Bernard Burke.

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

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her directions the grounds were laid out, and
scarcely a year passes but some improve-
ments are made at her suggestion.

The Lords of the Manor of Llanisley, of
which Pendrea is a part, receive as a high
rent annually two red roses. The freehold
formerly belonged to the Praed family, from
whom it was purchased by Mr. Bedford.



PONSANBANE, the seat of William Bolitho,
Esq., adjoins Pendrea. The stream which
bounds the lawn on its eastern side in its
course is crossed by several bridges, the
lowest, or that nearest the sea, gives name to
the mansion ; pons-an-dine, signifying in the
Cornish language, the lowest bridge. Ap-
proaching Penzance from Hayle or Marazion,
the House is a very conspicuous object, and
attracts general admiration. The situation is
most delightful, commanding all the Mount's
Bay from Chyandour to the Lizard Point.
The lawn is a proof of what can be done
by skill and perseverance ; it was formerly
covered by a group of miserable huts and
ricks of turf, with a mixture of mud pools
and other annoyances. These have been all
cleared away, and the lawn drained, and
being now planted with trees and ornamental
shrubs, Ponsandane is one of the most
pleasant residences in West Cornwall.



TREREIFE, formerly the residence of the
Nicholls' family, but hoav of the Rev. C. V.
Le Grice, is about a mile from Penzance, on
the road to the Land's End, and is approached
from that town through a noble avenue of
elm trees. The front of the House is entirely
covered with yew, trimmed so as to produce
a very pleasing effect. This covering fre •
quently afforded Mr. Le Grice an opportunity
for merriment. Mrs. Le Grice was a Miss
Usticke, and he was accustomed to remark
that it was difficult to say from which Trereife
derived its greatest ornament, the Usticke
within or the yew-sticks without. Beyond
the natural beauties by which it is surrounded,
Trereife has other claims for celebrity. One
of its possessors, Frank Nicholes, M.D., was
physician to George II., and son-in-law of
the famous Dr. Mead. He was also a Fellow
of the College of Physicians, and of the Royal
Society, to which institution he contributed
some very learned papers. He had also the
reputation of being a very skilful anatomist.
The Rev. C. V. Le Grice, the present pro-
prietor, was the school-fellow and friend of
Coleridge and Charles Lamb ; the latter thus
alludes to him and Coleridge in his essay on
Christ's Hospital : " Many were the wit



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



179



combats between him and C. V. Le G ,

which two I behold like a Spanish great
galleon and an English man-of-war ; Master
Coleridge, like the former, was built far
higher in learning, solid but slow in his per-
formances. C. V. L., with the English man-
of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing,
could turn with all tides, tack about, and take
advantage of all winds, by the quickness of
his wit and invention." The wit thus alluded
to has remained till this time, and it is worthy
of observation that during a residence at
Trereife of full half a century, without ever
losing an opportunity for witticism, nothing
is ever remembered to cause pain to any in-
dividual.

Mr. Le Grice for a long period held the
perpetual curacy of Penzance, but resigned
that office many years since ; he is, however,
still showing the kindness of his disposition
by frequently doing the duty for other
clergymen, when their necessities require
assistance, although now verging on four-
score years.

THE COOMBE, Madron, near Penzance, the
seat of Thomas Bolitho, Esq. This House is
snugly situated in the coombe, or valley,
which opens to the sea at Chyandour, the
eastern suburb of Penzance. The older
part of the house was built by his father ;
the other, in more modern style, by Mr.
Bolitho ; but the Coombe has no preten-
sions to architectural beauty, comfort being
the grand object of its occupiers.

HALES HALL, in the county of Stafford,
the seat of Alexander H. Buchanan, who
purchased the mansion and estate from
Thomas Smallwood, Esq., in the year 1824.

Hales Hall was first erected in 1800, but
since that time it has been greatly enlarged
by the present proprietor. It is built in the
Grecian style of architecture, and stands
upon a gentle eminence overlooking a fertile
and well-wooded valley, while at the distance
of three miles, the Tower of Drayton Church
forms a conspicuous and pleasing object.
There is also in the course of erection, a
beautiful Church in the early English deco-
rated style, which the proprietor of this
estate has undertaken at his own expense.
The work is conducted under the direction
and from the plans of George Scott, Esq., of
Spring Gardens, London.

Hales is about a mile from the battle field
of Blore Heath. A rude cross still marks
the spot where Lord Audley is supposed to
have stood.

