Bernard Burke.

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

. (page 59 of 79)
Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 59 of 79)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

mansion with many suites of magnificent
rooms in such a way as to give the reader
a clear idea. We will, therefore, limit our-
selves to an enumeration of the princi])al
apartments, with a few of the most remark-
able objects of interest. A catalogue of the
contents of Hamilton Palace would fill a lai-ge



volume, and might be illustrated like that of
the Louvre or the Pitti Palace.

We may notice a splendid suite of royal
apartments, intended for the use of such
personages of the most exalted rank as may
honour Hamilton with a visit. The first
who made use of this suite was the Grand
Duchess Stephanie of Baden, mother of
the Marchioness of Douglas. The draw-
ing-room, dressing-room, boudoir and bed-
room, are fitted up in the most sumptuous
style, with Grobelui tapestry and splendid

The ancient gallery is one of the most
striking rooms in the house, and, perhaps
more than any other, impresses the visitor
with the feeling that he is under the roof of
the head of an illustrious luie. The walls of
this long room are entirely covered with a
grand series of family portraits, from the
Regent Duke of Chatelherault do"v\mwards,
and all by the first masters of the times in
which the originals flourished. Such a
family gallery is not to be seen, except,
perhaps, in one or two of the most magni-
ficent of the ancient palaces of Venice.
They are the Avork of Cornelius Jansen,
Vandyke, ]\Iyttens, Kneller, Lei}', and Rey-
nolds. One of the finest is a portrait of tlie
first Earl of Denbigh, father to the first
Duchess of Hamilton, by Vandyke. Here
is ];)laced the celebrated painting of " Daniel
in the Lions' Den," by Rubens.

Tliis gallery conducts on one side to the
ancient suite of state apartments, Avhich are
preserved as they have been for a century
and a half, and which contain many master-
pieces of the Italian schools of painting,
Bassano, Andrea del Sarto, Leonardo da
Vuici, Guido, Guercino, Sassoferato, Pietro
da Cortona, Titian, Bronzino, Sebastian del
Piombo, Luca Signorelli, Antonello da Mes-
sina, Sandro Botticelli, and Claude. There
are also some of the Spanish and of the
Flemish schools. But it is impossible to
dwell on these treasures. There is, more-
over, a rich profusion of costly cabinets of
precious pietra dura, and carved ebony of
exquisite workmansliip.

At the end of the gallery is situated the
tribune, which is an apartment of great
grandeur, and from thence commences the
suite of state rooms, consisting of dining-
room, library, and drawing-rooms, all fitted
up with the utmost magnificence, and con-
taining treasures of art. The duke has
been most careful in the collection of liis
library, in which he has spared no expense,
and which is peculiarly rich in Avorks con-
nected Avith the fine arts, and in Oriental and
ancient manuscripts, and rare and beautiful
editions of the ancient and foreign classics.
This is probably the portion of his collec-
tion on Avhich his Grace has bestoAved the

greatest pains. The gem of the library is
the MS. Dante illustrated in the school of

But ILamilton boasts another library,
that of the duchess, Avhich is no less curious
and rare than the one Avhich we have been
so imperfectly attempting to describe. This
is contained in a gallery shaped like the letter
T, and consists of the most precious portion
of the library of the late Mr. Beckford, of
Fonthill, the duchess's father.

We must offer an apology to our readers
for our utter inabilitj^ to do justice to this
princely residence, and the most I'emarkable
objects Avhich it contains ; of all of which, un-
less they have been inspected, no idea can
be formed. The duke has built ofiices on a
scale of corresponding magnificence with the
palace. He has made great improvements
in the park, having, at much expense, en-
larged it, by buyingup a portion of the toAvn
of Hamilton. He has also carried an ap •
proach from the palace for nearly a couple
of miles, to Bothwell Bridge, on the road to
GlasgOAv, on the opposite side to Chatel-
herault and CadzoAV forest.

But the most recent Avork in which the
duke has been engaged, is not the least
magnificent of his undertakings. In front
of the palace and distant from it about a
quarter of a mile, on a mound covered Avith
large evergreens overhanging the river Clyde,
he has erected a lofty and splendid mauso-
leum. The plan is a restoration of the
Porcian tomb near Rome. The lower apart-
ment is a crypt supported on a massive
pillar and arclies, and surrounded on all
sides by A'aults destined to receive the gene-
rations past and to come of the house of
Hamilton. The next story is a hall one
hundred feet in height, entirely lighted from
al)Ove by a crystal cupola, and which may
be appropriately used as a chapel. This re-
markable building is entirely composed of
large blocks of beautifully liCAvn stone. A
detailed account of the treasures contained
in Hamilton Avoukl be a most valuable con-
tribution to artistic history. jMeauAvhile Ave
have not been misemployed if we have suc-
ceeded in directing the attention of the
English nation to tlie most valuable of those
treasures Avhich our country possesses in
rich abundance, but of Avhich our country-
men are in general as yet so little aware.

