Copyright
Bernard Burke.

A visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) online

. (page 14 of 79)
Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 79)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


prived of it in the action. The concluding
lines of his long epitaph are . —

"Ttfcenbcb of an aiiticnt ficiifc, Irilh fjoiiciit Utit f}\i life ;
Tnli) iiiitt) one baiigljkr bUlt, ani (I'ilf) one rirhionS nnfc;
@ob gaBE ^im f)!ic on caitl) to Use tmise fcttit tjtxsi ani o6b.
SSit!) I^fe fteU Spent fje liuet!) now fov eucimo Will) @ob."

He died in 1587.

Quorndon House is three miles from
Loughborough, and eight from Leicester.

WIDMERPOOL HALL, Notts. Widmerpool,
is about eight miles south of Nottingham,
and it presents perhaps one of the most re-
markable instances of the improvement of a
whole village and domain that can be found
in England. Fifty years ago the place re-
tained all the traces of the desolation that
had no doubt given it its ancient name,
Wide-mei-e-pool. About tliat period it was
purchased by tlie late James Robinson,
Esq. Since tlien every acre in the exten-
sive parish has, by a most judicious
outlay, been more than quadrupled" in value
and every liouse m tlie village has been en ■
tirely rebuilt. The ancient church, too, has
been _ wholly restored. The present chief
mansion, an Elizabethan structure of great
extent and beauty, is situated near the
churcli, and Avas originally intended for the
parsonage. By an amicable arrangement
between the Rev. John Robinson, the Rector,
and his brother, Frederick Robinson, Esq.,
this noble mansion will in future be the Hall ;
and the present Hall, better adapted for a
clergyman's residence, will be the parsonage.
The " luxury of doing good" seems to have
been largely enjoyed by the liberal owners
of Widmerpool. For years the place has
found employment for allthe surplus labourers
of the neighbouring villages; and truly com-



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



59



fortable cottages, commodious farmhouses,
excellent roads, and well-cultivated farms,
are the happy results.

The Rev. Jolm Robinson's only son, a
youth of much promise, and heir to the whole
estate, died prematurely. His sister is mar-
ried to the Hon. Mr. Monckton, brother of
Lord Galway.

PENEOSE, near Helston, Cornwall, the
seat of the Rev. John Rogers, M.A., canon
residentiary of the Cathedral of Exeter.
This estate was possessed by the family of
Penrose from the remote Norman times, up
to 1771, when it was purchased by Hugh
Rogers, Esq. of Treassowe, High Sheriff of
Cornwall, (grandfather of the present posses-
sor), from the representatives of the last
heiress of that house. At a very early
period the family residence had been at
Higlier Penrose, a place nearer the sea, and
more exposed to the weather, but was after-
wards removed to its present site, as appears
from the evidence given in a law-suit some
3'ears ago. The more modern mansion could
not have been built earlier than the time of
Charles the First. Its north-west front,
through which is the chief entrance, is
winged and embattled, with a broad terrace.
The other three fronts are built irregularly,
the whole enclosing an open court in the centre.

GURREY, in the county of Caermarthen,
the seat of Griffith EoAven Jones, Esq. This
house was built, it is stated, move than a
thousand j^ears ago, and was the residence
of the Welsh Princes, from whom the pre-
sent possessor of Gurrey claims lineal
descent. It has been modernized by the
Bowens. The front entrance used to be
by two massive folding gates, studded with
large ii"on nobs, such as we now see m
ancient castles ; and in the old casements
the windows opened out and folded up
again ; but for tliis last contrivance the
modern sash has been substituted. The roof
has been raised a story higher.

The house is approached by two carriage-
drives ; one a mile long, leading into the
mail-road between Llaudilo and Llandovery ;
the other only half that length, leading into
tlie mail-road between Llandilo and Caer-
marthen. The grounds are beautifully
wooded and undulated ; a rivulet flowing
about a hundred yards from the mansion,
onwards to the Towy, so justly famous for
its trout and salmon. From this rivulet
the house has derived its name.

