shot him dead h . The resentment of government,
and the fear of punishment, caused the first seces-
sion of the students to Northampton, and other
places. In succeeding years fresh riots arose, and
occasioned farther migrations. At length, these
migrations were made under sanction of the king;
who imagined that the disturbances arose from the
too great concourse of scholars to one place. It
is said, that not fewer than fifteen thousand stu-
dents settled in this town. Whether from resent-
ment of former proceedings against them, or from
the usual dislike youth has to governing powers,
they took the part of the barons. They formed
themselves into companies, had their distinguish-
ing banner, and, when Henri/ III. made his attack
on Northampton, proved by far his most vigorous
opponents. After the king had made himself
master of the place, he determined to hang every
student; but being at length appeased, he per-
mitted them to return to Oxford, under the con-
duct of Simon Mountfort, and abolished the uni-
versity of Northampton 1 .
Towk The town is finely situated on an eminence,
DESCRIBED. . , . . . . , . . .
gently sloping to the river, which bounds it on the
h Wood's Hist. Ox. i. 89. l Bridges, 426.
South, as it also does on the west. The streets are
in general strait, and very handsomely built. The
great market-place is an ornament to the town :
few can boast the like. Much of the beauty of
Northampton is owing to the calamity it sustained
by fire, on September 20th, 1675; when the Fire.
greatest part was laid in ashes. The houses were
at that time chiefly wooden. Twenty-five thousand
pounds were collected by briefs and private
charity towards its relief; and the king gave a
thousand tons of timber, out of JVhittlezvood
forest, and remitted the duty of chimney-money in
this town for seven years : so that it was soon
rebuilt ; and changed its wooden edifices for more
secure and ornamental houses of stone.
The church of All Saints fell a victim to the Churches.
flames. The old church was a large pile, with a
tower in the center. It was rebuilt with great
magnificence, and is a considerable ornament to
this pretty town. The portico is very elegant,
supported in front by eight columns of the Ionic
order. The body stands on four lofty columns,
and has a neat dome in the middle. The roof is
beautifully stuccoed. This church, and that of
St. Peter, were bestowed on the priory of St.
Andrew, by Simon de St. Liz, the founder. All
Saints is at present in the gift of the members of
the corporation, who are inhabitants of the parish.
Holy The church of the Holy Sepulchre is supposed
' to have been built by the Knights Templars, on
the model of that at Jerusalem. The imitative
part is round, with a nave issuing from it. In the
round part is a peristyle of eight round pillars,
thirteen feet eight inches high, and twelve feet
three in circumference. The capitals consist of
two round fillets : the arches sharp and plain.
The space from the wall to the pillars is eleven
feet : the diameter, from the inside of one pillar
to that of the opposite, is twenty-nine feet two
inches. In the center of the area stands, in the
church at Jerusalem, the supposed sepulchre k ;
and it is probable a model might be placed in
those which we find of the same kind in our island j
for, besides this, the Temple church in London, and
St. Sepulchre's in Cambridge, are built on the
same plan. The steeple, and some other parts of
that in question, have been added since the build-
ing: of the circular church.
St. Peter's St. Peters church is a singular building;. Two
corners of the tower are ornamented with three
round pillars : above these are two, and above
them one ; all gradually less than the others.
The middle of the tower is ornamented with small
round arches, which are continued along the out^
side of the body of the church, and have a good
k See Sandys's Travels.
effect. Within are two rows of round arches,
carved with zigzag work : the pillars which support
these are alternately single and quadruple. A
small monument commemorates John Smith, that
eminent metzotinto scraper \ who died in January
1742, aged ninety.
The advowson of this church was given by
Edward III. to the hospital of St. Catherine, near
the Tower, in London, and still remains under its
Whosoever intended to clear himself of any
criminal accusation in this town, was obliged to do
it in this church only ; having here first performed
his vigil and prayers in the preceding evening 1 ". St. Giles.
St. Giles's church stands in the east skirts of the
town ; but contains nothing worthy notice.
In old times Northampton was possessed of
three other churches, which are now destroyed.
St. Bartholomew's stood on the east side of the
road going to Kingsthorp ; and was bestowed by
St. Liz on his convent of St. Andrew. St. Ed-
mund's stood without the east gate, and was also
under the patronage of St. Andrezvs: and the
church of St. Gregory was the third ; also the
property of that much-favored house.
Among the public buildings, I first speak of
the county hospital; not on account of the beauty Hospital.
