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Several of the chief citizens went to the king to ask for city received its first charter from Henry I. ; and that a truce, which he granted, keeping some of their num- John Lackland, in the year 1200, empowered it to elect ber as hostages for its observance. When the re- a mayor and two bailiffs. mainder returned to the city, however, the inhabitants The royal visits it received in these earlier days may refused to agree to the terms, and prepared to renew be passed over - though that of Richard III. be the fight. William now directed one of the hostages amongst them; and the Black Prince, on his triumphto be brought close to the walls, where he caused his ant return from Poictiers, stayed here some days; and eyes to be torn out. The inhabitants fought resolutely, Edward I. came hither especially to investigate the but the wall being thrown down, the city was taken particulars of the murder of Walter de Lechlade, the after à siege of eighteen days, though not without precentor, who was killed on his way from early prayers, considerable loss to the victor. Even then the fall when, for their negligence or complicity, in permitting of the city was, according to the Saxon Chronicle, the murderer to escape, the king caused the mayor and partly the result of treachery: “ The citizens surren- the gate porter to be hung. We may also pass over dered their city because the thanes had betrayed them." all its sieges and adventures down to the reign of Henry Harold's mother, Githa, and many of the wives of the VII., when one occurs that must be mentioned. citizens had escaped before the surrender : they went, It is that of the unhappy impostor, Perkin Warbeck, according to the same authority, " to the Steep Holmes, who here made his first and most unlucky trial at and there abode some time; and afterwards went from
Hall gives so curious an account of Perkin thence over sea to St. Omer's.” The Domesday Sur- Warbeck's siege of Exeter, that it may be worth while vey shows that forty-eight houses were destroyed in to quote a portion of it. The first thing after Perthis siege : the king however dealt leniently with the kin's landing in Cornwall, says Hall, his councillors people.
advised him to make himself master of some strong In order to hold the inhabitants in check for the walled towns and fortresses, wherein he might entrench future, William built a large and strong castle, which, himself till his army had sufficiently augmented for from the red colour of the hill on which it was erected, him to meet that which might be sent against him. he called Rougemont:-a name, the reader of Shakspere "When he and his council were fully resolved on this will remember, which long after caused Richard III. point and conclusion, they in good order went straight to start :
to Exeter, which was the next city that he could " When last I was at Exeter,
approach to, and besieged it; and because he lacked The Mayor, in courtesy, show'd me the Castle, ordnance to make a battery to raze and deface the And called it Rouge-mont: at which name I started,
walls, he studied all the ways possible how to break Because a bard of Ireland told me once,
and infringe the gates; and what with casting of stones, I should not live long after I saw Richmond."*
heaving with iron bars, and kindling of fire under the Rich. III., Act IV., sc. 2.
gates, he omitted nothing which could be devised for William gave the charge of the castle to Baudoin (or the furtherance of his ungracious purpose. The citiBaldwin) de Brionne, the husband of his niece Albrina, zens perceiving their town to be environed with whom he created governor of Devon, and bestowed enemies and like to be inflamed, began at the first to upon him twenty houses in Exeter, and a hundred and be sore abashed, and let certain messengers by cords fifty-nine manors in this part of the country. The down over the wall, which should certify the king of castle is believed to have been erected on the site of a all their necessity and trouble. But after that, taking much older one. It remained in the hands of the to them lusty hearts and manly courages, they deterdescendants of Baudoin till the reign of Henry III., who mined to repulse fire by fire; and caused faggots to be took the keeping of it into his own control. In the brought to the inward part of the ports and posterns, war between Stephen and the Empress Matilda, Exeter and set them all on fire, to the intent that the fire being embraced the cause of the empress.
The castle was inflamed on both sides of the gates, might as well strengthened and garrisoned for her by the earl of exclude their enemies from entering, as include the Devon; and when the king came in person with his citizens froin running or flying out; and that they in army before the city, the inhabitants refused to allow the mean season might make trenches and rampires to him to enter. The siege lasted for above two months, defend their enemies instead of gates and bulwarks. and the citizens at length yielded rather to the force of Thus all the doings and attempts of the rebellious hunger than of arms. Matilda remained so great a people had evil success in their first enterprize : and favourite in Exeter that a festival was for some cen- thus by fire the city was preserved from flame and turies annually kept in commemoration of her. burning. Then Perkin being of very necessity com
We ought perhaps to note here in passing that the pelled to leave the gates, assaulted the town in divers
* Fuller very reasonably suggests that the wizard, as he weak and unfortified places, and set up laulders, atstyles the Irish bard, or Satan through hin, must have“ either tempting to climb orer the walls and to take the city, spoke this oracle low or lisping, desiring to palliate his fal- thinking surely to compel the citizens either by fear or lacy and ignorance; or that King Richard (a guilty conscience lack of succour to render themselves and yield the will be frighted with little) mistook the word,” when the
town. But the citizens, nothing so minded, so courageMayor pronounced it.
ously, like valiant champions, defended the walls, that
they slew above two hundred of his seditious soldiers taken after a smart siege by Fairfax. This was the at this assault. As soon as the messengers of Exeter last of its warlike adventures. The Parliament caused came to the king's presence and showed their instruc- the castle to be dismantled and the fortifications to be tions, he hastened with his host toward Exeter with as rendered useless. While the city was occupied by the much haste as the gravity of the cause did require and royalist troops, Queen Henrietta gave birth here to a expostulate.
