Bernard Burke.

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

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how his wyffwas maried agayne to one Sir
Henry Tenther ; and mutch praysed their
ould master, Bradshawe that went to Rome;
what a good master they had of hym, and
how well they loved hym, with many cir-
cumstaunces.

" And thus when tyme served they went to
bedd. But he tould them afore that he saw
theire Mr. Bradshawe, and that he was not
(led. And when morowe came, he went out,
and afore dynner tyme went to the Hawll,
and ther requyred his dynner for the pro-
phet's sake, which he had ; and so sett at a
syde-board in the Hawll. Dame Mabell re-
membered her husband, Bradshawe, then
began to behonld the palmer; and more she
In, iked on hym, the more like she thought
hym to her fnrst husband, Bradshawe,
whom she knewe no other way with hym
but to bee ded. Yet still she thought that
he resembled her husband Bradshawe m ire
and more, and at length burst fourtl e, and
wept. Sir Henry Tenther, her husband,
demaunded of her why shee weep'd ? And
she answered and sayd, 'Nothing.' But
ther was no excuse, but shee must tell hym ;
and so dyd, that the palmer resembled her
husband, Bradshawe. Who aunswered and
sayd, ' What ! dost thou love hym better
than mee?' and therewith he departed the
bourd with a bound. The palmer saw all
the matter, and kept hym still. With that,
when dynner was done, he tooke his leave,
and departed.

" He had hard that the said Sir Henry
roade on the morowe to London, and men
with hym, went straight to his tenant's
house, wheare he the night before had
lodged, and begun further with his tenaunt
to talke; and tould hym that his master,
Bradshawe, was alyve ; and then asked his
tenaunt what prevey token, or marke, that
he knewe on his master Bradshawe bye.
And hys tenaunt tould hym. And he said,
'I am hee,' and leyt hys tenaunt see this
marke on hys rybb that he spoke of, and
shewed hym other seeretts betwixl them,
SO thai the tenaunt was well assured that yt
was his good master, Bradshawe. Then hys
master, Bradshawe. tould hym all that he
saw hys wyff for his sake that day Suffered,
sayd her strokes should be wed quytt ; and
bade hym make other ij of his most trusty
tenaunts prevy what was done, and he so
tooke them with hym; and every man on
hprsebake went on the morowe to Newton
Parke syde afore Sir Henry Tenther came,



and ther slewe Sir Henry Tenther, and
made them straight to London, and came to
the kynge, and shewed hym all the circum-
stances, and had hys pardon, and came home,
and lyved with Dame Mabell his wyff during
their lives together.

" The sayd Mabell was enjoyned by her
confessour to doe pennaunces by going onest
every weeke barefoot and barelegged to a
crosse near Wigan, from the Haghe, wilest
shee lyved, and is called Mabb + to this
day ; and her monument lyes in Wygan
Church, as you see, a.d. 1315."

However the two stories may differ in de-
tails, they correspond so exactly in sub-
stance, that we may be pretty sure the
legend, in the main, is true.

Haighe Hall, as it existed at the beginning
of the last century, presented in its grounds
and gardens a curious specimen of the style
called Flemish, which long prevailed here
till it was broken down by the taste of a
few, and succeeded by a return to nature.
A wood engraving of the place may still be
seen, where terrace follows terrace, and the
whole is laid out in squares and oblongs of
various sizes. Never was formality more
formal. The trees are all drawn up with the
preciseness of military array, side by side,
and each battalion having one to correspond
with it. Very little exercise of fancy is
required to people the walks and alleys with
imaginary forms of lords and ladies with
well-powdered hair, square shoes, and long
waists, all as stiff and as upright as the
stiffest and most upright of the poplars that
grow around them.

Part of the old house, which w r as pulled
down, being quite ruinous, about twenty
years ago, bore the name of " Mab's Gal-
lery," in remembrance of Mabel Norris,
whose ghost was said to haunt it. It was
flanked by an ancient chapel, and a dark con-
fession-room, the latter intervening between
the chapel and the kitchen.

The existing mansion was built by the
present proprietor, to whom the estate de-
scended from his mother, the heiress of the
Bradshaighs. It stands in the midst of a
well-wooded park of considerable extent, and
near the top of a hill, which is said to com-
mand a view of thirteen counties, the Irish
Sea, and the Isle of Man.