NANCE ALVERTON, or NANCE Alverne,
near Penzance. This House, the residence
of John Scobell, Esq., is pleasantly situated
in the valley of Alverton, but so placed that



the views from it are very limited ; neither
is it seen to advantage from any point ex-
cept from the lawn immediately in front of
it. Alverton, whence its name is derived,
is an ancient manor, held at the time of
the Norman Conquest by "Alwardus and
his vileins." The town of Penzance was
comprehended within it, but at the present
only a small tract west of Penzance
bears the name of Alverton. That part
is, however, eminent for its fertility and
beauty.

In early life Mr. Scobell served in the
Royal Marine Corps, and was present at the
battle of the Nile. He afterwards left that
service ; but, with the activity of character
which he has ever exhibited, he again entered
public life as Colonel of the Penzance Vo -
lunteers. Latterly he has devoted himself to
agriculture, and has been the means of intro-
ducing many valuable improvements into his
neighbourhood. As a magistrate for Corn-
wall, and Chairman of the Penzance Union,
Mr. Scobell has also done much good.



THAINSTON, in the county of Aberdeen
and parish of Kintore, the seat of Duncan
Forbes Mitchell, Esq.

About the year 1500 this property became
part of the holding of the Tolquhoun branch
of the family of Forbes. Henry Forbes, of
Thainston, was fifth in descent from Sir
John Forbes, third son of Sir John Forbes,
Knt. (time of Richard II. and III.), ami
brother of Alexander, created first Baron
Forbes about 1400. After him there were
several descents, and the lands appear to have
remained in that family until purchased in
1717 by Thomas Mitchell, from whom they
passed, as detailed in the history of the
Landed Gentry, to Sir Andrew Mitchell,
Knt.

During the troubled years of 1715 and
1745, when the Stuarts " frightened the isle
from its propriety" by their efforts to recover
the forfeited throne — but particularly during
the latter period — Thainston was several
times plundered by the prince's forces, Sir
Andrew being Under-Secretary for Scotland,
in the service of the Hanoverian family.
Upon his death the estate was conveyed to
the great-grandfather of the present owner,
Sir Arthur Forbes, Bart., of Craigievar.

The mansion house of Thainston is a
handsome and convenient modern building,
without any particular pretensions to archi-
tecture. On an elevated site at the back of it
are the remains of a fortification traditionally
said to have been the camp of Robert Bruce
before his encounter with Conyn, which took
place at a short distance. However this
may be, the country around bears undeniable
tokens of having been the scene of by-gone



180



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



warfare, though the events are no longer re-
membered in tradition. Various tumuli are
scattered about the neighbourhood, which
could not have found a place here under any
other supposition.



COGSHALL HALL, Cheshire, the seat of
Peter Jackson, Esq., is situated in the parish
of Great Budworth, not far from Northwich.
At this place, then called Burroughe Hall,
or the Hall de Burroughs, resided the ancient
family of Burroughs, which became extinct
in the male line in the reign of Henry III.
One of the co-heiresses brought half of this
estate to the Stark eys, who in 1689 bought
the other moiety, which descended from the
Booths to the family of Ashton.

Richard Starkey dying in 1722, directed
the sale of the estate, which, after passing
through several hands, was purchased about
1778 by the grandfather of the present pro-
prietor.

The mansion is a handsome structure in
the Grecian style, in a large park, well wooded
and tolerably diversified.



HENHAM HALL, in the county of Suffolk,
the seat of the Earl of Stradbroke, Lord-
Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of Suffolk. In
the Doomsday Book, Henham appears as be-
longing to Ralph Bainard, but having been
forfeited to the crown by his grandson, we
find it hi the reign of Henry the Third held
by the family of Kerdeston. In the twentieth
of Henry the Sixth, Thomas de Kerdeson,
Knt., released to William de la Pole, Earl
of Suffolk, all his right in the Manor of
Kerdeston, in Suffolk. This nobleman's wife,
Alice, was daughter and heiress of Thomas
< ihaucer, and grand-daughter of the poet
Chaucer. In 1513, when Edmund de la Pole
was attainted and beheaded, Henham escheat-
ed to the crown, and was granted by Henry
VIII. to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk,
in exchange for the dissolved abbey at Leis-
ton. At his Grace's death, it again fell to the
crown ; next it came to Sir Arthur Hopton,
and by him it was sold to Sir Arthur Rous,
who though a good subject, was, it seems,
from his modesty in asking, but an indifferent
courtier. At the dissolution of monasteries,
Henry's minister suggested to the monarch,
that Sir Anthony had rendered essential ser-
vices to the crown, and was well deserving
of a share of the monastic plunder; for al-
though not rich, he was an fll beggar. To
this Henry replied, "If he is too proud to
ask, 1 am too proud to give." — Hereupon the
lands and tithes, which had been the object
of the minister's petition, were given to the
Duke of .Norfolk, who left them among his
sons.



