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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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founder of the Board of Agriculture ; by his
works on husbandry he taught an improved
system of cultivation, and his statistic a!
account of Scotland was, in its day, a valuable
and useful work. By Diana, daughter of
Alexander Lord Mac Donald, and grand-
niece of the Earl of Eglinton, he had numer-
ous issue ; among others Julia, Countess of
Glasgow, Janet Lady Colquhoun, Catherine,
a well-known popular writer, Sir George
the present baronet, Alexander, and John,
Archdeacon of Middlesex. Sir John died
December, 1835.

Sir George Sinclair, the present baronet,
commenced public life the moment he came
of age, by representing the county of Caith-
ness in Parliament. This he continued to
do for many years, and was distinguished as
an eloquent speaker, and as the ornament of
private society. The range of his learning
is vast, and the brilliancy of his wit makes
him the delight of his friends. After having
led a public life as a Member of Parliament,
and a frequenter of the highest circles for
about thirty years, he has latterly retired to
his seat of Thurso Castle, where his principal
occupation is the unwearied exercise of the
most active benevolence. Glory to God,
and good-will to man, is both his profession
and practice. His time is divided between
charity and literature. His haunts are the
cottage of the destitute and dying, and his
own library. Few men in this country have
ever, to the same extent, carried into the
constant practice of daily life the duty and
privilege of ministering personally to the
needy, and assuaging the sufferings of the
sick. It is a graceful and blessed thing for
a man whose earlier years have been spent
among the great, and devoted to public cares,
to prepare himself for his last account, by
the daily, almost hourly, habit of assuaging
the pains of disease, relieving the wants of
the hungry, " visiting the fatherless and
widows in their affliction, and keeping him-
self unspotted from the world."

Sir George Sinclair married, in 1817, the
Lady Camilla Tollemachc, daughter of
William Lord Huntingtower, and sister to



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



101



the present Earl of Dysart. By her he
has a son and several daughters.

CORNHILL HOUSE, Northumberland, the
seat of John Collingwood, Esq., eldest
son and heir of the late Henry John Wil-
liam Collingwood, Esq., of Lilburn Tower.

The present house is built in the shape of
a cross, and stands upon a natural terrace,
commanding an extensive view of the Cheviot
range of hills, the River Tweed, Wark
Castle, &c. &c.

On the estate, nearly opposite to Lennal,
are the remains of the old Castle of Corn-
hill, surrounded with a ditch called the
Castle House Nich. In 1549, on an in-
cursion of the Scots, they took the Castle of
Cornhill, described as being an old house of
considerable strength, and a valuable booty
was gained.

Cornhill was the villa of William de
Cornhill, 1 King Edward I. There is a
spring on the property considered to be the
second coldest in England.

NERQUIS HALL— more properly Ner-
cwys — in the county of Flint, North Wales,
the seat of the Rev. Lloyd Wynne, who
possesses it in right of his mother,
Eleanor Wynne, widow of Phillips Lloyd
Fletcher, of Gwernhagled, Flintshire, and
daughter of Owen Wynne, of Llwyn, Denbigh-
shire, who was the fifth in regular descent
from Edward, son of Morris Wynne, of
Gwydir (father of Sir John Wynne, the
first baronet), by his second wife, Catherine
Tudor, of Beriew, Denbighshire.

Nerquis Hall was built in 1G38, from the
designs of Inigo Jones, by John Wynne,
Esq. Since that time it was considerably
altered while in the possession of Miss
Grifford, who added castellated towers ; so
that it now presents a mixture of the so-
called gable with a more modern style of
architecture. It stands not far from the
town of Mold, a place of great antiquity,
which deserves mention, if for no other
cause, from the fact of the celebrated
painter, Wilson, lying in its churchyard,
with many others of his family. Near the
Hall stands Nerquis Chapel, remarkable in
this part of the kingdom for having what is
termed a spire-steeple. In the neighbourhood
are lead mines, which were, at one time,
enormously productive, but of late years
their returns have considerably fallen off.
The population, however, is chiefly agricul-
tural, and the country around is in a high
state of cultivation.

