Bernard Burke.

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

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he would perform his command. Which
vow was no sooner made than that he be-
came miraculously carried thence, with his
fetters, and set in Wroxhall woods, not far
distant from his own house, yet knew not
where he was, until a shepherd of his own,



passing those thickets accidentally found him);
and, after some communication (though he
was at first not a little affrighted, in respect
he was a person so overgrown with hair),
discovered all unto him. AVhereupon his
lady and children, having advertisement,
came forthwith to him, but believed not that
she saw her husband, till he showed her a
piece of a ring that had been broken be-
twixt them ; which, so soon as she applied
to the other part in her own custody, closed
therewith, and, by miracle, fastened together
as well as ever it was at first. And shortly
after, having given solemn thanks to God,
our Lady, and St. Leonard, and praying for
some divine revelation where he should
erect that monastery, so promised by his said
vow, he had special direction where to build
it, by certain stones pitcht in the ground, in
the very place where the altar was after-
wards set. After the structure whereof,
tAvo of his daughters were made nuns therein,
a lady from the nuns of Wilton being fetcht
to direct them in that their rule of St. Bene-
dict."

Upon the dissolution of monasteries,
these lands were granted to John Scudamore
and Robert Burgoyne. The estate was pur-
chased, in 1713, from Sir Roger Burgoyne,
by the celebrated Sir Christopher Wren, who
at that time resided at Hampton Court, after
the completion of his great work, the re-
building of St. Paul's, and to whom the
somewhat accurate specimen of Elizabethan
structure presented by the western side of
Wroxhall Abbey, added to the striking an-
tiquity of appearance in the elder portions
of the edifice, not improbably offered an
attraction. No proof appears, however, of
his having used the place as a residence, be-
yond the existence of seme curious re-
mains of a garden wall, built in the form of
a succession of semicircular recesses, afford-
ing questionable evidence of the hand of the
master architect and man of universal
science, but traditionally ascribed to him by
his successors, who, commencing with his
son Christopher, author of the Wren " Pa-
rentalia," have since regularly resided at
Wroxhall.

Wroxhall Abbey is a quadrangular pile,
surrounding an inner court, which is eighty
feet long and sixty feet wide. It is supposed
to have been originally built in the time of
the crusades, and must have been an exten-
sive and important place, from the massive-
ness of the scattered remains that exist,
showing by their plan a wide range of
building. The mansion, however, having
from time to time undergone various
alterations and additions, it bears the im-
press of different ages, and may be thus
described : — The monastic portion is early
English (Gothic), of the twelfth and thir-



156



SEATS OF GKEAT BRITAIN.



teenth centuries, the ecclesiastical portion,
Perpendicular, of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, and another portion Elizabethan.

A spacious portico opens into the great
hall, leading to a dining-room on the right
hand, and a drawing-room on the left, both
of them, like the hall, being forty-two feet
long by thirty feet in width. The old oak wains-
coting still remains in these apartments, and
the fireplaces, more particularly in the drawing
room, are ornamented with some tine carved
work, in the centre of which are the family
achievements. The library, which is smaller,
is divided from the last-mentioned chamber
by a handsome staircase. Above the great
hall is a breakfast parlour, opening out to a
balcony, built above the porch by the
late owner, and corresponding with the bay
windows of the dining and drawing-rooms ;
some comfortable bed-rooms, with other con-
venient chambers, complete the western front.

In the south side of the quadrangle are a
large kitchen and two stone larders, which,
in the monastic times, formed the refectory.
The ancient walls, which are four or rive feet
thick, still remain, with their massive but-
tresses and their arched windows. On the
ground floor is also a small summer-parlour
leading into the garden, which, with four
good bed-rooms and closets, and a gallery
opening to them, completes the south front
of the quadrangle.

The garden face, towards the east, is now
but partially inhabited, though at the
time of the Nunnery it contained the chief
apartments. In the centre of the ground
floor of this front is a very curious stone
room, that, according to tradition, was the
penitentiary of the nuns. This, however,
is very questionable. A beautiful arched
doorway, with the remains of groins and
pillars, rather indicate that it was an archive
chamber, and used as the conclave room at
a time more remote than that in which the
adjoining cells of the nunnery existed. At
the north end of this eastern front, is a room
leading to the leads of the chapel ; it was
formerly appropriated to the chaplain.