Upon the property there is a stone-
quarry, and sand, lime, and clay, are also
to be found there.

ALDBY, AULDBIE, or AUDBIE PARK, in the
county of York, tlie seat of Henry Brewster



Darley, Esq. It was originally the site of a Ro-
man station, and subsequently of a royal Saxon
ville. It was here that the great Edwin,
who like Alfi'ed went far beyond his age in
intellect and knowledge, held his summer
residence, and it was here that he had well
nigh lost his life by the hand of an assassin.
Cwichelm, the Pagan King of Wessex, had
commissioned one of his subjects to visit
Edwin's court, and stab him with a poisoned
dagger. The name of Cwichelm procured a
a ready admission for the intended murderer,
who had firmness enough to begin a ficti-
tious message, in the midst of which he sud-
denly rushed upon the king. Edwin was off
his guard, but a Thane, to whom he was
greatly attached, by name Lilla, saw the
rising dagger, and being unarmed, threw
himself before the king, and received
on his own. body the weapon which it would
have been impossible to avert. So violent
was the blow that the dagger pierced through
Lilla and slightly wounded the king. The
murderer was instantly cut to pieces by the
attendants, but not till he had slam another
of the knights named Forther.

The present mansion, which stands upon
the banks of the Derwent, about five miles
from the Wolds, was built by Jane Darley
in the commencement of George the First's
reign, from the designs of Sir John Van-
burgh, and was completed in the year 1726.
It is a handsome building, in the early Italian
style, to which corresponding additions have
been lately made by the gentleman now
possessing the estate. The Jane Darley
above alluded to was daughter of Richard
Darley, and married John Brewster, Esq., of
Cold Green in the county of Hertford. Her
mother, the wife of Richard Darley, was
daughter of Thomas Waite, Esq., of Market
Overton, in the county of Rutland. She
herself succeeded to the estate in consequence
of the death of her four brothers, two of
whom, Henry and John, died bachelors ;
while the other two, Thomas and Richard,
are supposed to have been poisoned at Aleppo.
It was by them that the famous horse called
the " Darley Arabian" was sent from Syria,
an animal not a little celebrated in sportmg
annals both for his own feats and as being-
ancestor of the Flying Childers, and of many
otiiers, the best race-horses of the present
day. In the entrance haU at Aldbey Park
is a portrait of this illustrious quadrujjed,
and the original letter sent with him is still
in the possession of the present owner of the
estate.

Jane Darley had issue by her husband,
John Brewster, several children who died
young, and one son, Henry Brewster,
who assumed the name and arms of Darley.
He was a decided friend to the exiled Stew-
arts, raising and maintaining at his own ex-



60



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



pense a troop of cavalry in aid of Prince
Charles Edward.

Tlie park is well stocked with deer said to
be some of the finest in the kingdom. Tlie
trees are, many of them, of magnificent gi owt h,
consisting chiefly of maple, poplar, varie-
gated sycamores, copper beech, chestnut,
and pine. In the midst of this park, and on
the banks of the Derwent which flows
through it, are vestiges of the Saxon ville
before alluded to ; in Camden's time there
were also visible tlie remains of an old castle,
the original seat of the Darleys.

The pleasure grounds, which border upon
the river, are laid out in terrace gardens with
yew hedges, statues, fountains, and all that
belongs to that quaint style of ornamental
gardening, once so much in fashion, but now
more generally superseded by a nearer ap-
proach to nature. Still with all the objec-
tions that may be fairly urged against this
style, it is in excellent keeping with the cha-
racter of the building. Here also w^e may
mention two tumuli and indications of a moat,
the remains of a Roman station being too
clearly defined to admit of cavil.

