Bernard Burke.

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

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the stream, others wreathing high their old
fantastic roots, and the various windings of
the brook, at one time almost hid within its
rugged banks, at another whitening as it
struggles amidst fragments of rocks, at ano-
ther gliding over its marble bed, are points
which cannot but attract admiration."

The approach to the House, upon leaving
the turnpike road, winds along for nearly
half-a-mile, amidst a blended scene of lawns,
woods, rocks, and waters. Upon an emi-
nence are the remains of a Danish encamp-
ment, of an elliptical form, surrounded by a
trench, and overhung Avith oaks of great age
and magnitude. From this point may be had



SEATS OF GUEAT BRITAIN.



151



many noble mid extensive prospects over a
remarkably fine portion of the country.

There is a tradition that this place was
the favourite retreat of the poet Dryden, who
here composed his celebrated " Hind and
Panther," in defence of the Roman Catholic
Church. Sir Walter Scott, however, tells us
" it was chiefly composed in a country retire-
ment at Rushton, near his birth-place, in
Huntingdon. There was an embowered
walk at this place, which, from the pleasure
which the poet took in it, retained the name
of DryderCs WalJc, and here was erected,
about the middle of the last century, an urn,
with the following inscription : ' In memory
of Dryden, who frequented these shades, and
is here said to have composed his poem of
the Hind and the Panther.' 1 " Both stories,
under certain restrictions, may be true. The
poem consists of three parts, and it is very
possible that they may have been written at
different times, and in different places. Lord
Clifford of Chudleigh also possesses —



COURT HOUSE, Somersetshire, three miles
and a half from Bridgewater, in the hundred
of Cannington, anciently written Cantetone,
Candetone, and Canytone. This word, in all
its varieties, is compounded of the British
word cann, signifying " fair," and the Anglo-
Saxon tun, a " town." In the reign of King
Stephen it was held of the crown by Walter
de Courcy, a Norman by extraction, and
sewer, or chief butler, to the Empress
Maud. Being of a very religious turn, he
founded here, about 1140, a priory for Bene-
dictine nuns, the patronage of which was
vested in the Lords of Stoke, now called from
them " Stoke Courcy." It was dedicated to
the Virgin Mary, and consisted of a prioress
and about twelve nuns. After the suppres-
sion of monasteries by Henry VIII. , the site
of this house, with the manor and rectory of
Cannington, was granted by the monarch to
Edward Rogers, Esq. Either he, or, as
seems more probable, his son, deserted the
old manor-house — which still exists close by
as a farm-house — and converted the priory
into the present manorial building. The
time of the change is sufficiently shown by
the architecture to have been the reign of
Queen Elizabeth.

Cannington is now supposed to have
passed through many hands, but nothing
certain is known of these changes till we
come to 1672, when we find it had again
escheated to the crown, and was granted by
Charles II. to Thomas, Lord Clifford, in
whose family it still remains.

In the Park is a rocky hill, on which, ac-
cording to tradition, the fugitives from Mon
mouth's army after the general defeat of
their party, made a final and stubborn stand



against their remorseless pursuers. The
greater number of these gallant men perished
in the conflict, and were buried with little
ceremony where they fell, many with scarce
a handful of earth to cover them. Human
bones and soldiers' accoutrements are still
occasionally turned up in working the quar-
ries on the spot.

LYSWAYES HALL, co. Stafford, the seat
of Charles Forster, Esq., M.P.

Gilbert de Liswis, was the owner in the
time of Henry II. He bore for arms a fleur
de lis. In the time of Henry IV., Lyswayes
was the property of the Arblasters,
("Arcu balusta,") in whose descendants
it continued till 1765, when it was
sold to Francis Cobb, whose representa-
tives (Lord Molesworth and Mr. Austen)
sold it to Charles Smith Forster and John
Forster, by whom the estate was divided, th e
mansion, park, and adjoining farms, falling
to the share of Charles Smith Forster, Esq.

The House appears to have been rebuilt
about the time of Queen Anne, in the
Roman style, and is situated in a richly-
wooded valley, sheltered on the north-west
by the heights of Beaudesert, to which
noble demesne the Lyswayes' estate is con-
tiguous.

