Bernard Burke.

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

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Anestie, and in the Saxon Records, Hean-
stige {Hean being the Saxon for " High,"
and stige for " a public pathway"), but now,
and in Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwick-
shire, spelt Ansty, formerly belonged to
the Earls of Shrewsbviry ; and were in the
reign of Henry VII. granted by George the
fourth Earl to the Dean and Canons of the
Collegiate Church of Windsor, who thereupon
granted a lease thereof for eighty years to
one Richard Harrison.

In the reign of Henry VIII., the remainder
of this lease was purchased by Jolui
Barker, Esq., of Sunning, Berks., who
also purchased the residue of the freeholds,
in the parish then belonging to several small
freeholders. He was succeeded by his son
Edward, who was .succeeded by his son
Richard, who left an only daughter Mary,
who married Thomas Woodcock, Esq., of



















©o £1

^ -


"■4 05



Debenliam Place, Shinfield, Berks. Tliomas
Woodcock died, leaving two daughters, co-
heiresses, him surviving, the eldest, Ann,
succeeded to the Berkshire, and the youngest,
Elizabeth, to the Warwickshire property.
She married Richard Tayler, Esq., second
son of Edward Tayler, Esq., of Binley, m
that county. Richard, who served the office
of high sheriff of the county in 1668, was suc-
ceeded by his son Edward, wlio in 1673 built
the present Hall, near to the site of the
ancient manor house, of Avhich a picture is
still m existence. Edward was succeeded by
his son Edward, who dymg a bachelor, was
succeeded by his brother William, rector
of Malpas, Cheshire, wdio left two chil-
dren, EdAvard his successor, and Elizabeth
Dobbins, married to Clarke Adams, Esq., of
East Haddon, Northamptonshire (see "Landed
Gentry"), and upon the death of Edward s.j:).,
the property devolved upon his nephew,
Sunon, the only son of the aforesaid Eli-
zabeth Dobbms, who dying in 1801, was suc-
ceeded by his son Pfenry Cadwallader,
Avho was succeeded in 1843 by the present
possessor, Henry AVilliam Adams, C.B., a
Colonel in the army, and conunanding the
49th regiment of infantry. The family have
continued tenants of the manor and manor
lands under the Dean and Canons of Windsor,
from the time of the purchase of Harrison's
lease, temp. Henry VIII. to the present
day (upwards of three centuries), by a series
of leases renewed every seven years.

UNTHANK HALL, near Haltwhistle, Nortli-
umberland, the seat of Dixon Dixon, Esq.,
deputy lieutenant for that county, and
major of the Northmnberland and New-
castle volunteer cavalry. Tliis gentleman
served also the office of sheriff for Newcastle-
upon-Tyne m 1802, and for Northumberland
in 1827.

Tlie meanmg of Untliank, signifyijig " no
thanks," or " mgratitude," is plain enough,
but no tradition remains that can explahi the
grounds of so ungracious an appellation. It
could liardly have come from any idea of un -
productiveness m the soil around, unless,
indeed, it w^as derived from the vicinity of a
wide tract of moors.

In 1191 this manor belonged to Robert de
Ros, of Hamlake, wlio probably derived it
by gift from William the Lion, upon marry-
ing his daughter, Isabella. In 1563 we find
it possessed by the crown, and in 1613, by
Lord Howard of Walden, Avho, in 1621, ap-
pears to have conveyed it to Lord William
Howard of Naworth. We next find it, 1663,
in the hands of Robert Coatsworth and Wil-
liam Ramsay, after wdiicli time it belonged to
Jolm Pattison, at whose death the estate
descended in moieties to William Gibson,

husband of his daughter, Hannah, and to
John Tweddell, Esq., who married his otlicr
daughter and coheiress, Isabella. Mr. Gib-
sou dying, his widow, during her lifetime,
gave up Unthank to her nephew, William
Tweddell. After his death, however, it was
found that he had passed over his sisters,
and left all his real estate to the late Robert
Pearson, Esq. After the decease of this
last-named gentleman in 1835, the mansion-
house and estate of Unthank, Avitli Plenmel-
lor. High and Loav Ramshaw, Toddlewood,
and Limestones, were sold to Dixou Dixon,
Esq., the present OA\mer.

