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. shire ; the younger, Charlotta, married Richard


Mostyn of Penbedzv, in the same county, Esquire.
These two gentlemen, in 1 704, sold this manor,
with Stoke Goldington, and the advowson of both
the churches, to George Wright, Esquire, son of
the lord keeper, Sir Nathan Wright ; in whose
posterity it still remains. By the preceding owners,
the reliques of Sir Kenehns collection came into
my country ; but the leaving behind the two beau-
tiful busts of lady Venetia, impresses no favorable
idea of their taste.

Some portraits, belonging to the former pos- Portraits.
sessors, still keep a place in the house. In the
parlour is a full-length of old Mr. Digby, father Old Mr.
to the unhappy Sir Everard. He is represented
in a close black dress, a laced turnover ruff, and
with lace at his wrist : his hair black, his beard
round, with one hand on his sword. The other, of.

His lady, Mary daughter of Francis Neile, His Lady.
Esquire, of Prestzvold and Keythorp, in Leices-
tershire, and widow to the Staffordshire anti-
quary, Sampson Erdeswik. Her dress is black,
pinked with red ; she has a high fore-top adorned
with jewels, a thin upright . ruff, round kerchief, a
farthingale, with gloves in her hand.

Their son, the victim to bigotry, is here atSiREvERARD.
full-length, in a black mantle and vest, the sleeves
slashed, and pinked with white, large turnover,
and turn-ups at his wrists : one hand holds his



gloves ; the other is gracefully folded in his
Sir Kekelm. a remarkable portrait, of a young man of
large size, in a quilled ruff, white jacket, black
cloak, purple hose, flowered belt, a bonnet with at
white feather in it, with one hand on his sword.
Above him, in a tablet, is represented a lady, in
a most supplicatory attitude, with a lute in one
hand, and a purse in the other, offering it to him.
He stands by her, with averted look, one hand on
his breast, and with an air which shows his rejec-
tion of her addresses, and horror at the infamy of
mercenary love ; and as if uttering to her the
words inscribed near to him, his major a \

This I suspect is a portrait of the famous Sir
Kenelm, in his youthful days ; that prodigy of
learning, credulity, valour, and romance, whose
merits, although mixed with many foibles, entirely
obliterated every attention to the memory of his
father's infamy. The circumstance of the lady
painted along with him, is a strong confirmation
of the truth of the story related by Lloyd, that an
Italian prince, who was childless, earnestly wished
that his princess might become a mother by Sir Ke-

1 This portrait is inscribed on the back John Digbt/ ; but
from the romantic circumstance attending it, the dress, and
the likeness to other pictures of Sir Kenelm, I cannot help
supposing it to be his.


nelm, whom he esteemed as a just model of perfec-
tion. It is probable that the princess would not have
disobeyed the commands of her lord : bin whether
the painting alludes to our knight's cruelty on this
occasion, or whether it might not describe the ad-^
venture of the Spanish lady, recorded in an ele-
gant old ballad ", I will not pretend to determine.

In the long room above stairs, is the picture of v Lad * a
his beloved wife Venetia Anastatia Stanley, in a
Roman habit, with curled locks. In one hand is
a serpent ; the other rests on a pair of white
doves. She is painted at Windsor in the same em-
blematic manner, but in a different dress, and with
accompaniments explanatory of the emblems.
The doves shew her innocency ; the serpent, which
she handles with impunity, shews her triumph
over the envenomed tongues of the times. We
know not the particulars of the story. Lord
Clarendon must allude to her exculpation of the
charge, whatsoever it was, when he mentions her
as " a lady of extraordinary beauty, of as extraor-
" dinary fame V In the same picture is a genius*
about to place a wreath on her head. Beneath
her is a Cupid prostrate : and behind him is Ca-
lumny, with two faces, flung down and bound ; a
beautiful compliment on her victory over Male-

" Antient Songs and Ballads, ii. 231.
* Lord Clarendon's Life, 34.

2 G 2


volence. Her hair in this picture is light, and
differs in color from that in the other. I have
heard. from a descendant of her's, that she affect-
ed different hair-dresses, and different-colored eye-
brows, to see which best became her.

Sir Kenelm was so enamoured with her beauty,
that he was said to have attempted to exalt her
charms, and preserve her health, by a variety of
whimsical experiments. Among others, that of
feeding her with capons fed with the flesh of vi-
pers J ; and that, to improve her complexion, he
was perpetually inventing new cosmetics. Pro-
bably she fell a victim to these arts ; for she was
found dead in bed, May 1st, 1633, in the thirty-
third year of her age. She was buried in Christ-
church, London, under a large insulated tomb of
black marble, with her bust on the top. This
perished in the great fire ; but the form is repre-
sented in the Pedigree-book, and from that en-
graven in the Antiquaries Repertory.

