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

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of James I. ; and, above all, the historical
and literary associations which hang around
its venerable walls, combine to invest this
splendid abode with no common claims to
public favour. London, with its smoke, its
din, and its busy hum of men, is scarcely
two miles distant, and yet Holland House
has its green meadows, its sloping lawns, and
its refreshing woods. Here still sings the
nightingale ; here is the pleasant shade ; and
here may yet be seen the gables and chini-



neys of the good old times of the Stuarts.
" Yet a few years," we quote an eloquent
contemporary, " and these shades and struc-
tures may follow their illustrious masters.
The wonderful city which, ancient and gi-
gantic as it is, still continues to grow as a
young town of logwood by a water privilege
in Micliigan, may soon displace these turrets
and gardens, Avhich are associated with so
much that is interesting and noble ; with the
courtly magniticence of Rich ; with the loves
of Ormond ; with the counsels of Cromwell ;
with the death of Addison. Tlie time is
coming wJien perhaps a few old men, the
last survivors of our generation, will in vain
seek, amid new streets, and squares, and
railway stations, for the site of that dwelling,
which in their youth was the favourite
resort of wits and beauties, of painters and
poets, of scholars, philosophers, and states-
men ; they will then remember with strange
tenderness many objects familiar to tliem—
the avenue and terrace, the busts and the
paintings, and the carving, the grotesque
gilding, and the enigmatical mottoes. With
peculiar tenderness tliey will recall tliat vene-
I'able chamber, in which all the antique gra-
vity of a college library was so singularly
blended with all that female grace and wit
could devise to embellish a drawing-room.
They will recollect, not unmoved, those
shelves loaded with the varied learning of
many l?nds and many ages ; those portraits,
in which were preserved the features of the
best and wisest Englishmen for two genera-
tions : they Avill recollect how many men,
who have guided the politics of Europe, who
have moved great assemblies by reason and
eloquence, who have put life into bronze or
canvas, or who left to posterity things so
written that it will not willingly let them die,
were there mixed with all that is loveliest
and gayest m the society of the most splendid
of capitals, They will remember the singu-
lar character which belonged to that circle,
in which every talent and accomplishment,
every art and science, had its place. They
will remember how the last debate Avas dis-
cussed in one corner, and the last comedy
of Scribe in another; while Wilkie gazed
with modest admiration on Reynolds' Baretti ;
while Mackintosh turned over Thomas Aqui-
nas to verify a quotation ; while Talleyrand
related his conversations with Barras at the
Luxembourg, or his ride with Lannes over
the field of Austerlitz. They will remember
above all, the grace, and the kindness far
more admirable than grace, with which the
princely hospitality of that ancient man-
sion was dispensed ; they will remember
that temper, which years of sickness, of
lameness, of confinement, seemed only to
make sweeter and sweeter ; and tliat frank
politeness, which at onee relieved all the

embarrassment of the youngest and most
timid writer or artist, who found himself
for the first time among ambassadors and
earls. They will remember that, in the
last lines which he traced, he expressed
his joy that he had done nothing uuworthy
of the friend of Fox and Grey; and they
will have reason to feel similar joy, if, in
looking back on many troubled years, they
cannot accuse themselves of having done
anything unworthy of the men who were
distinguished by the friendship of Lord

But we must revert to the regular de-
scent of the manor, and the history of its
successive possessors. Sir Henry Rich,
Lord Kensington, the husband of the heiress
of Cope, was a cointier, and had the ho-
nour of being employed to negotiate a
marriage between Prhice Charles and the
Spanish Infanta. The negotiation proved
abortive, but the services of Lord Ken-
sington were well appreciated and rewarded,
by an Earl's coronet and the Lisignia of
the Garter. The new title chosen by his
Lordship was Holland, and thence the
]\Lanor House of Kensington, built by the
Earl's fathor-in-law. Sir Walter Cope, in
1607, received its present appellation. Thus
esteemed by the gallant race that then
filled the throne of England, the Earl of
Holland repaid the royal favour he enjoyed,
by the most devoted zeal in the cause of
King Charles. At last, when his Majesty
became captive in the Isle of Wight, his
Lordship took up arms, with other loyal
persons, to eflect his restoration, but miscar-
rying at Kingston- upon-Thames, 7th July,
1648, he was made prisoner and committed
to the Tower, where he remained until after
the execution of the king, when, being
brought to trial, with the Duke of Hamilton,
the Earl of Norwich, and Sir John Owen, he
Avas condemned to death, and executed by
decapitation, before the gates of Westminster
Hall, 9th March, 1649. His son, Robert
Rich, second Earl of Holland, succeeded his
cousin as fifth Earl of Warwick, and thus
united the two coronets of his Htmil}'. He
Avas father of Edward Rich, Earl of Warwick
and Holland, AAdiose Avidow, Charlotte, daugh-
ter of Sir Thomas IMyddelton of Chirk Castle,
married in 1716, the Right Hon. Joseph
Addison, and thus, by linking with the asso-
ciations of Kensington the memory of that
illustrious man, has in\'csted Avith a classic
halo the groves and shades of Holland House.
The noble alliance brought, hoAvever, little
comfort to the poet's mind. " The man-
sion," says Dr. Johnson, " although large,
could not contain ]\Ir. Addison, the Countess
of Warwick, and one guest — Peace." The
courtly pair lived on ill terms together, and
it is not unlikely that Addison Avas first



