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A visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 2) online

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the wainscot, except on the north side, which
is occupied with a bookcase extending across
the apartment. The walls are hung with
family portraits. The chairs in this room
are very ancient, of the date of Queen Eliza-
beth. Adjoining the library is the dining-
room, thirty feet by twenty. The walls of
this apartment are hung with family and
other pictures, many of which came from
Harden Hall, the neighbouring seat of the
Alvanley family. In the servants' hall is a
quaint moulding in cement of the family
crest (a stag at gaze under a vine) arms and
motto, Bona Benemerenti Benedictio. A long
terrace which intervenes between the man-
sion and the precipice leads to the offices,
which are numerous, some having embattled
gables, resembling the Scotch architecture.
The extensive stablings, erected during the
Commonwealth, are supposed to have been
built for the accommodation of the Round-
heads, by Mr. Henry Bradshaw, an adherent
of Cromwell, and brother of the regicide.

Marple Hall is famous for having given
birth to John Bradshaw, the Regicide Presi-
dent of the pretended High Court of Justice,
which condemned to death the unfortunate
monarch Charles I. John was the youngest
son of Henry Bradshaw, of Marple Hall, by
Catharine, daughter and heiress of Ralph
Winnington, Esq. of Offerton Hall, Cheshire,
who died soon after giving him birth. His
baptism is thus entered in the Stockport Re-

G



42



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



gister, "John the Sonne of Henry Bradshaw
of Marple, was baptized 10th Dec. 1602."
Opposite to this entry, the word " traitor "
has been written by another hand, though of
ancient style. He received his education, as
he relates in his will, at Bunbury in Cheshire,
after which he served his clerkship with an
attorney at Congleton, whither he returned,
after having resided some tune at Gray's Inn,
and acted as a barrister at law. He was
first employed by Government in 1646, when
he was appointed for six months one of the
three Commissioners of the Great Seal. In
the year following, both houses voted him the
office of Chief Justice of Cheshire, and he was
also made one of the Judges for Wales. On
the 3rd January 1648-9, when the Lords had
adjourned their house, and rejected the trial
of the King, the Commons declared that the
business should be performed by themselves
alone ; Bradshaw, who was absent, was
elected president of the commissioners ap-
pointed to try then* sovereign. His conduct
at the trial, his insolence, and his haughty
demeanour towards the dethroned King, must
cause him to be ever regarded with feelings
of execration. After Charles's death he
was appointed one of the thirty persons
whom the house invested with extraordi-
nary powers, and to add to his importance
he was made Chief Justice of Wales, and had
in June, 1649, £1000 voted him by Parlia-
ment, and soon after £2000 a-year was settled
on him for life. On the escape of the Duke
of Hamilton and other State prisoners, Brad-
shaw was again made president of a new
Court of Justice, and it was in this court
that he forfeited the favour of Cromwell ;
for on the very same day that the Protector
dissolved the Long Parliament, he endea-
voured to break up this Council of State,
where Bradshaw was presiding. Cromwell,
upon entering the council chamber, said,
" Gentlemen, if you are met here as private
persons, you shall not be disturbed, but if as
a Council of State, this is no place for you,
since you cannot but know what was done hi
the House this morning ; so take notice that
the Parliament is dissolved." To this, Brad-
shaw, who seemed the opposer of unlimited
power, whether exercised by King or Pro-
tector, boldly replied, "Sir, we have heard
what you did at the House in the morning,
and before many hours all England will hear
it — but, Sir, you are mistaken to think that
Parliament is dissolved, for no power under
heaven can dissolve them, unless they dissolve
themselves, therefore take you notice of that."
Bradshaw never regained the Protector's
favour, though his conduct seems to have
impressed Cromwell with respect, for in
mentioning the subject soon after to Desbo-
rough, he said, " I have dissolved the Council
of State, in spite of the objection of honest



Bradshaw the President." Cromwell now
endeavoured to dispossess him of all the power
with which he had formerly invested him ; he
opposed his return to Parliament for the
county of Chester in 1654, in which however
he was not successful ; and required him to
resign his commission of Chief Justice of
Chester, which Bradshaw positively refused
to do, declaring that he held that place by a
grant of the Parliament of England, to con-
tinue " Quamdlu se bene gesserit" and would
submit to be tried by twelve Englishmen,
chosen even by Cromwell himself, whether
he had conducted himself with that integrity
which his commission exacted. Bradshaw
had probably become the less acceptable to
the Protector because he continued to adhere
firmly to what he supposed were the principles
of liberty, which he thought Cromwell was
now endeavouring to violate.

