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to the several criticisms of different writers on the HISTORY AND SURVEY OF WINCHESTER. As such it seems more proper to annex the faid APPENDIX to the HISTORY itself, together with answers to later strictures on the same subject, (1) whenever another edition of that work shall take place.
(1) Viz. those in the Monthly Review, the Anti-Jacobin Re. view, the British Critic, and the Critical Review. Though most of these publications betray fome degree of that prejudice against the History of Winchester which it has been the business of Dr. S. to excite, yet the authors of them all treat it with decency and even with respect, except, a certain writer in the work which is last mentioned, who by the bitterness and even fury of his language proves himself to be a party concerned in the present con. troversy: Hæret lateri lethalis arundo. It is more than probable that he will have his answer in due time, and that his ignorance in the line of antiquities will be demonstrated to the public. In the interim I cannot help observing that it is the duty of the conductors of periodical works to prevent their becoming vehicles of private resentment.
N. B. The references to the pages of THE REFLECTIONS ON POPERY, which occur in the following Letters relate to the first or quarto edition, except where the new or octavo edition is expressly mentioned
LETTERS TO A PREBENDARY.
OW is it possible that professing, as in all sincerity I do, the same principles of conciliation and charity, together with the same zeal for the maintenance of civil order and the general interests of Christianity, which you so eloquently display, we two should find ourselves opposed to each other in the characters of rival controvertists? How, in particular, should so unfortunate an event, as I am bound to consider it, have arisen from the publication of my History (1), which, amongst other ends, was certainly intended to promote those important objects.
It is true, Sir, when first I took up my pen to record the succeeding events of two thousand years, and to elucidate the great variety of obscure and doubtful matter, which presented itself in this research, I was aware that I could not do justice to my readers, or to myself, without representing many points of history, chronology, topography, architecture, and religion, in different lights from those in which they have been exhibited by several othrr writers, and without com
bating (1) THE HISTORY CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL, AND SURVEY OF THE ANTIQUITIES OF WIN. CHESTER, in two vols. 4to.
bating many deep-rooted prejudices of the present day. Hence I expected to incur the odium, and to meet with the opposition of the ignorant and the bigoted, that is to say, of those persons who were ei. ther unable or unwilling to investigate the arguments on which I had founded my opinions. But what encouraged me, on the other hand, was the hope of experiencing the approbation and support of that small, but enlightened and liberal class of men, in which I had ever considered my present antagonist as holding a high rank. As I was myself conscious of a disposition to renounce my own errors and prejudices, and a strong desire of discovering and exhibiting the truth on every question that fell within the grasp of my abilities and industry, so I ascribed the same inclination to all persons of that · description; and I took it for granted, that amongst
them, at least, I should meet with a candid hearing and a liberal commendation for every real discovery I should make, of whatever nature that might be, or to whatever conclusions it might lead.
With these ideas, how great must have been my disappointment at the time of publication, to find my laborious, and not unsuccessful efforts, in rescuing the history of this venerable city from the mists of fable and uncertainty with which it had heretofore been surrounded, and in adding to the general mass of historical and antiquarian knowledge, received with ungracious coolness, studiously misrepresented, and without mercy condemned to oblivion and the flames, on account of half a dozen lines in each volume, censuring the system of a late popular bishop of this Yee: which fyften after all is seen, by the best friends both of church and state, in the same light as by myself ! How great, in particular, must have 'been my mortification, when, it having been found impossible to flifle my production, and when the most distinguished literary character in the city and neighbourhood of Winchester had undertaken to answer it, I observed that this was attempted, not by difproving my facts, by confuting my arguments, by invalidating my authorities, or by opposing others to them, but by ill-natured and groundless interpretations of my views in writing my History, and by common-place topics of misrepresentation and calumny against the religion of our ancestors under the illiberal and abusive term of Popery (1); such as have been a thousand times urged, and a thousand times refuted. (2)
(1) The term of Catholic or Roman Catholic being now sanctioned by law (see the preamble to the act of 31 Geo. III. c. 32) as well as by common usage, it is a mark of illiberality and bigotry to denote the religion in question by the term of Popery, and the profeffors of it by those of Papills, Romanis, &c. which words were invented in the time of persecution, to serve as a cloak for the exercise of it. It has been remarked of a former work of Dr. S. ( Considerations on tbe present State of the Church EstablishTiteni) that he every where calls the professors of the ancient religion Papills, except where he says, “The English clergy succeed the Roman Catholic clergy of this country in part of their possessions." P. 108. Catholics are in this point more liberal. They do not, either in writing or conversation, apply invidious terms to their countrymen of a different communion, but rather such as the latter themselves choose to be denoted by.
(2) Dr. S. has presented us with a list of controvertists on his fide of the question, p. 97, 4to. ed. In opposition to these names *I have no difficulty in placing those of Stapleton, Parsons, Howarden, Manning, Gother, and Challoner, as controyersial writers who were inferior to the former in no respect, except that their works are not so generally known.
After all that has been said on the subject of these volumes by yourself, Sir, and your fellow writers in print, and by many other persons of more zeal than prudence, from mere hearsay in conversation, they will appear, upon examination, to be historical, not controversial compositions, and to consist of an. tiquarian researches, rather than of theological dissertations. They are accordingly read and commended for the information which they are supposed to contain, by many sincere as well as learned Protestants throughout the kingdom, and they were not less praised by others of that description in this neighbourhood, until Dr. S. founded the trumpet of religious alarm against them. The fact is, hav. ing undertaken to write an account of this city, as connected with the general history of the island, from its earliest records down to modern times, for the express purpose of illustrating the obscurities, and of dissipating the errors of many former writers, I have omitted no opportunity of attempting this, on any curious or interesting subject whatsoever that has occurred to me during the several periods of the British, the Roman, the Saxon, the Danish, the Norman, and the English dominations. In case I have enlarged more upon certain periods than I have upon others, and have more frequently entered into ecclefiaftical disquisitions than into such as are merely literary or political, the reason is, because more obfcurity and greater errors seemed to prevail with respect to these than to other periods and subjects. I was conscious, during the whole time of
my holding the pen, that I was amenable for whatever