Copyright
Thomas Pennant.

The journey from Chester to London online

. (page 4 of 34)
Online LibraryThomas PennantThe journey from Chester to London → online text (page 4 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


" the ayde of his foure Squyers, foughte alwayes
" in the chyefe of the batayle : he was sore hurte
" in the bodye, and in the vysage. As longe as
" his breth served him he fought : at last, at the
" end of the batayle hys foure Squyers toke and
" brought hym out of the felde, and layed hym
u under a hedge syde, for to refreshe hym. And
" they unarmed hym, and bounde up his woundes
" as well as they coude. After the battle, the
" Prince demanded of the Knyghtes that were
" aboute him, for the Lord Audley, if any knewe
" any thing of him. Some Knights y* were there
" answered and sayde, Sir, he is sore hurt, and
" lieth in a litter here beside ; by my faith, said
" the Prince, of his hurts I am right sorye, go
" and knowe if he maye be broughte hider, or els
" I will go, and se him there, as he is. Than
" twoo Knights came to the Lord Audeley (and
" sayde) Sir, the Prince desireth greatly to see



56 LORD AUDLEY AND HIS 'SQUIRES.

" you : outher ye must go to him, or els he will
" come to you. A, Sir, sayde the Knighte, I
" thanke the Prince when he thinketh on so pore
" a knight as I am ; then he called eyght of his
" servanntes, and caused them to bere hym in hys
" lytter to the place where was the Prince. Than
" the Prince toke hym in his armes and kyst hym,
" and made him great chear, and sayd, Sir James,
ff I ought gretly to honour you, for by your va-
" liance ye have this day achyved y e grace and
" renowne of us al, and ye are reputed for the
" most valyant of al others. I retain you for ever
"to be my knight, with five hundred markes of
" yearly revenues. When Syr James Audeley was
" broughte to his lodgynge, thenne he send for Syr
"Peter Audeley, his brother, and for the Lorde
" Bartylemawe of Brennes, the Lorde Stephanne
" of Goutenton, the Lorde of Wylly, and the
" Lorde Raffe Ferres : all these were of his ly-
" nage : and than he called before them hys foure
" Squyers, that hadde served hym that daye well
" and trewlye : than he sayde to the sayde Lordes,
" Syrs, it hath pleased my Lorde the Prynce to
" gyve me five hundred markes of revenues by
" yere; for the which gyft I have done him but
" small servyce with my bodye. Sirs, beholde
" here these foure Squyers, who hath alwayes
" served me truely, and especyally thys day : that



LORD AUDLEY AND HIS 'SQUIRES. 57

" honour that I have is by their valyantnesse,
" wherefore I woll reward them : I gyve and re-
" signe into their handes the gyft that my Lorde
" y e Prynce hath gyv'n me of five hundred markes
" of yerely revenues, to them and their heyres for
" ever. I clearly disheryte me thereofF, and in-
" heryte them wythout any rebell or condy-
u tyon m ."

I have dwelt the longer on this account of the
Lord Audley, not only as his history is so mingled
with that of his four 'squires, Delves, Dutton,
Foulhurst, and Hawkeston ; but because all five
were Cheshire men ; the 'squires, by attachment,
following their neighbor to the scene of military
glory. I must add, that their gallant leader en-
joined them, as a further proof of his esteem, to
bear in some parts of their coats of arms, his own
proper atchievement gules, a fret d'or" ; which
the families constantly retained.

The statues of Lord Audley and his four
'squires, cut in stone, are still preserved at Dod-
dington Hall. Doctor Gozver supposes that of
Lord Audley to have been original ; the others to
have been made in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
when the late mansion was built.

Sir John (for he was knighted by Edrvard III.)

m Ch. clxii. clxv. clxvii. " Dr. Gotvcr's Material* fyc. 47.



