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Durham City, 1848

DURHAM, a city, the capital of the county of Durham, and the head of a union, 67 miles (E.S.E.) from Carlisle, 87 (N.E.) from Lancaster, 67 (N.W. by W.) from York, and 259 (N.W.) from London; containing 14,151 inhabitants. The name of the city is probably derived from the Saxon words, Dun, a hill, and Holme, a river island; being descriptive of its situation on a rocky eminence partially surrounded by the river Wear; the Normans called it Duresme, whence more immediately is deduced its present appellation. The earliest account of the place is in 995, when the bishop and monks of Lindisfarne, afterwards called Holy Island, who had removed to Chester-leStreet, and subsequently to Ripon, for sanctuary from the violence of Danish aggression, were returning to their church at Chester-le-Street, after an absence of four months, with the disinterred body of St. Cuthbert, which had been buried at Lindisfarne, in 687. According to the superstitious legend, on their arrival at the spot where Durham now stands, a miraculous interposition rendered the carriage which conveyed the body, and other relics, immoveable; and this incident they construed into a divine prohibition against the return of the saint's remains to their former resting-place. They likewise interpreted some other circumstances into an intimation that Dunholme was destined to receive the sacred relics; and on the west corner tower of the east transept of the cathedral are still some emblematic devices designed to commemorate the occurrence. They forthwith proceeded to construct a sort of ark, or tabernacle, of wicker-work, wherein they deposited the saint's body; subsequently a more appropriate edifice was erected, called the White Church, and three years after their arrival, a stone church was built by Bishop Aldun, and dedicated to St. Cuthbert, whose remains were then removed and enshrined in it. Determined on permanent residence, these strangers cleared away the trees which skirted the hill, and began to build substantial houses. Thus arose the Saxon town of Dunholme, about the commencement of the eleventh century; and its increase, both in buildings and population, was so rapid, that in 1040, being then partially fortified, Duncan of Scotland besieged it: his forces were totally vanquished, and the heads of the Scottish leaders who were slain or captured were fixed on poles around the market-place.

At the Conquest, many of the Anglo-Saxon malcontents assembled here, erected a castle and other fortifications, and made a temporary defence, but not receiving assistance they fled; and William the Conqueror entered the city, and granted many privileges to the inhabitants. In 1069, Robert Comyn, Earl of Northumberland, being appointed governor, entered Durham with a Norman guard of 700 soldiers; and such were the enormities they committed, that the enraged populace of the adjacent country, taking advantage of the inaction to which the forces were reduced by drunkenness and revelling, burst into the city, set fire to the governor's house, and put them all to the sword, except one man, who was wounded, and made his escape. In revenge for this carnage, William, desolating in his progress the whole country between York and Durham, advanced upon the city, when the whole of the inhabitants fled, and the monks left their convent; but on the departure of the troops, the fugitives, after an absence of four months, returned from the neighbouring mountains, where they had taken shelter. A dreadful famine and consequently mortality were the result, and the people were under the necessity of eating horses, dogs, and cats, and even human bodies. The whole of the district through which the Norman had passed remained without culture for nine years, infested by robbers and beasts of prey; and many of the inhabitants who escaped the sword starved in the fields. During this calamity the bones of St. Cuthbert were removed, after a repose of seventy-five years, to Lindisfarne, on which occasion it is superstitiously related that the sea retired, and allowed the wanderers who accompanied the holy relics to pass over to the island dry-shod. At length tranquillity was restored, and the body was replaced in the shrine at Durham; but the bishop, being detected in a rebellion against the Conqueror, was imprisoned till his death.