HANCH HALL, in the parish of Longdon,
the residence of John Forster, Esq., was
the seat of the Astons, in the time of
Edward I., and continued in that family
until Henry VIII. It afterwards became
the property of the Ormes, one of whom
Captain William Orme, suffered greatly for
his loyalty to King Charles I., and for
having " garrisoned and furnished with pro-
visions " the close of Lichfield, at the re-
quest of the church, so that he was obliged
to mortgage, and his descendants to sell the
Hanch estate, to the Bishop of Londonderry,
who resided there some time, and whose
only child and heiress, marrying Dormer
Packhurst, it became the property and
residence of that person, and on his death
without issue, was ultimately purchased
(after two intermediate sales) by the present
possessor John Forster. The House stands
in the same richly wooded valley with
Lyswayes Hall, not quite a mile from the
latter, the grounds being contiguous. The
north and west fronts, which have been
restored by the present owner, are Eliza-
bethan ; and the south front Grecian, or
rather the Roman of Queen Anne's time.

An aisle or transept on the south side of
Longdon Church, called the Hanch Chapel,
or Stonywell Chapel, belongs to this estate.
It was built by John de Stonywell, a suf-
fragan bishop in the reign of Henry VII.,
whose tomb still remains there, with the



152



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



inscription, in allusion to his name, " Educit
aquara de petra." Some ancient stained glass
also represents a well with a stone at the
bottom. The well still remains on Stony
Well Farm, with which was connected a
popular belief that a great calamity would
attend the removal of the stone. The largest
old chesnut tree in the county, if not in the
kingdom, still flourishes near the mansion.

CADBURY HOUSE, Somersetshire, in the
hundred of Catash, the seat of James Ben-
net, Esq. At the time of the Conquest,
the parish of North Cadbury would seem to
have been the demesne of Turstin Fitz
Rolph, a Norman chieftain. After him it
belonged to Lord Newmarch, an adherent of
William the Conqueror. In 1216 the then
possessor of this estate died, and left two
daughters co-heiresses, Isabella and Hawise
when, his lands being divided, Cadbury fell
to the latter, who was twice married. By
her first husband she had no children, and
the property thus devolved to her second
husband Nicholas de Moels. In 1337, curi-
ously enough, the same circumstance was re-
peated ; the possessor of the estate died,
leaving two co-heiresses ; the lands were, as
before, divided, and Isabella, the eldest,
obtaining Cadbury tor her portion, conveyed
it by marriage to William, Lord Botreaux.
In 1463 it passed to Sir Robert Hungerford
in right of his wife, Margaret, the daughter
and heiress of the last Lord Botreaux. From
the Hungerfords it next came by marriage
into the family of Hastings, that in process
of time became Earls of Huntingdon. At
length by some family arrangements the
manors and estates of North and South Cad-
bury were sold to Richard Newman, Esq., a
warm adherent of Charles the First, whom
he assisted with large sumo of money, and
followed through all his adverse fortunes
with unshaken fidelity. From this family it
passed by sale to the Bennetts, and with
them it still remains.

Cadbury derives its name from the neigh-
bouring Belgic- British fortress of Cad-
burgh. It is compounded of Cath or Cad,
" a stronghold," and burgh " a hill,"
softened, or corrupted in after times into
bury.

Cadbury House was at one time the ba-
ronial residence of the early Lords of Cad-
bury. It is a large structure, the northern
part of which is in the Elizabethan style of
architecture, and was built ahout 1581 by
Sir Henry Hastings, third Earl of Hunting-
don, as we learn from his arms in one of the
hall-windows. This hall is forty-eight feet
long, and twenty-two wide, with a large
bay-window at the upper end, on which are
numerous shields of coats of arms of the
different Lords of Cadbury. In the western



compartment are no less than six shields,
several of them enclosed within the order of
the Garter, displaying the arms of the
Hastings family and their connections.
In the northern compartment are also many
shields.

Other additions have been made to the
ancient building on the south side, which
now presents a front of one hundred and
eighty feet in length, comprising a centre
and two wings, built in a plain style, of hewn
free-stone. Within, are several good pic-
tures, and principally the work of Italian
artists.

Cadbury House stands upon the brow of
an eminence, commanding a fine view of Cad-
bury Castle, with the Littleton and Corton
Hills. A handsome lawn slopes down from
the House to the river, which forms a canal
through the grounds.



