Bernard Burke.

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

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turreted and lofty structure claims fair rival-
ship with Fonthill m architectural taste and
elegance, while it surpasses it in stabilit3^
Taken altogether, the extensive pile of
Iladlow Castle has a superb appearance.
Tlie exterior may be ^'iewed m the light
of a monastic edifice containing towers,
turrets, buttresses, and pinnacles, with an
elaborate sliow hi different i?arts of the buil-
ding, of the florid style of Gothic enrich-
ment. The mam tower, of excpiisite
workmansliip, and of great and unposing
height, rears itself proudly above the sur-
rounding country, and may be seen on all
sides at many miles distance. There is also
another handsome tower, noAv in the course
of construction, wJiicli displays the rich de-
coration that characterized the fourteenth
century. The interior of the castle is of
tlie same ornate cliaracter, consisting of
arches, groins, ramifications, and various
flowers of Gothic grandeur. The stained
glass that illumuies the hall is \-ery fine ; one



vindow in particular, representing tlie As-
cension of Christ, is truly magnificent. The
apartments are lofty and spacious ; the
dinuig-room and an adjoining one of octagon
dimensions, togethei with a di'awing-room
en suite, are especially striking. The ap-
proach to this lordly residence is through a
graceful Gothic gate with porters' lodges.

The whole of the modern structure of
Hadlow Castle has originated in the taste,
and sprung up under the direction of its
proprietor, Walter Barton J\Iay, Esq., who
truly evinces in the imdertakrng, the ardour,
the energy, and the intelligence of a Beckford.
The completion of his plans will form one
of the fairest architectural sights in Kent.

In the words of Shakespeare,

This castle hatli a pleasant scat ; the aiv
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.

It is situate at the entry of the village of
Hadlow, in that beautiful part of the comity
which lies between Tunbridge and I\Iaidstone.
Though the castle itself is new, the manor
on which it stands is of historical note.

This manor of Hadlow Avas a part of the
immense possessions of Odo, Bishop of
Baieux. It was afterwards held of the
Archbishop of Canterbury^ by the fiimily of
de Clare, Earls of Gloucester and Hertford^
Richard de Clare having entered into an
agreement with the Archbishop (who claimed
the seignory),intlie 42nd year of Henry III.,
to do homage for it. On the death of
Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford in
the year 1313, without issue sm'viving, this
manor was allotted to his second sister, ]\Iar-
garet, wife of Hugh de Audley, whose only
daughter and heir, IMargaret, married to
Ralph Staftbrd, Lord Stafford, inherited it at
her father's death ; and in their descendants,
Earls of Stafford and Dukes of Buckingham,
it contuiued till the execution of Edward,
Duke of Buckingham, for high treason, in
the 13th year of the reign of Henry VIII.,
when it was forfeited to the crown. In three
years after, that monarch granted it to Sir
Henry Guildford, at whose death, in the
23rd year of the same reign, it reverted to
the crown. Edward VI. in tlie 4th year of
his reign, conferred the manor of Hadlow on
John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, afterwards
Duke of Northumberland, who, three years
after, exchanged it with the Iving for other
lands. From this time it remained in the
possession of the croMii, till Elizabeth, m
the 1st year of her reign, gave it to her
kinsman, Henry Cary, Lord Hunsdon, whose
grand-nephew, Henry Lord Hunsdon, in the
following reign sold it to James Faircloth,
M.D. of London, who alienated it to George
Rivers, Esq., of Hadlow. A descendant of
this gentleman conveyed it, temp. Charles II.,

to Geffry Amherst, Gent., of Avhom, in 1699,
it was purchased by John France, Esq., who
left two daughters, his co-heirs ; of these
ladies, the elder, INIary, became the wdfe of
Walter Barton, Esq., and had by him three
sons ; the eldest, John Barton, Esq., who
succeeded to the manor and estates of his
family, including the old mansion called the
Court Lodge, wedded Jane, youngest daughter
of AVilliam May, Esq.,* and had three sons,
the youngest of whom inherited, when a
minor, the property of his maternal ancestors,
and assumed the surname of May. He died
in 1825, leaving a dan. Eliza, Lady Twysden,
and a son and heii', Walter Barton May,
Esq., the present worthy possessor of Hadlow

WELLESBOURNE HALL, near Warwick, in
the county of that name, the seat of Ber-
nard Granville, Esq. According to the
earliest known records this estate was held
by Thurstone de iMountfort, and in that
family it remained for several generations,
Avith one short interruption only, when it
was forfeited by Robert de jMountfort to
the crown in the reign of Henry the Second,
but recovered by his brother, Henry, upon
payment of a fine ; but in those times the
perpetual shifting of property from one
hand to anotlier Avas a natural consequence
of the constant rise and fall of kings ; that
Avhich was loyalty one day might become
treason on the next, and a man Avas likely
enough to lose his liead for the very same
services that had procured his advance-

