The Baronial Halls, and Ancient Picturesque Edifices of England; Vol. 2 of 2














SAWSTON HALL Cambridgeshire From a Drawing by J. Dafforne.
BRERETON HALL Cheshire H. L. Pratt.
CREWE HALL C. J. Richardson, F.S.A.
DORFOLD HALL C. J. Richardson, F.S.A.
PLÂS HOUSE Cornwall J. Gendall.
NAWORTH Cumberland George Cattermole.
NAWORTH, LONG GALLERY George Cattermole.
HADDON HALL Derbyshire T. Allom.
FORD HALL Devonshire J. Gendall.
SHERBORNE LODGE Dorsetshire C. J. Richardson, F.S.A.
AUDLEY END Essex J. D. Harding.
FEERING HOUSE F. W. Fairholt, F.S.A.
HOREHAM HALL F. W. Fairholt, F.S.A.
BERKELEY CASTLE Gloucestershire J. G. Jackson.
BRAMSHILL Hampshire F. W. Hulme.
HATFIELD HOUSE Hertfordshire F. W. Hulme.
HINCHINBROOK HOUSE Huntingdonshire G. H. Harrison.
COBHAM HALL J. D. Harding.
HALL I’ THE WOOD Lancashire J. D. Harding.
SPEKE HALL J. D. Harding.



Sawston Hall is situated to the right of the long and straggling village of Sawston, on the high-road to Cambridge, from which it is distant about six miles. For many centuries it has been the residence of the Huddlestons, an ancient and honourable family, of the Roman Catholic faith. The mansion lies low, and is partially hidden by thickly-clustered cottages and gardens. It is a large quadrangular building, erected during the reign of Queen Mary, under circumstances which we shall presently explain. It retains much of its original character, both externally and internally; and, although it cannot boast of great architectural beauty, it may be considered as a good example of the gable-ended style of the sixteenth century. The principal entrance is by a low door-way, underneath a porch, leading into a spacious hall, paved with Kettering stone and black marble, and lighted by two windows, exhibited in the appended wood-cut, and a large bay-window

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on the same side.[1] The wainscotting has been stained to imitate walnut-wood. The walls are adorned by several finely-painted portraits. Of the rooms on the upper floor there are none that demand especial notice: two of the bed-chambers are, however, hung with faded tapestry, concealing doors that lead to remote parts of the building. The antique damask bed-furniture and quilted coverlets are relics of ages long passed away. The Gallery, hung with old family portraits, extends nearly the whole depth of the mansion—being upwards of one hundred feet long by about eighteen wide, with oak panels to the ceiling. A door-way in the court-yard conducts to a neat chapel, containing a window of stained glass, and an altar of fine Egyptian marble, inlaid with lapis lazuli. The venerable edifice

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derives its principal attraction from its associations with the olden time: it is impossible to wander through its now nearly deserted apartments, without reading a solemn and impressive passage from history. Its great characteristic is solitude. The present occupant—a bachelor of venerable years—is almost the last of a distinguished and honourable race, leading a secluded life in the house consecrated by a long line of noble ancestors. Though dwelling apart from the business and turmoil of life, secluded alike from the toils and anxieties of the world, where

“Silence pervades the halls of revelry;”
there are, nevertheless, many who can testify to the active benevolence of his nature, to his worthily representing the virtues of generations of great and good men; and that when he dies “his works will follow him.”

In supplying some details of the family history, we avail ourselves of the genealogical roll, which the courtesy of the venerable representative permitted us to inspect. We copy the superscription: the document itself is upwards of eighteen feet long, and contains a multitude of names

“Writ in the annals of their country’s fame.”
“This Pedegree, Genealogy, or liniall Descent of the Ayntient and Rightworthey Famylie of Hodlestone of Salstone, in the Countey of Cambridg, and of Hodlestone, Lords of Milham, in the Countey of Cumberlande, and of divers other Manners and Lordshipps, shewing theire Matches and Aliances with many Princely, and Honorable, and Right Noble famyleyes, faithfulley and carefulley Drawne and Collected out of the Publick Recordes of this Kingdom, Ayntient deedes and evidences, bookes of Arms, and other venerable Prooves, by John Taylor, at the Lute, in fleetstreet, Anno 1641.”

The pedigree on the maternal side begins with Henry I., continues through the various monarchs who filled the throne of England down to Edward III. and John of Gaunt, whose sole daughter, Joane, became the wife of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, by whom she had a son, Richard, married to Alice, daughter and heir of Thomas Montague, Earl of Salisbury; at whose death, in 1428, the earldom became extinct, but was afterwards revived in the person of the aforesaid Richard, from whom descended Joane (wife of William Fitz-Allan, eighth Earl of Arundel), Richard Earl of Warwick, the “King-maker,” and John Marquis of Montagu, slain with his brother at the battle of Barnet. This last married Isabella, daughter and heiress of Sir Edmond Inglethorpe, Knt., by whom he had five daughters, coheiresses, of whom one, Isabella, was the wife of Sir William Hodleston, Knt., of Salston, in the county of Cambridge; to him the estate descended in right of his wife. The deed of conveyance, dated 17th Henry VII., is in the possession of Mr. Huddleston.

On the paternal side, the list commences with Nigell de Hodleston, settled in Cumberland at the time of Henry I., which Nigell, surnamed Propositus (provost or warden), “gave to the Abbey of Selby two carrucates of land and a half in Millum, and parte of his tythe in Hodleston, with the socage, &c.” About the same period mention is made of Godard de Millum, who gave to the Abbey of St. Mary of Furney’s certain lands “for the safety of his soul, and of all his ancestors.” Sir Adam de Hodleston sat in Parliament as Knight of the Shire, in the third of Edward II., and afterwards became connected by marriage with Miles de Stapleton de Bedell, of the county of York. Millum Castle was fortified and embattled, in 1335, by Sir John de Hodleston; and a Richard de Hodleston was a man-at-arms at the battle of Agincourt, in the retinue of Sir William de Harington, Knight of the Garter. He was knighted after the engagement, by the king.

From an intermarriage among the descendants of Nigell and Goddard, sprang the above-mentioned Sir William Hodleston, whose grandson, John,[2] (afterwards knighted by Mary), was united to Bridgett, daughter of Robert Cotton, of Landwade, or Lanwood, ancestor of the present Sir Vincent Cotton; for him, or by him, Sawston Hall, as it now stands, was erected.

The circumstances connected with the building of Sawston Hall are akin to Romance. The popular tradition is, that it was erected at the cost of Queen Mary, who, when a fugitive from her enemies, after the death of Edward VI., found shelter in the ancient house of the Huddlestons. Her pursuers reached the Hall within a very short time after she had quitted it; and in their rage of disappointment at losing their prey, burnt to the ground the mansion that had harboured her. She is said to have witnessed the conflagration from a distant hill; and to have exclaimed, “Let the house burn; I will build Huddleston a better.”

“She kept her word:” writes a modern historian. “Sawston Hall was built by her order, and at her cost.” Unfortunately, however, there exists evidence that the Queen forgot her promise, if she ever made it, to her preserver. It is believed, indeed, that “she gave the stone from Cambridge Castle to rebuild the House,” but it is certain that, at least, it was unfinished many years after Mary’s death, although commenced during her lifetime. In the court-yard are two stones, which record the dates—probably of the commencement and termination of the building. Upon one are the initials, J. H., and the date 1557; on the other, those of E. H., (Edmund, son of Sir John,) with the date 1584.

The village of Sawston stands in the hundred of Whittlesford, and deanery of Camps. There are four manors in this parish—Pyrotts, Dernford, Dale, and Huntington—all now the property of Mr. Huddleston. The manor of Pyrotts continued until the year 1329 in the immediate descendants of Pirotus, who held it under Eudo Fitzherbert, Steward of the Household to William the Conqueror. Sir Edmund de la Pole died, seised of this manor and Dernford, in 1419. Mr. Huddleston’s ancestor came into possession of them—which had descended from the De la Poles through the Ingeldesthorps to the noble family of Neville—by his marriage with the daughter of the Marquis Montagu. The manors of Dale and Huntington were purchased by Sir Edmund Huddleston before the year 1580; the manor of Dale, or Le Dale, had been in the Saliston, or Sawston, family, who held it under the manor of Pyrotts by the service of finding an armed soldier whenever the owner of that manor should attend the King to the wars. Near the entrance to the park, there formerly stood an ancient cross, the shaft and pedestal of which alone remain. It forms the subject of our initial letter.

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The church of Sawston, which abuts on the park, appears to have been built about the thirteenth century; like most of the churches of Cambridgeshire, it possesses a fine open porch. Sir John Huddleston, who spent the greater part of his fortune in the service of Philip of Spain after Mary’s death, lies buried in the chancel here. The following inscription is engraved on a brass plate placed on the tomb, represented in the annexed woodcut.

“Here lyeth entombed the bodye of Sʳ John
Huddleston, Knighte, vice-chamberlayne unto
King Phylipe, and captaine of his garde; and
one of Queen Marye’s most honorable pryvie
Councell, who died yᵉ fourthe day of Novembr,
in the yeare of our Lorde God 1557.”

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BRERETON.—This Mansion, designated by Webb “the stately House of Brereton,” with which the name of Elizabeth, our maiden Queen, is much associated, stands in a beautiful green vale, fertilized by the little river Croco. It is within five miles of Congleton, and three of Sandbach. The plain of Cheshire displays great richness and exuberance in this neighbourhood; and although “evil times” have fallen upon the ancient demesne of Brereton—the park having been stripped of its old familiar trees—it has recently resumed a character of graceful serenity and luxuriance.

Brereton Hall has a western aspect, and looks across the pleasant valley, along which the little stream before mentioned pursues its course, in a direction parallel to the front of the House. In form the plan of the original building somewhat resembled the letter E, consisting of a long front, graced by two octagonal turrets, and two wings, having the gables slightly advancing on the front, but receding backwards a considerable distance. Behind the two stories of apartments above the basement, which were only one room in depth, ran a long corridor, on each floor, communicating with the wings. Amongst the various mutations which time and an attention to convenience and comfort has brought with it to the Hall, a geometrical staircase has been made in the back wall of the corridor, and a large block of offices has been built between the receding wings behind.

Camden, speaking of Brereton, tell us that Sir William Brereton “added much credit and honour to the place by a magnificent and sumptuous house that he had there built.” The building is of brick, quoined with stone. That Queen Elizabeth laid the first stone of this house, and visited it, at a subsequent period, when hospitality presided in its halls, we have not only the authority of unquestioned tradition, but also that of numerous memorials scattered on its walls. The central portion of its exterior seems to have been especially devoted to ornament, and also to defence. On each side of the door-way, there rises from the ground an octagonal tower or turret, projecting by five of its panes from the wall, and formerly ascending above the building, to terminate in a dome, but now surmounted by a low stone battlement. Immediately over the centre of the door-way the sculptures begin by the shield of the Brereton Arms, bearing two bars sable, being suspended on an ermine mantle, from a helmet supporting the crest—the head of a muzzled bear;—below which is the date 1586. In the spandrels of the elliptical arch of this entrance the arms are repeated with different quarterings, a rose being superadded on each side. We next come to a division, reaching quite across the central part of the front, from the outer side of one turret to that of the other, which is richly adorned. In the first place, it is divided into a number of compartments by a series of short carved pilasters, doubled at every angle of the turrets. Square sculptured stones occupy some of the compartments thus formed. In the middle, however—the place of honour—are the arms of Queen Elizabeth, with the garter, bearing the motto, the crest and supporters, on a tablet of good dimensions. On one side of these is a large rose, on the other a portcullis, both crowned, and both also surmounted by the letters E. R. This ornamental stage of pilasters and sculptures, with the heraldic insignia, is repeated above the square-headed windows, the royal arms again occupying the centre. Each turret has a chalice in high relief on its front pane, below the battlements. But, besides these decorations, so distinctive of the taste of the age in which it was erected, this “stately house of Brereton” bears, in this part, and especially on the different faces of the turrets, and near their tops, to command various angles, as well as different distances, another interesting indication of the days of “good Queen Bess,” happily now grown so unfamiliar to our view. We allude to the numerous large portholes which still frown over the peaceful vale. Above the rise of the roof the turrets are conjoined by a closed gallery, occupied by borders and other decorative sculptures, and supported by a depressed arch of some magnitude. The embattled parapet is continued from the turret on each side, along the front of the house to the gables of the wings, being in the place of an open balustrade, which formerly rose here. Each end of the house is furnished with a large bay, both at the front and the side, which are occupied by windows, and surmounted by a pediment containing sculptured ornaments. The effect of this entire front, over which the gray tint of the masonry prevails, being rich in its antique decorations, is solemn and imposing. Yet it excites, rather than satisfies our curiosity.

On ascending the flight of steps in the entrance-hall, we immediately perceive that modern alterations have greatly effaced the impression of former days with which we had expected to have been greeted. There still remain, however, many notable traces left behind. In a good apartment, opening into the corridor, on the left, is a richly sculptured Chimney-piece, which has been removed from a lodging above, called Queen Elizabeth’s Room. On a panel over the fire-place, bordered with carving, the Brereton Arms were formerly emblazoned in inlaid wood of different colours, upon their ermine mantle, which gave rise to the appellation of Queen Elizabeth’s Fan. The original panel is still in the house, though much dilapidated; but the heraldic achievements have been reproduced by the hands of the painter. The Drawing-room in the south wing has a fine bay window, and retains the old oak wainscoting. The ornamental Chimney-piece in this room is divided by pilasters into three panels, having carved borders, and containing the Brereton Arms. But the chief apartment of the House is in this wing—the spacious and magnificent Dining-room. This noble apartment is rich in the usual armorial decorations. Over the massive architectural Mantel-piece of the period, the pilasters of which reach from the floor to the ceiling, the arms of Queen Elizabeth are fully displayed; the supporters being the golden lion and the red dragon, the latter the cognizance of the Tudor family. The letters E. R. occupy the sides of the royal crest, whilst the words Vivat Regina, and the date, 1585, occur below. The family crest and motto, “Opitulante Deo,” are not omitted. Indeed the armorial bearings richly emblazoned, with various quarterings, are repeated again in the window in stained glass. Around the entire circuit of the room, except over the fire-place, where the vacancy is filled up by a scroll and figures supporting a celestial globe, immediately below the ceiling, there runs a curious series of heraldic achievements in carved oak, now emblazoned afresh. They represent crowns and shields bearing the arms of forty-three different states and principalities; to each of which is attached a scroll, with the name of the King or Emperor in Latin. In the windings of every one of these scrolls there is placed a large white, and also a red rose. The shield of the King of Jerusalem (REX HIERUSALEM) bears an ornamented cross, and his crown is a crown of thorns. It might be difficult to divine the meaning of this display of escutcheons and names. If they were intended to represent the allies of the Queen, or those of her family, allegory seems to have been intimately mingled in the device, from the celestial globe above her head, glittering with golden stars on cerulean blue, to all the subsidiary parts.

Queen Elizabeth’s room is a good-sized square apartment immediately over the entrance-hall; formerly panelled round the lower part of the walls, but now presenting no evidence of its former high destiny. Other bed-rooms, however, retain their ancient ornamental chimney-pieces, in alabaster and stone, supported and divided by odd-looking pilasters in the Elizabethan style. The oft-repeated Arms of Brereton, painted and sculptured, occur again and again. In a room south of the entrance they are given with supporters, viz., dexter, a greyhound, sinister, a muzzled bear; and each of the panels at the sides bears a coronet, from which is suspended a medal containing a flourished cipher of the name, W. Brereton. In this part of the building some of the old oak floorings remain. A bed-room in the north wing has an alabaster chimney-piece, with the date 1633 on it. In a room in the south wing, formerly the drawing-room, there is an oaken wreath with acorns round the family crest, finely executed in a close-grained stone. A portion of the ancient oaken staircase, leading from the grand dining-room below to this apartment, is still preserved. The landing of this staircase is curious, as exhibiting the former state of the house unchanged. Around the top of the walls, below the ceiling, is painted a long series of escutcheons bearing the arms of various Cheshire families, with the name on a label attached to each. And the window is occupied in its upper part by six compartments, containing the heraldic devices of the five following families, whose names and the dates are inscribed below, (the sixth is vacant,) viz.,—

Brereton occurs in the Survey—when it formed part of the territorial possessions of Gilbert de Venables, Baron of Kinderton. A family, which assumed the local name, had a grant of it as early as the reign of William Rufus. This is the parent stock of the very widely-spreading family of Brereton; and they are to be traced here to about the year 1200. Sir William Brereton, 13th in descent from the founder, was engaged in the wars in Ireland. In 1534, with his son John, he was inshored at Howth with 250 soldiers, well appointed. In the same year he went to summon the strongly fortified castle of Maynooth, which he took by storm, running up “the highest turret of the castle, and advancing his standard on the top thereof, notifienge to the Deputie that the fort was woone.” Another Sir William built this stately mansion, and entertained his royal guest within its halls. In 1624 Sir William Brereton was created Lord Brereton of Leighlin in Ireland, on the death of Francis Lord Brereton. In the wars between Charles I. and the Parliament, another Sir William of this family, but not of Brereton Hall, the famous parliamentarian general, took a very conspicuous part. So early as August, 1642, he began to beat up for recruits, and in the severe contest of the following years, attended by such various fortune, he many times commanded in this county. In June 1644, he received the appointment of Major-General of Cheshire from the Parliament; and ultimately took the strong fortress of Beeston Castle, and the city of Chester itself, by siege; which put an end to the war in this county. Lord Brereton, of Brereton Hall, however, who had espoused the cause of the King, fled before his nephew the parliamentarian general, to Biddulph Hall, in Staffordshire, whither Sir William pursued him, and took him prisoner.[3] In 1722, the male line of the family. In 1722 the male line of the family became extinct by the death of Lord Brereton. The Hall and estates subsequently passed, through female inheritance, to A. Bracebridge, Esq.[4] In 1817, to satisfy certain claims upon it, the estate was dismembered by Act of Parliament; and, after being many years uninhabited, Brereton Hall was purchased by the present proprietor, John Howard, Esq.

The Church, now a rectory, and dedicated to St. Oswald, is within a stone’s throw of the Hall. It is a plain building, in the perpendicular style, encompassed with trees;

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amongst which are one or two venerable yews, standing in the churchyard itself. The original chapel was built in the reign of Richard Cœur-de-Lion; but of this ancient structure it is doubtful whether any traces remain in the present building. One of the large windows on the north side of the chancel was formerly filled with stained glass. The subject contained four figures, representing the persons who slew Thomas à Becket, and a fifth, supposed to be Henry II. By an instrument yet extant, it appears to have been portrayed by order of Sir William Brereton in 1608. Perhaps the object of most interest in this church at present is the armour which is ascribed to Lord Brereton. The harness is suspended

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from the north wall of the chancel. The shirt to which the rings have been attached (see our initial letter) remains, but they have dropped off. It is surmounted by his helmet, bearing the family crest. Below these hang the gauntlets and spurs; and above the whole a banner has waved, now presenting only its bare staff. Attached to the wall, on the same side of the chancel, is a monumental tablet with a Latin inscription, to the effect,—that this church being in ancient times a donative chapel in Astbury parish, the ancestors of Sir William Brereton, Baron of Malpas, who erected this monument in 1618, were buried in the church-yard of Astbury. Accordingly, in this latter place, on the north side of the church, we find some curious ancient monuments. A fine canopied tomb, in the decorated style, open at both sides, covers two stone effigies, of a knight armed cap-à-pie, with his feet resting on a lion, holding a heater-shaped shield on his left arm; and his lady, with her hands conjoined on her breast, her feet resting on a dog. Within the arch of the canopy is the following inscription, surmounted by the arms of Brereton:—


On the left side of this beautiful monument is placed a stone coffin with effigy in flowing robes, a coif, and a beard, in form resembling that of some of the Egyptian deities, being wider as it descends. The head rests on a pillow; the hands are joined in the attitude of prayer; and the feet are placed on an animal, resembling a dog. On the right side of the canopied tomb is another coffin and effigy of a knight in armour, of apparently the latter part of the fourteenth century. The heater-shaped shield has traces of heraldic bearings, seemingly the two bars of the Breretons. This figure has been richly harnessed. The head has been covered by the conical-topped helmet, with the chain camail falling from it over the neck; but some modern stonecutter has done his utmost to transform these military habiliments into an old-fashioned wig.

Cheshire abounds in ancient Halls; and a very large number of them having received but little injury from time, or the more evil influence of “renovators” and “improvers,” continue in a comparatively primitive state. Several still remain to the descendants of worthies by whom they were erected; unhappily, Brereton is not one of these; but we trust it is in safe hands, and that it is destined to sustain no farther insult or injury from convenience or caprice.



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Drawn by C. J. Richardson, on Stone by W. Walton.




Crewe Hall—situate about four miles from the town of Nantwich—affords a striking example of the singular changes to which a baronial residence and its dependencies may be subjected in this utilitarian age. Formerly, it occupied the centre of a sequestered valley—now and then, when the wind was southerly, the ti-ri-la of the horn of a distant “stage” to Chester, fell upon the ear of secluded villagers; it was almost the only sound that connected them with the business of actual life. The lord of the mansion and his humble neighbours, dwelling apart from the stir of traffic and the din of commerce, scarcely heard even those “rumours of oppression and deceit” that followed or preceded “unsuccessful or successful war;” content, in their “dreary contiguity of shade,” to be overlooked and unheeded by the busy world about them. The picture at Crewe is now a new one: it is the largest of all the railway stations between Birmingham and Liverpool: the moaning of steam-engines never ceases there; a smoke perpetual gathers over the trees; travellers are rushing backwards and forwards every hour of the day; the noise unnatural is also unceasing, and is audible for miles around, breaking the calm of night in the country, and making the day seem devoted to unhealthy and unpeaceful toil. The contrast between what this pretty hamlet was and is, becomes the more striking because, as yet, the station is at some distance from the gigantic warehouses, engine-room, and coke-stores, which have suddenly grown into existence here. A small inn—new, but not much out of keeping with the ancient aspect of the place—stands beside “the station,” and on the main road which leads from Crewe Hall to Nantwich; the former being distant about a mile, the latter about four miles.

Crewe Hall is the seat of the Right Hon. Hungerford Crewe, third Baron Crewe, who was born in 1812, and succeeded his father in 1835. His grandfather, the first peer, represented Cheshire in parliament from the year 1768 until his elevation to the upper house in 1806. The manor was from a very early period the property of the family of Crue, or Crewe, and some remains of a far more ancient seat are still to be found in the neighbourhood. “About the year 1300, Joan, eldest daughter and co-heiress of the last male heir of the elder branch of the family, married Robert Praers, whose grand-daughter conveyed the manor to Sir Robert Foulshurst.” From this family it was purchased, in 1578, by Sir Christopher Hatton. “A fortunate lawyer” had the means of restoring it to the race to whom it had originally belonged. About the year 1610 Sir Randal Crewe, Serjeant-at-Law, descended from Patrick, a younger brother of Thomas de Crewe, bought it from Sir Christopher’s heirs, and erected, between the years 1615 and 1636, the present mansion. In 1684 the male line became extinct, by the death of John Crewe, Esq.; Anne, his eldest daughter, having married John Offley, Esq., of Madeley Manor, their eldest son, John, subsequently took the name of Crewe in 1708, and, as we have stated, the family was ennobled in 1806.

The hall is a remarkably beautiful structure, and a fine example of the architecture of the period. It is characterised by a distinguished architect as “undoubtedly one of the finest remaining specimens of the English branch of the Italian cinque cento, which may be considered to have arrived at its full state of perfection during the reign of James I.” According to some passages in Fuller, at the period of its erection it must have been classed among the more sumptuous edifices of the kingdom. He says, “Nor must it be forgotten that Sir Randal first brought the model of excellent building into these remote parts—yea, brought London into Cheshire, in the loftiness, sightliness, and pleasantness of their structures.” Although it has undergone many improvements, it has lost but little of its original character. “It consists of two lofty stories, surmounted by a sculptured open parapet, concealing, in some degree, the high roof, from which rise the chimneys, representing detached octagonal columns, with their plinths, bases, and capitals.” The central compartment—the line of the front being broken at each extremity by bow windows—is composed entirely of stone, and is rich in decoration; the arch of the doorway is supported by four fluted Ionic columns, on sculptured pedestals. A dwarf wall and balustrades surround the edifice at its base; and the courtyard, now a prettily laid out lawn and garden, is entered by some finely modelled gates of cast-iron, produced at the foundry of Messrs. Bramah. The

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exterior is now undergoing thorough repair under the superintendence of Mr. Edward Blore. Mr. Richardson has supplied us with the appended copy of the decoration, in carved stone, which surmounts the entrance, and also of one of the exterior ornaments, of which we have formed an initial letter.
The interior of this fine old mansion is in the purest possible state; such alterations as time or circumstances may have rendered necessary have been effected with judgment, skill, and taste. “It presents an extraordinary variety of decorated ceilings, enriched plaster-work, and carved wainscot, the design and execution of which are masterly, fully equalling the choicest specimens of the French renaissance of the reign of Francis I.” It contains some bas-reliefs of a very early age, and these, probably, were removed from the still older mansion of the Crewes. It must also have undergone some changes at so late a period as that of Charles II., and these, no doubt, were rendered necessary in consequence of two sieges to which it was subjected during the civil wars. In 1643 it was garrisoned by the Parliamentary troops, who were besieged there by the Royalists under Lord Byron, to whom they yielded in consequence of failure of food and ammunition: “becoming prisoners, stout and valiant soldiers, having quarter granted them.” During the subsequent year the mansion was taken by the troops of the Parliament, and, in like manner, the garrison was permitted to go out in honourable safety.

The hall, which is somewhat low and narrow, is of carved oak; to the left is the dining-room,

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of which the accompanying print, in lithotint, affords a satisfactory idea. The screen of richly carved oak is as fresh and sharp as if it had been painted by the artist only yesterday. The fireplace of cut stone is inlaid with marbles of various colours and countries. Opposite the screen is a fine oriel window; and the ceiling is of exquisite design, and remarkably bold in character. A side entrance leads through “the carved parlour” to the upper rooms by a staircase of surpassing beauty, “made gay” by painted monsters of all kinds, bearing blank shields. The several apartments, drawing-rooms, and bedchambers, are furnished with great taste; the library is exceedingly fine and spacious: here, as in other parts of the house, we find treasures of ancient art, and, among them, very choice productions of the modern school of England. At the extremity of the hall is the chapel of the mansion, small in size but of exquisite workmanship, being formed entirely of carved oak, to which Time has given the sombre tint that ever harmonises well with the sacred character of the structure. The chapel contains a painted window by Willement, and two noble paintings by Giordano. The roof is of white and gold, with a single pendant; the gallery is for the servants, and there is a small place at the entrance for dependants.

On the whole, there are in England few fresher or finer examples of the period of its erection.



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F. W. Hulme, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton M & N Hanbart Lithogʳˢ




Dorfold Hall, now the seat of Mrs. Tomkinson, was built by Ralph Wilbraham, Esq. in the reign of James I.—according to Lysons, in the year 1616—on the site of a still older mansion. It is situated about one mile from Nantwich; it is a brick building with stone dressings. The staircase and the great chamber are still perfect. The ceiling of the latter room is an extraordinary specimen of decorative plaster-work; the form is of the kind called “waggon-headed.” It is completely covered with a pattern, in bold relief, of the most complicated description, ornamented with shields of arms and various Tudor emblems. Few

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such curious specimens of the intricate design of the period can now be found. Over the doorway in the great chamber is a shield of the arms of the Wilton family. Mr. Richardson, in his observations on old English mansions, observes there is every reason to suppose that Dorfold Hall, Crewe Hall, and Aston Hall, near Birmingham, were built in successive order by the same architect; many of the ceilings, fireplaces, staircases, &c. are nearly the same in all the three houses. The early rudeness of the style is seen at Dorfold Hall, its purity in Crewe Hall, and the commencement of its deterioration in Aston Hall.

The front of Dorfold is highly picturesque. The two small lodges seen in front belong to the original construction; but modern domestic arrangements requiring more room than was afforded by the old building, the small offices between the house and the old lodges have been added. If the reader can suppose these away, and a formal balustrade or wall, with gates in the centre, connecting the old lodges in front, he will have the exact appearance of the house in the olden time. All the old buildings were then supplied in front by great courtyards, into which carriages never entered, either from their being of too lumbersome a construction, or with a view to state. It may be hinted that the buildings of the reign of Elizabeth exhibited a considerable portion of the proud, haughty character of the sovereign.

Dorfold, like many of its neighbours in Cheshire, was besieged by the army of the Parliament during the Civil Wars.

The interior of the Hall bears many unequivocal proofs that refined taste prevails over all its arrangements. The new furniture is in keeping with the old carvings; illustrated books, and prints in harmony with the impressive character of the time-honoured structure, are profusely scattered upon the tables and along the walls. Dorfold has fallen into “good hands;” its peculiar beauties and its interesting associations are appreciated and valued; and the spirits of its ancient owners may contemplate with approval the efforts of its existing proprietors—shoots from a noble and honourable stock.



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J. D. Harding, Delᵗ M & N Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




Thesubject of our present delineation—Moreton Hall, is situated amidst the sandy plain of Cheshire, on the Staffordshire border of the county. Its eastern aspect is bounded by that range of hills which extends from Scotland southwards into the centre of England, and which here presents some of its most remarkable features in the high hills called “Mow Cop” and “Cloud,” both being upwards of 1000 feet above the sea-level. The former is surmounted by a ruined tower, and by a singular isolated rock called “The Old Man of Mow.” The latter is an abrupt and dome-shaped termination of a portion of the range to the northward. From the Hall, these hills present objects of interest not devoid of richness, as on this side they are clothed with the dark verdure of the Scotch fir. Moreton Hall—or, “Little Moreton Hall,” as it has been denominated to distinguish it from the residence of the Bellots in the immediate neighbourhood, seated on the plain below—is an ancient timbered house, partly embosomed in trees, but attracting the eye from a distance by the interrupted outline of its numerous roofs, its strange columnar chimneys,—in form resembling rows of prismatic crystals, some of them being rendered more picturesque by the o’er-covering

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ivy,—and its black beams and diaper-like patterns distinctly traced on the white ground of the intervening plaster. On a nearer approach we discover the house to be encompassed by a narrow moat, beyond which, and at its south-western corner, is a small conical mound, prettily surmounted by a sycamore tree. The house is approached from the south over a stone arch of antique form, and bearing the Moreton arms on either side. The square Portal, with a sun-dial over it, is adorned with some bold carvings of foliage in oak on the top and sides. These are repeated on the inner opening at the entrance into the Court; each door-post here being crowned by a halbert-bearer in high relief. Over this portal is a lofty range of building, consisting of a number of small wainscotted rooms, and an oaken staircase, which ascends to the long room or gallery, 68 feet in length, running over the top of the whole. This room is lighted from the south by a window its entire length. Like all the other apartments, its walls are lined with wainscot, except the ends, where, at the upper part, are figures and tablets, bearing inscriptions, in stucco. That at the western end represents blind Fortune with her wheel, bearing this motto on the rim: “Qui modo scandit corruet statim.” The inscription is:

“The wheel of Fortune,
Whose rule is ignoraunce.”
That at the opposite extremity, Fate supporting a globe with one hand, and holding a pair of compasses in the other. The inscription:

“The speare of Destiny,
Whose rule is knowledge.”
This apartment has a pitched roof, and an oaken ceiling, open to the rafters. Tradition relates that Queen Elizabeth, while on a progress through Cheshire, danced here, and that Oliver Cromwell made use of it as a council chamber during the Civil Wars.

Having passed through the portal and under the building surmounted by the long room, we enter a small Court, which is one of the most curious parts of this ancient residence. There are seven doors opening

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into it; the principal entrance, (that which leads into the hall,) being nearly opposite to the portal. Besides other windows, there are two large gabled bow-windows, which light the Banquetting Hall, the antique form and curious glazing of which excite immediate attention. Indeed, the glazing of most of the windows of the house is very remarkable; the panes being small, and joined by slips of lead, so as to represent many pretty patterns. Upon bands around these windows are the following inscriptions:—“God is al in al thing. This window where made by William Moreton, in the yeare of oure Lorde MDLII.” “Rycharde Dale, Carpēder made theis windows, by the grace of God.”[5]
One of the entrances from the court, on the right, leads into a small chapel, which, by the lapse of time and disuse, has lost much of its sacred character. Almost the only indication of its former purpose is a series of tablets suspended on the walls and bearing inscribed on them, in old English characters, numerous texts of Scripture.

The principal entrance leading into the house is closed by an antique oaken door, having a small wicket in it fastened with a ponderous bolt. This door is rendered still more impregnable by many a coat of whitewash. On passing through it we are ushered into a large wainscotted apartment, having seats attached to the wainscot all round,—the ancient Banquetting Hall. In it we observed a fine old long table of oak. This apartment is lighted by the large windows already described, which contain, like some other windows of the house, small portions of stained glass, consisting of the Moreton and other arms. An inner door in the wainscot leads from the Banquetting Hall into the family apartment, which likewise looks into the court. This room has an ornamented chimney-piece, which is surmounted by arms in stucco, bearing the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense,” and a large A on each side.

Many of the rooms have floors made of plaster. The fastenings of some of the doors of the upper rooms are curious; they consist of a large iron ring standing out from the middle of the door, through which is passed a bar of wood. This reaches across, and rests on the jambs on either side; a very secure mode of fastening to those who happen to be on the right side.

In the fine old parish church of Astbury, within two miles of Moreton Hall, there is a side chapel, at the east end of the north aisle, of great antiquity, divided between the two manorial proprietors of Little Moreton-cum-Rode. In the east window, which formerly contained some splendid stained glass, there now only remains the arms of one of the Blundevilles, the famous Earls of Chester. The three wide steps which led to the altar, a piscina, on one side, and a closet for relics, on the other, are almost the only remnants of its ancient purposes. At the Moreton end of this side chapel there are three large plain marble slabs over altar tombs, bearing the following inscriptions:—

Dame Mary Jones,
died the 19th of April, 1743,
aged 85. Sir William Moreton, Knt.,
Recorder of the City of London,
died the 14th of March, 1763,
aged 67. Dame Jane Moreton,
died the 10th of Feb., 1758,
aged 61.
There is a fine oaken cabinet in Moreton Hall, which, from the labels in old law-hand, has most likely belonged to the above-named Sir William Moreton.

The house belongs to a lady of the Moreton family,—in whose possession it is said to have remained since the 13th century. An adjacent meadow was formerly the mill-pool of the Hall. In front of the house there formerly stood the steps of an old cross, which have been removed. It is probable that they now surround the cross piled up in the garden, and upon which is placed an old sun-dial. Of this cross, or rather, the remains, Mr. Pratt (the artist to whom we are indebted for the illustrations of this subject) made a drawing, which forms our initial letter.

Odd Rode, or Little Moreton-cum-Rode, are noticed as two manors in “The Survey,” and were subsequently granted to Hugh de Mara and Wm. Fitz Nigel. They are described in Domesday, as having inclosures for taking wild deer, and an aerie for hawks. The present divisions of the township are distinguished by the names of Little Moreton and Rode. A branch of the Grahams of Lostock settled in Little Moreton early in the thirteenth century, the third of whom assumed the name of Moreton, and his descendants in the male line continued till the death of Sir W. Moreton in 1763, when his nephew, the Rev. Richard Taylor, took the local name.

In the 12th Henry VIII. Sir W. Brereton made an award between Mr. Wm. Moreton and Mr. Thos. Rode, of Rode, in a dispute “which should sit highest in the churche, and foremost goo in procession:” when he very judiciously awarded between these two sticklers for precedence “That whyther of the said gentylmen may dispende in landes by title of enheritaunce 10 marks or above more than the other, that he shall have the pre-eminence in sitting in the churche, and in gooing in procession, with all other lyke causes in that behalf.”

We fear we must ascribe the rumoured subterranean passages of Moreton Hall, running under the moat to chambers hid in the mound, to no higher authority than that wild fancy which thus gilds, to its own delight, antique and curious buildings in all parts of our country—that native spirit of poetry,—

“One with our feelings and our powers,
And rather part of us, than ours,”
without a sprinkling of which, this world in all its teeming beauty might be too much of a dull reality.