seduced to excess by the manumission
which he obtained from the servile timidity
of his sober hours. Of the union there was
issue, an only child — a daughter — Charlotte
Addison, who is stated to have been of weak
intellect. She inherited her father's estate
at Bilton, in Warwickshire, which she be-
queathed to her maternal kinsman, the Hon.
John Bridgman Simpson.

The traditions regarding Addison, during
his residence at Holland House, are very
trifling. " They are simply," says Mr. How-
itt, '' that he used to walk, when composing
his Spectators, in the Long Library, then a
Picture Gallery, with a bottle of wine at
each end, which he visited as he alternately
arrived at them ; and that the room in which
he died, though not positively known, is sup-
posed to be the present dining-room, being
then the state bedroom. The young Earl
of Warwick, to whom he there addressed
the emphatic words — ' See in what peace
a Christian can die!' died also himself in
1721, but two years afterwards."

At the youthful eail's decease, the estate
passed to his flrst cousin, William Edwardes,
Esq. (created a Peer of Ireland, as Baron
Kensmgton), and was eventually sold to the
Eight Hon. Henry Fox, the distinguished
politician of the time of George II., who, on
being created a Peer, adopted the title of
Holland. His second son, Charles James
Fox, the still more illustrious statesman of
the succeeding reign, passed his early days
at Holland House ; and here lived his
nephew, the late kind and accomplished
Peer, whose literary tastes and literary
friendships collected around him the most
intellectual society of the age.

The general form of the mansion is that
of a half H. The interior corresponds with
the striking beauty of the external appear-
ance. In the gardens are various memorials
of distinguished men. Amongst several
very handsome cedars, perhaps the most
luxuriant is said to have been planted by
Charles Fox.

The fine avenue leading down from the
house to the Kensington road, is remarkable
for having often been the walkmg and talk-
ing place of Cromwell and General Lambert.
Lambert tlien occupied Holland House, and
CromweU, who lived next door, when he
came to converse with him on state affairs,
had to speak very loud to him, because he
was deaf. To avoid being overheard, they
used to walk in this avenue.

HOLTON, near Caistor, Lincolnshire, the
seat of Thomas Dixon, Esq., by whose
family the estate has been possessed since
the year 1750. The mansion, which was
built by Thomas Dixon, Esq., about 1780,
is of brick, and stands in tlie middle of a

well-wooded park. The country around is
flat, but by no means devoid of picturesque

This property has a right of free warren
granted in the reign of James the First.

CAVEESFIELD, Buckinghamshire, the seat
of Robert Bullock Marsham, Esq., D C.L.,
Warden of Merton College, Oxford, is
situated on the very verge of the county.
After the dissolution of monasteries, the
Langstons, who had for many centuries held
it partly in their own right, and partly
under the Prior and convent of Bicester, now
became possessed of the whole estate, which
passed by a female heir to the Moyles, and
afterwards by siTCcessive purchases to the
families of Davenport and Bard. From the
latter it was bought by Mr. Vaux an at-
torney, and in the same way — by purchase
namely— it came in 1741 to Sir James Har-
rington, in 1751, to Mr. Southcote, and in
1763, to Joseph Bullock, Esq., who married
Anne, only child of Peter Walter, Esq., of
Stalbridge, Dorset, who devised the reversion
in fee of his large estates, which he held
subject to the contingency of himself and
his two brothers dying without male issue,
to the Earl of Uxbridge in disherison of his

The estate of Caversfield came into the
possession of Eobert Bullock Marsham,
Esq., in 1840, by virtue of the will of the
said Joseph Bullock, Esq., whose only child,
Amelia Frances, married the Hon^ and Rev.
Jacob Marsham, D.D., Canon of Windsor.