The most interesting place in the vicinity
is a tower, a fortified post in the fifteenth
century, joined somewhat incongruously to
a mansion of Queen Anne's time. Pennant
gives an interesting and curious account of



it. "The house," he says, "is small, but
part of it is a true specimen of the border-
houses on the confines of England and Scot-
land — a square tower of three storeys. In
the lower part still remains a staple in the
ceiling, a memorial of the rudeness of the
times. During the wars between the houses
of York and Lancaster, this place was in-
habited by Reinallt ap Gryffydd ap Bled-
dyn, one of the six gallant captains who de-
fended Harlech Castle on the part of Henry
VI. He and his people were in continual
feud with the citizens of Chester. In 1405
a considerable number of the latter came to
Mold Fair. A fray ensued between the two
parties ; a dreadful slaughter was made on
both sides ; but Reinallt got the victory,
took prisoner Robert Bryne, linen-draper,
and Mayor of Chester in 1461, whom he led
to his tower, and hung on the staple in his
great hall. An attempt was made after-
wards to seize Reinallt ; and two hundred
tall men sallied from Chester for that pur-
pose. He retired from his house to a
neighbouring wood, permitted part of his
enemies to enter the building ; then, rushing
from his cover, fastened the door ; and, set-
ting fire to the place, burnt them without
mercy. He then attacked the rest, pursued
them to the sea-side, where those who
escaped the sword perished in the channel."

This terrible chieftain had the good-for ■
tune to receive a pardon for his misdeeds,
from Thomas Lord Stanley, which afterwards
was confirmed by King Edward IV. The
tower, which in his day bore his name, was
in the time of Leland inhabited by John
Wynn ap Robert.

To Nerquis Hall itself there belongs no-
thing legendary or historical, beyond a
vague tradition that either Charles I., or
Oliver Cromwell, rode up the wide staircase
on a charger — " Omnia fert aetas."

KINDROGAN, Perthshire, the seat of
Patrick Small Keir, Esq., of Kinmouth, son
of the late Wflliam Small, Esq., of Kindro-
gan, by Margaret, bis wife, daughter of
Walter Keir, Esq. The date of the original
mansion is uncertain. It was rebuilt in
1811, and added to in 1830 and 1850 by the
present owner. The style is Elizabethan.
The house, which forms three sides of a
square, is situate about two hundred yards
from the south extremity of the lawn, from
which there is a descent of about sixty feet
to the water of Ardle, from which the valley
takes its name. Near the river is the garden
and bowling-green, which is reached through
shrubberies, and, directly opposite the west
front, there rises an abrupt picturesque rock,
covered with wood, 700 feet above the level
of the lawn. Hills environ the place on the
east, north, and west.



102



SEAT3 OP GKEAT BRITAIN.



BAGLAN HALL, near Neath, co. Gla-
morgan, the seat of Griffith Llewellyn, Esq.,
was originally called Noyacld Wen (An-
glice — White Hall), which name had been
dropped, and the former one adopted, as far
back as eighty-seven years ago, as appears
by the tomb of an ancestor of the present
owner. The date of the building is un-
known, but supposed to be about the close
of the sixteenth century.

Thomas was the name of the first pos-
sessor of whom there is any record. The
earliest date of burial, visible on some monu-
mental slabs belonging to the family, in the
chancel of Aberavon Church, is "ye 12th of
Apprill, 1696 ;" after the Thomas's, Elizabeth
Games, of the parish of Llanthetty, Brecon-
shire, and Robert Richards, of the parish of
Bassaleg, Monmouthshire, became possessed
each of a moiety, which they sold to Thomas
John, Esq., who bequeathed the whole to
his daughter Catherine ; to his other daugh-
ter he bequeathed Moncton, also in Glamor-
ganshire. Catherine married Thomas Jones,
Esq., and their only child, Catherine, mar-
ried Griffith Llewellyn, Esq., representative
of the late Evans Davies, Esq., of Pentre,
Ystradyfodog, Glamorganshire, and their
son, Griffith, High Sheriff of the county in
1852, succeeded on the death of his mo-
ther.

The house was built originally in the do-
mestic architecture of the period of Eliza-
beth, or James I., considerable remains of
which styles were still to be seen when the
last repairs were commenced by the late
Griffith Lewellyn, Esq.

The grounds, sloping lawn, with shrub-
beries, &c, are attractive.

WASSAND, Yorkshire, in the East
Hiding, the seat of the Rev. Charles Con-
stable, a justice of the peace for the three
Ridings, a lineal descendant of the great
Yorkshire House of Constable.

After the dissolution of monasteries by
Henry VIII., the manor of Wassand passed
by grant from the Crown to Robert Ugh-
tred, whose son and hen-, in 1552, con-
veyed it to Robert Hodgson, Esq. From this
last-named possessor it was bought by Dame
Joan, widow of Marmaduke Constable, Esq.,
from whom it has lineally descended to the
reverend gentleman now owning it.

