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Tombs. pensive monuments. The first is in memory of
Sir Christopher Yclverton, who died in \607
aged seventy-six ; and of his lady Margaret,
daughter of Thomas Catesby of Ecton and Whis-
ton, in this county. Their figures are placed re-
cumbent, and painted : he in his robes, and square
cap, and an artichoke at his feet ; she, in a black
jacket and petticoat, and great distended hood.
At her feet a cat, allusive to her name.

Over them are two arched canopies of veined
marble, supported by six square pillars of luma-
chella. On one side of the tomb are eight fe-
males ; on the other, two male figures, and a little

The other monument is of his son Sir Henry.
He is represented in his robes : and on one side


his lady Anne, daughter of Sir William Twisden
of Rawdon-hall, in Kent, lies by him, wrapped in
a black cloak from head to feet. Round her neck
is a ruff : in one hand an open book. Above them
is a vast canopy, with various statues on the top.
This is supported on each side by two full-length
figures of almsmen, in black gowns and hoods,
with great white beards ; the arch resting on their
heads. This probably alludes to some charitable
foundation with which I am unacquainted. In
front, beneath Sir Henry, is an altar, at which
kneel two men in armour, and two in cloaks, and
five women. It does not appear that either Sir
Christopher or Sir Henry left a number of child-
ren equal to those expressed on their respective

In my return I saw at Little Billings the poor Little Bil-

. . LINGS.

remains of the mansion of the great family of the
Longvilles. John de Lungville was declared lord
of the place in 1315. This was he who founded
the Augustines in Northampton. It continued in
the name till the time of Queen Elizabeth, or
James I. when that succession expired in the per-
son of Sir Edzvard Longeville.

Not far from hence I visited Clifford's Hill, in
the parish of Houghton Parva, a vast artificial
mount, having once on it a specula, or watch-
tower. The coins found in and near it^ prove it


to have been the work of the Romans. Before
the river Nen was diverted, by the building of
Billings Bridge, the channel ran under this mount;
which it is supposed to have guarded e .

Reach Northampton, and, after a short stay,
pass over the river into the suburbs, called the
South Quarters, and into the parish of Harding-
stone. On each side is a fine range of meadows ;
those on the left are greatly enlivened by the
beautiful plantations and improvements of the
Honorable Edward Bowverie, whose house stands
De la Pre on the site of the Abbey de Prat is, or de la Pre ;
a house of Cluniac nuns, founded by Simon de St.
Liz the younger, Earl of Northampton f . It had
in it ten nuns at the time of the dissolution. The
last abbess, Clementina Stokes, governed it thirty
years ; obtained the king's charter for the conti-
nuance of her convent ; but, fearing to incur the
displeasure of the tyrant, resigned it into the
hands of Doctor London, the king's commissioner,
and got from him the character of a gudde agyd
woman; of her howse being in a gudde state ; and,
what was more substantial, a pension of forty
pounds a year.

Between this place and the town, in 1460,

e Morton, 518.

f Dugdale, i. 1011 ; in which is the recital of the old char-



encamped Henry VI. and his insolent nobility,
immediately before the bloody battle of North-
ampton. The king (or rather queen) depending
on the strength of their entrenchments and warlike
engines, returned a haughty answer to the humble
proposals sent by the Earls of March and War-
wick. These spirited commanders led their
troops instantly to the attack, and forced the camp, Battle op

r j i t-i NORTHAMP-

favored by the treachery of Edmund Lord Grey of ton.
Ruthen ; who, on some disgust, changed sides,
and assisted the enemy in forcing their way into
the works. " Ten thousand talle Englishmen
" and their king," says Halle 8 , " were taken,
" and numbers slain or drowned in the river ;" for
the fight was carried on with the obstinacy usual
in civil dissension. Humphrey Duke of Bucking-
ham, John Earl of Shrervsbury, John Viscount
Beaumont, Thomas Lord Egremont, and Sir Tho-
mas Lucy, were among those who fell. Multi-
tudes of my countrymen also perished on that
day \ The slain were buried either in the church
of this convent, or in the hospital of St. John.

