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MEMORIALS 



OF 



OLD BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. 



EDITED BY 

P. H. piTCHFIELD, M.A., F.S.A., 

Editor of the " Berks, Bucks, atiii Oxon Archceological Journal" 

Hon. Secretary of the Berks Archaeological Society ; 

Autlior of ^^ English Villages" " The Story 

of our Tovjns," ^^ Old English Customs," 

&yc. 



With many Illustrations. 



LONDON: 

BEMROSE AND SONS, LIMITED, 4, SNOW HILL, E.G. 

AND DERBY. 

19OI. 

All Rights Reserued, 



^70 



/\r.SlLi-S- 



TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

LORD ROTHSCHILD, 

LORD LIEUTENANT OF THE COUNTY OF BUCKS, 

THIS BOOK IS 

DEDICATED 

BY HIS LORDSHIP'S KIND PERMISSION. 



PREFACE. 



DUCKINGHAMSHIRE has many charms for the Antiquary 
and the Historian. Few other counties contain more 
historic seats, or can boast of a longer Hst of distinguished 
sons who have left their mark on the pages of our country's 
annals. Statesmen, poets, patriots, heroes of the sword 
and of the pen, have made their home amid the hills 
and dales of this delightful county ; and many great 
events in the history of England have taken place upon 
its soil. It has been the aim of the authors of these 
" Memorials " to record the chief objects of interest con- 
nected with the county, although they are conscious that 
they have by no means exhausted the rich stores of 
historical treasure which Buckinghamshire affords. The 
Editor desires to express his gratitude to the writers who 
have so kindly co-operated with him in the preparation 
of this volume. One gentleman, the representative of 
one of the oldest families in Buckinghamshire, the Rev. 
Randolph Pigott, has been called away from earth since 
his brief chapters on the history of the county which he 
loved were written. His last composition will have a 
pathetic interest for his many friends. To the other 
authors who have contributed to this volume the Editor 
begs to offer his most grateful thanks, and he trusts that 
their labours will meet with the approbation of all who 
reverence antiquity and love the traditions and historical 
associations of Old Buckinghamshire. 

P. H. D. 

Barkham Rectory, 

November, igoi. 



CONTENTS. 



Historic Bucks 

Medmenham Abbey 

Burnham Abbey 

The so-called uncorrupt Hand of 
S. James the Apostle 

Claydon House and the Verneys 

Stowe and its Gardens 

Fawley Court 

Amersham and its burnings 

Hampden House and John 
Hampden 

The Civil War in Bucks 

Literary Bucks 
Shakespeare in Bucks 

Bulstrode 

Boarstall Tower 

The Homes of Milton 

The Penn Family in Bucks 

Hartwell House and Louis XVni. 

The Eton College Library 

The Eton Montem in the Olden 
Days 

Buckinghamshire Lace 

Chequers and Oliver Cromwell 



PAGE 

By the Rev. P. H. DiTCHFiELD i 
By Mrs. Climenson i8 

By the Rev. J. E. Field 29 

By Mrs. Climenson 35 

By Lady Verney 45 

By the Rev. A. J. FOSTER 62 

By Mrs. ClimensoN- 77 

By the Rev. W. H. SUMMERS 90 

By H. H. Harcourt-Smith 99 
By the Rev. P. H. DiTCH- 



FIELD 




IIO 


)> T5 


)) 


116 


By the Rev. 


Randolph 




PiGOTT 




128 


5) 5' 


'1 


131 


i^ T} 


1) 


133 


By the Rev. W. 


H. Summers 


'36 


»» )5 


n 


144 


By the Rev. P. 


. H. DlTCH- 




FIELD 




151 



By the Rev. F. St. John 
Thackeray 



By Miss M. E. B. Burrowes 
By the Rev. A. J. FOSTER 



156 

i5o 
164 

174 



List of Illustrations. 

Page. 

The Market Place, Aylesbury Frontispiece. 

(From pJioto^ciph by S, G, Payne^ Aylesbury.) 

Medmenham Abbey (^From photograph by Walton Adams. Reading) I 8 

Burnham Abbey, 1. „ „ ,, „ 29 

Burnham Abbey, 11. „ ,, „ „ 32 

Claydon House (From photograph byS. G.Payne, Aylesbury) 45 

StOWe House ( From photograph by L.Varney, Buckingham) 65 

The Market Hall, Aniersham 92 

[From photograph by Rock Bros., Limited^ 

Hampden House (From photographby S.G.Payne, Aylesbury) lOI 

Cowper's House, QXxi^y (From photograph by Walton Adains, Reading) Il6 

Cowper's Summer Parlour „ „ „ ,,119 

Stoke Poges, the Church of Gray's Elegy 125 

(From pliotograph by 11 'alton Adams, Reading.) 

Boarstall Tower (Frmnpliotographby S.G. Payne, Aylesbury) 1 33 

Milton's Cottage, Chalfont St. Giles 140 

{From photograph by Victor White &^ Co., Reading.) 

Quaker Meeting House, Jordans 148 

(From photograph by Victor White tV Co., Reading.') 

Hartwell House (^From photograph by S. G. Payne, Aylesbury') I 5 I 

Staircase at Hartwell House „ „ „ „ 154 

Eton College Library {Fro>n photograph by Spottis'Moode&'Co., Eton) I 59 

Old Bobbin Winder 165 

Old Lacemaker 166 

Bucks Lace 169 

Bucks and Mechlin Patterns 170 

Bucks Lace 171 

Chequers 1 74 

Facsimile of Letter of Lady Mary Grey 179 



a B J 



HISTORIC BUCKS. 
By THE Editor. 

ERIVATIONS are often deceptive, and Camden's 
theory that the name of the county is derived 
from the Saxon Boc, Buckeit, Boccen, or Buccen, 
signifying beech-trees, is certainly doubtful. 
Spelman's conjecture that Buccen has reference to the 
bucks, or deer, is equally open to objection ; and Lyson's 
idea that the name is derived from Boc or Bock, signifying 
book or charter, and that " Bucking " means Charter- 
meadow, and " ham " a home or mansion, is quite untenable. 
The syllable ing is certainly a patronymic ; Bock, or Buck, 
was evidently the name of some Saxon chieftain, who, 
with his children, freedmen and neighbours, formed a clan 
and settled at Buckingham, which thus became " the home- 
stead of the family of Bock," and from which ultimately 
the shire took its name.* 

But many things had happened in this part of England 
before Bock came with his Saxon followers. In British 
times it was occupied by the powerful tribe of the 
Catyeuchlani, or Cattuellani, whose neighbours, the Dobuni, 
in Oxfordshire, they had brought under subjection. Their 
territory included, besides Buckinghamshire, the shires of 
Bedford, Hertford, and Huntingdon. One of their chief 
towns was Urolanium, or Verulam, near St. Albans, and 
Cassivallaunus, who so bravely withstood the Roman 



* A tribe called the Bucinobantes, or Bucci, dwelt on the Rhine. They 
probably landed near Yarmouth, where there is a place called Buckenham. 
Thence they travelled inland, and eventually found their resting-place in the 
county which now bears their name. 



2 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

legions, was probably their chieftain. Roman writers 
themselves bear witness to the skill and daring of this 
great leader, who formed plans of operations, contrived 
stratagems and surprises which would have done honour 
to the greatest captains of Greece and Rome. At length, 
deserted by his neighbouring chiefs, defeated at his strong- 
hold of Urolanium, he was forced to make terms with the 
conqueror Caesar, who not very reluctantly withdrew with 
his army to Gaul. Legendary history relates that the great 
battle between the Britons, led by the two sons of- 
Kymbeline, and the Romans under Claudius, was fought 
on the Chilterns at Great Kimble, when Guiderius, the 
elder of the brothers, was slain. Geoffrey of Monmouth 
has much to say concerning this battle, but as his account 
is mythical, we need not stay to consider it. The British 
camp, called Kimble, or Kunobeline's Castle, remains near 
Ellesborough, and Fancy may people it with kings and 
courtiers surrounded with the splendour of " barbaric pearl 
and gold," and associate it with the joys and sorrows of " 
the fair Imogen. There is also a British camp at Choles- 
bury, and also at West Wycombe, Hawridge, Burnham, 
and other places. Hundreds of coins of Cunobeline or 
Cymbeline were found at Whaddon Chase. 

The most important of the British remains in the county 
is Grim's Dike, which consists of a rampart of earth and a 
ditch, and extends from Verulam (St. Albans), in Hert- 
fordshire, crossing part of the Chiltern Hills, entering 
Bucks near Aston Clinton, crossing the Iknield-way, near 
Wendover, until it enters Berks near Cookham. This 
vast earthwork was probably made by the Celts as a great 
tribal boundary, possibly as a defence against the Belgs. 
It is mentioned in the records of Ashridge monastery {temp. 
Henry III.), in the description of a road which is said to 
pass ad quoddam fossatum quod dicitur Grimes-dick. 
The name was given to it by the Saxons, who, on behold- 
ing this stupendous earthwork, attributed its construction 
to the agency of the Devil or Grim. The Port-way, near 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 3 

Stone, and proceeding to Aylesbury and Thame, is an old 
British road, and alsc the famous Iknield Street, or road 
of the Iceni, which extends from the Norfolk coast to 
Cornwall, passing through Bucks, through Edlesborough, 
Tring, Drayton-Beauchamp, Wendover, Great Kimble, 
Culverton, and enters Oxfordshire near Chinnor. Along 
this road doubtless travelled the brave Queen of the Iceni, 
Boadicea, and her warriors, to attack the Romans, and 
avenge her nation's wrongs. Akeman Street also went 
through the county, passing through Stony Stratford and 
Buckingharii, and thence to Newport and Bedford. Watling 
Street is still preserved in the road from Brickhill to Stony 
Stratford. 

Roman remains are very plentiful in the county, and 
mark well the footsteps of the conquerors. They included 
the county in the province of Flavia Caesariensis. There 
was a Roman camp at Stony Stratford, on the Watling 
Street, and an urn filled with the coins of Carausius and 
Alectus was dug up at Steeple Claydon. At High 
Wycombe a beautifully tesselated pavement was found, 
which was about four feet square, having the figure of a 
wild beast in the centre, with borders curiously ornamented. 
Coins of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius have also 
been discovered there, and also at Turville, with pottery 
and many other relics. Fenny Stratford, the ancient 
Magiovintum, was the only Roman station, and lies on the 
road which extended from Verulam (St. Albans) to 
Lactodorum (Towcester). Here many coins, buildings, 
and other Roman relics, have been discovered. There was 
also a Roman camp at Brill, and along the course of the 
Roman road spear heads and other traces of the conquerors 
have been found. In fact, evidences of the Roman occupa- 
tion are to be found everywhere — Mentmore, Kimble, 
Ashendon, Snelshall, Ellesborough, Aston Clinton, Monks 
Risborough, Princes Risborough, Whaddon, Wing, and 
numerous other places — evidently showing that the 
Romans appreciated the beauties of the Vale of Aylesbury, 



4 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

and loved to plant their villas replete with the treasures of 
art and luxury. 

Of the coming of the Saxons we have many evidences. 
The West Saxons, imder Cerdic and Cynric, landed on the 
coast of Hampshire in 495, and marched inland, pillaging 
and ravaging as they went. Their progress was checked 
at Mount Badon by the Britons. For thirty years the tide 
of conquest was stayed ; then Cynric advanced his warriors 
and carried all before him. The vales of Berkshire and 
Surrey were overrun. Perhaps it was at Chearsley that 
Cynric fought against the Britons of Bucks and overcame 
them, slaying both small and great, leaving not a single 
soul alive, as Ethelwerd wrote in his chronicle. However, 
it was not till 571 that the West Saxons, under King 
Cuthwulf, made themselves masters of the districts which 
now form Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, crushing the 
League of the Four Towns, Eynsham, Bensington, Ayles- 
bury, and Lenborough, and including them in the kingdom 
of Wessex. They established themselves in the conquered 
country, planting their settlements, cultivating their fields, 
calling their lands after their own names. Nearly all the 
names of the towns and villages are Saxon. 

But the West Saxons had other enemies besides the 
Britons. There was the great Mercian kingdom^ which 
bounded Wessex on the north, and Oxfordshire and Bucks 
often changed possessors. Penda, King of Mercia, often 
fought with Kynegil, King of Wessex, until at length they 
grew weary of fighting and made peace. Then came 
St. Berinus bringing the message of peace to the savage 
Saxons, baptized Kynegil at Dorchester, where he fixed 
his episcopal See, and extended his pastoral care to the 
region of Bucks and Mercia. Buckinghamshire has its 
saints. There was St. Rumbald, son of the King of 
Northumbria by a daughter of Penda, born at King's 
Sutton, Oxfordshire, who lived only three days, yet 
preached to the people at Brackley, and was finally buried 
at Buckingham, where a shrine was erected, to which great 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 5 

resort was made by pilgrims. There was also St. Osyth, 
who, according to Wynkyn de Worde, was born at 
Quarrendon, being the daughter of Frithwald, the first 
Christian king of the East Angles, and of Wilburga, his 
wife, who was the daughter of the Pagan Penda, King of 
Mercia. She was entrusted to the care of St. Modwen, 
at Polesworth. One day she was sent by her aunt St. 
Eaditha with a book to St. Modwen, and fell into the river, 
and was drowned. After being in the water three days, 
the legend states that she was restored to life by the 
prayers of .St. Modwen. St. Osyth was betrothed to 
Sighere, King of Wessex, and on the day of her marriage 
took the veil, lived a life of sanctity, and became Abbess 
of Chich, in Essex. Two Danish pirates, Inguar and 
Hubba, cut off her head, and she was buried at Aylesbury. 
Prayers for deliverance from danger were often addressed 
to her, and she was commonly known as St. Sythe. 
Quarrendon also gave birth to two other saints — the aunts 
of St. Osyth, St. Eaditha, Abbess of Polesworth, and St. 
Edburg, who gave her name to Adderbury and EUes- 
borough. They were both buried at Aylesbury, the 
.£gilsbury of the Saxons, which derives its name from 
" Eglwys " — signifying a church. 

King Offa of Mercia had a palace at Winslow, and 
held his court there. Moved by devotion to Almighty God, 
he determined to found a monastery, and directed by 
heavenly guidance, he gave his royal manor of Winslow to 
his newly founded abbey of St. Albans. 

It is unnecessary to record how the strife went on 
between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex, and how 
often the district changed hands, until at length Egbert, 
the West Saxon king, established his rule over the whole 
country. But peace did not last long. The Danes began 
to harass the district with many invasions. The great 
Whiteleaf cross and the cross at Bledlow bear witness to 
the fights when Edward the Elder defeated the ravaging 
Danes at the battle of the bloody hill, and cut out the 



6 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

crosses on the chalk hill to commemorate his victories. 
He built also two forts in the year 9I8, at Buckingham, on 
each side of the river, to repel the Danish incursions, and, 
moreover, dictated his own terms of peace to the Danish 
chieftain, Turketil. But they soon returned to the attack, 
and ravaged Buckingham, plundered the villages, 
drove away the cattle, and killed many inhabitants between 
Aylesbury and Bernwood forest. Again, in 941, they 
came, and in 10 10, when, having plundered the adjacent 
country, they retreated thither to secure their stores of 
treasure. Three years later, Sweyn marched along Wat- 
ling Street, and allowed his soldiers to plunder the country, 
burn the villages, deface the churches, and ill-use and slay 
the people. Peace was at length concluded at Oxford 
between the two nations, and the land had rest, Bucks 
being included in the Danelagh, or Danish district. The 
county, has several evidences of their residence in the 
Danish camps which abound. 

Edward the Confessor built a noted palace for himself 
at Brill, where he used frequently to retire to enjoy the 
pleasure of hunting in Bernwood Forest. The fame of the 
" miracle-worker " was greatly increased by his restoring 
the sight of one Wulwyn, surnamed Spillicorn, who had 
been blind seventeen years, and whose eyes were opened 
by the royal touch. He became keeper of the king's 
houses. The forest wherein he used to hunt was infested 
by a wild boar, which was at last slain by a huntsman 
named Nigel, whom the king rewarded for his service with 
a grant of some lands to be held by horn-tenure. On this 
land Nigel built a large manor-house, called Bore-stall, in 
memory of the event through which he obtained possession. 
The horn is still in existence, and is of a dark brown colour, 
the ends being tipped with silver, and fitted with wreaths 
of leather to hang round the neck. 

Edith, the queen of Edward the Confessor, held the 
manor of High Wycombe, which was famous for two 
miracles wrought by St. Wulstan, and recorded by William 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 7 

of Malmesbury. By virtue of his sanctity a ruinous 
house refused to fall until the saint, with his horses and 
baggage, had removed from the perilous building. Six 
years later, he healed, by means of a piece of gold pierced 
with the head of the Holy Lance, a poor maidservant 
who was afflicted with a horrible disease, which caused her 
head to swell and her tongue to be enlarged to the size of 
that of an ox. Ulfric, the holy Anchorite, lived at Ayles- 
bury in a cell near the church, and was renowned for his 
piety, devotion, and extreme abstinence. He was buried 
in his oratory at Aylesbury, " in which place, to the praise 
of God and glory of the saint, innumerable miracles are 
performed to this day," as Matthew Paris declared in 1250. 
The coming of the Normans was sorely felt by the Saxon 
thanes of Bucks, and very few retained their ancestral 
homes. Wigod, the lord of Wallingford, whose daughter 
was married to Robert d'Oily, was one of them, but Odo 
Bishop of Bayeux, Geoffrey Bishop of Constance, Milo 
Crispin, Walter Giffard, William FitzAnsculf, Geoffrey de 
Mandeville, and many others, received grants of the fair 
lands of the conquered, who were reduced to the position 
of tenants or banished from their homes. Aylesbury was 
a royal manor, and the king gave certain grants of land 
on the condition that the owners should provide litter for 
the king's bed whenever he should come thither. The 
Palace of Edward the Confessor at Brill was used by his 
Norman successors. Henry II. kept his court here in 1 160, 
when Thomas a Becket attended him as Chancellor, and 
witnessed the granting of a charter of free warren to 
Robert Bishop of Lincoln, of lands in Banbury. King 
John kept Christmas here in 1205. He spent a less 
pleasant time in the county on the little island opposite 
Runnymede, called Magna Charta Island, where he was 
forced to sign the charter of English freedom. The spot, 
so famous in history, is in the parish of Wraysbury, and 
is now connected with the Bucks bank of the Thames. 
During the Norman period many fine churches and 



8 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

monasteries were founded. The noble churches of 
Stewkley, Upton, Wing, Dinton, Hughenden, and Water 
Stratford, all contain Norman work. Of the monasteries, 
Notley was the most important. It was founded about 
the year 1162, by Walter Giffard, second Earl of Buck- 
ingham, for monks of a reformed branch of the Augustine 
order established at Arras. The abbey was richly endowed 
by many benefactors, and Osbert was the first abbot. The 
last was Richard Ridge, who, in 1537, subscribed to the 
king's supremacy, and surrendered his abbey to Henry 
VIIL, receiving a pension of £100 per annum. Med- 
menham Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 
1200; John Talbot was the last abbot, in 1536, when it 
was annexed to Bisham. It was subordinate to the greater 
abbey of Woburn. In 1265, Richard, King of the Romans, 
founded an abbey of Benedictine nuns at Burnham. Alice 
Baldwin, the last abbess, yielded her house to the king, 
and, together with the nuns, was recommended to the 
king's favour on account of her readiness to yield to his 
measures. Bradwell Priory was founded by Manfelin, lord 
of Wolverton, in 1155, as a Benedictine Priory. It was 
dissolved by Papal Bull in 1526, and bestowed upon 
Cardinal Wolsey, and assigned by him for the endowment 
of his new college at Oxford. Another Augustinian 
Priory was founded at Missenden by the D'Oyleys, and 
richly endowed by the Missenden family in consequence of 
a vow made upon escaping shipwreck. It shared the fate 
of the other houses, and the abbot was conformable and 
received a pension. At Chetwode there was a small house, 
which was subsequently united with Notley ; at Anker- 
wycke, a small Benedictine nunnery founded in the time of 
Henry II. ; and at Bitlesden a Cistercian abbey founded in 
1 147. 

The college of Bonhommes at Ashridge was founded in 
the reign of Henry III, by his brother, Richard, Earl of 
Cornwall, and king of the Romans, who brought back from 
Germany a portion of the supposed bjood of our Blessed 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. g 

Saviour, and thus caused his foundation to be held in great 
reverence. There was great resort of pilgrims to Ash- 
ridge, to the great advantage of the brethren. Luf&eld 
Priory has entirely disappeared. It was founded by 
charter of Henry I., and suppressed by Pope Alexander VI. 
in 1 49 1, being annexed to Westminster. _A nunnery 
existed at Ivanhoe, founded by Bishop Giffard in 1 1 29, 
and also at Little Marlow. A Priory of the Order of 
Canons Regular of St. Augustine existed at Ravenstone, 
founded by Henry III., which was given up to Cardinal 
Wolsey. I^avendon possessed an Abbey of Premonstra- 
tensian monks, founded by John de Bidun in the reign 
of Henry II., and Tickford, near Newport Pagnell, had a 
Priory of Cluniac monks, or Black Canons, founded by 
Fulk Paganell in the reign of William Rufus. This house 
had a varied history, but shared the fate of the lesser 
monasteries in 1525. Snelshall had a Benedictine Priory; 
Newton Longueville a Cluniac House., The Grey Friars 
were established at Aylesbury, and the Knight Hospitallers 
at Hogshaw. The monastic houses at North Crawley and 
Gore were destroyed at an early date. There were 
hospitals established at Ludgershall, Buckingham, Ayles- 
bury, High Wycombe, Stony Stratford, and Newport 
Pagnell. This is believed to be a complete list of all the 
monastic institutions in the county. 

The castles built by the Norman lords to overawe their 
English subjects do not seem to have been very numerous, 
and have almost entirely disappeared. There was a castle 
at Buckingham built by Walter Giffard, the first Norman 
Earl of Buckingham, who also held the castle of Long 
Crendon. " Castle-mead," at Newport Pagnell, is the only 
relic of the old castle built in the time of Henry I., of 
which the remains were destroyed in the time of the Civil 
War. It was the residence of John de Somerie, who 
married the last of the Paganells. At Whitchurch formerly 
stood Bolebec Castle, the ancient house of the family of 
that name,, which has also entirely vanished. Hanslope 



lo Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Castle, at Castlethorpe, was a strong fortress belonging to 
the Maudiuts, which was held for some time against King 
John. Fawkes de Breaute, the king's favourite general, 
at length captured the castle and demolished it. There 
was also a castle at Lavendon, which existed in 1232, for 
there is a record in the Registry of the Bishop of Lincoln 
of the obligation of the Abbot of Lavendon to supply a 
chaplain to officiate in the Chapel of St. Mary, in Lavendon 
Castle. 

During the period of the miserable misrule of Henry III., 
and the ascendancy of the royal foreign favourites, there 
was much confusion and many contentions. Court retainers 
and foreign soldiers pillaged our English lands, and Bucks 
was not spared. One Richard Sward and other foreigners 
laid waste the lands of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, at Brill, 
and burnt the houses. 

An early Parliament was held by Edward I. in the 
county in the year 1291, being assembled at the college of 
Bonhommes, at Ashridge, in which were great debates 
respecting the origin and use of fines and their necessity. 
The Same king kept Christmas here in 1290, and remained 
five weeks, grieving greatly the good people of Dunstable, 
who were compelled to provide provisions for the monarch 
and his court. The mournful procession which accom- 
panied the body of his beloved queen, Eleanor, to West- 
minster rested at Stony Stratford, and there was erected 
one of the beautiful Eleanor crosses, which fell a victim to 
Puritan iconoclasm in 1646. Tradition associates the name 
of Princes Risborough with that of Edward, the Black 
Prince, who is said to have had a palace there, but of this 
I can find no trustworthy evidence. He had, however, a 
neighbour at Hampden, whose descendant, John, in the 
days of Charles I., was evidently cast in the same mould, 
and revered not kings nor princes. Of him it was said : — 

" Tring, Wing, and Ivinghoe, 
Three churches all in a row, 
These manors Hampden did forego, 
For striking the Black Prince a blow, 
And glad he did escape so." 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. ii 

Chenies was also a Royal Palace in the reign of 
Edward I. 

We have noticed that Buckinghamshire formed part of 
the large diocese of Lincoln, extending from the Thames 
to the Humber, and the bishops of that See had numerous 
palaces in the vast area over which they ruled. One of 
these episcopal palaces was at Fingest, where a noted 
bishop, Henry de Burghersh, Chancellor of England, who 
lived in the middle of the fourteenth century, used to 
come ; and seeking to enlarge his park encroached upon 
the village common. After his death this deed sorely 
troubled the bishop's rest, and caused his ghost to walk, 
until at length the cause of his trouble was explained to 
the canons of Lincoln, who restored the common to the 
Fingest villagers. There was another episcopal palace at 
Wooburn, which contained an uncomfortable chamber 
called Little-Ease, for the imprisonment of heretics. Foxe, 
in his " Book of Martyrs," states that in this room Thomas 
Chase, of Amersham, was barbarously butchered by 
strangling, in 1506, and was afterwards buried in Norland 
Wood, between Wooburn and Little Marlow. 

Lollardism found a congenial soil in the county, 
and was doubtless strengthened at its commencement 
by the presence of John Wycliffe, the great Pre-Reforma- 
tion reformer, who was Vicar of Ludgershall. Several 
Lollards suffered death at Amersham, the Smithfield of 
Bucks, in the year 141 3. 

The great educational movement and desire for learn- 
ing which became manifest in the fifteenth century 
influenced Buckinghamshire, and caused the foundation 
of Eton. Fuller wrote : — " It was high time some school 
should be founded, considering how low grammar-learning 
then ran in the land." Its royal founder was Henry VI., 
but William of Waynflete, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, 
was the true originator of the great college, of which he 
was the first headmaster. He based the statutes on those 
of Winchester, which formerly he ruled. The old buildings 



12 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

were begun in 1441, and finished in 1523, the tower and 
gateway being built by Provost Lupton, who lies buried 
in the chapel in a small chantry. His rebus, " Lup," over 
a tun, appears over the door. Much of English history is 
connected with Eton, where many of our most illustrious 
men laid the foundations of their great career, but of these 
and of the many distinguished provosts, not unknown to 
history, we cannot now speak particularly. 

