Henry VIII., is in these words:—

"Ac etiam totum ilium scitum septum circuitum ambitum et procinctum nuper monasterii de Blythe in comitatu nostro Nottingham, cum suis juribus, membris ct pertinentiis universis, ac omnia et singula domos, edificia, ortos, pomeria, gardina, columbaria, stagna, vivaria, aquas, piscarias et piscationes, terram, et solum nostra infra scitum septum circuitum ambitum seu procinctum ejusdem nuper monasterii existentia, necnon centum viginti tres acras et dimidium terræ arrabalis, viginti quatuor acras prati, et viginti unam acras et dimidium pasturæ cum pertinentiis jacentes et existentes in parochia de Blythe in dicto comitatu Nottingham et dicto nuper monasterio de Blythe dudum spectantes et pertinentes, ac terras dominicales ejusdem nuper monasterii dudum existentes et sic insimul cum prædicto scitu ejusdem nuper monasterii cuidam Gervasio Clyfton generoso dimissas seu locatas."

This grant, it will be observed, did not include the manor, which, as will appear, was a subsequent addition to the Blyth estate.

Andrews and Ramsden held the site and demesnes at a yearly rent of 15s. 8½d., to be paid at Michaelmas into the Court of Augmentations, in the name of a tenth part of the premises thus granted to them; and by service of the fortieth part of one knight's fee. They made a rapid transfer, for on the 25th July, 1543, I find that they obtained a licence to alienate to Richard Stansfield, citizen and skinner of London, their monastic grant at Blyth, with the exception of some lead on certain buildings.

Stansfield pedigree

On the 3rd July, 20 Elizabeth, Edward Stanhope, esq., afterwards Sir Edward Stanhope, son of Sir Michael Stanhope, second son of Sir Edward Stanhope of Rampton, purchased of Stansfield Cooke, gent., and Richard Cooke, esq., the site and certain lands late, in part only probably, the property of the convent of Blyth. It appears that Sisley Cooke advanced some claim to this estate, which for certain considerations made to him by Stanhope he relinquished, and 39th Elizabeth obtained licence to alienate the property, which then exceeded the original grant made to Andrews and Ramsden, being represented as comprising one messuage, two cottages, two tofts, one dovecote, two gardens, 140 acres of arable land, 80 acres of meadow, 60 acres of pasture, 3 of wood, and common pasture for 500 sheep and cattle, with the appurtenances, in Blyth, Bawtry, Hermeston, and Harworth.

During the ownership of Stanhope, Stansfield and his heirs, the family of Neville appear to have occupied Blyth Abbey as tenants. Mr. Robert Neville was buried at Blyth, March 14, 1558, and Mr. Gervase Neville, of Blyth Abbey, December 24, 1601. His will is dated September 11 of the same year, and mentions among others his brother Francis Neville, sisters Meares and Eyre, brother, nephew, and nieces Eyre, nieces Fretwell and Wastneys, and ho desires to be buried in the church.

In the first year of James I. Sir Edward Stanhope, then described as of Gray's Inn, knight, conveyed this estate to Robert Saunderson, of Gilthwaite, in the parish of Rotherham, gent, and Elizabeth his wife, and William Saunderson their eldest son.

The Saunderson Family.

The Saundersons sprang from Bidick, in the parish of Washington and county of Durham. Jacob de Bidick, the son of Alexander, is styled Saunderson, filius Alexandri, and lived in the time of Edward III. John Saunderson of Tickhill, his lineal descendant of the third generation, had two sons, William and Henry, from the former of whom descended the Saundersons of Sandbeck, eventually Viscounts Castleton; and from the latter numerous branches whom we find located at Ewes (now Yews), Blyth, Blyth Nornay, Barnby Moor, Styrrup, Gilthwaite in the parish of Rotherham, Sheffield, and Serlby; the last of which they owned until the early part of the eighteenth century, when the heirs of Mary Saunderson, the last proprietor, sold the Serlby estate to John Monckton of Hodroyd, Esq., afterwards first Viscount Galway. This purchase was effected in 1725.

Robert Saunderson of Saxby, in the county of Lincoln, the original purchaser of Sandbeck, which had belonged to Roche Abbey, in 1549, was the grandson of William just named.

In 1627 William Saunderson, as I shall state more at length under Torworth, purchased Serlby and Torworth of the last heir of the ancient family of Serlby, which he mortgaged the same year to his son-in-law Robert Mellish.

