Skip to main content

&rcimeDtoflia Camimtsis* No. II. — APKIL, 1846. BASINGWERK ABBEY. During the middle ages, devotees from all parts of Christen¬ dom were in the habit of visiting St. Winefred's well, in the county of Flint, not only because such an act was considered meritorious in itself, but also from a persuasion that the sa¬ cred waters were endued with the power of curing bodily diseases. That a place of this religious celebrity should be long without its monastic establishment is hardly to be ex¬ pected, as such a case would have been contrary to the custom of the times. Accordingly we find that a society of monks did exist here previous to the year 1119. For it is said that Richard, the son of Hugh Lupus, earl of Chester, being then attacked by the Welsh on his pilgrimage to the virgin's well, was obliged to take refuge in an abbey in the neigh¬ bourhood.1 But how long it had existed prior to that date we have no means of ascertaining. Neither is it known who the original founder was; only it is conjectured from the char¬ ters of Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, and his son David, in which they give and confirm the several donations to God, St. Mary, the monastery of Basingwerk, and the monks, which had been bestowed on them by their predecessors, that he was one of the princes of Wales. From Henry the second's charter2 we learn moreover that 1 Bradshaw's Life of St. Werburgh. 2 Bishop Fleetwood thinks that this charter belonged to Henry III. His reasons are thus stated: —" Since the King there gives the lands which once belonged to W. Peverell in the time of King Henry his grandfather, and it is certain that King Henry II. took away those lands from W. Peverell because he was found to have poisoned Randle, the second earl of Chester, in or about the year 1154, therefore, 'tis plain that Henry here named must have been Henry III. whose grandfather Henry II. was." — Life and miracles of St. Winifrid, p. 24. We confess that we cannot ARCHZEOL. camb. vol. 1.3 H