Monkwearmouth Church

Monkwearmouth Church

The tower and the west wall of St. Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth, are now the only portions remaining of tha monastic establishment founded at this place in the year 674 by Benedict Biscop, and immediately endowed with great liberality by King Ecgfrid. Before the sister house at Jarrow was founded, seven years later, Monkwearmouth was the home of Bede, who has left a valuable record of the early history of the twin monasteries in his “Lives of the Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow.”

The early churches founded in the North were chiefly built of timber, “after the manner of the Scots”; but Biscop built his churches of stone, “after the manner of the Romans.” And it is interesting to find that the same great founder of churches also brought makers of glass from France, who not only, as Bede tells us, glazed the windows of Benedict’s churches, but taught their art, which till that time had been unknown in Britain, to the natives.

The sight of a structure which has withstood the storms and changes of more than twelve centuries is always impressive; but especially is this the case when, as at Monkwearmouth, that structure is linked with an event of absorbing interest in the early history of our country. Biscop and Bede were great men. The former was a great builder, a man of large and liberal views, and a generous patron of literature and the arts. The latter was the great scholar of his age. Jarrow and Wearmouth were the principal seats of learning, not in the North alone, not in Britain alone, but in the whole of Western Europe. The perishing sculptures which adorn the sides of the entrance of this ancient tower may seem rude to us, but no one can fail to see in the baluster shafts which are built into the same doorway, and which also occur in the little windows high up in the west wall of the nave, evidence of genuine and refined art. And it must not be forgotten that the famous Codex Amiatinus, the most valuable MS. now in existence of the ancient Latin version of the Bible, with its beautiful caligraphy and its gorgeous illuminations, was certainly written either at Jarrow or at Monkwearmouth.

We have only space to add that the lower portion of the tower is of much earlier date than the upper part. This lower part was originally not a tower, but a porch, the porticus ingressus as it is called by Bede. The gable line of its original roof may be seen rising to a point between the second and third string courses.


Jack Crawford, the Hero of Camperdown

Jack Craford

The heroism of Sunderland sailors has more than once received ample illustration. Hardy sons of the North, enjoying the excellent physical development peculiar to the inhabitants of this severe locality, trained to battle with the elements in peaceful times, they were ever valuable for intrepidity, skill, and daring, when “wild war’s deadly blast” called men from industrial occupations. Their valour has not passed without recognition in well informed and influential quarters. A committee of the House of Commons, in the year 1820, paid the sailors employed in the coal trade the following high compliment by resolution : “That the number of men obtained in the course of the war, from Newcastle and Sunderland, does not indeed bear a great proportion to the whole of the men employed and raised in the same time for the navy; but their value is not altogether to be estimated by their number. The difficulties of the navigation in the coal trade are admitted to give the seamen derived from it, in point of skill and experience, patience of fatigue and hardship, an incontestable superiority over those drawn from other maritime trades of the kingdom. During the late war, our naval officers gave a decided preference to sailors bred up in the coal trade.”


Jack Crawford, the hero of Camperdown, was born in what is now called the Pottery Bank, Sunderland, in the spring of 1775. His father was a keelman on the Wear. The boy was fond of the sea, and served a regular apprenticeship in the Peggy, of South Shields. A difference in his family occurring about 1796, Jack left Sunderland, and entered on board a man-of-war. In the following year he became famous by the daring deed which he performed on board Admiral Duncan’s flag-ship, the Venerable.