When the royal founder of Eton was being conducted 
to the tower, his youthful successor, Edward IV., was 
smitten with the charms of Dame Elizabeth Woodville, 
or Grey, the widow of a slain Lancastrian. Tradition 
states that the lovers first met near Stony Stratford, 
where the " Queen's Oak " still stands. There also the 
avowed enemy of the Woodvilles, Richard, Duke of 
Gloucester, seized the young King Edward V. and his 
brother, with several of his supporters, and conveyed them 
to the Tower. 

During the troublous times of the Reformation there 
were several martyrdoms in Bucks, and Amersham was the 
great centre of the reformers. One William Tylesworth 
was burnt there in 1506, and a few years later John 
Scrivener suffered a like fate. A peculiar barbarity was 
added to these proceedings by the compulsion of the chil- 
dren of the sufferers to light the fire. Perhaps the cruelty 
of these proceedings was the cause of that deep-seated 
Puritanism which characterised the Bucks people, and 
made the county the stronghold of the anti-royalist party 
in the great struggle of the following century. 

As we have seen, all the monastic houses were plundered 
and destroyed during the time of the Great Pillage, and 
the monks and nuns turned adrift. We find Dr. London, 
the iniquitous agent of the king, very busy in these parts, 
suppressing monasteries, turning out the poor dwellers, 
and collecting a vast store of relics, silver and gold vessels 
and ornaments and other valuables. He writes from 
Reading, in 1538:— "I have occasion for my colledg 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 13 

besynes to go by Aylisbery and Bedford thys next week, 
and as I suppose by Northampton. In all thees places be 
howsys of ff ryers. If it be my lordes pleasur I will dispache 
them quyckly, ffor seying they wold fayne be abrode yt 
were pytie to stay them. And in dyvers of thees howsys 
moche ydolytrie have been usyd, and the people sore 
abuysd." It must have been a " sight gude for sore eyne " 
for the dispossessed and persecuted monks to have seen Dr. 
London, in the hour of his disgrace, riding on an ass, facing 
its tail, with his feet tied beneath the animal, the object of 
derision and ill-usage all the way from Oxford to Reading. 

We find John Knox preaching in the Amersham pulpit 
on the eve of the return of the Papal power, " warning the 
faithful in England against the approaching retribution 
for the giddy ways of the past years." At this time the 
Princess Elizabeth was residing at Ashridge, in the deserted 
college of the Bonhommes, and here she was seized and con- 
veyed to the Tower, on account of her supposed connection 
with the conspiracy of .Sir Thomas Wyatt. She pleaded 
illness, and declared that she could not leave her bed ; but 
the soldiers were relentless, and carried her off in a litter. 
When she came to the throne she frequently came to 
Bucks during her royal progress, and stayed at Whaddon, 
Wooburn and Quarrendon. 

Quarrendon was the scene of many knightly tourna- 
ments. Sir Henry Lee, the lord of that place, during the 
queen's first visit, held a tournament on the anniversary of 
her accession, and on appearing in the lists made a vow of 
chivalry that he would maintain the honour, beauty, and 
worth of his royal mistress against all comers every year. 
Following his example, a society of Knights-Tilters was 
formed, and held a tournament every year, with much pomp 
and rejoicing. When Sir Henry Lee could no longer fill 
with dignity the office of queen's champion, on account of 
the infirmities of age, he resigned his post with much 
courtly ceremonial to the Earl of Cumberland, in the tilt- 
yard at Quarrendon, while choirs sang verses, and vestal 



14 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

virgins handed gifts to the queen, and the old days of 
chivalry seemed to have returned. 

One of the victims of Elizabeth's jealousy was her cousin, 
Lady Mary Grey, who was imprisoned for a long period at 
Chequers Court for venturing to marry Thomas Keys. 

The Gunpowder Plot is connected with the county by 
the person of Sir Everard Digby, who owned the manor 
of Gayhurst. He would certainly have forfeited his pro- 
perty to the Crown, had he not, with great precaution, 
settled his estates on his infant son, afterwards Sir Kenelm 
Digby, who was famous for his fight against the Venetians, 
and his philosophical writings. At Gayhurst Sir Everaxd 
frequently entertained Guy Fawkes and the leaders of the 
conspiracy, who used to assemble in the attic, where was 
an oratory, and devise their plots. Sir Everard, though not 
an actual actor in the conspiracy, contributed largely to the 
expenses, and was taken in open rebeUion, and hung, 
drawn, and quartered in 1606. 

Buckinghamshire played a distinguished part in the 
Parliamentary wars, and was consistent in its opposition 
to the Royalists. The first notes of the coming strife were 
sounded by a Bucks squire, John Hampden, who resisted 
so stoutly the payment of ship-money. So popular was he 
amongst the farmers and gentry, that when it was proposed 
to arrest him they organised a demonstration before the 
king at Hampton Court, and vowed to protect him. When 
hostilities commenced he was the first to organise the 
militia. But a bullet at Chalgrove Field ended his career, 
and deprived the Parliamentarians of one of their ablest 
supporters. 

The history of the Civil War in Bucks tells us of a few 
great fights. It was one of the first counties to form an 
association for mutual defence on the side of the Par- 
liament. The king had a garrison at Brill, which Hampden 
attacked in vain in 1642. Aylesbury was the chief garrison 
of the Parliament, and Oxford the headquarters of the 
king; early in 1643 the Royalists agreed not to come 



Mejiorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 15 

nearer to Aylesbury than Brill, while the Parliamentarians 
promised not to approach Oxford nearer than Aylesbury. 
Newport Pagnell was garrisoned for the king, but when 
threatened by Essex, Sir Lewis Dyve abandoned the 
town. Brill was also deserted by the King's troops. 
Prince Rupert endeavoured to stem the tide of 
reverses by attacking High Wycombe, but without avail, 
and Aylesbury continued to be the rendezvous of the army 
of the Parliament, where Essex took up his quarters for 
some time, and was engaged in watching the king at 
Oxford. In 1644, the tide of battle flowed in favour of the 
king's foes, and Marston Moor was the death-blow of the 
Royalists in the north. In Bucks, however, the king 
enjoyed a series of brilliant and unexpected successes. 
He defeated Waller at Cropredy Bridge, fixed his quarters 
at Buckingham, and Boarstall House was garrisoned for 
the king, and though evacuated and taken by the Parlia- 
mentary army, was gallantly re-captured by Colonel Gage, 
Greenland House also endured a severe siege, and 
ultimately surrendered to General Browne. The bravery 
of some of the Royalists was remarkable ; and the gallant 
defence of Boarstall House, like that of Donnington Castle, 
in Berks, and of Basing House, is one of the brightest 
incidents in the Civil War. For two years the faithful 
garrison held on, besieged by Skippon and Fairfax and 
all the forces of the Parliament ; though fighting for a 
falling cause, dispirited by the news of Naseby and other 
reverses, they defended their shot-ridden walls, and only 
when their king had yielded himself to his foes did they 
surrender, having earned the respect of friends and foes 
alike. The fall of Boarstall was the end of the struggle in 
Buckinghamshire. 

The county continued to follow the fortunes of the Par- 
liament, and was wonderfully " kept in awe " (as a Royalist 
rector observed) by the presence of Roundhead leaders 
and their relations, and " became exceedingly zealous and 
very fanatical." One gallant Bucks Royalist, Sir Edmund 



1 6 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Verney of Claydon, standard-bearer of Charles I., had 
laid down his life for his sovereign at Edgehill, " and 
almost in sight of his home and all he cared for, this good, 
brave man passed away, while his body was buried among 
the host of unnamed dead who had spilt their blood 
fruitlessly in that dismal quarrel." 

Before his flight to the continent Charles II. found 
a refuge at Latimer House, where he was entertained by 
the Countess of Devonshire. Most of the gentry of 
Buckinghamshire, being of Parliamentary tendencies, 
securely kept their seats during the Commonwealth period, 
and very few were dispossessed at the Restoration. Some 
of the regicides retired here to end their days, amongst 
whom may be mentioned Thomas Scott, at one time 
member for Aylesbury ; Simon Mayne, of Dinton ; and 
a curious creature named Bigg, whom popular tradition 
declared to have been the actual executioner of Charles I. 
Buckinghamshire must have contained a very large num- 
ber of regicides, as at least thirty of the men who were 
concerned with the king's trial and death were connected 
with families belonging to the county. 

John Hampden, the grandson of the patriot, was one 
of the conspirators connected with the Rye House Plot, 
and narrowly escaped the fate of Lord William Russell 
and Algernon Sydney. He was tried by Judge Jeffreys, 
found guilty, kept a long time in prison, and fined ;^40,000. 
After his liberation he joined the rebellion of the Duke 
of Monmouth, was tried for treason, but on pleading guilty 
was pardoned. He promoted the accession of William III. 
to the English throne, but ultimately became melancholy 
mad, and committed suicide in 1696. 

In more recent times Hartwell became famous as the 
residence of the exiled Louis XVIII., who, with his queen 
and court, there found a refuge from his turbulent subjects. 
There his queen died. Many of the beech trees ih the 
grounds still bear traces of French mottoes carved in 
their bark by the royal exiles, and the house contains many 
mementos of their sojourn. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 17 

The stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds is associated 
with many events in the history of our Parhamentary 
annals, in connection with the retirement of members. 
The duties of the office originally were to protect travellers 
and inhabitants of the district from the lawless bands of 
robbers who roamed the wild hUls. Though the thieves 
have gone the office remains, and is bestowed upon 
members of Parliament who wish to resign their seats, 
which they can only do by the occupation of some Crown 
office. The Chilterns are, therefore, associated with the 
closing scenes of many an honourable career. 

No other events of historical interest have taken place 
on Bucks soil ; but the county has been remarkable on 
account of the very large number of literary men, dis- 
tinguished statesmen, poets, and men of letters, who have 
made it their home, sojourned in its beautiful country 
seats, and made them famous by their writings. In 
another chapter on " Literary Bucks," many of these 
illustrious names will be noted, and we will not repeat 
them now. Few counties can rival Buckinghamshire in 
literary pre-eminence. Statesmen like Edmund Burke 
and Lord Beaconsfield have loved to live in its secluded 
vales, and make their homes in this delightful county. 
Bucks can boast of no great towns, no thriving centres of 
industry and enterprise. But it has been connected, as 
we have seen, with many of the chief events in English 
history ; it can boast of many noble and illustrious families; 
some few of whom have retained their seats since the 
Norman Conquest, through all the vicissitudes which time 
has caused ; and in the spheres of literature and states- 
manship Buckinghamshire may ever be proud of its many 
great and distinguished sons. 



MEDMENHAM ABBEY. 
By Mrs. Emily J. Climenson. 




N the Buckinghamshire bank of the river Thames, 
some four and a half miles from Henley-on- 
Thames, stands the remains of the Cistercian 
Abbey called Medmenham, alike famous for its 
reminiscences of a pious foundation, dated from a very 
early period,, and infamous from the more recent pranks 
of the sham monks of St. Francis, alias the " Hell Fire 
Club," v/ho travestied the life and habit of their pious 
predecessors. 

The first information we gain of Medmenham 
is this : Hugh de Bolebec, son of Osberne de Bolebec, 
and near relation of William the Conqueror, accompanied 
that monarch on his invasion of England ; amongst the 
many manors bestowed on him by the Conqueror was 
Medmenham ; here, on a height commanding magnificent 
views of the river and surrounding country, De Bolebec 
built a castle, which, judging from the remaining earth- 
works and their large circumference, must have been a 
mighty stronghold. The remains of the earthworks can 
be traced in the wood that hangs over the present high 
road to Marlow, on the left-hand side, between the high 
road and States Farm, and must not be confounded with 
the ancient camp and horse-shoe fosses of the Danes in 
Danesfield hard by. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 19 

The account of Medmenham in Domesday translated is 
as follows: — "Hugh de Eolebec holds Medmenham, and 
is taxed for ten hides. There is ten carrucates ; in demesne 
four hides ; and there are two plough lands, and ten 
villeins, with eight copyholders having eight ploughs. There 
are four servants, a fishery of 1,000 eels, pasture for all 
the plough teams, wood for 50 hogs. For all dues it 
is worth a hundred shillings ; in the reign of the Confessor 
eight pounds. Westan, a thane of that monarch, held this 
manor, and could sell it to whom he pleased. The same 
Hugh holds Broch for one hide. There is one plough 
land, for which there is a plough with a villein, and two 
copyholders. It was always worth 10 shillings. Odo, 
a tenant of Brietric's, held this land, and could sell it." 
Altogether Hugh de Bolebec owned thirteen lordships. 
He had two sons, Hugh and Walter. Hugh de Bolebec 
the second founded the Abbey of Woburn, in Bedford- 
shire, for Cistercian monks, A.D. 1145. He gave Med- 
menham to be a cell to that abbey, but as Medmenham 
Abbey was not finally built till January the 3rd, 1200, 
in the second year of King John, and after Hugh's death, 
it has probably given rise to the erroneous opinion that 
Walter, his brother and successor, had been the original 
donor. In a MS. in the Ashmolean collection, Hugh de 
Bolebec is mentioned as being present at and attesting 
the endowment of Notley Abbey, Oxon, the gift of his 
relations, Walter Giffard and his wife, Ermingard, Earl 
and Countess of Buckingham, in A.D. 1164, and he 
probably died soon after. He was much beloved and 
venerated, we are told, by the religious orders. His brother 
Walter appears to have been an equal benefactor to the 
Church, and piously carried out his brother's wishes in 
building the abbey at Medmenham ; he also founded an 
abbey for the Premonstratensian order at Blanch Landa 
(alias Blanchlands), Northumberland, dedicated to Saint 
Mary. He had no son, but a daughter, who married 
Robert de Vere, afterwards Earl of Oxford. 



20 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

The Abbey of Medmenham was dedicated to St. Mary. 
The Cistercian order took their name trom Citeaux, a 
village in the Diocese of Chalons, founded by Robert, 
abbot of Molesme, in Burgundy, where he endeavoured 
to revive the decaying discipline of the rule of Saint 
Benedict. St. Bernard, visiting Citeaux with some thirty 
companions, enrolled themselves as monks of the order, 
and supported the strict discipline enjoined by Robert ; 
the order grew and flourished, and by the end of the 
twelfth century it was propagated throughout Europe. 
In France and Germany they were frequently called 
Bernardines, from the fact of Saint Bernard being con- 
sidered their second founder. Their rule, described by 
Steevens in his " History of the Monasteries," was very 
strict ; " they neither wear skins nor shirts, nor ever eat 
fish nor eggs, nor milk, nor cheese, but only upon extra- 
ordinary occasions, and when given to them in charity. 
Their lay brothers, who live in the country round about 
the abbey, drink no wine. All the brothers, both lay 
and ecclesiastical, lie only on straw beds, in their tunics 
and cowls ; they rise at midnight, and spend the rest of 
the night, till break of day, in singing God's praises ; and 
having sung Prime and Mass, and confessed their faults 
to the chapter, they spend the rest of the day in labour, 
reading, or prayer, without ever giving way to sloth or 
idleness, and in all those exercises they maintain strict 
and continual silence, excepting during the hour which is 
allowed them for spiritual conference. Their fasts are 
continual, from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy 
Cross till Easter ; and they exercise hospitality towards 
' the poor with extraordinary charity.' " The rule of eating 
no fish must in time have been relaxed, as at Bindon 
Abbey (Dorset), a Cistercian foundation, are a number of 
well-preserved fish ponds and stews in the precincts ; and 
at Medmenham there exists a chain of ponds, now much 
filled with watercress, adjoining the high road, which doubt- 
less were originally the monks' reservoirs for fish ; but 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 21 

as, before inns were established, it was the custom for the 
nobles and their retinue to stay at the monasteries when 
travelling, perhaps the fish was applied to the relief of 
their appetites, instead of that of the poor monks! The 
habit of the Cistercians was a white or grey frock or 
cassock, and when beyond the walls of the monastery 
a black cloak was worn over it. Very picturesque must 
the white habits of the monks have appeared amongst the 
green trees and by the blue river water. As the abbey was a 
cell attached to Woburn and subordinate to its govern- 
ment, the list of abbots is very imperfect ; these, however, 
are known : — 
Roger, in 1256 ; 
Peter, September nth, 1295 ; 
John de Medmenham, 1308 ; 
After a long gap, 

Richard, 1521 ; John Talbot, last abbot, 1536; 
when the abbey, being much reduced in funds, besought 
to be annexed to Bisham Abbey, on the other side 
of the river, in Berkshire, an Augustine foundation. There 
was then only one monk, named Guy Strenshill, besides 
the abbot, in the monastery ; and the Commissioners (temp. 
Henry VIII.) sent to enquire into its revenues stated, " its 
clere value is £20 6s. 2d., monks there two, and both 
desyren to go to houses of religion ; servants none, bells, 
etc., worth £2 6s. 8d., the house wholly in ruin . the value 
of the moveable goods, £1 3 s. 8d. ; wood none, debts 
none." The latter item speaks well for the monks, who 
must have been in abject poverty. The advowson of the 
parish church was in the gift of the abbots of Medmenham. 
The abbot was also Epistolar of the Order of the Garter 
at Windsor before the Reformation ; his office was to 
read the Epistle in the Communion Service at the Feast 
of Saint George. 

After the suppression of Bisham Abbey, June the 
30th, 1539, the lands of the monastery were granted to 
a certain Richard Mone and others. After this it came to 



22 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

the family of Duffield, and James Duffield presented to 
the hving in 1563. The estate remained in the Duffield 
family till 1779, was then purchased by John Morton, 
Esq., Chief Justice of Chester, and was sold by his widow 
to Robert Scott, Esq., in 1786, together with Danesfield. 

The description of the ruins of the abbey, in 1718, by 
Browne Willis, is as follows: — "The abbey house seems, 
in most part of it, to have been built since the dissolution, 
as doth the chapel at the end of the wings. There is no 
painted glass or arms remaining in it. In the chapel, which 
is a low tiled building paved with ordinary brick, lie some 
marble carvings, being representations of our Saviour. 
These arms are in the chapel : Argent, a cross gules, being 
the arms of St. George at Windsor. They can give very 
little or no account of the abbey, and no more is remem- 
bered to be standing than what now remains, which is 
part of the north aisle. The church probably consisted 
of a body and two side aisles and a chancel, and had a 
tower at the west end. It seems to have been a neat, 
stately building, well wrought with ashlar work, for the 
four pillars remaining are very handsomely wrought, and 
the windows are high and spacious. The length of the 
part of the north aisle standing is sixteen yards, the 
breadth four yards. The seal of the abbey was the effigies 
of the blessed Virgin crowned, sitting on a splendid throne ; 
in her bosom the venerable infant. The only impression 
remaining is that of John, 1308, which is a neat oval seal, 
with this inscription at the edge, ' S'Fris Johis' 
Mendham.' "* 

Since this description, by 1797, the chapel had dis- 
appeared, only one pillar of the north aisle remains, this, 
together with some parts at the back of the main building, 
are all that can claim to be original ; the present tower and 
cloisters have all been added on to the building. Within 
the cloisters is a large room fitted up with coloured glass, 

* This John was made Abbot of Chertsey in 1261. The seal is in the British 
Museum. 



i\lEMORIALS OF OLD BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. 23 

arms, etc., which probably was built by the sham monks, 
of whose doings I must now give a mitigated account. 

About the middle of the last century Sir Francis Dash- 
wood, afterwards Lord Le Despencer, formed a club or 
fraternity of his own familiar associates, calling themselves 
the Franciscan Order, from the Christian name of their 
leader, taking for their motto, " Fay ce que voudras," or 
" do as )'ou like," still to be seen inscribed over a square 
ancient doorway behind the sham tower of the abbey, 
facing towards the east. The names of the principal mem- 
bers of this reckless community were — The Principal, Sir 
Francis Dashwood, afterwards Lord Le Despencer ; the 
Earl of Sandwich, Hon. Bubb Doddington ; Charles 
Churchill, Paul Whitehead (poets), the latter secretary to 
the club ; Selwyn, John Wilkes, Robert Lloyd (also a poet), 
Lord JNIelcombe Regis, Henry Lovibond Collins, Dr. 
Benjamin Bates, Sir William Stanhope, Sir John Dash- 
wood King, Sir John Aubrey, attendant a few times, but 
too young to be admitted fully to the order of St. Francis. 
This new confraternity, calling themselves monks of 
St. Francis, but latterly known as the " Hell Fire Club," 
commenced preparing the remains of the old abbey to 
suit their purposes. The workmen, brought from London, 
who adorned and furnished the abbey, were kept strictly 
within the doors, and when their work was finished were 
hurried back to London ; what servants there were were 
prohibited all intercourse with the villagers and neighbour- 
hood. In fact, they seem to have only had one female 
servant, who was living when Thomas Langley, M.A., 
wrote the " History and Antiquities of the Hundred of 
Desborough," in 1797, and he says, "after many enquiries, 
I believe all their transactions may as well be buried in 
oblivion." 

The mock Franciscans slept usually in cradles, and that 
of John Wilkes was exhibited within the last few years. 
Their rites have been described as " Bacchic festivals, 
Devil worship, end a mockery of all the rites of religion " ; 



24 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

but may, we will hope, be perhaps painted in too vivid 
colours in " Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea," 
where, in vol. iii., page 149, the description of "the 
monastery" is supposed to be that of Medmenham. This 
has been of late frequently denied, but I have, as I write, 
an old brown MS. book of Mrs. Lybbe Powys, who lived 
near Medmenham, lying before me, and written in 1763, 
in which she gives a list of some of the real characters in 
" Chrysal," and mentions " the monastery " as a descrip- 
tion of Medmenham. This being almost contemporary 
with the date of the break-up of the Franciscan Brethren 
is valuable evidence of the truth of the narrative. Some 
few details from " Chrysal " I proceed to give. From this 
their meetings seem never to have lasted more than a 
week at a time, nor more than twice in the year ; in fact, 
possibly nature could not endure more violation of her 
laws. Anyhow, the servants were always the same, but 
dismissed when the meeting broke up, and an old man 
and woman left to take care of the place, the old woman 
probably being the same that Langley mentions. The 
Superior built the edifice, but else his expenses were the 
same as the rest, these being defrayed jointly. Their 
number was twelve, and they assumed the names of the 
Apostles ; to these a similar number of an inferior order, 
or probationers, was added, who performed most of the 
menial offices, and were there to supply, it is stated, 
vacancies by death or " reflection " ! Their habits were 
white linen, like the original Cistercians. The walls and 
ceilings were painted with gross emblems and portraits. 
Although despising oaths, yet, strange anomaly ! they were 
bound by them ! The story of the break-up in " Chrysal " 
is this : Two new members sought admission to a vacancy in 
the upper twelve. The bell of the so-called chapel tolled, 
and the members, dressed in white habits, assembled 
within the chapel rails. The novices knocked three times 
at the door, claiming admittance ; on entering, sweet music 
was played, they approached the table at the end of the 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 25. 

chapel where they made professions of principles, and 
implored admittance to the order ; suffrages were taken 
from the members, but the Superior was appealed to to 
give the casting vote ; he chose one, who was elected with 
a shameful imitation of prayers and hymns. After this, 
supper was served in the chapel, the inferior members 
sitting below the salt. During the absence after supper 
of the other members, the rejected novice, who was a pro- 
bationer, and had the office of chapel -keeper, introduced 
a big baboon, dressed like the Devil, which he had pre- 
viously concealed in his cell ; this beast he placed in a 
large chest, which contained ornaments and dresses. A 
cord connected with the lock of this chest he had previously 
secreted under the carpet to his chair, and at the return 
of the members, when the accepted candidate was repeating 
a fresh declaration of faith, he pulled the cord, and the 
animal, released, leaped out and jumped on to the table. 
The rest of the members not seeing whence it came, 
believed it to be the Devil himself, tumbled over each other 
with fright ; the newly admitted novice fell on his face 
and lay sprawling on the floor, the baboon flew on his. 
shoulders, clasped his neck, and gibbered in his ears ; he, 
struggling to release himself from the creature and recant- 
ing all he had said before, lay in abject terror ! The- 
perpetrator of the joke then opened a window, and the 
creature escaped from it. One of the boldest of the- 
• members looked up and perceived it was a baboon ; he 
then declared the fact, and the courage of the novice and 
other members revived. However, the next day the 
trick was found out, and great rage was shown to the 
perpetrator, who, however, was forgiven by all but one 
member, who had been his special butt. He argued, and 
eventually the far(;eur was expelled. Meanwhile, before 
the baboon was caught, some of the villagers saw it, and 
scandal at once gave out the story of Devil worship. The 
society was obliged to dissolve the club, the abbey was 
turned into a public pleasure resort, and the Superior, tO' 



26 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

allay suspicion, re-built the church of West Wycombe. 
The Superior is described as full of vivacity, wit, and 
humour, and it is to be hoped that some of the details of 
" Chrysal," which cannot be entirely quoted in these pages, 
are exaggerated. 

The ordinary story of the final breaking-up is that an 
ape they kept descended the chimney of the room they 
were holding a carouse, in, and his unexpected appearance 
alarmed them so much that they renounced their belief ; 
but the story as related in " Chrysal " is much more likely 
to be true. 

There are other details of the society best buried in 
oblivion. At least two of the members drank themselves 
to death, and Wilkes' last words are said to be, " What a 
fool I have been." Sir Walter Scott, in his notice of 
Johnstone, the author of " Chrysal," says, " but when all 
exaggeration has been deducted, enough of truth will still 
remain to incline the reader to congratulate himself that 
these scenes have passed more than half a century before 
his time." 

