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

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but little of the original appearance. A
terrace walk on the south was flanked at
each end by a wall covered with fruit trees,
the parterre sloping from a bowling-green to
the gates of the park between small square
fish-ponds, apparently a portion of an old
moat, and terminating in an avenue of elms,
rectilinearly planted through the park.
Close to and behind the mansion on the
west were many very lofty spreading elms,
where the incessant cawing of rooks, and
screams of sea-fowl afforded almost the only
interruption to the prevailing stillness.
Such was the house till the death of Vis-
countess Saye and Sele in 1789, when the
estate reverting to the Pigotts, alterations of
every kind ■were made upon a most extensive
scale. Amongst many other changes, the
deer-park Avas converted into arable and
meadow land, tlie keeper's lodge was demo-
lished, and, excepting the north and east
portions of the house, the whole was modern-
ized. Nor were the alterations made without
good reason ; the east front and part of tjie
north side had been hidden by a thick screen
of yew and box, and scarcely admitted a
gleam of light into some of the apartments
through narrow, lozenge-shaped panes of
the muUioned windows, and their removal
no doubt must be deemed an improvement.
A low porch, and immense stacks of chim-
neys projecting between the hall-wmdows,
have been suffered to remain. So too have
been the capacious fire-places, the grotesque
ornaments, and the massive fiu-niture, of the
old hall; and the huge wine-cellars with
their ponderous keys still attest the hospi-
tality of the owners.

KINGEKBY HALL, Lincolnshire, about six
miles north-west from Market Rasen, the
seat of James Young, Esq. From time im-
memorial the old hall has had a Catholic resi-
dent, and generally as a tenant ; and according
to traditions, wliich have not yet completely
died away, though growing fainter and fainter
every day, it was a noted hiding-place for
priests and laymen suspected of Catholicism,
who in its secret chambers found a refuge
from their- enemies. But, indeed, the whole
county with its lakes and undrrdned fens
breathed forth a contagious and pestilential
atmoFphere that made strangers not a little
imwilling to pursue any one into its dan-
gerous recesses, so that here if nowhere else,
the refugee might with prudence find
comparative safety from everything ex-
cept malaria. In this place at least he expe-
rienced a sullen gloomy repose amidst wild
fowl, leeches, and agues.

In the old hall was a Catholic cliapel, and
many a tale is yet told how the poor souls

came to hear mass at early dawn, that they
might pass unnoticed and thus escape the
established fines and penalties for wor-ship-
ping Heaven as their ancestors had worship-
ed for many centuries. The priest, by way
of respect, they called " The good gentle-
man," since to have given him his proper
title might have been dangerous to himself,
if not to the person using the forbidden

This antiquated mansion stood in the
centre of an aitificial mound, of considerable
height and aboui two acres in extent. It
was surrounded by a deep moat, crossed by
a draw-bridge, besides which it had an out-
ward embankment and a second fosse or
ditch, comprehending in the whole circum-
ference not less than twelve acres. From the
ancient reliques found here, this spot must
have been occupied by the first inhabitants
of the island. Indeed, it is peculiarly adapted
for the strong-hold of a barbarous chieftain,
being situated in the centre of a valley mid-
way between Clifi" and Wold; and at the
same time equidistant from Caistor (or Cas-
tra) a celebrated Roman station, and Spital-
in-the-stieet (or strata) on the Roman road
from Lincoln to tlie Humber. Lincoln
minster is a prominent feature in the distant
landscape situated on the far southern height
of the Clitr. Then come llainton, or High
Ton, Bayons Manor, and Caistor, all upon
the AVolds to the east, and leading from the
Humber across the back of the Wolds to
Horncastle and Tattershall Castle.

At the commencement of the present cen-
tury the late James Young, Esq., pulled
down the old hall, arid built upon the same
site a modern mansion. In accomplishing
this work he did not forget to provide a
family chapel, in which is a painthig by
Holbein, of Christ being taken down from
the cross, and mourned over by the blessed
Virgin, her devout companions, and the
apostle St. John. On the right hand panel
is Sir Thomas More ; on the left hand com-
partment, are the hoi}' women coming with
sweet essences, and these are stated to be
family portrait s of Sir Thos. ]\Iore's daughters.
'\\'hile digging a foundation for cellarage to
the new building two skeletons were found,
one of which had an armilla or bracelet
round the wrist ; and at various times hel-
mets, swords, spears, spurs, and other
reliques have been discovered. If it were
at all allowable for the antiquarian to use the
wand of the romancer, how many a tale of
deep interest might he conjure up from these
fragments of the past ! In truth, what with
such reliques, and with the dim traditions
clinging to this spot from the days of
religious ]iersecution, there is scarcely a
place in all England more adapted to ex-
cite a poetical imagination.

e^ a.