1 Mr. Walpole, Engravers, 105. m Bridges, 445.
or magnificence of the house, for it is laudably de-
stitute of both ; but because the subscription which
supports it does honor to the province, by proving
the benevolence of its inhabitants. That of 1779
amounted to near eight hundred pounds ; and the
number of patients perfectly cured, from its found-
ation in 1744 to the former year, was not fewer
than thirteen thousand one hundred and fifty n .
County The county hall is a very handsome building,
and ornamented in a manner which gives dignity
to courts of justice. The vulgar are affected with
external shew, and never pay half the respect to a
judge scampering in boots and bob- wig up the
stairs of a barn-like court, as they would to the
same person, who adds solemnity to his merit, and
assumes the garb suited to his character.
Jail. ^he j au \ s a ^ a small distance from the sessions
house, and was originally built as a dwelling-house
by a Sir Thomas Haselwood, and sold by him to
the justices of the peace.
GuildHall. The town or guild hall, is an antient building,
in which the corporation transacts its business.
Northampton was incorporated by Henry II.
n In lieu of this, a General Infirmary was erected and
opened in 1793 ; the annual subscription to which, for the
present year, amounted to . 1933 16*. 6d. ; the number of
in-patients admitted in 1 809 was 825, of out-patients who re-
ceived benefit from the charity 1286. Ed.
Henry III. gave it the power of chusing annually
a mayor and two bailiffs, to be elected by all the
freemen ; but Henry VII. ordered by charter, that Charter.
the mayor and his brethren, late mayors, should
name forty-eight persons of the inhabitants, with
liberty of changing them as often as was found ne-
cessary; which forty-eight, with the mayor and
his brethren, and such as had been mayors and
bailiffs, were annually to elect all future mayors
and bailiffs. There are, besides, a recorder,
chamberlain, and town-clerk. The mayor, late
mayor, and one other member of the corporation,
nominated by the mayor, aldermen, and bailiffs,
are justices of the peace within the town for one
year. The mayor, recorder or his deputy, and
one justice, are necessary to form a sessions : they
have power in criminal cases to try all offenders ;
but wisely leave all, except petty larcenies, to the
judges of assize .
Northampton is among the most antient bo-
roughs. In the parlement held at Acton Burnel,
in the time of Edward I. it was one of the nineteen
trading towns which sent two members each.
Every inhabitant, resident or non-resident, free or
not free, has liberty of voting : a cruel privilege
for such who have of late years been ambitious of
recommending their representatives.
418 CASTLE ASHBY.
Castle From Northampton I visited Castle Ashby, the
princely seat of the Comptons Earls of North-
ampton. It lies about six miles south-east of the
town, in a wet country, and without any advantage
of situation. It is a large structure, surrounding
a handsome square court, with a beautiful skreen,
the work of In'igo Jones, bounding one side. More
is attributed to that great architect. Some is more
antient than his time; yet he probably had the
restoring of the old house, as the finishing appears,
by a date on the stone ballustrade, to be 1624,
preceded by the pious text, Nisi Dominus cedifica-
verit Domum, in vanum laboraverunt qui cedijicant
Portraits. One front is taken up by a long gallery, and at
the end is a small room, the chapel-closet. In it
Compton, is a full-length of Henry Compton, Bishop of
London. F London, He was youngest son of the famous
loyalist Earl of Northampton ; went for a short
time into the army, after the Restoration; but
soon quitted it for the church. In 1674 he was
promoted to the bishoprick of Oxford, and in the
next year to that of London. His abilities were
said not to be shining ; but his discharge of his
pastoral office gained him great reputation. He
was firmly attached to the constitution and religion
of his country ; and, in the reign of the bigotted
James, underwent the honor of suspension, for not
CASTLE ASHBY. 4 If
complying with the views of the court. He ap-
peared in arms at Nottingham, in support of the
Revolution ; and lived till 1713, when he died, at
the age of eighty-one.
In the same closet is a good head of the Re- M R- Ly *
verend Mr. Lye, who began the Saxon Dictionary *
finished and published by the Reverend Mr.
Manning, 1772. He also published Junius's
Etymologicum Anglicanum, in 1743. He was
born at Totness, in 1694; became possessed of
benefices in this county ; and died in 1767, at the
rectory of Yardly Hastings.
The drawing-room is remarkably grand ; it is Drawing-
fifty feet five inches by twenty-four ; and eighteen
feet ten inches high. It is hung with tapestry, the
meritorious labor of two aunts of the present lord p .
