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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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men, at Bramshill. Here, notwithstanding
that he had strenuously resisted the Book
of Sports two years before, he (with an in-
consistency not uncommon in persons of his
opinions) relaxed himself by shooting at the
buck ; and with an awkwardness which (we
may at least hope) proves his inexperience in
the sport, he lodged the arrow in one Peter
Hawkins, a park-keeper, who bled to death
in a short time. The king, the clergy, and
the people, were astounded and horrified at
this event. " The like had never happened
in our church, nor in any other, in the per-
son of a bishop and a metropolitan. "f His
suspension, the controversies that ensued, the
refusal of his suffragans elect to receive con-
secration from his blood-stained hands, and
his subsequent pardon under the Great Seal,
and restoration to the duties of his office — ■
these are matters of history} and need not
be related here. But the archbishop's own
affliction and deep repentance are not so well
known. As long as he lived he rigidly
observed Tuesday, the day on which the
accident occurred, as a fast, in perpetual
recollection of his mischance ; he allowed an
annuity to the widow of the unfortunate
park-keeper ; and I observe that he provides
for her in his will.§ The noble hospital which
he founded at Guildford, the place of his

* Environs of Reading, p. 15.
t Ilacket's Life of Archbishop Williams, p. 65.
t See a full account of them in the Biographia Bri-
tannica, vol. i., art. Abbot.
§ Speaker Onslow's Life of Archbishop Abbot.



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



51



birth, for a master, twelve brethren, and eight
sisters, has been said to be also one of the
fruits of his repentance ; but this is a mis-
take : for he had sketched out the plan of
that charity, and indeed had laid the hrst
stone of the edirice the year before his fatal
hunting in Bramshill Park ; though it is very
likely that the extent of his endowment and
the amount of his alms-deeds may have been
increased in his affliction for the bloodshed
of which he had been guilty.

So much for the ancient history of Brams-
hill ; let us record one fact of recent occur-
rence to be chronicled in its future traditions
— the visit of Queen Victoria — who, with the
Prince Consort, went over the mansion on
the 21st January, 1845 (the court being then
at Strathfieldsaye), and expressed herself
much pleased with the view of this ancient
English house in its olden English state.

TONGE CASTLE, Shropshire, the seat of
George Charles Selwyn Durant, Esq., is
situated about three miles and a- half east of
Shiffnal. The castle is a spacious structure,
erected in a style of architecture forming a
fantastic mixture of Gothic and Moorish, but,
though bad in detail, the effect produced is
strikingly grand, arising from its numerous
turrets and pinnacles, the rich colour of the
stone, the wide extent, and the stately crown
given to the whole by two lofty and magni-
ficent Turkish domes. It is beautifully
situated in a fine champaign country, watered
by a serpentine river, which flows through
the grounds, and passes close to the castle.
The park contains 320 acres, and is finely
wooded by venerable timber.

Tonge is stated to have been anciently the
seat of Hengist, the Saxon, whom Vortigern,
the British king, called in to his assistance ;
and, having been successful in his warlike
engagements, he afterwards begged of Vorti-
gern as much land as an ox hide could enclose.
On his request being granted, he cut the hide
into strips, and had as much land as it en-
compassed, whereon he built a castle. Sub-
sequent to the Conquest, Tonge was the seat
of the eminent family of Pembrugge, from
whom it passed, in the fourteenth century, to
the Vernons, by the marriage of William
Vernon, of Haddon, with Benedicta, sister
and heir of Sir Fulke Pembrugge. The
great-grandson of this marriage, Sir Henry
Vernon, gave the great bell, of 48 cwt. weight,
to the church of Tonge, and a rent out of his
manor of Norton for the tolling of it " when
any Vernon comes to town." The estate
afterwards passed to the Stanleys, through
the marriage of Thomas Stanley with Mar-
garet, dan. and co-heir of Sir George Vernon;-
and here was born the renowned beauty,
Venetia Stanley, who married Sir Kenehn
Digby.



From the Stanleys the estate passed, by
purchase, to Sir Thomas Hames, Bart., an
eminent lawyer, and through his daughter,
Elizabeth, who married William Pierre-
point, Esq., to the ducal house of Kingston,
and was sold, by Evelyn, last Duke of
Kingston, to George Durant, Esq., in 1764.
This gentleman demolished the old castle,
and erected the present stately edifice on its
site ; and from him the property has descended
to the present proprietor.

