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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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still stands, though in a dilapidated condi-
tion. In this house the room is shown in
which Charles Edward slept, on his march
from Glasgow to fight the battle of Falkirk,
in January, 174G.

The battle of Kilsyth, the scene of Mon-
trose's chief victory over the Covenanters hi
1045, was fought on the sloping ground im-
mediately to the eastward of Colzium. The
defeated army was totally destroyed in the
rout, and bones have frequently been found
of those who were swamped in the surround
ing bogs.

A romantic history attaches to the extinc-
tion of the family of Kilsyth. William Li-
vingstone, brother of the second viscount,
married Jean, granddaughter of the first
Earl of Dundonald, and widow of the ce-
lebrated Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, who
was killed at Killikrankie. An evil report,
it appears, had prevailed to the extent, that
a suspicion Avas excited, though since dis-
proved, that the fatal shot which killed Dun-
dee was fired by William Livingstone, who
was in his own army, under the influence of
a guilty passion for Lady Dundee. So much
did Dundee's mother believe this, that, "on
the new-year's morning which succeeded, she
sent Livingstone a white nightcap, a pair of
white gloves, and a rope, as indicative of her
opinion. It is said moreover, that she im-
precated a curse upon the marriage of the
guilty pair, praying to God that should He
see fit to permit the unworthy coiqde to go
out of the world without some visible token
of his indignation, He would be pleased to
make her some special revelation to prevent
her from utterly disbelieving His providence
and justice." On the day of their marriage,
Livingstone presented the lady with a ring,
which she lost immediately, and which was
considered a bad omen : more than a century
after, the ring was found in a field near Col-
zium, with the inscription " Zourstill death:"
and it is now, together with another ring
somewhat larger, with a similar inscription,
which Lady Dundee had probably given to
her husband, in the possession of Sir Archi-
bald Edmonstone.

Not long after the marriage, on account of
the part he had taken in opposition to the



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN*.



Revolution settlement, William Livingstone
found it necessary to retire to Holland with
Lady Dundee, where the latter met her
death in the following remarkable manner, as
related in a letter of John Hay, of Carrub-
ber, to the Earl of Erroi, dated Edinburgh,
30th Oct., 1695 :— '• By the post yesterday I
had a letter from young Blaer, out of Utrecht,
with a particular but sad accident of the Vis-
countess of Dundee and her son. He writes
that he had dined with her and Kilsyth (Li-
vingstone of Kilsyth), her husband, and after
dinner, just as he had left them, the lady and
Kilsyth, and a gentleman with them, went
into the room where the young child and
Mrs. Melville, the lady's woman, were. The
house was covered with turf, the usual fuel
in that place, and it is thought, by the weight
of it, the roof fell and crushed my lady
and her son, and Mrs. Melville, to death.
Kilsyth himself was three quarters of an hour
beneath the rubbish, yet both he and the
other gentleman are free of hurt. The lady
and her son are embalmed to be brought
home. The gentlewoman was buried in that
place on the 18th instant [old style], after
dinner." In 1795, exactly a hundred years
after, the vault was accidentally opened, and
the bodies of Lady Dundee and her infant
son were discovered in a perfect state of
preservation, which occasioned much atten-
tion till the vault was again closed. There
is a detailed account, with a representation
of the bodies, in " G-arnett's Tour in Scot-
land." The death of this child caused the
family to become extinct ; for though William
Livingstone, who succeeded, on the death of
his brother, as third Viscount Kilsyth, mar-
ried again, he had only a daughter, who died
young. Having engaged in the rebellion of
1715, Lord Kilsyth died at Rome, under at-
tainder, in 1733. The old church under
which was this vault, was pulled down about
thirty years ago, and a new one built in an-
other situation. But a stone was lately
erected over the vault, commemorating this
tragical event, by Sir Archibald Edmonstone,
the present proprietor, the estate having
been purchased by his grandfather in 1783.

THORNTON HALL, Bedale, Yorkshire, the
property of Sir Charles Dodsworth, Bart., late
Lieutenant-Colonel in the 22nd Light Dra-
goons. It is impossible to say at what time
this ancient edifice was built, but the church
records of the place state that the family
was seated here several centuries ago.
We are also told that during the great
Civil War the owners of Thornton Hall re-
treated, for better security, to a room in the
church tower, which was admirably calcu
lated for such a purpose. The masonry < f
it is peculiarly excellent, far surpassing the
i est of the fabric in strength, the towers hav-



ing been built, no doubt, to afford shelter
from those fierce inroads of the Scots, which
continued to be so frequent till the iron
hand of Edward the Third put a salutary
restraint upon those marauders. About
seventy or eighty years ago a part of the
tower being struck and shivered by a flash
of lightning, the remains of an iron port-
cullis were discovered above the bellfry door,
a pretty sure token for what purpose the
place had been originally designed.

