Bernard Burke.

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

. (page 48 of 79)
Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 48 of 79)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

will, a monument being erected to his memory
in Westminster Abbey by his widow, who be-
came, in the sequel, mistress of the Duke
of Marlborough. Barton Street and Cowley
Street, Westminster, both belonged to Booth.

The next occupant was John Rich, who
opened Covent Garden Theatre in 1733, and
afterwards became so noted by the invention
of the English harlequinade, or pantomime,
a species of entertainment which must have
some merit in spite of its grotesque bar-
barism, since it pleases all ages even in the
present day as much as when it was first
originated. But Rich has more substantial
claims to our regard. He was the friend
and patron of Hogarth, who painted for
him his series of pictures called " Mariage

a la Mode," and introduced him in two of
his paintings from the Beggars' Opera, as
also in his " Garden Scene at Cowley," a
duplicate of one which the artist had ex-
ecuted for Sir Andrew Fountain, the repre-
sentation of a fountain in the picture being
an allusion to Sir Andrew's name. A
portrait of Rich in the character of harle-
quin still adorns a room of the Garrick
Club, that may truly be said to hold its
revels under the auspices of Momus.

Towards the close of the last century the
property was occupied by Henry Michael
Evans, Esq., who died in 1796, and then by Ge-
neral Tatton,and the Hon. David Anstruther.

Cowley Grove subsequently passed into
the possession of Thomas Lane, Esq., a
London merchant, and was afterwards, be-
queathed by his son, Benjamin Arthur I^ane,
Esq., to Henry Champernoune, Esq., of Dart-
ington House, Devonshire, who sold it about
the year 1830 to Thomas Williams, Esq.,
father of the present owner.

The grounds of Cowley Grove are ex-
tremely beautiful, an advantage they owe
in a great measure to the inventive taste of
Hogarth, under whose direction they were
laid out and arranged as we now see them.

SHRIGLEY HALL, Cheshire, in the parish
of Prestbury, about four miles and a-half to
the north-east of Macclesfield, the seat of the
Rev. Brabazon Lowther. This was for many
generations the property of the ancient family
of the Downes, the last owner of that name
being the nineteenth in direct male descent
from Robert de Downes, who lived in the
reign of King John. From the earliest ages
the head of this house was one of the eight
subordinate foresters of the ancient forest of
Macclesfield. This was an hereditary office
attached to the Shrigley estate, but upon the
land being disforested, and granted to the
Derby family, in the reign of Henry VII., it
of course was abolished.

The Downes would appear to have pos-
sessed many eminent characters amongst
them, a distinction Avhich they maintained
up to a very recent period. One of that
name, Peter Downes, brother to the last
possessor, served as a midshipman aboard
the Leander, of fifty guns, and was present
at the battle of the Nile. After the action
this ship was sent oif by Nelson with de-
spatches, when she fell in, near Candia, with
the French ship, Genereux of seventy guns,
which had escaped from the previous battle.
A sanguinary action commenced between the
two ships on the 17th of August, 1798, in
which the young midshipman so highly
distinguished himself that he received the
thanks of his gallant commander. Sir Thomas
Boulden Thompson. In the course of the
fight, however, he had received a mortal



•wound, of wliich lie died on the following

Shrigley was sold by Edward Downes,
Esq., to the late AVilliam Turner, Esq., of
Mill Hill, Lancashire, and M.P. for Black-
burn in three successive Parliaments. The
latter gentleman devised it by will to liis
granddaughter, Ellen Jane Legh, who
brought tlie estate by marriage to the Rev.
Brabazon Lowther, the present possessor,
descended from tlie very ancient family
of the Lowthers in Westmorland, wlicre they
were settled long before the Norman conquest.

The mansion was built by the late William
Turner, Esq., and is a large modern building,
of the Ionic order, with tine stone dressing,
and handsome portico of massive stone pil-
lars. It is pleasantly situated npon a gentle
eminence, among well - timbered grounds,
commanding extensive and beautiful views of
the plains of Cheshire, part of North AVales,
the southern portion of Lancashire, and
the distant town of ^Manchester. Behind tlie
mansion the grounds swell up gradually into
the mountainous range of hills towards Lyme
Park, the boundary of the Shrigley estate.