The chapel occupies the north side of the
quadrangle, being one hundred and twenty
feet in length, and twenty-two feet in
breadth. Time had considerably dam-
aged this portion, but it was repaired and
beautified by the present owner, some years
ago. It is said to have formed a part of
the ancient cloisters, the south walls being
of arches built in; but the masonry and
weathering of the stone, and the position of
the tower, entirely contradict this. A cu-
rious square window, looking into the
chapel from a room adjoining, in the house,
was intended for the use of those nuns whom
sickness prevented from taking a more active
part in the divine service. The stained glass



of the windows is exceedingly rich and
beautiful, particularly when

" The moon-beams kiss the holy pane,
And throw on the pavement a bloody stain;"

and scarcely less so when the sun pours its
coloured rays upon the family tombs be-
low.

From the time when this estate was pur-
chased by Sir Christopher Wren, it has
remained in the family till, in default of
male heirs, it was conveyed in marriage
by the daughter of his lineal descendant, the
late Christopher R. Wren, Esq., to Chandos
Hoskyns, Esq., son of Sir Hungerford Hos-
kyns, Bart., of Harewood, in Herefordshire ;
who assumed, by sign manual, on his mar-
riage, the surname and arms of Wren, in
addition to his own.

This House contains some valuable por-
traits and paintings. Amongst these may
be enumerated the portraits of Charles I., of
Henrietta Maria, his Queen, of Anne Boleyn,
of Lady Jane Grey, of Mary, the unfortunate
Scottish Queen, and of King William III.
But perhaps still more interesting is the pic
ture of the poet Somerville, an intimate friend
of the Wren family, and of whom there is no
other known original likeness.

HOPETOUN HOUSE, hi the county of
Linlithgow, the seat of the Earl of Hope-
toun. The southern coast of the Firth of
Forth, is a scene of uncommon beauty.
The Linlithgowshire shore forms a ridge
adorned by culture and plantations, and
exhibiting lovely marine scenery. From
Dalmeny, the fine mansion of the Earl of
Rosebery, westward by Dundas Castle and
Duddingston Castle, ancient seats of branch-
es of the house of Dundas, and thence to
Hopetoun, a succession of views may be
met with, which are scarcely to be anywhere
equalled. The Forth assumes a singular
variety of aspects — lulls and promontories,
and winding bays, lofty shores, villages, and
cultivated fields, bordering upon a fine sheet
of water, which takes the appearance of a
great lake, a noble river, or a broad sea,
according to the points of view in which it
is seen. Above all in one spot, the ridge
which rises from the shore is crowned with
one of the most stately mansions in Scot-
land, and is probably not excelled in mag-
nificence of aspect by any residence in
Great Britain. This is Hopetoun House.
In the approach to this building the situa-
tion appears very grand. It is seated on a
magnificent lawn, which forms a kind of
terrace along the Forth. At the end of this
lawn, a mile from the House, the noble
estuary of the Forth, making a bold sweep,
presents the appearance of a wide lake, in-
terspersed with islands and enlivened with






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SKATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



157



shipping. Behind the House the ground
breaks into hills, valleys, and promontories
which shoot into the Forth. The grounds
are most beautifully and tastefully laid out.
The shrubberies and ornamental woods are
extensive, and having been planted for more
than a century, have a very noble appear-
ance. From these charming pleasure
grounds, the Forth appears in various shapes,
sometimes like a lake, and sometimes like
a river. Around this fine scenery in the
distance, mountains arise in various forms.
And the House has been judiciously fixed,
so as to receive the full advantage of its
situation. The architecture of this mansion is
very magnificent. The centre was built by
the celebrated architect Sir William Bruce,
and the wings have been added since. It
has altogether a very grand and palatial
appearance. Within the building some of the
apartments are of considerable size ; they are
however in general smaller than the very grand
and imposing exterior would lead the visitor
to expect. Indeed it may be remarked, that
the contrivance of the inside of the House
scarcely corresponds with its architecture,
and external magnitude.

