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Probably this person got the appointment through the influence of Edward Fenwick of Stanton, esq., who was high sheriff of Northumberland during the Commonwealth—1655—or thereabouts. The first intimation we get of opposition on the part of the parishioners of Rothbury to the minister appointed by the Parliament is in the evident disregard they paid to his repeated injunctions to attend the vestry meetings. We can gather from the minutes of meetings held in 1658 and 1659, that no business could be transacted owing to the nonattendance of church wardens, vestrymen, and overseers of the poor. Complaints of this neglect are found entered time after time in the old record book during the Commonwealth. But at the Easter vestry meeting of April 14th, 1660, just on the eve of the restoration of Charles II.-mark the change that came over these men of Coquet !the minutes of that meeting tell us that “The names were called, and all appeared. After recording the ordinary business of the meeting, the minutes end as follows: 'Some other things of Triviall Concernment was done, and some, more weighty, were mensioned, but not done, after which they friendly and lovingly parted,' and then as if to express their joy at the approaching event, they add, 'VIVAT REX CAROLUS SECUNDUS FLOREAT ECCLESIA ANGLICANA. AMEN.' As another piece of local evidence bearing on the subject I might add that on the original jamb of an old fireplace in the Black Bull inn at Rothbury (now the Newcastle house) there are cut in fine bold relief the letters 'B.R., 1660. This has evidently been done by a person of some character, as if to record an event of more than ordinary interest. I shonld say the initials are those of Bernard Rumney, who at that time was the village poet and musician. His name often occurs in the
* From the following entry found in the pages of the Rothbury Church records of that period, in the handwriting of Thomas Cotes, it would appear that Edward Fenwick had been the high sheriff of Northumberland somewhere about 1655 or 1656:--- A collection was made for the Protestants of Piedmont and Savoy the summe pd. £4 lls. 06d. to Edward ffenwick of Stanton Esq.then High Sheriffe'also in a conversation which followed the reading of this paper Mr. Richard Welford pointed out—that the date of the shrievalty of Edward Fenwick of Stanton was fixed by a deed quoted by him in a paper on Cuthbert Gray (see Archaeologia Aeliana, XI. 72), being the marriage settlement of William Fenwick of Stanton, eldest son of the high sheriff of Northumberland, and Elizabeth Ellison, daughter of Robert Ellison, high sheriff of the county of Durham, and niece of William Gray, author of the Chorographia. It appears, however, from a list of the high sheriffs of Northumberland, compiled by Mr. Hodgson Hinde, and published in vol. VI. of the Archaeologia Aeliana, pp. 98104, that Edward Fenwick of Stanton held the office four times in succession, namely, from 1656 to the Restoration.'
Rothbury church records as church warden after the restoration of 1660, but never during the Commonwealth.
No doubt there were persons to be found in Upper Coquetdale who took the side of the Parliamentarians against the Royalists. Of this party a numerous and influential family named Potts, the owners of much property at Sharperton, Holystone and the Trewhitts, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and whose descendants are yet in Coquetdale, appear to have been the leaders. On the 24th of January, 1648, Michael Potts of Sharperton, co. Northumberland, vintner, was a witness against Charles I.' But the majority of the dalesmen and the country squires, the Selbys of Biddlestone, the Widdringtons of Cartington, and the Claverings of Callaly, with their tenants and their retainers, fought on the side of the king. Again, in the bloodless revolution of 1688, when William and Mary were placed on the throne, there were found in North Northumberland a few who kept their allegiance to James II. Of this change in the line of English monarchs there is no historical record having any special reference to Coquetdale ; but, as a link in the chain of events that led up to the Jacobite rising of the next century, I may be permitted to give a passing notice of one of the bravest of Northumbria's sons, Sir John Fenwick of Wallington, “the flower amang them a',' who forfeited his life for the part he unfortunately took against William, prince of Orange. Sir John Fenwick was beheaded on Tower Hill on the 28th of January, 1697. I have in my possession a knife and fork of antique pattern, once the property of this unfortunate nobleman. Boyer, in his annals of the reign of Queen Anne, states that the horse “Sorel,' from which William III. prince of Orange was thrown, thereby causing his death, was bred at Wallington, and had been part of Sir John Fenwick’s confiscated property. Taking advantage of this strange fatality, the Jacobites, much to the chagrin of the Whig party, composed a poem in praise of Sorel,' beginning Illustris soni pes ;' whilst, after that fatal occurrence, a frequent toast at the convivial meetings of those wicked Jacobites was : To the health of the little gentleman in the black velvet coat,' which meant the mole that made the hillock into which Sorel slipped his foot when he fell
* Kennet's Ilist. of England
IN UPPER COQUETDALE IN 1715.
with the king. It is curious to notice the traditional connection of flowers and animals with many of our great national movements, the Broom or planta genista of the Plantagenets, the White and Red Roses of York and Lancaster, the White Rose of the Jacobites, even our domestic pest, the common rat, does not escape this distinguished honour. One of our members, Dr. Embleton, tells us :-Of the two great parties of rats, contending for supremacy in England during the last century, the black was called the Jacobite, the brown the Hanoverian, in obvious historic allusion.' In some of the old Jacobite ballads, George I. is often described as the “Muckle Hanoverian Rattan.'
