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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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Prince Robert have plundered the Lord Saye
his house, Master Fynes his house, Master
Whitclock's house, ^Members of Parliament,
and taken away all his cattle, and destroyed
his deere ; and such as they could not kill,
they broke doAvn the Parke Pales to let
them out. And that when the INIaior of Ban-
bury shewed Prince Robert the King's hand
and scale that the towne should not be
plundered, for that his Majestic had accepted
of a composition. Prince Robert threw it
away, and said, ' jNIy unkle little knowes
what belongs to the warres,' and so com-
manded his men to plunder, which they did
it to the purpose, and liad no respect of per-
sons, for the malignants suffered more than
the honest men of the towne, whom tliey
called Romidheads." [This is curious, as
showing that the nickname of Itoundheads
was onlyjust now coming into use.] " But tliat
which startled us most is a warrant under

* See a collection hi the British JNIusenm under the
title of "The Passages in Parliament ;" " A Peiu-ect

DlUnNALL OF the PASSAGES IN PARLIAMENT ;" "SPIXIALL

Passages AND Certain Informations," &c., Szc. for this
rare and valuable medley consists of divers flymg sheets
published from time to time by various printers during
the Cixdl War, to record the "events of the day. The
paper in question is dated frem ]\Iaidcnliead, Novem-
ber 5th, 1G42, number 13 ; but the reader may experience
some difficulty in finding it, there being more than one
number 13 in the volume. The book itself must be sought
for in the catalogue of periodicals under the year 1G42,.

It bears the press mark, 11 . There is also much

useful information upon these topics in Husband's Col-
lection OF Orders, &c." Folio : London, 1640. Husband
was printer to the House of Commons, and these ordi-
nances, 6k:c. ^\crc pviblishcd under their authority.



his Majestie's owne hand for the plundering
the Lord Say his liouse, and deraolisliing of it,
and invites the people to doe it, with a grant
unto tliem of all the materialls of the house ;
we had thought till this was produced, that
the king had not been accessary to these
horrible pilfering courses ; there is a Banbury
man gone up to the Parliament with the
warrant, who informes of most wicked and
devillish outrages committed by Prince Ro-
bert his forces, yet to put a colour upon this
business it is given out it is against the king
and Prince Robert's minds to plunder;
hanged a man but yesterday, and yet they
plunder the more. Tliis warrant under the
king's owne hand is an undoubted truth, and
fit for to be knowne to all the kingdome,
that they may see what they are like to
expect."

The conduct of the royalists, as related
by the pamphleteer, becomes doubly atro-
cious when we learn that Broughton Castle,
which was garrisoned only by a troop of
horse, and held out but for a day, then sur-
rendered upon terms. Prince Rupert Avould
neitlier abide by his own treaties, nor would
he obey the king's warrant under the royal
hand and seal, if it enjohied him to show
mercy to the conquered.

It surely must be allowed that in forgetting
this havoc of his property, and this openly
avowed determination to take his life if pos
sible under form of law. Lord Say evinced
no slight degree of magnanimity. In Sep-
tember, 1648, being employed as one of the
commissioners at the treaty of the Isle of
Wiglit, he upon his return to London sided
with those who voted the king's answers to
be a sufficient ground for considering of a
peace; and, as we have already remarked,
he entirely broke off with Cromwell when
the more determined spirits of his party
proceeded to take oft' the head of Cliarles.
He was concerned too Avith General Monk
in the new, or convention-parliament, and
was evidently considered to have done good
service to the royal cause, for he rose high
in favour with Charles the Second, being
made by him Lord Privy Seal, Lord
Chamberlain of the Household, and Lord
Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. He died at
the advanced age of eighty, when he was
buried at Broughton church.

The family of Fiennes, or Fcnys, as it
was anciently written — the head of which
bears the title of Lord Saye and Sele, has long
possessed Broughton Castle. In most pe-
riods of Englisli history we find the members
of this house x'laying a distinguished part.
Yet, such is the power of poetry —few of
tliem are so familiarly known to us in the
present day as the Lord Saye of Shakspeare ;
his condemnation to death by .lack Cnde,
"an it be but for pleading so well for liis



(,




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m



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1^



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



137



life," is a better memory than any in
brass or marble. He had, however, given
the peoijle other and greater causes of of-
fence than even his eloquence or his know-
ledge of Latin, for he was high in the royal
favour, being constable of Dover, warden of
the Cinque Ports, Lord Chamberlain to the
king, a member of his council, and finally
Lord High Treasurer of England.