DRUM, Aberdeenshire, the seat of Alex-
ander Forbes Irvine, Esq., the descendant of
a family long highly distinguished in Scot-
tish annals. In the thirteenth century, the
ancestors of William de Irwin, held property
in a parish of the same name — Irwin — on the
banks of the Kirtle, in Annandale ; but he
quitted his father's tower to accompany
Robert Bruce, his feudal Lord of Annandale,
when Bruce seized upon the Scottish crown,
and set the might of England at defiance.
For his services in this fierce struggle
between the two countries, Bruce rewarded
him in 1323 with a grant, by charter under
the great seal, of the forest of Drum.

Tradition next tells of a bloody feud that
broke out between the Irvines and the
Keiths, hereditary Grand Marshals of Scot-
land ; and of a battle fought upon a moor, on
the north side of the Dee, which, in conse-
quence, is still called the Keith's Muir. The
Irvines defeated their enemies, and drove
them across the river where the channel is
deep and rocky, an event commemorated in
the name given to it of the Keith's Pot: &pot
in the Scottish dialect signifying " the deep
holes scooped in a rock by the eddies of a
river, the motion of the water there having
some resemblance to a boiling cauldron." So
minute is the popular record of this remote
event, that a certain rock, Avhich occasionally
rises a few inches above the water, is pointed
out as the spot where one of the fugitives
took refuge, but was slam, on which account
it bears the name of the Keith's Stone to the
present day. In a very short time this feud
had risen to such a height, that the states
of the kingdom found it necessary to inter-
fere, and prevailed upon Sir Alexander Ir-
win, the third in descent, to marry p]lizabeth,
daughter of Sir Robert Keith, the Marisctaall
of Scotland. Though the marriage appears to



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



153



have been one merely ceremonial, it had the
desired effect of uniting the two families.

But in those days the sword was not al-
lowed to rest in the scabbard for long
together, and Sir Alexander was now called
upon to fight his last tight. Donald, the
formidable Lord of the Isles, had taken pos-
session of the Earldom of Boss, and carried
fire and sword into the provinces of Moray,
Strathbogie, and the Garioch, when the
Begent's nephew led out the lowland army
to oppose him. Sir Alexander marched
forth at the head of his vassals to join the
lowlanders. On his way to Harlaw, halting
on the hill of Auchrony — from which his
house of Drum was visible on the one hand
and the battle- field on the other — lie seated
himself on a stone, still known by the name
of Drum's Stone, and solemnly advised his
brother, in the event of himself being slain,
to wed his sister-in-law, assuring him that
her first marriage had never been consum-
mated. He was slain, and buried on the
battle-field by his vassals, who raised a
cairn over his grave. But his best memorial
is the popular ballad of the Battle of
Harlaw —

" Guile Sir Alexander Irvine,

The much renounit Laird of Drum;
None in his dais wer better sene,

Quken thai wer semblit all and som.
To praise him we sud not be dumm,

For valour, wit, and worthiness;
To end his dais he ther did cum,

Quhois ransum is reinedyles."

Bobert, upon succeeding to the estate,
followed the advice given him by his brother,
as we have just seen, on the hill of Auch-
rony, and changed his Christian name to
Alexander, a change which has produced
some confusion amongst the genealogists,
making them believe he was the son, and
not the brother, of him who fell at the Battle
of Harlaw. He also was distinguished for
his loyalty, and having been appointed by
the States one of the commissioners to treat
for the liberation of James the First of Scot-
land, when a prisoner in London ; he was
subsequently knighted by that prince for his
good services. So high was the confidence
of the royalists in his zeal and talents, that
when the king was afterwards murdered at
Berth, and the whole kingdom was plunged
by his death into confusion, the burgesses of
Aberdeen with one voice consented to his
being made captain and governor of the
burgh, an office which, like the dictatorship
amongst the Romans, set him at once above
all the civic authorities. The exigency of
the occasion rendered this absolutely re-
quisite ; and no other instance has ever been
recorded of the citizens placing any one in
power above their own first magistrate.

Without pretending to follow up the

VOL. II.



family succession step by step, we oome
at once to another of this house, who was
killed at the Battle of Binkey, fought by
the English under the Duke of Somerset,
against the Scottish Begent, during the
minority of Mary.