Henham has now remained in the family of
Rous for more than three centuries.

The old Hall was a quadrangular building
of red brick, with stone dressings, quoins,
and window frames. The front was supposed
to have been built by Charles Brandon, Duke
of Suffolk, and the whole building contained
about five-and-forty rooms, besides garrets.

This old-fashioned but magnificent pfle was
consumed by fire in 1773, the exterior walls
alone, from their great strength, resisting the
power of the flames ; while the whole of the
interior, with all its magnificent furniture was
consumed, as well as the roof, windows, and
inner shell of the building. From this gene-
ral conflagration a few portraits were saved,
together with an ancient wassail-bowl of
wood, round the circular edge of which is the
following inscription in lame Latin verse : —

Reddit securum potantem vas bene purum ;
Hinc precor haurite tanquaui licet sine lite.

No better voucher for the antiquity of the
bowl can be wanted than this monkish in-
scription.

The fire was at first attributed to the Ro-
man Catholics, who just then were in particu-
larly bad repute with the vulgar, but a little
calm inquiry showed a much more prosaic
origin to this calamitous event. The master
of the house was then in Italy, and his
drunken butler, paying one of his usual
plundering visits to the cellar, set fire to
the saw-dust in the wine binns. Instead
of doing his best to check the mischief he
had thus been the occasion of, the moment he
saw the flames arise he made his escape
into Devonshire, and was never afterwards
heard of.

The present mansion is a square building,
in the Italian style of architecture. The
principal rooms are of good size and exceed-
ingly well proportioned, being thirty-six feet
long, twenty-four feet wide, and eighteen feet
in height. The centre of the park is flat,
with undulating ground falling round the ex-
treme ends.

There are many interesting portraits in
this mansion, and some paintings of value,
but by some strange freak of fortune no effi-
gies of that masculine Lady Rous, who was
appointed by Queen Mary one of the Quorum
for Suffolk, and who the Harleian MS.
tells us, " did usually sit on the bench at
assizes and sessions among other justices,
cincta gladio."

Near the modern Hall is the celebrated
Henham Oak, which, though almost wholly
shorn of its natural leaves, and reduced to
little more than a trunk, has still the green
leaves of tradition hanging freshly about it.
In the great civil war, one of the family of
Rous was concealed in a hollow of its trunk,
and there remained undiscovered in spite of



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



181



all the efforts of his republican pursuers to
hunt him out. It seems that this cavity had
been used as a summer-house by the family
for a period long anterior, and that a door of
bark had been so artfully fitted to it, as to
defy observation. The Roundheads then
tried by threats, to compel the lady of the
mansion to reveal where her husband lay
hidden, but she stoutly resisted them ; and
stealing out at nights, managed to supply the
prisoner of the oak with food, without being
discovered. Whether the tale be true or not,
it is certain that a Sir John Rous of those
days did the king good service, and
that he received an autograph letter from
Charles, when at Breda, thanking him hear-
tily for his loyal services.

The following is a copy : —

" It is no newes to me to heare of good
affection, which I always promised myselfe
from your family, yett I was very well pleased
with the account this bearer brought to me
from you of the activity you have lately used
for the promoting my interest, in which so
many have followed the good example you
gave, that I hope and you and the whole na-
tion shall shortly receive the fruit of it, and
that I may give you my thanks in your own
country ; in the mean tune you may be con-
fident I am

"Your affectionate friend,

"Breda, 27th April, 1G60."

KENFIELD HALL (formerly Upper Kenfield),
in the county of Kent, and parish of Petham,
about five miles from Canterbmy, the seat of
Richard Edward Thomson, Esq., whose ances-
tors came originally from Sandwich. This es-
tate was purchased by the Thomsons so far
back as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and has
since continued with them. The manor of Pet-
ham and Waltham was held of the crown by
letters patent in Charles the First's reign,
but has since been purchased by the late
Miss Sarah Thomson, who died in 1851.