The ground in the neighbourhood of the
Hall is singularly rich in coal ; including the
districts of Winstanley, Pemberton, Orrell,
Qp-Holland, luce, and Haigh. We have
here one of the greatest coal districts in
Lancashire; or one, at least, which has
been most largely and successfully exca-
vated. It is not many years since old work-
ings of this invaluable mineral, more pre-
cious than gold or diamonds, were discovered
under the market-place in the town of



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



11



Wigan. The peculiar kind of coal, known
under the name of " cannel," is principally
found here, at Aspnll, and at Ince. It is
susceptible, which at one time led to its
being frequently wrought into inkstands,
candlesticks, table-boxes, and various other
fancy articles. It is not quite twenty years
ago, since a summer-house, entirely built of
cannel-coal, stood near the Hall.

The soil in the parish of Wigan is, here
and there, peaty, but for the most part ex-
hibits a rich loam, the proportion of mea-
dow and pasturage to the arable land being
as one to three. In the high ridge extend-
ing from Ashurst Beacon to Billinge Beacon,
are several tine stone- quarries, from which
flags, shell-stone, and grey slate, are abund-
antly obtained, while in Billinge-Hill scythe-
stones are found of excellent quality.

B0C02IN0C, in the county of Cornwall,
about three or four miles from Lostwithiel, is
the residence of the Hon. George Matthew
Fortescue, second son of Hugh, first Earl
Fortescue, by his wife Hester Grenville. Mr.
Fortescue is therefore nephew to Lord Gren-
ville, whose widow has given up to him Bo-
connoc.

" For the compound name of Boconnoc,"
says Gilbert, " it is taken from the barton
and manor of land still extant there, with
reference to the beasts that depastured there-
on, and signifies prosperous, successful,
thriving cows, kine, or cattle. Which place
it seems was the voke-lands* of a considerable
tithing or lordship, with jurisdiction at the
time of the Norman Conquest."

At the period of the Conquest this manor
was possessed by Robert, Earl of Moreton,
which name is a corruption of Montaigne, in
Normandy. In the reign of Henry III., it
belonged to the ancient family of De Cancio,
or De Cant, who had their principal place of
abode at Cant, in Minver. In the reign of
Edward III., we find it in the hands of Sir
John Dawnay, whose daughter and heiress
conveyed it by marriage to Edward Courtenav,
third Earl of Devon. It was soon afterwards
in the possession of the Carminows, though
the way in which it passed to them is some-
what doubtful. From this famUy it went by
sale to the Russells, by whom it was again
disposed of in 15G6, to Reginald^ Mohun,
Esq., wdiose grandson John, was created a
peer in 1G08 by the title of Baron Mohun, of
Qakhampton. This family, which originally
came in with William the Conqueror, became
extinct in 1712, by the death of Charles Lord
Mohun, who was slain in a duel with the Duke

* Voke-lands, that is, folk-lands, — terra popularis,
which passed from one to another without writing- ; in
opposition to boc-lands, that is, book-lands, or lands held
by written documents.

t Lysons differs most materially. lie makes the sale
in 1579 to William, not Reginald, Mohun..



of Hamilton. This duel arose — if all be true
that has been told — not from any private
pique, but in the service of a political party,
in those days men do not appear to have
been very nice as to the means by which
they attained their objects, and the Duke of
Hamilton, who stood high with the Tories,
having been appointed ambassador to France,
the Whigs took the alarm. As the readiest
way of getting rid of a man that was so
likely from his talents to prove dangerous to
them, they determined to involve him in a
duel. For this purpose they pitched upon
Lord Mohun, a noted swordsman, who had
long been the unscrupulous tool and bully of
his party, and who besides from being engaged
in a tedious law-suit with the duke, seemed
the fittest agent for such a matter.

Having prepared himself by drinking hard,
Lord Mohun publicly insulted the duke, in
the hope of provoking a challenge ; but as
this was treated with contempt, he determined
himself to become the challenger, and de-
spatched a certain Major-General Macartney
to call out his opponent. It w r as then agreed
that a meeting should take place at an early
hour the next day, at the ring in Hyde Park,
the usual spot in those days for settling the
so-called affairs of honour. At the appointed
hour the combatants met, and never was a
duel contested with greater bitterness. " In
a very short time the duke was wounded in
both legs, which he returned with interest,
piercing his antagonist through the groin,
through the arm, and in sundry other parts
of his body. The blood flowed freely on
both sides, their swords, their faces, and even
the grass about them being reddened with it.
But rage lent them that almost supernatural
strength, which is so often seen in madmen.
If they had thought little enough before of
attending to their self-defence, they now
seemed to have abandoned the idea altogether.
Each at the same time made a desperate lunge
at the other ; the duke's weapon passed
right through his adversary up to the very
hilt, and the latter, shortening his sword,
plunged it into the upper part of the duke's
left breast, the wound running downwards
into his body, when his grace fell upon him.
It was now that the colonel came to his aid,
and raised him in his arms. Such a blow, it
is probable, would have been fatal of itself,
but Macartney had by this time picked up
one of the swords, and stabbing the duke to
the heart, over Hamilton's shoulder, imme-
diately fled and made his escape to Holland.
Such at least was the tale of the day, widely
disseminated, and generally believed by one
party, although it was no less strenuously
denied by the other."