The Church, built by Lord Le Despencer, at West 
Wycombe, is situated on a high hill. It is dedicated to 
Saint Lawrence, and had a picture, outside, of the saint's 
martyrdom. The tower was' completed on October 25th, 
1761 ; the church entirely in 1763. It was built on the site 
■of an old church pulled down. A large ball on the spire 
contains a room capable of seating twelve persons, but as 
it is entered from outside by a ladder is only seldom visited. 
The main body of the church is a room Co ft. by 40 ft., 
ceiling flat, painted in mosaics ; under each plain sashed 
window is a window-seat forming a cupboard. The 
reading desk and .pulpit are mahogany armchairs, stand- 
ing on chests of drawers, which pull out for steps, with 
a kind of book-stand in front ; the clerk's desk is similar ; 
the font stands very high in the centre of the church, the 
size of a wasjiing basin, in bronze, with four doves seated 
on it, and a serpent chmbing the stem. The chancel, which 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 27 

is narrow, contains a painted window of the Last Supper. 
At the east end of the church, but separate, is a hexagonal 
mausoleum, roofless, containing inside recesses and niches 
for monuments and urns. It is dedicated to George Dod- 
dington, Baron of Melcombe Regis. In an urn in this 
mausoleum the heart of Paul Whitehead, secretary of 
the Medmenham Mysteries, was deposited in 1757, being 
bequeathed by him to his friend Lord Le Despencer. He 
died December 30th, 1774. A grand funeral procession, 
with the Bucks Militia, and choristers singing, playing 
flutes, French horns, bassoons, etc., was formed, the heart 
enclosed in a marble urn, covered with crape. Three 
volleys were discharged when the urn was placed in its 
recess, and a merry time spent afterwards. On the urn was 
described : — 

" Unhallow'd hands this gem forbear. 
No gems or Orient spoil 
Lie here concealed, but — what's more rave — 
A heart that knew no guile." 

The heart, enclosed in lead, was so frequently taken out 
of the urn to show to visitors, that in 1839 it disappeared, 
supposed to have been stolen and pocketed by one of 
them. Near the church are some curious chalk caves, 
excavated by Lord Le Despencer, with chalk columns, and 
a stream, called by him the Styx, flowing through ; in 
these caves it is said some of the Medmenham mysteries 
and meetings were held, after the dissolution of the club 
at the abbey. For many years Medmenham Abbey 
remained open to the public, and many a joyous band 
met to picnic- on the green lawn sloping to the river. When 
first the writer of these pages knew it some cottagers lived 
in a portion of the building, but when the Medmenham 
Hotel was built, Mr. Johnson, the lessee, restored several 
of the rooms to make a dependence for his hotel. Recently 
Mr. Robert W. Hudson, having bought the property of 
Danesfield and Medmenham, has closed it to the general 
public. In October, 1896, a lead coffin was found on the 



28 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

site of the chapel, embedded in chalk, containing a 
skeleton, the sex of which it was not possible to decide. 
The one pillar mentioned before still exists, and some 
parts of the building are undoubtedly ancient. The front 
is decidedly modern, though even over this nature has 
flung her ivy wreath, which gives an appearance of 
antiquity. Many of the old cottages in the village are 
partially built of stone, doubtless once forming a portion of 
the abbey. 



^9 



BURNHAM ABBEY 
By J. E. Field, M.A. 




N the 1 8th day of April, 1266, there was a notable 
gathering at the royal manor-house of Cippenham, 
in the southern extremity of Buckinghamshire, 
opposite the King's Castle of Windsor. Cippen- 
ham, sometimes written in the parish registers Sippenham 
and Shippenham, is now an obscure hamlet in the parish 
of Burnham ; but in the reign of Henry III. it was held 
as a hunting-seat by his brother, the famous Richard, Earl 
of Cornwall. On this occasion Richard himself came there 
from his Castle of Wallingford, with his two sons, Henry 
and Edmund. The King of England himself was there 
also, and his son. Prince Edward ; and Bishop Giffard, of 
Bath, the Lord Chancellor of England. The bishop of 
the diocese was there from Lincoln, and the Bishop of 
Coventry and Lichfield, and certain gentlemen of the 
neighbourhood. The occasion of the gathering was the 
endowment of the abbey which Richard had newly founded 
on the lands of his manor. 

There was none at this period whose influence in the 
kingdom exceeded or even equalled that of Earl Richard. 
His ability and strength of character was in marked con- 
trast with his brother's weak disposition ; and, in addition 
to his princely rank, his vast wealth gave him a prominence 
far beyond any of the nobles. As Earl of Cornwall and 
Count of Poitou he possessed large estates both in England 
and in France ; and for a time, before the birth of Prince 
Edward, he had held also the Duchy of Guienne. He 
refused the crown of Sicily, which was offered to him by 



30 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Pope Innocent IV.; and shortly afterwards, in 1257, he 
was elected by the princes of the German Diet to the 
headship of the Holy Roman Empire in succession to 
Frederic II., and was crowned King of the Romans at 
Aix-la-Chapelle ; but he never proceeded to Rome for the 
subsequent coronation, by the hands of the Pope, which 
would have bestowed upon him the title and dignity of 
Emperor. His fnunificence was not less remarkable than 
his wealth, and he was a liberal benefactor of the Church. 
In 1246, he founded the important Abbey of Hales, in 
Gloucestershire, for Cistercian monks, endowing it with 
large revenues ; and when, twenty-five years later, it was 
destroyed by fire, he renovated it at an expense not far 
less than that which the 'original foundation had cost him. 
When he died at his castle of Berkhamstead, in 1272, 
Hales Abbey became his burial-place. In the meantime, 
after frequent efforts to mediate between the king and the 
barons, he fought on his brother's side, and was taken 
prisoner when the royal forces were defeated at the battle 
of Lewes in 1264. For nine months he was a captive, 
but was able to use his influence in favour of peace ; and 
after he regained his liberty the foundation of the house 
of Augustinian nuns at Burnham is said to have been his 
thankoffering. 

At his manor of Cippenham, on the date above-named, 
" Richard, by the grace of God King of the Romans, ever 
Augustus," set his seal to the foundation-charter, of which 
King Henry and the .assembled princes, prelates, and 
gentlemen were witnesses. By it he granted " to God 
and blessed Mary, and to the monastery of Burnham which 
he had caused to be founded, and the nuns there serving 
God and their successors, in free and perpetual alms, for 
the health of his soul and the souls of his predecessors, the 
Kings of England," the manor of Burnham, with all its 
appurtenances and rights and the advowson of the church, 
and also certain portions of the rights and possessions that 
pertained to his manor of Cippenham, " to be held by the 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 31 

said nuns freely and entirely without any reservation to 
himself and his heirs." The gift was expressly freed 
" from all classes of courts, from royal service, and from 
other secular demands all and singular, saving due and 
customary ward of the Castle of Wyndelsore.'' 

The donor reserved to himself a remainder of the 
manorial rights of Cippenham, mentioning expressly some 
land which had been John de Boveneye's " in Stoukes " — 
doubtless Stoke Poges. The first great benefactor of the 
abbey in subsequent times was Sir John de Molins, 
treasurer to King Edward III., who had obtained the 
manor of Stokes by his marriage with the heiress, Egidia 
Poges, and bestowed it upon the abbey in 1338, providing 
for a priest to serve there " for the good estate of himself 
and Egidia his wife " at the altar of St. Cathajrine. He 
gave also the neighbouring manors of Bulstrode and 
Beaconsfield, and that of Silverton in Northamptonshire. 
The next year Roger le Strange endowed the abbey still 
further with the manors of Holmer and Little Missenden. 

In 1534, the last abbess but one accepted the king's 
supreDiacy. No fault could be found with the house, and 
favourable terms were allowed. Five years later it was 
dissolved, the last abbess and nine sisters receiving 
pensions. Its dependents were two priests, twenty-one 
hinds, and fourteen serving women. 

The site was granted to William Tyldsley, and his 
widow conveyed it by marriage to Paul Wentworth, who 
converted the buildings into a dwelling-house and came 
to reside here in 1574. Through the seventeenth century 
a building known as " the abbey barn " seems to have been 
used as a workhouse for vagrants ; for the parish registers 
record the burials of poor persons who died in it and the 
baptisms of children who were born there. The dwelling- 
house had ceased to be occupied in the early part of the 
eighteenth century, the buildings being used only for farm- 
ing purposes ; and eventually a modern farmhouse was 
built near them. 



32 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

The plan was apparently a quadrangle, entered from the 
west ; though only the north and east sides remain. The 
church was on the south side, where its place has been 
occupied by a wooden barn, suggesting the idea that the 
Abbey-barn already mentioned may have been itself the 
dismantled church. All that now remains of it is to be 
seen on the south wall of the building which it adjoined. 
This wall was extended eastward as well as westward ; 
and its eastward extremity shows the moulded jamb of a 
lofty window looking northward. Next there is a fine 
canopied niche, like a sedile, with its mouldings and tracery 
defaced ; possibly designed as a seat for the abbess. Part 
of a trefoil-headed stoup remains, where the wall is broken 
off and formed into a tude buttress at the western angle ; 
probably just within the entrance from the cloister. There 
is also a blocked doorway, with circular head, and with the 
decorated string-course carried across it ; proving that 
the church had been added to the buildings at a later date 
and on a scale of greater magnificence. It was probably 
of the date of Sir John de Molins' benefaction, when it 
could boast of at least a second altar. Traces of a cloister 
can be detected along the west front of the principal line 
of buildings, and at the central point of that line is a good 
Early English doorway opening into the Chapter-house. 
This, which has acquired the name of the " Long Chamber," 
and measures thirty-three feet by twenty feet, projects 
beyond the adjoining rooms eastward, where it is lighted 
by three narrow lancets with another looking southward. 
Between it and the church, with another pointed doorway 
from the cloister, is a small room which may have been the 
Sacristy. On the other side a third doorway of the same 
character opens into a more important room, carried north- 
ward to a length of forty-nine feet, called by tradition the 
Refectory, now much ruined, but showing large windows 
east and north, a little lancet into the cloister, and a fire- 
place in the south-east angle. A doorway leads on north- 
ward into a room with two narrow lancets on the west. 




X 

OS 
D 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 33 

and with remains of a passage, or perhaps a large drain, 
beneath it ; thought to be a larder, or otherwise connected 
with the kitchen ; but traditionally it is " the Dungeon," 
and iron fetters are said to have been found in it ; so that 
possibly it was the village lock-up when the church became 
the casual ward. The domestic buildings forming the 
northern side of the quadrangle are the portion which bears 
the largest marks of Wentworth's alterations. It is now 
a mere ruin, occupied by cattle-sheds. It had a doorway 
into the refectory, and near this is a large fireplace, chiefly 
of Tudor work, but retaining the jamb-shafts of Early 
English date ; whence it is supposed to be the nuns' 
kitchen. The ground north of it is known as the still- 
garden. There remains one other ruinous building, 
detached from the group at the north-east angle, and 
called the " Lady Chapel." It has two lancet windows at 
the west, and a Tudor fireplace at the east, where an altar 
may have stood, and a Tudor upper-storey added. Possibly 
the traditional name means that it was a private oratory 
of the abbess. A doorway apparently opened from it on 
the still-garden, and another on a plot known as " the 
nuns' burial-ground," which lies between the outer wall and 
an inner moat protecting the eastern side of the precincts. 
One other fragmentary ruin called " the Tower," in the 
neighbouring orchard, was perhaps a detached belfry ; for 
the survey taken at the surrender mentions bells, which 
together with the lead were valued at £4.0 i6s. 8d. 

The locality and the changes that have passed over 
it demand notice. The present high road passes between 
Cippenham and Burnham, missing both, and missing every 
other ancient village along the nine miles of its course 
through Buckinghamshire ; for it evidently had no exist- 
ence before Maidenhead Bridge was built at the close of 
the thirteenth century. The older way can still be traced, 
diverging near Langley Maries, through the Saxon Upton, 
whence it followed along the foot of the rising ground 
and the edge of the marsh, passing through Cippenham 



34 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

to the ancient ford at Bray, the Roman Bibracte. The 
charter mentions " the wood of La Strete," implying the 
existence of a Roman highway. From Upton to Cippen- 
ham this is a good road still, but it only continues westward 
as a footpath and a field-way ; and on this, less than half 
a mile from Cippenham, stands the abbey. 

Again, a primitive track-way can plainly be made out, 
leading northward in a direct course from the ancient 
wharf at Boveney, through Cippenham, and along the 
eastern outskirt of Burnham, towards Beaconsfield, the 
ancient " felling of the beeches." Thus Cippenham is at 
the crossing of these tracks, and its original importance 
is at once explained. It was the " chipping-ham," or 
marketing village, before Burnham superseded it. The 
road from south to north was long ago diverted westward 
by the abbey and through Burnham ; for the market-tolls 
of Burnham on the one side and the mill and fishery of 
Boveney on the other side had become the property of 
the abbess and her sisters. The royal manor-house at 
Cippenham had ceased to exist, and its importance as a 
centre of life and influence in the district had passed over 
to the abbey. 



35 




THE SO-CALLED UNCORRUPT HAND OF 
SAINT JAMES, THE APOSTLE. 

By Mrs. Emily J. Climenson. 

OME eight years ago, accompanied by some rela- 
tions and friends, I spent a day at Medmenham, 
Buckinghamshire. After a picnic at the abbey, we 
walked up to Danesfield, at that time the beautiful 
seat of Mr. Scott Murray. We asked to see the chapel, 
one of Pugin's last efforts, and said to be one of his chef 
d'csuvres. Our request was acceded to, and passing 
through a long corridor leading from the house, adorned 
with many interesting religious objects and pictures, we 
entered a most ornate and beautifully proportioned build- 
ing. The roof and walls were elaborately painted in 
various colours, and a very fine coloured east window 
surmounted a most splendidly carved reredos, adorned with 
several figures. The altar, which was approached by four 
steps, consisted of various kinds of precious marbles and 
inlaid stones, and was supported by four pillars ; under this 
was an ark-shaped shrine containing, as far as I recollect, 
the bones of Saint Constantine. Seeing this reminded me 
that I had read of a relic possessed by the Scott Murray 
family called the Hand of Saint James the Apostle, said 
to have been dug up in Reading Abbey, and believed to 
be the same relic for which Henry I. specially founded and 
endowed that once magnificent monastic establishment. I 
expressed to the attendant a great desire to see this, and 
after a little hesitation she said she would ask the priest, 
who was in the house, if we might see it. Permission was. 
given, and unlocking a cupboard she lifted out a crystal. 



36 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

casket, standing on a velvet stand, wherein we saw the 
rehc, a perfectly shaped, small, plump left hand, with taper 
fingers, and almond-shaped nails ; the flesh was a clear 
brown colour, the veins showing distinctly on the back of 
the hand ; the fingers were curved as if holding an object, 
but none was shown with it. The extremely pointed 
fingers were suggestive of the theory of palmists, that 
pointed fingers always indicate an extremely religious or 
highly artistic nature. The hand was so small that it 
might well have belonged to a woman ; nevertheless, I 
have seen Asiatic men with equally small hands and as 
pointed fingers, and if the relic is what it is professed to 
be the Eastern type would naturally be prominent. I 
held the case in my hand and took a minute survey. 
Some seven years ago (1894), when Danesfield was to be 
sold, I re-visited the chapel, then not being used for Mass, 
but the relics and fittings were still there ; and again I saw 
the hand. It struck me it had slightly shrunk since I had 
first seen it. Danesfield has been sold to Mr. R. W. Hudson 
since this. Mr. Scott Murray presented the relic on April 
15th, i8g6, to Canon Bernard Smith, of the Mission Roman 
Catholic Church (Saint Peter's), at Great Marlow, Bucks, 
founded by Mr. Scott Murray's father some fifty-one 
years ago.* The Rev. Bernard Smith succeeded the late 
Father, John Morris, S.J., at Marlow, in 1853, whose 
history of the relic I shall presently quote from. To begin 
with the history of the hand as a possession of Reading 
Abbey. The foundations of the abbey were begun to be" 
laid by Henry I. in 1 1 2 1 ; the date of the first charter is 
1 125. In this no mention of the hand is made, but the 
abbey is dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary and Saint 
John. Thie monastic buildings and mill were first built, 
then the church ; this latter was not fully finished and 
consecrated till 11 63 -4, in the reign of Henry II. Dugdale 
gives, from the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, the 
letter of King Henry I. that accompanied the gift of the 

* The relic was conveyed to Marlow by Father Joseph Tonks. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 37 

hand to the abbey, extracted from the Reading registers, 
which translated is as follows : — " Henry, King of England 
and Duke of Normandy, to the abbot and convent of 
Reading greeting. Know that the glorious hand of blessed 
James the Apostle, which the Empress Matilda, my 
daughter, gave me on her return from Germany (de 
Allemannia), I, at her request, do send to you, and give 
for ever to the church of Reading ; wherefore I command 
you to receive it with all veneration, and that you and they 
who come after you take care to show it in the church of 
Reading all the honour and reverence that you can, as is 
due to so great a relic of so great an Apostle." Father 
Morris was of opinion that the gift was made in the 
year 1133, seven years after the return of the Empress 
Matilda to England, she having brought it, together with 
the Crown jewels, to England. I quote how the Empress 
became possessed of the hand from the paper in 
"The Month," February, 1882, vol. xxv. of the third 
series, page 272, written by Father Morris: — "From the 
chronicles of the Bishops of Hamburg, Paul, Bishop of 
Altino, a city situated between Padua and Concordia, 
abandoned his See about A.D. 640, and accompanied by 
the Catholic population, sought safety from the Barbarian 
invasion in the Island of Torcello. They carried their 
church treasure and the bodies of Saints Theomistus, 
Traba, Rabata, Liberalis, and the Hand of Saint James. 
Severinus, the Pope, confirmed the transfer of the See of 
Altino to Torcello in the person of Maurice, successor to 
Paul, who died a month after his arrival in Torcello. Four 
hundred years after, in 1040, Adalbert, Archbishop of 
Bremen and Bishop of Hamburg, after the election of 
Pope Clement II., returned from Italy bringing with him 
the hand of Saint James, which had been given to him by 
Vitale Ursiolo, Bishop of Torcello. At Adalbert's death 
nothing was found in his treasury but his books, his relics, 
and his sacred vestments. These were assigned to the 
Emperor Henry IV., and the hand of Saint James was 



38 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

thenceforth kept with the Imperial Regaha till the death 
of the Emperor Henry V., in 1123, when his widow, the 
Empress Matilda, daughter of our Henry I., brought it 
to England." Hoveden, who lived at the beginning of 
the thirteenth century, called it the " incorrupt hand." 
He states : — " Rex vero anglicorum, Henricus prae graudio 
manus beati Jacobi Apostoli, allata adeum per Matildum 
Emperatricum, hliam suam, fundavit nobilem abbatium de 
Redinges et eam muitis dilavit, et in ea Manum beati 
Jacobi, Apostoli posuit." Though given in 11 33 to Read- 
ing, it is possible that it was not formally placed therein 
till the completion and consecration of the abbey, 1 163-4, 
which may have caused Matthew Paris to affirm that 
Henry II. restored it to the abbey. Though there is no 
notice of the Crown jewels being reclaimed by the Emperor 
Frederick I. of Germany, yet he was anxious to obtain the 
restitution of the sacred hand, as is proved by this letter 
of King Henry II. to him : — " Of the hand of Saint James, 
of which you have written to us, we have put our answer 
into the mouth of Master Herbert, and of Wilham, our 
clerk. Witness, Thomas, the Chancellor, at Northampton." 
This was, of course, Thomas a Becket, of Canterbury, he 
being made Chancellor in 1155. Man's " History of Read- 
ing," written in 18 15, states that the Bishop of Winchester 
took the hand of Saint James away, after Henry I.'s 
death, but as the Reading monks were so dissatisfied he 
had to restore it. However this may be, we may feel 
sure when in summer, 11 63 -4, Thomas a Becket, then 
Archbishop of Canterbury, consecrated the abbey church 
in Reading the hand would be in the church. Though in 
the first charter the dedication of the abbey was to the 
Virgin and Saint John, the abbey arms were these : on 
one side the seal the Virgin seated between Saint James 
and Saint John ; on the other the founder, Henry I., was 
represented crowned and holding his sceptre, the abbey 
on his left, between Saint Peter and Saint Paul. At the 
consecration of the abbey church Henry II. gave a fair to 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 39 

be held annually on Saint James' Day, and for three days 
after. The abbey was endowed by both Henry I. and 
Henry II. with the most extensive privileges and 
immunities, and the abbot sat in Parliament as a Mitred 
Abbot. The first abbot of Reading, Hugh, of Lewes, 
attended Henry I. in his last illness, and administered the 
holy of&ces of the church to him when dying. The hand 
was enshrined in gold, but Richard I. removed the gold 
case to assist his expenses when preparing for the 
Crusades ; on John's accession he restored yearly one 
mark of gold sufficient to cover the hand of Saint James. 
This was changed by Henry III. to ten marks of silver 
annually instead of one mark in gold. He also gave the 
scroll of Saint Philip to Reading. 

No more do we learn specially about the hand till 
Dr. John London was sent as visitor by Cromwell, Henry 
the Eighth's Vicar-General, in 1538. He wrote to Crom- 
well, September i8th of that year, speaking of the relics 
" that he had required them of the abbot, taken an 
inventorie of them, and lokked them upp behynde the high 
aulter, and have the key in my keeping." Father Morris 
says : — " Hugh Farringdon (the abbot) died a martyr's 
death the year after he unwillingly showed the relics to 
the spoiler, and we may well suppose had some other key 
to the Aumbry behind the altar besides that given to Dr. 
London, and that the good abbot succeeded in saving 
from sacrilege the hand of his patron saint, and placed it 
in his church wall, there to rest till the storm should be 
overpast." It is quite possible during the year another 
hand was substituted for the real one, as London describes 
with glee he took the relics away, and amongst them the 
hand of Saint James, and " a multitude of large bonys, etc., 
which wolde occupie 1 1 1 schets of paper to make patticu- 
larly an inventorye of any part thereof." Thenceforth 
nothing is heard of the hand till the following accounts. 
Man, in 1 8 1 6, writes in his history : " Some few years since 
some persons employed among the ruins of the abbey 



40 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

found a human hand, rather small ; the fleshy parts were 
dry and withered, but in perfect preservation. The persons 
who found it disposed of it to the late Mr. Savage, an 
eminent surgeon of this town, on whose decease it came 
into the possession of Mr. Osborn, his successor." Another 
account of the finding of the hand states : " In the Philo- 
sophical Institution of 183 1 was the embalmed hand, 
supposed to be that of Queen Adeliza, second wife of 
Henry I. ; the following account, written by Dr. Bailey, 
is attached to it : ' An embalmed hand, found about fifty 
years ago in the ruins of Reading Abbey, at its Eastern 
extremity, and holding a slender rod surmounted probably 
with a crucifix or other emblematical device. The occasion 
that gave rise to the discovery was the digging for a 
foundation for the present gaol, part of which now stands 
on the site of the said abbey church. This relic, which 
still retains the fragrance of the embalming gum, first 
came into the possession of Dr. Blenkinsop, of Reading, 
who handed it over tO' Dr. Hooper, and by that doctor it 
was presented to the museum.' " Here are other doctors' 
names ; but most probably it was bequeathed or sold one 
to the other, being of especial interest to the medical 
profession. As to its being the hand of Queen Adeliza 
it is not likely, for though people were buried in a most 
piece-meal way in early days, I believe, except hearts, no 
instance is known of limbs being severed to be buried. 
Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, bequeathed his heart and flesh 
to Ashridge, his bowels being buried at the same place 
the preceding day, and his bones to the abbey of Hales ; 
such a proceeding is repugnant to our modern ideas. The 
only other remark I have to make is that the hand may 
possibly have been that reputed to be the hand of Saint 
Anastasius, which was also a relic belongmg to the abbey. 
We will now resume Father Morris' account : " When I 
first saw the hand of Saint James it was under a gfass on 
a mantel-shelf in a little museum at Reading, between two 
specimens of dried fish. It was labelled ' the hand of 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 41 

Saint James,' and over it was placed an extract from Roger 
de Hoveden, or one of the chroniclers, giving in a few 
lines the history of its coming to Reading. The party of 
visitors to the museum consisted of Mr. and the Hon. 
Mrs. Scott Murray, of Danesfield, Mr. Lewis Mackenzie, 
and myself, and the object of the visit was to see whether 
it might be possible to get the rehc into Catholic hands. 
This was in September, 1852. After the sight of the 
incorrupt hand of the apostle we were more eager than 
before, and Mr. Lewis Mackenzie opened a correspondence 
with the managers of the Reading Athenaeum. They were 
asked whether a sum of money to spend in scientific 
instruments would not be more to their purpose than the 
possession of the relic ; they were told that a bond-fide 
collector was prepared to offer a price for it. The proposal 
was well received, and the sum of fifty guineas was named 
on their side as an offer that would be entertained. This 
was in April, 1853. Thus far Mr. Lewis Mackenzie had 
written in behalf of Mr. Scott Murray, but two years later 
(1855) his negotiations were renewed under different 
circumstances, and he ultimately became the possessor of 
the relic. The museum was broken up, and its contents 
restored to their original donors. The hand was sent back 
to the family of the gentleman who had given it to the 
museum, the late Dr. Hooper, and his executors parted 
with it to Mrs. Blount, of Mapledurham, for Mr. Lewis 
Mackenzie for the sum of £'^0. The relic passed thus 
into Catholic hands in the month of March, 1855. Mr. 
Lewis Mackenzie took his newly acquired treasure with 
him to Scotland. He showed it on the way to the Fathers 
of the Oratory at Birmingham, and expressed his intention 
to Mr. John Hardman of having a reliquary made for it ; 
but nothing could have been sadder than the event which 
frustrated his intentions." Father Morris then continues 
to describe his death. He (Mr. Mackenzie) had recently 
come into possession of a place called Findon, in Rosshire, 
N.B., of which Lairdship he was called. In January, 1856, 



42 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

his two great friends, the Rev. Angus McKenzie, of 
Eskadale, and Rev. C. Gordon, of Beauly, accompanied 
him to view his property. On their return they were to 
dine with the Provost of Dingwall. They arrived tired 
and hungry, and ate heartily of some meat, the taste of 
which the Provost and another guest complained of, and 
the latter sent their plates away. One by one fell ill ; 
Father Gordon first, who went upstairs and lay on a bed. 
The other friends came up and stood joking him around 
his bed, when Mr. Mackenzie complained of feeling cold ; 
he went downstairs to warm, when Father McKenzie began 
to feel ill too. The doctor was sent for, but had unfor- 
tunately just been called to a patient twenty miles off. 
In less than two hours the three unfortunate victims were 
dead ; the Provost and the other guest suffered too, but 
poison being now suspected, remedies were taken, and 
having eaten less they recovered. The cook had mistaken 
aconite root for horse radish, and had made sauce from it. 
Mr. Mackenzie had had a curious warning of death some 
two months before ; but the account is too long to put in 
these pages. To return to Father Morris' narrative : " Mr. 
Lewis Mackenzie was succeeded by his brother, who was 
not a Catholic, and he, finding the relic and the corres- 
pondence with Mr. Scott Murray, allowed the hand of 
Saint James to pass to Mr. Scott Murray on the same 
terms on which Mr. Lewis Mackenzie had acquired it. It 
is now carefully preserved in the sacristy of the charming 
domestic chapel of Mr. Scott Murray at Danesfield, between 
Medmenham and Marlow. Dr. Hooper's executor, the 
Rev. J. Torriano, when parting with the hand informed 
Mrs. Blount that Dr. Hooper had had it in his possession 
at least forty years before his death in 1841, and that 
he always said it was found in the ruins of Reading Abbey. 
The curators of the museum, though Protestants, called it 
Saint James' hand. A statement was sent with the hand 
to Mrs. Blount. ' This hand was formerly in the possession 
of the late John Hooper, M.D., of Reading, in the co. of 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 43 

Berks. It was found in the ruins of Reading Abbey, it 
is believed, in one of the walls, but whether by himself 
or not his family cannot now certainly say. At the time 
of his decease, in 1841, he had been possessed of it about 
forty years, during which time he preserved it with great 
care as a relic of peculiar interest. Signed on behalf of 
the family, J. TORRIANO, Exor. of the late John Hooper, 
Esq., M.D. March, 31st, 1855.'" 