The Battle of Camperdown

The battle of Camperdown, one of the famous naval victories won by British sailors when “wooden walls”, were in their glory, was fought between the English and Dutch fleets on the 11th October, 1797. The fleets were commanded, on the English side by Admiral Duncan, and on the Dutch side by the famous De Winter. Duncan had been blockading the Dutch coast for months, and he found it necessary to proceed to Yarmouth to refit, leaving only a small squadron of observation under the command of Captain Trollope. Scarcely had the Admiral reached the Roads when a vessel at the back of the sands gave the spirit-stirring signal that the enemy was at sea. Not a moment was lost in getting under sail, and early on the morning of the 11th he was in sight of Captain Trollope’s squadron, with a signal flying for an enemy to leeward. He instantly bore up, made signal for a general chase, and soon came in sight of the enemy, meanwhile forming in line on the larboard tack, between Camperdown and Egmont, the land being about nine miles to leeward. Each fleet consisted of sixteen sail of the line, exclusive of frigates, brigs, and other craft. As they approached each other, the British Admiral gave orders to his fleet to break the enemy’s line and engage to leeward, each ship to choose its opponent. The signal was promptly obeyed, and, getting between the enemy and the land, the action commenced about half-past twelve, and, by one, was general along the whole line. The Monarch was the first to break through. The Venerable, Admiral Duncan’s ship, failed in an attempt to pass astern of De Winter’s flag-ship, the Vryheid. As the Venerable came up, the States-General, another vessel of the enemy, filled the gap through which Duncan had intended to pass. The Venerable, although the original intention failed in execution, was not to be denied, and, immediately pouring a destructive broadside into the States-General, compelled that vessel to abandon the line. Admiral Duncan then engaged the Vryheid, and a terrible conflict ensued between the two commanders-in-chief. But it was not a single-handed fight. The Dutch vessels, Leyden, Mars, and Brutus, in conjunction with the Vryheid, poured broadside after broadside into the Venerable till Duncan deemed it expedient to give ground a little, although he did not retreat. Meanwhile, the Triumph came to the Venerable’s assistance, when the two vessels gave a final blow to the gallantly-defended Vryheid, a terrific broadside bringing the masts by the board, and reducing the ship to an unmanageable hulk. De Winter struggled a little while longer on what was left of his gallant craft; but further opposition was fruitless, and, it is said, he pulled his flag down with his own hands, remarking, when he presented it to Admiral Duncan, that he was himself the only man left unwounded on the quarter-deck of the Vryheid. Throughout the rest of the line the contest was not less fiercely sustained. But with the surrender of the Dutch flag-ship hostilities ceased: nine vessels were captured by the English; and De Winter was brought on board the Venerable a prisoner of war. Shortly after the States-General had received the fire of the Venerable, she escaped from the action, and, along with two others, was carried into the Texel. The carnage on board the two admirals’ ships was fearful. Not fewer than 250 men were killed and wounded in each. The total loss of the British was 191 killed and 560 wounded, while the loss of the enemy was computed to have been twice as great. At the conclusion of the battle the English fleet was within five miles off the shore, where many thousand of the Dutch witnessed the defeat and destruction of their fleet. Admiral Duncan was created a peer of Great Britain by the title of Viscount Duncan of Camperdown and Baron Duncan of Lundie, to which estate he had succeeded by the death of his brother. A pension of £2,000 a year was granted his lordship for himself and the two next heirs of the peerage. The thanks of both Houses of Parliament were unanimously voted to the fleet, and Lord Duncan was presented with the freedom of the city of London and a sword valued at 200 guineas. Gold medals were struck in commemoration of the victory, and presented to the admirals and captains of the fleet. People wore “Camperdown” ties, hats, and ribands, and the story of the battle was on the lips of all.


Jack Crawford Illustration

When the Venerable was hard pressed in the unequal combat, with four vessels concentrating their energies for her destruction, an incident occurred which was dwelt upon with just pride by chroniclers of the engagement, which called forth the most enthusiastic popular applause, and which in itself was a proud illustration of the bravery of the British tar. The fiercest cannonade rattled through the shrouds and rigging of the vessel. It came from all sides, slashing and tearing, bearing death and destruction on its wings of fire, and sadly crippling the gallant seventy-four which carried Admiral Duncan’s flag. Several times had the colours been shot away, and as often had their place been promptly supplied. At last, part of the mast which bore them came crashing down on deck with the “red rag” still clinging to the broken spar. The Admiral was near when the accident occurred. Coolly stooping down, he tore the flag from its fastenings, and, looking round, sought for some one who would once more replace the ensign. It could no longer be run up in the usual way, since the necessary part of the mast had succumbed to the enemy’s fire. He called for some one to mount the rigging and nail the colours to the broken mast. It was a dangerous duty, and he who dared it look his life in his hand. A pause ensued before a volunteer appeared, but the pause was short, and there stood before the Admiral one whom he had learned to trust, and whose townsmen he had come to respect for their resolute bravery and skill. “Here, John,” he said, handing the colours to the sailor, “nail them up, and save further orders about them.” Armed with a marling-pike as hammer, “John” climbed the rigging, ropes and rattlings dangling uselessly, and bullets cutting those that remained of service to shreds before him. Up, up he went, bearing as it seemed a charmed life, for the shot went harmlessly past him as the battle raged fiercely down below. Clinging to the broken timber, he literally nailed the colours to the mast, nimbly slid down the topmast backstay, and jumped on deck amid the cheers of his comrades and the approbation of his commander. The sailor was Jack Crawford, of Sunderland. Sir John Hamilton, who was in command of the Active, which acted as tender to the Venerable, saw Crawford go aloft, and then understood the reason of Duncan’s partiality for North-Country seamen. Jack had not escaped scatheless. He was shot through the cheek, the missile inflicting a wound which proved rather troublesome to heal. But he had done his duty, and vindicated the honour of England.