The earliest English family on record
possessed of the manor and hall was Amun-
deville. To tliem succeeded the Disneys,
of which last race three fine monuments still
remain in the church. Next came Sir
Thomas Pickeiinge; and then Sir Edward
Grosvenor, who settled Kingerhy upon
Edward Blount. Tlie latter sold the pro-
perty to Edward Parrot It should also be
mentioned that at one time it passed through
the hands of Sir Edward Kossiter and
the Duke of Newcastle. Finally it was pur-
chased by Isaac Young, Esq., of West
Rasen, in wliose family it still remains.

The Youngs now of Kingerby, are a
branch of the ancient Flintshire House of
Yonge of Brynyorkyn — itself a distinguished
scion of the tribe of Tudor Trevor, Lord of

wold, the seat of Charles William Packe,
Esq., M.P., may justly be mentioned as
one of the finest places in the county.
It is three miles east of Loughborough, and
nearly equidistant between Leicester and
Nottingham, 'i'he site commands a most
beautiful view of the Charnwood Forest
Hills, and the grounds are laid out with great
taste and judgment, of wliich a group of
very fine cedars of Lebanon is a remarkable

The present Hall has been recently en-
larged and cased with stone by Mr. William
Burn, architect, and is a regular and elegant
structure, in the Palladian style. The
Church, of which the tower is ancient and in
good proportion, is near the house. The
Chancel contains some interesting family
monuments by Rossi, Bacon, Westmacott,
and others.

ADLINGTON HALL, Cheshire, the seat of
Charles Richard Banastre Legh, Esq. This
has suffered fewer changes of possessors than
many of our old mansions. The manor be-
longed at an early period to the family of De
Corona, the heiress of which, Ellen de Corona,
in the early part of the fourteenth century,
brought it through theBaguleys to the Leghs.
Robert, the first of his house, that settled at
Adlington, was a younger son of John Leigh,
who was the first of that name possessing
Booths. After a long uninterrupted suc-
cession, the direct male line of the family
terminated in Charles Legh of Adlington,
Esq. He died in 1781, and by his will
bequeathed Adlington with its dependencies
to his niece, Elizabeth, wife of John Rowlls
of Kingston, when the new inheritor assumed
the name of Legh. Elizabeth dying without
issue, the estate passed by Mr. Legh's will
to his cousin, Richard Crosse, Esq., of Shaw
Hill, and he also changed his name to Legh.

This family has to of some distin-
guished characters. Sir Uriau Legh wa.s
knighted, not, as the old poet quaintly ex-
presses it, "upon carpet considerations,"
but for his courage and military talents, re-
ceiving that honour at the hands of Essex
durhig the siege of Cadiz, where he had
done good service. It was at this time that
he is traditionally said to have been engaged
in a romantic adventure, which gave rise to
the well known ballad of, " The Spanish
lady's love," printed in Bishop Percy's
Ancient Reliques. It must be remembered,
however, that the same tale has been told
of another hero.

In the great civil war the Leghs, like so
many of the Cheshire gentry, embraced the
side of Charles, and fought his battles zea-
lously. Their Hall being garrisoned for the
king, was besieged in form b}' the parliamen ■
tary forces, but they held out bravely for
a fortnight, when they found themselves
obliged to surrender, as might have been ex-
pected from a post so little tenable. They
however obtained good terms, for, according
to Burghall's Diary, " a younger sou of
Mr. Legh's and one hundred and fifty sol-
diers had all fair quarter and leave to depart,
leaving seven hundred arms and fifteen bar-
rels of powder."

Adlington Hall lies about a quarter of a
mile to the right of the road from Stockport
to Macclesfield, by the edge of an extensive
park, but upon low ground. The house is
spacious, and built in the quadrangular form.
Three sides of it are irregular, and still partly
consist of Avood and plaster, terminating on
gables. On the south side the principal
front is of brick, two stories high, with
projecting wings, and a portico in the centre
supported by stone columns from the Run-
corn quarry, an abundant source of that ma
terial for all Cheshire. In the south east
angle of this front is the domestic chapel of
Adlington, fitted up in a liandsome and ap-
propriate style, while in the opposite front
is the great hall, which appears to have
been built in the time of Elizabeth.