FRAMPTON COURT, Dorsetshire, about
five miles from Dorchester, the seat of
Richard Brmsley Sheridan, Esq., grandson
of the celebrated orator and dramatist. The
date of the original edifice is uncertain, but
it was rebuilt in 1704, and stands upon the
site of a priory, which in olden times was a
cell to the abbey of St. Stephen's at Caen,
in Normandy. While belonging to the
abbey, the lands attached to it were fre-
quently, during the wars between England
and France, seized by the reigning monarch,
as indeed, was the case with other priories
similarly situated. Henry V. granted it to
John, Earl of Bedford. After his death, it
was given by Henry VI. to St. Stephen's
College, Westminster, with which it remained
until the dissolution of monasteries, when it
came to Sir Christopher Hatton and the
Brownes. Since then it has passed into the
possession of the present owner, by his mar-
riage with Marcia Maria, only surviving
child of General Sir Colquhoun Grant,
K.C B., G.C.H., by Marcia, his wife, daugh-
ter of the Rev. John Richards of Longbredy,
CO. Dorset.

The house is a simple regular building of



Portland stone, with a shrubbery and park
attached, through which flows the river
Frome. It is from this latter circumstance
that it takes its name, Frometown or From-
ton, corrupted into Frampton, a town or
village upon the Fi'ome.

HEYDON HALL, in the county of Norfolk,
six miles from Aylsham, and fourteen from
Norwich. The house is an Elizabethan
structure, built in 1584, and is situated upon
an elevated table land, from which circum-
stance it has evidently derived its name —
high -down, or plain upon the hill, corrupted
by time into Heydon. It was formerly pos-
sessed bythe Ear]es,havingbeen purchased by
the distinguished lawyer, Erasmus Earle,Own
Serjeant-at-law to Oliver Cromwell. This
office he contmued to hold under Cromwell's
son Richard, being likewise Serjeant to the
Commonwealth. He also represented Nor-
M'ich in the Long Parliament, and in 1644
was appointed with Thurloe secretary for
the English at the treaty of Uxbridge. Such
was his reputation, being esteemed one of
the ablest lawyers of his time, that in the
Norfolk cuxuit he almost monopolized the
business. At the restoration he took the
benefit of the King's pardon, and was again,
Avith some others, called to the degree of Ser-

By the marriage of the eminent lawj-er's
descendant, Mary, daughter of Augustine
Earle, Esq., with William Bulwer, Esq., of
"Wood Dalling, Heydon came to the family
of the Bulwers, who have held lands, and
resided at Wood Dallmg since the Conquest.
Tlie eldest son of the marriage with tlm
heiress of Heydon was William Earle Bul-
wer, Esq., a Brigadier-General in the army,
and Colonel of the 106th Foot, who married
Elizabetli, daughter of Richard Warburton
Lytton, Esq., of Knebworth Park, Herts, and
died in 1807, leaving three sons, William
Earle Lytton Bulwer, Esq., now of Heydon
Hall, Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, K.C.B., and
Sir Edward L. Bulwer Lytton, Bart., of

The patronage of the livings of Heydon
and Guestwick still remains in the family ;
but the perpetual advowsons of Salle and
Cawstons, which manors had also been
bought by Erasmus Earle, have been given
by the family of Bulwer to endow Pembroke
Hall, Cambridge.

At one time there was a park here, con-
sisting of about six hundred acres, but of this
the greater portion has been broken up.

SALHOUSE HALL, near Norwicli, in the
county of Norfolk, the seat of Richard Ward,
Esq. The present house was erected in 1764,
upon the site of an older Ijuilding, by Mr.

AVard's grandfather, of Walcot, Richard
AVard, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel in the East
Norfolk Miiitia. It is a castellated building
in the Tudor style, approached by an avenue
through a richly-wooded lawn. The interior
is enriched with many works of art and
rarity, and family portraits, painted by Lely,
Kneller, Jervas, Reynolds, and other celebra-
ted artists. The groimds are in the beautiful
neighbourhood of the Broads, the river Bure
runnmg through them. Lieutenant-Colonel
Ward, of Walcot, who built the mansion of
Salhouse, was, early in life, a Captain of
Dragoons, and Major of Brigade to the Ca-
valry in South Britain. The Colonelcy of
the East Norfolk Militia he accepted at an
eventful era of his country's history, at the
urgent solicitation of the Lord Lieutenant
and other influential nol^lemen of Norfolk,
who were anxious to avail themselves of his
well known military experience. His merits
as a soldier, a magistrate, and a gentleman,
are glowingly depicted on his monument in
Salhouse Church.

