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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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realm." In King James' time, Browne says
of it,

"To lie therein one night, 'tis guess'd
'Twere better to be ston'd and press'd *
Or hang d — now choose you whether."

And there seems little reason for supposing
that the fiery Cavalier had given any atten-
tion to the improvement of his dungeon, more
particularly when it was to be used as a place
of punishment for Roundheads.

Tradition affirms that Charles II. was con-
cealed at Hayne for some days, when he
lurked in the west of England before his
escape to the Continent. At all events, whe-
ther this was or was not to be added to the
list of the owner's faithful services, the king
upon his restoration created him a baronet,
with a handsome pension extending to the
second generation ; an unusual act of royal
munificence, and plainly showing in what high
estimation Charles must have held him. The
deed of gift is still preserved among the
family records.

The descendants of this uncompromising
royalist continued to tread in his steps,
and maintained their fidelity to the Stuarts
unshaken till the time of John Harris,
whose daughter - in - law, Miss Rolle, of
Heanton, had married the eldest son of Sir
Robert Walpole. By ministerial influence
he was then made deputy-master of the
household to George II. and III , and sat in
Parliament, first for Oakhampton, and after-
wards for Ashburton, but always voting in
favour of the minister. His elder brother
Christopher, remained more faithful to the
family principles. Rejecting every overture
made by Sir Robert Walpole to win him
over to the interest of Hanover, he adhered
to the Stuarts till the very last.

The ancient castle of Hayne, the seat of so
many recollections, stood upon a lofty emi-
nence in the park, called the Warren, and in
the beginning of this century some vestiges
of it were still visible. It is supposed the old
walls were pulled down, with more economy
than taste, at the end of the fourteenth or
beginning of the fifteenth century, to supply

* Meaning " pressed to death," an allusion to the
peine forte et dure, employed upon prisoners, who refused
pleading to a charge, and which was continued till they
yielded or died.



74



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



materials for the present mansion, but in
what precise year this destructive work took
place is now uncertain. The building stands
at the foot of the hill, at no great distance
from the river, a position which unquestion-
ably has some advantages, though upon the
whole, it hardly seems so desirable a spot as
that occupied by the old castle. The mansion
itself is particularly handsome and venerable,
and was much beautified and repaired by the
late Mr. Donithorne Harris. The apartments
occupied by King Charles have, however,
been carefully preserved. The old mill is
supposed to be coeval with the Norman con-
quest, and is exempt from tithe, tax, or toll of
every description. There are many such in
England attached to old castles and abbeys,
the most perfect specimen being that at Guy's
Cliff, in Warwickshire. The possession of
Hayne, by a lineal descendant of Count Hugo,
gives the office and privileges of high or chief
warrener of Dartmoor Forest. After the
marriage of the heiress of Hayne to Mr.
Harris, her descendants were personally re-
confirmed in their manorial rights and royal-
ties by an express grant from Queen Eliza-
beth. If Hayne were to be sold, the manor
might be transferred to the purchaser, but
the royalties would cease, being personal to
the descendants of Count Hugo, and attached
also to the possession of Hayne.*

The manor of Stowford was formerly held
by the tenure and condition that the owner
should present the king with a gold ewer and
napkin, at Polstone Bridge on the Tamar,
whenever he visited that part of his domi-
nions. This office was performed for the
last time — and for the first upon record — by
Mr. Harris and Sir Bevil Grenville, when
King Charles entered Cornwall, after having
reviewed the troops encamped on Lifton
Down.

The present co-representatives of the
Haynes and the Harrises are Penelope
Harris and Elizabeth, widow of the late
Isaac D. Harris, Esq., daughters of Christo-
pher Harris, Esq., of Hayne, who derived a
direct descent from the Royal House of
Plantagenet. (See Burke's History of the
Royal Families, vol. ii.) The elder co-heir
is unmarried, and the heirship of the famdy
is vested in Christopher Arthur Harris, Esq.,
son of the younger sister.