An avenue of beautiful old beech trees
leads from the house to a Avood of several
hundred acres, about two miles distant, a
favourite resort of naturalists on account of
the rare and curious specimens of insects,
birds, and wild flowers assembled there. In
the midst of this Avood is an extensive lake,
fringed with silver birches that dip their
light feathering leaves into the water below
and add not a little to its beauty.

There is still existing at Aldby a curious
old pedigree of the family, which traces it in
a regular succession from the time of the
Conquest down to the present day. By the
kindness of the proprietor of the estate we
are enabled to give a few extracts from this
original record.

" Edmonde Davleye in the countie of
Darbie was Lorde of Darleye and Alderhowse
Lee; and of Piftee and three oxganges of
Lande, Twelve Carrottcs, Twentie fower
Messuages juxta Darbye, Avhiche he hadd by
the gifte of Williame tlie Conquerer in tlie
yearo of our Lorde One Thousande, thre
score and six ; and he marled and had yssue
Su- John Darleye, Knight.

" In the reigne of Kinge Richardc the firste
Edmonde Darleye Avas the firste Founder of
a House of Religion called Darleye Abbay,
dedicated to Sainte Augustine, and gave fiftie
thre Oxganges of lande, xii Garrottes, xxiiii
Messuages juxta Darbie, Avhere this House
of Religion Avas built Anno Domini 1191.

" In the reigne of ticnry the iii A\'as Trus-
Avell, sonne of Jeflray Darleye, A monke at
Chester and a great grafter (of) cronicles."

ROLLESTON HALL, anciently Rolvestune,



near Tutbury, Staffordshire, the seat of Siv
OsAvald Mosley, Bart. There has been a
mansion on this site ever since the early
part of the reign of Henry the Third, the
original house having been erected, as it is
supposed, by William de Rolleston, but the
building, as it now appears, Avas erected
partly by the present oAvner, and partly by
his ancestoi's. At all events it is not more
than a hundred years old. Its form
is that of a modern house in the Grecian
style of architecture, containhig a handsome
suite of breakfast, dining, and draAving rooms,
besides commodious offices, »S:c., &c. It is
surrounded by extensive pleasure grounds,
in Avhich are many choice trees, and the gar-
dens are large as Avell as fruitful.

The great Civil War has left its stamp upon
this, as upon so many others of our English
seats, giving them a sort of historical cele-
brity. On the 25th of May, 1645, King
Charles the Pirst came Avith his army under
tlie command of Lord Loughborough to Tut-
bury Castle, and some of the soldiers were
quartered at Rolleston under a certain Cap-
tain Symonds, who amused himself by taking
notes of the coats of arms in the church,
Avhich memoranda are still preserved amongst
tlie Harleiau manuscripts in the British
]\Tuseum. He also kept a diary of all sorts
of notabilities, Avhich, though sometimes
tedious from its minuteness, is yet not Avithout
its Avalue as a record of scenes and facts by
an e^'ewitness to Avhat he is describing.

" The Rollestons," says our military anti-
quarian, " liA^ed here time out of mind, till the
estate Avas bought of them about tlie latter
end of the 17th century by Sir EdAvard JNIos-
ley, Kt., Attorney-General of the Duchy of
Lancaster, Avho left it to his ncplieAv, Sir
Edward ^losley, created a baionet in 1G40.
Upon the failure of issue of the last Sir Ed-
Avard Mosley, the title became extinct, and
his AvidoAv marrying Charles, son and heir of
Dudley, Lord North, he thereby became
possessed of Rolleston estate and manor
Avhich she bad in jointure.

OsAvald iMosley, Esq., a descendant from
the second branch of the family, afterwards
possessed this estate and manor, and Avas
created a baronet in the Gtli of George tlie
Pirst. His eldest son dying Avithout issue the
property descended to his brother, the Rev.
Sir John IMoslcy, Bart., a worthy but eccen-
tric character. His seat here, the old ances-
tral mansion, Avas in a sad neglected state,
yet instead of rebuilding it he Avould employ
the poor in making immense quantities of
bricks, Avhich he heaped up sometimes in
huge Avails, and sometimes in rough piles
upon the grounds. From this kindlicarted
and singular man the estates passed to liis
cousin, the late Sir John Parker Mosley,
grandfather of the present l)aronet.



