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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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George Corbett, Esq., late Member of Parlia-
ment for the northern division of Lincoln-
shu-e. The manor in ancient times belonged
to the Earls of Chester, and became, subse-
quently — being then called Darnhall Park —
the summer residence of the monks of Vale
Royal. Soon after the dissolution of the
monasteries, we find it in the hands of Sir
Reginald Corbett, one of the Justices of the
Common Pleas. In the reign of .James the
First, the Corbetts sold it to Richard Lee,



Esq., of whose descendant, John Lee, father
to the American general of that name, it
was purchased back into the Corbett family
about the year 1730, by William Corbett,
Esq., Treasurer of the Navy.

Darnhall Hall Avas built by the Corbetts
upon the site of the ancient monastery,
which had been occupied by the monks upon
their removal from Dore by King Edward I.
At this time it was purely an Elizabethan
structure, but about sixty -five years ago it
was much altered and modernized by Thomas
Corbett, Esq. It stands in the midst of
well-wooded grounds, and in the township
of the same name. Among the prophecies
of Nixon, the Cheshire Prophet, there is one
that " Darnhall Park shall be hacked and
hewn."

DABESBURY HALL, near Preston Brook,
Cheshire, the seat of Samuel Beckett Chad-
Avick, Esq. In the reign of Henry HI. the
estate was possessed by a family deriving
their name from it. From them the manor
passed to Henry Le Norreys, m right of his
wife i\Iargery Daresbery, as the name then
appears ^to have been spelt. In 1.344, Cle-
mentina, the daughter and heir of Alan Le
Norreys, conveyed it by marriage to William
Danyers — subsequently called Daniell— of
whose descendants the HaU was purchased
in 1756, by George Heron, Esq. His son,
the Rev. George Heron, again sold it m 1832
to Samuel Cliadwick, Esq., the father of the
present OAvner.

The Hall, which was re-built by George
Heron, Esq., in 1756, is a substantial brick
building with stone quoins, and consists of
three stories. It stands upon elcA^ated
ground in the centre of the estate, sheltered
upon the north-east by plantations and a fine
rookery;, while towards the north-west it com-
mands an extensive prospect over the vale
of the IMersey, including lialton Castle and
the Lancashire Hills. The park and plea-
sure-grounds are not very extensive, but they
abound in shrubs and trees of various kinds,
the whole presenting an exceedmgly pic-
turesque appearance.

THE HOOK, Hertfordshire, in the parish of
Northaw, or Northa Hagh, vulgarly called

North Hall, the seat of Acworth, Esq.

The mansion was built in 1829 by Benjainui
Cherry, Esq., of Avhom it was purchased )jy
the present owner. It is in the Italian Bel-
videre style of architecture, and is beautifully
placed upon a garden terrace, with park-like
grounds about it, consisting of about one
hundi'ed and seven acres, Avhich include
some meadow-land and a small wood.

The parish of NorthaAV has been much
celebrated for a mineral spring, that rises
about half-a-mile from the village of the sarae



268



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



name. Owing to tliereal or supposed virtues
of this water, Northaw at one time was the
favourite resort of many families during the
summer season ; but it would seem to have
reached the zenith of its fame in the reign of
Charles II. So great mdeed was its repute,
that the king, by a document dated from
Hampton Court, 11th September, 1660,
granted his permission for its being called
the "King's Well," and directed Sir William
Bowles, Master of his Fonts, to deliver one
of his best fonts to the keeper of tlie well, or
the bearer of the grant, for the use and benelit
of all such persons as should resort thither.
The water, upon being analyzed by Dr.
Rutty, of Dublin, was found to contain 250
grains of sediment, which consisted of 225
grains of saline, and 25 grains of earthy
matter, mostly calcareous.