Near the southern park-gate i.s the chapel of
Pott Shrigley, seated at the junction of seve-
ral valleys, overhung by luxuriant woods,
and presenting as charming a landscape as it
is possible to conceive away from the sunny
skies of Greece or Italy. This edifice is
extremely old, consisting of an embattled
stone tower, a nave with side aisles, and a
chancel. The aisles are divided from the
nave by two pointed arches on either side.
The roof of the nave, as well as of the chancel,
is of painted oak, and in the east window are
some remains of painted glass ; while the fit-
tings up being of the same characters — the
pews alone excepted — the Avhole has rather
the appearance of a collegiate chapel than of
a country church. But indeed it was origi-
nally intended for a chantry, having been
built in Roman Catholic times by Geoflrey
Downes, who died about the 7th year of
Henry VII., having provided handsomely
for its maintenance. It is now in tlie patron-
age of the Rev. Brabazon Lowther.

NONSUCH PAEK, in the county of Surrey,
the seat of William Francis Gamul Farmer,
Esq, When King Henry the Eiglith ob-
tained possession of the manor of Cudding-
ton, by exchange with the family of Coding-
ton, ho pulled down the old mansion, and
in the Little Park, con.sisting of six hundred
and seventy-one acres, he began to build a
new palace in its place, which, however, he
did not live to complete. From its real, or
supposed superiority to all other palaces, it
acquired the name of Xonc'^iich ; so at least
we are informed by Leland in the following
distich : —

"Hanc quia non habont similem, lawlare Britanm
Scepesoleiit, nuUique parem cogiiomine dicunt."

The palace still remained unfinished in the
time of Queen Maiy, who gave it in exchange
for other lands to Henry ritzalan,Earl of Arun-
del, to hold of the honour ofHampton Court in
free soccage, by fealty only. Subsequently,
he obtained from Queen Elizabeth the North
Park, commonly called Nonsuch Great Park,
in exchange for other estates, and he then
completed the buildings, which had been
left imperfect by Henry the Eighth.

Nonsuch was often visited by Elizabeth
during the lifetime of the earl, and also after
his decease, wlien it devolved to Lord Lum-
ley, who had married one of his daughters
and coheirs. At length the Queen pur-
chased the palace and Little Park of his
lordship, and here, during the latter part of
her reign, she constantly resided during the
summer season, its vicinity to London, as
well as its natural beauties, making it a
desirable retreat. It was at Nonsuch that
the unfortunate Earl of Essex had his cele-
brated interview with the Queen, upon his
unl^idden return from Ireland, an account of
which is given in a letter from Rowland
Whyteto Sir Robert Sydney, dated '' Non-
such, Michaelmas Day at noone." It is
preserved in the Sydney state papers, and
runs thus : — " Upon 3Iichaelmas eve, about
ten o'clock in the morning, my lord of Essex
liglited at court-gate in post, and made all
hast up to the presence, and soe to the Privy
Chamber, and .itaied not till he came to the
Queen's bed-chamber, where he found the
Queen newly up, the hare about her face ; he
kneeled unto her, kissed her hands, and had
some private speech with her, which seemed
to give him groat contentment ; for, coming
from her Majestie to goe shifte himself in
his chamber, he was very pleasant, and
thancked God, though he had sufl'ered much
trouble and storms abroad, he found a sweet
calm at home, 'Tis much wondered at here,
that he went so boldly to Her IMajesties pre-
sence, .siie not being ready, and he soe full of
dirt and mire, that his very face was full of
yt. About eleven he was read}', and Avent
up agalne to the Queen, and conferred with
her till half an howre after twelve. As yet
all was well, and her visage very gracious
towards hym. Until this time the Queen
had shewn no displeasure, but Avhen (after
his dinner) he again went into her presence,
he found her much changed in that small
tyme, for she began to call hj'in to question
for liis return, and was not satisfied in the
manner of his coming away, and leaving all
things at soe great hazard. She apointed the
Lords to heare hym, and soe they went to
cownsell in the afternoonc- — and he went
with them, where they satt an howre. But
nothing was determined or yet known ;



belike yt is referred to a full co'misell, for all
the Lords are sent for to be here this day.
Yt is mistrustful that for his disobedience he
shall be coraytted. On the same nyght,
between ten and eleven o'clock, a command-
ment came from the Queen to my Lord of
Essex, that he should kepe his chamber ; and
on the following Monday he was committed
to the custody of the lord kee[ier at York
House." James the First settled Nonsuch
Palace, and tlie Little Park upon his consort,
Anne of Denmark. The Great Park, which
was in the tenure of Lord Lumley, was
afterwards bought for her accommodation.
La the next reign, the buildings and park
of Cuddington, or Nonsuch, were held by
the Queen of Charles the First, till upon the
total defeat of that monarch, they were
seized by the parliament, as was the case
with the other estates vested in the
crown. After the king's execution in 1649,
certain commissioners appointed to dispose
of the cro^vn-Iands, granted a lease of Non-
such House to Algernon Sydney ; and in
1650, the Cuddington property was sold to
George Smithson and others, who it is sup-
posed resold the Little Park of Nonsuch to
Major-General Lambert, and the Great
Park to Colonel Thomas Pride. At the
restoration, this and other estates similarly
acquired, were speedily resumed, and the
Queen Dowager, Henrietta Maria, recovered
possession of Cuddington.