Drayton, the poet, has saved us the labour
of a prose description, though much cannot
be said in favour of his verse, which is
more accurate than poetical, the rhymes
being its chief claim to the latter epithet.
The reader must suppose that the river
Your, converted for the nonce into a nymph,
is addressing the genius of Richmondshire : —

• To my river's aid



Come Barney, Arske, and Marshe, their sovereign Swale

to guide,
From Applegarth's wide waste, and from new Forest

side,
Whose fountains by the fauns and satyrs many a year
With youthful greens were crowned, yet would not stay

them there,
But they will serve the Swale, which in her wandering

course
A nymph named Holgot hath, and Risdale, all whose

force,
Small though (God wot) it be, yet from their southern

shore
With that salute the Swale, as others did before
At Richmond, and arrive, which much doth grace the

flood.
For that her precinct long amongst the shires hath stood :
But Yorkshire wills the same her glory to resign,
When passing thence the Swale this minion flood of

mine
Neat takes into her train clear Wiske, a wanton girl,
As though her wanton path were paved with orient

pearl;
So wondrous sweet she seems in many a winding gyre,
As though she gambols made, or, as she did desire,
Her labyrinth-like turns, and mad meandered trace
With marvel should amaze, and coming doth embrace
North Alerton, by whom her honour is increased,
"Whose liberties, include a county at the least ;
To grace the wandering Wiske, then well upon her way,
Which by her eount'nance thinks to carry all the sway ;
When having her received, Swale bonny Codbeck brings,
And Willow beck, with her two pretty rivelings;
And Bedale bids along, then almost at the Ouse,
Who with these rills enriched began herself to rouse."

KIRTLINGTON PARK, Oxfordshire, about
five miles from Woodstock, and the same
from Bicester, the seat of Sir George Dash-
wood, Bart. The mansion, erected by Sir
danies Dashwood, Bart., in 1741, stands
in the centre of a large and finely timbered
park, commanding a very extensive and beau-
tiful prospect. The entrance is by a flight
of steps into a hall, 40 feet by 36, thence
into the saloon, 40 feet by 30, and 36 feet
high. Drawing-room, 36 by 24; dining-
room, 36 by 24; library, 38 by 22; and
other rooms all 20 feet high. The architec-
ture is Grecian, with the offices attached in
two wings.

The family had previously resided at their
house, Northbrook, in the same parish.

The manor of Kirtlington was formerly part



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SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



of the possessions of John of Gaunt, Duke
of Lancaster, and has the privilege of its
inhabitants being exempt from market tolls
throughout England.

SCAITCLIFFE, Todmorden, in the parish of
Rochdale, and county of Lancaster, was the
property of John del Croslegh in the 38th
Edward III., and has descended uninter-
ruptedly, in the male line, to John Crossley,
Esq., M.A., of the Inner Temple, barrister-
at-law, deputy lieutenant and justice of the
peace for the county palatine of Lancaster,
and also an acting magistrate for the West
Riding of the county of York, the present
owner, who succeeded to the estate on the
death of his father, John Crossley, Esq.,
F.S.A., in the year 1830. The south front
was rebuilt in the year 1666, as appears from
an inscription on the building, and hi 1738,
the north part of the mansion was erected by
Anthony Crossley, Esq. In the year 1833,
the whole was reconstructed, with a laudable
regard to the original character of the house.
In point of situation and scenery, it stands
unrivalled in the beautiful vale of Tod-
morden. Amongst the numerous stained
glass windows, there is still preserved in the
hall, a square of glass bearing the inscription
upon the margin enclosing the family arms : —

"The Kyngdome of East Saxons," the
family thereby tracing their origin to Saxon
times, and probably of the East Angles, as
another ancient crest, on stained glass, marked
with the initials E. A. is supposed to indicate.

The first mention made of the Crossleys in
existing records is " Adam del Croslegh de
Todmorden, in vill de Honeresfeld, in the
county palatine of Lancaster," and Matilda
his wife, and being without date, seems to be
of an age before dates, deeds, or registers
were in general use.