Father Morris' own description of the hand is this : 
" It is the left hand, quite dry, the fingers curling forward ; 
all the bones of the hand are gone." As the palm was 
perfect Father Morris concluded they had been removed 
for relics, but he consulted two eminent surgeons, who 
said the bones had been removed at death, and when asked 
why they knew this, they asserted because the skin had 
dried into the knuckle-holes. There is a little wound on 
the middle finger that must have been made at death or 
soon after. " If the arm was held up to protect the head 
from the blows of a sword, and the edge of the blade had 
struck the upraised knuckles, and passed through the 
joints, had then separated the bones at the back of the 
hand from the palm, and after this had severed the wrist 
by passing through the joint, wrenching the sinews of the 
inner arm, the amputated hand would be in exactly the 
condition of our relic." See Acts of the Apostles 
xii. 2, " and he (Herod), killed James, the brother of 
John, with the sword." Father Morris wrote to the Arch- 
bishop of Sant lago de Compostella, where the body of 
Saint James is supposed to rest, in 1852, and asked if it 
was possible to see the body of the saint. His answer 
(October ist, 1852) was that the tomb of Saint James was 
under the high altar in the Cathedral. Tradition says that 
there was a way to it by subterranean passages now closed. 
Some people had tried to see the body of the apostle, and 
penetrating privately had suffered the penalty of their 
temerity. Now, though an unanatomically learned person 
like myself did not perceive the want of bones in the 



44 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

shape of the hand, yet the removal of them, together with 
the lapse of centuries, would naturally greatly reduce the 
size of the hand. Anyhow, sacred relic or otherwise, it 
is a curious and interesting object. I regret I did not 
make a note of the old paper in which I once read an 
account of it ; it was stated that in whatever hands the 
relic had fallen it had brought bad luck to its owners. This, 
it is to be hoped, is not true ; but a natural feeling arises, 
if it is what it professes to be, would it not be better to 
consign it eventually to earth in the chapel, now built 
over what was once the magnificent Abbey Church of 
Reading ? 




o 

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45 



CLAYDON HOUSE AND THE VERNEYS. 
By Margaret M. Lady Verney. 




WO sources of information are open to us for the 
early history of the Claydons — the deeds and 
family letters preserved at Claydon House, and 
the notes collected by a diligent antiquary of 
the eighteenth century (Brown Willis) for an exhaustive 
history of the county of Bucks. He died before 
publishing, or even w^riting, more than a fragment 
of his projected v^^ork ; his MSS. fill several drawers 
in the Bodleian Library, and amongst them are 
many notes about the Claydons, referring to an older 
parish register and to monumental tablets and painted 
windows now no longer existing. Brown Willis drew up 
a careful set of questions relating to various topics of inter- 
est, as to the buildings, the local industries, the historical 
events, traditions, and associations of each parish, a copy of 
which he sent to every incumbent of a Bucks living, but 
he notes with regret that very few responded. Intelligent 
interest in the past was on a level with the Georgian 
Gothic of the unfortunate churches built during that period, 
but such answers as he obtained from Claydon and else- 
where are of some interest. The Verney letters at Claydon 
House contain much information about the county history, 
but in the scattered notices and allusions inseparable from 
materials of the kind, it is difficult and laborious to trace 
out any special subject, amongst letters of very unequal 
value from all sorts and conditions of men. They contain, 
however, very copious material for the history of the 
Verneys of Claydon House, and for fuller details than it is 



46 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

possible to give here the reader is referred to the " Memoirs 
of the Verney family from the Civil War to the Revolution," 
compiled from the letters and illustrated from the portraits 
at Claydon House, published by Longman. 

The first Rector of Middle Claydon dates from the reign 
of Edward III., and to the thirteenth century church a 
chancel was added by the Giffards, who intermarried with 
the Verneys, in 1509. Claydon House was built in the 
reign of Edward IV., and though sadly modernized by 
successive owners, the house has never been either burnt 
down or pulled down, and its domestic history has been 
unusually well observed and well chronicled during some 
three hundred years. 

The earliest historical picture in the house is of an 
infant child of Henry VII., with a wreath of red and white 
flowers in her baby hand, a relic of the time when the 
Sir Ralph Verney of that day married Eleanor Pole, the 
king's cousin, and he and his wife were in constant 
attendance upon Elizabeth of York and her daughters. 
The well-preserved brasses in the church belong to the 
early years of Henry VIIL, and the last of the Chauntry 
priests, in his vestments, still asks the prayers of the 
faithful for his soul, in pathetic unconsciousness that the 
ritual he loved has been long ago swept away. Catherine 
of Arragon drew her dowry from Steeple Claydon ; there 
is a picturesque likeness of Henry VIIL on a seal, and an 
autograph of Katherine Parr in the muniment room. A 
great seal of Philip and Mary, each with a hand on the 
globe, jointly owned, it seems, by Spain and England, is 
affixed to a pardon granted to an old Sir Edmund Verney 
for his share in Wyatt's conspiracy. There are many 
memorials of the reign of James I., a stiff old portrait of 
the notorious Mrs. Turner, and a reference in the letters 
of the Verney ladies to her famous recipe for yellow starch, 
said to be unbecoming when one had "a disordered 
spleen," or, as we should say, a bilious attack ; a full-length 
picture of Sir Francis Verney, painted in Spain, a man 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 47 

of infinite and misdirected energy, whose fine clothes and 
staff, sent back from Sicily after his miserable death, are 
still at Claydon ; a portrait of Henry Prince of Wales, 
given by him to Sir Edmund Verney ; and a young por- 
trait of Sir Edmund himself, painted at Madrid when in 
attendance on " Baby Charles and Steenie." 

Still more numerous are the pictures of the reign of 
Charles I. ; there is the King himself, with all the grace 
Vandyck could give him, above the saloon chimney-piece ; 
and over against him a Vandyck of Sir Edmund Verney, 
his knight-marshal and standard-bearer, who knew his 
master's faults so well, yet lived for his service and died 
for him so gallantly. There are portraits of Ormond ; 
Sir George Lisle, the Royalist ; Sir Roger Burgoyne, the 
stout Puritan member of the Long Parliament ; Sir Harry 
Lee of Ditchley ; Lady Carnarvon, whose husband died 
for the king at Newbury; Nan Uvedale, a Royalist by 
birth and by marriage, whose young cousin dared to snatch 
the ^lajesty scutcheon off Cromwell's bier ; and by her 
side Nan Hobart, wife of one of Cromwell's Masters in 
Chancery; most of Sir Edmund Verney's children. Sir 
Ralph, an undergraduate fresh from Magdalen, aged 19, 
yet already a married man, and the same Sir Ralph in 
a wig and a Roman toga, in middle life, as conventional 
as Lely could make him ; his charming wife, Mary Verney, 
in blue and white satin, and their boys, Mun and Jack. 

Before the outbreak of the Civil War, Claydon had been 
one of the happiest homes in England. Sir Edmund and 
Dame Margaret Verney saw their twelve children growing 
up around them ; their eldest, Ralph, was a son to lean 
upon, and his sweet young wife, Mary, or Mischief, as 
they loved to call her, was the sunshine of the house ; 
while the grandchildren toddled about the old walled 
gardens with a baby Aunt Betty — the youngest of Dame 
Margaret's large family. 

Sir Edmund and Sir Ralph (knighted in his father's life- 
time) were elected together to the Long Parliament, and 



48 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

entered it with hopes as high as their aims were pure and 
lofty. A few short years sufficed to change the face of 
everything. The mother of the family died in the crisis 
of Strafford's trial, and her husband and son scarcely dared 
leave their stern duties in the House while they hurried 
down to Claydon to bury her; then the Civil War had 
torn father from son, and brother from brother — Sir 
Edmund's corpse lay undistinguished among the slain at 
Edgehill ; his darling son, the younger Sir Edmund, 
perished at Drogheda ; his daughter Cary, the child-bride, 
lost her gallant young husband. Sir Thomas Gardiner, 
in a skirmish ; and the other daughters, whose portions 
went in the general crash, were orphaned and penni- 
less ; Sir Ralph himself was driven into exile, for, devoted 
as he was to the Church of England, he refused to sign 
the Covenant — his estate was sequestrated, and the house 
lay bare and desolate. The protection granted by the 
king to Sir Edmund, and by Essex to Sir Ralph, had 
saved the house from being sacked or burnt, but soldiers 
of both armies were often quartered there for a few days 
at a time, and the brutal jests of the Royalist troopers 
under Prince Maurice and Lord Byron were long and 
bitterly remembered. 

In May, 1650, Mary's death at Blois was the culminating 
point of Sir Ralph's sorrows. On a dreary November day 
the solitude of the house was broken by the assembling of 
a melancholy family party gathered together to meet the 
coffin which had arrived from France, after a long and 
difficult journey, and to lay it in the family vault. Sir 
Ralph spent some three years more on the Continent, 
visiting " the politer parts of Europe '' with his eldest boy, 
Edmund, and a party of English exiles. At Rome he 
designed the beautiful monument to his dead, now in 
Middle Claydon church, with busts of his father and mother, 
his wife and himself. In the spring of 1653, he ventured 
back to England, after an absence of nearly ten years, 
leaving his son in Holland to complete his education. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 49 

Sir Ralph then set himself in earnest to pay off his 
father's debts and to repair and beautify Claydon House ; 
his taste in building and furnishing, in planting and land- 
scape gardening, were generally recognized ; and in spite 
of the painful economy he had practised abroad, he could 
not resist bringing home some great mirrors from Venice, 
some ebony and tortoise-shell cabinets from Holland, a 
store of rich embroidered hangings and fringes for beds 
and couches, the latest French books on architecture, and 
a portrait, still hanging on the walls, of Pope Alexander 
VII. Every kind of activity started once more into life at 
Claydon ; there was much brewing of ale, salting down of 
beef, and baking of loaves and pastys in the great brass 
baking-pans ; there was a smell of the burning of bricks, 
and a pleasant sound of sawing and chopping in the long 
silent wood-yard, where Sir Edmund's great trunk is still 
to be seen, which went up and down to London on the 
waggon. Roofs and casements were repaired, doors were 
set up on their hinges, unsparing war was declared against 
the rats and moths, the bats and owls which had set up a 
commonwealth of their own in the deserted rooms, in the 
absence of the lawful monarch. 

The housekeeper noted with satisfaction and surprise 
■" that it did not raine in at all the last time of rain," but her 
careful soul was troubled that not only " Pursell, the car- 
penter," but all the workmen, " doe soe worry me for drinke 
that tho' I many times anger them, and hourly vex myself e, 
yet we spend a great deale of beer — 3 barells the last 
weeke.'' Sir Ralph sends down. a new cook before his own 
arrival from town, and advises him to use his leisure in learn- 
ing to read and write — for this he has no taste at all, but 
" hee is wilde to get a gunn " to shoot hares. Sir Ralph, 
though he loves hare pies, will not have his game disturbed 
in May. He was as much set against smoking as King 
James — " I do not hire any servant that takes tobacco, for 
it not only stinks upp my house, but is an ill example to 
the rest of my family " ; he was specially anxious his son 
Mun should be " no swearer and no tobacconist." 



50 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Elm-trees and walnuts, abeles and mulberries, vines and 
fruit trees, were being planted in large numbers ; crimson 
roses, goodly " July flowers," jessamine, honeysuckle, 
dittander, double violets, white and blue sweet marjoram, 
and many fragrant pot-herbs were being set in the 
gardens ; when in the midst of all this happy and fruitful 
activity, on a June day of 1655, a body of my Lord Pro- 
tector's soldiers suddenly arrived at Claydon, seized all 
arms, swords, and fowling-pieces, and without giving him 
any information of the charge against him carried off Sir 
Ralph as their prisoner. The peace of the country had 
been broken up by Royalist plots, and though such things 
were absolutely abhorrent to Sir Ralph's honourable and 
upright nature, " the name was malignant," we are told, 
and that sufficed. He was obliged to ride to Northampton, 
where he joined a large company of the gentry " clapped 
up in other counties " ; it rained heavily the next day, and 
through foul ways with anxious hearts the prisoners rode 
wearily to London, where Sir Ralph was confined in " St. 
James' his house." Month after month passed by, and the 
gentlemen thus torn from their homes could neither learn 
of what they were accused nor when they would be 
released. Accustomed to taking much exercise in the 
open air, one after another failed in health ; Sir Ralph, 
though he wrote bravely and cheerfully to his anxious 
correspondents, drooped like a bird in a cage, and was 
troubled by an eruption on his thigh which would not heal. 
Good advice poured in from his lady friends ; his cousin, 
Doll Leeke, advised him to sit for two hours twice a day 
in a bath of asses' milk, drinking asses' milk the while. 

At last, by the end of October, 1655, Sir Ralph was 
liberated, having consented, much against his will, to enter 
into an " ugly conditioned " bond for his good behaviour, 
" to avoid singularity," and because " those now in power 
will not allow the least of their commands to be disputed 
by any." 

His satisfaction in getting home was soon overclouded ; 



^Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 51 

the year 1656 saw the estabhshment of the Major-Generals, 
and the hsts preserved at Claydon show how the gentlemen 
who had sat together on the Bench, had together ridden 
to covert, and had shared in all social gatherings of the 
county, were set against each other as judges and delin- 
quents ; Sir Ralph, to his speechless indignation, was writ 
down among the latter. All that spring he was petitioning 
the Protector, haunting the Council in town, and riding 
over to the " George " at Aylesbury, his pockets stuffed with 
virtuous documents to show his former zeal on the right 
side, his votes in the House, the horses he had sent in to 
the Parliamentary army, the losses he had sustained from 
the Royalists, etc. In proof of which, Will Roades, the 
Claydon Stewajrd, related how, when he had tried to save 
the horses and cattle of Sir Ralph's tenants from confisca- 
tion, " they told me if they had my master they would 
slaughter him, for he was worse then those slaine beasts, 
for he holp to slay his own father " ; and another time they 
said, " if my master were boyled as the Beefe, it were noe 
matter ! " 

While his fate still hung in the balance, Will Roades 
wrote word from Claydon that a serpent lurked among 
Sir Ralph's apple-trees. Sir Ralph had some years before 
brought " a little, a very little foot-boy " back with him 
from abroad, who spoke only French and drank only water 
— ^both qualities viewed with great disfavour by the 
Claydon natives of the period. Michaud learnt to speak 
English, and his accomplishments in baking and cooking 
rendered him very valuable to his master, but he excited 
the jealousy of a new gardener, who, knowing him to be 
a foreigner, erroneously concluded that he must also be a 
Papist. 

There is a confused account of the gardener and one of 
the maidservants breaking late into the hen-house, 
Michaud's ■ special domain, Jane, the rectory-maid, being 
also mixed up in it. Michaud, hearing a disturbance, came 
out with his gun and asked what they wanted. The 



52 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

gardener, who never drank water when he could get at a 
more genial beverage, fell upon him, pommelled him, and 
tore out his hair. A great screaming and general scuffle 
ensued, in which the maids and the hens doubtless bore 
their part. After this the village ale-house rang with the 
gardener's blood-curdling stories ; he told how Sir Ralph 
harboured foreign Papists, how the Papists bore fire-axms 
contrary to the Lord Protector's orders, imperilling the 
lives of honest Englishmen ; how Sir Ralph had shovel- 
board and ninepins in his house, with which games he 
doubtless profaned the Sabbath day ; how he kept his son 
abroad that he might by this means send money to Charles 
Stuart, with " divers other vain and idle words " ; and he 
waxed louder still when the good wife of the house refused 
to supply him with any more liquor, and he threatened to 
have her ejected, and all such traitors and malignants as 
her landlord. His stories were already the talk of the 
village, and might easily be carried to Aylesbury. " He is 
a very dangerous fellow," wrote the steward, " and cares 
not to tell a lie, neither doth he fear an oath . . he scornes 
to receive his wages from any hand but yours. Alas, poore 
man, I pray God give him grace with humility." The 
gardener was, however, at length bribed to depart, the 
parish clerk undertook to water the garden and turf the 
court, but it was long before Sir Ralph's fears were allayed 
as to the results of his malicious gossip. 

Sir Ralph applied to the clerk of the former Sequestra- 
tion Committee, and received a certificate " that it doth not 
appeare (neither is there) any charge of Delinquency, 
Sequestration or otherwise against the said Sir Ralph 
Verney." 

Sir Roger Burgoyne wonders "how any can possibly 
wind themselves into an estate that hath so much innocency 
to protect it, but my hopes are that your feares are more 
than your dainger. . trouble not yourself, for an appeale 
to my Lord Protector, so noble & upright a person, I 
question not but will free you from such high 
inconveniences.'' 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 53 

Sir Ralph pleaded his own cause before the Committee 
at Aylesbury; personally the gentlemen who must have 
known perfectly the rights of the case were inclined to 
treat him with consideration ; four times he was asked to 
\\'ithdraw, that the pleas he had brought forward might be 
considered ; and they were willing to allow him time to 
appeal to the Protector. The key of the situation lay in 
Cromwell's pressing need of money ; he had failed to work 
with any Parliament, and though Sir Ralph's plea was never 
denied that the sequestration put on his estate had been 
acknowledged by Parliament to be wrongful, and had been 
taken off, yet Cromwell would only refer his petition back 
to the Bucks Committee, and they told him that their duty 
was to levy a tenth upon every estate once sequestrated, 
without going into the question as to whether that seques- 
tration had been legal or illegal. So, after long protests 
and heavy expenses. Sir Ralph was decimated and for- 
bidden to come to London for six months, as if he had 
been the most disaffected of Cavaliers. 

From this moment Sir Ralph's faith in Cromwell's justice 
was severely shaken ; he kept more aloof than ever from 
politics, but he and many another Puritan squire, in Bucks 
were being gradually prepared to acquiesce in, if not to 
further, the restoration of the monarchy. Cousin Thomas 
Stafford, whose estate lay between Claydon and Bletchley, 
gave expression to the general discontent when he made 
it " his dayly petition to our Heavenly Father that He 
would grant us a speedy deliverance out of the power of 
the Major-Generals and restore us to the protection of the 
common law." The next spring saw these military 
tribunals swept away by Parliament ; and William Gape, 
the apothecary, and Moll, his kind-hearted, loud-voiced 
wife, are delighted to welcome Sir Ralph again to town, 
" all of him, his whole ten parts re-united, not a collop left 
behind to feed the Dawes." 

During Ralph's enforced absences from home, the 
Steward, Will Roades, and the Rector, the Rev. John Aris, 



54 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

played the chief parts in the domestic drama of Claydon 
affairs. Unhappily they were in a chronic state of 
antagonism. Outsiders attributed a good deal of the 
friction to the Rector's wife, whose shrill voice and biting 
tongue had in former days filled Mary Verney with dis- 
may ; but much shortness of temper must be forgiven to 
a clergyman of the old opinions, in the difficult days of the 
Commonwealth, even when he retained his office on 
sufferance. Ralph Roades, the steward's brother, was 
Parish Clerk, which, of course, added to the difficulties of 
the situation, and owing to a broken fence in " Roger 
Deelie's Lane," the clerk's hogs committed ravages in the 
Rector's corn. Sir Ralph had written peremptory orders 
to Will Roades to set eight carpenters to work to make 
posts and rails " to divide betwixt me and the parson " ; but 
Mr. Aris still complained that " the Lane was not needed, 
as if he had rather it should make quarrels still, then he 
would be at the least trouble to prevent them." The 
Rector's dog had pursued the clerk's hogs, and the clerk 
had pursued the dog, threatening to shoot him or knock 
him on the head, " because he lugg'd his hogs." Sir 
Ralph was much annoyed that the hurdles had been 
neglected, and abused his stewEird, who in tturn abused the 
parson. 

When Sir Ralph was at home he acted as buffer between 
the belligerents, for each of whom he had a great regard ; 
but even then controversies about the tithes would arise, 
and questions of boundaries and of exchanges between the 
glebe and the estate, which it passed the wit of man 
to disentangle. Mrs. Aris came unexpectedly to the 
rescue with a valuable suggestion that the Rev. Edward 
Butterfield, Rector of a neighbouring parish, should 
be asked to come over, as if by accident, and to mediate 
between her husband and Sir Ralph. Mr. Butterfield 
promised to come betimes, and he was sanguine enough 
to hope that he might "prove instrumental to settle an 
everlasting peace " between squire and parson. He found 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 55 

the negotiation infinitely more thorny than he had ex- 
pected, but something was settled, and the mediator at 
least was fortunate enough to leave an agreeable impression 
behind him, both at the house and at the rectory. 

The years 1657 and 1658 were marked in many English 
counties by an outbreak of fever and ague, already known 
during the Civil War as the new disease. It attacked 
whole households like the influenza, and Claydon suffered 
severely. " There is not a servant in my house," writes 
Sir Ralph, " that hath not been very ill, and they are yet 
soe weake that I am forced to hire others to assist and 
tend them." In his aunt's — Mrs. Sherard's — house, " seven 
or eight went out one day sick, that came well in." " On 
my well dayes," she says, " I macke a shift to creepe downe 
to diner and have a good stomach to my meaght, but I 
am faine to eaght but A litill." 

Mr. Aris fell seriously ill, and his doughty opponent, 
Will Roades, was attacked soon after. The anxiety and 
distress at Claydon were much increased by the absence 
of Dr. Denton. He was at Thame attending a critical 
case of smallpox, and my Lord and my Lady Wenman 
were " in physicke," and could not be left. He wrote full 
directions how the unhappy patients were to be purged, 
vomited, and blooded, and if that sufficed not, then how 
they were to be blooded, vomited, and purged all over 
again ; " 3 full spoonfulls of the vomitinge liquor in possett 
drinke " he ordered for Will Roades, " and he may abide 
4 the same night when he goes to rest." Thanks either 
to the disease or to the remedies, both parson and steward 
were soon laid to rest, side by side, in the little peaceful 
churchyard of Middle Claydon, with their virtues and 
their animosities, their rights and their wrongs. 

Sir Ralph, who truly mourned them, was now harassed 
by the fear lest the Government should put some 
" Pragmatical fellow into the living and put me to a suite 
to get him out again," so he at once offered the living to 
the peacemaker, Edward Butterfield. Mr. Butterfield, a 



56 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

widower with children, accepted with alacrity, and then had 
to run the gauntlet of Cromwell's Triers. His sorrows and 
provocations in his attempts to enter upon the living would 
have furnished Miss Austen with an admirable subject. 
He exhausted himself in running about the town collecting 
evidences as to his virtues and learning that would satisfy 
the Triers ; but these wise men had a wholesome distrust 
of testimonials, and either they did not know Mr. Butter- 
field's friends, or they thought the evidence given was not 
founded on sufficiently recent and intimate knowledge. 

Having at last surmounted these obstacles he returned 
to Claydon to find Widow Aris at daggers drawn with her 
husband's brother about his money matters, which both 
appealed to him to settle ; he was almost driven wild 
" by such contradictions and improbabilities, held with so 
much heat on both sides " ; and he was confronted with a 
more formidable obstacle, Mrs. Aris owed him a consider- 
able sum for dilapidations, and how to enforce his claims, 
and to turn the widow out of her house, passed Mr. 
Butterfield's imagination to compass. She took to her bed, 
which effectually delayed the negotiations, and the poor 
harassed Rector took a step which could only have occurred 
to a shy man in a moment of desperate resolution ; he 
proposed to share with Mrs. Aris the house she declined 
to vacate. She promptly accepted, but there were rumours 
that she refused to leave her bed till the wedding ceremony 
had been actually performed — ^which was probably gossip ; 
at any rate, after this everything went merry as a marriage 
bell, and they set to work together at the repair and 
refurnishing of the rectory with great zeal. 

" The woman hath parts, she undoubtedly hath parts," the 
Rector observed to Sir Ralph, after some experience of 
married life, but he never got over the awe and wonder 
inspired by the copiousness of her conversational powers. 

And here the old records are diversified by a more 
pathetic and less prosperous love-story. 

Mun Verney had returned from Holland a young man 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 57 

in his twentieth year, tall, dark, and handsome, but shy 
and ungainly, and very careless and slovenly in his dress. 
There was a chorus of good advice in the family : first, 
that he should marry an heiress ; secondly, that he ought 
to be better dressed. He '' is in most pitiful equipage, nO' 
trappings at all." Lady Hobart benevolently undertook 
" to dress his legs " ; she looks upon him " as the top of 
my kindred," and " is confident that she could make him a 
spark ! " Lessons in dancing and deportment are recom- 
mended, that Mun may learn how to approach and how to 
take leave of the person he speaks to. The kind-hearted, 
awkward boy submits to " courting clothes," but is unable- 
to put on the decent semblance of a lover. The courtly 
and agreeable Dr. Denton takes him to call upon the 
daughter of .Sir William Luckin, " a pure virgin, 1 8 years- 
old, tall, slender, handsome, with as much sweetness in 
her aspect as I know not more anywhere " ; the doctor's, 
only regret is that her hood prevents his seeing the exact 
colour of her hair, but he guesses it " to be towards flaxen." 
But Mun can think of nothing to say, and the possible- 
match falls through. Sir Ralph next enters into treaty 
with his old friend Lady Sussex, now Countess of Warwick, 
a great lady at the Protector's Court as step mother-in-law 
to Cromwell's daughter. She has a very young grand- 
daughter to recommend, Alianora Tryon, mercifully called 
Nell in private life, who is staying with her cousin, Sir- 
Harry Lee, at the beautiful old house of Ditchley, now so- 
worthily owned by Viscount Dillon, the descendant of 
the Lees and Dillons, Sir Ralph's friends. At Ditchley 
Sir Ralph is as enthusiastic about the young lady 
as Dr. Denton was about the flaxen beauty in a hood. 
Mun can be stirred to no enthusiasm, but he behaves with- 
a decorum and a propriety that is much praised by the 
young lady's mother. Through the winter of 1657-8, the 
marriage settlements are being discussed on both sides, 
when Mun, as much to his own surprise as to the dis- 
comfort of the family, falls suddenly and hopelessly in love- 



58 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

with a cousin, Mary Eure, whom he had known and Httle 
regarded as a child at Blois, where she came with her sister 
to be educated, but whom he now meets again as a most 
accomplished and charming maiden. 