On the road-side, on an ascent near this place,
stands one of the pledges of affection borne by Ed-
ward I. to his beloved Eleanor; who caused a
cross to be erected on the spot wheresoever her


* xx iv. xxv.

h The battle was fought July 9th.
2 F


body rested, in its way from Hareby in Lincoln-*
shire, where she died, in 1290, to Westminster,
the place of her interment. It is kept in excel-
lent repair : is of an octagonal form, and stands
on a base of seven steps. Coats of arms and an
open book adorn the lower compartments. Above,
in six gothie niches, are as many female figures,
crowned. Above them, are four modern dials,
facing the four cardinal points ; and above those
is the cross.

Around this spot are frequently found Roman
coins and medals : from which it is conjectured,

Eltavon. that this might have been the site of Eltavon, or
Eltabon (from the British Ael, a brow, and Afon,
a river) ; and is supposed to have been the Elta-
nori, or Eltavori, of the geographer of Ravenna f .
The dry and elevated situation, and its vicinity to
a river, makes it very probable that this was a
Roman station, at least a summer camp.

Hcnsbo- Near this place, on the summit of the hill called
Hunsborough, are some antient works, of a circu-
lar form ; i. e. conforming to the shape of it ; con-
sisting of a foss and double rampart, with a single
entrance. . Mr. Morton* attributes this to the
Danes, and imagines it to have been a summer-

1 Morton Northampton, 504. Gale's Iter Br. Com, 145.
k Morton, 533.



camp of one of the plundering parties which in-
fested the kingdom of Mercia about the year 921.
Another was raised, about the same time, at Terns-
ford, in the county of Bedford, for the same pur-
pose. This has very much the appearance of a
British post; but as there is great similitude be-
tween the early fortifications of the northern na-
tions, I will not controvert the opinion of that in-
genious author; yet I have probability on my
side, as he admits that the Danes had possession
of Hamtune, i. e. Northampton, in 917. I think
they would scarcely trouble themselves with rais-
ing these works so near their former quarters,
which, for any thing that appears, were as open to
them in 92 1 , as in the former year.

About five miles from Queens Cross I turned Hortow


a little out of my road, to see Horton church, re-
markable for a fine monument of William Lord William
Parr, uncle to Catherine, the last queen to Henry
VIII. His lordship is represented in alabaster,
recumbent, with his lady, Mary Salusbury, by
his side ; in right of whom he became master of
this manor. He is dressed in armour, with a col-
lar of SS, and a rose at the end. His head rests
on a helmet, whose crest is a hand holding a stag's
horn. His upper lip is bare, but his beard is
enormous, regularly curled in two rows. He was
called to the House of Peers on this second mar-

2 f 2

Lord Parr.


riage of his niece, was appointed her chamberlain,
and, during the queen's regency, on the king's ex-
pedition to France in 1544, had the respect shewn
him to be named as a counsel to her majesty, oc-
casionally to be called in 1 . He died in 1548;
left four daughters, the eldest of whom conveyed,
by marriage with Sir Ralph Lane, the estate into
his family.

On the floor are the figures of Roger Salus-
bury, between his two wives, in brass. He died
in 1482, first owner, of his name, of this estate;
whose grandaughter became mistress of it on the
death of her father William,.

The Lanes kept it for some generations. On
the death of Sir William, it was found to be held
of Sir Richard Chetwood, as of his manor of Wood-
hall, by the service of one knight's fee, suit of
court, and the annual payment of 6s. towards the
guard of Rockingham castle. The estate passed
from the Lanes (I believe by purchase) to Sir
Henry Mountague, first Earl of Manchester, and,
by descent, fell to the Earl of Halifax ; and is
now possessed by Lord Hinchinbroke m , in right of
his lady, daughter and heiress of the last Earl.

1 Herbert's Henry VIII. 577.

m This nobleman succeeded to the earldom of Sandwich
on the death of his father in 1792. Ed.


The house is in a very unfinished state; part
modern, part antient and embattled.

