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bellish the place, an Adonis and Thalia are the
most capital. There is also a very fine figure of
Trajan, in the attitude of haranguing his army.
The number of rude Etruscan figures in the gar-
den, shew the extravagance of the earliest ages,
and the great antiquity of the art of sculpture in
Italy, long before the Romans became a people.
The beautiful monument in the lower end of the
garden, does honor to the present age. It was
the work of Mr. Schemecher, under the direction

s Father to the present proprietor, who was created a peer
of Great Britain in 1806. The house has been recently-
enlarged, and a handsome portico added to it. The highly
cultivated state of the demesne marks the laudable agricultural
taste of the noble owner. Ed.



SHUGBOROUGH. 93

of the late Mr. Anson. The scene is laid in Ar-
cadia. Two lovers, expressed in elegant pastoral
figures, appear attentive to an antient shepherd,
who reads to them an inscription on a tomb,

Et in Arcadia ego !

The moral resulting from this seems to be, that
there are no situations of life so delicious, but
which death must at length snatch us from. It
was placed here by the amiable owner, as a me-
mento of the certainty of that event. Perhaps,
also, as a secret memorial of some loss of a tender
nature in his early days ; for he was wont often to
hang over it in affectionate and firm meditation.
The Chinese house, a little farther on, is a true
pattern of the architecture of that nation, taken in
the country by the skilful pencil of Sir Percy
Brett: not a mongrel invention of British car-
penters.

Opposite to the back-front of the house, on
the banks of the Sow, stand the small remains of
the antient mansion, which, according to Leland,
originally belonged to Sackborrozv with a long
beard, and who, as some say, gave it to the mitre
of Lichfield. It must have been in very early
times ; for the manor of Haywood (in which this
is included) belonged to the see in 1085, the twen-
tieth of William the Conqueror, and so continued



94 SHUGBOROUGH. TIXAL.

till the reign of Edward VI. who bestowed it on
Lord Paget. The house was till that time one of
the palaces of the bishops. The reliques, at pre-
sent, serve to give the appearance of reality of
ruin to some beautiful Grecian columns, and other
fragments of antient architecture; which were
tacked to the front by the late Mr. Anson.

Shug borough was frequently the house I had
the happiness of making my head-quarters : from
whence I made many an excursion to the neigh-
boring places. I beg the reader's pardon for in-
dulging myself with a recollection of what for-
merly gave me so much pleasure in the survey,
and for detaining him with the account of a short
circuit, rich in objects.
Tixal. I shall cross the Sow, and begin with Tival,

distinguished at present only by its magnificent
gateway, a motley pile of Gothic and Grecian
architecture, embellished in front with three series
of columns, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. I
thought it might have been one of the early works
of my countryman by descent Inigo Jones ; but I
find it was built by Sir [Falter Aston, Knight, who
died in 1589, when Inigo was too young for any
such undertaking. The antient house stood be-
hind this gateway, and was a most venerable pile,
built as far as the first floor with stone, the rest
ith wood and plaister, by Sir Edward Aston, in



TIXAL. 95

the reign of Henry VIII. A brick building is
substituted in the place. The memory of the an-
tient pile is preserved in the xxxviiith plate of
Doctor Plot's history. This manor, immediately
after the Conquest, belonged to Roger de Mont-
gomery, and was held from him by Henry de Fer-
rers. It passed afterwards into the house of
IVasteneys, or de Gastenoys, one Paganus de Gas-
tenoys being lord of it about the reign of Henry II.
It continued in that family for several generations,
till Rose, the daughter of the last, and widow to
Sir John Gastenoys, Knight, sold it to the Little-
tons, but not without consulting the learned, whe-
ther she could do it with safety to her soul. By
the marriage of Joan (daughter to Sir William,
Littleton, who died in 1507,) to Sir John Aston,
Knight of the Bath, it passed into that name, and
is now owned by the Honorable Thomas Clifford,
in right of his lady, daughter to the last Lord
Aston.