It would seem that Bradshaw's republican
spirit animated him to the last ; for when on
his death-bed, he was recommended to exa-
mine himself about the matter of the king's
death, he declared, that " if it was to do again,
he would be the first man that should do it."
Little is known respecting the judge's death,
except that it took place in the year 1659.
After the Restoration, his body was exhumed,
drawn on a sledge to Tyburn, and, with the
bodies of Cromwell and Ireton, hanged
on the several angles of the gallows, after
which their heads were cut off and fixed on
Westminster Hall. Bradshaw married Mary,
daughter of Thomas Marbury, Esq., of Mar-
bury. He left no legitimate issue, but one
illegitimate son, whose last descendant, Sarah
Bradshaw married, 1757, Sir Henry Caven-
dish, ancestor to Lord Waterpark. By Brad-
shaw's will, dated March 22, 1653, the probate
of which is now at Marple Hall, it appears
that he was possessed of various manors in
Kent, Middlesex, Wilts, Southampton, and
Somerset ; and among many charitable be-
quests was the sum of £700 to found a free
school at Marple. An old chart or map of
his estates is still hanging on the staircase in
Marple Hall. The judge's library continued
at Marple Hall till the close of the last cen-
tury, when it was sold to Mr. Edwards of
Halifax, having been probably augmented by
the later generations of the Bradshaws. The
entire collection, according to a writer in the
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 86, part 1, is
described as being " more splendid and truly
" valuable than any which had been previously
" presented to the curious, and such as asto-
" nished not only the opulent purchasers, but
" the most experienced and ntelligent book-
" sellers of the metropolis."

MILLICHOPE PARK, co. Salop, the seat of
Charles Orlando Childe Pemberton, Esq.
A branch of the family of More (remotely



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



43



sprung from the same stock as the Mores
of Linley) were seated at Millichope for
many generations. The last male represen-
tative was Thomas More, who died in the
year 1767, having outlived his four sons,
who all grew to manhood, and died un-
married. Of these sons, two died in the
service of their country — viz., Leighton
More (Lieut. R.N.), who died at sea, on
board the Salisbury man of war, aged twenty -
four, in the year 1744 ; and John (Major of
the 79th Regiment), who was killed, aged
forty-two, by an arrow, at the storming of
Manilla, on the 6th of October, 1763. To
their memory, an elegant temple of the
Ionic order, enclosing a cenotaph, on which
are recorded the services and fate of both,
was erected in the year 1770, in the garden
at Millichope. Over the entrance of the
building is the following inscription : —



HOC. SEPULCHRUM.

FRATRIBUS. DUOBUS. PRO. PATRIA. STIPENDIA. MERENTIBUS.

ALTERO. FERRO. INTERFECTO. ALTEKO. FEBRE. EXTINCTO.

P. C.

BIVM SORORFS. .

PARENTUM. AMBORUM. FRATRUM. QUATUOR.

FAMILIjE OLIM FLORENTISSI1LE.

SUPERSTATES. SIMUL. ATQUE. HiLREDES. LUCTUOSjE.

ANNO. SACRO. MDCCLXX.



Mr. More left two daughters — viz., Ca-
therine, who married, in 1768, Robert More,
of Linley ; and Margaret, who married, in
1769, Dudley Acland, afterwards a General
in the army. Neither of /these ladies left
issue ; and on the death of the elder and last
survivor, Mrs. Catherine More, in 1792, the
line of the Mores of Millichope became ex-
tinct.

Mrs. Catherine More bequeathed Milli-
chope to Robert Pemberton, second son of
John Pemberton of Wrockwardme, and
brother of Edward Pemberton, also of
Wrockwardine, who was Sheriff for Shrop-
shire in the year 1754, and for many years
Chairman of the Quarter Sessions at Shrews-
bury.

Robert Pemberton died in the year 1794,
and was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas,
Barrister at Law, Recorder of Wenlock, and,
like his uncle Edward, for many years
Chairman of Quarter Sessions at Shrews-
bury.

Thomas Pemberton died, unmarried, in
the year 1832, and was succeeded by his
nephew, the late Rev. Robert Norgrave
Pemberton, Rector of Church Stretton, who
was born August 7th, 1791, married, No-
vember 11th, 1820, Caroline, youngest
daughter of the late Augustus Pechell, Esq.,
of Berkhamstead, and dying without issue,
October 7th, 1848, bequeathed his estates to
his kinsman, Charles Orlando Childe, who
assumed, by royal license, in 1849, the name
and arms of Pemberton, in addition to his



paternal name and arms, and is the present
possessor of Millichope.

