Bernard Burke.

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

. (page 19 of 79)
Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 79)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the other " the Point,' ^ while nearer at hand
several cascades maj'' be seen, dancing and
glittering through sudden vistas in the plan-

WYTHALL, Walford, in the county of Here-
ford, the seat of John Stratford Collins, Esq.,
a descendant by the female line of Pope's
celebrated " Man of Ross,"—

" "Wlio taught that heav'n directed spu'e to rise ?
' The Man of Ross,' each lisping babe replies.
Behold the M arket-place -nith poor o'erspread !
The Man of Ross divides the weeldy bread.
He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
■\\Tiere age and want sit smiling at the gate :
Him portion'd maids, apprentic'd orphans bless'd,
The yoimg who labour, and the old who rest.
Is any sick ?— the INIau of Ross relieves.
Prescribes, attends, the med'cine makes and gives.
Is there a variance?— enter but his door,
BaUced are the courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile attorneys, now an useless race.
Oh say what siuns that generous hand supply ?
■\\liat mmes to swell that boiuidless charity 1
Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear.
This man possessed five himclfed pounds a-year."

The mansion is supposed to have been
built by William Stratford, Esq., in the
reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII.
A portion only of it noAV remains, a con-
siderable extent of building havmg been
taken down about a century since by John
Stratford Collins, Esq., an ancestor of the
present proprietor. Like other ancient houses
in this county, it is chiefly composed of tim-
ber, with large, coloured cross beams, and
other fancy wood-Avork shown in the fronts.
It is a picturesque structure, situated m a
retired vale of much beauty, screened on all
sides by wooded heights and ornamental
timber trees, placed in a choice spot, such
as our forefathers often, in their good taste,
seemed to select, " far from the busy haunts
of man," and is removed about half a mile
from the high road leading to Ross from the
forest of Dean.

This estate Avas for a long time possessed
bytheStratfords,tillin 1684, Marj-, daughter
and eventually heiress of Robert Stratford,




Esq,, of Walford, mari-ying William Collins,
Esq., it passed into that family.

PAGE HALL, near Ecclesfield, in the West
Kiding of Yorkshire, the seat of James
Dixon, Esq. The mansion was built about
the year 1784, by JMr. Broadhent. At a
subsequent period it was bought b}- George
Bustard Greaves, Esq., but sold again at his
death in 1835, by his executors, when it
was purchased by the present owner.

Page Hall is a substantial stone building,
placed in a peculiarly commanding situation.
The gardens and pleasure grounds are well
laid out, and are surrounded by woods and
plantations of considerable extent.

HALSDOIT, Crediton, Devon, the seat of J.
II. Furse, Esq., in whose family the estate has
been since the year 1680, when the Furses
became possessed of it by marriage with a
coheiress of Bellew, of BelleAvstov/n. A
very ancient mansion, which at one time
stood here, having been burnt down about
two hundred years ago, it was rebuilt in a
plain style by Philip Furse, Esq., the great
great grandfather of tlie present owner.

In the grounds are the remains of a forti-
fication and fosse, and, probably, if the earth
were dug and sufficient search made, many
curious relics might be found.

RATJCEBY HALL, Sleaford, Lincolnshire,
the seat of Anthony Peacock, Esq., Avho has
lately taken the name of AVillson. It Avas
erected in 1842, by the present owner of the
property, and is a handsome building, in the
Elizabethan style of architecture. At one
time the house was called Parandam.

Mr. Peacock Willson is M.A. of Trinity
College, Cambridge, a Magistrate and
Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Lincoln,
and Lord of the Manor of Potterhanworth
and Walcot, which have been long possessed
by his family.

BUSHMEAD PRIORY, in the county of Bed-
fordshire, the seat of William Hugh Wade
Gery, Esq. About one-third of the Priory,
which is built of pebbles and has a fine old
roof, still remains, though it dates so far back
as the time of Henry the Second. The modern
house was erected a hundred and forty years
since, by William Gery, Esq., who died in
1755. It is a plain building of red brick,
without any very great pretensions to archi-
tectural elegance.

The estate has been in the possession of the
Gerys since the time of Edward the Sixth.

RUTHIN CASTLE, Denbighshire, the seat of
Frederick liichard West, Esq., M. P., grand-
son of John, 2nd Earl Delawarr, the name
being a corruption of Bhyddin. whirh was i(s

ancient designation — that is, the r«/ fortress
■ — from the coloiu' of its stone. The castle is
said by some to have been built by EdAvard I.,
but Camden, an undeniable authority,
attributes its erection to Lord de Grey, to
whom that monarch gave nearly the whole
of the Yale of Clwyd, in reward of his
activity in repressing the Welsh. Since
then the estate has passed through the hands
of many possessors chronicled in English
story. From the family of De Greys it
devolved to Pichard, Earl of Kent, who sold
it to Henry the Seventh. It Avas after-
Avards granted liy Queen Elizabeth to Dud
ley. Earl of WarAvick, and eventually pjur-
chased by Sir Thomas Myddelton, of Cliirk
Castle, in whose descendant it still continues.

