Bernard Burke.

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

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to have held their meetings, for it had the
additional advantages of many other private
ways of ingress and egress, so that there was
little fear of detection even by the occupiers
of the mansion, if they did not happen to be
in the secret. Here also were several inge-
niously contrived drawers and secret cabinets
for papers or any otlier articles tliat would
not bear the daylight.

WHALLEY ABBEY, Lancashire, about seven
miles from lilackburn, on the road to Cli-
theroe, the property of John Taylor, Esq.,

who also possesses Moreton House, his usual
place of residence. The monastery was built
in 1296, by tlie munilicence of the Earl of
Lincoln, and the white monks of Staidow
were lemoved tliither, much to the annoyance
of the neighbouring abbey of Sawley, whose
brethren complained tliat the new comers
raised the markets by tlie increased demand
for provisions. But the latter took root
notwithstanding, and would seem to have
been a joyous, charitable brotherliood, well
disposed to make the most of life, but within
reasonable limits, and no less inclhied to
assist tlie poor and need3^ Amongst other
items in the annual computus of their ex-
penses still remaining to us, we iind a large
sum paid to the wandering " ministrallis,"
tliough in some monasteries of a stricter
rule it was an established laAV, that no min-
strels should enter their gates. As a set-off
to this, if indeed it needs any, we learn from
another item that they regularly employed
and paid a shoemaker to make shoes for tlie
poor, the leather being supplied from their
own tanneries.

After the dissolution of monasteries,
Whalley Abbey was granted by Edward VI.,
with the greatest part of the demesne to
Eicliard Abhton of Darcy-Lever ; a branch
of the family of Middlcton. During the last
century the house and manor of Whalley
came into the possession of the Curzons, Sir
Nathaniel Curzon having married the coheir
of Sir Rnlph Ashton. From this family it
passed into the hands of Earl Howe, who in
1835 sold it to the present possessor.

Tlie word Wlialley is of Saxon origin, sig-
nifying the field of icells, that is, of sprhigs,
a name peculiarly ai)propriate to these lands,
which, lying at the loot of the Pcndle Hills,
abound in water, and require to be kept
under constant drainage.

WALMSGATE HALL, near Louth in the
county of Lincoln, the seat of James Whit-
ing Yorke, Esq. Tlie mansion was built in
1829 by the present owner of the estate.
It is a building of the modern style of archi-
tecture, pleasantly situated, and looking over
three hundred and eighty iive acres of
wooded pasture land, which is rendered yet
more picturesque by a rivulet and watermill.
Mi. Yorke served as High Sheriff of the
County in 1849.

FLITWICK MAls^OR HOUSE, Ampthill, Bed-
fordshire, the seat of John Thomas Brooks,
Esq. The date of tlie original building is un-
certain ; the head of a leaden water-pipe does
indeed bear the mark of 1736, but to judge
from the massive beams of the roof, part of
M'hich are oak, it must have been built at a
period much anterior to tliat date.



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In tlie time of Echvard II., Flitwick Manor
■was the property of the Earls of Albemarle .
A moiety of it passed afterwards through
the families of Flitwick, St. Amand, Corn-
wall, Lord Fanhope, and Grey Earl of Kent,
by the latter of whom it was conveyed to
the crown. I'^ng Charles I. sold it to the
City of London, the trustees of which in
1639 disposed of it to Edward Blofield and
his heirs. From the Blofields it passed by
marriage to Benjamin Rhodes, Esq., Avho in
1736 devised it to Humphrey Dell, M.D. ;
and he dying unmarried, bequeathed it
to Jeffrey Fisher, Esq. and Anne his Avife,
from whom it came to George Brooks,
Esq., the father of the present owner, by
marriage with Anne their only daughter.

The mansion is an ancient irregular struc-
ture, built at different times, and pardy in
the Gothic style of architecture. It contains
a library and a, gallery of paintings by the
old masters, and a museum chiefly devoted
to objects of natural history. The present
proprietor has added a music room in imita-
tion of the decorative style of the fourteenth
century. The gardens are extensive, and
with the plant-houses and the arboretum pre-
sent a good collection of specimens from
the vegetable kingdom, while the pinetum
includes nearly all the coniferous plants
known in Great Britain up to the existing
time. Through the park, wherein are the
remains of a Homan encampment, flows a
branch of the Flitt, a small stream falling
into the Ouse, but wliich widens its course
throusrh these grounds till it forms a hand-
some sheet of water. Here also is still pre-
served a fine herd of deei-, and here too the
poet Cotton was a frequent guest, and wrote
many of his works, so popular in their day.
Mr. Brooks, who served formerly in the 14th
Light Dragoons, is a JIagistrate and Deputy
Lieutenant of the county of Bedford, and
was its High Sheriff in 1821.