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



61



. CORYTON PARK, near Axminster, Devon-
sliii-e, the seat of William Tucker, Esq. The
original mansion, erected in 1710 by an
ancestor of the same Christian and surname,
stood at a short distance from the gardens ;
•but of this only a wing now remains, which
has since been converted into a farm-house.
The present hall, removed to the centre of
the park, was erected m 17G0 by Benedictus
Marwood Tucker, Esq., previous to Avliich
time the family long resided in an ancient
stone-built manor house at Westwater, about
half a mile off, and still belonging to the pro-
perty. It has been much improved by the
gentleman now possessing it, and presents a
handsome elevation in the Italian style, con-
sisting of three stories and a basement, all
of red brick, but with Portland stone quoins,
window-cases, cornices, balustrades, &c.
On the east and west fronts are large rec-
tangular bay-windows, and on the south is a
closed portico leading to a spacious vestibule.
The rooms within are large and handsome.
A stone staircase communicates with two
galleries likewise of stone, the whole being
lighted from the roof. The park abounds
with fine timber, especially with oaks, ce-
dars, and horse-chestnuts, adding much to
the beauty of a scene, which in other re-
.spects is highly picturesque.

HARTHAM HOUSE, in the parish of Ilart-
hara, Wiltshire, the seat whence Sir George
Duckett, Bart., derives the designation of
his title. Tliis house was long in the
possession of the Ducketts, a family number-
ing many distinguished and some remarkable
characters. Sir George Duckett, the son of
William Duckett, Esq., of Flintham, in
Northamptonshire, became Lord Mayor of
London, in 1573, and was partner Avith Sir
Thomas Gresham. Upon the marriage of
his three daughters he gave to each the
sum of eight thousand marks, an enormous
sum in those days, and yet so little propor-
tioned to his actual wealth, that his friends
called his liberality in question. His reply
to them was, that it did not become
him to give more since his royal mis-
tress, Queen Elizabeth, has received only
ton thousand.

To this family belonged also Lady Hop-
ton (livmg temp. Henry VIII.), of whom
an account has been left in the handwriting
of her descendant, George Ralph Jackson,
of Normanby, in Yorkshire. " I will give
you," says this document, " as good an
account as I can remember of our wise
and good grandmother, Uopton, who, 1
think, was one Hall's daughter, of De-
vonshu'e, without title, and had an elder
brother without child, who said to his
younger brother's wife (who was tlien Avith
child), that if she wou'd come to his house



and lye in he wou'd give his estate to the
child if a daughter, and if a son it should
fare never the worse. So she had my
grandmother, and he bred her up, and
marry'd her to Sir Arthur Hopton, of
Somersetsh^ He had £4000 per annum,
and she as much. By him she had 18 chil-
dren — ten daughters marry'd, Avhose names
Avere Lady Bacon (Avife of Sir Nathaniel
Bacon, K.B., of Stiffkey Co., Norfolk, temp.
Queen Elibabeth), Lady Smith, Lady
]\loreton. Lady Banisten, and Lady Sitti-
place, Bingham, Basket, Cole (4 last of
Dorset), Thomas and Eyrie."

