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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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and tradition has assigned to it the following
letter, from Dr. ^^'illiam Henry, dean of Kil-
laloe, in Ireland, to the Hon. Robert Trevor
Hampden, afterwards Viscount Hampden : — ■

"The portrait which I had the honour of
transmitting to Mr. Hanrbden, through the
favour of Mr. Trevor, seems to me to be a
genuine original of his most famous ancestor,
the great John Hambden, for the following
particular reasons :

"June 16, 1743, I purchased this portrait
at the auction of the goods of Mr. Copping,
late dean of Cloghcr, by the advice of an
eminent painter.

" Dean Copping had brought it over, to-
gether with many other valuable collections,
Avhich were the furniture of a house near
Ipswich, belonging to an ancient lady, aunt
to the late Duke of Devonshire, who had
bequeathed tliis to Mr. Copping, her chaplain.

" This house and furniture belonged to the
great Lord Russell, who lost his life for the
Protestant leligion and liberties of his
country.

" Upon a visit made to me at my house
in Strabane, by Dr. Reyuell, then Bisliop
of Derry — who had been tutor to the late
Duke of Devonshire, Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland — immediately on seeing this portrait
the Bishop started, and in a kind of surprise
asked me ' Where did you get this original
of the great John Hambden"?' I gave him
an ac ount of the maimer in which it came
into my hands. Whereupon he said tliat he
knew the picture well, and gave me this
account of it : Mr. Hambden sate for this
pi ture before the beginning of the Civil
Wars, and gave it to his friend. Sir William
Russell. From Sir William it came to Lord
Russell ; from Lord Russell tjiis pictuie, to-
gether with the liouse and furniture near



Ipswich, came to this lady — who, I believe,
was his daughter, or grand -daughter — and
from her to Dean Copping. He also men
tioned some tokens, from which I might, on
sight of tl\e picture, know it to be Hamb-
den's — particularly the resemblance between
it and some prints ; but said it was a better
picture than that from wjiich the prints had
been taken.

" This is the evidence offered to me of its
being an original."

This picture, however, " difters in some
things from the fiimous picture of Hambden
in Holland." It represents the head of a
man in armour, with a calm face, his liair
parted and flowing down to the shoulders,
and holding in one hand a roll of papers.

On the same stair-case is an excellent
whole length of Oliver Cromwell, with his
helmet, and a table, upon which one hand
rests, while the other grasps a trunclieon.
Tlie back-ground is occupied by the tumult
of a battle, but unfortunately it lias been
injured by the damp. There are also in
this mansion portraits of Queen Marj' and her
sister Elizabeth, one of them supposed to be
meant for Mary, Queen of Scots. Another
in military boots, but without any of the in-
.siguia of royalty, is called a portrait of King
James, either from tradition, or its fancied
resemblance to that monarch.

Tliere is a story still current of King John
having visited this mansion upon one occa-
sion. As the monarch possessed a royal
residence in the neighbourhood, it seems
highly probable tliat such was indeed the
case, the rank and property of the Hampdens
fully entitling them to the honour,

ARBORFIELD HALL, Berkshire, the seat of
Sir Jolm Conroy, who was created a baronet
by her Majesty on her accession, for his long
and faithful services to Her Majesty, and to
their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess
of Kent. The manor-of Arborfield, or Erber-
felde, as it is spelt in ancient MSS., is a small
parish in the Hundred of vSonning, county of
Berks, and is situate about four miles soutli-
west of Wokingham, in the district of
Windsor Forest, and about five miles south-
east of Reading. The parish contauis 1,412
acres, and a population of about 300 souls.

The manor, in the 14th century, belonged
to the " Bullocks," several of whom served
tlie office of sheriff for Berks in the 14th,
15th, and IGth centuries ; one of the family
is styled in the pedigree, " Hugh with the
brazen hand."