BOULTIBROOKE, in the county of Hereford,
the seat of Sir Harford James Jones Brydges,
Bart., a descendent of Colonel James Jones,
so distinguished in the wars of Queen Anne,
but pre-eminently so on the field of Blenheim.
In that battle he lost his arm, and AA-as pre-
sented by her Majesty in person with an
elegant SAvord, inscribed " The gift of Queen
Anne," Avhich is still preserved in the family



as an honourable memorial of the glory of
their gallant ancestor.

The jn-esent mansion was built in 1815 by
Sir Harford Jones Brydges, the father of the
gentleman now possessmg it.

ALDENHAM ABBEY, near Watford, Hert-
fordshire, the seat of William Stnart, Esq.,
who is in the commission of the peace for
tlie county of Herts and the liberty of St
Alban's, as also a magistrate and deputy-
lieutenant for the county of Bedford. Mr
Stuart is eldest son of the Hon. and Most
Rev. William Stuart, Archbisliop of Armagh,
and grandson of the celebrated Earl of Bute.

This mansion was built in the early part
of the present century, by George Woodford
Tliellusson, Esq., from whom it passed to
Admiral Sir Charles jNIorice Pole, Bart.
Upon his death, in 1830, it came into the
possession of tlie present owner by marriage
vnth his eldest daughter, Henrietta J\laria
Sarah Pole.

Aldenham Abbej' is a castellated building,
not perhaps remarkable for extent, but ex-
ceedingly convenient within. It is pleasantly
situated on the river Colne, a feAv miles only
from Cassiobury Park, the Watford Railway
station, and St. Alban's, and in a country
remarkable foi its quiet picturesque beauty,
so essentially English.

MARBUIIY HALL, near Whitchurch, Shrop-
shire, the seat of Domville H. C. Poole, Esq.
It stands at no great distance from the
market-town of ^Vhitchurch, a place an
ciently called Album Monasterium, and
Blancminster, probably from some monastery
of White Friars having existed here at one
time, although it is not mentioned in any
records. The name is still preserved, but
under an English form, in its more modern
appellation of Whitchurch, a corruption of
White Cluircli.

Marbury Hall was erected by the present
owner in the year 1814, upon ground that
had never before been occupied by any
building. It is an elegant modern edifice, in
which convenience and comfort have been
more studied than architectural grandeur.
The grounds about it are verdant and un-
dulating, fidl of those gentle risings and
hollows which are so often found diversifying
the face of English landscape, and relieving
them from the charge of tameness. In the
same parish, but at some distance, are hue
lakes, respectively named Osmere, Black-
mere, and Brown Mosswater ; besides several
brooks, one of which, called Red Brook,
is the boundary between England and

EDENHALL, Cumberland, the seat of Sir
George Musgravc, Bart., the descendant

of one of our most ancient and eminent
families. Watered by the silvery stream
from which the name is derived, and em-
bosomed in richly- wooded groves, pecu-
liarl)'- our country's own, Edenhall, " aula
ad rivum Eden," is one of those lovely spots
so abundantly scatteied over the beautiful
county of Cumberland This estate, situated
in the forest of Inglewood, was first granted
to Henry, son of Swcine, the second brother
of Adam Fitzsweine, and is next found,
tem2y. Henry III., in the possession of Robert
Turpe, whose grandson, Robert Turpe, left
two daughters and co-heirs, one of whom
Julian, wedded, 1 EdAvard HI., AVilliain
Stapleton. Subsequently, for five genera-
tions, her descendants, the Stapletons, held
the property; but at length their direct
male line foiled, and Edenhall was conveyed
by Joan de Stapleton in marriage to Sir
Thomas de Musgrave. This alliance, which
first fixed the j\Iusgraves on the banks of the
Eden, occurred in the reign of Henry VI.,
and from that period to the present its de-
scendants have continued resident there in
repute and honour.

" The martial and warlike family " of
jMusgrave, as it is styled by Camden, was
renowned in border warfare and border min-
strelsy from the earliest period, and has
maintained an unbroken male succession,
even to the present day. It draws its lineage
from one of the Conqueror's companions,
who obtained a grant of Scaleby Castle.
Such a gift is the best testimony to his
qualities as a soldier ; for in those days the
stout heart and ready hand were those alone
that were requited. The high repute of the first
settler suffered no diminution in its descent
through many generations; but rather like
some stream, deepened and widened in its
downward couise from the fountain-head,
till it swelled into a noble river.