The result was the death of both parties.
Lord Mohun bequeathed his whole estate by
will to his widow, who sold this manor about



12



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



1718, to Thomas Pitt, Esq., of Dorsetshire,
Governor of Fort St. George, in India,
common ancestor of the Pitts, Earls
of Londonderry, Earls of Chatham, and
Lords Camelford. The governor has found
a name with posterity as being the ori-
ginal purchaser of the Pitt diamond, which
was sold to the Eegent of France, at a sum
exceeding one hundred thousand pounds, and
afterwards became yet more an object of
interest from its being placed in the hilt of
Napoleon's sword, between the teeth of a
crocodile, so shaped as to form the handle.

The last Lord Camelford, possessing Bo-
connoc, had many points of character in
common with the last of the Mohuns. Both
were brave to an excess, full of talent, and
restlessly fond of enterprise ; and both
perished in a duel. Camelford has been more
harshly judged than he deserved, ample
justice having been done to his faults, which
indeed were numerous enough, but very little
to the better qualities, which to a generous
mind might almost seem to compensate for
them. In his early days this ill-fated noble-
man sailed with Vancouver on his voyage of
discovery, but it would seem that his fiery
mood was ill suited to endure the discipline
of a ship, and upon his return to England
he burst out into many acts of violence
against his former commander.

Of the ancient mansion, built probably by
the Mohuns, or Courtenays, there are now
but few remains ; a portion only of the walls
remaining in the present house, which was
new modelled from the old fabric by Governor
Pitt, and a new whig added. To this the
last Lord Camelford built a second wing,
containing a handsome gallery, one hundred
and ten feet hi length, that opens into a
drawing-room and library. In the gallery are
several portraits, not a little interesting as
being the representations of many illustrious
characters; and in the library is the family
Bible, with several registers in the hand-
writing of Governor Pitt.

Boconnoc House, with its lawns, deer
park, and hanging woods, is thought by many
to be one of the finest seats hi Cornwall. It
stands upon an eminence near the junction of
two valleys, through each of which flows a
rivulet amidst broken ground. The contrast
of this scene with the wild country around
is rendered yet more striking by the beeches
and splendid old oaks that cluster here in
great abundance.

Boconnoc and its neighbouring grounds
form a distinguished feature in the great
Civil War of the seventeenth century. Upon
more than one occasion the two armies stood
here opposed to each other, and on the 19th
of January, 1(>13, the battle of Braddock
Down was fought a short mile to the north of
the house; the king's troops being commanded



by Sir Ralph Hopton, and those of the par-
liament by General Ruthven. The latter
were entirely defeated.

In the August of 1644 Boconnoc House
was occupied by the parliamentarians,
no one place seeming in those days to remain
for long together in the hands of either party,
the war having all those pleasures which are
popularly, as well as poetically, said to belong
to vicissitudes. The story is thus told by
Sir Edward Walker in his " Historical Dis-
courses," the good knight — as became Garter,
principal king of arms — being a stanch
partisan of royalty.

" That day, being the 4th of August, a
party of horse of Collonel Richard Nevils,
commanded by Sir Bernard Gascoyn, an
Italian and volunteer hi his regiment, being
sent out to secure the country from plunder,
drew very near the rebels' quarters at Lis -
tithiel (Lostwithiel), and being advertised by
a youth that divers of the Earl of Essex's
officers were that afternoon caressing [qy.
carousing?] at Boconnock, the Lord Mohun's
house,he made haste thither, presently, forced
the gates, and got possession of the dining-
room. They still kept a battery at the end
of it, until through the door one of their
servants was slain ; then they rendered them-
selves prisoners, bemg Collonel Aldridge,
sometimes governor of Alesbury, Lieutenant-
Collonel Butteler — Essex's own Lieutenant-
Collonel, Lieutenant-Collonel Carleton, Cap-
tain Blyth,and Burdet, Essex's ensign ; Dalkeir,
Quarter-master General of the rebels' army,
was in their power, but being without a
sword or hat, he pretended himself a servant
of the house, and so escaped, being unknown.
That evening they were all brought safe to
Liskeard, and from thence sent prisoners to
Exeter."