HAWKSTONE, Shropshire, the seat of
Viscount Hill, is situated about two miles
from Hodnet, and is a singularly beautiful
domain. Considerable alterations were made
to the mansion in the reign of Queen Anne,

* Manorial rights appear to be Signorial, or " par
droit de Seigneur;" but a royalty is a power or privi-
lege delegated by the Crown, and can be revoked at
pleasure. If the Hayne family were to omit the pre-
sentation of the ewer and napkin at Polstone Bridge, ac-
cording to the olden law the royalty would be forfeited.



and again in 1832. The spacious and hand-
some dining-room contains some splendid his-
torical paintings and portraits. It served as
the saloon till the present proprietor built a
new one on the south side of the house. In
the south wing are the chapel and library. The
chapel has recently undergone alterations,
and now forms one of the most chaste and
elegant private chapels in the kingdom. On
the ceiling an old and beautiful painting has
been preserved, representing Time putting
Error to flight by the revelation of Truth,
emblematical of the Reformation. The pre-
sent proprietor has added to the other
contents of the mansion, a most valuable and
extensive museum, comprising specimens of
nearly every known British bird.

The pleasure grounds of Hawkstone have
long been the admiration of numerous visi-
tors ; the scenery includes a combination of
bold craggy rocks, hill, and dale, with exten-
sive tracts of woodland, refreshed by a noble
sheet of water, nearly two miles in length.
Many of the prospects are rendered more
striking by the mode in which they are
attained ; passages have been cut through
rocks, and from the subterranean darkness,
a powerful contrast is at once effected The
ruins of Red Castle, connected with the
history of the proprietor's ancestors during
the civil wars, are situated on the summit of
a lofty hill, covered on all sides by large
trees and thick underwood. The Bury
Walls, within the domain, are said to be the
site of a Roman city : ruins are yet disco-
verable, and Camden says that in his day,
there was a tradition in the neighbourhood
that, in the days of King Arthur, the Britons
had here a city.

On the highest part of a noble terrace, in
the grounds, is a column, one hundred feet in
height, bearing a statue of Sir Rowland Hill,
the first Protestant Lord Mayor of London.
Hawkstone was anciently possessed by a
family of the same name, and we find George
Hawkstone of Hawkstone, serving the office
of sheriff in 1416. The estate eventually
came into the possession of Sir Rowland Hill,
Knt., who, on the partition of his vast pro-
perty in 1561, gave it by deed of gift to his
first cousin, Humphrey Hill, from whom it
has regularly descended to the present pro-
prietor. The Hills of Hawkstone have ever
taken the lead among the landed gentry of
Shropshire; and members of the family
have attained eminence alike in court and
camp, in religion and politics.

Sir Rowland Hill, whose monument we
have alluded to, held the highest rank among
the citizens of his time.

The Right. Hon. Richard Hill, was an
eminent statesman in the reigns of King
William III., Queen Anne, and George I.
Sir Richard Hill, second Bart., was distin-



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



75



guished for his personal piety and his zeal as
a controversialist, and his younger brother
became well known as the Rev. Rowland
Hill, of Surrey Chapel.

The late General Hill, Commander of the
forces, was uncle to the present Viscount Hill,
who inherits the General's peerage, having
previously, as Sir Rowland Hill, represented
Shropshire for upwards of twenty years. He
is now lord-lieutenant of the county.

EEWSEY, co. Lancaster, a seat of Lord
Lilford, stands about one mile to the north-
west of Warrington. The present edifice is
chiefly of brick, and in a style of architec-
ture anterior to the reign of Elizabeth. The
moat, which in former times seems to have
interposed so slight'a barrier against violence,
and even murder, is still maintained in tole-
rable preservation ; but the safety of the in -
mates of the mansion is to be found in the
dominion of the laws, which in this happy
age afibrd a better security than the embat-
tled tower and the wide-spreading fosse.

Bewsey was for many generations the in-
heritance of the eminent family of Boteler,
Barons of Warrington, who acquired the
estates by the marriage of their ancestor,
AlmaricPincerna, with Beatrice, daughter of
Matthew de Villers, about the time of Henry
III. Thedescendant of this marriage, Sir John
Boteler, married a lady named Isabella, on
behalf of whom, when his widow, a peti-
tion was presented to the King, Henry VI.,
complaining that this lady being at Bewsey,
on Monday next before the Feast of St.
James the Apostle, William Fulle, gentle-
man, came with a great number of other mis -
doers to her house, and, having forced their
way by violence into her apartment, did
most feloniously ravish the said Isabel, and,
having committed this outrage, carried her
away naked, except her " kirtyll and her
smokke," into the wild and desolate parts
of Wales, and for this grievous wrong,
remedy is prayed against her ravisher. The
king returned the usual answer, " Le Roi le
voet ;" but the final result of the trial is not
recorded. A still more tragical event
occurred at Bewsey in the reign of Henry
VII., when Sir John Boteler was slain in his
bed by Sir Piers Legh and William Savage,
at the instigation of Lord Stanley. It would
seem that a dispute had arisen between Sir
John Boteler and his lordship, concerning
the right to a ferry at Warrington, the issue
of which was an assault being made upon Sir
John at midnight, the assassins having passed
the moat in leathern boats, and corrupted
the servants, so as to gain access to their
victim's bed-chamber. Lady Boteler, it is
said, being in London at the time, dreamed
that, she saw Bewsey Hall swimming with
blood, and, regarding her dream as a presage