There is a different account of the daring act from the one we have just given. We have assumed that Admiral Duncan gave the order to nail the flag to the mast; but some local accounts agree in saying that Jack Crawford performed the act of heroism on his own account. In the sketch of Jack’s life written by the late Captain Robinson it is stated that Duncan gave the order, but the circumstance is thus referred to in Richardson’s Local History and in the Percy Anecdotes: “In the memorable engagement which Admiral Lord Duncan had with the Dutch fleet on the 11th of October, 17U7, the flag of the Venerable, Lord Duncan’s ship, was shot away by the Dutch Admiral De Winter. John Crawford, a sailor belonging to Sunderland, then on board the Venerable, upon observing this, immediately ran up the shrouds (amidst the fire of the enemy) with a marling-spike in his hand, and, with the greatest coolness and intrepidity, nailed the Venerable’s flag to the topgallant mast-head.” Whichever account be the correct, one, enough of glory remains to stamp the act as one of the boldest which a man could dare to do.


If the news of the victory at Camperdown was received with great enthusiasm throughout the country, the sensation created by the intelligence in Sunderland seems to have been more intense than could have been generally prevalent. At that time the post arrived in the town at eleven o’clock in the forenoon. The news arrived on Sunday, when the good folks of Sunderland were at worship. A loyal citizen, elated with tlie joyful intelligence, in passing St. John’s Church, opened the north door and shouted at the top of his voice, “Admiral Duncan’s defeated the Dutch fleet at Camperdown!” The congregation were at prayers at the time, when Mr. Haswell, the organist, immediately struck up the national air of “Rule Britannia.” and the congregation responded to heir organist’s enthusiasm by trising while tho spirit-stirring air was performed. Prayer was then quietly resumed.


These demonstrations of joy were made in utter ignorance of the gallant exploit of the Sunderland sailor, and further satisfaction was in store for the inhabitants when they learned what Jack Crawford had done. Ordinary expressions of delight failed to satisfy the public appreciation of the sailor’s bravery, and in March of 1798, the year after the battle, an elegant silver medal was presented to Crawford, at the expense of the town. On the one side was engraved a view of two ships in action, with a scroll on the top bearing the emblem “Duncan and Glory.” The reverse bore coat-of-arms, quadrant, and on the shield appeared the motto “Orbis est Die,” while below was engraved, “The town of Sunderland to John Crawford, for gallant services, the 11th of October, 1797.” Crawford received many other marks of honour. So far down as July, 1802, we find it recorded that at a dinner given by the friends of Mr. Rowland Burdon, M.P. for the county of Durham, at the Gray’s Inn Coffee House, London, Sir Frederick Merton Eden, Bart., in the chair, among the toasts given was the following, which received an enthusiastic response: “Jack Crawford, the Sunderland sailor who nailed the British colours to the mast-head in the action off Camperdown.” When the great National Demonstration was observed in London, soon after the battle, to commemorate the victory of Camperdown, Jack Crawford was not forgotten. It was arranged that there should be an open carriage in the procession with a sailor bearing the Union Jack, and this sailor was to have been the gallant Crawford; but he could not be found when wanted, having, as Robinson puts it, gone “on the spree with his Poll.” As the carriage passed through tho streets it was one of the most interesting features of the procession. The crowd showered into it money of all kinds, and the sailor reaped a rich harvest. This was but a too true illustration of the carelessness of his own interests which Jack, with sailor-like thought-lessness, practised during his life. He had no ambition. He did his duty like a man and a British sailor, and he was not solicitous to reap material advantage. It is said that when in London a member of the Royal Family asked what he could do for him Jack requested, in reply, that a keel should be bought for him, and that he should be allowed to go and ply it in his native North.