The history of Ruthin Castle aifords fcAv
incidents of importance, and, indeed, only
two events connected Avith it seem Avortii
recording. During a fair held at the town
of the same name, in the year 1400, Oavcu
GlendoAvcr assailed the castle Avith a small
army, but failing to make any impression
upon it, retreated to his mountains after
having pillaged and burnt the town. In
the tinre of Charles the First it Avas held for
the King, and sustained a siege by the
Parliamentarian forces under Colonel Mytton.
The defence was made good from the middle
I'ebruary to the middle of April, when the
garrison surrendered, although it had still
a tAVO months' sujiply of provisions. ]\Iytton
received the thanks of the House of Com-
mons, Avho remunerated his chaplain for
commimicating the ncAvs, and confirmed the
appointment of Colonel j\Iason as the ucav
and permanent gOA'crnor ; but in the same
year the garrison was disbanded, and the
castle ordered to be dismantled.

Of the old building, Avhich AA'as destroyed
in 1046, little noAV remains but fragments of
towers and fallen Avails ; yet it must have
been a magnificent pile in its day, as we
may conclude from the extensive foundations.
Camden tells us that through neglect it
became roofless in the time of Henry the
Seventh, and fell fast to decay, but these
dilapidations must have been repaired by
some subsequent possessor, for the same
historian says afterwards, that " it was a
stately and beautiful castle, capable ofre-
celAung a numerous family." If so, the
reneAN'cd pile must also have gone to luin,
and it is of that Ave noAV see the fragments.
In the foUoAving lines Churchyard has given
a description of it as it appeared in the six-
teenth century.

" Tlus ca'^tlc stands on rocke mucli like red bricko,

The dj'kcs are cut with toole thiough stoiiie cras;ge;

The towers are hye, the walles are large and thicke,
The work itself would shake a subject's bagse,

If lie were bent to buyld the like ac^apie.

It vests on mount, and lookes o'er -noode and plavne ;

It had great store of chambers finely wrought,

That time alone to great decay liatli biou^'lit.



"It sliews witMn,1)y elubble walles and waies,

A deep de^ce did first erect the same ;

It makes our world to tliinke on elder dales

Because the world was formde in such a frame.
On tower or wall the other answers right,
As though at call each thing should please the sight ;
The rooke wronght round, where every tower doth

Set forth full fine by head, by hart, and hand."

This noble building so graphically des-
cribed by the poet, stood upon the side of a
hill, fronting the beautiful Vale of Clwyd
to the west, through which runs the river of
that name. It appears to have had a very
elevated superstructure, as well as a capa-
cious base. The extent of the latter may be
estimated from the fact of the same area
being at present occupied by a meadow, a
fives' court, and a bowling green. Within
the limits of the ruins an elegant castellated
mansion was built in 1830, by the Hon. P.
West (husband of INIaria, daughter and co-
heir of the late Richard Myddelton, Esq., of
Chirk Castle), and considerably improved by
his sou, F. R. West, Esq., M.P., the present

TJPCOTT-AVENEL, within the manor of
Sheepwash, Devonshire, the seat of George
Lewis Coham, Esq. Upcott was given to
William Avenel by William the Conqueror,
through the interest of Baldwin de )Sap, or
DeBriouiis, whose youngest daugliter, Emma,
he had married ; and from him the title of
Avenel was added to the original title of the
estate, which till then had been simply called
Upcott. He thus became related, tliough
distantly, to the king himself, for Baldwin's
wife, Albreda, was a niece of the Norman mo-

It woitld seem that the holding of Sheep-
Avash manor was in those days a temporary
honour. After the death of the first AVilliam
Avenel it ceased to belong to the family, for
early in the time of King Henry the First we
find" it in the hands of William Fitz-Reginald.
But towards the end of the same reign an-
other William Avenel, grandson to the first
of that name, married the daughter of the
new proprietor, and thus re-united Sheep-
wash and Upcott-Avenel. It is supposed that
William Fitz-Reginald, by paying a knight's
fee, had converted the manor of Sheepwash
into his private property. The last Avenel
of Upcott-Avenel left a daughter Elinor,
who married Augustin, the son of Sir Walter
de Bathon, or Bathe, of Wcare. He had no
male heirs, but was survived by two daugh-
ters, coheiresses, the eldest of whom, ]\Iar-
garet, received for her inheritance the manor
of Sheepwash and the estates of Weare and
Bathe. She married Andrew de iNIedsted,
by whom she had one daughter, afterwards
the wife of John Holland, Esq., subsequently
Earl of Kent and Duke of Exeter. He was
the fourth son of Robert, Lord Holland,

whose second son, Sir Thomas, Knight of the
Garter, intermarried with Joan I'lantagenet,
widow of Edward the Black Prince.