Their mansion of Arborfield was situated on
an elevated piece of ground, near the river Lod-
don,Avhich defended it on the western side, and
supplied the waters of the moat that encom-
passed it on the other, the remains of whicli
can still be distinctly traced. Early in the



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



187



17tli century the manor passed into the pos-
session of the Standen family, one of whom,
AVilliam Standen, lord of the manor of
Arborfield, Barkham, &c., was sheriff of
Berks in 1615. He died in 1639, and a hand •
some table monument of marble, having upon
it the recumbent effigies of the deceased, and
]\Iaria Backhouse, his wife, daughter of
Samuel Backhouse, of Swallowtield, Esq., is
still preserved to his memory in the chapel
belongmg to the mansion, and attached to
the parish church. This tomb is mentioned
by Elias Ashraole, in his " Antiquities of Berk-
shu"e," who states that the banner and gloves,
&c., of the deceased, which formerly hung
over the tomb, had then disappeared. The
Standens havmg pulled down the ancient
house, completed m 1654, on an adjoining
site, a spacious Elizabethan mansion ; at the
same tune the park was also laid out, in the
remams of which some very fhie trees still
exist, especially a magnificent avenue of firs
and limes, standing on the bank above the
river Loddon. The great-grandson of the
above William Standen, Edward Standen, of
Arborfield, the person alluded to in the
well-knowi ballad of " IMolly ^loggs of the
Rose," was the last of the family, and he,
dyuig in 1730, devised his estates to his heir,
Richard Aldworth, Esq., then a minor, and
subsequently the father of the first Baron
Braybroke. The trustees of this minor
having obtamed an Act of Parliament (4
Geo. II.) sold the estate (excepting the ad-
vowson of the living, a rectory, still in the
patronage of Lord Braybroke) to Pelsant
Reeves, Esq., a Master in Chancery, whose
grand-daughter and heir conveyed it, by
marriage, mto the Dawson family. Her son
and heir, George Pelsant Dawson, of York-
shire, Esq., pulled dovm the old mansion of
the Standens in 1835, and commenced the
erection of a smaller edifice m the irregular
Elizabethan style of architecture. Tliis gen-
tleman having sold a portion of the estate to
Sir John Conroy, that baronet added con-
siderably to the building, and has succeeded
in making it one of the most agreeable resi-
deiices in the comity.

Arborfield Hall is pleasautl)^ situated on a
high bank above the river Loddon, which,
flowing through the Park, forms a picturesque
feature in the surroimdiug woodland scenery
of the country.

The parish church, a small primitive
structure, m the park, and near the man-
sion, is supposed to have been originally
built in the thirteenth century, and adjoining
it is the chapel belonging to the Hall. The
park is surrounded by the home farm, in
which ^the most improved style of agricul-
ture prevails. This has become an object of
the highest interest. " Such," observes the
" Times' " Commissioners in thou- report on



the agricultural districts of England, "is the
style of farmmg adopted by a gentleman
bred m the court and the camp, a farmer of
four years' i)ractice, but of many years ob-
servation ; who, notwithstanding all the out-
lay he has made, finds the busmess remunera •
tive. We have been thus minute m our
description, in the hope that other gentlemen
now compelled by necessity to look strictly
to their own business, may be tempted to
take a lesson from Su- John Conroy, and to
learn from him how much healthful excite-
ment is to be obtained by personal attention
to the business of farming."

THE ORCHARD, hi the Isle of Wight,
parish of Niton, in the back or southern part
of the island, called the Undercliff, from the
subsidence of a considerable tract of coun-
try by a land-slip from the mam cliff. It is
the seat of the Dowager Lady Gordon,
widow of Sir Willoughby Gordon, bart., the
late o^\^ler, who bought it of — Mackenzie,
Esq., in 1813. Before his time, it Avas a
gentleman',? cottage, of small size, but by
successive additions at various periods, he
converted it hito the handsome mansion
we now see. The style of architecture is
mixed, but the effect is by no means unpleasing
to the lover of the picturesque, whatever it
may be to the eye of the artist, who in
general is more mclined to judge by rule
than to give way to unagination. It is built
chiefly of the stone of the country, and deco-
rated m front with a variety of flowers, ever-
greens, and fruit trees, all luxuriatmg in the
wann humid clunate upon a succession of
artificial terraces. The grounds about it are
laid out after the Italian fashion, and have
altogether a southern appearance.