ABLINGTON MANOR HOUSE, the seat of
Rev. C. Coxwell, in the parish of Bibury, is
seven miles from Cirencester, situated in
a retired but beautifully-wooded valley, on
the celebrated trout stream, the Colne. The
manor of Ablington is of great antiquity.
Ralpli de Willington and Olirapias, his wife.
]3urcliased a moiety of the manor 9th John ;
John de Willington had a charter of free
warren in Ablington 3rd of Edwaixl II. ; Sir
Ralph AVillington held the manor 22ad of
Edward III. ; Sir John de Willington was
seized thereof 2nd of Richard II. ; Joan, for-
merly the wife of Ralph de Willington, after-
wards the wife and widow of Tliomas West,
held the manor 6th of Henry IV. From tlie
Willlngtons it passed to William Poulton
and " Isabella his wife, and thence to her
kinsman and heir, Sir Thomas Beaumont,
who held the same 29th Henry VI. From
this family it passed to the Bassets, who
levied a fine of the manor to Richard, Bi.shop
of Durham, and divers great persons, among
which was Sir Giles d'Aubeny, 16th Henry
VII. Giles Lord d'Aubeny died, seized there-
of, 6th Henry VIII., and a livery of the same
manor was granted to Henry Lord d'Au-
beny, his son. Tliis manor was also granted
to_ the Duke of Somerset, and, after his at-
tainder, to James Basset, 4th Mary: and
again confirmed to Arthur Basset, who
sold it to John Coxwell, since Avhich period
the manor and estate have continued in
his descendants. The mansion was built
in the year 1590, as appears from the
following inscription over the porch, in
a stone recess ■.— " Pleade tliou my cause,
Lord. By lohn Coxwel, ano Domeny, 1590."
The Coxwells had large possessions at Ciren-
cester, and a street there is still called after
their family name.

HOPTON COURT is situate on a knoll
above the village of Hopton Wafers, wJiich



lies at the foot of the Titterstoue Clee Hill,
about two miles from Cleobury Mortimer,
on the road to Ijudlow. The brook which
runs through this picturesque valley, falls
into the Rea, which joins the Term, a
tributary of the Severn. The ancient man-
sion of the Ilydes stood on the margin of
the stream, being the manor house, then
called the Court of Hopton Wafers. A few
old yew trees alone remain to mark the spot,
where on the 22nd of June, 1604, we find
that Richard Hyde the elder was succeeded
by his son and heir, Humphrey Hyde, gentle-
man, who was succeeded in 1678 by Hercules
Hyde, of Hopton Wafers, and JMargaret his
wife. Their son, Richard, by his wife
Dorothy, had a son, Richard Hyde, who
married Sarah Charlett, spinster, of the
county of Hereford, and was seated at Hop-
ton in 1708. Tradition reports tliat this
lady was killed in one of the mills ; for
there were formerly blade mills, and, until re-
cently, paper mills on the estate. The issue
of this marriage was an only child, ]Mary
Hyde, spinster, who, after tlie death of her
father, in 1744, conveyed the Hopton estate,
for £2,.300, to Joseph Oldham, gentleman,
wlio, in 1770, pulled down the old manor
house, and built a new mansion on more
elevated ground, adjoining the old site. This
property he sold for £14,000, in 1779, to
John Hale, Esq., of Bewdley, who was suc-
ceeded by his nephew, Curteis Hale, Esq., in
1783. This gentleman in 1798 conveyed
the manor house and estate for £19,520, to
Thomas Botfield, of Court of Hill, Esq., wlio,
taking possession in jNIay, 1803, was suc-
ceeded on his death on the 17th of January,
1843, by his widow, Lucy Botfield.