The king, on his return from an expedition against Malcolm of Scotland, in 1072, appointed Walcher, a Norman, to the bishopric, and ordered a fortress to be erected here, to overawe the inhabitants, and form a barrier to the northern territories. This prelate purchased the earldom of Northumberland, assumed the title of Count Palatine, and by uniting temporal and ecclesiastical power, excited an insurrection, in which he was slain at Gateshead, in 1080. During the protracted warfare which followed this outrage, Carilepho, who had succeeded to the see, took part with Malcolm, against William, and at its termination fled to Normandy. William Rufus seized on the temporalities, and appointed John de Tailbois and Ernesius de Burone governors of the castle and palatinate: in 1091 the bishop was restored. The shrine of St. Cuthbert having been greatly enriched under the six prelates who preceded Carilepho, that bishop, having brought from Normandy the plan of a new church, pulled down the old one, and began the present edifice, the foundation of which was laid by King Malcolm, Carilepho, and Turgot the prior, on the 11th of August, 1093; the building taking above thirty years in its completion. Bishop Ralph Flambard conveyed St. Cuthbert's remains to the new church in 1104, erected a splendid shrine near the choir for their reception, improved the fortifications of the city and castle, and built Framwell-gate bridge. During his episcopacy Durham sustained considerable injury from fire. In 1139, the Empress Queen, Maud, daughter of Henry I.; and Prince Henry, son of David, King of Scotland, with the members of the congress, were entertained by the citizens, on the negotiation of peace between England and Scotland.

During the reign of Henry II., Bishop Pudsey incurring the royal displeasure, that monarch took possession of the city and castle; and at the bishop's death, the officers of the crown having seized the keys, the see was vacant two years. Many other vacancies occurred before and after Pudsey, owing principally to the rapacity of the crown to hold the temporalities. To this prelate the city was indebted for several improvements, particularly for the erection of Elvet bridge, and the extension of the city wall from Northgate to Southgate. King John resided here in 1213; as also did Henry III., for a short time during the prelacy of Bishop Farnham: the latter monarch deprived the shrine of St. Cuthbert of a considerable treasure, which he never restored. Edward I. held a council here, to dispose of the estates of some Scottish barons, after the victory of Falkirk; and in 1300 he again visited Durham, as a mediator between the bishop and his convent. In 1313, the suburbs were reduced to ashes by a numerous body of Scottish invaders; and in 1316, they also destroyed the seat of the prior at Beaurepaire, now Bear park: about this time Bishop Beaumont repaired the city walls, and put them into a state of defence. In 1327, the city was for some time the head-quarters of Edward III. and his army: in 1333, that monarch rested here on his march to Hallidown, and was splendidly entertained by Bishop Bury; and in 1356 he again visited Durham, issuing from it his summons for the military tenants to attend him on a northern expedition.

In 1404, two peers and two knights were executed here for engaging in a conspiracy against Henry IV. On the liberation and marriage of James I. of Scotland, in 1424, Durham was crowded with the nobility; the hostages were received here, and the King and Queen of Scotland remained in the city a considerable time. About this period the plague commenced, and continued to rage for five years; the assizes and all public assemblies were suspended, and several thousands of the inhabitants of the city and its vicinity fell victims. During the episcopacy of Neville, the English and Scottish delegates held several meetings here. In 1448, Henry VI. came on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Cuthbert: in 1463, Lord Montague and his army were quartered at Durham, previously to the battle of Hedgeley Moor; and Bishop Fox entertained Margaret, daughter of Henry VII., with other distinguished personages in the great hall of his palace, on her way to Scotland, where she was married to James IV. At the close of the rebellion under the Nevilles, in the reign of Elizabeth, sixty-six persons were executed in the city; and from 1589 to 1597, with some slight intermission, the plague again raged in it. In April, 1617, James I. was presented by the mayor with a gold cup on entering the city; and in June, 1633, Bishop Morton entertained Charles I. and his retinue during his residence here for three days, at the daily expense of £1500. After the battle of Newburn, in 1640, when the Scottish army entered England, the city of Durham became almost utterly depopulated.

The city is about one mile in length, and as much in breadth; and from the peculiar course of the river, which environs it in the form of a horse-shoe, it is peninsular, occupying a considerable eminence, surmounted by the cathedral and the remains of the ancient castle, together with other ecclesiastical residences. These are bounded on one side by the streets called the North and South Baileys, inclosed within the remains of the old city walls, and skirted by sloping gardens, that descend to the brink of the Wear; on the other side by finely-wooded banks having public walks of extreme beauty formed along the winding margin of the river. There are several approaches to the walks, one by an avenue from the Palace-green, a large open area before the cathedral. Framwell-gate bridge, situated at the northern extremity of the city, and having one pier and two elliptic and finely-proportioned arches of ninety feet span, adapted to the low shores on each side, was erected by Bishop Flambard, about 1120: a large tower gateway which stood at the end of this bridge, next the city, was taken down in 1760. Elvet bridge, of eight arches, was built about 1170 by Bishop Pudsey, and afterwards repaired by Bishop Fox, who granted an indulgence to all contributors; in 1806, it was improved, and widened to twice its former breadth. The bridge which crosses the river nearly opposite the only remaining city gate, at the extremity of the South Bailey, is an elegant structure, erected between 1772 and 1777, and consisting of three semicircular arches, with a balustraded battlement. A little higher up the river is the site of an old bridge carried away by a flood in 1771. Here stands the picturesque cottage in which the famous dwarf, Count Boruwlaski, resided during the last twenty years of his life; he was thirty-nine inches high, was born in Polish Russia in 1739, and was buried in the cathedral, Sept. 11th, 1837. The town is paved, flagged, lighted with gas, and watched under the direction of commissioners appointed under acts of parliament passed in the 30th of George III. and the 3rd of George IV. Besides St. Cuthbert's well, and several other springs of the purest water, there is a pant, or public fountain, in the centre of the market-place, surmounted by a statue of Neptune riding on a dolphin; the reservoir is of an octagonal form. In the year 1450 an excellent spring of water, situated in his manor of Sidgate, was granted to the city for ever by Thomas Billingham: the water is conveyed through pipes into the reservoir. There is a theatre in Sadler-street, built in 1791; and a mechanics' library, founded in 1825, in the market-place. The races are held in May, near Old Elvet, and continue four days: they appear to have been established in the reign of Charles II.

The Castle of Durham, once a residence of the bishop, but now assigned to the university, stands northward of the cathedral. The original edifice is attributed to the Conqueror, in 1072; but it has undergone various alterations and additions at different periods. The oldest portion is probably the ancient chapel and the foundations under the great hall, together with the range of arcades lately opened out in the upper story. It is doubtful whether any part of the original keep, except the foundation, remains: that which now exists was most likely built by Bishop Hatfield, in 1350, and is in the form of an irregular octagon, occupying the summit of an artificial mound, around which are three terraces, commanding a beautiful view of the city and its environs. Operations have been lately completed for restoring the outer walls of the keep, and building within them eighteen sets of apartments for university students. The other parts consist of a large mass of buildings, of almost every date, from the Norman to the present time. Some fine specimens of Norman architecture and carving, previously concealed, have been laid open by Bishops Barrington and Van Mildert, and by the present possessors: the ancient baronial hall, now the splendid dining-room of the university, has been fitted up with great taste by the warden, Dr. Thorp. The great north gateway was used as a county gaol till 1820, when it was removed, and its site occupied, on the west side, by a library and newsroom, and on the east by shops, with a spacious assembly-room over them.

The trade was formerly much more extensive than it is at present: a cotton manufactory, which existed previously to 1804, was in that year destroyed by fire. It has, however, received a stimulus from the Hartlepool, Durham and Sunderland, York and Newcastle, and Clarence railways, and from the increasing coal-trade. The Durham and Sunderland railway, for the conveyance of coal and passengers, was completed in 1838; the line is 13¼ miles long: the Durham branch of the York and Newcastle railway, 2¼ miles in length, was opened in April, 1844. Here are two manufactories for stuffs and carpets and for spinning wool, two iron and brass foundries, two hat-factories, some coach-manufactories, two water and two steam mills for grinding corn, and some paper-mills. A market for corn and provisions is held on Saturday, under a piazza at the bottom of the market-place, where the corn is pitched. Fairs for horned-cattle, sheep, and horses, are held on the 29th, 30th, and 31st of March, Whit-Tuesday, Saturday before May 13th, Sept. 15th, and Saturday before Nov. 23rd: the March fair is an object of peculiar attraction to horse-dealers from the south, on account of the excellent breed of horses in the adjacent district which are brought for sale. A court of pie-poudre is held during each fair, by the corporation.

The government, in the earliest times, was vested in a bailiff appointed by the bishop. About 1440, the title of the principal civil officer was changed from "bailiff of the borough," to "bailiff of the city;" and in 1171 the first charter was bestowed by Bishop Pudsey upon the burgesses, who were exempted from the payment of tolls and other feudal exactions, and received also "all such free customs as the burgesses of Newcastle enjoyed." From this period to the Reformation the city was governed by a bailiff, but an officer was then appointed under the statute of Edward III. and other laws, who, under the title of marshal, kept the alnage seal. In 1377, Bishop Hatfield granted a charter imposing certain duties on wares coming into the city, as a fund for keeping the walls and pavement in repair. A charter of incorporation was conferred in 1565, by Bishop Pilkington, vesting the government in an alderman and twelve burgesses, and authorising a weekly market and three annual fairs. In 1602 Bishop Matthew bestowed a new charter, whereby the body politic and corporate was made to consist of a mayor, twelve aldermen, and a common-council, with divers privileges, power to purchase lands, and a common seal. This was confirmed by James I., and continued in force till 1761, when, in consequence of irregularities in the election of the mayor and other members, the city was placed under the control of a bailiff, till Bishop Egerton granted a charter in 1780, under which, till the passing of the Municipal act, the corporation consisted of a mayor, twelve aldermen, and twenty-four common-councilmen, assisted by a recorder, town-clerk, two serjeants-at-mace, and inferior officers. Under that act the corporation comprises a mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors; and the city is divided into three wards, the municipal and parliamentary boundaries being the same. There are 16 trading companies, in two of which all the sons are free by patrimony; in the rest, only the eldest son: the freedom is also acquired by servitude. The elective franchise was conferred by act of parliament, in 1673, since which time the city has returned two members. The right of election once belonged to the members of the corporation and the freemen, resident and non-resident, amounting to about 1200; but by the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the former non-resident electors, except within seven miles, were disfranchised, and the privilege was extended to the £10 householders of an enlarged district, comprising 1480 acres, now constituting the borough, which formerly included only 330 acres: the mayor is returning officer.

The corporation hold a court leet and a court baron, as lessees of the manor under the Bishop of Durham, for the recovery of debts under 40s. Criminal matters are brought before the justices of the county, who hold a court of petty-sessions every Saturday at the justiceroom in the county courts, where also are held the adjourned quarter-sessions on the first Saturday in every month. A court of pleas for the county is held by prescription every three weeks, and twice a year before the judges travelling the northern circuit; it is a superior court of record, in which sums to any amount are recoverable. The assizes for the county are also held here. The powers of the county debt-court of Durham, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Chester-le-Street and Houghton, part of the district of Durham and Lanchester, and part of that of Easington. In the market-place is the guildhall, erected by Bishop Tunstall in 1555, and repaired by George Bowes, Esq., in 1752; in the council-chamber are portraits of Charles II., Bishop Lord Crewe, Dr. Hartwell, Hugh, Earl Percy, and Brass Crossby, lord mayor of London. The exchequer, built in 1450 by Bishop Neville, is on the Palace Green; within it are offices for the auditor, cursitor, prothonotary, treasurer and clerk of the county, registrar, &c. From 1809 to 1818, extensive buildings, comprising a house of correction, county courts, and a gaol, were erected at the expense of £120,000; they occupy a large square area, on the north side whereof is the court-house, which, besides the Crown and Nisi Prius courts at each end, contains commodious apartments for the judge, jury, counsel, &c. The city is the place of election for the parliamentary representatives of the northern division of the county.

The bishopric of Durham, one of the most, wealthy in the kingdom, includes the counties of Durham and Northumberland. The ecclesiastical establishment is in future to consist of the bishop, dean, 3 archdeacons, 6 resident canons, a number of honorary canons, 6 minor canons, and a chancellor: the bishop has the patronage of the archdeaconries, chancellorship, and canonries; the dean and chapter have the patronage of the minor canonries. The cathedral is situated on an eminence partly clothed with plantations and gardens, and almost encircled by the river; near it are the university, the deanery, and other ecclesiastical residences, and the general aspect of this mass of building is peculiarly grand and impressive. The north front faces an open space between the cathedral and the castle; on the south and east the edifice is so surrounded as to prevent a complete view, but from the opposite bank of the river the western front is visible, under that advantage of distance which is favourable to the concealment of the more modern alterations in detail. The plan of the cathedral exhibits a Galilee at the west front, a nave, aisles, and transept, with a choir and aisles, and the chapel of Nine Altars, the last extending beyond the north and south walls of the building, and assuming the appearance of a second transept. The length of the edifice is 420 feet; the interior of the Galilee is 78 by 50; the height of the central tower 212, and that of the western towers each 143. The general character of the larger portion is Norman, of a very bold style, with insertions in all the English styles. The foundation was laid in 1093, by Bishop Carilepho; the chapel of Galilee, or the Lady Chapel, at the western end, was built by Bishop Pudsey, who had previously commenced the erection of a chapel at the eastern end of the edifice, for the devotional exercises of females, which was discontinued. The north aisle of the Galilee was for a long time used as a depository for wills, and the register-office was also kept in it prior to the erection of the present building in 1822; but it has been re-united to the fabric, and divine service is performed there every Sunday evening during the summer months. The eastern portion of the choir, or the chapel of the Nine Altars, is in the early English style, with a large decorated window at the north end: the large west window, and that of the north transept, are also of the decorated character, with rich composition; and in various parts of the cathedral are windows of a similar style, with fine tracery inserted in the opening, of earlier date. The two western towers are Norman below, the upper portions English, with an intermixture of semicircular and pointed arches; to these have been added, during the late repairs, pinnacles and a pierced battlement. The great central tower is of later English architecture above the nave, with Norman piers and arches below; and the upper story is short in comparison with the base. The nave is magnificent in its proportions, and very bold in its details: the central tower is open to a great height, and although in other parts the effect is diminished, from the situation of the church not permitting a western entrance, and from the division between the Galilee and the nave, this portion is exceedingly fine. Behind the altar-screen is the chapel called the Feretory, where stood the gorgeous shrine of St. Cuthbert, erected over the spot where his bones were deposited: during the progress of some alterations immediately behind this shrine, on the 17th of May, 1827, the vault supposed to contain the holy relics was opened, when a chest, apparently of oak, was discovered, in which lay the perfect skeleton of the saint, in vestments of linen and silk. The eastern arch of the choir is early English; and the altar-screen, in tabernacle-work of the later style, corresponds with the screen-work of the bishop's throne, which is erected over the magnificent tomb of Bishop Hatfield. The groining of the nave and choir is also in the early English style, the latter being of somewhat later character than the former. The cathedral library contains numerous manuscripts of remote antiquity, especially two in the handwriting of Bede.

At the time of the Dissolution, the priory was rated at about £1600 per annum; and on the 12th of May, 1541, Henry VIII. granted his foundation charter to the church, altering its dedication from St. Mary and St. Cuthbert, to that of Christ and St. Mary. He instituted a dean and twelve prebendaries as a body corporate, and bestowed upon them the site of the monastery, with its ancient rights. The minor duties of the cathedral are performed by eight singing men, an organist and choristers, and two bell-ringers; there are a master and under master of the grammar school, and eighteen scholars, and eight poor men are supported by the establishment. The school had, previously to the foundation of the university of Durham, four exhibitions for sons of clergymen, of £25 per annum each at school, and £50 per annum each at either of the two universities, given by the Dean and Chapter. It has now only five scholarships, of £10 per annum each, at Peter-house, Cambridge, founded by John Cosin, D.D., Bishop of Durham; one scholarship, of £16 per annum, at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, founded by Dr. Michael Smith, jointly with the school at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for which also, and for this school, Dr. Hartwell bequeathed £20 per annum, to be divided between two exhibitioners at either university, and tenable for five years. In addition to the eighteen boys on the foundation, are about sixty who pay a regular quarterage.

The city comprises several parishes. St. Giles, or Gilligate, containing 3396 inhabitants, is a perpetual curacy; patrons, the Marquess and Marchioness of Londonderry. The church has various Norman portions, but the general style resembles that of the Galilee chapel of the cathedral. St. Mary's, or the North Bailey, containing 308 inhabitants, is a rectory not in charge; net income, £111; patron, the Archdeacon of Northumberland. The church, in which the bishop's and archdeacon's visitations are now held, was repaired in 1685, and is supposed to occupy the site of the chapel in which St. Cuthbert's remains were originally deposited. St. Mary's, or the South Bailey, containing 99 inhabitants, is a rectory not in charge, in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £119. The church is an ancient edifice, with modern alterations, and is remarkable for its carved altar-screen and other ornaments. St. Nicholas', containing 2757 inhabitants, is a perpetual curacy; net income, £87; patron and impropriator, the Marquess of Londonderry. The church is of considerable antiquity; it was repaired in 1768, and an east window added. St. Oswald's, or Elvet, which has been divided into two distinct parishes under the 16th section of the act of the 58th of George III., contains, with the part without the city, and exclusively of Crossgate, the second parish, 3341 inhabitants: it is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16; net income, £272; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter. The church is a large and handsome edifice, the lower part in the early English style, the windows and other portions decorated, and the tower and upper part of the building later English. St. Margaret's, or Crossgate, containing 1712 inhabitants, is now a perpetual curacy; net income, £409; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter. The church, an ancient Norman structure with a low tower, has undergone much alteration at different periods. The chapel of Croxdale, in St. Oswald's parish, is noticed under its own head. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and Roman Catholics, the last a handsome edifice with a stained window representing Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The university was founded in connexion with the cathedral, by the late Bishop Van Mildert and the Dean and Chapter; the former contributing annually £2000 towards a fund for the maintenance of a warden, a professor of Greek, and a professor of divinity, to each of which two latter offices he annexed a canonry in the cathedral; and the latter assigning to the purpose property producing a rental of £3000. By act of parliament in 1832, the Dean and Chapter, with the consent of the Bishop, were empowered to appropriate the property above mentioned to the establishment and maintenance of the university; and the members were incorporated by royal charter on the 1st of June, 1837, when the government was vested in the Dean and Chapter, under the jurisdiction of the bishop, as visiter, and the castle of Durham, with its precincts, was conveyed to the bishop in trust for its further endowment. By order in council, on the 4th of June, 1841, pursuant to a recommendation of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, it was provided that the wardenship should on the first vacancy be permanently annexed to the deanery of Durham, that a professorship of Hebrew and the oriental languages should then be founded, and that the six fellowships founded by the Dean and Chapter, in 1840, should be increased to twenty-four; towards the maintenance of which, certain estates were allotted to the university.

The establishment is under the control of a warden and sub-warden; a senate, consisting of the warden, the professors of divinity, Greek, Hebrew, and oriental languages, and mathematics, and the two proctors; a registrar, treasurer, librarian and assistant librarian, an observer, and two pro-proctors. In addition to the professors are readers in law, medicine, history, and polite literature, and natural philosophy; and lecturers on chemistry and modern languages. The course of studies and the discipline are similar to those of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The college was established at the same time as the university, and is under the superintendence of a master, who is the warden of the university, a vice-master, and four tutors; the hall and chapel of the castle are appropriated to the use of the college, and several houses within the precincts have been fitted up for the residence of the students. Increased facilities being necessary, a new hall, called Bishop Hatfield's Hall, was opened in 1846, and a principal appointed. The 24 fellowships, of £150 each for clergymen, and £120 for laymen, are tenable for eight years by such students as have taken the degree of B.A. in the university, and 8 of them can be held by laymen. There are also 20 university scholarships of £30 each, of which one is in the nomination of the grammar school, two in that of the dean, one in that of each of the canons, and the remainder are given by the senate to students that have distinguished themselves in first or second annual examinations. Since the death of the late bishop, two scholarships, of £50 each, have been founded by subscription, and, out of respect to his memory, called the Van Mildert scholarships; they are tenable by students who have taken the degree of B.A. and are desirous of becoming students in theology. There is also a scholarship of £30, founded by the Dean and Chapter, with £600 placed at their disposal, for the benefit of the university, by the Rev. Thomas Gisborne, canon of Durham; and the trustees of Bishop Barrington have usually granted annually a sum sufficient for maintaining six scholarships, of £40 each, tenable by the sons or orphans of the clergy of the diocese. The university has a valuable library and museum.

Among the charitable institutions is the Infirmary, a spacious building in Allergate, erected by subscription in 1792, on a piece of ground given by Thomas Wilkinson, Esq., of Coxhoe. On the east side of the Palace green was a range of building erected by Bishop Cosin, in 1668, consisting of an almshouse in the centre and a schoolroom at each end. In a charter respecting this property Bishop Cosin attributes the foundation of the schools, of which the one was for singing, and the other a grammar school, to Bishop Langley; but on the authority of a manuscript in the library of the Dean and Chapter, the foundation is assigned to two persons named Newton and Thoralby. The old buildings have been ceded to the university, and a new building erected in their stead in Queen-street, comprising separate apartments for four poor men and four poor women, 50 years of age, and unmarried, who are appointed by the bishop. There is a long list of benefactors to the poor, among whom is Henry Smith, who in 1598 bequeathed his coal-mines and personal estate to supply a fund, which now produces about £400 per annum, for the relief of poor inhabitants. The trustees were the mayor and aldermen for the time being, but by an order of the Lord Chancellor, in 1836, seventeen new trustees were appointed. The union of Durham comprises 25 parishes or places in the city and county: the workhouse, in which there is accommodation for 160 paupers, is at the head of Crossgate.

About three-quarters of a mile eastward from the city is Old Durham, a spot supposed by some to have been occupied by the Saxons, before the foundation of the present city, and by others to have been a Roman station: it still exhibits a few traces of antiquity. Opposite to it, on the southern side of the Wear, is the site of a fortification, with more probability ascribed to the Romans, called Maiden Castle; and some remains of the Ikeneld-street or Roman way are discernible in the neighbourhood. Within one mile north-east of Durham, also on the Wear, are the few remains of Kepier Hospital, an institution founded in 1112, by Bishop Flambard, for the maintenance of a master and twelve brethren, and valued at the Dissolution at £186. 0. 10.: they consist of a gateway with pointed arches. In the parish of St. Oswald, on the western bank of the river, are the venenerable and picturesque remains of Finchale Priory, founded by Henry de Pudsey, son of Bishop Pudsey, for Benedictine monks, in 1196, on the site of an ancient hermitage, in which Godric, who was afterwards canonized, for many years practised the severest austerities of devotional seclusion: its revenue, at the Dissolution, was £146. 19. 2.; and the remains, with the romantic cliffs of Cocken, on the opposite bank of the river, attract numerous visiters, for whose accommodation a house has been erected. The mansion-house of Houghall, built by Prior Hotoun, is about a mile from the city; and two miles distant is Beautrove, now Butterby, remarkable for its beauty and natural curiosities. In the moat surrounding the old mansion a coat of mail was discovered; and in an adjoining field the supposed site of an ancient hospital, several stone coffins and jars have been dug up. Here are saline, sulphureous, and chalybeate springs, the first of which was much frequented by people who drank the waters medicinally; but they have nearly been exhausted by the sinking of some new collieries in their vicinity. A mile westward from the city is the fragment of the once famous cross called Nevill's Cross erected by Ralph, Lord Nevill, in commemoration of the battle in 1346, in which David Bruce, King of Scotland, was taken prisoner. The following literary persons were natives of Durham: Robert Hegg, author of The Legend of St. Cuthbert, &c.; John Hall, a poet of the seventeenth century, who, besides a volume of poems, published a translation of Longinus; Dr. Richard Grey, author of the Memoria Technica and several other works, born in 1693; and William Eden, Lord Auckland, a distinguished statesman and diplomatist. The city gives the titles of Earl and Baron to the Lambton family.

Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.

Durham (City)


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