STOCKTON HOUSE, near Heytesbury, Wilt-
shire, the seat of Harry Biggs, Esq. In
early times this estate belonged to the fa-
mily of 'i'opp, and from them it came to the
ancestors of the present owner.

We learn from the date upon a stone that
the house was built in 16 — , but the two last
figures of the inscription having been erased
by time or accident, it is no longer possible
to fix the precise year of the century, which
itself is thus ascertained beyond a doubt.
It must, however, have been in the first half
of the seventeenth century, and probably at
an early part of it, for John Topp, Esq., by
whom the mansion Avas built, died in the



year 1635. Two other circumstances limit
the period in Avhich we are to place the
erection of the building, while at the same
time they add to our difficulty by seeming
to point out two different dates, though at no
great distance from each otlier. The initials
of Elizabeth are on the ceiling of one of the
bed rooms, and the arms of James are over
the fire-place. May we not infer that the
house was connnenced in the reign of Eliza-
beth, and finished in that of James the

HOLMBTJSH, Sussex, about three miles
from Crawley, the seat of Thomas Broad -
M'ood, Esq., who, in 1833, was High-Sheriff
of the county. The view from Ilolmbush
is a rich valley, and the middle ground is
diversified with trees of different tints, a
small lake contrasting its bright surface Avith
the dark green of the firs in its immediate
neighbourhood. Still farther distant are the
party-coloured hills of Surrey.

The lionse, M-hich was built in 1826 by
the gentleman of whom we have just been
speaking, is in the parish of Lower deeding,
about thirty-three miles from London, and
a quarter of a mile from the Faygate railway
station, the Brighton and Horsham railway
running through the estate. It stands near
the spot where the fire-beacon was erected
during the last war, nearly five hundred
feet above the level of the sea, and perhaps
cannot be more accurately described than
as being a castellated domestic mansion in
the gothic style of architecture. A spring
upon yet higher ground, at no very great
distance, conveys Avater to the very top of
tlie house by means of pipes laid down
for tliat purpose.

The estate consists of 3033 acres of free-
hold land within a ring fence, partly in the
forest of St. Leonards, and partly in tlie
parishes of Lower Seeding, of Crawley, Rus-
per, and Horsham. Its soil is particularly
favourable to the growth of American trees
and plants, as appears from tlie avenues of
spruce firs, and rhododendrons, which have
grown here to an enormous size. One rhodo-
dendron from a single stem spreads out its
branches to a circumference of one hundred
and twenty feet. With such natural advan-
tages, and no expense having been spared to
make the best use of them, it will be easily
imagined that the pleasure grounds are
exceedingly beautiful. An equal degree of
attention lias been bestowed upon the kit-
chen garden, in the north side of which is
a spring, the sources of the river Aruu,
which, in its dowiward course, has given
its name to the valley and town of Arundel.
To the south are otlier springs, the sources
of the river Mole, which spreads into a fine
sheet of water covering about fifty acres in

full vicAV of the house. But indeed there is
as little want of Avater in these grounds as
there is of wood, for three smaller lakes yet
remain to be mentioned besides several
ponds of no great extent ; while in regard
to timber the OAvner has at difterent periods
planted more than a m>illion of trees — larch,
fir, oak, sweet chestnut, and other varieties
of the forest groAvth to supply the waste
occasioned at one time by the smelting of the
iron that abounds here. The pits, from
which the ore was taken, may still be seen,
the iron railings now around St. Paul's being,
as the tradition goes, made of the last metal
ever obtained irom these mines, for the
Avood becoming scarce, and ore having been
found elscAvliere in the neighbourhood of
coal, these works Avere abandoned as too

In the olden times Ilolmbush had the
honour of being visited by a dragon, AA'hose
deeds have been testified to by very good
and sufficient Avitnesses, so that to doubt
them Avould be to discredit other talcs Avhich
it is the fashion to believe. The legend
runs thus : —

" In Sussex there is a pretty market-towno
called Horsam, neare unto it a forest called
St. Leonard's foirest, and there, in a vast
and unfrequented place, heathie, A'aultie,
full of unwholesome shades and overgroAA'ue
hoUoAves, where this serpent is thought to
be bred ; but, whersoever bred, certaine and
too true it is that there it yet lives. AVithin
three or four miles compassc are its usual
haunts, oftentimes at a place called Faygate,
and it hath been scene Avithin half a mile o<^
Horsam, a Avonder, no doubt, most terrib. '.
and noisome to the inhabitants thereabouts.
Tlicrc is ahvays in his tracke or path left a
glutinous and slime matter (as by a similitude
we may perceive in a snail's), Avhich is very
corrupt and offensive to the scent, in so
much that they perceive the air to be pu-
trified withal, which must needs be very
dangerous. For though the corruption of
it cannot strike the outward part of ajnan,
unless heated into his blood, yet by receiving
it in any of our breathing organs (the mouth
or nose), it is by authoritie of all autliors
Avriting in that kinde, mortall and deadlie,
as one thus saith :

' Noxia serpcntum est adiiiixto sanguine pestis.'