The House is a handsome brick building,
in the midst of some delightful scenery, a
character that is common to a very con-
siderable part of Kent. The grounds are
richly-wooded, and in the park are some
noble forest trees. The shrubberies have
been laid out with much care, and give
evident signs of a master in the art of land-
scape gardening.

THE COLLEGE, Kirkoswald, Cumberland,
a name derived from Oswald, the cele-
brated king and martyr of Northumber-
land, to whom the kirk, or church, in
the town is dedicated. This is the seat
of Timothy Fetherstonhaugh, Esq., who



belongs to a branch of the Fetherstonhaughs
of Fetherstonhaugh Castle, in the county of
Northumberland. We are told by Machel,
" that their house in Northumberland
was formerly upon a hill, where there are
two stones called Featherstones, and was
mooted about for a defence against the Scots ;
but upon the ruin of this, the house was
afterwards built in the holme, or valley under
the hill, which they there call Haugh, and
thence it was called Fetherstonhaugh." This
compound formation of the family name
seems probable enough. Courts of manors
were anciently held in the open air, as many
of them are to this clay, the place being dis-
tinguished by a large stone, which serves the
steward for a table, and at which the
homager takes his oath. Such stones, if
Machel's account be correct, must have been
called Fetherstones, some corruption pro-
bably—though it is difficult to say what —
of the word, feudal.

Henry, the second son of Albany Fether-
stonhaugh, of Fetherstonhaugh, in Nor-
thumberland, settled at Kirk Oswald, and
bought the dismantled College, which, to-
gether with the lands attached, had been
granted by Queen Elizabeth, in 1588, to
Edmund Downinge, and Miles Doddinge.
He was appointed Mariner-General for Cum-
berland and Westmoreland to James the
First.

The old building, in the Elizabethan style
of architecture, was nearly destroyed by
Cromwell's soldiers in the time of Charles
the Second, then vainly striving to regain
the lost throne of his ancestors. The Sir
Timothy of that day had actively supported
the Prince's cause, not only by personal ser-
vice in the field, but by large contributions
in money, and by raising troops at his own
expense. He was therefore set down in the
black lists of malignants, whose obstinate
loyalty was only to be remedied by the sharp
short remedy of the axe, and he was dealt
with accordingly. Bemg taken prisoner at
the battle of Worcester, or shortly after it,
he was beheaded in 1651, with the Earl of
Derby and other loyalists. His two sons,
Henry and Robert, had the better fortune of
dying upon the field of battle —

" What millions bled that Csesar might be great !"

The depredations committed on his pro-
perty by the soldiers, and the losses sustained
by forcible entries and seizures of leases,
securities, plate, linen, &c, exceeded ten
thousand pounds, as appears from a petition
written by his lady, and still preserved by
her descendants amongst the family archives.
She, however, received no compensation
from Charles on his Restoration ; but like so



182



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



many other royalists found herself not only
unnoticed, but unrequited and forgotten.

Timothy, grandson of Sir Timothy Fether-
stonhaugh, married Bridget, daughter of
James Bellingham, of Levens, Esq., in the
county of Westmoreland. In the year 1696
he almost entirely rebuilt the College, an
edifice in the Elizabethan style of architec-
ture — a style which at all times seems to
have been an especial favourite with the
possessors of country mansions. Since then
it has received many additions and improve-
ments at the hands of the present owner,
and the whole has been adapted to the tastes
and necessities of modern times. The situa-
tion of the place is beautiful in the extreme.
It stands in the rich vale of the River Eden,
while at no great distance runs between
rocky sides a small and pleasant stream,
called the Raven. The gardens hang on
terraces in front of the House, stretching
along the holms below down to the waters of
the Eden. Adjoining the grounds, and in
the road from the College, is the parish
church — once collegiate — which has been
repaired and beautified by Mr. Fetherston-
haugh, he being the lay-rector. Within the
church, and at the west end, is a copious
spring, and from this being so common an
occurrence in ancient churches, it seems only
fair to conclude that such situations were
purposely selected by builders in the olden
times. The heathen Saxons, it is well
known, paid a particular veneration to springs,
and this Pagan feeling, as in so many other
cases, being too firm and popular to be
rooted out, descended to and mingled itself
with the Christian customs. In after times,
when this notion had become well nigh
obsolete, similar places would still be chosen
for the sake of ablutions and other religious
ceremonies.

