: Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales

"As for the town, though it flourished mightily for some years together

after the Norman Conquest, by reason of a staple for wooll and other

commodities, setled here by King Edward the Third; yet it met still with

some calamities or other, which hindred its growth and eclipsed its

grandeur, for it had its share of sufferings, both by fire and water, in

King Stephen's days, about which time, it seems, though the king had at
/> first been conquered and taken prisoner, yet he afterward entred into

the city in triumph, with his crown upon his head, to break the citizens

of a superstitious opinion they held, that no king could possibly enter

into that city after such a manner, but some great disaster or other

would befal him; but neither did it then, or by the barons' wars

afterwards, sustain half the damages which of late years it hath

received from the devouring hands of time, who hath wrought its downfal,

and from a rich and populous city hath reduced it almost to the lowest

ebb of fortune; and of fifty churches, which were all standing within

one or two centuries, hath scarce left fifteen; so that the old

proverbial rhymes (which go current amongst them) seem so far to have

something of verity in them:

Lincoln was, and London is,

And York shall be

The fairest city of the three."--Ibid.