CEEWE HALL, Cheshire, the seat of Hun-
gerford Crewe, Lord Crewe, about six miles
from Nantwich, and four from Sandbach.
The family of the Crewes or Crues, may be
traced back to the early part of the twelfth
century as settled at Crewe in Barthomley.
The elder branch became extinct in the male
line about the year 121)4, when Joan, the
eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas de
Crewe brought Crewe Hall into the family
of Praers, whose heiress married Sir Robert
Fulleshurst or Foulshurst, a younger brother
of the house of Foulshurst of Edlaston. The
last named wms one of the four Esquires,
amongst whom the Lord Audley divided the
present of five hundred marks which he had
■just before received from Edward, the Black
"Prince, at the battle of Poictiers. In 1578,
Crewe was bought of the Foulshursts by Sir

Christopher Ilatton, by whom, or by wliose
heirs, it was afterwards sold to Sir Randulph
or Randal Crewe, so that the estate once
more reverted to the family of its early pos-
sessors. Sir Randal appears to have been
one of tlie most eminent characters in the
house of Crewe. He was born — probably at
Nantwich — in 1558, and having passed
through the subordinate degrees of the legal
profession with much credit to himself, at
length became Lord Chief Justice of the
King's Bench, in the twenty-second j^ear of
James I. This dignity he continued to hold
for some time after Charles had succeeded
to the throne. But the place he had won by
his talents, he lost by his integrity. Having
refused the sanction of his legal judgment to
Charles's scheme of raising supplies without
the consent of parliament, he Avas by writ
discharged from his office, thus gaining as
much honour by the loss, as by the acquire-
ment, of his high situation.

The male line of Sir Randal failed iu 1 684
by the death of John Ciewe, Esq.,. whose
daughter, and evcntualljr sole heir, Anne,
married John Offley, Esq., descended from
the Offleys of Staffordshire. Their son, who
in 1708 took the name of Crewe by act of
parliament and died in 1749, was grandfather
of John Crewe, Esq., of Crewe Hall, created
Lord Crewe in 1806.

"We have not yet done witji Sir Randal, so
large is the space occupied by him in the
history of this family. He it was that built
the present mansion, after a plan by the
celebrated Inigo Jones, upon a slight emi-
nence of much natural beauty, the ground in
the immediate neighbourhood sinking and
rising in gentle undulations. The effect is
not a little increased by the formation of a
lake to the South of the Hall, in Avhich the
w^aters of several brooks are collected.

In the time of the Civil War, Crewe Hall
underwent the usual fate of all mansions
that presented a post in tlie least tenable by
either party. It Avas garrisoned by a party
of Parliamentarians, who maintained them-
seh'es stoutl}' for a Avhile, till after a bloody
contest they found themselves obliged to
surrender to Lord Byron. The place was
then held for Charles by Captain Fisher, but
Avithno better result to the defendants. Upon
the raising of the siege of NantAvich, the
Royalist commander Avas fain to capitulate.

This mansion is a qudrangular building,
two stories high, surmounted by a sculptured
open parapet, concealing in some degree the
high roof, from Avhich rise the chimneys in
the form of detached octagon columns, with
their plinths, bases and capitals. The ma-
terials are chiefly red brick, but others of
darker colour are disposed in diamonds
throughout. 'J"lie entrance at the South
front opens upon a staircase equally curious



and beautiful, at tlie foot of which is the
great dining room. This is wainscoted up
to a certain height of the -wall, while the
rest is ornamented plaster-work, and at the
end is a large screen profusely decorated.
Extending along the whole of the same front
is a gallery wherein we find many of the
family portraits, the others being disposed
upon the walls of the great staircase. On the
North side of the hall is a domestic chapel
with fittmgs up of dark varnished oak.

Such as Crewe Hall was in the time of
Sir Randal, such it is now, with some slight
alterations only, and none affecting the gene-
ral character of the building, which seems to
have been preserved by the several suc-
cessive owners with a religious love, that
must endear them to all true antiquarians.
The same, however, does not appear to have
been the case with the grounds, a deviation,
which we are much more disposed to admire
tlian to find fault with. From a painting
preserved at Crewe, the house was at one
time surrounded with offices, square courts,
and gardens laid out in trim parterres, but
these have since been altered to correspond
with the more simple and natural taste of
modern gardening.