In the parish church of Tonge, the advow-
son of which is appendant to the castle, are
many superb monuments, among which are
those of Sir Fulke Pembrugge and Ins lady,
who founded the church in 1410; Sir Henry
Vernon, governor to Arthur, Prince of Wales;
Sir Richard Vernon, Constable of England ;
and a large tomb of Sir Edward Stanley, with
an epitaph written by Shakspeare.

IYTHW00D PAEK, Shropshire, late the
seat of Thomas Parr, Esq., is situated about
three miles south of Shrewsbury, and ap-
proached from the Hereford turnpike-road.
The mansion, which was erected about 1780,
after a design by Stuart, is hi the Grecian
style of architecture. The front is of white
Grinshill stone, embellished with a handsome
portico of the Corinthian order.

The back, comprising the offices, forms a
spacious court, with extending wings, and is
of brick, with stone dressings. The house is
approached by a carriage drive, of one-third
of a mile hi length, through park-like lawns
of about seventy acres, profusely studded
with venerable oak trees, as well as with
chestnut, beech, and other ornamental timber.
In front of the house is a sheet of water with
two islands. The view from the house is
very striking — forming a complete panorama
of the surrounding country, of which the
town of Shrewsbury, with its lofty spires ;
the Breidden mountains, with " Rodney's
Pillar ;" and the far-famed Wrekin, are pro-
minent features.

Lythwood was anciently a royal forest.
In 1232 we find Henry III. granting a char-
ter "to the lepers of the hospital of St. Giles
without Shrewsbury, that they have a horse
load of dead wood out of his wood of Line-
wood, for their firing." Subsequently the
estate formed part of the extensive possessions
of the Abbey of Shrewsbury ; and at the Re-
formation was granted, by Henry VIII., to
William Paget, ancestor of the Anglesey
family.

Shortly afterwards we find the property hi
the possession of the Ireland family ; and in
1591, William and Thomas Ireland granted
a yearly charge of £8, out of their estate of
Lythwood, to the alms-houses of St. Chad,
in Shrewsbury. Lythwood was no exception
to the proverbial " restlessness " of church*



52



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



lands. The estate became divided into two
principal portions, one of which has descended
to the Hon. H. W. Powys, of Berwick ;
the other, called " the Hall Estate," with
the manor, which forms the subject of our
present notice, eventually came into the hands
of the Somersetshire family of Brickdale, from
whom it was acquired, by marriage, by Joshua
Blakeway, Esq., banker, of Shrewsbury.

This gentleman having obtained a prize of
£20,000 in the Lottery, expended it in the
erection of the present mansion, which he
finished in the most complete manner. Sub-
sequently, Mr. Blakeway's affairs becoming
disordered, he was compelled to dispose of
the property, which was eventually purchased,
in 1803, by Thomas Parr, Esq., of Liverpool.

Mr. Parr pulled down the old mansion
house, which stood near the lodges, and had
the reputation of being " haunted," and made
extensive purchases of land in the neighbour"
hood. He died in 1847, and the valuable
collections of paintings and coins, and library
of above 4000 volumes, which he had formed
during a period of above forty years, were all
dispersed in the summer of 1848, at an auction
of fifteen days' duration. The Hall at the
time we write is tenanted by two old servants,
and the estate about to pass to other hands.

LONGNER HALL, Shropshire, is the seat of
Robert Burton, Esq., sheriff of the county in
1852, whose ancestors have been seated here
from a period antecedent to the earliest
records. Longner Hall stands in an isolated
part of the parish of St. Chad, three miles
S.E. from Shrewsbury. The house, erected
principally by the uncle of the present pro-
prietor, is a commodious mansion, in the
Elizabethan style, with projecting gables,
ornamented with turrets and pinnacles, and
fronted with GrinshUl stone. It stands on
an acclivity, commanding a rich view of the
surrounding country, and of the Severn, which
flows immediately below it. The ulterior
contains some tine paintings, and a grand
Gothic window of stained glass, ornamented
with figures of different members of the
family, lights the entrance hall.