of evil, hastened home, but only to find her
lord was no more. A native poet thus com-
memorates the Bewsey tragedy :

— — " Unarmed, and in his bed surprised,
Vilely they butchered the devoted lord ;
Meanwhile a servant maid, with pious guile,
Bore in her apron, artfully concealed,
The infant heir ; and many a danger braved,
Saved him uninjured from the ruffians' sword,
The negro's valour favouring her escape."

These lines refer to a tradition still cur-
rent in the neighbourhood, that the heir of
the family was only saved from destruction
by the fidelity of a negro servant.

It does not appear that the perpetrators
of this horrible outrage met with their de-
serts at the hands of justice ; but it is stated
that Sir Piers Legh, being an ecclesiastic,
was sentenced for his share in the transaction
to build Disley Church, which he performed
in 1527.

From the Botelers the manor of Warring-
ton passed to the Irelands, through female
heirs, and is now enjoyed by John Ireland
Blackburne, Esq. ; but the mansion and
estate of Bewsey descended to the Athertons,
the heiress of which family, Henrietta Maria
Atherton, married, in 1797, Thomas, second
Lord Lilford, whose son is the present pro-
prietor.

The parish church of Warrington contains
a very splendidly decorated tomb of Sir
Thomas Boteler and his wife, enclosed within
railings. The recumbent effigies, hand-in -
hand, are placed on an altar tomb ; he in
armour, she in a remarkable mitre-shaped
cap, surrounded by various sculptured saints.

ETJXTON HAIL, co. Lancaster, the seat of
William Ince Anderton, Esq., is about two
miles from Leyland, in which parish it is
situated. The ancient family of Anderton
has been seated here for many generations.
The old hall was erected in the time of
Henry VIII. It was pulled down, and the
present mansion erected about the year
1739, as a leaden cistern in the butler's pan-
try, bears that date, with the letters WM .
It was therefore built about the time that
William Anderton, of Euxton, married the
Hon. Mary, daughter of Richard, fifth
Viscount Molyneux, as the Molyneux arms,
impaled with the Andertons, are to be seen
over the entrance door, and also on two old
chimney-pieces in the house. The ceilings
of the entrance-hall and staircase are richly
ornamented by Concilio, and are still in
good preservation. The house has been con-
siderably altered and enlarged by the pre-
sent possessor. Adjoining the hall is a
Roman Catholic chapel, built in the last cen-
tury, and re-edified in 1817-18.

The following extract from a violent re
publican newspaper, the Mercurius PoNticus,



76



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN



of August the 16th, 1065, shows that Euxton
Hall was once honoured by a visit from
Charles II. :— " Agust 14, 1650. This day
Charles Stuart lodged at Euxton-burgh, six
miles in this side of Preston, being Sir Hugh
Anderton's house, who was a prisoner at
Lancaster, but set at liberty by the Scotts.
This Anderton is a bloody Papist, and one
that, when Prince Rupert was at Bolton,
boasted much of being in blood to the elbows
in that cruel massacre. The next night
theyr king lodged at Brine, six miles from
Warrington, being Sir William Gerard's
house, who is a subtle, jesuited Papist.
This dissembling Scott trusts none so well
in Lancaster for his hostes as the Papists."

BLAIR DRUMMOND, Perthshire, about five
miles and a half from Stirling, the seat
of Henry Home Drummond, Esq., Vice-
Lieutenant and M. P. for the county of
Perth.