The village, or town, of Kirk-Oswald
stands to the north of the College, divided
from it by the little stream of the Raven
already mentioned. It has a charter for a
market granted by King John. The ancient
Castle is in ruins. It was once the seat of
the De Morvilles, Engaynes, and lastly of the
Lords Dacre, but is now in the possession of
Sir George Musgrave, Bart., of Eden Hall.

NORMAN COURT, Hampshire, the seat of
Charles Baring Wall, Esq. M.P., amagistrate
for the county.

This estate was held by the ancestors of the
family of Whithed from the time of the
Norman Conquest. In 1805, it was purchased
by Charles Wall, Esq. Richard Whithed,
Esq., who died at Norman Court in 1733,
was the cousin and heir-at-law to Richard
Norton, Esq., and very properly succeeded to
all his estates, in defiance of the singular will



of the testator, who wished to be generous at
the expense of his heir, and would fain have
given the bulk of his property " to the poor ;
that is to say, to the poor, hungry, and
thirsty, naked and strangers, sick and
wounded, and prisoners, and to and for no
other use or uses whatsoever ; and I do
hereby make, constitute, and appoint the
poor aforesaid to be my general and absolute
heir, and heirs, to the end of the world."

" Die and endow a college or a cat."

Amongst other odd bequests, the testator
says, " 1 give to his Grace the Archbishop
of Canterbury for the time to come, to his
and their successors, Archbishops of Can-
terbury, my large sapphire ring, to be by him,
and all, and every of them, daily and suc-
cessively worn to the end of the world.

" I do humbly give and devise to his Grace
the Archbishop of York, a large sapphire,
ring, to be bought out of my own personal
estate by my executors or their order, to and
for the very same use, intent, and purpose
only as aforesaid, to the end of the world.

" I do give and devise to all and every
bishop and bishops of Great Britain or Eng-
land, a ring to each, whereon is to be
enamelled a Holy Lamb, set round with
diamonds, to be bought by my executors or
their order, to and for the very same use,
intent, and purpose, only as aforesaid, to the
end of the world."

This testament, as we have just observed,
was resisted, and successfully resisted, by
Mr. Whithed ; for once the law was content



"To do a great right do a little wrong,
And curb this cruel devil of his will."



The present mansion was built by Dr.
Thistlethwayte, about 100 years ago. It was
greatly added to in 1821 by the present C. B.
Wall, Esq., and a beautiful chimney-piece
in the Elizabethan style of architecture, that
belonged to a yet older house, still remains.



BALCARRES HOUSE, in the county of Fife,
the seat of Major-General Lindsay. Bal-
carres is an old Scottish mansion, enlarged and
embellished in the best style of the ancient
French chateau, with towers, turrets, and
gables. It would be difficult to find a better
specimen of the architecture which Scotland
owes to her early alliance with France. The
internal accommodation is extremely good ;
the library in particular being a beautiful
room. The ground immediately behind the
House is laid out in terraced flower gardens.
The Park is picturesquely situated, and
studded with good trees ; and attached to it
is a steep rock wooded almost to the sum-



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



183



mit, and crowned with a tower, whence is
commanded a very beautiful view of the
Frith of Forth ; the Isle of May, the Bass
Rock, and North Berwick-law, being among
the most prominent objects. Within half a
mile of Balcarres there is a beautiful glen or
dingle, planted with fine trees and forming
an extensive and pleasant walk. Adjoining
the House is a ruined chapel, which forms the
family burying-place. The father of General
Lindsay, the Hon. Robert Lindsay, was the
younger brother of the late Earl of Balcarres,
and on his return from India with a good
fortune, he bought the family estate, which
he afterwards, in the most honourable manner
offered to re-convey to the earl, who, how-
ever, declined availing himself of his gene-
rosity, being intent on acquiring those mineral
fields near Wigan, which have proved so
great a source of wealth to the present Earl
of Crawford and Balcarres. Balcarres has
been for several centuries the seat of the
noble house of that name, a younger branch
of the Lindsays of Edzell, who were a
younger branch of the illustrious line of Earls
of Crawford. Lord Lindsay has published
the annals of his ancient house, which is one
of the most charming books in the English
language, and breathes that pure, knightly,
earnest and pious spirit which so nobly cha-
racterises its amiable, learned, and talented
author. It is a work which should be in the
library of every reader of the history of
Scotland, with which that of the lordly line
of Lindsay is so closely identified. It would
be tedious here to enter upon a long genealo-
gical disquisition. We may however state a



Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 2) → online text (page 40 of 73)