Bernard Burke.

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

. (page 42 of 73)
Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 2) → online text (page 42 of 73)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


time. In this lease, which has the date 1768
on the back of it, the House is described
as a new-built messuage. After this it ap-
pears to have passed into the hands of John
Ramey, Esq., who added to it considerably,
and enlarged the grounds for the residence
of the Earl and Countess of Home, the Earl
being his son-in-law. After this it was oc-
cupied by Mr. Everitt for about twenty years,
and in 1837 it was purchased by Mr.
Foster of Lady C. S. B. Hamilton, together
with six-and-twenty acres of land, ten of
which were formed into pleasure-grounds and
gardens. At that time there was a tower in
the centre of the mansion, from the top of
which could be seen fifty or sixty churches,
including Norwich Cathedral. In it were
three rooms, but as the building was more than
large enough for the purposes of Mr. Foster,
he pulled this odd-looking tower down, and
reduced the mansion, which was then like
a nunnery, into a plain substantial country
residence, with ten acres of lawn in front,
commanding an extensive and well-wooded
prospect. From several parts of the build-
ing good sea-views may be obtained, with
Winterton Tower and Light-house, the beach
being within a mile of the mansion. Pro-
ceeding a little farther, a noble prospect of
the sea will be had from Scratby Cliff, espe-
cially during the seasons for the mackerel
and herring fishery, when multitudes of ves-
sels of all nations may be seen passing to
and fro in every direction.

The grounds, though moderate in size as
compared with some seats, are both pictu-
resque and interesting. They include an
avenue of fine trees leading nearly to Great
Ormesby Church.

DOVENBY HALL, Cumberland, the seat of
Fretcheville Lawson Ballantine Dykes, Esq.,
who was at one time Member of Parliament
for Cockermouth. The place takes its name
from the township of Dovenby, or Dolphinby,
which was so called from one Dolphin, son
of Aleward, who first seated himself there.
Dovenby is merely a corruption of the
original appellation. It was given to him
at the time of the Norman Conquest, upon
his marriage witli Maude, sister of Waldeof,
first Lord of Allerdale, and son of Gospatric,
Earl of Dunbar. The female heir of one of
his descendants married De Rolle in the time
of Henry III., from whom at a later period
(temp. Edward III.), it passed to the Lucys.
From them again it devolved to the Kirk-
brides (a branch of the family of Odard,
Baron of Wigton), whose female heir married
the son of Sir Thomas Lamplugh, of Lam-
plugh, from whom it descended to Sir Thomas
Lamplugh, of Dovenby temp. Charles I. He
dying without issue, the estate passed to the



descendants of his brother's daughter, the last
of whom, Miss Moline, married Richard Lam-
plugh, of Ribton. He died in the reign of
Queen Anne ; through his descendants in the
female line and eventual heirs, P. Lamplugh,
Esq., and his sister — who married Fretch-
eville Dykes, Esq , of Warthole — the pro-
perty came to'the present owner, Mrs. Dykes,
as niece of the first, and daughter of the
second party.

The oldest part of this edifice, a large
square tower, was probably built in the reign
of Henry III., or perhaps at an earlier pe-
riod. The long, low wing was next added,
and subsequently the larger and more ele-
vated square, mansion-like building was
erected. On the ground-floor of the old
tower — now cellars — are the marks of sta-
bling for cattle, when it became necessary to
secure them from the predatory attempts of
the borderers or of other marauders. On the
walls of the house, outside, are escutcheons
with the arms of Lamplugh, Lucy, Preston,
Barwise, Delamore, Lamplugh and Kirkbride.

This antique Hall stands, like so many
other old mansions, near the usual attendant
village of the same name. The gardens and
pleasure-grounds are extensive ; and it is
surrounded with open, wooded, and park-like
grass lands.

COLES PARK, Hertfordshire, two miles from
Buntingford, on the Cambridge road, and
thirty miles from London, the seat of Robert
Hyde Greg, Esq., a magistrate for Cheshire,
and who was elected M.P. for Manchester
in 1839.