The advowson of the Rectory of Hopton
Wafers was sold by Curteis Hale, Esq., to
Joseph Cotton, Esq., who re-sold it to
Thomas Botfield, Esq. Mr. Loudon in his
work on forming, improving, and managing
country residences, gives, in plate 29, a view
of Hopton Court as built by Mr. Oldham,
suggesting its alteration in the castellated
style, as shown in plate 30 of the quarto
edition of that work, published at London
in 1806. This plan was not adopted, and
the house received an additional story, with
the decoration of a portico from the designs
of IMr. Nash, in 1811—13. A modest
entrance leads to the principal rooms, which
are more remarkable for their propor-
tions than their size, and in tlieir perfect
adaptation to the requirements of their in-
mates, are eminently conducive to the pro-
verbial comfort of an English home. 'Fhe
grounds were formed under the direction
of Mr. Repton, and extensive walks through
the dingle render their natural beauties
easily accessible. The view from the terrace
before the house embraces the valley and



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



2G9



its village, with the parish church, and the
Tower of St. John, Doddington, on the side
of the Titterstone, edifices which owe their
existence to the piety and muuiticence of the
recent proprietor of Hopton Court, and are
therefore not the least pleasing objects in
the prospect.

CALWICH ABBEY, Derbyshire, four miles
west of Ashbourn, the seat of the Hon. and
Rev. Augustus Duncombe. It was the site
of a hermitage, belonging to tlie priory of
Kenilworth, to which it was given before the
year 1148 by Nicholas de Gresley Fitz Nigell,
and therein was placed a sinall convent of
Black Canons — Carthusians. Henry the
Eighth exchanged this house for the manor
of East Molsey with the monks of Merton in
Surrey, but at tlie dissolution of monasteries
granted it to John Fleetwood, Esq., a mem-
ber of the ancient Lancashire family of tliat
name, and witli his descendants it continued
for several generations. The uses to which
it was applied by the new owner seem
greatly to have scandalized the old topogra-
pher, Erdeswicke, who, in his dry way, ob-
serves, 16G0, " From Mayfield, Dove passeth
to Calwich, whereof I can only make this
report, that being, or belonging to, a cell, or
house of religion, now a Lancashire gentle-
man is owner thereof, who (as I liave heard)
hath made a parlour of the chancel, a liall of
the church, and a kitchen of the steeple ;
which may be true, for I have known a gen-
tleman in Cheshire, which hath done the
like."

From the Fleetwoods, Calwich passed to a
branch of the illustrious family of Granville ;
and afterwards to t]ieir descendants, the
Dewes, who took the name of Granville.
From the last-named it went by purchase to
the pi-esent owner.

The mansion, as it now appears, is of mo-
dern date, and is generally believed to occupy
the site of the church, which belonged to the
hermitage, and was converted by the Fleet-
woods mto a family residence. It stands at
the foot of a lengthened woody knoll, that
stretches east and west, and forms the right
boundary of the vale of Dove. Its position,
therefore, is somewhat low, as was generally
the case with all monastic buildings, the
great object of the monks seemhig to be pro-
tection for themselves and their gardens
from the bleak wind, which, considering the
very great change in the seasons, was pro-
bably much bleaker throughout the island in
those days than it is at present. The situa-
tion., however, is not the less beautiful on
that account. On the north it- is sheltered
by a rich screen of forest trees, and beneath
is a verdant expanse of ornamental grounds,
rendered yet more picturesque by a broad
artilicial sheet of water. Tiiis last is fed by



the Dove, which here assumes a greater
widtli than usual, after having writhed and
serpentined, like a bright snake, through
wood and meadow for many a mile. Gis-
horne asserts that a part of tlie good monks'
garden may yet be seen, and adds that,
" during the alterations in the grounds in
the late Mr. Granville's life, numbers of
skulls and lumian bones were frequently dis-
covered ; and large quantities have lately
been found by the work-people now employ-
ing at Calwich."

The old hermitage before mentioned as
belonging to the church, has been converted
into stables, but some portion of the original
fabric still remains to testify for the times
long gone by. The north Avall, with its
pointed gables, is nearly entire.

The interior of the mansion has been
arranged with an especial eye to the com-
fort of its inhabitants, a point too often
neglected by architects and builders. From
the windows of the south-east front there is
a splendid prospect, taking in the vale, with
the church, mansion, and parsonage of Nor-
bury upon the opposite eminence.

