Bernard Burke.

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

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moved, about a century ago, by Charles
Towneley, Esq., and placed in their present
situation. The vestments, some of which
are of a very antique form, are recorded by
tradition to have been brought from Whalley
Abbey. Opposite to the side of the quad-
rangle now demolished is the hall, a lofty
and luminous room, rebuilt in 1725. Here is
an unbroken series of family portraits from
the time of Elizabeth. One apartment is
completely filled with heads inserted in the
panels of the wainscot. Amongst the por-
traits is Richard Towneley, born 1598, who
was so long in foreign countries that it
was only by his dog that he was recognised
on his return, and this faithful rememberer
is drawn by his side. In ditferent parts of
the house are casts from the celebrated
marbles brought to this country by Charles
Towneley, Esq., and now deposited in the
British Museum. The gieatest ornaments
of Towneley are its line aucieiit woods,
chiefly of old oaks. These are dispersed'
over a large park, the licence to enclose
which bears date 6 Henry Vll.

The Towneleys have been seated here
from a remote period ; the family pedigree
ascends to Spartlingus, who lived in the'
reign of Alfred (see Landed Gentry for full
details) and the present possessor is CiiARLES
Towneley, Esq.

CROXTETH PAEK, honoured in the summer
of 1851, by a visit from her Majesty Queen
Victoria, is situate six miles Avest of Liver-
pool, adjoining the parish of Huyton, but is
itself extra-parochial. The Hall is a spacious
mansion; the front, erected in ITO^, is of
brick with ornamental stone dressings, and a
terrace in front ascended by a broad flight of
steps. The back part, formerly of wood and
plaster, was rebuilt with brick in 1805. The
parlc is extensive, coutamiug about 840
statute acres.

Croxteth, anciently Crostaffe, was origi-
nally an appendage of Knowsley, and belong-
ed to the Lathoms. It however came to the
crown at an early period, and in 1446, was
granted by Henry VI. to Sir Richard j\Ioly-
neux, of Sephton, and his heirs; .and by an
original grant in the Duchy Office, bearing
date 21&t Edward IV., the herbage and
agistment of Croxteth Park were given to



Thomas Molyneux, Esq., for an animal rent
of £100. From this time the Molyneuxea
have made Croxteth their residence, and it
has regularly descended from the grantee
above mentioned to the present worthy
representative, Charles William, tliird Earl
of vSefton, Lord Lieutenant of Lanca-

HOSNBY CASTLE, about nine miles from
Lancaster, the seat of Pudsey Dawson, Esq.,
a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant of the
counties of York, Lancaster, and West-
morland. The name of the place signifies
tlie manse of Ilorne, from the iVnglo-Saxon
By or Bye, a habitation, and IIoRX, the
name of the first planter or possessor of the
lordship soon after its abandonment by the
Romans. It is a known ftict, that a castle
was erected here by Nicholas JMontbegon, the
first grantee under Roger de Poitou, the
Norman Lord of Lancaster, Avhen he sta-
tioned his barons in the most vulnerable
place?, so as to preserve the quiet of his

From the many advantages of its situation
Hornby Castle has, under a long and varied
succession of lords, been enlarged, altered, and
adapted to every change of fashion thiough
the long occupancy of the Montbegons, the
De Burghs, the Nevilles, the Harringtons,
and the Stanleys. The last-named of these
possessors is perhaps the best remembered
by liis share in the defeat of the Scots at
Floddeu Field—

" Fai- on the left, unseen the -while,
Staule)' broke Lennox and Arg-yle ;
T)iough there the -western mountahiecr
Ruslied with bare bosom on tlic spear,
And flung the feeble targe aside,
And -with both hands the broadsword plied.
'Twas vain."

Or, as we are told in the old metrical ro-
mance of Flodden Field —

" The victory in doubt did stand —

'Till at the last great Stanley stout

Came marching up the mountain steep ;

His folks could hardly fast their feet
But forced on hands and feet to creep I

" And some thin boots left do-wn belo-n'.
That toes might take the better hold ;
Some from their feet tlie shoos did throw ;
Of true men thus 1 have heard told.

" The sweat dovm from their hodies ran,
And hearts did hop in panting hi east ;
At last the mountain top they won
In warlike wise ere Scotchmen w ist.

" "SAliere for si space brave Stanley staid,
Until his folks had taken breath ;
To whom all same e'en thus he said,
Most hardy mates, down from this heath

"^Against our foes fast let us hie,
Our valiant countrymen to aid ;
With fighting flerce 1 fear me I
Though liag'ring long 'uay tie o'trlaid.