In 1635 he sold the Blyth estate to John Mellish, the brother of Robert, merchant-tailor of London, and took a lease of the new proprietor, who was non-resident, for twenty-one years, which he held from 1635 to 1646. About 1642 he sublet the property to Colonel Haley a royalist, who, falling in with the unscrupulous proceedings of the times, found it convenient to represent to the Earl of Newcastle, the general of the king's forces, that John Mellish was a rebel, and upon this representation obtained a sequestration of the Blyth estate in his own favour. William Saunderson is said to have pleaded the services of his son, who had lost his life whilst fighting for his sovereign at Nottingham bridge, as a just ground why the estate should be conveyed to himself, but to have failed. In 1646 Mellish was reinstated in his Blyth possessions, the rent of which he had lost for the four previous years, Saunderson refusing to complete the term of his lease, and having by assignment of his effects to his own family rendered it impossible to recover compensation. These are not very creditable transactions; and there are other charges alleged against him by the Mellish family in his dealings with their ancestor, implicating in the way of collusion their own relative and Saunderson's son-in-law, Robert Mellish, to whom, as living in the neighbourhood, John Mellish is said to have entrusted the management of his Blyth property, which, if true, by no means tend to raise either the father-in-law or the son-in-law in the estimation of just and upright men. But it is possible that the picture may be overcharged. We have no documents in existence whereby we are enabled to ascertain the defence which the accused parties made against these charges, and therefore they had better be allowed to pass quietly down the stream of time into oblivion.

Pedigree of Saunderson of Blyth and Serlby.

Arms: Paly of six argent and azure, on a bend sable three annulets or.

Pedigree of Saunderson of Blyth and Serlby

Bishop Saunderson.

Of one member of the Saunderson family at all events it is permitted to us to speak in terms of unqualified admiration. This is Robert Saunderson, Bishop of Lincoln, a man of vigorous and subtle intellect, of deep and fervent piety, of child-like simplicity and modesty, and, in times of persecution and suffering even unto blood, of undaunted firmness and constancy in his adherence to the Anglican Church, which from ashes and ruin he saw restored, yea, and largely himself helped to restore, to her ancient integrity and strength. He was born at Gilthwaite, in the parish of Rotherham, Sept. 19, 1587, and, after receiving his early education at Archbishop Rotherham's School in that place, matriculated July 1, 1603, at Lincoln College, Oxford, the rector of which was then Dr. Kilbie, one of the translators of the Bible. He was elected Fellow of his College May 3, 1606, proceeded M.A. July 11, 1608, and in the same year was chosen reader of logic in the college, and re-chosen 1609. In 1611 he was ordained deacon and priest; in 1613, 1614, and 1616 elected sub-rector; and in the last year senior proctor of the University. Among his university friends he numbered Laud and Gilbert Sheldon, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, for whom his father and Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury had stood sponsors. He took the degree of B.D. in 1617, and in 1618 was presented by Sir Nicholas Saundcrson, Viscount Castleton, to the rectory of Wibberton, in the county of Lincoln, which not suiting his health he resigned in about a twelvemonth, and was shortly after presented by Thomas Harington, of Boothby Pagnell, esq. to the rectory of Boothby, which he held for nearly forty years, and where his chief works were composed. In the same year (1619) he was appointed to a stall in Southwell, as well as to one in Lincoln, and married Anne, the daughter of Henry Nelson, B.D. rector of Hougham, not far distant from his own benefice—"his parish (says Isaak Walton), his patron, and he, living together in a religious love and a contented quietness."

In 1625 he was chosen proctor of convocation for the diocese of Lincoln, and he continued to hold that office throughout the reign of Charles I. Through the influence of Laud he was in 1631 made chaplain in ordinary to the king, who used to say of him—"I carry my ears to hear other preachers, but I carry my conscience to hear Mr. Saunderson, and to act accordingly."

On the visit of Charles to Oxford in 1636 Saunderson was created D.D., the same honour being conferred on Meric Casaubon, and honorary degree of M.A. on Prince Rupert and several of the nobility. In 1642 he was proposed by Parliament to the king as one of the commissioners for the settlement of church affairs, and in the same year was nominated Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford. He was, with Hammond and Sheldon, included among the twenty delegates selected by the university to draw up a protest against the Covenant, Negative Oath, and Ordinance for Public Worship, imposed upon them by parliament.

In 1646 Charles I. sent for Saunderson, Hammond, Sheldon, and Morley, to advise with him respecting the proposals of parliament for the establishment of peace in church and state, and held many conferences with him, both public and private, during his imprisonment in the Isle of Wight.

