Bernard Burke.

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

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few particulars concerning this very interest-
ing family. From the earliest times of Scot-
tish history the Lindsays have been great
and illustrious. They trace their descent
from two immediate intermarriages with the
royal family ; with a sister of King William
the Lion, and with a daughter of King Robert
II. In modern times this family was subdi-
vided into three great branches — 1. The
Earl of Crawford ; 2. The Lindsays of Edzell
and their representatives the Earls of Bal-
carres; 3. The Lord Lindsay of the Byres,
a much more remote branch than Balcarres,
which arrived at the height of its power in
the person of John, first Earl of Lindsay,
Lord High Treasurer. This potent peer, the
head of what we may call the Whig and
Presbyterian party in the reign of Charles
I., obtained great influence over Ludovic,
last Earl of Crawford, of the direct
line, who was Lieutenant-General in the
royalist army, and was taken prisoner by the
Covenanters. The Earl of Lindsay induced
him to resign his earldom to the crown, and
he also prevailed on the king, then in the
hands of the Scottish Covenanters, to give a

regrant of it to Earl Ludovic, with remainder
to himself. He thus became Earl of Craw-
ford as well as of Lindsay, to the wrong and
prejudice of the rightful heir, Lindsay of
Edzell, the head of the second branch of the
house. During upwards of a century and a
half, this noble earldom continued in the
possession of the usurping branch, and it was
only on its extinction in the male line, that
the succession opened to the Earl of Bal-
carres, to whom the Earldom of Crawford
was adjudged by the House of Lords. General
Lindsay married the daughter of the late Sir
Coutts Trotter, Bart. His son Sir Coutts
Lindsay succeeded to his grandfather's
baronetcy, and one of his daughters is the
wife of the accomplished Lord Lindsay.

BOYLAND, near Long Stratton, in the
county of Norfolk, the seat of Frederick
William Irby, Esq., son of the late Rear-
Admiral the Hon. Frederick Paul Irby,
C.B., by Emily Ives Drake, his wife, fifth
in descent from John Garneys, Esq., of
Boyland and Somerleyton. The name of
this place has in past times been variously
spelt Boielaml and Boisland, signifying the
"woody land," a character which it may well
have deserved at one period, though it can
no longer lay claim to such a distinction.

In the time of Edward the Confessor
this manor was held by Torn, the Dane : in
the time of the Conqueror's survey, it was
possessed by Ralf Bainard ; and with this
family it remained till it was sold, about
1190, to Ralf, who settled here, and took the
name of Boyland from the place. About
1534 it was again sold, and this time to
Richard Garneys, Esq., of Mendlesham, in
Suffolk, the descendant of a family which,
Bloomfield tells us, "is, and hath been many
ages, esteemed one of the principal families
of the county." From the Garneys, Boy-
land descended to the present owner, in right
of his mother, the daughter and co-heiress
of William Drake, Esq., of Shardeloes, in
Buckinghamshire, son of William Drake,
Esq., by Elizabeth Raworth, his wife, whose
father, John Raworth, Esq., inherited Boy-
land Hall from his maternal uncle, Went-
worth Garneys, Esq.

The old Hall of Boyland was erected
by Sir Richard de Boyland. The pre-
sent Boyland Hall was built in 1571, by
Richard Garneys, Esq., as appears from
a date on the portal, upon which is the full
coat of Garneys, supported by two mer-
maids. In the windows is his motto, in
which every word begins with a G, the ini-
tial letter of his name : " Goddes Grace
Governe Garneys."

In 1804 the mansion was repaired and



much improved by the late Admiral Irby.
It belongs to the Elizabethan style of archi-
tecture, a style which seems to hold its
ground very generally in our country resi-
dences, notwithstanding the invasions of
the so-called classic, the Greek, Roman,
and Italian schools.

DYSART HOUSE, in the co. of Fife, the seat
of the Earl of Rosslyn. This seat is beauti-
fully situated close to the sea on the Firth of
Forth, between the towns of Kirkaldy and
Dysart. The House is large and commodious,
without any pretensions to architectural ele-
gance. But the gardens are of extraordinary
beauty and great extent. There is, in fact,
little or no park, but a belt of wood, running
a couple of miles along the shore and con-
taining, in its entire length, a magnificent
flower garden, with great banks of rhodo-
dendrons and other flowering shrubs, and
evergreens. In these beautiful pleasure
grounds stand the ruins of the ancient
Castle of Ravensheugh, once the chief seat
of the Sinclair family, celebrated in Sir
Walter Scott's pathetic Ballad of Rosabel.