In the well timbered grounds around the
house, stands the tomb of Edward Burton,
Esq., chronicled by John Foxe. The occa-
sion of his interment in this spot is thus told
by William Burton, in his Commentary on the
Itinerary of Antoninus. " Edward Burton,
Esq., a religious asserter of the gospel in
Queen Marie's time .... was a man indeed,
who by many waies and courses he took for
his safety (too long to be told here) and to
evade the hands of such as lay in wait for
him ; when, one day sitting alone in his upper
parlour at Longner, in meditation, no doubt,
of God's deliverance of his people, he heard
a general ring of all the bells in Shrewsbury,



whereunto, in St. Chadda's parish, his house
belonged, when strait his right divining soul
told him it was for Queen Marie's death ; yet
longing to know the truth more certainly, and
loath to trust his servants therein for some
reasons, he sent his eldest son, my grand-
father, then a boy of sixteen years of age,
willing him to throw up his hat if it were so,
so impatient was his expectation, who finding
it, and doing accordingly as he was directed,
the good man retiring presently from the
window and recovering his chair, for extre-
mity of joy which he conceived for the deli-
verance of the saints of God, he suddenly
expired. And this was his nunc dimittis,
Domine. But neither was the storm of per-
secution so quite overblown hereby, but that
still some scattering did fall upon the ser-
vants of God ; for they suffered some griev-
ances still, among which was their being
debarred from Christian interment hi churches.
But facllis jactura sepulchri. His friends
made a shift to bury him in his garden by the
fish ponds, and set a monument over him,
which being defaced by time and rain, it hap-
pened in the MDCXIV,that Edward Burton,
Esq., his grandson, inviting to dinner
the noble Sir Andrew Corbet, then lieutenant
of the shire, with divers other gentlemen of
quality; that the good baronet, desirous to
see the place which preserved the reliques
and memory of that excellent man, as good
men are still inquisitive after them whose
virtues they honour; but finding it much de-
cayed by the weather, after a friendly cor-
reption of his host, and serious enjoynment to
repair the tomb, whereby the memory of his
most deserving grandfather was kept alive ;
he, without any ado, effected what he spake
for, and promised himself to become the poet
for an epitaph, which he accordingly wrote."

KENDREGADREDD, near Tremadoc, co.
Carnarvon, the seat of Major Isaac Walker,
high sheriff of the county, 1850-51, who
adopting, early in life, the military profession,
served with credit and gallantry at the unfor-
tunate attack on Buenos Ayres, throughout
the greater part of the Peninsular campaigns,
and in the last American war. In the female
line, Major Walker has an ancient Welsh de-
scent through the Myddeltons, of Denbigh-
shire, and is thus hereditarily connected with
the Principality in which he is now established.

Hendregadredd, which is situate about two
miles and a half from Tremadoc and Cricketh,
and less than one mile from the sea, formed
part of the extensive estates of the famed Sir
John Owen, of Clenneneu, Vice- Admiral of
North Wales, and became the prope/ty of
Major Walker, by purchase, from Mr. John
Williams, who had bought it from Mrs.
Ormsby Gore, Sir John Owen's representa-
tive. The present picturesque residence, one







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SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



53



side of which closely adjoins the rock, a frag-
ment of which has been cut away for the pur-
pose of its construction, was built by Major
Walker in 1847, nearly on the site of a very
ancient edifice of the Owens, the foundations
of which remain. It stands on the verge of
the estate, surrounded by park-like, well-
wooded grounds, and commands a splendid
sea prospect, as well as a fine view of the
Snowden range of mountains for many miles,
extending over a considerable portion of
Merioneth. The general style of the house
is decorated Gothic, with three fronts, all
differing from each other.

Hendregadredd signifies the Old Town, or
rather the principal residence or head-quar-
ters of the army. Probably it was, in early
times, the scene of some warlike encounter.
In the tields adjoining, many graves have been
discovered, several bricked, as if indicating
that those there buried were of superior rank.

PALACE or PALIZ HOUSE, the seat of Henry
Holden, Esq., Captain 13th Light Dragoons,
who, abandoning the name of Greenwood,
adopted by royal license the name of Holden,
as representative of the very ancient Lanca-
shire family of Holden of Holden, which may
be found recorded hi the Herald's Visita-
tions.

Palace House was in former times called
Policy House, from its being situated at the
extremity of the Policy of Ighten Hill Park,
or more properly Hightenhull, the residence
of " Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lan-
caster.' 1 It was then used as a house for
the park-ranger.

HOLDEN HALL, upon the other estate
belonging to the Holden family, dates from a
very ancient time, and was, beyond doubt, the
abode of Robert de Hoselingden, a name
afterwards corrupted into Holden. In those
days the grounds are said to have abounded
in timber. The house was originally built
by the Robert de Holden just mentioned ;
but it was afterwards rebuilt, and at vari-
ous subsequent periods this new struc-
ture underwent numerous additions and im-
provements. For five centuries it continued
to be the residence of the family, when it was
allowed to sink into decay, and became
partly the homestead of a farmer, and partly
a dwelling for cottagers. Such changes are
perhaps beneficial to the community at large,
but it is hardly possible to see the utter decay
of what was once grand or beautiful, without
a feeling of regret.