The lands of Kincardine in Monteith,
came to the House of Drummond in the
fourteenth century by marriage with the
Lady Marie Montifix. In the year 16K4,
George Drummond of Blair, who sold his
paternal property of Blair in Stormont,
bought a large portion of the said lands from
his kinsman, James, Earl of Perth, and
obtained a charter under the great seal for
erecting them into a free barony, to be called
the barony of Blair-Drummond, from his
own name, and that of the seat of his family.
It was not, however, until 1714 that he
acquired from the Earl of Perth the con-
veyance of the other parts of the barony
of Kincardine, on which the house called
Blair-Drummond was soon after built. Be-
fore that time, there was no family resi-
dence in the neighbourhood, nor a tree
planted, except the few that were usually
raised, according to the custom of those
days, in the turf-dikes surrounding the small
cornyards of the tenants.

At one time there were upon this estate
about fifteen hundred acres of moss, forming
the largest part of the great moss of Kincar-
dine, that included more than eighteen hun-
dred acres. It was deep, and rested on a
subsoil of rich clay, consisting of grey, red-
dish, and blue strata, similar in quality to
the so-called curses of the level country,
■which extend along the Forth from Stir-
ling to Falkirk. It appears certain that
the sea at one time must have covered the
moss of Kincardine, and caused this accu-
mulation of clay.

Upon its recession and the subsidence of
the Forth, the Teith, and the Goodie, when
deeper channels were formed, this rich flat
district was naturally covered in due time
with various kinds of trees — oak, birch,
hazel, and even a few firs. These trees have



been discovered as numerous under the moss
as they can be supposed to have grown in
their natural state, and the roots are found
fixed in the clay.

Many of the trees appear cut about two
feet and a half from the ground — the part
where the tree is easiest severed, and where
the greatest strength of the woodman
can be applied. From these circumstances,
and from marks being seen on some of
them that corresponded with the size of
a Roman axe, it has been generally supposed
that they were felled by the Romans. It
may also be inferred that the trees were
not cut down for the sake of the timber, but
for the purpose of opening a way and dis-
lodging the natives. This would perfectly
well agree with all we read in history
from the time of Agricola, and it is further
confirmed by the various Roman utensils that
have been found in the clay below the moss.
One of the most remarkable of these is a large
brass vessel, supposed to be a camp kettle.



In



1766, Lord Karnes becoming i



nected with the estate of Blair-Drummond
by the succession of his wife, immediately
turned his attention to the improvement of
this moss, and, as might be expected from
his mental energy and superior intelligence,
the work under his direction went on pros-
perously. The process was indeed slow
from want of sufficient water to carry out his
plans ; but he had achieved one great point ;
he had shown that it was perfectly possible
to get rid of the whole moss by the floating
system — that is, by loosening the moss by
spade labour, flooding it with water, and
sweeping it off into the sea. His descendants
continuing the scheme with equal zeal, were
at length able to obtain a sufficient supply of
water, and the Forth served as a recipient
for carrying the moss into the Frith. In the
course of time nearly the whole of this ground
has been reclaimed, and now, instead of
a useless quagmire may be seen profitable
crops of wheat, beans, and barley, as well as
green crops, and the cottages of a prosperous
and happy peasantry.

The mansion-house of Blair-Drummond
was built by George Drummond, Esq., in
1716. Even then it was an elegant and
spacious building, by no means unworthy of
the estate or of the founder ; but since that
period it has been much improved by the
present proprietor, who has added an elegant
and extensive wing to the original structure.
It stands on the lower part of a gradually
sloping ridge, which takes its rise here, and
ascends westward by gentle undulations. The
view from the higher portions of this ridge is
not a little beautiful and extensive. The pros-
pect of the west and north comprehends a
part of the Grampian Hills, such as the cloud-
capped Ben Lomond, Benvenue, Benledi, Ben



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



77



voirlich, Stuckaclirone, and Uamvar. On the
east the range of the Ochils, including Dumyat,

the Sherifmuir, the Abbey Craig, the Castle
of Stirling, the Gillies Hill, the Field of Ban-
nockburn, and the Rock of Craigforth, all
teeming with historical recollections ; while
beyond them the line of the Frith of Forth is
seen extending eastward as far as the eye can
reach. On the south, the view is bounded
by the Lennox Hills, which run almost unin-
terruptedly from the Castle of Stirling on the
Forth to the Castle of Dumbarton on the
Clyde, the principal portion of these hills
being visible from this parish.

In the drawing-room at Blair-Drummond
are several original portraits painted by Sir
( frey Kneller, particularly one of Lord
( . [or Perth, and one of his brother, the

Earl of Melfort. But yet more interesting to
the stranger, though by a different hand, is
the likeness of Lord Kames, no less cele-
brated as a lawyer than as a philosopher. He
is represented in his judicial robes of office.