Tlie prevailing style of arcliitectiu'e in
Broughton Castle is Elizabethan, but with
this are mingled portions of a yet earlier
period, indeed of the time of Edward the
First ; and it may be that some parts
date from AVilliam the Conqueror, for we
have a few scanty gleanings in Domesday
book of Broughton, or, as it is there wi'itten,
Brohtune. Tluis a part of the north front
was built by the Fiennes, in 1544, but tlie
Vi'alls of the eastern extremity, and several
apartments with their groined stone roofs,
belong to the fourteenth century. In like
manner the south front presents at its east
end an old tower, with loop-holes and Gothic
windows tliat in a great measure retain their
former character. This side is rendered
yet more picturesque by the dense masses
of ivy, which cover it in sucli profusion as
only at intervals to allow of the walls becom-
ing visible, intwining with them so closely
as to be well nigh inseparable. Sultan Mah-
moud's owls, had they been settled here,
would hardl}"- have missed their ruined
villages ; and, indeed, one almost expects to
see one of their fraternity peeping out from
amidst the dark green foliage, which har-
monises so wonderfully with all around.

Extensive as the building still is — and at
one period with its outer defences it occu-
pied a much larger sjiace, — it is completely
surrounded by a broad deep moat of running
water, the only access to the open area
beyond being, on the north side, over a
stone bridge of two arches, and through a
tower, which still reuiains in what may not
unaptly be called a green old age, so little
lias it been injured by time. This is con-
nected with the main building by a battle-
mented wall, having cruciform apertures, or
arrowlets, from which tlie besieged, standing
upon a continuous terrace along the inner
face of the battlements, could discharge
their arrows with little danger to them-
selves.

In addition to the two st3^1es of architec-
ture, that have been already mentioned as
prevailing in this building, it may now be
observed that the western side is of a later
period than the nortliern and southern sides
of this castellated mansion, and dates in
1599, haviiig been erected by Sir Richard
Fiennes, who was recognized, conlirmed, and
created Lord Saye and Sele by James I., in
tlie first year of his reign. This diversity



serves to give j'et more life and truth
to its historical associations, for has not
this noble pile successively been the
abode of the ISEolins, of the Hungerfords,
the Broughtons, and the Wykehams, till at
length it devolved to the noble family of
Saye and Sele by intermarriage with Marga-
ret, the heiress of Sir William Wykeham,
and great-great niece of William of Wyke-
ham, Bishop of AVinchester, and founder
of Winchester and New Colleges, Oxford.
The various parts bear the impress of
the successive owners, and of the age
in which they lived. After all, it is
a mere matter of uncertain taste to Avhat
extent uniformity is desirable ; is it to
be confined to a house, to a street, to a
city ? If we are to take nature, — as we
are so much in the habit of appealing to
her example, — why, nature loves variety,
and even the green livery of the forest, so
essential to her purposes in summer, has yet
every possible shade and hue, from the dark-
est to the lightest. But the architect and
the antiquarian must settle the matter be-
tween them, while we go on with our de-
scription.

The principal entrance to the hall is in the
north front through the side of the eastern
central oriolum. It is of considerable dimen-
sions, being fifty-five feet long, and twenty-
five feet broad, and the ceiling is enriched
with )iumerous pendants, one of those sin-
gular inversions of the natural order of things
so frequent in Gothic architecture, the orna-
ments growing like stalactites out of the
roof which they appear to be supporting,
without, in fact, having base themselves.

In visiting Broughton its church should
not be forgotten. This noble relic stands
near the bridge and tower leading to the
castle, and although not very large possesses
an interest from its antiquity, belonging as
it does to the thirteenth century. It con-
sists of a chancel, nave, and south aisle, the
interior being about ninety-one feet from east
to west in length, while it is full forty-four
Avide, inclusive of the aisle, which equals the
nave in Avidth, and extends fourteen feet be-
yond it on the side of the chancel. The
east window is in the decorated style, Avith
the geometrical tracery, Avhich prcA^ailed at
the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Let the reader now place himself in fancy
at the Avest end of the chancel, and imagine
that he is looking soutliAvard into tlie aisle,
as the best point of view, and for the clearer
imderstanding of Avhat folloAvs. On the left
he will be struck by a recess profusely
ornamented Avith the most beautiful
Gothic tracery, in Avhich is a tomb with tAvo
recumbent figures belonging to the Wyke-
ham family, as Ave learn from the small crest
on the helmet of the male efligies, Avhich is

