Bernard Burke.

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

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wise a German doctor, in whose house this
Captain Fratz was taken, it being strongly
supposed that he was privy to the design :
and besides all this, His Majesty out of his
great care of, and tender love to his loyal
subjects, hath caused several other persons
to be examined before the Council concern-
ing this most horrible and bloody murder,
by which means the evil design against the
deceased is more and more manifested, not-
withstanding the great pretences and subtile
evasions made by the said Captain Fratz,
and I doubt not but in a very little time to
give you a more punctual and positive
account of the punctilios, for it already
begins to savour of design, and that the
murder was absolutely determined upon and
is grossly suspected to be hatched and con-
trived by the above-mentioned Count
Charles J ohn Conningsmark, who hath con-
cealed himself in town, under a false name,
about a fortnight ; and upon the murther
committed upon the body of Mr. Thin, hath
secretly and suddenly removed from his
lodging, which seems to be an argument of
his conspiracy, he removing the very next
morning after the perpetration of this wick-
edness."

"A true account of the apprehending and
taking of Count Conningsmark ; shewing how
before the Mayor of Gravesend, he had
pretended himself an apprentice ; and of
handfuls of money he distributed amongst
those that guarded him, or with his exa-
VOL. II.



mination before his Majesty in Privy
Council.

" Whereas £200 was promised for the
taking of Count Conningsmark; a person
supposed to have known where the count
has been for four days last past did acquaint
Mr. Kidd, Mr. Thynn's gentleman, he ac-
quainted Mr. Gibbons, one of the Duke of
Monmouth's gentlemen, where the count
was ; whereupon Mr. Gibbons, and one of
the Duke of York's watermen, with some
others, went to Gravesend Feb. 19th, at 8
of the clock at night. This count was
taken at that time and place in poor habit
come on shore, lie had a black old peruke,
with his own hair tied like a woman's rouled
up upon his head, and the rest hung down
his back under his coat, his own hair being
very white, he having dined on Sunday last
at Greenwich.

" The first that seized him was Mr. Gibbons,
who clasped him with both his arms, saying,
' Sir, you are my prisoner.' The count had
a sword under his coat, and his hand on the
hilt, but the sword dropt by reason of Mr.
Gibbons's grasp. The count had like to have
sprung out of his hands, and was very
mutinous ; and askt Mr. Gibbons, ' if he
came to rob him?' But Mr. Gibbons told
him he had the kings warrant, and the re-
corder of Gravesend warrant, to seize him.
With that the waterman took hold on one of
his arms, and Mr. Gibbons on the other.
He askt Mr. Gibbons, ' who he was, that
would offer to seize him ? ' And after some
discourse the count confessed he was the
Count Conningsmark, before he was carried
before the Mayor of Gravesend. Mr. Gib
bons answered he was the Duke of Mon-
mouth's servant. Then said the count, ' the
Duke of Monmouth is out of favour at
court.' ' But,' saith Mr. Gibbons, ' the
king has lost a good subject, and my master
a good friend, and so have we all a worthy
gentleman most barbarously murthered.'
And then the count passed a great many
compliments, and desired to be civilly used.
The count's pockets were searched, expect-
ing to find pistols, but they found therein
two pieces of Polonian sassages, they being
also almost full of money.

" He asked who the waterman was ? He
answered, he was the Duke of York's water-
man, and Mr. Gibbons had commanded him
in the king's name to assist him. When he
was carried before the mayor, he was very
ceremonious, and said, ' he was glad he was
fallen into the hands of a gentleman ; ' and
withal again confessed he was Count Con-
ningsmark ; and also desired, that as he was
used among souldiers, so he might have a
guarde of souldiers, and not of civil officers.
Hereupon the mayor granted him a strong
guarde of souldiers, and told him he should

z



170



SEATS OF GREAT BRITATN.



have civil usage. Then he desired his
clothes might lie sent for from the waterman,
who brought them. Hereupon the mayor had
an opportunity to examine the waterman, who,
to avoid all suspicion of confederacy, said he
had been cruising four days on the Thames, in
order to his escape. And further he told
him, the count said to him, ' he was an
apprentice to a jeweller and a banker; and
■that his fellow-prentice had fraudulently
conveyed from his master, without his
privity, a great many jewels and other things
to several thousand pounds value ; and tho'
he was innocent, yet being the eldest pren-
tice he sadly dreaded imprisonment for his
partner's fact ; and therefore the count took
this course to convey himself beyond sea,
where he had intelligence his fellow prentice
was, and there he did intend to apprehend
him, and clear himself and return to England
to his master.' The waterman believing
this story did his best to convey him away.