By the death of Guy de jMountfort without
issue the estate passed to Sir Baldwin Frevil
and Sir Thomas Boteler, Knts., as being
cousins and heirs to his predecessor, Peter
deMountfort; but a division of property being
made betAveen them by mutual agreement,
Wellesbourne devolved to the latter of these
parties. Elizabeth, sole daughter and heiress
of Sir Ralph Boteler, next conveyed it by
marriage to Sir John Norbury. He dying
Avithout male heir, it came to his daughter
Anne, the Avife of Richard HalliAvell, and
thus passed to Jane, his cousin and heir,
Avho mariied Sir Edmund Bray, Knt. This
Jane died seized of the property, leaA'ing
six persons to inherit it — viz.. Sir William
Cobham, Knt., and Lord Cobham, son of
her daughter, Anne, besides four other
daughters, in consequence whereof the es-
tate AA'as sold and its profits divided. About
1600 it Avas bought by the Aylworths, from
whom it came — likeAvise by purchase — to the
famil)'- of D'Eavcs, the present heir male

* Ml'. j\lay's fom- sons all died A^ithont issue, and of
his tATO daughters, Mrs. Barton alone had children. The
old family residence of the lAI ays Avas at Tong:, in East
Kent, Avhcre they possessed a large and ancient mansion,
and a fine estate containing some of the best land in



being Bernard Granville, Esq., now of Wel-
lesbourne Hall, whose father, a lineal de-
scendant, in the female line, of the famed
Cavalier Commander, Sir Bevil Granville,
changed his name from D'Ewes, on succeed-
ing to Calwich Abbey, at the death of his
uncle, the Kev. John Granville.

The mansion is in that quaint old English
style of 'architecture which harmonizes so
admirably with an English landscape, while
it excites a hundred deliglitful associations
connected with the past. It is built of dark
red brick cased with stone, and is surrounded
by venerable elms that have long been cele-
brated for their size and beauty. Beyond is
a fine view of Wellesbourne Wood, a mile in

In Domesday Book the name of this place
is written Waleburne ; but afterwards AVales-
burne, and ^Yelesburne. It was evidently
so called at fn-st from the little brook by
which it stands, burne being the Saxon equi-
valent for brook.

ROCHDALE MANOR, in Salford Hundred,
Lancashire, the seat of James Dearden, Esq.,
or, as the name has always been pronounced
by the natives of these parts, Du-er-den. In
liis Law Dictionary, Jacob explains this ap-
pellation to mean, " a thicket of wood in a
valley," for which he gives the authority of
Cowel. Rochdale, as will be easily imagined,
signifies nothing more than the dale, or vale,
of the river Roche, which again might have
taken its name from the abundance of fish
so called, that probably existed in its waters
before it had become contaminated by the
refuse poured into it from manufactories and

The earliest proprietors of this manor tliat
we find on record are the De Rochdales, who
no doubt derived their family appellation
fi'om the place itself. It next came into the
possession of Henry, Earl of Lancaster.
About tlie fourteenth century it would seem
to have been held by the two ancient houses
of Elland and Savile. Upon the deatli of
Sir Henry Savile the manor appears to have
merged into the possession of the Duchy of
Lancaster, when Queen Elizabeth, in right of
her Duchy possessions, demised it to Sir John
Byron. As she was not one to fling away
her gifts with a prodigal hand, we may very
safely infer that Sir John in some way had
deserved the estate before he got it. No
one indeed could have been more frugal of
what she had to bestow — whether it was land,
gold, or honour — than this wise, but some-
what parsimonious princess. FromSir John's
descendants it passed, in the reign of Charles
the First, to the Ramsays, in trust for the
Earl of Ilolderness, by whose authority it
was conveyed to Sir Robert Heath, the
king's attorney-general. By him it was

again sold to the Byrons, who in those days
were the devoted friends of monarchy. In
1642, Sir John Byron was appointed, by
Charles the First, lieutenant of the Tower,
notwithstanding the vehement opposition of
the Parliament to his choice, for the Tower
was too important a place to be trusted in
the hands of a doubtful, or even lukewarm,
adherent. The next year Charles created
him a peer of tlie realm, by the title of Baron
Byron of Rochdale ; and the result did full
justice to the sagacity of the monarch.
Wherever a banner waved, or a sword
flashed on his behalf, there was to be found
the loyal and zealous Sir John. The conse-
quence was, that, Avlien the Parliamentarians
triumphed over the Royalists, and had got
into their ovnj hands the power of dispensing
rewards and punishments, they at once se-
questered his estates. Yet even this did not
seem to them an adequate measure of retalia-
tion for his loyalty. When the " Act of
Oblivion " was passed upon the king's execu-
tion, they excepted him, with six other lords,
from any sliare in their clemency. The res-
toration of Charles brought back with it the
family inheritance to the rightful owners.
But the evil star of this highly gifted family
had arisen, and soon blazed at its zenith,
almost every member of it seeming to be
visited in turn with some afliiction peculiarly
his own. It is only necessary to select two
or three instances.