In the great Civil War between Charles I.
and his parliament, Sir Alexander Irvine,
the then Laird of Drum, like all his an-
cestors, was a firm adherent of the crown.
In 1G40, Drum was besieged by General
Monroe, who, after sustaining some loss,
offered favourable terms, which were ac-
cepted. The place was afterwards garri-
soned by the Covenanters, and in 1644 Bar-
liameiit gave authority to their general and
commissioners to demolish the "Tower of
Drum," as one of the residences of u a prime
rebel ;" but its destruction was averted. As
a matter of course, the laird was perse-
cuted by the republicans ; and afterwards
— though not equally as a matter of
course — he was rewarded for his services by
the restored monarch. Few indeed had
suffered more than himself. His estates
were plundered, himself imprisoned and con-
demned to death, but fortunately reprieved
in time by the victory gained over the
Covenanters at Kilsyth by the great
marquess. The ecclesiastical authorities
revenged themselves by excommunicating so
confirmed a recusant, who had not the grace
even to live as they directed, or to lay his
head upon the block when they had pre-
pared it.

This is but a shadowy and imperfect
outline of the Lairds of Drum, and
suited to our narrow limits ; but it may
serve to give some idea of the high and
active part played by them from generation
to generation. Perhaps, too, we ought to
add that Sir Alexander Irwin, in the time of
Charles I., had a patent from the king,
creating him Earl of Aberdeen, which the
sudden outburst of the Civil War prevented
from passing the Great Seal. After the
Bestoration, his son — the same whom Mon-
trose had rescued from the block — was
offered a confirmation of this grant ; but he
declined receiving it, because he was refused
the date and precedence which belonged
to the original, as ordered by King Charles I.

The estate of Drum at one time formed
part of a royal forest, and here was a hunt-
ing-seat of the Kings of Scotland. A power-
ful spring, which rises at the north-east end
of the loch, is still called the King's Well.
Bobert Bruce granted the Forest to his
Secretary and Armour-Bearer, William de
Irvine, from whom the present possessor,
Alexander Forbes Irvine, Esq., is the direct
descendant and heir male.

The House of Drum, which is spacious,
and belongs to the domestic Scotch style



154



SEATS OP GREAT BRITAIN.



of architecture prevailing in the reign of
James VI., was built in 1619, since -when
it has been much altered and improved by
the late proprietor, who also removed the
gardens to a more distant site. It stands
upon the east side of the Hill of Drum,
adjoining the ancient fort, or tower. This
last is of the oldest type of square towers
built for defence; but the date of its erection
is unknown, though it belongs unquestion-
ably to a very remote period, nor is there
anything to indicate by whom it was first
raised. Conjecture attributes its origin to
King William . the Lion, in the twelfth
century, but this seems doubtful.

The building may be thus described. In
form it is oblong, somewhat rounded at the
corners, and more than seventy feet high, the
battlements being included. In length, at
the base, it is fifty feet six inches, in width
thirty-nine feet. Ofthe two entrances, that
on the south-west corner communicates with
the house ; the other, and most probably the
original one, is near the south-east corner,
and is raised twelve feet above the ground,
so that you descend from it to the dungeon,
which is yet upon the first floor. A hole in
the vaulted stone ceiling opens into the room
above, and may have been used to supply
the prisoners with food. The whole building
is divided into three storeys, kept even now
in good repair, and inhabited.

BLACKDEN HALL, in the county of
Cheshire, six miles and a half from Knuts-
ford, on the line of the Manchester and Bir •
mingham Railway, the property of James
Arden, Esq., a descendant of the Warwick-
shire Ardens. At a very early period it be-
longed to the EatonSj but in 1569 we find the
Kinseys living there, and probably they were
possessed of it even before that time. This,
however, cannot be positively affirmed, as
the register goes no further back than 1569.
From this family it passed to James Arden,
Esq , of Knutsford, by his marriage with
Mary Anne Kinsey, daughter and heiress of
Thomas Kinsey, Esq., of Knutsford.

The small township of Blackden, which is
omitted in Doomsday Book, derived its
name, no doubt, from a wooded deune, dene,
(/en, or valley south-east of Goostrey Orrne-
rod imagines it to be the same with that
fourth part ofthe said ville, which after being
granted by Lidulph de Twinelowe to his
younger son, Michael, continued to be the
seat of his descendant, who assumed this
local name till, according to Dr. Williamson,
"the daughters and coheirs of William de
Goostree brought this part to Thomas de
Eaton and Robert Kinsey." If, however,
Blackden was distinct from this part of
Goostrey, there can be little doubt that it
descended by the same title to the co-heirs



above mentioned. The subsequent descent
is as follows :