The chimney-piece is of an enormous s'ze : a quarry
of stone filled with shells from Raance.
Mr. Walpole had made me impatient for the
sight of the picture of the hero John Talbot, JohnTal-
first Earl of Shrewsbury, by informing me that b shrews- F
such a portrait existed in this house. I was at BURY *
first much chagrined, by my attendant denying all
knowlege of it. At length, after much search, I
discovered it, and redeemed the earl and his second
countess from beneath a load of paltry pictures
flung into one of the garrets.
9 Spencer Compton, Earl of Northampton, died in 1796. Ed.
420 CASTLE ASHBY.
The portraits are originals ; coarse, and rudely
painted on board, as might be expected from the
artists of the period in which they flourished. It
has on it this later inscription : " John Talbote
" Lord Talbote, created E. of Shrewsbury by
" Henry VI." His countenance is hard, his hair
short and ill-combed, his hands stretched out in
the attitude of prayer. He is in armour, but
mostly covered with a mantle emblazoned with his
arms. His sword, sum Talboti pro occidere
inimicos meos, is wanted. He was the terror of
France : his name put armies to flight. He had
been victorious in forty several and dangerous
skirmishes : at length was slain, in 1453, aged
eighty, at Chastillon ; and with him perished the
good fortune of the English during that unhappy
reign. His herald, dressed in the surtout of the
hero's arms, found his body, embraced it, took off
the surtout painted with his master's arms, cloathed
the dead corpse with it, and burst into these
^passionate expressions : " Alas ! is it you ? I pray
" God pardon all my misdoings ! I have been
" your officer of arms forty years or more ; 'tis
" time I should surrender them to you q ."
and his His Countess Margaret, eldest daughter and
co-heir of Richard Beauchamp Earl of Warxvick,
is represented in the same attitude, and with a
s Collins, iii. 12. last edit.
CASTLE ASHBY. 401
herald's surtout properly emblazoned. Her cap is
worked with lions rampant, the arms of her hus-
band : her neck ornamented with gold chains.
She died June 14th, 1468, and was interred in St.
Paul's cathedral. The body of her lord was
brought over and buried at Whitchurch, Shrop-
Here is a portrait of Spencer Earl of North- Spencer
ampton (the justly-boasted character and hero of Northamp-
the house) represented in armour. His genius
was so extensive, that in his youth he at once kept
four different tutors in employ, who daily had their
respective hours for instructing him in the different
arts they professed. In the civil wars he was the
great rival of Lord Brooks, whom he drove out of
his own county of Warwick ; and was a most
successful opponent to the Earl of Essex. He
brought two thousand of the best-disciplined men
in the army to the royal standard at Nottingham.
At length fell in Staffordshire, in March 1643,
desperately fighting ; forgetting, as is too frequently
the case with great minds, the difference between
the General and common man.
His eldest son, James Earl of Northampton, is his Son
i-i i i tt James.
in armour, and with a great dog near him. He
inherited his father's valour, and was wounded in
the battle in which his father was slain. In all
the following actions he maintained a spirit worthy
422 CASTLE ASHBY.
of his name. - On the fall of monarchy he lived
retired. On the Restoration he was loaden with
honors, and died in fullness of glory at this place,
in December 1 68 1 .
Sir Spencer A portrait, which I take to be Sir Spencer
COMPTON? ( *
Compton r , his third brother, is dressed in a green
silk vest, a laced turnover, and with long hair.
This youth was at the battle of Eilgehill, at a time
he was not able to grasp a pistol ; yet cried with
vexation that he was not permitted to share in the
same glory and danger with his elder brothers.
Edw. Sack- . x HE celebrated Edward Sackvi/le Earl of Dorset
of Dorset. j s painted in armour. His well-known spirit, in
the duel between him and Lord Bruce, would
make one imagine that he would have appeared
with peculiar lustre in the field of action, during
the civil wars ; but fortune flung him but once
into the bloody scenes of that period. He fought
with distinguished bravery at Edgehili, and retook
the royal standard, after its bearer, Sir Edmund
Verney, was slain. Might not the weight of the
sanguinary conflict at Tergose rest heavy on his
mind, and make him shun for the future scenes of
destruction? for he could do it with unimpeached
reputation. Certain it is, that his lordship acted
chiefly in the cabinet, was a faithful servant to his
master, and a true friend to his country ; and
* In the house he is called Earl of Northampton.