58 AUDLEY CHURCH.

was distinguished by several marks of royal favor :
had the wardship of the Dutchess of Bretagne :
was constituted one of the justices of the King's
Bench ; and had licence to embattle his house at
Doddington. He bequeathed his body to be bu-
ried in the church of St. James, at Audelcy, in
Staffordshire, and, dying on the 16th of August
1369, was interred there, according to his desire.
Near him, in the same church, were deposited the
remains of his illustrious patron.

Audley lies a very few miles to the north-east
of Doddington, seated on the top of a hill, on the
road between Nantxvich and Newcastle. A reve-
rential curiosity once led me to visit the reliques
of these heroes. Those of the Lord Audley lie
beneath a plain altar-tomb, formerly having his
figure on the slab, engraven on a small brass
plate.

His 'squire is perpetuated in a more ostenta-
tious manner, and represented in alabaster, at full
length, with his coat of arms on his breast. The
inscription is lost.

One of the residences of the Audley s was at
this village ; from which they took their name. A
farm occupies the scite of their house ; but in
latter times they inhabited Heleigh Castle, about
three miles distant.

The Lords had many privileges here; such as



HARDINGVVOOD. DODDINGTON. 59

court-leet, tumbrel, and gallows : nor could any
one arrest a person here, except an officer of the
manor. These estates passed, by marriage of Sir
John Touchet, to Joan, daughter of the great Lord
Audley, and sister and co-heir of his son Nicholas.
George Touchet, Lord Audley, sold it, in 1577,
to Sir Gilbert Gerrard ; from whose family it
descended to the Fleetwoods ; and in this cen-
tury was lost in a single night by the cast of a die.

There is a particularity in the situation of the
house of Hardingxvood, adjacent to this parish,
which I cannot forbear mentioning. Whenever
the family go to church (which is that of Lawton)
they go out of the province of Canterbury into
that of York ; pass through two counties, viz.
Staffordshire and Cheshire ; three parishes, JVool-
stanton, Audley, and Lazvton; three constableries,
Tunstall, Chell, and Lawton; two hundreds, Pir-
chill and Nantwich ; and two dioceses, Lichfield
and Chester.

Doddington continued in the family of the
Delves till the present century, when, by the
failure of issue male, it descended to the Brough-
tons, of Broughton in the county of Stafford, by
virtue of the marriage of Sir Bryan Broughton,
in the year 1700, with Elizabeth, daughter of Sir

Thomas Delves, Baronet. The house is seated in

The last. Ed.



60 WORE. MUCCLESTON.

a park, watered on one side by a large mere ; with
a small island, ornamented with an elegant ro-
tundo. The present owner, Sir Thomas Brough-
ton, is now building a new house, in a magnifi-
cent stile, and in a far more agreeable situation,
at the head of the lake, at some distance from the
old mansion. The antient house was fortified,
and garrisoned during the civil wars ; and taken
and retaken in the course of the contest.
After travelling about three miles further, in
the same tedious lane, a portion of Shropshire
presents a hilly front, and intersects the road. On
Woke. the top of the ascent lies Wore, or Oare, a hamlet
of a few houses, with a small chapel, dependent
on the rectory of Muccleston, in the county of
Stafford. Old Stczv informs us, that Randolph
Woolley, of London, merchant-taylor, left to the
reader of the place .5 for freely instructing the
children of the inhabitants of this parish.

From Wore I quitted, for the sake of a small
digression, the London road, and at about two
miles distance enter, at Bearston-mill, the county

of

STAFFORD p .

Mucci.es- A little farther stands Muccleston, a small

TOS. ,

P This county, as well as Cheshire, was the seat of the Cor-
navii, and was in Saxon times part of the Mercian kingdom ;
and its inhabitants what Bedc called the Middle Englishmen.