The great composer, Handel, was a fre-
quent and welcome guest at Calwich. It is
not always, or even often, possible to enlist
reason on the side of fancy; and yet if
reason will step in to destroy the singular
charm associated with such recollections, it
is better for the moment that we should be
witliout it. The idea that here Handel
played, the centre of au admiring circle —
that in these woods he sought and found in-
spiration for some of his sublimest works —
is much too pleasing to be lightly given up
as conveying nothing tangible to the senses.

But after all that has been said in de-
scribing this lovely spot, a more vivid idea,
or at least another idea of it, will perhaps be
obtained from the lines of the poet in his
" Vales of Wever ;"

" Come, Granville, thou -wliose fostering hand
Guards the slow growth of Albion's land ;
For thee, O friend, the placid spring
Wafts her pure balm on sweetest wing ;
Thy lake's clear azAire whisp'ring curls,
And Flora's tissued veil unfurls.
For thee the woodland kings display
The silvery gem, the golden spray ;
"Weave o'er thy banks a pensive wreath,
And cool thy twilight walks beneath.
Here amid black sequestered shades,
That darkened once those sunny glades,
Frown'd a grey pile. The grass-grown walls,
(Du-e superstition's gloomy halls),
The roof, the tow'rs with ivy crowned,
Damp horror spread his arms around.
Oft has tliis vale, when michiiglit drove
Her car in silence through the grove,
Seen trem'lous lights within the pile
Pass and repass the cloistered aisle ;
Seen the funereal pall and bier,
Bedew'd with friendship's parting tear,
Seen the sad, slowly-mo\'ing bands.
Pale tapers glimmering m their hands ;
Heard the loud choir within the cave,
Chaunt the sweet requiem o'er the grave."



270



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



STOCKLEIGH COTJET, Devon, the seat of
John Frestwood Belle w, Esq., the represen-
tative of one of the oldest families in the
kingdom, derived by direct male descent
from the Norman, De Belleau, or De Bella
Aqua, whose name appears on the Roll of
Battell Abbey. At an early period, a leadmg
line became established in Ireland, and m the
time of Edward IV., John Bellewe, eldest son
of Bellewe of Bellewestown marrying the co-
heiress of Fleminge of Bratton Flemmg, ac-
quired a considerable estate in Devonshire,
and founded the family, which continued to
reside at Ash Rogus in that shire until the reign
of Elizabeth, when William Bellew of Ash
(father of the first possessor of Stockleigh
Court) jouied with Ins eldest son Richard
(who afterwards removed into Lincolnshii-e)
in alienating Ash to the Earl of Bath.

1'lie old mansion at Stockleigh Court was
pulled down, and a new builduig erected on
its site by the late William BeUew, Esq.,
father of the present possessor.

It is a singular fact recorded of this
warlike race that they counted eighteen
Bannerets in direct luie of succession.

FENISCOWLES, Lancashire, between tin ee
and foui miles from Blackburn, the seat of
Sir William Henry Feilden, Bart., son and
heir of the late Sir William Feilden, Bart.,
who for many years was ^lember of Parlia-
ment for Blackburn, and a deputy-lieutenant
of the county.

Feniscowles, the true British etymology
of which is Pen Yfigol, " Head of the Cliff,"
stands in the manor of Pleasington, or I'les-
sington, which in the time of Henry the
Third we find belonging to a family who pro-
bably derived their name from it. The male
line of this race becoming extinct, the
daughter and heiress of the house brought
the property in marriage to Roger de Wins-
ley, whose heiress in like manuer conveyed
it to the Aynesworths, or Ainsworths. By
the last heir male of this family Feniscowles
was sold to William Feilden, Esq., M.P.
(third sou of the late Joseph Feilden, Esq.,
of Witton, see page 134), who was subse-
quently created a Baronet, and took from
Feniscowles the designation of his title.

There is a very old and fanciful tradition
of tlic Saxons having believed that this spot
was the liabitation of the phanix.