I must not omit, that the poet Michael Dray-
ton was greatly patronized by Sir Walter Aston,
ambassador to Spain in the time of James I. ; nor
is the bavd deficient in gratitude :

" The Trent, by Tixal grac'd, the Astons* antient seat,

" Which oft the Muse hath found her safe and sweet retreat ;

" The noble owners now of which beloved place,

" Good fortune them and theirs with honor'd titles grace.



96



TIXAL HEATH. ASSASSINATION.



" May Heaven still bless that house, till happy floods you see ;
" Yourselves more grac'd by it than it by you can be :
" Whose bounty still my Muse so freely shall confess,
" As when she shall want words, her sighs shall it express/'

Polyolbion, Song xii.



TlXAI.

Heath.



Assassin-
ation

THERE.



Michael Drayton owed much to this gentleman ;
and was one of his esquires when Sir Walter was
created Knight of the Bath. He again acknow-
ledges his particular bounty, in the Preface to the
Polyolbion ; and it is even said, that he undertook
that work at his patron's persuasion.

On leaving Tival, I went through the park, and
part of a common of the same name, on which are
two tumuli; one called the king's, the other the
queen's Law ; but no reason is assigned for the
names. In 1493, an infamous assassination was
committed on this heath ; which shews how little
the vindictive spirit of the feudal times was sub-
dued. A family emulation had subsisted between
the Stanlies of Pipe, in this county, and the Chet-
xvynds of Ingestre. Sir Humphrey Stanley was
one of the knights of the body to Henry VII ; Sir
William Chetwynd one of his gentlemen-ushers.
The former, as is said, through envy, inveigled Sir
William out of his house, by means of a counter-
feit letter from a neighbor ; and while he was pass-
ing over this common, caused him to be attacked
by twenty armed men, and slain on the spot ; Sir



INGESTRE. 97

Humphrey passing with a train at the instant,
under the pretence of hunting, but in fact to glut
his revenge with the sight. It does not appear
that justice overtook the assassin, notwithstanding
the widow of Sir William invoked it. Probably
Sir Humphrey had no fortune worthy of confis-
cation.

At a very little distance from this heath lies Ingestre.
Ingestre, or Ingestrent, a respectable old house,
seated on the easy slope of a hill, and backed by
a large wood, filled with antient oaks of vast size,
which makes part of the pleasure-ground. The
walks are partly bounded by enormous hedges of
forest-trees, and partly wander into the antient
wood, beneath the shade of the venerable trees.

This manor, about the time of Henry II. was
the property of Eudo de Mutton ; in the reign of
Edward III. it was transferred to the family of
the Chetwynds, by the marriage of Isabel, daugh-
ter of Philip de Mutton, with Sir John de Chet-
wynd: in which line it continues, being at present
owned by John Chetwynd Talbot*, Esquire, grand-
son of John Lord Chetwynd.

h He succeeded his uncle William in the barony of Talbot
in 1782, and in 1784 was advanced to the dignity of an earl-
dom. Ingestre is now in the possession of his son Charles
Chetwynd, earl Talbot.

H



9B



INGESTRE. HOPTON HEATH FIGHT.



The house is built in the stile of the reign of
Elizabeth, with great windows' in the center, and
a bow on each side : the last are of stone, the rest
of the house brick. In the great hall, over the
fire-place, is a very good picture of Walter Chet-
wynd, Esquire, in a great wig, and crossed by a
rich sash. This gentleman was distinguished by
his vast knowledge in the antiquities of his coun-
Church. try, and more so by his piety. The present church
of Ingestre was rebuilt by him, and was conse-
secrated in August 1677, when a sermon was
preached, prayers read, a child baptized, a woman
churched, a couple married, a corpse buried, the
sacraments administred, and, to crown all, Mr.
Chetzvynd made an offering on the altar of the
tythes of Hopton, worth fifty pounds a year, to be
added to the rectory for ever. The church is
very neat, and is prettily stuccoed. In it is a
mural monument, in memory of its great benefac-
tor, who died in 1692.

