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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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Bird Fuller, Esq., a magistrate for the
county. This estate has successively passed
through the hands of the Eyres and the
Hanhams, and from the last-mentioned to
the family of the present owner.

The mansion of Neston Park is supposed
to have been originally built by the ances-
tors of Sir James Hanham, somewhere about
the commencement of the sixteenth century,
but was afterwards restored, and almost re-
built, by the late John Fuller, Esq., in the
year 1802. It is in the Grecian style of
architecture, exceedingly commodious, and
stands pleasantly situated iu the midst of
well-wooded grounds.

ESHTON HALL, Skipton, in Craven, York-
shire, the seat of Mathew Wilson, Esq.,
stands upon a gentle slope, with a foreground
of the linest verdure, iu strong contrast
with the brown and rugged summits of Elso.
On the east a trout stream runs through
a secluded and thickly-Avooded valley.
This mansion was rebuilt in 1825. It is of
white freestone, and a fine specimen of the
style of architectiu-e that pievailed in the
latter end of Elizabeth's reign, and in that
of her successor. The entrance hall opens
by folding doors upon a handsome saloon
staircase of carved oak, thirty feet square,
lighted from the roof by a dome of glass.
From this staircase is the approach to all
the principal apartments. The library,
drawing, and morning-rooms (which are all
three fitted up as libraries), contain twentj'^-
thousand volumes, collected by Miss Ri-



chardson Currer, nnd embracing every class
of literature, perhaps most rich in theologi-
cal works, among which there are Polyglott,
Hebrew, and some choice specimens of
early English bibles. There are also some
valuable manuscripts, particularly " The
Correspondence of Lord Dacie, Warden of
the West and Middle Marches, from June,
1523, to August, 1524." The whole col-
lection is preserved ia oak cases, beauti-
fully carved. Articles of vertu, in mar-
ble and bronze, antique sepulchral vases of
earthenware, from Nola, cabinets of coins
and medals, and some good paintings by the
old masters, as well as family portraits,
adorn the rooms.

The village of Eshton, which has given
its name to the Hall, is so called from the
ash-trees that abound there, esh, in the dia-
lect of Craven, meaning ash. The first
mesne lords of this manor were the De
Estons, Eanulph de Eston living there in
1180, Sir John de Eston in 1314, and
W'illiam, the son of Robert de Essheton, a
minor, in 1391 ; in 1450 Henry de Preston
lived at Eshton, and in 1539 Lancellot
Marton, whose grandfather, Lyonell Mav-
ton, of Marton, in Craven, married Jannet,
daughter and coheir to Henry Preston. It
w^as by him sold to the Cliffords, and in
1597 or 1598, by George, Earl of Cumber-
land, mortgaged to Robert Bindloss, of
Berwick Hall, with a clause that upon non-
payment of that sum within five years, tlie
jDurchase should be absolute. It never was
redeemed, and the Bindlosses held Eshton
till the year 1648, when it was once more
sold by Sir Robert Bindloss, Bart., to
Mathew Wilson, of Coleman Street, in the
city of London, merchant clothier, and
Blackwell Hall, factor, ancestor of the
present possessor.

PLEASINGTON, or PLESSINGTON HALL,

Lancashire, the seat of John Butler Bowdon,
Esq. In 1381, Plessington was possessed by
Sir Robert Plessington, Baron of the Exche-
quer, who derived his name from the estate,
according to the very common custom of
those days. This family terminated in a
daughter, who conve3^ed the estate by mar-
riage to Roger Winckley, of Winckley, who
also dying without male heir, the estate
passed in marriage with his daughter to
Ainsworth of Ainsworth, though, according
to some accounts, it was previously in the
possession of the Cunliffes, or Cundeclifs.
with the Amsworths it remained until 1777,
when it was sold by Lawrence Ainsworth to
Richard Butler, a branch of the family of
Rawcliffe. In tlie regular course of descent
it came to Mary-Anne, daughter and heir of
Richard Butler, Esq., who dying unmarried,
the estate devolved to her cousin, John



128



SEATS OP GREAT BRITAIN.