Sir Ralph, left in the lurch, makes his peace as best he 
•can with Ditchley ; and Alianora, who was quite as heart- 
whole as Mun, bestowed herself and her dowry on a more 
ardent suitor. Meanwhile Mary Eure, who had treated 
Mun with kind and sisterly frankness as a friend and 
cousin, feels nothing but aversion to him as a lover. She 
refuses to see him, and will scarcely read his impassioned 
letters, though he assures her that her perfections have 
made her slave the most miserable creature in the world, 
and that " as often as I make any addresses to my God, 
my saint, even your sweete selfe, interposes between my 
Maker and mee . a deniall from you and a dagger at 
my heart are the same thing." 

Mary never wavers in her resolution, and appeals to her 
•own mother and to Sir Ralph " to take her cousin off from 
troubling her " ; Sir Ralph assures her that " few or none 
have that absolute mastery over theire owne passions as 
to love or unlove, either whome or when they list, nor can 
that love be real that is at such command." Edmund tried 
everything that a man could honourably do to bend a 
woman to his will ; and the relations on both sides did 
their best to further his suit, but they were driven to 
confess they could as soon empty the sea as persuade 
Mary to marriage ; and though the poor lad thought he 
" heard a bird sing that I shall have her at length " — " the 
only love my youth hath had, or shall ever know " — yet, 
after "three yeares' tricks and attendance," he is forced 
to confess that the lady has not been " with soe much adoe 
-obteyned." 

While Mun has been playing out his tragic-comedy of 
" Love's Labour Lost," and " bemoaning the prodigious 
method of his fate," England has been tossed about by 
what Tom Verney calls "the grand mutations." Oliver 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 59 

Cromwell is dead, and Mr. Richard has scarcely appeared 
on the boards before he is hurriedly bowed out again. 
The memorable year 1660 has dawned, and Sir Ralph 
loses an opportunity of adding to the historical associations 
of Claydon House by declining to invite General Monk to 
sleep there on his march to St. Albans and London, though 
urged to do so. Then, in bright May sunshine, Charles II. 
lands in England, and the bells are rung at Claydon, there 
is feasting and shouting, and '' we have our bonfires and 
rejoicings," writes the Rector, " but not of sufficient moment 
to be noticed in the Diurnals " ; Sir Ralph and Mun go up 
to town and share in all the bravery of the Coronation. 

Two years later, Edmund Verney married Mary Abell, 
the heiress of East Claydon, which adjoined his father's 
property, but she had intermittent fits of madness, and 
eventually became hopelessly insane, her three children 
and a grandchild died prematurely, and her property 
reverted again to the Abells, to be sold by them to the 
Verneys of Claydon in a later generation. 

Sir Ralph Verney's second son, John, who had served the 
Levant Company for some years at Aleppo, succeeded his 
father. He was a shrewd and capable man of business, 
with antiquarian tastes, and he collected genealogies and 
docketed and arranged the family papers. He became 
Viscount Fermanagh, and his son Ralph was raised to the 
rank of Earl Verney, in the peerage of Ireland. To his 
grandson Ralph, the second and last Earl Verney, Claydon 
House owes the three beautiful rooms decorated by Adam, 
and the inlaid wooden staircase, with its graceful iron 
balustrade, which remain as evidences at once of his 
extravagance and of his good taste. He played the 
expensive part of a Whig county magnate, and put 
Edmund Burke into Parliament, who writes of him as 
" an indulgent, humane, and moderate landlord, a great 
protector of the poor within his reach," and a disinterested 
politician in a corrupt age. The magnificence of his 
operations in electioneering and in building brought him 



6o Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

at length to bankruptcy, and when he died, a widower and 
broken-hearted, his house dismantled and the treasures he 
had accumulated scattered to the winds, his niece and 
successor pulled down a great part of his new building 
and abandoned Claydon for a suburban villa. With this 
determined lady, created by Pitt, Baroness Fermanagh, 
the owners of Claydon of the old Verney blood ended ; 
she left the estate by will to her half-sister, who again 
bequeathed it to her cousin, the younger Sir Harry Calvert, 
who took the name of Verney. During Sir Harry Verney's 
long and honourable life, extending to more than ninety 
years, he rendered good service to the county of Bucks 
both locally and in Parliament, and added much to the 
interesting associations of Claydon House. The portrait 
of his father. Sir Harry Calvert, is amongst the memorials 
of the reign of good King George. He was taken prisoner 
at seventeen in the war with America, and afterwards 
served under the Duke of York, whose fat Georgian 
features are preserved in a bust in the saloon. The furni- 
ture and the porcelain of the Chinese room and the portrait 
of Lord Amherst, taken after his mission to Pekin, are 
associated with the first opening up of China to British com- 
merce, as the picture of the King of the Belgians given by 
him to Sir Harry Verney after a conference of geographers, 
in 1876, recalls the first opening out of the' Congo. 

The colours carried by the old 14th, the Bucks Regiment, 
at Waterloo, the trophies taken by Sir Edmund Verney 
from the King of Oude's Palace at the relief of Lucknow ; 
Florence Nightingale's portrait, the cypresses grown from 
cones which she brought from Scutari, and the many 
precious memorials of her visits to Claydon, bring down 
the historical associations of the house to the present day. 

In looking back to the story of an English country house, 
as given us in the Verney MSS., the impression left on 
one's mind is less of the changes that have come to pass 
than of the remarkable continuity of English country life, 
and the enduring types of English chai^acter. The essential 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 6i 

joys and sorrows of life remain the same, there are only 
the old motives for striving to perform its duties, the old 
consolations under its sorrows, the qualities that endeared 
Ralph and Mary Verney to their own generation, are those 
still cultivated and cherished in happy English homes of 
to-day ; and we rise from the perusal of the faded old 
brown letters with the feeling put for us into beautiful 
words a long while ago — 

" How small, of all that human hearts endure, 
That part which kings or laws can cause or cure." 



62 



STOWE AND ITS GARDENS. 
By Albert J. Foster, M.A. 




HE earliest authentic history of Stowe, the station 
or settlement of Saxon days, is to be found in the 
transactions of the twelfth century, for in 1129 
Robert D'Ayley, a member of a then well-known 
Buckinghamshire family, gave his estates at Stowe to the 
canons of St. Friedswide, Oxford. When Oxford became a 
Bishopric in the time of Henry VIII., these estates formed 
a part of the endowment, but Elizabeth alienated them 
during the vacancy of the See, and they passed to the 
Temple family about 1600, in the person of Sir Thomas 
Temple, who was knighted by James I. in 1603, and 
created a baronet in 161 1. His grandfather. Sir Peter 
Temple, who was descended from Leofric, Earl of ^Leicester, 
is said by some to have possessed the manor of Stowe half 
a century earlier. It is more probable that he was only a 
tenant of the Bishop. Sir Thomas Temple married Hester, 
the daughter of Myles Sandays, of Latimers — which is 
situated on the Chess, on the other side of the county — and 
she bore him a large family, thirteen in number. She lived 
to see four generations, consisting of seven hundred of her 
descendants. 

Sir Thomas was succeeded by his son Sir Peter, who 
was knighted by Charles I. in 1641, sat for Buckingham, 
and served in the army with two of his brothers. Sir 
Peter's son and successor was Sir Richard Temple, who 
was a leader among the Whigs, but is more especially 
remembered as the builder of Stowe House as we see it 
now. He was a Commissioner of Customs, and died in 
1697. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 63, 

After Sir Richard the first came Sir Richard the second, 
his son, better known first as Baron and then as Viscount 
Cobham. He received the first title in 1714, and the 
second in 1718. With his name most of the glories of 
Stowe as a residence are connected, and he died there in 
1749. Sir Richard had to do with military matters in 
early life. In 1702, he was with the Duke of Marlborough, 
in the Low Countries, and was present at the sieges of 
Venloo and Rutemonde. In 1706, he commanded a 
brigade, was present at the siege of Lisle, and was sent by 
the Duke to Queen Anne with the account of its capture. 
In 1708, he became Major-General, and in 1709 
Lieutenant-General. In the year of his barony he was 
sent as Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the 
Emperor, and in the year 1715 he was made Constable of 
Windsor Castle. In default of male heirs his titles passed, 
by special patent, to his sister Hester, who brought a new 
family to Stowe. For Hester Temple had married Richard 
Grenville, one of a distinguished family at Wootton, in the- 
centre of the county, and the Grenvilles, her descendants, 
leaving the home of their ancestors, made Stowe their chief 
residence. Viscountess Cobham's grandson, George 
Grenville, was created Marquis of Buckingham in 1784, 
and the son of the latter, Richard, was created Duke of 
Buckingham in 1822. The family had now taken many 
additional names, those of the families into which its 
members had respectively married, and the complete name 
ran Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville. The 

family has, however, died out in male line in the person 
of the third and last Duke. It was in August, 1848, in 
the time of the second Duke, that the famous Stowe sale 
took place. It lasted thirty-four days, and Messrs. Christie 
and Manson were the auctioneers. Much has been said 
and written of the way in which the art treasures of Stowe 
were scattered throughout the country, but it is not 
generally known that the Duke re-purchased many of 
them and replaced them in their positions, and that others 
were in reality never moved away from the house. 



•64 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

The last page in the history of Stowe has been the 
residence there of the Comte de Paris, who took it on a 
seven years' lease in 1889, and died in the house 
in 1895. 

- . In 1847, the Queen and the Prince Consort paid a 
visit to the Duke here. 

But to go back a little into the history of Stowe House. 
The first Lord Cobham, Marlborough's General, gathered 
the wits of the day around him, in the gardens which he 
laid out so magnificently in the early part of the eighteenth 
century, and these friends celebrated their charms in verse. 
Pope, in his " Moral Essays," thus describes these gardens 
in his fourth epistle, " The Use of Riches " — 

" To build, to plant, whatever you intend, 
To rear the column or the arch to bend, 
To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot, 
In all, let nature never be forgot. 
But treat the goddess like a modest fair, 
Nor over dress, nor leave her wholly bare. 
Let not each beauty everywhere be spied. 
Where half the skill is decently to hide. 
He gains all points who pleasingly compounds, 
Surprises, varies, and conceals the bounds. 
Consult the genius of the plan in all : 
That tells the waters or to rise or fall ; 
Or helps the ambitious will the heavens to scale. 
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale : 
Calls in the country, catches opening glades, 
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades : 
Now breaks, or now directs, the intending lines ; 
Paints as you plant, and as you work, designs. 
Still follow sense, of every art the soul. 
Parts answering parts shall slide into a whole. 
Spontaneous beauties all around advance. 
Start even from difficulty, strike from chance ; 
Nature shall join you : Time shall make it grow 
A work to wonder at — perhaps a Stowe ! 
Without it, proud Versailles ! thy glory falls : 
And Nero's terraces desert their walls : 
The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make, 
Lo ! Coljham comes, and floats them with a lake." 




o 
o 

H 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 65 
Thompson also speaks of these far-famed gardens : — 

" O lead me to the wide-extended walks, 
And fair majestic paradise of Stowe ! 
Not Persian Cyrus or Ionia's shores 
E'er saw such sylvan scenes ; such various art 
By genius fir'd, such ardent genius turned 
By cool, judicious art ; that in the strife 
All-beauteous Nature fears to be outdone." 

For rather later records of Stowe we turn to the 
delightful gossiping letters of Horace Walpole, who was 
an occasional visitor here. More especially does he 
describe the fete given in honour of a visit paid by the 
Princess Amelia, the daughter of George II. On June 
29th, 1770, he wrote to George Montagu, his constant cor- 
respondent : — " The case is. Princess Amelia has insisted 
on my going with her to, that is, meeting her at, Stowe,. on 
Monday, for a week." Three days later he repeats what 
he has to say on the matter of the invitation : — " I have 
been at Park Place with Princess Amelia, and she insisted 
on my meeting her at Stowe to-morrow. She had mentioned 
it before, and as I have no delight in a royal progress, 
and as little in the Seigneur Temple, I waived the honour 
and pleasure, and thought I should hear no more of it. 
However, the proposal was turned into a command, and 
everybody told me I could not refuse." 

Six days later he gives Montagu an account of the visit 
and the festivities : — " The party passed off much better 
than I expected. A Princess at the head of a small set 
for five days together did not promise well. However, she 
was very good-humoured and easy, and dispensed with a 
large quantity of etiquette. Lady Temple is good nature 
itself, my Lord was very civil, Lord Besborough is made 
to suit all sorts of people. Lady Mary Coke respects 
royalty too much not to be very condescending, Lady Ann 
Howard and Mrs. Middleton filled up the drawing-room, 
or rather made it out, and I was so determined to carry it 
off as well as I could, and happened to be in such good 

E 



66 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

spirits, and took such care to avoid politics, that we laughed 
a good deal, and had not one cloud the whole time. 

" We breakfasted at half an hour after nine, but the 
Princess did not appear till it was finished ; then we" walked 
in the garden, or drove about in cabriolets till it was time 
to dress ; dined at three, which, though properly pro- 
portioned to the smallness of company to avoid ostentation, 
lasted a vast while, as the Princess eats and talks a great 
deal ; then again into the garden till past seven, when we 
came in, drank tea and coffee and played at Pharaoh till 
ten, when the Princess retired and we went to supper, and 
before twelve to bed. You see there was great sameness 
and little vivacity in all this. It was a little broken by 
fishing, going round the park one of the mornings ; but, 
in reality, the number of buildings and variety of scenes 
in the garden make each day different from the rest, and 
my meditations on so historic a spot prevented my being 
tired. Every acre brings to one's mind some instance of 
the parts or pedantry, of the taste or want of taste, of the 
ambition, or love of fame, or greatness, or miscarriages of 
those that have inhabited, decorated, planned, or visited 
the place. Pope, Congreve, Vanbrugh, Kent, Gibbs, Lord 
Cobham, Lord Chesterfield, the mob of nephews, the 
Lytteltons, Grenvilles, Wests, Leonidas Glover, and Wilkes, 
the late Prince of Wales, the King of Denmark, Princess 
Amelia, and the proud monuments of Lord Chatham's 
services, now enshrined there, then anathematized there, 
and now again commanding there with the Temple of 
Friendship, like the Temple of Janus, sometimes open to 
war, and sometimes shut up in factious cabals — all these 
images crowd upon one's memory, and add visionary per- 
sonages to the charming scenes, that are so enriched with 
fanes and temples, that the real prospects are little less 
than visions themselves. 

" On Wednesday night a small Vauxhall was acted for 
us at the grotto in the Elysian Fields, which was illuminated 
with lamps, as were the thicket and two little barques on 
the lake. With a little exaggeration I could make you 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 67 

believe that nothing' was so deUghtful. The idea was really 
pretty, but as my feelings have lost something of their 
romantic sensibility, I did not quite enjoy such an enter- 
tainment al fresco so much as I should have done twenty 
years ago. The evening was more than cool, and the 
destined spot anything but dry. There were not half 
lamps enough, and no music but an ancient militia-man, 
who played cruelly on a squeaking tabor and pipe. As 
our procession descended the vast flight of steps into the 
garden, in which was assembled a crowd of people from 
Buckingham and the neighbouring villages to see the 
Princess and the show, the moon shining very bright, I 
could not help laughing as I surveyed our troop, which, 
instead of tripping lightly to such an Arcadian entertain- 
ment, were hobbling down by the balustrades, wrapped up 
in cloaks and great coats for fear of catching cold. The 
Earl, you know, is bent double, the Countess very lame ; 
I am a miserable walker, and the Princess, though as strong 
as a Brunswick lion, makes no figure in going down fifty 
steps. Except Lady Anne, and by courtesy Lady Mary, 
we were none of us young enough for a pastoral." 

Truly a delightful account this of a stay in a country 
house a century and a quarter ago. 

The entrance to Stowe is immediately outside the town 
of Buckingham, and a straight avenue leads from this 
outer entrance to the gate of the park itself, a distance 
of a mile and a half. The park entrance is beneath a 
Corinthian arch, and from this point there is a splendid 
view of t'he south-east front of the house, seen across 
the lake which lies in front, and distant rather more than 
half a mile. The approach to the house originally ran 
through the gardens on the east side, crossing the lake 
by a covered-in Palladian bridge. The present road makes 
a long detour to the west, and the approach to the house 
is now on the north-west front. 

The road, soon after it has crossed the lake, which is 
really a branch of the Ouse dammed up — 

" So Cobham comes and floats them with a flood " — 



68 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

passes between two classical structures known as Boycot 
Pavilions, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh. They take 
their name from the little manor of Boycot, which occupied 
this portion of the park, but is now merged in that of 
Stowe. One of these is fitted as a small dwelling-house, 
the windows and entrance being on the side away from 
the road. A little further the road enters another at right 
angles. This latter road, which comes into the park at 
the Boycot Lodge, is the old Roman way which comes from 
Bicester, and crosses the Ouse at Stratford, the street ford, 
a couple of miles to the south-west. It runs in a perfectly 
straight line across the park, in front of the house, but 
its direction is lost when it leaves the enclosure. 

The north-west front of Stowe House is not very inter- 
esting. There is a centre with a portico, and a colonnade 
sweeps round on each side. There is nothing to break the 
monotony of the great expanse of gravel in front except 
an equestrian statue of George I. On the left-hand side 
are the entrances to the offices and to the kitchen gardens, 
where Lancelot Brown — " Capability Brown " — ^worked 
as a gardener from 1737 to 1750, and also learnt something 
of that landscape gardening which he afterwards carried 
out so successfully at Kew, Blenheim, Newnham Courtenay, 
and elsewhere. On the right-hand side are the stables. 

We must go round to the other side to see the magni- 
ficent front built by Sir Richard Temple, a grand elevation 
916 feet in length. The centre is a lofty portico with a 
pediment, approached by forty steps, at the foot of which 
are lions copied from those in the Villa Medici in Rome. 
In the loggia beneath the portico were six antique figures 
from the Braschi collection. Two are, however, gone. In 
the intercolumniations were once groups by Schumaker, 
Delorme, and others. Two only are left, and they are 
antique examples, and very good ones too. They were 
bought at the sale by a purchaser who never divulged his 
name, and were left standing in their original positions that 
it might be said that at least two of the works of art had 
never been moved. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 69 

A curious feature about this front is that no upper storey 
is visible. Of course there is an upper storey, but it is 
concealed by the following device : — The upper rooms are 
built in blocks, the windows of which face one another, with 
an open space between them, while only the blank gable- 
ends are exposed to the front. The arrangement adds to 
the grandeur of the whole it is true, but it deprives the 
upstairs rooms of their rightful view across the park. They 
are built as though they stood in the street of a town. 
One other criticism we must make. By way of adding 
dignity to the two extreme ends of the fagade, the windows 
at each extremity are larger than those in the blocks on 
each side of the central portico. The consequence is that 
the principal state rooms, which are those nearest to the 
centre, have smaller windows than the less important apart- 
ments at the ends. 

It will be well understood that the extreme length of 
the fagade does away with any possibility of building 
round a quadrangle, so common an arrangement elsewhere. 
Stowe House is a long line of magnificent apartments which 
face the gardens. Behind these are merely passages and 
little suites of visitors' rooms. The upper portion we have 
already described. 

From the loggia beneath the portico we pass into the 
marble saloon, which is built with a marvellous dome, 
copied, it might be, from that of the Pantheon. It has a 
similar central opening. The frieze above the cornice has 
a wonderful group of figures, by Valdre, running round it, 
and representing a Roman triumph. 

On the north-west side of the marble saloon is the 
entrance hall, from which another portico opens on to the 
carriage-drive. The ceiling of this hall was painted by 
Kent, who was an artist of many parts, and possibly repre- 
sents Victory presenting a sword to Lord Cobham. There 
are two pieces of ancient sculpture let into panels, and there 
is a copy of the Venus de Medici ; but the chief ornament 
of this hall is a magnificent vase brought from Hercu- 



yo Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

laneum. It had been shattered, but has been very craftily 
joined together again. Beneath is a small dark chamber, 
commonly called the Egyptian Hall, as it has round it some 
transparencies copied from Baron Denon's drawings of 
Egyptian bas-reliefs. 

From the marble saloon all the principal apartments open 
right and left. They have doors leading from one to 
another, and when all these doors are open there is an 
apparently interminable vista, for large mirrors close each 
end. 

The first room to the north-west is the state drawing- 
room. In this apartment are several pictures brought back 
after the sale, and restored to their places. Amongst them 
is a Correggio — Mars, Venus, and Cupid — said to be a 
replica, if not the original, of the well-known one in the 
National Gallery. Over the mantelpiece is a piece of 
ancient sculpture, a sacrifice to Bacchus. Out of the draw- 
ing-room opens the large tapestry dining-room. The 
tapestry here never left the house. Here, too, over the 
mantelpiece, are some carvings by Grinling Gibbons, repre- 
senting mythological scenes, and differing from his usual 
work. 

The small tapestry dining-room comes next, and the 
tapestry here appears to represent some of the battles in 
which Lord Cobham was engaged. At any rate, the 
costumes are of his day. Over the mantelpiece is a 
Vandyck of one of the Temple family. The Duchess's 
drawing-room comes next, and is the last apartment at 
this end of the house. The two further corners have been 
divided off into square Japanese cabinets, fitted with china 
shelves. 

The music-room opens out from the other end of the 
marble saloon. Beyond this is the library, which is also 
a grand room, seventy-four feet by twenty-five feet. Three 
rooms beyond, which close this north-east end of the house, 
are not so important. One of them was fitted up as the 
Queen's bedroom for the royal visit. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. j\ 

The basement is well worth a visit. Some of the large 
corridors have been fitted up as armouries, and here are 
stacked the muskets used by the Regiment commanded by 
the Marquis of Buckingham in the Peninsula. An inner 
armoury is approached by a small well staircase, and is 
lighted by a central lantern of stained glass. Out of this 
armoury opens the MS. library, in the lockers of which are 
stored away countless bundles of Grenville papers. This 
room was fitted up in a sort of Gothic style by Sir John 
Soane, and in the centre of the vaulted ceiling are the 
seven hundred and nineteen quarterings of the families of 
Temple, Grenville, Nugent, and Chandos. Over the door- 
way connecting the two rooms is a curious bas-relief, repre- 
senting the battle of Bosworth. 

The chapel, which smells sweetly of its cedar-wood 
panelling, is partly on the beisement and partly on the 
ground floor, for the gallery, which is approached from the 
state apartments, and forms the family pew, looks down 
upon the floor and the altar. Here was preserved until 
the sale the organ of James II. 's travelling chapel, that 
chapel which he erected in the camp on Hounslow Heath, 
and in which he hejird Mass as the soldiers shouted in 
triumph at the acquittal of the seven bishops. The colours 
of the Marquis of Buckingham's regiment hang from the 
walls. 

The basement is a huge rambling network of stone 
passages and corridors. In one place we come to a plunge 
bath, and standing out by itself is the huge kitchen, not 
unlike that of Trinity College, Cambridge, with a large 
open fire-place, before which any amount of long spits 
may turn, and which requires a ton of coal to set its fire 
going in the morning. 

The rooms are desolate and lonely now, though in some 
places the tapestry carpets, with the family arms worked on 
them, still cover the floor. No one has resided here since 
the death of the Comte de Paris in 1895. But we may go 
back beyond the days of exiled royalty, and imagine the 



72 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

place as it was in the days of Walpole. We may people 
it with fair ghosts in high-heeled shoes and monstrous head- 
dresses, and with male shades in deep skirted coats of 
many colours, and with flowing wigs on their heads, and 
we shall imagine the gossiping Horace moving about in 
the old-fashioned company, delighting all with his wit and 
talk as he now delights us with his letters. 

But we have yet to visit the gardens. These extend 
chiefly to the front and east of the house, and are four 
hundred acres in extent. In front they are laid out with 
some idea of symmetry. There are stiff borders in front 
of the portico, and there are pavilions away in the park 
across the lake, one on each side of the vista which is 
finished by the Corinthian entrance arch, similar in design. 
These pavilions were the work of Kent, but altered by 
Boora. The Temple of Venus, once adorned with scenes 
from the " Faerie Queene,'' which have now been destroyed, 
and the Queen's Buildings, erected in honour of Charlotte 
Sophia, wife of George III., and designed by Kent, also 
correspond with one another on this side of the water. 

Away on the north-weSt side we have the Temple of 
Bacchus, which possessed some sculpture by Nollekins, 
representing the revels of Bacchus, and the monument of 
Queen Caroline on four Ionic columns, erected " Divas 
Carolinae." 

The hermitage and the cascades, as they are called, 
which are formed by the elevation of one portion of the 
lake above another, are not much ; and the beauty of the 
true landscape garden is to be found towards the north- 
east, where a branch lakelet runs up into a dell with 
moderately steep sides. Here William Kent gave full play 
to his creative powers ; here we have a delightful succes- 
sion of hill and dale, lofty trees, and close thicket, dotted 
here and thfere with the temples and monuments which were 
so many of them designed by the same artist. Here is 
that portion of the grounds called the " Elysian Fields," 
and this is what Walpole has to say of them just after that 
visit which has already been described in his own words : — 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 73 

" Twice a day we made a pilgrimage to almost every 
heathen temple in that province that they call a garden ; 
as there is no sallying out of the house without descending 
a flight of steps as high as St. Paul's. My Lord Bes- 
borough would have dragged me up to the top of the 
column, to see all the kingdoms of the earth ; but I would 
not, if he could have given them to me. To crown all, 
because we live under the line, and that we were all of us 
giddy young creatures, of near threescore, we supped in a 
grotto in the Elysian Fields, and were refreshed with rivers 
of dew and gentle showers that dripped from all the trees ; 
and put us in mind of the heroic ages, when kings and 
queens were shepherds and shepherdesses, and lived in 
caves, and were wet to the skin two or three times a day. 
Well ! thank heaven, I am emerged from that Elysium, and 
once more in a Christian country! — not but, to say the 
truth, our Pagan landlord and landlady were very obliging, 
and the party went off much better than I expected." 