A few days afterwards the king took up
his quarters at Boconnoc, whence he sent a
friendly letter to Essex, in the name of certain
lords, in hopes of detaching him from the
parliament. To this he obtained a very
laconic and soldierly reply.

Tradition has preserved more than one
memorial of Charles's short abode here. Near
the gate of Rookwood Grove, leading to the
parsonage, may still be seen the stump of an
aged oak, to which the royal standard was
fixed, the upper part of the tree having been
broken off by a violent wind, about nine feet
above the ground. This was in the March of
1783 ; but when in its full pride it is said to
have produced scarcely any other than varie-
gatedleaves,the original colour having been lost
because of an attempt made to assassinate the
monarch while receiving the sacrament under
the shadow of its branches. The ball shot at
Charles is stated to have passed through the
oak, and a hole made by the woodpeckers is
pointed out to the incredulous in confirmation



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



13



of the story. It probably arose from the king-
having been really shot at when in the Hall
Walk, and a poor fisherman killed, who was
gazing at him, as we learn from the author
before quoted : — " On Saturday, the 17th of
August, his Majesty, attended with his troop
and the Queen's, rode to view the passes on
the river or creek towards Foy, and from
thence to Hall House, opposite to that town,
where, viewing it from a fair walk, on which
one of our pieces was planted, they made
divers shots at him from the other side, being
a little above half-musket shot over, one of
which slew a poor fisherman looking over a
ditch at the end of the walk."

At one time, shortly after the battle of
Braddock Down, a hill in the neighbourhood,
called " Druid Hill," became the site of an
engagement between the royalists and the
parliamentarians. The king's troops had
encamped upon the hill, when a party of the
enemy, now reduced to great straits, cut their
way through them, and made their escape at
a time when escape seemed well-nigh hope-
less. Both the hill and the clown are now
comprised within the grounds of Boconnoc,
adding much interest to a place that without
them was exceedingly picturesque and varied.

But it is not only by its warlike and royal
associations that Boconnoc is distinguished ;
a great poet has also left his name connected
with it. Near the house, in a secluded val-
ley, stands a shattered beech tree, under
which it is said that Gray the poet, who
was a friend of Lord Camelford's, was ac-
customed to pass much time " in meditation
free."

ARBURY, the seat of Charles Newdigate
Newdegate, Esq-, M.P. for North Warwick-
shire, between Coventry and Nuneaton, inthe
" Woodlands" of the Forest of Arden, stands
in the middle of a finely -wooded deer-park,
ornamented with two large sheets of water.
The house, in the ornamental Gothic style,
contains several noble rooms. To the south
are the library, drawing, and dining-rooms,
the latter forty feet long, with an arched
roof ornamented with pendants, after Henry
the Seventh's chapel, in AVestminster Abbey.
In this room is the top of a sarcophagus,
brought from Rome by Sir Roger Newde-
gate. In the east of the mansion is a splen-
did saloon, with a large oriel window opening
to the park, and beyond are the chapel, still
unfinished, and two smaller apartments, in
one of which is a very curious old picture in
two compartments, which was presented to
Sir Roger Newdegate by Sir John de Astley
in 1773. It represents two combats by
John de Astley, one at Paris, 29th August,
1438, with Peter de Masse ; and the other in
Smithfield, 30th January, 1491, with Sir
Philip Boyle.



The entrance hall is on the north, with a
geometrical staircase leading to the picture
gallery, the walls of which are covered with
family portraits.

In the park is an interesting old house,
called Temple House, formerly a lodge of
the Knights Templars, and now the residence
of the clergyman of Astley.

Arbury was built in the reign of Edward
the Second, by Raphe de Sudley, for canons
regular of St. Augustin, and so continued
till the 27th year of Henry the Eighth, when
it was exposed to dissolution with the other
small religious houses. The king gave it,
three years after, to Charles Brandon, Duke
of Suffolk, who had granted to him thirty
monasteries. Arbury came by partition
to his coheir, Margaret, wife of John Ker-
sey, who sold it to Sir Edmund Anderson,
Knt., Chief Justice of the Common Pleas to
Queen Elizabeth, who pulled down the old
fabric, and built out of the ruins a " very
fair structure in the quadrangular form,"
and having so done, in the 28th year
of Elizabeth he exchanged it with John
Newdegate, of Harefield, co. Middlesex,
great-grandson of John Newdegate, serjcant
at law in Henry the Eighth's reign (de-
scended from the Newdegates of Newdegate
in Surrey), for Harefield, which has since
come back again into the Newdegate family.