Bowdon, Esq. Hereupon that gentleman
assumed, by sign-manual, dated 21 January,
1841, the name of Butler, in addition to and
before his patronymic, as also the arms of
Butler quarterly with BoAvdon.

The ancient Manor House of Plessington,
which still remains, is situated in a low warm
spot, sheltered by Billinge Hill, and a large
wood, having been built in 1587, as appears by
a date upon the porch. It may be considered
as a good specimen of the Hall of an English
gentleman m the time of Queen Elizabeth.
It consists of two projecting gables connected
by a low body, a porch giving admittance
to a large hall, at each end of wliich is a
room of considerable dimensions.

The modern house was erected by John
Francis Butler, Esq., at an expense of
twenty thousand pounds, in the years 1804,
1805, and 1806. This building is of the
Grecian style of architecture, and stands
upon an eminence, overlooking the old Hall
in the valley below, which is partially hidden
by pine trees, and otherwise commanding a
beautiful extent of prospect.

BOROTJGHBRIDGE HALL, in the West
Biding of Yorkshire, about seven miles from
Knaresborough, the seat of Andrew Lawson,
Esq., an acting Magistrate for the North and
West Ridings, and Liberty of Ripon, and
also a Deputy Lieutenant. The Hall takes its
name from the town of Boroughbridge, which
itself is so called from a bridge thrown over
the river Ure soon after the Norman Con-
quest. Near this spot a battle took place in
1322, between the forces of Edward the
Second and those of the Earl of Lancaster,
in Avhich the latter was defeated, made pri-
soner, and conducted to Pontefract, where,
according to the barbarous fashion of the
times, he was beheaded. ' While raising the
banks of the Ure in 1792, a quantity of human
bones, swords, fragments of armour, and otiier
military leliques were discovered by the
labourers.

The earliest part of Boroughbridge Hall
is in the Elizabethan style, but the rest is
chiefly of Jacobean architecture. It lies in
a valley, below Aldburgh Manor, at the
junction of a small brook with the river Ure.
The building had fallen considerably into
decay, when it was restored by Andrew
Lawson, Esq., the present owner. 'J"he
grounds are finely timbered, and are of re-
markable fertilit}^, with a continuous ascent
up to —

ALDBURGH MAKOR HOUSE, near Borough-
bridge, in the Y\^est Riding of Yorkshire, also
the seat of Andrew Lawson, Esq., late M.P.
for Knaresborough. It is a modern structure,
on the hill of Aldl)rough, overlooking the town
of Boroughbridge, and was chiefly erected by



the present owner. From the lower is a
splendid and most extensive prospect.

In the grounds are many Roman antiquities
of different kinds, but more particularly tes-
selated pavements. The gardens present an
excellent collection of pinus and other valu-
able shrubs and plants.

The name of Lawson, though uncommon
in the southern part of the island, is widely
spread throughout Scotland and the northern
counties. So early as the first year of Henry
the Third's reign, we find John Lawson, Lord
of Fowlesgrove, near Scarborough, in York-
shire, to whom the baronets of Cumberland
and Westmoreland trace their foundation.
From the same locality, at a much later date,
came John Lawson, of whom Clarendon says
— " he Avas of Yorkshire, near Scarborough."

Mr. Lawson of Aldburgh ]\Ianor and
Boroughbridge Hall, is the direct male de-
scendant of Sir George LaAvson, Treasurer of
BerAvick and Lord Mayor of York in 1530.

Aldburgh Lodge is the residence of
AndreAv Sherlock Lawson, Esq., eldest son
of the former gentleman.