When Jack left the navy he received a pension of £30 a year. He returned to Sunderland, and there followed the avocation of a keelman. Generous and sociable, his company was courted, and he often yielded to temptations which surround men of his quality who have done something to win the admiration of their fellows. His habits often left him in hard straits for money, and eventually he pledged his medal, which lay for 29 years at a Mrs. Dunn’s before it was redeemed. Speaking of the medal, Jack’s son, a keelman on the Tyne, said to his father’s biographer: “I ought to have had that now; after my father died, I had it for a few months, but my mother said she had more right to it than me, and that I should have it at her death, which happened about six years after my father. I never saw it ny more. I was told that Mr. Robert Burdon Cay, the attorney, gave my mother £5 for it; from Mr. Cay it became the property of the late Mr. John Moore; from Mr. Moore it passed into the hands of another gentleman of the name of Moore, a relative, I believe, of Mr. Moore, and by whom, I have been told, it was given to the Earl of Camperdown, in whose possession it now is. I should like to have kept it in the family, but I am too poor a man ever to think of being able to purchase it from its wealthy possessor.” The medal really passed into the hands of the Duncan family, by whom it is retained, together with the colours that Crawford nailed to the stump of the mast head, and the colours which the Dutch admiral presented to the English commander. Jack was present at the burial of Nelson, and walked in the procession with his medal on his breast, before hard times had obliged him to part with this mark of his townsmen’s honour and esteem. It is stated that when Vauxhall was in its glory one of the exhibitions consisted of a representation of the battle of Camperdown. Crawford was offered £100 per week to exhibit nightly in the act of nailing the colours to the mast, but he replied, “No, I will never disgrace the real act of a sailor by acting like a play fool!” and the enterprise of the managers could not tempt him aside.


Jack was married at St. Paul’s Church, London, in 1808. His wife’s maiden name was Longstaff, daughter of a shipbuilder of that name in Sunderland. He had a family of several sons, and at least one daughter, who married in Sunderland. The eldest son became a keelman on the Tyne, and other two, who were sailors, left Sunderland many years ago. It is supposed they went to Australia. Jack Crawford died at Sunderland in 1831. In that year the cholera broke out on the coast, and the hero of Camperdown was the second victim. He lived in a locality of the town and amid surroundings calculated to invite the pestilence, and he succumbed to the fell disease. As the first visitation of cholera to this country took place in that year, and as Sunderland was one of the towns first attacked, Crawford was among the first Englishmen who died at home of the pestilence. It is supposed that his remains lie near the grave of the late Rev. Robert Gray, rector of Sunderland. No stone marks the spot. Poor Jack had to struggle with poverty in the decline of life. He was a great bird fancier, and spent much of his time in catching the feathered warblers. Some years ago a movement was commenced in Sunderland to erect a monument to his memory. Subscriptions were promised or received, but the proposal fell through. A lithograph representation of Jack nailing the colours to the broken mast of the Venerable was published in Newcastle soon after the event.


Drummond, the Sunderland Highwayman

highwaymenIt is not generally known that the first of the name and the family of Drummond who settled under peculiar circumstances on the banks of the Wear, was not the unfortunate James, Duke of Perth, who was said to have taken refuge, after his escape from Culloden, in the then very sequestered and almost quite lawless hamlet of South Biddick, near Pensher, where, marrying the daughter of a poor working man, he became the progenitor of a race of pitmen, one of whom, his grandson, Thomas, laid claim unsuccessfully to the earldom of Perth.

Long before the Forty-Five or even the Fifteen, a man said to be a cadet of the noble house of Perth, Robert Drummond, wandered away from his home and country, and came to the North of England to live, moved, it would appear, by some mad freak or spurt of temper, or perhaps urged by some family quarrel. He associated himself with one or more of the hard-headed, ready-witted Scotch chapmen, packmen, or travelling merchants, who began to flood England, more than they had ever done before, after the passing of the Act of Union. Drummond went into the hardware line, dealing in razors, knives, scissors, thimbles, combs, ear-rings, &c. After perambulating the six Northern Counties for some time, he settled down in the town of Sunderland, then a very small place, but increasing fast in population, and already doing a considerable trade.

