Copyright
Bernard Burke.

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

. (page 20 of 79)
Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 79)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


his accession was annexed to the crown.
Passing over a period, which there are no
sufficient documents for filling up, we find
this manor in the time of Henry the Tliird
was held by Hugh Fitz-Ralph, who took
the name of Gresley, or Greseley, upon
marrying Agnes, sole daughter of Ralph de
Greseley. He had two sons, Hugh and
Ralph. Eustachia, daughter of the latter,
carried this manor in marriage to Nicholas
de Cantilupe, a baron, who Avas present at
the battle of Cressy.

After the death of William de Cantilupe,
Middle Claj^don, in default of issue passed
to the family of Zouche. About 14.8-1, or
somewhat later, it was passed to the Verncj's.
Amongst the illustrious cliaracters of this
race, particular mention should be made of
Sir Ralph Verney, Lord Maj'or of London in
14G5, and 1\LP. for the City in 1472, and of
Sir Edmund Verney, who Avas knighted in
1G32 (8 Car. 1), and was Knight-;Marshal of
the King's house and Verge He fell at the
battle of Edge Hill. According to tlie account
most geuei'ally received, though the story
has been told with some variations, " by his
place of Knight-Marshal he, holding the
royal standard at Nottingham, said tliat by
the grace of God they that would wrest that
standard from his hand must first Avrest his
soul from his body ; and at Edge Hill where
he boldly charged Avith the King's standard
amongst the thickest of the rebels, that the
soldiers might be engaged to follow him,
and was offered his life by a throng of
enemies Avho surrounded him, on condition
that he Avould deliver the standard ; he re-
jected the offer, and lost his life Avith great
corn-age and honour ; sixteen gentlemen
having on that day fallen by his hand."
His body was not found, Init one of his



hands, still holding tlie Standard, Avas dis-
coA'ered upon the field of battle. On the
fingers Avere two rings, one containing the
hair of a son Avho had died at Aleppo, the
other a small miniature of Charles I., very
remarkable from the countenance of the
King. This story has indeed been ques-
tioned by some historians, but aii ancient
ring, formerly in the possession of Mrs. Ver-
ney, of Claydon, and since of Sir Harry
Verney, Bart., is still shoAvn, and received for
the ring found at Edge Hill upon the finger
of the gallant standard-bearer. It is said
too of him that " he was neither horn nor
hiriedy Buried, avc have just seen, he was
not, because his body could never be found
amongst the slain after the battle ; Avhile as
to uot being born, the good knight, like
Macduft', —

" AVas from liis mother's womb.
Untimely rippe;l."

In the plain language of prose, he Avas
brought into tlie Avorld by the Csesarian
operation, his moiher dying durante partu,
as Avas to haA'C been expected from so
dangerous a remedy in those unskilful days.

The second Earl Verney, Avith wliom the
title became extinct, avo.s also a singular
character. He AA'as one of the last of the
English nobility, Avho had musicians con-
stantly attendant upon him, not only on
state occasions, but in his journeys and
A'isits ; a couple of tall negroes, with silver
French horns, alwaj's stood behind his coach
and six, making a noise like Sir Henry
Sidney's "trompeters" in the days of
Queen Elizabeth, " bloAvinge very joyfnlly
to behold and see "

Upon his death Avithout issue his titles
became extinct, and the reversion in fee of
his estates deA'olved to his niece and heir-at-
law, ]\Iary Verney — posthumous daughter
and only child of his elder brother, the Hon.
John Verney — Avho by patent 13th June,
1792, Avas created Baroness Fermanagh, in
the kingdom of Ireland. She died unmarried,
Avhereupon her title became extinct, ami the
heirs of the blood of the Verneys can
only be traced in the female line.

By her Avill the Baroness Fermanagh
loft lier estates to her maternal lialf sister,
Cathurme, wife of the Rev. Robert Wright
and daughter of Richard Calvert, Esq.,
Avhich Catherine Wright and her husband, in
pursuance of the will, took by roj'al license
(28 February, 1811), the names and arms of
Verney. But she also died Avithout issue,
being then a Avidow, and bequeathed all the
family estates in Buckinghamshire to Sir
Harry Calvert, Bart., eldest son of General
Sir Harry Calvert, grandson of Felix Cal-
vert, by ]\Iar3'', his wife, sister of Richard
Calvert, Esq., father of the above-men-
tioned Catherine Verney. Upon that Sir



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



87



Harry assumetl, by royal license, the name
of Verney.

