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Nor of that prey a portion to it yields
Or else bis breath infected with their kisses
And those who there inhabit, suting well
Besmear'd with sut, and breathing pitchie smoake,
These with the Demi-gods still disagreeing
And in a close-pent fire their arbours burne,
The other Siluians with their sight affrighted,
To spoile these dainties that them so delighted,
To all proude dames I wish no greater hell,
Me not come nie her, for to passe my troth,
See Gent. Mag. Vol. Ixxxii. p. 158.
We deem it proper to insert here a remarkable story, which appears in Dr. Ducarel's appendix, concerning two women, inbabitants of Croydon, who in the year 1200 were arrested and imprisoned at Southfleet, in Kent, upon a charge of theft: it is introduced under the title,
PECULIAR CUSTOM AT SOUTHFLEET,
Exercised on two women of Croydon in 1200,
when Gilbert de Glanville was Bishop of Rochester, and Chief Justice of England.
The Bishops of Rochester, says the Doctor, were possessed of the manor of Southfleet before the conquest. One of these prelates settled it on the priory of his cathedral, and it be. longed to that religious house at the time of its dissolution. The Bishops of that See always claimed here, and, as not unusual in ancient times, the Court of Southfleet had a power of trying and executing felons. This jurisdiction extended not only to acts of felony done within the vill, but also over criminals apprehended there, though the fact had been committed in another country. An instance of the exercise of this claim in the year 1200, is mentioned by
T. Blount, in his ancient Tenures and Cus, toins of Manors t. It was of two women who had stolen some clothes in Croindone, (supposed to be Croydon in Surrey) and the men of
* Thomas Blount was born in Worcestershire, in the year 1619, and died in 1679. Besides the work here mentioned, he wrote Boscobel; or, the History of the King's escape after the Battle of Worcester,
† For the perusal of the curious, we transcribe the original record :---Duæ mulieres in villam de Sufflete in comitatu quæ furatæ fuerunt multos pannos in villa de Croindone, et secuti sunt eas homines ejusdem villæ de Croindone, quorum pannos furtive asportaverunt, usque in villam de Sufflete, et ibi captæ fuerunt et incarceratæ, et habuerunt judicium suum in curia de Sufflete, ad portandum caliduin ferrum, quandum una fuit valua et altera damnata, unde submersa fuit in Bikepole (i. e. in stagno quod vocatur Bike). Et hoc totum contigit tempore Gilberti Domini Episcopi Roffensis, et in quolibet judicio fuerunt Coronarii Domini Regis. Et Paulus de Stanes fuit tunc Cackerellus de Hundredo de Acstan. Et per illud tempus Robertus de Heckham Monarchus fuit Custos Manerii de Suffleta et ad mulieres judicandas fuit Dominus Henricus de Cobham et alii plures discreti homines de Patria.
Emonumentis Raffensis Ecclesiæ sub anno 1200.
This judgment to carry hot iron, to try the guilt or inno. cence of the accused, was, according to the Ordalian Law, not abolished here in England till the time of Henry III. Cackerellus Hundredi is thought by the learned Spelman, to signify the steward of the Hundred, from the French, Ca. chereau, i, e, Chartularium Rot. Pat. 3 Hen. III, M, 5,
that place having pursued them to Southfleet, they were seized, imprisoned, and tried by the Lord Henry de Cobham and many other discreet men of the country, who adjudged them to undergo the fine ordeal, or examination of the hot iron. By this foolish and impious test of innocence, one of them was exculpated, and the other condemned, and afterwards drowned in a pond called Bikepool. The two chief species of trial by ordeal were those of fire and water, the former being, in the opinion of some learned writers, confined to persons of high rank, and the latter only used for the common people. But if the case of the two female thieves at Southfleet be truly related, it is rather probable that this distinction was not strictly observed.
Manor, and Vicinity of Croydon.
The manor of Croydon has belonged to the See of Canterbury from the earliest times to the present day, except for a short period during the usurpation of Oliver Cromwell. The extent of it appears to have been in former times nearly equal to the space which it at present comprises, and it is represented by the survey taken in the year 1797, to consist of 9872 acrest.
In the survey taken by order of the Parliament, in 1644, the following customs of this Manor are recorded, and are still observed.
1. One Heriot, being the best beast of
every Copyholder dying, seized of any messuage or tenement not lying within the four Crosses , shall be paid for every such messuage or tene
* See Note, page 14. † Ibid.
f The exact situation in which the four crosses stood, cannot now be discovered; but the Copyhold Estates which lie within the square, originally formed by these four crosses, are well known, and they are exempt from the payment of Heriots, though they are, of course, subject to all other manorial claims.
We find the situation of the crosses to have been thus described in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The first is at Burchall's House, in an Elm tree; the second is at the Pound; the third is at the little Alms House corner; and the fourth is at Dodd's corner, in an Elm-tree against the Catharine-wheel corner.