Elinor, tlie youngest daughter of Augustin
de Bathon, had for her portion the ancient
dwelling and manor of Upcott-Avenel, and
married Walter de Horton, grandson of Sir
Gervaise de Hin-ton, Knt. Again, in the de-
ficiency of heirs male, a daughter, Melior
Horton, came into the property, wlien she
married Robert Thorne, anciently de Spineto,
who abandoned his ancient house of Tliorno,
in the parish of Holsworthy, to take up his
abode at his wife's inheritance.

At a still later period the properties be-
came once again united, by the marriage of
William Holland, Esq., of Sheepwash Manor
and AVeare, with Elizabeth Thorne, of Up-
cott Avenel. It next devolved to the family
of Coham, who still possess it, the two bro-
thers, Stephen and John, having married the
two coheiresses, ]\Iary and Margaret, who
had come into the property by the death of
their only brother, John Holland, in 1697.
Tliere is "but one descendant left of the last-
named marriage, and she has no family-
Mrs. Hardisty, of Maud Cottage, Tedding-
ton, Middlesex, she being the only remaining
child of the Rev. Arthur Coham, archdeacon
of Wilts, and rector of Potterne, who mar-
ried Miss Woodrofte, daughter of George
Plunknett Woodrofie, Esq., lord of the manor
of Chiswick.

George Lewis Coham, Esq. (third son
of the late Rev. William Holland Coham),
descended from Mary Holland and Stephen
Coham, Esq., of Coham, resides at a new
house built on Upcott-Avenel Manor. The old
manor-house, which in ancient times must
have been a very handsome building, is now
fast falling hito decay. The walls of a former
chapel still remain, the edifice having been,
in a great measure, demolished, as it is said
by one of the Hollands, who built the pre-
sent small church at Sheepwash.

It should also be remarked that in one
branch of this family was a distant relation-
ship to Gay, the poet, Gertrude, the second
daughter of Lewis Coham, Esq and Mary
Arscott, having married Clement Gay, Esq.

FORKINGTON, Sliropshire, the seat (in
right of his wife) of William Ormsby Gore,
Esq., M.P. 'I'his house was built at three
dilferent times, and always in the taste of
each period, so that the whole had a very
incongruous appearance, until a few years
since when it was made to assume unifor-
mity, and present an elegant Grecian eleva-
tion. This work was accomplished by the
good taste and judgment of the heiress of
the late Owen Ormsby, Esq., who succeeded
to the estate in right of his wife iVIargaret



Porkington Avas formerly the abode of the
now extinct family of Laken, and bore the
name of Constable's Hall. The heiress of
this house brought it into the Welsh family
of Maurice, by intermarrying with Sir AVil-
liara Maurice of Clenneneu, whose grand-
daughter and heiress married John Owen.
Their son, Sir John Owen, was a warm ad-
herent of Charles I. during the Great Civil
War, and greatly signalized himself at the
siege of Bristol, when it was taken by Prince
Rupert. In this affau- he was desperately
wounded ; but his courage had recommended
him to the notice of the chivalrous prince,
who in 1G45 appointed him governor of
Conway Castle, having for that superseded
Archbishop WilUams. This change gave
great offence to the prelate-soldier, and the
place being shortly afterwards surrendered
to General Mytton, the parliamentary com-
mander, it was generally believed and ru-
moured that it had been brought about by
his connivance and the influence of his friends.
The knight in consequence retired to his
seat in the distant parts of the county ; but
in 1648 he took up arms once again in behalf
of his fallen master, and most probably in
concert with the royalists in Kent and Essex.
At first his attempts pioved fortunate, for
being attacked by William Lloyd, the sheriff
of the county, he defeated him and made him
prisoner. He then laid siege to Caernarvon ;
but by this time the repulilican party had
taken the alarm, and certain of their forces
were despatched in ull hasto to put him
down. Not choosing to wait for their at-
tack, Sir John at once raised tlie siege, and
marched out to meet them, carrying tlie
wounded sheriff with him on a litter. Near
Llandegai he fell in with his enemies, and
at first seemed likely to succeed in his bold
attempt ; but eventually fortune declared
against him. In a personal contest Avith a
Captain Taylor, he was dragged from his
horse and made prisoner, when his troops
seeing the fall of their leader were seized
with a panic, and fled without any further
struggle. The captain who himself bore tlie
news of his good fortune to the parliament,
was rewarded with two hundred pounds out
of Sir John's estate.