T



138



SEATS OF GREAT BKITAIN.



jiioreover invested with a collar composed
of roses and sunbeams. Tlie female also
lias a collar, but of S. S. At one time there
were springing arches in front of the recess,
that must have contributed greatly to its
elegance and general etfect. Tliese, however,
have been destroyed, not by time or acci-
dent, but, if we may believe tradition, by
barbarians on one side or the other, in the
great Civil War, though, from what has been
ah-eady said, it Avould seem most probable
that this havoc was committed by the royal-
ists. 'I'hough the soldiers on the opposite
side were no doubt equally fond of destroy-
ing, they must yet have been restrained by
strong considerations from committing such
spoliation upon the property of one, who
held so high a place with their own party,
and who Avould therefore possess tlie power
in their case, as he must full surely have
the inclination to punish the offenders.

Numerous memorials of the Saye and
Seles will be found in the ledger stones of the
chancel floor and of the south aisle ; and on
looking into the aisle a monument meets
the eye with a recumbent image of one of
that illustrious race ; the legs, however,
are not crossed, and the whole is so de-
cayed that nothing curious can any longer
be traced in the details of his armour.

The principal ornament of the church oc-
curs in the south-eastern corner of the aisle,
half hidden, however, by a memorial of the
Saye and Seles. Tliis is a monument of a
beautiful Gothic character beloning to a De
Brougliton, and dating so far back as the
reign of Edward the Second. It is placed
under a canopy let into tiie wall, and al-
though time has nearly effaced the arms and
the inscription upon the tomb, yet a linger-
ing tradition still remains, and with many
finds credit, that this figure represents the
founder of the church and castle. No cer-
tain indications can be gathered from the
monument itself; the arms have scarcely a
distinguishable trace left, and the only clue
we liave to the inscriptions upon the tomb,
or to its former tenant, is a manuscript of
Anthony a Woods in the Ashmolean Mu-
seum. In that antiquary's collection for
Brougliton, the laborious Slcelton foimd a
detached slip of paper with a memorandum
to this effect —" Tliomas de Broughton miles
quondam Dominus de Broughton qui multi-
modis ornamentis banc ecclam adornavit,
cujusanimajpropitietur Deus Amen" Skel-
ton considers that tliis is atranscript of the in-
scription upon the tomb, whicli is no longer
to be deciphered; but if his conjecture be
right, it is clearly decisive against the figure
representing the founder of the church and
castle ; had such been the case, the epitaph
woidd hardly have recorded tlie knight as
having only " contributed much towards de-



corating the edifice." The lesser merit of
decorating would not have been remembered
while that of actually founding was omitted.
Here then it is time to take leave of
Broughton, a place so interesting in itself,
and so full of high and noble recollections
that we would wdlingly have lingered there
a little longer. Knough, however, to tempt
the curious traveller in these parts, a few
miles out of his way, and to direct his at-
tention to some of the leading features of
the church and castle, and more than this
was hardly necessary.

TICHBORNE, in tlie county of South-
ampton, the seat of Sir .Kdward Doughty,
Bavt., between two and three miles from
New Alresford. The name of the village —
and in all likelihood therefore the name
also of the family — was variously written
Ticceburn and Ticceburnan, and at a moie
recent date, Titchbourn, Tychebourn, and
Tichborne.

This family is beyond doubt of high an-
tiquity ; both Camden and Trussell have
traced its settlement at Tichborne to a pe-
riod before the Norman Conquest. It was
tlien most probably of Saxon origin, and
belongs to the early ages of Saxoi\ predo-
minance in England.