OGSTON HALL (in Doomsday Book, Ough-
edestune), co. Derby, the seat of Gladwin
Turbutt, Esq. The mansion is supposed to
have been originally built in the time of Ed-
Avard the First, Avhen the family of Revel re-
moved hither from Warwickshire. Still no
part of the structure that Ave noAV see appears
to date farther back than three centuries, and
a great portion of it Avas pulled doAvn, and the
modern front built by the grandfather of the
present possessor, Avho has himself made
considerable alterations and improvements.
Though varying in detail, the Avliole presents
a pleasing and picturesque effect, enjoying,
as it does, a commanding situation, in the
midst of a hilly and richly wooded country.

This property came into the possession of
the Turbutt's family at the commencement of
th.e eighteenth century, by the marriage of
Richard Turbutt, of Mount St. John, near
Thirsk, Yorkshire, with Marj-, sister and
coheiress of William Revel, Avho died a
minor Avithout issue, thus terminating a race
that had been illustrious for its knightly
achievements. Of one of these Garter King
at Arms has left us the folloAving legend : —

" Hugo de ReA'ell, in the seventeenth year
of King Edward the Confessor, being a per-
son of great courage, proAvess, and gener-
osity, and what else hath exalted the never-
dying reputation of his glorious ancestors,
encountered a most furious lioness in the
deserts of Arabia, Avhich at this time had
young ones ; and she at first time and sight
coming to accost the said Revell Avith a re-
solved fury. He thereupon darts his lance
through the heart of the daring lioness ;
whereupon she immediately fell dov\'n, and



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



129



he, taking liis advantage, and cutting off her
dexter paw, had by tlie king — in perpe-
tiiam rei memoriam — tliis honourable crest
conferred upon him and his deserving pos-
terity as a just remuneration of tliat bold
achievement : viz., an armed arm dexter,
and gauntlet proper, grasj^ing a lion's paw,
erased gules, and iinguled azure, which is
the paternal and jjroper crest belonging to
the Revells of Newbold, co. Warwick ; Ee-
vells, of Ogston, co. Derby ; and Revells
of S.tannington, co. York.

NEVILL-HOLT, Leicestershire, the seat of
Cosmo Nevill, Esq., a direct descendant of the
illustrious House of Nevill. It derives its name
from the neighbouring village of Holt, which
is so called from its situation upon an emi-
nence; for in old English holt signifies not only
" woods, groves, and plantations of fruits or
forest trees," but also " hills and high
places." The house itself stands on the
summit of the highest hill in Leicestershire,
commanding an extensive jDro.spect in a most
healthy air, and surrounded by fertile lands.

In the reign of Henr}- the Sixth we find
permission granted to Thomas Palmer, Esq.,
and his heirs, to close and enpaidc certain
lands in Holt. From that famil}- it came to
William Nevill, of Rolleston, by his marriage
with Katharine Palmer, in Avhose descend-
ants it still contiiiucs.

The village of Holt is celebrated for a fine
mineral spring, the discovery of which is thus
related in a little pamphlet by Dr. Short,
originally published in 1742, reprinted in
1743, and again published also in his General
Treatise on Various Cold Mineral Waters in
England, though in this last work the account
is less minute than in that first cited.

" A tenant, who rented the close on which
it rises, wanted water for his grazing cattle,
and always observing a moisture here, Avhich
he expected would afford his beasts water, he
attempted to make a pond. On the boggy
surface being removed, there appeared in
a ieddish stiff hard clay, somewhat like
honeycombs, full of little lioles, and yellow,
and on breaking them they Avere lined with
a hard u'on-like rust; but when the pond
was finished the cattle would not taste the
water, which tlien was rough, harsh, bitter, and
brackish, though then nothing near so much
as after ; when all other water, sink, or drain
was effectually made out from it; the sludge
in the bottom of it was exceeding black,
though neither drunk nor fouled by beasts'
iQQt. In this manner it lay some time, and
was tried and used medicinally on brutes
only, and some of it was sent up to be exam-
ined by the late Dr. Strother, of London, who
not accustomed to such kind of inquiries pro-
nounced it a nitrocalcareous chalybeat.
After these trials, and Dr. Ferrer, of Market