" My Lancashire most lively mights,

And chosen mates of Cheshire strong-,
Fi-om sounding- bow your feathered flight
Let fiercely fly your foes among.

" March down from this high mountain-top,
And brunt of battle let us bide ;
Witli stomach stout let's make no stop.
And Stanley stout will be your guide.

" A scourge for Scots my father was,'

Tlic Berwick town from them did gain ;
No doubt so ere tliis day shall pass
His son like fortune shall obtain.

" And now the Earl of Surrey sore
Tlie Scots, I see, besets this tide ;
Now since with foes he fights before,
"We'll suddenly set on their side.

" The noise then made the mountains ring,
And ' Stanley stout' they all did cry ;
Out went anon the grey goose wing
Against the Scots did flickering fly.

" Although the Scots at Stanley's name

Were 'stonish'd sore, yet stout they stood ;
Yet for defence they fiercely frame,
And arrows dint with danger bode.

" Which when the Stanley stout did see,
Into the throng he thundering thrust ;
' My lovely Lancashire lads,' quoth he,
' iiown with the Scots ! the day we waste.' "

In liis pi ogress from Edinburgh to London
in 1G17, King James I. rested at Hornby
Castle, and Avhen tlie great Civil War broke
out, its possessors proved, like most of the
Lancashire gentry, such stanch loyalists,
that the parliament issued an order that
Hornby Castle should be " defaced, dis-
mantled, and rendered defenceless," so that
" the enemy may be prevented from mak-
ing any furtlier use thereof to the annoyance
of the inhabitants."

This celebrated edifice stands on a gentle
but considerable elevation, from which the
groimd declines on every side. Its site is
between the valleys of the Lune and the
AVenning, and near to the confiux of two
beautiful mountain-streams, the Hindburn
and the Eoebiirn, that fall into tlie Weiming.
At one time it was beyond doubt an ancient
British, and subsequently a Roman, station,
being on the line of a direct Roman Avay
from the Setantiorum Portus, the Estuary
of the Lune to Brenietonaca3, Burrow, and
over Burrow ; and from recent discoveries
it presents evidence of having been the
locality of a Roman villa.

Nothing can be more varied than the
dift'erent aspects under which this noble pile
shows itself. Dr. Whitaker, the historian
of Richinondshire, considers the vale of the
Lune to be unexcelled in our northern val-
leys, and the site of Hornby Castle to
be the best chosen spot in the vale. On
the road from Lancaster, where the view
of it is backed by mountains, it seems as
it Avere to repose amidst extensive woods;
seen from Hornby Bridge up tlie lawn,



it rises in a gentlo slope, and perhaps
tills is the most pleasing view, for it is
near enough to take in the whole build-
ing, and distant enough to blend the ancient
and modern portions into a complete whole.
From some points of view it seems to lie
in the valley ; from others, upon a gentle
eminence ; and from others again — as the
village of the Wray — it appears to be
seated on the pinnacle of a rock. But the
scene has been so vividly described by tlie
celebrated Anne Radcliife, that we cannot
do better than quote from her tour through
the north upon her return from Holland : —
" Leaving Lancaster we wound along the
southern brow of the vale of the Lune,
which there serpentines among meadows, and
is soon after shut up between steep shrubby
banks. From the heights we had some fine
retrospects of Lancaster and the distant
eea; but about three miles from the town
the hills open forward to a view as much
distinguished by the notice of j\Ir. Gray as
by its OAvn charms. We here looked down
over a woody and finely broken foreground
upon the Lune and the vale of Lonsdale,
undulating in richly cultivated slopes, witli
Ingleborough for the background, bearing
its bold promontory on high, the very crown
and paragon of tiie landscape. To the
west, the vale winds from sight among
smoother hills; and the gracefully falling
line of a mountain on the left forms, with
the wooded heights on the right, a kind ot
frame for the distant picture.

" The road now turned into the sweetly
retired vale of Caton, and by the village
church -yard, in which there is not a single
grave-stone, to Hornby, a small straggling
town delightfully seated near the entrance
of the vaie of Lonsdale. Its thin toppling
castle is seen among wood at a considerable
distance, with a dark hill rising over it.
What remains of the old edifice is a square
grey building with a slender watch-tower ris-
ing in one corner, like a feather in a hat," —
an odd simile—" which joins the modern
mansion of white stone, and_ gives it a
singular appearance, by seeming to start
from the centre of its roof.