The best view of this house will be ob-
tained by descending Cr/pj^Ie Path, a long
succession of steps cut out of the solid cliff.
About half way down some projections of
the rock afford convenient places of rest for
the traveller, but though of nature's own
formation they have all the appearance of
having been made by the hand of man.

This place, like so many other mansions
in the island, has been honoured with the
visits of royalty, though of another kingdom.
In 1831, the late Duchess d'Angouleme, and
the Duchess de Berri, with the Due de Bour-
deaux and his sister, Avere entertained here
on then- flight from France.

COKER COURT, near Yeovil, in the county
of Somerset, the seat of William Hawker
Helyar, Esq., aa'Iio is also the owner of
Sedgehill House, Wiltshire.

From an early period, up to the reign of
EdAvard the Second, Coker was possessed
by the De Mandevilles, a family, as their
name imports, of Norman origin. To them
succeeded the Courtenays, Avho retained it



188



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN,



until the time of Elizabeth, when it cp.me
into the possession of the Phelips. They
held it however bnt for a short time, and in
tlie reign of James the First sold it to
Archdeacon Helyar, in whose descendant
it still remains.

The front hall and older part of the house
are in the earliest perpendicular style of
architectnre. The newer portions, built
about one-hundred years ago, are of that
mixed style usually denominated the modern
Grecian. No farther back than the life-time
of the late possessor, there w^as still extant
a curious instance of that quaint moralizing
tone to which our ancestors were so partial.
In the old hall, before tlie organ loft, were
three coats of arms, each having its inscrip-
tion, to this eflect :

O/im, Kunc, Knpcr;
Cras atilem nescio cujus.

The first probably referred to the De
Mandevilles ; the second to the Courtenays ;
the third to the Helyars.

_ Cokcr Court stands upon the slope of a
hill above the village of East Coker, in the
Division of Yeovil, having the church ad-
joining upon the north-east. The grounds
are laid out in lawn and shrubbery, with a
terrace-walk, that commands an extensive
prospect, and is surrounded by a handsome
park. The neighbourhood is celebrated for
its Jiumerous dairy-farms, from which the
metropolis is chiefly supplied with tlie so-
called dairy-butter. Near Yeovil itself are
three remarkable hills, froin the summit of
one of Avhich, called Newton Hill, the
English and Bristol Channels can be dis-
covered.

Coker Court is about ten miles from
Somertou, and more than one hundred and
twenty from London,

SCRIVELSBY, co'. Lincoln, the seat of the
Hon. the Champion Dymoke. About two
miles soutli of Horncastle, on the road
towards Boston, stands the village of ScRi-
VELSBY — a feudal manor conferring on its
possessor the chivalrous and dignified office
of Champion. Inherited successively by
the Marmyons, the Ludlows, and the Dy-
mokes, this celebrated estate is rich in his •
toric associations. It appears in Domes-
day book to have been then holdcn by
Robert de Spenser, but by what services
is not stated. Sliortly after, the Conqueror
conferred the manor of Scrivelsby, together
with the castle of Tamworth, ,on Robert
DE Marmvon, Lord of Foiitney, wliose
ancestors were, it is said, hereditary champions
to the Dukes of Normandy, previously
to the invasion of England. Scrivelsby was
by the terms of the grant to be held by
grand serjeantry, " to perform the office of