Harborough's recommendation, many people
began to drink it with great avidity ; in a
little time the whole neighbourhood flocked
in to drink and carry it away, to the great
detriment of the farmer, who had his grass
and herbage trodden down. Then the pro-
prietress of the land, the late Lady Mig-
lioraici, built an arch over the place wliere
the spring was supposed to rise, dug a trench
close to the wall, and rammed it very well
with stiff clay, which prevented any drain of
common water with this. After that a
strong mineral water seemed to ooze out
behind the arch, which was with much
labour brought into the first receiver. In
their long course of digging up the hill in
quest of the spring — in which they went
twenty feet deep, and beyond the very ap-
pearance of minerals or their water — in the
clay through which it strained, they found
great quantities of talo, wliich (after being
powdered and given in warm ale, from a
dram to a half, or a whole ounce) was found
a sovereign remedy in most obstinate loose-
nesses. There were also some porous sub-
stances found in the clay, like honey-comb
or sponge ; there were again capillaceous or
filamentous sprigs found in it, like some of
the coralline tribe ; another sort of earth
was of a whitish blue colour, like very jjale
coloured alum stone ; but when dried ex-
actly resembling fullers earth, and answer-
ing the same purposes, being destitute of
smell or taste. The clay itself is a rich
English bole, which though so hard and
stiff, yet, on being exposed to the hot sun,
becomes quite greasy and soft like butter.
The hill, out of which it rises, consists
chiefly of clay, free-stone, lime-stone, and
some iron-stone, which seem to lie super-
ficially at some distance from the spa ; as
long rains, or sudden great land floods, were
sometimes observed to give the water the
property of tinging purple with galls, and at
no other time, as the late Mr. Levinz, of
Holt, had several times observed. This
earth abounds with nitre. The spa affords
only a hogshead of water in twenty-four
hours, and sometimes less in a great
drought : but then it is intolerably strong
of the mineral. The spa rises up half a mea-
sured mile from the manor house in a close,
formerly covered with wood. It rises not
up like other springs, but is a mere exuda-
tion from a black narrow list, of several
scores of yards long between two different
strata of earths or minerals. This exudation
gathers into drops, which trickle down in a
small gutter of the same length with the
black list, whence by a little wooden spout
it falls down into a stone receiver. In win-
ter when the receiver has stood some time
full of water, it lets fall a thick jelly, like a
shot star, which stinks intolerably; and this



130



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



is sometimes the fate of ■^\'ateT sent out, if it
is eitlier put into wet bottles, or being not
well sealed has got air through the cork.
The water is perfectly limpid as it drops
into the receiver ; for it never runs, only drops
one, two, or tliree drops. It weighs fifty-
nine grains in a pint heavier than common
water, at the source ; but gaiiis eighteen
grains more by standing or carriage. It is
void of smell, but at the spring has an uncom-
mon briskness and quickness as well as
sharpness. If poured into a glass at the
spring it throws up many bubbles, especially
if shaken well in a narrow-mouthed vial-
bottle, with a thumb kept on it, and then
taken off suddenly it makes a kind of explo-
sion, and some water squirts up with it. If
it is poured fresh into a long cylindric
chrystal tube, it increases in weight, but
decreases a little in bulk. It bubbles and
boils much if set under a glass receiver in the
air-pump. The water curdles soap or milk.
Twelve ounces of water and eighteen of boil-
ing milk will make a charming clear posset,
the whey very cooling, and a great quencher
of thirst in fevers. Powder, or tincture of
galls tui-ns it blueisli, pale, and muddy ; but
on three or four days standing in t)ie glass
it is a deep green. It is a purple colour
with infusion of logwood ; it alters not the
colour of sublimate, but Avith fresh infusion
of the purple flowers of wild-william, — lych-
nis pulonaria sylvestris simplex— cuckoo
flower or ragged robin, it is a beautiful pale
pink ; and so is this infusion with all things
that contain alum ; so that this is as sure a
test to discover alum, as galls are to discover
a chalybeate, or solution of silver to detect
common or sea-salt."