From the Queens Cross to this place the coun-
try is uneven, unwatered, and far from pleasant.
It is now, in general, inclosed ; but the hedges are
young, and, till within these few years, quite a

Near the fifty-eight mile-stone enter the
county of


Here the country improves. After passing Stoke r ST0KE c .
Goldington, a small village, a beautiful vale opens ton.
on the left, watered by the Ouze, running through The Ouze.
rich meadows, and embellished with the spire of
Oulney church. This river rises near Sysam in
Northamptonshire, and, after watering this coun-
try, becomes navigable above Bedford, by means
of locks ; runs by Huntingdon ; and, after creep-
ing almost undistinguished amidst the canals of
the fenny tracts, falls into the sea at Lynn Regis.
The name is probably derived from the British,
perhaps signifying a river"; being, in common with
Avon, the name of numbers of British streams.

About half a mile from its banks, on a rising
ground on the right, stands Gothurst, antiently Gothurst.

" Skinner.


Gaythurst ; whose venerable form has not been
injured by inconsistent alterations. It was begun
in the forty-third of Queen Elizabeth, and was
greatly improved, a few years after, by William
Mukho, Esquire. The windows are glazed with
propriety : only part of the back-front is mo-
dernized. The lands are very finely dressed, and
swell into extensive lawns. One before the house
consists of a hundred and twenty-eight acres ; and
on the sides are others of great extent. The woods
are vast, and cut into walks extensive and pleas-
ing. Several pretty pieces of water, the view of
the Ouze and its verdant meadows, and the old
respectable house of Tyringham, with its church,
on the opposite side, are no small embellishments
to the place.

This manor, at the time of the compilation of
the Doomsday-book, was held by Robert cle Noda-
virs, or de Nouers, under Odo bishop of Baieu.r,
Earl of Kent, and half-brother to the Conqueror.
Nouers ^ ne ^ e N uers became possessed of it in their
own right in the time of Henry II; perhaps
earlier : but the first I meet with is lladulphus,
and his son Almaric, who lived in 1252, the
thirty-seventh of Henry III. It continued in
that family till 1408 p , the tenth of Henry IV.
when it became the property of Robert Nevyll,

Mr. Cole. r Digly Pedigree, 46 to 47.



descended from Hugo de Nevyll, who had lands
in Essex in 1363, or the thirty-fifth of Edzvard
III. Robert Nevyll possessed himself of Go-
thurst, by marrying Joanna, sister and sole heir to
the last Almaric de Nouers ; his two other sisters,
Agnes and Gracia, having preferred a monastic

The Nevylls remained owners of it till the Nevylls.
reign of Henry VIII. when Maria, only daughter
of Michael Nevyll, on the death of her two bro-
thers, became possessed of it ; and she bestowed
it, with her person, on Thomas Mulsho of Thing- Mulshos.
don, in the county of Northampton r , a respect-
able family. I find sheriffs of the name, as early
as the time of Richard II ; and one of that house
governor of Calais in the reign of Henry VI. But
the first mention of the name is in 1370, when
lived John Mulsho of Goddington.

Gothurst continued with the Mulshos till the

beginning of the reign of James I ; when Maria,

daughter and sole heiress to William (who died in

1601) resigned herself and great fortune to Sir

Everard Digby 3 , one of the handsomest and com- dicbys.

pletest gentlemen of his time : but

Eumenides tenuere faces de funere raptas :
Eumenides stravere torum.

^ Digby Pedigree, 44, 47.
* The same, x. 43.

r The same, 4.5.