I shall now speak of the rising of 1715, one of the most romantic periods in the history of our country. This feeling is no doubt looked upon by a number of stolid, matter-of-fact people nowadays as mere sentiment, to those I would say, we little understand how large a part sentiment plays in our lives. On the accession of George I. in 1714, that bitterness of political party feeling, which during the reign of queen Anne had run so high, rather increased than diminished.
It was then that the Jacobites made a strenuous but futile attempt to place a Stuart once more on the English throne, in the person of James, the son of James II. This prince was James III. of the English Jacobites—the Chevalier de St George of the French, James VIII. of the Scotch—but by the Whig party in England he was called the · Pretender.' The outbreak was no doubt hastened by the somewhat harsh measures adopted by the Elector King and his ministers against the Jacobites. Many persons of high rank were imprisoned on bare suspicion. Then riots took place in various parts. The oak leaf (the symbol of Charles II.), was openly worn at Oxford, and the effigy of William, prince of Orange, was burnt amidst an applauding mob. In this northern county of Northumberland, amongst the country squires and the yeomen of our rural districts the Jacobite cause found much favour, and not a few supporters. Whether it was the old border love of adventure, mingled with a real wish to have James to reign over them, or simply a sentimental feeling of sympathy for an exile, a romantic feeling said to have been largely prevalent amongst the fair sex of that period, that caused our Northumbrian
5 Hodgson's Hist. of Northumberland, part ii. vol. i. p. 257.
gentry to take part in the plot, one cannot tell ; but whatever the motive, a number of the High Tory party, and nearly the whole of the Catholic gentry of Northumberland, true to their political traditions and steadfast adherence to their hereditary faith, took a prominent action in the movement, for which several of the heads of our leading families, the very cream of our Northumbrian gentry, forfeited not only their estates, but their lives.
It was early in the month of October, 1715, that the gathering discontent of the Northumbrian Jacobites, which for some time had been gradually gaining strength, suddenly burst forth into an open declaration against the rule of George of Hanover. The Highland clans, under the earl of Mar, had already (on the 9th September) raised the standard of the Chevalier, and proclaimed him as James VIII. of Scotland. Fortunately there exists an account of the rising of 1715, written by the Rev. Robert Patten, priest of Allendale, Northumberland, one of the chaplains in the Jacobite army. This person was taken prisoner with many others, at the defeat of the Jacobites at Preston, in Lancashire, but saved his life by turning king's evidence; and, says Burton in his history of Scotland, 'holds a distinguished place in the annals of infamy.' This volume, known as Patten’s History of the Rebellion of 1715,' is full of the most interesting information respecting the Jacobite movement, and although the information is most valuable, yet, as one reads its pages those minute records of the daily action and movements of the Jacobites by one of their own number, who having himself received the king's pardon, coolly turns round and calls his former comrades • rebels.' It raises a feeling of disgust at the baseness of the man, who having saved his own life in so cowardly a manner, could thus write of those whom he had so recently urged on by precept and example.
It is rather singular that in the rising of 1745 the well-known John Murray of Broughton, secretary to Prince Charles Edward, the young Pretender, should have been guilty of the same ungenerous act. It would render this paper much too long and tedious, to follow all the movements, or to relate in full the various schemes and measures planned and concerted in London by the Jacobites during the years 1714 and 1715, in which deliberations two Northumbrian gentlemen
IN UPPER COQUETDALE IN 1715.
took an active part, captain John Shaftoe, one of the Bavington family, who was afterwards shot; and captain John Hunter of North Tyne. I shall therefore confine my notes as much as possible to the county of Northumberland, and more especially to the valley of the Coquet. Here I cannot do better than quote the words of the Rev. Robert Patten, who, when speaking of the Northumbrian Jacobites, says, the first step towards their appearing in Arms was when about the latter end of September the Lord Derwentwater had notice that there was a Warrant out from the Secretary of State to apprehend him, and that the Messengers were come to Durham that were to take him. Mr. Forster likewise having notice of the like Warrant against him. Upon this news they had a full Meeting of the parties concerned in Northumberland' (at which a resolution was passed). "Pursuant to this Resolution, an Appointment was made, and notice of it sent to all their Friends, to meet the next morning, which was the 6th of October, at a place called Green rig (in the parish of Birtley, North Tyne) which was done accordingly, for Mr. Forster, with several Gentlemen, in Number at first about Twenty, met at the Rendezvous; but made no stay here, thinking the place inconvenient; but rode immediately to the top of a Hill called the Waterfalls, from whence they might discover any that came either to join them or to oppose them. They had not been long here but they discovered the Earl of Derwentwater, who came that Morning from his own Seat at Dilstone, with some Friends and all his Servants, mounted, some upon his Coach-Horses, and others upon very good useful Horses, and all very well arm'd.
They were now near 60 horse, most Gentlemen and their Attendants; when, calling a short Council, it was concluded to march towards the River Coquett, to a place called Plainfield.' There is a tradition to this effect, that the stone stoup or Waterfalls comb stands on the spot where Derwentwater mounted his horse to ride with the troop into Coquetdale). Here (says Patten) they were joined by others, who came straggling in, and having made some stay here, they resolved to go that night to Rothbury, a small market Town. Here they stayed all Night, and next Morning, being the 7th of October, their number still increasing, they marched to Warkworth.'
6 Patten's Hist. of the Rebellion of 1715, pp. 26, 27, 28.