Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/138

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96
BODMIN.

therein regular canons of the Order of St. Austin, who continued till the general suppression, when it was styled the Priory of St. Mary and St. Petroc, and was valued at 270l. per annum according to Dugdale, and 289l. 12s. according to Speed. The site, with the demesnes, were granted, 36th of Henry VIII. to Thomas Sternhold, one of the first translators of the Psalms into English metre.

Any one desirous of learning all that can be known or conjectured respecting the Western Bishopric, is referred to "The Ancient Cathedral of Cornwall historically surveyed," by the "Rev. John Whitaker; where that subject and various others are discussed, with the eloquence, ability, erudition, arid confidence, usually displayed by that eminent writer; who appears always to assume throughout the whole of his work the very questionable fact, that monastic historians, distant both in time and in space from the events which they relate, are possessed of perfect information, and that their narratives flow with unerring accuracy, at a period when none of the inventions for rapidly carrying intelligence, and for stamping it with the authentic impression of public notoriety, had yet occurred to the human mind.

I willingly leave these recondite, and, in truth, little interesting researches, for others of a more modern date, the objects of which are still extant, and their effects influencing the present times. Those connected with Bodmin we owe, in a great measure, to the ability, the industry, and the laudable zeal of Mr. John Wallis, the present vicar, on whom I would readily bestow more praise, if his merits had not rendered commendation from me superfluous.

One event, however, intermediate between the Saxon antiquities of Bodmin and those disclosed by Mr. Wallis, is so very curious, and so illustrative of opinions and of habits long passed away, that I cannot help inserting the details of it from Benedictus Abbas, an author of high reputation, Abbot of the great monastery of St.