When Perkin with his lewd daughter, afterwards Duchess of Orleans; whose porcaptains saw that the city of Exeter was so well trait, presented to the city by her brother Charles II., fortified both with men and munitions, and of them in still hangs in the Guildhall. manner impregnable, fearing the sequel of this matter, Three days after his landing at Torbay, the Prince he departed from Exeter with his lousy army to the next of Orange made a rather pompous entry into Exeter. great town called Taunton, and there the twentieth day The following account of the order of the ceremonial, of September he mustered his men as though he were as quoted in one of the guide-books, would contrast ready to fight, but his number was sore minished. rather curiously with that of a military entry of the For when the poor and needy people saw the great present day :—"The Earl of Macclesfield, with two defence which was made at Exeter, and that no men of hundred noblemen and gentlemen, on Flanders' steeds, honour nor yet of honesty drew to him, contrary to the completely clothed in armour; two hundred negroes, promise and assurance made by him and his councillors in attendance on the said gentlemen, with embroidered to them at the beginning, they withdrew themselves by caps and plumes of white feathers; two hundred Finsundry secret companies from him, in providing their landers, clothed in beaver's skins, in black armour, own safeguard. Which thing when Perkin perceived, and with broad swords; fifty gentlemen, and as many he put small trust and less confidence in the remnant pages, to attend and support the Prince's standard ; of his army, as afterwards did appear, because the fifty led horses trained to war, with two grooms to most part of his soldiers were harnessed on the right each; two state coaches; the Prince on a white charger arm and naked all the body, and never exercised in a complete suit of armour, with white ostrich-feathers nor martial feats but only with the spade and shovel.” | in his helmet, and forty-two footmen running by his
From Taunton, as will be recollected, Perkin took side ; two hundred gentlemen and pages on horseback ; the earliest opportunity to make his escape to a sanc- three hundred Swiss guards, armed with fusees; five tuary; and his army speedily dispersed. "And so,"
“And so," hundred volunteers, with two led horses each ; the continues the old Chronicler, “the king, being a con- Prince's guards, in number six hundred, armed cap-aqueror without manslaughter or effusion of Christian pie; the rest of the army brought up the rear ; they blood, rode triumphantly into the city of Exeter, and had fifty wagons loaded with cash, and one hundred there not only lauded and praised the citizens of Exeter, and twenty pieces of cannon." but also rendered to them his most hearty thanks, as William's reception in Exeter was rather cold. well for their duty done as for their valiantness. And “ The prince,” says Bishop Burnet, who accompanied there also he afflicted and put in execution divers him,“ made haste to Exeter, where he stayed ten days, Cornishmen which were the authors and stirrers up of both for refreshing his troops, and for giving the counthis new insurrection and false conspiracy.” To mark try time to show their affections. But the clergy and his sense of the service the city had rendered him, the magistrates of Exeter were very fearful and very backking presented his own sword to the mayor, and also ward. The bishop and the dean ran away. And the a cap of maintenance; and directed that they should clergy stood off, though they were sent for, and very be carried before him on all occasions of ceremony, in gently spoke to by the Prince. We stayed a perpetual remembrance of the valour and loyalty of week at Exeter before any gentlemen of the city came the citizens.
about the prince. Every day some person of condition This was not the last occasion on which it successfully came from other parts.” withstood a siege. When, in 1549, in consequence of We will only mention one other royal visit to Exeter : the recent religious changes, occurred what was long that of George III. and his queen, in 1789 ; and which remembered as "the Devonshire Commotion," the city is now chiefly noteworthy on account of Dr. Walcot, was for two months encompassed by the insurgents ; who never lost an opportunity of lampooning that and the inhabitants, who resolutely refused to yield, monarch, having celebrated it in a burlesque rhyme, were reduced to the greatest extremities before the entitled 'The Royal Visit to Exeter, by John Ploughsiege was raised by a royal army under Lord Russell. share.' Walcot was a native of Devonshire; and the It was in reference to these stout defences of the citizens verses are written in the Devonshire dialect, of which that Elizabeth gave the city its motto, Semper fidelis. they are considered a very tolerable example. Two or It but indifferently supported its loyal character during three stanzas will show its quality, and the nature of the “Great Rebellion." On the breaking out of the Devonshire speech—now losing a little of its rudeness, contest between Charles and the Parliament, the city was at least in this part of the county : occupied by the Earl of Stamford for the Parliament. After the defeat of Stamford in May, 1643, Exeter “ Leek bullocks sting'd by appledranes opened its gates to Prince Maurice, and it continued
Currantin it about the lanes, to be held for the king till April, 1646, when it was
Vokes this way dreav'd and that ;
Zom hootin, heavin, soalin, hawlin;
ivy: with its ivy cloak it forms a rather picturesque Zom in the mucks and pellum sprawlin ;
object. The site of the castle is occupied by the SesLeek pancakes all so flat.