Lord Rosslyn has succeeded to the estate
of Dysart and Castle of Ravensheugh, and to
the Castle of Rosslyn in Midlothian by desti-
nation from the family of Sinclair, and he
has accordingly added the name of St. Clair
to his patronymic Erskine.

The third Earl of Orkney, of the house
of St. Clair, attained to the highest gran-
deur of which a Scottish subject was
capable. He was Lord High Chancellor and
High Admiral of the kingdom. He pos-
sessed immense territories in different parts
of Scotland, among which his hereditary
paternal domains of Rosslyn, and his mater-
nal Lordship of Nithisdale were pre-eminent.
By his mother and his wife he was closely
allied to the royal blood ; the former being
grand-daughter of Robert II., and the
latter being grand-daughter of Robert
III., and daughter of the potent Earl of
Douglas and Duke of Tourraine ; and as Earl
of Orkney and representative of a long line
of Scandinavian princes, he held a position
of independence which was dangerous to the
sovereign. His daughter moreover had wed-
ded the Duke of Albany, the turbulent and
ambitious brother of King James III. In order
to break down the power of this influential
noble, the king compelled him to exchange
his greatest possessions for others which did
not confer upon him the same means of being
formidable. The Earldom of Orkney and
the Lordship of Nithisdale were exchanged
for the lands of Ravensheugh and Dysart and
for the Earldom of Caithness.

This potent earl had reason for displeasure

against William Master of Orkney, his only
son by his first and royally descended wife.
He therefore disinherited him, and assigned
his different possessions, in a singular man-
ner, among his sons. William, he cut off
with the Barony of Newburgh in Aberdeen-
shire. To Oliver the eldest son of his second
wife, he gave the great bulk of his posses-
sions, Rosslyn, Ravensheugh &c, &c. ; while
he left the Earldom of Caithness to his young-
est son, also named William. However
Oliver Lord of Rosslyn, resigned the Fife-
shire estate of Dysart and Ravensheugh to
his eldest brother William, the disinherited,
whose son was made a peer of parliament in
1488, with the title of Lord Sinclair. Thus
the mighty house of St. Clair of Rosslyn
came to be subdivided into three great
branches. The chief, Lord Sinclair, seated
at Ravensheugh Castle, in the county of Fife.
The next branch, St. Clair of Rosslyn seated
at the romantic castle of that name in Mid-
lothian ; and the Earl of Caithness seated in
the far north. Of those, Ravensheugh and
Rosslyn are both extinct in the male line.
But on the extinction of Rosslyn, which
happened first, the family estates went by
destination to the elder branch of Ravens-
heugh. The Lords Sinclair continued for
many generations seated at Ravensheugh,
and afterwards at Dysart. Their possessions
were ample, their alliances were illustrious.
John, the seventh lord, had an only child,
Catherine, who marrying a gentleman of an
ancient family of the name of St. Clair, but
no relation of the houses of Rosslyn or of
Ravensheugh, left an only son, Henry, who,
in right of his mother, became eighth Lord
Sinclair. In 1667, he obtained a new patent
from King Charles II., conferring the title
of Lord Sinclair upon him, with a new des-
tination of heirs, calling into the succession
his father's family, who were in no way con-
nected with the ancient lords, and excluding
the female line ; whereas the Sinclair peerage
had descended to him through a female.
However, in obtaining a new patent in 1677,
he did not resign the old peerage granted in
1488, which it was usual in Scotland for
peers to do when they obtained new patents
with a view to change the succession. Thus
John, Lord Sinclair, possessed two peerages ;
one of 1488, which had descended through
his mother, and another of 1677, which
called into the succession his father's family,
to the exclusion of his own female heirs,
Henry, the eighth lord, had two sons. His
eldest son, the Master of Sinclair, was en-
gaged in the rebellion of 1715, and was
attainted. His second son, General St. Clair,
a very eminent man, who held high military
and diplomatic stations, succeeded his elder
brother in the family estates, but never



