previous next

[374] Then it was that I was in communion with no single mind,— bright and gifted though it be,—but with whole generations. Those voiceless walls seemed to speak; and the olden time, with its sceptred pall, passed before me. Oh! it was with a thrill of pleasure that I looked from the spire of Salisbury, and wandered among the heavy arches of Durham, which I can never forget. At Durham I was with a most distinguished ornament of the Church,—Dr. Gilly,1—and with my namesake, the Lord Bishop of Chester,2 with Gally Knight,3 the old college friend of Byron, and with Dr. Buckland;4 but those venerable walls were more interesting, by far, than all that these men could say. And I remember no feast so rich in elevated pleasure,—not those where the contributions of wit and learning have ‘outdone the meats, outdone the frolic wine.’ Let me say, however, that York did not produce this fine effect. I saw it on a rainy day, and with my mind full of my journey to the South.

Boston, Oct. 29.
Not from ‘famous Boston town,’ where I first drew breath, do I write, but from the small place on the distant coasts of Lincolnshire, whence John Cotton, ‘whose fame was in all the churches,’ went to settle our New England. I saw the old parsonage which Cotton left for the woods of America, and tapped at the back door with a venerable, triangular knocker,—which, I doubt not, the hands of the Puritan preacher had often known, before he forsook the soft cushion of the Established Church and the shadow of that fine Gothic pile, on which, even in his day, so many centuries had shed their sunshines and showered their storms. And a glorious pile is this parish church of Boston, built in the time of Edward III.! I wish we could remove it to our city. In every thing else we have immeasurably outstripped the English town, which numbers about thirteen thousand people, and has all the air of a provincial place. There is a windmill, which, with its broad vans, is so like that which once stood at the South End, that I would have sworn to its identity.

Holkham House,5 Nov. 2, 1838.
This house has not the fresh magnificence of Chatsworth (the princely residence of the Duke of Devonshire), the feudal air of Raby and Auckland


1 William Stephen Gilly, 1790-1855; canon of Durham and vicar of Norham; author of publications concerning the Waldenses. He wrote a pleasant note to Sumner, Nov. 26, 1838, expressing regret that he could not visit Norham, and see country curates and English people in farm-houses and cottages.

2 John Bird Sumner, 1780-1862. He was made Bishop of Chester in 1828, and Archbishop of Canterbury in 1848. His younger brother, Charles Richard Sumner, 1790-1874, was first Bishop of Llandaff, and then of Winchester; resigning his see in 1869, which he had held forty-one years.

3 Henry Gally (or Galley) Knight, 1788-1846; poet and traveller, member of Parliament; referred to in Moore's ‘Life of Byron’ (London: 1860), pp. 60, 218, 245.

4 William Buckland, 1784-1856; professor at Oxford, and Dean of Westminster; distinguished for his studies in geology and mineralogy. He invited Sumner to dine with the Geological Society Club, Dec. 19, 1838, at the ‘Crown and Anchor’ Hotel.

5 Murray's Handbook,—‘Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire,’—pp. 254-261.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Richard Sumner (2)
William Stephen Gilly (2)
Durham (2)
Chester (2)
Byron (2)
William Buckland (2)
York (1)
John Bird Sumner (1)
Charles Sumner (1)
John A. Murray (1)
Archy Moore (1)
Gally Knight (1)
Henry Gally (1)
Essex (1)
Auckland (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1790 AD (2)
1874 AD (1)
1869 AD (1)
1862 AD (1)
1860 AD (1)
1856 AD (1)
1855 AD (1)
1848 AD (1)
1846 AD (1)
December 19th, 1838 AD (1)
November 26th, 1838 AD (1)
November 2nd, 1838 AD (1)
1828 AD (1)
1788 AD (1)
1784 AD (1)
1780 AD (1)
October 29th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: