A. D. 1684.
May 1, 1684, he gave us an excellent sermon at the parish church; see his remarkable preliminary discourse concerning holy-days, their institution, and abiise in the Romish Church, which makes many good people (his own expression,) averse to them, even as celebrated in the Church of England, though without superstition. In the whole he showed great temper and moderation.
The 4th instant I rode to Rawden, where his Grace preached excellently at the consecration of that chapel, built by Esquire Layton.
The 12th instant, I began a London journey with Mr. Fenton, of Hunslet:
besides other inscriptions and epitaphs, I took a particular account
of Mr. Read's noble benefactions at Tuxford. We made Peterborough our
road, and were kindly received by the Bishop's chaplain, brother to
my friend, Dr. Johnston, of Pontefract, who showed me a manuscript relating
to the antiquities and monuments in that cathedral. I transcribed others
that yet remain.
At London, I took my freedom of the Ham-borough Company, and that of the Eastland, but, born under some unhappy, at least some unsuitable constellation, I never made a merchant worth a farthing, or got so much in those parts, as my freedom cost me.
I went with cousin Fenton, to see the copperas works at Redriffe: in my short stay at London, I heard some eminent divines of both denominations, Dr. Stillingfleet, Kidder, with Mr. Gunter, &c. I walked with good cousin Dickenson and his nephew Collins, of Queenborough, to Newington-green, and thence to a little hill, surrounded with a moat, where cousin told me had stood Jack Straw's Castle. Called at the new bury ing-place on my return, and stayed alone till about ten, transcribing epitaphs of Dr. Goodwin and others.
The 24th. I took leave of good cousin Dickenson and rode with Mr. Fenton to Windsor, a most noble royal palace ; was mightily pleased with the exquisite paintings in the castle, and St. George's Chapel for the Knights of the Garter, but had time to transcribe no epitaphs, but one on a stately monument lately erected for a north country Bishop, Brideoak, but unhappily missed that of Sir [Richard] Wortley; and that night to Maidenhead, and next day to Oxford, where we viewed the fronts of many colleges, chapels, and halls, but was best pleased with an evening Catechetical Lecture, by the famous Dr. Wallis. We had our townsman's, Mr. Nathaniel Boyse's company next morning, to show us the most remarkable of the public structures, as New College Chapel, the Hall at Christ Church, but was most surprised by the noble Theatre (Archbishop Sheldon's benefaction) seventy feet one way and eighty the other, without any pillar to support it.
The ancient altars and other inscriptions in the area were very agreeable,
with the pictures of the learned men and founders of the colleges; but,
above all, the famous Bodleian library. The skeletons and stuffed human
skins in the Anatomy School suited my melancholy temper. Nor ought the
Museum Ashrnoleanum to be forgotten, being adorned with a very curious
collection of natural and artificial curiosities, from most parts of
the habitable world ; the Scrinium Listerianum, was the more pleasing,
because of a Yorkshire benefactor, my father's friend, the learned Dr.
Lister, afterwards my correspondent. These were shown us by the famous
Dr. Plott, who was very obliging, and his company made Mr. Boyse's treat
at University College more acceptable. Our said learned townsman was
Proctor this year, and his kindness kept us too long, that we rode unreasonably
fast to recover our journey's end.
At Banbury I was very inquisitive for an epitaph of the pious Mr. Whateley, the once famous minister of the town, but found none ; which I told them was a reproach to the place, and in my journey some years after, I found what was called a second edition Dr. Martin Lister, the naturalist, an early Fellow of the Royal Society.
of his tomb, erected a few months after this ; as also that for the memorable Mr. Heyrick and wife at Leicester, and the Duke of Lancaster's benefaction there.
Thence eighteen tedious miles to Nottingham, where I transcribed those of the two Earls of Clare of the religious family of the Hollises, and that upon Hanley's Hospital; the next day (through the merciful Providence of God) I reached Leeds, though fifty miles, as I had from Huntingdon to London in one day also, this very journey. I was entertained with the melancholy news of the deaths of Alderman Samuel Sykes and his brother Mr. Kirshaw, Rector of Ripley, two excellent persons, and very useful in their several capacities.
June 1. Bishop Lake, formerly Vicar of Leeds, preached learnedly at our parish church. I had some little business of trade, buying cloth at the new market, now by general consent (afterwards confirmed in the new charter) removed from the bridge where it was formerly, to the Broad-street.
The Honourable Henry Fairfax giving me a visit would oblige me to return
with him to Denton, where I was most kindly received by my Lord. I was
mightily pleased with the religious order of the family. Rode to Skipton,
where, for near eight hours, I was thoroughly employed in copying the
inscriptions in the folding pictures of the famous Earls of Cumberland,
and others in that ancient pedigree, in the castle there, and returned
that night to Leeds.
Having dispatched some cloth for Holland, I went with Mr. Ibbetson to Manchester, where I found my dear sister, Abigail, more indisposed at the boarding-school than I expected, but satisfied with Madam Frankland's prudence and care. I was pleased with the agreeable conversation of Mr. Newcome, and Mr. Tildsley, from whom I received several remarks concerning Bishop Wilkins, and Lord Keeper Bridge-man, their temper and moderation, &c. Took leave of sister. Her physician, the ingenious Dr. Carte, lent me his transcript of Mr. Hollingsworth's MS. History of Manchester ; of which see my Ex-cerpta,
Being now twenty-six years of age, I was solicited to change my condition, and was peculiarly recommended to Mrs. Mary Cholmley, eldest daughter of Richard Cholmley, of Sprustey, Esq. to whom I made my application, finding the young lady loveiy, pious, and prudent, and withal a considerable fortune; being not only co-heir to her father, but an additional portion given her by the Lady Morgan, her aunt. I was courteously entertained by the whole family, and after some time all matters were agreed upon, and the very day of the marriage appointed ; yet all came to nothing, by the interposition of a Member of Parliament, whose estate preponderated mine, to whom afterwards she was married, in pure obedience to her parents, who in this matter, acted not agreeably to the great profession of religion the family had been noted for. The pretence was, that her present fortune and my estate could not maintain us genteelly till the parents' death; yet afterwards very solicitously endeavoured to fix me to the second daughter, a beautiful and pious young gentlewoman; but I told them the objection (if of any weight) was much more in this case. She was afterwards married to an alderman of Hull.
This unexpected disappointment was to the mutual grief and sorrow of myself and the lady of my affections, and we parted, not without many tears on both sides. The poor lady had no great comfort in her advanced state, and survived not long ; the kind Providence of God which foresaw this, and how unfit I was for such a trial, prevented it in mercy. I was supported in the perusal of Charnock of Divine Providence, which I found most suitable in my present condition. I was often most deeply affected in meditation, and had reason to ascribe all disappointments and afflictions to ray own sins, which though not many visible to carnal eyes, are all open to the All-seeing.
When o'er my sins I seek to draw the curtains of the night, All's clear to thee, and what we call darkness, to thee is light!
The death of my dear father was now (though some years ago) so fresh in my mind, and my hearty sorrow so great, that I could not read the funeral sermon for tears; and I was concerned that, being deprived of the most desirable society that earth could afford, I do not look up more to what is infinitely more valuable in Heaven.
To divert so strong a torrent of grief, I accompanied Alderman Idle, and my dearest aunt Lucy, to visit relations beyond York, and was surprised, when, on the Lord's-day, we rode from church to church, and found four towns without sermon or prayers.