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F W Hulme Delᵗ. on Stone by W Walton M & N Hanhart Lithogʳˢ



Place House, formerly called the “Plâs” (a corruption of “Palace”), from its having the reputation of being once the residence of the Earls of Cornwall, stands on elevated ground in the centre of Fowey, a seaport-town on the southern coast of Cornwall. It is a fine pile of building, a large portion being very ancient, though the exact date cannot be ascertained with certainty; there is, however, abundant evidence to prove that many parts of it existed so far back as 1455,[6] and were probably built about that time; a period to which also is assigned the re-erection of the church close by, a handsome and lofty fabric of the perpendicular English style of architecture: the two buildings are composed of similar materials.

The ancestors of its present possessor, J. T. Treffry, Esq., have occupied Place House, without intermission, as we believe, for many centuries past, and exercised considerable influence in Fowey, which was formerly a place of far greater importance than it is now. The townsmen acquired wealth and fame by deeds of war during the reigns of Edward I., Edward III., and Henry V., and they furnished more ships to the fleet of Edward III. before Calais than any other port in England. Among the gallant men who fought and won at Cressy, we find Sir John Treffry, to whom, chroniclers say, the French king surrendered himself on the field. His heroism at Poictiers is commemorated on a stately monument in Fowey Church, which bears the following inscription:—“The atchievements of John Treffry, who, at the battle of Poictiers, fought under Edward the Black Prince, and took the French royal standard; for it he was made a Knight-Banneret by King Edward III. on the field of battle.” In addition to this title, Sir John was rewarded for his valour with an honourable augmentation to his arms; viz. supporters, and as a quartering, the fleur-de-lis from the arms of France, which are still to be seen painted on the windows of Place House.
The French frequently attacked Fowey, and, according to Leland, “most notably about 1457, when the wife of Thomas Treffry, with her servants, repelled their enemies

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out of the house, in her husband’s absence; whereupon he builded a right faire and strong embateled tower in his house, and embateled it to the walls of his house,—in a manner made it a castle, and unto this day it is the glorie of the towne building of Foey.” This tower we have engraved. John Treffry, most probably a son of the aforesaid Thomas, was high-sheriff of Cornwall in 1482; he left issue several sons, of whom three are portrayed on a large tomb in the adjoining church: one of these, Sir John, was a person of considerable eminence, and, with his brother William, was attainted by Richard III., but afterwards restored by act of parliament to their estates, in the reign of Henry VII. Thomas Treffry, member for the county during the first two parliaments of Philip and Mary, was compelled to leave the country for having opposed the marriage of Mary with the Spanish monarch.

From this last period to the present time we find no names of note in the genealogy of the family; but the estate appears to have been handed down, from one generation to another, in almost unbroken succession; the various members in possession holding a

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distinguished position among the old county gentry.

Place House contains numerous apartments, many of which are highly interesting. In the hall is a richly carved ceiling of oak, and on the walls are emblazoned the arms of Edward VI. and the first Earl of Bedford, with quarterings, all well executed; also the arms of Treffry and Tresilhneys, quartered in Queen Elizabeth’s time. In several other parts are likewise the family arms, quartered according to the various periods to which each is assigned. One of the ancient gateways is indicated in the appended cut.



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G Cattermole, Delᵗ on Stone by W Walton M & N Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ



NAWORTH is one of the few remaining Castles of the Border rescued from the grasp of Time by the noble descendants of its ancient lords. It is the property of the Earl of Carlisle—the representative of “centuries of Howards”—who, according to Sir Walter Scott, “deserves high praise for the attention bestowed in maintaining the curious and venerable pile in its former state.” While, however, his Lordship has taken especial care to arrest the progress of Time over the old walls, he has been wisely cautious to prevent “repairs” from being unseemly patches upon the honoured face of “hore antiquitie.” Its condition is sufficiently dilapidated to carry instant conviction of its age; but nothing out of keeping with the solemn dignity derived from the weight of years is permitted to appear. To its early and existing condition his lordship has himself made happy reference, in some descriptive lines to this—the famous stronghold of generations of his ancestry:

“O Naworth! monument of rudest times,
When Science slept entombed, and o’er the waste,
The heath-grown crag, and quivering moss, of old
Stalk’d unremitted war!
* * * * * *
If now the peasant, scar’d no more at eve
By distant beacons, and compelled to house
His trembling flocks, his children and his all,
Beneath his craggy roof, securely sleeps;
Yet all around thee is not changed; thy towers,
Unmodernised by tasteless Art, remain
Still unsubdued by Time.”
The Castle stands on “a pleasant eminence” at the head of the Vale of Lanercost, or St. Mary’s Holme, and not far from the beautiful and picturesque ruins of Lanercost Priory, which cover the dust of the ancient Lords of Naworth,[7] and many other gallant chieftains who formerly held sway over the wild Border.

The approach to it is peculiarly striking. “The front is strengthened by a curtain wall, and a gateway embrasured, and the corners of the chief building on this side by lofty square towers.” On the north, it impends over the river Irthing, at a great height; the banks shagged with wood. “The whole house,” says Pennant, “is a true specimen of ancient inconvenience, of magnificence and littleness; the rooms numerous, accessible by sixteen staircases, with most frequent and sudden ascents and descents into the bargain; besides a long narrow gallery.” “The idea of a comfortable dwelling,” according to a more recent writer, “was, indeed, entirely excluded; the whole internal contrivance seeming only calculated to keep an enemy out, or elude his vigilance should he happen to get in; its hiding-holes are numerous; but it seems probable that many of its close recesses are even now unknown.”

We have no certain information as to the period of its erection. Tradition reports it to have been built by the Dacres; but “by which of them has not been ascertained.” The earliest mention of it occurs in the reign of Edward the Third, when “Ranulphus Dacre, who had married the heiress of the Multons, obtained a license to fortify and convert his mansion here into a castle.” In the family of the Dacres it continued until the year 1569, when, by the death of the last heir-male of the family, it passed to the Howards—by the marriage of William Howard, third son of Thomas Duke of Norfolk, with the Lady Elizabeth, sister of the last Lord Dacre.[8] When visited by Camden, in 1607, it was under repair; according to Bishop Gibson, it was “again repaired and made fit for the reception of a family by the Right Hon. Charles Howard, great-grandson to the Lord William.” By its present noble owner, the Earl of Carlisle, it is, as we have intimated, preserved from farther injury at the hand of Time,—and is the occasional residence of some members of his family, who resort to it in “the sporting season.”

The romantic fame of Naworth is derived from Lord William Howard—“belted Will Howard,” one of the heroes of Border Minstrelsy. The commencement of his chivalrous career was the first chapter to a volume of romance. He was the third son of the fourth Duke of Norfolk, and grandson of the famous Earl of Surrey—

“Who has not heard of Surrey’s fame?”
His father lost his title, his estates, and his head, on Tower Hill; and bequeathed him to the care of his elder brother, as “having nothing to feed the cormorants withal.” He was married, in 1577, to the Lady Elizabeth Dacre, the ages of both together being short of eight-and-twenty. During the whole of the reign of Elizabeth, however, he and the several other members of his family were cruelly oppressed—subjected repeatedly to charges of treason, and kept in a state of poverty “very grievous to bear.” On the accession of James the Second their prospects brightened. Lord William was received into special favour; and, about the year 1603, turned his attention to the repairs of his Baronial Castle of Naworth—removing thither various paintings and articles of furniture from mansions still more neglected or dilapidated. Almost immediately afterwards he made it his permanent residence, having been—probably in the year 1605—appointed to the office of the King’s Lieutenant and Warden of the Marches.[9] The onerous and difficult duties imposed upon him he discharged, it would seem, with equal fearlessness and severity: so that, to quote from Fuller, “when in their greatest height, the moss-troopers had two fierce enemies—the laws of the land and Lord William Howard of Naworth, who sent many of them to Carlisle, that place where the officer always does his work by daylight.”

Although formidable to his enemies, the Lord William was fervent and faithful to his friends. His attachment to his Lady (whom he survived but a year) was “of the truest affection, esteem, and friendship;” and his love of letters, and the refined pursuits of leisure and ease, rendered him remarkable, even among the intellectual men of the period. To the courage of the soldier, “Belted Will” added the courtesy of the scholar, and, although “the Tamer of the wild Border” has been often pictured as a ferocious man-slayer, incapable of pity, history does him only justice in describing him as a model of chivalry, when chivalry was the leading characteristic of the age. He died in 1640, leaving issue by the “Lady Bessie” ten sons and five daughters—the eldest being the ancestor of the Earls of Carlisle.

This Border Castle—the Caste of “Bauld Wyllie”—remains then, as we have said, one of the least impaired and most interesting of the feudal dwellings of Ancient England. It is nearly quadrangular in form; of prodigious strength; and many indications of its early defences yet remain. The only access to it is from the south, on which side it lies low, and presents its principal front, “extending two hundred and eight feet.” Formerly (according to a MS. dated 1675), “it was surrounded by pleasant woods and gardens; ground full of fallow dear, feeding all somer time,—brave venison pasties; with great store of reed dear on the mountains, and white wild cattle, with black eares only, on the moores; and black heath-cockes, and brown more-cockes, and their pootes.”

The interior is even more primitive in character than the exterior. “The long Gallery” (which Mr. Cattermole has pictured), “extending one hundred and sixteen feet in length, is filled with many curious and interesting antiquities; among them are said to be the saddle, gloves, and belt of “Belted Will Howard.” It contains also various portraits of Members of the heroic race. The old windows are narrow and grated,

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and the doors almost wholly cased with iron, moving on ponderous hinges, and with massive bolts, which ‘make a harsh and horrid clang that echoes fearfully through the winding passages.’ ‘The Great Hall,’ measuring 70 feet by 24, is lighted by a range of windows, placed high up near the ceiling, and a large oriel window at the southern end. The ceiling is formed of wood panels in large squares, in number above one hundred, on which are painted portraits of the Saxon Kings, and the Sovereigns of



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G. Cattermole, Del Stone by W. Walton M & N Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ



England, down to the Union of the Houses of York and Lancaster, with many other noble personages; ‘they have, however, no recommendation but their antiquity.’ The Minstrels’ Gallery has been removed. In the Dining Hall are two portraits of the Lady of Lord William—one in her fourteenth year, just after she became a bride; the other when her years were three-score ten and three. The Chapel retains much of its original condition—a pulpit and stall of oak, and a painted window, exhibiting a Knight and Dame kneeling, being among the most remarkable objects that yet endure. The apartments of Lord William Howard are, however, those to which the chief interest is attached. They are entered at the east end of the long Gallery. The approach to them was secured by iron-bound doors, several in succession, containing numerous huge bolts, running far into the stone work. The strongest defends a narrow winding staircase, up which only one person can pass; a short dark passage leads to the bed-chamber; (pictured on the opposite page) in which the ‘original furniture’ is preserved.”[10] Among the rest, the plain and simple bed on which, it is said, belted Will slept. Above the stone mantel-piece are three sculptured shields with the arms of the Dacres. Above the bed-room, reached by the narrow stone staircase referred to, are the Library and the Oratory of Lord William.

The Library, here pictured, still contains some curious MSS., with a large collection

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of rare old books, many of them having the autograph of Lord William. “Not a book has been added,” according to Pennant, “since his days.” The windows of this apartment are narrow, and are reached by an ascent of three steps:—“such was the caution of the times.” The ceiling is richly carved; the corbels and bosses being embellished with armorial devices; the skirting of the room is of oak, “black from age.” Lord William was—as he is styled by Camden, “a lover of the venerable antiquities,” and in this apartment much of his leisure time was spent.[11]
The other Chamber which tradition closely associates with the memory of the Lord William, is “the Oratory,” situated near the Library. “It is fitted up with plain

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wainscot, painted red, and ornamented with escallop-shells and cross-crosslets—armorial devices of the Dacres and the Howards. There are also some fragments of what is supposed to have been the rich screen of the Rood-loft of Lanercost Priory Church, consisting of carved ornaments of pierced work, in wood, richly painted and gilt, nailed up on the walls of the apartment.” The Confessional is a small dark closet within the Oratory, unfurnished. The dungeons of the Castle consist of “four dens, under the great square Tower at the south-west angle.” They “instil horror into the beholder:” there is no chink or crevice for the admission of light; and, in one of the cells, a ring, to which prisoners were chained, is still appended to the wall. In a note to “The Legend of Montrose,” Sir Walter Scott states that a private staircase led to these dungeons from the apartment of Lord William. The author of a little book, “A Guide to Naworth and Lanercost,” from which we have borrowed some of our details, sought for this passage in vain.

Few of the ancient Baronial dwellings of our English nobles possess a deeper interest than that of Naworth. It supplies a striking and emphatic illustration of the rude and lawless period of its erection, when security was the object chiefly aimed at; but mingling adornment with strength, and being a refinement upon the cheerless and gloomy structures of the Anglo-Norman chiefs; “expanding into a mixture of the castle and the mansion;” and marking the splendour of our early nobles, “before they exchanged the hospitable magnificence of a life spent among a numerous tenantry, for the uncertain honours of Court attendance, and the equivocal rewards of ministerial favour.” To borrow an eloquent passage from the “Border Antiquities:” “The vast and solid mansions of our ancient nobility were like their characters—greatness without elegance; strength without refinement; but lofty, firm, and commanding.”

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Day & Son, Lithʳˢ to The Queen.



HADDON is, in the Domesday Book, mentioned as a berewick in the manor of Bakewell; it was granted by the Conqueror to his natural son, William Peverel, and it is not improbable that some parts of the present building were constructed about that time. It remained in the possession of the Peverels two generations only, and was then granted by one of the family to a retainer named Avenell,[12] on the tenure of knight’s service. In the reign of Richard I., or that of John, it again changed owners, passing by the marriage of the coheiresses of the Avenells into the families of Vernon and Bassett. “The heiress of Vernon, in the reign of Henry III., married Gilbert le Francis, whose son Richard took the name of Vernon, and died, in 1296, at the age of twenty-nine. This Richard was common ancestor to the Vernons of Haddon, Stokesay, Hodnet, Sudbury, &c.” Haddon continued a joint possession of these two families until in or before the reign of Henry VI., when the whole became vested in the Vernons, who had purchased Bassett’s moiety.

Haddon was in the possession of the Vernons more than three centuries and a half, and several of its lords held situations of great interest and responsibility. Sir Richard Vernon is mentioned as Speaker of the Parliament held at Leicester in 1425; and his son, also named Richard, was the last person who held for life the important office of Constable of England. The grandson of the latter, Sir Henry Vernon, had charge of the education of Prince Arthur, son of Henry VIII., and is said to have had his royal pupil residing with him for some time at Haddon. Sir George Vernon, the last of this branch of the family, was distinguished for his magnificent style of living, the number of his retinue, and unbounded hospitality, which procured for him the appellation of “King of the Peak.” His possessions amounted to thirty manors, all of which on his death, in 1565, descended to his two daughters, Margaret and Dorothy. On a division of the property, the Derbyshire estates were assigned to Dorothy, the younger of the coheiresses, who married Sir John Manners, second son of Thomas first earl of Rutland, ancestor of the present noble owner, his Grace the Duke of Rutland.

Haddon was a favourite place of residence of the Earls of Rutland, and also of the first Duke, who was raised to that dignity by Queen Anne, in 1703, and who, during the life of his father, was summoned to Parliament by writ, as Baron Manners of Haddon.[13]

The first Duke resided here in great state, maintaining seven score servants, and keeping Christmas with open house, as his father had done before him, “in the true style of old English hospitality.”[14] In the reign of Queen Anne, the family finally quitted Haddon as a place of residence, and in 1760 the old hall was despoiled of nearly all its moveable furniture, which was taken to Belvoir Castle, where it still remains. Since that period Haddon has been carefully preserved, and, except on one or two occasions, when the festivities of the place were for a moment revived, a solemn stillness has reigned throughout its precincts, broken only by the tread of the occasional visitor.

The Hall occupies a situation of extreme beauty, being placed on a bold shelving

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mass of limestone, at the base of which runs the river Wye. It is surrounded by well-grown woods, and offers an almost infinite variety of rich subjects for the artist. It has much of the appearance of an old fortress, but is in reality little fitted for defence; the greater part of the present building having been erected by the Vernons and Manners in times when moral force and law had happily taken the place of the tenure by which property was maintained in earlier ages. The buildings cover a considerable space of ground, and are arranged in the form of a double square, enclosing two quadrangular courts. The entrance-tower, at the north-west corner, is one of the more ancient parts of the structure. The entrance is by a large arched gateway, leading to a flight of old dilapidated steps, on ascending which the visitor finds himself in the first great court.

The interior of the building has been so well and so minutely described by Mr. King, in the “Archæologia,” that we will transfer some of his remarks to our pages. Beginning, then, with this tower, he says:—

“The approach is by a steep hill, which a horse can scarcely climb, and which continues quite to the great arched gateway that forms the entrance: this is directly under a high tower, and seems originally to have had double gates. From hence you pass into a large square court, entirely surrounded by the apartments, and paved with flat stones. But you ascend it, at the corner, by a flight of angular steps, just within the gate, in such a manner that it is impossible to have admittance otherwise than on foot, and no horse or carriage could ever approach the door of the house. After crossing this court, you come to a second flight of steps, which lead up directly to the great porch, under a small tower, on passing through which you find yourself behind the screen of the Great Hall,—a room that was originally considered as the public dining-room for the lord and his guests, and, indeed, after them, for the whole family; for, in tracing the ancient apartments, there appears manifestly to have been none besides of sufficient magnitude for either the one purpose or the other.” From this hall a flight of steps leads to the upper chambers.

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Over the doorway of the porch of the Great Hall are the arms of the Vernons and of Fulco de Pembridge, Lord of Tonge, in Shropshire; the latter Sir Richard Vernon was entitled to in right of his wife, who was the daughter and sole heiress of Sir Fulk de Pembridge. From this circumstance, it has been conjectured that he built this part of the house.

The provision made in the adjoining offices for the convenience and attendance of the several servants of the household is very curious. On the left hand of the great door of entrance, directly behind the hall screen, are four large doorways, with high pointed arches, extending, in a row, the whole length of the hall, and facing the upper end. The first of these still retains its ancient door of strong oak, with a little wicket in the middle, just big enough to put a trencher in or out, and was clearly the butler’s station; for the room within still retains a vast old chest of oak, with divisions for bread, a large old cupboard for cheese, and a number of shelves for butter. “Besides, out of this apartment (which is itself spacious, and separate from the rest of the house) is a passage, down steps, to a large vaulted room, arched with stone, and supported by pillars, like the crypt of a church, which, though very light and airy, was cool, and manifestly designed for the beer-cellar, there being still remains of a raised low benching of stonework all round, sufficient to hold a prodigious number of casks, and a neat stone drain all along before it, underneath, to carry away any droppings. Through this great arched room is also another passage to what was obviously the brewhouse and bakehouse, where are remains of places for vast coppers, coolers, and ovens. Near adjoining are store-rooms for corn and malt, and a communication from thence with the outside of the building for bringing in of stores. But in other respects this whole suite of offices was quite unconnected with the other offices, and had no kind of communication either with them or with the rest of the mansion, except by the door of entrance near the hall, in which is the little wicket.”

The second pointed arch—next to the buttery, and facing the hall in like manner—is the entrance of a long, narrow passage, leading, with a continued descent, to the great kitchen, and having in the midway an half door, or hatch, with a broad shelf on the top of it, whereupon to place dishes; to which, and no further, the servants in waiting were to have access. “The next, being the third of the great pointed arches, behind the screen, at the bottom of the hall, opens merely into one very small vaulted room, unconnected with any other: that was clearly the wine-cellar; which (according to the frugality and ideas of early times, when wine was considered merely as a cordial and dram) needed to be but small.” The fourth great arch is at the bottom of a great steep staircase, quite distinct from the grand staircase of the house, and leading up to a prodigious variety of small apartments, which seem to have been designed for the reception of guests and numerous retainers, there being others, of a still inferior sort, in other parts of the house, for servants; especially in the range of building opposite to the great door of the hall.

Such was the use of these four great arches behind the hall screen, and we may with great propriety conceive, that they were the stations of the butler, the clerk of the kitchen, the cellarer, and the chamberlain, or steward of the household, of this great family. “The provision for the officers and attendants being so great, we shall yet find here, as in all very ancient mansions, that the apartments of the lord of the castle (or what we should now call the state apartments) were very few in number, and little adequate to the rest, according to our modern and more refined ideas.”

The great hall of entrance, just described, was the only large apartment for dining. At the upper end remains the raised floor, where the table for the lord and his principal guests was placed; and along one side of the hall, and also over the screen at the lower end, is a gallery, supported by pillars; from whence (when the lord and his company had retired to the apartments above, and the inferior members of the family had supplied their places) the country guests and their hospitable hosts occasionally beheld the revels.

The Great Hall still contains the old oaken table, at which the lord feasted his more

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favoured guests. The Minstrel’s Gallery is carved and panelled, and ornamented in the true old fashion, with the antlers of stags—memorials of the chase. There is no ceiling; the roof and rafters are exposed to view; the fireplaces are large; and the walls are wainscoted all round, to a certain height. From this great hall, at the upper end, in the corner on the left hand, are two passages; one opening upon the terraces in the garden, inviting the guests to refresh themselves; and the other leading to the grand staircase, and the principal apartments above.
“This staircase is formed of large blocks of stone; which can hardly be said to be

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either jointed or joined, and from the top of it, on the right, you enter what we should now call a drawing-room, hung with arras, and having a large bow-window as the only light to it, at one corner, and a little door at the other, behind the arras, leading into the gallery just mentioned, which goes round two sides of the hall. This room, however, (whatever name we might now give it) was called the Dining-room, and probably had that appellation because the lord of the mansion did, even originally, on some particular occasions, here entertain a few of his visitors of high dignity and rank; and because afterwards, in latter ages, it became more commonly appropriated to that purpose, when greater distinction was ordinarily made between the guests.”

This room is low; the ceiling is divided by five beams, which were once gilt and otherwise decorated. It has a rich cornice, and the walls are covered with oak wainscoting. It contains a fine oriel window, decorated with arms, emblems of the chase, and royal portraits, said to be those of Henry VII. and his queen, whose son, Prince Arthur, as we have seen, was partly educated here. In this room is a portrait of the king’s jester, “Will Somers.” Under a carving of the royal arms is the following pithy exhortation, in old English, Drede God and honor the King; a right good old-fashioned mode of exhibiting moral precepts, a custom more honored in the observance than the breach.

“On the left of the passage, at the head of the great stairs, you ascend again by five or six enormous semicircular steps (framed of solid masses of timber, as ill joined as the stone steps), to a fine long gallery, 110 feet in length, and 17 in width, which is now all wainscoted, in a curious manner, with fine oak, the frieze being adorned with boars’ heads, thistles, and roses. This wainscoting, though modern in comparison with the antiquity of the house, is yet become in these days very ancient, and conveys an excellent idea of the magnificence of the intermediate ages. There is a great square recess in the midst of the gallery, of fifteen feet by twelve, besides several great bow-windows; and the whole puts one very much in mind of the galleries in the old palaces in France, so often mentioned by Sully and the French historians.”

This magnificent Gallery, or ball-room, is said to have been erected in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It occupies the whole south side of the inner court. Its narrowness seriously impairs what is otherwise a very beautiful design: its height is fifteen feet. The floor is of oak, respecting which tradition gives a curious story; to the effect



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From a drawing by T. Allom. Day & Son, Lithʳˢ to The Queen.


that the boards were all furnished from one tree that grew in the garden, and that its roots were cut into the circular steps by which entrance to the gallery is gained. The windows contain the armorial devices of the successive owners, and those of Prince Arthur. The ceiling is extremely beautiful, graceful, and elegant, in a high degree,

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and is a fair specimen of an age that, more than any other, produced wonderful designs of this description. The architecture of Elizabeth and James had nothing to shew more beautiful than its ceilings. From this gallery a short passage leads to a room named by Mr. King “My lord’s parlour,” but on insufficient authority. From this apartment there is a passage, through ill-framed doors, to a flight of stairs, leading down to the principal terrace of the garden.

The “garden at Haddon” has been time out of mind a treasure-store of the English landscape-painter; one of the most favourite “bits” being “Dorothy Vernon’s walk,” with the door out of which tradition describes her as escaping to meet her lover, Sir John Manners, with whom she eloped.[15]

“All these rooms, except the gallery, were hung with loose arras, a great part of which still remains; and the doors were concealed everywhere behind the hangings, so that the tapestry was to be lifted up to pass in or out; only for convenience there were great iron hooks (many of which are still in their places), by means whereof it might occasionally be held back. Few of these doors fit close, and wooden bolts, rude bars, and iron hasps, are in general their best and only fastenings. Besides the gallery, the dining-room, and these three apartments, there were only two others, and those but small ones, which could be said to belong at all to the principal suite. One of these apartments, however, is very remarkable; having an odd cornice, with a deep quadruple frieze, three or four feet in depth, if not more, formed of plaster, and adorned with a running foliage of leaves and flowers, in four compartments, like bands, or fillets, one above another. The room is hung with arras, as the others are; but from a quaint sort of neatness appearing in the whole of it more than in them (we quote again from Mr. King), “I am much inclined to call it my lady’s chamber. There is, behind the tapestry, the door I mentioned, leading to a steep flight of narrow steps, which descend into the great court, not far from the arch belonging to the chapel, and which gave her an opportunity of going thither rather a nearer way than the rest of the family, and without crossing so much of the great court. All the rest of this great pile of building (containing another large square court besides that we have been speaking of) is filled with small trifling apartments, not one of which deserves description, but which formed a labyrinth almost as inextricable as that of Crete, and which could be of no use but to lodge a vast host of dependents, retainers, and servants.”

The Chapel is placed at the south-west corner of the Hall. It is of great antiquity, and

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contains many objects of interest, although it is of comparatively small size. It has a body and two aisles: the pulpit and reading-desk are on the left side. The pews of the family are high, of rich old oak, which was originally gilt. There is, also, a rich Gothic window, which formerly contained much painted glass, of old date, part of which was stolen some years ago. The roof was reconstructed in 1624 by Sir George Manners. Part of the chapel is exhibited in the appended engraving.

One remark only we have space to add. The evil hands that have fallen upon so many of our national edifices have spared Haddon; the ruthless improvements of “classic Goths” have been forbidden here. This we owe to the noble house of Rutland: who claim, therefore, a debt of gratitude alike from those who love nature and those who venerate antiquity.



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W. Walton, Del et lith. M & N Hanhart Lithogʳˢ.




Hardwicke Hall is situated about six miles from Chesterfield, and the same distance from Mansfield, in the picturesque and beautiful shire of Derby. The name does not occur in Domesday Book: Hardwicke, at the Conquest, formed part of the manor of Steinesby, which was granted to Roger of Poictou; by King John it was transferred to Andrew De Beauchamp; in 1258 it passed to William De Steynesby, whose grandson, John, died possessed of it in 1330. Soon afterwards, the family De Hardwicke were here established, and remained in possession for six generations: their pedigree closes with Elizabeth Hardwicke, the wife of Sir William Cavendish; and Hardwicke, with its princely domains, has continued in the possession of her lineal descendants, through the noble family of Cavendish, to their representative, the owner of the Mansion and Estate, His Grace the Duke of Devonshire and Baron Cavendish of Hardwicke.

Previous to the erection of the present Hall, a still more magnificent structure existed here; but, from vestiges of the ruins which yet remain, its date is not placed at a very remote period from that of the building we describe, which was erected between the years 1590 and 1597, by the lady of Sir William Cavendish, then the relict of the Earl of Shrewsbury.[16] The character of the founder is thus recorded by Lodge:—“She was a woman of a masculine understanding and conduct; proud, furious, selfish, and unfeeling; who lived to a great old age, and died immensely rich, without a friend;” Fuller writes of her as “a woman of undaunted spirit;” while her monument, in All Saints’ Church, Derby, describes her as “beautiful and discreet.” She was the wife of four husbands—but had issue by only one, the founder of the famous family of Cavendish.

Hardwicke has, for a very long period, derived romantic interest from the popular belief that it was one of the prisons of the lovely and persecuted Queen of Scots. It is, however, certain, that although for a time in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury, she never was immured at Hardwicke, her prison having been one of the Earl’s “strong castles at Sheffield;” where she passed twelve weary years in “melyncholy and grefe,” in “sickness and despair”—the victim of unceasing suspicion, “in the hopeless monotony of sedentary employment, with an impaired constitution and a restless mind”—treated with so much severity by the Countess as to extort from the more humane Earl, in one of his petitions to the Queen, a complaint against his “wyked and malysious wyfe.”[17]

The House, which has undergone no material change since the time of its erection, according to Lysons, “exhibits a most complete specimen of the domestic architecture which prevailed among the higher ranks during the reign of Queen Elizabeth;” and it remains in its original state, “with little or no alteration.” The Poet Gray, adopting the popular error, pictures it as so primitive in character that “one might think the Scottish Mary was but just walked down into the Park;” and Mrs. Radcliffe, who described the mansion at some length in her “Tour to the Lakes,” (1795,) notes the “proud, yet gentle and melancholy look of the Queen as she slowly passed up the Hall,” and contrasts it with the “somewhat obsequious, yet jealous and vigilant air” of my Lord Keeper Shrewsbury.

The name of the Architect who designed and superintended Hardwicke is unknown; “Gerard Christmas, John Thorpe, and the Smithsons, father and son, who built Wollaton Hall, in the vicinity, present a probable claim to this monument of their professional talents.” It is built of stone, and round the top is a parapet of open work, in which frequently appear the initials of the founder—E. S.—“memorials of the proud Dame’s vanity.” The principal front comprehends two hundred and eight feet in extent.

The structure crowns the summit of a small hill, that commands an extensive view of the adjacent country, and overlooks a valley of vast extent, which combines every component of the best English scenery. The eminence rises somewhat abruptly but very gracefully, and terminates in a terrace, from whence the prospect is inconceivably grand and beautiful. Looking over the tops of magnificently grown oaks and yews, and other forest trees, with which the slopes, immediately beneath, are thickly studded, the eye ranges over a wide-spreading landscape, to which Nature has been abundantly bountiful; and the whole is bounded by the far-famed Peak.
The mansion is of great extent—massive and firm in construction; solemn and stately grandeur is the great characteristic of the time-honoured pile; its general form is square; at each corner is a high tower, square also. The exterior retains all the peculiar features of the age of its erection. The Entrance Hall is large, and fitted up with oak wainscotting and rich old tapestry—said to have been woven from the designs of Rubens. It contains a statue, by Westmacott, of the unhappy Queen whose melancholy history is so intimately associated with that of the founder of Hardwicke. The Minstrel Gallery is still there, recalling the days of its ancient hospitality and festivity. The litho-tint print, from a drawing by Mr. Lake Price, exhibits one of the finest of the apartments—the State-room, or Presence-chamber; the walls are partly of wainscot and partly hung with tapestry—an adornment with which the rooms at Hardwicke are profusely enriched. The cabinets, chairs, and other articles of furniture, are in admirable keeping; and among them is a large table of the time of Elizabeth, curiously inlaid with an odd mixture of heraldic badges, musical instruments, and games. The State-bed shown in the centre of the picture was brought hither from Chatsworth; it is never used, but is kept “for show.” The Picture Gallery extends in length 169 feet; and is filled with family portraits. Scattered about this Gallery are

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curious specimens of ancient furniture. Among them is an interesting couch, which is said to have belonged to the old House. It is of plain but elegant design: the cushions being elaborately wrought in silk and gold on velvet, that may almost be said to be falling to pieces with age.

The passages and two principal staircases are broad, massive, and commodious; here, as in all other parts of the mansion, every available space is covered with tapestry, pictures, rich carved work, or subjects in relief. The house may, indeed, be likened to a richly illuminated black-letter history; every wall tells a story, and every piece of furniture suggests one,—all being of a quaint but impressive character, and in happy unison with each other and with the genius of the place. On the whole, perhaps this famous house is, in all parts and points, as deeply interesting a relic of the olden time as can be found in England. It is a treasury of antiquities, where, in a brief hour or two, a rich store of knowledge may be gained of the size, general character, furniture, and appointments of an English mansion of the seventeenth century.
The old Hall, as we have observed, stands very close to that which, for the purpose

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of distinction, is styled “the new;” although much of it remains in a tolerably safe condition, it is somewhat perilous to explore the interior. A correct idea may be formed of its present state from the annexed engraving. Some of its windows still contain the old rough glass of diamond shapes set in lead; but, for the most part, they offer free ingress and egress to the winds, and succour to the ivy that twists luxuriantly about the mouldering mullions and broken walls, reaching above the ruins of even the highest summits. The only specimens of its interior decorations now existing, are

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subjects in relief over the fire-places, and the most remarkable of these is in a large room on the upper floor. We engrave one of them, taken from a lower room.

The gratitude of all who venerate Antiquity, and enjoy the refreshment derived from ancient Art, is due to his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, who freely permits the visits of those who desire to examine the two structures—the old and the new. Unceasing care and vigilance are exercised to keep them in order, and prevent as far as possible the inroads of Time. This object is not achieved without great expense; expense incurred entirely to give pleasure to others—the thousands by whom the seat of his ancestors is examined every summer. We deeply lament to add, that utterly unworthy persons occasionally obtain access to the apartments—that fellows who richly merit a flogging at the cart’s tail, have defaced many of the decorations by scrawling upon them, not only their own degraded names, but words even more deserving the epithet “infamous.”

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F.W. Hulme, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




Forde House, surrounded by lofty hills, rests in the centre of a lawn of considerable extent, having at its eastern extremity a beautiful sheet of water, distant about a mile from the town of Newton Abbott, at the foot of Milbourne Down. Although this ancient and celebrated mansion is not externally profuse in architectural decoration, it affords an accurate idea of the residences of the gentry in the reign of James I. Its elevation exhibits great simplicity, with a tendency to decoration, shewing an immense improvement in the style of building, compared with the heavy and incongruous houses of the previous era; its principal front having a centre with two wings, the central

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projection being ornamented with a cupola or belltower; whilst numerous large windows, having their compartments divided by stone mullions, give to it a character which time has not altered.

It was erected in the year 1610 by Sir Richard Reynell, Knt., second son of Richard Reynell, Esq., of East Ogwell. Risdon, in his “Survey of Devon,” gives the following account of Forde:—“Within the parish of Wolborough is Forde, fairly seated, which, at the surrender of such structures, was purchased by Taverick, whose heirs were wedded to Drew, Marshall, and Hayman; they alienated their estate to Sir Richard Reynell, Knt., a flourishing branch of the house of Ogwell, who has beautified the old buildings with new edifices; and having issue one only daughter, Jane, wedded her according to her worth, to Sir William Waller, Knt., descended from an ancient family in Kent.” The daughter and heiress of Sir W. Waller, Margaret, married Sir W. Courtenay, a direct ancestor of the present Earl of Devon, a nobleman universally beloved; since which period it has continued in the Courtenay family.
Respecting the interior of the house, although much has been done to render it adapted to modern habits, still much remains of its former state to give a correct idea of byegone days; its magnificent ceilings, its oaken staircase, its panelled hall, and massive doors, tend to recall those times when grandeur and security were more considered than the finished decorations of the present day. The Hall is entered by a low stone porch, which forms the central projection of the house; it is thirty feet long and twenty feet wide. It is lighted by two large mullion-latticed windows, having inserted in stained glass the arms of Reynell, Waller, and Courtenay. It is wainscoted throughout, and the fireplace stands in relief, having for its base two doric columns, which support a superstructure of smaller

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columns, with elaborate decoration. The ceiling is formed into a variety of geometrical figures, and ornamented with numerous allegorical subjects, whilst a deep frieze, consisting of winged horses in plaster, meet the wainscoted sides of the Hall.

A finely carved oaken staircase, of considerable width, the balustrades of which are massive and highly decorated, leads to the Great Drawing-room, and to King Charles’ Bed-chamber. Its disused bed and antique chairs add to the interest of the place, and remind the visitor of its former illustrious occupant. It may be justly said of Forde, that it has lost little of its pristine interest by the modern alterations it has undergone.

For many years past Forde has had various occupiers. At present it is let on lease to Henry Cartwright, Esq., a gentleman much respected. In 1844, Mr. Cartwright served the office of high-sheriff, and since then has continued an active Justice of the Peace.

