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to Albion. The Celts must have been spread about the coast of Denmark, before they could possibly undertake any expedition by
In the third century before our era, Italy was invaded by the Senones,—good evidence that the emigration across the channel had ceased at the time; as the removal to a new country would have been preferable to any warlike expedition by land. In fine, not less than five centuries A.C. would give time for the extensive colonisation discovered by Cæsar, and the change of name from Albion to Britain.
The unaccountable movements of the Senones, Teutones, and and other tribes, as related by the ancient authors, seem to have been an ordinary feature of the time. Mere love of plunder could not have produced the desperate conflicts described by the Latin historians. The only reason ever given by the people themselves
-one which occasioned a bad pun from Marius, the Roman general -was that they were seeking land to settle on; and Florus mentions the report, that the countries abandoned by those people had been inundated by the sea. Judging from modern experience, the marshy tracts of the continent must have been once subject to periodical pestilences sufficiently fatal to drive out the surviving inhabitants en masse. And it is probable that all the migrating tribes of those comparatively late times, had been colonists of such districts.
Our summary of conclusions from what has been said, will be found tolerably free from error, according to the present state of the science. The first inhabitants of Britain were Hiberno-Celts, of whom certain tribes were mixed with the Tatárs of the Stone sepulchres and giants' chambers. The first settlers proceeded from the north of Denmark, about five centuries before the Christian era, being driven out by the unhealthiness of the country, and landed in the mountainous part of the island, whence the name Alba travelled southwards with the people.
Whatever may have been the amount of Tatár and Iberian mixture, all distinctions finally merged into that of the two Celtic divisions. Hiberno-Celtic and Cambro-Celtic names for the same object are found in Cumberland; and wherever the national spirit
remained unbroken by subsequent invasions, this antagonism may be traced. In South Wales I have been told by a native, who certainly had no theory whatever on the subject, that he could fraternise with an Irishman, but not with a North Welshman.” The same sort of inherited dislike to the inhabitants of Connaught, exists in the other provinces of Ireland, the natives of Athlone, who are separated only by the river, having the strongest feeling on this point. Antipathies of this nature are not the growth of modern times, but commenced with the first crossing of swords between the opposing tribes. Nor is the feeling so strongly reciprocated on the weaker side. And it is on this is founded, if I mistake not, the remarkable proverb, “ Whom we injure we can never endure !"
THE CELTIC COLONISATIONS OF CUMBERLAND AND
THE district of country that contains the modern counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (which in the ensuing pages will be included under the general name of Cumbria), is enclosed on two sides, the east by the Pennine, the west by the sea. Rugged and unattractive, the most inhospitable portion of primæval England, we can scarcely imagine it to have been peopled, except by the overflowing of the more favoured districts. Such an inference is, however, not borne out by history. All historical evidences tend to show that Cumbria, at its first occupation by the Romans, was as thickly populated as any part of Britain, in proportion to its power of furnishing the means of support. And there is scarcely a doubt, that man in his earliest migrations, as in his latest, was in search not only of food, but of health and independence.
As a consequence of the peculiar local condition of these counties, we are enabled to judge with some certainty, from the ancient names, of the direction in which the immigrants were proceeding. It has been stated that Albion was explored southwards, a conclusion that is strengthened considerably by Cumbrian evidence. The oldest settlement of this district shows clearly, even in its present state, that the colonists came in from the north. It extends southwards along the slope of the Pennine, from Castle Carrock (including Croglin and Cumrew) to Culgaith, the end of the garden, where it was stopped by the nature of the ground. The people of this ancient settlement—the date of which cannot be assumed at less than four centuries before our
Hiberno-Celts, and doubtless by them was erected the finest monument of the north, the Druidical circle popularly known as Long Meg and her Daughters. In the same neighbourhood we find Great Dun Fell, Crowdundle and Knock Pike, which belong to this people, if not to so early a period.
Around the coast appear traces of another colony, the people of which drew the main part of their subsistence from fishing. The statement of Dio Cassius, that the Celts of Britain would eat no fish, may, with many others, be declared wholly false, or founded on something of very limited application. Judging from present appearances, the centre of the coast settlement was at the northern Morecambe, a name that originally could only be applied to the Solway with all its inlets. Dundraw, Cultram, the Esk, with many other names in the same neighbourhood, proceed from this people. About the southern Morecambe, the Kent, and the coast, probably as far as Ravenglass, an immigration may be traced northwards, which at the last-mentioned place would probably come in contact with the other colonists of the coast.
We have several traces of central settlements, a principal one being in the neighbourhood of the Keswick Circle, and from thence to Ullswater, Glencoin, Glenridding, and Dunmaile. The centre of another very important settlement was at Blencowe, around which names may be traced to a considerable distance. Ray, variously spelled Wreay, Rea, and Wray, is indicative of the first colonisation.
These first settlers, the pioneers of British civilisation, were partly a pastoral people, and partly subsisted on hunting and fishing. In them we see a tendency to avoid the vallies, and, for permanent residences, to seek the highest ground, suited to their occupations. The reasons are obvious; the vallies were impenetrable thickets, and pestilential marshes,—the high grounds were healthier, and less obstructed by forest. Those traces of the plough that have been observed on hills and commons uncultivated even at the present day, belong to this early period, and show that agriculture had made progress on the lands of the first colonists. But the phenomenon has remained a puzzle to the latest times, and
on it has been founded the popular story, that it was laid as a penance on King John's subjects during the interdict, to till no enclosed fields, or lands ordinarily cultivated, for the space of a year and a day.
The Cambro-Celtic colonists, having migrated altogether from the north and west coasts of Gaul, landed on the south and south-west of Britain. Just as we trace the Hiberno-Celts on the east coast, so do we find the Cambro-Celts on the west. In Cornwall, North Wales, and Lancashire, they were the explorers of the seashore, Liverpool and Lancaster being of their foundation.
Thus the second Celtic colonists entered Cumbria on the south. Yet they have not left many names in Westmorland, and this favours the opinion that they were proceeding in a great measure by the coast, and in their first movements seeking for districts uncolonised by any earlier people. The Lowther, the Leven, and the first part. of Nan Bield, received their names from this people; and Corney, now the name of a river, is derived from the original appellative of the peninsula west of the Duddon, namely, corn, the horn.
In the central districts of Cumbria, we find certain evidences of conflict with the earlier occupants. The Hiberno-Celts being established at Blencowe, the Cambro-Celts fixed themselves at Penrith. Barco in this quarter appears to have been the battlefield for the contending parties. Nevertheless both held their ground, for, in the neighbourhood of the Peterill, they were separated only by the river. About the foot of Ullswater, which they called the Pool, and thence to Penruddock, little Penrith, ample traces of the Cambro-Celts are likewise found. Helvellyn was named by them, and certain places on the right shore of the lake. Their attempts to pass up the left bank, appear to have been checked at Glencoin, the glen of tribute, the place being of course named by the victorious party.
Farther north, and in contact with the settlers on the “ fellsides," we can trace the Cambro-Celts in Cumwhitton, Cumwhinton, and in the name which they gave their neighbours, the Cumrew, or people of the hills, now preserved in the name of a village. Still lower do we find them, at Lanercost, though this may be a much