Edward Barrington De Fonblanque.

Annals of the house of Percy, from the conquest to the opening of the nineteenth century (Volume v.2 pt.1) online

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Owen of Anglesey; and Eleanor, married to Sir William Herbert, after-
wards created Baron Powis.

4 Dated a few months before his death. After expressing a wish to
be buried in Beverley Cathedral, "if it fortune me to die in the Count)
of York," the Earl assigns various legacies to his sons, and marriage
portions to each of his two daughters.

About this period we meet with several cases which illustrate th
convenient practice on the part of the relatives, tenants, or retainers <
great nobles of leaving a legacy in the form of a child to their feu<j
lord. Thus Odonel Selby bequeaths his son Ralph to the eighth 1- •
of Northumberland, **yf it shall please his Honor to taik hym to h
service, to serve hym in my place as I have doune his lordships fa:; - -'-
and the Erie his late brother, thes sex and thirtye yeres." George
Harbotel, in like manner, leaves to his noble kinsman, his son Jo
"as frely as God gave him unto me, trusting that he will stand go<
Lord and Maister unto him, whereby he may the better helpe to brin
up my childer." — Durham Wills and Inventories, Surtees Socieij


jrfi/mr / sf&fj-fc


Facsimile of Signature of the 3th Earl op Northumberland.

Facsimile of Signature of the &th Earl of Northumberland.

pa^aw^^ ' - ^■^vw' rv ^*.B«^^^'*'«f»w?

* "3r$


-■ "'■'- +i» ■

Henry '. K Ear/ oj '. I orlh a >n berlan d
~K. G.


nintl) (Sari of fiortfmntfmlairt!, R.0.

Horn at Tynemouth Castle, May, 1564.
Succeeded to the Earldom, July, 1585.
Died at Petworth, 5th November, 1632.


English Sovereigns.


James I. ace. 1603.

Charles I. „ 1625.

T had already, towards the end of the a.d. 1581
sixteenth century, become the fashion

; JjdaMj pat to complete the education of young
f;"; ][ii'' ^| nobles by a course of foreign travel,

and in his eighteenth year Lord Percy
was sent abroad for the enlargement of
His experience and the improvement of his mind and
manners. Lord Burghley had found time, amid his
<-nerous duties, to provide his young kinsman with a
lengthy letter of advice, which he gracefully acknow-
''" ( 'ges, assuring the Lord Treasurer that " for the desire .
to see me prosper in learning and piety, I am most in-
'-':bted to you after the Queen and my parents. Thanks
,: ' r your exquisite and rare counsel, and your directions
; ° r my travels, which I would gladly recompense." '

Warned by past experience, the Earl of Northumber-
land had caused his son and heir to be trained in the

' I^ord Percy to Lord Burghley, Paris, 16th April, 1581. State





a.d. profession of the Protestant faith. He had according!;
1564-1632 rece [ vec i his early education under an English clergymai
at the parsonage of Egremont, in Yorkshire ; r and whei
he proceeded upon his travels, every precaution wa
taken to prevent his falling into the hands of the exilec
English Catholics, ever on the alert to recruit their rank
by the acquisition of converts of rank and position.

Nor was it only his father who showed this solicitud<
for the spiritual training of the young noble. Elizabeth':
agents at foreign courts had been instructed to watch ovei
him and to guard him against the influence of the Papists
It was in obedience to these commands that Sir Henn
Cobham, the Ambassador in Paris, officially reportec
Lord Percy's dangerous intimacy with Sir Charles Paget
a notorious Recusant, who had left England some time
before under suspicion of complicity in plots for thi
liberation of Queen Mary.

Pao-et having been informed of this imputation thus
writes to exonerate himself from the charge of tampering
with his young friend's religious opinions :

" Since I retired into this secret life, my Lord Percy
being lodged not far from me, I have haunted his com-
pany, because he not being in a commendable course,
either for studies or manners, my poor advice prevailed
with him to reform.

" I have been careful not to touch upon matters of
religion, knowing that he would greatly dislike persuasion
to alter that religion he has been bred up in ; and that my
Lord of Northumberland, his father, whose favour I am
lothe to lose, would have been offended, and especially
that it would kindle her Majesty's displeasure against me.
"Yet my Lord Ambassador of England hath adver-

1 The Household Accounts of the eighth Earl of Northumberian
for the years 1575-79 {Syon House MSS.) contain several^ entries 01
payments to this clergyman, one Thompson, as Lord Percy's tutor.