The family of Cartwright is among the most ancient of the British Commoners; as we find that Sir Hugh Cartwright, temp. Edward, led the van at the battle of Poictiers; and in the reign of Henry VII., 1485, by the marriage of Hugh Cartwright with Matilda Cove, four great branches sprung; one of whom, William, Captain in the Navy (temp. Charles I.), obeying the authority of his Royal Master against that of the Parliament, was by the latter deprived of his honours, and, dying in poverty, left an only son, William, the great-great-grandfather of the present occupier of Forde, who settled in Devonshire soon after the Reformation. By maternal descent, Mr. Cartwright is joint representative of the ancient and ennobled family of Anson. His grandfather, W. Anson, was first cousin of the Hon. Lord Anson, and last male branch of the Anson family. Mr. Cartwright married Miss Minet, daughter of J. Minet, of Baldwyn’s Park, Kent, Esq., and grand-daughter of Sir Charles Pole, Bart., of Wolverton, by whom he has issue Anson, Reginald, and others.



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F.W. Hulme, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




Sherborne Lodge, now the seat of Earl Digby, stands upon a rising ground, at a little distance from the ancient castle. It is surrounded by a large park, which, according to Leland, was in his time “inclosed with a stone waulle.” The Lodge is built on a singular plan, in the form of the letter H, with hexagonal towers at the four corners, and two others on each side of the centre of the principal front. The general appearance of the building is peculiar rather than picturesque; but, notwithstanding, it offers much that is interesting and worthy of admiration. The centre part is said to have been built by Sir Walter Raleigh, who, “by his merit and the royal favour,” obtained a grant of the Manor and Castle of Sherbourne, and many other lands belonging to the See of Sarum. He is said to have spent much time here, beginning “very fairly to repair the castle” (the ruins of which still remain); but, altering his purpose, “he built in the park adjoining to it, from the ground, a most fine house, which he beautified with orchards, gardens, and groves of much variety and delight,” so that for the “pleasantness of the seat and the delicacies belonging to it, it is unparalleled by any in these parts.” Notwithstanding these laudations of what Sir Walter had done, he appears to have left much of his plan incomplete.[18] Two wings were added soon after the Restoration, by the Earl of Bristol, who appears to have drawn freely on the ruins of the castle for the required materials.

The house contains many interesting and valuable pictures, chiefly portraits of remarkable historical personages. Among them is a good specimen of Cornelius Jansen; a portrait of Elizabeth, Countess of Southampton; also a portrait of Henry, first Earl Digby, by Sir Joshua Reynolds. But the most remarkable is a picture of the famous procession of Queen Elizabeth to visit Lord Hunsdon, at Hunsdon House, in Hertfordshire; she is carried in an open sedan by eight of her principal noblemen. Vertue ascribes this picture to Gerard, her majesty’s painter.
Sir Walter is said to have used unfair means to gain possession of this property, “being

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charged with having persuaded Bishop Coldwell to pass it to the Crown, on his election to the See of Salisbury, after which Sir Walter obtained a grant of it;” which, however, in the end proved a snare to himself, for it excited envious and malignant feelings in his fellow-courtiers, whose machinations were not without influence in promoting his subsequent disgrace and death. In a letter to his wife, written after his condemnation, he desires her to procure his dead body, and lay it either at Sherborne or in Exeter church, by his father and mother. It does not appear that he was buried at either place.

The grounds around the Lodge and Castle ruins were laid out and “improved” by Brown, of whose skill in landscape gardening they present a fair example; of which one of the most noticeable features is a large artificial lake, formed by confining within the grounds what was formerly an inconsiderable stream, but which is now considered one of the most beautiful and extensive pieces of water in the west of England.

Sherborne contains several interesting remains, of which we have given two,—the Abbey

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House (introduced above) and an old mansion in St. Swithin’s Street; the latter conspicuous for a beautiful oriel window. The whole neighbourhood is, indeed, rich in antiquities, of a rare and curious order; not the less valuable because of their association with the romantic history of one of the most remarkable men of a remarkable age; in particular we may make reference to an ancient dwelling, now a country inn, which supplies abundant evidence of former state and splendour; although now applied to “base uses” of which its founders must have had little apprehension.



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J.D. Harding, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithog{rs}.




Audley End, the most celebrated of the mansions in Essex, takes its name from Sir Thomas Audley, Chancellor to King Henry VIII., to whom the Abbey of Walden and most of the lands at the west end of the parish had been granted at the Dissolution by Henry VIII.; and who is believed to have fixed his residence there, although, as Lord Braybrooke remarks in his history of this house, “the fact cannot now be established. Horace Walpole, notwithstanding, and, after him, Mr. Gough, assumed that Audley Inn was the original designation; but for this assertion no authority whatever is adduced: not to mention that many of the neighbouring hamlets are still distinguished by the names of North End, Sewer’s End, Sparrow’s End, &c.; and that similar instances frequently occur in different parts of the County of Essex.”

The manor of Walden having been originally granted to the celebrated follower of William the Conqueror, Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, after many mutations, again reverted to the crown, and so remained till May 1538; when it was granted by Henry VIII., with the recently dissolved Abbey of Walden, and the greatest part of the advowsons and estates belonging to that foundation, to Sir Thomas Audley, from whom are descended the Earls of Suffolk, Berkshire, and Carlisle, the Earls and present Marquis of Bristol, and the Lords Howard de Walden; besides the Earls of Binden and Lords Howard of Escrick, whose titles are extinct.

Sir Thomas Audley, a clever and crafty man, was the principal instrument in the hands of the king in effecting the dissolution of the religious houses; by which he also greatly enriched himself, for the rapacity of Henry never exceeded that of Sir Thomas, who was all his life employed in asking for grants and emoluments, under the plea of ill-paid services or absolute poverty—an excuse as disgusting as it was untrue; and nothing can exceed the fawning perseverance of his begging-letters, as printed by Lord Braybrooke in his “History of Audley End,” or the meanness of soul that runs throughout them, and which his lordship, with right feeling, does not do otherwise than unequivocally condemn. The first step in the king’s favour made by Sir Thomas (after he was, at the recommendation of the Duke of Suffolk, to whom he was steward or chancellor, introduced to Henry) was occasioned by his conduct as Speaker of the Long, or Black Parliament, to which office the king had caused him to be elected, which first sat in November 1529, and continuing, by prorogation, six years, effected the dissolution of all the religious houses whose revenues did not annually exceed 200l.

“To enable us justly to appreciate the importance of this measure, it must not be forgotten that by this one act three hundred and seventy-six monasteries were simultaneously suppressed, and their revenues, of the yearly value of 32,000l., placed at the king’s disposal, together with their personal property, amounting to 100,000l.; and so absolute was the monarch’s authority, and so abject the servility of his Parliament, under the guidance of their Speaker, that no opposition was offered to the bill during its progress through the House of Commons. We may easily imagine that Henry was not a little pleased with these proceedings; and Audley’s services became so necessary to him that he was, in the ensuing year, constituted Attorney-General for the duchy of Lancaster, and, in November following, made King’s Sergeant; and so rapid was his promotion, that, on the 20th of May, 1532, we find him, upon the resignation of Sir Thomas More, knighted, and appointed Keeper of the Great Seal; and, in January 26, 1532-3, Lord Chancellor. In the exercise of his new functions Audley proved as subservient to the wishes of his royal master as he had shewn himself upon all former occasions; and having, while Speaker, gratified the king, as well as the people, by passing six bills to restrain the power of the clergy, and greatly forwarded the measure of dissolving the lesser religious establishments, he now undertook the arduous task of obtaining the surrender of the more wealthy foundations; and in this enterprise his endeavours were shortly crowned with complete success; and, before the expiration of two years, the king found himself in possession of all the remaining monastic establishments, producing, with those already dissolved, an annual income, according to Hume, of 142,914l.”[19]

Henry thus acquired ample funds for the remuneration of those ministers and favourites who had been the instruments of his tyranny, and who had ensured the consummation of his grand designs; amongst these Audley, as the principal actor, was not forgotten, and he revelled in the church spoliation he had ensured his master. The rich priory of Christ Church, Aldgate, with all the church plate and lands belonging to that house, was first granted him; and afterwards many portions of the estates previously belonging to the lesser religious houses of Essex, with licenses to alienate them, of which he duly availed himself. Thus St. Botolph’s priory at Colchester, with all its revenues, the priory of the Crouched Friars in the same town, and Tiltey Abbey, near Thaxted, were added to the list of his monastic spoils, after the gifts from the king in 1538, on Sir Thomas’s application, of the rich abbey of Walden, with all the estates, manors, and advowsons thereunto attached. He was also created Lord Audley of Walden, and installed a Knight of the Garter. “Yet,” says Lord Braybrooke, “instead of Audley’s being contented with these repeated marks of the royal favour, we are compelled to admit that every grant which he obtained encouraged him to importune the king for further recompense; and his letters, preserved in the Cottonian library, prove that, in making these applications, he was mean enough to plead poverty as an excuse, and even to assert that his character had suffered in consequence of the public services which he had been obliged to perform.” With a watchfulness for every advantage which might accrue to him, and a continued solicitation for gifts, he continued to enjoy the king’s confidence till his death, in 1544. He is buried in the church of Saffron Walden, where a plain altar-tomb of black marble perpetuates his memory.

Sir Thomas Audley left two daughters, and the youngest, dying in 1546, left the eldest (Margaret) sole heiress. She married Lord Henry Dudley at the early age of fourteen; he was arraigned for high treason in 1533, and, pleading guilty, was ordered for death; but Mary pardoned him, and restored his property. He was killed at the battle of St. Quintin’s, in Picardy, in 1557, and his widow, in the same year, married Thomas, the fourth Duke of Norfolk, dying herself at the early age of twenty-three.

The Howards thus became possessed of Audley End; but the duke’s ill-judged project of forming a matrimonial alliance with Mary Queen of Scots, under the impression that, if they both survived Elizabeth, he should eventually become king-consort of England, was a scheme which cost him his life; he was beheaded for high-treason on Tower Hill, June 2, 1572—a sentence which he bore with exemplary fortitude.

His son, Lord Thomas Howard, was the builder of Audley End. He was restored in blood by act of Parliament in 1583, and, when very young, embraced the military service, but abandoned it for success at court, where he sought every opportunity of ingratiating himself with the queen, and succeeded, in a great measure, in obtaining her countenance. During the next reign, almost the whole of his life was passed at court; and although the high and lucrative offices which he held afforded him more ample means of displaying his magnificence than those enjoyed by his ancestors, he contrived to eclipse them all in extravagance; and we are assured that in the building of Audley End alone he expended a no less sum than 190,000l. He was much honoured by King James I., and was advanced by him to the Earldom of Suffolk, and made Lord Chamberlain, and afterwards Lord High Treasurer of England. Lady Suffolk was, unfortunately, a woman of a covetous mind, and having too great an ascendancy over her husband, used it in making him a party to her extortions on persons who had business to transact at the Treasury, or places to obtain at court; and her husband was charged with embezzlement, deprived of his office, and fined 30,000l., but which was reduced by the king to 7000l. He was generally considered to have been chiefly guilty only in concealing the mal-practices of his wife, who eventually died in debt and difficulty.

From this period the history of the possessors of Audley End is a mere confused piece of family biography, of little interest to the general reader: they seem never to have recovered the charges entailed upon them by the building of Audley End, and constant curtailments of the house and park were made by each succeeding owner up to the partition of the estates in 1747. The cost of the original building appears to have involved Lord Suffolk greatly, for we learn from one of his letters, printed in the “Cabala,” that, at the period of his committal to the Tower, he was in debt nearly 40,000l., though he had then recently sold the Charter House to Mr. Sutton for 13,000l., and disposed of his property at Aynhoe in Northamptonshire; and he died possessed of Lulworth and Framlingham Castle, and Charlton in Wiltshire, with the estates belonging to them, as well as Suffolk House in the Strand, besides the large Essex property derived through his mother, Margaret Audley. At all events the cost of the building must have been very serious, nor did the charge of maintaining it prove less formidable; so much so, in fact, that none of the possessors of Audley End, after the death of the first Earl of Suffolk, were enabled to keep an establishment suitable to the size and magnificence of the house. Earl Theophilus and his son James, the third earl, seem, indeed, to have resided there; but the latter, of whom it is not recorded that he took any active part during the Commonwealth, lived in retirement, and, after the Restoration, gladly availed himself of the opportunity of alienating the house and park to Charles II., and thus dispose of a possession which, from his being unable to enjoy it, could only be considered as a source of mortification.

At this period the house was of regal magnificence, and consisted, besides the offices, of various ranges of building, surrounding two spacious quadrangular courts; that to the westward was the largest, and was approached over a bridge across the lake, through a double avenue of limes, terminating with a double-entrance gateway, flanked by four circular towers. The apartments on the north and south sides of the principal court were erected over an open cloister, and supported by pillars of alabaster; while, on the eastern side, a flight of steps led to the entrance-porches, placed on a terrace running parallel to the great hall, which formed the centre of the building, and which is now the principal front of the mansion, despoiled as it at present is of its grand entrance-court. Beyond the hall was the inner court, surrounded by an arcade, over which were the principal apartments, the three sides of which only remain, while the chapel beyond has been entirely demolished. It will thus be seen that the present house is but a wreck of the original building.[20]


Of the original architect, Lord Braybrooke thus writes: “According to Horace Walpole, Bernard Jansen was the architect employed; but after hazarding this assertion he contrives to establish a stronger claim in behalf of John Thorpe, who built many of the houses of the nobility about that period, and whose partiality for what Walpole terms barbarous

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ornaments and balustrades he especially notices; adding, that some of his vast bow-windows advanced outwards in a sharp angle, and thus actually describing a portion of the principal court at Audley End long since demolished,” but represented in our woodcut from Winstanley’s view of the original house, where one occurs at each side of the principal entrance.

Thorpe’s claim to the erection of Audley End has been further confirmed by the discovery of the ground-plan of the house, corresponding to that engraved by Winstanley, existing among the curious volume of original plans and drawings made by John Thorpe himself, formerly preserved at Warwick Castle, and afterwards in the possession of Sir John Soane. Upon this plan a variety of pencilled alterations might be traced. “And there appeared,” says Lord Braybrooke, “so strong a family likeness (if such an expression may be used) in the different elevations throughout the volume, that no doubt could be reasonably entertained as to their all being the work of the same individual. The house has always been supposed to have been commenced in 1603, and to have occupied thirteen years before it was entirely finished; and the date of 1616 still remains upon one of the gateways.”

In 1666 the house was sold to Charles II. (who liked it as well for its regal magnificence as for its convenience to Newmarket) for the sum of 50,000l. a portion being paid, and 20,000l. being left on mortgage. In 1670 the court was regularly established there, and the queen very frequently resided in the house. “Lord Suffolk and his successor, the fourth earl, seem to have resided at Chesterfield Park after the sale of Audley End, which was committed to the charge of one of the family, who held the office of housekeeper and keeper of the wardrobe, with a salary; and this arrangement continued till 1701, when the house and park were reconveyed to Henry the fifth Earl of Suffolk, upon condition of his relinquishing all claim to the 20,000l. which had remained on mortgage from the year 1668; nor is it clear that any interest had been ever paid upon it.”

The work of demolition commenced in 1721, when the three sides of the grand quadrangle, which formed so magnificent an entrance to the house, were demolished by the advice of Sir John Vanburgh, with the kitchen and offices, which occupied a considerable space behind the north wing of the building; and the chapel and cellars, which projected at each extremity of the gallery wing, were probably soon afterwards removed, leaving the inner court only untouched; the entire building being then in the form of an open square. In 1747, Lord Effingham, who succeeded the Earl of Suffolk, sold the house and park to Elizabeth countess of Portsmouth for 10,000l., which sum included the timber, 500 head of deer, a water-mill, and the right of presentation to the Mastership of Magdalen College, Cambridge. There was a debate at this time about pulling the house entirely down and selling the materials, and for which a valuation was actually made; or else, for converting the buildings into a silk-manufactory, for which the spacious premises and mill near the stables seemed well adapted. At this time the house was rapidly going to decay, the windows were without glass in many places, the furniture taken away, the cupola in the centre in danger of falling from every high wind, and the eastern wing with its noble gallery so unsafe that Lady Portsmouth levelled it to the ground in 1749. This splendid gallery occupied the whole of the first floor of the demolished wing, and measured 24 feet in height, 226 feet in length, and 32 feet in width, exclusive of the bow in the centre, which was sufficiently spacious to contain a full-sized billiard-table. The whole room was fitted up with wainscot, in which a profusion of ornamental carving was introduced. The Labours of Hercules were represented in oak upon the chimney-piece; and upon the stuccoed ceiling, the Loves of the Gods.

The Countess of Portsmouth at her death bequeathed her possessions, in default of issue, to John Griffin Whitwell, eldest son of her sister Anne, afterwards confirmed Lord Howard de Walden and Baron Braybrooke of Braybrooke, in the county of Northampton. This nobleman, at great expense, restored the dilapidated house at Audley End; and continued his repairs and renovations until he had succeeded in making this noble relic again habitable.

The present aspect of the house, as seen from the main road to Newmarket and

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Cambridge, is depicted in our plate. Upon crossing the modern bridge which leads to the town of Saffron Walden, a gate to the left leads up to the house. It is the gate already noticed as bearing the date of 1616, and is here engraved. The way in which the noble trees hang their branches in the richest profusion over it renders it a most picturesque object; it is surmounted by a lion standing on a cap of maintenance, beneath which is inscribed:—

A semicircular walk leads to the mansion. The doors, both back and front, of the principal entrance, are exceedingly fine specimens of wood-carving. They are extremely massive, and carved in a geometric pattern; the circular portion above being filled in the front door

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with figures emblematic of the arts of Peace, that of the back leading into the garden, representing War in a chariot drawn by wolves. We have engraved this beautiful door. It originally led into the inner court; it now leads to the arcade facing the garden, which is believed to have been the site of the ancient monastery, as many stone coffins have been discovered there.

Entering a small vestibule the great hall lies to the right; it is ninety feet in length, twenty-seven feet wide, and twenty-nine feet high; it is too square to be considered in good proportion, a fault found by all since its first erection. Its principal feature is the magnificent oak screen, which occupies the entire north end. It is most elaborately carved and ornamented with a great variety of grotesque figures executed in bold relief, and is said to have been originally procured from Italy; but of this there may be entertained considerable doubt, as it is precisely similar in its details to many others which still exist and are of English workmanship. The fireplace is of similar design, and our initial letter exhibits one of its many beautiful compartments. The hall is wainscoted, and is lighted by five windows, that in the centre having a large projecting bow, extending from the cornice to the floor which is paved. It is hung with family pictures, among which those of the Cornwallis predominate—the ancestors of the present Lady Braybrooke. The ceiling is of plaster, divided into forty square compartments, formed by the massive oaken beams supported by richly-carved brackets. These compartments are filled with the crests and cognizances of the Howard family, worked in raised stucco and encircled by a border. A gay effect is produced by the many silken banners which hang from the walls.

Opposite the fine old wooden screen is an open one of stone, for which, says Lord Braybrooke, “we are indebted to the bad taste of Sir John Vanburgh, who removed the south wall to enlarge the hall, which had been censured by Evelyn and others as too small in proportion to the rest of the house, and being desirous at the same time to obtain sufficient space for a double flight of stairs leading to the saloon”—the subject of our second plate; it is in every sense a magnificent room, and is sixty feet in length, twenty-seven feet three inches wide, and twenty feet eight inches high. The description of the noble owner must be here quoted: “It was originally called the Fish-room, after the dolphins and sea monsters represented in bold relief upon the ceiling, which is of stucco, and divided into thirty-two compartments with raised borders. From each angle of these compartments hang pendants of considerable dimensions elaborately wrought, and producing a striking and singular effect. The fittings of the wall are of wood-work, painted in white and gold, and carved up twelve feet from the ground; the cornice and frieze, being supported by pilasters placed at equal distances, the spaces between which are allotted to portraits, in whole-length, of the different persons connected with the history of Audley End, let into arches serving as frames, and the spandrils of which are filled with rich foliage. Upon the wall above the cornice, which has a bold projection, are quatre-feuilles, worked in stucco, probably added after the room was finished, and not in character with the ceiling. The frieze is deep, and decorated with lions’ heads and a variety of other patterns, carved in wood. The pilasters are also surmounted by grotesque heads. The large western bow, to which we ascend by three steps, commands a

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fine view of the grounds, the river Cam, and the ancient stables beyond, here engraved; they are of red brick and are exceedingly picturesque, embowered as they are in antique trees. The chimney-piece is completely in keeping with the rest of the apartment, and, though not dissimilar to those already described, greatly surpasses them in the beauty of the carved work and the brilliancy of the gilding. In the centre are emblazoned the arms of Thomas Earl of Suffolk, impaling Knivett and his quarterings, and encircled by the Garter. The female figures and ancient heads on each side, as well as the arms and crests of Lord Howard de Walden and his two wives, were painted by Rebecca.”

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The suite of rooms in connexion with the saloon are fine and contain some good ceilings and fireplaces. In one of them is preserved the interesting relic here engraved. Its history is thus told on a brass plate inserted in the back:—“This chair, once the property of Alexander Pope, was given as a keepsake to the nurse who attended him in his illness; from her descendants it was obtained by the Rev. Thomas Ashley, curate of the parish of Binfield, and kindly presented by him to Lord Braybrooke in 1844, nearly a century after the poet’s decease.” It is apparently of Flemish workmanship, and of rather singular design; in the central medallion is a figure of Venus, holding a dart in her right hand, and a burning heart in her left. The narrow back and wide-circling arms give a peculiarly quaint appearance to this curious relic of one of our greatest poets.
The upper and lower floor of this wing are connected together by a fine oak staircase,

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represented in the accompanying woodcut. It reaches from the ground to the upper story in such a manner that a person ascending the whole height goes two and a half times round the well which it includes. This well, a narrow oblong, is a frame-work of upright posts extending from top to bottom; and these posts, being divided into shorter lengths by the various traverse of the stairs and landing-places, are ornamented in a sort of pilaster fashion, and connected by arches at the top of each opening: the balustrade of the stairs being formed by a repetition of such an arcade on a smaller scale. A similar staircase of oak, of a plainer character, is in the opposite wing.

The chapel is in “Strawberry-Hill Gothic.” The library contains about seven thousand books of varied standard literature. The pictures throughout the house are not very remarkable. The park is extensive and contains some magnificent old trees, the views being relieved by sloping elevations.

Nearly opposite the dated gateway to the mansion, already engraved and described, is the entrance to the village of Audley End, which is approached through an avenue of trees,

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which hide it from the road. The first view of its humble habitations, as delineated in our engraving, is very striking, and as simply antique as need be. Its old gables and deep-bowed windows, over which climb the honeysuckle and ivy, tell at once the age of their erection, and carry the spectator back to the days of Elizabeth. It is a compact little village, of about forty cottages, which form a narrow street of close tenements, all of which may be detected at a glance. The ground on which the village is built rises and falls in picturesque undulations; and at its farthest extremity, the gables seen in our next cut belong to the ancient brick tenements, picturesque in decay, of which a view is here given. They are thus described in the volume so

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frequently quoted:—“The buildings surround two courts, one of which is appropriated to ten old women, permitted to reside there by Lord Braybrooke, to whom the premises belong. The other court is occupied as a farm-house, together with the old chapel, long since converted into a barn; but there are no traces of its former destination, excepting an iron cross on the eastern gable, and the lofty ceiling, supported by oak beams; and this part of the building is in a very ruinous state.”[21]

These premises were, doubtless, originally erected for purposes of charity, and perhaps placed under the control of the monastery, having no especial endowment. At a later period, Thomas first Earl of Suffolk made some allowance to the inmates, and the building is described in the parish register as “my lord’s almshouse;” but his widow discontinued the payments, nor is there any tradition of their having been since claimed as matter of right.

“It is recorded in one of the chronicles of Walden Abbey, that on the festival of St. Mark 1258, when Fulco Bishop of London, and Hugo de Balsham Bishop of Norwich, consecrated the church of Walden, Bishop Hugo performed the same ceremony for the chapel of the Infirmaria, and granted an indulgence to those who visited it on the feast of its dedication. It also appears from an inquisition, dated the forty-sixth of Edward III., that Humphrey Earl of Essex, Hereford, and Northampton, was seised, inter alia, of the advowson of the hospital of the Abbey of Walden; we may therefore suppose the almshouses, or the site which they occupy, to have been the place alluded to, and this conjecture is confirmed by the premises having been described in some old leases as the Hospital Farm.”[22]



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F. W. Fairholt, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




FEERING is situated on the highroad between London and Colchester, and is a picturesque and secluded village, full of antique houses and quiet tenantry, through which runs the Eastern Counties Railway,—the modern “improvement” that looks strangely out of place in connexion with the associations engendered by so retired a spot. It is a place whose history is almost unrecorded. Morant, in his “History of Essex,” says:—“This parish is of pretty great extent, and lies partly on the London road, being divided from Kelvedon by the river Pant. The name is formed from two Saxon words, signifying Bull’s meadow or pasture. In records, it is called Feering, Feringes, Frearing; and in Domesday Book, Pheringas and Ferlingas. In Edward the Confessor’s reign, Harold, afterwards King of England, and Brictmar, had the chief part, if not the whole, of this parish. At the time of the general survey it was holden by the Abbot of Westminster and Ralph Peverell; and from thence were derived the two capital manors here, Feringbury and Prested Hall. The former is a considerable estate, for many years part of the revenues of Westminster Abbey, by whom given I cannot find; however, they were possessed of it in 1343, and continued so till their dissolution, when it came to the crown. Henry VIII., upon his erecting Westminster Abbey into a bishoprick, endowed it, among other things, with the manor and rectory of Fering, and the advowson of the vicarage, January 20, 1540. But Edward VI. suppressed that bishopric, and gave the premises, April 12, 1550, to Nicholas Ridley, bishop of London, and his successors. Queen Mary I. confirmed the same, March 3, 1553, to Edmund Bonner, bishop of London, and his successors for ever; and they have remained possessed of them ever since. Prested Hall, sometime written Persted and Porsted, and in Domesday Book, Peresteda, was holden by Ralph Peverell at the general survey; but it had belonged before to one Brictmar. The mansion-house stands about half a mile from the church, a little way south from the London road. In the reign of King Henry II. Brien, son of Ralph, held this lordship of the honor of Peverell of London.” There are two lesser manors in the parish called Chambers and Howchins, alias Fowchins; the latter “standing a little way from the road leading from Marks Tay to Coggershall. The lands lie partly in the adjoining parishes of Little Tay and Great Tay. It appears to have been what anciently belonged to Hugh de Feringe, who took his surname from this parish. In the year 1332 he and Alianore, his wife, gave it to St. John’s Abbey in Colchester;” and at the dissolution it reverted to the Crown.

The most interesting old house in the parish or neighbourhood is the one which forms the subject of our plate, and which stands close to the edge of the river Pant, or Blackwater, a small stream, seen in the back-view of the ancient mansion given in our initial letter; the triple gable here peeps above a rich group of old trees, and the carved barge-boards and richly clustered chimneys invite the traveller’s nearer view. Crossing the small bridge, he will find his expectations in no degree disappointed; the mansion exists in pristine purity, with all its richly carved decorations untouched by modern hands. From this point our view of the exterior is taken. The elegant pendants to each gable, the involuted foliage running along the beams and barge-board, the decorated spandrils, the antique bow-windows, and the beautiful porch, elaborately carved and covered with ivy, at once meet the view, and greatly excite curiosity as to whether the interior in any degree corresponds with so perfect a piece of antiquity. An entrance is no way difficult of

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accomplishment. Alas, for worldly grandeur! this mansion, upon which the art and expenditure of the sixteenth century was lavished, is now an ale-house; and not even one of a first-rate class—being only “licensed to sell beer.” Few but the poorest class of labourers sit in the parlour, which forms the subject of our plate, and its beauties are unappreciated. To which of the families of note in the olden time (and many resided here) this mansion belonged, cannot now be ascertained with any certainty; whether Ridley or Bonner (names which give rise to so many and such varied associations) once sat in these rooms is unrecorded, but the taste and expenditure here exhibited denote the superiority of the original occupant. It is seldom we see a more perfect and remarkable specimen of the in-door aspect of a gentleman’s house in the early part of the sixteenth century; all here is original, and all perfect; no plaster-work is any where visible, but walls, ceilings, and floor, are of oak; the massive beams of the roof boldly cut in a pattern of running leaves, the angles of the smaller ones tastefully chiselled and sculptured; figures of angels playing on the lute are upon the beams in the bay-windows, in which is preserved some of the original painted glass, “richly dight,” and exhibiting the crowned monogram of the Virgin, an eagle bearing a scroll, and the royal arms of England, with the initials E. R. on each side of them. The walls of the room are entirely covered with carving in a series of patterns, the lower ranges of which are of that species termed “the napkin pattern,” most delicately and beautifully chiselled, and untouched by the painter, as well as uninjured by time. The uppermost range of panels are cut in oval frames, from the centres of which peep forth, in high relief, a series of male and female heads, cut with a vigour and truth at once bold and effective; the head-dresses of all are remarkable, and present a singular variety of fashions. Mr. Fairholt, in his “Costume in England,” has noticed that the principal attention of the ladies was given to this portion of dress, and that they sometimes consisted of a mere “heap of finery, combining cap, coverchief, and hood, which was at that time the extreme of fashion.” This remark is fully carried out in the series we now describe, no two of which are precisely alike, yet all are elaborate in design and elegant in ornamental detail. Beneath them run a series of elongated panels, containing smaller heads in the centre of arabesque ornaments, which are thrown up in strong relief, as the ground of the panel is painted blue; the projecting pillars which support the main beams are similarly decorated; and the door is also carved all over with the napkin pattern, and has the original ring-handle upon it, as well as the chased steel lock. A more perfect interior of this peculiar period, or a more elegant one, could not be found. Our view comprehends one half of the room, reaching to the central beam, the other half of the room is dark and dingy, and has been separated in a more modern style from the older and larger room. A fire-place and a carved locker are preserved; and the pattern of the pomegranate and its leaves, rather lavishly introduced here, would seem to point out the period when the house was erected—as the pomegranate was the badge of Catherine of Arragon, the first wife of Henry VIII.

This fine old mansion stands on the boundary of the parish of Feering, the village and church being about half-a-mile, or more, distant, and a little out of the main road. It is, as we have observed, quiet and secluded, in a fertile county, embracing the ordinary flat, fertile, and extensive views for which Essex is remarkable; but little of modernisation appears there, and the visitors would seem to be “few and far between.” From the churchyard the view is very extensive. Morant says:—

“The church, dedicated to All Saints, stands high and pleasant. The body of the church and the chancel are tyled, but a north or south aisle adjoining to the church are leaded. The south wall and the porch are of brick; and in the windows are pictured a shuttle and three feathers, with the letters H. P., which gave rise to the vulgar tradition that they were built by a weaver. At the west end there is a square tower of stone, containing eight bells.
“This church was given with the manor to Westminster Abbey. It was originally a rectory and sinecure, but in Henry the Third’s reign a vicarage was here ordained, and endowed in the patronage of the rector or possessor of the sinecure: afterwards the rectory or great tithes were appropriated to the said abbey and convent, and they remained patrons of

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the vicarage till their suppression; and then they were granted to the see of London, as hath been mentioned above.”

The most remarkable feature of the interior is the roof of oak, the beams and king-posts are richly sculptured, and in good preservation; it contains no old tombs or brasses; the font is simple, and the only objects worthy of note are some remains of distemper-painting on the north wall: a figure of St. Christopher bearing the infant Saviour is still visible, together with the fragments of an elegant diaper-pattern, which had probably originally covered the entire wall.

The porch, which we engrave, is entirely built of fine red brick, in which the elegant windows, niches, tracery, battlements, and pinnacles of the later Gothic architecture, are beautifully formed and finished with a sharpness and accuracy which may almost be said to be peculiar to this county, as we seldom meet with brick-work in this style so rich in design and execution elsewhere.



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Drawn by F. W. Fairholt, F.S.A. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




In a retired part of the county of Essex, at a short distance from the road, in a secluded and lonely spot, stands the picturesque Hall which forms the subject of our plate. The mansion is in the parish of Thaxted, and is about two miles south-west of the church. This manor is supposed to be part of the two fees and a half which the heirs of Walter de Acre held in Thaxted, Chaure, and Brokesheued, under Richard de Clare, who died in 1262. It was afterwards in the possession of the important family surnamed de Wauton; for William de Wanton or Wauton, who died in 1347, held the manors of Chaureth and Horam of the Lady Elizabeth de Burgh and her ancestors, by the service of three fees, as of the Honour of Clare. The next possessor upon record was Sir John Cutt or Cutts, who erected the mansion immediately preceding or early in the reign of Elizabeth; he was a man of great wealth, and built at Salisbury Park near St. Alban’s, and at Childerley in Cambridgeshire, according to Leland, who tells us concerning the present building in his “Itinerary,” (vol. i. p. 30, pt. 1), that “Old Cutte builded Horeham Hall, a very sumptuous house in Est Sax, by Thoxtede, and there is a goodly pond, or lake, by it, and faire parkes there about.”

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Thaxted eventually became the property of Sir William Smijth of Hill Hall, in whose family it has remained to the present time.

Of the learned Sir Thomas Smijth, the secretary to King Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth, there is still preserved an ancient portrait on panel, which is let into a circle over the carved fireplace of one of the parlours. It is remarkable as being one of the very few portraits painted by Titian. Another interesting relic preserved in the Great Hall is the side-saddle of Queen Elizabeth; the pommel is of wrought metal and has been gilt, the ornament upon it is in the then fashionable style of the Renaissance; the seat, of velvet, is now in a very ruinous condition; but it is

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carefully kept beneath a glass case, as a memento of the queen’s visits to this place. When princess, Elizabeth retired to Horeham as a place of refuge during the reign of her sister Mary; the loneliness of the situation, and its distance from the metropolis, rendered it a seclusion befitting the quietude of one anxious to remain unnoticed in troublous times. A room on the first floor in the square tower, seen to the right in our view, is shewn as that in which Elizabeth resided. She found the retirement of Horeham so agreeable, that often after she had succeeded to the crown she took a pleasure in revisiting the place.

The exterior features of the building are characteristic of that period when strength and security began to give way to domestic comfort and elegance; there is a mixture of the

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castle and the mansion in Horeham that marks a transition period in architecture. One great feature of an earlier style of defence still remains in the moat which originally surrounded the building, but which is now partly filled up: at the back of the mansion, as shewn in our cut, it seems still to encircle the building. The old walls which form the boundary of the garden, and are washed by the water, are stone, and antique. Some fine cedars of ancient growth still flourish by its side, to add a sombre, dignified beauty to the scene. There is a grandeur about old trees which cannot be imparted to a mansion by artificial aid, and which tell forcibly its antiquity. Modern antiques may easily be called into existence by the builder, but the “ancestral trees” are as proud a memento of the early date of an ancient mansion as the coat-armour sculptured on its front.

The Hall is small; it has a minstrel’s gallery, and the dais opposite is still preserved. It is lighted by a magnificent oriel window, and has a greater air of comfort than is found in those of grander proportions. The other rooms have been so much modernised, to suit the habits and tastes of the present age, that scarcely a relic remains to shew their original state.



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W. L. Walton, Del et lith. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




St. Osyth’s Priory—an ancient and very venerable edifice—is situated on an estuary formed by the Rivers Stour and Blackwater, distant about twelve miles south-east from Colchester. The village in which it stands was originally named Cice, or Chich; and although its chroniclers give us no information as to its Saxon derivation, there is no lack of knowledge concerning its comparatively modern name—St. Osyth. But it is obtained from tradition and Monkish legends; from which we learn that the virgin saint was the daughter of Frithwald, King of East Anglia, betrothed to Sighere, the Christian king of the East Saxons; by whom, however, she was freed from marriage bonds, and permitted to found a church and institute a nunnery of Maturines of the order of the Holy Trinity—which she did at Chich, a village given to her by her generous lord. Her establishment was subsequently plundered and destroyed by the Danes, under Inguar and Hubba, and the royal lady was herself beheaded beside a fountain, at which, with her hapless maidens, she used to bathe.[23]
The parish of St. Osyth was anciently part of the royal demesnes. Canute granted it to Godwin, Earl of Kent, who gave it to Christ’s Church, Canterbury, with permission of Edward the Confessor. Prior to the Conquest it must have passed into other hands, for we find at the time of the Survey it belonged to the bishop of London. Richard de Belmeis or de Beaumes, consecrated Bishop of London in 1108, obtained the manor and church of Cice, in order to build and endow a monastery there for canons of the order of St. Augustine, which was done about 1118; and the tithes being appropriated to the monks, they served the cure by one of their own canons. At the Dissolution, the amount of all the revenues was found to be, according to Speed, £758. 5s. 8d. Dugdale says it was £677. 7s. 2d. The abbot, prior, and eighteen canons, subscribed to the King’s supremacy—which shows the number then maintained. Alaric de Vere, the first Earl of Oxford, had a son a canon here, who wrote the Life of St. Osyth, about 1160. Soon after the suppression of religious houses, Henry VIII. granted it to Thomas Lord Cromwell. On his disgrace and attainder, the property reverted to the Crown.

