Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bakewell/Lambton, Saxon Crosses and Pride and Prejudice

Here are some more photos from my trip to Bakewell. The first shows a view of the church and the second shows some of the shops in the town.

This small market town was known as Badequelle in the time of the Domesday survey, which is a reference to the mineral springs and an ancient bath in the vicinity. The name was later corrupted to Baquelle before it became Bakewell, the name that we recognise today. In the parish churchyard of All Saints there is the remains of an old Saxon cross, which has an interesting legend attached to it. In 1501 Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of King Henry VII was visiting Sir Henry Vernon at Haddon Hall. Beneath the cross he saw a woman in white who predicted an early marriage and early death for him. When the Prince returned to Haddon he heard that his Spanish bride-to-be was in England and that he was to be married immediately. Four months later he became ill and breathed his dying words: ‘O, the vision of the cross at Haddon!’

I love this extract from Pride and Prejudice when Mr Darcy arrives in Lambton with his sister. Mrs Gardiner must have felt very excited for Lizzy as it becomes apparent that her niece is being sought out by the most powerful man in the district.

Elizabeth had settled it that Mr Darcy would bring his sister to visit her the very day after her reaching Pemberley; and was consequently resolved not to be out of sight of the inn the whole of that morning. But her conclusion was false; for on the very morning after their own arrival at Lambton these visitors came. They had been walking about the place with some of their new friends, and were just returned to the inn to dress themselves for dining with the same family, when the sound of a carriage drew them to a window, and they saw a gentleman and lady in a curricle driving up the street. Elizabeth, immediately recognising the livery, guessed what it meant, and imparted no small degree of surprise to her relations by acquainting them with the honour which she expected. Her uncle and aunt were all amazement; and the embarrassment of her manner as she spoke, joined to the circumstance itself, and many of the circumstances of the preceding day, opened to them a new idea on the business. Nothing had ever suggested it before, but they now felt that there was no other way of accounting for such attentions from such a quarter than by supposing a partiality for their niece. While these newly born notions were passing in their heads, the perturbation of Elizabeth's feelings was every moment increasing.

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