CASTLE ASHBY. 425
spent the rest of his service in earnest and unre-
mitting endeavours to qualify affairs, and restore
peace to his country. After the king's death, he
never stirred out of his house; and died in 1652,
at his house, then called Dorset-house, in Salis-
Here is a singular head, called that of George Geo. Vil-
. . liers Duke
Villiers Duke of Buckingham; bearded, whiskered, of Buckino-
and represented as dead.
The heads of the Duke of Somerset, Protector,
Francis first Earl of Bedford, and Sir Thomas
More, and another, the name of which I have
forgotten, are beautifully painted in small size.
That favorite of fortune Sir Stephen Fox, is Sir Stephen
represented sitting, in a long wig and night-gown :
a good-looking man. He was the son of a private
family in Wiltshire, but raised himself by the most
laudable of means, that of merit. After the
battle of Worcester, in which his elder brother
was engaged, he fled with him to France, and was
entertained by Henry Lord Percy, then lord cham-
berlain to our exiled monarch. To young Fox
was committed the whole regulation of the house-
hold ; " who," as Lord Clarendon observes, u was
'- well qualified with the languages, and all parts of
" clerkship, honesty, and discretion, as was neces-
" sary for such a trust ; and indeed his great in*
" dustry, modesty, and prudence, did very much
424 CASTLE ASHBY.
" contribute to the bringing the family, which for
" so many years had been under no government,
" into very good order." On the Restoration he
was made Clerk of the Green Cloth ; and on the
raising of the two regiments, the first of the kind
ever known, he was appointed paymaster, and soon
after paymaster-general to all the forces in Eng~
land. In 1679, he was made one of the lords of
the Treasury; and in the same year, first com-
missioner in the office of master of the horse ; and
in 1682, had interest to get his son Charles, then
only twenty-three years old, to be appointed sole
paymaster of the^forces, and himself, in 1684, sole
commissioner for master of the horse. James II.
continued to him every kind of favor; yet Sir
Stephen made a very easy transition to the suc-
ceeding prince, and enjoyed the same degree of
courtly emolument. James thought he might
have expected another return from this creation
of the StuaiHs: accordingly excepted him in his
act of grace, on the intended invasion of 1 692.
Sir Stephen made a noble use of the gifts of
fortune : he rebuilt the church of Farly, his na-
tive place; built an hospital there for six poor
men, and as many poor women ; erected a chapel,
and handsome lodgings for the chaplain, and en-
dowed it with . 188 a year: he founded in the
pame place a charity-school ; he built the chancel
CASTLE ASHBY. 425
of a church in the north of Wiltshire, which the
rector was unable to do. He also built the church
of Culford in Suffolk, and pewed the cathedral of
Salisbury : but his greatest act was the founding
of Chelsea hospital, which he first projected, and
contributed thirteen thousand pounds towards the
carrying on ; alleging, that he could not bear to
see the common soldiers, zvho had spent their
strength in our service, beg at our doors \
He married his second wife in 1703, when he
was seventy-six years of age, and had by her two
sons : Stephen, late Earl of Ilchester ; and Henry,
late Lord Holland. His happiness continued to
his last moment ; for he died, without experiencing
the usual infirmities of eighty-nine, in October
The manor of Castle Ashby was called in the Manor of
Doomsday-book, Asebi: it was afterwards called ashby!
Ashby David, from David de Esseby, who was
lord of it in the time of Henry III. It fell after-
wards to Walter de Langton, bishop of Lichfield ;
who, in 1 305, got leave to fortify it 1 ; from which
it got the name of Castle Ashby. It afterwards
passed through several owners. The Greys, Lords
of Ruthin and Earls of Kent, possessed it for a
long time, till Richard, who died in 1503, parted
Collins, v. 368. * Bridges, 341,
426 EASTON MAUDUIT.
with it to Lord Hussey ; who alienated it, in the
time of Henry VIII., to Sir William Compton, of
Compton Vinyate, in Warwickshire, ancestor of
the present noblep ossessor.
The grounds have been laid out by Mr. Brawn ;
the church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, stands in
them, at a small distance from the house. I took
horse and rode through the park, and, after a mile
Easton and a half, reached Easton Mauduit u , one of the
seats of the Earls of Sussex ; a large but low old
house, with a quadrangle in the middle. This
place probably took the addition of Mauduit from
some antient owner. Sir Christopher Yelverton,
third son of a very antient family in Norfolk, was
the first of the name who settled at this place.