The old house, being decayed, was pulled
down in 1803. It exhibited many decided
marks of having been erected at a remote
period ; one of the wings in particular was
remarked as containing a tower, unquesti-
onably of Saxon origin, and the body of
the edifice, though less ancient, exhibited
many of the features considered as belong-
ing to the times of feudalism. It has thus
been described from a picture of it painted
by Giles Tilbourg, a famous artist in Ids
day, and which is still extant ; — " On en-
tering through a massy porch, a passage
presented itself with the battery-hatch on
one side, and a row of open arches leading
to the baronial hall on the other. A gal-
lery ran round this venerable apartment ; a
wide cavern of a chimney yawned on one
side ; and on the other, deeply embayed in
the tliickness of the wall, were two large
windows, whose recesses, as Avas tlie Aishion
of former days, were frequently filled with
implements of sylvan sport. At the farther
end a raided step led to the parlour, and a
staircase of black oak conducted tu the gal-
lery and the various rooms with which it
communicated. A complication of secret
passages, apartments, and stairs ; a court-
yard surrounded by the offices, a chapel, and
a moat, completed the picture of one of tlie
halls of our forefathers. The exterior of the
main front Jiad undergone some alterations
which did not entirely correspond witli its
original character. About the middle of



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



13.9



the last century sash windoAvs liad been
inserted in tlie prhicipal apartments, and
other repah-s executed, which, liowever they
might add to domestic comfort, did not har-
monize with the general appearance of the
venerable old liouse."

The picture, upon which tliis account has
been mainl)'- founded, is altogether a very
curious production. It contains upwards of
one hundred portraits, including the Sir
Henry Tichborne of the day and his Lady (of
the house of Arundel) and their family,
friends, and retainers, who are represented in
front of the building, employed in the annual
distribution of bread, called the Dole, from
the Saxon delan to divide, — dele, a portion.
This extensive liberality, however, vhich
embraced all comers who chose to ask for it,
was not peculiar to the Tichbornes of that
day. It had its origin in those good old
monkish times when the cliurch really and
truly played the part of the belly in the
fable, and might liave answer(id its ma-
ligners iu the words of Menenius : —

" True it is, my corporate friends,
That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon ; and fit it is ;
Because I am the storehouse and the shop
Of the whole body ; but if you do remember
I send it through' the rivers of your blood,
Even to the court, the heart, the seat o' the brain,
And through the cranks and offices of man.
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins
From me receive their natural competency
AATicreby they live."

The tradition of the Tichborne Dole runs
thus in substance, though not perhaps in
exact words.

In the reign of Henry the First, there
flourished a valiant knight, yclept Sir
Roger de Tichborne, who in his moments of
leisure from giving and taking blows found
time to many. The lady to whom he ad-
dressed himself, and who was graciously
pleased to accept him, was a certain Ma-
bella, sole heiress of the house of Lymerstou
in the Isle of Wiglit. As to the lady's
claims to beauty, tlie chronicler says nothing,
probably thinking it a matter of little im-
portance in the case of one who possessed
so many broad lands, and whose ancestors
had been lords, and almost princes, in their
little island. Moreover she was renowned
for sanctity, to the extent even of working
miracles, a gift highly prized in those days,
although it was then much more common
than it is with us in tlie present age. In
this way she not only did good to others,
Avho stood iu need of such aid, but also, as
was reasonable, obtained some slight benefits
for herself. Not the least of the advantages
which thus rewarded her superior sanctity
was a miraculous log of wood, wliicli had the
charm annexed to it of preserving her life so
long as it remained unburnt. This legend
is the less questionable as tlie very same



thing has been told, — and of course never
disputed — of Ogier the Dane, to whom the
fairy Morgue gave a brand, which was to be
preserved from burning, for so long as it
remained unconsumed, so long should he
continue in life. The Lady Mabella, how-
ever, was not so fortunate in her gift as the
knight ; the latter was reconveyed to fairy-
land before he had experienced any of the
inconveniences of old age, although he had
attained his hundredth year, whereas the
pious lady became so infirm and ancient that
she grew tired of life, and " determined to
shuffle oft' this mortal coil." Thus resolved
slie cast the charmed billet into the fire, and
calling Iier loving husband to her bedside,
besought him as her last request that he
would allow her as much land as site
could go over in the vicinity of the park,
the produce of which was to be annually
laid out in a dole of bread to all such hungry
sorrls as. might come to claim it. The brand
was now nearly wasted; the dame, it was
evident, had only a short time longer to live,
and was certainly in no condition to make a
long pilgrimage, so tliat there was little
danger of her being able to gain much laud
by the bargain. Her husband therefore con-
sented with a good grace. But Mabella was
as crafty as sire was pious ; and renovated
no doubt by the idea of outwitting her hus-
band, she ordered her people to carry her to
the park boundaries, where by dint of crmvl-
ing, she managed to get over many a rich
and goodly acre. Having achieved this ex-
ploit, greatly to Iier own comfort and satis-
faction, sire returned home that she might,

" Like immortal Cocsar die with decency."