Another character may be worth quothig
— " Our grandfather Hopton having so
good an estate thought he might live as
high as he pleased and not run out. But
one day he Avas going from home, but cou'd
not go. He told his lady she wou'd be left
in a great deal of trouble, for the great debts
he liad made on his estate, and that he kncAv
he shou'd live but a few days and Avou'd not
die in peace to think what affliction he
shou'd leave her in. She desired him to be
no Avays concerned about his debts, for he
owed not a penny to any one ; so died of
a gangrene in his toe in a few days. Now
she had set up an iron-AVork and paid all he
owed unknown to him, and she marry'd all
her daughters to great estates and families.
Lady Hopton's maner of living was very
grand. She had 100 in her famdy, she rose
at 6 o'clock to herself, went to her iron-
Avork, and came back at 9 ; then went Avith
all her family to prayer, and after dinner
she and her children, and great grand-
children went to their several Avorks Avitlx
her in the dining-room, Avhere she spun the
finest sheets you have : every year she had
all her children and grandchildren Avith her
at her house, and before they Avent aAvay
AVOu'd knoAv if any little or great animosities
Avere between any of them ; if so Avou'd
never let them go till they yvere reconciled.
Each of her daughters had a pair of these
sheets Avithout a seam."

And a pair of them is still in the posses-
sion of Sir George Duckett, Bart.

CHEVENING HOUSE, Sevenoaks, Kent, the
seat of Earl Stanhope. It was anciently held
by the Crevequers of the see of Canterbury,
and under them by a family A\'ho took their
surname from the place, according to a very
common custom in early days. In the reign
of lin.nry the Sixth it became the property
of the Leonards, a race still more distin-
guished in history bj^ their subsequent title
of Dacre. Richard, the second Lord Dacre,
Avho died in 1630, rebuilt Chevening House
from the plans of Inigo Jones, the fashion-
able architect of his time. Thomas, the
fourth Lord Dacre, Avas created Earl of Sus-



62



SEAT3 OF GREAT BRITAIN.



sex by Charles the Second, but -w-liat lie
gained in honour at the court of the merry
monarch, he lost in wealth, for having con-
tracted a fatal passion for gaming, he so
damaged his fortune by it that lie was
obliged to sell the greater part of his estates.
Chevening, however, still remained to him
amidst the general wreck,, and there he died
in 1715. It was then sold by his daughters
to General Stanhope, commander-in-chief of
the British forces in Spain, and who distin-
guished himself by the capture of Minorca.
On the accession of George the First, he
was made one of the pi'iucipal Secretaries of
State, in April 1717 was created Viscount,
and in the following year Earl Stanhope, and
died on the 17th of February (N. S.) 1721.
The wings and the corridors leading to
them, were added by the first Earl Stanhope,
and the mansion in its present state very
much resembles old Buckingham House,
which was demolished by George IV.

BOSTOCK HALL, Cheshire, the seat of James
France France, Esq., two miles northwest of
Middlewich. The manor was for several
generations possessed by an ancient family
who took their name from the township,
and descended from Osmerus, Lord of Bos-
tock, in the reign of William the Conqueror.
The heiress of the elder branch of the
Bostocks brought the estate in the latter
part of the fifteenth century to the Savages,
with whom it appears to have continued
until the termination of the direct male line
in Richard Lord Rivers, about which time it
was alienated. Subsequently Bostock was
possessed by the Tomkinsons of Mancliester,
but passed after the decease of William
Torakinson in 1770 by devise to his cousin
Edward Tomkinson, Esq., who afterwards
assumed the name of Wctenhall. By him
the mansion, as it now stands, was built,
but after a short possession, he sold it to
Thomas France, Esq., who, in 1803, pulled
down the ancient Hall, a wooden building
surrounded by a moat. From him it de-
scended to his son, the present owner.

On Bostock green is an old oak, which is
curious, as marking, according to general
belief, the centre of the county. Mr.
France, of Bostock Hall, served as High
Sheriff of Cheshire in 1821.

«

DTTFFRYN PLACE, Glamorganshire, pa-
rish of St. Nicholas, near Cardiff, the
seat of John Bruce Fryce, E.sq., eldest
brother of the Vicc-Chancellor Knight
Bruce. This mansion was built many years
ago, and w;is at one time the residence of
Admiral Button, celebrated for having cir-
cumnavigated the globe in an age when such
an achievement was less frequent than it is
now a- days. From him it passed to Thomas



Pryce, Esq., and in 1802 it was brought in
marriage by Miss Pryce, the heiress of the
estate, to the Hon. W. Booth Grey, brother
of the Earl of Stamford, who added largely
to it in the course of the following
year.

