and pronounced the word “Slawit” or “Sloyt,” the hitherto suppressed amusement burst in a perfect roar of laughter, the company evidently thinking that the gentleman who had asked the question had got his answer! Taking advantage of the general hilarity, we quietly and quickly retreated to another and less noisy room upstairs, for the night.
(Distance walked twenty-eight and a half miles.)
Wednesday, November 8th.
It must have been a great work to remove the City of Old Sarum and to rebuild it in another position a mile or two away from its ancient site. The removal began in 1219, and was continued during about 120 years; Royal consent had to be obtained, as well as that of the Pope, Honorius III. The reason then given for its removal was that Old Sarum was too much exposed to the weather, and that there was also a scarcity of water there—in fact “too much wind and too little water.” There was some difficulty in deciding the position on which the new cathedral should be built, but this was solved by the Bishop shooting an arrow from the top of the Castle of Old Sarum; wherever the arrow alighted the new cathedral was to be built. The arrow fell very conveniently in the meadows where four rivers ran—the Avon, Bourne, Nadder, and Wylye—and amongst these the magnificent cathedral of Salisbury was built. The rivers, which added to the picturesque beauty of the place, were fed by open canals which ran through the main streets of the city, causing Salisbury to be named at that time the “English Venice.”
Nearly every King and Queen of England, from the time of Henry III, who granted its first Charter in 1227, had visited Salisbury, and over twenty of their portraits hung in the Council Chamber. Two Parliaments were held in Salisbury, one in 1328 and another in 1384; and it was in the market-place there, that Buckingham had his head cut off in 1483 by order of his kinsman, Richard III, for promoting an insurrection in the West of England. Henry VIII visited the city on two occasions, once with Catherine of Aragon, and again with Anna Boleyn. James I too came to Salisbury in 1611, and Charles II with his queen in 1665—on both these occasions to escape the plagues then raging in London. Sir Walter Raleigh was in the city in 1618, writing his Apology for the Voyage to Guiana, before his last sad visit to London, where he was beheaded. James II passed through the town in 1688 to oppose the landing of William of Orange, but, hearing he had already landed at Torbay, he returned to London, and William arrived here ten days later, occupying the same apartments at the palace.