MEEE HALL, Cheshire, the seat of Tlios.
John Langford Brooke, Esq., is about three
miles north-west of Knutsford. The town-
ship derives its name from a large Mere, or
natural lake, situated on the side nearest to
Tatton. At an early period the manor was
held, under the Barons of Kinderton, by the
family of Mere, whose descendant, John
Mere, Esq., sold it, in 1652, to Sir Peter
Brooke, son of Thomas Brooke, Esq., of

The western bank of the Mere is exceed-
ingly beautiful, from the woods and the undu-
lating nature of tlie ground in its immediate
vicinity, while towards the east, are seen the
hills of Macclesfield and Alderley. The
Hall, which stands about a quarter of
a mile from this point, is a handsome brick
mansion, surrounded by extensive and well-
grown plantations, and Avas much improved
by its late possessors.

GREEDY PARK, Crediton, Devonshire, the
seat of Colonel Sir Henry Robert Ferguson
Davie, Bart, The mansion-house, Avhich is
spacious, was built about 1580, by John
Davie, Esq., Mayor of Exeter, father of Sir
John Davie, created a Baronet in 1641. At
one time it was called Newhouse. The style
of architecture is, or rather Avas, Elizabetlian,
for it has been so much altered and added
to at A'arious times, tliat it has lost some-
thing of its original character, and is noAv a
convenient modern dAvelling. It stands in a
Avell-Avooded park, and is surrounded by gar-
dens and pleasure grounds.

In 1823 Colonel Henry Robert Ferguson
married Frances Juliana Davie, and the

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estate devolving to her upon the death of her
uncle, Su' Humphrey Phineas Davie, Bart.,
lie assumed the name and arms of Davie by
royal license, and was created a baronet in
December, 1846.

GATACREPARK, near Bridgenorh, Shrop-
shire, the seat of Edward Farrer Acton, Esq.,
in whose family the estate has continued since
the time of Charles the First. The old house
was a gabled building in the early English
style before tlie time of Elizabeth, but by
Avhom erected is no longer known. It was
a curiously contrived place, and, evidently,
tJie work of a troubled time, when it was
a matter of no slight importance to have se-
cure hiding-places, with the means of rapid
escape when discovered. The communica-
tion from one part of a floor to the other
was not in the usual Avay by a common pas-
sage, but each room opened into the next, a
double door dividing them, and the door of
one being concealed by the other. Below,
the arrangements were somewliat diiTerent,
though with the same objects still in view,
and not less singular in their contrivance.
Some of the offices were, to all external
seeming, completely isolated from the main
building, but at the same time they were
connected underground by passages opening
at a considerable distance upon the country.
This gives an air of great probability to the
tradition, which says that Charles concealed
himself at Gatacre Park on his flight to Bos-
cobel after he had lost tlie day at Worcester.
When, too, the house Avas taken down and
rebuilt in 1849, many of the old broadswords
of the period were discovered in secret

The present mansion was built by the
gentleman now in possession of the property.
It is of brick relieved with white stone and
in the Italian style of architecture.

KINLOCH-MOIDAKT, in the county of In-
verness, the seat of William Robertson, Esq.,
grandson and representative of Dr. Robert-
son, the Historian, and son of David Robert-
son, Esq., by Margaretta Macdonald, his
wife, sister and heiress of Colonel Donald
Macdonald, of Kinlochmoidart. The Kinloch
Moidart branch of the Clanranald Mac-
donalds has always resided here.

The house is beautifully situated near the
head of Loch Moidart, surrounded with fine
old timber, and at the foot of bold rocky
mountains covered with natural wood. It
was built by the grandfather of the present
possessoi, and considerably added to both by
his mother and himself. The old building,
a large house in the French style, was
erected shortly before tlie rising in 1745, and
was burnt down by the troops of Greorge the

Second, in revenge for the owner's having
embraced the cause of the young Chevalier.
It was, indeed, the first place that Charles
slept at upon his landing in the Highlands,
and here he remained for six weeks. According
to tradition, it was here also that the plans
for the rising were finally arranged, the se-
cret councils for that purpose being held in
an avenue of fine old plane trees, still called
by the country people the " Prince's Walk."
The place, too, lent a name of honourable dis-
tinction to the seven gallant gentlemen, who
landed with the Chevalier from the Doutelle,
and, hence, in after days were styled by the Ja-
cobites " The Seven Men of Moidart." Hither
flocked his devoted adherents from the neigh-
bouring valleys to see their beloved prince,
who had already found the Avay to their
simple aff"ections, speaking whatever frag-
ments of their language he could manage to
pick up, and wearing their national costume :

■' Oh better loved he canna be ;
Yet when we see him wearing
Our Highland garl) sae gracefully,

' Tis aye the mair eiiclearing.
Though a' that now adorns his brow-
he but a simple bonnet,
Ere lang we'll tee of iijjgdoms three
The Royal crown upon it."

