“AntoniusForster, generis generosa propago,
Cumnerae Dominus, Bercheriensis erat.
Armiger, Armigero prognatus patre Ricardo,
Qui quondam Iphlethae Salopiensis erat.
Quatuor ex isto fluxerunt stemmate nati,
Ex isto Antonius stemmate quartus erat.
Mente sagax, animo precellens, corpore promptus,
Eloquii dulcis, ore disertus erat.
In factis probitas; fuit in sermone venustas,
In vultu gravitas, relligione fides,
In patriam pietas, in egenos grata voluntas,
Accedunt reliquis annumeranda bonis.
Si quod cuncta rapit, rapuit non omnia Lethum,
Si quod Mors rapuit, vivida fama dedit.
“These verses following are writ at length, two by two, in praise of him:—
Cithare pretendere chordas
Novit, et Aonia concrepuisse Lyra.
Gaudebat terre teneras defigere plantas;
Et mira pulchras construere arte domos
Composita varias lingua formare loquelas
Doctus, et edocta scribere multa manu.”
The arms over it thus:—
Quart. I. 3 HUNTER’S horns stringed.
II. 3 Pinions with their points upwards.
“The crest is a stag couchant, vulnerated through the neck by a broad arrow; on his side is a MARTLETT for a difference.”
From this monumental inscription it appears that Anthony Foster, instead of being a vulgar, low-bred, puritanical churl, was, in fact, a gentleman of birth and consideration, distinguished for his skill in the arts of music and horticulture, as also in languages. In so far, therefore, the Anthony Foster of the romance has nothing but the name in common with the real individual. But notwithstanding the charity, benevolence, and religious faith imputed by the monument of grey marble to its tenant, tradition, as well as secret history, names him as the active agent in the death of the Countess; and it is added that, from being a jovial and convivial gallant, as we may infer from some expressions in the epitaph, he sunk, after the fatal deed, into a man of gloomy and retired habits, whose looks and manners indicated that he suffered under the pressure of some atrocious secret.
The name of Lambourne is still known in the vicinity, and it is said some of the clan partake the habits, as well as name, of the Michael Lambourne of the romance. A man of this name lately murdered his wife, outdoing Michael in this respect, who only was concerned in the murder of the wife of another man.
I have only to add that the jolly Black Bear has been restored to his predominance over bowl and bottle in the village of Cumnor.
Note 2. Ch. XIII.—Legend of Wayland smith.