" In front, a steep lawn descends between
avenues of old wood, and the park extends
along the skirts of the craggy hill that
towers above. At its foot is a good stone
bridge over the Wenning, now shrunk in its
pebbly bed, and farther on, near the castle,
the church, showing a handsome octagonal
tower, crowned Avith battlements. The road
then becomes extremely interesting, and at
Melling, a village on a brow some miles
farther, the view opens over the whole vale
of Lonsdale. The eye now passes, beneath

the arching


of some trees in the

foregrouud, to the sweeping valley where

meadows of the most vivid green and dark
woods, with white cottages and villages
peeping from among them, mingle with sur-
prising riclmess, and undulate from either
bank of the Lune to the feet of hills. Ingle-
borough, rising from elegantly swelling
ground, overlooked this enchanting vale on
the right, clouds rolling along its broken
top like smoke from a cauldron, and its
hoary tint forming a boundary to the soft
verdure and rich Avoodlands of the slopes at
its feet. The perspective was terminated
by the tall peeping heads of the Westmor-
land Fells, the nearest one tinged with faintest
purple, the more distant with light azure ;
and this is the general boundary to a scene,
in the midst of which, enclosed between
nearer and lower hills, lies the vale of Lons-
dale, of a character, mild, delicate and re-
posing, like the countenance of a Madonna."
This description of the scenery about
Hornby is correct enough, with one excep-
tion ; the valley of the Lune in Lonsdale
does not commence where- she has stated,
but from the acqueduct bridge, one mile
higher up than the Lancaster bridge. It
may be objected, also, to the fair tourist,
that she has been somewliat too meagre in
her details of the castle itself, besides that
since her time it has undergone improve-
ments upon a most extensive scale. For
the last three years the present owner has
been engaged in the work of restoration.
The principal front is entirely new, and by
its adaptation to the older parts of the
castle, no less than by its architecture and
proportions, adds not a little to the effect
of the ancient building. In its style it be-
longs to the reign of Henry VII. and
Henry VIII. Externally, the improve-
ments are complete, the principal apart-
ments being in the recent portion of the
edifice. The carving and the rich panelling
of the ceilings of these rooms are complete ;
the oak beams from the old castle having
supplied the materials for this purpose, as
well as for the doors and wiudow^-sashes.
In all the new rooms is kept up the idea
of the period with which the style of the
building corresponds, but this is more
particularly obserA-able in the entrance-

The approach from the terrace is by a
noble grained porch leading into the hall,
which is oblong, well proportioned, and
richly panelled. It is noAV in a forward
state, having antique oaken chairs with
heraldic devices paijited on them, and
other ornamented articles in keeping with
the age to which the whole refers. The
proposed character of the hall Avhen
finished may be seen in the fire place,
which consists of an ample tiled hearth
raised about four inches above the floor,



with a (log-grato Bucli as was used in the
olden time. In the decorative parts of the
porch and hall coloured glass has been
introduced witli much effect, and a large
heraldic window of the like material may-
be seen on the grand staircase. AVindows
of the same kind, but upon a smaller
scale, may be seen in other parts of the

Three generations ago, Hornby Castle
was purchased by John Marsden, Esq., of
Wenuington Hall, Lancasliire, whose con-
nexions have possessed it to tlie present

WARDOUE CASTLE, Wiltshire, the seat of
Lord Arundel of AVardour. This celel:)rated
estate, antecedently to the reign of Edward
in., was the baronial residence of the St.
Martins, one of Avhom, Lawrence St. Martin,
served as Knight of the Shire for Wilts, in
1361. From the St. Martins, it passed into
the possession of the Lovels, and continued
part of their property during several succes-
sive generations. Subsequently it was
acquired by the Lords Touchet, Audley, and
AVilloughby de Broke ; and ultimately, by
Sir John Arundel, of Lanherne, in Cornwall,
whose second son, Thomas, was created
Baron Arundel of Wardour, by James L In
tlie history of Wardour, no event of particu-
lar importance occurs, till the reign of
Cliarles I., when the castle was besieged by
a detachment of the parliamentary army,
1300 strong, under Sir Edward Hungerford.
Truly may our great Civil War, sustained
so heroically as the royal cause was, be
considered as the last era of the age of
chivalry. i\Iontrose and Falkland, Granville
and Langdale realize the abstract idea of the
heroes of antiquity ; and,thougli dark may bo
the shades in the recklesscharaeter of tlie ca-
valier, his romantic allegiance and his daring
spirit will ever shine brightly forth amid the
gloom of the disastrous period Avhich tested
his loyalty and proved his valour. Certain
it is, that he loved his honour better than his
worldly prosperity ; his faith better than his
lands. In every county of England, we
meet with rehcs of the contests of Charles's
time, and can only account for the popular
interest now associated with them, by the
feeling that honour and loyalty have a more
enduring existence than party prejudices
and party strife. The old royalist manor
house, celebrated for the bold head its feel:)le
garrison made against the forces of the
" rebel Commons," the ancient feudal castle
that defied all the power of a Cromwell, a
Fairfax, or a Waller, and the humble farm
house that sheltered and saved a fugitive
prince, have become classic ground, and will
be venerated as long as Englishmen hold in
honoured memory (and God grant that may