BATTLE OF BLOREHEATH. 61

village, seated on a rising ground. The church,
dedicated to St. Mary, is a rectory, in the gift of
John Crew q , Esquire, of Crexv, lord of the manor.
In 1085, the twentieth of the Conqueror, it was
held by Kenning, one of the Taynes : it afterwards
was possessed by the Morgans, of the west coun-
try, till about the first of Queen Elizabeth ; when
it was sold by Robert Morgan, Esquire, to Sir
Thomas Offley, Knight, Lord Mayor of London
in 1 556 ; whom Fuller calls the Zaccheus of
that city, not for his low stature, but high charity.

From the tower of the church, Margaret of Battle of
Anjou, the faithful and spirited consort of Hen- heath.
ry VI. saw the fierce battle of Bloreheath, fatal
to the cause of her meek husband, then at Coles-
hill. Richard Nevil, Earl of Salusbury, com-
manded the Yorkists: he was at that time on his
march from Middleham Castle, with four or five
thousand men, under pretence of settling with the
King the disputes of the two houses. Margaret,
fearing for her husband's safety, directed Lord
Andley to intercept him on the way. He posted
himself on Bloreheath, with ten thousand troops,
collected out of Cheshire and Shropshire, whose
chieftains were distinguished by silver swans, the
badges of their young prince. Salusbury, *not-

i Created a peer of Great Britain in 1806. E.



C2 CHESHIRE HEROES.

withstanding the disparity of numbers, determined
to stand the fortune of the day ; but wisely had
recourse to stratagem. He encamped at night on
the banks of a rivulet, not broad, but deep ; and
in the morning pretended a retreat ; Audley fol-
lowing him with the impetuous valor natural to
himself and the times, Salusbury made an instant
attack on the divided forces of the Lancastria?is.
The field was long disputed, with the animosity
usual in civil feuds. Audley fell, with two thou-
sand four hundred of his troops, chiefly the flower
of the Cheshire gentry ; whose courage led them
to the front of the battle. A great stone still
marks the spot of their leader's death. The
Queen fled to Ecclushal Castle. Salusbury joined
the Duke of York at Ludlow. Michael Drayton
commemorates the slaughter of the day, and pre-
serves the names of the Cheshire heroes ; for the
county listed under both banners.



-The earl,



As hungry in revenge, there made a ravenous spoil.
There Dutton, Duiton kills; a Done doth kill a Done;
A Booth, a Booth ; and Leigh by Leigh is overthrown :
A Venables against a Venables doth stand ;
A Trouibeck fighteth with a Troutbeck hand to hand :
T,here Molineux doth make a Molineux to die ;
And Egerton the strength of Egerton doth try.

I returned into the great road by Winning-



WELLS. MERE. THE BRUFF. 63

ton forge and JVillozvbridge wells. The last were
once in high esteem for their sanative waters,
strongly impregnated with sulphur. They were
formerly much frequented, on account of bathing
and drinking. A house for the reception of pa-
tients was built, and a bath inclosed ; but at pre-
sent the waters (which to look and taste differ not
from common) are entirely deserted.

I re-entered the London road on Meter Mere.
Heath, in the parish of Maer, or Mere ; so stiled
from a large piece of water, the head of the river
Tern, which flowing through Shropshire, falls into
the Severn three miles below Shrewsbury. Meter
and Aston, an adjacent manor, were on the Con-
quest divided between William de Maer and Ro-
bert Stafford. Some centuries afterwards, a Staf-
ford exchanged his part of Maer, with Ralph, the
son of John Macclesfield ; by which it came into
that family, who sold it to John Lord Chetwynd.

This parish is remarkable for Savon antiqui- Bruff.
ties. On a hill is an antient fortress, or strong
hold, composed of two deep ditches and a ram-
part, formed chiefly of stone ; the precinct is not
of any regular shape, for the fosses conform to
the shape of the hill ; as was usual with the Bri-
tons and the earlier Saxons. Two of the corriers
project naturally, and form a species of bastions.
The entrance was on ^he side next the present