In 1695 the second Lord Byron had a dis-
pute over a tavern-dinner with his relation,
Mr. Chaworth, upon that fruitful ground of
dispute, the preservation of game. This al-
tercation, however, Avhich took place in the
club-room, had subsided, and seemed to be
forgotten by either party, till, as Mr. Cha-
worth was going down stairs, Lord Byron
took him aside, and said he wished to speak
to him. Upon this they went together mto
an unoccupied room, and while I\Ir. Chaworth
stepped towards the door for the purpose of
shutting it, his lordship drew his sword, and
bid him do the same. On turning round to
comply with this demand, he saw his lord-
ship with his sword half out of the scabbard.
Upon this he hastened to unsheath his own
weapon, and made a lunge at him with so
much dexterity and vigour, that he imagined
the thrust must have entered his bosom, and
in a momentary feeling of compassion in-
quired if lie were not mortally wounded.
Instead of giving any reply, Lord Byron
shortened his sword, and ran him through
the body. The wound proved mortal ; he
died the next morning, and his lordship was,
in consequence, put upon his trial before the
peers, when, being found guilty of man-
slaughter, he claimed the benefit of the sta-
tute of Edward the Sixth, and was discharged.
This unfortunate duellist died without issue.



His brother, Admiral John Byroii, liad in his
youtli sailed round the world with Commodore
Anson, and, being cast away on an uninha-
bited island in the Pacific Ocean, had endured
hardships unheard of except in the pages of
romance. From this spot, after the lapse of
five years, he escaped, but though he rose to
eminence m his profession, it would seem
that his evil star had not yet done with him;
go to sea when he would, he was so con-
stantly attended by storms, that the sailors
gave him the name oi foul-iveather Jach, and
had httle fancy for sailmg under his

Rochdale at length, after a tedious law-
suit, became the property of the admiral's
grandson, the celebrated Lord Byron, — of
him who Aveaved the brightest laurels of the
bard round the coronet of the nobleman.
The most illustrious of his family, he
was at the same time the most unfortunate ;
for in his own melancholy yet restless
temperament he carried about Avith him
a spirit that left him as little enjoyment
of repose as the tempests that so constantly
pursued the admiral. How tliis great man,
—for ill spite of all his faults he has de-
served that epithet — died at Missolonghi,
away from home, and friends, and all
that can soothe the bitterness of the dying
hour, needs not to be repeated liere :

" Take him for all in all,
AVe shall not look upon his like again."

Long before his death. Lord Byron under
the pressure of necessity, had disposed of
Rochdale to James Dearden, Esq., the father
o? the present owner. The manorial rights of
this property are of tlie most comprehensiA'e
kind. They are reputed to extend over thirty-
two thousand statute acres of land, with the
privileges of court-baron and court -leet in all
the townships of the parish, including that
portion of Saddleworth which lies Avithin the
parish of Rochdale, excepting only such dis-
tricts as Robert de Lacy gave to the Abbots
of Whalley, with right to enclose the same.

BROOK MANOR HOUSE, in the parisli of
Brook, Isle of Wight, the seat of James and
William Hoay, Esqs. In the Anglo-Saxon
times this manor had belonged to Eaid Tosti, so
celebrated hi early records. Soon after the
Norman conquest Ave find it possessed by Sir
Ralph de ]\Iascarell, and afterwards at differ-
ent periods it passed into the hands of the
Glamorgans, theRoucles or Rookleys, and the
BoAvermans. Of W. BoAverman, Esq., it Avas
purchased in 1792, by Henry How, Esq. From
him it has come to the present OAvners.

Brook ]Manor House is pleasantly situated,
having FreshAvater and tlie Solent on the
south-west. It lies in a rich and picturesque
valley, completely sheltered by the near Jiills
from the fury of the winds, which at times

bloAv here Avith uncommon violence. It was
built by AVilliam Bowerman, Esq., who pulled
down tlie old manor liouse, and upon its site
erected this handsome mansion. In the family
of that gentleman is still preserved a drinking
horn, said to have been presented to Dame
Joanna BoA\^erman, lady of the manor of
Brook, by King Henry the Seventh, upon liis
honour mg her with a royal visit.