The defeated Royalist was conveyed to
Windsor Castle, and when put upon his trial
fepoke out as one who either expected no
mercy, or Avas reckless of the worst that
might befall him — " He was," he said, " a
plaui gentleman of Wales, Avho had been
always tavight to obey the king ; he had
honestly served him during the war, and find-
ing many honest men endeavoured to raise
forces, 'whereby they miglit get him out of
prison, he had done the like." Neither the
logic of this speech, nor the bold way in
which it was delivered, Avas at all relished by

the parliamentarian judges. They condemned
him to lose his head, upon Avhich he made a
low re\'erence to the court, and Avith much
gravity returned them his humble thanks.
A bystander had the curiosity to ask him
the meaning of such strange behaviour, and
to all appearance so much out of place,
when he replied aloud, " It is a great honour
for a poor gentleman of Wales to lose his
head Avith such noble lords," — Goring and
Capell — "for by G — d I Avas afraid they
would have hanged me." But the stout
knight had the good fortune to escape this
" great honour." Ireton proved his advo •
cate in the House of Commons, and so suc-
cessfully that he was allowed to die in
Heaven's good time with his head upon his

The estate remained in the family of Sir
John until the death of the last male heir,
William Owen, when it devolved to his sister,
who married Oavcu Ormsby, Esq., ofWil-
loAvbrook in Ireland. Their daughter and
heiress, Mary-Jane, married William Gore,
Esq., who assumed, by sign manual, the ad-
ditional surname and arms of Ormsby.

There is some doubt as to the time Avheu
this place changed its appellation of Consta-
ble's Hall. The name — Porkington — is evi-
dently derived from a singular entrenchment
in a neighbouring field, called 'Castell Brog-
ynUjn, a fort belonging to the famous Owaiu
Brogyntyn, son of Madoc ap jMeredydd, last
sovereign Prince of PoAvys.

The grounds have some fine old timber,
and the plantations have been considerably
extended by the present owner, who in doing
this has performed not the least essential of
a landholder's important duties. The pros-
pect on all sides is one of considerable in-
terest, and more particularly so in that
quarter where the view is bounded by the
Welsh hills. To the east lie the rich plains
of Shropshire, with Hawkstone hills, Aston,
Halstou, and many other beautiful seats.
To the north are the distant hills of Cheshire,
with the romantic comitry about Wynnstay,
Chu-k Castle, and Brinkynalt in the fore-

THORNBURY PARK, Gloucestershire, the
seat of Henry Wenman NeAvman, Esq., a
Magistrate and Deputy-lieutenant for the
same county, High Sheritf in 1835, and also
Captain in the Royal South Gloucester Light
Infantry Militia.

The estate of Thornbury Park, together
with the castle, belonged at one time to the
celebrated Duke of Buckingham— about
1520 — and afterAvards, in 1555, to Edward,
Lord Stafford, by royal grant from Queen
Elizabeth. In the reign of William the
Third, Richard Newman, Esq., purchased
nearly all the park, since Avhich time



it has continued in his family. In the same
reign he was created a baronet.

Tlie mansion of Tliornbury Park was built
undei" the dh-ection of the present Mr. New-
man, between the years 1832 and 1836.
For soraethne previously he had ornamented
the immediate neighbourhood with numerous
plantations, which are noAv grown almost to
maturity. The house is almost opposite
to Windcliflf— near Tiutern Abbey — and is
about two miles from tlie river Severn, a
part of which becomes visible at high water.
It commands also a fine view of Chepstow,
as well as of the Monmouthshire and Gla-
morganshire hills and the Forest of Dean.
From Bristol it is twelve miles, from Chep-
stow nine, from Berkley seven, from the Char-
field station, on the Bristol and Gloucester
railway, six, and from the city of Gloucester

The castle and Thornbury church lie on
the south side of the mansion, the former
and a portion of the beautiful park on the
west side belonging to Henry HoAvard, Esq.,
of Greystoke Castle, Cumberland, wlio re-
sides there during a few months in the year.

IITTLETHOEPE, uear Ripon, Yorkshire,
the property of C. W. Rothery, Esq. This
is a small, convenient mansion in the plain
style of architecture, whicli prevailed about
the middle of the last century, when the use-
ful was more studied than the ornamental.
It was formerly possessed by Major Brook,
and by him sold not many years ago to tlie
present owner, who, however, does not re-
side here, but at Greta Hall, in Cumberland,
which he has tenanted since the death of the
poet, Soutliey.