Edward VI., for the sum of £3974. 9s. 4½d., disposed of it to Thomas, Lord Darcy of Chich, Knight of the Garter and Chamberlain of his household, by whom it was converted into a residence. This nobleman was son of Roger Darcy, sheriff of Essex and Herts in 1506, and squire of the body to Henry VII. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. John, second Lord Darcy, was united to Frances, daughter of Richard, Lord Rich, by whom he had a son, Thomas. He was united to a daughter of Sir Thomas Kytson, of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk; created in 1621 Viscount Colchester for life, with remainder to his son-in-law, Sir Thomas Savage; five years afterwards he was advanced to an earldom, by the title of Earl Rivers, which became extinct in 1728. This Sir T. Savage, upon whom the titles were entailed, dying before his predecessor, Elizabeth, the Earl’s eldest daughter, took the title of Countess Rivers. She it was who suffered the loss of so much property during the civil wars. In 1694, the Hon. Richard Savage came into possession of the titles and estates; he was Lieutenant-General of Horse, Lord-Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of the County; but having no legitimate male issue surviving, he gave St. Osyth to a natural daughter, the wife of Frederick de Nassau, Earl of Rochford, a branch of the regal line of the House of Orange, whose father came over into England with William III., at the Revolution. The Earl died in 1738, leaving two sons, the eldest of whom, William Henry, was secretary of state in the year 1772. The title became extinct in 1830, and the possessions devolved upon their present owner, Frederick Nassau, Esq., a collateral branch of the same family, by whom the Mansion is occupied.

Although the ruins of the ancient monastery are scattered in rich profusion in all directions around the present dwelling-house, it is somewhat difficult to determine

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its exact site; arches, towers, and picturesque remains, meet the visitor at every point, but so situated as almost to defy an attempt to fix the original plan. The entrance to the residence is through a noble gateway, flanked, by projecting towers of unequal proportions, with posterns; the whole being divided into numerous apartments, forming a building of considerable size and extent. The ceiling is beautifully groined, and in excellent preservation. As the structure occupies rather high ground, the Towers are distinctly visible to vessels skirting the eastern coast, from which it is distant about three miles. The gateway opens upon a spacious quadrangle, in the centre of which stands a well-executed figure of Time supporting a sun-dial. Our principal drawing exhibits parts of the northern and eastern sides of the square; the other sides consist principally of domestic offices, the larger portions of which are formed from the old buildings. Those in which the family now reside are of comparatively modern date, and look out upon an extensive park, finely wooded and well stocked with deer. In the grounds, and about sixty yards from the house, is a square brick pillar, surmounted by an urn; on one side of the pillar is a tablet with the following inscription, to mark the boundary of the old priory: it was erected at the time of the Commonwealth—“Vetus hæc Quam cernis maceries conservata est Ad Augustiniani cœnobii limites designandos Tu vero inter loci huius amœnitates Tuorum temporum felicitati Gratuleris ablegata jam ista superstitione quæ Domicilium tam superbum segnitiæ consecravit et socordiæ A.D. CIƆIƆCCLX.”

At right angles, with the gateway extending outwardly, is a long battlemented wall, with a fine Norman archway; near the farther extremity, are several mullioned windows, now blocked up, and a doorway approached by deep steps. It is generally supposed that the court-house stood here; for on the steps the manorial court is still opened by the lord of the manor, or his representative. In the grounds, beneath a tower of considerable elevation, may be seen the ancient chapel of the monastery, with its adjoining cells; but the place

“Where monks their orisons and vespers sung,”
is now literally “a cage for unclean birds,” and a receptacle for garden-tools and decayed fruits and vegetables: it is still in good preservation, though damp and rottenness have discoloured the well-proportioned pillars and groined arches of the

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ceiling. Without admitting or denying the truth of the inscription we have quoted concerning the holy men of other days, it is certain, that to them we are indebted for the noblest examples of ecclesiastical architecture of which the world can boast; and the ruins of St. Osyth’s Priory exhibit no mean specimen of their skill and industry.

The interior of the present mansion presents nothing that demands particular notice, except one room called the “King’s Room,” fitted with the furniture of the chamber in which George II. died (the Earl of Rochford was groom of the stole at that period), consisting of the satin mattress, crimson bed hangings, &c. &c.

The Church is a very ancient structure, built partly of brick, and partly of flint and stone, situated nearly opposite the Priory. It has recently undergone a thorough internal repair; new pews have been erected, and a neat Gothic organ has been placed in a newly constructed gallery. The roofs, which are lofty, are supported by massive oaken beams, resting upon arches that spring from hexagon columns fluted on four of their sides—the rafters in the northern aisle are boldly and richly carved in various devices. While the repairs were in progress, the Font, which had hitherto presented a plain surface, was accidentally found to be finely ornamented; and the mortar with which the interstices were filled being removed, it now presents the appearance exhibited in our cut—the initial letter. The chancel is separated from the nave by a low screen, behind which are the pews allotted to the Priory. The church contains several monuments—chiefly raised in honour of the Darcys.

St. Osyth, standing as it does, in an isolated spot, and almost apart from the business of active life, is scarcely known even to the Tourist. It is, however, full of deep interest, and, we feel assured, might throw considerable light upon the architecture of very remote periods; at all events, it would afford enjoyment and information amply to repay a lengthened visit of the antiquary.



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F. W. Hulme, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. L. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




BERKELEY is one of the most ancient of the manors of England; it is styled a royal demesne and free borough in Domesday Book, and, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, a religious house existed there for nuns. This, having been forfeited, was granted to the famous Earl Godwin; and a tradition still endures, that the crafty earl obtained it by corrupting the inmates of the nunnery, whose dissolute conduct he afterwards reported to the sovereign. By this wicked means he obtained their possessions; but his consort, Gueda, refused maintenance from lands thus acquired, and her lord assigned to her use the manor of Woodchester. The history of the castle is full of the deepest interest, from the Conquest to the close of the Civil War, and a few facts collected from the statements of its many historians cannot fail to be acceptable to our readers. William the Conqueror bestowed the manor on Roger, surnamed De Berkeley, one of the soldiers of his invading army: his grandson taking part with Stephen against Henry II., was deprived of his inheritance, which was given by the king to Robert Fitzhardinge, governor of Bristol, “a Dane of royal descent,” in reward for eminent services; and with the posterity of this renowned knight the manor has ever since remained.[24] By this Robert the castle is believed to have been founded, and of the original structure the Keep is undoubtedly a part. About the year 1186, the lord of Berkeley having occasion to widen the castle moat, trespassed a few feet on the churchyard, which had been granted by Robert Fitzhardinge to the abbey of St. Augustin at Bristol. Richard, the first abbot, indignant at this infringement of ecclesiastical rights, according to Fuller, “so persecuted him with church censures, that he made him in a manner cast the dirt of the ditch in his own face,” compelling him not only publicly to confess his fault, but to bestow upon the abbey a portion of land, “pro emendatione culpæ suæ.” About the middle of the thirteenth century the castle was strengthened and beautified by Maurice, lord of Berkeley, walks and gardens were formed around it, the course of a small river was changed for its convenience, and pools and ponds were made for fish. By Edward II. the castle was granted in succession to his favourites, Piers Gavestone and Hugh Spencer, but his rebellious queen at the head of her army restored it to its legitimate owner. Soon after this event, in 1327, the castle became the scene of a frightful tragedy—the murder of the king under circumstances of unparalleled atrocity. Edward, then imprisoned at Kenilworth, having been compelled to resign the crown in favour of his son, was transferred to the safer keeping of Berkeley Castle; but its lord manifesting proof of sympathy with the unhappy sovereign, his relentless queen, by the counsel of her paramour, Mortimer, placed in charge over him Sir Thomas Gournay and Sir John Maltravers, who had the custody of the royal prisoner “month about.” These men, taking advantage of the sickness of Berkeley, in whose custody the king then was, and while he was incapacitated from attending to his charge, entered the castle and took possession of the royal person. The very place where the act was committed is still preserved nearly intact; it is a detached and dismal chamber, then only lighted by arrow slits, situated over the steps which lead into the keep, and its appalling name of “The Dungeon Room,” is retained to this day. His murderers threw the king on his bed, and so perpetrated the murder as to avoid all external evidence of the cruel deed:—

“Mark the year and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright;
The shrieks of death through Berkeley’s roofs that ring—
Shrieks of an agonising king!”
“His crie,” writes Hollinshed, “did move many within the castell and town of Berkelei to compassion, plainelie hearing him utter a waileful noyse, as the tormentors were about to murder him; so that dyvers being awakened therebye (as they themselves confessed) prayed heartilie to God to receyve his soule, when they understode by his crie how the matter went.”[25] It is said that the monasteries of Bristol, Kingswood, and Malmesbury, refused to receive the body, which was ultimately buried at Gloucester, attended thereto, according to Fosbrooke, by the Berkeley family, his heart being put in a silver vessel.[26]

Various additions were made to Berkeley Castle by subsequent lords. Thomas, the eighth lord, in 1342, rebuilt the high tower on the north side of the Keep (then in a state of decay), at a cost of 108l. 3s. 1½d.; it was called “Thorpe’s Tower,” from the tenure of one Thorpe, who held his lands at Wanswell by the guard of it. “This lord also, at subsequent periods, built that portion beyond the keep on the north-east side, and gave to the castle its present shape and circumference.”

The records of the castle exhibit many singular and striking evidences of the peculiar customs and manners of the several ages through which it has passed. In 1250 the lord of Berkeley feasted with fish during Lent the convent and abbey of Gloucester;[27] in 1273 marl was first used as manure on the lands of Berkeley, which then let for sixpence per acre. Thomas, the sixteenth earl, was much given to hunting;[28] in 1550 he had a princely residence in Shoe Lane (then a fashionable quarter), and used to hunt daily in Gray’s Inn Fields and about Islington. In 1572, on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Berkeley, “27 stagges were slaine in one day,” much to the displeasure of the earl, who “sodainely and passionately” desparked the ground. The visit was supposed to have been contrived by the Earl of Leicester, in order to provoke Lord Berkeley, and thus “draw upon him the royal disfavour.”

The castle was the last place which held out against Cromwell; it was surrendered on the 26th September, 1645, the soldiers marching out without arms, the officers with arms.[29]

Bounded on the north by the churchyard and on the south by a bowling-green, bordered

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with a yew-hedge clipped into fantastic forms and arcades by the gardener’s art, a small embattled gate-lodge affords access to the outer court of Berkeley Castle. This court, having on its south side the beautiful park scenery, and in front of the spectator the fine and massive walls of the Keep, with the Thorpe Tower bearing on its summit the Berkeley banner, forms a picture of true baronial grandeur. The inner gateway still retains the groove of its portcullis, and is flanked on either side by cannon taken from St. Jean d’Acre during its siege by the Hon. Captain Berkeley, when commanding the Thunderer. Over the archway is a state-room, from which a narrow winding passage, cut in the thickness of the wall, affords a communication with the keep.

Emerging from the gateway, the visitor enters a quadrangle formed by the buildings erected by the eighth Lord Berkeley, the keep, and the tower said to have been the scene of the unfortunate Edward II.’s murder. Crossing the quadrangle, the hall is entered by an open porch having a doorway of singular form. The hall has lost many of its ancient features, but is still a very fine apartment, sixty-one feet in length, thirty-two feet six inches in breadth, and of the same height. At the entrance end is the minstrels’ gallery, with doorways under leading to the steward’s room and buttery-hatch, and at the opposite extremity is the dais, raised two steps from the floor. Large and deeply recessed windows on the sides give light to the apartment, and from the upper end the staircase is entered, which affords access to the principal apartments. In the chapel is an eagle lettern, supporting a Bible of the date of 1640; there is also a cast of the face of Charles I., and a fragment of Roman sculpture. The drawing-room, dining-room, breakfast-room, music-room, and the several other chambers, are all well “fitted up,” and contain some family portraits and pictures of a good but not superlative class of art. Many articles of furniture, of the time of Elizabeth and James, are interspersed throughout the rooms, among which may be named a handsome bed in the little state-room, and another in the room said to have been occupied by Queen Elizabeth. There is also a room called Admiral Drake’s room, containing a bedstead, chairs, and wash-hand-stand of ebony, all of which were used by him during his voyage round the world.

The objects of more peculiar interest, however, in this noble building are the apartments connected with Edward II.’s imprisonment and tragical fate; viz. the Dungeon-Room, and the chamber adopted by general tradition as the scene of his murder. A passage by the side of the former receives light from the window which opens into the court, and this passage also affords communication with a small room which may have been a guard-chamber; but the Dungeon-Room is itself without light, and a trap-door in the floor discloses when opened a darksome, dry well, sunk down some nine or ten yards. It has been asserted that the

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smell from dead carcases thrown into this well was one of the sources of annoyance to which the monarch was subjected, and this would seem to identify the room as his place of abode; but Hollinshed’s statement “that his crie was heard by many in the town of Berkelei,” is held as more applicable to the room adjoining the keep, which we now describe.[30]

To the left on entering the inner quadrangle, and attached to the Keep, is a square tower of two stories, and on a platform of four or five steps stands an early English arch, surmounted by a still earlier Norman label-moulding, attesting the antiquity of this tower. A flight of steps from thence gives access to the level of the base court of the keep. At the side of these steps a narrow gangway or gallery, protected by a rude and antique timber-shed roof, leads to a room of irregular form and small dimensions extending

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over the staircase, lighted by two deeply recessed windows opening to the outer court, and secured by a strong oak door communicating with the before-named gallery.

An old chair, an old carved four-post bedstead, and in a most suspiciously recessed angular nook, an old black-looking pallet-bed, form the furniture of this room, all, though tattered and time-worn, bearing evidence of some former splendour in decoration. It does not require much stretch of imagination for the adoption of this chamber as the scene of

“Murder most foul and most unnatural!”
And a bust of the wretched king standing in one of the window recesses, with its face veiled in shadow, seems mutely but powerfully to appeal to

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those feelings of pity which cannot fail to be excited by the view of this dreary abode of royalty.

Emerging into the open court, a highly enriched Norman archway is found, which forms the entrance into the courtyard of the keep, where, at some ten or twelve yards above the base-court, a number of wild ducks are quietly domiciled in a small pond formed in its centre, and where they have remained for some years contrary to their nature, apparently without a wish for change. From thence the ramparts are ascended, and a fine view is obtained of the surrounding country.

The Church is a fine early structure adjoining the castle, and attached to its south side is the mortuary chapel of the Berkeley family—a richly groined edifice, divided

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into two compartments by a handsome stone screen, the inner or eastern apartment containing several monuments of the family. The altar end is blocked up by a fine Elizabethan tomb of Sir Henry Berkeley, who died in 1613; his first wife’s effigies are placed by his side. Under an arch, opening into the south side of the chancel, is a highly enriched and decorated altar-tomb, on which lie the effigies of another Earl of Berkeley and his son. It is a beautiful specimen of the period, divided into fourteen niches, having floriated canopies, under which are figures on pedestals—the Virgin and Child, St. Christopher with our Saviour, St. George and the dragon, and St. Peter, are among the number.

The groining of the chapel is curious, as containing in its several bosses and panels a connected set of emblems referring to the awful mystery of the Holy Trinity, with a most unaccountable interpolation of the monkish satires of the fox preaching to geese, a monkey holding a bottle, &c.

The churchyard contains a monument to the last of those privileged characters, the “fool” or jester of the nobility. He was in the employ of the Earl of Suffolk, and appears to have been lent to Lord Berkeley. He was buried 18th June, 1728. At the end of the monument are the arms of the earl, and on one side this inscription,—

“My lord that’s gone, himself made much of him!”
On the opposite side are these lines written by Dean Swift, who was chaplain to Charles Earl of Berkeley:—

“Here lies the Earl of Suffolk’s fool,
Men call him Dicky Pearce;
His folly served to make men laugh,
When wit and mirth were scarce.
Poor Dick, alas! is dead and gone—
What signifies to cry?
Dickies enough are left behind
To laugh at by and by.”
The village bears the half-maritime character usual in places near the sea, or an arm of

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the sea, and has some old buildings about it, of which the annexed sketch is a specimen. It may, however, be justly celebrated as the birthplace of Dr. Jenner, by whom cowpock inocculation was first introduced. He was buried at Berkeley, and will ever be remembered with gratitude as the successful combatant of that fearful disease, whose ravages were so finely alluded to by Admiral Berkeley, when, advocating his claims in the House of Commons, he said, that “not a second is struck by the hand of Time but a victim is sacrificed at the altar of that most horrible of all disorders—the small-pox.”

Wandering through the ancient and venerable Halls, consecrated by time, the mind associates with every solemn nook some memorable passage of its eventful history. Ages have wrought comparatively little change in its external and internal aspect. There are no indications of ruin, and few even of neglect, in this famous baronial castle. The fancy is scarcely taxed to behold again, seated on the dais, its powerful lords—mirrors of chivalry: we seem almost to hear the minstrels recite the praises of descendants of the royal Dane, who fought and conquered by the side of the Conqueror; we behold his successors, in one unbroken line for centuries, surrounded by their vassals, holding regal sway; we tread the very steps which a deposed and death-doomed monarch trod in grievous captivity; and although we shudder at entering the dark chamber in which he was so foully murdered, we feel pity for, rather than anger towards, that “Lord of Berkeley” who was certainly guiltless of the deed, and whose weapon would have forced aside the hands of remorseless butchers. Berkeley Castle is a fine study for the antiquary; a full page for the historian: it illustrates with singular force the customs of our ancestors; exhibits their state of perpetual “watch and ward;” the frowning Keep speaks audibly; and every winding staircase and chamber, small or large, is fertile of story.
The neighbourhood, too, retains much of its primitive character. One may imagine the peasants and farmers, whose quaint homesteads environ the strong castle—the dependants and retainers of four centuries ago.

So few of these “old places” have been preserved to our time, “unimproved” by modern “taste,” that a visit to Berkeley is like a refreshing draught of pure water in an arid plain, to those who mourn over removals of the ancient landmarks of their ancestors.

“In surveying Berkeley Castle,”—we quote the fine apostrophe of Dallaway—“this proud monument of feudal splendour and magnificence, the very genius of chivalry seems to present himself amidst the venerable remains, with a sternness and majesty of air and feature which shew what he once has been, and a mixture of disdain for the degenerate posterity that robbed him of his honours. Amidst such a scene the manly exercises of knighthood recur to the imagination in their full pomp and solemnity; while every patriot feeling beats at the remembrance of the generous virtues which were nursed in those schools of fortitude, honour, courtesy, and wit—the mansions of our ancient nobility!”

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Drawn by F. W. Hulme. on Stone by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ




Bramshill House is one of the most perfect of the remaining mansions of the time of James the First. It is said to have been erected for the excellent Prince Henry—by whom it was never inhabited, his death having occurred before the building was completely finished. It became the property of the Lords Zouch, from whom it subsequently passed to the family of Cope—the present proprietor being Sir John Cope, Bart. The wings are comparatively plain, constructed of brick, with stone dressings; but the centre is elaborately built of stone, finely carved and profusely decorated. It supplies a striking example of the peculiar architecture of the period, when “Italian improvements” were earliest introduced into, and mixed up with, our “old Gothic manner.” This central portion of the structure is carried up in rich compartments, with pilasters, from story to story, surmounted

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by a pediment of the same character, which bears the coronet of the Prince for whom the building is said to have been designed.

The interior is even more primitive and unimpaired than the exterior. The old Hall is floored and wainscotted with oak; the ceiling is enriched, and the walls are hung with family portraits in antique frames, in admirable keeping with the staid and solemn aspect of the venerable structure. The apartments throughout the mansion are of the same interesting class. In the principal drawing-room, the needle rivals the pencil upon the tapestried walls; every chamber retains unaltered its ancient character: the furniture and “garnishings” are of other days; the massive fire-places still afford space for the hospitable yule log; and in the chairs and couches that throng the several apartments, we see the quaint and elaborate carvings and embroidered coverings which exhibit the skill and industry of gone-by times. All things within the mansion are in harmony with the impressive grandeur it derives from age. Circumstances have happily existed to prevent the coarse assaults of the modern Renovator; and Bramshill House remains—and, we hope, will long continue—a fine example of the period of its erection.

Such “Houses” are rarely encountered now-a-days—a mansion so little altered, within and without, that Imagination may readily recal its ancient occupants, peopling the long galleries, shadowed recesses, and spacious Hall, with the formal and stately Dames and Knights of the period when it was erected. There are, indeed, few places that are so easily associated with the past; one might almost fancy that the very chairs and tables have been unmoved during two whole centuries.

The House is auspiciously situated: it stands on rising ground, and commands extensive prospects of the surrounding country. It has recently obtained augmented importance in consequence of the visit of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, who, while a guest of his Grace the Duke of Wellington, examined the old mansion of Bramshill, which is distant about six miles from Strathfieldsaye.



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F. W. Hulme, Delt. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




Hatfield House is finely placed on the summit of a gently swelling hill, close to the little town of Hatfield. Few old English mansions have a more general or varied interest. Whether we consider its architectural merits, its historical associations, or the picturesque attractions by which it is surrounded, its claims to our regard are neither few nor small. Seven centuries have passed away since Hatfield became a place of note; and the crown, the mitre, and the coronet, have successively held sway over its destinies. Of the architectural glories of Hatfield, little now remains of a date anterior to the time of James I., in whose reign the present noble house was built by John Thorp. A part, however, of the previous palace of Hatfield still exists, interesting as the place of residence of the Princess Elizabeth, afterwards queen, during the reign of her sister, Mary. Nor was her residence here, though compulsory, a state of imprisonment and oppression, as some have said; for it has been proved, from various records, that she met with considerate treatment, and lived in a state befitting her high rank and queenly prospects. On the death of Mary, Elizabeth proceeded hence to take possession of the throne.[31]
Since the reign of James I., Hatfield has been the property and principal residence of the family of Cecil. William Cecil, afterwards Lord Treasurer Burleigh, laid the

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foundation of the greatness of this family. “This distinguished statesman,” says Sir Robert Naunton, “was the son of a younger brother of the Cecills of Hertfordshire, a family of my own knowledge, though now private, yet of no mean antiquity, who, being exposed and sent to the city, as poor gentlemen used to do their sons, became to be a rich man on London Bridge, and purchased (estates) in Lincolnshire, where this man was born.” First he became Secretary to the Protector Somerset, and afterwards, on the accession of Elizabeth, he was appointed Secretary of State. In 1561 he was made President of the Court of Wards. His great talent and assiduity won for him much regard at court, where he was treated with great favour. In 1571 he was created Lord Burleigh, and continued to maintain his distinguished position in the State till his death, in 1598. He resided chiefly at Theobald’s, where he often had the honour of entertaining his sovereign, who was “sene in as great royalty, and served as bountifully and magnificently, as at anie other tyme or place, all at his lordship’s chardg,” &c.

Robert, the youngest son of Lord Burleigh, became possessor of Hatfield by exchange with the king, James I. He inherited much of his father’s talent and wisdom, “with a more subtle policy and a superior capacity for state intrigue.” For certain secret services to James, during the life of Elizabeth, he was raised by the king to the peerage. Afterwards he was created Viscount Cranbourn, and, in the year following, he was made Earl of Salisbury. After filling the office of sole Secretary of State, he succeeded, on the death of the Earl of Dorset, to the high post of Lord Treasurer. “Shrewd, subtle, and penetrating,” he discharged his duties with great ability, and while attending to the interests of his country forgot not his own, having, “by various methods,” increased his inheritance to a very ample extent. He died in 1612. The title and estates then descended to his only son, William, who died in 1668, and was succeeded by James, the third earl. The fourth earl, also named James, died in 1694; his great-grandson, the seventh earl, was created Marquis of Salisbury by George III., in 1789. He was the father of the present noble representative of the family of Cecil.

Hatfield House is of vast extent; it is of brick, with stone dressings. It was built between the years 1605 and 1611, by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury. After being suffered to fall into decay, it was restored and beautified by the sixth earl, about the middle of the last century. In 1835, a great part of the west wing was destroyed by fire, little being left of that part of the house besides the outer walls. On this mischief occurring, occasion was taken to effect a general reparation, which was brought to a close last year (1846). The house is in the form of an half H, comprising a centre and two wings, the hollow part being towards the south. The centre is a magnificent example of the Palladian style, and, although of mixed architecture, presents, in its totality, a design of great richness and beauty.

The basement-story contains an arcade, with eight arches, divided externally by pilasters, whereof the upper parts are fluted, and the lower parts enriched with Elizabethan arabesques. The lower pilasters are Doric, the upper Ionic. The wings are massive, and comparatively plain, supported at each corner by square turrets, seventy feet high to the gilded vanes; the space between, comprising three stories, is relieved by a fine oriel window, of two stories. The centre tower, over the grand entrance, is also seventy feet high; it has three stories, with coupled columns at the corners, the whole having an agreeable pyramidal effect. The third story of the tower contains a clock, and also the armorial bearings of the founder, with the date 1611, in which year the present house was finished. The length of the southern front is 300 feet, the centre being 140 feet, and each wing 80 feet wide, with a projection from the centre of 100 feet.

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The northern front is plain—a severe simplicity, nearly allied to grandeur, being its chief characteristic; the centre compartment, with its entrance-doorway below and noble clock-tower above, being the only elaboration it contains. Of this front we give a view, as seen from the avenue of trees which marks the approach on this side.

The south front contains the principal entrance, and, from its symmetry and ornate character, is, architecturally at least, the principal one. The east front has, however, certain advantages, which go far towards making it the most interesting, as it is certainly the most picturesque. The view in that direction, whether from the house or of it, is by far the most pleasing, as the founder well knew when he caused the principal apartments to be placed on this side. The view from these rooms is of remarkable interest and variety: first there is a noble terrace-walk, with an enriched parapet, over which the eye wanders at will among the clustering flowers of the Elizabethan garden, and from them to the Maze; beyond which is the Park, with its fine sheet of water, surrounded by noble old trees, their deep green reflexions broken ever and anon by the splash of leaping fish, or the sedate movements of the stately swans.

The interior well sustains the rich promise of the exterior. Convenience of arrangement and sumptuousness of decoration are every where united. Two grand staircases, one in the corner of each wing, lead to the principal apartments. These staircases are of oak, richly carved. That in the north-west angle was formerly called the Adam and Eve staircase: much of it is of recent date, having been redecorated since the late calamitous fire. The north-east staircase is all old, and exquisitely carved. This staircase leads almost direct to King James’s Room, one of the noblest apartments of the house, the extreme magnificence of which no words can describe: in truth it is too rich, and the eye turns involuntarily towards the grand oriel windows for relief. The ceiling is of exquisite design, and was, till recently, plain white; now it is all gold and colour. The chimneypiece is massive, of white marble; and a central niche over the fire contains a life-size statue of James I. in dark stone. The fire-dogs are of silver; the furniture and the six chandeliers are gilt; the curtains are of white satin; the chair and sofa coverings are crimson velvet; and the carpet, “patent Axminster,” is of Elizabethan design, worked in brown, gold, scarlet, and blue. This room contains some of the most important pictures. The Gallery extends the whole length of the south front: it is about 160 feet long, and 20 feet wide. The ceiling is of remarkable beauty, one of the finest examples of a period that was most prolific in such designs. The walls are panelled with oak, and covered with a profusion of carving and other embellishment. Our further remarks on the interior must be brief; many interesting matters we must altogether omit. We hasten, therefore, through the Winter Dining-Room, and pass into the Library, in which, among other treasures, there are some rare old documents. From the Library we may pass into the gallery of the Chapel, which contains a curious old organ, a large window of richly painted glass, and some good pictures. On the north side of the house is the Great Hall; it is 50 feet by 30, and is lighted by three bay-windows, rising the whole height of the hall. At the eastern end is a massive screen, supporting a gallery above, the whole covered with carvings of heraldic badges and other decorations.

The Park is full of fine trees, which from many points offer beautiful little pictures, more particularly when seen in combination with the house or garden terraces. One of these “bits” we have engraved for the initial letter.



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F. W. Hulme, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




KNEBWORTH Manor and Fort were granted at the Conquest by William I. to his favourite counsellor and captain, Eudo, surnamed Dapifer. Knebworth was fortunate in the rank or fame of its successive owners during the early periods of our history. In the reign of Edward I. its ancient fort was possessed by the powerful Robert de Hoo; in that of Edward II. it had passed to Thomas de Brotherton, fifth son of Edward I. by marriage with his daughter Margaret, afterwards created Duchess of Norfolk. Its next owner was the famous Sir Walter Manny. It devolved by heritage on Anne, daughter of the Duchess of Norfolk, and wife to John de Hastings, Earl of Pembroke. In the reign of Henry IV. it became the property of John Hotoft, Knight of the Shire for Herts; an eminent man in that reign, and subsequently Treasurer to the Household of Henry IV. His daughter married Sir Robert de Lytton, of Lytton in the Peak of Derbyshire, Governor of Bolsover Castle, and Grand Agister of the Forests in the Peak. His grandson (also named Robert), early in the reign of Henry VII., purchased the property of his maternal ancestry, and thus became Lord of Knebworth. This second Sir Robert de Lytton was of great note and power in his time: his family had always espoused the cause of the House of Lancaster; he fought with Henry VII. at the battle of Bosworth, and was by that king made Keeper of the Great Wardrobe, Under-Treasurer of the Court of Exchequer, one of the Privy Council, and Knight of the Bath. He is mentioned by Perkin Warbeck, in one of his manifestos, as exercising considerable influence in the councils of Henry VII., and was one of the most powerful of that king’s supporters, in point of possessions and descent. He held rich lordships in Derbyshire, Cheshire, Northamptonshire, Herts, and Essex. Knebworth became his principal residence. He enlarged the fortress, and changed its character into the elaborate and enriched architecture, which the part of the house now standing, and originally reconstructed by him, still retains.
The family of Lytton had been settled in Cheshire and Derbyshire from the period of the Conquest. Sir Giles de Lytton, nephew to the great Hubert de Lacy, Earl of Chester, whose arms he quartered, followed Richard III. to the Holy Land, and fought with him at Askalon. The Lyttons continued to hold offices of state or trust under successive monarchs till the reign of Elizabeth. Under Henry VIII., William de Lytton was made Governor of Bulloign Castle. Under Elizabeth, Sir Rowland de Lytton, Lord Lieutenant of Essex and Herts, commanded the forces of those counties at Tilbury Fort; and was Captain of that flower of English chivalry, the band of Gentlemen Pensioners, so renowned in the reign of the Virgin Queen.[32] Sir Rowland Lytton married Anne, daughter of Oliver, the first Lord St. John of Bletsoe, and great-granddaughter of Margaret Beauchamp by her first husband, Sir Oliver St. John. By her second marriage with the Duke of Somerset, this Margaret was the grandmother of Henry VII.; so that Anne, Lady Lytton, claimed the honour of a blood-relationship with Elizabeth, who favoured Knebworth with several visits during her reign.

In the reign of Charles I., Sir William Lytton, Knight of the Shire for Herts, adopted the popular cause, supported by Pym, Elliott, and Hampden, and was one of the commissioners sent to treat with the king at Oxford; those commissioners being chosen from the most powerful country gentlemen of the party. He seems to have been a moderate man, and a sincere patriot; for he opposed the ascendancy of Cromwell no less than the despotism of Charles, and was one of the refractory members whom Oliver confined in Hellhole. By his marriage with Ruth, daughter of Sir Thomas Barrington, of Barrington Hall, Sir William Lytton allied his house with the blood-royal of the Plantagenets; Ruth Barrington being fourth in descent, through the Countess of Salisbury and Richard de la Pole, Knight of the Garter, from George, Duke of Clarence, and Isabel, daughter of Earl Warwick the King-maker.

In the reign of Anne, the heir-male of the Lyttons dying without issue, the estate passed to his cousin, William Robinson, ceu Norreys, of Guersylt, Denbighshire, and Monacdhu, in Anglesey, who, on the maternal side, descended from the Lyttons, and on his father’s, from a race still more ancient; tracing, indeed, in a direct and acknowledged line, from the heroes and princes of our earliest history,—Elystan Glodrydd, or the Glorious (godson of King Athelstan), Prince of North Wales, and Lord of all between Wye and Severn; Karadoc Vreicfras; Roderic the Great; and Cadwallader the last of the British kings. His ancestor, Sir William Norreys, married Anne, sister of Owen Tudor, and grand-aunt to Henry VII. His son, Sir Robert, married Anne, daughter of Sir W. Griffiths, Grand Chamberlain of Wales, and his name was of such eminence in the wars of the time, that his son, according to Welsh custom, took the name of Rob’s or Robin’s son, which was afterwards borne by the descendants indiscriminately with the proper patronymic of Norreys. Through later intermarriages this family claim also descent from the Norman houses of Grosvenor, Stanley of Hooton, Brereton of Malpas, and Warburton of Ardely. The great-granddaughter of this William Robinson, who took the name and arms of Lytton on succeeding to the estates of his maternal ancestry, was Elizabeth Warburton Lytton, who became sole heiress and representative of the families of Lytton and Robinson. She married William Earle Bulwer (brigadier-general), of Heydon Hall and Wood Dalling, Norfolk; lands which had been in possession of his family since the Conquest. (See Burke’s “Commoners,” and Bloomfield’s “Norfolk.”) By this marriage there were three sons: 1st, William Lytton Bulwer, the present possessor of Heydon; 2nd, the Right Hon. Henry Lytton Bulwer, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Madrid, to whom his grandmother bequeathed a considerable fortune; and Sir Edward Bulwer, Bart., who succeeded to his mother by will, in December 1843, and took the surname and arms of Lytton.

The ancient house of Knebworth is described in an early number of the “Gentleman’s Magazine.” It was a large quadrangular building, the front, or east side, being part of the early fortress, and dating as far back as the time of Edward III. Three sides of the pile were, however, removed, as both too vast and too ruinous to inhabit, by the late Mrs. Bulwer Lytton; and the fourth side, which was built in the reign of Henry VII. by Sir Robert Lytton, forms the present residence. It was repaired and restored by Mrs. Bulwer Lytton and the present possessor, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton.

The house stands on what Sir Henry Chauncy calls “a dry hill in a fair large park, stocked with the best deer in the county, excellent timber and well wooded, and from whence you may behold a most lovely prospect to the east.”

The exterior consists of two wings of the purest Tudor architecture, flanked by highly ornamented turrets, surmounted with cupolas and gilded vanes. The windows are all in stone mullions with small panes, and most of them in stained glass. At the east or entrance-front is a tall square tower, with flag turret and massive projecting porch. The west or garden-front is peculiarly elaborate, and covered with the profuse heraldry of the period, in arms, rebuses, badges, &c. The centre is formed by a circular tower, squared towards the base, with projecting embayed window, and the initials R. L. (Robert Lytton), with the date 1499, over the door. On this side, a garden stretches into the park, laid out in the style favoured in the reign of James I., with stone-pierced balustrades, straight walks, statues, and elaborate parterres. The other sides of the house, viz. the north and east, are approached by stately avenues of limes and chestnuts.

On entering through the porch there is a narrow corridor, covered with armour of different dates. Over a door leading to the butteries hang a crusader’s chain-mail, and the gigantic double-handed swords of the same age. But the chief part of the armour here is of the more recent date of the Civil Wars.
On entering the park from the London road is a picturesque Lodge, which formed part

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of the ancient gateway in front of the quadrangle, and was removed by Mrs. Bulwer Lytton to the present site. The road winds through a richly wooded deer-park for about three-quarters of a mile, and, skirting the garden-front, approaches the house at the east.

The Mausoleum, a beautiful Palladian building of stone erected by Mrs. Bulwer Lytton, and the grey, venerable Church, which stands within the park, about one hundred yards from the house, partially serve to break the wide prospect to which Sir Henry Chauncy refers.