I 7 3


tised some of the Council in the worst sense he can of A - p - T 5 82
my resort to his lordship, thinking thereby to procure
niy Lord Percy the displeasure of his friends. Pray
let there be no harsh interpretation made of Lord
Percy by his friends, or of me by anybody else." '

Lord Percy himself, by his letters to Walsingham and
to his father, 2 confirms Paget' s statements : —

" Righte honnorable, I doe vnderstande that Sir
Henry Cobham, Ambassador here for her Maieste,
hathe not long agoe informed your Honnor, both against
me and Mr. Pagett, for conuersing some tymes one with
the other, and that Mr. Pagett should not onelie seeke
to dissuade me from the Religion I have been nowrisshed
and bredd upp in, but also deale with me in vndewtifull
Practises. When I hard of this Manner of my Lo :
Ambassadors procedinge, it greued me very muche, in
respect I stoode in doubte, by reason of his place, what
force his Aduertisment might carie against me, to bringe
me in Disgrace with her Maieste, and Displeasure with
my Lo : my Father, both whiche thinges I will euer
seeke [to avoid] by all possible meanes, as that I am
hounde vnto by the Lawes of God, Nature and Raison.
But when I better aduised my selfe, my griefe began to
diminish, bycause I remembred your Wisdome and In-
diferencie to be suche, as that this bare Reporte of my
Lo: Ambassador, grounded without Reason or Trewth,
should not be imparted to any by your Honor to my
hurte, vntil suche tyme as you harde what I could say
in my Defence. And therfore hauinge this good Occa-
sion presented vnto me by the comminge of my Lo : my
lathers man, who is sent of pourpose by his Lo : to

1 Sir Charles Paget to Secretary Walsingham, Paris, 4th March, 1582.
State Papers.

5 Lord Percy to Secretary Walsingham and to the Earl of Northum-
' ' rland [Holographs]. Original State FaPeis, Record Office. Addenda,
£/»y*. vol. 27, No. 66 and 67. .

179 N 2


a.d. me, with charge as I tender my Dewtie towardes him
1564-1632 t0 s i en ifi e a li thingfes in Trewth vnto his Lo : I could
not lett slipp the same, but in like sorte by thes lines
declare vnto your Honor that Mr. Pagett did some-
tymes resorte vnto me, of whom I haue neuer hard-
other speches then becommeth a dewtifull Subiect to
her Maieste, and great Well wilier to me. Assuring-:
your Honor that if he had delte with me in other
termes, either for matters of Religion or otherwise, I
wold not haue allowed of his Companie, but hated his
Person. Neuertheles when 1 heard by my Lo : Am-
bassador suche harde Construction of Mr. Pagett his
Resorte to me, bycause I wold haue it appear how lot!:
I wold be to doe anie thinge that might anie way shake
me in the Fauor of her Maieste, I prayed Mr. Pagett to
forbear my Companie. Whiche verie willinglie he yeelded
vnto, and as soone as he coulde prouide him a lodging
farther from me, he presentlie remoued. The Desire
I saw in Mr. Pagett to have her Maiesties Fauor, whiche
did appear vnto me by his retired Life, as also that he did
lett me vnderstand how your Honnor was a meane to her
Maiestie for her gracious Fauor towardes him, and said
he miedite haunte suche as were here ouer with Licence


made me the better to accept of his Companie. So that
thes thinges beinge looked into with an equall eye, an:
nothinge written by me but that shalbe iustified to th<
Shame of anie that shall say to the contrarie, I trusio
your Honor will close vpp thes Reports in suche sorte as
I may holde the gracious Fauor of her Maieste, the go^->
Conceipte of your Honor with the rest of my go°'>
Friendes ; and that your Honor will warne the Am-
bassador not to be from henceforth so credulous without
cause. In the doinge wherof I shall thinke my selie
greatlie bounde vnto yow, as I doe allredie for the fauor-
able reporte I vnderstand yow haue giuen of me heretofore

1 80


10 her Maiestie, which I will not forgett to acknowledge a.d. 158:
.is God shall giue me Power. Vnto whom I committ
\<mr Honor and all your Affaires. From Paris the 5 of
A prill 1582.

" Your honors assured Freind

" H. Percy."