In 1665, when the plague was at its height
in the metropolis, the exchequer, to escape
the infection, was removed to Nonsuch. In
1669, the queen dowager died, and this pro-
perty reverted to the crown, when Charles
the Second demised for ninety-nine years,
conditionally, the Great Park, the Great
Park Meadow, and the mansion called AVor-
cester Park, to Sir Robert Long, Bart., who
had been his secretary during his exile.
Having no issue, the baronetcy was limited
over to his nephew, James Long, of Draycote
Cerne, in Wiltshire, from whom it descended
to Sir James Tylney Long, Bart., the father
of the late Mrs. Long Wellesley.

In 1670-1 Charles bestowed the freehold
of Nonsuch, the Great and Little Parks,
and the Great Meadow, Avith certain reserves
to Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine, who was
then created Baroness of Nonsuch, Countess
of Southampton, and Duchess of Cleveland.
By her the palace, or mansion, of Non-
such was pulled down, the materials sold,
and the parks divided into farms. Upon her
death in 1709, she was succeeded by her
grandson, Charles, second Duke of Grafton,
who, in less than thirty years, disposed of
tJie Little Park, or Nonsuch Park, to Joseph
Thompson, Esq. The new possessor soon
erected a dwelling-house near the site of the
old palace, which, although himself a Dis-

senter, he gave to liis nephew Joseph
Whateley upon condition of his taking
priest's orders, and he dying about the end
of thel7th century, directed by his will that
the estate should be sold, when it was pur-
chased by the late Samuel Farmer, Esq.

The present mansion, which was built be-
tM'een the years 1802 and 1806, by the grand-
father of the gentleman now o-wning the
estate, is a large castellated edifice in the
Elizabethan style, with octagonal towers and
embattled parapets. Since that period, — in
the year 1845, — it has received many ad-
ditions and improvements, and now exhibits
the appearance of a handsome and spacious
pUe, in admirable keeping wdtli the beautiful
scenery around it. When tune shall have lent
its peculiar hue to the walls, and the first
touches of decay shall become visible,
no great exertion of fancy will be requisite
to unagine it the ancient abode of some sturdy
baron, whom the building has long survived.
The internal ai-rangements do great credit
to the taste and invention of the architect,
the late Su* Jeffrey Wyattville, whether as re-
gards the purposes of ceremony or comfort.
The lower story is occupied by an elegant
suite of rooms, consisting of a dining-room,
an octagonal drawhig room,* a library, and
other apartments, the general effect of which
has, in some instances, been greatly heightened
by the introduction of stamed glass in the

A very considerable portion of the former
park was, as we have already seen, converted
by the Duchess of Cleveland to farming pur-
poses, and as such it still remains. A part,
however, has been redeemed from the plough
by the present owner, so that the park and
pleasure-grounds now comprise about a hun-
dred acres. He has also entirely remodelled
the gardens, which are of considerable extent,
and are well stored with the choicest plants.
Nothing can well exceed the size and
beauty of many of the trees in these de-
mesnes. There is a honey locust-tree, sixty-
five feet in height, and in girth, at one foot
from the ground, eight feet ; a chestnut -tree
equally tall, but no less in girth than twelve
feet eight mches ; an abele tree, seventy-two
feet in height, and in trunk eighteen ; a plane
tree — certamly not surpassed in England -
one hundred feet in height, and in girth, at
one foot from the ground, fifteen feet at
least. ]Many more might be enumerated,
no less remarkable for size or for S3'mmetry,
and in particular a venerable elm, called

*' This fine apartment opens by large folding doors into
a second drawing room, maliing the entire length, when
thrown together, about fifty feet ; both rooms are lieauti-
fully painted and embellished with large mirrors ; the
latter contains, among other ornaments, the exquisite sta-
tuettes of "Sappho," and "Bacchus and Ino," which
were so much admii-ed in the collection exhibited by
Alderman Copeland at the Crystal Palace. In the dining-
room is a chef d'ctuvre bv Quintin Matsvs.