Mr. C. 0. Childe Pemberton is the third
son of William Lacon Childe, Esq., of Kin-
let Hall, Shropshire, and Kyre Park, Wor-
cestershire, by his wife, Harriet, youngest
daughter of William Cludde, of Orleton, Esq.,
eldest son (the name of Cludde, which was
that of his maternal ancestor, having been
assumed by him) and heir of the above-
mentioned Edward Pemberton, brother of
Robert Pemberton, of Millichope.

The old house, a picturesque but dilapi-
dated and incommodious structure of timber
and plaster, was taken down about twelve
years ago. The present mansion, begun in
1835, and completed in 1840, has been built
on a slight eminence about fifty yards from
the former site. The style of architecture
is Grecian ; there is a handsome portico
in front, of six columns, of the Ionic order.
The surrounding pleasure-grounds were laid
out with great taste by the late Mr. Pem-
berton.

BLATHERWYCKE PARK, in the county of
Northampton, the seat of Augustus Stafford,
Esq., M.P. The manor of Blatherwycke
was acquired by Sir Humphrey Stafford,
sprung from the old baronial house of Staf-
ford, in the tune of Henry VI., by marriage
with Alianore, daughter and co-heir of Sir
Thomas Aylesbury, and continued with his
descendants, who allied themselves with the
ancient families of Fray, Tame, Cave,
Clopton, Fermor, Seymour, &c, until con-
veyed by the sisters and co-heirs of the last
male heir, William Stafford, to their hus-
bands ; the elder, Susanna, marrying Henry
O'Brien, Esq., and the younger becoming
the wife of George Lord Carbery.

This mansion was erected in 1713, but not
upon the site of the old building. It is of
the Grecian order of architecture.

BRAHAN CASTLE, Rosshire, the seat of the
Hon. Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth.
From time immemorial this property has
been held by the Earls of Seaforth, or their
representatives.

Brahan Castle was erected about the year
1624, by Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, and
the Rev. John Mc Rae in his manuscript
history of the clan Mc Kenzie says, " It
was one of the most stately houses in those
days in Scotland." He then adds that
" the Earl of Seaforth at first intended to
erect it on the site of the old castle of Ding-
wall, but his uncle, Sir Rorie of Tarbat, pre-
vailed upon him to build it upon his ownj
ancient property and inheritance."

This castle, which was dismantled m
1745, is situated in the lovely valley of the
Conon, the grounds upon tins side of



44



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



the river ascending boldly to the foot
of the precipitous Brahan Rock. It
was, however, preceded by a yet older
castle built by Kenneth, the founder of the
clan of the Mackenzies. His father, an
Irishman, of the house of Geraldine, mar-
ried the only daughter and heiress of Coin-
neach Grumach, that is, " Kenneth the Mo-
rose," chief of the clan Mathieson. Kenneth
was named after his grandfather, and given
up as heir-apparent to his management.
According to the clan traditions, Coinneach
Grumach was perfidiously murdered by the
chief of Glengarry, with whom he was at
feud about the lands of Lochalsh. The
death of the chief was the signal of yet
greater misfortunes to this doomed clan,
every man of which was butchered in cold
blood, while in his bed, by the Macdonalds.
Young Kenneth was the only one that
escaped, the courage and affection of his
nurse saving from the general slaughter, to
grow up in after life, a fortunate and dis-
tinguished character. At a royal hunt held
in Kintail by Alexander the Third, that
monarch chanced to be separated from his
attendants, when the stag turning upon him
put him in danger of his life. Young Ken-
neth, who chanced to come up in time,
immediately sprang to the monarch's rescue,
exclaiming, " Cudich an Righ ! Cudich an
Righ ! " At the same moment he got be-
tween the king and the deer with his naked
sword in his hand, and at one blow severed
the animal's head from its body. The
caber fan — the deer's head — ever afterwards
was used for his crest, with Cudich an Righ,
for a motto. Such was the respect of the
clan for the roof-tree of Kenneth, that it is
said the heads of the different Mackenzie
families at one time interfered by force to
prevent the Earl of Seaforth from pulling
down Brahan Castle.*

Though the country in the immediate
neighbourhood has not those mountainous
features which impart so much beauty to
other parts of Scotland, yet it is occasionally
diversified by knolls or hollows, and some
ravines of a rather romantic aspect. In one
of these the Findon-Burn pours its waters
from a height of about twenty feet down into
a yawning gorge formed by a sudden widen-
ing of the fissure on either side ; the banks
above rising boldly, and being covered with
birch, oak, and hazel. The place has proved
sufficiently gloomy and interesting to give
rise in olden times to the superstition of a
certain mysterious being called, in Gaelic, a
Bhaobh, or a Bhean Shith, no doubt belonging
to the family of the Irjsh Banshie. Many
curious legends used to be told of her, but
which have now unfortunately gone to sleep
with the old gossips in the church-yard, the

* Black's Tourist of Scotland.