Many other properties are inherent in this
water too minute for repetition here, but all
of which may be found in the works already
mentioned, or in Nishollis' Leicestershire.

Near the road leading from INIedbourn to
Holt, about a quarter of a mile from the
latter is a shepherd's race, called the Maze.

MONACHTY, or, as it was anciently and
more correctly written, IMynachty, in Car-
diganshire, the seat of Alban Lewis Thomas
Jones Gwynne, Esq., a magistrate and de-
puty-lieutenant for the same county. The
word Mynachtyh Welsh, and signifies a mo-
nastery, plainly indicating what Avc other-
wise knpw to have been the case, that it was
at one time the site of a conventual building.
In fact, upon the ground now occupied by
the more modern edifice there formerly
stood the Abbey of Strata Jiurkla. This
estate including the Lordship of the barony
of Abaraeron, has descended to the present
possessor through a long line of ancestors
in unbroken regularity.

The ancient pile, which Avas built about



tAvo hundred years ago, Avas pulled doAAni in
the middle of the last century, and a new
house built upon its site by LcAvis Gwynne,
Esq. Since then — 1807— large additions
have been made to it by the gentleman uoav
possessing the estate. At present it has the
appearance of a handsome building in the mo-
dern Greek style of architecture, with Doric
pilasters, standing about three miles from
the sea-coast and the town of Abergavenny.
The grounds, Avhich are environed by roman-
tic scenery, are themselves well-Avooded,
besides having local associations of no little
interest to those who delight in the
chronicles of the past. Within their limits
is a small hill betAveen two others called
Hero Castell, and in all probability the site
of the keep to Disserth Castle, Avhich seat
was so named either from its position upon
the river, Arth, or from the father of
Howell Avho lived in the eleventh century.
In the year 908 the Danes under Uther and
Rahald came to St. David's Avith a great
fleet tqwn one of their usual predatory ex-
peditions, and afterwards fought the battle
of Disserth. In 1135 HoAvel ap Meredydd
and Rhys ap Madoc ap Tdnerth razed the
castles of Disserth and Caerwedross and re-
turned home in triumph. In 1158 it was
taken possession of by Roger Earl of Clare,
Avho thereupon fortified it^Avith the utmost
skill of those rude ages. In llOO, it was
besieged, and taken, by Maelgon, Avhen he
put the garrison to the sword Avith a vindic-
tive feeling tJiat has not ahvays been absent
from modern warftire. It had before then
belonged to his brother, Grufydd ; but so
fearful Avas he of its being retaken by Prince
LlcAvelyn that in the year 1208 he demolished
the place, rather than lose it, although he had
himself fortified it only a short time before.

KNEBWORTH, Hertfordshire, the seat of
Sir Edward Earle Lytton Buhver Lytton,
Bart., Avho succeeding to the Knebworth
estates by the will of his mother, took the
surname of Lytton by sign manual.

Knebworth appears to have been a for-
tress at a very early period, and Avas held
as such by Eudo Dapifer at the time of
tlie Norman Conquest. Important in itself,
Knebworth receives a yet deeper interest
from the names of its many illustrious
owners, for in every change we find it
possessed by some distinguished character
— distinguished either for birth, or for
military reputation, or for connection with
the highest ofiices of the state, till in the
present dtiys it has become the property
of one, who unites in himself the A'aried
characters of the statesman, the poet, the
dramatist, and the romancer. To go back to
early times. In the reign of EdAvard II.,
it Avas possessed by Thomas de Brother-