In early times the chief sent of the jMus-
graves was at j\Iusgrave, in Westmorland,
and subsequently at Hartley Castle, in the
same county; but after their alliance with
the Stapletons, Edenhall seduced them from
their former residences. The present posses-
sor is Sir George Musgrave, tenth baronet.
His immediate ancestor. Sir Philip Mus-
gra\e, who acquired great renown under tlie
royal banner during the civil war, at ]\Iarston
j\Ioor, as Governor of Carlisle, at Worcester,
and imder the heroic Countess of Derby in
the Isle of ]\lan, had a Avarrant, after the
Restoration, raising him to the peerage as
Baron Musgrave, of Hartley Castle, but the
patent was never taken out. This gallant
cavalier's grand uncle, Tliomas Musgrave,
was Captain of Bew Castle, and occurs in a
curious indenture of the time, which exhibits
the form and manner of proceeding to the
ancient trial at arms in single combat. A



copy of this deed will not, we think, be un-
interesting :

" It is agreed between Thomas Musgrave and Lancelot
Carleton, for the true trial of such controversies as are be-
twixt them, to have it openly tried by way of combat, before
God and the face of the world, in Canonby Ilobue, before
England and Scotland, upon Thursday m Easter week,
being the 8tb day of April nextensuing, a.d., 1602, betwixt
nine of the clock and one of the same day : to fight on
foot; to be armed with jack and steel cap, plaite sleeves,
plaite breeches, plaite socks, two swords, the blades to be
one yard and half a quarter of length, two Scotch dag-
gers, or dirks, at their girdles, and either of them to
pro\'ide armour and weapons for themselves, according'
to this indenture. Two gentlemen to be appointed in the
field to ^•iew both the parties, to see that they both be equal
in arms and weapons, according to this indenture ; and
being so viewed, the gentlemen to lide to the rest of the
company, and to leave them ; but two boys, viewed by
the gentlemen, to be under sixteen years of age, to hold
their horses. In testimony of this, our agreement, we
have both set our hands to this indenture of intent : all
matters shaU be made so plain as there shall be no ques-
tions to stick upon that day ; which indenture as a
witness, shall be delivered to two gentlemen ; and for
that it is convenient the world should be pri^-y to every
particular of the ground of the quarrel, we have agreed
to set it down in this uidenture betwixt us, that knowing
the quarrel their eyes may be witness of the trial."

The Gkounds of the Quareel.

1. Lancelot Carleton did charge Thomas Musgrave,
before the Lords of her Majesty's Privy Council, that
Lancelot Carleton was told by a gentleman, one of her
Jlajesty's sworn servants, that Tliomas Slusgrave had
offered to deliver her Jlajesty's castle of Bewcastle to
the King of Scots; and to which the same Lancelot
Carleton had a letter under the gentleman's own hand
for his discharge.

2. He charged him that, whereas her iMajesty doth
yearly bestow a great fee upon him as captain of Bew-
castle, to aid and defend her Majesty's subjects, therein
Thomas Musgrave hath neglected his duty ; for that her
Majesty's Castle of Bewcastle was, by him, made a den of
thieves, and an harbour and receipt for murderers, felons,
and all sorts of misdemeanours, &c.

Thomas Musgrave doth deny all this charge, and
saith, that he will prove that Lancelot Carleton doth
faulsely belie him, and will prove the same by way of
combat, according to the inelenture ; Lancelot Carleton
hath entertained the challenge, and by God's permission,
will prove it true, as before ; and bath set his hand to
the same.


What the event of the combat was we do
not find.

The mansion of Edenhall is a handsome
stone structure, built in the taste which pre-
vailed about the time of the Charleses. In
the house are some good old-fashioned
apartments, and throughout the grounds the
most picturesque scenery opens on the view.
Among the family treasures the most care-
fully preserved relic is the famous old drink-
ing glass, called the " Luck of Edenhall."
The letters " I.H.S." on the top indicate the
sacred use from which it has been perverted
— but tradition gives to it a curious associa-
tion. The legendary tale records that it was
seized from a company of fairies, who were
sporting near a spring in the garden, called
St. Cuthbert's Well, and who, after an in-
effectual struggle to regain the pilfered
chalice, vanished into air, singing —

" If that glass either break or fall,
Farewell the luck of Edenhall."