64 THE BRUFF. BARROWS.

road. The approach is very visible : it crept up
the steep sides ; divided about midway, one branch
took to the left and the other to the right. Near
this place finished his course Osred, the licentious
king of the Northumbrians ; a despiser of monks
and corrupter 'of nuns : slain in battle in 716, at
Mear, in the bloom of youth. This fortress is
called the Bri/ff, corruptly from Burgh. It seems
to have been cast up by Kinred, king of Mercia,
against the invasion of Osred. Kinred probably
gave his antagonist the usual funeral honors, and
interred him, and his officers, with the respect due
Barrows, to their rank. Tumuli, or barrows, some round,
others oblong, are scattered over the neighboring
hills and heath. Under the large conical hill,
called Coplozv, might be deposited the corpse of
Osred ; beneath the others, those of his unfortu-
nate followers. I must not pass over in silence
the Camp-hills, notwithstanding the name has out-
lived the vestiges of entrenchments ; nor does any
tradition of the possessor remain. Shall we sup-
pose it to be Osred, who might have been there
before his defeat ?

This country is gravelly, full of commons and
low hills r , entirely covered with heath ; which still
give shelter to a few black grous, and red. The

r A considerable portion of this dreary tract is now enclosed
and cultivated. Ed.



SWINERTON. 65



mention of the heath reminds me, that about a Heath usbd
century ago it was sometimes made use of instead
of hops : a practice continued to this day in some
of the Hebrides. . .

Cross Hatton and Swinerton heaths. The last Swinertojt.
lies in a parish and manor of the same name,
which was owned, from the Conquest to the reign
of Henry VIII. by the Swinertons. Their an-
cestor was called Aslam, who held the estate from
Robert de Stafford, and at the time of the general
survey, possessed in this county alone eighty-one
manors. This family produced numbers of knights ;
and, among them, Roger de Swinerton had the
honor of being summoned to parlement in the
reign of Edxvard III. He seems to have been
favored in those reigns. In that of the first Ed-
ward, he obtained free warren for his manor, and
got the privilege of a market and a fair to be held
there. In the reign of Edward II. he was ap-
pointed governor of Stafford; afterwards, of the
important castle of Harlech, in Meireonethshire ;
and was made constable of the Tower of London.
In that of his successor, besides the honor above
recited, he was made a banneret ; and had for his
several services an assignation out of the exchequer,
of an hundred and forty-five pounds thirteen shil-
lings and eight-pence. In the reign of Henry VIII.
this manor of Swinerton passed into the family of

F



QQ CHURCH. SCHOOL. DARLASTON.

the Fitzherberts, by the marriage of the youngest
daughter of Humphry, last male heir of the line,
to William Fitzherbert of Norbury, in which
name it still continues.

The church, and seat of Mr. Fitzherbert, com-
mand a vast view into Worcestershire and Shrop-
shire. In the first is a tomb of a cross-legged
knight ; and a plain altar-tomb, inscribed Dominus
de Sivinnerton 8$ Ellen uxor ejus.

In the school -house is placed the colossal figure
of our Saviour, sitting. He is represented as if
after the resurrection, shewing the wound in his
side to the incredulous disciple. It was found
under ground, near the place it now occupies;
and seems to have been buried in the reforming
times, to preserve it from the rage of the image-
breakers.

In the house is a very fine full-length portrait
of Sir John Fitzherbert, Knight.
Darlaston. On descending a hill, I reached Darlaston,
a village on the Trent. Near this place, on the
summit of a hill, called Bury Bank, is an area
of an oval form, about 250 yards in diameter, en-
vironed by a deep trench and ramparts : the en-
trance is on the north-west. On the south part
is a tumulus, surrounded with a ditch. This I
imagine to have been formed out of the ruins of
some buildings, and to have been a sort of prce-



THE TRENT. 67

torium to the occupier of this post. It is sup-
posed to have been the residence of Wulpherus,
who reigned over Mercia from 656 to 675. The
old name of JVlferecester in a manner confirms the
opinion. Whether the neighboring Cop, or Low,
was the place of his interment, as Plot thinks, is
doubtful.