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



13t



ton, fifdi son of King Edward T. His eldest
daughter and co-heiress, Margaret, brought
the lordship of Knebworth to the celebrated
Sir Walter Manny, Knight of the Garter,
and at his decease, she continued to hold it un-
der the title of Duchess of Norfolk. From her
Knebworth passed to her daughter and heir,
Anne, wife of John de Hastings, Earl of Pem-
broke. It appears then to have been sold to
John Hotoft, treasurer of tlie household to
Henry VI. From him it went to Sir Thomas
Bourchier, (son to Sir John Bourchier, Knight
of the Garter), and was purchased of him by
Sir Robert Lytton (of Lytton in the Peak),
a Knight of tlie Bath, Privy Councillor to
Henry VII., keeper of the wardrobe, and
under-treasurer. No sooner had Sir Kobert
Lytton come into possession of his fort
than he set about enlarging it, and what
be had thus begun but left unfinished,
was continued by his successor, William
de Lytton, governor of Boulogne Castle.
But in those days they would seem to have
built slowly as well as massively, and he also
left his work imperfect ; nor was it completed
till the reign of Elizabeth, when all remain-
ing deficiencies were made good by Sir Row-
land de Lytton, who by the many oflices he
held could scarcely have been of less dis-
tinction than any of his predecessors. As
lieutenant for the shires of Hertford and Essex
at the time of the Spanish invasion he com-
manded the forces of those counties at Til-
bury Fort. Pie was also captain of the gen-
tlemen pensioners, so renowned for their
■stealth and rank in the reign of Elizabeth, and
constituting an able as Avell as gallant body.
Even before the time of this distinguished
favourite, Knebworth had become noted from
Sir Robert de Lytton having had here under
his custody the Earl of AVarwick, son to
George, Duke of Clarence and Isabel, eldest
daughter of the

" Proud setter up and puller do-mi of kings."
but it is now that the old building, enlarged
and castellated, assumes more peculiarly an
historical interest. Queen Elizabeth was
frequent in her visits to the knight, an ho-
nour which he perhaps in some measure de-
rived from his wife's relationship to the
maiden queen, for she was the daughter of
Oliver, Lord St. John of Bletsoe, and great
grand-daughter of Margaret Beauchamp.
The room, in which Elizabeth slept at the
time of the Ai-mada,is stillpreserved,andgoes
b}' the name of Queen Elizabeth's Chamber.
The house, which stands on the highest
hill in the county, was originally a large
quadrangle with outer walls and courts, the
east front or gateway having, in truth, been a
portion of the ancient fort. For many years
it had received little attention from its va-
rious owners, being for the most part unin-
habited, till in I'Sll Mrs. Buhver Lytton,



the mother of Sir Edward proceeded to the
task of renovation with as much spirit as
good taste and judgment. It was now
found necessary to remove three sides ; the
fourth side, built by Sir Robert de Lytton hi
the earliest style of Tudor architecture, re-
sembling Richmond Palace erected in the
same reign, was preserved, strict attention
being paid in all the repairs to the an-
cient character. Tlie principal apartments
are the banquet hall, the oak drawing-room,
the library, and the great drawing-room, or
presence chamber. The ceiling of the banquet-
hall belongs to the age of Henry the Seventh,
the screen is Elizabethan, and the chimney-
piece with the panelling appears to date from
the time of Charles the Second, when Inigo
Jones had made the Corinthian column fa-
shionable. One door in this leads to the
oak drawing-room, where in the reign of
Charles the First, the great parliamentary
leaders, Pym, Elliott, and Hampden used to
meet to concert their measures ; for the Sir
William Lytton of that daj - , who sate in
parliament for tlie county, was their staunch
supporter. That he was in high estimation
with them is evident from his having been
appointed one of the commissioners to treat
with the king at Oxford, but at a later period
he opposed Cromwell, and was one of the
members confined in the place popularly



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