This fairy chalice may yet be seen at
Edenhall by those who have the good fortune
to be invited guests at the table of Sir George
Musgrave, the present possessor of that
ancient mansion. On rare occasions the cup
is brought from its sanctuary with all the
honours due to so ancient a relic, and being
filled to the brim with the choicest vintage,
is presented to each guest in succession.
Yet would we not advise the uninitiated in
Bacchanalian mysteries to lay rash hands
upon it, seeing that he wlio drinks at all is
expected to empty the goblet at a single

Did our space permit, we would add to
this brief record of EdenhalPs fair demesne
the local ballads associated ynth its his-
tory, especially "Johnny Armstrong's Last
Good Night," and " the pleasant ballad,
shewing how two valiant knights. Sir John
Armstrong and Sir IMichael Musgrave, fell
in love with the beautiful daughter of Lady
Dacre of the North, and of the great strife
that happened between them for her, and
how they wrought the death of one lum-
dred men."

in the county of York, the seat of Sir George
AVombwell, Bart., maternal grandson of the
last Earl Fauconberg.

In 1145, Newburgh was a priory or abbey
of Austin Canons. Since the dissolution of
monasteries by Henry the Eighth, it has,
without interruption, been possessed by the
Belasyse family, afterwards created Earls
of Fauconberg. JFrom them it has descended,
in default of a more immediate male line, to
the present owner.

The mansion of Newburgh Park is very
extensive, covering about three acres of
ground. A great part of it is Gothic, as
originally erected in 1145, and the Avhole
building retains a strikingly monastic cha-
racter. The windows, however, are more
recent insertions, being principally square-
headed, with mouldings of the Elizabethan
period. The south corner of the east end
has twice suffered from fire, and has been
rebuilt on a grander scale, Avith circular
projections, which give it a castellated ap-

The park and grounds are extensive and
highly pictiu-esque, possessing all the ad-
vantages that hanging woods of a noble and
majestic growth can add to a constant suc-
cession of hill and dale. Tlie natural beauty
of the landscape is moreover considerably
heightened by the waters of a broad and
placid lake that serves as a natural mirror
to the surrounding scenery.

SELSBON HOUSE, anciently written Seles-
dune, in the county of Surrey, about three

iM M



miles from Croydon, the seat of George
Robert Smith, Esq., fii-st cousin of the pre-
sent Lord Caringtou. Mr. G. R. Smith,
who is a magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant
for Surrey, and served as its liigli sheriff hi
1852, was formerly IMember of Parliament
for Midhurst, and more recently for High
Wycombe. In early times, Selsdon formed
part of the manor of Sanderstead, and was
granted to the Abbey of Hyde, near "Win-
chester, by Athelfleda, the royal consort of
King Edgar, and mother of Saint Edward,
who, to the title of a sovereign, added that
of a martyr. In the reign of Henry the
Eighth, it of course shared the same fate as
all other church-lands ; being torn from its
legitimate possessors, and given to those
that had no earthly claim to it beyond the
arbitrary will of this most despotic of Eng-
lish monarchs. It then passed through
several hands in the fluctuations of time, till
at length it became the property of John
Ownsted, Esq., of Sanderstead Court, who,
from the following inscription upon his
monument, was Serjeant of Carriages to
Elizabeth : —

" Here lieth the bodie of John Ownstede,
Esquyre, of Sanderstede Corte, servaunt to
tlie most excellent Princess, and our dread
sovereigne Queene Elizabeth, and serjant of
her Maties Carriage by y^ space of 40 yeres.
He died in the 66 yere of his age, on the
9tb of August, 1600."

This monument is of white marble, stand-
ing under an arch against the nortliern wall
in Sanderstead Church, and exhibits tlie
figure of a man in armour. Upon the desk,
before which lie is kneeling, lies an open
volume, intended, no doubt, to represent a
book of prayer.

We next iind Selsdon in the possession of
the Bowyers, and passing over some inter-
mediate changes, in the bands of William
Coles, Esq. By him it was disposed of to the
late George Smith, Esq., M.P., brother of
Robert, 1st Lord Carington. He was suc-
ceeded in the estate by his eldest son, George
Robert Smith, Esq., the present owner of it.

This mansion, which presents an elegant
exterior, is situated upon a high ground,
where formerly was a small house belonging
to the family of the Bowyers. The late
proprietor made considerable additions to
the present building, and it may now be
described as being of a castellated Gothic
character. To this again, some iaw years
ago, the gentleman now owning the estate
added a handsome conservatory in the Eliza-
bethan style of architecture ; and, different
as the styles may be in some respects, they
here blend together, and harmonize very

The nature of the ground has led to the
gardens being formed m terraces, the effect

of which is exceedinglj^ pleasing to the eye,
while the scenery around;is of a still, secluded
character. From the house itself, with the
advantage of the eminence whereon it stands,
a noble view is obtained over the two coun-
ties of Kent and Surrey.