" As the count was carrying away from the
mayor, he gave his guarde a handful of
money to buy tobacco and ale ; and gave
the Duke of York's waterman that assisted
in taking him another handful of money,
and said, ' he had but one bastion, or
counterscarp, more to enter upon, and that
would do his business.' A nobleman said
he was always full of projects, but he sup-
posed he meant a scaffold. When he was
before his Majesty in counsell, he was asked
several questions ; to which he made slight
answers, and seemed unconcerned, but in
the conclusion, about twelve at night he was
sent to Newgate."

From these details of the owners of Long-
leat we now turn to the House itself.

The mansion, commenced as we have seen
by Sir John Thynne in 1659, continued by
his sou. and yet nearer brought to an end by
Tom of Ten Thousand, was completed by the
first Viscount. Weymouth, so created in
1682.

The grandest features in this edifice are
the baronial hall and the principal staircase,
which consists of a centre flight of oak steps,
ten feet wide, with two returns ; is lighted
by an octagon lantern fifteen feet in diameter,
on three sides adorned with large paintings.
The hall rises to the height of two storeys,
and has a flat roof, with spandril brackets
and pendents of timber. At one end is a
richly-carved screen, beautiful in its details,
and lending the whole a solemn cathedral-
like appearance. The chimney piece, which
is of stone, is light though massive, with an
entablature supported by four ionic columns,
above which are caryatides, and other
sculptured ornaments.

The library, besides a good collection of
printed books, has some rare and curious
manuscripts. The collection of portraits to be



seen here is peculiarly interesting. Camden,
Sir Philip Sydney. Lord Bacon, the Prince,
de Conde, Cardinal Richelieu, the great Gus-
tavus Adolphus, Lord Falkland, Philip Earl
of Pembroke, Lady Arabella Stuart, Bishop
Ken, Charles I., Charles II., Mary, Queen
of Scots, Father Paul, Chaucer, Shakspeare,
Ben Jonson, Dryden, Petrarch, Dr. Har-
vey, Sir Kenelm Digby, Viscount Dundee,
the Duke of Buckingham, and Martin
Luther, are names that every one will
read with interest ; and here they all are
in lifeless life, awaking a thousand his-
torical recollections, with many other of
their compatriots, whom our limits will
not allow us to enumerate. We will only
venture to add one more to this long yet
still imperfect list— a much-admired head
of Jane Shore.

" Once a bright star, that held her place on high,
The first and fairest of our English dames
While royal Edward held the sovereign rule."

BROAD MEADOWS, in the parish and
county of Selkirk, the residence of Robert
Keith Pringle, Esq.

The lands of Broadmeadows, like the
other properties in Ettrick Forest, were
originally held by the tenure of crown
rentallers, and before the change into re ■
gular feudal holdings, they appear to have
belonged to the family of Murray, of Pliilip-
haugh, who had also the adjoining properties
of Hangingshaw and Fowlshiels. They
afterwards became the property of a younger
branch of the Philiphaugh family, from
whom they passed into the possession of a
family of the name of Scott, cadets of the
Scotts of Fulhilaw, who again sprang from
the Scotts of Thirlestane. In their hands
the property remained for above a cen-
tury, when the family terminated in an
heiress, who married a gentleman of the
name of Balfour, descended from the Bal-
fours of that ilk, in the county of Fife. In
the next generation it again became the pro-
perty of an heiress, who married William
Scott, of Woll, in the county of Roxburgh,
a cadet of Harden. Their son, the late
Charles Scott of Woll, sold the lands in 1803
to John Boyd, Esq., a merchant in Leith,
who abandoned the old maasion-house, and
erected a new one in a different situation.
After his death, the property was sold by
his son, in 1848, to the present owner, Ro-
bert Keith Pringle (fourth son of Alexander
Pringle, of Whytbank), who spent many
years in the service of the East India Com-
pany, on the Bombay Establishment, where
he latterly filled high offices, viz., Chief
Secretary and Commissioner, or Governor,
of Scinde, to which he was appointed on the
retirement of Lieut. -General Sir Charles
Napier. Since his return to his native



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



171



country, he has enlarged the house built by
Mr. Boyd, and in other respects greatly em-
bellished and improved the place.

Broad Meadows is beautifully situated on a
rising ground above the River Yarrow, com-
manding fine views of the course of that ro-
mantic stream, having the picturesque ruin
of Newark Castle on the one side, and the
lofty woods of Hangingshaw, with a line
line of distant mountains, on the other.