Hopton Heath lies on the side of Ingestre Park,
and is noted for a skirmish between a party of the
King's forces, under the earl of Northampton, and
another of the parlement's, commanded by Sir
William Brereton and Sir John Gell. Victory,
notwithstanding a great inequality of numbers,
declared itself on the side of the royalists ; but it
was purchased at so dear a rate, that, as Lord



IIOPTON

Heath
Skirmish.



STAFFORD. INFIRMARY. CHURCH. 99

Clarendon expresses, a great victory had been an
unequal recompence for the loss sustained in the
General. The earl fell in the action, neglected
by his troops, busied in the pursuit ; and left en-
vironed by enemies. He slew his first assailants,,
and died valiantly, refusing the offered quarter.

After riding from Ingestre three miles, through
very bad roads, I reached Stafford, a good town, Stafford.
containing about five thousand inhabitants, seated
on a plain, bounded by rising grounds at a very
small distance. The streets in general are well
built ; the market-place large, ornamented with a
handsome town-hall, with five windows in front :
it is built upon pillars, and presents a facade with
six arches, intercolumniated with Ionic pilasters.
This is the county-town ; and here the assizes are
appointed to be held, by a statute of the first of
Elizabeth.

The county infirmary lies at a small distance Infirmary.
from the town, and is a good plain building. It
was finished in 1772, and is supported by an
annual subscription of between eight and nine
hundred a year.

Stafford consists of but a single parish, with
two churches. That of St. Mary is a rectory, in Churches.
the gift of the king; a large building with an
octagon tower, and formerly with a lofty spire
rising from it. Here is to be seen the tomb of Sir

h 2



100 RELIGIOUS HOUSES.

Edrcard Aston, the builder of Tixal, who died in
1567, and Joan his wife. Their figures are repre-
sented in alabaster, under a large canopy.

The font is a singular piece of antiquity : very
clumsy; but the sides and base most singularly
carved into rude Gothic figures.

This church had been collegiate, and was given,
a little before the year 1 1 36, by King Stephen, to
the bishop and chapter of Lichfield and Coventry.
The patronage was granted, in 1445, by Henry
VI. to Humphrey Duke of Buckingham. It was
of exempt jurisdiction, and consisted, in the twenty-
sixth of Henry VIII. of a dean and thirteen pre-
bendaries'. The dean's house stood at the west
end of the church, and serves at present for the
school.

Religious The religious houses were the Grey Friars, or
Houses. .

Franciscans, at the north end of the walls, found-
ed, according to Erdeswik, by Sir James Stafford
of Sandon. It was valued at 35. 1 3s. 1 Od. per
annum, and granted, in the thirty-first of Henry
VIII. to James Leveson.

The Friers Austins had a piece of ground
given them on the green, at the south end of the
town, by Ralph Lord Stafford*, in order to found
a house, about the year 1 344, for his own soul's


1 Tanner, 4P5. k Dugdale's Baron. i. 161.







RELIGIOUS HOUSES. FORTIFICATIONS. 10i

sake, those of his wives {Katharine and Margaret),
Sir Humphrey Hastings, Knight, and that of Ed-
ward III. The tombs of his great line were
removed to this church from Stone, at the disso-
lution, but soon suffered to perish. It was granted,
in the first of Queen Mary, to Thomas Neve and
Giles Isam.

A priory of black canons, founded by Richard
Peche, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, about
the year 1 1 80 ; as others say, by Gerard Stafford,
on land which he held from the bishop, whom he
complimented with the title of founder 1 . The
prelate had a great affection for this house ; for,
on resigning his see, he became a canon of it : and
here ended his days" 1 . It maintained only seven
religious, whose revenues were 198- a year. On
the dissolution it was granted to Rowland Zee,
bishop of Lichfield.