This family, which belongs to the clan
Macgregor, originally came from Coupar,
in Fifeshire ; and Mr. Greg still possesses a
bond dated from that place in acknowledg-
ment of a loan of £200 from his ancestor,
Andrew Greg, signed by some of the emi-
nent generals and statesmen of that time,
the object of which was to assist them in
paying the armies about to invade England
and assist the republicans in their war upon
Charles I. ; it bears date May 13th, 1646.
At a subsequent period the family politics
must have considerably changed, and been
altogether as much in favour of the Stuarts
as they had before been directed against
them. When the Chevalier raised the High-
lands in the hopes of regaining the forfeited
throne of England, one of Mr. Greg's an-
cestors was so strenuous in his cause that
he presented his faithful adherent with a
miniature of himself, which still remains in
the family as a memorial of the past. Mater-
nally, Mr. Greg is directly descended from
the Rev. Philip Henry, son of John Henry,
an officer in the household of Charles I.

The mansion was built by Thomas Greg,
Esq., about the year 1790. It is in the



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



189



Elizabethan style of architecture, and is
built of red brick, with stone coins, a tower,
and many gables that give it a very pictu-
resque effect. It stands inapark, comprising
two hundred and forty acres of fertile ground,
with some tine timber and flourishing planta-
tions. The garden is laid out after the
Italian fashion.

Mr. Greg is also the owner of

NORCLIFFE HALL, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
a property which Avas bought by the father
of the present owner about seventy years
ago, when he left Ireland. The House is an
Elizabethan structure, built of brick, and
sanded over, with coins, and high gables.
It is prettily situated in the midst, of beauti-
ful woods, with a splendid view of the Derby-
shire Hills. The gardens are celebrated for
containing a remarkably fine collection of
rhododendrons.

HARPTON COURT, Radnorshire, the seat
of the Right Hon. Sir Thomas Frankland
Lewis, Bt., who has represented this county in
three several parliaments. He also success-
ively filled the offices of Secretary to the
Treasury, Vice-President of the Board of
Trade, Treasurer of the Navy, and Commis-
sioner of the Poor Law.

Harpton Court has been from time im-
memorial in the family of the present owner.
The House was erected in the year 1750, by
Thomas Lewis, Esq., M.P., but it has been re-
peatedly altered and improved in the course of
the existing century. Its southern front is
built of stone, with a pediment in the centre,
and a wide projecting cornice. Its northern
front is brick work, but covered with stucco.

WR0XT0N ABBEY, Oxfordshire, three miles
to the westward of Banbury, the seat of the
Baroness North, only surviving daughter
of George Augustus, third Earl of Guil-
ford. In the early part of King Henry
the Third's reign, that is, about 1230, Mi-
chael Belet founded here a priory of Ca-
nons Regular of Saint Augustin, and dedi-
cated it to the Blessed Virgin. It consisted
of a superior and six canons. At the disso-
lution of monasteries a part of this edifice
was by command destroyed, when the man-
sion and ground, together with the demesnes
and rectories, were leased by the Court of
Augmentations, to William Raynesford, Esq.,
of Wroxton. About the year 1538, William
Raynesford sold it to Thomas Pope, Esq.
whose descendant, William Pope — nephew to
Sir Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity Col-
lege, Oxford — became the first Earl of Downe.
At a later period, Lady Pope, sister of the
fourth and last Earl of Downe, conveyed this
estate into the family of North, by her mar-
riage with Francis, Lord Keeper Guilford,
in whose descendant it still remains.



The greater portion of the old priory was
destroyed by fire, the only remains yet left
being an arch — which was in all likelihood a
"door of entrance — and a fragment of the
passages communicating with the offices in
the lower part of the building. Upon this
site the present mansion was commenced in
1600 by the first Earl of Downe, and com-
pleted by him in 1618 ; but in the reign of
Charles the Second, the Lord Keeper Guil-
ford made some additions, and the late earl
yet further increased it by an elegant library,
from the plans of Sir Robert Smirke.

This mansion has a fine old baronial aspect,
and in all the additions care has been taken
to preserve the same character. The west
front is in length a hundred and eighteen
feet. The porch being passed, access is gained
into a noble hall, supported by five carved
oak pillars, at the south end of which is a
highly decorated and projecting gallery that
leads to some of the sleeping apartments.
At another end is the fire-place, so huge and
massive as to seem a building of itself, bring-
ing us back in fancy to the days of " Merry
England," when hospitality was so much a
custom as to hardly seem a merit. One room
has the form and the fittings up of a small
chapel, more than twenty-seven feet long,
and nearly seventeen feet wide. In this is a
great deal of beautifully carved oak, and a
painted glass window by Van Ling.

The collection of family portraits at Wrox-
ton Abbey is unusually numerous, most of them
being by painters of the greatest eminence in
their day, and whose names have come down
with more or less repute to our own times.
The grounds, which are sufficiently extensive,
have been laid out with taste and judgment ;
every advantage having been taken of the un-
dulating character of the surrounding country.