be for ever) the high spirit and the unbend-
ing sense of duty which our Civil War
called forth.

" He has doff'd tlic sUk doublet, the breastiilatc to bear,
He has placed the steel cap o'er Ills long- flowiiig hair,
From his belt to liis stirrup his broads\vord hangs down ;
Ueaveu shield the brave gallant that tights for the

" For the rights of fair England, that broadsword he
Ilor King is his lender — her church is his cause
His watchword is honour, his ))a}' is renown, —
God strike with the gallant that strilvcs for the crown !

'' There's Derby and Cavendish, dread of their foes ;
There's Erin's high Ormonde, and Scotland s Montrose !
"\\'ould you match the base Skippon, and Massey, and

With the Barona of England that fight for the


This romantic and loyal allegiance is
strikingly apparent in the defence of Wardour
Castle. The Farliamentaries ai-rived at the
moment that Lord Arundel (the second peer)
was attending his IMajesty at Oxford, and
the custody of his castle was held by his
Lady (Blanch, daugliter of the Earl of
Worcester), who showed herself worthy of
tlie confidence her husband had reposed in
her resolution and fidelity. With a garrison
of no more than twenty-five men, she'ljravely
withstood every effort of the enemy to obtain
possession of the place during a vigorous
bombardment of five days, and at length
consented to surrender only on tlie most
honourable terms, having previously declared
her determination rather to perish herself
than give up her gallant adherents to the
vengeance of the republican troops. In tlie
" Mercurius liusticus," a newspaper written
in tlie Koyalist cause, by Bruno Kynes,
Chaplain to Charles I., we find it stated that
the besiegers sprung two mines during tlie
siege. "They often tendered," continues the
journalist, " some unreasonable.conditions to
surrender, to give the ladies, both motlier and
daughter-in-law, and the women and children
quarter ; but not the men. The Ladies
nobly disdained and rejected their offers."
Tlie following terms (an original copy of the
document is still preserved at Wardour
Castle) were those on which Lady Arundel
was uiduced to deliver up her castle : —

" Whereas, the Lady Blanch Arundel,
after five days' siege, oficred to surrender to
us the castle of AVardour, upon disposition,
and hath given her word to surrender it :—
These are therefore to assure lier Lad^'sliip
of these conditions following: — -'I'hat tlio
castle and whatsoever is within it shall be
surrendered forthwith : — That the said Lady
Blanch, with all the gentle-women and other
women-servants, shall have their lives, and
all fitting respect due to persons of their sex
and quality, and be safely conveyed to Bath,
if her Ladyship likes, not to Bristol ; there



to remain till vre have given account to the
parliament of her work ; — That all the men
■within the castle shall come forth and yield
themselves prisoners unto us, who shall all
have their lives, excepting such as have me-
rited otherwise by the laws of the kingdom
before their coming to this place, and such
as shall refuse or neglect to come forth unto ;
That there shall be care taken that tlie said
Lady Blanch shall have all things fitting
for a person of her quality, both for her
journey and for her abiding until the parlia-
me»t give further order, and the like for the
other gentlewomen, who shall have all their
wearing apparel : — That there shall be a
true inventory taken of all the goods, which
shall be put in safe custody until the farther
pleasure of the parliament be signified
therein: — That her Ladyship, the gentle-
women, and servants aforesaid shall be
pi-otected by us according to her Ladyship's