On the grounds are two most remarkable
cromleks, or Druidical altars, models of
which have been placed by Sir Richard
Hoare in the British Museum." One of these
is supposed to be the largest specimen of the
kind in England, and has attracted consi-
derable attention among antiquaries. It
stands in a field to the right of the road
leading towards the house, consisting of a
rectangular oblong apartment about seven ■
teen feet in length by thirteen in width, and
six feet in height at one end, but several
inches lower at the other. The sides and
ends are composed of large flat stones placed
upright in the grovmd, the roof being formed
of one large stone, twenty-four feet in length,
and varying in width from seventeen to ten
feet. The opening to this apartment is on
the south, but the interior is almost inacces-
sible from the immense heaps of stones which
have been collected round the outside of it.
Mr. Parry, in his excellent little work, "The
Book of South Wales," calls this The
Great Cromlech at St. Nicholas, but suum
cnique trihuito, its generally received name,
and by which it is best known in the neigh-
bourhood, is The Great Cromlech at Duf-
fryn, St Nicholas.

Below Duffryn House, on the south-east,
is another monument of the same kind, but
of less dimensions. This is called Llech-y-
filast, a name of unknown origin, though
common to such monuments in various parts
of the principality. Literally, it would seem
to mean the stone of the grcyhouml-hitch, and
it has been conjectured that the early Chris-
tians used these relics of Pagan worship
for dog-kennels in token of contempt, and
hence the name.

LOWESBY HALL, Leicestershire, the seat
of Sir Frederick Gustavus Fowke, Bart., is
situated on a delightful eminence in the
midst of a well-wooded park, and is an erec-
tion of the seventeenth century. It is of
dark-faced brick, and though devoid of
architectural ornament, it presents a com-
manding aspect, that at once proclaims it
one of our firgt-class " ancestral halls." It
has three fronts — the northern, which over-
looks the approach ; the western, which
commands views of great extent and beauty ;
and the southern, which has before it a ter-
race, and plaisaunce which we have rarely
seen surpassed. The interior is suited to
the requirements of an aristocratic esta-
blishment. The drawing-room lias been
pronounced one of the most perfectly propor-



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



63



tional rooms in Leicestershire, It is ex-
ceedingly handsome. But the great charm
of Lowesby consists in its pleasure grounds.
Nature, by a beautiful diversity of surface,
liad done much, and the present excellent
baronet has admitted the aid of art with so
judicious a hand, and with such exquisite
taste, as to render them a model of English
landscape gardening. The estate, which is
extensive and very rich, comprises the lord-
ship of Lowesby and great part of Newton
Marmion .

Lowesby was anciently the seat and
possession of the Burdett family, and it was
the scene of that tragic event, recorded both
in legend and lay, when Wm. Burdett, on
his return from the Crusades, urged by the
slanders of some miscreant retainer, slew his
innocent and unsuspecting lady — to atone
for which fatal error he founded the mona-
stery of Arrow.

From the Burdetts, Lowesby passed to
the Ashbys, and subsequently to the cele-
brated Colonel Hutchinson^a very fine full-
length portrait of his relative, General L-e-
ton, painted by Houthorst (supposed to have
been left by the Colonel) still adorns the
dining-room. Here Lucy Hutchinson wrote
a part, at least, of her admirable biography
of her distinguished husband, before she sold
the estate to Richard Wollastou, Esq., from
whom it descended to Anne WoUaston, one
of the daughters and co-heiresses of Sir
Isaac Wollaston, Bart. This lady married
Sir Thomas Fowice, equerry to the late
Henry, Duke of Cumberland ; and the
baronetcy from Sir Isaac's uncle. Sir



Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 79)