sions'-House - quite a common-place building; the
large open space in front is used for holding election, Well : in a come King George to town,
county, and other meetings. From the ramparts may With dust and sweat as nutmeg brown,
be obtained some very good views of the city; and The hosses all in smoke;
the contemplative visitor may, as he paces them, approHuzzain, trumpetin, and dringin, Red colours vleein, roarin, zingin,
priately ponder the changes that time has wrought in So mad seem'd all the voke.
the whole way of life and habits of thought, as well in the material objects he sees about him.
The city hardly retains so much of the character of Now down long Vore Street did they come,
antiquity as might be expected. You may pass from Zom hollowin, and screechin zom:
end to end of the long High Street and Fore Street, Now trudg'd they to the Dean's.
and hardly have the attention attracted by any very Now goed the Aldermen and May’r,
remarkable feature ; and equally so, from one extremity Zom wey crapp'd wigs, and zom wey hair,
to the other, of North and South Streets. Still there The royal voke to ken;
are appearances of antiquity, and if it had not been When Meyster May’r upon my word,
necessary, from time to time, to alter and improve the Poked to the King a gert long sword, Which he poked back agen.”
houses, it is easy to see that the city would be a pic
turesque one. When the gables of the houses, which The description of the remainder of the ceremony, are set towards the streets, were ornamented, and the with a notice of the royal doings and sayings (some upper stories hung forwards, it must have been emiof it in sufficiently uncourtierlike style), may be found nently so. But the narrowness of the streets, of course, in its proper place. Peter Pindar has also two or three made it advisable to remove the projecting stories other poems in the Devonshire dialect, which may be where the old houses remain ; and in the 'smartening' found in his works by those who are curious in such process which all have more or less undergone, nearly matters.
all the rich decorations of the old gables have been Exeter, as has been said, is built on a rather steep removed or hidden, and they have been made as smooth, though not very lofty hill, a circumstance that adds as and plain, and mean, as the modern houses on either much to its pleasantness as its salubrity. Leland, side of them. Something has been done, too, to lessen writing from personal examination, in the reign of the steepness of the streets--a very useful alteration, Henry VIII., says: “ The town is a good mile and but certainly not an ornamental one. The deep hollow, more in compass, and is right strongly walled and for example, between North Street and St. David's maintained. There be divers fair towers in the town Hill, has been spanned by a viaduct, the 'Iron Bridge,' wall, betwixt the south and the west gates. As the whereby the passengers are brought about on a level walls have been newly made, so have the old towers with the first floors of the unhappy-looking houses : decayed. There be four gates in the town, by the and when the new bridge was constructed at the end name of East, West, North, and South, The East and of Fore Street, the opportunity was taken of lessening the West Gates be now the fairest, and of one fashion in a similar way the steepness of the road. Still, if of building. The South Gate hath been the strongest, it be not remarkably picturesque, the city is pleasant There be divers fair streets in Exeter ; but the High and apparently prosperous ; and there yet remain Street, that goeth from the West to the East Gate, is enough relics of antiquity within it to amuse the vacant the fairest."
hours and reward the researches of the visitor who is Leland's half-complaining obseryation might be ex- of an antiquarian turn, even apart from its noble cathetended to the whole city~"As buildings have been dral,
newly made, so have the old places decayed," The But the Cathedral (Cut, No. 1), is of course the
Exeter of the present day is very different from that chief object of attraction, and indeed, is the only really which Leland saw. The city has extended its bound attractive building in the city. Though inferior in size aries till it has come to be about a mile and three and grandeur to a few other of our cathedrals, it is one quarters long, and above a mile brgad, where widest of the finest of the second class, and in some respects and longest. Not only are the forts decayed and gone, it is unique. The oldest part of the present edifice was but the gates also : the last of them, the South Gate, erected early in the twelfth century; but the main was removed in 1819. The walls may be traced ; and portion is more recent. In 1112, William Warlewast, some portions of them remain. Part of the walls of one of the Normans who followed William I. to Engthe castle are also standing, but of the building itself land, and whom the monarch had created third bishop only a fragment is left. This is a gateway of Norman of Exeter, laid the first stone of a new cathedral: he · date, and is no doubt the chief entrance of the original died before the works were very far advanced, and their Rougemont. It stands on the north side of the city, progress was probably interrupted by the dissensions and should be visited. Little of the original architec- in the reign of Stephen. The part which had been ture is discernible, it being almost wholly covered with finished suffered considerable injury during the siege