Here I first meet with the Trent. This river
rises in the Morelands, near Biddulph, out of
Newpool, and two springs near Molecop. At this
place it is an inconsiderable stream, becomes na-
vigable at Burton on Trent, and, after flowing
through this county (which it almost equally di-
vides), that of Derby, Nottingham, and Lincoln,
it loses its name in the Humber, the great recep-
tacle of the northern rivers. Poets have taken
most beautiful liberties in their etymologies of the
name of this river ; for it neither derives it from
its thirty kinds of fish, nor yet from its thirty
rivers that swell its waters.

The bounteous Trent, that in himself enseams
Both thirty sorts of fish, and thirty sundry streams.

After quoting the sublime description of Mil-
ton, we shall give its simple derivation.

Rivers, arise ! whether thou be the son
Of utmost Tiveed, or Ooze, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, which, like some earth-born giant, spreads
His thirty arms along the indented meads.

F 2



M STONEFIELD. CAxVAL.

In fact, the name is Saxon ; Trenta, Treonta, and
formed from the word drie (three), on account of
its rising from three heads.

Stonefikld. After crossing the river, and ascending a small
bank, I find myself in a vast open tract rising to
the left, called Stonefield. Here, in 1745,. the
Duke of Cumberland drew up his army to give
battle to the rebels, who were supposed to have
been on their march this way. His intelligence
failed him, and the Scotch insurgents possessed
themselves of Derby. In future times, posterity
will almost doubt the fact, when they read that
an inconsiderable band of mountaineers, undisci-
plined, unomcered, and half-armed, penetrated into
the center of an unfriendly country, with one
army behind them, and another in their front ; that
they rested there a few days ; and that they re-
treated above three hundred miles, with scarcely
any loss, continually pressed by a foe supplied
with every advantage that loyalty could afford.

The Canal. Parallel to my road runs that magnificent
enterprize the Grand Trunk Canal, for the junc-
tion of the eastern and the western oceans ; de-
signed to give to each side of the kingdom an easy
share in the commodities of both. In other coun-
tries, the nature of the land permits a ready ex-
ecution of these designs. Egypt and Holland are
levelled to the workmen's hands. Our aspiring



THE CANAL. eg

genius scoffs at obstructions, and difficulties serve
but to whet our ardor : our aqueducts pass over
our once-admired rivers, now despised for the
purposes of navigation : we fill vallies, we pene-
trate mountains. How would the prophet have
been treated, who, forty years ago, should have
predicted, that a vessel of twenty-five tons would
be seen sailing over Stonefield? Yet such is the
case at present.

Figitur in viridi (si fors tulit) anchora prato.

This great enterprize was begun on July 17th,
1766, near the south end of Hare-castle Hill, in
this county. Its entire length is ninety-three
miles, viz. sixty-one miles two furlongs from the
south side of that hill to Wildon ferry, in the
county of Derby ; and thirty-one miles six fur-
longs on the north side, to its junction with the
Duke of Bridgewaters canal at Preston on the
Hill, in Cheshire.

To effect this work, there are forty locks on the
south side ; having in all three hundred and six-
teen feet fall ; and on the north side thirty-five,
with three hundred and twenty-six feet fall. Six
of the most southern locks are fourteen feet wide,
adapted for the navigation of large vessels, from
opposite to Burton to Gainsborough. At Mid-



70 THE CANAL.

dlewich, on the north side, is another, of the same
width.

The common dimensions of the canal are
twenty-nine feet breadth at top; at bottom six-
teen; and the depth four and a half, except in
the part from Wilden to Burton, which is thirty-
one feet broad at top, eighteen at bottom, and
five and a half deep. The same is observed from
Middlexcich to Preston on the Hill ; upon which
vessels, capable of navigating in the estuary of
the Severn, may pass to the port of Liverpool.

The canal is carried over the river Dove, in an
aqueduct of twenty-three arches, and the ground
raised one mile and two furlongs in length, and
to a very considerable height. It is also carried
over the river Trent, on an aqueduct of six arches,
of twenty-one feet span each : and again, over the
river Dane, in Cheshire, in the same manner, on
three arches of twenty feet diameter.