The mansion, which is of the Grecian
order of architecture, was built by the late
Sir "William Feilden, Bart., but it has been
added to at different periods. It contains a
choice collection of ancient and modern
paintings, by some of the most eminent
masters. Amongst them will be found the
time-honoured names of Guercino, Murillo,
A. Caracci, Parmcgiano, Claude, Ostade,
Cuyp, Domcuicliiuo, Carlo Dolce, Poussin,



Van Oss, and many others of scarcely less
celebrity.

The grounds and gardens are laid out
with much taste, and are bounded on all sides
by delightful prospects : indeed, the surround-
ing scenery of the whole valley extending to
the river Ribble is very picturesque and
beautiful. There is also a fine park con-
nected Avith the house, Avell stocked with
red and fallow deer, llamas, and other foreign
aniinals, both valuable and interesting from
tlie rarity of their appearance in this country
except in zoological gardens.

BALLOCHMORIE, Ayrshire, the seat of
William IM'Adam, Esq., representative of
the M' Adams, of Waterhead, Kirkcudbright,
an ancient branch of the Clan Gregor. The
name of Ballochmorie signifies " the great
mountain pass," and well describes the
nature of the countiy.

This mansion was built by Wm. M'Adam,
Esq., father of the present owner. It is of
the Grecian order of architecture, surrounded
by plantations, with a lawn and garden
gradually sloping down to the river Diiuisk,
or Black Water. It is one of those romantic
spots with Avhich Scotland abounds, and the
features of which are so decidedly Scottish,
as hardly to be mistaken. Even the names,
which tradition has stamped upon surround-
ing object.s — those, for instance, already men-
tioned — lend a fanciful and poetic colouring
to the place, in complete harmony with the
landscape.

The present possessor is grandson and heir
of John Loudon M'Adam, Esq., the cele-
brated " Reformer of Roads," whose father,
James M'Adam, Esq., of Waterhead, was
fourth in descent from Gilbert M'Adam,
ofAVaterhead, a strenuous supporter of the
Reformed Religion in Scotland, and a conse-
quent sufferer in the political disputes of the
time. For harbouring John Welsh and other
leaders of the insurrection, who fied from
Bothwell field, he was tried and banished the
country, but was subsequently ransomed by
liis father-in-law, James Dun, of Benwhatt,
and returned home. Persecution still, liow-
ever, followed his steps. Whilst at prayer
in a cottage, in the village of Kirkmichael.
CO. Ayr, he was surprised and shot by a
party of soldiers under the command of the
Lairds of Colzean and Ballochmyer, a.d.
1680. A stone was erected at the time to
conunemorate the event; and the names of
the two leaders, who had been present at the
murder, were inscribed on the memorial. In
the sequel these names were erased, but they
were finally restored by the chisel of Old
Moiiallfi/, whose singular occupation is so
beautifully recorded by Sir 'Walter Scott,
and they may still be seen in the churchyard
of Kivkmichael.



SEATS OP GREAT BRITAIN.



271



WESTWOOD-PARK, co. "Worcester, the
seat of tlie Right Hon. Sir John Somerset
Pakmgton, Bart., M.P., Secretary of State
for the Colonies.

Westwood was anciently a house of Be-
nedictine Nuns, subordinate to the monastery
of Fonteveraud, and amongst its earliest
benefactors was the family of De Say. So
far back as tlie reign of IIenrylI.,Eustachia
de Say, Rud lier son Osbert Fitz Hugli, gave
land to the community, and in a deed of
William de Stuteville, Osbert is styled,
" Fundator Ecclesite Ste Marie de West-
%vood et monialium ibidem Deo servien-
tinm."