assumed the title of Lord Sinclair. With
him ended the male issue of his father, Henry,
eighth lord. The title of 1677 now went,
according to the terms of the patent, to Mr.
St. Clair, of Hermandston, the collateral
heir male of Henry, the eighth lord's father ;
and thus it came to be possessed by the
present Lord Sinclair. Whereas the older
Sinclair peerage of 1488 has never yet been
claimed, but it belongs of right to the heir
of line of the eighth lord, who is Mr. An-
struther Thomson, of Charleton. Henry,
eighth lord, had several daughters, who were
all excluded from the succession by the
patent of 1677, but to the eldest of whom,
and the heirs of her body, the original
peerage of 1488 properly belonged. Of
these "daughters we need only notice three.
The eldest, Grizzel St. Clair, married John
Paterson, of Preston Hall, son of the last
Archbishop of Glasgow. The second mar-
ried Erskine, Bart., of Alva. The third
married the Earl of Moray, and is repre-
sented in the female line by the Duke of
Sutherland. Grizzel St. Clair, the wife of
Paterson of Preston Hall, had a son and
daughter ; the latter married John Thom-
son, of Charleton, and the former was Col.
Paterson, who on the death of his uncle,
General St. Clair, succeeded to the repre-
sentation of the Sinclair family and the
Dysart estates. On his death without issue,
the family representation, and claim to the
peerage, and the family estates, were sepa-
rated. The former descended to John An-
struther Thomson, of Charleton, grand-
nephew to Colonel St. Clair, while the
estates went by special destination to his
cousin Erskine, Baronet of Alva, who there-
upon assumed the name of St. Clair. The
beautiful estate of Alva having been sold to
Mr. Johnstone, Dysart now became the
family seat of the Erskine St. Clairs. The
Baronet Erskine of Alva wedded Miss
Wedderburn, the sister of Lord Lough-
borough, Lord High Chancellor ; and when
this great lawyer was created an earl, with
remainder to his sister's son, the title
selected was that of Rosslyn, on account of
the old family seat of the St. Clairs, which
he had inherited along with the Dysart

The present earl is grandnephew to the
chancellor. His paternal family of Erskine
is quite as illustrious as that of Sinclair.
John Earl of Mar, the Lord High Treasurer,
by his beautiful countess, the daughter of
King James VI. 's cousin, Esme Stuart,
Duke of Lennox, had, among other children,
a son, who was founder of the Alva branch
of the Erskine family.

WHELPRIGG, Westmoreland, the seat of
Joseph Gibson, Esq., who is in the com-

mission of the peace for the same county.
The estate was purchased by an ancestor
of the present owner in the reign of James
II. It evidently takes its name — or, at
least, the first portion of its name —
from Whelp Castle, at Kirkby There, or
from Whelpdale, an appellation which may,
perhaps, be traced to the family of the Ma-
chels, anciently written Mauchael and Mal-
chael, or, when Latinized, Mali Catuli — that
is, "fierce whelps." In all probability,
some curious tradition at one time belonged
to this name, but which is now lost.

Whelprigg was rebuilt in 1834, by the
present possessor, and is of the Elizabethan
order of architecture.

A maternal ancestor of the present Joseph
Gibson, Esq., Thomas Godsalve, a merchant
of Amsterdam, came over to England in the
early part of the seventeenth century, and
purchased Rigmaden, in the parish of Kirkby
Lonsdale, which remained hi the Godsalve
family nearly two hundred years. He was
accompanied by Vandyck, the famous painter,
who took a portrait of him, now in the pos-
session of Mr. Gibson.

HETTON HALL, in the county of North-
umberland, the seat of Fairfax Fearnley,

This estate belonged at one time to the
Carrs of Ettall and Hetton, to the AVilkies,
and not long ago to the Rev. Matthew Bur-
rell, of Broom Park (now Vicar of Chatton),
from whom it was conveyed by purchase to
the gentleman now owning it.

Hetton Hall was first built in 1580, and
probably by William Carr, the son of Tho-
mas Carr and Elizabeth Heron. It is in
the Scotch style, but has been allowed to go
to decay, and' has not yet been restored by
Mr. Fearnley, who has not long since become
possessed of it. The estate, which comprises
the entire township of Hetton, in the parish
of Chatton, is one of those which still send
two armed men to Alnwick Fair to protect
the cattle from the borderers, and for this
service it is free of tolls.

BROOKE HALL, in the county of Norfolk,
near Norwich, the seat of the Rev. J.

This property belonged at one time to
the Wards, of the family of Dudley and
Ward. From them it was purchased
towards the end of the seventeenth century
by one of the Seaman family, whence it has
lineally descended to the present owner.

The old Hall was of the Elizabethan style
of architecture, but it was pulled down by
the Rev. J. Hohnes, now in possession of
the estate, and a new house begun in the
year 1827, which was completed in 1830.
The dilapidated state of the elder building




made this indispensable, the whole being
long past the possibility of any substantial
repair. The present House is in that
blended style which is generally called
Italian, but which in truth is a modification
of the Greek to render it suitable to the
purposes of a modern villa. Annexed to the
Hall is a small park, extending from one to
two hundred acres, the whole being well
wooded and watered.