" It maye pleas your Lo : I have receyued your Letters
of the 2. of March, by your Lo : Seruante, and am verie
sorie to vnderstand the Disquietnesse you ar broughte
into by meannes of an Aduertisment giuen by my Lo :
Ambassador of England against me and Mr. Pagett ;
who he surmiseth shoulde goe aboute to alter me in
Religion, and practise with me in matters offensiue to her
Maiestie. I assure your Lo : that neither th'one nor
th'other is trew, and that Mr. Pagett hathe allwayes in my
sighte caried him selfe as dewtifullie in Speech and Action
(for his priuate opinion in Religion I speake not of) as is
to be wisched, otherwise in no respect wold I haue
tmterteyned his Companie. And for mine owne perticular
I haue found my selfe greatly beholdinge vnto him, as to
one that verie freindlie and carefullie tendred my well-
cloinge, euer aduising me to preserue my selfe in the
gracious Fauor of her Maiestie, and in your Lo : good
Conceipte by all obedient meanes. So soone as I harde
what Course my Lo : Ambassador had taken against me
(whlche is thre weekes agoe) I presentlie went vnto
him, being desirous to satisfie him in Trewth, and offred
to conforme my selfe to anie Course that he should wishe
me vnto. But my goode Meaninge was refused by him
withe verie appassionate Speeches, whiche were neither
agreable to the Place (in my humble opinion) he beareth,
nor the FVeindshippe he semed to professe vnto me. I
<-hd finde by the Conference I had with his Lo : his In-
clination more redie to take holde of false Accusations



a.d. against me then of the trevv Allegations I broughte in my
15 4-i 3 2 d e f ence# \ n whiche Minde his Lo : may perhappes still
rest, bycause he will thinke it muche to his Discreclitt y! ::.
should be knowen he hath aduertised Vntrewthes against
me. And therfore it is to be feared he will by all Deuio:
fortefie the Course he hathe begon. But as by Gods
Grace he shall neuer herein haue any sure Ground to
worke upon, so doe I most humblie beseche your Lo :
with the helpe of your good Freindes in Courte, to meet<2
with suche Practises as shall comme from him with
intention to hurte me. Wherof I nothing doubte so
longe as I kepe myselfe in dewtiful and loyall tearmes
towardes her Maiestie, and Obedience towardes your Lo ;
not meaninge (with Gods helpe) euer to faile herein,
what soeuer by mine Enimies shalbe said to the contraric.
The Bearer, your Lo : Seruante, can informe yow in all
thinges more particular, and therefore, with the Rem-
braunce of my most humble Dewtie to your Lo : and my
La : my Mother, I leaue for this tyme to troble your Lo :
anie further. From Paris, the 5 of Aprill 1582.

" Your Lo : most humble and obedient Sonne

"H. Percy."

It would appear that the English Ambassador had
allowed his zeal to outrun his judgment ; for, on bein_. r
required to justify his charges, he disclaimed any intention
of reflecting upon Paget, but thought he would only ti"
his duty in reporting that gentleman's intimacy with the
young lord, in consideration of his being "a principal
personage in the Realm," and having been special!}
recommended to his care by Lord Burghley.

The Earl of Northumberland was at this time so muca
under suspicion of sympathy with the Catholic party that
he haa strong reasons for desiring to prevent his so: 1 .



from becoming involved in the wide-spread and perilous a.d.
intrigues of the exiled English in France and in the I 5 82 ~ 1 5 s 5
Low Countries. Not content with the official inquiry,
he now sent a confidential servant to Paris, who, having
according to Paget, examined Lord Percy and himself
before worthy witnesses, would, he felt assured, " bring
back such a report as should breed contentment." x

In the following year the young Lord is mentioned as
being a favoured suitor for the hand of " Lady Kitson's
daughter," and shortly after his name occurs in connec-
tion with a higher matrimonial project ; but as the Lady
Arabella Stuart was then only in her eighth or ninth year,
no importance was probably attached to rumours which,
at a later period, were treated as of public interest.

One of the many secret agents employed abroad by
Elizabeth reports, shortly after the old Earl's death, that
the Due de Guise was preparing a formidable expedition
for the invasion of the North of England, and that the
two sons of the late Earl of Northumberland intended to
accompany him. 2 However little truth there may have
been in such rumours, there is no doubt that for some
years after his accession apprehensions were very
generally entertained as to the sympathies of the young
Larl with the party in whose cause his father and uncle
had died. Sir George Carew (Master of the Ordnance
in Ireland, afterwards Earl of Totness), an old friend or
the family, had, it would seem, warned him against the
clanger of connecting himself with the enemies of his
country, upon which subject he remarks : —

" I have known of late your good Conceit of me,
which I desire no longer than that you shall find me
grateful or give cause for Continuance.