There appear to have been three branches
of this family settled in Blackden. The im
mediate male representatives of Robert Kin-
sey, who married the heiress of Goostrey,
terminated in Thomas Kinsey, father of
Margery, wife of Thomas Baskerville, of
Old Withington, and Alicia, wife of Hugh
Hollinshead, of Heywood. From the first
mentioned of these co-heirs are descended
the Gleggs of Old Withington. According
to the pedigree given in that township, John
Glegg, Esq., the present representative of
that family, purchased, in 1804, the share of
the other co-heir from Mr. William Fallows,
of Derby, descended from the daughter of
Hugh above mentioned. The Eaton share is
next to be considered. In the latter part of
the seventeenth century, the male line of the
Eatons of Goostrey and Blackden ended in
Jonathan Eaton, aged twenty-three. His
aunt (according to a pedigree entered in the
Harleian Manuscripts, 2161-199), by virtue
of an entail made by her father and grand-
father, inherited the estate from her niece,
Margery, sister of Jonathan Eaton before
mentioned. This Elizabeth, representative
of one of the above co-heirs, married John
Kinsey, of Blackden, the husband of the
other co-heir of Goostrey. The Kinseys re-
tained the arms of Goostrey : Arg. a chev.
between three squirrels sejant, gu. ; and the
Eatons, after their alliance with the Goos-
treys, also adopted the same arms, having
previously borne quarterly, arg. and gu., a
cross patence eounterchanged, in the first
quarter a mullet gules.

In the Visitation of 1663-4, a pedigree
was entered by John Kinsey of Blackden,
then aged seventy eight years, brought
down to his grandson, John Kinsey, who
was twenty-four years of age at the time,
and commencing with his great-grandfather,
Philip Kinsey. This third branch used the
arms of Goostrey, but it is not identified in
the pedigree with the Kinseys, lords of this
share of Goostrey, nor with the Kinseys of
the other share, who had previously ter-
minated in co-heirs. This portion of the
manor now vested in the Kinseys of
Knutsford by a descent, the particulars of
which are not known to the family. They in-
herit, according to their own tradition, from
the Eatons, and use the quarterings of that
family and of Goostrey, which of course
point to a direct descent from John Kinsey
and Elizabeth Eaton, above mentioned; but,
from an equal deficiency of public and
private' documents, no confirmation of this
probable supposition can be given.

There are. two Halls hi Blackden ; one, the
property of Mr. Glegg, has long been used
as a farmhouse, and lost all traces of its ori-




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SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



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ginal appearance. The other, which belongs
to the Kinseys, is a half-timbered mansion,
with gables ; this likewise is now occupied
by a tenant, but it was inhabited by the
family to a much later period than the
farm-house just noticed. It moreover con-
tains a very numerous collection ot family
paintings, and is kept up with much neatness
and respectability, standing in the midst of
about twenty acres of paddock-like ground,
and presenting a venerable appearance.

The manor of Blackden is a portion of the
paramount lordship of Barnshaw, but the
tenants do not now attend at the court held
there.

WEOXHALL ABBEY, in the county of War-
wick, about four miles from Kenilworth, six
from Warwick, and fourteen from Birming-
ham, the seat of the family of Wren, now
the property of Chandos Wren Hoskyns,
Esq., was formerly a monastery of Bene-
dictine Nuns, founded about the time of
King Stephen's reign. The account of its
foundation, romantically related by Dug-
dale, from ancient records that his anti-
quarian zeal had discovered, is quite in keep-
ing with the spirit of the olden time, and
seems to have suggested to the mind of the
indefatigable chronicler some difficulty as to
the literal truth that lay hidden under so
much miracle. The story, which would
otherwise lose much of its character, is
thus narrated in his own quaint language :

" One Richard, shortly after the Norman
conquest, holding the lordship of llatton,
and likewise this place of Wroxhall, of
Henry, then Earl of Warwick, had issue a
son, called Hugh, who was a person of great
stature, which Hugh going to warfare in
the Holy Land, was there taken prisoner,
and so continued in great hardship there for
the space of seven years ; but at length con-
sidering that St. Leonard was the saint to
whom his parish church had been dedicated,
and the many miracles that God had often
wrought by the merits of that his glorious con-
fessor, made his addresses by earnest prayers
to him for deliverance. Whereupon St.
Leonard appeared to him in his sleep, in the
habit of a black monk, bidding him arise
and go home, and found at his church a
house of nuns, of St. Benet's order ; but the
knight awaking took this for no other than
a dream, till that the same saint appeared to
him a second time in like manner ; howbeit
then, with much spiritual gladness rejoicing,
he made a vow to God and St. Leonard, that



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