In 1648 he was expelled by the Presbyterians from the divinity chair at Oxford, and at Boothby was compelled to make slight alterations in the mode of performing divine service, with a view to appease the rabid fury of the Puritans; but even thus he was frequently interrupted during the service, and his Prayer Book torn by the soldiers of the parliament. The public confession which he substituted for that of the Book of Common Prayer, and which varies but very little from it (for Saunderson had not the gift, if gift it be, of fluency of oration), is to be found in some of our sound manuals of private devotion.

In his humble but not quiet retirement of Boothby he received a visit from the great and good Hammond, with whom he held a long correspondence respecting the quinquarticular controversy.

No sooner was his visitor gone than Saundcrson was seized by the parliamentary forces, and carried prisoner to Lincoln, by way of reprisals for the Rev. — Clarke, incumbent of Allington, a neighbouring village, and an adherent of the parliament, who had been taken prisoner at Belvoir Castle by the Royalists and conveyed to Newark. They were exchanged, and Boothby, which had been under sequestration since 1644, was restored to Saunderson.

At the Restoration he was, on the recommendation of Archbishop Sheldon, appointed to the see of Lincoln, and consecrated at Westminster October 28, 1660.

He was chosen moderator in the Savoy Conference, and at the ensuing Convocation is said to have drawn up the prayer of general thanksgiving, as he certainly drew up the present preface to the Prayer Book, commencing with the words "It hath been the wisdom of the Church," and exhibiting very strongly the sound judgment and moderation of its author.

He was not destined'to hold his new situation long. He had for some time been subject to periodical attacks of illness, from the combined effects of which, of years, and probably of the troubles through which he had passed, he sank on the 29th January 1662. He was buried in the chancel of Buckden church, and the following inscription, composed by himself, was placed upon his tomb: "Depositum Roberti Saunderson nuper Lincolniensis Episcopi, qui obiit Anno Domini mdclxii. et ætatis suæ septuagesimo sexto. Hic requiescit in spe beatæ resurrectionis."

His principal works are the following:

I.  Sermons. His printed sermons are thirty-six in number, and were preached in and between 1619 and 1648, namely, seventeen before the court, five visitation sermons, six assize sermons, and the rest to congregations at Grantham, St. Paul's London, and St. Paul's Cross. Of the last class of discourses three were originally printed together in 1627, and dedicated by the author from Boothby Pagnell "To the right worshipful and my much honoured lady, the Lady Mildred Sanderson, wife to Sir Nicholas Sanderson, knight and baronet."

II.  Notes of eight sermons preached at Carfax. The Rev. Dr. Routh, late President of Magdalen College, Oxford, purchased in 1844 of Mr. Thorp, the London bookseller, a MS. volume containing notes apparently drawn up by various hands unknown, of forty-one sermons delivered by nine different preachers in Oxford, at St. Mary's, at Carfax, and elsewhere. Among the rest are notes of eight sermons preached by Saunderson at Carfax in 1617 or 1618.

III.   Seven lectures de Juramenti Promissorii Obligatione were read in the Michaelmas term of 1646 at Oxford. Of this treatise a translation appeared in 1655, which, according to the statement of Sir Thomas Herbert in his "Memoirs of the two last years of King Charles I." was executed by the king, " which in his bed-chamber he was pleased to shew his servants, Mr. Har-ington and Mr. Herbert, and, commanding them to examine it with the original, they found it accurately translated."

IV.  Ten lectures de Obligatione Conscientia; were delivered in 1647. These lectures were not printed till 1660. A second edition was issued in 1661; other editions following in 1671, 1682, 1686, 1710, and 1719; and in 1851 the Rev. Dr. Whewell, Master, of Trinity College, Cambridge, edited the lectures, with an abridged translation.

V.  Tracts published in 1666. Marrying with a Recusant; Unlawful Love; Military Life; Scandal; Bond taken in King's name. The Engagement and Rash Vow appeared in 1668; the Case of the Sabbath in 1673; that of the Liturgy in 1678.