Holden is supposed to have derived its
name from two Anglo-Saxon words, expres-
sive of the peculiarities of the site — hoi, hol-
low ; and dene, a dell.

CHETWYND PARK, Shropshire,: lies



about two miles north of Newport, on the
road to Market Drayton. The Hall is an
ancient structure, standing close to the
church, and appears to have been built at
different periods. In the low grounds in front
of the house the River Meese, an inconsider-
able stream, takes its course. The park,
which is situated on the opposite side of the
turnpike road, comprises 300 acres, and has a
bold undulating surface, is well timbered, and
stocked with deer. It contains also a noble
sheet of water covering about thirty acres.
Chetwynd was anciently possessed by a family
bearing the local name, since migrated into
Warwickshire. It afterwards passed to the
family of Peshale, through the marriage of
Sir Richard de Peshale with Joan, daughter
and heir of Reginald de Chetwynd. This Sir
Richard de Peshale was Sheriff of Shropshire
in 1333, and of his descendants, who rilled
the same office, were Sir Richard de Peshale,
in 1376, and Sir Adam Peshale, in 1418.
From the Peshales the estates passed to the
Pigots, by the marriage of Robert Pigot, of
Cheshire, with the co-heiress of Sir Richard
de Peshale, and here the Pigot family was
seated for twelve generations, till Robert
Pigot, Esq., Sheriff of Shropshire in 1774,
becoming alarmed at the gloomy aspect of
affairs consequent upon the commencement
of the American war, sold his ancient inherit-
ance for the inadequate sum of £70.000, and
hastened with the money to the Continent,
where he died. The purchaser was Thomas
Borough, Esq., of Derby, whose son, John
Charles Burton Borough, Esq., lately Sheriff
of Shropshire, is the present proprietor.

NEWHALL, in the county of Edinburgh,
about twelve miles south-west from the Scot-
tish capital, the seat of Hugh H. Brown, Esq.

The site of the present mansion was occu-
pied at a very early period by a religious
house belonging to the order of Cistercians,
or Reformed Benedictines, first established
in Burgundy. About the year 1529 it was
possessed by a family of Crichtouns, said
to be the ancestors of the Earls of Dum-
fries. In 1646 it belonged to the Penny-
cuiks of Pennycuik, of whom was Dr. Alex-
ander Pennycuik, the poet and antiquary.
In 1703 it came into the hands of Sir David
Forbes, an eminent lawyer, and brother to
Duncan Forbes of Culloden, Lord President
of the Court of Session in Scotland, who
distinguished himself so much in the royal
cause during the risings of 1715 and 1745.
From the Forbes's this property devolved
to the present owners.

The house, that we now see, was built about
the tune of the Union by the Sir David Forbes
just mentioned. It is in the old Scottish
style of architecture, a style at all tunes pic-
turesque, and here peculiarly in harmony



54



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



Avith the surrounding landscape. The grounds
are extensive, and abound in fine timber of
various kinds. One cannot, indeed, help
wondering how it was that Dr. Johnson could
find no trees in Scotland, or how he could
venture, for the sake of a passing sarcasm, to
state what was so opposite to the fact.

It is generally supposed that Allan Ramsay,
in his pastoral drama of the " Gentle Shep-
herd," borrowed from this place his descrip-
tion of the house and lands belonging to his
fictitious character of Sir William Worthy.
At all events his picture has an exact corre-
spondence with what we really find at New-
hall, as will be evident enough if we follow
the poet step by step, the places that he
names being either in the immediate neigh-
bourhood, or actually within the grounds
attached to the mansion. In some cases the
descriptions, though strictly applicable, can-
not be so closely identified from the absence
of any peculiar designation. To begin with
an instance that admits of no dispute since
the place is mentioned by its name.

" Gae farer up the burn to Habbie's How,
Where a' the sweets o' spring and simmer grow;
Between twa birks out o'er a little lin,
The water fa's and makes a singan din ;
A pool, breast-deep, beneath, as clear as glass
Kisses, wi' easy wliirles, the bordering grass."