Here he lived with a fair reputation for several years. But by-and-by he fell into bad habits. After a while his shop began to exhibit unmistakable signs of neglect and disorder, and it was whispered among the neighbours that, instead of going to bed betimes and getting up at a decent hour in the morning, as all honest people then did, it was his wont to steal off clandestinely soon after dark, twice or thrice a week, along the Shields, Newcastle, Durham, or Stockton road, on no good errand anyone could guess, but not at all unlikely, as some even dared to say, to ease belated travellers of their loose cash. Others, who were either somewhat more cautious or more charitably disposed, chose to put a less ugly face on the matter. Drummond, they said, was not the only man in Sunderland, England, or the world, who had a natural taste for lonely walks at night. He was a queer sort of fellow, they must allow; but, after all, it was no crime to be queer, or what would they make, say, of Anthony Ettrick? He had come from nobody knew where; but so had a good many other folks in the town, and where had all the grandfathers of even the oldest standards come from? Some said Drummond was a Scotch nobleman’s son; well, what the worse or the better was he for that? If he had been the son of a gipsy, mosstrooper, or buccaneer, and yet sold good razors, who had any business to find fault with him?

At length, however, Drummond’s conduct became so outrageous that the darkest suspicions seemed justified. It turned out that he kept a mistress at Ryhope, and that he was one of a set of wild fellows, whose habit it was to convene in a low public-house on the Moor-edge, a little to the north-east of the Spa Well, kept by a person generally known as Lady Lowther, who bore a very light character (this “howff,” we ought to say, has long since disappeared, the sea having washed away the site and everything on it about a century and a half ago). Several robberies had taken place in the neighbourhood of the town, and the perpetrators remained undiscovered. But various circumstances tended to connect some of the frequenters of Lady Lowther’s house with one or two recent cases. Very strong suspicion being directed towards Drummond, he was narrowly watched; and although he was not caught in the very act of robbing a gentleman’s house in the neighbourhood, which was broken into one night, yet everything concurred to fix the guilt upon him as an accomplice, if not the principal. He was accordingly apprehended on suspicion, and committed by the county magistrates for trial at the next Durham Assizes. There the case was clearly made out; Drummond was convicted of burglary, and sentence of death was passed upon him by the judge. But some of his friends used their influence to get the sentence commuted, on what specific ground we do not know, and the result was that, instead of being hanged by the neck until he was dead, as was the usual course with such offenders, he was transported for life to the plantations in North America.

But Drummond soon found a way to return to England, and took up his quarters in the city of London. Here he devoted himself to robbery as a trade, and grew before long one of the most daring and mischievous highwaymen that ever infested the road. The multitude of his robberies made his person well known, and yet he managed to escape capture a good while. This was the more wonderful, considering the roughness and cruelty of his temper, for one quaint old authority tells us, “He never used anybody well, firing upon any who attempted to ride away from him, and beating and abusing those who submitted to him.” He travelled for some time in company with another fellow of the same distinguished surname as himself, one James Drummond, and they together perpetrated a number of desperate outrages on the Great North Road. At length being persued and in danger, Robert gave their armed pursuers the slip, deserted his companion, and left him to his fate, which was to be tried, found guilty, and hanged in due course.

Drummond afterwards fell in with a desperate character, named Ferdinando Shrimpton, said to have been a person genteely brought up and well educated, but of a wild and savage nature congenial to his own. This man’s history, as told in the record we transcribe, was a very singular one. His father, we are told, lived at Bristol, and “behaved, in outward appearance, so well that he was never suspected to have anything wrong about him”; yet he was one of the greatest highwaymen in England. One evening some constables came hastily into an inn where he was, to apprehend another man, when “his guilty heart making him afraid that they were come in search of nobody but himself, he thereupon drew a pistol and shot one of them dead; for which murder, being convicted, he readily confessed his former offences, and, after his execution for the aforesaid crime, was hung in chains.”

This unhappy man’s son had been bred to no trade. Subsequent to his father’s death, he enlisted into the Foot Guards, and served for some time as a private soldier. The pay being insufficient to supply his wants, however, he eked it out by taking the same steps as his father before him had taken. “Never was any fellow of a bolder and of a more audacious spirit than he; and after he had once associated himself with Drummond, the precious pair inveigled Shrimpton’s cousin William, who had come up to London to seek a place, and was then hanging about town, into bearing them company in one or two nocturnal adventures, in the course of which they managed so to shuffle the cards that he should appear to be as guilty as themselves.”