To the left is the Screen Hall, about fifty-six feet long, twenty-four broad, and thirty in height; the ceiling of this hall is of the date of Henry VII., the screen was added in the reign of Elizabeth, and the arms of Sir Rowland Lytton, quartering those of Booth and Oke, of which families he was heir-male, are carved on the panels. Above the screen is the Minstrels’ Gallery. The oak panels that surround the hall and ascend to a considerable height, with the columns at the extreme end, are of the date of Charles I., and above them are carved deers’ heads with gigantic antlers. There are three figures in complete knight’s armour in this hall, of the several dates of Henry VII., Henry VIII., and James I.; and trophies, of the dates of Elizabeth and Charles I., are suspended on the piers between three Gothic pierced windows. The fire-dogs on the ample hearth are peculiarly massive, and of the time of Henry VII., having the supporters assumed by Sir Robert de Lytton. One of the doors at the extreme end is connected with a curious relique of ancient manners, of which a few similar instances are still to be found in our old halls; it leads to a spacious cellar raised on arches, to which it was the custom, in the less sober age of our fathers, for the revellers to retire after dinner, with the noble design to drink out a bin undisturbed. The corresponding door gives access to the Oak Drawing-room, a room thirty-six feet in length, paneled in deep wainscot, with a curious and massive chimneypiece rising to the ceiling, and carved with the arms and supporters of Lytton. The upper compartments of the stone mullion windows are emblazoned with the arms of Booth, Godmanston, and Oke; quarterings brought into the family by the marriage of Sir W. Lytton (temp. Henry VIII.) with the heiress of the Booths. This room is hung round with portraits, chiefly those of the family, but with some of a more general interest. There are small heads of Elizabeth, Mary Stuart, and Cardinal Wolsey, a fine portrait of Algernon Sidney in his youth, another of Andrew Marvel, two by Rubens of the Duke of Alba and Clara Eugenia, one of Galileo, and one of the Elector Palatine, husband to Elizabeth Stuart. This room communicates with the Library; a spacious apartment, with one large deep-set oriel window, facing the garden. The bookcases, of carved Gothic work in dark oak (surmounted by the crest of Norreys, the Cornish chough, which, according to Welsh heraldry, denotes royal descent), line the room throughout. The chimneypiece, of carved stone, is blazoned with the arms of Grosvenor, Stanley, and Robinson, Beaufort, St. John, and Lytton; and the stained glass of the windows contains other armorial bearings of the joint descents of the families of Lytton and Robinson. In this room are two antique tall bronze candelabra, with lamps inlaid with silver, which were dug up in Apulia, and purchased by Sir Edward at Naples. The Neapolitan government refused for a long time to permit them to leave the country, and it was only upon the decision of a learned antiquary, that they were of the date of Joan of Naples, and not Roman antiquities, that they were consigned to their present proprietor. Assuming that date to be correct, though there is strong evidence to believe them genuinely Roman, they are wonderfully well preserved, and their shape and form are of exquisite taste and workmanship. From this room we pass to the Staircase, formed by a double flight of oak stairs, with curiously wrought balusters, ornamented with lions supporting armorial shields. Two long mullion windows with richly stained glass, illustrating the descent of Ruth, Lady Lytton, from the Neviles and Plantagenets, light this interesting part of the house. The walls are covered with armour, banners, and portraits; among the last is a full-length of the Regent Murray, another half-length of Henry, Prince of Wales, and a vast equestrian portrait of the Emperor Charles V.: the rest are family portraits, including one of Sir Edward by Von Holst. Ascending the flight to the right, we pass through a carved screen-work into the lobby, leading to the State Apartments, four in number. The first is a small square room, extremely curious from the antiquity of its decorations. The wainscot, in oak carving, represents the Cardinal Virtues; the walls are covered with gilt stamped leather, and the ceiling is blazoned with heraldry. In this room are some interesting portraits, viz. of the Earl of Strafford and his widow, of Lord Darnley, of Sir Philip Sidney, said to be given by him to Sir Rowland Lytton, of Sir Robert Cecil (first Lord Salisbury), said also to be a gift, of Bussy d’Amboise, homme de sang et de feu, and Sir Francis Russell, who married a daughter of Sir William Lytton. There is a curious oak cabinet, of the reign of Henry VIII., in this room. Passing through a carved oak door we enter the next in the suite, a somewhat long but narrow room, hung with rich tapestry glitteringly wrought in bugles. Between the windows is a superb Venetian cabinet, in tortoiseshell and silver. There is a picture by Rembrandt, called “The Magician’s Study,” over one of the doors; and above the high oak chimneypiece is a portrait of the young Duke of Gloucester, son of Charles I. Folding-doors open from this room into the oval room, and thence into the principal drawing-room, formerly called the Presence Chamber. These rooms are decorated en suite; the ceilings represent nearly ninety quarterings, and the frieze the principal descents, by alliance, from the Tudors and Plantagenets; corresponding heraldic devices are blazoned on the windows of the whole suite. The walls are in green and gold, depicting the crests, badges, and motto of the family. There are several excellent pictures in these rooms; viz. a “Magdalene,” by Carlo Dolce, in his best manner; a most beautiful “Madonna,” by Gallego, a Spanish artist little known in this country, but of high repute in his own: he was a pupil of Albert Durer. Nothing can exceed the finish and exquisite colouring of this lovely picture. There is also a “Holy Family,” by Albert Durer; the head of the Virgin is beautiful. “The Flight into Egypt,” by N.Poussin; a portrait of Marie de Medici by Tintoretto; and the celebrated masterpiece of Lancret, so often engraved, of “The Dancing Group.” There is also a charming bit by Charles le Brun; a portrait of Edward VI., given by him to Sir William Lytton; an “Oriental Fair,” finely painted, the artist unknown; a “Battle-piece” by Wouvermans; a landscape by Salvator Rosa, “Acis and Galatea;” and four full-length family portraits connected with the genealogical decorations of the apartments.

The furniture throughout this suite corresponds with the antiquity of the apartments and character of the decorations, comprising some rare and genuine examples of the taste of our forefathers. There are, in particular, two tables in ivory and ebony of the reign of Henry VIII.; two cabinets in oak and gold of that of Henry VII.; an early Venetian table of extreme beauty; and several chairs in the old Genoese cloth of gold, as fresh as if wrought but yesterday. Here are also two of the ivory and gold chairs formerly belonging to Tippoo Saib, presented by Lord Wellesley to Queen Charlotte, and sold after her death; and some fine specimens of sculpture on marble pedestals: the “Laura” of Canova; the “Mercury,” and “Shepherd’s Boy” of Thorwaldsen; the “Flora” of Gibson, presented to Sir Edward by that exquisite artist; and the busts of the four Italian poets, Petrarch, Ariosto, Dante, and Tasso, in alabaster. At the end of the old Presence Chamber formerly ran the Picture Gallery, removed by Mrs. Bulwer Lytton. The suite now terminates by a stained glass window, on which is painted the full-length of Henry VII. with the subjoined inscription:—

“King Henry the VII., to whose blood are akin the heirs of Sir Robert de Lytton of Knebworth, K.B., Privy Councillor and Keeper of the Great Wardrobe, A.D. 1508; 1st. by Margret Beauchamp, from whom descended Anne St. John, wife of Sir Rowland Lytton, temp. Elizabeth. 2dly. by Anne, sister of Sir Owen Tudor and wife of Sir William Norreys, temp. Henry VII., from whom descended William Robinson Lytton, temp. Anne.”

The chimneypiece is a beautiful Gothic specimen of carved stone gilt and blazoned, with the following punning motto on the frieze,—“A Dieu foy, aulx amys foyer.”

Returning to the staircase we descend the first flight, and turning to that at the left pass by a full-length statue, in carved wood, of Sir Walter Raleigh; to a lobby, communicating on one hand with the Minstrels’ Gallery, on the other, through a very curious oak door, to the Round-Tower Chamber. This last is covered with stamped leather, white and gold, and commands, from the deep-set window, a beautiful view of the gardens. It contains portraits of Madame Dubarry, mistress to Louis XV.; of Ninon de l’Enclos; and one or two other persons of better repute: amongst them, Viscountess Falkland, daughter of Sir Rowland Lytton—a charming face. In a lobby adjoining the tower is a stone bust of Prince Charles Edward. In the Music Gallery is a long picture of “Moses in the Bulrushes,” which unluckily hides the old œil de bœuf, so rare in English halls. A corridor leads from the Music Gallery to the principal sleeping chambers, which are, for the most part, in character with the rest of the house.

The Falkland Room is uniformly in the style of Charles II., with family portraits of that date: viz. Margaret, daughter of Sir William Lytton, and wife of Viscount Hewyt; another daughter, Dorothy, wife of Sir Francis Barrington of Barrington; a third, Judith, married to Sir Nicholas Strode; and fourth, Elizabeth, married to W. Windham of Felbrigge, ancestor of the celebrated statesman. Over the chimneypiece hangs a half-length of Charles II. in armour.

Another room, called the Hampden, is of a much earlier style of decoration and furniture than that which the name betokens. The curious old bed, the wardrobe, chimneypiece, &c., are about the time of Henry VIII. or Edward VI.

But the two most interesting rooms in this part of the house are, 1st, that called Queen Elizabeth’s, which is carved entirely, with magnificent old tapestry in fine preservation, and in which are a vast bed of carved oak, a rude chimneypiece supported by quaint stone figures, &c.; 2d, the room called Mrs. Bulwer Lytton’s, and occupied by her in her lifetime. This contrasts with the rest of the house, and is entirely modern. The walls, paneled in wainscot, white and gold, are hung round with her own drawings and paintings, some of which are of no common merit for a lady artist; here also are collected the portraits of her immediate family, her three sons, her mother, Sir Edward’s children, &c. But the feeling which dictated the character of this room is best told, perhaps, by the following inscription over the chimneypiece:—

“This room, long occupied by Elizabeth Bulwer Lytton, and containing the relics most associated with her memory, her Son trusts that her descendants will preserve unaltered. Liberis Virtutis exemplar.”

The Village is long, straggling, primitive, and rural; the cottages neat, and all provided with gardens. In the centre is an alms-house for widows, built by the late Mrs. Bulwer Lytton, whose interest in all that concerned the poor of the neighbourhood, or the maintenance of the several duties connected with property, is visible everywhere.

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The Church of Knebworth is worth visiting. In the private Chapel of the family are some very beautiful and costly marble monuments to several of the Lyttons, surmounted by faded banners, and the crested

helmets of some of that line, said, by Mr. Pratt, to be among the finest and rarest specimens he has seen in England: their dates appear to be those of Henry IV., Henry VII., and Elizabeth.

A very interesting little tale was published in the last century, called “Jenny Spinner, or the Hertfordshire Ghost,” the scene and incidents of which are laid at Knebworth, and founded upon the traditional superstition that in certain apartments, called “the Haunted Rooms,” the whirr of a spinning-wheel was heard at night. The book is extremely rare, and appears to have furnished Sir Walter Scott with the idea of the parish-clerk of Gandercleugh, in “Old Mortality.”

As the seat and residence of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Bart., the accomplished Author who occupies so prominent a position in the Literary History of the age and country, Knebworth cannot fail to possess an interest beyond that which it derives from antiquity and picturesque character; we, therefore, have devoted to it greater space than we are usually able to appropriate to a single subject.



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J. D. Harding, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. L. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




HINCHINBROOK—the seat and residence of John William Montagu, seventh Earl of Sandwich—is situated within “a short mile” of the ancient town of Huntingdon. Few mansions in England possess a deeper interest, or have weightier associations connected with them; for, although not actually born within these walls, here the Protector, Oliver Cromwell, passed many of his boyish days: here occurred not a few of the incidents which formed his character; and here, probably, originated that peculiar temperament which afterwards gave birth to mighty issues.

The House stands upon the site of a very ancient Priory of Benedictine Nuns, said to have been founded by the Conqueror; the “holy ladies” having been removed thither from Eltesly, in Cambridgeshire, where, according to Leland, “was sumtyme a Nunnery, where Pandonia, the Scottish virgine, was buried, and where there is a Well of her name yn the south side of the quire.” The site of this Priory was granted—29 Henry VIII.,—to Sir Richard Williams, the lineal representative of the Welsh Lords of Cardigan and Powis, whose father having married the sister of the famous Earl of Essex, assumed the name of Cromwell. Sir Richard rose rapidly into favour with his uncle’s imperious master, the Eighth Henry, obtained the lucrative appointment of one of the Visitors of Religious Houses, and on the Dissolution had a lion’s share of rich Abbey lands; becoming, in consequence, one of the wealthiest commoners of England. In 1546, he was succeeded by his son, Sir Henry, called, from the liberality of his largesses, “the golden knight.” By him the mansion at Hinchinbrook was built, partly out of the materials of the adjacent nunnery, the memory of which is still preserved by the names, “Nun’s Bridge,” and “Nun’s Meadow,” continued by tradition to places on the west side of the park. In 1564, the mansion had the honour of receiving Queen Elizabeth as a guest. Sir Henry left a large family. Sir Oliver inherited Hinchinbrook, and Robert, the second son, was the father of the Protector. The uncle was also the godfather of Oliver Cromwell; and in this house many of his boyish days were passed.

From causes insufficiently explained, the revenue of Sir Oliver dwindled; and, being under the necessity of alienating part of his hereditary estates, he sold Hinchinbrook to Sir Sidney Montagu, of Barnwell, knight—the ancestor of the present Earl of Sandwich—in whose family it has since remained. Thus, the heir apparent, afterwards the Protector, instead of inheriting a large patrimony, had but a poor prospect; his father, to augment his income, became a brewer, dwelling in a comparatively “meane house within the towne;”[33] and it is matter for curious speculation how far the visits of James I. to Sir Oliver impaired the fortunes of the house, and the consequent impoverishment may have biassed the character of his nephew; who, possibly, if he had been heir to the enormous estates acquired by his grandfather, might have been contented with his destiny, and have never drawn a sword which continued out of the scabbard until a monarch had perished on a scaffold.[34] In Huntingdon, Oliver Cromwell was born, on the 25th April, 1599, “by birth,”—as he described himself in Parliament fifty-five years afterwards,—“a gentleman, to live neither at any considerable height nor yet in obscurity;” and in the church which adjoined his father’s house, the church of St. John, long ago removed, he was christened, four days afterwards, as appears by the entry (of which we made a fac-simile copy) in the books, now preserved in the church of All-Saints.

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Above this entry some loyalist had written, “England’s plague for five years,” which the pen of some Parliamentarian had afterwards struck through. The hand-writing of this pithy sentence seems, to judge from the characters and the ink, nearly as old as the registry itself.

Fortunately there is one object associated with the early life of “Oliver, Lord Protector,” which the rude hand of a modern Vandal has not been able to desecrate or even touch. The Grammar School remains uninjured even by time; it stands

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in the centre of the Town, opposite to All-Saints Church;[35] and in its interior as well as exterior seems to have undergone very little change since Oliver’s master, Dr. Beard, flogged him there—as tradition saith he did—for dreaming that “he saw a gigantic figure come to his bedside, and tell him he should be greater than a King;” and where, not long afterwards—it is said, on the same authority—while acting the part of “Tactus” in the play of “Lingua,” it was his business to “stumble at a crown and regalia,” and to repeat the lines commencing—

“Was ever man so fortunate as I,
To break his shins at such a stumbling-block.”
The ancient and venerable school-room, retaining, as it does, so much of its primitive character, is an object of intense interest; the thick walls, with their latticed windows, seem utterly unchanged; the very desks, heavy with ink blotches, and the deeply-carved names of hundreds of heedless urchins, may have been—possibly are—the very desks at which young Oliver sate, when “now a hard student for a week or two, and then a truant or otioso for twice as many months.”

In this town, which he afterwards represented in Parliament, he passed not only his boyhood, but the years of his prime; selling, in 1631, the small remnant of his property there, and removing to St. Ives, whence, on the death of his maternal uncle, Sir Thomas Steward, he removed, in 1636, to the Isle of Ely. It was at Huntingdon, however, he made his first essays in the cause of Freedom. Here, in 1639, he met the King’s Commissioners, who were working injustice towards those who had reclaimed the Fens; here he argued with and confuted them; boldly confronting the Crown-partisans, and thwarting the measures of the Court; so that thenceforward, until he achieved a higher title, he obtained the popular appellation of “Lord of the Fens.”

During his greatness, his native town seems to have seen very little of him; his fate was perhaps that of prophets generally, who “have no honour in their own country.” It is on record, however, that one day marching through it, he met in the main street a reverend divine, by whom his life had been saved from drowning when a boy. On reminding the clergyman of the fact, “the general” received for answer, “Yes, I well remember it, and wish I had put you in, rather than see you thus in arms against your King.”[36]

Hinchinbrook House is scarcely less intimately connected with Oliver’s early history, than is Huntingdon town; independently, therefore, of its intrinsic value, its associations

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are of surpassing interest; and it is surrounded by very valuable remains of antiquity—the ancient borough of Godmanchester[37] being especially rich in relics of very olden times. The reader will perhaps consider we have done well in procuring a copy of one of them—the old Court-House—the speedy removal of which is one of the “threats” of the age. Causes tried “in open court” is a phrase familiar to all; but in ancient times, the courts were literally “open”—not to suitors alone, but to wind and weather. That at Godmanchester continued “open” until the passing of the Reform Bill. It stands in the middle of the highway where two roads meet, and is a venerable building of timber and plaster, having upon its front the date 1679; probably that of its latest alteration or reparation—for some portions of the building are certainly much older. It is inclosed in a small court-yard by a mud wall; and remained perfectly “open” up to the memorable year 1832, when for the comfort and convenience of a

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new race of Aldermen, unaccustomed to privations, it was bricked and plastered in. Here then, until within the last few years, was justice ministered openly as in the most ancient times, when a broad tree not unfrequently formed the sole shelter for judge and people. Down to a comparatively late period the law courts were thus held both in Guildhall and Westminster-hall, in London. In a much earlier age Parliament was similarly seated; Richard II. erected for the Members a temporary wooden house, while rebuilding Westminster-hall; and this house was open on all sides to the weather and to all men; the members being protected by 4,000 Archers placed around them by the King—“to secure freedom of debate,” as Pennant slily remarks. Such open meeting-houses were by no means uncommon in the olden time; the Godmanchester Court-house is interesting as the last remaining relic of the custom. Another valuable relic of antiquity we found in the Church of Godmanchester; chained to the pulpit was a poor-box formed of oak strongly banded with iron. We thought it desirable to preserve a copy of it, which we have given above.

Hinchinbrook, as we have stated, passed from the family of Cromwell to that of Montagu; having been purchased by Sir Sydney Montagu, in 1627. It is the present

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seat and residence of his lineal descendant, John William, the seventh Earl of Sandwich—a family ennobled by talent and bravery, but also by remote and honourable descent. Although the venerable structure has undergone sundry changes, chiefly the consequence of a fire which consumed a considerable portion of it in 1828, it retains much of its original character. The court-yard, reached through a winding avenue of trees, is entered through a singularly picturesque gate-way, which forms the subject of the appended engraving. It is built of stone, embellished and carved with more than ordinary skill. The gates are of thick oak; there are two—one to open and give admission to carriages, the other to foot passengers, who are protected by a solid balustrade, also of oak.[38]

The exterior, as we have intimated, has been considerably impaired by fire; and sufficient care does not appear to have been taken with its subsequent restoration. Notwithstanding, it continues to “display in its parts the architectural taste of the earliest as well as of the latest period of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, possessing the irregularity of design peculiar to the era.” The bay-windows are profusely embellished with shields of the family of Cromwell, the arms of Queen Elizabeth, and “a variety of heraldic cognizances denoting the honours of the Tudor line,—the falcon, the portcullis, a ton with a branch, and roses of different forms, which are upon the upper cornice of each window.” The interior has been almost entirely modernized; but the “furnishing” is in good taste, and is made to harmonize as nearly as possible with the era in which the fame of the venerable structure was achieved. The walls are covered with family portraits—principally the “living likenesses” of Lely. The library is of oak—richly and elaborately carved by the hand of some great old master.



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J. Holland, Delᵗ. on Stone, by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




CHARLTON—according to Philipott, “anciently written Ceorleton, that is the town inhabited with honest, good, stout, and usefull men, for tillage and countrye businesse,” the name being derived from the Saxon word Ceorle, a husbandman, “from which radix ‘Churle’ cometh,” and so Churleston, whence Charlton—is a village in Kent distant seven miles from London, and standing on the summit of a hill, which commands an extensive view of the Thames, and the opposite shores of Essex county.[39] In the reign of Edward the Confessor, the Manor was held by two brothers, Godwin and Alward; the Conqueror bestowed it upon his half brother Odo, Bishop of Baieux; subsequently, it came into the possession of Robert Bloett, Bishop of Lincoln, who gave it, about the year 1093, to the Prior and Monks of Bermondsey. After the suppression of that Monastery, it passed into the hands, severally, of Sir Thomas White, Anne Lady Parry, and Thomas Fortescue. In 1604, it was granted by James the First to John Earl of Mar, by whom it was sold immediately afterwards to Sir James Erskine, who re-sold it, in 1607, to Sir Adam Newton; his son, Sir Henry Newton, (who had taken the name of Puckering,) “a great royalist who suffered much by sequestration,”[40] alienated it in 1659, to Sir William Ducie,[41] afterwards Viscount Downe, by whose representatives it was disposed of to Sir William Langhorne, an East India merchant; from him, failing male issue, inherited “his kinswoman,” Mrs. Margaret Maryon, widow, whose son John bequeathed it to his niece, whose daughter Jane inheriting, conveyed it by marriage to Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson, Bart., whose grandson, Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, Bart., now possesses the estate.

The Wilsons are a family of great antiquity, descended from William Welson or Wilson, chancellor to William the Conqueror:—From Thomas Wilson, of Elton, in Yorkshire, 1250, was descended Sir Thomas Wilson, Knight, LL.D., Dean of Durham, principal Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth; not only an able statesman, but one of the most eminent scholars of that age. He was knighted and made Dean of Durham and Master of St. Katherine’s, near the Tower, by Queen Elizabeth, in reward for important and continued services. The baronetcy was conferred, in 1660, upon his descendant, William Wilson, of East-bourne, son and heir of John Wilson, of Sheffield-place, Sussex, for his fidelity and distinguished conduct on the side of the monarchy, during the civil wars. The present baronet is the eighth in succession; a magistrate for Kent, Sussex, and Surrey; a deputy-lieutenant, and captain in the West Kent Militia; and was High Sheriff of Kent in 1828. Sir Thomas is also Lord of the Manor of Hampstead, where he inherited considerable property.

The Manor House of Charlton was built by Sir Adam Newton, between the years 1607 and 1612. Sir Adam was tutor to Prince Henry, the son of James the First; and, according to contemporary authorities, it was erected for the Prince, a statement which receives confirmation from the royal arms placed over one of the recesses of the saloon, while the plume of ostrich feathers—the cognizance of the Prince—occupies a similar position opposite.[42] Evelyn speaks of it as “a faire house built for Prince Henry.”[43] The interest of Charlton House is greatly enhanced by the fact that here was formed the mind of the estimable youth; here he was trained to virtue. After the lamented death of his beloved pupil, Mr. Newton, “though made treasurer to Prince Charles, spent the remainder of his days chiefly in study and retirement.”

The Mansion, as we have intimated, stands on the summit of a hill, which overlooks the Thames. The trees, by which it is surrounded, are of magnificent growth. Hasted speaks of a long row of cypress trees, “which seem to be of great age, and are, perhaps, the oldest in England; “they have all—save one—been removed by the hand of Time. The ancient gateway, now disused, immediately fronts the principal entrance; (we have adopted it as our initial letter). It is a remarkably elegant erection, attributed, not without reason, to Inigo Jones, who resided for some time in a house, still standing, in the immediate neighbourhood. The Mansion forms an oblong square, with projections at the end of each front, crowned by turrets, and an open stone balustrade of peculiar character, carried round the summit of the front. The centre projects; on either side of the arched entrance, surmounted by a niche, are two Corinthian pillars; above are two pillars carved in grotesque ornaments; the projection, running to the roof, being richly decorated with carved cornices and brackets.

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The spacious Hall is of oak, panelled, and has a gallery at the western end, of comparatively recent date; the centre drop depending from the ceiling, ornamented only at the angles, possesses great beauty. At the bottom of the grand staircase is the dining-room; and adjoining to this the Chapel, the ancient doors of both being beautifully carved in oak. The staircase leading to the principal apartments, which are on the upper floor, is of massive chesnut, its arabesque balusters being surmounted by capitals of the Tuscan, Ionic, and Corinthian orders. On the upper floor are the saloon, long gallery, and suite of drawing-rooms, all with highly-wrought chimney-pieces, in stone or marble, and ornamented ceilings. The ceiling of the saloon is composed of exquisitely-worked arabesque ornaments intermixed with fruit and flowers, and decorated with pendants. The chimney-piece is of alabaster and black marble, in which the Greek and arabesque are united, supported by two finely-sculptured figures of Vulcan and Venus. The gallery, 76 feet in length, is of panelled oak, with an elaborately-wrought arabesque ceiling. Between the gallery and the saloon is the chimney-piece here represented. It is carved with the story of Medusa, underneath which

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are two allegorical basso-relievos. In the drawing-room, on the other side of the saloon, is a chimney-piece, “so highly polished,” that—if we may credit the testimony of Dr. Plot—“the Lord of Downe did see in it a robbery committed on Shooter’s Hill; whereupon sending out his servants the thieves were taken.”

The House contains a good collection of family portraits, and a Museum of curious and interesting objects in Natural History, gathered chiefly by the late Lady Wilson, and augmented by the present Baronet during travels in the North and South of Europe.

The Park—although small, containing about 100 acres—is exceedingly beautiful; full of finely-grown trees, among which are several yews of venerable antiquity, a perfect avenue of which still leads to the garden north of the House. The gardens are laid out with considerable taste, and abound in shrubs brought from various parts of the world. The annexed print represents a graceful and picturesque “drinking-house,” in the grounds fronting the Mansion; overlooking it is the solitary tree of cypress, the only one which endures of the “Row” of which Evelyn speaks.[44]

Charlton Village, until late in the last century, was famous for a “disorderly fair” called “Horn Fair,” according to Philipott, “by reason of the great plentie of all sorts of winding hornes and cups and other vessels of horne there brought to be sold.” That which had been instituted for a useful purpose degenerated in time, and became a nuisance to the neighbourhood, until its excesses were suppressed by the grandfather of

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the present Baronet.[45] It is now held in a field at the end of the village, and is one of the most orderly fairs in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis.

The present Church of Charlton is of a date a little more recent than the Mansion.—It is built, however, on the site, and partly with the materials, of an ancient structure. It is dedicated to St. Luke, and seems to have been surrendered to the crown with the Manor of Charlton, and the rest of the possessions of St. Saviour’s, at its dissolution, June 1st, anno 29 King Henry the Eighth, 1537, and to have remained part of the Royal demesnes till James the First granted it with the Manor to Sir Adam Newton, who dying before he was enabled to repair or rebuild it, “left,” according to Philipott, “the care with his cost, to enlarge and beautify God’s house,” to his executors, who “most amply discharged that trust, and in a manner new builded a great part thereof, and erected the steeple new from the ground, and furnished it with a good ring of bells, decorating the same Church without and within so worthily that it surpasseth most in the shire.” The Patron of the Church is Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson; the Rector is the Rev. Arthur Drummond, who married a sister of the present baronet. The structure is of red brick, consisting of a Chancel, a Nave, and North Aisle. At the West end is a square brick Tower embattled. In the Windows of the Chancel are several Coats of Arms in stained glass—principally those of Lee Warner, Bishop of Rochester; Newton (uncle of Sir Adam, one of his executors) Blunt, of Wricklemarsh; Peto, quartering Langley and Loges; Puckering; Sir William Langhorne, impaling Manners,—Sir William’s first wife being a daughter of the Earl of Rutland; Puckering impaling Chowne, Wilson quartering Smythe, Haddon, and Weller, &c.

The Church contains Monuments to Sir Adam Newton, the founder of the Mansion, and his Lady, with a Latin inscription written by himself; of Sir William Langhorne and his wife Grace, daughter of John, Earl of Rutland, and relict of Viscount Armagh; Brigadier Michael Richards, Surveyor-general of Ordnance to George the First; James Craggs, Esq., Postmaster-general, 1721;[46] John Turnpenny, Esq., “who by industry acquired, by economy improved, and with equity dispensed, a considerable fortune among his surviving friends”; Sir John Lambert Middleton, Bart.; Edward Falkingham, Esq., Comptroller of the Navy, 1757; and of the father and grandfather and other members of the family of the present baronet. A bust by Chantrey, with an inscription, is also placed here over the remains of the amiable and excellent Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, who fell by the hand of an assassin, when Prime Minister of the country, in 1812. He married Jane, second daughter of Sir T. Spencer Wilson. The lamented Edward Drummond, also the victim of assassination, having been mistaken by the murderer for Sir R. Peel, to whom he was private secretary, is buried in a vault in the churchyard. He was brother of the present rector.

Few mansions of its date—although that date is no more remote than the beginning of the seventeenth century—have retained, with less injury, the peculiar characteristics of the age of James the First. The present estimable possessor is fortunately anxious to preserve it in its purity; the necessary repairs have been conducted with judgment and taste; and, as an example of the architecture of the period, it may be regarded with exceeding pleasure—a pleasure enhanced by its vicinity to the Metropolis.



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J. D. Harding, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




The County of Kent holds foremost rank among the Shires of England; not alone because of its picturesque beauty, its great fertility, the full and important page it occupies in British history, the abundance and richness of its antiquities, the peculiarities of its laws, the primitive character of its customs, or its ecclesiastical pre-eminence; but, chiefly, because it is regarded as our great Island bulwark—our “Vanguard of liberty,”—

“A soil that doth advance
A haughty brow against the coast of France.”
Very few of our counties contain so many perfect examples of structures such as it is our purpose to depict. The baronial halls of Kent, and the ANCIENT CHURCHES of Kent, are among the most remarkable, picturesque, and unimpaired EDIFICES of the kingdom. Upon Kent, therefore, we shall draw rather extensively for the present Work; and although necessarily discursive, we may derive from the vast store of wealth with which it supplies us, ample to excite and interest the lover of picturesque beauty and antiquity. Its proximity to the Metropolis—from which, if we measure distances by time, it is separated by little more than two hours—supplies a sufficient motive for the selection of Cobham Hall, and the several striking objects in its immediate vicinity. It is situated about four miles south-east of Gravesend, nearly midway between that town and Rochester; but a mile or so out of the direct road. The narrow coach-paths which lead to it are shaded by pleasant hedge-rows, and run between lines of hop-gardens—our English vineyards, infinitely more graceful and beautiful accessories to the landscape than the stunted grape-shrubberies of France.

The mansion stands in the midst of scenery of surpassing loveliness; alternating hill and valley, rich in “patrician trees” and “plebeian underwood;” dotted with pretty cottages, and interspersed with primitive villages; while, here and there, are scattered “old houses” of red brick, with their carved wooden gables and tall twisted chimneys; and glimpses are caught, occasionally, of the all-glorious Thames.

A visit to Cobham Hall, therefore, furnishes a most refreshing and invigorating luxury to dwellers in the Metropolis; and the liberality of its noble owner adds to the rich banquet of Nature as rare a treat as can be supplied by Art; the Hall,—independent of the interest it derives from its quaint architecture—its fine, although not unmixed, remains of the Tudor style—contains a gallery of pictures by the best masters of the most famous schools, large in number and of rare value.[47]

Before we commence our description of the Hall, the Demesne, the Church, the College, and the village of Cobham,[48] it is necessary that we supply some information concerning the several families, under whose guardianship they have flourished.

Cobham Hall has not descended from sire to son through many generations. Its present lord is in no way, or at least very remotely, connected with the ancient family who for centuries governed the “men of Kent;” and who, at one period, possessed power second only to that of the sovereign. That race of bold barons has been long extinct, the last of them dying in miserable poverty; and if their proud blood is still to be found within their once princely barony, it runs, probably, through the veins of some tiller of the soil.

The Cobhams had been famous from the earliest recorded times. In Philipott’s “Survey of Kent,” 1659—it is said that “Cobham afforded a seat and a surname to that noble and splendid family; and certainly,” adds the quaint old writer, “this place was the cradle or seminary of persons who, in elder ages, were invested in places of as signall and principall a trust or eminence, as they could move in, in the narrow orbe of a particular county.” Henry de Cobham was one of the Recognitores magnæ assisæ—who were “in some proportion equivalent to the judges itinerant”—in the first year of King John. No less than four Kentish gentlemen of the name embarked with the first Edward in his “victorious and triumphant expedition into Scotland,” and were knighted for services rendered to that Prince in his “successful and auspicious siege of Carlaverock.” With John de Cobham, distinguished in the reign of Edward the Third, the male line determined; Joan, his daughter, is said to have had five husbands, by only one of whom,[49] Sir Reginald Braybrooke, she left issue, Joan, who being married to Sir Thomas Broke, of the county of Somerset, Esq., “knitt Cobham, and a large income beside, to her husband’s patrimony.”[50] Their eldest son, Sir Edward Broke, was summoned to Parliament, as Baron Cobham, in the 23 Henry VI. In 1559, Sir William Broke entertained Queen Elizabeth at Cobham Hall, in the first year of her reign, “with a noble welcome as she took her progress through the county of Kent.” His son and successor, Henry Lord Cobham, was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports; but “being too deeply concerned in the design of Sir Walter Raleigh,” he was deprived of his estates, “though not his life.”[51] His younger brother, George, was executed; but Lord Cobham “lived many years after in great misery and poverty,” dying in January, 1619; and sharing the humble grave of some lowly peasant, apart from the magnificent tombs which cover the remains of his great and gallant ancestors. He is said, by Weldon, to have been reduced to such extreme necessity, that “he had starved, but for a trencher-scraper, sometime his servant at Court, who relieved him with scraps.” His estates, at the time of their confiscation, are estimated to have been worth 7,000l. per annum; and he possessed 30,000l. in goods and chattels. His nephew was “restored in blood; “but not to the title or property. These were transferred—“the manor and seat of Cobham Hall, and the rest of Lord Cobham’s lands”—by James the First to one of his kinsmen, Ludovick Stuart, Duke of Lennox; whose male line became extinct in 1672. The Lady Katherine, sister of the last Duke of Richmond and Lennox, married into the princely family of the O’Briens of Thomond; but the Duke “dying greatly in debt,” the estates were sold. Cobham Hall was purchased by the second husband of the Lady Katherine, Sir Joseph Williamson, who resided there for some time.[52] In 1701 he died, bequeathing two-thirds of his property to his widow. This proportion descended, on her demise, to Edward Lord Clifton and Cornbury, afterwards Lord Clarendon, who had married the sole child of the Lady Katherine, by her first husband, Henry Lord O’Brien;[53] and on his death, without issue, in 1713, his sister, Lady Theodosia Hyde, inherited. She married John Bligh, of the kingdom of Ireland, Esq.;[54] created, in 1721, an Irish Peer by the title of Lord Clifton of Rathmore, and, in 1725, Earl of Darnley in that kingdom. For some years the estate was in Chancery. After a tedious suit, it was purchased by Lord Darnley for the sum of 51,000l., to the third part of which a Mrs. Hornsby became entitled, as relict of the gentleman to whom Sir Joseph Williamson had devised one third part.[55] The present Peer, the sixth Earl of Darnley, was born on the 16th April, 1827, and succeeded his father, the fifth Earl, in 1835. He is hereditary High Steward of Gravesend and Milton. His father, the fifth Peer, married—in 1825—Emma Jane, third daughter of Sir Henry Parnell, Bart., created Lord Congleton in 1841. This estimable lady resides at Cobham Hall. The late Peer died in consequence of an injury received from a woodman’s axe, while he was trimming trees in a plantation adjoining his mansion. His death was the subject of universal sorrow; in his own immediate neighbourhood, it was mourned as a private and personal loss.