Both the pictures are the performances of Van-
dyck. In this at Gothurst are two of her sons, of
a boyish age, and in the dress of the times.

y I am told, that the great snail, or Pomatia, (Br. Zool. iy.
N. 128) is found in the neighboring woods, which is its most
northern residence in this island. It is of exotic origin. Tra-
dition says, it was introduced by Sir Kenelm, as a medicine
for the use of his lady.


Here are, besides, two most beautiful busts of Busts or
the same lady, in brass ; whether by Le Soeur or Venetia.
Fanelli, I am not certain. One is in the dress of
the times : an elegant laced handkerchief falls over
her shoulders, leaving her neck bare. Her hair is
curled, braided, twisted, and formed on the hind
part of her head into a circle ; beneath which fall
elegant locks. On this bust is inscribed,

Uxor em vivam amare voluptas, defunct am, religio.

The other is a V antique. The head is dressed
in the same manner, only bound in a fillet : the
drapery covers her breast ; but so artificially, as
not to destroy the elegancy of the form.

I know of no persons who are painted in
greater variety of forms and places, than this il-
lustrious pair : possibly because they were the
finest subjects of the times. Mr. TValpole is in
possession of several most exquisite miniatures of
the lady, by Oliver, bought from the heirs of Bod-
rhyddan and Pembedw, at a very high price. The
most valuable one is in a gold case, where she is
painted in company with her husband. There is
another, said to be painted after she was dead :
and four others, in water-colors.

The same gentleman is in possession of a beau-
tiful miniature of her mother, Lady Lucy Percy,


purchased at the same time. She is dressed like
a citizen's wife, and with dark hair.
LordKeeper Among other portraits 2 , is a full-length of the

Wright. * \ c

lord keeper, Sir Nathan I Fright, in his robes, and
Sir Joseph a head of Sir Joseph Jekyll, in a long wig and

Jekyll. #

robes. The first received his appointment in the
year 1700, unfortunately for him, as successor to
Lord Somers; whose precipitate dismission, in fa-
vor of a Tory, hardly allowed time for reflection
on the impropriety of the choice. Sir Nathan
kept his place till the year 1703, when he was
dismissed, not without disgrace ; more through
defect of ability than want of integrity : but con-
temned by both parties.

Sir Joseph was a very different character: a
staunch Whig, and a man of great abilities and
worth. He died Master of the Rolls, in 1738.
His wig was probably none of the best, if we are
to trust these complimentary lines of Pope a :

A horse-laugh, if you please, on honesty ;
A joke oh Jekyll, cr some odd old Whig
Who never chang'd his principle or wig.

* Here is also preserved a good portrait of Sir Leoline Jen-
kins, plenipotentiary at Cologn and Nimegven, and secretary
of state in 1680. Ed.

a Epilogue to the Satires.


The church lies at a little distance from the Chorch.
house ; it is new, and very neat, having been re-
built, in pursuance of the will of George Wright,
Esquire, son of the keeper, The figures of father
and son face you as you enter the church : the first
in his robes : the other in a plain gown : both
furnished with enormous Parian perriwigs.

In the old church was a grave-stone, lying in
the chancel, supposed to have been laid over John
de Nouers, who lived in the time of Edward III.
The inscription was in French b .



From Got hurst I crossed the Ouze, to the re
spectable old house of Tyringham c , (once the seat Tyringham,
of a family of the same name) which stands very
high in point of antiquity. Giffard de Tyringham
gave the church of Tyringham to the priory of
Tickford, near Newport Pagnel, in 1187. Sir

b Communicated by Mr. Cole, from church-notes, taken

e Tyringham' is now in the possession of William Praed,
Esquire, in right of his wife Elizabeth, sister and heiress to Ty-
ringham Backwell, Esquire. The old mansion was pulled
down in the year 1 800, at the time an elegant modern house,
built by Mr. Praed, was finished. Ed.


Roger de Tyringham was cne of the knights who
attended Edward I. into Scotland; and Roger,
his son, was sheriff of this county as early as the
fifteenth of Richard II d . A Sir John Tyringham
had the honor of losing his head in the cause of
Henry VI. ; being, with several others, put to
death unheard, in 1461, for the murder of the
Duke of York ; that is, for being present at the
battle of Wakefield, where that prince fell by some
unknown hand. It continued in this antient
family, till 1685, when, on the death of Sir WiU
Ham Tyringham, it devolved to John, son of Ed-
ward Backwell, alderman of London, who had
married his only daughter.