" The matter we last spoke of touched me so nearly that

1 Charles Paget to the Earl of Northumberland. State Papers.

' Thomas Rogers to Secretary Walsingham, August, 1585. Ibid.



a.d. upon weighing the Effects, and with the view to satisfy my
1564-1632 p resen £ Discontent, no way is so convenient as the fir ,1

" You need not fear that my Mind will alter ; my Res )
lutions once determined are not so quickly revoked." «

This "present discontent" evidently refers to the
writer's share in the prevalent suspicions on the nature of
his father's death in the Tower. There is a marked re-
serve in his only recorded reference to the event main-
years later, but it is not unreasonable to believe that this
early sorrow preyed upon his mind, and cast a lasting
shadow over his life ; to which the alternate fits of sadness
and restlessness, of cynicism and aggressiveness, which
marked his career, may be attributable.

The Catholic party, for whom as such he had little
sympathy, were not likely to fail in working upon such
feelings. By kindling his smouldering resentment into
open enmity to the English Crown, they secured the
most effectual means of winning him over to their cause ;
and in spite of the " Resolution " which, in deference to
the advice urged upon him by Sir George Carew, ami
other of his friends, he had formed, they long continued to
indulge in such hope. Even five years later one of Lord
Burghley's foreign spies writes : —

" The present Earl of Northumberland, who is in Dis-
content about his fathers death, may be seduced to the
See of Rome." 2

The young Earl, who had barely attained his majority
when he succeeded to his great inheritance, although ex-
ceptionally cultivated and accomplished, was but ill-fitted
for the exercise of the practical duties and responsibilities
which so suddenly devolved upon him. He had been

* Earl of Northumberland to Sir George Carew, June, 15S7. Calena.n
of Carew MSS , in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth. Vol. II- p. 444-
1 Paul Crushe to Lord Burshley, March, 1592. State Papers.

IS 4


deeply attached to his father, and, the only influence to A.DJ1585
which his wilful temper had hitherto deferred being
withdrawn, he appears to have given way to that im-
petuosity and impatience of control which formed
serious blemishes in a kindly and generous nature,
and to which many of his troubles and misfortunes
in after life are traceable.
Among the beneficial influences of Elizabeth's tastes and

(character upon her people must be counted the impetus
given to the cultivation, not only of more refined outward
habits and observances, but of intellectual pursuits, among
all who aspired to success at Court or in the public service.

No pains had been spared by the sagacious old Earl
of Northumberland to give his heir that higher education
which the age demanded, while carefully training him in
the various arts and accomplishments considered befitting
in a youth of his rank. Of the duties relating to the
management and administration of large estates, and of
the obligations towards his numerous dependants, he had,
however, been left in absolute ignorance ; and on his
accession he felt himself painfully conscious of his in-
capacity to act upon his own responsibility.

In his Instructions to my Son, written a quarter of a
century later, he bitterly reproaches himself with his own
early follies and wastefulness, which he mainly attributes
to defective training :

"If ever father loved a son he did me; yet," he
complains, that the old Earl, " either to cause obedience
in keeping me under, or to hinder prodigall expence in
some tryfles," had kept him in complete ignorance of
family affairs and domestic details; that he was thus
driven to trust the most important matters to servants
whose honesty or capacity he was unable to estimate, 1

' "' I knewe not where I was or what I did, till out of my meanes of
iCiooo yearely I had made shifte, in one yeare and a halte, to be
£15000 in debt; so as the burden of my song, must still conclude



a.d. and easily became the dupe and victim of knaves and
1564-* 32 parasites, whose only object it was to enrich themselves
at his expense. 1

He appears, however, before long to have mastered
the difficulties of his position, and to have acted with
vigour and justice as a great landowner. In a letter
of 24th November, 1593, he informs Mr. Fenwick, his
chief constable at Alnwick, that through the negligence
of his stewards and clerks the court rolls and records in
the North were " not kept in due and honest sort, to the
great confusion of my poor Tenants' Estates, and to my
own great Loss and Dishonour ;" and he severely blames
him for having evicted a widow from her farm, " especi-
ally at a Time when her Corn was still standing ; it was
extreme, and not according to the Customs of the
Country, that she should be expelled. Wherefore I require
that the old Woman should be reinstated to her former
Estate, and that the true and ordinary Course of Law in
my Country may proceed and determine in these Cases."

In the documents relating to the expenditure of the
young noble, which have been preserved in the family,
we can trace his early love of literature, and of those
desultory studies which served so well in after life to
alleviate the pains of a long captivity. We here find
entries of considerable sums expended in the purchase-
ignorance in myne estate to be the raayn cause." — Earl of Northumber-
land's " Instructions to my Son."