One night the trio sallied out over Hounslow Heath in quest of prey, when, seeing a solitary horseman approaching, William Shrimpton, though but indifferently mounted, and the clumsiest villain of the three, was deputed to rifle him of his valuables, while the other two kept in the background close by. The man was forced to give up his watch, his purse, and his horse. He was then allowed to proceed, and at the first house he reached he naturally gave the alarm. A hue and cry was raised, and William Shrimpton was captured. his two comrades, however, had meanwhile ridden off with the traveller’s horse, the watch, and the money. The man who had been robbed was willing to compound the felony, and agreed not to prosecute if he got his property back. Shrimpton promised he would find a way “to help him to his horse again,” and was as good as his word, “though the gelding was worth fifteen pounds”; but as for the watch, that was not immediately forthcoming, as it had been pawned in the interim with a gentleman of Jonathan Wilde’s vocation, viz., that of receiving stolen goods and restoring them to the owners at half-price a trade which was carried to a great length in the beginning of the reign of George I. The owner of the watch, however, sent 3s. by his wife to Shrimpton’s lodgings, or to some other convenient place appointed for the purpose, and thereupon got back his property. The pawnbroker took 25s. of this sum, and the rest was divided among the robbers. Ferdinando was “very much disobliged that he received but half-a- crown for his trouble,” and a rupture took place between him and his cousin which led to their real characters being detected.

A gentleman of the name of Tyson had been stopped in his carriage on Hounslow Heath some time before, and his coachman, one Simon Prebent, having endeavoured to drive away, was shot through the head. The gentleman was then rifled of all the money and valuables he had upon him, and left helpless in the road. The actual hand in this affair had been Ferdinando’s, but William and Drummond lay in ambush close by. Suspicion fell upon the right parties, and the three ruffians were apprehended. William Shrimpton turned king’s evidence against the other two, and at the ensuing sessions at the Old Bailey Ferdinando was indicted for the murder of Simon Prebent, and Robert Drummond for aiding, abetting, and assisting him. Both the robbers were convicted not, only upon this charge, but also upon several others of a like nature. Moreover, Robert Drummond had been guilty of a capital offence against public justice in returning from transportation an act which was made felony, without benefit of clergy, by sundry statutes passed in the reign of George II.

Under sentence of death, the two bravos behaved themselves with great obstinacy and resolution, and refused to give any detailed account of their crimes. Questions having been pressingly put to them as to their connection or complicity with other highway robberies besides those on account of which they were condemned to die, Drummond would say in a passion, “What, would you have us take upon ourselves all the robberies that have been committed in the country for ever so many years back?”

The barbarous murder committed upon Mr. Tyson’s coachman did not seem to make the least impression upon their spirits. Shrimpton, by whose hands the man was killed, never appeared the least uneasy, not even when the sermon on the murder was peculiarly preached on his account; but, on the contrary, talked and jested with his companions as he was wont to do. “In a word,” says his contemporary biographer, “more hardened, obstinate, and impenitent wretches were never seen; for, as they were wanting in all principles of religion, so they were void even of humanity and good nature; they valued blood no more than they did water, but were ready to shed the first with as little concern as they spilt the latter.” Inured in wickedness and rapine, they yielded their lives at Tyburn, with very little sign of contrition or repentance, on the 17th of February, 1730, Drummond being about fifty, and Shrimpton about thirty years of age.

The Duke of Wellington in the North

Arthur, Duke Of Wellington, “the hero of Waterloo,” paid a visit to his old companion-in-arms, the Marquis of Londonderry, at Wynyard Park, Durham, in the autumn of 1827. Advantage was taken of the occasion, by men of all sides in politics, Whigs, Tories, and Radicals, to show their sense of the great military achievements of the distinguished warrior, irrespective altogether of his policy as a statesman and a Minister of the Crown.

The Duke was met at Yarm Bridge by Lord Londonderry, at the head of a grand procession of the nobility and gentry of the district. Having taken his seat in Lady Londonderry’s carriage, which was drawn by six horses, he was driven in state into Stockton, where, at the entrance into the High Street, a triumphal arch had been erected, formed of laurels and other evergreens, wreathed with flowers and surrounded by seven flags, with appropriate mottoes, all non-political. Previous to entering the town, the horses were taken from the carriage in which the duke rode, and he was drawn by a number of men, wearing blue ribbons inscribed “Wellington for ever,” to the Town Hall, amid the firing of cannon and other marks of rejoicing. Addresses from the corporate bodies of Stockton and Hartlepool were presented to his Grace by the Mayors of those towns, accompanied by the recorders and aldermen; and Colonel Gray also read an address from the inhabitants of Stockton and its neighbourhood. His Grace took leave of the Stocktonians “amidst the most deafening cheers.”