Queen Elizabeth's elm, wliich stands a short
distance from the Ewell lodge. Here, it is
said, the maiden queen used to take her stand
when shooting at the deer with the cross-
bow. Beyond question it is a singularly-
fine tree, its girth being twenty-two feet six
inches, and its height full eighty feet.

In the January of 16G5, Nonsuch was
visited by Evel}*!!, and the following is the
account he gives of it in his Diary : —

"1C65-6, January 3. I supped in Nonesuch
House, whither the office of the Exchequer
was transferr'd during the plague, at my
friend's, iMr. Parker's, and tooke an exact
view of ye plaster statues and bass relievos
inserted 'twixt the timbers and punchions of
the outside walles of the court ; which must
needs have been the work of some celebrated
Italian. I much admir'd how tliey had lasted
so well and intire since the thne of Henry
VIII. , expos'd as they are to the aire ; and
pitty it is they are not taken out and pre-
serv'd in some drie place ; a gallarie would
become them. There are some mezzo re-
lievos as big as the life ; the storie is of ye
heathen gods, emblems, compartments, &c.
The palace consists of two courts, of which
the tirst is of stone, castle-like, by the Lo.
Lumlies (of whom 'twas purchas'd) ; ye other
of timber, a Gotiq. fabric, but these walls
incomparably beautitied. I observ'd that
the appearing tunber, ptunchions, &c., were
all so cover'd with scales of slate, that it
seem'd carvM in the wood and painted, ; ye
slate fasten'd on the timber in pretty figures,
that has, like a coat of armour, preserv'd it
from rotting. There stand in the garden
two handsome stone pyramids, and the
avenue planted with rows of faire elmos ;
but the rest of these goodly trees, both of
this and of Worcester Park adjoining, Avere
fell'd by those destructive and avaricious
rebeUs m the late warr, which defae'd one
of the stateliest seats his Majesty had."

SPROSTON WOOD, AVrenbury, in the
county of Chester, the seat of Samuel
Sproston, Esq., the descendant of an ancient
family that has resided here since the time
of Queen Elizabeth. To the active benevo-
lence of this venerable gentleman the county
is deeply indebted. The village school-room
was built chiefly through his exertions, and
having etTected this desirable object, he next
proceeded, in conjunction with Viscount
Combermere, to endow a mastership to carry
out the purposes of this establishment. He
also gave a piece of land, and a liberal dona-
tion, -when it became necessary to make ad-
ditions to the churchyard at Wrenbury, be-
sides contributing largely to the various
churches and schoolrooms of the diocese.
Nor has his beneficence been confined to
Cheshire ; for in every part of the kingdom

he has sought out and relieved the dis-
tressed, with a spirit that has seemed to be
never weary of doing good.

The present mansion was built by Samuel
Sproston, Esq., in 1827. It is a handsome
and substantial edifice, of no distinct archi-
tectural character, surrounded with old but
still verdant trees, and the pleasure grounds
are laid out with much taste.

The present owner has greatly increased
the estate by purchases in the townships of
AYrenbury, Newhall, and Audlem.

EROADLANDS Hampshire, in the valley
of the Test, tJie seat of Viscount Palmerston.
For two centuries this property belonged to
the St. Barbes, one of whom represented the
county of Southampton in CroniM-ell's Parlia-
ment ; but about the middle of the last cen-
tury it came into the hands of the Temple
family, from wliich that of Palmerston is
paternally derived.

'ilie mansion stands upon the eastern side
of the river Test. It is built of fine white
bricks, and presents an elegant facade,
adorned with a portico in the purest style of
the Ionic order. In other respects it is
plain and simple, and on that very account
harmonizes the better with the serenity of
the landscape around it. The hiteriov ar-
rangements are admirable, bearing ample
testimony to the taste of the nobleman under
whose direction the building was erected.
The collection of paintings here by some of
the most eminent old masters deserves also
to be noticed, although the attempt to de-
scribe them as they should be described,
would far exceed any limits we could reason-
ably propose to ourselves. ^Ve must con-
tent ourselves therefore with briefiy enu-
merating a few of them. Amongst the
landscapes is one of large size by Salvator
Rosa, possessing all that gloomy splendour,
Avhich cliaracterizes his paintings. A se-
cond and third by N. Poussin ; a fourth by
Swanaret ; a fifth by Eugydare ; a sixth
introducing figures of the Holy Family, by
Claude ; and a seventh, with men and horses,
by A\'ouvermann.

Amongst the more miscellaneous class of
paintings is a '' Young ]\Ian's Head," by
Carracci ; and as opposed to it, the "Head of
an Old Man" by llembrandt ; and another
by Vandyke, the " Prodigal's Eeturn," by
Guercino; the " Descent f'lom the Cross,'

(a copy from Dan da Volterro) by Domeni-
chino, &c. <S:c.