She had not been married three years, before her
husband was snatched from her by an ignominious
and merited death, for his deep concern in the
plot, which, thanks to the charity of the times, is
execrated by each religion. It is very probable,
that a mind so tinctured with bigotry as his was,
soon devoted itself to the most desperate resolu-
tions, for the restoration of the antient church. He
foresaw the certain consequences of ill success,
and, preparing against the event, took every
method to preserve his infant son from suffering
from the fault of the father. Before he committed
any acts of treason, he secured to his heirs his
estates, in such a manner as to put it out of the
power of the crown to profit by their confiscation 1 .
This illustrious line was the chief of the Digby
family ; the peers of that name springing from
younger branches. The origin is Saxon. The
first, of whom notice is taken, is JElmar, who had
lands at Tilton in Leicestershire, in 1086, the
twentieth of William the Conqueror. They after-
wards took the name of Digby, from a place in
Lincolnshire ; and became owners of Stokedry in
Rutlandshire (which, till the acquisition of Cq-
thurst, was their usual residence) by the marriage
of Everard Digby, Esquire, in the reign of King
Henry VI. with Agnes, daughter of Francis

% Wright's Antio. Rutlandshire, 1 1 -t.


Clare of JVyssenden and Stokedry, Esquire. This
gentleman, with three of his sons, fell in the bloody
field at Towton, fighting in the cause of the house
of Lancaster".

Most of the particulars relative to this great
family, I owe to the friendship of my worthy pJjJJJ^
neighbor JVatkin Williams, Esquire, who favored
me with the use of the famous genealogy of the
Digbys of Tilton ; a book compiled by the direc-
tion of Sir Kenelm, in 1634, at the expence of
twelve hundred pounds. This tradition is very
credible, to those who have seen the book : a large
folio, consisting of five hundred and eighty-nine
vellum leaves ; the first hundred and sixty-five orna-
mented with the coats of arms of the family and
its allies, and with all the tombs of the Digbys
then extant, illuminated in the richest and most
exquisite manner. The rest of the book is com-
posed of grants, wills, and a variety of other pieces,
serving to illustrate the history of the family;
drawn from the most authentic records, as the
title sets forth. Several of the wills are curious
proofs of the simplicity of the manners of the
times ; and one of the magnificence, superstition,
and vanity, of our greater ancestors. A specimen
of the first kind I shall give here ; the latter, being
of great length, is reserved for the Appendix.

Collins' '$ Peerage, vii. 65 \ ,


Curious " In the name of God, Amen. The xvi day
" ofthemoneth of January, the yere of our Lord
" God a thousand fyve hundred and vinth, I
" Ever ode Dygby of Stoke dry, in the countie of
" Rutland, of the diocese of Lincoln, seke in body
" and hole in mynde, make my testament and last
" will in this fourme following. Fyrst, I bequeth
" my soul to God Allmyghty, our blessed lady
" seynt Mary, and all the seynts of heven. My
" body to be buryed in the parishe churche of
" Seynt Pet r at Tylton, before the ymage of the
" blessed Trinitie, at o' lady autther. Itm. I be-
" queth to reparacon of the said church, for my
" buryall ther, vis. viijd. Item. I bequeth to the
" said church a webe of land ; whiche the churh-
" masters of the said churche have in their kepyng.
" Item. I bequeth to the high aiot. of the parish
" church of Stokedry, for tythes by me forgotten,
" ij*. It m . I bequeth to the reparacons of the
" said churche of Stokedry vis. viij*/. It m . I bi-
" queth to the cathcdrall churche of Line. \]s.
" It m . I biqueth to John Dygby, my son, all my
" rents, lands, and tenementes whiche I have
" p r chased, by dede or by copyhold, in the townes
" and fields of Vipinghm, Preston, Pysbroke, and
" Elynden, to have and to hold, to hym and his
i ( assigneys, duryng the terme of his lyfF; and
" aft r his decease, I Mill that the said rentes,