champion at the kuig's coronation." Tlie
Lord of Fontney, thus invested with these
extensive possessions in the conquered
comitry, fixed his residence therein and
became a munificent benefactor to the
church, bestowing on the nuns of Oldbury
the lordship of Polesworth, with a request
that the donor and his friend Sir Walter de
Somerville, might be reputed their patrons,
ancl have burial for themselves and their
Jieirs m the abbey— the INlarmyons in the
Chapter House, the Somervilles m the
Cloyster. The direct male Ime of the
grantee expired with his great-great -grandson
riiiLXP DE Marmyon, a gallant soldier,
who, in requital of his fidelity to Henry
III. during the baronial war, was reAvarded,
after the victory of Evesham, with the
governorship of Kenilworth Castle. His
death occurred 20 Edward I. (1292), and he
was then found to have been seized of the
manor of Scrivelsby and the Castle of Tam-
worth. lie left daughters only, and between
them his extensive estates m Lincohishire,
Warwickshire, Leicestershire, and elsewhere
were divided. By the partition, Scrivelsby
fell to the share of Joan, the youngest
coheir ; and was by her conveyed, in mar-
ria.ge_to Sir Thomas de Ludlow. The
offspiing of the alliance consisted of one son,
John de Ludlow, Avho died issueless, and
one daugliter, aiargaret, the Lady of Scri-
velsby, who inherited from her brother that
feudal manor, and wedding Sir John Dy-
moke, a knight of ancient Gloucestershire
ancestry, invested him with the champion-
ship, which liigh office he executed at the
coronation of Richard II., despite the
counter claim of Sir Baldwin Freville, Lord
of Tamworth, Avho descended from jNIargery,
the second daughter of Philip de ]\Iarmyon,
From that period to the present, a space
of nearly five hundred years, the Djmiokcs
have uninterruptedly enjoyed this singular
and important estate, and have continuously
performed the duties its tenure enjoins.
It falls not however within our provmce
here to narrate the distinguished achieve-
ments of the successive 1 iOrds of Scrivelsby,
to tell how they mahitained in splendour
and dignity the ancient office they in-
herited, or to chronicle their gallant ser-
vices on the battle fields of the Plantagenets,
in the Wars of the Roses, and at tlie
siege of Touniay. Suffice it to add that
their present male representative Sir Henry
Dymoke, Bart, succeeded to the estates,
and the hereditary championship at the
decease of his fether, the Rev. John Dy-
moke in 1828, having previously performed
the duties as deputy for that genlleman at
the coronation of King George IV.

The greater part of Scrivelsby Court, the
ancient baronial seat, \vas destroyed by fire



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



189



seventy or eighty years since. In the por-
tion consumed was a very large hall, orna-
mented Avith panels, exhibiting in heraldic
emblazonment, the various arms and alliances
of the family through all its numerous and
far-traced descents. The loss has been, m
some degree, compensated by the addition
which tlie late proprietors made to the
remnant which escaped the ravages of the
flames, but the grandeur of the origmal
edifice can no longer be traced.

The annexed version of an old Anglo-Norman
ballad describes, with perspicuity and truth,
the transmission of the lands of Scrivelsby :

The Norman Barons l\I;trmyon
At Norman Court held high degi'ee ;

Knights and Champions every one,
To him who won broad Scrivelsby.

Those Lincoln lands, the Conq'ror gave,
That England's glove they should convey,

To Xnight renowned amongst the brave,
The 13aron bold of Fontcney.

The royal grant, through sire to son,

Devolved direct 171 cnpite
Until deceased Phil. Marmyon,

^^^ien rose fail' Joan of Scrivelsby.

Thro' midnight's gloom one sparkling star,
Will seem to shine more brilliantly,

Than all around, above, afar.
So shone the maid of Scrivelsby.

From London City on the Thames,
To Berwick Town upon the Tweed,

Came gallants all of courtly names.
At feet of Joan their suit to plead.

Yet, maugre all this goodly band,

Themaiden's smiles young Ludlow won,

Her heart and hand, her grant and land,
The sword and shield of Marmyon.

Out upon Time, the scurvy Knave,
Spoiler of youth, hard-hearted churl ;

Hurrying to one common grave,
Good wife and ladie — hind and earl.

Out on Tinic— since the world began,
No sabbath hath his greyhound limb,

In coursing man— devoted man.
To ageanddeath— out, outonhim.