The party assembled at Wynyard to meet the duke included the Earl and Countess Bathurst, Earl Grey, the Bishop of Durham (Dr. Van Mildert), Lord Beresford, Lord Ravensworth, Sir Henry and Lady Emily Hardinge, Sir Thomas Lawrence (the celebrated portrait painter), Sir (Juthbert Sharp, Matthew Bell, M.P., the Rev. Dr. Wellesley (the duke’s brother), the Rev. Dr. Phillpotts (afterwards Bishop of Exeter), and Rowland Burdon, of Castle Eden.

It was on Friday, the 28th of September, that the duke paid a visit to Newcastle. No exertion had been spared to receive him in a manner due to his elevated rank and creditable to the character and public spirit of the town. Notwithstanding the unfavourable state of the weather, the influx of strangers from the different towns and villages in the neighbourhood was immense. At the turnpike gate at the head of Gateshead, a large body of people, together with a guard of honour consisting of Lancers from the barracks, were in waiting to receive his Grace. The horses were taken from the carriage — an open one — which contained the duke, the Marquis and Marchioness of Londonderry, and Field-Marshal Beresford; and it was drawn through Gateshead by men engaged for the purpose, across Tyne Bridge, to the front of a platform raised before the Guildhall, on the Sandhill, Newcastle, amid the booming of the Castle guns and those of the ships in the harbour, and the ringing of the bells in all the churches. The procession was headed by a band of music, playing “See the Conquering Hero Comes,” after which followed the Union Jack, succeeded by standards bearing such inscriptions as “Assaye,” “Vimiera,” “Douro,” “Talavera,” “Busaco,” “Ciudad Rodrigo — Badajos,” “Salamanca,” “Vittoria,” “The Pyrenees,” “Orthes— Toulouse,” ” Waterloo — Europe Delivered,” and “Welcome to the Immortal Wellington,” which were carried by men who had been present at the different battles. Business was entirely suspended. The windows of the houses on each side of the Sandhill were crowded with elegantly-dressed ladies, the roofs of the houses were covered with spectators, and there was not, in short, a single place, however dangerous and difficult of attainment, likely to command a view of the proceedings, that was unoccupied. The Duke of Wellington, on appearing upon the platform, was greeted with applause. The freedom of the town was then presented to his Grace by the Mayor (Archibald Reed), and the addresses of the Corporation and the town by the Recorder and Mr. Christopher Cookson. His Grace replied to both with becoming brevity. As soon as the ceremonies were concluded wine was introduced, and the Mayor, filling a glass, drank to the health of the duke, and called upon the populace to receive him in a manner worthy of the occasion. The populace answered this appeal with cheers, which, however, were principally confined to that part of the crowd that was nearest to the platform; among the multitude at a greater distance there were scarcely any plaudits. The procession then proceeded to the Town Moor, where the South Tyne Hussars, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, and the Northumberland and Newcastle Yeomanry Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Bell, were assembled for the purpose of being inspected. On arriving at the lines, the duke rode through the troops, but a thick fog and drizzling rain which had set in deprived the spectacle of much of its attraction. His Grace afterwards proceeded to the Mansion House, where he dined with a large party. In the evening there was a grand ball in the Assembly Rooms. The duke left the rooms about one o’clock, and was escorted on his way from the town to Ravensworth Castle, where he slept, by twelve torch-bearers on horseback, six before and six behind the carriage. Next day (Saturday) the duke inspected the coal works of the Marquis of Londonderry. His Grace and suite arrived at Pittington from Ravensworth Castle, at half-past two o’clock, where Mr. Buddie, attended by the marquis’s miners, was in attendance to receive them. At six o’clock the distinguished party sat down at Mr. Buddie’s seat, at Pensher, to a sumptuous dinner. The house and the neighbouring pitmen’s cottages were illuminated, and a dinner was provided in a building on the premises, of which 600 people partook, so that it was a day of general rejoicing in the vicinity.