ALFOXTON, formerly Alfoxden, Somerset-
shire, the seat of Langley St. Albyn, Esq.
In the time of Henry the Second, this pro-
perty was held by William de Alveston, and
continued in that family until the time of
Edward the Third, when it was sold to
Robert de Burlond, a brother of whom,
Thomas de Burlond, was grandfather of
Christina, or, as she is sometimes called,
Christiana. Although twice married she left
no issue, and settled Alfoxton, with its ap-
purtenances, on James Ayshe, of Chayford.
In this family the estate remained till the
reign of Henry the Fifth, when John Ayshe
sold it to Richard, son of Thomas Popham of
Porlock. From the Pophams it passed, in
the year 1 439, to the St. Albyns, by whose
descendant, it is still possessed.

The date of the old mansion is not known.
The present House was built by John St.
Albyn, between the years 1744 and 1768,
but it has been much enlarged and improved
by the gentleman now possessing the estate.
It belongs to no decided style of architec-
ture, and stands in a small Park, on the
northern declivity of the Quantock Hills.

ARDVORLICH, CO. Perth, the seat of
Robert Stewart, Esq. The lands of Ardvor-
lich have been possessed by the Stewarts from
time immemorial. It is not known when a
house was first constructed here. Certain
it is, however, that Robert Stewart rebuilt
the family residence in 1662, and planted
the grounds with ornamental timber. This
mansion continued to be used until 1794, when
the late William Stewart, Esq., erected the
present structure, a plain and unpretending
seat, situated on the south bank of Lochern,
in the centre of a level lawn, extending to
the lake, and overhung by the lofty peak of
Benvorlich, 3300 feet high ; the grounds are
very beautiful and picturesque, ornamented
with an abundance of wood, of great age and
large size.

There are still preserved at Ardvorlich
many relics of bygone years, consisting of
old armour, &c. The most famous heir-
loom is a globe of native rock crystal, about
the size of a small egg, in an antique setting
of silver, attached to a short plain silver
chain. The water in which this crystal lias
been dipped is reckoned among the peasantry

of the neighbourhood a sovereign cure for
all diseases incidental to cattle, or, indeed,
for any disease produced by the popular
superstition of an " evil eye ;" and the pre-
sent proprietor has known persons come a
distance of thirty miles to obtain the water.
Once in his recollection there were few of
the neighbouring farmers who had not
a bottle of the water placed in their cow-
houses. Many and surprising are the in-
stances of cures effected by this relic,
which have been narrated to him ; however,
like everything of the kind, the faith in it
is passing away, though still lingering in the
minds of a few old persons.

EDWARDSTON HALL, near Eoxford, in the
county of Suffolk, the seat of Charles Dawson,
Esq., a magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant
for Suffolk, and Chair-man of the Bury Quarter

In the time of William the Conqueror,
Edwardston belonged to Hubert de Monte
Conisio or Montecheney, who was so wealthy
that he was called the English Croesus, and
as we are informed by Camden, died worth
the enormous sum, for those days, of two
hundred thousand marks. At one time there
was a religious house here, a cell to the
monastery of Abingdon, near Oxford ; but
about the year 1160, the monks were removed
to the priory of Colne in Essex. We after-
wards find it possessed in succession by the
Waldegraves and the Brands, from the latter
of whom it passed by sale to William French,
described as being a merchant of London.
From the last-named family it was consigned
by sale to the Dawsons, in whom the pro-
perty still remains.

The old House, — the immediate prede-
cessor, that is, of the present mansion — was,
in all likelihood built by the Brands. The
stvle of it was Tudor, or Elizabethan ; but
this was pulled down and entirely re-built,
though in the same style of architecture, by
the gentleman now in possession of the

Connected with the mansion is an abun-
dance of meadow and pasture-land, with no
want of trees. The plantations are extensive,
having a park-like appearance, and by no
means deficient in picturesque interest.

FORGLEN HOUSE, Banffshire, the seat of Sir
Robert Abercromby, Bart. This stately man-
sion is situated on the left bank of the River
Dovoron or Deveron, about nine and a half
miles from the seaport town of Banff, and two
and a half from Turriff. It stands on a
finely wooded lawn, gently sloping to the
river, which winds beautifully round it, at a
distance of about one hundred yards, and
along the banks of which is a fine walk,