At Claydou House is preserved a large
collection of family papers and letters,
from which a volume has been published
by the Camden Society. There are also
some fine family portraits by Vandyk, Cor-
nelius Jansen, Velasquez, &c.

ARUNDEL CASTLE, Sussex, the seat of the
Duke of Norfolk. The first mention of it
occurs in King Alfred's will, and it is again
referred to in Domesday Book, but it is sus-
pected on very reasonable grounds to have
been a place of defence at a far earlier period
of our history. For such a purpose it is
well calculated, standing as it does at the
extreme point of an eminence, which ter-
minates one of the high and narrow ridges
of the South Downs ; besides that in the two
immense fosses, which still remain, we have
evident tokens of the ancient mode of for-
tification. The most probable date of its
erection would seem to be the reign of
Alfred the Great. Prior to his time, wood
was the material generally in use for build-
ing, but he taught his subjects to erect
fortified places of stone, and considering that
Arundel was one of his places of residence
it was not likely to be overlooked by him,
when carrying out his extensive vicAvs of
arcliitectural improvement. Still to what-
ever age the foundation may be assigned,
the Keep, alone of all that remains, could
have existed at the time of the Conciuest.
From the period when the castle fell into
Norman hands, each possessor seems to have
done something towards strengthening or
extending it. Roger Montgomery, who
received a grant of it from the Conqueror
in 1070, erected tlie great Gatehouse, a
square tower standing on an arched Avay,
which forms the approach to the enclosed
space from A\athout, and communicating witli
the Keep by a passage carried across tlie
ditch, and terminatecl by a flight of steps.
To him, also, may he attributed the Bar-
bacan, generally known as Bevis' 'I'ower,
a giant of that name having officiated here
as warder, in payment of which service the
Earl of Arundel built this tower for his re-
ception, allowing him two hogsheads of beer
every week, a whole ox, and a proportion-
able quantity of bread and mustard. So
huge was tlie giant, that lie could witliout
inconvenience, wade the channel of the sea
to the Isle of Wight, and frequently did so
for his amusement. But great as that
wonder may be, a yet greater marvel is,
how he ever got into his tower, wjiich upon
all ordinary calculations was t'otally inade-
quate to contain liim.

It is generally acknowledged that the
eastern tower is the oldest part of wliat may



be termed the present castle, Avhile the
buildings on the south-east side, fronting
tlie river, liave been referred to tlie middle
of the fourteenth century. The edifice,
however, still exhibits sufficient proofs that
these, as well as the tower, belong to the
earliest Norman period. The most curious
of such evidences is the extensive vault
under the east end of tlie building, now
used for a cellar. It is entered through a
plain circular arch, embedded in a larger
arch of the same form, from the outer sur-
face of Avhich, it recedes about six inches.
The vault itself is oblong, being sixty-six
feet in length, by twenty feet ten inches in
breadth, and rising to a height of fourteen
feet ten inches at the under side of the seg-
ment of its arch. Tlie external walls are
much thicker tlian the internal. That it
was anciently used for a dungeon there can
be no doubt, and in it were confined not
only military captives, but every civil delin-
quent Avithin the privileges of the honour.
'J'his was a considerable source of profit to
the Earl, and therefore sturdih' maintained
by them as a vested right.

The next addition made AA'as the outAA'ard
gatCAvay, Avliich is connected with the inner,
or Norman one. It is a long coA-ered pas-
sage, approaclied originally by a draAvbridge
over the fosse, defended by a portcullis, and
flanked by tAvo embattled tOAvers. Cotem-
porary with this were the foundation of the
Well-tower, and the present entrance to the
Keep. Tlie first of these is a square build-
ing raised OA'er the old well. It Avas at one
time of great height, but haA'ing fallen into
decay towards the end of the last century,
it Avas taken doAvn.

The present entrance to the Keep is on
the square toAver, Avhich abuts the latter on
the east side, and is hid by its projection.
Over the entrance Avas placed the ancient
chapel dedicated to St. Martin. One of its
Avindows mantled Avith ivy, still looks doAvn
upon the castle below. In the centre of the
area, within the Keep, is a subterraneous
chamber, to Avhich the descent is by a flight
of steps from the open space above. It pro
bably served as a storehouse for the garrison.

The ancient Hall, with its appendant
buildhigs on tlie soutli-Avest side of the great
area of the castle AA'as the next addition, in
the style Avhich prevailed in the reign of
Edward the Tliird. Tlie entrance Avas from
the court through a deep pointed doorAvay
under a projecting porch.