BRAILES HOUSE, in the county of War-
wick, the seat of Henry James Sheldon,
Esq. This place takes its name from
Brailes, one of the divisions of Kineton Hun-
dred, in which it stands. The lordship, at
the time of the Norman Conquest, and for
long afterwards, was very considerable, con-
taining, as Dugdale informs us, woods of
three miles in length and two in breadth.

The estate and manor of Brailes, with the
manors of the hamlet of Winderton and Sib •
ford, have been in the possession of the
Sheldons since the year 1530. Winderton,
at an early period, belonged to the family of
De Clifford. By agreement, and in ex-
change for other lands, it passed to Idonea,
a coheir of Robert de Vipount ; but it be-
came afterwards seized into the king's
hands fur some misdemeanour committed by
her husband, John de Crumbwell, in staying
beyond sea contrary to a royal order. Such,
however, was the monarch's respect for the
lady, that he permitted her to receive the
profit of the estate for her support ; but
upon her death without issue, it devolved,
by virtue of an entaU, to Edward le Spenser,
son of Hugh Le Spenser the younger. It
would seem that the lands here in question,
and called the Manor, were, in fact, but a
moiety of the hamlet, the other moiety re-
maining in the family of Clifford. They
eventually came, by descent, to Isabel,
daughter of Thomas Lord Despenser, as
sister and heir to her brother Richard, and,
notwithstanding that her will bequeathed
the property to Sir Ralph Boteler, Knt., and
others, it descended to her heirs, and so
consequently came to the crown, as was the
case with the rest of the lands belonging to
the Earl of Warwick. By Queen Mary it
was granted away to Michael Throckmorton,
Esq. In the year 1530, we find it, as al-
ready observed, hi the ancient family of
Sheldon.

The present mansion was built in 1822,
by Edward R. C. Sheldon, Esq., the father
of the present proprietor ; but a small manor
house had previously existed upon the same
site for a long period. The new House is in
that modern style of architecture to which
it is impossible to assign a distinct name.

NORTON PRIORY, in the county of Chester,



six miles from Warrington, the seat of Sir
Richard Brooke, Bart.

In the " Monasticon," we are informed
by Dugdale that William Fitznigell founded
a religious house of canons regular, at Run-
corn, which was afterwards, in the reign of
King Stephen, removed to Norton by Wil-
liam, Constable of Cheshire, the younger.
He dedicated it to the Virgin Mary, and en-
dowed it with several lands in the counties
of Nottingham, Leicester, and Oxford, which
his son Roger confirmed, granting them at
the same time, among other privileges, two
deers yearly on the Feast of the Assumption.
Edward the Black Prince was also a great
benefactor to this monastery.

After the dissolution of monasteries by
Henry VIII. , the manor of Norton was pur-
chased of the king by Sir Richard Brooke,
son of Thomas Brooke, Esq , a Knight of
Rhodes and St. John of Jerusalem. This
was in 1543, and since that time up to the
present day, it has remained, without inter-
ruption, in the same family.

The spoliation did not take place hi this
case, as in so many others, without resistance
on the part of the sufferers. The abbot
stoutly opposed himself to the king's man-
date for the dissolution of his priory, in con-
sequence of which he was taken into custody
by Sir Piers Dutton, then sheriff of Cheshire,
and ordered by Henry to be hanged, " with-
oute any manor further delaye, for the ter-
rible example of all otheres herafter." Sir
William Brereton, of Brereton, to -whom, in
conjunction with the sheriff, the king's
warrant was addressed, had the singular
boldness to respite the offender, on account
of the amnesty granted by the Duke of Nor-
folk to the rebels in Yorkshire, and ratified
by Henry. It is, however, uncertain whe-
ther the unlucky abbot gained anything by
this delay, or whether he was put to death,
in conformity with the king's will— a fate-
that certainly befell the abbots of Whalley,
Salley, and other northern ecclesiastics. It
must be owned that Henry's mode of pro-
ceeding with his monks and his wives showed
a right royal will, and was as efficacious as
it was prompt.

The present mansion of Norton Priory is
built upon the site of the old monastery, some
portions of the former edifice having been al-
lowed to remain. These relics are, first, certain
vaults, which, in their original state con-
sisted of groined arches, springing from cir-
cular pillars, with capitals, but are at this
time in an imperfect state ; and, secondly, a
doorway, with semicircular arches resting on
columns, the capitals of which are highly
sculptured, and enriched with foliage, chev-
ronels, and other ornaments. The modern
pile, which is extensive, of the Grecian style
of architecture, and composed chiefly of red



172



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



stone, was remodelled by Wyatt in the
latter years of Sir R. Brooke, who died in
1780. It stands, surrounded by mo4 pic-
turesque scenery, near the River Mersey,
which swells into a noble estuary upon the
right, while to the left of the view, in front,
are seen the rocks and castle of Halton.
The front of the building presents three
compartments. It is ornamented with a
rustic basement, and a bold, blocked cor-
nice, a double flight of steps leading to the
grand entrance in the centre. Over this is
a pediment, in which is a shield, charged
with the heraldic achievements of the Brooke
family.