The park is large and exceedingly beauti-
ful. In the midst of it is an ornamental
piece of water, abounding in wild ducks,
that are here allowed to hatch and rear their
young in safety, undisturbed by the gun of
the sportsman. So bold have they become by
the long habit of security, that the passer by
may approach very closely without their
rising or evincing the least alarm, especially
in the months of October and November,
when they seem to be the tamest. In the
middle of this lake is an island bearing trees
of various kinds, and in general about fifty
years old. Amongst the reeds and rushes
which skirt it, the coots and water-rails build
their nests ; and here, also, the swan may be
seen, in size and the majesty of its motions
the Queen of the island-water.

The heron, too, frequents this spot with
its strange wild cry that is generally sup-
posed to have given rise to the superstition
of the Water -kelpie. Even the jackdaw,
who harbours on the same tree, and some-
times with wily impudence usurps her nest,
and purloins the food of the young herons, is
not more noisy. It would almost seem as if
the breeding-season were a time of universal
peace, and reconciled birds that at other peri-
ods were not peculiarly tolerant of each other.

This park abounds in fine trees, chiefly
beech and oak, many of which are of an
enormous size, and have attained a great
age ; the climate, or the sod, or perhaps both,
being not a little propitious to their growth.
Something, however, we owe to the attention
which has been paid them by the successive
owners of the property; and more particu-
larly of late years, great care has been
taken to keep them judiciously, so as to
admit the free expansion of the branches
under the mingled influence of light and air,



instead of leaving them, as is too often the
case with injudicious planters, to dwarf and
stunt each other by their too great closeness.
A no less useful precaution has been the
exclusion of all animals from the park, except
sheep, who alone improve the soil, without
doing any injury to the trees.

Within the gardens is a very well-defined
tumulus, of a conical shape, and of conside-
rable dimensions, measuring ninety-two yards
in circumference, and rising to about fifteen
feet in height. It has not, however, been
opened, which in some respects is, perhaps, to
be regretted. In the pleasure grounds is a
larger one on a bank that overlooks the carse,
and which was probably intended for a watch-
tower or signal-post, for there is no interven-
ing object between it and Borrowstowness.

There is also a thud tumulus near Blair-
Drummond, east lodge, which was opened,
when some fragments of urns and relics of
human bones were discovered. It is sur-
rounded by a circular foss, upon which it has
been formed, and it is popularly called
Wallace's Trench. History lends something
like a colour to the general notion in this
respect ; for it is usually believed that, after
having burned the Feel of Gargunock, he
crossed the Forth to this very point by a
road that led across the moss of Kincardine
to a ford in the Teith, where it is fordable
in any ordinary state of the river.

About a quarter of a mile from the house
of Blair-Drummond is an eminence, distin-
guished by the ill-omened appellation of the
Gallows-Hill. It probably has taken its
name from having been the place of execu-
tion, at a time when the right of fossa cum
furca — of the pit and the galloAvs — belonged
to the feudal barons.

APLEY PARK, the seat of Thomas Charlton
Whitmore, Esq., is about four miles from
Bridgenorth, and is one of the most admired
seats in the county of Salop. The present
mansion, erected by the late Thomas Whit-
more, Esq., on the site of the old hall, is of
white Grinshill stone — a material ■which
enters into the building of so many Shrop-
shire mansions — in the pointed style of
architecture, having polygonal turrets at the
angles, and a groined porch of three arches
at the entrance, on the eastern front. The
southern front has hi the centre a lofty
square tower, and on the north is the
domestic chapel. The mansion is of very
extensive dimensions, and fitted up in a cor-
responding style of magnificence. The
grounds are adorned by fine woods, and
the River Severn, which bounds the park,
forms a conspicuous object in the view.
The terrace at Apley is one of the most
remarkable spots in the kingdom. It is
above a mile in length, and wide enough



78



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



for six carriages to pass abreast; it rises
with hanging woods to a great height above
the river, and commands a prospect of almost
unequalled extent and beauty.

The Whitmores, anciently seated at Whyt-
mere, and subsequently at Claverly, have
beeu located at Apley for several generations.
>Sir William Whitmore, who first acquired
the estate, by purchase, was Sheriff of
Shropshire in 1620, and from him the pro-
perty has regularly descended to the present
owner.

BIBBTJRY HALL, Warwickshire, is two
miles and a half north-east from Long Itching-



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