Of all the names attached to this mansion
— and, as we have just seen, they are not
few — that of Ridley, the Martyr, has con-
ferred upon it the greatest celebrity. Here
that eminent cliaracter w-as born somewhere
about 1500, and even when brought to the
stake to suffer for liis zeal in the cause of tlie
Reformation he did not forget his beloved
native place. In a " treatise or a letter writ-
ten by In'm instead of his last farewell," he
pathetically exclaims, "farewell, my beloved
sister of Unthank, with all your children,
my nephews and nieces. Since the depart-
ing of my brother, Hugh, my mind was to
have been imto them instead of their father ;
but the Lord God must, and will be, their
Father if they will love him, and fear him,
and live in the trade of his law." But
although every one m the present day must
compassionate the martyr and detest the
cruelty of his persecutors, yet in common
fairness it should be recollected that when he
had the power in his hands he had abused it
m the same w-ay; like the virtuous Cranmer,
he assisted in bringing Joan Bocher and
others to the stake for heresy, though it was
heresy of a dift'erent character.

The mansion of Unthank is very old, and
bears in its architecture undeniable marks
of having been built or remodelled at different
periods. It stands embosomed in groves and
gardens, the broad moors of Plenmellor
stretching aw^ay towards the south, wdiile
between it and the river T}me is a tract of
corn-fields and green meadows.

In 1763, Avhen John Tweddell, Esq., of
tliis place, was huntmg on the rocky moor
of Ramshaw, one of the party, in search-
ing for a lost hare, found m a cavity of
the rocks a large quantity of silver coin ;
" this," says Hodgson, the county historian,
'Svas probably left there by some soldier
in tlie pursuit of the Scotch army from
Stanhope Park in 1327."

COMBE ROYAL, in the county of Devon,
the seat of John Luscombe, Esq. The
name dates at least from the reign of
Edv.'ard the Third, and it may have existed
long anterior to that time, the word evidently



being of Saxon origin. Before it passed into
tlie hands of the Luscorabes by purchase, it
belonged to a younger branch of the family
of Gilbert.

The mansion erected by John Luscombe,
Esq., Pligh Sheriff of Devon 1740, is a
plain irregular buildmg of grey stone,
standing at the head of a valley, Avhicli
is scattered over with trees, singly and
in clusters. So mild and genial is the
climate, that many exotics flourish in
the open air. Orange, lemon, and citron
trees, slightly protected in winter by reed or
wooden frames, and placed under a southern
aspect, are highly prodigal of fruit, and tliat
too of the best kind. A basket of unusually
line specimens Avas accepted, and highly
praised, by Her Majesty in 1850, the head-
gardener at Osborne being despatched to
Combe Royal to learn the mode of culture
adopted there. One of tlie orange trees is
traditionally known to be more than two
centuries old.

The surrounding landscape, as indeed may
be said of the greater part of Devonshire, is
exceedingly beautiful, the warm yet humid
atmosphere giving an unusual vividness to
the green of wood and meadoAv. The most
pleasing part, however, of the prospect here,
is from the terrace, when the eye travels
over an arm of the sea fl

ownig up to

DEKBIES, in tlie county of Surrey, the
seat of Tliomas Cubitt, Esq. At one time
tills was a farm-house, belonging to William
Wakeford; but in 1734 it was bought of him
by I\Ir. Jonathan Tyers, the owner of Vaux-
liall Gardens, whose taste was the very op-
posite to what might have been expected
from tlie manager of a place of gaiety and
amusement. Under his superintendence tlie
place assumed a grave, if not a gloomy cha-
racter. A Avood of about eight acres, Avhich
he called // Penseroso, Avas filled with many
ingenious, but soniewliat trilling, contrivances
to induce that melancholy which Avas so
fashionable with a certain set of simple-
minded gallants in Ben Jonson's time.
Numerous inscriptions met the eye in the
sad vein of Master Stephen ; a clock struck
every minute, to remind the A'isitor that
" time Avas on the Aving," and to make the
Avarnings of tliis monitor more impressive, it
was studiously kept out of sight. As if all
these mementos were not enougli, at the end
of one of the Avalks Avere placed a male and
female skull upon pedestals, Avith suitable

Upon the death of Mr. Tyers in 1767, the
property Avas sold to the Hon. Peter King,
Avho had tlie good taste to repudiate these
gloomy fancies, lu 1781. his son parted

Avith tlie house and some of the land to
James Whyte, Esq., and by him it Avas
again sold hi 1787, to Joseph Denison, Esq.,
a banker and merchant of London.

Denbies stands upon the verge of a hill,
close to Ranmer Common. It is composed
of a centre and Avings, a pediment surmount-
ing the chief front ; but a minute description
of it is unnecessary, since it offers nothing
particular in an architectural point of vicAv,
and the present OAvner intends to pull it
down. The landscape, hoAvever, around it
is one of much beauty. The most prominent
points are Box Hill, the Deepdene, Avith the
dark woods spreading along its sides, the
toAvn and valley of Dorking, and Leitli Hill ;
Avhile on another side, Ranmer Common
combines the picturesque Avith the romantic.

