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GREAT MARLOw is a market and borough town, situated in a pleasant part of the county of Buckingham, and on the banks of the Thames.

Camden, in his Britannia, traces the etymology of its name to the chalk called Marle, which he remarks, "being laid on the land around this place, communicates such vigour to it, that the next year it is fit for tillage, and yields a double increase." A more unsatisfactory and unphilosophical derivation of a name we seldom remember to have read. Mr. Langley, in his history of the hundred of Desborough, which involves this part of the county, very properly observes, that the learned antiquary has erred not only in the derivation, but the illustration of the name; "as Marle and Chalk are two distinct substances, and possess opposite qualities: of the former, too small a quantity is found here to give name to a parish, and the Saxon name for Chalk cannot be strained to this etymology. Marlow is called in the Domesday Book Merlaw, which appears to me to signify a Mere, or standing water, and this might then be the situation of the place, for near the town are some peat moors, in which stag's horns and other animal remains have been found; and these moors were probably standing water at that period." This derivation is certainly very superior to that of Camden, and is imagined with ingenuity but it does not altogether satisfy us as being the correct etymology of the name of this place.-We shall leave it, therefore, in the state of obscurity in which we have found it.

The manor of Marlow, previous to the conquest, was in the possession of Alger, Earl of Mercia, and descended to his son, from whom it was taken by King William, and granted to his Queen Matilda. At the period of the survey

it was found to be taxed for fifteen hides of land. Its woods are represented as capable of supplying pannage for a thousand swine; a term which denotes the feeding of that animal upon the mast, or fruit of wild forest trees, such as oak, beech, chesnuts, &c. and its fishery produced a thousand eels. Henry the First, who received the manor by inheritance from his mother, bestowed it on Robert Malhent, his natural son, from whom, after a succession of intermarriages, it became the property of Gilbert, Earl of Clare. In his posterity it continued till the reign of Edward the Second, whose unhappy favourite, Hugh Le Despencer, the younger, having married Eleanor, the heiress of the Clares, obtained possession, but soon after lost both his estates and his life. Parliament having, however, reversed the attainder of the Spencers, their possessions were restored, and Marlow continued to be the property of this family, till Isabel, the daughter of Thomas Lord Despencer, Earl of Glocester, who was afterwards degraded and beheaded at Bristol, conveyed it by marriage to Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who, dying in the year 1439, was succeeded by his son Henry. "This hopeful branch," says Dugdale, "was cropped in the flower of his youth, before the fruits of his heroic disposition could be manifested to the world; for he died at Hanley Castle, in Worcestershire, June 11, 1445, being but twenty-two years of age."

On the death of Henry's infant daughter, who survived him but a short time, this manor devolved to his sister's husband, Richard Nevil, afterwards created Earl of Warwick, who was so eminently conspicuous for his conduct during the reigns of Henry the Sixth and Edward the Fourth, and obtained such a commanding influence in the political state and government of the kingdom. In the civil con vulsions which ensued, it seems that the Earl of Warwick's property had gone into other hands; for an act was passed, in the third year of Henry the Seventh, which commanded restitution of all the estates, of which the Countess of


Warwick had been dis-seized, with power to alienate all or any part of them. The design of this act soon appeared; for the Countess was obliged to convey the whole of her possessions in perpetuity to the king, and received the grant of Marlow and some other estates, for life, in return. On her death it reverted to the crown, and was leased to different persons; but, in the reign of Philip and Mary, it was granted to William, Lord Paget, for one thousand, two hundred and fifty-two pounds. From the family of the Pagets it passed through several intermediate possessors to Sir William Clayton, who obtained it by purchase in the year 1736; and in the younger branches of his family it still remains.

The town of Great Marlow has been supposed, from the denomination of Chipping Marlow, which occurs in ancient records, to have been a market town in the time of the Saxons. It consists of two principal streets in the form of a Roman T, and three smaller ones. The High Street is spacious, and contains some good houses. There is a very handsome mansion, situated on a pleasing ascent from the Thames, belonging to Mr. Davenport, whose grounds stretch along the river to a considerable distance, and command, with the wood-crowned uplands on the Berkshire side. of the stream, a very pleasing view of Bisham Abbey. In this house there is a select collection of pictures, and, among the rest, avery fine one of Wilson the portrait-painter. That artist lived about the middle of the last century, and, we believe, was a scholar of Hudson's. He was in some repute before Sir Joshua Reynolds drew the attention of the public from his contemporaries. We have seen a portrait of Wilson's, of the Duke of Roxburgh, K. G. which had considerable merit. But the picture in question is a very masterly work; and, as if he were favoured by a temporary ray of genius, he has on this canvas almost rivalled the pencil of Rembrandt, whose style he adopted. It is a very large canvas--the subject, The Vision of the Hand writing on

the Wall, as recorded in the Book of Daniel. As it was the only historical picture of this artist, and the only exhibition of genius which he had displayed in any of his works, it occasioned a considerable degree of curiosity, as well as astonishment, among the professors of the pencil and the connoisseurs in the fine arts, at the time it was produced; and we believe that the painter was honoured, during the remainder of his life, in consequence of it, with the title of Rembrandt Wilson.

Marlow has been, for some years, in an improving state, to which the provisional establishment of the Royal Military College must have contributed, though it will be soon removed to a more suitable and convenient situation.

Such has for some time been, and such actually is the state of Europe, that a very large military establishment, or what was formerly considered as such a bug-bear,—a standing army, or, at least, what is so in effect, is now essential to our existence. The old Whigs, of a former period, considered an armed establishment, not only as hostile, but as dangerous to our liberties; such, however, is the change and chance of human affairs, the modern Whigs of the present period, look to it as a guardian of our freedom. We are assuming, if we may not be already said to have assumed, the character of an armed nation, and such we must continue to be, or share the fate of the greatest part of Europe. Under these circumstances we cannot but consider military establishments as of the utmost consequence to our political salvation, and that it was a very wise and patriotic spirit which suggested such an institution, as we are about to describe: nor can the country be too grateful to those, who by their public zeal, professional knowledge, and superior understanding, have brought it to that state of perfection which promises such real advantage to the British empire. Nor can we proceed without acknowledging what all, who are acquainted with the subject, are ready to acknowledge, the unwearied and

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