GLENBARR ABBEY, in the county of
Argyle, the seat of Keith Macalister, Esq.,
a magistrate and deputy -lieutenant of the
county. It was many years ago possessed
by the Campbells of Barbreck, a family
which may be traced up to the fourteenth
century, and to the house of Argyle. It
was long celebrated for the possession of a
curious relic, called BarbreeFs Bone, which
was reputed to be an infallible cure for
madness, and so highly esteemed in conse-
quence, that it never was lent without a de-
posit of a hundred pounds being first exacted
to secure its safe return. It is, however,
nothing more than an ivory tablet, which
about thirty years ago was presented by Fre-
derick William Campbell, Esq. of Barbreck,
to the Antiquarian Society of Edinburgh.

Glenbarr Abbey is a Gothic building, and
one of the largest in the district, with very
handsome public rooms. It is not known
when the oldest part of the building was



190



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



erected, but no doubt it belongs to the mo-
nastic times. In 1815, a considerable addition
was made to the structure by Colonel Mac-
alister, the father of the present possessor,
who himself made yet further improvements
in 1844. It is situated in a wooded glen
about half-a-mile from the sea, but com-
pletely sheltered by trees and rising grounds
from the cold winds that are continually
blowing from the Atlantic. Altogether
Glenbarr Abbey is one of the prettiest places
in the county of Argyle.



WOBTTRN ABBEY, Bedfordshire, about one
mile east of the town of Woburn, the seat
of the Duke of Bedford.

In 1145, Hugh de Bolebec founded, at the
instigation of the Abbot of Fountains, a
monastery of Cistercian monks. It was dedi-
cated to the Virgin Mary, but the endow-
ment appears to have been scanty; for in
1234 the establishment was so poor that it
was broken up, and the monks distributed
into different houses, till their conventual
debts could be discharged. Various bene-
factions, however, soon flowed in, the
monastery was re-established, and the last
abbot was hanged at Woburn, for denying
the king's supremacy, when Henry abjured
the Papal domination.

In 1547, the site of the Abbey was
granted to John Lord Russell, by Edward
the Sixth, and it has ever since remained in
the same family. No part of the original
buildings now exist. Cole, in one of his
manuscript volumes says, " the Duke of
Bedford has this year — 1747 — determined to
pull down the old abbey house in his park,
and build another, more suitable to his taste."
The House then erected occupied four sides
of a quadrangle, in the centre of an extensive
park ; the ground-plan comprising upwards
of two hundred feet. Since its first erection
this pile has undergone many alterations, its
present appearance being chiefly attributable
to the improvements made by the late
owner. The great stables mentioned by
Pennant, as being a part of the abbey-clois-
ters, were pulled down by him, and their site
is occupied by a suite of rooms. The pre-
sent stables form the wings of a handsome
building, in the centre of which are the
tennis-court and riding-house, to which, as
well as to the stables, there is a long colon-
nade, commencing from the duke's private
apartments. The principal front is of the
Ionic order, with rustic basement, the level
of the ground about it having been altered
at an immense expense.

A wall, eight feet in height, surrounds the
Park, which abounds with wood, and presents
many prospects of fine scenery; the detached
pieces of water being so united as to form,



a fair expanse, terminated by flourishing plan-
tations. The general character, however,
of the grounds is less that of picturesque
beauty than of grandeur and magnificence.

The taste of the late duke for agricul-
tural pursuits is well known, and hence it
was that he kept many farms in his own
hands. The principal of these is in the
Park, about half-a-mile from the House, with
buildings of every kind adapted to farming
purposes. One of the most remarkable is,
the room constructed for exhibiting the
sheep at the customary annual shearing.

The grand feature at Woburn Abbey is
the collection of pictures, and of this the
portraits form so very important a part that
some notice of them, however brief, can
hardly be dispensed with.

Queen Elizabeth. — What Horace Walpole
says of the paintings of the " maiden queen,"
in general, applies in full force to this par-
ticular portrait — "A pale Roman nose, a
head of hair loaded with crowns, and pow-
dered with diamonds, a vast ruff, a vaster
fardingale, and a bushel of pearls, are the
features, by which everybody knows at once
the pictures of Queen Elizabeth."

Mary, Queen of England. — Painted on a
panel, by Sir Antonio More, the features
harsh, and strongly expressive of what tra-
dition declares to have been her character.

Kiligreiv. — One of the profligate wits,
who added to the celebrity of the court
of King Charles the Second. He had the
unenviable boubriquet of the King's Jester.