" londes, and tenementes, shall remayne to Everod
" Dygby, my eldest sonne, and to his hey res and
" assignes for ever. Item. I biqueth to Alice)
" my daughter, all my rentes, landes, and tene-
" mentes, w th all proufetts and comoditiestothem
" belongyng, whiche I have p r chased, by dede or
" by copy, in the townes and feldes of Hareborow,
" Bow den, and Foxton, to have and to hold to
" hyr, hyr heyres and assigneyes for ever. Itm.
" I biqueth to the foresaid John Dygby, my son,
" ij geldyngs, iij maires for his ploughe, with all
" barnes and other thynges to it belongyng, and
" also a pair of cart wheles unshode. Itm. I bi-
" queth to my forsaid doughter Alice, a fetherbed,
" a matras, a bolster of fethures, with pillowes,
" blanketts, shetys, coverletts, and covyng. with
" all the hangyng of rede say pertenyng to the
" bed whiche I now ly in. Itm. I biqueth to
" Elyn, my dowght. lxxx/. of gode and lawfull
" money, to be payed to hir by my sone Everode,
" within the space of iij yeres next following aft r
" my decease, if she within that tyme be maryed;
" and if she be not maried within iij yeres next
" after my decease, then I will that my sone
" Everad shall delyv. hir 10/. in gode money; and
" the residue of the lxxx/., I will be put into stock,
" and be occupyed by my said sonne Everad to
u hir use and proufitt, untill the tyme that she be


" maryed, and then to be dely vered to hir : and if
" she decease before that she be maryed, then I
H will that the said residew of lxxx/. besids the
" xl. paid to her, be gyven and payed to the
" fynding of a preste to syng for my soul, as long
" as the money will extend to, after the discrcion
" of my execute Itm. I biqueth to my said
" dought. Elyn, a fetherbed, a matras, a spaiver
" w 1 hangynge, blankette, shetis, and coverlitts,
" and other things to it belongyng, as it lies in the
" chamber called the Norcery, within my place of
" Stoke bifor said. Itm. I bequeth to Everad
" my sone, and Alice my daughter, iiij pair of my
" best and finest shetis, to be devided equallie
" bitwixt them. Itm. I biqueth to my said
" daughter Elyn, the next best pair of shetis that
" I have, and other v pair of fflexyn shetys, and
" ij pair of hardyn shetis. Itm. I bequeth to my
" daughter Alice aforsaid, x other pair of flexyn
u shetis, and ii pair of harden shetis. Itm. I
" bequeth to my daughter Kateryn, nunne at
u Sempinghm. xxs. in money, and a pair of flexyn
" shete, and a white sparnar. Itm. I bequeth to
" Darnegold, my daughter, ij kyne and 1 2 ewes.
" Itm. I bequeth to my sonne Everad Dygby,
" my grettest bras pot, to be kept for a standard
" of that hows, and the next bras pott and two
i( little bras pottes, and halfe a garnysh of pewter


vessell, with all other ledy fattys, tubby s, and
bolles w'in my hows, and my grettest bras pane,
w* two other lesser pannes : and all other my
brass pottes, panes, and pewt. vessel, I will be
devided betwene John Dygby my sonne, and
Alice and Elyn my doughters. Itm. I biqueth
to my said sonne Everod, a plough, w* all harnes
pertenyng to it, and six of my plough horses,
for his said plough, and my waynes, and viij of
my best oxen, w l all thinges pertenyng to the
same waynes, and six of my best keyn, and lx
of my best shepe. It m. I will that the residew
of all my shepe, keyn, calves, and oxen, not by
me biquested, divided bitwen John Dygby my
sonne, and Alice and Elyn my forsaid dough-
ters, equally. Itm. 1 biqueth to Rowland of
Lee, my susters sonne, ij keyn and a young
black ster, and vj ewes. Itm. I bequeth to
Everard Ashby, my godson, iiij of my best
calves, which be goyng in Tylton feilds. Itm.
I biqueth to Margaret Kynton, my hunte, a
matras, a gode coverlitt, a bras pott, a pair of
flexyn shete, a kow, and vj ewes, and xiijV.
iiij*/. in money, for hir wages. Itm. I biqueth
to Elyn Hall, my hunte, at Tylton, a kow and
x\s. in money. Itm. I biqueth to the parishc
church of Skevyngton vjs. v'ujd. Itm. To the
parishe churche of Vpinghm. us. Itm. To the