Presbyterian ministers showing as much zeal
in rooting out the romantic legends of other
days as their forefathers did in pulling down
the monasteries. Still the work of demolition
has not been quite successful in either case ;
monastic fragments and legendary vestiges
still remain to reward the diligent inquirer,
who has patience and love enough for his
subject to pursue it into its recesses amongst
the people.

Connected with this family is a curious tra-
dition, such as we only look for in romance,
and even there perhaps might hold for an
exorbitant demand upon our credulity. In
proper hands, and in the proper place, it
would form an admirable basis for a work of
fiction. In our pages, the motto of which
must be, " Jucunda et idonea dicere vitse,"
it must appear simply, and without any of
that colouring which, though it might increase
its interest, woidd as surely take from its
claims to be considered a true story.

Isabella, the wife of Kenneth, third Earl
of Seaforth, had in some way the misfortune
to offend Kenneth Oich, a man reputed to
possess that prophetic gift, by no means
uncommon among the Highlanders, called
" the second sight." In his case the sight
did not come upon his spirit hi the usual form,
without the intervention of any material
object, but by means of a pebble, wherein he
saw, though none else coidd, the forms and
images of future events ; perhaps, therefore,
it should be rather said that he possessed a
charm, or talisman, which differed from other
things of the same kind, only as its virtues
were hidden from all except himself.

To this tablet the indignant seer had now
recourse, in the hope no doubt of seeing in
it the foreshadowing of evils to light one day
upon the family of the offender. Nor was he
deceived in his expectations. The pebble
showed him that at some future time there
would be a chief of the Mackenzies born both
deaf and dumb — he would sell all his " gifted "
binds— loseall his sons — and finally the estate
woidd be possessed by a female, " with snow
in her cap, who would come from across
the sea."

At the sight of such aggravated calamities
in embryo, the heart of the seer was softened ;
he repented himself of his momentary fit of
anger ; and, as if feeling that he had in some
sort created these unborn evils by thus tear-
ing the veil from futurity, he cast the pebble
into a small lake behind Brahan Castle.

Time rolled on — the countess and Kenneth
Oich were long resting in their grave, when
his prediction was fulfilled in the person of
Francis Humberston Mackenzie, the chief-
tain of the clan, who in 1796 was created
Baron of Seaforth, the original earldom granted
in 1623 having been attainted. He was deaf
ami dumb, so that those about him cuold



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



45



only converse withjbim in the silent language
of the lingers ; he had tour sons, two of whom
died in infancy, the third when a midshipman,
and the fourth, who was a remarkably fine
young man, deceased in 1814, after a short
but severe illness in the twenty-fourth year
of his age. Thus much for the first branches
of the fatal prediction.

The " gifted lands " alluded to by the seer,
as shown to him in the pebble, were the
barony of Kintail, given by Alexander the
Third of Scotland to Colin Fitz-Gerald, a
member of the house of Gerald in Ireland,
who founded the Clan Mackenzie, which
spread with time till it attained great power
and distinction.

These lands, as the seer had truly read in
his magic pebble, were sold by Lord Seaforth
before the death of his last-surviving son.
At that time they had been in the family
about five hundred years.

The latter part of the prediction, unlikely
as it seemed to be of fulfilment, was yet in
its turn accomplished. " A female with snow
in her cap," did actually come over the
sea, and possess the estate, allowing always
that latitude of interpretation which is usually
claimed and granted when the accomplish-
ment of prophecies is in question. The expla-
nation has been thus given by those who are
in the habit of repeating, if not believing, the
tradition.

Lady Hood, being in India, returned to
England, and thus fulfilled the condition of
coming over the sea. As her husband was
lately dead, she wore the usual head-dress of
a widow, which, being white, should be inter-
preted to mean the snow in her cap alluded
to by the seer; for he was to be under-
stood as having spoken not literally, but
metaphorically, and by way of type and
symbol, the usual mode of all predictors from
the tune of the Roman sybils. Lastly she
became possessed of the estates by inheritance,
in the absence of heirs male.

Lady Hood was the eldest of Lord Sea-
forth's six daughters, and was twice mar-
ried ; first to Admiral Sir Samuel Hood ;
and secondly to the Right Hon. James Alex-
ander Stewart, and is now the Hon. Mrs.
Stewart-Mackenzie.