(Signed), Edward Hungerford.
Nith. Thode."
Such Avere the conditions upon which
Lady Arundel and her little garrison agreed
to ojjen the castle gates. No sooner, how-
ever, had they done so than the parlia-
mentaiy commanders violated their engage-
ments in every article except those respecting
the preservation of life — not only was the
mansion plundered of all its valuables, but
many of its most costly ornaments and
l^ictures were destroyed, and all the out-
houses levelled with the ground. The very
wearing apparel of the ladies was seized, and
they themselves sent prisoners to Shaftes-
bury, whence the Lady Arundel Avas re •
moved to Lath, and separated from her sons,
who were sent to Dorchester The castle
being thus surrendered was immediately
garrisoned for the parliament, and the com-
mand given to Edward Ludlow, Esq., one of
the most zealous and active partizans of the
Commons in the West of England. He held
it hoM-ever for a brief period only. Apprised
of the of foil of Wardour, its noble proprietor,
aided by Sir Francis Doddington, marched
into Wiltshire, and laid siege to the castle,
Avhich, after a determined resistance, surren-
dered, but not before Lord Arundel had
directed a mine to be sprung, and thus
sacrificed the noble and magnificent structure
to his loyalt)\ From the injurj^ sustained in
these two sieges, especially in the latter, War-
dour Castle appears never after to have been
either inhabited or made use of as a place of
defence. At present it is a mass of ruins
covered with ivy, and not even retaining
sutlicient features to enable the topographer
to discriminate its former arrangement and
extent. The site of these ruins is beneath a
" grand amphitheatrical hill," enveloped in
wood, and commanding at certain points

some beautiful and distant views. Along
the side of the hill a terrace leads through a
variegated parterre, ornamented with arti-
ficial rockwork, to the grand entrance to the
castle, over which is a head of our Saviour in
a niche, with these lines : —

" Sub Numine tuo
Stet genus et doinus ;

and immediately beneath are the arms of the
family, Avith the following inscription —

" Gcntis Anmdelire, Thomas Laiiheinia proles
Junior, hoc meruit, prime sedere loco :
Ut scdit cccidit sine crimine plcctitur ille
Insons, insontcm fata sequunta probaut
Nam qufp patris erant Mattheus filius emit
Enipla auxit : studio principis aucta mancnt
Comprecor aucta diu maneant a^igenda per ocvum
Ilaec dedit, cripuit, restituitque Deus."

The above lines refer to the trial and exe-
cution of Sir Thomas Arundel, 5th Feb.
1552, who Avas implicated Avith the Duke of
Somerset, in the charge of conspiring to
murder John Dudley, Duke of Northum-
berland. His estates however Avere not for-
feited, but descended to his son, jMatthew,
Avhom Queen Elizabeth knighted in 1574.

The chief remains of Wardour Castle con-
sist of a sexagonal court, which formed the
centre of the ancient mansion in its perfect
state. In the court is a very deep Avell, Avhich
was sunk by ]Mr. LudloAV, to supjdy his garrison
with water during the second siege. ScA^eral
doorways lead into the court from different
apartments, bitt only one staircase can noAv
be ascended, Avhich leads to the summit of
the edifice. Almost contiguous are the re-
mains of the mansion, Avhich was occupied
by the family after the destruction of the
castle till their removal to the present resi-
dence about seventy years since, Avhen the
former was converted into a farm-house,
Avith its necessarj' offices.

The new edifice, Avhich stands about a
mile from the ruins of the ancient castle, was
erected between the years 1776 and 1784,
and is at once a noble and sumptuous build-
ing. Approached by the pi'incipal entrance
to the grounds on the road leading from
Salisbury to Shaftesbur}^, it seems to emerge
from the bosom of a thick grove, and at
length displays itself fully to vieAv, seated
on a gentle eminence, and surrounded by a
lawn and thick woods. The whole building
is composed of free-stone, and consists of a
centre and tAvo wings, Avhich project from the
body on the porch side in a curvilinear form.
The entrance front, looking toAvards the
north, is ornamented Avith pilasters and half
columns of the Corinthian order, and opens
into a spacious hall, conducting to the ro-
tiuida staircase, probably the finest speci-
men of modern achitectural ornament in the



EATON HALL, Cheshire, about tliree miles
to the south of Chestei', the seat of the Mar-
quess of Westminster, lord lieutenant and
custos rotulorum of the same county. In
the reign of Henry the Tliird, Hamon de
Pulford, being possessed of this manor, settled
half of it upon his son Richard, who assumed
the name of Eaton from the place itself. His
descendants would seem to have been pos-
sessed of the whole manor, which, however,
to the reign of Henry the Fifth, passed with
Joan, daughter and heir of John Eaton,
to Kalph, second son of Sir Thomas Gros-
venor, who continued the male line of tliat
family, and was the ancestor of the present
noble owner.

At the close of the last century, Eaton
Hall was a large brick mansion, built for Sir
Thomas Grosvenoi*, by the architect Van-
brugh, in that heavy style which Avas so
fashionable in the reign of William the
Third. The gardens, also, Avcre formed

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 37 of 79)