"OLD BRECKNOCK CHIPS." A Column of Antiquarian Chit-Chat relating to the County of Brecknock. NOTES, QUERIES, AND REPLIES, on Subjects inter¬ esting to Breconshire, must be addressed to EDITOR, Brecon County Times, Brecon. Real names and addresses must be given in confidence, and MSS. must be written legibly, on one side of the paper only. FEBRUARY 25th, 1887. NOTES. MATTHEW HERBERT. (Rector of Llangattock, 1621—1660.) I lived in an age withouten ruth. 'Twas when by the fell Fury driv'n Of Party —our Fatherland was riv'n: War rag'd, and Church, and State, and all Became some horrid Fury's thrall. Our fair field spoil'd, the sacred Rose Fell the vile weed aneath. Peace by the flood was swept afar, Aud darkness with heav'n's light made war. Henry Vaughan. The following extract from the MSS. in the Repository of the House of Lords may be of interest to the lovers of Henry Vaughan's poems :— " June 11, 1660. Petition of Johan Her- '■' bert, the relict of Matthew Herbert, late " rector of Llangatting (Llangattock) and " the chapels thereto annexed, in the county " of Brecknock, and late rector of Cefnllys, •' in the county of Radnor, on behalf of her- ' • self and her distressed children. " Petitioner's husband, for his service to " his late majesty was, contrary even to the " orders of the then Parliament, sequestered " from his livings before any charge was ex- " hibited against him ; and the profits to the " value of £400 per annum were taken from " him for thirteen years. After several " imprisonments he died in February last, " leaving petitioner and her children desti- " tute, and with many debts to pay. " Prays that the persons who took the " profits of the livings may be ordered to pay " her all arrears of fifths, and that her chil- '' dren may not be stopped by the General " Act from their remedy at law or equity " for so much of the profits of the livings as " has not been paid to the public treasury. "Annexed: 1. Reasons in support of " petition. 2. Proviso proposed to be in- " serted in the Act." The pathetic sadness of the story told in this brief petition is intensified, when we find, that the Rev. Matthew Herbert, rector of Llangattock and Cefnllys, was the beloved and revered tutor of Henry Vaughan, the Silurist, and his brother ; of the incidents of his life but little is known beyond the bare facts that he was a member of the family of Herbert of Crickhowel; that his father Edward Herbert, of Cwrt-y-garw, married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Lewis, of Van; that he held the prebendal stall of Llanelwedd in Christ's College, Brecon ; that in the year 1621 he was presented to Llangattock by his kinsman Edward Somer¬ set, Earl of Worcester, and, we learn from the testimony of Thomas and Henry Vaughan, that he was not unworthy of his other kinsman, George Herbert of Bemerton, the sweet singer of " The Temple." Matthew Herbert was a devoted son of the Church, a loyal servant of the King, and when his quiet, studious life amongst the people he tended with pastoral care was dis¬ turbed by the rude thunders of civil war (the population of Llangattock in 1673 was 136, three of whom were returned as Papists, forty-nine as Dissenters), he suffered im¬ prisonment and loss, and died a few months before the Restoration, leaving three sons, Thomas, John, and Edward, and one daugh¬ ter, Amy, who aiterwards married Lewis Gunter. Of his circumstances we know no more, but of the cultivation of his mind and the sweetness of his character we have fre¬ quent assurance from the twin-brothers Thomas and Henry Vaughan, who were sent from Lower Newton to the rectory at Llan¬ gattock, at the age of eleven, where they remained until they entered at Jesus College, Oxford. They have both expressed in verse the affectionate gratitude they bore their tutor. The following is a translation by the learned Rev. A. B. Grosart of the (Latin) verse- dedication of the portion of " Thalia Redi- viva " written by the Rev. Thomas Vaughan, rector of Llansaintfraed :— Receive my first fruits, 0 Herbert endear'd ! Receive thine own : for thou indeed them rear'd: My muse to follow thee is all unmeet, A painted rose beside a rose dew-wet : So too my honey from Hymettus brought Bears still the thymy flavour from thee caught. Dr. Grosart has also translated Henry Vaughan's " Ad Posteros " from which the following lines are quoted :— Wales gave me birth, where Father Usk Winds now in light and now in dusk, O'er-hung by the great mountains o'cl That fling their shadows manifold Far cross the valleys : and the sky Seems pillar'd by their majesty. Thence plac'd in gentle Herbert's care, —In learning ripe, a master rare— Six years I gather'd classic lore, And by his skill rich spoils I bore : Two-fold his training—love and art,— That of the mind, this of the heart: Unwearied in brain and hand, Renown'd he stood in all the Land. To Herbert's skiU and love I owe Even what of worth I have.