The present house was almost rebuilt by
Sir Roger Newdegate, Bart., at the close of
the last century, who died before he had
completed the improvements. The present
possessoi - , who is a cousin of Sir Roger's,
took the name of Newdegate in lieu of his
patronymic Parker, on succeeding to the
property in 1834.

HACKTHORN, in the county of Lincoln,
the seat of Robert Cracroft, Esq. When
Doomsday Survey was made, the lands of
Hackthorn were in the hands of the Arch-
bishop of York (who had half the advowson
of the church, and Waldin Ingeniator the
other), and of Martin, Gozelin, Roger of
Poictou, and Colsuain. They then passed to
the illustrious Norman families of Crcveeu .u
and Nevile, by the latter of which the great
tithes of the church were alienated from it
in the twelfth century, and given to the Ab-
bey of Bullington. To these succeeded the
families of Sotehill and Saunderson, until
towards the middle of the seventeenth cen-
tury, when the greater part of Hack-
thorn came into the possession of Robert
Cracroft, Esq., of Whisby (who, in 1608, mar-
ried Martha, daughter of Sir Richard Am-
cotts of Aisthorp, Knight of the Bath), and
was the head of a younger branch of the an-
cient family of Cracroft of Cracroft, which,
after running its course through many
generations, marrying into the families of



14



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



Westmeles, Rathby, Topcliffe, Brougliam,
Bullen, Bole, and others, is supposed to have
become extinct in the chief line in the person
of Richard Cracroft, who, in the reign of
James the First, married Elizabeth, daughter
of Thomas Bendish, Esq., of Bower Hall, in
Essex, and widow of John Pepys of Cotten-
liam, in the county of Cambridge, Esq. In
this family, which is now represented by
Robert Cracroft, Esq., who is lord of the
manor and patron of the living, Hackthorn
still continues. In 1814 he married Augusta
second daughter of the late Sir John Ingilby,
Bart., of Ripley, in the county of York.
The late Charles Mainwaring, of Goltho,
Esq., who was lay rector of the church, pos-
sessed an estate in the parish, which is at
the present time (1852) in Chancery. Hack •
thorn appears to have been the residence of
a family of note in the county from very
early times. In 1318, in the twelfth year of
Edward the Second, Willielmus de Hake-
thorn was one of the burgesses returned to
Parliament for Lincoln. In 1327, the first
of Edward the Third, the same. In 1328,
Robertus de Hakethorn was returned, rtnd
again in 1330, 1332, 1333, 1334, 1335, 1336,
1337, 1338, 1340, and 1341. In 1338, the
two burgesses were Willielmus and Ricardus
de Hakethorn. Foundations of buildings
evidently of considerable magnitude, are still
to be traced, and their site is to this day
called the " Hall Close; " besides which the
monks of Bullington had a small conventual
building, now converted into a farmhouse,
and called " the Grange."

In the year 1792 John Cracroft, Esq.,
father of the present proprietor, pulled down
the old hall, and built the present one,
changing the site from the east side of the
church to the west. The house is square,
and built of Yorkshire stone, in the Grecian
style of architecture ; the entrance being to
the north, under a circular portico with Do-
ric columns, a stone balustrade surmounting
the entire building. It stands in a park-like
enclosure of about 100 acres, studded with
trees, many of them of old growth, amongst
winch the thorns are conspicuous ; Hack-
thorn deriving its name from Hagedorn,
which, in Anglo-Saxon, signifies Hawthorn.
An avenue of elms, which led to the old hall,
stands at the south-east side, and is in good
preservation. A brook, which runs imme-
diately in front of the south side of the
house, and to which the ground slopes
gently downwards, has been enlarged into
a sheet of water commensurate with the size
of the ground. The water is singularly
clear and very rarely freezes. The church
adjoins the Hall very closely. The old one
was pulled down in 1844, having become too
small for the increased population, and the
present elegant structure was erected in its



place, partly by the patron and the parish-
ioners, but chiefly by the liberality of the
late Charles Mainwaring. Esq., the lay rec-
tor. The fittings of the nave are all of
mahogany, the pulpit canopy being elabo-
rately carved,as is also the communion table,
winch is a beautiful work of art. An in-
scription on the " Corona," together with
the text, " Let your light so shine before
men that they may see your good works,"
records that it was given to the church in



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