Here or hereabouts are gathered all the various temples 
and other buildings. Here is the Temple of Ancient 
Virtue, with statues by Schumaker of Lycurgus, Socrates, 
Homer, and Epaminondas. " The Grecian Temple is 
glorious," writes Walpole. " This I openly worship.'' Close 
by is the monument to Captain Thomas Grenville, a 
column studded with ships' prows in classical fashion. He 
was killed in a naval action, when serving under Lord 
Anson, in 1747, and his last words (he was quite a young 
man) are recorded on the pillar, " Better to die thus than to 
be arraigned before a court-martial." 

The Temple of British Worthies, also the work of Kent, 
is near the lake. It is built in the form of a segment of a 
circle, with the figures of the " worthies " in niches. They 
are Pope, Sir Thomas Gresham, Ignatius Jones, Milton, 
Shakespeare, Locke, Newton, Bacon, King Alfred, Queen 
Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, John 
Hampden, Frederic Prince of Wales, and Sir John Barnard. 
The busts are the work of Rysburgh and Schumaker. 



74 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

There is a Temple of Concord and Victory, erected in 
1763, to celebrate the close of the seven years' war by the 
Treaty of Paris. 

A former famous building, now unroofed and almost a 
ruin, is the Temple of Friendship. It was erected by Lord 
Cobham to commemorate the Prince of Wales, Lord 
Chesterfield, Lord Westmoreland, Lord Marchmount, 
•Gower, Lord Bathurst, Temple, the elder Pitt, Lyttelton, 
and Cobham himself. Walpole described this erection, or 
rather the busts to be found therein, during a former visit in 
1753: — "The Temple of Friendship, in which among 
twenty memorandums of quarrels, is the bust of Mr. Pitt. 
Mr. James Grenville is now in the House, whom his uncle 
disinherited for his attachment to that very Pylades, Mr. 
Pitt. He broke with Mr. Pope, who is deified in the 
Elysian Fields, before the inscription for his head was 
finished. That of Sir J. Barnard, which was bespoke by 
the name of a bust of my Lord Mayor, was by a mistake 
of the sculptor done for Alderman Perry. But I have no 
patience at building and planting a satire." His metaphoric 
words, " Such is the Temple of Modern Virtue in ruins ! " 
have become an actual fact. 

On an island in the lake is a monument to Congreve, by 
Kent, with a monkey on a pillar to represent comedy. 

There is an urn which commemorates William Pitt, Earl 
of Chatham, and was brought from Burton Pynsent, in 
Somerset, from which Pitt took his second title. It was 
first erected there by Hester, his wife, who was herself a 
Grenville. A pillar was also erected to Lord Cobham 
himself. 

A church-like building, with a tower rising up among the 
trees, is the Gothic Temple. It is a sort of Moorish Gothic, 
but pleased Walpole: — "In the heretical corner of my 
heart," he says, " I adore the Gothic building which by some 
unusual inspiration Gibbs has made pure and beautiful and 
venerable. The style has a propensity to the Venetian or 
Mosque Gothic, and the great column near it makes the 
whole put one in mind of the Place of St. Mark." 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 75 

An entrance from the park into the gardens on the south- 
east side is in the form of a Doric archway. Walpole thus 
describes its origin. He is still referring to the visit of 
the Princess : — " But the chief entertainment of the week, 
at least what was so to the Princess, was an arch, which 
Lord Temple has erected to her honour in the most 
enchanting of all picturesque scenes. It is inscribed on 
one side Amelia Sophia Aug., and has a medallion 
of her on the other. It is placed on an eminence at the 
top of the Elysian Fields in a grove of orange trees. You 
come to it on a sudden, and are startled with delight on 
looking through it : you at once see through a glade, the 
river winding at bottom, from which a thicket arises arched 
over with trees, but opened, and discovering a hillock full 
of hay-cocks, beyond which in front is the Palladian bridge, 
and again over that a larger hill crowned with the castle. 
It is a tall landscape framed by the arch and the embower- 
ing trees, and comprehending more beauties of light, shade, 
and buildings than any picture of Albano I ever saw. 

" Between the flattery and the prospect the Princess was 
really in Elysium! She visited her arch four or five times 
every day, and could not satiate herself with it. The 
statues of Apollo and the Muses stand on each side of the 
arch. One day she found in Apollo's hand the following 
lines, which I had written for her, and communicated to 
Lord Temple : — 

" T'other day, with a beautiful frown on her brow, 
To the rest of the gods said the Venus of Stowe : 
' What a fass is here made with that arch just erected ! 
How our temples are slighted, our altars neglected ! 
Since yon nymph has appeared, we are noticed no more, 
AH resort to her shrine, all her presence adore : 
And, what's more provoking, before all our faces 
Temple hither has drawn both the Muses and Graces. ' 
' Keep your temper, dear child,' Phoebus cried, with a smile, 
' Nor this happy, this amiable festival spoil. 
' Can your shrine any longer with garlands be dress'd ? 
' When a true goddess reigns, all the false are suppress'd. '" 



76 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

" If you will keep my counsel, I will own to you, that 
originally the two last lines were much better, but I was 
forced to alter them out of decorum, not to be too Pagan 
on the occasion ; in short, here they are as in the first 
sketch : — 

" Recollect, once before, that our oracle ceased 
When a real divinity rose in the East. " 

" So many heathen temples around made me talk as 
a Roman poet would have done : but I corrected my verses, 
and have made them insipid enough to offend nobody. 
Good-night. I am rejoiced to be once more in the gay 
solitude of my own little temple." 

Away to the north-east of the Elysian Fields is the 
Bourbon Tower, which was erected to commemorate the 
Restoration of Louis XVIII. When residing at Hartwell, 
near Aylesbury, during his exile, he occasionally came over 
to Stowe, and on this spot he planted a tree, being driven 
to it in a low carriage, as he was far too fat to be able to 
walk through the grounds. 

There is one building in the gardens which is older than 
the temples and monuments, and even the gardens them- 
selves. It is the parish church of St. Mary, a modest 
little ecclesiastical building of no particular interest except 
that it reminds us that Stowe is a parish in itself, with the 
history of an English parish, and that our Saxon ancestors 
had their station on the street of their Roman predecessors, 
hundreds of years before William Kent laid out these 
gardens, built these temples, and formed these lakes. 



77 




FAWLEY COURT. 

By Mrs. Emily J. Climenson. 

jITH an air of dignity, and conscious security of 
past fame and present interest, does this stately 
mansion stand, with its four fronts placed to the 
cardinal points, embosomed in its ancient trees. 
Facing on the east is the silvery Thames ; on the north 
and south are its terraced gardens and park, and westward 
the hanging slopes of its deer park. Fawley Court is 
situated a little over a mile from the town of Henley-on- 
Thames, on the Buckinghamshire side of the river ; 
opposite to it lies, midstream, an island, crowned by a white 
Grecian-architectured building called the " Temple," 
belonging to Fawley estate, well known as the starting 
point of that now international annual meeting called 
Henley Regatta, at once the " Mecca " of oarsmen and the 
great annual water picnic to which all classes crowd, and 
endorse, after long years of attendance, Shakespeare's 
words, " custom cannot stale thine infinite variety." To 
turn to ancient history, Fawley, Falelie, Falley, or Falle 
(as it is variously spelt in old deeds), stands in the county 
of Bucks in the Hundred of Desborough. The county 
demarcation line, irregularly drawn, runs through its 
grounds, dividing Oxfordshire from Buckinghamshire. 
The parish is about three miles long by two broad ; the 
church is perched up on the hill almost opposite the Court, 
approached by a long and romantically beautiful drive 
through beech woods. From the Vicarage hard by a most 
extensive view is embraced, in which Windsor Castle 
forms an object of interest. In Domesday the account of 



78 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Fawley runs thus : — " Herbrand holds Falelie of Walter, 
for which he is taxed ten hides ; there are fourteen 
carucates of land. In demesne there are two, and thirteen 
villeins, with one copyholder, having twelve plough lands. 
There are five servi, and two carucates of pasture. The 
wood affords pannage for one hundred hogs. Altogether 
it is worth six pounds ; when he received it an hundred 
shillings ; in the reign of the Confessor six pounds, 
when Earl Tosti held this manor." Tosti was the son of 
Earl Godwin, created Earl of Northumberland, deprived 
of the manor for his cruelty. The Walter mentioned as 
supreme lord was Walter de Bolebec, surnamed " Giffard," 
the son of Osberne de Bolebec and Aveline his wife, near 
relations of the Conqueror. The tenant, Herbrand de 
Saultcheveril, or de Salchevilla, had accompanied the 
Conqueror from Normandy as a commander of the Norman 
force ; " according to Collins, he is placed at the head of 
the Sacheveril or Sackville pedigree, and was seventh in 
the roll in an ancient MS. in the hands of Edward Guyn, 
Custos Brevium in the reign of James I." Herbrand him- 
self returned to Normandy, and was living there 1079. He 
had three sons, Jordan, William, and Robert. William 
remained in England, having a knight's fee at Fawley, 
and married Albreada ; by her he had a son and three 
daughters. The son died, so in fault of male issue Sir 
Robert, the third son, succeeded to his brother William's 
estate, and his descendant, Bartholomew de Sackville, 
held the property in A.D. 1250, as part of the Lordship of 
Crendon, in the Honour of Wallingford. When Walter 
Giffard, the third Earl of Buckingham, died, in 1164, S.P., 
his lands were divided between his sisters. The fee be- 
longed to the estate, but Fawley remained in the hands 
of the De Sackvilles till Margery, daughter of Thomas 
Sackville, carried it by marriage to one Thomas Rokes, or 
Rookes, his arms being a fess inter three rooks proper. 
Margery had a son, Thomas, who was knighted, was M.P. 
for Bucks in 12 Edward IV., and Sheriff for that 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 79 

county 2 Henry III. He married a daughter of Sir 
William Stonor. He was succeeded in turn by his son, 
another Thomas, who married Elizabeth Chambers, of 
Staffordshire. Their son Robert, married twice ; first to 
Mary Godsalve, by whom he had one daughter, Phyllis, 
who married Thomas Lovelace. By Robert's second mar- 
riage with Elizabeth Oglethorpe, of Newington, Oxon, 
he had a son and two daughters. One daughter, the 
surviving child, carried Fawley in marriage to Sir Henry 
Alford, of Hall Place, Berks. The Alford arms are — 
Azure a chief, in base 6 pears or, impaling argent semee de 
'fleurs de lis or, a lion rampant argent. I mention these 
arms because they are amongst the family quarterings of 
arms on Sir James Whitelock's monument in Fawley 
church ; hence they appear to denote that there was a 
relationship between the Whitelock and Alford families. 
Langley states, in his " Hundred of Desborough," that he 
did not know whether Sir James Whitelock bought or 
inherited Fawley, but that in an inquisition taken at the 
death of Sir James it was alleged that he held from the 
heirs of Francis, Lord Talbot. We have, however. Sir 
James' own words, in his " Liber Famelicus " ; he bought 
Fawley, in 1616, for about ;£'9,ooo from Sir William Alford, 
and he and his wife spent the following summer there, 
'' mending and repairing the house, orchards, and gardens." 
The same year, January, 1616, Sir William Alford sold 
Henley Park to Sir John Mellor, and he in turn sold this 
estate to Sir James Whitelock, in 1620 ; henceforth the 
two adjoining properties remained in the same hands. Sir 
James Whitelock was of a good family, settled at 
Wokingham, Berks. He was born November 28th, 1570, 
educated at Merchant Taylors' School, and was afterwards 
scholar of St. John's, Oxford, in 1594, Bachelor of Civil 
Law, then Summer Reader in the Middle Temple, Chief 
Justice of Chester, and afterwards Judge of Common Pleas. 
He was a most eminent lawyer, and a very learned man. 
He married, in 1602, Elizabeth Bulstrode, of Hedgeley 



8o Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Bulstrode, Bucks ; by her he had one son and two 
daughters. Sir James wrote a book called " Liber 
Famelicus," which gives very interesting details of his life. 
He was a favourite amongst his Henley neighbours, for 
frequent mention is made in the Corporation records of 
presents to him — fish, " swannys," sugar loaves, and 
haunches of venison, etc. In 1625, the plague raged in 
London to such an extent that the Law Courts had to be 
adjourned at Michaelmas term. This compelled Sir James 
to visit London for the purpose of dismissing the courts. 
To avoid infection he left his whole retinue, with the 
exception of two men, outside London. Having completed 
his errand he returned to what is now Hyde Park corner, 
and sat in his coach eating cold meat which he had brought 
from home. After this he speedily returned to Fawley 
Court. The plague was very bad at Henley, and simply 
raged at Medmenham, the village opposite Fawley Court, 
across the river, nearly all its inhabitants dying. Sir James 
kept his people much retired at Fawley : the doors shut, and 
when money was to be paid at harvest-time a tub of water 
was placed at the door, and the money first put into it, 
and taken out by the person who was to receive it. Sir 
James must have been a kind-hearted master, for an old 
servant of his named Bull, who had lived with him forty 
years, presuming on his position of long service, his master 
gave him warning, which he would not take ! saying, " if 
you do not know when you have a good servant, I know 
when I have a good master," and Bull lived to survive 
Sir James and be servant to his son and successor. Sir 
Bulstrode. 

In 1622, Sir James bought the adjoining estate, Phyllis 
Court, from Sir John Mellor. He lost his wife May 28th, 
1 63 1. In December that same year, a chapel he had built 
was consecrated at Fawley by the then Bishop of Lincoln, 
John Williams. Sir James did not long survive ; he died 
June 2 1 St, 1632. King Charles I. said of him, that he was 
"a stout, wise, and learned judge, and one who knew 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 8i 

what belongs to uphold magistrates and magistracy in 
their dignity." Whitelock was a friend of Archbishop 
Laud, but uttered these prophetic words, " Laud is too 
full of fire, though a just and good man ; his want of ex- 
perience in State matters, his too great zeal for the Church,, 
this heat, if he proceeds in the way he is now in, will set 
this nation on fire." How true these words were was only 
too soon to be proved. Sir Bulstrode Whitelock gave this 
noble character of his father : " In his death the king lost 
a good subject, the country as good a patriot, the people 
as just a judge as ever lived. All honest men lamented 
the loss of him. No man in his age left behind him a 
more honoured memory. His reason was clear and strong, 
and his learning deep and general. He was perfect master 
of the Latin, and understood Greek and Hebrew ; was 
versed in the Jewish histories, and exactly knowing in the 
history of his own country ; he was very conversant in 
the studies of antiquity and heraldry, and in the pedigree 
of most persons of honour and quality in the kingdom ; he 
was not by any excelled in the knowledge of the common 
laws of England, wherein his knowledge of the Civil law 
(whereof he was a graduate in Oxford), was a help to him ; 
his learned arguments both at the Bar and Bench will 
confirm this truth." Sir Bulstrode built a transept to- 
Fawley church, and erected in it a noble tomb to his 
parents' memories. Their life-sized figures lie side by side, 
he in his judge's robes under a canopy supported by black 
marble pillars. Two female figures behind wear the joint 
arms of Whitelock and Bulstrode, viz., a tower embattled 
frette argent and gules, on which are a goshawk or, and a 
bull's head. The altar part of the monument bears many 
interesting quarterings of arms, too numerous to insert 
here. The Whitelock motto was " Nee Beneficio, nee 
metu." Sir Bulstrode Whitelock was born in London in 
1605. As the fashion then was, he was put out to nurse 
for the first year or so. He was sent to Woburn, Bucks, 
and for a while was a sickly child, and the nurse writes. 



82 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

" is testy, and will not eat his shaffling broth, though she 
made it as good as a gold noble." " Shaffling broth," 
which was then given to children to make them strong, 
" was composed of a potage stewed from young eels, and 
rendered unctuous by rusty bacon, which served to give 
the mass consistency, and the much prized golden colour ! " 
One is not surprised at young Bulstrode being " testy." 
This extraordinary mixture was known, it is said, to the 
Saxons as " Lamb's broth ! " Lady Whitelock went to see 
the little boy, and brought him home, where he seems soon 
to have regained his health. He was sent when old enough 
to Merchant Taylors' School, and thence to St. John's 
College, Oxford, as his father had been. He was a pupil 
of Laud, then President of Saint John's, and the friend 
of Juxon, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury and Laud's 
special protege. That Bulstrode Whitelock had quite 
. recovered his strength since " shaffling broth " days is 
proved by the statement that he was so swift as to run 
down hares on foot. His knowledge of music was great, 
and he was chosen to preside over and choose the pieces 
to be performed at a grand masque given by the Inns of 
Court at Whitehall before Charles I. and his Queen, and 
for which selection he was much commended. Whitelock 
was very fond of falconry and driving. He kept tame 
cormorants in a ditch opening to the river at Fawley, in 
which he used to place fish and watch them caught. He 
made a pond, and had an arch built over upon piles, and 
kept his wine in summer in its cool recesses, and a boat. 
There is a record of his being upset with his coach-and-four 
driving to Reading. In 1633, he drove no less than ten 
times to London. The same year he met Archbishop 
Laud at the Bell Inn, Henley, now the Grammar School, 
and besought Laud to lie at Fawley Court as usual ; but 
there existed already a "little rift within the lute," and 
Laud and he had begun to drift apart in political and 
church matters; so the Archbishop refused to accept his 
hospitality. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 83 

Sir Bulstrode built a banqueting house at Fawley, doubt- 
less in the field called to this day the " Banqueting Field." 
Dissatisfied with it, he resolved to pull it down and re-build 
on higher ground. This new structure was only twelve feet 
square, but cost fully ^^'600. It was built in 1634. The 
steps, pavement, etc., were formed of blue and white 
Bletchington marble, selected from the quarry of his friend 
and kinsman. Sir Thomas Coghill ; no remains are trace- 
able now. This same year, in May, Whitelock's first wife, 
Rebecca, daughter of Alderman Bennet, died. By her 
he had one son, James. He was not long in consoling 
himself for her loss, for in the Fawley registers he married, 
on November 10th, 1634, Frances Willoughby, daughter of 
Lord Willoughby and Parham, descended from Edward 
III. ; by this lady he had nine children. At the commence- 
ment of the Long Parliament Whitelock was made Burgess 
of Marlow ; he was also chairman on the trial of the un- 
fortunate Lord Strafford. The Civil War troubles begin- 
ning when he was Deputy-Lieutenant for Bucks, he was 
sent by the Commons to prevent the meeting convened 
at Watlington by the Earl of Berkshire of the 
various mayors and corporations of neighbouring towns, 
Henley included, to raise money for the Royal cause ; and 
to support him he was accompanied by Colonel Goodwyn 
with a troop of Horse, and Colonel Hampden, with a com- 
pany of Foot. The earl was taken prisoner ; the Commis- 
sioners dispersed. Whitelock received a slight wound in 
the mouth. He was thoroughly anxious to adjust the 
differences between the king and the Parliament, and in 
1643 was one of the Commissioners sent to treat for peace 
with the king at Oxford. Though eventually deciding with 
the Parliament, he deprecated all violent proceedings 
against the king. After the battle of Edgehill Prince 
Rupert's Brigade were quartered at Henley, and a troop 
of about 1,000 horse were placed at Fawley Court. The 
following is Sir Bulstrode Whitelock's description of their 
conduct: — "Sir John Byrons and his brothers commanded 



84 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

those horse, and gave orders that they should commit no 
insolence at my house, nor plunder my goods ; but soldiers 
are not easily governed against their plunder nor per- 
suaded to restrain it ; for there being about i,ooo of the 
King's Horse quartered in and about the house, and none 
but servants there, there was no insolence or outrage 
usually committed by common soldiers on a reputed enemy 
which was omitted by these brutish fellows at my house. 
They had their women with them ; they spent and con- 
sumed two loads of corn and hay, littered their horses with 
sheaves of good wheat, and gave them all kinds of corn in 
the straw. Divers writings of consequence and books which 
were left in my study, some of them they tore in ^jieces, 
others they burnt to light their tobacco, and some they 
carried away with them, to my extreme loss and great 
prejudice in wanting the writings of my estate, and losing 
very many excellent manuscripts of my father's and others, 
and some of my own labours. They broke down my park 
pales, killed most of my deer through rascal and carrion, 
and let out the rest, only a tame young stag they carried 
away and presented to Prince Rupert, and my hounds, 
which were extraordinary good. They ate and drank up 
all that the house could afford, broke up all trunks, chests, 
and places, and where they found linen or any household 
stuff they took it away with them, and cutting the beds let 
out the feathers, and took away the tick ; they likewise 
carried away my coach, and four good horses, and all my 
saddle-horses, and did all the mischief and spite that malice 
and enmity could provoke barbarous mercenaries to commit, 
and so they parted." Whitelock might well have said, 
" If these are my friends, save me from my enemies ! " In 
fact, Fawley Court was rendered quite uninhabitable ; 
henceforth, when in the neighbourhood, Whitelock in- 
habited Phyllis Court, his adjacent property. This house 
was, in March, 1643, fortified for the Parliament, and a troop 
of horse and three hundred foot placed in it. Greenlands, 
lying the other side of Fawley Court, was fortified by 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 85 

its owner, Sir John D'Oyley, in the king's cause, and 
Fawley Court, lying between Phyllis Court and Green- 
lands, was " miserably torn and plundered by both gar- 
risons." To give all the details of the skirmishes near 
Fawley would take too much room in these pages. It was 
not till August, 1646, that Whitelock, then Governor of 
Henley; obtained permission to " slight," or dismantle, the 
fortifications of his property, Phyllis Court. He had 
refused to be on the trial of the king, and retired into the 
country at that period. By his exertions the king's 
library and collection of medals were preserved ; he was 
made keeper of them, and in 1649 was a Commissioner of 
the Seal, and in the Council of State. In 165 1, he pur- 
chased the estate of Greenlands from Sir John D'Oyley. 
His second wife had died in 1648 ; he must have soon re- 
married, this time to a rich widow, Mrs. Wilson, nh Carlton, 
for on being made Ambassador to Sweden, in 1653, his 
second child by her and sixth son, Carlton, was born on 
the day of his sailing, and two watermen rowed with all 
speed to the Phoenix, the ship he was in, to tell him of the 
fact. His third wife, we read, had amply provided him 
with all sorts of food, drink, and household stuff for his 
voyage, and he took a set of fine black coach horses as a 
present to Queen Christina, and a faithful mastiff as com- 
panion . to himself. The details of his stay in Sweden, 
written by himself, are interesting ; he was nearly ship- 
wrecked on returning home. In 1659, he applied to Crom- 
well for the Provostship of Eton, but was refused, and he 
observed Cromwell having sufficiently availed himself of 
his services no longer thought of obliging him. Under 
Richard Cromwell's Protectorship, Whitelock was President 
of the Council of State, and Keeper of the Great Seal. In 
1660, at the restoration, his wife destroyed many of his 
papers, fearing that they might incriminate him. Charles 
II., however, sent for him, treated him kindly, giving him 
his coronation Bible and Prayer Book, but bade him go 
back to his wife and his sixteen children ! At the time of 



86 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

his third marriage he had ten children. His last wife must 
have been a good-hearted woman, for she insisted on his 
not settling any of his money on her children by him, as 
she had enough of her own. 

Whitelock was heavily fined — ;£'90,000 was the sum fixed 
— but he could not manage to pay more than ;£^ 5 0,000, and 
then sacrificed several estates. He retired to Chilton, in 
Wiltshire, making over Fawley Court to James, his son by 
his first marriage ; to William, his eldest surviving son by 
his second marriage, he made over Henley Park and 
Phyllis Court. Dr. Lilly, the celebrated astrologer, left 
his fortune to Carlton, Whitelock's son by his third mar- 
riage. Sir Bulstrode Whitelock died in 1675, and was 
brought to Fawley for burial. 

About 1680, some five years after the death of his father, 
Sir James Whitelock sold Fawley Court to Colonel William 
Freeman. A new residence was designed by Sir 
Christopher Wren for Colonel Freeman, and was com- 
pleted in 1684. It was built on the original site. Some 
groined arches and a subterranean passage still exist of 
an older building, the date of which is unknown. The 
present terraces and courtyards are also on the original 
foundations. Colonel Freeman died without issue in 1 707, 
and left Fawley Court to his nephew, John Cook, son of 
his sister, who assumed the name of Freeman ; he married 
Susanna, daughter of Sir Jeremy Sambrook. They had one 
son, Sambrook ; he married Sarah Winford, but failing 
issue, Fawley Court passed, at his death, to Strickland 
Freeman, his nephew, Mrs. Sambrook Freeman retiring 
to live at Henley Park. Strickland Freeman married his 
cousin, Elizabeth Strickland. He was a great character, 
loved hawking, and wrote a book on breaking and training 
horses. With the bad taste of that time, he had Fawley 
Court, which was built of red brick, picked out with Port- 
land stone, whitened in July, 1787. He had no children, 
and the estate passed, at his death, to his relation, Admiral 
William Peere Williams, who changed his name to Freeman. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 87 

He was an old friend of and had been shipmate of 
William IV., who evinced a great regard for him, at his 
accession made him Admiral of the Fleet, and presented 
him with a splendid baton. The king stayed at Fawley 
Court during the admiral's life. George III. and George 
IV. had both visited it during Sambrook and Strickland 
Freeman's lifetimes. Admiral Freeman's son predeceasing 
him, the estate went to his grandson, William Peere 
Williams Freeman, who sold it, in 1853, to Edward 
Mackenzie, Esq., the father of the present proprietor, 
William Dalziel Mackenzie, Esq. Fawley Court has been 
the scene of many a splendid entertainment, specially dur- 
ing the Freeman possession. Large tenant dinners used 
to be given at Christmas and other times, and the toasts 
at one, circa 1784, are so original, I give them: — 

1. May the rich be charitable and the poor happy. 

2. Short shoes and long corns to all the enemies of 

Great Britain. 