shaded by linden trees. The trees here are
of great age and size. Forglen, in Irish or
Gaelic, signifies the hollow of the vale, a
name very appropriate to the situation. In
the view of the Diocese of Aberdeen, printed
from the MS. in the Advocates' Library, at
Edinburgh, and presented by the Earl of
Aberdeen to the Spalding Club, we find, that
in the years 1178 and 1211, William the Lion
granted to the monks of Abyrbrothoc, the
custody of the Braebennoch or Sacred Ban ■
ner, together with the lands of Forglen, on
condition of keeping and carrying the said
banner in the king's army. In 1315, the
Abbot of Abyrbrothoc granted a charter of
these lands to Malcolm de Monimusk on the
like conditions. In 1388, the Abbot and
Monks granted a charter to Johannes Fraser
and the heirs of his body, of the lands of For-
glen, as attached to the Braebennoch for
homage to them, the carrying the Braeben-
noch in the royal army, and free from all
other services. This John Fraser was a de-
scendant of Monimusk. In 1411, Fraser re-
signed the lands into the hands of the abbot.
In 1457, there is a service of retour of Alex-
ander Irwyn, son of Irwyn, of Drum, as heir
to his father, in the lands of Forglen, holden
of the Abbot and Monastery of Aberborth-
wick, for the custody and carrying of the
Braebennoch (Holy Banner) in the royal
army. In 1481, Alexander Irvynge did
homage, with closed hands and bended knees,
to the Abbot of Aberborthwick, for the lands
of Forglen, as we find by a document, and
the lands are therein stated to be holden in
connexion with the Braebennoch. In 1483,
there is a charter by William, Abbot of
Aberborthwick, to Alexander Irvyne, under
condition of doing the service of the Brae-
bennoch in the king's army, in lieu of all
other service. In 1494 a retour of Alex-
ander Irwyne, under the like conditions ; and
in 1499, and 1515 a charter to Alexander
Irwyne, to the same effect.

It is probable that this service of carrying
the Braebennoch was the reason why the
Royal Arms of Scotland were placed over
the door of Forglen, and immediately above
the family arms.

The property afterwards formed part of the
estates of the Ogilvies, of Banff, although the
principal residence of the Lords of Banff
was for many years in the parish of that
name ; subsequently they moved to Forglen,
and on the demise of William the eighth
BarDn Banff, the property devolved on his
sister, Lady Abercromby, of Birkenbog,
mother to the present proprietor.

The existing mansion diouse was built
about 1842, nearly on the site of the old one,
some of which was very ancient. It is in the
Tudor style, and consists of a hollow square,
having a tower 86 feet in height, rising from

the centre of the front, which is about 165
feet in length ; the interior is handsomely
laid out and the whole has an air of comfort
and magnificence. There were several old
inscriptions on the old House, which have
been preserved, and are built into the walls
of the new one ; some of them are very
quaint, and as usual, in former days, convey
good moral lessons — among others there is

" Houp of reward causes guid Service."
" God gives, and hes nought ye less."


" Corage, "

" The Eoyal Arms of Scotland," also the
following :

" Do weil, and doubt nocht, altho thow be spy it" (over-

"He is little guid worth that is not envy it" (envied).

" Tak thow no tent (heed) what everie man tells " (says)

" Gif (if) ye -would lieve undemet (uncensured) gang
whar nae man dwells."

BIRKENBOG, in the parish of Fordyce,
Banffshire, is situated about two miles from
Cullen, and is well sheltered by fine old wood.
The Mansion-house, which appears to have
been large, was unfortunately destroyed by
fire, some sixty years ago, only a small turret
remaining, and there is now a farm-house on
part of the old site.

STONEBIDGE, Berwickshire, the seat of
John Hood, Esq., a deputy-lieutenant, and
magistrate of the county, in whose family
it has been for a considerable period.

The property formerly belonged to Home,
of Ramrig, a cadet of" the Lord Home's
family of that day. The House was built
about 1631 ; its architecture is that common
on the borders after the accession of James
VI. to the Crown of England.

DANSON, Kent, near Bexley, the seat of
Mrs. Johnston. This estate was at one time
possessed by John Boyd, Esq., afterwards
created a baronet, from whom it was pur-
chased, in 1806, by John Johnston, Esq., of
Bailee, in the county of Down. It is now pos-
sessed by the widow of that gentleman.

Dansou House was built by John Boyd,
Esq., from the plans of Sir Robert Taylor.
It belongs to the Grecian style of architec-
ture, and has a conservatory annexed to it,
in which is an antique marble vase of great
size and beauty : the grounds are laid out
with much taste, their picturesque effect being
much increased by an extensive sheet of

SCRATBY HALL, Norfolk, the seat of the
Rev. Richard Foster. It is uncertain when,
or by whom this House was first built, but
the present owner possesses a lease entered
into between John Fisher, Esq., of Yar-
mouth, and Sylas Neville, Esq., afterwards



M.D. of London, who occupied it for a short

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 2) → online text (page 41 of 73)