The old house was originally built by the
Joan just mentioned, about 1530, but it was
pulled down and rebuilt in 1813, by the pre-
sent possessor. It is a convenient and pic-
turesque house, belonging to no particular
style of architecture, and stands at the west
end of the Mere, about two miles from the
sea. Above the Hall is an outline of wood of
considerable extent ; and at different points
towards the east there are beautiful views of



the lake and town of Hornsea. To the south
extend the woods of Rise and Burton Con-
stable. In the west, about a mile off, is seen
the village of Sigglesthorne, upon a wooded
eminence. To the north is a plot of about
twenty acres, called in ancient documents
Little Wassand.

The whole of the lake, called Wassand
Mere, was purchased, hi the time of Queen
Elizabeth, by M. Constable, Esq., of the
Countess of Warwick, as lord of the manor, it
being the largest piece of water in the county,
and full of picturesque, beauty.

The lordship of Wassand at one time gave
name to a family of some importance, that re-
sided there for at least two centuries. The
last of this family upon record was Agnes St.
Quintin, who was twice married — first, to Sir
John Wassand — and secondly, to Sir John St.
Quintin, Knts. Her will is worth quoting
as a picture of ancient maimers in connection
with the closing scene of this life. After the
usual commendations of her soul to God Al-
mighty, Saint Mary, and all the blessed com-
pany in Heaven, she requests that her body
may be deposited in the choir of the church
at Singleston, near the grave of Sir John
Wassand, Knt., formerly her husband. To
the poor she bequeathes four pounds, and de-
sires that the same sum may be expended at
the meeting of her friends at the time of her
funeral. To John Colden, her chaplain, she
bequeathes twenty pounds to pray for her
soul, and the souls of all her benefactors. To
the repairs of the church of Nun Killing, and
of the houses, &c, at the priory, twenty
marks. To Joan, the prioress of Swine, a quilt
of silk, &c. To brother John Newton, five
marks, to celebrate mass for her soul during
the space of one year. To the fabric of the
church of Siglesthorne, one hundred .shillings,
besides a priest's vestment, a gold-gilt cup,
and a missal for the high altar. To the two
Peters, her chaplains at Siglesthorne, she
gives three shillings and fourpence each. To
Ralph, the vicar of Boynton, one gold-gilt
cup, and one of silver. The residue of her
effects she leaves to John Touton of Seaton,
to Ralph, vicar of Boynton, to John de Col-
don, her chaplain, and to John Tonne, of
Wassand, whom she constitutes her executors.

WORSBOROUGH, Yorkshire, in the dean-
ery of Doncaster and parish of Darfield,
the seat of Mrs. Martin, widow of William
Bennet Martin, Esq., representative through
his mother of the Edmunds' of Worsborough,
whose ancestors and connections make a dis-
tinguished figure in English chronicle through
many ages. Amongst them we find a Sir
Thomas Herbert, Bart., the faithful attendant
of King Charles in all his troubles, and whose
widow afterwards married Mr. Edmunds, and
brought with her to Worsborough Hall a



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



103



manuscript written by Sir Thomas Her-
bert, containing a minute account of the
last two years of the life of Charles the
First. It is replete with small anecdotes,
of no great import perhaps in themselves, but
yet having an inexpressible charm, as bring-
ing the monarch before us in his last days,
stript of all adventitious circumstances. The
loss of the diamond, with the search and
eventual finding of it, the fire in the king's
room, the mysterious mission to " a lady
living then in Channel Row, on the back side
of King Street, in Westminster," the present
of the alarum-clock because Mr. Herbert
overslept himself, and a multitude of similar
trifles, make us better acquainted with the
unfortunate monarch than would a dozen
chapters of grave history, wherein the ob-
ject is for the most part rather to paint fine
pictures than real likenesses.

Worsborough Hall is close to the village of
the same name. It was built by an ancestor
of the Edmunds', in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, and is one of those ancient pictu-
resque mansions belonging to the seventeenth
century, of which we have now so few spe-
cimens. It is in the form of the old English
E. Here, too, is still preserved a cabinet,
brought by Lady Herbert when she married
Mr. Edmunds, which had belonged to King
Charles I., and had been given by him as a
token of regard to her first husband. It con-
tains the sheets which the king slept in the
night before his execution. They are marked
with the initials of his mother, Anne of
Denmark. Lady Herbert also brought the
footstool on which his majesty knelt when
he was beheaded.

The coal and iron works of this district,
however necessary to the comforts and ad-
vance of society, have yet done much to
diminish the interest of the adjacent scenery.
Still the natural beauties of the vale of
Worsborough have defied coal or iron to de-
stroy them ; the rich plantations of Stain-
borough, the castle, aud the gentle windings
of the Dove, presenting a picture of undi-
minished interest.