The collection of ancient statuary has
been made with no less taste and judgment,
and presents some pieces of very superior
merit; in particular a head of Juno, which
though somewhat corroded by time, is yet

almost perfect. Here also are two bass re



licfs, besides various otlier productions
of the classic times.

Few seats are surrounded by a fairer land-
scape than this of l>i-oadlands. 'J'he I'ark,
of an irregular triangular shape, extends
about a mile and a quarter to the river Test,
Avhich here unites its various branches into
a single channel — the canal excepted — and
spreads out into a liroad expanse of orna-
mental water. This Park exhibits many
noble trees of various kinds, scattered
singly, or in groups, arranged with exqui-
site taste and effect. On the side that
abuts on Romsey, it is about half a mUe
in length.

The width of the valley of the Test is
here almost tliree quarters of a mile,
if measured from the commencement
of the rise on either side. Above Rom-
sey it extends westward into a sort of
basin, and again widens in the same direc-
tion opposite the middle of the entire
length of Broadlands. Between these points
it is narrowed by hills that jut out in gentle
swellings, one of which slopes, lawn-like,
towards the meadows, while the other stands
out like a fortress made by nature, and in-
deed bears the marks of having been once
artificially fortified upon all except its
steepest sides. The summit is remarkably
flat, and covered with a green turf as soft to
the tread as velvet. IVIingled with the grass
is an abundance of wild thyme and other
aromatic herbage, so that on a fine summer's
day, the whole place glitters with the glance
of tiny wings, and the air is alive with the
busy hum of bees attracted thither Ijy the

From the top of this eminence the views
are exceedingly beautiful, and their effect is
not a little heightened by their being broken
and separated by clumps of trees, that are
A^ariously dispersed upon the crown and mar-
gin of the hill. These views are principally
four, though of course they may be yet
more diversified if the spectators take up
other positions. First, upon the right hand
is a prospect down the valley, and across
Southampton water to the New Forest: per-
haps it may even extend, as the peasants of
the neighbourhood say it does, to the Isle of
Wight, but for this the day must be fine,
and the atmosphere remarkably free from
vapour ; it may be doubted too, whether
much would be gained to the spectator by
this extension of his prospect, for nothing
can well be imagined more beautiful than
the nearer landscape when the clouds, under
the influence of a gentle west-wind, are fling-
ing their light shadows upon it, and for a
moment interrupting the sunshine. Secondly,
to the left of the scene just mentioned, is the
view of Broadlands, forming with its Ionic
porch a graceful contrast to tlie beauties of

nature. Thirdly, comes tljc view of Romsej',
the only objection to wliich is the too great
remoteness of the abbey-church, the most
interesting feature that the town presents.
Lastly, there is the view up the valley of
the Test, which here assumes the appear-
ance of an amphitheatre with finely- wooded
margins, the bright streams glittering among
fields of the freshest verdure ; while here
and there some blighted trunk of a tree
stands out amongst all this life and youth
like a church- yard in some crowded city, as
if to remind us that the scene after all is

Of the present illustrious possessor it is
unnecessary, and might be deemed ungrace-
ful to speak here; but we cannot resist the
temptation of letting his predecessor in the
family honours and estate speak for himself
in the beautiful epitaph he composed " To
the Memory of Frances, Viscountess Palmer-
ston, and now to be seen in Romsey church.

" ^^^!oe'el• lilie me witli trembling anguisli brings
His heart's wliole treasure to fair tJristol's springs;
AVhoe'er like me to soothe distress and pain
Shall court these salutary springs in vain ;
Condemn'd like me to hear the i'aint reply,
To mark the fading cheek, the sinking eye ;
From the chill brow to wipe the damp of death.,
And Avatch in dumb despair the shortening breath,
If chance should bring liim to this artless line,
Let the sad mourner know his pangs were mine.
Ordaiu'd to lose the partner of my breast,
"V\'hose virtue -warm'd me, and whose beauty blest,
Fraui'd every tie that binds the heart to prove,
Her duty friendship, and her friendship lo^e.
Eut yet reraerab'ring that the parting sigh
Appoints the just to slumber, not to die ;
The startLirg tear I chcck'd— I kiss the rod,
And not to earth resign her, but to God."

PAINSHILL, Surrey, the seat of Mrs.
Harriet Cooper, widow of the late Wil-
liam Henry Cooper, Esq., high sherift"
for that county in 1836. This property,

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 48 of 79)