BELLAMOUR HALL, Rugeley, Staffordshire,
the seat of J. O. Oldham, Esq. The old
house, which also bore this name, was built
by Herbert Aston, Esq., the third son of Sir
Walter Aston, the friend and patron of the
poet Drayton, who dedicated to him his
" Epistle of the Black Prince," and speaks
of their intimacy in these glowing terms :

" Oui- interchaiigert and deliberate choice

Is •with more firme and true election sorted
Than stands in censure of the conimon voyce,

I'hat -with light humour fondly is transported ;
Nor take I pattern of another's praise,

But Tvhat my pen can constantly avows ;
Nor Tvalkc more publique, nor obscurer waies

Than, vertue bids, and judgement will show."

Shortly after the marriage of Herbert
with Catherine Thimelby, his father. Sir
Walter, gave him some property at Colton,
a village about six miles distant from his
O'ttni residence of Tixhall. Upon this ground
Herbert built the old house in question, a
part of which still remains ; and as it was in
a great measure finished by the benevolent
assistance of his friends, he called it Bella-
inour. This building dates somewhere about
the year 1650.

In the absence of any heir male, this estate
passed to Mary, Lady Blount (daughter and
co-heir of James, 5th Lord Aston), who,
about fifty-three years ago, erected the house
that we now see. By her son, Edward
Blount, Esq., the property was sold to the
present owner.

The new edifice is built of stone, and is
nearly square, the rooms being lofty and
handsome. The situation was most judici-
ously chosen, between Ingestre, Earl Talbot's,
and Blithiield, Lord Bagot's.

HARRY TOWN HALL, Cheshire, three miles
from Stockport, the seat of Joshua Bruck-
shaw, Esq., a magistrate and deputy-lieute-
nant of the county. This estate has been
possessed by the same family for a very long
period, in the course of which we find the
name variously written Brodockshaw, Brock-
sliaw, and Brookshaw, till it finally set-
tled down into Brucksliaw. Tlie house
itself was probably called Harry Town Hall,
from the name of some yet earlier proprietor;
but for this we can offer nothing beyond
conjecture, as there are no known documents
that vouch for such a fact.

The old mansion was erected in the fif-
teenth century by Harry Bruckshaw, but
was pulled down and rebuilt in 1671 by



John Bruckshaw, as appears from the
initials of John and Sarah Bruckshaw, with
that date appended over the door of the

The exterior of this mansion is exceedingly
striking and picturesque ; the windows m
some parts seeming to peep out of masses
of green foliage tliat completely hide the
walls. The interior is a handsome specimen
of that half-Gothic, half-arabesque style of
building that so much prevailed in the time
of Charles the Second, and whicli may not
inaptly be called the romance of architecture.

ELSHAM HAIL, near Brigg, Lincolnshire,
the seat of Thomas George Corbett, Esq., who
formerly represented in Parliament the south-
ern division of the county. This estate was one
of the many grants made on the dissolution
of monasteries to Charles Brandon, the great
Duke of Suffolk, whose arms are engraved
upon a sun-dial in the garden. It after-
wards passed into the family of Oldfield,
and Sir John, the last male descendant of
that name, sold the reversion of it to his
coiisij], Mr. TJjompson, reserving to himself
a life-interest in the property.

From the Thompsons (a branch of whom
were ennobled under the title of Haversham),
Elsham came, in 1788, to the Corbetts by the
will of Robert Thompson, Esq., the last of
that family, who bequeathed it, with other
estates, to his grand-niece, Elizabeth, only
child and heir of Humphrey Edwin, Esq., by
Mary his wife, only child of "William Thomp-
son, elder brother of the above Robert. This
Elizabeth married Thomas Coibett, of Darn
hall, and from them Elsham has descended
to their grandson, the present possessor.

Elsham Hall was built on the site of the
priory of that name by the families of Old-
tield and Thompson, but has since then un-
dergone many alterations. It is a large, com-
modious house, with a stone front, standing
at the foot of a ridge of hills, and with a
blended aspect of ancient and modern times.
Attached to it are extensive gardens and
pleasure-grounds, and the surrounding comi-
try abounds in line trees and thriving plan-

DARNHALL HALL, about six miles from
IMiddlewich, Cheshire, the seat of Thomas

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 59 of 79)