3. May all great men be horiest, and all honest men 

great. * 

4. Peace and plenty. ' 

The present owner ■ of Fawley Court has restored the 
house to its original red colour, the bricks being scraped 
and re-faced ; its whole appearance is most handsome, and 
infinitely more so than when whitened. Fawley presents 
four ornamental fronts to the various points of the compass, 
the offices being underground. A new side wing was 
built in 1883, containing billiard-room, study, smoking- 
room, etc., etc. 

The house is entered by a colonnade of the Ionic order, 
and the hall is of splendid proportions, 40 ft. by 20 ft., and 
very lofty, the floor paved with black and white marble. 
Here, in 1 777, at ^ great ball, the guests sat down ninety- 
two at a time, another entrance being used. The saloon, 
opening from the hall, is of similar proportions, and con- 
tains a fine plaster ceiling, with the date of 1690, ascribed to 



88 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Grinling Gibbons. The marble chimney-piece is remark- 
ably handsome ; on one side of it are the Whitelock arms. 
The inlaid work of the doors of the drawing-room, and in 
the bookcases of the library, are the work of the Hon. 
Mrs. Damer, the sculptress of the heads of " Thamesis " 
and " Isis " on Henley Bridge. " Isis " was a portrait of 
Miss Freeman, Mrs. Damer being an intimate friend of the 
family. 

The house contains three principal staircases, all shut 
away from the centre hall ; on one of these hang all the 
studies for portraits in the grand picture of the Waterloo 
Banquet, which is hung in the dining-room. This picture 
was the work of Mr. W. Salter, M.A., President of the 
British Artists' Society, and was painted at the suggestion 
of Lady Burghersh, afterwards Countess of Westmoreland, 
a niece of the great Duke, who took great interest in it. 
It was to have been presented to the Duke, but his death 
prevented this, and the late Edward Mackenzie, Esq., then 
purchased it. It contains eighty-seven portraits ; amongst 
them are introduced, as attendants, the artist and the pub- 
lisher of the print taken from it. King William IV. is 
represented seated at the right hand of the Duke. The 
plate and candelabra on the table are pictures of presenta- 
tion pieces given to the Duke by the Emperor of Russia, 
Government of Portugal, merchants and citizens of London. 
The house is full of pictures and statuary. Amongst the 
most noticeable are a fine copy of a celebrated Titian, 
by Francesca Mola ; a Murillo, and other pictures, by 
Canaletto, P. Breughl, Cuyp, Mignart, Greuze, Honder 
Koeten, Sir J. Reynolds, Scholeberg, Vankesset, Morland, 
H. Vernet, Rosa Bonheur, Calderon, etc., etc. Geeps' 
statue of " Le reveil d'amour " stands in the hall ; Minerva, 
Eve and the Serpent, by Berzoni, etc., etc. Two magnifi- 
cent agate Florentine vases stand on "each side of the 
saloon door. The long corridor in the new wing, besides 
other pictures, has a complete and valuable series of 
Hogarth's prints framed and hung along it. The state 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 89 

bedroom contains a dais, and a curious old brown and gold 
four-post bedstead, hung in beautifully worked tapestry. 
The second state bedroom is decorated in the Chinese 
style. In the grounds is a very fine specimen of a Norman 
doorway, which stood once in Hart Street, Henley, near 
the church. It opened into a small stone chamber with 
a groined roof, and may possibly have been a religious 
cell, prison, or original "Guild Hall. It now forms the 
entrance to the dairy. The stone work of the arch is 
very fine. Near the river side is a sham ruin, but orna- 
mented with Grecian busts and urns, once forming part 
of the Arundel collection. A fine statue of Time, support- 
ing a sun-dial, is in the grounds, besides other statuary. 
The gardens are tastefully laid out, and magnificent speci- 
mens of trees exist in the park, numbers bearing veritable 
bushes of mistletoe growing on them. The deer park is 
across the public road, on the slopes of' Henley 
Park, and contains two hundred and fifty acres, 
a herd of se\'enty red deer, a rather larger amount 
of fallow, and a small herd of Japanese deer. In another 
portion of the park a troop of long-horned, shaggy High- 
land cattle form picturesque objects. Fawley Church 
contains some fine wood carving by Grinling Gibbons, 
bought by Mr. John Freeman, in 1748, from the sale at 
Canons, near Edgeworth, the seat of the Duke of Chandos. 



go 




AMERSHAM AND ITS BURNINGS. 

By W. H. Summers. 

JN the side of the hill lying to the north-east of 
the quiet, old-world town of Amersham, a close 
observer, when the green com is mantling the 
hill-side, may detect a depression on which the 
•corn is much scantier than in the field around. Here, says 
.local tradition, a martyr was burned, and so the corn will 
never grow. Some years ago, a local Nonconformist 
minister employed a labouring man to dig upon the spot, 
when it was found that an old chalk-pit had been filled 
lup with flints. The man died soon after, and there were 
jiot wanting those who looked on his death as a 
"judgment." In 1842, a more careful examination of the 
•site was made, and a quantity of flints were removed, and 
since that time the barrenness has been less marked. The 
old chalk-pit, visible as it is from the greater part of the 
little town, might very naturally be selected as a place of 
■execution. 

Turning now to Foxe's " Acts and Monuments," we find 
it stated (iv., 123, ed. Pratt) that in 1506, under William 
Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, " William Tylsworth was burned 
at Amersham, in a close called Stanley.'' His only 
daughter, Joan Clerk, was compelled, Foxe adds, to set 
fire to the faggots with her own hands, and her husband 
■and sixty others were obliged to carry faggots by way of 
penance, some of them being also branded on the cheek 
-with a hot iron. In another passage (iv., 214), Foxe tells 
us that at this time there were at Amersham a large number 
■of persons known as the " Justfast Men," or the " Known 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire, gi 

Men," who had " continued in that doctrine and teaching 
twenty-three years " before 1 5 1 8, which brings us to about 
1495. He goes on to say that they had " four principal 
readers or instructors." Tylsworth was one of these. 
Another was Robert Cosin, known as " Father Robert," a 
miller, of JMissenden, who, he says, was burned at the 
county town of Buckingham, the day after Tylsworth's 
martyrdom at Amersham. A third, Thomas Man, was 
burned at Smithfield, in 1 5 1 8. The fourth, Thomas Chase, 
an Amersham man, was kept a prisoner in the " Little 
Ease " attached to the Bishop of Lincoln's prison at 
Wooburn, where, Foxe says, his persecutors strangled 
him, then gave out that he had committed suicide, and 
buried him at the cross-roads between Wooburn and Little 
Marlow. It would serve little to dwell on the heated 
comments on this case which have been made by partisan 
writers, though it is amusing to note how a statement has 
been copied by' one after another implying that Foxe is 
refuted by fuller, when a moment's reference to the 
latter's " Church His.tory " would have shown that he 
endorses Foxe's statements. But it must be admitted that 
Foxe contradicts himself egregiously as to the next two 
martyrs on his Amersham list. He tells us (iv., 124) that 
Thomas Barnard, a husbandman, and JameS Morden, a 
labourer, were burned at one fire at Amersham about t,wo 
or three years after Tylsworth's death (i.e., 1508 or 1509). 
But later on (iv., 245) the same names occur as those of 
persons condemned in 1521, along with four others to be 
named presently. This is not all. He states (v., 545) that 
the same two men were burned at Amersham during the 
persecution which followed the Act of the Six Articles 
(i 539-1 542), and in the Kalendar prefixed to his works he 
gives 1542 as the date. A blunder hke this, which refutes 
itself, must obviously be due to careless editorship, not to 
any wilful perversion of facts. But which of the three is 
the correct date ? Bernard and Morden cannot have 
suffered as early as 1509, for they were both alive in 1521, 



92 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

when Foxe speaks pf their being examined by the Bishop's 
Commission. Nor, if it is correct that one suffered for 
teaching the Lord's Prayer in English, and the other for 
having an Enghsh copy of the Epistle of James, could 
1 542 be the date ; for by that time both of these acts 
were perfectly lawful. It must have been 1521. 

In that year, according to Foxe, John Longland, Bishop 
of Lincoln, the King's confessor, instituted an inquiry 
into the prevalence of heresy in Amersham and the sur- 
rounding district. The result is given in a very lengthy 
series of extracts, purporting to be from the registers of 
Lincoln (iv., 219-240). Nothing like them is to be found 
in the existing diocesan registers, and the whole have been 
denounced as a forgery. But no one who has followed up 
the local and family allusions and seen how, in scores of 
cases, they may be verified from independent sources, 
can acquiesce in this conclusion for a moment. However 
untrustworthy Foxe may be, and undoubtedly is, when 
repeating floating gossip, he has never, as Froude reminds 
us, been convicted of falsifying documents. The family 
names which occur in this list are the very same which 
occur in the sixteenth century registers of Amersham ; the 
very same, in many instances, which are " familiar as house- 
hold words " in Amersham and its neighbourhood to the 
present day. 

The result of this inquiry showed that the " Known 
Men " were as- numerous at Amersham as ever. Now this 
name, as we learn from Pecock's " Repressor," had been 
a watchword among the Lollards seventy years before, 
being used by them in the sense of " known of God " 
(" The Lord knoweth them that are His "). Lutheranism 
had not had time to affect the religious life of England yet. 
In these Amersham " heretics " we see the surviving 
influence of the native Lollardy, and the precursors of 
the Baptists and Quakers, afterwards so numerous in 
the district. They married only among themselves, we 
are told, had their own religious teachers, and regarded 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 93 

themselves as being the true Church. They read and 
passed to one another Lollard treatises and fragments of 
Wycliffe's version of the Bible. They spoke to one another 
in secret against image-worship, pilgrimages, transubstan- 
tiation, and the invocation of saints. Scattered all up 
and down the Chiltern country, they had their headquarters 
in Amersham, " the rendezvous of God's children in those 
days," says Fuller. Similar centres were at Newbury and 
Colchester. 

A large number of persons were subjected, we are told, 
to a rigorous examination as. to the views -held by them- 
selves and friends. Many were sentenced to imprisonment, 
branding, or severe penance, and six were condemned to 
death by fire. 

The first name is that of Thomas Bernard, who was con- 
demned, sad to say, on the evidence of his own son and 
daughter. In like manner, a principal witness against 
James Morden was his sister Marian. Robert Rave, or 
Reive, is the third on the list. He had been branded on 
the cheek some years before, when, says Fuller, " the 
brand did but take livery and seizin in his cheek, in token 
that his whole body should afterwards be in the free and 
full possession of the fire." Rave was an old man (he 
is spoken of as " Father Rave "), and seems to have lived 
at Dorney. 

Of John Scrivener, the next on Foxe's list, we have more 
interesting particulars (given us by Fuller) with regard to 
his martyrdom. As in the case of Tylsworth, his own 
children had to set ftre to the faggots, and this gave rise 
to an indignant protest. The priestly party defended it 
by the Mosaic law (Deut. xiii. 6-9). To this it was answered 
that even by the laws of Pagan Rome, the evidence of 
the child was not to be received against the parent. 

With regard to the remaining two, Thomas Holmes and 
Joan Norman, Foxe does not seem certain whether the 
sentence was actually carried out. Holmes, in particular, 
had given so much evidence against his co-religionists as 



94 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire, 

to awaken the suspicion that he was " a fee'd man of the 
bishop," and his life may have been spared on that account. 

Nothing is said as to the exact site of these later 
martyrdoms. The field already referred to, where the 
traces of the old chalk-pit are visible, is known as 
" Ruckles," or sometimes as " Martyr Field." It is dis- 
tinct from " Stanley Close," the field mentioned by Foxe 
as the scene of Tylsworth's burning, but it has been sug- 
gested that Stanley Close may formerly have been of 
greater extent, so as to include Ruckles, which now lies to 
the east of it. ' To the west of Stanleys again, lies a field 
called " Tenter Field," and west of that again, below the 
present rectory, is "Stony Prat." Now, it is a curious fact 
that in one of the numerous " Books of Martyrs," mainly 
compiled from Foxe, is one published early in the last 
century, and written by a Dr. Henry More, who, among 
other deviations from Foxe's account, says that Tylsworth, 
or, as he calls him, Tilfery, suffered in Stony Prat. I 
give this statement for what it is worth. My own impres- 
sion is that Tylsworth suffered at the traditional site of 
the bare ground (1506) ; that Bernard and Morden suffered 
" at one fire" some time in or about 1521 ; and Scrivener, 
perhaps along with Holmes and Joan Norman, at another 
time. Whether Amersham was the place of Rave's 
martyrdom there is no evidence. It is just possible that 
some of the burnings may have taken place at Stony Prat. 
But all this is conjecture. 

One more martyr was to endure the trial of fire and 
faggot in the district. In 1532, the aged Thomas Harding, 
who had done penance at Tylsworth's burning twenty- 
six years before, was condemned as a relapsed heretic, 
and was burned at Chesham on Corpus Christi Day. The 
site of his execution is still pointed out at Chesham, as 
well as the house in which he lived at Dungrove Farm, 
the spot at which he was found in the act of reading the 
English Bible, and the site of the house in which he spent 
the night before his martyrdom. Foxe gives an account of 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 95 

Harding's death in his most racy and vigorous style 
(iv., 580). It has been shown that this account is inaccurate 
in certain respects as to the details of Harding's trial, but 
it must be borne in mind that it is professedly based, not 
on the registers, but on the testimony of " certain inhabi- 
tants of Amersham." 

Thomas Harding, I think, was the last of the English 
Lollard martyrs ; the last, that is, of purely Lollard train- 
ing and sympathies ; and it is a curious coincidence that 
he suffered on the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the 
famous sermon of Philip Repyngdon, preached at Oxford 
on Corpus Christi Day, 1382, which first aroused Courtenay 
to take repressive measures against the Lollards. 

How came Lollardy to be so strong in the beautiful 
Misbourne Valley ? We have seen that Foxe could only 
trace its presence there back to about 1495. But it was. 
in reality of far earlier date. 

In 14 14, King Henry V. rode forth one Sunday even- 
ing in January into St. Giles's Fields to suppress, 
as was given out, an armed rebellion, the object of 
which was to dethrone and murder him, and to make the 
condemned Lollard, Sir John Oldcastle, regent of the 
kingdom. A number of arrests were made, and about 
forty persons, after trial, were hanged in St. Giles's Fields 
cut down while still alive, and cast into the fire, so as to 
suffer the combined penalties of treason and heresy. There 
is much about this affair that is very mysterious. It is 
not likely that the gathering, as some Protestant writers 
have maintained, was a simple religious assembly. On the 
other hand, it by no means appears certain that the move- 
ment had the mere anarchical or socialistic aims which some 
have ascribed to it. It may have been a Legitimist move- 
ment in support of the House of Mortimer. Anyhow, it 
was a protest against the persecuting policy of the House 
of Lancaster, and as such could not fail to have the 
sympathy of the Lollards. 

If the King suppressed the rebellion in the first place 



■go Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

with merciless severity, it cannot be denied that his policy 
after it had been suppressed was marked by clemency. A 
document is extant in the Patent Rolls in which it is set 
forth that William Tumour, Walter Yonge, and John Hazel- 
wode, of Amondesham, and John Fynche, of Missenden, 
having been condemned to death for treason, their goods 
and chattels had been forfeited to the Crown. But the 
King, compassionating their widows, Isabel Turnour, Alice 
Yonge, Isabel Plazelwode, and Matilda Fynche, had 
granted the said goods and chattels to them for the support 
of themselves and their children. 

On March 28th, the King offered a general pardon to 
the insurgents, with certain exceptions. Among these 
are the names of Thomas Drayton, rector of Drayton 
Beauchamp, and Thomas Cheyne, the son of Roger Cheyne, 
of the same place. The Cheynes had estates near Amer- 
sham, as well as at Drayton. Their descendants were 
staunch Protestants, and a descendant of this very Thomas 
Cheyne presented the illustrious Hooker to the living of 
Drayton Beauchamp. On May 20th, at Leicester, the 
King granted a special pardon to twenty-seven persons. 
Three of these were of South Bucks — John- Angret, or 
Angier, parson, of Isenhamstead Latimer ; John, or 
Thomas, Sebely, or Sedely, a fletcher, of Little Missenden, 
who appears to have resided on the border of the parish 
at Wycombe Heath ; and Richard Norton, alias Spycer, 
cooper, late of Wycombe, and now of London. Then we 
have a still later pardon issued in December, which sets 
forth that John Langacre, of Wycombe, mercer, formerly 
of London, had been tried for his share in the rebellion, 
and sentenced to be hanged in St. Giles's Fields. The 
King now pardons him, and includes in the pardon twelve 
other persons, among whom occurs the name of Richard 
Sprotford, of Amondesham, carpenter. In all, eleven names 
out of forty whose abodes can be traced came from Buck- 
inghamshire, and all from within a few miles of Amersham. 
Fifteen of the remainder were from the adjoining counties. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 97 

It has always been a moot point whether Oldcastle him- 
self was present in St. Giles's Fields, or took any active 
part in the insufrection. He had fled into Wales on his 
escape from the Tower the year before, and it was in 
Wales that he was arrested in 1418 ; but Redmayne, a 
chronicler of Henry VIII.'s time, says that in the mean- 
while he had returned and found a place of refuge at a 
farmhouse near St. Albans (from which Amersham is only 
about fifteen miles distant). He adds that some of the 
abbot's servants got to know of his return, and attempted 
to seize him. A fray ensued, in which some of his 
attendants were roughly handled, but Oldcastle himself 
managed to escape. 

In 1428, ten years after Oldcastle's fiery martyrdom, 
Richard Monk, Vicar of Chesham, was accused of heresy 
and recanted at St. Paul's ; and about the same time the 
parish priest of the neighbouring village of Hedgerley 
seems to have abjured in like manner. Richard Wiche, 
who was burned for heresy in 1439, appears to have been 
vicar of Harmondsworth, in Middlesex, not very far distant. 
In 1462, accusations of heresy were brought against 
John Barton, Geoffrey Symeon, John Crane, and Robert 
Body, of Amersham. Their depositions, which are in the 
Lincoln register of Bishop Chadworth, contain much inter- 
esting matter ; and the vicar of Chesham Bois is referred 
to in them as tainted with heresy. 

It is evident, therefore, that Amersham and its neigh- 
bourhood was a stronghold of Lollardy long before the 
martyrdom of Tylsworth and his fellows. The little town 
has, indeed, a peculiar place in English religious history. 
It was in its church that the great Scottish Reformer, John 
Knox, denounced in fiery language the succession of Mary 
to the throne, and spoke of the Emperor Charles V. in 
the terms which were afterwards remembered against him 
at his expulsion from the Imperial city of Frankfort. In 
the same church the zealous Presbyterian, Richard Baxter, 
held a public disputation with Anabaptist soldiers in the 



gS Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Parliamentary army. Each, no doubt, found traces of 
Lollard influence. The history of English LoUardy has 
yet to be written, in order to prepare the way for a true 
estimate of its place in our national life and thought. 
Dislike of the political and social aims ascribed to Oldcastle 
and his followers need not blind us to the spiritual value 
of the work of their later successors, which, to quote 
Archbishop Trench, in his " Lectures on Mediaeval Church , 
History," " did much to contribute to the Reformation that 
element of sincerity, truth, and uprightness, without which it 
could never have succeeded," and which, as he goes on to 
acknowledge, was often " miserably lacking " in the actions 
of more prominent Reformers. 



99 




HAMPDEN HOUSE AND JOHN HAMPDEN. 

By H. H. Harcourt-Smith. 

HOSE who only know Buckinghamshire from the 

railway little realise that within a very few miles 

of them, as they are whirled through the flat 

country between Slough and Maidenhead, lies 

one of the lovely little corners which nature has scattered 

throughout England. 

In the southern portion of the Chiltern Range, which 
runs through the south of the county, the lover of nature 
finds, at every season of the year, a feast of enjoyment. 

In the spring, the young green of the cornfields 
competes with the tender leaf of the stately beech- 
trees, with which many of the slopes are covered. In 
summer, the wayfarer passes from slopes covered with 
golden grain to the leafy shade of the woods, where 
the sun's rays trickle through, like golden rain, on 
to the smooth, straight trunks of the beeches and 
the soft, brown bed of leaves beneath ; while in 
autumn the wooded hills are a mass of colour, the 
bright scarlet of the wild cherry and maple, the green and 
yellow of the oak, and the rich old-gold of the beech, lit 
up by the clear, bright sunshine, blend into as brilliant and 
harmonious a picture as may be found in our islands. 

Perhaps, however, the most beautiful season of the year 
is winter ; then, the pasture -covered hills, dotted with dark 
juniper shrubs and darker box and yew trees, alternate 
with the brown arable land, which fully displays the soft and 
graceful curves caused by the action of the weather for 



loo Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

centuries on the chalk formation of the soil; the beech- 
woods have changed their green coverings for the rich 
purple of next year's buds, and each tree stands clear 
against the sky, its delicate tracery suggesting the lace 
work for which the county was once famous. 

At such a time, on a still, sunny day, when all speaks of 
rest and sleep, there is a suggestion, impalpable but 
irresistible, that all is not dead, but that there is a time 
coming when all around will again burst into life. It is 
nature's rendering of the sentiment expressed so clearly by 
Handel in his " Dead March " in Saul, of the " sure and 
certain hope " of the Resurrection. 

Small wonder is it, then, that such natural surroundings 
have combined with the soil to produce a race of men from 
whom have sprung leaders of thought, strong in character, 
and of deep, if narrow, piety; such men as Pym and 
Hampden and Waller. 

In the Hundred of Aylesbury — one of those " Chiltern 
Hundreds," the stewardship of which, though now a 
sinecure, is by a pleasing fiction considered " an Office of 
Profit under the Crown," and is conferred on members of 
the House of Commons who wish to retire from the House, 
for retirement from which no provision has been made — 
not far from where the hills above Wendover slope down 
to the fertile plain of Aylesbury ; about three miles north- 
west from the old and once important Abbey of 
Missenden ; within but a few miles of Milton's cottage at 
Chalfont St. Giles, and the old Friends' Meeting House at 
Jordans, stands, at the top of a broad, long glade sloping 
upwards through the beech-woods, the historic house which 
was the home of the " patriot " Hampden. 

Hampden House, one of the oldest residences extant in 
Buckinghamshire, is now owned and occupied by the Earl 
of Buckinghamshire, the present representative of the 
family of Hampden, in whose possession the manor and 
estate have remained since the earliest periods of authentic 
records. 




D 
O 

M 
P 

< 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. ioi 

Portions of the paresent house are believed to have been 
in existence in the time of King John. Tradition says it 
was visited by that king, as might well be the case, for he 
had a residence at Prince's Risborough, within a very few 
miles ; an apartment in the south-west front still retains 
the name of " King John's Room." 

King Edward III. and the Black Prince are also 
reputed to have paid Hampden a visit, and the King 
is said to have rested under a tree, called the " King's 
Beech," situate about a mile from the house, which was still 
standing until its accidental destruction by fire 
caused by a gipsy encampment so recently as 1897. 
It was on the occasion of this visit that whilst the Black 
Prince and his host were exercising themselves in feats 
of chivalry (some say at the game of tennis) a quarrel arose, 
in which the Prince received a blow on the face, which 
occasioned him and his royal father to quit the place in 
great wrath, and afterwards to seize on some valuable 
manors belonging to their host as a punishment for his 
rashness. This story is supposed to have given rise to 
the following rhyme (referred to in Sir Walter Scott's 
romance of " Ivanhoe ") : — 

" Tring, Wing, and Ivanhoe, 
For striking of a blow, 
Hampden did forego, 
And glad he did' escape so. " 

Queen Elizabeth, during one of her pilgrimages, was 
entertained at Hampden by Griffith Hampden, and on this 
occasion it is said that, in consequence of a suggestion of 
the Queen, her host caused the Avenue, now known as. 
" The Glade," to be cut through the wood in a single night, 
and a cutting through a turf-covered ridge, a portion of the 
ancient Grymsdyke — an earthwork, probably of Danish 
origin, running for many miles, at intervals, through Buck- 
inghamshire and the adjoining counties — to be excavated 
on the occasion of the same visit, in order to afford her 
Majesty a more extended view from the house. 



I02 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Lipscombe speaks, too, of a visit from James I. during 
the infancy of its then owner, John Hampden. 

In the grounds, and within but a few yards from the 
house, stands the ancient parish church of Great Hampden, 
containing memorials of many members of the Hampden 
family. 

A few miles off, in the hamlet of Monks Risborough, on 
property still forming part of the estate, is one of the 
white crosses cut in the hillside, which, like the White 
Horse in Berkshire, are to be found in different parts of 
the country. The Risborough Cross is about one hundred 
feet in height, cut on a slope of the Chilterns, and is visible 
across the plain from the hills around Oxford. It is said 
to have been constructed by Alfred as a memorial of a 
victory gained over the Danes at Bledlow. It is main- 
tained, as a condition of tenure, by the occupant of the 
Hampden estates. 

The earliest history of the connection of the Hampden 
family with the estate is buried in oblivion, but the follow- 
ing extracts from an ancient vellum roll containing the 
pedigree and alliances of the Hampdens furnishes interest- 
ing information as to their antiquity and history : — 

" The first mention wh : is found to be made of any 
of the Hampdens is to be sene in an auncient antiquitie 
written in parchment and remeyning at Hampden, whereof 
there be sondery coppies in sondery parts of the same 
sheire, and thereby it appeareth that before the conquest 
there was a comission directed to the Lord of Hampden 
then being, that he should be assistant with his ayde 
towards the Xpulsion of the Danes out of this land wch 
by reasonable conjecture should be at the generall avoide- 
ance of that nation by Edw. the Confesso, Kinge of 
England in the year of our Lord 1043 and before the 
Conquest 23 yeares." 

After a reference to the Conquest, and the subsequent 
division of the lands and possessions by the Conqueror 
amongst his Norman followers, it continues : — 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 103 

" Amongst others the manno of Hampden fell to the 
lott of William Fitz-Asculf, whereof at that time Osbert 
of Hampden was Lord, who whether it were by monny 
or some other meane of friendshipp so purchased the Good- 
will of the said William that he suffered the said Osbert 
to contynewe in quiet possession of his said Lordeshipp of 
Hampden." 

He did more, for he gave Osbert Hampden his daughter 
in marriage, and granted the manor of Hampden to the 
said Osbert and his heirs for ever, " on condition that it 
should be held of the said Wm. Fitz-Asculf and his heirs." 