The house has been neglected for some time,
but not wholly unfurnished. Several family-por-
traits still continue there : such as a head of Lady
Tyringham, in a yellow laced cap and ruff; of
the same kind with that in which the famous Mrs.
Turner went to be hanged, for her concern in
Over bury s murder.

A very curious picture, full-length, of an aged
lady, in a great quilled ruff and gauze cap, dis-
tended behind, with an enormous gauze veil fall-

d In 1322, or the fifteenth of Edward II., Roger de Tyring-
ham was appointed to superintend the estates forfeited in this
county, on the Earl of Lancaster's rebellion. Rj/mer, iii. 963.



ing to the ground; a black gown spotted with
white ; jewels, in form of a cross, on her breast ;
another on her arm, and great strings of pearl
round her wrists. She stands beneath a canopy,
on which is a crown and coat of arms.

Another, of a young lady leaning on a chair,
in a gauze cap, falling back; yellow petticoat
flowered with red, and a feather-fan.

A half-length of Colonel Backwell, in blue,
gold sleeves and frogs, a sash ; and a battle in view.

A small portrait of Edward Backwell, Es- Edw. Back-
quire. He is represented in long hair and a
flowered gown, with a table by him. I have a
fine print of him, given me by the late Mr. Back-
xvell, one of his descendants. He was, says Mr.
Granger, an alderman of London and a banker,
of great ability, industry, and integrity, and of
most extensive credit ; but ruined in the reign of
Charles II. by the infamous project of shutting
up the Exchequer. He retired to Holland, where
he died, and was brought over to be interred in
the church of Tyringham ; where he lies em-
balmed. A glass is placed over his face ; so his
visage may possibly be seen to this time.

I could not but admire a spirited picture of a
Falcon stooping at Bitterns.

In the hall is a curious table, of an ash-colore^


marble. I should call it a polynesious marble,
being veined like a chart filled with little islands,
nicely shaded at their edges.

As my curiosity led me to explore the kitchen,
I found on the walls the rude portraits of the fol-
lowing fish, recorded to be taken in the adjacent
river, in the years below-mentioned.

A carp, in 1648, 2 feet 9 inches long.

A pike, in 1658, 3 7.

A bream, 2 3f;

A salmon, 3 1 0.

A perch, 2 0.

A shad, in 1683, 1 11.

These are the records of rural life ; important to
those who were perhaps happily disengaged from
the bustle and cares attendant on politics and dis-

The adjacent church is dedicated to St. Peter,
and united with Filgrave : it is in the gift of Mr.
Backwell. The village of Tyringham is quite de-
populated, and the church of Filgrave dilapidated ;
but the inhabitants of that parish make use of the
church of Tyringham.

About a mile farther, go through the village of

Lathburt. Lathbury ; near which is the church, and a large
old house.

Newport ^ little farther is Nezvport Pagnel : in former



times of dangerous approach, by reason of the
overflowing of the Ouze. This small town stands
between that river and the Lovet, near their junc-
tion. Soon after the Conquest, it was the pro-
perty of William Fitz-Ausculph 6 -, from him it
passed in the reign of IVtlliam Rufics to the
Paganels, or Painels, who continued possessed of
it above a century. Leland mentions them as
lords of the castle of Nexvport PagneV. On the
death of Gervase Pagnel, in the reign of Richard
I. this manor became the property of John de
Somerie, by marriage with Hawise, daughter of
Gervase*. His son Ralph gave King John & hundred
pounds, and two palfreys, for livery of this lord-
ship, and did homage for it. In the reign of Henry
III. Roger de Somerie forfeited his lands, for ne-
glecting (on summons) to receive the honour of
knighthood \ The king then granted the farm of
this place to Walter de Kirkham for life, quitting
him of suits to county and hundred, and of aid to
sheriffs and his bailiffs ; and that, when the king
or his heirs should tallage their manors and de-
mesnes, the said Walter might by himself, and to
his own use, tallage the said manor in like form
as it might be tallaged if it were in the king's

e Dugdale Baron, i. 43 1 . f Leland Itin. i. 26.

s Dugdale Baron, i. 612. h Dugdale, p. 613.