" parishe churche of Lidington \\]s. iiijJ. Itm*
" To the abbot of Wolston \js. \i\]d. and every
" chalon. of his hous v\\]d. if they be at my
" buriall. Itm. I gyve to the couent there, to
" have placebo and dirigc song in their church for
" my soul, xs. Itm. I biqueth to Sir Robert
lt Kyrkby, chalon. ther, to py. for my soul, xxs.
" Itm. I will that my executo. doe fynde an able
" prest, to syng for my soull, and the soulles of
" my father and mother, and all Cristen soules,
" by the space of iij yere next following after my
" decease, in parishe church of Tylton. The re-
" sidue of all my rentes, londes, and tenementes,
w dettes, and all other my godes, moveable and
" unmoveable, I give and biqueth them to Ever ad
" Dygby, my eldist sonne and myn hey re, whom
" I ordeyne and make my sole executor, to pay
" therwith my dette, and to dispose the residew
" thereof att his discretion, for the helth of my
" soulle and my friendes. Thyes beryng witness,
OfDalison. " Mr. Thomas Daly son, pson. of Stoke dry,
Of Skeff- <c Wilii am Skevyngton, Everod Darby, and John
Of Darby. " Daluson, gentilmen, Sir Robart Kyrkby, chalon.

Of Kirkby. ttt .

Of North- " of Wolston, and Sir Thomas Northmpton,
" chalon. of Laund, of the diocise of Lincoln above
" rehersed. E. Watson.

" 2Tenore putm. nos JVillmus. permissione di-



" vinas Can? Archiepus totius Anglie primus et
" Aplice sedis legtus notum facimus universis
" quod duodecimo die mensis February anno
" Dm. millimo quingentesimo octavo, apud La-
" mehith probatum fuit coram nobis ac p. nos ap-
" probatur et insinuatur testm. Eoerardi Dygby
" defuncti putib. annexu. trents. dum vixit &
" mortis sue tempore bona in diversis dioc nre.
" Cant, provinc. cujus pro textu ipsius testamenti
" approbatio et insinuatio ac administrationis
" bonorum & debitorum concessio nee non com-
" poti calculi sive rationarii administrationis
" hinor. auditio finalisq. liberatio sive dimissio
" ab eadm. nos solum et insolidum et non ad
" alium nobis inferiorem cudicem de nre preroga-
" tiva et consuetudine nris ac ecclie. pre xpi. tant
" hactenus quiete pacifice et inculle in hac pte.
" usitat. et obsuat. ltimeq. prescript dmonstrat.
" notorie pertinere comissaq. fuit admistratio om.
" et singulor. bonor. et debitor: dri. defuncti
" Ever ar do Dygbi executori in timor. testamento
" noiat. de bene et fidelit. admistrando eadm. ac
" de pleno et fideli inuentario omni. &c. singlor.
" bono, et debitoru. timoi. conficiend. et nobis
" citra festid. annunciationis beate Marie Virgi-
" nis px. futur. exhibendo, nee non de piano et
" vero compoto calculo sive ratiotino nobis aut
" successoribus nris. in ea pte. redend. ad fta. dei


" eungelia. in rat dat. die mensis, anno Dni. et
" loco predicto et nre. trans anno sexto.

" Exam. a. concard. recordia
" /. Hen. Lilly,
" Rouge Rose.
" Everard Digby
" made his will
" anno 1508.

"Eva-ard John Alice. Ellen. Katharine, Darnegold."
Digby, Digby. a nun at

eldest son Scmpringham.

and heir.

I now return to the period when the family

emerged from its misfortune, and in the person of

Sir Kenelm gj r Xenelm, the son of the last Sir Everard, was

Digby. '

restored to its former honor, by his uncommon
merit. He married Venetia, daughter of Sir
Edxvard Stanley of Tongue Castle, Shropshire,
Knight of the Bath. His eldest son, Kenelm,
was slain in 1648, in the civil wars, at St.
Neots: his second son, John, succeeded to the
estate, and survived his father many years. He
left by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Edward
Longueville of Wolverton, in this county, Baronet,
two daughters ; the eldest, Margaret Maria,
married Sir John Conway of Bodryddan, in Flint-

Online LibraryThomas PennantThe journey from Chester to London → online text (page 24 of 34)