Besides these, were two hospitals, and the free
chapel of Saint Nicholas, in the castle.

The town was defended 'partly by the river Fortifi
Soxv, which bounds one half of it; the rest was
guarded by a wall, and by a ditch, supplied by
the river with water. It had formerly four gates ;
of these two are yet standing. The place never

1 Tanner, 499.

m Angl. Sacra, i. 435. This house was dedicated to St.
Thomas Becket, exactly ten years after his death.



CATIONS.



102 ORIGIN OF STAFFORD. CASTLE.

was defencible ; at least never stood a siege. Sir

William Brereton, the parlement general, took it

by surprize, in May 1643, with the loss only of a

single man.

Origin of The origin of Stafford is very uncertain : the
Stafford. . .

first name of it is said to be Betheney, and that it

had been the seat of an hermit called Bert elm, in
high fame for his sanctity. The earliest authentic
mention of the place is in the year 913, when
Ethelfleda* Countess of Mercia, and sister of
Edward the Elder, built a castle here. This lady
had one child by her lord Ethelred; when, ba-
lancing the pangs of parturition with the joys of
connubial rites, Amazon like, she determined to
forbear for the future all commerce with him.
From thenceforth her delight was in arms, in con-
quests, and in securing her dominions. Such was
her prowess, that, laying aside all feminine titles,
she received that of King, as if Countess and
Queen were inadequate to her heroism .

The scite of this fortress is not precisely known.
Doctor Plot is of opinion, that it lay within the
entrenchments at Billington, at some distance from
Stafford, and seems to found his conjecture from
the lands wherein they are being still a remaining
part of the demesne land of the barony of Staf-

Saxon Chr, 104. Tour in Wales.



STAFFORD CASTLE. 103

ford p . Camden attributes a tower to Edward the
Elder, founded in the year after that which was
built by his sister, and places it on the north side
of the river. A mount still remains near the new
bridge, called by Speed, Castle-hill; at present
named Bully hill, on which it probably stood.

The poor remains of the castle, which was gar- Castle. .
risoned in the civil wars, stand on a little insulated
hill, a mile south from the town. The keep was
on an artificial mount : the whole is surrounded
with a deep foss, which, on the south side, has be-
sides the additional strength of a high rampart.
This was founded by William the Conqueror, and
was soon after demolished. It is supposed, that,
during the time it stood, the custody of it was
committed to Robert de Tonei, younger son of
Roger, standard-bearer of Normandy q , a follower
of the Conqueror, who took from this circumstance
the name of Stafford. It is conjectured, that the
king at that time reserved this manor to himself,
and that it was not included in the vast grant
made by him to Robert, of eighty-one manors in
this county, twenty-six in that of Warwick, twenty
in Lincolnshire, two in Suffolk, and one in each
of those of Worcester and Northampton. It ap-
pears that it continued in the crown till the second

Hist. Staff. 416. * Dugdalc's Baron. I 156,



104



MANOR-HOUSE. BILLINGTON BURY.



Manor-
house.



Billing-
ton Bury.



of Edward II. when Edmund Lord Stafford re-
ceived the grant, and held it in capite by barony,
together with that of Bradeley and Madeley, by
service, of finding for forty days, at his own
charge, three armed men, with three equis cooper-
tis, horses harnessed for war, as often as there
should be war with Wales or Scotland'. I know
not for certain who was the restorer of this castle.
Mr. Erdeszvic says, it was Ralph de Stafford,
a distinguished warrior, cotemporary with Ed-
ward III. It was garrisoned by the king in the
civil wars ; was taken by the parlement forces, and
demolished in 1644.