The wing on the north-east side, Avhere
the present library is seen, Avas the portion
of the castle last erected, and besides a large
and splendid gallery, contained of late the
apartments principally inhabited. Thus,
then, stood the Avhole building at the com-
mencement of the seventeenth century, en-



88



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



closing five acres and a half, and resembling
in its ground-plan, "Windsor Castle.

During the Civil War this stronghold ap-
pears to have iirst fallen into the hands of
the Parliamentarians. Ijord Hopton then
besieged it, and such was the incapacity of
the commandant, or the inefficiency of the
garrison, or perhaps both, that it was surren-
dered on the third day. Sir William Waller
next undertook to recover it, and after ha-
ving almost battered the castle to pieces, and
half starved its defenders, obtained possession
of the ruins. The Keep was nearly reduced
to the state in wlxich it is now seen ; the
hall with the whole of tlie south-west side
was destroyed, and what remained was so
little habitable that it was in a great measure
abandoned by its OAvners till about the year
1720, when Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, deter-
mining to make the place his occasional
residence, erected a modern brick building
as an interior front, and refitted the old
apartments. Charles, Duke of Norfolk, en-
tertained ideas of restoration upon a more
complete scale, but dying before he could
even commence the work, it was left for his
son Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, who had taken
up the same notion, to carry it out in liis
o^vn way. He resolved to work upon his
own designs, to retain so much of the an-
cient structure as agreed with them, and to
remove or alter the rest according to the
circumstances. In 1791, having perfected
what he conceived to be the necessary pre-
liminaries, he set about the work itself. His
first operation was to raise the eastern tower,
adding the upper story of the front, but the
lower part of the wall was preserved, the
square sashes of the first floor were simply
replaced by the pointed windows which we
now see, and the drawing-room was merely
extended by removing a partition tliat sepa-
rated it from an adjoining chamber. In 1795
the old edifice was enlarged by the erection
of the north-west front. The Diike advancing
still farther into the court, laid his founda-
tions about twenty-four feet from the old
brick front, and thus threw so much more
space into the depth of the castle. The
galleries, which had before looked into the
court, now traversed the centre of tlie build-
ing, and were lighted from each end ; the
brick front became an inner wall ; and the
space between that and the modern erection
was appropriated, on the ground floor to
offices, and above to sleeping apartments for
the family. The front itself is of Portland
stone ; and the entrance, which is in the
middle, is through a deep Norman doorway,
Oldening immediately to the staircase.

The north-east wing, containing the library,
was begun in 1801. Its basement is Nor-
man ; its upper part in the style that marked
Henry the Sixth's time, with a square tower



projecting in the middle, and having its light
from an oriel window. The library is large
and magnificent, but too low — a fault per-
vading all the new parts of the building, and
embodies the best ornaments of so many
eras, that in fact it belongs to none.

In 1806 the Baron's Hall was commenced,
the intention of it being to commemorate the
triumph of the barons over their monarch.
It is in the style of the fourteenth century ;
so also is the chapel, which is supported
by slender buttresses terminating in pin-
nacles, and lighted by one large transomed
window at the north-west end. The win-
dows of the Hall are acutely pointed ; the
weather-mouldings over the arches rest on
corbel-heads of kings ; and the transoms
form the lower compartment of each light
into a plain unornamented parallelogram ;
but this upper part of the edifice stands on
a basement of the earliest Norman archi-
tecture, with a Norman arcade projecting
over the basement, and supporting a paved
terrace along the side of the court.

In 1809 the foundations of the new gate-
way were laid, but this has never been com-
pleted, and probably never will, the original
line of approach through the dungeons and
old archway being so immeasurably superior.

This magnificent structure is liable to one
great objection ; though it stands in the
midst of beautiful scenery, there is no pros-
pect from any of its apartments. The only
objects in view are the lower end of the
town, and the windings of the river through
a marshy level. The gardens and parks are
entirely behind, and the pleasure-ground,
which has been planted withhi the last few
years, is not extensive. It commences im-
mediately under the Keep, on the north-west
side and thence extends westward to St. Mary's
Gate. Beyond this lies the hittle Park,
consisting only of a few acres, but strongly
defended by the ditches and embankments
that form the outwork of the castle. Sepa-
rated from this by the fosse and a small
paddock is the Great or New Park, formed
out of a large track of down, which was
partly a sheep-walk and partly a rabbit-
warren, but was annexed to Arundel Castle
by act of parliament. The ancient park
was then converted into a farm.