Such is a brief history of the several noble families through whom the mansion, demesne, and estates, of Cobham have passed.
The Hall is backed by a noble Park, amply stocked with deer, and containing trees, of great variety and immense size, some of them measuring above thirty feet in circumference. It comprises 1,800 acres, and encloses an area of about seven miles. The old approach, long disused, was through an Avenue of lime-trees, consisting of four rows, and extending more than half a mile in length from the dependent village. The present entrance is through a red-brick, turreted, Gateway, adjacent to which is “the Lodge.” On nearing the House, the eye encounters a Cedar of magnificent growth, and to the left are the Gardens, into which there are two Terrace-walks; one from the great gate, and another, at a considerable elevation, from the suite of apartments which constitute the first floor. The View taken by Mr. Harding pictures the more ancient portion of the venerable edifice—the north wing; with which the south wing mainly corresponds. They are, however, connected by a centre, built by Inigo Jones; and

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this centre, which consists of a façade with Corinthian pilasters, is sadly out of keeping with the quaint gables, octagonal turrets, ornamental door-ways, carved cornices, projecting mullioned windows, and elaborated chimneys, which distinguish the earlier dwelling of the Cobhams. In front, this incongruity is sadly apparent; but examined from either of the sides it is not perceived. The additions made by Inigo Jones are injurious, because they impair the harmony of the building; although, considered apart, they are worthy of his high fame. The nature of the architecture and the singular contradiction it exhibits, cannot be better shown than by reference to this engraving of one of the projecting entrances, of stone, extending to the roof, by which the wings are backed—including one of the ancient latticed windows on either side. The structure thus assumes the form of a half H, the wings being terminated by octagonal towers; a sunken wall in front encloses a quadrangular Lawn, ornamented with vases and statues. The wings exhibit the dates—1582 and 1594—and retain all the characteristics of the later Tudor style; although, as we have intimated, it has been materially corrupted by the several alterations to which it has been, from time to time, subjected. The ordinary entrance to the house is through a vaulted Passage, “built in the form of a Gothic cloister by James Wyatt,” which contains the arms of the Cobhams, with the date 1587. This passage leads to the grand Staircase, and the several apartments on the ground-floor. The first to which strangers are conducted is the Dining-hall; which contains an elaborately carved black and white marble Chimney-piece, having quaint and curious figures and buildings; and a series of Portraits of rare excellence. The Music Room, one of the suite added to the ancient building, affords a brilliant contrast to the sombre and solid character of the dining-room. It contains but one picture—full-length Portraits of the Lords John and Bernard Stuart, sons of the Duke of Lennox—a chef-d’œuvre of Vandyke. The Chimney-piece is formed of the purest white marble, sculptured in bas-relief after Guide’s Aurora, by the elder Westmacott, with fauns, life-size, as supporters. The Ceiling was designed by Inigo Jones; it is divided into several square and circular compartments, with a deep oval in the centre, “superbly gilt and enriched by appropriate ornaments, among which are twelve pendent coronets.” The apartment is in length 50 feet, in breadth 36 feet, and in height 32 feet; and although superbly ornamented and richly gilt—the Pillars, of the composite order, being of white marble, and the lining of scagliola—the whole is in fine harmony with the grace and chasteness of the design. There are two Galleries, one of which contains an Organ. The Vestibule is a small chamber, decorated with valuable Vases of verde antique. The Library contains a series of Portraits of eminent literary men—Bolingbroke, Sidney, Shakspere, Swift, and others; none of them, however, advance strong claims to originality. On the walls of the great staircase are hung several large pictures, which may bear examination before the gallery is entered. The most remarkable is attributed to Domenichino.

The grand Staircase conducts, first to the Portrait Gallery, and next to the Picture Gallery. The walls of the former are hung with portraits, among which are many of exceeding interest, including those of heroes, statesmen, kings and queens, church-reformers, and poets, mingled without regard to date or order.[56] The Picture Gallery is the great “show-room” of the house. It is a noble apartment, the walls of which are

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covered with works of art, of rare value and unsurpassed excellence, the productions of nearly all the great masters of Italy; including admirable examples of Guido, Titian, Salvator, Rubens, Raphael, Spagnoletto, P. Veronese, Giorgione, N. Poussin, and Guercino. Every part of the venerable edifice contains, indeed, some object of interest. The rooms, and halls, and galleries are thronged with rare and beautiful works of



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J. D. Harding, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.



art; a series of perfect Vases from Herculaneum lie on the tables of the Picture Gallery; several antique Busts and Statues line the Hall; a magnificent Bath, of red Egyptian granite, is placed in the entrance-passage; and the furniture and interior decorations are all of corresponding excellence and beauty. Not the least interesting among relics of the olden time, is a Carriage, of which we append a copy. Its date is probably not more remote than the reign of Charles the Second. It is in a good state of preservation, and stands in one of the Out-offices, of which there is an extensive and remarkably commodious range.

Although necessarily limited in our description of Cobham Hall, we have sufficiently shown the rare treat a visit to it will afford to those who, “in populous city pent,” desire to convert occasional holidays into contributions to intellectual enjoyment. The Hall and its contents will amply repay examination; and the noble Park is full of natural treasures—thronged with deer, singularly abundant in singing-birds, and containing trees, unsurpassed in magnificent size and graceful proportions. One of the walks conducts to a hillock, from the summit of which there is a splendid prospect of the adjacent country, commanding views of the Thames and Medway, and taking in the venerable castle, cathedral, and town, of Rochester; the dockyards at Sheerness; and the whole course of the great English river to its mouth at the Nore. The pedestrian, pursuing this route, will pass the Mausoleum, an elegant structure, built conformably with the Will of the third Earl of Darnley; and designed for the sepulture of his family. It was never consecrated: in consequence, it is said, of a dispute respecting “terms,” and is now rapidly falling to decay. The basement story contains a vault and sarcophagus, surrounded by recesses for coffins. The Chapel is above. The exterior consists of four wings, with columns, sustaining sarcophagi, and surmounted by a pyramid.

But Cobham has other objects of interest—the venerable Church, and no less

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venerable “College.” The church, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, stands upon elevated ground, at the entrance to the village. It consists of a nave, aisles, and chancel, with an embattled tower, entered by an antique porch. The Tower is obviously of a more recent date than the Chancel; the former is very ancient. As in many of the Kentish churches, the Walls were formerly painted in fresco, of which evidence may be easily obtained by those who will examine them narrowly; the steps of the altar are paved with encaustic tiles, of about the period of Edward III.—of various patterns, but most of them containing the fleur-de-lis; the Stalls, of old oak, appear to have been worm-eaten for centuries. The whole aspect of the place indeed supplies indubitable proof of very remote antiquity[57].

The modern “fittings up”—the painted pews—contrast strangely with the age of the

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structure. The Roof of huge oak rafters, the Gothic arches, the Brasses—broken or entire—which cover the floor, the quaint Monuments let into the walls, the delicately-sculptured Piscina, the Sedelia of carved stone, the singular Font, the rude Vestry-room with its massive oak Chest, the Scripture passages painted on the walls—all bespeak the antiquity of the building. But the most primitive portion of it is the Chancel, on either side of which are five latticed Windows, the south side being entirely, and the north side being partially, blocked up with rough stones. Nearly in

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the centre is the still beautiful Tomb of Sir Thomas Broke, the Lady Joan, and their ten sons and four daughters. It is of white marble; over which, upon a black slab, lie the effigies of the knight and dame. On either side, are those of five of their sons, kneeling, and wearing tabards, with their swords girded on. The figures of the four daughters are carved on the east and west ends of the superb monument. It bears the date 1561, under the arms of the Brokes quartered with those of the Cobhams. On the floor of the chancel are the famous “Cobham Brasses,” the most perfect and the most numerous assemblage now existing in the kingdom. The series consists of thirteen, recording the memory of the Cobhams and Brokes, “Lords and Barons of this town of Cobham, with many of their kindred, who for many descents did flourish in honourable reputation.” Of the thirteen, eight are in honour of the knights, and five are memorials of the dames. Of one of them we procured an engraving, in order to convey a somewhat accurate idea of the style and character of the series. It is to the memory of Sir Nicholas Hawberk, the third husband of Joan Lady Cobham; the carving, in this example, is very elaborate and refined. The knight is represented with folded hands under a canopy, “habited in plate armour, standing on a lion, with a sword and dagger dependent from a rich girdle, and has on a skull-cap, with a hauberk of mail.” The summit of the canopy is divided into three compartments, highly enriched with finials and pinnacles, and exhibiting the Trinity in the centre, and at the sides the Virgin and Child, and St. George killing the Dragon. At the feet of the knight is a youth standing on a pedestal. An inscription round the verge of the slab records the marriage of Sir Nicholas with Joan de Cobham[58].

“The College of Cobham” is now only a collection of alms-houses, to which presentations are made—of old people, without restriction to either sex—as vacancies occur, by the parish and ten other parishes adjacent. It lies immediately south of the church, and is entered by a small Gothic gateway. Its occupants are twenty aged men and women, who

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have each a little mansion, with a neat garden and an allowance monthly, sufficient to secure the necessaries of life. It is a quadrangular building, of stone, measuring about 60 feet by 50; and contains a large Hall, with painted windows, a roof of blackened rafters, an old oak screen, and a fireplace of cut stone. The history of the college is curious and interesting. A college or chauntry was originally founded here, about the year 1362, by John de Cobham, thence called “the Founder,” in the reign of Edward III. Towards the end of the reign of Elizabeth it was rebuilt, as appears by a record—“finished in September, 1598”—inscribed over the south portal, under the arms and alliances of the Brokes Lords Cobham. The endowments of the old foundation were ample; and were, with the college itself, bestowed by Henry VIII. at the Dissolution, upon George Lord Cobham, who had the “King’s roiall assent and licence by hys Grace’s word, without any manner of letters patent, or other writings, to purchase and receyve to his heires for ever, of the late Master and Bretheren, of the colledge or chauntry of Cobham, in the countie of Kent, now being utterly dissolved, the scite of the same colledge or chauntry, and al and

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singular their heridaments and possessions, as well temporall as ecclesiasticall, wheresoever they lay, or were, within the realm of England.” The walls of the ancient college may be clearly traced, and a small portion still endures, comparatively uninjured. It is a Gateway, surmounted by the arms of the Cobhams, luxuriantly overgrown with ivy, forming a fine example of picturesque antiquity. The present structure was erected pursuant to the will of Sir William Broke, Lord Cobham, who devised “all those edifices, ruined buildings, soil and ground, with the appurtenances which sometime belonged to the late suppressed college,” for the use of the “new” college. By an act of the 39th of Elizabeth the wardens of Rochester Bridge, for the time being, were made a body corporate, and declared to be perpetual presidents of the new college, the government of which they retain to this day.

The dependent village of Cobham is one of the neatest and most pleasant of the many fair villages of Kent.

Although in the course of our work we shall picture many nobler and more perfect examples of the domestic architecture of “Old” England than is supplied by Cobham Hall, we shall be enabled to call attention to few that afford so rich a recompense at so small a cost:—taking into account its genuine remains of antiquity, the magnificent works of art that decorate its walls, its easy access from the Metropolis, and the primitive character and surpassing beauty of the locality in which it is situated.



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G. F. Sargent, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. L. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




Hever Castle is situated in that district of the County of Kent called “the Weald.” It was erected in the time of Edward III., by William de Hevre, who had obtained the King’s license to embattle his Manor-house; dying soon afterwards, the estate was inherited by his two daughters; one of whom married a younger son of the Lord Cobham, who purchased the remainder, and by whose grandson the whole was disposed of to Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, a wealthy mercer of London, who was Lord Mayor of the City in the 37th Henry VI. He was the founder of a family, whose short-lived power forms a brilliant but melancholy page in British History. His grandson, Thomas, the father of “the unfortunate Anne,” was created, by Henry VIII., Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond; but dying without issue male (his son having been executed during his lifetime), his remorseless son-in-law seized on the estates “in right of his late wife,” which in the 32nd year of

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his reign, he granted, for her life, to Anne of Cleves, the wife he had then repudiated. Sir Thomas Boleyn is buried in the Church of Hever; his tomb is in the chancel; a fine relic of ancient splendour, which time and neglect have essentially impaired. After the decease of Anne of Cleves, Hever passed successively through the hands of the Waldegraves, the Humfreys, the Waldos, and the Medleys, in whose possession it is at present.

The Castle is still in good condition, and is kept in sufficient repair. A moat surrounds it, formed by the river Eden; over which a drawbridge leads to the principal entrance—a centre flanked by round towers, embattled and machicolated, and defended also by a portcullis. The inner buildings form a quadrangle, inclosing a court. Our view is taken from the entrance to the orchard, on the east side of the moat; thus presenting the east and north sides of the building.

A “great staircase” conducts to the several apartments and “the long gallery;” from

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this gallery there opens a small recess, said to have been the council chamber of the eighth Henry during his frequent visits to the Castle. Our print exhibits also the trap-door, from which there is a narrow and gloomy passage to the dungeons and the moat. To this awful-looking place, so suggestive of sad thought, tradition has given the name of “the hunger hole.” A chamber, with which are associated feelings scarcely less painful, is the antechamber that leads to the bed-room of Queen Anna Boleyn. This suite is said to have constituted her prison after her “disgrace”—if the term may be applied

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to the change of circumstances to which she was doomed by the inhuman despot to whose merciless keeping a stern fate had consigned her destiny. The Castle and its neighbourhood contain many traditions connected with the sad story of the ill-fated Anne. Hever was the residence of her earlier and happier years; in this Castle she was wooed by her King; from hence she was conducted in triumph to a throne. And from the lone chamber she here occupied, she was led to a still more fatal prison and the scaffold. In the immediate neighbourhood, a hill is pointed out, upon the summit of which it was the custom of King Henry to wind his bugle-horn in token of his approach, when, with his retinue, he drew near the dwelling of his “Lady-love.”

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S. Rayner, Delᵗ. on stone by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




Knole House adjoins the pleasant and picturesque town of Sevenoaks. The principal approach is by a long and winding avenue of finely-grown beech-trees, through the extensive Park—the road, sloping and rising gradually, and presenting frequent views of hill and dale, terminated by the heavy and sombre stone front of the ancient and venerable edifice. Passing under an embattled Tower, the first or outer quadrangle is entered; hence there is another passage through another tower-portal, which conducts to the inner quadrangle, and so to the

“Huge Hall, long Galleries, spacious Chambers,”
for which Knole—one of the stateliest of the Baronial Mansions of England—has long been famous. No precise date can be assigned to the structure; it is certain that so far back as the Conquest there was “a residence” here; we have, however, no authentic records of its occupants until early in the reign of John, when “the Manor and Estate” were held by Baldwin de Bethune, from whom they passed by marriage to the Mareschals, Earls of Pembroke, one of whom—a “rebellious Baron”—forfeiting, the lands were bestowed upon Fulk de Brent, a low soldier of fortune—“a desperate fellow,” as Camden terms him, whose arms had been useful to the King and his son, Henry the Third. Upon the subsequent disgrace of this mercenary, the lands reverted to the Earl of Pembroke; from whom they passed to the Bigods, the Grandisons, the Says, and—in the reign of Henry the Sixth—to James Fienes, summoned to Parliament in the twenty-fourth of that Monarch’s reign as Lord Say and Sele; and murdered in Cheapside by order of “Jack Cade.” His son and heir conveyed the estates to Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, who having “rebuilt the Manor-house, and enclosed a Park round the same,” bequeathed it, in 1486, to the See. Knole thus became the dwelling-house of the several Archbishops until the twenty-ninth of Henry the Eighth, when Cranmer, “willing to surrender a part of the possessions of the Church to preserve the remainder,” granted Knole and its appurtenances to the King. By Edward the Sixth they were given to the Dudleys: on the failure of the attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne, they reverted to the Crown. By Queen Mary they were presented to Cardinal Pole. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, after having been held for a brief time by the Earl of Leicester, they were bestowed upon Thomas Sackville, created Baron Buckhurst and Earl of Dorset. In this family they have ever since remained; the present owner of the noble Mansion and Estates being the Countess Amherst, relict of the sixth Earl of Plymouth, and daughter of the third Duke of Dorset, co-heiress, with her sister the Countess De la Warr, of her brother, the fourth Duke, who died “of full age, but unmarried and without issue,” in 1815.[59]

Knole House is full of highly honourable and deeply interesting associations with the past. Seen from a distance, the Mansion appears irregular; but, although the erection of several periods, and enlarged, from time to time, to meet the wants or wishes of its immediate occupiers, it exhibits few parts out of harmony with the whole; and presents a striking and very imposing example of the earlier Baronial Mansions, such as it was before settled peace in Britain warranted the withdrawal of all means of defence in cases of attack from open or covert enemies.—The neighbourhood, as well as “the House,” is suggestive of many sad, or pleasant, memories: from the summits of knolls in the noble and well-stocked Park, extensive views are obtained of the adjacent country; scattered about the wealds of Kent are the tall spires of scores of village churches; Hever—recalling the fate of the murdered Anna Boleyn and the destiny of the deserted Anne of Cleves; Penshurst—the cradle and the tomb of the Sidneys; Eridge—once great Warwick’s hunting-seat; the still frowning battlements of Tunbridge Castle;—these and other objects, within ken, demand thought and induce reflection; both of which obtain augmented power while treading the graceful corridors and stately chambers of the time-honoured

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Mansion. The walls are hung with authentic portraits of the great men of various epochs, who, when living, flourished here; not alone the noble and wealthy owners of the old Hall, but the worthies who sojourned there as guests—to have sheltered, aided, and befriended whom is now the proudest, as it will be the most enduring, of all the boasts of lordly Knole.[60]

Visitors are generously admitted into the more interesting and attractive of the apartments; and they are full of treasures of art,—not of paintings alone, although of these every chamber is a store-house, but of curious and rare productions, from the most elaborate and costly examples of the artists of the middle ages, to the characteristic works of the English artisan during the reigns of Elizabeth and James, when a vast amount of labour was bestowed upon the commonest articles of everyday use. The collection of Fire-dogs at Knole is singularly rich; those which adorn “the Cartoon Gallery” supply us with our initial letter; but every room throughout the Mansion contains a pair equally curious and fine—the greater number being of chased silver. The chairs and seats of various kinds, to be found in all parts of the House, are so many models for the artist. The best are placed in “the Brown Gallery”[61]—a long and narrow apartment, panneled, roofed, and floored with oak; here the antique fastenings to the doors and windows are preserved in their early purity; the stained windows are fresh as if painted yesterday; while the walls are covered with historic Portraits, giving vitality to the striking and interesting scene—and seeming to remove two centuries from between the present and the past. Similar wealth (wealth in the best and truest meaning of the word) is

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to be found in every chamber. The Great Hall has its “dais,” its “Minstrels’ Gallery,” and even its oak tables where retainers feasted, long ago. The bed-rooms are distinguished as, “the Spangled,” “the Venetian,” “the King’s,” &c. &c. Of the last named we give an engraving. The furniture here is entirely of silver; the state bed is said to have cost £8000. The room was prepared and furnished for the reception of James the First. The Portraits scattered through the various apartments are, many of them, of rare value. They include the principal nobility and statesmen of the reigns of Henry the Eighth and his children. Among the other pictures are choice examples of Titian, Corregio, Vandyck, Rembrandt, and Reynolds. In a window of the Billiard-room is a painting on glass of a knight in armour, representing the famous ancestor of the Sackvilles; and in the Cartoon Gallery are, also on glass, the armorial bearings of twenty-one of his descendants, ending with Richard, the third Earl of Dorset. Of the several “galleries,” and the drawing-rooms, it is sufficient to state that they are magnificent in reference to their contents, and beautiful as regards the style of decoration accorded to each. There is, indeed, no part of the noble building which may not afford exquisite and useful models to the painter; a fact of which we understand the noble owners are fully aware, for to artists they have afforded repeated facilities for study. It will not be difficult to recognise, in some of the best productions of modern art, copies of the gems which give value and adornment to the noble House of Knole.



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J. D. Harding, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




PENSHURST! How many, and how glorious, are the associations connected with this ancient house—“the seat of the Sidneys!” Every great name, memorable in the Augustan age of England, is linked with it for ever; while its venerable aspect, the solemnity of surrounding shades, the primitive character of the vicinity, together with its isolated position—far away from the haunts of busy men—are in perfect harmony with the memories it awakens. Here lived the earliest and bravest of the Anglo-Norman Knights. Here dwelt the ill-fated Bohuns—the three unhappy Dukes of Buckingham, who perished in succession—one in the field, and two on the scaffold. And here flourished the Sidneys! Here, during his few brief years of absence from turmoil in the turbulent countries of Ireland and Wales, resided the elder Sidney, Sir Henry, who, although his fame has been eclipsed by the more dazzling reputation of his gallant son, was in all respects good as well as great—a good soldier, a good subject, a good master, and a good counsellor and actor, under circumstances peculiarly perilous. This is the birth-place of “the darling of his time,” the “chiefest jewel of a crown,” the “diamond of the Court of Queen Elizabeth.” Here, too, was born, and here was interred the mutilated body of, the “later Sidney;” he who had “set up Marcus Brutus for his pattern,” and perished on the scaffold—a martyr for what he called “the good old cause,” one of the many victims of the meanest and worst of his race. With the memories of these three marvellous men—the Sidneys, Henry, Philip, and Algernon—are closely blended those of the Worthies of the two most remarkable Eras in English History. Who can speak of Penshurst without thinking of Spenser!

“For Sidney heard him sing, and knew his voice;”—
of Shakspere—of Ben Jonson, the laureate of the Place—of Raleigh, the “friend and frequent guest”—of Broke, whose proudest boast is recorded on his tomb, that he was “the servant of Queen Elizabeth, the Counsellor of King James, and THE FRIEND of Sir Philip Sidney”—of the many other immortal men, who made the reign of Elizabeth the glory of all Time!

Reverting to a period less remote, who can think of Penshurst without speaking of the high spirits of a troubled age?—

“The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington,
Young Vane, and others who called Milton—friend!”
Although its glory is of the past, and nearly two centuries have intervened between the latest record of its greatness and its present state,—although it has been silent all that time,—a solemn silence broken only by the false love-note of an unworthy minstrel, for the names of “Waller and Sacharissa” dishonour rather than glorify its gray walls—who does not turn to Penshurst as to a refreshing fountain by the wayside of wearying History?

Penshurst—“the seat of the Sidneys”—adjoins the village to which it gives a name. It is situated in the weald of Kent, nearly six miles south-west of Tonbridge, and about

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thirty miles from London. The neighbourhood is remarkably primitive. As an example of the prevailing character of the houses, we have copied a group that stands at the entrance to the Church-yard—a small cluster of quiet cottages, behind which repose the rude forefathers of the Hamlet, with brave Knights of imperishable names; and facing which, is an Elm of prodigious size and age, that has seen generations after generations flourish and decay. The sluggish Medway creeps lazily round the Park, which consists of about 400 acres, finely wooded, and happily diversified with hill and dale. A double row of Beech-trees of some extent, preserves the name of “Sacharissa’s Walk;” and a venerable Oak, the trunk of which is hollowed by Time, is pointed out as the veritable tree that was planted on the day of Sir Philip’s birth; of which Rare Ben Jonson thus writes,—

“That taller tree which of a nut was set,
At his great birth when all the Muses met:”
—to which Waller makes reference as “the sacred mark of noble Sidney’s birth;” concerning which Southey also has some lines; and from which a host of lesser Poets have drawn inspiration.

Until within the last twenty or thirty years, the house was in a sadly dilapidated state. Its utter ruin, indeed, appeared a settled thing, until the present proprietor, Lord De L’Isle, set himself to the task of its restoration. It is now rapidly assuming its ancient character—a combination of several styles of architecture, in which the Tudor predominates. One of Mr. Hoarding’s drawings represents it “under repair,” as it now is; the other gives a view of the Mansion, from the principal approach, through the Park. In the first, the back-entrance to the Hall is seen between two rude buttresses, and the roof of the Hall is shown above the broken wall. Opposite, is the old Court-yard Bell, which bears the date of 1649. It is supported on a wooden frame, richly covered with ivy. A print of it forms the Initial Letter to this History. In Mr. Harding’s second view is exhibited the West Front, the north front being seen in quick perspective; on the left, is “Sir Henry’s Tower,” containing his arms, and an inscription stating that he was Lord Deputie General of the Realm of Ireland in 1579. This Tower terminates the north wing, the only part of the building as yet completely restored. In the north wing is the principal entrance, by an ancient gateway leading through one of the smaller Courts to the great Hall. Over this Gateway is an antique Slab, setting forth that “The most religious and renowned Prince, Edward the Sixt, kinge of England, France and Irelande, gave this house of Pencestre, with the Manors, landes and appurtenaynces therunto belonginge unto his trustye and well beloved servant syr William Sidney, Knight Banneret.”

The Exterior of the Mansion is, however, an assemblage of erections of various times, and furnishes some examples of singular incongruity. But the “restorations” are proceeding

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in good taste and with sound judgment; and the Seat of the Sidneys will, in the course of a few years, regain its rank as one of the finest and most extensive edifices of the County of Kent.

The Interior is also in progressive improvement; but the new and the old are at present awkwardly and ungracefully mingled. The “Hall” is still comparatively untouched, and the more interesting of its characteristic features are in no peril of further destruction; the business of the architect being limited to repairing the inroads of time. The pointed timber Roof, upon which the slates are laid, is supported by a series of grotesque figures (corbels), each the size of life. The Screen of the Gallery is richly carved and panelled. The Gallery—“the Minstrels’ Gallery”—fills the side opposite the Dais. The Gothic Windows are narrow and lofty. Every object calls to mind and illustrates a Feudal age. The oak Tables, on which retainers feasted, still occupy the Hall; in its centre are the huge Dogs, (pictured on the preceding page), in an octagonal enclosure, beneath the louvre, or lanthorn, in the Roof, which formerly

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permitted egress to the smoke. A stone Staircase (indicated in the appended print) leads from the Hall to the Picture Gallery and the State Apartments. They are filled with family Portraits, all of which possess considerable interest, although few are of much worth. Among them are several of Sir Philip and Algernon Sidney; one of Sir Philip’s sister, the Countess of Pembroke, to whom he addressed the “Arcadia,” and who is immortalised by Ben Jonson in his famous Epitaph to “the subject of all verse;” and one, by Lely, of the “Sacharissa” of the muse of Waller. A small Chamber in the Mansion contains, however, a few treasures of rarer value than all its copies of “fair women and brave men.” Among some curious family relics and records, is a lock of Sir Philip Sidney’s hair; it is of a pale auburn. A lock of the hair of the ill-fated Algernon is also with it; in tint it nearly resembles that of his illustrious great uncle.

But “Penshurst Place” is interesting chiefly because of its associations; and these are indeed of a high order. Our history of the family is, necessarily, brief. Until the reign of Edward the Sixth, the Manor of Peneshurste[62] had received a rapid succession of lords. In the reign of Edward the First, it was in the possession of Sir Stephen de Peneshurste, or Pencestre—“a very learned man,” according to Harris, and a “famous warden of the Cinque Ports.” In that of Edward the Second, it was the property of Sir John de Pulteney, who “had licence to embattle it,”—and who was four times Lord Mayor of London. In that of Richard the Second, it was sold to the Regent Duke of Bedford. On his death, his brother, “the good Duke Humphrey,” inherited; and on his death—by murder, at Bury, in 1446—the estate reverted to the Crown, and was granted by Henry the Sixth to his kinsman, Humphrey de Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. In his family it remained until the reign of Henry the Eighth, when, by the attainder of Edward Duke of Buckingham, it fell again to the Crown. By Edward the Sixth, it was given to Sir Ralph Fane; but on his execution, as an accomplice of the Protector Somerset, it was by letters patent granted to Sir William Sidney (one of the heroes of Flodden Field) and his heirs—Sir William being lineally descended from Sir William Sidney, Knight, Chamberlain to the Second Henry, “With whom he came out of Anjou.” In 1553, his son, Sir Henry, inherited. Sir Henry was from infancy bred at Court, being “a companion, and many times a bedfellow,” to the young Prince, afterwards Edward the Sixth, by whom he was knighted. He was twice Lord Deputy of Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth—a period of trouble and continual danger; during which he discharged his duty as an energetic soldier, a sound practical reformer, and a merciful man. The Historians of his time describe him as “of a very public spirit, of great abilities, modest, pious, and patient; and in his younger years, for comeliness and beauty, the ornament of the Court.”

Sir Philip Sidney—styled “the Incomparable”—was his eldest son; and at Penshurst he was born, on the 29th of November, 1554. His life was one scene of romance from its commencement to its close. His early years were spent in travel; and on his return, he was married to the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham, a lady of many accomplishments, and of “extraordinary handsomeness;” but his heart was given to another. The Lady Penelope Devereux won it, and kept it until he fell on the field of Zutphen. Family regards had forbad their marriage; but she was united to the immortal part of him, and that contract has not been yet dissolved. She is still the Philoclea of the “Arcadia,” and Stella in the Poems of Astrophel. It is unnecessary to follow, in detail, the course of Sir Philip Sidney’s life. There is no strange inconsistency to reason off, no stain to clear, no blame to talk away. We describe it when we name his accomplishments. We remember it as we would a dream of uninterrupted glory. His learning, his beauty, his chivalry, his grace, shed a lustre on the most glorious reign recorded in the English annals. England herself, “by reason of the wide-spread fame of Sir Philip Sidney,” rose exalted in the eyes of foreign nations. He was the idol, the darling, of his own. For, with every sort of power at his command, it was his creed to think all vain but affection and honour, and to hold the simplest and cheapest pleasures the truest and most precious. The only displeasure he ever incurred at Court, was when he vindicated the rights and independence of English Commoners in his own gallant person, against the arrogance of English Nobles in the person of the Earl of Oxford. For a time, then, he retired from the Court, and sought rest in his loved simplicity. He went to Wilton; and there, for the amusement of his dear sister, Mary, Countess of Pembroke, he wrote the “Arcadia,” between the years 1579 and 1581.[63] Again, however, he returned to Court, and his Queen seized every opportunity to do him honour. He received her smiles with the same high and manly gallantry, the same plain and simple boldness, with which he had taken her frowns. In the end, Elizabeth—who, to preserve this “jewel of her crown,” had forcibly laid hands on him when he projected a voyage to America with Sir Francis Drake, and laid her veto on his quitting England, when he was offered the crown of Poland—could not restrain his bravery in battle, when circumstances called him there. At Zutphen, on the 22nd of September, 1586, he received a mortal wound.[64]

We may place implicit faith in the testimony of all the contemporaries of Sir Philip Sidney—and by all of them he is described as very near perfection; their praises must have been as sincere as they were hearty; for his fortune was too poor to furnish him with the means to purchase them with other than gifts of kindly zeal, affectionate sympathy, cordial advice, and generous recommendations to more prosperous men. From Spenser himself we learn, that Sidney

“First did lift my muse out of the floor.”
In his dedication of the “Ruins of Time” to Sidney’s sister, he speaks of her brother as “the Hope of all learned men, and the Patron of my young Muse.”—“He was,” writes Camden, the great glory of his family, the great hope of mankind, the most lively pattern of virtue, and the darling of the learned world.” Sir Philip dying without issue, he was succeeded by his brother, Sir Robert, created Lord Sidney of Penshurst, and afterwards Earl of Leicester, by James I. He died at Penshurst in July 1626, and was succeeded by his son, Robert. “Though never of their faction,” he remained in retirement at Penshurst during the domination of the Parliament and the rule of the Protector, and died there in November 1677, in the 82nd year of his age. His eldest son succeeded to the title and estates, and lived in troubled times the life of an easy gentleman. Not so the second son—the famous scion of the Sidneys, whose name is scarcely less renowned in history than that of his great-uncle, Sir Philip. Algernon Sidney was born at Penshurst in 1621. He had scarcely reached the age of manhood when he was called upon to play his part in the mighty drama then acting before the



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J. D. Harding, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.



world. He joined the Parliament, and became a busy soldier—serving with repute in Ireland, where he was “sometime Lieut.-General of the Horse, and Governor of Dublin”—until Cromwell assumed the position of a sovereign, when Sidney retired in disgust to the family seat in Kent, and began to write his celebrated “Discourses on Government.” At the Restoration, he was abroad, and “being so noted a republican,” thought it unsafe to return to England; for seventeen years after this event he was a wanderer throughout Europe,—suffering severe privations—“exposed (according to his own words) to all those troubles, inconveniences, and mischiefs, unto which they are liable who have nothing to subsist upon, in a place farre from home, wheare no assistance can possibly be expected, and wheare I am known to be of a quality which makes all lowe and meane wayes of living shamefull and detestible.” The school of adversity failed to subdue the proud spirit of the republican; and on his return to his native country—in 1677—at the entreaty of his father, who “desired to see him before he died,” the “later Sidney” became a marked man, whom the depraved Charles and his minions were resolved to sacrifice. He was accused of high-treason—implicated in the notorious Rye-house plot—carried through a form of trial on the 21st of November—and beheaded on Tower-hill on the 7th December, 1683.

Philip, Algernon’s brother, the third Earl, died in 1696. Three of his grandsons were successively Earls of Leicester. Jocelyn, the last Earl of this family, died in 1743, leaving no legitimate issue. His next brother, who died before him, had however two daughters, to whom the estate devolved as coheiresses, after a long course of litigation with a natural daughter of the late Earl. In the division of the property, Penshurst

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Place was allotted to the youngest, Elizabeth, who was married to William Perry, Esq., of Turvile Park, Buckinghamshire. After the death of her sister, Lady Sherrard, Mrs. Perry was enabled, by purchase, to re-unite a part of her moiety to the Penshurst estate. This Mrs. Elizabeth Perry had an only son—Algernon Perry Sidney—who died in his mother’s life-time, but left two daughters; the eldest, Elizabeth, was married to Bysshe Shelley, Esq.; their son, John Shelley Sidney, inherited Penshurst and the manors and estates in Kent; he was created a Baronet in 1818; and his son, who married one of the daughters of his late Majesty William the Fourth, was elevated to the Peerage, by the title of Lord De L’Isle and Dudley, in 1835.

Consequently, Penshurst, “the seat of the Sidneys,” is now the inheritance of a very remote branch of the illustrious family.

The Church at Penshurst is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It immediately adjoins the Park; and is connected, by a private walk, with the garden of the Mansion. It is an ancient and very venerable structure, containing many monuments to the Sidneys,

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and to members of the families of Draynowt, Cambridge, Egerton, Head, Darkenol, Pawle, and Yden. The most interesting and beautifully wrought of the tombs is to the memory of Sir William Sidney, Knight Banneret, Chamberlain and Steward to Edward the VIth, and Lord of the Manor of Peneshurste, who died in 1553. It stands in a small chapel at the west end of the chancel, and at the foot of the tomb is a very antique figure, carved in marble, supposed to be a memorial to Sir Stephen de Pencestre. Below, is the vault which contains the dust of generations of the Sidneys. Sir William Sidney’s monument is a fine example of art, elaborately and delicately sculptured; it contains a long inscription, engraved on a brass tablet, the lettering in which is as clear and as sharp as if it were the work of yesterday. The roof of this Chapel is peculiarly light and elegant. In both the exterior and interior the Church is highly picturesque. The oak gallery is one of the earliest erections of the kind that followed the Reformation. In our view of the exterior is introduced the entrance to the Sidney vault—a modern addition to the Church.

In all respects, therefore, a visit to Penshurst—now, by railroad, within an hour’s distance of the Metropolis—may be described as a rare intellectual treat; opening a full and brilliant page of history, abundant in sources of profitable enjoyment to the Antiquary, affording a large recompense to the lover, or the professor, of Art, and exhibiting Nature under a vast variety of seductive aspects.



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J. S. Dodd, Delᵗ Stone by W. Walton M. & N. Hanbart, Lithogʳˢ




Hall i’ the Wood.—This very ancient and venerable edifice—with which, far more than with many of greater magnitude and higher state among the old mansions of England, are associated ideas of permanent utility and universal good—is situate about a mile from Bolton, close to one of the admirably-managed cotton-mills of the Messrs. Ashworth. It is surrounded by indications of commerce; the smoke of many hundred factories impregnates the air, and renders even the herbage stunted and dark; while numerous steam-engines are busily at work drawing to the surface the coal, without which industry could avail little in a locality so far inland, and where the water barely suffices to aid the mighty machinery which supplies the world with the most essential article of dress. Yet the neighbourhood is full also of tokens of early Baronial splendour; and the “Halls” scattered in various directions afford unequivocal proofs of its former dignity and importance, ere the “‘Squirearchy” gave place to the “Manufacturers,” who now fill every part of Lancashire with long, tall, and broad houses, abounding in windows—grievously diminishing the picturesque, but cheering and animating to those who know that in the nineteenth century the pre-eminence of Great Britain must be secured by commerce and manufacture. Close at hand are “Smithells,” formerly a seat of the Ratcliffes, now the property of the Ainsworths; “Peel Hall,” still the inheritance of the Kenyons; “Turton Tower,” once the seat of Humphry Chetham; and “Worsley Old Hall,” the present residence of Lord Francis Egerton. The greater number of these old houses, however, have altogether changed owners;—many of them, as in the case of Hall i’ the Wood, having been deserted, or left to humbler occupants, who care only to keep the roofs above their heads, and attach small import to the interest they derive from antiquity.