MAILING ABBEY, Kent, the residence of
Aretas Akers, Esq. Tliis abbey was of great
antiquity, having been originally, i e. in the
time of the Saxons, a convent of Benedictine
monks. After the conquest it came into the
bands of Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, who
founded in it a monastery of nuns, and built a
church to it — part of the west tower of which
yet remains — dedicating the whole to the
A^irgin Mary. The convent was burnt down
about a century after, Init rebuilt ; and at
the time of the dissolution of monasteries Avas
occupied by an abbess and eleven nuns.
Henry VIII. granted the house and manors
at that time extensive, to Archbishop Cran-
mer, from whom, it is supposed, they soon
passed into other hands ; but thev fell in
again to the Crown in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, who granted them to one of the
Cobham family. On his attainder they
seem to have been granted (whether in fee
or for terms of years does not appear), to
the family of Pierrepoint, and afterwards to
Sir James Fitzjames who conveyed to Sir
Robert Brett, of the family of Bretts, in

On his death in 1G20, King James granted
this property to trustees for the use of tlie
Prince of Wales, and these trustees gave a
99 years lease to John Ra^nicy, Esq., who
shortly after received a grant of the reversion
in fee simple. Sir John Rayney, of Wro-
tham Place, Bart., succeeded to liis fatlier,
and his son conveyed ^Mailing Abl)ey to Isaac
Honywood, of Ilampstead, Middlesex, Esq.

Isaac Honywood, second son of the above,
succeeded to this estate, and died in 1740,
when his eldest son, Frazer Honywood,
rebuilt the abbey house on a site adjoin-
ing the convent cloisters, which yet I'orm
part of the north wall of the house, and
together with the convent church tower, and
some parts of the offices and out buildings
remain as interesting specimens of the
ancient structure. Frazer Honywood, dying
without issue, left this property to Sir John
Honywood, Bart., of Elmsted, Kent. The
Honywoods sold it to Benjamin 11. Foote,
Esq., and it was purchased of the trustees,
under his Avill, by Mr. Akers.

The west tower of the church is in good
preservation, and is a fine example of tlie
eaidy Norman style. Over an entrance
doorway there is sculptured, in stone, a
heart transfixed Avith a spear, and other
emblems of the passion ; and on the gate-
way is a shield ennine, a crosier in bend
sinister, on a chief three annulets. Some
stone cofiins have been dug up within the
precincts, with several rings and other
reliques ; and in the meadows above the
gardens are the ancient fish-ponds of the
monastery, supplied by a small stream which
rises in the hamlet of St. Leonard's, and
running through the grounds and gardens
finally discharges itself, at some few miles
distance, in the Medway.

LAMPORT HALL, Northamptonshire, about
eight miles from the provincial capital, North-
ampton, and eight from ]\larket Harborough,
the seat of Sir Cliarlcs Edmund Isham, Bart.
A house was originally built here by Sir John
Isham, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and
some traces of the old edifice may still be
discerned. The soutli-Avest front, however,
as it now appears — an extensive building of
stone, in the Grecian style of architecture —
was erected by Sir Justinian Isham, in the
time of Charles T., from a design by John
AVebb, the son-in-law of Inigo Jones ; and
tlie north-west Aving Avas rebuilt by another
Sir Justinian, in 1821, in the Tudor style of
architecture, corresponding to the previous
erections by the Isliam family.

The Lamport estate was possessed by the
ancient family of 'I'russell for at least three
hundred years, till John de Vere, fifteenth
Earl of Oxford, in the thirteentli j-ear of
Henry VIII., married Elizidjeth, daugliter
and heiress of EdAvard Trussell, a knight
banneret. John Isliam purchased tlie Lam-
port estate and patronage of the church ui

Tlie ancient property of the Ishams AA'as
at Isliam, Northamptonshire, granted by
AVilliam I., from Avhich place tbey took their
name, Init afterwards they had property at
Pitcliley, in tJie same county ; both tJiese



places being witliin .1 few miles of their pre-
sent seat, Lamport IJall. In this place are
still preserved some antiquax'iaii curiosities,
such as old letters and records of the family,
together with valuable pictures, and — what
certainly is not a singular relique — a letter
from Charles I. requesting a loan of money.
The mansion is a spacious and handsome
edifice, surrounded by fine old timber, gar-
den, and pleasure-grounds, beautifully di-
versified in the surface, while the distant
view extends over a track adorned with
woods in a high state of cultivation.