SNELSTON HALL, Derbyshire, three miles
south-Avest of Ashbourn, the seat of John
Harrison, Esq., who is lord of the manor.

This noble mansion is a recent structure
in the florid Gothic style of architecture,
and Avith its towers and turrets miglit Avell
pass for a feudal building if time had only
covered the Avails Avith its mellowing tints,
or the green ivy twined about them. Tlie
site is admirably chosen, on a gentle rise,
with Avater floAving at a short distance in
Avhich the building may be seen reflected as
in a mirror. Neither expense nor labour
have been spared in giving the grounds a
park like appearance, and a multitude of
thriving trees, disposed singly or in clusters,
have already begun to give goodly promise
for the future.

No less care and attention have been
bestOAved upon the interior of the mansion,
some of the principal rooms being fitted up
Avith carved oak furniture in tlie ancient
fafjhion, and wrought most elaborately. The
effect of this is extremely pleasing to one
Avlio Avould Avillingly be brought back in
fancy to the olden times. This revival of
tlie past is still more felt in ascending the
staircase, Avjiieli here, as in all the baronial
mansions, has tasked the skill of the archi-
tect to the uttermost. It imposes by its size
and sombre aspect, but pleases no less by the
high and admirable finish of its Avorkman-
sliip. EA^en tlie ofiices, lodges, and farm-
buildings, are impressed Avith the same cha ■
ractcr, and are in admirable keeping Avith
tlie Hall itself.

WONERSH PARK, in the county of Surrey,
about tliree miles and a half from Guildford,
tlie seat of Lord Giantley.

In the reign of EdAvard the Third this
estate belonged to Sir Richard de Tangjcy,
after Avhosc time it successively passed into



the hands of Thomas Caiyll, a younger son
of Sir John Caryll ; and Thomas Elyott,
who bequeathed it to his relation, Richard
Gwynne. The niece of the last-named
owner, Susannah, wife of Richard Clifton,
Esq., had an only daughter and heiress,
Trehane, married to Sir William Chappie ;
Grace, their daughter and sole heiress,
married Fletcher, the first Lord Grantley of
Markenfield, whose grandson now possesses
the property.

The old mansion was built about the time
of Edward III., and, as it is supposed, by
Richard de Tangley ; but of this there is at
present little remaining. The building, as it
now appears, is a large structure of red
brick with stone copings, screened by a wall
and embattled gateway.

The park and grounds, as well as the sur-
rounding scenery, are of a kind that almost
set description at defiance, the Avhole being
so varied and enchanting. A beautiful
eminence, that rises behind the house, and
is called Chinthurst Hill, more particularly
deserves attention.

At one period the village of Wonersh was
in high repute for the manufacture of blue
woollen cloth, intended for exportation to
the Canary Isles. This trade, however, must
now be considered among the things which
have been— fiiit!

— " More unsteady than the southern gale,

Commerce on other shores displays her sail."

DOWDESWELL, co. Gloucester, the seat of
Richard Rogers CoxwcU Rogers, Esq. The
village of DoAvdeswell is romantically situated
on the brow of the Cotswold Hills, twelve
miles from Gloucester and four from Chel-
tenham, on the London road; and is justly
celebrated for its salubrious air and diver-
sified scenery. The manor has passed througli
several families of distinction. Henry the
Third granted it to the master of the Knights
Templars ; it was afterwards granted to the
College of Westbuiy, and upon the dissolu-
tion of religious houses to Sir Ralph Sadlier,
from whom it passed to the Rogers's. Dow-
deswell has been the scene of civil feuds and
contentions in early times from encampments
on the hill called " The Castles," Avliich till
of late years were in good preservation, but
have materially sufiered from modern inroads
and agricultural improvements. At Ando-
ver's ford in the parish, a severe and bloody
engagement took place between the king's
and -the parliamentary forces, as military
reliques have been found on the spot. On
two occasions stone coffins were dug up at
Sandywell, placed in a north and south di-
rection containing perfect skeletons, but
without inscriptions or names. The living
is a rectory in the gift of the Rogers family,
and was purchased in 38 Henry VHI. The

church (dedicated to St. Michael) is cruciform
with a porch on the south side, having a tower
with alow unassuming spire springing from the
intersections. That a church has been founded
here from a very early period cannot admit
of a doubt, for in leveUing a portion of the
churchyard eastward in the year 1840, seve-
ral sculptured fragments of an original Norman
cliurch were discovered. An early specimen
of the capital of a shaft of that age, and a
stone with the representation of a palm tree,
and its various ramifications, are preserved
for the inspection of the antiquary.