Norton had its full share of the
War, having been besieged by the
alists in the early part of the year
A pamphlet of that day, entitled



Civil
roy-

1643.

; Che-



shire's Successe," tells us, "One place above
others hath been extremely assaulted : Mr.
Brooke of Norton's, a neere neighbour to the
Earle Rivers, against which they brought
their cannon, with many horse and foote,
and fell to batter it on a Sabbath day. Mr.
Brooke had eighty men in the house ; we
were carefull he should lack no powder ;
with all other things Master Brooke furnisht
them fully. A man upon his tower, with a
flag in his hand, cryd them ayme while
they discharged their cannon, saying, wide,
my Lorde, on the right hand ; now wide two
yardes on the left ; two yardes over, my
Lorde, &c. He made them swell with anger
when they could [not] endamage the house,
for they onely wounded one man, lost forty-
six of their owne, and their cannonier. Then
in divilish revenge they burnt a barne, and
corne worth (as it is valued) a thousand
pound, set tire to another, but more execution
was made on the man that attempted it than
the barne ; for he was blinded fireing the
barne, and so found wandering in the fields,
and confest hee had five pound given him
for his service. After this they plundered
Mr. Brooke's tenants, and returned home
Avith shame and hatred of all the country.
To this worthy man's rescue we could not
goe, because the march was long and full of
hazard ; and wee thought their ayme was to
tire us out upon that service, upon which
they might put us every day, by reason of
Halton Castle in their possession, and but
halfe a mile from Norton."

WOODHOUSELEE, co. Edinburgh, the seat
of James Tytler, Esq.

The " Lands and Barony" of Woodhouse-
lee are situated in the parish of Glencorse,
and county of Edinburgh.

Before the middle of the sixteenth cen-
tury the estate belonged to the family of
" Sinclair of Woodhouselee," the daughter
and heiress of which married James Hamil-



ton, of Bothwellhaugh, who became the
proprietor, in right of his wife, and who was
afterwards well known as the murderer of the
Regent Moray.

Hamilton being a stanch adherent of the
unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots, incurred
the enmity of the Regent, whose followers,
in seeking to seize upon the property of
Woodhouselee, for the purpose of giving it
to one of his favorites, Sir John Ballenden,
of Auchinoule, then Lord Justice Clerk of
Scotland, burnt the house to the ground, at
the same time barbarously turning out the
wife of Hamilton and her new-born child
into the woods of the property, where they
both perished. In revenge for this most
cruel act, Hamilton shortly afterwards, on
the 23rd of January, 1570, assassinated the
Regent Moray, while riding * through the
streets of Linlithgow. This story forms the
ground work of Sir Walter Scott's well-
known ballad of " Cadyow Castle," and is
also referred to in that of the " Gray
Brother."—

Few suns have set since Woodhouselee
Saw Bothwellhaugh's bright goblets foam,

When to his hearth, in social glee,
The wayworn soldier turn'd him home.

There, wan from her maternal throes,

His Margaret, beautiful and mild,
Sate in her bower, a pallid rose,

And peaceful nursed her new-born child.

O change accursed ! past are those days ;

False Moray's ruthless spoilers came,
And, for the hearth's domestic blaze,

Ascends destruction's volumed flame.

What sheeted phantom wanders wild,
Where mountain Esk thro' woodland flows,

Her arms enfold a shadowy child—
Oh ! is it she, the pallid rose 1

The wilder'd traveller sees her glide,
And hears her feeble voice with awe —

" Revenge," she cries, "on Moray's pride !
And woe for injured Bothwellhaugh !
* * *

But can stern power, with all his vaunt,
Or pomp with all her courtly glare,

The settled heart of vengeance daunt,
Or change the purpose of despair 1

With hackbut bent, my secret stand,
Dark as the purposed deed, I chose,

And mark'd, where, mingling with his band,
Troop'd Scottish pikes and English bows,

'Mid pennon'd spears, a steely grove,
Proud Moray's plumage floated high ;

Scarce could his trampling charger move,
So close the minions crowded nigh.