MOOR COURT, Herefordshire, the seat of
James Davies, Esq. It Avas built about two
hundred years ago by one of the family of
James, who then possessed the estate, and
whose descendant, John James, Esq., the
secondary, was father of Edwin James, Esq.,
Q.C. AVith the Jameses Moor Court remained
up till 1815, when it was purchased by the
gentleman who still holds it. The house was
at first in the Flemish style of building ; but,
upon its becoming decayed, so many altera-
tions and additions were made to the original
edifice by Mr. Davis, that it has assumed
quite a modern appearance. The grounds
are well covered with wood, a noble avenue
of fine old trees nearly three tpiarters of a
mile long conducting to the mansion.

NORTON HALL, Northamptonshire, about
two miles N.E. of Daventry, the seat of
Beriah Botfield, Esq., F.R.S. At the time
of the Norman Conquest, Agemond, the
Saxon holder of this estate, was dispossessed
of it in favour of the Earl of i\Iellent, a distant
relation of Duke William, who was thus re-
warded for attending him in his daring expe-
dition. It then successively passed through
the following hands — De Nowers, or Noers
and De Whelton, temp. Henry 111. ; De la
Zouche, De Mortimer, De ■\Iarchia, temp.
Edward I.; De Mortimer, and Golafre, temp.
Edward II.; Golafre, De Grey, and De Corn-
wall, temp. Edward HI.; Golafre and Corn-
wall, temp. Henry IV. ; Cornwall and Gola-
fre, temp. Henry VI. ; Cornwall, temp. Ed-
ward IV. ; Cornwall attainted, Shirley, Heni-y
VII.; Cornwall and Mauntell, temp. Henry
VIII.; Mauntell, temp. Mary ; Mauntell at-
tainted, Gent, temp. Elizabeth ; Gent, seized
of the consolidated manors. Knightley, temp.
James I.; Breton, temp. Charles I.; and in
the same line it continued until the estates
and manorial rights were transferred by pur-
chase at the commencement of the present cen-
tury to Thomas Botfield, Esq., of Dawley, in
the county of Salop. By him itwas bequeathed
to his third son Beriah,whoseAvidow,Charlotte,
daughter of Wm. AAlthering, M.D. of Egd-
baston, enjoyed it for a few years, when
the estate descended to their son, who now
possesses it.

The existing manor-house is probably the
remains of the building erected by Sir
]{ichard Knightley, in the reign of James I.;
but it was much improved and modernised
upon coming into the hands of Thomas Bot-
field, Esq., and it has since then received
considerable additions. The present owner
has added largely to the house itself, and
ornamented it with a handsome terrace, be-
sides forming a valuable library and a collec-
tion of armour as well as pictures. It now
presents the appearance of a conunodious
and elegant mansion, tlie principal fronts of
which are in the Gothic style. The Eastern
front is distinguished by a cloister of five
pointed arches, the spandrils springing from
buttresses, and the arcade surmounted by
an embattled parapet. It is filled with
green-house plants, and leads to the morning
room the colunms and chimney-piece of which
exhibit curious specimens of Shropshire

The chief entrance on the north is by a
porch opening into the Gothic Hall, whose
panelled walls are adorned with trophies of
armour and the shield of the former OA\iiers
of the mansion. It leads to a lofty ves-
tibule which contains, like the former, several
suits of armour of considerable interest and
value. One fine Italian suit came from the
Ducal Armoury at Lucca, another is said to
have been found on the field of battle at Edge
IJill. The double stone staircase, which is
lighted fi'om above, is next to the vestibule
and leads to the drawing and dinmg rooms on
the south front ; the whole of the east side
of the house being devoted to the library.
The bay window on the north front is the
billiard room, which adjoins the study, lead-
ing out of the entrance hall. The chamber
floor contains about twenty rooms, and the
offices are spacious and commodious, the
house itself forming a parallelogram around
a paved court yard. The church which is
dedicated to All Saints, has been greatly
embellished, and the monuments restored.
Tlie chancel, too, has been rebuilt, a vestrv
added as a nortli porch, and stained glass
placed in the altar-window, and in the
Avestern and eastern windows of the north
and south aisles.

The undulating character of the park
shows to great advantage the tall ancestral
trees by which it is adorned, the several
sheets of water with their aquatic fowl,
diversifyuig a limited but pleasing prospect;
it is noAV occupied by deer, and has been
enlarged to the extent of 250 acres. The
garden has been considerably enlarged by
the removal of part of the adjacent village;
and by a rosery and parterre garden,
adorned Avith vases and statues in the
Italian style. The school-house has been
rebuilt so as to accommodate both boys and
girls, and the churchyard enlarged so as to



allow the cliurch to occupy the centre of the
inclosure, which is walled in and protected
by folding-doors of oalc. The village has
been improved by the erection of several
new honses.