About a quarter of a mile south of the castle,
in a low situation, stood the manor-house of the
family, fortified by the same Ralph; for I find
from Dugdale s , that he had permission, in 1 348,
to make castles of his manor-houses at Stafford
and Madeley. This great family had in it barons,
earls, and dukes; and in the year 1637 became
extinct : at that time humiliated into barons again.
The moat of their antient residence is still to be
seen, surrounding a rectangular piece of ground,
the scite of the house.

My curiosity led me about two miles further,
to Billington, to examine the supposed scite of



* Bhmt's Tenures, 25.



9 Baron, i. 160.



BOROUGH. BARONY. 105

the antient Stafford castle. Near the extremity
of a high hill, steeply sloping on three sides, and
commanding a most extensive and beautiful view,
I found a large area, surrounded in some parts
with one, in others with two, deep fosses. This
had been a British post, as it agrees with those
we find in many parts of the kingdom ; but as it
retains the name of Billington Bury, it probably
might have been occupied by the Saxons, whose
posts are distinguished by the addition of Borough,
Bury, and Berry.

The town of Stafford is governed by a mayor,
recorder, ten aldermen, and twenty common-coun-
cil-men; and was incorporated in the third of
Edward VI. It first sent burgesses to parlement
in 1 294, the twenty-third of Edxvard I. They are
elected by inhabitants paying scot and lot, and are
returned by the mayor I

The borough still retains one antient custom, Borough.
the privilege of borough English, or the descent
of lands, within its liberty, to the youngest sons
of those who die intestate : an usage which is sup-
posed to have been originally founded on the pre-
sumption, that the younger child was the lest ca-
pable of providing for itself.

The barony was, even at the Conquest, one of Barony.

* Willis, in. 50.



10S CANK WOOD.

the greatest in England, and afterwards, like other
great seigniories, stiled the Honor of Stafford.
None were such originally, but which were royal ;
but were afterwards bestowed in fee on some no-
bleman, as proved the case with this, as mentioned
in page 104; when it was given to Edmund Lord
Stafford, with eighty-one dependent manors, with
sixty knights fees, viz. nine in his demesne, and
fifty-one in service.

After leaving the town, I crossed the Wolver-
hampton Navigation* at Radford Bridge. This
may be called a port to Stafford. A little farther
is Weeping Cross; so stiled from its vicinity to the
antient place of execution. A little farther on,
opens the rich view of the vale of Shugborough,
varied with rivers and canals, and bordered with
the several seats before described.
CakkWood; q n approaching Cank Wood, I find on its con-
H |Park ^ nes H e y wo d Park ; a small house, the property
of Lord Paget, remarkable for the beautiful woody
dingles that wind into the sides of the forest. When
I was wandering through them, I imagined myself
engaged in those of my native country. Here I
suppose to have been the park of red deer, which
Leland says the bishop of Lichfield had in his

Distances. Ha/wood, to its junction with the Birmingham
canal, near Wolverhampton, 22. 4. 0; rise 125 feet: Stainport
on the Severn, 24. 0. ; fall 301 feet.



COLWICH. i07

manor of Shugborow. I skirted part of the wood,
which here ends boldly, almost driving the tra-
veller into the -tore;. This front has received from
Mr. Anson a wonderful change.

HIT- . t> 1

Miraturque novas frondes.

Pines instead of oaks ; which, waving over the head
of the passenger, would recall to his memory, had
he been abroad, the idea of many an alpine scene.

Returning over Heyzvood bridge, I passed
through the two hamlets of that name ; and within
two miles of the first, reached the church and vil-
lage of Cohvich. I must imagine the traveller, as Colwich.
well as myself, blinded, if we rode this space in-
sensible of the most elegant view of the vale. It
is perfectly prodigal in its beauties, and spreads
at once every charm that can captivate the eye.
It shews here at once, all that I before mentioned
en detail.

The parsonage and church of Colwich contri-
bute to the variety of the view, from another sta-
tion : both are antient. This place had been the
property of a family of the same name x , at lest
from Henry III.'s reign to about the beginning
of Elizabeth ; when it passed into that of Leicester
of Tabley, in Cheshire, by the marriage of the

x Erdesivic.