In 1542, all the manors belonging to the
monastery of Westwood, co. AVorcester,
were granted to Mr. Serjeant Pakmgton, a
learned and successful lawyer of the reign
of Henry VIH., and smcethat period West-
wood has continued iminterruptedly the pro-
perty of his collateral descendants. Ser-
jeant Pakington, at the time of his death,
which occurred in 1560, was seized of thirty-
one manors, and of other lands that he had
purchased of seventy different persons, as
appeared by a large book concerning his
estate, preserved among the family muni-
ments. Sir Jolm Pakington, the grantee of
AVestwood, left two dauglitcrs only, where-
upon a considerable portion of his fortune
devolved on his nephew, Sir Thomas Paking-
ton, who had previously, in right of his
motlier, one of the co-hems of Sir John
Baldwin, Chief Justice of the Common
Pleas, succeeded to a rich mheritance, in-
cluding the manor of Ailesbury, Bucks,
where he took up his abode, and where he
was interred m 1571 Avith great pomp, the
officers of the College of Arms marshalling
the fimeral. His son and successor, SiR
JouN Pakington, K.B. the "lusty Pa-
kington" of Queen Elizabeth's Court, was
the first of his race who chose Westwood
for a residence, and by him the present
stately structure was erected. It is recorded
that after he had finished the building, " he
invited the Earl of Northampton, Lord Pre-
sident, and his Countess, to a house-warm-
ing ; and as his lordship was a jovial com-
panion, a train of above 100 laiights and
gentlemen accompanied liun, who stayed at
Westwood House some time, and at their
departure acknowledged they had met with
so kmd a reception thai they did not hnow
whether they had possessed the place, or the
place them. Tlie delightfid situation of the
mansion was what they had never before
seen ; the house standing in the middle of a
wood, cut into twelve large ridings, and at a
good distance, one riding through all of
them, the whole surrounded by a park of
six or seven miles, with, at the further
end, facing the house, an artificial lake



of 120 acres." Sumptuous, however, as
was the entertainment, it bore no com-
parison with the magnificent welcome
given by Sir John Pakington, at his seat of
Ailesbury, to James I. and his Queen, wlieu
their ]\Iajesties honoured him with a visit on
theirroyal progress from North Britam. Upon
this occasion " lusty Pakington" set no
bounds to expense, tliinking it a disparage-
ment to be outdone by any fellow-subject,
when such an opportunity offered ; and the
king was so gratified by Sir Jolm's endea-
vours that he was heard to say that " he had
never met with a more noble reception."
Lloyd, in his Lives of the Statesmen and
Favourites of England, thus speaks of
Pakington ; " His handsome features look
the most, aiid his neat parts the wisest at.
He could smile ladies to his service, and
argue statesmen to his design, with equal
ease. His reason was powerful, his beauty
more. Never was a braver soul more
bravely seated ; nature bestowed great parts
on liim, education polished him to an admir-
able frame of prudence and virtue. Q,ueeu
Elizabeth called him her Temperance, and
Leicester, his IModesty. It is a question to
this day, whether his resolution took the
soldiers, his prudence the politicians, liis
compliance the favourites, his complaisance
the courtiers, his piety the clergy, his mte-
grity and condescension the people, or his
knowledge the learned, most. It was he
who said first what Bishop Sanderson urged
afterwards. That a sound faith v:as the best
divinity, a good conscience the hest law, and
temperance the best 'physic.''''

Sir John Pakington, who lived to see his
children's children, ended his days at his
favourite seat of Westwood, in the 77th
year of his age, in January, 1625. At his
death, his estates devolved on his grandson,
Sir John Pakmgton, Bart., who fixed his
chief residence at Westwood, and was there
living when the great Civil War broke out.
Panging himself under the royal banner, he
fought gallantly for King Charles, and
suffered much m consequence. Ailesbury,
his seat m Buckinghamshire, one of the best
houses in the count}', was levelled with the
ground, and he himself committed to the
Tower. Subsequently he joined Charles IL
with a troop of horse at the battle of Wor-
cester, and was taken prisoner. So great,
however, was the popidarity he enjoyed,
that when he Avas afterwards tried for his
life, not one witness could be procured to
swear agamst him. The great-grandson of
this stanch cavalier was Sir Herbert Perrott
Pakington, Bart., of Westwood, M.P. for
AVorcestershire, who is said to have been



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