But Kinloch Moidart, though devotedly
attached to Charles, had for a long time
hesitated from pity for his clansmen, and
what must happen to them in the event of
failure. A story is told that he visited the
Prince on board tlie Doutelle, and laid before
him the titter hopelessness of his enterprise.
As they paced the deck the argument grew
so loud between them that it was distinctly
overheard by the brother of Kinloch Moi-
dart, wliose indignation hereat was expressed
on his features with all the vivacity of a
Highlander. Charles noticing it suddenly
stopped, and exchiimed withakindred burst of
feeling, " Will you not assist me? " " I will,
1 will ! " was the enthusiastic reply. Affected
even to tears by the yotmg Highlander's
attachment, Cliarles expressed a mournful
wish that all Highlanders were like him.
Stung by the reproach, and infested perhaps
by the enthusiasm of liis brother, Kinloch
Moidart lost sight of his more prudent re-
solves, and consented to join an enterprise
that in his cooler mood he had considered
hopeless. The grounds adjoining the house
have been enclosed and planted, and every
advantage taken of a locality, beautiful in
itself, and highly capable of improvement.
Such a place affords the strongest refutaticjn
of Dr. Johnson's invidious character of
Scotch scenery in general.

HENGRAVE, in the county of Suffolk, the
seat of Sir Thomas Rokewode Gage, Bart.



At one time Hengrave was held by the
monks of St. Edmund's, who seem to have
got possession of it by the exercise of a moral
jurisdiction somewhat beyond the law. Tt
seems, as the story is told in the Black Re-
gister, that a certain monk of Westminster,
who had inherited this estate from his pa-
rents, chose to reside here and conduct liim-
self in a way that was anything but mona-
clial, " delectandi causa," as the Kegistrum
Nigrum delrcately expresses it. Hereupon
the Abbot of St. Edmund's, after having re-
peatedly blushed for him, " cum multoties
erubesceret," bade him go about his busi-
ness, and not think of asking for his pro-
perty back again, since it belonged to St.
Edmund, who was not a little scandalized at
his evil doings.

For two centuries the manor of Hengrave
continued in the 'family of Do Henegrave, of
Little Saxham, after having previously passed
through various hands, to the family of
Hethe, when it was next sold to tlie
Staffords. On the death of Sir Harry Staf-
ford this estate devolved on Henry Duke
of Buckingham, that powerful noble, who
had been so instrumental in placing the
crown upon the head of Richard, and wlio in
requital lost his own — " nee lex justitior
ulla" — he who had been consenting to tlie
murder of his monarch's children hardly de-
serves that such a fate should be called any-
thing but a righteous retribution.

The estate Avas now granted by King
Richard to Henry Lord Grey, of Codnor ;
but on the succession of Henry VII. to the
throne, that monarch restored it to Edward,
Duke of Buckingham, son and heir to the
lately beheaded nobleman. By him it was
sold to Sir Thomas Kytson, citizen and
mercer of London, " otherwise called Kytson
the merchant,'" a trader upon a most exten-
sive scale, particularly at the cloth fairs or
staples holden at Antwerp, jNIiddleburg,
and other places in Flanders, by the mer-
chant ads'enturers. His successors encreased
in honour by intermarrying witli fomilies of
rank; in 1578 Queen Elizabeth fovoured
Hengrave with a visit in her progress
through Suffolk, on which occasion the owner
of it was knigiited by her, a high honour
considering the parsimony of the " maiden
queen" in such matters. But, in truth, the
liberal host had strained every nerve to de-
servo her good graces. Churchyard, in
giving an account of this progress, tells us
that at Hengrave, " the fare and banquet
did so exceede a number of other places
that it is worthy the mention. A show re-
liresenting the fayries, as well as might be,
was there scene ; in the which sliow a richo
Jewell was presented to the Queen's High-
ness." In consequence of tills visit audits
accompanying graces, a walk leading from

the park to the Hyde Wood, obtained, and
still retains the name of Queen ElizaheUis
Walk ; and at the Hall the Queen's Chamber
was long remembered.

On the death of Lady Kytson, Hengrave
came into the possession of Thomas Lord

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 16 of 79)