The house under especial notice at one time belonged to “the Norrises;” from them, it passed to “the Starkies;” and towards the close of the last century it obtained a celebrity—which must for ever render the neighbourhood famous—as the humble dwelling of a humble artisan, who largely contributed to the prosperity of his country. From him, indeed, Hall i’ the Wood derives historic interest; the old and somewhat dilapidated mansion, although divided and subdivided into tenements for “working men,” should be as a place of pilgrimage to those who date the modern supremacy of Great Britain from the improvements in manufactures, which have upheld the State and sustained her power during peace, as the courage, fortitude, and endurance of her sons had done during a protracted war. In no part of England does the memorable line receive stronger emphasis than in the small room of this comparatively deserted house:—

“Peace hath her victories as well as War!”
The father of Samuel Crompton was a small farmer, residing at Firwood, near Bolton, who, as was the custom in those days, mingled with the business of a farmer the occupations of weaving, carding, and spinning. Samuel was born in 1753; and while an infant, was removed with his family to the scene of his after triumph, Hall i’ the Wood; which even then must have been consigned by its earlier owners to the chances of preservation from needy inmates. We borrow from various sources some particulars concerning the eventful life and important labours of this remarkable man—chiefly from a paper by John Kennedy, Esq., the generous and consistent friend of Crompton.

At the age of sixteen, he learned to spin upon “a Jenny” (of Hargreave’s make), and occasionally wove the yarn he had spun. His work, however, being but indifferent, he was led to consider how it could be improved; and the result was, ultimately, though at a far-off distance of time, the construction of “the mule”—a machine which it is foreign to our purpose to describe, but which gave to the cotton manufacture a degree of perfection to which, without it, it could never have attained.

Crompton was only twenty-one years old when he commenced the undertaking, which took him five years to effect—at least, before he could bring his improvements to maturity. He experienced much difficulty in consequence of being unable to procure proper tools with his limited earnings, acquired by labour at the loom or jenny. Not being a regular mechanic, and having to learn the use of the few he could purchase, it is matter of surprise that even in five years he succeeded in making his machine practically useful. His greatest trouble appears to have been his inability to enjoy his little invention to himself, in his own room; for the product of his machine obtaining a better price than other yarns of those times, a report was circulated that he had devised some novel mode of improved spinning: people, for miles round the country, gathered about his dwelling; and, in many instances, actually obtained ladders, and climbed up to his window to see him work. To avoid this intrusion, he formed a screen; but the annoyance becoming so great, that he could not proceed with his work to advantage, he at length laid the whole plan before a number of gentlemen, who gave him one guinea each to look at it. These sums amounted to about 50l., which enabled him to construct another machine, still farther improved, and of larger dimensions (the first machine consisted of not more than thirty or forty spindles). When relating this little history to Mr. G. A. Lee and Mr. John Kennedy, Mr. Lee having observed, “It was a pity he had not kept the secret to himself,” he replied, “that a man had a very insecure tenure of property, which another could carry away with his eyes.”

Unfortunately, therefore, Crompton never secured his invention by patent; and the consequence was, that while hundreds of manufacturers were making immense fortunes by the result of his ingenuity, he himself lived in poverty, and died little better than a pauper. He was left a widower when his children were very young, and his only daughter kept his little cottage in King-street, Bolton, where he died. He erected several looms for the fancy-work of that town, in which he displayed great ingenuity. He was fond of music, and built for himself an organ, which he had in his little cottage. In 1812 he made a survey of all the cotton districts in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and obtained an estimate of the number of spindles then at work on his principle, which amounted to between four and five millions (in 1829, the number was seven millions). On his return, he laid the result of his inquiries before Mr. Lee and Mr. Kennedy, with a suggestion that Parliament might “grant him something.”

With these data before him, Mr. Lee entered fully into the case, and made an appointment with the late George Duckworth, Esq., of Manchester, who drew up a memorial to Parliament in his behalf. This was signed by most of the principal manufacturers in the kingdom, who were acquainted with his merits. He went to London himself with the memorial, and obtained an interview with one of the members for the county of Lancaster. He remained there during the session, and was in the House on the evening that Mr. Perceval was shot, and witnessed the catastrophe. A short time before this disastrous occurrence, Mr. Perceval had given him a promise to interest himself in his behalf; and, in accordance with this assurance, had brought in a bill, which was passed, for a grant of 5000l. in full, without fees or charges.

Mr. Crompton was now anxious to place his sons in some business, and fixed on that of bleaching; but the unfavourable state of the times, the inexperience and mismanagement of his sons, a bad situation, and a misunderstanding with his landlord, which occasioned a tedious lawsuit, conspired, in a very short time, to put an end to this establishment. His sons were dispersed, and he and his daughter reduced to poverty. Messrs. Hicks and Rothwell, of Bolton, Mr. Kennedy, and some others in that neighbourhood and in Manchester, made, in 1824, a second subscription, to purchase a life annuity for him, which produced 63l. per annum. The amount was raised in small sums from one to ten pounds, some of which were contributed by the Swiss and French spinners, who acknowledged his merits, and pitied his misfortunes. He died January 26, 1827, having enjoyed his annuity only two years, leaving his daughter, his affectionate housekeeper, in absolute poverty. Such, unhappily, has been the fate of many public benefactors. They have tilled the ground and sown the seed, but others have gathered in the harvest.

“Hall i’ the Wood,” as we have intimated—the preservation of which as a monument to the memory of useful industry, and its prodigious practical results, may be regarded as a public duty—is falling gradually into decay; but its condition is such, that a very trifling degree of labour may effectually restore it. Its present occupants work at the neighbouring factories: and although we found them taking some pride in the aged walls

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they inhabit, from them we can expect nothing in the way of its preservation. Surely it ought not to be left to the common fate of common things! The accompanying print—from an excellent drawing by Mr. J. J. Dodd, a most intelligent artist, by whom we were accompanied to this “shrine” of manufacturing devotees—exhibits the principal front, “Crompton’s Room” being indicated by the open window. The house is built in the usual style of old dwellings of a better class in Lancashire, being composed of “wood and plaster.” It has no projecting windows or carved doors; the chief entrance, at the south gable, appears to have been a later addition. It is of stone; and above it, in a square panel, is the date 1648, with the initials A.N.A. Within, a staircase of massive oak leads to the upper chambers; of which, one only—“Crompton’s Room”—seems to have been treated with respect; but this also has been doomed to periodical “whitewashings,” which, however, have failed to efface a deeply-cut panel (given as our initial letter), interesting as that upon which the eyes of “the Discoverer” must have often looked.

Seen from a distance, the house is highly picturesque; it stands on high, rocky ground, which on one side is almost perpendicular to a great depth, broken into masses, covered with moss and lichens, among which, here and there, shoot out the branches of the oak and ash, which have found places for their roots in the crevices of the rocks. Some of these trees have been partially hurled down by frequent storms, and their gnarled branches form singular contrasts with the silvery stems of a few slender birch-trees, which flourish in young vigour by their sides. At the foot of the precipitous descent, a broad and somewhat clear stream winds its way over large stones, forming tiny waterfalls; passing under a rustic wooden bridge, it makes its way through the adjacent valley to supply many scores of mills and factories, creating wealth.



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J. S. Dodd, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




Smithells Hall is situated about two miles and a half from the populous and flourishing manufacturing town of Bolton. The manor was dependent on the manor of Sharples, the lord of which claimed from its owners a pair of gilt spurs annually, and—by a singular and “inconvenient” custom—the unlimited use of the Smithells cellars during one week of every year. It does not appear, however, that the lord of Smithells was bound, at this particular period, to store his cellars with any particular quantity or quality of liquor. Up to the time of Henry VII. the Radcliffes were lords of Smithells; but Joan, the daughter and sole heir of Sir Ralph Radcliffe, having married Robert Barton, Esq., he became in that reign seized of the manor and lordship of Smithells, where his posterity continued, until Grace, sole daughter and heiress of Thomas Barton, Esq., the last male heir, was married to Henry, eldest son of Henry first Lord Viscount Fauconberg, whose descendant, Thomas, in 1721, sold the manor, which afterwards passed into the hands of the Byrons of Manchester, by whom it was sold for 21,000l. to Mr. Ainsworth of Halliwell, an opulent bleacher, and a descendant of the Ainsworths of Pleasington.

The period of the erection of the mansion cannot be accurately ascertained; a date (1360)

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affixed above one of the gateways is obviously no authority. The rebus of a tun, crossed by a bar, indicating, it is said, Andrew Barton, the famous rover of Henry VII.’s reign, may probably indicate the erection of part of the structure early in the sixteenth century. The building consists of “post and plaster work,” black and white, with bold trefoils and quatrefoils. At the western extremity is a shaded walk, covered with ivy, leading to the principal entrance. The hall is tastefully furnished with relics of the olden time—chairs and tables coeval with the building—while its primitive character is augmented by huge baskets of yule-logs. The leading feature of the house is the magnificent oak dining-room, erected by the present owner, Peter Ainsworth, Esq. M.P., in admirable keeping with the aspect of the edifice in its several details.

The grateful acknowledgments of all antiquaries are due to Mr. Ainsworth for the zeal he has manifested in preserving the ancient style of his venerable mansion; the delicate care he has exhibited in preventing the destruction of even the least important “bit” that may be preserved; and the judgment he has exercised in effecting restorations and repairs in perfect harmony. This feeling is especially evidenced by the manner in which the dining-room has been constructed. It was rebuilt—an exact resemblance of its former state,—and panelled with the old oak, the workmanship of which is so pure as to bear comparison with the best existing examples in the kingdom.

In a passage near the door of the old dining-room, at the foot of the staircase leading to

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the chapel, is a natural mark in the stone-flag resembling the print of a man’s foot. This appearance has given rise to a tradition that the martyr, George Marsh, when brought before Sir Roger Barton for examination in 1555, stamped with his foot in confirmation of the truth of his opinions, and that a miraculous impression was made on the stone as a perpetual memorial of the injustice of his enemies. George Marsh was born at Dean, two miles south-west of Bolton. In the persecuting days of Mary he underwent his first examination before Sir Roger Barton in Smithells Hall, from whence he was transferred to Latham, previous to his final committal to Lancaster Castle.

A small chamber behind the chapel contains a beautiful latticed window of large size, and

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here tradition states the early martyrs endured much suffering. The chapel has been fitted up in good taste, and is full of associations with remote periods. It is not only used by the family and the household, but, by the courtesy of Mr. Ainsworth, is open to all in the neighbourhood who desire to attend divine service there.

The house, it will be seen from our engraving, is a fine example of a class of architecture of which Lancashire still has many singular and interesting remains. It is highly picturesque; and, notwithstanding its situation in the centre of a manufacturing district, it commands extensive and very beautiful views of a rich and productive valley.

The drawing and the sketches from woodcut illustrations have been supplied to us by Mr. J. J. Dodd, an excellent artist of Manchester.



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J. I. Dodd Delᵗ. on stone by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.




SPEC, Speake,—or Speke Hall, according to the more modern reading,—is situate about seven miles from Liverpool, and nearly the same distance from Prescot. The house and the estates adjacent—after passing through “several hands”—are now the property of Richard Watt, Esq., of Bishop-Burton, whose uncle, Richard Watt, Esq., merchant of Liverpool, purchased the manor from the Beauclerk family. The house is, however, “let,” and is now in the occupation of Joseph Brereton, Esq. The history of the mansion—preserved as it is from a very early period—is curious and interesting. Speke, according to Domesday Book, was “held by Uctred,” with “two caracutes of land,” and was “worth sixty-four pence.” With Uctred, however, it did not long remain; for, soon afterwards, we find it given by Benedict de Gerneth or Garnet, with Annota his daughter and heiress, to Adam de Molineux, of the Sefton branch of that very noble and chivalric family. From them it passed—by marriage with Joan Molineux, daughter of Sir John Molineux, Knt., of Sefton—to William Norris, Esq., of Sutton. From this union sprung the Lord Norris, of Rycot, and the founders of several other noble families of Lancashire and Berkshire.[65] It was held by the Norrises, in direct descent, until the middle of the last century, when it was inherited by Topham Beauclerk, Esq., by whose son it was transferred to Mr. Watt.

Speke Hall is among the best specimens of its class that yet endure in England. It is built of wood and plaster—the material employed in all the Lancashire houses of the sixteenth century. It was formerly surrounded by a moat, the remains of which are easily traced, although long ago filled up by gravelled walks and flowering shrubs in rich abundance. A stone bridge, with high piers, leads to the principal front; and the house is entered through a picturesque stone porch, immediately over which is the following inscription, in black letter of antique shape:—

This worke twenty yards long was wholly built by E. N., 1598.
The annexed woodcut shows the Stone Bridge leading to the entrance arch, from

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which there is a flight of stone steps communicating with the moat; there appears formerly to have been a terrace walk on this side of the house, the situation of which is shown by the figure looking over the wall. The pinnacles and ornaments from the Gables on this side of the building are quite gone, the only ornament now remaining is the string course round the whole building which still remains in good preservation; and the window over the arch has some bold mouldings, it occupies the space below the second gable in the woodcut. A large room in the further Gable, now used as a Laundry, is said to have formerly been the Chapel: we may imagine this to have been the case by the window, which is different in size and shape from the others. On the right of the arch is a doorway leading to the moat by the flight of stone steps, also to the terrace-walk before mentioned, which is only continued on one side of the building. On each side of this doorway is a large stone seat, one of which is shown in the woodcut. The arch is ornamented with a number of small mouldings, which, commencing at one base, is continued through the impost and architrave to the base opposite.

Two large oak doors open from the porch into an inner court of an oblong form, in

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length about twenty-four yards, and in breadth about seventeen. Two enormous and very venerable yew-trees still flourish here—now only picturesque ornaments in keeping with the solemn character of the structure; but in ancient times, no doubt, they answered the purpose of equipping many a stout English bowman, and may have aided the victors of Crecy and Poictiers. The principal windows of the mansion look into this court; several of them yet retain their costly ornaments, and everywhere there is to be found some indication that wealth and taste were lavishly expended in decorating the noble and beautiful structure.

Passing down the principal lobby, we enter the Great Hall on the right. It is very lofty; a fine oak wainscoting reaches from the floor to the ceiling, which is of oak also, crossed by large beams, deeply moulded, forming squares, which are again crossed, diagonally, by small moulded ribs. The large Bay

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Window, as we have noted, looks into the court-yard. The huge Chimney-piece, which seems to be of a much later date than the Hall, contains a singular mass of strange forms; its peculiarities are shown in the drawing, for which, and the other illustrations of this fine old mansion, we are indebted to Mr. J. J. Dodd, an excellent artist, of Manchester. The drawing introduces the Bay Window and a projecting doorway leading to the drawing-room; it exhibits, too, the fine wainscoting, which is divided perpendicularly and horizontally into panels of various sizes; above the eye is a row of twelve panels, bearing shields or scrolls, similar to achievement shields, of Gothic shapes, on each of which is carved a head, supposed to represent one of the twelve Cæsars. Of this wainscot Seacome, in his “History of the House of Stanley,” says, “And here justice as well as respect to the ancient and worthy house, Norris of Speke, calls upon me to acquaint the reader with the bravery of Sir Edward Norris, son of Sir William, who was slain at the battle of Musselburrow, in the time of Henry VII. This valiant and heroic gentleman, Sir Edward Norris, commanded a body of the army, under General Stanley, at Flodden Field, where he behaved with so much courage and good conduct, that he was honoured by the King his master with a congratulatory letter, for his good services on the victory of that day, in token whereof he brought from the deceased King of Scots’ palace all or most of his princely library; and he also brought from the said palace the wainscot of the King’s Hall, and put it up in his own hall of Speke, wherein are seen all the orders of architecture, and round the top of it this inscription” (broken by the projections and ornaments):—

Slepe : not : till : u hathe : consederd
how : thow : hast : Spent: y day : past
if : thou : have : well don : thank : God if
other: ways, re pent, ye[66]
The Door-case between the great hall and large Drawing-room projects into the former, and is richly ornamented with a coat of arms and supporters. In the windows



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J. I. Dodd, Delᵗ. on Stone by W. Walton. M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.



there are still to be seen many arms painted on the glass, which add greatly to the imposing effect of the room. A seat or bench, with a rest for the feet, is continued, not only in the recess of the bow and bay windows, but all round the apartment.

Crossing the hall, a passage leading from the projecting doorway brings us to the staircase on the right, opposite to which is the entrance to the great parlour or drawing-room, on the door frieze of which is the following inscription, in similar characters to those in the Great Hall:—

The : Streghtest : God : to : love : serve :
ys :
waye : to : heaven : above : all : thyng
While the Great Hall has been renovated and repaired with considerable taste and skill, the Drawing-room has been grievously neglected, until it has become a complete ruin. The floor has been entirely removed; every window is boarded up, mouldings from the oak wainscot are crumbling and falling down on every side, and it is not till we have remained in the room some time, and the eye is accustomed to the darkness, that we discern the elaborately enriched ceiling, which consists of fifteen square compartments, being divided by four beams horizontally, having the corners splayed off; they are of plaster, ornamented with a running stem of the hop-plant, skilfully continued throughout.

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The ceiling of the Bay Window is also ornamented, but in a different style, being panelled with scrolls and ogee lines, and having in the centre an angel, apparently rising into the clouds; the seats and panelling from this window are gone, and the space is filled with broken panels, mouldings, and “firewood;” the wind and rain force their way between the pieces of board which stand in the stead of glass; and the ivy has in many places forced itself through from the outside. This Bay Window, with a square window of six lights close to it, looks into the moat. This side of the house has been quite neglected: windows are partially boarded up, and it is difficult to trace any architectural features, except the two fine Chimneys; all else is a complete wreck, exhibiting grievous proof of the want of taste and right feeling in the present owner. The Chimneys here are stone, but the greater part of the building is of wood; a few bricks have been introduced, but only because they were absolutely necessary to support the tottering woodwork from the ruin that follows neglect. Another window, at the end, looked into the garden, into which there was also a communication through an arched doorway—shown in the garden front view—having the initials carved on it. The whole of the drawing-room is of oak, from the floor to the ceiling; the panels at the top of the end adjoining the Great Hall are pierced with stars and circles of different kinds in two rows; intended doubtless to destroy the dull uniformity which must have been otherwise exhibited by one hundred and twenty panels broken only by two doorways.

It only remains to notice the Carved Oak Chimney-piece in this room, with which time has not yet made so much havoc as it has with the ceiling. From the carved figures and inscriptions on the frieze, there can be no doubt of its representing a pedigree of the Norris family for three generations. It consists of three principal compartments, separated by pairs of square columns, having their interstices occupied

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by beautiful arabesque foliage of different patterns, the whole resting on a base corresponding with the extent of the fireplace, and finished with carvings of a similar kind to those filling the spaces between the columns. An inscription formerly ran along the cornice, explanatory of the figures in the different compartments, but it is entirely gone: the remainder is in a fair state of preservation, and is a good specimen of the class introduced into England, when the Italian became mixed with our English classic in domestic architecture.

The ancient Hall of Speke supplies a highly interesting example of the architecture of the period. Although time has made sad havoc among its beauties and peculiarities, and it has been shamefully neglected by those who should have cherished the old House, as “the apple of an eye,” its leading outlines still exist unimpaired; the arrangements of the several apartments may be distinctly traced; and if by some fortunate event it should happen to fall into the hands of parties capable of estimating its worth, its restoration might be so effected as to exhibit a perfect mansion of the 16th century.

Most auspiciously situated in the midst of rich and lovely scenery, surrounded by venerable trees, many of them coeval with the building, it would seem as if all the moral, social, and physical wants of the owner might be supplied by means ready at his hands. Alas! that there is no manorial lord to estimate the value of rare gifts of nature and fortune beyond the actual profit the venerable walls can be made to yield.



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J. S. Dodd Delᵗ on Stone by W. Walton M. & N. Hanhart, Lithogʳˢ.






This venerable and highly picturesque edifice is situated about four miles from Bolton, in a district singularly at war with relics of antiquity, and at variance with associations awakened by remains of time-honoured mansions of the ancient lords of the soil. From an adjacent hill may be seen a thousand tall chimneys, of red brick; while the surrounding atmosphere is dense and heavy with the smoke arising from factories and coal-pits, so numerous, that the eye labours in vain to count them.

In the time of King John, the Township of Turton was held by Roger Fitz Robert (De Holland); it became part of the property of Henry, “the good Duke of Lancaster,” from whom the manor passed into the knightly family of the Orrels, whom Camden styles “Illustrious.” From them it was purchased, for £3,000, by Humphrey Chetham, Esq., a manufacturer of fustians; of whom, about the middle of the 17th century, Fuller speaks, as “a public benefactor.” From him it passed successively to his descendants, Humphrey, Samuel, and Edward Chetham; by Anne, one of the co-heiresses of Edward Chetham, it was conveyed by marriage to —— Bland, Esq., whose sole heiress married Mordecai Green, Esq., whose daughters, the issue of his son, James Green, inherited, and now possess, the estate. That portion of it, consisting of 365 acres, which contains Turton Tower, is in the occupation of James Kay, Esq., a gentleman who deserves the high praise of all, and the fervent gratitude of the antiquary, for the care he has taken, not only to protect from further injury the venerable relic of a remote age, but for the taste and judgment he exhibits in keeping all things in harmony with the character of the honoured and interesting edifice. The dwelling has received various additions from time to time; but none of them are of very recent date. They are principally of a class common in Lancashire, in houses of the better order, as well as in cottages of the labourer and artisan, being constructed of wood and plaster. “The Tower” is of stone, and much older than other parts of the structure. It is square, and was evidently constructed for defence. It has a hall, of small size, but richly decorated with wood carvings; a quaint staircase conducts to the upper apartments, the principal of which is the drawing-room, panelled with oak from the floor nearly to the ceiling—the ceiling being highly enriched.

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It receives light from two mullioned windows. This room is in the Tower—the whole length and breadth of which it occupies. Every chamber throughout the mansion has been fitly furnished by Mr. Kay. The ancient coffer, bound with iron—(it supplies our initial letter)—concerning which tradition has been always busy—is one of the few heirlooms of the House.

We believe, with this exception, the whole of its picturesque contents, from attic to cellar, have been the introductions of Mr. Kay; and we cannot sufficiently praise the sound taste and judicious feeling by which that gentleman has been actuated in his efforts at restoration both within and without.

At a short distance from the mansion is a singularly picturesque turret—an

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engraving of which we annex. Through the township of Turton passed the ancient Roman road; and in the immediate neighbourhood may be traced many relics of remote antiquity.

From “the Height” a most extensive view is obtained—a view unsurpassed in England for singularity and deep interest,—taking in Bolton and Warrington and other towns and villages full of factories; from hence also are seen Billinge Hill and Beacon, the far-famed Pike and Beacon of Rivington; while a deep shadow that hangs over an enormous space, points attention to busy and prosperous Manchester, buried with its prodigious wealth in the centre of a valley some fifteen miles away.


[1] The windows formerly contained some rare specimens of painted glass, which the late proprietor permitted a clerical friend to abstract for the purpose of decorating a neighbouring church.

[2] Fuller states that Sir John Huddleston “was highly honoured by Queen Mary, and deservedly. Such was the trust reposed in him, that when Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen, she came privately to him at Sawston, and rid thence behind his servant, the better to disguise herself from discovery, to Framlingham. She afterwards made him, as I have heard, her Privy Councillor; and besides other great boons, bestowed the bigger part of Cambridge Castle, then in ruins, upon him, with the stone whereof he built his fair house in this county.”

[3] A singular tradition, alluded to by Camden, has long prevailed, that previously to the death of a heir of the house of Brereton, trunks of trees were observed to rise from the bottom of the lake of the neighbouring Bog Mere, and to float for several days. One historian of Cheshire, sensible of the credulity of the great antiquary, would resolve the pleasant dream of olden fancy by the laws of modern statics.

[4] Brereton is the “Bracebridge Hall” of Washington Irving.

[5] The Cheshire carpenters of old seem to have been not sparingly endowed with the “noble” aspiration. In an inscription on the fine carved oak ceiling of the neighbouring Church of Astbury, bearing date 1616 and 1617, in which occurs the name of a William Moreton, we have that also of Richard Lowndes, Carpenter;—his work, however, is of no mean desert.

[6] Hales and Tonkin state, that “about the middle of the fourteenth century the Treffry family largely contributed towards the building of the church, and erected, adjoining to it, a magnificent castellated mansion for their own residence.” We imagine there is an error in the date of this, and should rather refer it to the middle of the fifteenth century, after the French had destroyed the town; which they did about the year 1453.

[7] The following inscription upon the tomb of one of them was “formerly in the Church:”—

“Sir Rowland Vaux that sometime was the Lord of Triermaine,
Is dead, his body clad in lead, and ligs law under this stane;
Evin as we, evin so was he, on earth a levan man;
Evin as he, evin so maun we, for all the craft we can.”
“According to the tablet in the church (we quote from the ‘Border Antiquities’ of Sir Walter Scott), this was a monastery of St. Augustine, and founded in 1116; but no mention of it in the records occurs earlier than the 16th of Henry II., 1169. Its endowments consisted of all the lands lying between Picts’ Wall and Irthing, and also between Burgh and Poltross, and several other valuable possessions. Bernard, Bishop of Carlisle, dedicated the Church to Mary Magdalen. * * * * Edward I. granted to the Prior and Convent the advowson of two churches in his patronage, because the Priory had been burnt and the lands ravaged by an incursion of the Scots. He wrote an epistle to the Pope, expressly to obtain his sanction to this grant, which was not withheld. Many other liberal donations were made to this monastery, and some of them exhibited the peculiar character of the times—such as the tithes of venison, and the skins of deer and foxes; tithe of the mulcture of a mill, pasture for milking and sheep, the bark of trees, a well or spring, and sundry villeins their issue and goods.”

[8] The sad death of this “last Lord Dacre” is thus recorded by Stow. The event occurred on the 17th of May, 1559.

“He was by a great mischaunce slayne at Thetford, in the house of Sir Richard Falmenstone, Knight, by meane of a vaunting horse of woode, standing within the same house; upon which horse, as he meant to have vaunted, and the pins of the feet being not made sure, the horse fell upon him and bruised the brains out of his head.” In the January following, Leonard Dacre, Esq., of Horsley, in the county of York, second son of Lord William Dacre, of Gilsland, “choosing,” according to Camden, “rather to try for the estate with his prince in war, than with his nieces at law,” entered into rebellion, with a design to carry off the Queen of Scots. This object was frustrated by Mary’s removal to Coventry; subsequently he seized upon Naworth and other Castles, but having been attacked and defeated by Lord Hunsdon, he fled into Flanders, where he died.

[9] To understand the full importance of this appointment it is necessary to offer some explanations of the state of the Border at that period. The accession of James VI. to the English crown, although it produced the effect of converting the two extremities into the middle of the kingdom, contributed but little to arrest the system of plunder and depredation which had existed there for centuries. The inhabitants generally, on the Scottish side, were unrestrained moss-troopers (so called from the sloughs and bogs to which they resorted), “Knowing no measure of law,” says Camden, “but the length of their swords,”—men of whom Fuller quaintly writes, “they come to church as seldom as the 29th of February comes into the kalendar.” According to Sir Walter Scott, “the hands of rapine were never there folded in inactivity, nor the sword of violence returned to the scabbard.” The habits of these marauders, and the “interesting nature of their exploits,” are pictured in a strong light by the historian Camden. “They sally out of their own Borders in the night in troops, through unfrequented by-ways, and many intricate windings. All the daytime they refresh themselves and their horses in lurking holes they had pitched upon before, till they arrive in the dark at those places they have a design upon. As soon as they have seized upon the booty, they, in like manner, return home in the night, through blind ways, and fetching many a compass. The more skilful any captain is to pass through those wild deserts, crooked turnings, and deep precipices, in the thickest mists and darkness, his reputation is the greater, and he is looked upon as a man of an excellent head. And they are so very cunning, that they seldom have their booty taken from them, unless sometimes, when, by the help of blood-hounds following them exactly upon the track, they may chance to fall into the hands of their adversaries.”

[10] For the drawings on wood here engraved, we are indebted to Mr. T. M. Richardson, an accomplished artist of Newcastle.

[11] An anecdote is recorded of the gallant knight which strongly illustrates not only his peculiar habit, but the character of the turbulent time in which he lived. In this Library he was one day deep in study, when a soldier, who had captured a moss-trooper, suddenly entered with the news, disturbing his master with the unwelcome question of what was to be done with the fellow? “Hang him, in the devil’s name,” exclaimed the irritated lord, and turned to his books. The order was construed literally; and forthwith the unhappy prisoner was dangling from a tree; which Lord William, to his exceeding dismay, learned, when a few hours afterwards he ordered the culprit to be brought before him for examination.

[12] The Avenells, it would appear, about this time owned considerable property in the north, the benefits of which they seem to have dispensed with no niggard hand, as we find from the following notices in Dugdale’s “Monasticon,” vol. i. p. 839. “The manor of Oneash (the Aneise of Domesday) was given to Roche Abbey, Yorkshire, by William Avenell, Lord of Haddon.” “Conksbury, near Over Haddon, was given to the abbey of Leicester, by William Avenell.”

[13] Monuments of the Vernons and Manners in Bakewell Church:—

“Sir John Vernon, Knt. (son and heir of Henry), 1477; Sir Geo. Vernon, of Haddon, d. 1561, and his two wives, Margaret, daughʳ of Sir Gilbert Talbois, and Maud, daughtʳ of Sir Ralph Longford; Sir John Manners (second son of Thomas earl of Rutland), who died in 1611, and his wife (Dorothy, daughter and coheir of Sir Geo. Vernon), who died in 1584. John Manners (third son of Sir John), who died in 1590. And Sir Geo. Manners, who died in 1623; he married Grace, daughter of Sir Henry Pierrepont.”

Arms of Manners, duke of Rutland:—Or, two bars azure; a chief quarterly of the second and gules, the first and fourth charged with two fleurs-de-lis of the first, and third with a lion passant-guardant of the same, being an augmentation given to the family, in consequence of their descent from King Edward IV.

Crest:—On a chapeau, gules, turned up erm., a peacock in pride, proper.

Supporters:—Two unicorns, arg., thin horns, manes, tufts, and hoofs, or.

[14] The subjoined particulars respecting one of these open-house occasions, in 1663, are curious and interesting. They are extracted from the bailiff’s accounts of the time of John, eighth earl, who died here in 1679:—

£. s. d.
“Paid George Wood, the cook, for helping in the pastry all Christmas 3 0 0
Paid Robert Swindell, for helping at the like work all Christmas, and two weeks 1 5 0
Paid William Green, the cook, for helping in the kitchen all Christmas 1 0 0
Paid Antony Higton, turnspit, for helping all Christmas 0 3 0
Paid W. Creswick, for pulling fowls and poultry all Christmas 0 3 6
Paid Catherine Sprig, for helping the scullery-maid all Christmas 0 3 0
Paid Thomas Shaw, the piper, for piping all Christmas 2 0 0
Given by my honourable Lord and Lady’s command to Thomas Shaw’s man 0 10 0
Given by their honours’ commands to Richard Blackwell, the dancer 0 10 0
Given by their honours’ commands to Ottiwell Bramwell, the dancer 0 10 0
Given by their honours’ commands to Ottiwell Bramwell’s kinswoman, for dancing 0 5 0
About this time, from 1660 to 1670, although the family resided chiefly at Belvoir, there were generally killed and consumed every year, at Haddon, between 30 and 40 beeves, between 400 and 500 sheep, and 8 or 10 swine.”

[15] A romantic tradition is still current in the vicinity of Haddon, relative to the courtship and marriage of Mr. Manners (afterwards Sir John) with the younger co-heiress of Vernon. The tradition purports that the lover (who was, perhaps, thirty years of age) having conceived an attachment for Miss Vernon, a beautiful girl of eighteen, dwelt for some time in the woods of Haddon as an outlaw, or, rather, in the dress of a gamekeeper (probably with the popular reputation of being an outlawed man), for the purpose of concealment, and in order to facilitate secret interviews with his mistress; and that he at length succeeded in persuading the young lady to elope with him during the festivities of a masked ball, given by Sir G. Vernon in honour of the marriage of his eldest daughter, Margaret, with Sir Thomas Stanley, a younger son of the Earl of Derby.

[16] According to Walpole, “Anecdotes of Painting,” there is a tradition in the family of Cavendish, that a fortune-teller had told this imperious lady that “she should not die while she was building: accordingly, she bestowed a great deal of the wealth she had obtained from three of her four husbands in erecting large seats at Hardwicke, Chatsworth, Bolsover and Oldcote, and, I think, at Worksop; and died in a hard frost, when the workmen could not labour.”

[17] Hardwicke was built subsequently to the death of Mary; but there is little doubt that the room called “The Queen’s Room,” in memory of the unhappy lady, was furnished with the bed and other furniture removed thither from Chatsworth, where she was for some time a prisoner. Probably the hangings said to have been wrought by her were actually the work of her hands; needlework was unquestionably one of the modes by which she sought to solace her dismal confinement. Mr. White, writing to Sir William Cecil, describes an interview he had with her at Tutbury Castle, in 1568: “She sayd that all day she wrought with her nydill and that the diversity of the colours made her work seem less tedious, and contynued so long at it, till very payne made her to give over.”

[18] The curious in such matters may find further information on this head in the “Churchman’s Magazine” of 1801; and in the tenth volume of Bowles’ edition of Pope’s Works, 1806.

[19] Lord Braybrooke’s “History of Audley End;” to which copious volume we are principally indebted for our notices of the history of the house and its occupants.

[20] Evelyn records, in his “Diary,” his visit thus:—“From Cambridge, on August 31, 1654, we went to Audley End, and spent some time in seeing that goodly palace, built by Howard, Earl of Suffolk, once Lord Treasurer. It is a mixt fabric, ’twixt ancient and modern, but observable for its being completely finished; and it is one of the stateliest palaces of the kingdom. It consists of two courts, the first very large, winged with cloisters. The front hath a double entrance; the hall is faire, but somewhat too small for so august a pile; the kitchen is very large, as are the cellars, arched with stone, very neate, and well disposed. These offices are joyned by a wing out of the way very handsomely. The gallery is the most cheerful, and, I think, one of the best in England; a faire dining-roome, and the rest of the lodgings answearable, with a pretty chapel. The gardens are not in order, though well inclosed; it has also a bowling alley, and a nobly walled, wooded, and watered park. The river glides before the palace, to which is an avenue of lime-trees, but all this is much diminished by its being placed in an obscure bottom. For the rest it is a perfectly uniform structure, and shews without like a diadem, by the decoration of the cupolas and other ornaments on the pavilions. Instead of railings and balusters, there is a bordure of capital letters, as was lately, also, in Suffolke house.”

[21] It has recently been pulled down.

[22] Lord Braybrooke’s “History of Audley End.”

[23] The story of St. Osyth, as given in an old tract, entitled “Purgatory Proved by Miracles,” is printed by Wright in his History of Essex:—“St. Ositha was daughter of a Mercian prince named Frithwald, and of Wilterburga, daughter of Pende, king of the Mercians. She was bred up in great piety; and through her parents’ authority, became wife to Sighere, companion to St. Seb, in the kingdom of East Angles. But preferring the love of a heavenly bridegroom before the embraces of a king, her husband complied with her devotion; and, moreover, not only permitted her to consecrate herself to our Lord, but bestowed on her a village, situated near the sea, called Chic, where, building a monastery, she enclosed herself, and after she had spent some time in the service of God, it happened that a troop of Danish pirates landed there; who, going out of their ships, wasted and burned the country thereabout, using all manner of cruelty to the Christian inhabitants. Then he who was the captain of that impious band, having learnt the condition and religious life of the blessed virgin St. Ositha, began by entreaties and presents to tempt her to idolatry; adding withal threats of scourging, and other torments, if she refused to adore the gods he worshipped. But the holy virgin, despising his flatteries, and not fearing his threats, made small account of the torments attending her. Whereupon the said captain, enraged at her constancy and scorn of his idols, pronounced sentence of death against her, commanding her to lay down her head to be cut off. And in the same place where the virgin suffered martyrdom, a clear fountain broke forth, which cured several kinds of diseases. As soon as her head was off, the body presently rose up, and taking up the head in the hands, by the conduct of angels, walked firmly the straight way to the church of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, about a quarter of a mile distant from the place of her suffering. And when it was come there, it knocked at the door with the bloody hands, as desiring it might be opened, and thereon left marks of blood. Having done this, it fell there down to the ground.”