The county of Lancaster not being' con-
stituted a county palatine, previous to the
reign of Edward III., this document cannot
however be earlier, when we then come to
John del Croslegh, who possessed the pro-
perty at that period.

Of this family, John Crossley, Esq., the
present owner of Scaitcliffe above mentioned,
is the surviving representative, and of all the
ancient gentry in the parish of Rochdale,
within which this house is situated, he alone
is the only resident hi strict male lineal de -
scent and succession.

The_ mansion, built in the Elizabethan
style, is pleasantly situated in the vale of
Todmorden, surrounded with picturesque
grounds and thriving woods.

FERNE, Wiltshire, the seat of John C4rove,
Esq. (eldest surviving son of Thomas Grove
and Charlotte his wife), who succeeded his
father in 1846. The family of Grove came



originally from Buckinghamshire, the earliest
on record being John de Grove, of Chelfont,
St. Giles, Bucks., who died in 1353. In the
reign of Henry VI., the extensive property
of St. Giles devolved to Agnes, sole heiress
of Thomas Grove, who in 1434, was high
sheriff for the county. This lady married
William Brudenel, from whom the Earls of
Cardigan and Marquises of Aylesbury are
descended. Part of the estate thus passed
from the Grove family.

In the time of Edward L, 1287, Feme
was possessed by a family that derived their
name from the manor. Most probably they
were settled here at a long anterior period,
but there is no record of them by which to
establish the fact. The estate was purchased
by William Grove, Esq., M.P. for Shaftes-
bury, in 1563.

The present mansion was erected in 1811
by Thomas Grove, Esq. (his descendant),
upon the site of an old building which was
pulled down to make room for it, the new
structure. It is a large square house, built
of grey sandstone, in the modern English
style of architecture, standing upon high
ground, hi the midst of a park of two hundred
and twenty-five acres, which abounds hi noble
timber. Towards the north and west, the
prospect is equally beautiful and extensive.
In 1655, Hugh Grove (a member of this
family) and Col. Penruddocke, of Compton
Chamberlayne, were beheaded (as we have
more fully related hi our description of
Compton Chamberlayne) by order of Oli-
ver Cromwell, for espousing the cause of
Royalty, and proclaiming Charles II. King
of England, at South Molt on, in Devon.
They, together with eight others, died in
pursuance of the sentence, at Exeter, and
were buried at the church of St. Sydlings
there : a brass plate, with the following in-
scription, records the fate of Hugh Grove,
Hie jacet Hugo Grove de Enford hi Comitatu
Wilts, Armiger, in restituendo Ecclesiam, in
asserendo Regera, in propagando Legem, et
Libertatem Anglicanam, captus, et decollatus
16 Maii, 1655."

PONTY POOL PARK, Monmouthshire, the
seat of Capel Hanbury Leigh, Esq., lord-lieu-
tenant of the county, elder brother of Lord
Sudeley, and son and heir of the late John
Hanbury, Esq., by Jane his wife, daughter of
Morgan Lewis, Esq., of St. Pierre.

Ponty Pool is a modern appellation, sup-
posed to be derived from a bridge thrown
over a mountain stream ; the name having
been corrupted from Port ap Howell, for
near the bridge at one time was the house of
Davydd ap Howell.

The mansion was partly built by Major
Hanbury, early in the last century, and partly
by his son Capel, grandfather of the present



8



-EATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



proprietor. The Hanburys, an old English
family, were originally seated at Hanbury
Hall, hi Worcestershire, from which place
they took their name ; but about the year
1500, the owner having disinherited his
brother in favor of a natural daughter, the
eldest, Richard, went to London, and acquired
a large fortune as a banker temp. Henry VII.

His eldest son, Capel, purchased an estate
at Fonty Pool, but neither he nor his im-
mediate successors permanently resided there.
Having property at Kidderminster, in Wor-
cestershire, Capel Hanbury the great grand-
son of the purchaser of Ponty Pool, was
buried in the chancel of Kidderminster
Church, with a tablet bearing an elegant and
appropriate inscription. His son, Major
Hanbury, in 1701, was chosen M.P. for the
city of Gloucester, which he continued to
represent for three successive parliaments.
His son Capel likewise represented the county
of Monmouth in several parliaments, as well
as Iris son John Hanbury, the father of the
present proprietor, who assumed the name of
Leigh, in consequence of the will of Lord
Leigh.

The mansion is a handsome edifice con-
taining some valuable pictures, and beautifully
situated in a luxuriant demesne. The
grounds about the house are of a wild and
diversified character. The upper part of the
park is rendered very picturesque by a suc-
cession of gentle undulations that swell up
one above the other, and are clothed with
fine old timber.