SIBTON ABBEY, in the parish of Sibton, near
Yoxford, in the county of Suffolk, was founded
by William de Casineto, or Cheney, in 1149,
as an abbey for Cistercian monks, and dedi-
cated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It flourish-
edformany years in great repute; itsyearlyre
venues in 26th Henry the Eighth, were valued
at £250. William Fladbury was the last abbot
who, with the seven monks, in 1536, two
years before the general dissolution, signed a
surrender of their abbey and all their estates
to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. After
his attainder it returned again to his family,
and on the 30th November, 1610, the 8th of



James L, the Abbey of Sibton was sold by
Thomas Earl of Arundel, and Lord William
Howard of Naworth (Belted Will), to John
Scrivener, Esq. He was the son of Ralph
Scrivener of Belstead, Esq., Portman of
Ipswich and barrister -at-law ; the estate has
continued in his family ever since to the
present time. The original surrender by
William Fladbury, the last Abbot, remains in
their possession. John Scrivener built a
commodious mansion, adjoining the ruins
of the abbey. His son Thomas was a great
sufferer in the royalist cause, his estate
having been sequestered, and he himself con-
fined in various prisons in the county.

_ The mansion having become old and dila-
pidated was pulled down by his descendant,
John Freston Scrivener, about the year 1790,
and a small house built by that gentleman, on
the estate, commanding a pleasing view of the
ruins of the Abbey backed by its woods.

The remains of the Abbey, which are of the
early English order, consist of the refectory,
by some supposed to be the chapel, and
several parts of the other buildings, enclosed
by a portion of the original wall. The
grounds which adjoin the ruins contain some
pleasant walks, and the ancient fish ponds.

Interesting memorials of antiquity have
been dug up at various times within the ruins,
amongst others, an ancient seal of the thir-
teenth century, supposed to have belonged
to one of the abbots with the motto — "Frange
— lege — tege" — (Break— read — be secret.)

_ The arms of the Scrivener family as recog-
nized by Robert Cooke, Esq., Clarencieux,
King of Arms, at his Visitation in the county
of Suffolk, 20th January, 1576, are : — Er-
mines on a chief indented azure, three leo-
pards' heads gold : upon the helm, on a torse
silver and sables, a stag passant, Ermines, a
crown about the neck attired gold.

PITCAPLE CASTLE, co. Aberdeen, the
seat of Hugh Lumsden, Esq., a member of
the Scottish Bar, and sheriff of the co. of
Sutherland. The estate of Pitcaple was for ■
merly possessed by a branch of the Leslies
of Balquhain, but for the last eighty years it
has been the property of the Liunsdens,
descended from the ancient family of Lums-
den of Cushnie. The castle, which is of the
Flemish style of architecture, was built in the
fifteenth century. There are some interesting
historical associations connected with it.
Mary, Queen of Scots, visited this mansion
in 1560, and planted a thorn tree, a remnant
of which is still visible on the lawn, and
called Queen Mary's Thorn. In the year
1650, the renowned Marquis of Montrose was
brought a prisoner to Pitcaple by the Cove-
nanters, after his defeat at the Kyle of Suther-
land ; and the room hi which he was confined,



104



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



is called Montrose's Room to this day. In the
year last mentioned, King Charles II., having
landed from Holland, in the north of Scot-
land, was hospitably entertained by the then
laird, who, with his son, accompanied the
king to the Battle of Worcester. There are
still traditions of this royal visit ; for example,
when the king crossed the River Ury, at Pit-
caple, about the end of summer, there was a
rich crop of grain on the ground, which led
his majesty to observe that it put him in mind
of " dear England," and the farm on which he
stood was forthwith called England, which
name it retains to this time. Having taken
his departure from Pitcaple, King Charles,
attended by Buckingham, Argyle, and others
of the nobility, entered Aberdeen, over the
north gate of which city was suspended one
of the limbs of his gallant and faithful servant
Montrose, who, by this time, had been bar-
barously executed at Edinburgh, and his body
dispersed to the four principal towns of
Scotland. A very beautiful poetic descrip-
tion of the execution of this illustrious hero
will be found in Professor Aytoun's " Lays
of the Scottish Cavaliers," recently pub-
lished.

WARWICK CASTLE, Warwickshire, on the
south-east part of the town of Warwick, the
seat of Henry Richard Greville, Earl of War-
wick, lord-lieutenant and custos rotulorum of
the county.