Now there is a Hobbie's How— that is a
Hobbie's dell — within the grounds of New-
hall, answering exactly to this description.
It lies in that part of the vale where the How
Burn forms a small cascade, so that with this
double evidence the locale of the poet seems
established beyond all question.

We next find in what Ramsay calls a pro-
logue to the second scene of the second act
— but which in fact is a scenic direction, the
following lines : —

" The open field ; a cottage in a glen,
An auld wife spinning, in the sunny en'—
At a small distance by a blasted tree,
Wi' faulded arms and half-rais'd looks ye see
Bauldy his lane—" i.e. Bauldy alone.

Saving that no witch is at present to be
seen there, the description and the reality
agree with wonderful exactness. There is
the blasted tree — a solitary withered oak —
the place is shut in by a tall rock on either
side, and its very name attests that it was
once famous as a witch's haunt, although the
genus is now extinct in Scotland. It is called
the Carhps, a contraction of Carliite's Imps,
that is the ioitch-leaps, because in olden times
a witch was often seen at night leaping from
one rock to the other.

On the north side of the valley, and near
the house, is a spot exactly corresponding
with the description of the opening scene : —

" Beneath the south side of a craigy bield
Where crystal springs the halsome waters' yield."

It is called the Harbour Crag from its



having supplied a refuge to the Covenanters'
in the days when that persecuting sect had
themselves become the objects of persecution,
and perhaps of one more severe than any
they had themselves been guilty of.

In the prologue to the second scene we are
told of

" A flowry howm between twa verdant braes,
Where lasses use to wash and spread their claes ;
A trotting burnie wimpling through the ground,
Its channel pebbles shining smooth and round."

This completely answers to a spot behind
the house, and by the side of a sparkling-
burn. It may perhaps be necessary to add,
for the benefit of the English reader, that the
word howm in the first line means a plain by
the river side ; but it is not often, we believe,
found, as here, in the singular number.

AVINGTON HOUSE, Hampshire, the seat of
John Shelley, Esq. This manor, which in the
olden time was written iEvington, was granted
to the monks of St. Swithin, who were settled
at Winchester, by Bishop Ethelwold, in place
of the secular canons who had previously
possessed it. Indeed it would appear that
this property had always been held by ec-
clesiastics from the time of the Norman Con-
quest, if not for a period long anterior. At
the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry
VIII. it fell into the hands of the Clerks, of
Micheldever, in the same county. From
this family it passed in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth to a branch of the Brugges, or
Brydges ; and from them again it devolved
by marriage to the family of the present
Duke of Buckingham. By him it was sold
to John Shelley, Esq., brother of Percy
Bysshe Shelley, and second son of Sir
Timothy Shelley, Bart., of Castle Goring,
Sussex.

In the reign of Charles II., Avington be-
came, like Clifden,

" The seat of wanton Shrewsbury and love ; "

for after the Earl of Shrewsbury had been
killed in a duel with George Villiers, Duke
of Buckingham, his widow, the countess,
married George Rodney Brydges, Esq., then
in possession of this property. Here she was
often visited by Charles, whose tolerant code
of morality took no offence at the reputed
character of his hostess. With him came
his favourite, Nell Gwynne, and her apart-
ment in the old house is still pointed out to
visitors as a worthy theme of recollection.
The banqueting room, which was the scene-
of the royal revels, has since been converted
into a green house, fair flowers having suc-
ceeded to fan faces, and the quiet incense of
nature to the odours of the wine cup, and
the shouts of midnight revelry. On looking
back at these times one would be almost
tempted to believe that Milton had seen with



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN,



55



prophetic spirit the Court of Charles. II.
when lie wrote such strains as the following :

" Meanwhile, welcome Joy and Feast,
Midnight shout and revelry,
Tipsy Dance and Jollity.
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.
Rigour now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrup'lous head,
Strict age and sour Severity,
With them grave saws in slumber lie."

The mansion, which was built in the time
of Charles II., stands on the borders of an
artificial lake, formed by the late Duke of
Buckingham. Annexed to it is a deer-park,
stretching away on the further side of the
adjacent hamlet towards the woods of Ham-
paze, and covering a considerable quantity of
fertile land, though the soil in all its varieties
is based on chalk. At the edge of the home-
park is the parish church, a neat brick build-
ing, with no great pretensions externally in
regard to architecture. Within, however, all
the wood work is of mahogany, which lends
it an appearance of warmth and elegance.

COMPTON CASTLE, Devonshire, in the
parish of Marldon, the property of Francis
Garrett, Esq., of Torquay. This castle was



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