BALCASKIS, in tlie parish of Carnbee, Fife •
shire, the seat of Sir Ralph Abercrombie
Anstruther, Bart. The house and barony of
Balcaskie were for some time in the posses-
sion of the Strong family, the last male re-
presentatives of Avhicli Avere James Strange,
Esq., and Sir Thomas Strange, who married
the eldest daughter of the late Sir Robert
Anstruther of Balcaskie. From tlie Strongs
it passed rapidly into the hands of several
proprietors ; and was for a short period held
by Sir William Bruce, the royal architect for
Scotland, and the builder of Melville House,
the seat of the Earls of Leven and Melville,
in the adjoining county, as Avell as of many
others in various parts of Scotland. Ultimately
it A\^as purchased from Sir George Nicholson,
late of Kenmar, a Lord of Session, liv Sir
Robert Anstruther, second son of Sir
Philip Anstruther, of Anstrutlier, froniAvhom
is Uneally descended its present possessor, Sir
Ralph A. Anstruther, Bart.

Balcaskie is thus described by Sir Robert
Sibbald in his History of Fife and Kinross —
" A little above Pittinweem is Balcaskie, a
A'ery pretty new house, Avitli all modish coii-
A'eniences of terraces, gardens, park, and
planting. It was anciently the possession of
lairds of the name of Strang ; and is now the
seat of Sir Robert Anstruther, brother to my
Lord Anstruther."

This meagre account, which was published
in 1710, and reprinted in 1807, confirms Avhat
we have already stated in regard to Balcaskie
having been long possessed by the Strangs ;
but the mansion deserves a more particular
description than that given by Sibbald.

Balcaskie stands upon a considerable emi-
nence, about a mile from tlie sea, commanding
an extensive view of the Frith of Forth, Bass
Rock, North BerAvick-LaAv, and the opposite
coast of East Lothian. The style of its
architecture is that usually denominated
Scoto Franco, from its prcA'ailing generally
in the ancient Scottish mansions, and at the
same time partaking so largely of the cha-
racter of the old French chateau.

The date of the original house, of which
part still remams, can no longer be ascertain-
ed ; but it Avas put into its present shape,
about the middle of the seventeenth century
by the Sir William Bruce already mentioned
as haA'ing been the king's architect for Scot-
land. Suice that time it has been considera-

c c



bly enlarged by the present proprietor, who
without dcstioying its antique character, has
adapted it to the requirements of modern
taste and comfort. The ceiUngs of the prin-
cipal rooms are very old and highly orna-
mented ; and the gardens, with their hanging
terraces, heavy buttresses, stone balustrades,
and straight yew-hedges, afford a good speci-
men of the taste prevailing at the period.

From the three piles in the armorial bear-
ings of this family, it might be mferred witli-
out any other authority that the Anstruthers
of early times had performed a soldier's part
in tlie crusades ; it being generally considered
b)' heralds that these symbols were intended
to represent the three nails of the Cross,
and, as such, were orily borne by Crusaders.
This conclusion is fully borne out by a cu-
rious extract from an old French manuscript
lately printed by the Roxburgh Club, wherein
we are told that a Laird of Anstruther was
sent by his sovereign, Alexander the Third
of Scotland, to take part in the seventh Cru-
sade under St. Louis of France.

EWENNY ABBEY, co. Glamorgan, the seat
of Gervas Powell Turbervill, Esq., late Lieut.
Colonel 12th Regiment ; a deputy lieutenar.t
for the county, and its liitrh sheriff in 1851.
The old Abbey lands of Ewenny shared tlie
usual fate of all such property in the reign
of Henry VIIL, Avho granted this portion of
his ecclesiastical spoil to Edward Carne, the
descendant of an ancient Welsh family long
settled at Nash Manor House, near Coav-
bridge. The Carnes, who tlius became
possessed of Ewenny Abbey, held a high
position in Glamorganshire, and preserved a
male succession until the end of the seven-
teenth century. About that time, on the
4th June, 1700, John Carne, the last male
heir, died of a lingering consumption at tlie
age of 15, and was interred in Ewenny
Cliurch, under a statelj^ monument, inscribed
with the following beautiful epitaph, said to
have been written by one of the Thomas's,
of Tregose : —

Hero ly's Ewcnny's hope, E-wenny's pride,
In liim both flourish'^, and m him both dy'd.
Deatli having seized him, lin.sered, loath to be
The niine of this worthy family.

