[From Crosby Records, 1887]
[Catholic Recusants refused burial at their parish church.-Mr. Blundell encloses a piece of ground for the burial of such at a place called Harkirke.-The first burial 7th April, 1611.-Discovery of Coins next day.-Mr. Blundell has 35 engraved in copper (see FRONTISPIECE).-Mr. Blundell's account of the Coins.-Modern description by the late Rev. D. H. Haigh of Erdington.]
Jesu Maria. -Iob. 12 vs. 7.
Sacramentum Regis abscondere bonum cot ; opera autem Dei revelare et conüteri honorificum est.
To hyde the secret of a Kinge is good ; but to reveale and confeesse ye woorks of God is an honorable thinge
I William Blundell of Litle Crosbie, within the Countie of Lancaster, Esquire, a weeke or a fowertnighte before Christenmas laste paste, havinge hearde that Catholicke Recusants were prohibited to bee buried at theire Parishe Church, bethought mee (myself through God's grace beinge also a Catholique) where were best to make readie in this my village of Litle Crosbie a place fitt to burie suche Catholiques either of myne owne howse or of the Neighbourhoode as should depte this lyfe duringe the tyme of these trobles. And so I caused a litle peece of grownde to bee enclosed wthin myne owne demaine land in a place called of ould tyme (as it is nowe also) the Harkirke. The workmen whoe dytched and enclosed it on twoe sydes (for ye other twoe sydes were fenced before) were John Ryse and Thomas Marrall, the elder, bothe of this towne of Little Crosbie and my tennants. They finished ye dytch a litle before Christenmas laste, leavinge abowte the middest of the northweste syde of it a gappe or waye into it undytched of some twoe yards wyde. And thus it remayned without anie use of buriall (the gappe also still lyinge open) untill the deathe of an ould man and Tenante of myne whoe, dyinge a Catholicke, was not pmitted by the Parson of Sephton to bee buried at the Parish Churche of Septon, though some of the olde man's neighbours solicited the same, yea, and brought the corse neare to the Churche to bee buried uppon Sonday in the afore noone, beinge the seventhe of Aprill of this prsent yeare of our Lorde one thousand sixe hundred and eleven (1611). The Neighbours, therfore, whoe caried and attended or accompanied the corse, came to the foresaid place in my grownd, wch they or some of the cheeffeste of them had hearde was by mee enclosed from the reste of my grownde there for suche a purpose: And there buried the Corpes about twelve a Clocke when I was at dinner. This ould man's name was Wm Mathewson.
The daye next followinge in the morninge beinge Mondaye, a servant boye of myne of fowerteene yeares old, called Thomas Ryse, dryvinge my Catle (wch as yett did nightlie lye in the howse) to a field neare the sayde place of buriall, went ovr into the said place, not at the sayd gappe but at a Corner, and uppon the right hande of the sayde entrance or gappe as one cometh owte, hee sawe uppon the sandie Coppe caste wthin the sayde place certayne peeces of Coyne scattered (as it seemed) Wth the throwinge of them wth the sand owte of the dytch. Wth these, therefore, wch hee then found, beinge some broken, but moste of them whole, he came home, and shewed them to divers my servants firste ; and afterwards cominge into the kitchin amongest them whoe were lookinge and musinge at them, I presentlie tooke the Coyne and layde it uppe, and takinge the boye to shewe mee the place and manner of his fyndinge them, I went wth my Sonne Nicholas and Edwarde Denton, my man, to the place (my brother Richard Blundell cominge after us), where, seekinge and scrapinge in the sandie Coppe, wee founde a number more before dinner; and at after dinner it pleased my mother herself to goe thither, I accompanyinge her wth my wyfe, my said Brother, and Nicholas my Sonne, and Edwarde Denton afore saide, when againe wee found some more of the Coyne, but fewer then at the former tymes. In all there were fownde at one tyme and other above fower schore peeces, none bigger then a groate, and none less than a twoe pence.
These sevall formes were in manner followinge, viz.: [In the original MS. the Coins are here depicted, both obverse and reverse, and it is evident that from these the copper plate was engraved. [See Frontispiece.]
After I had drawen these twentie fyve formes of sundrie Coynes afore placed, I fownde by more dilligent revewe of the Coynes that there were dyvers and sundrie fashions of the money of Sainte Peter, besydes that forme wh is here before firste expressed. The formes of wh Coynes I have here under drawen, wh other twoe of strange and to me unknowen Inscriptions uppon there firste sydes, wh twoe are sett the lowest here under.
[Ten more coins are here depicted, making 35 in all.]
Note that uppon the seconde syde of the fower and twentithe forme in the ringe there is a place voyde, wch in the coine it selffe was not voide, but had c'rtaine strange characters, whiche wth my penne I feared I could not p'fectly imitate and expresse. And likewyse in the middle of the seconde syde of the fyve and twentithe forme, I have leaft the place vacant, wheas the coine it selff had c'rtaine strange characters, wch I could not imitate nor expresse p'fectly or truly.
These eight prcedent formes T weare all (no doubte) of the money of Ste Peter, commonlie called Peter pence, but of these twooe nexte followinge I can give no probable coniecture excepte it might be that they shoulde have bine Peter pence, and were mistamped. The beginninge of Ve paimente of Peter pence was by Inas K. of the west Saxons, whoe imposed uppon everie howse a pennie yearlie to be paide as a tribute to the ....
It has not been thought necessary to reproduce the facsimiles of the coins which Mr. Blundell had before him when he made his fanciful comments. We believe that the description of the late Rev. D. H. Haigh, inserted at the end, will be found correct in all essential particulars.
[FPC the description of the coins etc may be added but for moment is omitted]
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