Lace Manc

hand ! . But I find that it afterwards reverted to
the Sorrier ies. In the reign of Edward II. it was
conveyed to Thomas de Botetourt, by his marriage
with Joan, one of the sisters of John de Somerie,
last male heir k . I now lose sight of the succes-
sion, and can only say, that it continued a place of
strength till the civil wars of the seventeenth cen-
tury, when its strength was demolished, or, ac-
cording to the phrase of the time, slighted, by order
of parlement, in 1646 1 .

It flourishes greatly, by means of the lace ma-
nufacture, which we stole from the Flemings, and
introduced with great success into this county.
There is scarcely a door to be seen, during sum-
mer, in most of the towns, but what is occupied by
some industrious pale-faced lass ; their sedentary
trade forbidding the rose to bloom in their sickly

The church is dedicated to St. Peter and St.
Paul; was an impropriation belonging to the
neighboring abbey of Tickford; and is in the gift
of the crown.
Hospitals. Here were three hospitals, founded in early
times. That by John de Somerie, about the year
1280, still survives, for three poor men, and the


1 Madox Antiq.Exch. i. 418.
1 Whitelock, 167, 236.

k Duzdale Baron, ii. 46.


same number of poor women; having been re-
founded by Anne of Denmark^ and from her is
called Queen Anne's Hospital The vicar of
Newport for the time being is appointed master m .
About eight miles from Nezvport, at the forty-
four mile-stone, at Hogsty-house, enter the county



on Woburn Sands, seated on the extremity of the Woburk


range of hills which traverse the east end of the
former county, and contain the parishes of the
three Brickhills. Near the road side are the
noted pits of fullers' earth, that invaluable sub- Fullers'
stance which is supposed to give the great supe-
riority to the British cloth (honestly worked) over
that of other nations.

The beds over this important marie are, firstly,
several layers of reddish sand, to the thickness of
six yards ; then succeeds a stratum of sand-stone,
of the same color ; beneath which, for seven or
eight yards more, the sand is again continued to
the fullers' earth ; the upper part of which, being
impure, or mixed with sand, is flung aside, the
rest taken up for use. The earth lies in layers ;
under which is a bed of rough white free-stone,

m Tanner, 33.


about two feet thick, and under that sand \ be-
yond that the laborers never have penetrated.

The great use of this earth is cleansing the
cloth, or imbibing the tar, grease, and tallow, which
are so frequently employed by the shepherds, in
healing the external diseases which sheep are
liable to; neither can the wool be worked, spun,
or woven, unless it be well greased. All this
grease must be gotten out, before the cloths are fit
to wear. Other countries either want this species
of earth, or have it in less perfection. The British
legislature therefore have, from the days of Charles
I. guarded against the exportation of it under
severe penalties. The Romans attended to the
fulling business by their lex Metella, which was
made expressly to regulate the manufacture*.
They used various kinds of earth : the cimolia, the
tarda (which came from Sardinia), and the urn*
brica. The two first were white ; the latter might
be allied to ours : crescit in macerando ; it swells

n Neque enim pigebit hanc quoque partem attingere, cum
lex Metella extet fullonibus dicta, quam C. Flaminius, L.
Mmilius, censores dedere ad populum ferendam. Adeo omnia
majoribus curae fuere. Ergo ordo hie est : primum abluitur
vestis Sardd, dein sulphure suffitur : mox desquamatur Cimolia
quae est coloris veri. Plinii Hist. Nat. lib. xxxv. c. 17. The
finest foreign earth of this kind, is what the prince of Biscari
sent me from Sicily, under the title of Terra Chiamata sapo-
nara della quale si servono quei Paesani per lavare i pannilinL



in water ; a property of the true marles. But the
application of earths in the woollen manufacture,
and for the purpose of cleansing, was of very early
times : But who may abide the day of his coming,
and who shall stand when He appea7*eth ? for He
is like a refiner s fire, and like fullers' sope p .

At a small distance from hence lies the little
town of TVoburn, in which is a free-school, found-
ed by Francis I. Earl of Bedford, and a charity-
school for thirty boys, by Wriothesly Duke of
Bedford. The church was built by the last abbot
of JVoburn q , and belonged to that religious house ;
having been a chapel to Birchmore, a church long
since demolished. This place is of exempt juris-
diction, under the patronage of the adjacent great
family". The steeple is oddly disjoined from the
church. The chancel has been very elegantly
fitted up with stucco by the late duke. The pulpit
is a pretty piece of got hie carving, probably coeval
with the abbey.

A neat monument of Sir Francis Stanton, is
preserved here ; who, with his lady, is kneeling at
an altar.

In the south aile stood a grey marble, robbed
of the figure of a priest under a large canopy, and
four coats of arms, with the inscription entire.





* Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. xxxv. c. 17.
1 Willis, ii. 4. r Ecton, 211.

P Malachi iii. 2.


Hie peek Job Morton, filius quonda Johes Morton, de Ports- 1
grave, domini de Lovelsbury, qi obiit in die comemorcois Sci
Pauli, anno Dni Millmo C. C. C. nonagesimo quarto. Quor
aie ppicietur Deus*.

In the east window were the arms of Robert
Vere Earl of Oxford, impaling Samford ; the last,
in right of his wife Alice, daughter and heiress to
Gilbert Lord Samford, chamberlain to Elinor,
consort to Edward I. s
Abbey. At a little distance from the town was situated
the abbey, founded, in 1 145, by Hugh de Bolebec,
a nobleman of great property in this neighbor-
hood ; who, inspired by God, made a visit to the
abbot of Fountains, to advise him about his pious
design 1 . The abbot encouraged him to proceed ;
and Hugh erected the buildings, endowed them,
and peopled them with monks of the Cistercian
order, and placed over them, as first abbot, Alan,
brought from the monastery of Si. Mary, at
York". The place prospered, by several benefac-
tions ; and at the dissolution, was found, accord-
ing to Dugdale, to be possessed of revenues to
the amount of . 391. 18^. %d. a year, or to
. 430. 13s. 1 Id. according to Speed*.

* These two particulars I collect from Mr. Cole's papers.

* Dugdale Monast. i. 829. Willis, ii. 4.

* Tanner, 4.


The last abbot, Robert Hobbs, was hanged at
JVoburn, in March, 1537, for not acknowleging
the king's supremacy. The monastery and its re-
venues, in 1547, were granted by Edzoard VI. to
Lord Russel, soon after created Earl of Bedford
by the same prince. None profited so greatly by
the plunder of the church as this family : whose
fortune, even to the present time, principally
originates from gifts of this nature. To the grant
of IVoburn it owes much of its property in this
county, and in Bucks ; to that of the rich abbey
of Tavistock, vast fortunes and interest in Devon-
shire ; and, to render them more extensive, that
of Dunkeswell was added. The donation of
T homey abbey gave him an amazing tract of fens
in Cambridgeshire, together with a great revenue.
Melchburn abbey (I should have before said) in-
creased his property in Bedfordshire ; the priory
of Castle Hymel gave him footing in Northamp-
tonshire, and he came in for parcels of the apper-
tenance of St. Albaris, and Mountgrace in York-
shire ; not to mention the house of the friars
preachers in Exeter, with the revenues belonging
to the foundation ; and finally, the estate about
Covent Garden, with a field adjoining, called The
Seven Acres, on which Long Acre is built, apper-
tenances to the convent of Westminster ; the first,
a garden belonging to the abbot.

2 H


The superstitious will stand amazed, that no
signal judgment has overtaken these children of sa-
crilege ; yet no house in Britain has thriven more
than the house of Russel.
House. The 7 house is situated in a very pleasant park,
well wooded, but defective in water; the several
pieces being too much divided, and the dams too
conspicuous. The present house was built by the
late duke, excepting a paltry grotto, by Inigo
Jones (which shews that his taste was superior to
such childish performances), and the great stables,
which were part of the antient cloisters, and still
preserve their pillars and vaulted roof. The
offices are also the work of the late duke, and
form two magnificent but plain buildings, at a
small distance from the mansion.
Portrays. This house is a treasure of paintings ; of por-
traits of the great, now illustrious by the figure
they make in the eyes of posterity, undazzled by
the wealth, rank, power, or qualifications, men-

* Considerable additions were made to Woburn by its late
noble owner, and the grounds greatly improved ; the detached
pieces of water are united so as to form a sufficient expanse
bounded by flourishing plantations. To pass unnoticed the laud-
able attention of Francis Duke of Bedford to agriculture, would
be invidious, but to particularise the perfection to which he
brought it, and the patriotic endeavours he exerted in its dif-
fusion, requires a space incompatible with the tendency of
this work. Ed.


tal or corporeal, which concealed their failings, and
made them pass at lest unnoticed openly by their
cotemporaries. They now undergo a posthumous
trial, and, like the Egyptians of old, receive cen-
sure or praise according to their respective merits.
The greater number are now collected in the
gallery, a room unparalleled for its valuable and in-
structive series of portraits ; their history would
make a volume. I can only pretend to point out
some principal facts, that the spectator, who

Online LibraryThomas PennantThe journey from Chester to London → online text (page 25 of 34)