The family of Hope is said to be of French
origin, its ancestor having come to Scotland
in the suite of Magdalen de Valois, Queen of
James V. The prosperity of this family
commenced with merchandise and was ad-
vanced by law. Henry Hope was a consider-
able Scottish merchant, and his son Thomas
was a very eminent member of the bar, leader
of the Puritans, Lord Advocate of Scotland,
and Baronet of Nova Scotia. He was a pros-
perous man, bought extensive estates, and had
numerous issue. He died 1646. From his
eldest son is descended Sir Thomas Hope,
Bart., of Pinkie ; and from his seventh son
James is descended the Earl of Hopetoun.
Sir James Hope, of Hopetoun, was a Lord of
Session, and acquired much wealth, having
married the heiress of the mines of the Lead
Hills in Lanarkshire, and died in 1661. His
son, John Hope, of Hopetoun, bought great
estates in the county of Linlithgow, viz.,
the Barony of Abercorn, with its castle of
Niddrie, from the ancient house of Seton.
His son Charles was created an earl in 1703,
and added to his consequence by an illustrious
marriage with Lady Henrietta Johnstone,
daughter of the Marquess of Annandale.*
Through her, the Annandale estates and the
name of Johnstone were inherited by her
grandson James, 3rd earl; but they again left
the family, with his eldest daughter, LadyAnne,
the wife of Admiral Sir William Hope, and
they now belong to his son J. Hope Johnstone,

* The first Earl had a numerous issue, viz., the 2nd
Pari, the Hon. Chas. Hope Vere of Craigie Hall, the
Countess of Findlater, Lady Napier, Lady Margaret Dun-
das of Duddingston, Lady Charlotte Erskine of Marr, and
Lady Christian Graham of Lynedoeh.



Esq., of Annandale. The most distinguished
member of the family of Hope was John, 4th
Earl of Hopetoun, a very able general and a
most admirable man, who for his important
services in the Peninsular war was created
Baron Niddrie previous to his accession to
the earldom. The present earl is his grand-
son. Besides the great estates of the Setons
the Hopes have purchased the lands of several
very ancient families of the name of Dundas.
Hopetoun House was originally a beautiful
and magnificent villa, with a very small ex-
tent of land, but it has been made, by the
judicious purchases of successive generations,
a large estate.

BILTON GRANGE, near Rugby, Warwick-
shire, the seat of John Hubert Washing-
ton Hibbert, Esq.

The church of Bilton Village was attached
to the Old Grange until forty years ago.
The New Grange, erected in 1846, is the
only specimen of Pugin's domestic architec-
ture in the fashion of the Catholic days of
Henry VIII. , and Cardinal Wolsey's Hamp-
ton Court. The gallery — and there are few
instances of the same kind — is down stairs,
and in length it is a hundred feet. Within
everything is in harmony with the exterior,
and has a wonderful power of leading back
the imagination to the olden time. The
antique furniture and tapestry, the open
roof, the stone fenders, the stone doorways,
the old-fashioned keys to every lock, the
decorated ceilings, the dogs for grates, all
combined, remove us completely from the
feelings and habits of the present day. This
impression is still further heightened by the
rich colours falling from the painted glass of
the windows, which, like Milton's embers,

"Teach light to counterfeit a gloom."

The whole, indeed, does the highest credit
to the inventive taste of Welby Pugin, whose
recent loss (he died in September, 1852)
has been a subject of so deep and so general
a regret among all true artists. And what
a life was his ! Though dying at the early
age of forty-one, he seems to have executed
the work of a century. His career forms a
memorable era in the annals of British archi-
tecture. Pugin's genius soared back to those
times of religious enthusiasm, when England
built up some of the most beautiful ecclesi-
astical edifices in the world — and his lessons
and examples pointed out the true form
and spirit of the Gothic school, and revived
its graces and magnificence amongst us.
This great architect was, in every respect, a
wonderful man : his too brief course of life
is marked with consummate energy and
ability.

He was born in 1811. His father was
a Frenchman of good family, who came from
France at the time of the Revolution, and



158



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



took refuge in England. His mother,
Katherine Welby, was a member of the
baronial family of that name, located at
Denton, in Lincolnshire. His early educa-
tion was superintended by his mother, but
afterwards he became a private pupil at
Christ's Hospital, and subsequently we find
him travelling through England and Nor-
mandy, in the study of Gothic architecture.
Many valuable works were the result of
these tours, and in a very short time he be-
came celebrated.

In 1834, he seceded from the Protestant
Church. In 1835 his book on " Gothic Fur-
niture," and " Ironwork," brought his talents
before the world, and formed the foundation
of his fame. Other writings, equally popu-
lar, quickly followed. Their author budd-
ing a house for himself — St. Marie's Grange,
at Salisbury, there entered enthusiastically
and energetically on the duties of his pro-
fession — on those labours of which his
country has gathered and enjoyed the fruits.
In 183(3 appeared his famous volume, called
" Contrasts ; or, a Parallel between the
Noble Edifices of the Fourteenth and
Fifteenth Centuries, and similar Buildings of
the present day ; showing the present Decay
of Taste ; accompanied by an appropriate
text." This publication took his own pro-
fession and the public by surprise, from its
originality and earnestness. Its tenets and
strictures, as might be expected, gave rise
to a perfect storm of opposition ; but the
sentiments he then so plainly and boldly ex-
pressed, have long since triumphed, and
been admitted as truths.