108



COLWICH CHURCH. BISHTON.



daughter of Edzvard Cohvich y to Peter Leicester,
Esquire.
Church. The church is dedicated to St. Michael, and
is a prebend in the cathedral of Lichfield. Within
is a tomb, with the recumbent figure, dressed in a
gown, of Sir William Wolsely. Here is also the
burial-place of the Ansons, made a V antique, in
form of a catacomb. I must not forget an inscrip-
tion, in memory of another Sir William Wolsely,
which does not commemorate his unlucky and sin-
gular end ; being drowned in his chariot, on the
8th of July 1728, owing to the accidental break-
ing of a mill-dam, in the village of Longdon, by
a thunder-shower. His four horses perished. The
coachman was saved, being carried by the torrent
into an orchard, where he stuck till the water
abated.

At a little distance from Cohvich is Bishton,



BlSHTON.



near which I cross the navigation a



gain,



and in-



Wolsley stantly after the Trent, at Wolsley Bridge, placed
at the foot of the hanging- woods of Wolsley park ;
an inclosure of much native wild beauty. The
antient mansion of the family of the same name,
lies low, and near the river. This manor is a
member of Heyxcood. In the twentieth year of



r Leicester's Cheshire, 303.



THE BURBOT. 109

the Conqueror, Nigellus, the paternal ancestor of
Greski, held it of the bishop. About the reign of
Henry II. it was a divided manor, between Ri-
chard Hints and Richard JVolsley z . Soon after
this, they seem to have become sole proprietors.

After riding a little way along the Lichfield
road, I turned to the left, and crossing the vale,
which now expands and grows less riante, repass
the Trent at Cotton, on a bridge of a fine single
arch. Near this place is sometimes taken the
Burbot*, a fish of disgusting appearance, but of TheBurbot.
a delicate flavor, and very firm. It is not common
in these parts, but abounds in the JVitham, and
in the fens of Lincolnshire ; and is very common
in the lake of Geneva, where it is called Lota.
According to the new arrangement of fish, it is
ranked among the gadi, or cod fish: by Mr. Ray,
among the eel-shaped fish. The form is long;
the head depressed ; the mouth large, armed with
small teeth; the nose furnished with two beards,
the chin with one : on the back are two fins ; the
skin smooth and slippery, of a disagreeable green
color, spotted with yellow. It is very voracious,
and very prolific. The noted old fisherman of the
Rhine, Leonard Baltner, took out of a single fish
not fewer than 12.8,000 eggs.

z Erdeswicl a Plot, 241. tab.xxii. Br. Zool, 1 11. N



110



COLTON. BLITHEFIELD.



COLTON.



Blithe-
field.



Mr. Erdeswik informs us, that at the time of
the Conqueror, one Galfridus was lord of Colton.
Soon after, Sir Hardulph de Gastenoys had either
all, or shared it with another ; for in the year 1315,
Sir William Gastenoys and Anselm le Marshal
were joint lords of it. After many generations, a
female (Thomasine, sole heiress and daughter of
Sir Thomas Gastenoys, last male heir of the fa-
mily, by marriage with Sir Nicholas Greislei, about
1379) transferred it to the house of Drakelow.
The old hall, which was large enough to contain
fourscore lodging-rooms, was burnt down in the
time of Charles I. by the carelessness of a ser-
vant. It at that time belonged to Lord Aston*.

The country now alters for the worse, and the
soil becomes wet and miry. About two miles
distance from Colton stands Blithefield, the re-
spectable old seat of the respectable family of the
Bagots ; a most antient race. At the time of the
Conquest they were found possessed of Bagofs
Bromley. In 1193, or the fifth of Richard I.
younger branch became ennobled, by the marriage
of Millisent, heiress of Robert Lord Stafford ,



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