[24] It appears that in the time of the Confessor a “De Berkeley” possessed the adjoining manor and castle of Dursley; and his descendant might probably have joined the Conqueror on, or immediately after, his invasion, and thus retain the possessions until the domain was, during the wars between Maud and Stephen, consigned to Henry, afterwards Henry II. The gift to Robert Fitzhardinge is clear, and, occurring on the very year of his accession to the throne, was doubtless intended by the monarch to mark that event.

[25] The king had previously been treated with exceeding cruelty. It is said that on his way to Berkeley his conductors, for greater concealment of their captive, caused him to dismount from his horse and a barber to shave his head and beard with cold water from a ditch, telling him that “for once cold water must serve his purpose.” Covering his face with his hands, the unhappy monarch wept, saying, “Woulde they or noulde they, he woulde have warm water for his beard!” and to the end that he might keep his promise, he began to shed tears plentifully. This incident is related by Stowe on the authority of Thomas de Mori, “a worshipfull knight that then lived, and wrote in the French tongue, what he sawe with his eies or heard credily reported by them that sawe and some that were actors.” Lord Berkeley was allowed 5l. per diem for the monarch’s expenses during his imprisonment, and acquitted of all participation in the murder; Gournay was subsequently arrested at Marseilles and beheaded on shipboard, “it was supposed,” according to Hume, “because some nobles and prelates in England were anxious to prevent any discovery he might make of his accomplices.” Maltravers, many years afterwards, sued for mercy and obtained it. The greatest culprit seems to have escaped: Adam bishop of Hereford lent himself to the schemes of Mortimer and the queen, and wrote as follows to the knights who had the king in custody, “Edvardum occidere nolite timere bonum est,” purposely omitting the punctuations, so that the passage was capable of a double meaning, advising either to slay or spare the royal prisoner, and supplying a safe exit for the writer out of any difficulty that might subsequently arise.

[26] The following notes are extracted from Smith’s “Lives of the Lord Berkeleys,” edited by Fosbrooke:—

“The accompt of William Aside, receiver to the Lord Berkeley, accomptinge for a year from Mmass. anno 20 of Edward II. to the same feast in the first of Edward III., sheweth that he received to this lord’s use 700l. de camera scaccarii domini regis, out of the receipt in the king’s exchequer, for the expences of the house of the king’s father whilest he was at Berkeley; and hath in his said accompt an allowance of 31s. 1d. paid by him to Sir Thomas de Gournay, sent to Nottingham from Berkeley by the said Lord Berkeley to advertize the queene and the king her sonne of the death of the late king his father there. And 15th May the same year an allowance of 500l. more from the kynge, paid him by John de Langton, keeper of the castle of Kerfilly, for the same cause.

“The accompts of the reeves (stewards) of Hame and Alkington, and of other manors of this lord’s, near Berkeley Castle, expressly shewe what provisions and acates they sent from their severall granges and manor-houses from the 5th day of Aprill, then being Palm Sunday, when at supper time the kinge was first brought prisoner to Berkeley Castle, untill his death there the 21st September following.

“And the accompt of this said lord’s receiver for the yeare following, in 2d Edward III., sheweth what he payd for dyinge of the white canvas into black, for coveringe of the chariot wherein the bodye of the king was carryed from Berkeley Castle to Gloucester; what the cords, the hors-collers, the traces, and other necessaries particularly cost, used about the said chariot and conveyinge of his body thence to Gloucester; for a silver vessell to put the king’s hart in 37s. 8d. (in uno vase argentes pro corde dicti Domini Regis patres reponend); in oblations at several times in the chapple of the Castle for the kinges soul, 21d.; in expenses of the Lord Berkeley’s family going with the kinges body from Berkeley unto Gloucester, 18s. 9d.; and many like particularities.”

[27] About this period the records of the Castle testify that “from the manors of Ham and Cowley the following provisions were sent to the clerk of the kitchen for one year:—17,000 eggs, 1008 pigeons, 91 capons, 192 hens, 288 ducks, 388 chickens, 80 hogs, 110 porkers, 84 pigs, 45 calves, 315 quarters of wheat.”

[28] In 1334 the retinue of the then Lord of Berkeley usually consisted of twelve knights, each with two servants and a page; twenty-four squires, each with one man and a page—making a total of 108 persons.

£ s. d.
His expenditure for one year was 1309 14 6
He saved 1155 18 8
2465 13 2
A large sum for yearly income in those days.
His armour cost 11 8 11
A hawk 0 15 0
A falcon 1 15 0
[29] “The governor, Sir Charles Lucas, with three horses and arms, and 50l. in money. Each field-officer, two horses; foot-captains, one horse; lieutenant and ensigns, sword but no horse; field-officers and captains not to exceed 5l., soldiers not 5s. 16th October, Colonel Barnes, on petition, nominated governor by the House of Commons.”

[30] In reference to this apartment Horace Walpole, in a letter to the Rev. William Cole, dated 15th August, 1774, says:—“The room shewn for the murder of Edward II. and the shrieks of an agonising king, I verily believe to be genuine. It is a dismal chamber, almost at the top of the house, quite detached, and to be approached only by a kind of footbridge, and from that descends a large flight of steps, that terminate on strong gates—exactly a corps-de-garde.”

[31] “Hatfield, called Haethfeld, in the Saxon times, from its situation on a heath, was an ancient demesne of the Saxon kings, till it was granted by Edgar, in the tenth century, to the abbey at Ely, in Cambridgeshire. On the conversion of that foundation into a bishopric, in the reign of Henry I., it became attached to the new see; and the manor-house becoming a palace of the bishops, the town was thenceforth distinguished by the appellation of Bishops’ Hatfield. Queen Elizabeth, who had resided in the bishop’s palace some years before she came to the crown, greatly admired the situation; and by virtue of the statute which gave her the power of exchange, procured the alienation of this manor from the then bishop of Ely, Richard Cox. James I., in the third year of his reign, exchanged it for the house, manor, and park of Theobald’s, with his minister, Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, whose descendant, the Marquis of Salisbury, is the present owner.”

Notwithstanding Elizabeth’s regard for Hatfield, we cannot learn that she often resided here after her accession to the throne.

[32] The lowest fortune of any gentleman in that noble corps is stated, by one of its members, to have been no less than 4000l. a-year in land; equal, probably, to 20,000l. a-year at the present time.

[33] Of this house—the house in which Oliver Cromwell was born—only the site remains; a modern mansion having been erected upon it, about thirty years ago, by a Mr. Rust, a banker of the town—upon whose memory let the anathema rest. A wall of a cellar, which formed part of the ancient dwelling, now alone exists. The chamber in which the Protector “first drew breath” was a sight to which visitors ran eagerly; and this, it would seem, so worried the soul of the rich banker, that he commanded its removal, and with it as far as possible every trace of a house to which tens of thousands would desire to make a pilgrimage. Mr. Rust obtained the house—and the site, to which it would seem he attached some value—so recently as the year 1810. Until then it was in the possession of a Mr. Audley, a draper, who used to show the room in which the Protector was born, “and sportively desire it might be noticed that the devil was behind the door,” alluding to a figure of Satan upon some old tapestry with which the walls were hung. The ancient fabric was built of stone, with gothic windows and projecting attics. The present dwelling is as ugly an example of modern building as could well be seen.

[34] That Sir Oliver impaired his paternal estates by entertaining James I. is very certain. It is probable that the king was a frequent visitor to the hospitable knight, inasmuch as Royston, his Majesty’s hunting seat, was in the neighbourhood. The king’s first visit, in 1603, on his progress to take possession of the English throne, was a costly one. “His Highnesse and his followers,” according to Stow, “with all comers, had such entertainment as was not the like in any place before; there was such plentie and varietis of meates and diversitie of wines, and the sellars open at any man’s pleasure.” It is stated, indeed, that Sir Oliver’s entertainment was “a greater feast than had ever been given to a king by a subject”—a fact to which his Majesty himself testified; for on parting from the brave old knight, he is reported to have addressed him, “Merry mon, thou hast treated me better than ony ane syn I left Edinbro.”

[35] The present master of the school is the Rev. Mr. Fell, an accomplished scholar, and an enlightened gentleman, by whom we were guided about the various objects of interest in and around the venerable Town, and whose courtesies and attentions it is our pleasant duty to acknowledge.

[36] Upon a similar occasion, it is related that he paid a visit to his godfather-uncle at Ramsay; the sturdy old Royalist was firm to the monarchy; and although his nephew treated him with so much respect as to decline wearing his hat in his presence, he seized all his plate for the public service, and afterwards compelled him to give forty saddle-horses, “by way of fine.” Subsequently, however, when the whole estates of Sir Oliver were sequestrated by the Parliament, the remnant was restored to him by the intervention of Oliver—“for whose sake the sequestration was taken off.” Notwithstanding, the aged knight died in extreme poverty, in 1655, at the age of 93, and, it is said, was buried by night, “to prevent the seizure of his body by his creditors.”

[37] Over the entrance porch of the church at Godmanchester is a fine example of that ancient religious emblem, the “lily-pot,” in which is placed the miraculous rod of Joseph; in allusion to the old Roman Catholic legend of his marriage with the Virgin. According to this miraculous tale, the Virgin, who had spent her life in the service of the Temple, was to be married to that man of the race of David who, upon coming to the Temple bearing in his hand a rod, should be divinely pointed out as her future husband, by the miraculous flowering of the dry stick he carried, when offered at the altar to the High Priest. Joseph’s rod put forth buds and flowers immediately it was offered, and this miracle was a favourite subject with the early Catholic painters. Raffaelle has left us a picture of this event, and Joseph is frequently represented by other artists holding the rod with its flowers in his hand. The lily-rod is also often placed in a pot in the windows of in-door “Holy Family” scenes, similar to that which is placed upon the apex of the door at Godmanchester, as delineated in our initial letter; and which is a curious and unusually perfect example.

[38] On each side of the gate, upon projecting pillars, stand statues of wild men, the size of life. Each holds a tree uprooted; they are represented as covered with shaggy hair, wearing long beards and mustachios, with no article of dress but a girdle round the waist. These “Wodehouses,” or “Green Men,” for they were known by both names in the olden time, were favourite characters with our ancestors—as well in this country, as on the Continent. Froissart relates a melancholy story of a masque of wild men, among whom was King Charles VI. of France, which was performed at a marriage in 1392, when four of the noble masquers were burnt to death, owing to the curiosity of the King’s brother, who approached too near them with a lighted torch, which set fire to their dresses, that were made of cloth, and covered with pitch, upon which flax was fastened, to imitate shaggy hair. They were very commonly displayed in court masques and public processions in England. When King Henry VIII. kept his Christmas at Greenwich in the fifth year of his reign, “a mount,” upon which sat the King and five others, was drawn into the great Hall by “five wodehouses,” dressed in skins, or rugs resembling skins, so as to appear like savages. When Queen Elizabeth visited Kenilworth Castle, she was addressed by the pert Gascoigne habited like a savage, covered with ivy, holding in one of his hands an oaken plant torn up by the roots. They were frequently used to clear the way in processions, when the clubs were filled with fireworks. When Anne Bullen was conveyed upon the water from Greenwich to London in 1533, “there went before the Lord Mayor’s barge,” says Hall, “a foyste (a barge or pinnace propelled by rowers) full of ordnance, in which foyste was a great red dragon, continually moving, and casting forth wildfire; and round about the said foyste stood terrible monsters and wilde men, casting of fire and making a hideous noise.” They were usually employed in land processions, and the danger of too near an approach to them is alluded to by one of the characters in Wilson’s play, called “The Cobler’s Prophesy,” 1594, who exclaims, “Comes there a pageant by? I’ll stand out of the green man’s way, for fear of burning my vestment.” They were constant precursors of the annual pageants exhibited on Lord Mayor’s Day in London; in the Mayoralty procession of 1681, a body of twenty preceded the principal device. As a part of ancient public state and magnificence, the wild men of Hinchinbrook are most appropriately placed to watch and ward the principal gate.

[39] The prospect has been essentially abridged by the growth of surrounding trees. It is described by Evelyn as “a prospect, doubtless, for city, river, ships, meadows, hill, woods, and all other amenities, one of the most noble in the world.”

[40] Sir Henry Newton, who took the name of Puckering, on succeeding to the estates of his maternal uncle, espoused the royal cause, and was at the battle of Edge-hill. On the Restoration he was appointed Paymaster-general of the Forces. “His good housekeeping and liberality to the poor, who scarcely ever went away unfed from his gates, gained him the general love and esteem of his neighbours, and he was distinguished throughout the kingdom for being a generous benefactor to the poor cavaliers whose services were not rewarded by King Charles the Second.” Jane, the only daughter of Sir Henry, was attacked in Greenwich Park, on the 26th of September, 1649, by a party of men, who conveyed her to Erith, and put her on board a vessel there, the object being to compel her to marry a man named Joseph Welsh, by whom she was kept confined in a nunnery in Flanders, until she was induced, “through fear and despairing of ever being restored to her friends,” to marry him. On procuring her liberty, however, she instituted criminal proceedings against Welsh and his accomplices, and the marriage was declared void. They were indicted at Maidstone in 1651, and their guilt was proved, but it does not appear that they were in custody. She afterwards married Sir John Bale, of Carleton-Curlieu.

[41] Sir William Ducie was the son of Sir Robert Ducie, who “accumulated immense wealth in trade. He was banker to King Charles the First, and notwithstanding losing £80,000 by his Majesty, died, it is said, worth more than £400,000.”—Burke’s Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies.

[42] An anecdote of the Prince and his tutor is thus recorded. The Prince was here playing at the ancient English game of golf, when lifting up his golf-club to strike the ball, one standing by said to him, “Beware that you hit not Master Newton;” whereupon he, drawing back his hand, said, “Had I done so, I had but paid my debts.”

[43] Sir Adam Newton was a native of Scotland, advanced to the Deanery of Durham in 1606, which dignity, though not in orders, he held till 1620, when he resigned it, “being, in April of that year, created a Baronet.” His appointment as tutor to Prince Henry commenced in 1599 or 1600. “He was,” according to Dr. Birch, (Life of Henry Prince of Wales,) “thoroughly qualified for the office assigned him, both by his genius and his skill in the learned and other languages; and was distinguished by the neatness and perspicuity of his Latin style, shewn by his translation of King James’s Discourse against Conrade Vorstius.” In 1610 Mr. Adam Newton was appointed Secretary to the Prince when his Royal Highness “settled his household.” The Prince, to the universal grief of the nation, died in 1612. All contemporary historians unite in his praise. The anecdote so often told of him is a key to his admirable character. When urged to be wrathful with a butcher whose dog had killed a stag he was chasing, and so spoiled his sport—“Away,” said he, “all the pleasure in the world is not worth an oath.” “He was gentle and affable; but, however, in his carriage had a noble stateliness, without affectation, which commanded esteem and respect. He was courteous, loving and affable; naturally modest and even shame-faced; most patient, which he shewed both in life and death; slow to anger; merciful to offenders, after a little punishment to make them sensible of their faults: in brief, a character that approaches nearer to perfection, is not to be found in history.” His death was mourned by “all the muses;” funeral dirges to his memory were written by Donne, Webster, Chapman, Brown, Drummond of Hawthornden, and a score of other poets.

[44] Evelyn makes frequent mention of the venerable mansion, in connection with his “excellent friend,” Sir Henry Newton, the son and successor of Sir Adam. At that time the property belonged to Sir William Ducie.

[45] There are several wild traditions—and some of them not very delicate—concerning its origin. It is said to have been the result of an intrigue of King John with the wife of a miller: but the more probable origin is, that it was symbolic of the Ox of St. Luke, by which he is usually distinguished in ancient paintings, and to this Saint the Church of Charlton is dedicated. The Fair is now held on St. Luke’s day, the 18th of October, and the minister had a bequest of twenty shillings for preaching a sermon there. It was formerly kept upon a green opposite the Church, and facing the Mansion. At this fair were sold various articles formed of horn, such as drinking cups, &c., and horns gilded were sold and worn by the frequenters; during the reign of Charles the Second, it was a carnival of the most unrestrained kind, and persons used to start from London in boats, disguised as kings, queens, millers, &c., with horns on their heads, and men dressed as females, who formed in procession and marched round the church and fair. In the time of Brand, he tells us that the folks assembled consisted “of a riotous mob, who, after a printed summons dispersed through the adjacent towns, meet near Deptford, and march from thence in procession through that town and Greenwich to Charlton, with horns of different kinds upon their heads; and at the fair there are sold rams’ horns and every sort of toy made of horn, even the ginger-bread figures have horns.” In “Pasquil’s Night-cap, or Antidote for the Head-ache,” 1612, a poem by Nicholas Breton, a long and curious history of the annual meeting for the inauguration of these horns is given, as it used to be held in great pomp and with an immense concourse of people, all of whom

“In comely sort their foreheads did adorne,
With goodly coronets of hardy horne;”
but he ends by telling us that—

“Long time this solemne custome was observ’d,
And Kentish-men with others met to feast;
But latter times are from old fashions swerv’d
And grown repugnant to this good behest.
For now ungratefull men these meetings scorn
And thanklesse prove to Fortune and the horn,
For onely now is kept a poor goose fair,
Where none but meaner people doe repair.”
[46] Craggs was much implicated in the “South Sea Bubble.” He resided in a house on the property of Sir T. M. Wilson—since the residence of Mrs. Fitz-Herbert—afterwards of Queen Caroline, when Princess of Wales—afterwards of Alderman Atkins, and recently of Gen. Sir Thomas Hislop, Bart., who died there.

[47] The Hall is opened to the public generally, only on Friday (between the hours of eleven and four) the day on which Hampton Court is closed. Visitors are admissible by cards, which must be obtained previously from Mr. Caddel, library, Gravesend, or Mr. Wildash, bookseller, Rochester. A charge is made of one shilling to each person. The sum thus accruing is appropriated to the benefit of the schools and other charitable institutions in the neighbourhood. The visitor is thus relieved from the irksome necessity of considering what gratuity he is to bestow upon the guide who accompanies him through the several galleries,—servants “being strictly forbidden to take any fees.” The cards contain the “Regulations.” Those who can devote but one day to an examination of this locality will do well to commence by an inspection of the church and village, and wander about the park after the Hall has been seen. Those who are not content with so comparatively brief a scrutiny, will find a homely but neat and comfortable inn at Cobham. It is scarcely necessary to observe that steam-boats ply, in summer, from Blackwall—distant six miles, or ten minutes, from the heart of London—every half hour. These voyages commence very early, and are continued to a late hour; so that although the Hall is five or six and twenty miles from the metropolis, it will not be found difficult to visit it and return to the city within one day.

[48] “Cobeham, anciently Coptham,—that is the head or village, from the Saxon Copt, an head.”—Philipott. Survey of Kent.

[49] One of the husbands of this lady was Sir John Oldcastle, who, in the reign of Henry V., attached himself to the Lollards. He was cited to appear before the Archbishop of Canterbury, and sentenced to death as “a heretic; who together with others, to the number of twenty men, called Lollards, had conspired to subvert the clergy and kill the king.” Having been outlawed upon treason and excommunicated, he was removed from the Tower to the “New Gallows” in St. Giles’, where he underwent his sentence—“to be hanged, and burned hanging.” At the place of execution, it is said, he desired Sir Thomas Erpingham, “in case he saw him risen the third day after, that he would then be a means to procure favour to the rest of his sect.” His “Tryal” before the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1 Henry Fifth, A.D. 1413, “on the Saturday after the feast of St. Matthew,” in the Chapter House of St. Paul, is reported in the State Trials. It is curious to note the language in which the prelate is stated to have addressed the doomed recusant:—“We repeated in soft and moderate terms, and in a manner very courteous and obliging, all our proceedings against him.” “We replied with much patience, and in a courteous and affectionate manner.” “We besought him, with tears in our eyes, and exhorted him in the most compassionate manner.” Such, and similar phrases, record the “gentleness” with which he was doomed to a cruel death. The archbishop could “make nothing” of the brave Lollard. He openly avowed that the only honour he vouchsafed to the Image of the Cross was, to “keep it clean, and in his closet;” declared his belief that he was “the true successor of St. Peter, who followed him in the purity of his life and conversation;” and protested that he “desired absolution only from God.” For the said “detestable crime of heresy” he was ordered to die; “by the advice and consent of men famous for discretion and wisdom;” and was “dispatched with all convenient expedition.”

[50] Sir Thomas Broke, and Joan de Cobham, his wife, had ten sons and four daughters. It is their tomb which occupies so prominent a position in the chancel of Cobham church.

[51] At the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, at Winton, the 17th of November, 1 Jac. 1603, for high treason, “in conspiring to depose the king and set up the Lady Arabella Stuart, and corresponding with Spain for that purpose;” a variety of documents and letters were produced and read; written, as alleged, by Lord Cobham, implicating Sir Walter, admitting his own guilty participation, and affirming that “he would not have entered into these courses but by his, Raleigh’s, instigation.” Raleigh’s demand to be brought “face to face” with his accuser was refused, on the ground that “the accuser may be drawn by practise to retract what he had deposed, while he is here in person.” To this Raleigh replied, “He dares not accuse me. He said I was the cause of all his miseries and the destruction of his house, by my wicked counsel. If this be true, whom hath he to accuse or be revenged of but me?” “I say,” he added, “that Cobham is a base, dishonourable, poor soul.” Cobham, however, had retracted his assertions concerning Raleigh, who, at his trial, produced a letter from Cobham, to this effect:—“Seeing myself so near my end, for the discharge of my conscience and freeing myself from your blood, which else will cry vengeance against me, I protest upon my salvation, I never practised with Spain by your procurement: God so comfort me in this my affliction, as you are a true subject for anything I know. I will say as Pilate, ‘Purus sum a sanguine hujus.’ So God have mercy upon my soul, as I know no treason by you.” The letter, however, availed Sir Walter nothing; the attorney-general affirming “that it had been procured by subtle practices; and that the first declaration was drawn up voluntarily by my lord Cobham, and without any hopes of pardon.” Under a most iniquitous sentence then pronounced, Raleigh was executed fifteen years afterwards; and Cobham had been a houseless wanderer, meanwhile, perishing unpitied and unwept. Of their intimacy there is no doubt; and it is more than probable that the Old Hall we are describing was often the home of Sir Walter Raleigh, when distinguished as “the noble and valorous knight.” It is grievous to think that so great a “worthy” should have been sacrificed to the pitiful cowardice of so “poor a soul” as the last of the Cobhams—the degenerate scion of a munificent and valorous race.

[52] Sir Joseph Williamson was the son of a clergyman of Cumberland. He held various appointments under the Crown, was President of the Royal Society; and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

[53] “Lady Katherine O’Brien died in November following; upon which her two-thirds of this manor and seat, with the rest of the estates of the late Duke of Richmond, purchased by Sir Joseph Williamson, descended to Edward, Lord Clifton and Cornbury (son of Edward, Lord Cornbury, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, and Catherine his wife, the only daughter and heir of the said Lady Katherine, by her first husband, Henry, Lord O’Brien), and on her death without issue, in 1713, to his only surviving sister and heir, the Lady Theodosia Hyde.”—Hasted’s Kent, vol. i.

[54] The Blighs were originally a Devonshire family; and in the reign of Charles the First were seated at Rathmore, in the county of Meath, in Ireland.

[55] In 1714, 1 Geo. I., Sir Richard Temple, Bart. was created Baron Cobham—a title his descendants enjoy. The Temples were connected in the female line with the Brokes.

[56] At the end of this gallery are, branching to the right and left, the private apartments of the family; and in a room opening out of the west end of the Picture-gallery, Queen Elizabeth is reported to have slept when she honoured the Lord Cobham with a visit during her progress through Kent. In the centre of the ancient Ceiling are still preserved her Arms, with the date, 1599.

[57] An interesting series of Helmets hangs upon the walls of the chancel. They vary in age and appearance. The most interesting are two tilting helmets of the time of Henry V. These helmets were worn over the bassinet, which was also of steel, and fitted close to the head, having a movable visor which covered the face. The tilting or tournament helmet had nothing of the kind, an opening for the admission of light and air being formed by the projection of the lower portion, which covered the face, from the cap above. A few holes were drilled for sight, and the helmet rested upon the shoulders, being made wider at the neck, while the bassinet fitted it closely. The crest of the wearer, a plume of feathers, or other ornament, was generally affixed to these tournament helmets; and upon one of these at Cobham the staples remain upon the top and a hook behind, which helped to retain such decorations. A helmet thus ornamented with the crest of the Brokes—a Saracen’s head—still remains upon the walls. It is, however, of a much later date, probably about the time of Henry VII., and is a war-helmet with a movable visor.

[58] The other Brasses require a brief notice. The earliest is to the memory of John de Cobham, the first Knight Banneret, and Constable of Rochester; he is dressed in a shirt of mail: round his waist is a rich girdle sustaining a long sword. Eight lines of Norman French are inscribed round the verge of the slab. 2. Maude de Cobham, wife to Reynold, Baron Cobham, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in the reign of Edward the Third: she is standing on a dog. 3. Another Maude De Cobham—probably the wife of Thomas de Cobham, who died in the reign of Richard the Second. 4. Margaret de Cobham, wife of John Lord Cobham, the founder of the College. The inscription round the verge informs us, she was daughter to the Earl of Devonshire. 5. John de Cobham, the founder of the College, standing on a lion under a canopy. In his hands he holds a church. 6. Thomas de Cobham. 7. Joan de Cobham, “probably the daughter of John Lord Beauchamp, and mother of the Founder.” 8. Sir John Broke, and Lady Margaret his wife, under a rich canopy with pendants and other ornaments, with triangular compartments, “containing circles with shields, one of which bears the crown of thorns, and the other the five wounds; between the pinnacles, in the centre, is a curious representation of the Trinity, in which the Deity is delineated with a triple crown, and the Holy Spirit has a human face. The figure of the knight is gone, but that of his lady remains; and beneath, are groups of eight sons and ten daughters.” 9. Sir Reginald Braybroke, the second husband of Joan Lady Cobham. 10. Sir Nicholas Hawberk, her third husband. 11. Joan de Cobham: she died, as appears from the inscription, “on the day of St. Hilary the Bishop, A.D. 1433.” At her feet are six sons and four daughters, and surrounding her are six escutcheons of the Cobham arms and alliances. 12. Sir Thomas Broke, and one of his three wives. Below them are seven sons and five daughters. Sir Thomas died in 1529. 13. Sir Ralph, or Rauf de Cobham, represented by a bust, in a skull-cap and shirt of mail. He died, according to the inscription, on the 20th January 1402.

[59] The Sackvilles are an ancient and very distinguished family, dating from the Conquest. The first Peer, the famous Lord Buckhurst and Earl of Dorset, succeeded Burleigh as Lord Treasurer, an office in which he was confirmed by King James. He is more celebrated, however, as the author of the earliest English Tragedy in blank verse, “Gordubuc,” and “The Induction to a Mirrour for Magistrates,” one of the noblest Poems in the language. Gordubuc is praised by Sidney for its “notable moralitie;” and the Poem is believed to have given use to the Fairy Queen. All contemporaries agree in bearing testimony to the virtues of this truly noble man. One of them thus draws his character:—“How many rare things were in him! who more loving unto his wife! who more kind unto his children! who more fast unto his friend! who more moderate unto his enemy! who more true to his word!” The sixth Earl of Dorset is also celebrated in the History of Literature: he was one of the wits of the licentious court of Charles the Second; the associate of Rochester, Villiers, and Sedley; but subsequently the patron of Prior, Dryden, Butler, Congreve, Addison, and Pope. Prior he rescued from a vintner’s tap, and Butler “owed to him that the court tasted his ‘Hudibras.’” His reputation as an author rests upon a Poem consisting of no more than eleven stanzas—the “song” beginning

“To all ye ladies now at land,”—
said to have been written on shipboard, on the night preceding a sea-fight. It is an elegant composition, and manifests a “heedlessnesse of danger” natural to a gallant youth. Pope hails him as

“the grace of courts, the Muses’ pride;”
and there can be no doubt that he was not only a generous and liberal friend to men of letters, but a judicious patron to those who needed help.

[60] The Dining Parlour—where, by the way, in 1645, the Court of Sequestration met and deprived, for loyalty to his sovereign, Edward, the fourth Earl of Dorset, of his estates—contains a series of Portraits of men who, it is certain, met together often there, assembled round the festive board of Charles, the sixth Earl. Among the more interesting and important are those of Waller and Addison, by Jarvis; Dr. Johnson, Garrick, and Goldsmith, by Sir Joshua Reynolds; Otway, by Sir Peter Lely; Locke, Hobbes, Sedley, Newton, and Dryden, by Kneller; Cowley and Rochester, by Du Boyce; Tom Durfey—in “a conversation piece”—by Vandergucht; Burke, by Opie; together with copies, by less famous hands, of Ben Jonson, Congreve, Wycherley, Rowe, Garth, Swift, Cartwright, Pope, Betterton, Gay, Handel, &c., &c., &c.

[61] The artist selected as a worthy subject for his pencil the gallery which runs parallel with “the Brown Gallery,” on the upper floor. It is peculiarly striking and characteristic; and Time has shaken it into “the picturesque.” It is known as “the Retainers’ Gallery;” the sleeping apartments of the domestics branch off from it. The marble chimney-piece, although much dilapidated, is of the finest marble, and of rare workmanship.

[62] According to Hasted, the name is derived from Pen, an old British word signifying the top of anything; and hyrst, a wood.

[63] It has been the fortune of the “Arcadia” to be too highly valued in one age, and far too much underrated in another. Immediately after its publication it was received with unbounded applause:—“From it was taken the language of compliment and love, it gave a tinge of similitude to the colloquial and courtly dialect of the time, and from thence its influence was communicated to the lucubrations of the Poet, the Historian, and the Divine.” The Book is a mixture of what has been termed the heroic and the pastoral Romance, interspersed with interludes and episodes, and details the various and marvellous adventures of two friends, Musidorus and Pyrocles. It was not intended to be published to the world; but was written merely to pleasure the Countess of Pembroke—“a principal ornament to the family of the Sidneis.”

[64] The touching incident to which, perhaps, more than to any other circumstance, Sir Philip is indebted for his heroic fame, is thus related by his friend and biographer, Fulke Greville, Lord Broke:—“In his sad progress, passing along by the rest of the army, where his uncle, the General, was, and being thirsty with excess of bleeding, he called for drink, which was presently brought him; but, as he was putting the bottle to his mouth, he saw a poor soldier carried along, who had been wounded at the same time, ghastly casting up his eyes at the bottle. Which Sir Philip perceiving, took it from his head before he drank, and delivered it to the poor man, with these words, ‘Thy necessity is yet greater than mine.’” He lived in great pain for many days after he was wounded, and died on the 17th of October, 1586. The close of his life affords a beautiful lesson. “Calmly and steadily he awaited the approach of death. His prayers were long and fervent—his bearing was indeed that of a Christian hero. He had a noble funeral. Kings clad themselves in garments of grief—a whole people grieved for the loss of the most accomplished scholar, the most graceful courtier, the best soldier, and the worthiest man of the country and the age. He was buried in state, in the old Cathedral of St. Paul’s, on the 16th of February. Both Universities composed verses to his memory; and so general was the mourning for him, that, “for many months after his death, it was accounted indecent for any gentleman of quality to appear at Court, or in the City, in any light or gaudy apparel.”

[65] The Norrises had long been a family of note in Lancashire, and held lands in Blackrod, Sutton, &c. The family of Bradshaw, of Bradshaw, was of Saxon origin, and seated there before the conquest; after that event, Sir John Bradshaw was repossessed of his estates by the Conqueror, which went to his posterity for twenty-two descents, whereof eleven were lineally knighted, as appears by ancient charter, and other authentic evidences. A full account of the marriages may be seen in Wotton’s Baronetage (Edition 1769, vol. vi., fol. 14), down to Sir William Bradshaw, second son of Sir John Bradshaw, the tenth generation from Sir John Bradshaw; which Sir William married Mabel daughter of Hugh Norreys, or Norris, by which he got for her dowry, as sole heir of her father, the manors of Sutton, Raynhill, Whiston, Haghe, Blackerode, and West Leigh. Haghe and Blackrode were held as a twelfth part of a knight’s fee. There is a well-attested story of Mab and Mab’s Cross. She was obliged to walk bare-foot and bare-legged once a week from Haigh to near Wigan, to expiate the sin of marrying again in her husband’s absence, when she thought he had been slain. This Mab was Mabil Norreys, of Blackrode. A portion of the Cross is still to be seen at the extremity of the town of Wigan, on the left hand side of the road, leading from Wigan to Haigh Hall, now the residence of Earl Balcarras.

The Norrises of Speke and Rycot were all martial men. They held their estate of Speke by military tenure, which they imposed upon their tenantry. The Norrises acquired great honours in foreign service, in which they were so much engaged as to be unfrequent attendants at court. A part of the debateable lands at Bromfield, in Wales, was granted to this family. Sir John Norris was a most accomplished General about 1577, equally valiant and skilful in a charge as a retreat. On one memorable occasion, he effected a retreat with a handful of Englishmen, which gained him more honour than a victory could have conferred. He was sent to Ireland, as a commander, in the reign of Elizabeth; but not being properly supported by the Government, or owing perhaps to the animosity of party spirit, he did not succeed in his mission, and died anno 1597.

[66] The question whether the wainscoting at Speke did or not originally come from Scotland, appears to have given rise to some discussion; and is unquestionably a matter of deep interest to antiquarians. Not long ago, Robert Whatton, Esq., F.S.A., Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, took some pains to investigate its history, in order to assist the Scottish Society of Antiquaries, who had organised a committee with a view to ascertain whether there was or was not any proof to sustain the tradition.

It appears Mr. Whatton could meet with no intelligence prior to 1767. “Seacome,” in his History of the House of Stanley, page 46, refers to it; also “Enfield,” in his History of Liverpool, 4to, 1774, page 115. These accounts have been copied by Gough, in his edition of Camden, and every subsequent writer.

The very splendid and highly-finished specimen of the carved oak wainscot, common to the counties of Lancaster and Chester, is erected against the north wall of the room, and is divided perpendicularly from the ceiling, two-thirds of its extent downwards, into eight compartments, these compartments being again subdivided horizontally into five rows of panels; a space corresponding with the width of two of the compartments, on the right hand, with the exception of the uppermost panels, is occupied by the door-case, which projects into the room. That part of the wainscot which is usually allotted to the frieze or cornice, is here formed into a projecting head, extending through the whole length of the works in a line with the ceiling of the room, to which it is attached and secured by nine supporters, correspondent with the columns below.

The columns which divide the wainscot into compartments rise from square ornamental pedestals; the shafts are fluted in two divisions, having capitals with volutes and rows of foliage, and supporting scrolls with massive square heads, increasing in diameter upwards, and reaching to the bottom of the first row of panels.

The columns of the door-case are similar to those on the wainscot, except that the shafts are ornamented in zigzag instead of fluting; in the centre, over this door, is a shield with the arms of Norris, quartering Harrington, and Molyneux, and others we cannot decipher.

With respect to the origin of this fine and beautiful work, there seems to be no evidence to support the current tradition of its having been originally Scottish. Mr. Whatton is of opinion, not only that it never came from Scotland, but that it was of neighbouring manufacture; and was executed for Edward Norris in 1598 (40th of Elizabeth), and not brought thither by his great uncle, Sir Edward, who fought at Flodden; but the probability is, that some relics brought from Scotland had been set up at Speke previous to the erection of the present Manor Hall in 1598; and as these would no doubt be transferred to the new building, it might have happened in the course of time, that what was strictly applicable to a part may have been ascribed to the whole.