The present building (with the exception
of a portion of the nave and porch) was
erected by Richard Rogers and R. Abbhig-
ton, Esqrs. (whose daughter, Alice, he mar-
ried), in the year 1575 ; and though possess-
ing few features of architectural merit, is
universally admired for its uniform appear-
ance. The interior of the church has lately
been fitted up with Gothic stalls, and a
richly-carved pulpit in stone. The east end
is ornamented with a beautiful obituary win-
dow of stained glass in memory of Mrs.
Hester Rogers and her sister, Anne Cox-
well, being the last of their generation, and
was erected by the children of the latter in
1850. In the chancel is a very handsome
marble monument, supported by Corinthian
columns, to William Rogers, Esq., one of the
masters of the High Court of Chancery,
with his bust finely executed. He died the
9tli of April, 1734, In the nave and the north
aisle are several others to members of that
family. The tower contains three musical
bells, which were cast at Gloucester in 1658.
On the largest is the following inscription : —

" When I •n'as cast into the groimcl,
1 lost my old tone, and revived my soimd."

The churchyard is protected from the public
road, which passes by it, by iron palisades ;
the entrances are ornamented with stone pil-
lars and iron gates, surmounted with the arms
of Rogers, with their very appropriate motto,
" Vigila et ora," encircling the shield. Ad-
joiningthese sacred precincts is the monastic-
looking manor-house, now occupied by a
tenant, which in many parts is coeval witli
the church. The prevailing style is Eliza-
bethan, with gable ends, transom lights, and
groups of triangular chimney shafts. The
south and west portions of the building are
enveloped in luxuriant ivy. Tliere is an ex-
cellent village school for the accommodation
of the children of this and the adjoining
parishes, established by the Rev. C. Coxwell,
rector, and Mrs. Hester Rogers. The founda-
tion stone of the school-room Avas laid 14th
IMarch, and the room opened in June follow-
ing, 1843.

The rectory house is prettily situated on
an eminence at the north end of the village.



To tlie south of the church stands the new
mansion of R. R. Coxwell Rogers, Esq., on
the site of the old one, which was taken clown
in 1831, being considered in an insecure
state. The house is a large structure, in tlie
Grecian style of architecture, containing a
handsome hall and several well-propoitioned
apartments. The view from the western
terrace is very striking, commanding the
rich vale of Gloucester, with May Hill be-
yond, and terminated by the black mountains
in Soutli Wales. The River Chelt (whence
the town of Cheltenham derives its name,
and which rises in the upper village) runs
through the valley below the mansion, and
forms an ornamental sheet of water ; the
gardens and pleasure-grounds are kept in
excellent order. The Rogers of Dowdes-
well are descended from the ancient and
knightly family (as Camden observes in his
Ih-itannia), formerly of Brianston, in tlie co.
of Dorset, now the .seat of Lord Fortman.
The first possessors of Dowdeswell, were
three brothers, sons of Sir John Rogers, Kt.,
of Brianston (by Catherine, daughter of Sir
Richard Weston, Lord Treasurer, and after-
wards Duke of Portland), in whose descend-
ants it has continued to the present period.
The before-mentioned Sir John (steward of
the town of Blandford) was closely allied to
the Protector Duke of Somerset, and other
families of distinction ; and his great wealth
and royal favours enabled him to apportion
his numerous issue (consisting of sixteen sons
and four daughters^ with unusual liberality.
Tlie present representative is Richard Rogers
Co.xwell Rogers, Esq., who is a magistrate
and Deputy-Lieutenant for the county of

HOSPITALFIELD, in the county of Forfor,
the seat of Patrick Allan Fraser, Esq. The
house was erected in the commencement of
the thirteenth century, by the Abbot of
Aberbrothwick, having been originally ui-
teiided for an HosjDital, m connection with the
abbey. In ancient documents, it is called
the Hospital of St. Jojm. The first lay occu-
pant of it, as a residence, was Alexander
Beatoun, brother to the famous cardinal of
that name, whose evil counsels led Kmg
James to the invasion of England, and in-
volved him in the fatal defeat at Solway
Moss. The end of the cardinal was as bloody
as his life had been, for after having con-
demned many to the stake, he was himself
cruelly murdered in the castle of St. An-
drew. " He that killeth with the sword, must
be killed with the sword."