VI. Pax Ecclesiæ was printed, together with the first edition of Walton's Life of Saunderson, in 1678.

VII. "Compendium of Logic," published without the author's name in 1615, again in 1618, and for a third time in 1631.

Saunderson was greatly attached to genealogical and heraldic studies, which he appears to have pursued more by way of recreation than with any definite object. Of the extensive collections which he left behind him in manuscript the larger portion were for a time, after having been dispersed, reunited in the library of the late Sir Joseph Banks. At his death they were excepted out of the number bequeathed to the British Museum, and were very probably designed to be heirlooms at Revesby: they however became the property of his widow, and from her descended to the Knatchbulls. One MS. volume, which contained the Saunderson Pedigree, remained from the first with the bishop's descendants, who, in process of time falling in the social scale to the rank of farmers, and caring little about matters of ancestry, used the book for agricultural purposes, so that the prices of the sale of corn, and the registers of breeding of cattle, were scribbled in an ill-spelt and vulgar hand over the pages of the good bishop's elaborate entries.

This MS. is or was in the possession of a Mr. Clarke, now or late Cole, living near Normanby in the county of Lincoln, who descended from Jane, a daughter of the bishop's second son, by her marriage with William Clarke; and the Saunderson pedigree, drawn up by the bishop and embodied in that above given, was extracted from it a few years ago by the present Sir Charles H. J. Anderson, of Lea, bart.

Another descendant of Bishop Saunderson is Rev. John King, of Ashby de la Launde, near Sleaford, by marriage of his ancestor with one of the Middlemores of Grantham. Mr. King, I believe, possesses some of the bishop's plate, with his arms and mitre engraven upon it.

If Saunderson's father on purchasing Blyth made it, as is probable, his residence, the son must have spent his college vacations here. He must have followed his father's remains to the grave at Blyth, and paid occasional visits to his brother afterwards at Blyth Abbey. William Saunderson's name occurs in the records of our parish meetings, but Robert's name we nowhere possess.

The recollection of Boothby Pagnell, and of Robert Saunderson, suggests another place and another name, both of them of imperishable reputation—Woolsthorpe and Newton. When Newton as a boy was making his dials at Woolsthorpe, and pursuing his studies at Grantham school, Saunderson was living very near him, either engaged in the humble discharge of his parochial duties of rector of Boothby and in the composition of some 01 his great works, or as an inhabitant of Grantham, after his ejection from his living. Doubtless the country parson and student frequently saw, and admired, and encouraged the youthful philosopher; and when the one entered as an undergraduate of Trinity College, he made the Treatise on Logic of the other a subject of his careful study. If the remark of Cicero with respect to Athens, "Quocumque ingredimur, in aliquam historiam vestigia ponimus," apply, as it certainly does, with great truth to almost the whole of English ground, then nowhere surely does the admonitus locorum speak with deeper eloquence than around the consecrated retreats of Boothby and Woolsthorpc, the homes of the acute logician, and lover and admirer of the church and monarchy of England in their tribulation as well as in their prosperity, and of the most sublime genius whom God in his beneficent wisdom has ever given to the world.*