To make sure of her husband and his de-
scendants keeping to then- bargain, she left
her curse upon all those who should divert
her bounty from its proper purpose, assuring
them tliat whenever any one should be found
wicked cnougli to do so, the old house of
Tichborne would fall over liis head, and both
race and name become utterly extinct from
lack of male posterit)'-

Having uttered this valediction, or male-
diction — it is hard to say which term is the
more appropriate — the lady Mabella was
gathered to her forefathers ; or, what seems
most probable in her case, was received into
the company of the saints, whom her whole
life had been spent in emulating.

Tims far the legend, not indeed toiidcm
verbis, but much to tliis effect, and if any
one shoidd feel inclined to doubt its truth,
we must rebuke his unbelief by telling him
tliat the field of the lady's creeping pilgri-
mage still bears the name of Crauis. The
custom too of the dole continued for centu-
ries, and it is well known that about twelve



HO



SEATS OF GREAT BKITAIN.



himclred loaves were in general baked for the
purpose. If they proved insufficient, as
would sometimes happen, then the supei'-
abundant applicants received instead a gra-
tuity of two-pence each. It is even stated
that one year when the day of the Dole
chanced to fall upon a Sunday, twelve hun-
dred and twenty-five loaves were distributed,
and that immense supply pro'^'ing inadequate
to the demand, a farther dole was added of
eight pounds in money.

In process of time — the world Ave must
suppose having become worse — it was disco-
vered that this charitable work Avas the
source of much disorder, and thereby gave
great offence to the surrounding landholders.
They had no idea that such an assembly
of beggars should come

" Betwixt the -wind and their nobility,"

Vagabonds, it Avas said, gypsies, and
idlers of all kinds gathered from every
quarter, trespassing and pilfering throughout
the neighbourhood, whereupon the gentry
and magistrates, in the Avholesome correction
of this offence, represented the same to the
baronet then possessing Tichborne. He,
nothing loth it may be supposed, listened to
these benevolent promptings, and soonafter-
Avards, in the year 1794, suppressed the pub-
lie distribution of the Dole ; but as if to
make a compromise with his saintly ances-
tress he substituted a priA'ate relief to
the industrious poor in the neighbourhood.
The defunct I^ady Mabella, hoAvever, Avas
not so to be satisfied ; she seems to
have insisted upon absolute and uncon-
ditional compliance Avith her last injunc-
tion. Even the house itself — meaning
thereby the brick and mortar — took part
with its former mistress, andAvhen a portion
of it had been removed for the purpose of
being rebuilt, the rest, Avliich had been des-
tined to stand, fell doAvn of its OAvn accord,
thus fulfilling in one sense the prophetic
denunciation. It has not, hoAvever, been re-
served for our times to justify it in the more
important wa}' of takhig the Avord, " house ;"
there is still male heir of the family living
in the present day, so that the Lady I\Ia-
bella's valediction has not come to pass,
Avhatever may have been her share in it.
It Avould have been a subject of much regret
had this been otherwise, for fiom the days
of Mabella the house of Tichborne has
been distinguished by a long line of
Avorthies. If Ave examine the record Ave
shall find successive generations of knights
and baronets, of knights of the sliire,
of high sherififs of Hampshire and other
counties, of peers and ambassadors, of
alliances Avith some of the noblest families in
England. Amongst these some individuals



stand forward yet more prominently. Thus,
Sir John Tichborne, in the reigns of Edward
the Second and EdAvard the Third, attained
to great eminence, being repeatedly sheriff
of Hampshire, AViltshire, and Dorsetshire,
as also knight of the shire for the former
county. By Edward the Second he Avas
appointed castellan and Avarden of the royai
castle of Sarum ; and by EdAvard tlie Tliird
he Avas made one of the king's justices itine-
rant. A more doubtful grant was that of
the fisliery of Cheriton, which his descend-
ants enjoy to the present day.

But the prince of good felloAvs, if they
have Avritten his story aright, Avas the first
baronet. Sir Benjamin Tichborne, and to this
he seems to have added a good share of po-
litical sagacity, that enabled him to see
Avliich Avay the Avind Aras like to blow wliile
others only Avaited for its coming. Upon



Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 31 of 79)