The predictions of Kenneth Oich would
appear to have been well remembered in
the family ; William Mackenzie woidd often
jestingly express his determination not to
allow any of his sisters to marry a foreigner,
lest they should be the means of realising
them. Upon one occasion, when the Duke
of Lemster was visiting at Brahan Castle,
they told him of the prophecy, saying, " as
we are descended from your Grace's family,
perhaps you are he that is to come across
the sea and take possession of the estate."



Sir Walter Scott, whose memory was as
prodigious as his research was unbounded,
was perfectly well acquainted with this tra-
dition, and alludes to its leading facts in
his imitation of the Gaelic ballad of " Fare-
well to Mackenzie."

" In vain the bright course of thy talents to -wrong,
Fate deadened thine ear, and imprisoned thy tongue ;
For brighter o'er all her obstructions arose
The glow of the genius they could not oppose,
And who in the land of the Saxon or Gael
Might match with Mackenzie, high chief of Kintail ?

Thy sons rose around thee in light and in love,
All a father could hope, all a friend could approve ;
What 'vails it the tale of thy sorrows to tell ?
In the spring-time of youth "and of promise they fell !
Of the line of Fitzgerald remains not a male,
To bear the proud name of the chief of Kintail.

And thou, gentle dame, who must bear to thy grief,
For thy clan and thy country the cares of a chief,
Whom brief rolling moons in six changes have left,
Of thy husband, and father, and brethren bereft,
To thine ear of affection how sad is the hail
That salutes thee the heir of the line of Kintail ! "

BIRCH HOUSE, the propertyof John Bentley,
Esq., of Portland-place, London, a magis-
trate for the co. of Lancaster, and a deputy-
lieutenant for the co. of Middlesex, is
situate two miles south-east of Bolton, and
eight miles north of Manchester ; the grounds
being intersected by the railway. This man-
sion is one of the old manorial structures, of
which few now remain in this country ; and
though it was partly rebuilt by the father of
the present proprietor, it still retains much
of its ancient character. A learned antiquary
of the last century, Mr. Doming Rasbot ham,
describing it, says, " Birch House, which in
the reign of Queen Mary was the propertyof
Sir Robert Worsley, of Bothes, is remarkable
for its having been substantially rebuilt with
bride, so early as the year 1641 (Charles
I.), which was only seventeen years after (as
Rushworth informs us) King James I. had
been reproached, amongst other grievances,
with the introduction of brick building into
the metropolis ; a grievance which he re-
solved to continue." The same antiquary
goes on to mention " the right of sanctuary,
in one of the fields, at a spring in which there
was held, not many years ago [and he writes
in 1787] what is here called a spa fair, an
anniversary meeting of the younger inhabi-
tants of the neighbourhood to drink water
and sugar."

From its situation, Birch House commands
a fine view over the valley of the Irwell, and
the ornamental bridges in the park, across
the railway, do not at all detract from the
landscape. The interior arrangement of the
house is convenient ; and the rooms, though
not large, contain much to interest. The library
is particularly worthy of notice. The old
carved oak and stained glass are in perfect



46



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



accordance with the other decorations of this
beautiful apartment.

The collection of pictures here however, al-
most entirely of the English school,isthe chief
attraction. Most of them have been engraved,
but we cannot omit to mention Sir Joshua
Reynolds's beautiful fancy portrait of Mr.
Hartley, as a Bacchante ; and Dionysius, the
Areopagite, by the same great master ; also
one of Gainsborough's exquisite pastoral
scenes, and amongst the works of Richard
Wilson, perhaps his chef (Taiuvre, the well-
known picture called "Apollo and the
Seasons."

BRAMSHILL, Hampshire, the seat of
the Rev. Sir Wm. II. Cope, Bart. Few
places afford such an unmixed treat to visi-
tors and lovers of old halls as the tine old
house of Bramshill. It is not the largest,
nor the finest, nor the showiest, nor the best
plenished of our ancient mansions ; but it is
as it was, and as it was intended to be. It
has no new whig built " in a modern style of
convenience " in the middle of the last cen-
tury, nor has it any restorations, nor im-
provements by Kent or Brown. No ! there
it stands, as it stood two hundred years
ago ; a little more weather-dyed perhaps,
but still the same; and its wild and pic-
turesque park, in all its main features, as
it was halt" a century after it was reclaimed
from the heath round it. This, then, is the
great charm that Bramshill possesses for
those who love to let their thoughts run
back to former days, and converse in books,



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