From the raised vizor's shade, his eye
Dark rolling, glanced the ranks along,

And his steel truncheon waved on high,
Seem'd marshalling the iron throng.

But yet his saddened brow confess'd
A passing shade of doubt and awe ;

Some fiend was whispering in his breast,
" Beware of injured Bothwellhaugh."

The death shot parts— the charger springs-
Wild rises tumult's startling roar ;

And Moray's plumy helmet rings —
Rings on the ground to rise no more.



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



173



What joy the raptured youth can feel,
To hear her love the loved one tell —

Or he, who hroaches on his steel,
The wolf by whom his infant fell !

But dearer to my injured eye

To see in dust proud Moray roll ;
And mine was ten time trebled joy

To hear him groan, the felon soul.

My Margaret's spectre glided near ;

With pride her bleeding victim saw ,
And shriek'd in his death-deafen'd ear,

"Remember injured Bothwellhaugh!"

The edifice thus destroyed, the ruins
of which may still be seen, situated on
a precipice, on the banks of the River Esk,
was never rebuilt ; part of the materials,
however, were used in re-building or adding
to the Tower of Fulford, situated upon the
slope of the Pentlands, about three miles
from the old liouse, which therefore, became,
the mansion of the property.

The estate, after continuing in the posses-
sion of the Ballendens for several genera-
tions, became the property of Sir William
Purves, of Abbey- hill, who obtained a
Charter from Oliver Cromwell, in 1657, and
another from Charles II., in 1664, erect-
ing the lands of Woodhouselee, Fulford,
&c, into the Barony of Woodhouselee, at
the same time altering the name of the
Tower of Fulford into that of Wood-
houselee.

After again changing proprietors, the
principal part of the estate forming " the
lands and Barony of Woodhouselee," came
into the possession of the family of the
present owner before the middle of the last
century.

The mansion-house of Woodhouselee,
which occupies the site of the old Tower
of Fulford, is beautifully situated amongst
fine old woods, on the slope of the Pen-
tland Hills, about six miles south-west from
Edinburgh.

Only a small portion of the old House,
which was built before the end of the six-
teenth century, now remains ; the remainder
having been added at various times. The
whole now forms a good specimen of that
style of architecture known by the name of
that of the old Scotch Manor House, which
is commonly found amongst the older resi-
dences of the gentry in Scotland.

Popular tradition tenants the present
house with the ghost of the murdered wife
of Hamilton, of Bothwellhaugh : hence it is
styled " Haunted Woodhouselee," in the
ballad of the Gray Brother, before referred
to.

SURRENDEN-DERING, in the county of
Kent, the seat of Sir Edward Cholmeley
Dering, Bart. M.P. It was given by God-
win, Earl of Kent, to his son Leofwine,
prior to the Norman Conquest. The original



grant is still in the possession of Sir Edward
Dering, and singularly enough, the witness
to the original Saxon deed is a Dering, the
seat of the Derings behig at that time in
Romney Marsh. It is believed that this
family is the only one in England which
has retained its original Saxon motto.

The original mansion upon this site was
erected by the celebrated Earl Godwin. In
the forty- fourth year of King Edward the
Third's reign it was rebuilt by John de
Surrenden, from whom it then first received
its present name. His only daughter and
heir Joan conveyed it by marriage to John
Haut, Esq. They left two daughters co-
heiresses, Christian, the eldest, who had
been married to John Dering, Esq., of West-
rooke, and was then the wife of Reginald
Dryland, Esq., entitling her husband to the
possession of it during his life ; but having sur-
vived him she again became possessed of it,
and upon her death was succeeded in it by
her eldest son, Richard Dering, who was of
Surrenden, Esq. From the great eminence
of this family, and from its remaining so
long in their possession, it at length acquired
the name of Surrenden-Dering.

In 1626, the House was again rebuilt by
Sir Edward Dering, who in the same year
was made a baronet, having previously been
lieutenant of Dover Castle. He appears to
have been a very singular character, full of
levity, and of learning, which he was anxious
to display at all times, in season and out of
season. To such a pitch did he carry this
passion, that, although in principle a royal-
ist, he one day brought before the House of
Commons a bill for extirpating bishops,
deans, and chapters, solely, as it was said at
the time, with a view to show his learning by
appending to it two lines from Ovid's Meta-
morphoses :

" Cuncta prius tentanda, sed immedicabile minus
Ense reddendum est ne pars sincera trahetur."

In a short time he repented of this anti-
royal demonstration, and publicly apologised
for it, in doing which he gave so much of-
fence to the Parliamentarian party that they



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