In the neighboiu'hoocl are several gravel-
pits, which abound in natural productions ;
such as, fossil shells, eutrochi, belemnites,
ammonites, and nodular flints. Tln-ough
this domain also passes the Roman mili-
tary way, the Watling-street, and nearly
contiguous to it, in an enclosure called
Great Sliawney, there was discovered in
1814, and more recently in 1838, some hu-
man skeletons, bones of horses, and a quan-
tity of copper cohis, chiefly those belonging
to the time of the Emperor Constantine.
Numerous coins of all periods have been
found about the house, including a gold
noble of Edward III. At a short distance
from it, is a yet more interesting object,
Burrough Hill, remarkable for its tine pros-
pects and for the conduit Avliich thence sup-
plies Daventry with water. Both in ancient
and modern times it has been used as a mili-
tary station. Vestiges, though faint, of an
extensive double entrenchment may still be
seen, indubitably belonging to the Romans,
but altered during the subsequent occupation
of the Saxons, or rather Danes ; and from
here, too, in 1645, the Royal army advanced
upon the fatal field of Naseby. In 1823,
fragments of a mosaic pavement, and otlier
remains were discovered on the hill, serving
to mark the site of the Roman station of
Benraveuna. Below, through the meadows,
the Grand Junction Canal, and the North
Western Railway mark the progress of
human science and the dawn of a new era
in the history of mankmd.

HARTWELL HOUSE, Buckinghamshire,
about two miles from Aylesbury, on the road
to Tliame, the seat of Dr. Jolm Lee. The
manor was in the family of tlie Lutons from
the reign of Henry HI. until 1392, or some-
what later. Afterwards it was possessed by
the Hampdens, from whom it passed to tlie
family of the Lees, Sir Thomas Lee having
married Eleanor, daughter and heiress of
IMichael Hampden, Esq. Thomas, the great
grandson of the Lee just mentioned, Avas
created a baronet in IGGO, and the Rev Sir
George I^ee, the sixth baronet of that name,
having no issue, bequeathed the manor, man-
sion-house, and estate of Hartwell, to John
Lee, Esq., LL.D., the next heir in blood
and lineal descendant of the Right Hon. Sir
AVilliam Lee, Knt., Lord Chief Justice of
England, and, for a sliort time before his
death. Chancellor of the Exchequer. Dr.
Lee is next heir of both branches of the
Lee family.

Hartwell House, a spacious old mansion,

was erected on the site of a much more
ancient building, either by Sir Thomas Lee,
the first of that name who possessed the
estate, or else by his son, who certaiidy re-
sided there. But even this has been much
modernized in after times, though a part of
the north front, as seen at present, belongs
to the earlier structure. To the same period
may be referred a series of twenty-four
figures in oak, each about two feet in height,
ranged upon the balustrade of the staircase,
the meaning of which it has puzzled the an-
tiquarians to explain. Here also is a museum
of natural history ; but the most interesting
portion of the building to strangers is the
Observatory, with its excellent transit instru-
ment mounted on two splendid pieis of
oolite cut from a single block. To this
chamber has been added a well-built tower
with a revolving i oof, and which being in-
tended for astronomical purposes, is fur-
nished with a superior telescope, mounted
equatorially, and fitted with a clockwork

The gardens were originally laid out iu
the Dutch style, upon the banks of a canal,
with rectilinear terraces and statues. Near
the north front was a grove of yew-trees
trimmed into arcades. But the old trees have
been all cut down, and the canal improved
into a lake. A few years ago theie still
remained from the Dutch times a small
pavilion in the centre with a cupola
roof, which, while the royal family of
France resided here during their exile,
was occupied by one of the French no-
blesse; having nothing better to do, the
ingenious tenant amused himself by painting
on the walls the adventures of Saucho Panza,
as related by Cervantes, the pihicipal per-
sonages being caricature- likenesses of the
Bonaparte establishment. This pavilion,
however, having become much decayed, was
nut long ago taken down. It was at Hartwell
that the Queen-Consort of Louis XVIII. died,
but her remains were temporarily deposited iu
Henry the Seventh's Chapel, AA^estminster
Abbey, until they could be removed in ac-
cordance with her desire, to the island of

GRETA HALL, Keswick, Cumberland, the
property of Robert Gibson, Esq., of White-
haven, who purchased it of Dr. Rae of
Maryport. Not many years ago, Greta
Hall was divided into two houses, one of
which was inhabited by the celebrated Cole-
ridge, and the other by his landlord, a Mr.
Jackson, wlio, although but little known, has
better deserved a niche in the temple of

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