* Nothing which relates to so great and good a man as Bishop Saunderson can be unimportant or uninteresting. In the parish registers of Boothby-Pagnell, which 1 have been permitted to examine through the kindness of the Rev. W. C. Newcome, the rector, to whom I beg to offer my grateful acknowledgments, I find the following entry in Saunderson's own handwriting:—"Robert Sanderson was inducted into the rectory of Boothby Pannell on Tuesday ye seventh day of Sep. ao prædict." i.e. 1619. The entries are certified at the foot of each page henceforth thus: "Ita est. Robert: Sanderson, rector dictæ ecclesise." "Ita est. Robertus Sanderson, rector eccl'e de Boothby Paynell." "Ita est. Robertus Sanderson, ector eccl'e," or simply" Robt. Sanderson, rector," or "Robt. Sanderson, rector eccl'e," down to the year 1654, when the following memorandum occurs: "Md That Edward Allanson, of Boothby, was elected, approved, and sworn, the parrish register of Boothy Pannell, the last day of July, 1654. Wm. Brownlowe." Mr. Brownlow was a magistrate, of Humby Magna, in the adjoining parish of Somerby. After 1654 the only mention I can find of Saunderson in the register of Boothby is this: "John Pridgeon and Elizabeth Boothbie, in the certificate aforesaid, were married at Grantham by William Clarke, alderman, justice of the peace for the comonwealth and towne and corporation of Grantham, in the presence of John Spraggin, Robert Saunderson, and others." This was in November or December, 1656. The fact that he officiated in the parish down to 1654 is readily reconcileable with the statement given above from Walton, that Boothby had been under sequestration since 1644. For although, in consequence of his refusing to take the covenant and engagement, his rectory was sequestrated in 1644, yet such was his reputation for piety and learning, that he was not deprived of it. After 1654 his name is nowhere, with the above exception, to be found in the registers. The entries are made for a time by the register Allanson, and then by another rector, appointed, we may presume, by Cromwell. From this year to the Restoration Saunderson resided chiefly, it is believed, in Grantham, and had the consolation of finding there a man who resembled himself in the soundness of his principles, Dr. Thomas Hurst, who had, like himself, been ejected from his living, the rectory of Barrowby. Before this these two excellent men had done much to stem the torrent of blasphemy and impiety, by giving weekly lectures in the church of Grantham; they had alleviated the sufferings of the town during the plague of 1637, and had encouraged the parish to resist the innovations in the mode of conducting divine service. In grateful acknowledgment of their labours of love the corporation in the year 1637 presented them with the freedom of the borough, inscribing their names in letters of gold on their courtiers, and recording that their ministrations "had tended much to the glory of God, the furtherance of true religion, and conformity." In 1661 Saunderson, now Bishop of Lincoln, presented to the library over the south porch of Grantham church (which had been founded by the Rev. Francis Trigge, rector of Welbourn, in 1598), the rare Antwerp Polyglott Bible in eight volumes, which was printed at Antwerp for Philip II., King of Spain, and of which nearly the whole impression, amounting to 500 copies, was lost at sea on its passage from Antwerp to a Spanish harbour. Saunderson, at that time engaged in assisting Dr. Walton in the compilation of his Polyglott Bible, procured a copy which he gave to Grantham, and of which, I regret to add, only one complete volume and portions of four or five others remain. I return to Boothby. Saunderson's entries of baptisms, marriages, and burials are, up to the year 1642, written in a remarkably neat hand. After that time I cannot but think that they indicate tremor and agitation. The church is precisely as he found it and left it. It consists of a nave, north and south aisles, with chancel, and a tower at the west end. The nave comprises two round arches with massive piers at each side, which are of the early part of the twelfth century. One pier on the south side, next the pulpit, has a cushion capital with volutes at the angles; the next pier on the same side a capital of crimped inverted cones vertically cut. It has been, subsequently to its original construction, raised, and now exhibits two good clerestory windows on each side of decorated character. The south aisle is short, and terminates abreast of the chancel arch. The north aisle extends two arches beyond the chancel arch, opening through these arches into the chancel. The windows of this aisle are all of three lights below, ending in trefoils; and above are three quatrefoils, sharp at top and bottom, and round at the sides, placed triangularly, and filled up at the sides with crescents, the tracery all being deep and splayed. This aisle is the burial place of the Litchfords of Boothby, as previously it was of the Haringtons. There is a brass tablet in the wall of the north-east corner in memory of "Katherine, late wife of Thomas Harington of Boothby Paynell, Esq." who died May 5, 1623, and of Henry, Thomas, Margaret, and Eliza, their children. The family arms above the inscription, in two shields, are a fess ermine between three water bougets; and a fret (Harington's knot, as it is called). This Thomas Harington it was who gave Saunderson the living. A branch of his family was settled at Grantham in the reign of Edward I. The chancel, light and elegant, contains three windows and piscina on the south side; on the north side, one window of the same character as those on the south side, and the two arches already mentioned. These four windows bear a strong resemblance to, although they are not quite identical with, those of the north aisle. The east window, a remarkably good one, is of five lights ending in trefoils, and above contains quatrefoils and trefoils, the tracery having the appearance of branches hanging off from upright stems, and at the summit a quatrefoil filled with old stained glass. The reading-desk and pulpit, with their old oak and stone steps, exceedingly plain and simple, are much what they were in Saunderson's time. The latter is said to contain marks of bullets which were shot at him by the soldiers of the Parliament. I cannot credit the tradition; for within so short a distance they must inevitably have proved fatal. I think they are vacant places left by knots in the wood, which have given way. The font is of the age of the nave, decorated with arcading, and underneath the shafts with an imbattled line. The tower is about the same age again as the nave, except the parapet, which is later, and contains arms, probably those of the donor, two couple-closes. The rectory, a modern house, is within a few yards of the church, and stands doubtless on the site of the old house of Saunderson. The village is very small and secluded. There was found a few years ago in a farm-house, blocking up a fireplace, a picture, confidently believed to be a portrait of Saunderson, which the then rector carried away with him to another benefice. I conclude this long note by giving my readers a facsimile of the handwriting of Robert Saunderson, as it exists to this day in the parochial registers of Boothby-Pagnell, near Grantham.