HAIGH HALL, Wigan, Lancashire, the seat
of the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres. The
manor of Hugh was at one time held by a
family, called in Norman French Le Norreis,
or Le Norreys ; and, when translated into
the barbarous Latin of our old records, Nor-
renses. Mabila, a daughter and coheiress of
this name, conveyed the estate mto the family
of Bradshaigh, or Bradshaw, by marriage
with Sir William Bradshaw. A singular
tradition attaches to the good knight and his
lady, which, though romantic in the extreme,
has always passed unquestioned. Sir Wil-
liam, as an old manuscript pedigree tells us,
was " a great trauveller and souldger." It
was his misfortune, as it was of many others
in those days, to imagine it would greatly
conduce to his fame in this world, and his
soul's welfare in the next, if he could put to
the sword a score or so of Saracens ; or, even
if the worse alternative should happen, ami
he got his own brains knocked out in so pious
a warfare, he would be equally sure of his
reward. Thus stimulated, and being evi-
dently of a roving disposition, our "trauveller
and souldger" set out for the Holy band.
l T ]ion his actions there the chronicle, or
pedigree rather, from which this story has



been taken, is most provokingly silent,
though from his high military reputation we
may safely infer that he was neither the least
nor the lowest of the brave champions who
so uselessly poured out their blood in the
fields of Palestine.

Ten years elapsed, and according to rumour
as well as the general belief, the good knight
had perished. Now, whether Mabel was
overpersuaded by her friends, or was led
away by her own fancy, does not appear;
but she at length married again, the object of
her second choice being a Welsh knight,
whose name is not recorded.

At this juncture Sir William, having safely
returned to England, paid a visit in the dis-
guise of a palmer to his own castle. Here
he took his place amongst the other beggars,
who had come to receive the alms which
Dame Mabel was in the habit of dealing out
to the needy, at certain stated intervals,
according to a charitable usage by no means
uncommon in those days. On seehig the
palmer, Mabel was greatly struck by his
close resemblance to her first husband, and
the more so when he presented her with a
ring that she at once recognised as having
been her Sir William's, and which, he said,
the deceased had entrusted to his charge,
with injunctions to bear it to Haigh Hall.

" A pilgrim came from over the sea,

Benedicite ! benedicite '
And he brought a ring to that proud ladye ;
His grave is wide, his grave is deep,
On that bosom cold he shall quietly sleep,

Benedicite ! "

Old times came back upon her memory —
old thoughts and fancies were awakened —
so passionate a regret for her loss, that she
burst into a flood of tears ; yet still without
suspecting her former lord in the poor
palmer. The Welsh knight, being of a
jealous temper, guessed at once the cause of
this excessive grief. He inferred, as the old
record quaintly tells us, " that the stranger
favoured " — bore a favour or resemblance to
— "her deceased husband." As this implied
a preference for another to himself, he grew
excessively indignant, and, wrath seldom
being a great respecter of persons, in his
fury he struck the lady. It is hard to say
what before this might have been Sir Wil-
liam's intentions — whether to resign his wife
to her second husband, and end his days in
renewed warfare with the Saracens, as so
many other disappointed lovers had been
known to do, or whether he meant from the
very first to reclaim her with the strong
hand, and only came thus disguised to spy
his vantage. As it was, the evident affec-
tion of his lady for himself, and the blow
given to her in consequence, so much moved
him, that he hastily quitted the Hall to
make himself known to his tenants and re-
tainers. He was received with general ac-



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



elamations ; and his summons to arm for the
purpose of taking vengeance on the un-
chivalrous Welshman, who had not only-
robbed him of his wife, but beaten her,
was readily obeyed. It seems, however, that
the offender had somehow got notice of these
hostile designs, and preferring the chance of
flight to the chance of battle, rode off at full
speed, without staying farther question.
But he was not destined to escape so easily.
Sir William overtook him near Newton
Park, and slew him with his own hand ; for
which offence he was outlawed for a year
and a day. The Church interfered in the
case of Mabel, to punish her for not having
been contented with one husband, though, in
point of fact, she had only erred from igno-
rance. " She was enjoined by her confessor
to doe penances by going onest every week,
barefoot and barelegged, to a crosse ner
Wigan from the Haghe wilest she lived, and is
called Mab + to this day, and ther monu-
ment lyes in Wigan Church, as you see them
ther portry'd."