In Lincoln's chancel, side by side,
Their effigies from marble hewn :

The " ami" written when they died,
Kepose De Ludlow and Dame Joan,

One daughter fair, survived alone,

One son deceased in infancy ;
De Ludlow and De Marmyon,

United thus in Margery.

A nd she wag woo'd as maids have been.

And won as maids are sure to be,
Wlien gallant youths in Lincoln green,

Do suit, like Dymoke, fervently.

Sir John De Dymoke claim'd of right,
The Championship through Margery,

And 'gainst Sir Baldwin Fre\-ille, knight,
Prcvail'd as Lord of Scrivelsby.

And, ever since, when England's kings.
Are dladem'd— no matter where.

The Champion Dymoke boldly flings.
His glove, should treason venture there.

On gallant steed, in armour bright,
His visor closed and couched his lance,

Proclaimeth he the Monarch's right
To England, Ireland, ^^'alcs, and France.



Then bravely cry, with Dymoke bold,
Long may the King triumphant reign '.

And when fair hands the sceptre hold.
More bravely stUl— Long Live the Queen !

FUIFORD, ill the parish of Dmisford,
Devonshire, the seat of Baldwin Fulford,
Esq., who succeeded to the estate upon
the death of his father m 1847. Fulford,
Foulforcl, or, as it is written in Domesday
Book, Folefort, took its name from a neigh-
bouring brook or ford, which was wont to
he foul after rain, or from the feet of cattle,
whence in ancient records it was sometimes
called De Turpi Vado, but more frequently
Villa de Fidford, as denoting the eminency
of the place.

The Fulfords are of Saxon origin, havmg
been seated here at least in the reign of
Richard I., and most probably from a period
far anterior. From the place the family
received its name, and the succession in the
male line has gone on unmterruptedly for
more than six hundred years. Durmg this
time they have intermarried with the
daughters of several emuient Houses, viz.,
Courtenay, Bourchier, Bonville, Poulet of
Hinton St. George, Fitz Urse, Moreton,
Langdon, Belston, Bozom, St. George,
Dennys, Samways, Cantalupe, Tuckfield,
and Chichester. Amongst them will be
found many distmguished characters, be-
longing to the chivalrous and romantic
parts of history. Thus we are told how
Baldwin de Fulford, who accompanied
Richard the First to the Holy War, in 1190,
and was a knight of the Sepulchre, fought a
terrible combat Avith a giant Saracen, to save
the honour of a lady m a certain besieged
castle. After a hard battle the good knight
prevailed, the infidel was slain, tlie lady re-
lieved, and hence it is prol^able that the
Saracens are used by the Fulfords as Sup-
porters. Another Sir Baldwin is 5-et more
renowned for liis unshrinking devotion to the
house of Lancaster, in consequence of which,
being taken prisoner, he was condemned to
die a traitor's death, by the victorious York-
ists. Chatterton, who has made a ballad on
the event, has designated him as Sir Charles
Bawdin, and gravely observes in the j^reface
to his forgery, that " the person here cele-
brated under the name of Syr Charles Baw-
din, was probable Sir Baldewyn Fulford,
Knt., a zealous Lancasteriau, who Avas exe-
cuted at Bristol m the latter end of 1461,
the first year of Edward the Fourth. He
was attainted with many others in the gene-
ral act of attainder, 1 Edward IV., but he
seems to have been executed under a special
commission, for the trial of treasons, &c.,
within the toA\^l of Bristol." The way in
which the poet describes his hero as meeting
death, is quite in accordance Avitli his his-
toric character, which was resolute, and



190



SEATS OP GREAT BRITAIN.



zealous even to slaying in the cause of
King Henry :

" At the grete mjTistcrr ivyndoTve sat,

The kynge yiiiie mycle state ;
To see Charles Bawdin go alonge,

To hys most welconi fate.

" Sooiie as the sledde drcwe nyghe enowe,

Th.att Edwarde hee myghte heare,
The brave Syr Charles hedyddstande uppc,

And thus hys wordes declare.