1 An old displaced officer of the family writes : "lam little sorrowful
at losing the Earl of Northumberland, who so little esteemed thirf.
years' service and preferred one of no desert and a month's stands -
before me. I will never serve under that subject that accounts so sm:
of me as he has done, and he shall know that I am able to live in my
country without him." — Cuthbert Collingwood to Honorable . . • •
Anderson, nth February, 15S6. State Papers. This is the sai mc
Collingwood of whom the eighth Earl spoke in such high praise in I •
letter to Lord Burghley. See ante, p. 150.

a Alnwick MSS.

3 Syon House MSS. These rolls form an unbroken, though incoi
plete, series of rough statements of personal expenditure from 15^5 : '
1616, and are full of interesting detail.



of books, the titles of which show the extent and the a.d.^
diversity of his reading. Among the heterogeneous I5 ^ 9 °
acquisitions to his library, immediately after his acces-
sion to the earldom, we meet with such works as
Guicciardini's History, Discourses on War, Machiavelli,
Accidentia Cantabrigiensis Lacrynice? Musculus' Com-
mon Place Book, Bullinger's Decades, Hollingshead's Chro-
nicle, The Pilgrimage of Princes, Anagrams, The Death
of Philip Sidney, and the Offences of the Queen of Scots.
In subsequent years the expenditure under this head
becomes much larger, and we meet with charges for
binding and cataloguing books at Syon,and for searching
records in the Tower of London ; while there is frequent
mention of works on architecture, gardening.and military
science, as well as of maps, globes, and astrolobes.

Among other payments illustrative of his habits and
tastes, we find £\2 to Mr. Hubbard for a picture of
Madame Dundragoe, although a brother artist, Hill-
yard, 2 received only £3 for his portrait of the Earl
I himself, and the former Earl's picture was painted for

fifty shillings. 3 The sum of £24 is paid for " the antique
pictures of the Roman Emperors," and "£3, for four
frames for carrying pictures to Petworth."

That predilection for occult science which he retained
through life is already indicated by two entries, one being
the purchase of a " speculative glass," i.e. a crystal globe,
U:>ed for the purpose of reading the future, and the other a

* A curious collection of Latin and Greek verse by members of
Cambridge University on the death of Philip Sidney, including a com-
;■ iition by King James the Sixth. The volume was published in 1587.

1 This is the Richard Hilliard or Hillyard who subsequently obtained
1 I cence from King James the First to " moent, make, grave and im-
' nt any picture of our image or our royal family" for a period of
*« >c years.— See Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting.

1 Half a century later Peter Lely was supposed to have received an
r " rbitant reward when he was paid £10 for a full-length picture of
• ties the First and the Duke of York.

IS 7


a.d. fee of forty shillings, " to the Demonstrator touching your

1564-1632 L or d s hips great jewel that was stolen," evidently a reward

for the discovery of the thief by means of clairvoyance-.

He was amongst the first in England to set the fashion
of smoking, for it was but a few years before that Raleigh
had introduced tobacco, large payments for which, as well
as for pipes, occur in the accounts.

A more costly fashion to which he was addicted was
play, his losses at which, to Sir Walter Raleigh and others,
amounted, in 15S6, to nearly ^ 1

Among other curious entries we meet with these :—

"To Sir Carey Raleigh's man for making one of the
Earl's horses to amble, and teaching Raufe Yates, his
groom, to do the like, 70 shillings.

" To the French Ambassador's cook for instructions to
his own cook, 40 shillings."

" For a licence to eat flesh in Lent, 40 shillings.

"To a Dutchman for 100 quince trees, 24 shillings."

" For a pair of popinjay green stockings and nine
pairs of other silk stockings, £1% 14s." Fees, rang-
ing from 10s. to 20s., for being bled are of frequent
occurrence ; as also charges for gardening at Syon House,
where, in 1603, he entertained the King at a banquet a:
a cost of ;£i68 10s. id.

The Earl owned the town house which his father
and uncle had occupied, situate on the west side ol
St. Andrew's Hill, Blackfriars, opposite the Church
of St. Andrew's Wardrobe, 2 and adjoining a house

* Twelve years later he is mentioned as being "a complete court!-'
and familiar with Sir Walter Raleigh at cards." Sydney Papers, ii. p- r 5
Among his losses at play we find the sum of twenty shillings for a garr.<
of chess with the Earl of Rutland.

2 There is an entry in the accounts for 1598 of a fee of twenty -0
shillings paid the Surveyor of the City of London " for taking a view
Northumberland House, and setting down in order where his nei.qhi^ -
had done him any wrong bv encroaching." Twenty years later we n

Online LibraryEdward Barrington De FonblanqueAnnals of the house of Percy, from the conquest to the opening of the nineteenth century (Volume v.2 pt.1) → online text (page 16 of 31)