This seems to be a very tolerable penance
for a slight fault, considering it was two
miles of ground she had to go over bare-
footed ; for the cross, which may yet be seen,
stood at the top of Stand ish Gate, at the
entrance to the town from the Standish road.
It consists of the base of a pillar, and half a
shaft of four sides, rounded oft' by time and
exposure to the weather. The same enemy,
aided by white-wash, has reduced their effi-
gies on the tomb to rude and shapeless
masses ; for time has scarcely done more
injury by diminishing the originals, than
whitewash has by adding to them.

Notwithstanding the barefooted penance
to Mab's Cross " onest every week," and the
slight mistake of the lady's having taken a
second husband, the good knight and his wife
lived happily together till death came to
separate them. The only part of their story
that will not bear investigation when tried by
dates, is that of Sir William's having been at
the Holy Wars. The application of this
test, like Ithuriel's spear, at once discovers
the latent fallacy ; the last of the crusades
took place under Louis IX. against Tunis,
in 1270, and consequently before Sir Wil-
liam was born. It seems likely enough that
he was engaged in Edward the Second's dis-
astrous campaign against the Scots, and was
taken prisoner, which will sufficiently account
for his long absence.

Sir Walter Scott had this curious legend
in his mind when writing " The Betrothed,"
and mentions the fact in the preface to the
small edition of his novels.

There is another version of this story
extant in the Harleian MSS., 15G3, which, as
it differs in many particulars, and contains,
besides, a curious account of the way in

VOL. II.



which Mabel was wooed and won, it may be
as well to transcribe literally : —

" Item. — -The aforesaid Alan Norres was
son and heire mascle of Gilbert Norres, Esq.,
who was lord of the manor of the Haw, in
Wygan parishe, the manor of Blackroade, in
Bolton parishe, and Westeley, in Leigh
parishe.

" These three manors went away to the
heires generall with one Mabel Norres, for I
shall shewe you the manor how yt came to
Dame Mabell Bradshawe, who was Norres
daughter and heyre generall, which the king
gave hym, and therefrom my said auncestor
came downe unto Howe, inquyred wheare any
woman was that did hete, or was named,
Norres. And yt then being a very dere
yeare, fownde the aforesaid Mabell in a kyll,
baking ote-cakes, whom he fownd but in a
poore estate, not knowyng herselfe to have
any clayine or right to any parte of the three
forsaid manors. Whom my forsaid aun-
cestor saluted, and she, abashed of sutch a
syght and salutacyon of so fyne a man, and
had not seene the lyke ; and sayd, ' Mayd,
wilt thou marye me? and I shall make thee
ladye of the manor of Howe, Blackrode, and
of Westeley.' But wdien she saw hym and
hard him, knowyng not her owne ryghte, was
abashed, and knewe not what to answere,
sayd, ' I am a poor mayde, ye mock me.'
But he bouldened her, and sayd, " Grawnt
me maryage, and I will doe that I have said.'
Which was agreyd upon gladlye on her
part, and his bothe ; and thereon entered
hito the londes, possessed them, and had
them, and thereupon maryed, and lyved to
geather many yeares without yssue, and so
she dyed.

"And in tyme conscience pricked my said
auncestor, Bradshawe, and by consent and
sufferance of Mabell, his wyff, he vowed his
jorney to Rome, Jerusalem, and other holye
places, ther to see and vysett the holye
places ther ; made him and iiij of his men
palmers' weedes, and toke their jorney, and
weare about vij yeares fourth, in which tyme
all his iiij men dyed. And thereupon arose
a brute and fame that her husband, Brad-
shawe, my auncestor, was dead, and all his
men. This sprong abroad, and taken to bee
true, was hard by one Sir Henry Tenther,
knight, who begged Mabell Bradshawe of
the kyng, and maryed, and lyved with her
at How untill that vij yeares past and gone.

" And now heare ye. My said auncestor.
Bradshawe, came home, and unknowne to
alle men, and to his tenantes, came to one
whom he bothe loved and trusted, on the
Saturday at night, and required lodging for
the profytt's sake ; and grawnted, taryed all
night unknowen ; for growen with heyre,
and sore withered that none thought on hym ;
yet talked of Rome, and how long sythe the

C



10



SKATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



palmer came thence ; and lie shewed them.
And then he demaunded of his tenantes

-whose was the Hall at Howe, as if he had
been a straunger indeed. His tenant de-
clared unto hym all the circumstances of his
master's gomg to Rome and iiij ots. with
hym; and how they weare all dead; and



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