" ' Thou scest me, Edwarde ! traytoure vile,

Exposed to infnmie ;
Butt be assur'd, disloyall manne,

I'm greater nowe thaime thee.

" ' By foule proceedynges, murdi-e, Woude,

Thou wearest nowe a crowne ;
And hastappoynted mecto dye,

Ey power not thyne ov'iie.

" ' Thou thynlvest I shall die to daie ;

I have becne dede till nowe,
And soone shall lyve to weare acro-\nie,

For aie uponne my hro we.

" ' WTiylst thou perhapps for some few yeares,

Shall rule thys fickle lande ;
To k It them luiowe hovve wj-de the rule,

'Xw i.xt kynge and tyrant hande.

" ' Thj-e power unjust, thou tra ytour slave.
Shall fall omie thyne owne hedde ; '

From out of hearing of the kynge,
Departed then the sledde.

"Kjmge Edward's soule rush'd to hvs face,

Hee turned his hcdde awaie,
iVnd to his broder, Gloucester,

He thus did speke and sale :

" 'To hym that soe-mnch dreaded dethe,

Ke ghastlie terrors brynge ;
Beholdethe manne ! he speke the fruthe,

Hee's greater than a king.' "

Fulford House, Avhich stands on a rising
ground near a sheet of water, is about two
miles and a half from tlie Church tOM-ards
Cheriton. Tlie greater part of tlie old build-
ing was taken down in the reign of: Queen
Elizabeth, to make room for the j^resent
structure, the whole noAv formmg a quadran-
gular pile m good repair. TJie entrance is
through a gateway, m which is a door lead-
ing into a small but neat chapel wldch was
licensed by Edmund Statibrd, Bisliop of
Exeter, on the 8th of July, 1402. There
are two good dming rooms, and a very hand-
some drawing room, forty-two feet in'lengtli
and of proportionable height and breadth'
wherein are several excellent paintings. One
of these is a portrait of Charles tlie First




mony of the royal approbation. There also
is a very large picture, representing the
battle of Gravelin hi 15.58, l.)esides numerous
other pahitings and carvings, scattered
through tlie various apartments. The great
hall is paved checquer wise, witli white and
black marble. The .staircase is a piece of
exquisite workmansliip, divei'sified with
various kinds of wood, artificially iidaid, and
the carved ceiling above is remarkably well



executed.



Prince has described the country around
as being " open and coarse," but this cer-
tainly does not apply to the gardens and
park about tlie house, which have quite a
contrary character. In the grounds are fish-
ponds for the amusement of the angler.

During the great Civil War, Fulford House
Avas garrisoned for Charles the First, and
suffered not a little in consequence. Fairfiix,
who was then engaged in the siege of Exeter,
and had no mind to have so hostUe a fortress
in ills neighbourliood, despatched Colonel
Okey to compel the place into a surrender.
This the parliamentarian Colonel accom-
plislied in sixteen days, in the December of
lGi5, mansions hke Fulford being little cal-
culated ti) resist for any length of time, if
pressed by a vigorous and skilful enemy. Nor
was this_ the only sacrifice made by the
Fulfords in the cause of King Charles ; only
two years before, Tliomas Fulford, the eldest
son of Sir Francis, was killed m battle whh
the Roundheads : —

" He Tvas \Yorthy by descent,"

a monumental eulogium upon one of tlie
Fulfords, but which migjit with equal trutli
be applied to any of the family, from the
clays of their great ancestor, the ICnight of
tlie Holy Sepulchre.

HADLOW CASTLE, co. Kent, the seat of
Walter Barton May, Esq.— Hadlow Castle
may l)e truly termed the FonthLU of Kent.
■\^'illiam Beckford is no more. Tliat ex-
traordmary nmn, the author of Vathek, and
the creator of dwelluigs and towers so
beautifully fantastic, now rests beneatli the
marble mausoleum erected by himself in
Lyncombe Vale ; but his spirit stalks abroad.
In proof is tliis same castle oi Hadlow -wliose



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