The site of the present castle was occu-
pied by a stronghold of some kind at a very
early period, but whether built by the British
king, Cymbeline, or by the Romans, seems a
matter of question. Others have referred
the original structure to Ethelfleda, a daugh-
ter of Alfred the Great, and, as the antiqua-
rians style her, " Lady of the Mercians." At
all events, there remains no doubt that, in
915, "she caused the dungeon to be made,
which was a strong tower or platform upon
a large and high mound of earth, artificially
raised — such being usually placed towards
the side of a castle or fort which is least de-
fensible." But at this time there were very
few castles, properly so called, in England, the
very word being introduced by the Normans ;
and William the Conqueror well knowing the
value of such strongholds, destroyed four
houses belonging to the monks of Coventry
for the purpose of enlarging the defences of
Warwick. He then bestowed it upon one of
his followers, called Henry de Newburgh,
whom he at the same time promoted to the
earldom. Prom this family it passed to one
of the Beauchamps, who, in 1394, built the
so-called Guy's Tower, in honour

" Of Guy, the bold baron of price."

Upon the marriage of the celebrated Richard
Neville,

" The setter up and plucker down of kings,"



with the last female heir of the Beauchamps,
he assumed the title of the Earl of Warwick ;
and, upon his death, the Duke of Clarence,
who had married his daughter, was, by Ed-
ward the Fourth, allowed to take the vacant
dignity. By him the castle was much
strengthened and beautified, but, upon his
forfeiture, it was granted away to the family
of Dudley. During their possession of the
place it was honoured by a visit from Queen
Elizabeth in 1572, of which the cln-oniclers
have not tailed to leave us a minute record.
There was the usual quantity of fine speeches
made upon the occasion, but, what the vir-
gin queen no doubt infinitely preferred, there
was also the usual quantity of presents.
After inflicting all his tediousness upon Eli-
zabeth, much after the manner of honest
Dogbery, " the bailief, rising out of the place
where he knelid, approchid nere to the coche
or chariott Avherin her Maiestie satt, and
coming to the side thereof, kneling downe,
offered unto her Maiestie a purse very faire
wrought, and in the purse twenty pounds, all
in sovereignes, which her Maistie putting
furth her hand recevid, showing withall a
very benign and gracious countenance."
Thereupon the Queen, in her turn, made a
speech, the gist of which was that, having
taken so much of them before, she did not
like to take the present offering, but still, out
of pure love for them, she would accept it.
" And therewithall offered her hand to the
bailief to kisse, who kissed it, and then she
deliverid to him agayne his mase, which she
kept on her lappe all the tyme of the oracyon.
And, after the mase deliverid, she called Mr.
Aglionby to her, and offered her hand to him
to kisse, withall smyling said, ' Come hither,
little recorder ; it was told me that youe wold
be afraid to look upon me or to speake boldly;
but you were not so fraid of me as I was of
youe.' ' Nothing can well be more graphic
than this picture of the maiden queen, throning
in her coach, the mayor's mace in her lap, and
coquetting with the purse offered to her by
the town-bailiff, who kneels to her in the
dusty road. The speeches themselves are
inimitable to any one imbued with a due
sense of the to ytXaiou. In reading them,
one can almost imagine that Elizabeth is
actually before us, half ashamed of her rapa-
city, yet not the less clutching the gold with
tingling fingers.

Upon the failure of the line of Dudley,
King James renewed the title in the person
of Robert Lord Rich, but the castle he be-
stowed upon Sir Fulk Greville, afterwards
Lord Brooke, who, finding it in a very
ruinous condition, expended large sums hi its
restoration. Dugdale says that he laid out
upon it no less than £20,000 — an immense
sum for those days ; and there is no doubt
that it is chiefly to him we are indebted for



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



105



the preservation of this noble structure, which
had previously been degraded to the purposes
of a county gaol. This outlay, however, great
as it was, he could well afford ; for he had " a
full and fair estate," one of the reasons, no
doubt, why he was in favour with Queen Eli-
zabeth ; for, as Fuller quaintly observes, she
" loved such substantial courtiers as could
plentifully subsist of themselves." He was a
scholar, mid the friend of scholars, and Cam-
den, by his own confession, tasted largely of
his bounty, besides which, we are told, that
to him " worthy Bishop Overall chiefly owed
his preferment." A folio volume of his works
still remains to vouch for his talents, and
to show how far his contemporaries were
right in saying that his style was "full and
lofty." His end was less happy than his life
had been. A moody servant, who considered
his deserts not sufficiently requited, inflicted
upon him a wound that proved mortal, and
then made away with himself ; thus verifying



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