The serpent or dragon, as some call it, is
reputed to be nine feete, or rather more, in
length, and shaped almost in the forme of an
axletree of a cart, a quantitie of thickness in
the middest, and somcAvhat smaller at both
ends. The former part, Avhich he shootes
forth as a neeke, is supposed to be an elle
long with a Avhite ring, as it werCj of scales

^ §

(sa w
1 S



about it. Tlie scales along his backe seem
to be blackisli, and so much as is discovered
under his belhe appearetli to be red ; for I
speake of no nearer description than of a
reasonable ocular distance. For coming too
neare it hath already been too dearly payed
for, as you shall heare hereafter. It is like-
wise discovered to have large feete ; but the
eye may be there deceived, for some suppose
that serpents have no feete, but glide upon
certain libbes and scales, Avhich both defend
them from the upper part of their throat
unto the lower part of their bellie, and also
cause them to move much the faster. For
so this doth, and rids away, as we call it, as
fast as a man can run. He is of countenance
very proud, and at tlie sight or hearing of men
or cattell, will raise his necke upriglit, and
seem to listen and looke about with great
arrogancy. There are likewise on either
side of him discovered two great bunches
so big as a large footeball, and, as some
thinke, will in time grow to wings ; but God,
I hope, Avill so defend the poor people in the
neighbourhood, that he shall be destroyed
before he growe so fledge.

" He will cast his venome about four rodde
from him, as by woefuU experience it was
proved on the bodies of a man and woman
coming that way, who afterwards were found
dead, being poysonedand very much SAvelled,
but not preyed upon. Likewise a man going
to chase it, and, as he imagined, to destroy
it with two mastive dogs, as vet not knowino-
the great danger of it, his dogs were botli
killed, and he himselfe glad to returne with
liast to preserve his own life. Yet this is
to be noted, that the dogs were not preyed
upon, but slaine and left Avhole ; for his food
is thought to be, for tlie most part, in a conie
warren, which he much frequents, and it is
found much scanted and impaired in the
encrease it had woont to atiord.

" These pers'ms, whose names are here-
under printed, have scene this seri)ent, besides
divers others, as the carrier of Horsam, who
lictli at the AAHiite Horse, in Southwark, and
can certitie the truth of all that has been here

• " John Steele,

" Christopher Holder,
" And aWidow Woman dwelling at Faygate."

SUDELEY CASTLE, Gloucestershire, (about
half a mile from Winchcomb,) the seat of
John and William Dent, Esqrs. From early
ages, and longbefore the erection of the Castle,
Sudeley was the residence of a long line of
barons, royally descended, Avho took from it
their addition of De Sudeley. About the
year 1442, Sir Ralph Boteler, who had
been Lord Treasurer of England, and sub-
sequently the king's governor of his citadel
of Calais, built the castle from the produce

of his spoils in the French wars. Leland
tells us, " The Lord Sudeley that budded
the castle was a famous man of war in King
Henry the Fifth's and King Henry the Sixth's
daycs, and was an admiral (as I liave heard)
on sea ; Avhereupon it was supposed and
spoken that it ^vas partlv builded ex spoliis
Gallorum ; and some speake of a towre in it
called Portmare's* Towre, tliat it should be
made of a ransom of his." From- its present
remains it would seem that Fuller does not
exaggerate, when in his quaint phraseology
he declares, " It was of subjects' castles the
most handsome habitation, and of subjects'
habitations the strongest castle " These
reliques, however, would rather indicate its
having been a superb castellated mansion
than a baronial fortress.

It was here that the admiral hoped in old
age to reap the reward of his services, by
spending the remainder of his days in peace
and quiet. But in those days the life and
property of the highest as well as of the
lowest Avere equally insecure. The law
afforded protection only so long as those in
power chose it should do so ; and the favou-
rite of one king being generally for that
very reason an oliject of dislike to his suc-
cessor, it happened that " King Edward IV.
bore noe good will to the Lord Sudeley, as
a man suspected to be in heart K. H. 6 his
man ; whereupon by complayntes he was
attached, and going up to London, he looked
from the hill to Sudeley, and sayd ' Sudeley

Castle, thou art the traytor, not 1 ' ■" a

pregnant saying, such as one might expect
to find in some speech of Shakspeare's.