Portraits. The portraits in this house are numerous. In
venth Y Ear"l the hal1 is a full-length of Henry, seventh Earl of
of Kent. Kent, of the name of Grey, dressed in black,
with a turnover ; and another of his lady, Eliza-
beth, second daughter and co-heir of Gilbert, se-
venth Earl of Shrewsbury. She is also in black,
with a great black aigret, light hair, bare neck,
Her father, in white, with a black cloak, ruff,
u Upon the death of the late Earl of Sussex, Easton Mau-
duit estate passed by purchase to Lord Northampton, who pull-
ed down the house, and disposed of the pictures by public
EASTON MAUDUIT. 42/
and George. He died in 1616. A misnamed
portrait, called his great ancestor, the first Earl of
Shrexosbury, is shewn here. It seems to be of
some nobleman of the time of Edward VI. dressed
in black, with a sword, the George, and the garter
about his leg.
On the stairs is an excellent painting of an old
In the dining-room is a half-length of Sir Chris^ SlR Chris-
topher Yelverton, with a ruff, and in robes, as one verton.
of the justices of the King's Bench. He distin-
guished himself in the profession of the law in the
reign of Queen Elizabeth, was appointed queen's
Serjeant, and was chosen speaker of the House of
Commons in 1597. His speech of excuse is sin-
gular, and historical of himself \ His prayer (for
in those days it was usual for the speaker to com-
pose one, and read it every morning during the
sessions) ran in a strong vein of good sense and
piety y . He was the purchaser of this estate ;
died here in 1607, and was buried in the adjacent
His son, Sir Henry, appears in the same habit Sir Henry
with the father. The date is 1626, cet. 60. He
proved as distinguished a lawyer as his father,
* Drake's Parliam. Hist. iv. 411. * The same, 413.
42S EASTON MAUDUIT.
but was less fortunate, in falling on more dan-
gerous times. He owed his rise to the profligate
favorite Ker Earl of Somerset. On the disgrace
of his patron, Sir Henry had gratitude enough to
refuse to plead against him 2 , notwithstanding his
office as solicitor- general might have been a plea
for doing it. When he was attorney-general, he fell
under the displeasure of the court : he was charged
by the Commons with making out the patents for
the monopolies, sojustly complained of in thatreign.
In his defence he suffered to escape some indiscreet
truths, which were interpreted as if his delin-
quency was not disagreeable to the king and the
then favorite Buckingham. The rage of the court
was directed against him : he was fined in ten
thousand marks to the king, and five thousand to
Buckingham ; who instantly remitted his share 3 .
Perhaps the favorite might fear him; it having
been said, that one cause of his disgrace was the
refusal of making out patents to the degree which
the duke desired b , whose brother was deeply
concerned in this plunder of the public. A
mean letter to Buckingham, and a submission
in the star-chamber, acknowleging errors of ne-
gligence, ignorance, and misprision, restored him
* Lloyd's Worthies, ii. 86. a Carte, iv. 73,
EASTON MAUDUIT. 42 9
to favor c . In the following reign he was made
one of the judges of the Common Pleas, and died
in January 1630.
His grandson, Sir Henry Yelverton, Baronet, henrt^
is dressed in a brown mantle and large wig. He
was a worthy character, with a most religious
turn : a strenuous defender of Christianity in ge-
neral, and of the church of England in particular,
as appears by his writings in behalf of both.
His lady Susanna, daughter and sole heiress of
Charles Longueville Lord Grey of Ruthin ; which
title devolved to her, and afterwards to her son
Charles. She is very beautiful, and represented
by Sir Peter Lely with her head reclining on her
Anne, daughter to the second Sir Christopher d ,
is drawn by the same painter, in yellow, leaning
on an urn. She was first married to Robert Earl
of Manchester, and afterwards to Charles Earl of
A Lady Bulkeley.
A head of -France* Viscountess Hatton, daugh-
ter to the last Sir Henry Yelverton.
Barbara, daughter to Sir Thomas Slingsby,
c Cabala, 409, fyc.
d Son to Sir Henry Yelverton, the solicitor-general, and fa-
ther to the second Sir Henry.
430 EASTON MAUDUIT.
second wife to Thomas Earl of Pembroke, by
Mrs. Lawson, a celebrated beauty of her time,
bare-necked, in a loose habit clasped before, with
a sort of veil flung over her head.
Sir John Talbot, a head, with a big wig and
Church. The church is at a small distance from the
house : it is now in the gift of Christ-church, Ox-
ford ; but formerly belonged to the abbey of La-
tendon, Buckinghamshire. Within are very ex-