Just at this period, the communion to
which Mr. Pugin had allied himself evinced
considerable energy in church building, and
his constructive and literary abilities soon
found extensive employment. He began
with that graceful little Gothic chapel so
conspicuous from the railway at Reading.
Then came his first great work, the church
at Derby, built from his plans, by the justly
reputed Mr. Myers, for the Rev. Thomas
Sing, a gentleman of ardent piety and taste,
who was among the earliest to encourage
this new movement in religious architecture,
and who has since devoted much time and
money to the erection of very handsome
ecclesiastical edifices within the town of
Derby. As to the church there, by Mr.
Pugin, and the other buildings elsewhere,
from his designs, which rapidly followed, it
would require a volume to describe their
peculiarities and beauties. Suffice it here to
enumerate the principal of them, which
-were — gt. Chad's Church, Birmingham ; St.
Edward's, St. Mary's, and two other churches
at Liverpool ; the church and convent at Edge
Hill; St. Wdfred's, Manchester; churches
at Kenilworth, Oxford. Cambridge, Stock-




Woolwich, Hammersmith, Pontefract, and
Fulham; St. Edward's, near Ware; St.
Martin's, Buckingham ; St. Wilfred, near
Alton; St. Barnabas, Nottingham, with a
convent and chapel in the same town ; St.
Bernard's Church and monastery, Leicester ;
the Convents of the Sisters of Mercy at Bir-
mingham, Liverpool, and London ; St. Gre-
gory's Priory, Downside, near Bath ; col-
leges at Radcliff and Rugby, and improve-
ments at Maynooth, Ireland (on the latter he
was engaged by the Government of the day) ;
the Roman Catholic cathedrals of Kiilarney,
Enniscorthy, and St. George's, Southward,
with the schools, priests' houses, and other
buildings connected therewith; and Sib-
thorp's Almshouses, Lincoln. His works
for his friend and patron, the Earl of Shrews-
bury, Avere the extensive additions and altera-
tions to Alton Towers, which had been in
hand for years ; the chapel, monastery,
school-house, St. John's Hospital, Alton;
and the richest of his designs in point of
ornament and colour, the church at Cheadle.
He received some commissions for buildings
and alterations to mansions. In addition to-
Hilton Grange, the exquisite specimen of his
style which has given rise to this passing re-
cord of the architect, Lord Dunraven's seat,,
at Adare, Ireland ; Mr. Drummond's House ;,
and a few others, on a small scale, were
done by him. He designed the new gate-
way at Magdalen College, Oxford.

He was of late employed on the churches-
of St. Mary's, Beverley, and St. Mary's,
Wymeswold. His last work, which remains
unfinished, is a church for Mr. Scott Mm*
ray, at Danesfield, Bucks.

We return from this short digression to
Bilton.

The House has already been described.
The most remarkable feature in the grounds
is the conservatory. It is Gothic — in that
respect, unique — and a hundred yards in
length, containing so many rare plants that
their value has been lately estimated at no
less than fifteen hundred pounds.

Bertram Arthur Talbot, Esq., Mrs. Hib-
bert's son by her first marriage, is heir
presumptive to the Earl of Shrewsbury.

CALDWELL, Ayrshire, in the parish of

Beith, the seat of Wm. Mure, Esq., Colonel
of the Renfrewshire Militia, and Justice of
the Peace and Deputy-Lieutenant for the
counties of Ayr and Renfrew. Caldwell has
been for some centuries possessed by the
family of Mure, the most ancient in the parish
of Beith, which derives from Sir Reginald
More, or Mure, of Abercorn, who was Lord
High Chamberlain of Scotland in 1329, and






SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



159



whose second son, Gilchrist, acquired this
estate by marrying the heiress of Caldwell
of that ilk. In 16G6 Caldwell was lost
to the family for a time by William Mure,
He and some other gentlemen of the
neighbourhood, having met at Shitterflat,
resolved to form a troop of horse, and join
their countrymen then in the held near
Edinburgh against the Government. The
Laird of Caldwell was placed at the head of
the party, but before he could unite his troop
with the insurgents. General Dalziel had
attacked and defeated the latter at Pentland
Hills in spite of the determined spirit of
their fanaticism. Upon this news the laird's
company dispersed ; but though he had thus
escaped the guilt and dangers of the actual
conflict, he was not the less attainted, and
flying for refuge to Holland, he died there.
His confiscated estates were given to General
Dalziel by King Charles. His wife and
eldest daughter were imprisoned in Black-
ness, where they were subjected to many pri-
vations and sufferings, the cruelty of the
Royalists being on a par with the fanaticism
of their opponents. The revolution again
changed the face of things ; that which was
treason when the Stuarts reigned was good
service now that William had seated himself
on his father-in-law's throne, and the estate
was restored to the eldest surviving daugh-
ter of the laird who had died in Holland.
This lady married John Fairlie of that ilk,
but having deceased without issue, she was
succeeded by her cousin, William Mure, of
Glanderston, the heir male of the family, of
whom the present possessor of Caldwell is a
lineal descendant.

The old mansion, of which the ruins still
exist, went to decay in 1666, after the great
civil war. From that time till 1770 the family
resided upon another property ; but in the
year last mentioned anew house was erected
by Baron Mure, from the designs of Robert
Adam. It is of what may be called the
fancy Gothic style of architecture, being
more picturesque than elegant, and stands in
the parish of Beith, at so sharp an angle
that the adjoining offices, though only a few
yards off, are in a different parish and
county. Within it is amply provided with
every requisite for comfort and convenience.



ERDDIG, or ERTHIG, Denbighshire, mid-
way between AVrexham and Rhuabon, the
seat of Simon Yorke, Esq. At a very re-
mote period this estate belonged to an old
Welsh family, who took their name from
it, and who descended from Tudor Trevor.
In 1657 it was purchased by John Edis-
bury ,Esq. In 1713 it was again sold, being
purchased by John Meller, Esq., a Master



in Chancery, who bequeathed it to his ne-
phew, Simon Yorke, Esq., first cousin to
Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, and great-
grandfather to the present owner.

The House, which extends two hundred
and twenty-four feet in front, was built in
1678 by Joshua, the son of John Edisbury,
Esq. It was considerably improved and
added to by John Meller, the Master in Chan-
cery before mentioned, who also laid out the
grounds in the Dutch fashion, then so preva-
lent. In 1774 a new casing of stone was
given to the front, which made it assume the
appearance of a modern building. The east
front remains unaltered. The approach to
the House is strikingly beautiful, and one spot
in the vicinity possesses a traditional inte-
rest as having been a battle-ground between
the Welsh and English about the year 1161,
when the former, who were commanded by
Cyfeiliog, prince of Powys, gained the vic-
tory. He was, it seems, a poet as well as a
soldier, and celebrated his triumph in a poem,
called Hirlas Owen, which the Welsh have
pronounced to " rank with the best Pindaric
ode of the Grecian school."

" These lands," says Pennant, " are
bounded by two little vales, watered by a
pretty stream, and bordered with hanging
w T oods. Along one side of the bank runs the
dyke; and at the end between the vales,
impending over them, are small but strong
intrenclnnents. One surrounds a work of
a pentagon form, beyond which at the very
verge is a mount that seems to have been a
dernier resort to the garrison in case they
have been beaten out of the former. These
compose what is called the Roman fort, but
there are neither coins nor anything else to
confirm the conjecture of its having been one*
A fragment of wall cemented with mortar is
all that remains of this castelet."



PITMUIES HOUSE, in the co. of Forfar,
parish of Kirkden, the seat of John Mudie,
Esq. In the year 1599, it was possessed
by Patrick Guthrie, Esq., descended most
probably from a branch of the family of
Guthrie of Guthrie, whose estate is separated
from Pitmuies by a small stream called the
Lunan. From a document in the posses-
sion of Mr. Mudie, it appears that in 1599
Patrick Guthrie settled the estate upon
his eldest daughter, Nicholas Guthrie,
and her husband, David Ogdvy, son of
James Lord Ogilvy, of Airly, and their
heirs. On a stone inserted in a wall of a
dovecote near the house, are carved the
conjoined arms of Ogilvy and Guthrie, with
the initials at the top, D. 0. and N. G.,
T. 0. and L. G., the two former being the
initials of the parties named above, and the



1 60



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



other two most probably of their son and

daughter-in-law.

The property continued in this family of
Ogilvy up to the year 1755, when one por-



Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 2) → online text (page 35 of 73)