A Book of Bristol Sonnets (London and Bristol, 1877)

Dedicated to Edward Thring with the ‘Gratitude and Affection of an Old Pupil’.  This was Rawnsley’s first published book.  He writes in the Preface:

This Book has little to recommend it, and asks no praise.  But it is believed that it will fill a want here in Bristol, where men are so actively engaged, and oftentimes so wearied, in their business, that they may be glad to have some such thoughts suggested to them.

This is little more than a hand-book of such suggestions jotted down at odd moments.

And as the writer has often, when gazing on an object or scene, wished that a thought could be given him to seal that object in his memory, he deems it not improbable that there are others of like need with himself among the lovers of their old City and its neighbourhood.

In conclusion, a debt of thanks is due to all the Local Historians, past and present;  notably to Barrett, Seyer, Dallaway, Garrard, Chilcott, Corrie and Evans, Pryce, J. Taylor, and J. F. Nicholls.  The Author cannot but express a wish that the Notes appended to these Sonnets may induce a reader, here and there, to dive further into these books for himself;  and so, learning to reverence what is honourable in the past, live more nobly in the present.


Bristol of To-Day (p. 1)

A Dream of Ancient Bristol (p. 2)

Eleanor de Montfort, in Bristol Castle (p. 4)

Bristol Castle and the Tram-Cars (p. 5)

St. John’s Gate (p. 6)

St. John’s Conduit, Nelson Street (p. 8)

The Fort, Bristol (p. 9)

Bristol University College (p. 10)

Mother Pugsley’s Field, Nine-Tree Hill (p. 12)

On Noticing that the Only Lime Tree not in Bud, at College Green, Fronted the Cathedral Porch (p. 14)

On Hearing the Organ in the Cathedral, while the Work in the Nave was Suspended (p. 15)

Spire of St. Mary Redcliffe (p. 16)

St. Mary Redcliffe (p. 17)

Chatterton (p. 18)

“Tempora Mutantur.” Jefferies’ Book-Shop (p. 19)

The Oak-Chamber at Jefferies’, Redcliffe Street (p. 20)

St. Stephen’s Tower, As seen from the junction of Prince’s Street and Marsh Street (p. 22)

St. Werburgh’s Tower: Built in 1385. To be pulled down in 1877 (p. 24)

St. James’ Churchyard (p. 26)

On Hearing St. Matthew’s Peal (p. 28)

Clifton Hill: Clifton Parish Church (p. 29)

Clifton College Chapel, The Sunday of Return to School (p. 30)

Sermon in the College Chapel (p. 31)

Flavel Cook v Jenkins, April 1st, 1876 (p. 32)

Flavel Cook v Jenkins, A walk by Christ Church on the evening of the verdict, March 21, 1876 (p. 33)

Sunday in Bristol (p. 34)

On Hearing the Birds Sing, Ash Wednesday Morning (p. 35)

Good Friday in Bristol, 1876 (p. 36)

On Hearing Bells on Easter Morning (p. 37)

Whit Monday, from Ashley Hill (p. 38)

Harvest Thanksgiving at St. Barnabas (p. 39)

Site of the Ancient High Cross, At junction of High Street, Broad Street, Corn Street, and Wine Street (p. 40)

Richard Savage; or, in front of St. Peter’s Hospital. Burial Register, A.D. 1743, Richard Savage, the Poet (p. 42)

Arno’s Vale Cemetery (p. 43)

The Cripples’ Home, 34, Richmond Terrace, Clifton (p. 44)

“Little Johnny,” at the Cripples’ Home (p. 45)

The Children’s Hospital (p. 46)

In Memoriam: John Chiddy (p. 47)

Bristol Smoke in Early Morning, October (p. 48)

A Calm Evening, from Ashley Hill (p. 49)

Bristol by Gaslight, From Ashley Hill (p.  50)

A March Day, on Ashley Hill, Looking down on Bristol (p. 51)

Muller’s Orphanage, Ashley Down (p. 52)

Plucking Daisies; or, the Orphanage at the Foot of Ashley Hill (p. 53)

The Red Maids’ School (p. 54)

Mrs. Fry Visiting Newgate (p. 55)

A View of Bristol Early in the Morning, from Pur-Down (p. 56)

The Hooter, or Steam-Horn, Heard at Duchess’ Wood (p. 57)

A Service of Song in Duchess’ Park, on a May Morning (p. 58)

The Monument at Duchess’ Woods, on the Anniversary of Lady Elizabeth’s Death (p. 59)

Death of a Parishioner. A Walk to the Duchess’ Woods from Baptist Mills, on a May Morn (p. 60)

Ashton Clump and Lansdown (p. 61)

Ashton Court (p. 62)

The Blast-Furnace at Ashton Iron Works (p. 63)

Dundry Tower (p. 64)

The Knotted Elm, at Abbot’s Leigh (p. 65)

The Churchyard Gate, at Abbot’s Leigh (p. 66)