Tlie direct male line having thus expired,
Ewenny Abbey passed to a branch of the
great house of Turbervill, through the
marriage of Jane Carne, one of the daugh-
ters and coheirs of John Carne, Esq., Avitli
Edward Turbervill, Esq , of Sutturn. Their
son, Richard Turbervill, Esq., inheriting the
estate, served as High Sheriff for Glamor-
ganshire in 1740, and represented that county
in Parliament in 1767. He died without issue,
having settled his property on Richard Tur-
bervill Picton, Esq., and that gentleman, on
takmg possession of Ewenny Abbey, assumed

the sm-name and arms of Turbervill. His
only surviving son is the present proprietor.
The ancient Iniilding of Ewenny, of which
considerable remains may still be seen, was
of Norman architecture, and probably be-
longed to a very remote period. The modern
mansion was erected on the old site about
the year 1800 by Richard Turbervill Tur-
bervill, Esq., the existing possessor's father.


in the county of Staflbrd, near Lichfield, the
seat of John Levett, Esq.

Among the earliest recorded possessors of
Wichnor, were the Somervilles, wdto came
over to England with AVilliam the Con-
queror, and, like his other leaders, received
large gifts of land from him out of the con-
quered territory. From this fjxmily, in the
course of time, the estate passed to Rhese ap
Griffith, by his marriage Avith Joan, daughter
of Philip de Somerville. From the Griffiths
it came to Sir Francis Boynton, of Barmston,
in Yorkshire, by his mother, Avho Avas sister
and heir to the last Sir Henry Griffith, Bart.,
of Burton Agnes, co. York, and he sold it to
the Offleys, Avho, in 1765, disposed of it to
John Levett, Esq., of Lichtield. In this
family it still remains.

The manor-house is a neat modern buildmg,
in the midst of a Avell-wooded country, and
is supposed by Pennant to stand on the site
of the original structure, Avhich, accordmg to
Leland, was in his days a total ruin. At this
time, the family residence AA^as in the vale
inm-iediately adjoining the Trent, a situation
that does not appear to haA-e been particu-
larly Avell chosen, since it Avas often subject to
uiundations from the river.

The Roman road from Lichfield to
Burton, passes through the eastern part of
this parish, constructed upon immense piles
of Avood, on account of the marshy nature of
the ground through Avhich it runs. ShaAve,
the county historian, mentions that the piles
were distinctly visible in the great flood of
1795, that laid open a portion of the road.
This unusual event is thus graphically de-
scribed by him :—

"1795. February the 10th. Owing to
the sudden thaAv of this and the preceding
day, the river Trent rose higher than Avas
ever before knOAvn by the oldest person in
the parish. About 12 o'clock this CA-ening
(the Avater being at the highest), every part
of the tOAAii except the church, the north
side of the churchyard, and the market-
place, Avere entirely overfloAved, the water
then standing nine or ten inches in most of
the houses ; and even at 9 o'clock the next
morning, when the AA'ater was falling, a boat
Avas roAved from the house of Mr. IlaAA-kins,
up the High Street, uito Cat Street. More



or less damage was sustained by every inlia-
bittuit. The brew-liouses, malt offices, and
other manufacturies, the wharf and rafi-
yards, suffered considerably ; and charcoal,
to the amount of several hundred pounds,
was carried away from Sir. Lloyd's forge, a
little below tlie bridge. No mail or -waggon
was capable of passing in or out of the town
for two days. Many parts of the bridge
were considerably damaged, and on Friday
afternoon, the lotli, the third arch at the
west end of it fell in, which was rebuilt hi
the course of the ensuing summer by Mr.
John Stanley of Dufficld, at the expense of
about two hundred pound."

Vestiges of a Roman camp appear in the
enclosure of Wichnor Lodge, and many
coins of the emperors have been found in the
neiglibourhood. So recently as four years
ago a Roman pitcher was found while digging
near the house ; it is of copper, inlaid with
brass and some other metal, but there seems
to be a doubt as to wliat age it may jjelong.

Wichnor is one of the places to which
the celebrated custom of the Flitch of Bacon
is attached. The nature and origin of this
are so fuUy detailed in Soane's " New Curio-
sities of Literature " that we cannot do better
than extract the account he has given : —

" This custom has passed into a proverb,
and become the subject both of play and
ballad ; but its real nature does not seem to
be well understood by those who are most in
the habit of alluding to it. In general it is
supposed to attach itself exclusively to Dun-
mow. This, however, is no more than a
popular error. AVe know from authentic
records that it prevailed also at Tutbury in
Staffordshire, and I cannot help suspecting

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 43 of 79)