At a later period, this mansion was pos-
sessed by the Ouchterlonys, of the Gwynd.
From them, in 1669, both liouse and estate
passed to the family of the Erasers. It is in
the old Scottish style of arc^hitecture, and is

generally understood to have been the orlgi •
nal from which Sir Walter Scott took his
Monkbarns, so graphically described in the
Antiquary, though he has indulged in some
little poetical license. " Secluded from the
town by the rising ground, which also
screened it from the north-west wind, the
house had a solitary and sheltered appear-
ance. It was an irregular, old-fashioned
building, some part of which had belonged
to a grange, or solitary farm-house, inhabited
by the baililT or steward of the monastery,
when the place was in the possession of the
monks. It was here that the community
stored up the gram, which they received as
ground-rent from their vassals, for with
the prudence belonging to their order, all
their conventual revenues were made pay-
able ui kind, and hence, as the present pro-
prietor loved to tell, came the name of Monk-
barns. To the reniams of the bailiff's house
the succeeding lay inhabitants had made
various additions, in proportion to the ac-
commodation required by their families ; and
as this was done with an equal contempt of
convenience within, and architectural regu-
larity without, the whole bore the appear-
ance of a hamlet which had suddenly stood
still when in the act of leadmg down one of
Amphion's or Orpheus's country dances. It
was surrounded by tall clipped hedges of
yew and holly, some of which still exhibited
the skill of the topiarian artist, and presented
curious arm-chairs, towers, and the figures
of St. George and the dragon."

SHARDELOES, Buckinghamshire, about a
mile from iVmersham, the seat of Tliomas
Tyrwhitt Drake, Esq., son and heir of Tho-
mas Tyrwhitt Drake, Esq., a magistrate and
deputy-lieutenant of the county, and for
several years IMember of Parliament for the
borough of Aniersham. This gentleman
served also as high sheriff' of Bucks in 1836.
In the reign of Henry the Sixth the manor
was possessed by Henry Brudenell, Esq.,
and after remaming for some time with his
descendants, was conveyed by marriage to
John Cheney, Esq. of Cheshara Blois, by
Elizabeth Brudenell. In the time of Queen
Elizabeth the family of Tothill had acquired
this manor from the Cheynes. The last of
this name had, by tlie same wife, thirty-
three children, yet dying witliout heir male,
Joane, his eldest daughter and co-heircss,
conveyed the estate, by marriage, to Francis
Drake, Esq. of Esher, in Surrey, a gentleman
of the Privy Chf^mber to James the First.

Sliardeloes, which stands upon an emi-
nence near the road leading from Aylesbury,
is a handsome edifice, ornamented with fluted
Corinthiau columns upon the northern front.
A gentle ascent leads to the entrance hall,
which is thirty feet square ; the dining-room



is thirty-six feet by twenty-four ; a quad-
'raiigle giving light to a suite of bed chambers
by a very ingenious arrangement. But tliis
liouse, although sufficiently imposing if seen
from the road, is yet more remarkable for
its internal convenience than for its architec-
ture externally. Some pictures, too, of great
value will be found here, such as an original
picture of Queen Elizabeth, profusely covered
with lace, beads, and bracelets ; in the back
ground is the Spanish Armada on one side,
-and a representation of the storm which dis-
persed it upon the other, a picture very
much in place, since the maiden queen is
said to have occasionally resided here. A
portrait of Hatton, her Lord Chancellor, who
by his great favour with her has given rise
to more scandal than even Leicester. Four
sea-pieces, representing a storm ; a calm,
with the sun breaking through the fog ; sun-
set ; and sun-rise ; all executed by Veruet,
and bearing date 1747. Two landscapes,
with ruins ; an upright landscape, with rocks
and waterfall, a spirited composition by A'an
Dieste, &c.

From the north the ground slopes gradu-
ally down to a small lake, and has a very
pleasing appearance. There is also a park
sufficiently large and well timbei-ed,

EAST COWES CASTLE in the Isle of Wight,
the seat of Charles R. J. Sawyer, Esq. This
beautiful seat possessed in 1798 by John
Nash, Esq., who so far altered and enlarged
it, that it might almost be called a new struc-
ture. Since his time it has successively
passed through the hands of the Earl of
Shannon, and N. Barwell, Esq., and finally
devolved to the present possessor.

East Cowes Castle stands upon the brow
of the hill that looks towards \Yest Cowes,
and when first seen is eminently striking, from
its situation, embosomed as it is in woods.
It combines the features of the castellated
mansion of a late date, with tliose of the
baronial fortress of a much earlier period,
the object of the architect evidently having
been to unite the comforts of a modern house
with the picturesque grandeur of an ancient
castle, in the time of the Sixth Edward. A
terrace goes round it, and the grounds un-
dulate beautifully, the Solent and the river
]\[edina being visible at no great distance.

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 55 of 79)