Sunset at Abbot’s Leigh (p. 67)

Ham Green; or, Reflection (p. 68)

Early Morn and Eventide, in Leigh Woods (p. 69)

On Finding the Wild Strawberry in Nightingale Valley, April 3rd (p. 70)

The Nightingale in Nightingale Valley (p. 71)

Bower-Wall and Stokesleigh Camps (p. 72)

Clifton Suspension Bridge (p. 73)

To a Thrush, Heard on Clifton Down in a January Mist (p. 74)

The Power of Spring; or, on St. Vincent’s Rocks (p. 75)

Pleasures of Imagination; or, the Jackdaws above Ghyston Cave (p. 76)

Dandelions and Daisies on the Downs; or, Jealousy (p. 77)

Clematis in Leaf on the Downs (p. 78)

May Day, in Sneyd Park Woods (p. 79)

The Sea-wall; after returning from Switzerland (p. 80)

Gossamers on the Down (p. 81)

Selfishness; or, Quiet on the Downs (p. 82)

The Eagle, at the Zoological Gardens, Clifton (p. 83)

Hannibal, the Lion in the Clifton Zoological Gardens (p. 84)

Tumbler Pigeons, over Bristol (p. 85)

True Love; or, in St. Jude’s (p. 86)

The First Swallow, Seen, April 10, on the Banks of the Frome (p. 87)

The Great Fire in Christmas Street, 1876 (p. 88)

On the Drawbridge (p. 89)

One of the Tolzey Tables, Corn Street (p. 90)

The Demerara’s Figure-Head. The Giant Savage Opposite the Stone Bridge, Quay Head (p. 92)

Games for Working Men. A Plea (p. 93)

Revival of the Sugar Trade. Finzel’s Manufactory (p. 94)

Wills’ Manufactory, Redcliffe Street, the Portrait Gallery of Old Servants In (p. 96)

On the Quay: The Lumper, or Corn-Runner (p. 97)

The Lights at the Harbour Mouth, as Seen from the Suspension Bridge (p. 98)

Outward Bound. Sunday, Early Spring (p. 99)

Homeward Bound. Midsummer (p. 100)

Avonmouth Docks, before their Completion, 1876 (p. 101)

On Seeing Two Vessels (Cutter-Rigged) Pass One Another at Avonmouth (p. 102)

“The Dying Gladiator,” by Ctesilaus. A Cast in the Vestibule of the Museum, Bristol (p. 104)

Edward Colston. Born in this City, November 2, 1636 (p. 105)

Colston Honoured; or, True Conservatism (p. 106)

Orpheus Glee Society. Colston Hall (p. 107)

Corals and Coral Islands. The Strikes. Lecture by Dr. Duncan, Colston Hall, March 6, 1876 (p. 108)

To the Conductor of the Orchestral Concert in Colston Hall (p. 109)

Dr. Moffat; or, the London Mission Meeting at Colston Hall, September 22, 1876 (p. 110)

Saturday Organ Recital in the Colston Hall (p. 111)

Chorus from “Fall of Babylon.” Bristol Musical Festival, Thursday, October 19, 1876 (p. 112)

Madlle, Albani, at the Bristol Festival, 1876 (p. 113)

The Black Helebore (Christmas Rose), at Down House (p. 114)

To a Red Rose, Growing at Ashley Grange (p. 115)

Nan’s Walk (p. 116)

Carter’s Lane, Portbury (p. 117)

Rumour of War, June, 1876. Kingsweston (p. 118)

Goblin Combe (p. 120)

Scene from Skittim Hill, Henbury. In Spring (p. 121)

View from Henbury Plain, from Fern Hill (p. 122)

Infancy; or, Going to the New Passage (p. 123)

Boyhood; or, the Ferry at the New Passage (p. 124)

Middle Age; or, Tintern Abbey (p. 125)

Old Age Coming On; or, At Tintern Abbey (p. 126)

Death; or, the Lennox Spring, between Moss Cottage and Tintern (p. 128)

Chepstow Castle (p. 130)

The Wynd-Cliff, on an April Day (p. 131)

The Moss Cottage, at the Wynd-Cliff (p. 132)

On Descending the Wynd-Cliff by the Steps to the Moss Cottage (p. 133)

Tintern Abbey (p. 134)

Tyndale’s Pillar, at Nibley Knoll (p. 135)

The Drakestone Edge (p. 136)

Berkeley Castle (p. 138)

Warleigh, near Bath (p. 139)

The Bristol Mission of 1877. On Hearing that Funds were Needed for the Completion of the Cathedral (p. 140)

Old Clevedon Churchyard, with Steep and Flat Holmes in the Distance (p. 141)

Tennyson at Clevedon (p. 142)

The Three Pictures of St. John Baptist, in the Billiard Room at Leigh Court (p. 143)

The Opening of the Avonmouth Docks. Saturday, February 24, 1877 (p. 144)