Roger Montgomery was the first Norman
possessor of Arundel Castle, having received
the grant of it from the Conqueror. The
third Earl of Arundel of his family, generally
known as Robert de Belesme, from his
mother's inheritance, took part with Duke
Robert in his claims upon the English throne;
when Henry the First, proving victorious
over his brother, confiscated Arundel to his
own use, and settled it in dowry upon his
second Queen, Adeliza. Upon the King's
death, his lady married William de Albini,



SlUTS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



89



suraamed " AVilliam with the strong hand,"
from tlie romantic legend of liis haA'ing torn
out the heart of a lion, into whose den he
had been decoyed. In his family Arundel
continued for tive generations, when Hugh
de Albiui dying without children, his sis-
ters became his coheirs, the local title,
which he dei'ived from Arundel, being
transferred to the inheritor of that pro-
perty. This was John Fitzalan, the
issue of his father's first marriage with
Isabel, second sister and coheir of Hugh de
Albini, Earl of Arundel and Sussex. Ed-
mund Fitzalan, the fourth Earl of his family
having embraced. the cause of Edward the
Second, against his Queen and the rebellious
Mortimer, was seized by the conquerors and
beheaded. His forfeited estates were given
to the Earl of Kent, but were restored to
his son Richard, when Edward the Third
assumed the reins of government. His son,
however, conspiring against Richard the
Second, was beheaded by that monarch, and
the castle, honour, lordship, and town of
Arundel, with all their appurtenances, were
granted to .lohn, Duke of Exeter, and Earl
of Huntingdon. But Henry the Fourth,
soon after he had obtained the throne by
the deposition of Richard, reversed the
attainder and gave back the forfeited estates
to his son, Thomas Fitzalan, who dying
without issue, the estate, by virtue of the
entail created by his grandfather in 1347,
passed to his second cousin, John Fitzalan,
Baron Maltravers.

AVith Henry Fitzalan, the fourteenth Earl
of his family, the race became extinct
in the male line. By his demise with-
out male heir, and the failure of issue
in Lady Lumley, his eldest daughter, Arun-
del, with its attendant title, was trans-
ferred to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk,
who had married the younger daughter, and
in his family it still remains.

The tenure of the castle of Arundel is
generally believed to confer the title of Earl,
and this singular privilege is stated to have
been confirmed by act of Parliament,
2 Henry VI. ; the fact, however, admits
of doubt. The question is elaborately
argued in Sir Harris Nicolas's " Synopsis of
the Peerage :"—

Since William rose and Harold fell,
There have been Counts of Arundel,
And Earls old Arundel shall have,
While rivers flow and forests wave.

MORETON HALL, Cheshire, the seat of
George Holland Ackers, Esq. At an early
period the manor of Great Moreton belonged
to Kalph de Venables, whose son Robert
assumed the name of Moreton, from the
place of his manorial right. He was the
great grandfather of Stephen Moreton, living
in 1342. With the great grandson of this



Stephen, the male line of the race became
extinct, wlien his daughter and heir brought
the estate to John Bellot, Esq., whose
descendant of the same name in the eighth
generation was created a baronet, in 1G63.
Sir Thomas Bellot, the last baronet of the
family, sold the property to Edward Powys,
Esq., of whose son it was purchased by
Holland Ackers, Esq., of Bank House,
Manchester, avIio vested it in his son, George
Ackers and his issue.

The old liall, which was rebuilt by Edward
Bellot, in 1G02, was a large building of tim-
ber and plaster, furnished with gables in the
style of the seventeenth century.

It would seem that some time ago the old
windows were replaced by others of a more
modern date, and the timber hid bj'- stucco ;
but since then many material alterations
have been made ; a new mansion having
been built in the Gothic style by the present
possessor, and the old hall taken down,

BEADDEN HOUSE, or Bradwin — as it is
now frequently written — in the county of
Northampton, the seat of the Rev. Cornelius
Ives. The present mansion is a neat modern
fabric, built in 1819, by the late Cornelius Ives,
Esq., father of the gentleman now in posses-
sion of this property ; but before that time
an older house stood on the same site, sup-
posed to have been erected by the Knights
Hospitallars of St. John of Jerusalem.
Indeed nothing would seem more probable
from what we see of it in a sketch preserved
by a former rector of the parish, where it
presents an extensive front, having much
the appearance of several different houses
that some accident had united. There is,
however, no reason for supposing such
indeed was the case ; it is mere semblance
only, and the result is exceedhigly pictur-
esque.