Besides these, there are near a hundred and
sixty less aqueducts and culverts, for the convey-
ance of brooks and streams under the canal ; many
of which are in span from twelve to eighteen feet.

The undertakers, for the conveniency of the
several persons whose lands they have cut through,
or when the canal intersects any public road, have
built an hundred and eighty-nine cart-bridges, and



THE CANAL. 71

eleven foot-bridges ; and frequently, when the ca-
nal passed in sight of any gentleman's seat, have
politely given it a breadth, or curvature, to im-
prove the beauty of the prospect.

The mountains, hills, or rocks, that obstructed
the canal, are pierced through in the following
places.

The most southern tunnel, as it is called, is at
Hermitage ; where a work is carried under ground
for the space of an hundred and thirty yards, with
a haling-way for horses on one side.

The tunnel through the mountain at Hare
Castle, is cut through a variety of strata, and was
a work of stupendous difficulty and expence, and
executed in a manner worthy of the courage and
skill of the great undertaker, Mr. Brindley. It
passes under ground for the length of two thou-
sand eight hundred and eighty yards ; is nine feet
wide and twelve high, lined and arched with brick.
This traverses a country full of coals.

In Cheshire, at Burnt on, in the parish of Great
Budzvorth, is another tunnel, five hundred and
sixty yards long ; at Saltenford, in the same pa-
rish, is another, three hundred and fifty yards
long ; and finally, at Preston on the Hill is an-
other, which passes under ground twelve hun-
dred and forty-one yards ; each of them are seven-
teen feet four inches high, and thirteen feet six



72 MR. JAMES BRINDLEY.

inches wide : at Preston on the Hill the canal
emerges, and soon concludes its course, by falling
into the canal formed by an useful Peer, the Duke
of Bridgexvater * ; the latter drops into the Mersey
at Runcorn, with a fall of eighty-two feet, eased
by ten magnificent locks.

From Middlewich to Manchester is a dead
level, which does not require a lock.

The proprietors of the Grand Trunk Canal

have employed on it about fifty boats, exclusive

of those belonging to other persons, which amount

at least to the same number. They are calculated

to carry twenty-five tons each, and are drawn by

one horse, for which the proprietors receive per

mile three halfpence a ton.

Of James It would be ungrateful not to pay some respect
Brikdley. . .

to the memory of the great architect and contriver

of these works, Mr. James Brindley. That
rare genius was born at Tunsted, in the parish of
JVormhill, Derbyshire, in the year 1716". His
father was a small freeholder, who ruined himself
by following the sports of the field, and disabled
himself from giving his children any sort of edu-
cation.

Young James shewed very early the goodness
of his heart, by maintaining the orphan family

Deceased in 1803. Ed.



MR. JAMES BRINDLEY. 73

by such labor as he was capable of. At the ag6
of seventeen he bound himself apprentice to a
millwright near Macclesfield, when his amazing
abilities were soon discovered. He speedily be-
came a great proficient, and performed a number
of things of which his master was totally ignorant.
His gratitude was equal to his genius ; for he over-
paid any instructions which he received from his
master, by maintaining him in a comfortable man-
ner when he grew past working, and fell into di-
stress.

The first service the public received from him,
was a very considerable improvement in the paper-
press. He got great credit by a water-engine at
Clifton, in Lancashire; and still more by the ma-
chinery of a new silk-mill at Congleton, to which
he gave many most important movements. He
highly facilitated the grinding of flints for the pot-
teries; and in 1756, erected a steam-engine, on a
new plan, by which he reduced the consumption
of coal to one half.

It was a peculiar felicity to the Duke of
Bridgewater, to find a genius such as Brind-
ley, cotemporary to the great designs formed by



Online LibraryThomas PennantThe journey from Chester to London → online text (page 4 of 34)