William, Lord Russell —One of the most
illustrious names of this family, of whom
Macaulay says, in his eloquent and epigram-
matic language, — " Russell, who appears to
have been guilty of no offence falling within
the definition of high treason, and Sidney,
of whose guilt no legal evidence could be
produced, were beheaded, in defiance of law
and justice. Russell died with the fortitude
of a Christian, Sidney with the fortitude of
a stoic."

Edward Clinton, Earl of Lincoln. —
Painted by the whimsical artist, Cornelius
Ketel, who, not satisfied to acquire fame by
the ordinary road, must needs lay aside the
brush, and paint with his fingers only.
Having achieved this feat, to the great admi-
ration of some barren spectators, and the
grief of the judicious few, he next took to
painting with his toes.

Sir Philip Sydney. — The celebrated author
of the Arcadia, who enjoys the by no means
uncommon fate of being praised by all, and
read by none.

General Monk. — Who seems to have de-
ceived every one in his day, except Crom-
well, who thus ingeniously hints his know-
ledge of Monk in the postcript of a letter
addressed to him. " There be, that tell :



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



191



that there is a certain cunning fellow in Scot -
land, called George Monk, who is said to
lie in wait there to introduce Charles Stuart ;
I pray you, use your diligence to apprehend
him, and send him to me."

William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, the favourite
minister of Queen Elizabeth, whose fairest
epitaph is to be extracted from Camden's
brief notice of him — " He would often say
that nothing was profitable to the Prince
that was not honourable for him also to doe ;
and hereupon he would not suffer the
revenews of her lands to be increased, or the
old tenants removed, or farmers put out. As
for his private estate, he so well managed it,
that neither he ever went to law with any
man, or any man with him."

Rachel, Lady Russell, wife to the Lord
William, who was beheaded in Lincoln's Inn
Fields, for his real, or supposed, share in the
Rye House Plot. She lived to be blind, and
it is pleasing to believe, with many writers,
that her blindness was occasioned by inces-
santly weeping for the loss of her husband.
She is painted in widow's weeds, her head
reclining on her hand.

Christiana, Countess of Devonshire, the
platonic deity of William Herbert, third
Earl of Pembroke, who makes her the sub-
ject of divers sonnets, afterwards collected
and dedicated to her by Donne. As an
exercise of the reader's ingenuity in un-
riddling the metaphysical, a few lines may be
worth quoting :

" Dear, can you take my soul from me,

And yet have no belief

That I have grief?
Oh, did your fair eyes ever see

(Without a painful force)

That sad divorce ?
The soul and body love like me,

Not you ; the evening kind,

The morning of another mind,

And every several hour

Slack, and increase that pow'r.
They are by love made perfect one ;
No less than death makes them become alone .

" When the resistless flames of my desire
Make JEtna of my heart,
And I, enraged, impart

The torments unto you, and press

For pity in this violent distress,

You sing, and think I feign this fire.
Because one frown of yours can all controul,

Wrong not my pains ; you are the true

Higher part of my soul,
The lower tyrant is to me, and slave to you."

Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of 'Southampton ;
of whom it has been said that " puritanic
violence never aspersed Lord Southampton,
either when he opposed its power, or rose on
its ruin ; that his virtues escaped both con-
tagion and ridicule, in a most profligate and
satiric court ; and that sincere patriots be-
lieve the gates were shut against the inroads
of prerogative at the restoration of the man
who was placed by the king at the head of
the treasury."



These, and many more portraits, are to be
found in the gallery, which is above a hun-
dred and eleven feet in length, and seventeen
feet in width, and fifteen feet in height ; but
others are also to be found in various parts
of this magnificent edifice.

To the historian, or the antiquary, the
lovers and interpreters of the past, the por-
traits of the illustrious dead will be the most
attractive part of the collection. The artist
will no doubt find greater pleasure in dwell-
ing upon the numerous works of the eminent
masters here collected. It will be sufficient
to mention the names of Rembrandt, Murillo,
Salvator Rosa, Claude Lorraine, Gasper
Poussin, Titian, Tintorello, Rubens, Teniers,
Canaletti, and Both ; though the list might
be much extended.