The manor comprises 651 acres, nearly
half of which is an old enclosure. At an
early period it belonged to the baronial
family of Egayne, next to the De ]\Iortons
who took the name of De Braddene, then to
Thomas de Baa, and after a long unappro-
priated chasm to Stephen Middleton ; by
him it was released to John Hulcote, Esq.,
whose cousin and heir, Robert Prudde, con-
veyed it to Thomas Fowler, Esq., in fee,
from whom it came to INIatthews. By a
member of this last-named family it was
sold, in 1677, to the Rev. W. Ives, and with
his descendant the property still remains.

CAPEENWRAY HALL, Lancashire, nine
miles from Lancaster, the seat of George
Marton, Esq., late M.P. for that town. The
old Hall is now converted into a farm-house, a
new mansion having been erected in the Tudor
style of architecture, partly about the year



90



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



1800, and partly abont 1845. It stands in the
midst of a park, wherein also is a chapel
built by the present o^vner of the estate.

This property was at one time in tlie
possession of the Blackbnrns ; but al.icnt
1690 it passed into the hands of the Mar-
ton family, and with them it has remained
ever since. The Martons are of ancient
Norman descent, and derive from Paganus
de Marton, Lord of East and West Marton
in Craven, soon after the Conquest.

ANMER HAXL, anciently Anmerp, Norfolk,
the seat of Henry Walter Coldham, Esq.
Tliis mansion is so old that we no longer
know when, or by whom it was first erected,
but some additions Avere made to the origi-
nal building about 1790. The estate itself
has been in the possession of the Coldham
family for nearly two hundred years.

In the reign of Edward the First this
property came into the family of the Cal-
thorps, as heirs to Sir II. de Stanhoe, Knt.
In the twenty-third of Elizabeth. Sir Philip
Parker liad livery of it. After this Tliomas
Korris, Gent., had possession, and in 1G78
— Cuthbert, Esq., conveyed it to the Cold-
hams.

'I'he Hall is pleasantly situated in the
midst of a park, the estate being in the
hundred of Freebridge.

MOXHUL PAEK, about four miles distant
from Sutton-Coldfield, Warwickshire, tlie
seat of Berkeley Flantagcnet Guilford Charles
Noel, Esq.

This manor was for nearly five hundred
years possessed by tlie family of De Lisle.
From them it passed to Sir Andrew Ilacket,
a Master in Chancery, Avho was knighted in
the reign of James the Second. He was the
eldest son of John Ilacket, the celebrated
bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. From
him the estate came in regular descent to the
late Andrew Hacket, Esq., who, dying with
out children, left tlie same to his widow,
Letitia Penelope, only daughter of Ealph
Adderley, of Elmley Castle, co. Worcester,
and Coton Hall, co. Stafford, Esq. This lady
afterwards took for her second husband the
Hon. Berkeley Octavius Noel, and by him
was mother of R P_. G. C. Noel, Esq.

The library in this mansion is curious and
valuable, having been chiefly selected by the
venerable bishop, a portrait of whom is still
preserved here. There are also some other
family portraits, pleasing enough as works
of art, but of less general interest.

STOUKHEAD, Wiltshire, the seat of Sir
Hugh Pi,ichard Iloare, Bart. This manor
was anciently called Stourton, from the
neighbouring town, which itself deri\'cd its
name from its situation at the bottom of a



hill near the sources of the river Stotxr.
The noble family of Stourton are the earliest
known possessors of it, and are supposed to
have been settled here before the Conquest.
Leland says of their abode, " The Lord
Stourton's place stondeth on a meane hille,
the soyle thereof being stony. This maner
place hath two courtes. The front of the
ynner court is magnificent, and high emba-
teled, castelle-lyke.

" There is a parke amonge hilles joining
on the maner-place.

" The ryver of Stoure risith ther of six
fountaines or springes, whereof three be on
the northe side of the parke, harde withyu
the pale ; the othei three be northe also, but
Avithoute the parke.

" The Lord Stourton gyvith these six foun-
taynes yn his armes.

" The name or the Stourtons be very aun-
cient yn those parties.

" The goodly gate-house and fronte of
the Lord Stourton's howse in Stourton was
buyldyd en spoliis Gallorum."

In 1720 the manor Avas purchased by
Henry Hoare, Esq., Avho changed the name
of the place to Stourhead, as denoting the
rise of the river Stour, Avithin the grounds ;
and soon afterAvards began to erect the pre-
sent mansion from the designs of Colin
Campbell, the author of " Vitruvius Britan-
nicus." It occupies the same site in point
of aspect as the old baronial castle, but ra-
ther more to the south-east, and upon higher
ground, and is built of a melloAv-coloured
stone. The style of architecture is Italian,



Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 79)