'Jhe castle having been thus iniquitously
wrested from its legitimate possessor, was
not long afterwards granted to Richard,
Duke of Gloucester, who exchanged it with
the Crown for Richmond Castle in York-
shire. In the first year of Henry VII. it
was given to Jasper, Duke of Bedford, the
youngest son of Owen Tudor and Catherine,
widow of Henry the Fifth of England. Or
perhaps we should rather say, he was per-
mitted to make use of it, for though " he
kept householde here," it is not mentioned
amongst the estates of which he died seized,
and was moreover held by constables for
the Crown during the remainder of this
reign and the Avhole of the succeeding.

In the time of Henry VIII. the place was
much neglected, but in that of Edward VI.,
being granted with the manor to Sir Thomas
Seymour, the king's uncle, and brother to
the Protector Somerset, it was by him re-
stored to more than its original splendour.
He was next created Baron Seymour of
Sudeley, and made Lord High Admiral, when
no less bold than ambitious, he aspired to

* A French admiral taken jirisoner by Lord Sudeley.




the hand of the Princess Elizabeth, v.-ho was
still of a very tender age. Disappointed in
that quarter, he oti'ered his hand to the
Dowager Queen Catherine, and was accepted,
being her fourth husband. She had indeed
been attached to him before her marriage
with Henry, to wliich she had consented only
from dread of the despot's vengeance if
rejected. In this retirement she took Lady
Jane Grey under her care, but had tlie mis-
fortune to die in child-bed, upon the seventh
day after having gi^'en birth to a daugliter.
Her clandestine marriage had proved un-
happy, and hence perhaps it was that reports
got abroad of her having l^een poisoned by
her husband ; certainly some grounds for
suspicion appeared in the evidence of Lady
Elizabeth Tyrwhit, as recorded in the Salis-
bury Collection of State Papers. " A too
dayes," says this document, " afor the deth
of the quen at my cumyng to her in the
niornyng, she askyd me where 1 had been
so long, and sayed unto me she dyd fere
such things in herself that she was suer
she cold not lyve ; whereunto I answaryd as
I thought that I sawe no lyklyhod of doth
in her. She then haveyng my lord admy-
rall by the hand, and dyvers other standyng
by. spoke thes wordys, partly, as [ took
hyt, idylly — ' My Lady Tyrwhitt, I am not
wel handelyd, for thos that be abowt me
caryth not for me, but standyth laughyng
at my grief, and the moor good I wyl to
them, the les good they wyl to me ; ' — where-
unto my lord admyrall auswerid, ' AV'hy,
swet-hai-t, I would you no hurt' — and she
saed to hym agayn aloud. ' No, my lord,
I tliinke so' — and iniedyetly she sayed to
hym in his ere, ' But, my lord, you have
given me many shrewd tauntes.' Thos wordys
I parsavwyd she spoke with good memory,
and very sharply and ernestly, fur her
mynd was for unquyetted. My lord admy-
rall parsevyng that [ hard hyt, callyd me
asyd, and askyd me what she sayd, and I
declavyd hyt plainly to hym. Then he con-
sowltyd with me that he wold lie down on
the bed by her, to loke if he could pacyfy
her unquyetnes with gcntyl cainyncaejon,
Avhereuuto I agred. And by that tyme he
had spoken thre or four wordes to her, she
answered him very rowndly and shortly,
sayeiiig, ' My lorde, I wolde have given a
thousand markes to have had my full talk
wythllewke the fyrst daye I was delyveryd,
but I doorst not for displesjmg of you' — and
I, heryng of that, my hart wold sarve me to
her no mor.' Sych lyke commycasyon she
had with hj'm the space of an our; wych
they did hear that set by her bed-syde."
Now, besides that the deponent herself
allows the dying queen spoke "partly idylly,"
and that the whole scene strongly confirms
this remark, it should also be remembered

that Catherine's brother, the Marquis of
Northampton, her brother-in-law, Herbert,
Earl of Pembroke, and Nicholas Throck-
morton, all continued on friendly terms with
the admiral after her decease. That she
died, however, of a broken heart is not at
all unlikely.

High as Catherine's position had been in
life, the place of her interment was soon
forgotten, when by time or accident its
monumental record became too much de-
faced to supply the information. The

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