One of the greatest gems of Woburn
Abbey is to be found in the Green House,
a large room, full a hundred and forty feet
in length, and stored with the most valuable
plants. This curiosity in question has been
thus described. " The celebrated Bacchana-
lian vase was purchased by the Duke from
the noble collection of Lord Cawdor, in
June, 1800, for seven hundred guineas. It
is of the lotus form, bell-shaped, and was
most probably consecrated to the god Bac-
chus, as may be concluded from the finely
sculptured Bacchanalian masks, and other
features that accompany it. It must there-
fore, have been used, either as a laver, or as
a symbol only of this part of the heathen
mythology, and for no other use ; for it is
certain that no wine was ever poured into
it.

This superb monument of antique decora-
tion was dug up some centuries ago, among
the ruins of Adrian's Villa, together with
the fragments of three other vases of nearly
similar dimensions, all of which appear, by
the situation in which they were found, to
have occupied the same spot of that once
extensive and magnificent emporium of art.
It was then removed to the Villa Lanti, near
Rome, where, for many years, it attracted
the notice, and excited the admiration of
both the travellers and the artists. This,
and one at Warwick Castle, which is some-
what more decorated, are the only complete
vases of the same dimensions and antiquity
extant ; and are unquestionably the most
magnificent and noble sculptured specimens
of antique decoration of this kind ever
discovered.

The Lanti vase was brought from Rome,
at considerable risk and expense, by the Right
Hon. Lord Cawdor, on whose classical taste
and judgment it must ever confer the highest
credit. The removal of this grand work of art
from that city caused great jealousy among
the superintendents of the Vatican Museum,
then forming, under the auspices of the



192



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



reigning Pontiff, Pius VII., who, it is
well known, in his resentment on this oc-
casion, threatened several persons concerned
in the removal with the galleys.

The dimensions of the vase are : diameter of
the mole, six feet three inches ; height, with
its present plinth, six feet nine inches.

The country around Woburn is for the
most part flat and open, yet the Park, as we
have already observed, is well wooded, and
full of pleasing undulations. It is also amply
stocked with deer.

WEST HOESLEY PLACE, in the county of
Surrey, and in the Woking Hundred, the
seat of Henry Weston, Esq., of the Middle
Temple, the present representative of the
very anciant family of Weston of W^eston,
there seated from the time of the Conquest.

In the Doomsday Book, W 7 est Horsley—
or, as it is written, Orselei — was held by
Walter Fitz Otho de Windsor, who was
governor of Windsor Castle, whence his de-
scendants took their name. William de
Windsor and his son Richard, accompanied
the Lion-hearted king in his idle crusade
against the Saracens, and, it is generally be-
lieved, died, though whether by disease or
the arms of the enemy, is uncertain.

Hugh de Windsor, who lived in the reign
of Henry III., dying without male heirs,
this estate passed to Christiana, called in
some pedigrees his sister, but in others his
daughter and heiress. Whichever degree of
kinship should be assigned to her, she con-
veyed the estate in marriage to Sir Ralph
Berners ; but upon his death in 1297, it re-
verted to Christiana as his widow.

In the reign of Richard II., the Berners
of that day was an especial favourite with
the monarch, and was involved in the
general ruin that befel Richard himself and
all his dependents in 1388, when

" Bolingbroke had. seized the wasteful king."

Sir James — for such was his Christian
name — then paid dearly for having been a
monarch's favourite, and found too late the
wisdom of the maxim, " Mediocria firma."
He was arrested, and committed prisoner to
Bristol Castle, and having been attainted by
the parliament, he was beheaded, and his
estates forfeited to the crown. Henry IV.,
however, in the very first year of his reign,
made a grant in fee of West Horsley, with
the park and warrens, to Sir Richard
Berners, son of Sir James' widow, and three
years afterwards Sir Richard obtained a
license from the king to put this manor in
feoffment, that he might be enabled to make
a settlement on his wife, Philippa, the
daughter and heiress of Edmund Dalyng-
ruge. Upon his death in 1421, his daughter



and heiress, Margery, succeeded to the
estates, and married John Feriby ; and he
dying without issue, she was married a se-
cond time to Sir John Bourchier, a Knight
of the Garter, and Constable of Windsor
Castle, who, according to his own directions,
was buried in the chapel of the Holy Rood,
Chertsey Monastery.

Sir Humphrey Bourchier, eldest son of
this Sir John, fought on the side of King
Edward IV., at the battle of Barnet, and,
being killed in the action, was succeeded in
the estate by his eldest son, John Bourchier,
who on the death of his grandfather be-
came Lord Berners, and sat in several par-
liaments in the reigns of Henry VII. and
Henry VIII. He was distinguished above
all his race as a warrior and as a writer.



Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 2) → online text (page 42 of 73)