On Wednesday, the 3rd of October, his Grace paid a visit to the city of Durham, on his return from Alnwick Castle, where he had gone in the beginning of the week, on a visit to the Duke of Northumberland. A guard of the Yeomanry Cavalry, accompanied by the band belonging to that corps, a number of men carrying banners and flags, many of which bore the names of some of the duke’s most splendid victories, the carriage of the Marquis of Londonderry, and several of his lordship’s friends, and hundreds of spectators, repaired to Aykley Heads, to await the arrival of the duke and to accompany him into the town. Leaving his own travelling carriage, he entered that of the noble marquis, from which the horses were instantly taken by the populace, and his Grace was drawn into the town, amidst the warmest greetings, the firing of guns, the ringing of bells, and every demonstration of the most perfect enthusiasm. His Grace was afterwards escorted to the Castle, where most of the leading gentry of the county were invited to meet him, and where an entertainment in a style of the greatest splendour was given by the bishop in honour of the illustrious visitor. In the evening there was a ball at the Assembly Booms. Upwards of 270 ladies and gentlemen were present, being a greater number than was ever known upon any former occasion. The duke retired at an early hour, and returned to Ravensworth Castle.

Thursday was devoted to a visit to Sunderland, where his Grace got a most cordial and flattering reception. He was met by an immense number of persons at the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Monkwearmouth, on his approach from Ravensworth Castle; and by them the horses were taken from his carriage, and he was dragged in triumph across Wearmouth Bridge, through the streets to the Exchange, preceded by a band of music and several flags, the crowd increasing at every step, until there were at least from fifteen to twenty thousand persons present. The windows of the houses were graced by numerous ladies, to whom the Duke bowed with the greatest affability as the procession passed along. Innumerable flags were displayed throughout the town; and from a splendid triumphal arch, which had been erected over the High Street of Bishopwearmouth, at the expense of the ladies of the town, half-a-dozen children dressed in white showered flowers upon his Grace as he passed beneath. On arriving at the Exchange, he quitted his carriage, and accompanied by the Marquis and Marchioness of Londonderry, &c., ascended a platform erected in front, upon which Sir Cuthbert Sharp and several other gentlemen were assembled for the purpose of presenting him with an address from the freemen of the borough and the magistrates, clergy, and inhabitants of Sunderland, Bishopwearmouth, Monkwearmouth, and their vicinities. During the time of the presentation and reply, the cheering from the populace was deafening, and it continued without intermission till his Grace entered the Exchange, where a splendid dinner was provided in the newsroom, to which, at about half-past six o’clock, 204 persons sat down, there not being room for more. The Marquis of Londonderry was in the chair, and on his right were seated Earl Bathurst, the Marquis of Douro, Lord Beresford. Captain Cochrane, Sir H. Hardinge, and Lord Castlereagh. On his left were the Duke of Wellington, Lord Ravensworth, Sir Walter Scott, Dr. Wellesley, and the Hon. H. T. Liddell. Sir Cuthbert Sharp filled the vice-chair. Among the numerous toasts was one which the celebrity of its object induces us to particularise — the health of Sir Walter Scott, to whose genius the Marquis of Londonderry, who proposed it, paid a warm tribute, and who, on his rising to retain thanks, was received with the most tumultuous cheering, so much so, indeed, as to render what he said completely inaudible to the reporters. After the dinner party broke up, there was a ball in the Assembly Rooms, which were crowded to excess. At this ball, Sir Walter Scott says in his Diary, published in the last volume of his Life by Lockhart, “there was a prodigious anxiety discovered for shaking of hands. The duke had his share of it, and I came in for my share; for, though jackal to the lion, I got some part in whatever was going.” The noble party did not retire till after one o’clock, and got home far on in the morning, “sufficiently tired.”

Wellington in the North

The dinner was served in the large news room of the Exchange, over the mantel of which was painted the decoration shown on page 350. This room is about to be entirely altered, the old Exchange being on the point of conversion into a Seamen’s Mission Chapel. The alteration will involve the removal of the chimney breast shown in the above sketch, which was drawn by Mr. William Scott, of Tyne Bock. The inscription on the ribbon immediately above the fireplace reads as follows: “The inhabitants of Sunderland received the Duke of Wellington to dinner in this room, 4th October, 1827, and the above Decoration (painted for the occasion) has been ordered to remain in commemoration thereof.”