EASTIIELD LODGE, Bittern, Hants,, the
residence of George Parkhouse, Esq.
This villa Avas tirst built in 1835 for
the present owner upon land presented by
Lord Ashtown, the uncle of Mrs. Parkhouse,
as a mark of his great esteem and affection
for his niece and her husband. The eleva-
tion was designed by his lordship, and is
RO'^ewhat in the Italian style of architec-
tui^;, the whole forming a small compact
villa. Much taste has been displayed in
laying out the lawn, which is ornamented
with some of the choicest firs introduced
into this country a few years since.

BAEROCK, near Carlisle, the seat of Wil-
liam James, Esq., late M.P.for Cumberland.
It has successively passed through the families
of the Skeltons, tlie Dukes of Portland, and
the Grahams, from which last it came to
the family of the present owner.

This mansion was built at three several
times. The centre was a yeoman's, or what
is called in Cumberland an estaicsman's

house, erected by one Skelton ; the north
front was built by the late owner, James
Gi'ahara, Esq. ; and the south front by the
gentleman now possessing it. The whole
forms a building in the plain style of villa
architecture ; rather pleasing to the eye than
striking. It stands in a park of two hundred
acres, and in a valley, either side of Avhich is
covered Avith fine old oaks. From the
Carlisle and London road, the house is ap-
proached by an aA^euue of Limes and Beeches,
three quarters of a mile in length, while
through the valley floAvs the little river
Petteril, for about three miles, or even more.
The north side of the park is intersected by
the Carlisle and Lancaster raihvay, present-
ing a delightful prospect to the traveller,
though one can hardly help grieving at these
inroads upon grounds so truly beautiful.

CLAYDON HOUSE, Buckinghamshire, tlie
seat of Sir Harry Verney, Bart. It was first
built in 1450, by Sir Ralph Verney, Knt.,
Lord Mayor of London, and M.P. for that
city ; but Avas enlarged in the time of the
first Viscount Fermanagh, and at length
coming into the possession of his descendant,
Ralph, the second Earl of Verney, Avas
almost entirely rebuilt with the addition of a
front towards the Avest, in the Italian style.
The older portions of the house are of brick,
the more recent are of stone. The mansion,
as it tlien appeared, has been thus described
— " The principal entrance was through a
saloon, comprising a cube of fifty feet, con-
tahiing a circle of lofty columns of artificial
jasper Avith white marble bases and capitals,
supporting an entablature and gallery, with
an iron balustrade lighted by windows in
the tympanum, and crowned witli a dome,
Avhich above the roof of the saloon AA'as
entirely enclosed Avith a balustrade of stone,
and contained a circular belvidere, from the
AAdndows of vv-hich Avere very beautiful vicAvs
of the surrounding country to a great
distance, extendmg to the Welsh mountains.
The dome, with a gilt pine-apple on its
summit, was an object of great attraction
from the A-arious parts of the surrounding
counties." When, however, the mansion
came into the possession of Mary Baroness
Fermanagh, the saloon, ball-room, and
belvidere were taken down, the south Aving
only of the new building being allowed to
remain, and this fort still forms part of the
present house. The staircase, as it noAV
appears, is worth noting ; it is inlaid with
iA'ory, ebony, and woods of various colours,
having a richly Avrought iron balustrade,
representing standing corn, on spiral springs
which give motion to the stalks. Tlie whole,
as regards the exterior, is very plain, and in
the Grecian style of architecture.
This mansion stands in the parish of



Middle Claydon, so called from its soil and
situation, between East Claydon, Botolph,
and Steeple Claydon. The soil is clayey,
intermixed with sand and gravel.

In the Saxon times the manor was held by
Aldwin, a thane of King Edward, and after
the Conquest was given to William Peverell,
reputed to be an illegitimate son of the
Couqueior, by jNIaud, daughter of Ingelric,
founder of the clmrch of St. Martin lo-
Grand, in Loudon. His mother afterwards
married Ranulph Peverell, and hence he
took that name. Some, however, have
doubted this relationship to the Conqueror,
and the matter is by no means clear. The
estate was forfeited by his son upon a
charge, probably false, of ha\ang poisoned
Ranulph, Earl of Chester; his real ofience,
in all likelihood, being his devotion to the
cause of King Stephen. Henry retained tlie
greater part of these lands, and gave them
to his son, John, Earl of JMorton, thus
founding the honour of Peverell, which at

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 79)