It appears ftom Domesday Book that in the time of 
Edward the Confessor one Baldwynne was Lord of Hamp- 
den, and " after him, in the Conqueror's tyme, one Osberte 
was Lord of the same.'' 

The possessions and importance of the family were much 
increased in subsequent generations by marriages with 
families of distinction. 

Robert Hampden, circa 1200, married Lora Giffard, 
" one of the house and kindred of the Giffard, Earl of 
Buckingham," of which family the present Lord Chancellor, 
Earl Halsbury, is a member. 

The Ffynles, or Fiennes, of Missenden ; the Burtons, 
of Hulcott ; the Dayrells, of Lillingstone Dayrell ; the 
Uptons, of Kimble, all furnished wives to various genera- 
tions of Hampdens, and their several dowers added largely 
to the possessions of the family, which became one of the 
most wealthy and powerful in the county, possessing great 
influence and authority. 

There is a charter extant granting them the right, 
possessed in olden times by many families of importance, 
of " Gale (Gaol) and Gallows," the privilege of imprison- 
ment and execution of malefactors on their own property. 

In the time, however, of Richard Hampden, who was by 
Letters Patent, dated 20th March, 4 George I., constituted 
Treasurer of His Majesty's Navy, and held that office till 
20th October, 1720. owing to a deficiency in his accounts 



I04 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

(said to have been due to the " South Sea Bubble "), a 
large portion of the estates was sequestrated, and only 
the manor of Great Hampden, " with its Mansion House 
and appurtenances and certain lands contiguous thereto," 
were reserved in the possession of Mr. Richard Hampden. 

In I7S4 died John Hampden, the last descendant in the 
male line, and the estates passed to the Honourable Robert 
Trevor (afterwards Baron Trevor and Viscount Hampden), 
descended from Ruth, eldest of the surviving daughters 
and co-heirs of John Hampden, " the Patriot." On the 
death of the third Viscount Hampden (seventh Lord 
Trevor, of Bromham), in 1824, the manor and estate, with 
other lands, passed to the grandfather of their present 
owner, the Right Hon. George Robert Hobart, Earl of 
Buckinghamshire, descended from Mary, youngest 
daughter of " the Patriot." 

In the long line of Hampdens, from the time of Baldwyn 
de Hampden to 1754, there is one personalty stands out 
more prominently than all his fellows, that of John 
Hampden, sometimes called " the Patriot." Born about 
1594, his father was William, eldest son of Griffith 
Hampden, and his mother, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir 
Henry Cromwell, Knight, of Hinchinbrooke, in Hunting- 
donshire, and aunt to the Protector. 

John Hampden, who was in his infancy when he suc- 
ceeded, on the death of his father (1597), to the estates, 
was educated at Thame Grammar School, whence he 
proceeded, at fifteen, to Magdalen College, Oxford. 

He was subsequently admitted a student of the Inner 
Temple, where he made himself master of the principles 
of English law. He was twice married, in 1619 to 
Elizabeth, only daughter of Edward Symeon, of Pyrton, 
in Oxfordshire, who died on August 20th, 1634; and 
secondly, in 1640, to Letitia, daughter of Sir Francis 
Knollys and widow of Sir Thomas Vachell, Knight, of 
Cowley, or Coley, Court, near Reading. 

His early years were devoted mainly to the pursuits 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 105 

and enjoyments of a country life, but in the year after his 
marriage he was returned to the House of Commons as 
member for Grampound, in Cornwall. The first years of 
his Parliamentary life were spent in acquiring an accurate 
knowledge of the forms of the House, and in service on 
committees, but he appears to have early made his mark, 
for he was associated with Selden and Pym, St. John and 
Wentworth, Coke (Sir Edward) and Cotton and Elliott, 
and many more, whose association may be looked upon as 
one of the earliest forerunners of our present system of 
Parliamentary parties. 

In March, 1625, the death of King James caused a dis- 
solution, and at the assembly of King Charles' first 
Parliament, on i8th June, 1625, Hampden took his seat 
as member for the borough of Wendover. Throughout 
this Parliament and the next, Hampden took a prominent 
part in the endeavours of the popular party to limit the 
power of the Crown, and to cope with the encroachments of 
Buckingham, and when, in 1627, the King levied a general 
loan, equal to the last assessment of a subsidy, John Hamp- 
den was imprisoned for refusal to pay his share.- On being 
asked why he would not contribute to the King's necessities, 
he replied, " That he could be content to lend, as well as 
others, but feared to draw upon himself that curse in Magna 
Charta which should be read twice a year against those 
who infringe it." He was, however, released in time to 
take his seat in the new Parliament of 1628, but before 
its dissolution in 1629, he, whilst retaining his seat, retired 
into private life at Great Plampden. 

During the period of his retirement the controversy 
between the Low and the High Church parties, which 
was the cause of such intense bitterness in the conflict so 
soon to follow, assumed formidable proportions. 

The King, too, ill-advised by his friends, and continually 
thwarted by Parliament, resorted, in 1634, to the expedient 
of issuing a writ to the Sheriffs of London for the levying 
of " ship-money." 



io6 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Against this method of raising money Hampden resolved 
to make a decided stand, and when the levy was extended 
to the inland counties he resolutely declined to pay his 
share. 

Action was brought against him in the courts in respect 
of an assessment of twenty shiUings charged upon him in 
virtue of his lands in the parish of Great Kimble. 

Hampden, who appeared on his own behalf, conducted 
himself with much moderation at the trial, in which the 
decision of the majority of the judges was unfavourable 
to him. 

In 1637, many of the Puritan party made up their minds 
to quit the country and emigrate to New England, and in 
the course of that year eight ships were lying in the 
Thames making ready to sail ; on them were embarked, 
amongst others. Sir Arthur Hazelrigg, John Hampden, 
and his cousins, John Pym and Oliver Cromwell. Unfor- 
tunately, the • Council issued an order forbidding their 
departure from the country, a course which the King and 
Council had afterwards bitter cause to regret. 

Thenceforward Hampden served on every committee of 
importance of the House of Commons, and was frequently 
chosen to convey communications of Resolutions of the 
House to the House of Lords and to the King. 

In 1640, he was one of the four Commissioners appointed 
by the Commons to accompany the King on his visit to 
Scotland. 

He was one of the five members who were, with Lord 
Kimbolton, impeached for high treason by the King in 
1 64 1, but of whom the House successfully refused to 
sanction or permit the arrest. 

On the raising of the Pajrliamentary army we find John 
Hampden levying a regiment, the " Green-coats," in his 
native county of Buckingham, in support of the Parliament. 

It is affirmed that " he did good service for the cause in 
which he was engaged at the battle of Edge Hill," but it 
is more than doubtful whether he was present on that 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 107 

occasion. He was attached to the army of the Earl of 
Essex, whom he strongly urged to attack the King at 
Oxford instead of besieging Reading ; indeed, his position 
as one of the leaders of the Parliamentarians seems to 
have made his post as subordinate in the field to Essex 
a very difficult one. He took part with his commander, 
however, in the siege of Reading, and a letter sent by him 
and Sir Phihp Stapleton to the Speaker, giving " an exact 
relation of the delivering up of Reading," has been 
preserved. 

On the i8th of the following June (1643) was fought 
the battle, or rather skirmish, of Chalgrove Field, when 
Prince Rupert, returning after a successful raid upon High 
Wycombe, routed the Parliamentary forces who 
endeavoured to cut ofT his retreat. 

In this skirmish Hampden received his death wound, 
whether from the bullet of an enemy or from the bursting 
of his own pistol has never been satisfactorily decided. 

He was taken thence towards Pirton, the home of his 
first wife, but the enemy's cavalry were covering the plain 
between, so he turned off through Hazeley to Thame, 
where Essex had his headquarters, and there, after linger- 
ing for six days, he died. 

He was buried in the church at Hampden, and was 
followed to his last resting-place by all the troops which 
could be spared from the quarters round, " their arms 
reversed, their drums and ensigns muffled, and their heads 
uncovered." 

Thus ended the life of one of the most remarkable 
characters of the troublous age in which he lived. 

His opponents agreed with his friends in testifying to 
the unexceptionable virtues and integrity of his private 
life. In his public career he displayed, according to Hume, 
" affability in conversation ; temper, art, and eloquence in 
debate ; penetration and discernment in counsel ; industry, 
vigilance, and enterprise in action." 

Had his lot been cast in happier times he might have 



io8 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

risen to high honours and dignity in the State, but circum- 
stances were too strong for him. 

From a legitimate and dignified position of protest 
against what, even after making allowance for the very 
different status of the Crown at that period, was an un- 
doubtedly illegal act on the part of the Crown, and an 
infringement on the rights of private citizens, he was led 
away — ^partly by the strong religious partizanship which 
was one of the most influential factors in the Great 
Rebellion ; partly by the influence of his fellows ; partly, 
no doubt, from a conscientious belief that no other means 
than an appeal to arms would permanently free the subject 
from the oppression of the Crown — to become one of the 
leaders of the rebellion which cost him his life, and the 
kingdom years of bloodshed and suffering. 

His death thus early in the struggle deprived the Parlia- 
mentary party of a capable, valiant, and determined leader, 
but saved him from the terrible responsibility of taking 
part in the events which led to the great catastrophe, which 
cast a blot on the history of the country which can never 
be erased. 

His influence with his party, owing to his own capacity, 
and the aptitude he displayed in arms, in addition to his 
near relationship to Oliver Cromwell, was very great. 

What would have been the result of this influence had 
he lived? 

Would his name have been handed down to 
posterity as John Hampden, " the Regicide," instead 
of John Hampden, " the Patriot " ; or would he have 
earned the eternal gratitude of his country, and inex- 
tinguishable renown for himself, by being the means of 
saving his country from the crime of the murder of its king ? 

The answer can never be given. 

The crime of rebellion once embarked on, men are 
carried far beyond the bounds within which they originally 
intend to limit their actions ; still, all the knowledge we 
possess of the character and disposition of Hampden 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 109 

permits us to believe that, had his life been spared, his 
counsels would have exercised a restraining influence on 
the fiery and bigoted temperaments of his colleagues. 

"To find out right with wrong, it may not be; 
And you that do abet him in this kind 
Cherish rebelHon and are rebels all." 

Shakespeare, Richard JI. 



I lO 




THE CIVIL WAR IN BUCKS. 

By P. H. DiTCHFIELD. 

an earlier chapter will be found some account of 
the Great Rebellion in Bucks, but the county 
was so much overrun by the contending armies 
during that disastrous period, that some further 
notes are necessary in order to enable our readers to 
follow more closely the course of the war. 

Opposition to the arbitrary acts of Charles I. had long 
been brewing, and the first man who ventured to dispute 
the right of the Crown to impose a tax towards the equip- 
ment of the navy was John Hampden, a gentleman of 
Buckinghamshire, one so quiet, so courteous, so submissive, 
that he seemed the last individual in the kingdom to take 
so determined a course. He had, however, a very correct 
judgment, an invincible spirit, and the most consummate 
address. In 1626, he suffered imprisonment for refusing 
to pay a forced loan, and ten years later he appealed to 
the law courts against the King in the matter of ship- 
money. The amount of the tax was only thirty-one 
shillings and sixpence, levied upon land in the parish of 
Great Kimble, which lies on the south side of the avenue 
leading to Hampden House. The decision of the judges 
in favour of the royal prerogative only tended to arouse 
popular feeling against the sovereign, and to sow the seeds 
of the coming strife. 

In 1642, Hampden, with six other members of Parlia- 
ment, was impeached for high treason, and cliarged with 
alienating from the King the affections of his people, and 
other misdemeanours. Their arrest was demanded in 
person by the Sovereign. This aroused the spirit of the 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. hi 

Buckinghamshire people. They mustered four thousand 
horsemen, who rode to London, joined the triumphal pro- 
cession which conducted the accused members to the 
Parliament, and presented strongly worded petitions to 
both Houses, praying that " the Achans of the Common- 
wealth might be given up to the hands of Justice, without 
which they had not the least hope of Israel's peace." More- 
over, they followed the King to Hampden Court, and 
strongly expressed their determination to defend Hampden. 
This action of the Buckinghamshire folk was certainly the 
spark which set England in a blaze ; as Clarendon says, 
" from this day we may reasonably date the levying of 
war in England ; whatsoever hath been since done being 
but the superstructures upon those foundations which were 
then laid." 

When the King unfurled the royal standard at 
Nottingham, the Parliament were not behind-hand in 
raising levies for the support of their cause, and John 
Hampden and his neighbours in Bucks were among the 
first to organise an association for mutual defence on the 
side of the Parliament. Upon Chalgrove Field, where he 
met with his death-wound a year later, Hampden first 
summoned the militia of the county, and arranged his 
Buckinghamshire forces against his sovereign. Clarendon 
remarks that fate compelled him to pay the penalty in the 
place where he had committed the transgression. 

Soon after the commencement of the fighting, there were 
sad doings in Buckinghamshire, which revealed very plainly 
the horrors of war. The mansions of the gentry were 
converted into fortresses, besieged by hostile troops, and 
plundered, defaced, burnt, and demolished. Boreton 
House, the residence of Sir Richard Minshul, was the first to 
suffer. The gallant knight, with his troopers, had hastened 
to join the army of the King, and Lady Minshul and the 
servants were left in charge of the house. Immediately 
after his departure Lord Brook arrived with his Roundhead 
soldiers and several pieces of ordnance. The " Mercurius 



112 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Rusticus " tells us that the whole house was ransacked and 
plundered, everything of value taken away, the furniture, 
windows, and doors demolished, the floors broken up, and 
great indignities inflicted on the Lady Minshul and her 
domestics. The Earl of Carnarvon's house at Wing was 
also ransacked and despoiled at the same time. By order 
of the Parliamentary Committee of Safety the mansion was 
searched, many valuable documents destroyed, and the 
inmates severely handled. 

Fawley Court, the residence of Sir Bulstrode Whitelock, 
suffered terribly from the misconduct of the Royalist 
soldiers under the command of Sir John Byron. The 
unfortunate owner wrote that in spite of the orders of their 
officers the soldiers were guilty of every kind of outrage, 
broke down the park pales, killed the deer, broke open 
trunks and chests, tore books and papers to light their 
tobacco, and " did all that malice and enmity could provoke 
barbarous mercenaries to commit, and so they parted." 

The King's garrison at Brill was attacked by John 
Hampden and his Bucks followers, but without effect, 
and with some considerable loss of his own soldiers. 
During the same month, November, 1642, the rich Vale of 
Aylesbury suffered severely from an inroad of Prince 
Rupert with a strong force of horse and foot. The Parlia- 
mentary militia was engaged elsewhere, and the Prince 
despoiled the vale, laying waste and destroying all the 
produce that he did not carry off for the King's service, 
and possessed himself of the town. The Puritan towns- 
folk fared ill at the hands of the malignants, until a brigade 
of the Parliamentary army approached. The Royalist 
forces sallied out to meet their foes, and a fierce fight 
ensued by the banks of a brook, half a mile north of the 
town. Rupert charged across the ford, and plunged into 
the centre of the enemy, led by Balfore. Deadly was the 
strife, the musketry of the foot, the carbines and petronels 
of the cavalry, swords and poleaxes, all doing the work of 
death, and the soldiers of all arms mixed and fighting in 



]\lEMORIALS OF OLD BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, II 3 

one close and furious throng. The Royalists were beaten 
back, and the townsmen of Aylesbury, armed with hastily 
gathered weapons, attacked them in the rear, forcing 
Rupert to make his retreat towards Thame. Aylesbury 
thus became the great centre of the Parliamentary army. 
It was very strongly fortified, and had six pieces of 
ordnance and a large garrison. Wendover, Missenden, 
AVycombe, and other towns in Bucks were also full of 
Roundheads, who, according to their own accounts, " carried 
themselves very orderly, did no harm when they came, 
and paid very justly for the things they had." The same 
witnesses testify severely to the misdoings of the Royalists. 
A letter from Aylesbury states that " the King hath sent 
into these parts about twelve or fourteen hundred of his 
forces, commanded by the Earl of Cleaveland, who pillage 
and plunder all the towns when they come, murder our 
neighbours that make but any defence to save their goods, 
cut in pieces what household goods they cannot carry 
away, they clean sweep divers of our pastures, leaving no 
cattle behind them ; and that no cruelty might be left 
unexercised by them, they have this day fired a country 
village called Swanbourne in seven places, for no other 
reason but because they were not willing to be plundered 
of all they had, and guarded the fire so carefully with all 
their forces divided into several parts, that no neighbours 
durst adventure to come and quench it. All the while it 
burned, our forces in this garrison, consisting only of Foot, 
saving one troop of Horse, we were not able to encounter 
the enemy, nor reheve our neighbours ; but yet to interrupt 
that, which to them is sport, we drew out some forces in 
their sight as far as with safety we could, whereby they 
have not acted this day all the mischief they intended to 
execute before night ; but what they have undone to-day, 
we expect they will, ere they leave us, make up ; for they 
are now so strong that they quarter at Buckingham, and 
where they please, in those parts without resistance." 

The misdoings of the soldiers of the opposite party are 



114 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

recorded in the parish register of Maids Moreton, wherein 
we find that " the churches were everywhere robbed and 
ruined by the rebels. In this church of Moreton, the 
windows were broken, a costly desk in the form of a 
spread eagle, gilt, on which we used to lay Bishop Jewell's 
works, doomed to perish an abominable idol ; the cross 
(which with its fall had like to have broke out the. brains 
of him who did it) cut off the steeple by the soldiers at the 
command of one called Colonel Purefoy. We conveyed 
away what we could, and among other things the register 
was hid, and for this cause is not absolutely perfect for 
divers years, though I have used my best diligence to 
record as many particulars as I could come by." 

The next event of importance in Bucks was the plunder- 
ing of Wycombe by the King's troops, but the approach of 
Essex with his army turned the fortune of war. He 
stayed at Wycombe, and then marched to Aylesbury. 
Newport Pagnell, a royal garrison, was abandoned at his 
approach by Sir Lewis Dyve, and garrisoned by 
the Parliament, its fortifications being subsequently 
strengthened. Essex remained for some time at Ayles- 
bury, and was engaged in watching the King at Oxford. 

The year 1644 brought disasters to the Royalists in the 
north, but in Bucks they enjoyed a brief but brilliant 
triumph. Waller was defeated at, Cropredy Bridge, and 
the King established his quarters at Buckingham. Boarstall 
Hall was garrisoned for the King, and although abandoned 
subsequently, was gallantly retaken by Colonel Gage. 
Greenland House endured a severe siege, and ultimately 
surrendered to General Browne. For two years Boarstall 
House and its brave defenders resisted all the forces of 
the Parliamept, and only \yhen the cause of the King was 
hopelessly lost did the gallant RoyalFsts surrender their 
fortress, and bow to the inevitable. 

Hillesdon House, the home of the Dentons, was besieged 
by Cromwell in 1644, and carried by assault, Sir Alexander 
Denton, several officers, and two hundred soldiers being 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire, 115 

made prisoners. One of the last efforts for a dying cause 
was the fight at Goldington, where Colonel Corken, with 
a troop of Parliamentary cavalry, attacked some of the 
King's soldiers, killing the officer and making many 
prisoners. This was in August, 1645. 

After the battle of Worcester, Cromwell maxched 
through Aylesbury and was received with a mighty ovation. 
A deputation from the Parliament met the victorious leader, 
and all the soldiers were assembled to greet him. The 
thanks of the Parliament were conveyed to him, and 
received with all kindness and respect. Then the general 
rode a little out of the way a-hawking, with Mr. Winwood, 
the member of Windsor. Whitelock, who records this, 
adds, " To me, and to each of the others, he gave a horse 
and two Scotch prisoners. The horse I kept for carrying 
me ; the two Scots, unlucky gentlemen of that country, I 
handsomely sent home again without any ransom what- 
ever, and also gave them free passes to Scotland." On the 
following day, Cromwell left Aylesbury for London, driving 
before him some four or five thousand prisoners like a 
flock of sheep. 

The Wcir was over ; the royal cause was lost ; one 
King had been slain by his rebellious subjects ; his son was 
now a fugitive in a foreign land, awaiting the time " when 
the King should enjoy his own again," and the land have 
rest. It will be seen that Buckinghamshire played no 
small part in the troubles of the Civil War period. Ruin 
and desolation marked the course of the relentless fury. 
Noble houses were destroyed, churches desecrated and 
ruined, towns pillaged and plundered, farms laid waste and 
devastated, and some of the best blood in England spilt 
in that fearful contest, and the Vale of Aylesbury groaned 
for many a long year over the troubles of that disturbed 
time. 



ii6 



LITERARY BUCKS. 

By P. H. DiTCHFIELD. 




HE literary history of Buckinghamshire is full of 
the records of great names, and few counties can 
rival it in respect of the many illustrious authors 
who have been connected with the county either 
by birth or residence. The names of Shakespeare, Milton, 
Cowper, Hooker, Edmund Burke, Gray, would alone justify 
the claims to pre-eminence which this county can 
effectually assert. 

In a subsequent chapter we shall refer to the scene 
of an episode in Shakespeare's life at Grendon Under- 
wood, when, as a strolhng player, he incurred the sus- 
picions of the village constables, who were afterwards 
immortaUsed as the Dogberry and Verges of " Much Ado 
about Nothing." The connection of Milton with the county 
will also be shown in a later chapter. At Horton, 
" Comus," " L' Allegro," " II Penseroso," and " Lycidas," 
first saw the light, ere he embarked for his foreign tour, and 
at Chalfont St. Giles, in " Milton's House," which is still 
standing, the blind bard dictated a great portion of his 
" Paradise Regained," and finished " Paradise Lost." The 
prevalence of the great Plague in London caused the poet 
to fly to this sweet rural retreat, which was hired for him 
by his Quaker friend and secretary, Thomas Ellwood, who 
also was a Buckingham author.* He suggested to Milton 
the composition of his later work, and wrote many 

* Ellwood lived at Coleshill. He wrote his autobiography, in which he tells 
of his sufferings on account of his religious opinions, his incarcerations in 
Aylesbury Gaol, and of the deplorable state of the prisons in his time. He 
wrote also several works in defence of Quakerism, also a history of the Old 
and New Testament, and edited George Fox's "Journal." 




o 



p 
o 






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U 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 117 

theological books, a poetical version of the " Life of David," 
and a very entertaining autobiography. He repeatedly 
saw the interior of Aylesbury gaol on account of his 
religious opinions. 

At Ludgershall John Wycliffe lived and wrote, being 
Rector of that parish six years (1368-74). During his 
sojourn here he wrote his great work, " De Dominio Civili" 
and then removed to Lutterworth. Olney is famous as 
the abode of Cowper, who describes it as a town " populous 
and inhabited chiefly by the half-starved and ragged of 
the earth, brutal in manners and heathenish in morals." 
To improve their social condition was the poet's eager 
task. He lived for twenty years in a large house at one 
corner of the Market Place, subsequently divided into 
cottages, and now a museum, and spent his time in 
devotion and literature, cheered by the society of 
Mrs. Unwin, Lady Austin, Lady Hesketh, and Mrs. 
Throckmorton. His friend, the Rev. John Newton, 
curate of Olney, persuaded him to contribute some hymns 
to the collection which he was making ; and sixty-eight of 
these compositions were written by Cowper, and the rest 
by Newton, whose early wild, seafaring life on board an 
African slave ship was a strange contrast to his subsequent 
ministerial career. He wrote a " Review of Ecclesiastical 
Christianity,'' and many other works. His friendship with 
Cowper was a great comfort to the poor poet during the 
terrible attacks of depression and religious melancholy 
which clouded the later years of Cowper's life. 

Cowper's garden and summer parlour may still be seen, 
where the poet used to wander, and where he kept his 
tame hares, so often immortalised by him in his writings, 
in Latin and English, in verse and prose. Wandering in 
his garden he found that '' the sound of the wind 
in the trees and the singing of the birds were much 
more agreeable to his ears than the incessant barking of 
dogs and screaming of children." The pretty village of 
Weston Underwood knew him too, where he lived fifteen 



ii8 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

years, " in a neat and comfortable abode," and on his 
departure wrote the pitiful lines — 

" Farewell dear scenes for ever closed to me ; 
Oh ! for what sorrows must I now exchange ye ? " 

At Olney and Weston he published two poems, a transla- 
tion of Homer's " Iliad and Odyssey," " The Sofa," and 
other works ; but mental dejection and religious melancholy 
clouded his life, and caused acute depression of spirits, 
which robbed the poet of all comfort and happiness. 

Connected with Cowper and Newton was the Rev. 
Thomas Scott, called " the commentator," who lived at 
Weston and Olney for several years, and wrote, in addition 
to his commentary on the Old and New Testament, " The 
Force of Truth," revised by Cowper, and a vast number 
of other theological works. The failure of his publisher 
at one time sorely embarrassed him, and caused him much 
anxiety — one of the woes to which the race of authors is 
heir to. 

Another poet, of whom the county may be justly proud, 
is Edward Waller, who was born at Coleshill, and lived at 
Hall Barns, Beaconsfield. His father was Robert Waller, 
of Amersham, a gentleman of good birth and fortune, and 
his mother Ann Hampden, aunt of the patriot. Of his 
political career and his connection with the plot that bore 
his name, and of his subsequent career at Court, we need 
not now write. His character was not above censure ; we 
see him, now composing panegyrics in honour of Cromwell, 
and then being equally lavish in his praises of Charles H. 
But English poetry owes much to his genius ; his fancy, 
diction, and purity of taste were admirable, though his 
fame has been somewhat eclipsed during recent years by 
the more just appreciation of our older poetical literature. 
An obelisk in the churchyard of Beaconsfield marks his 
grave, and there is a tree called Waller's Oak at Coleshill, 
his birthplace, where towards the end of his life he bought 
a small house, saying "he should be glad to die, like the 
stag, where he was roused." 




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Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 119 

Near the tomb of Waller in Beaconsfield churchyard is 
that of Edmund Burke, to whose memory a monument has 
recently been erected. His home was a house called 
" Gregories," which fire has since destroyed. A philo- 
sophical enquiry into the origin of " Our Ideas of the 
Sublime and Beautiful " was his first work, which attracted 
the attention of the learned, and introduced him to the 
society of Johnson, Reynolds, Goldsmith, and other 
eminent men. Of his mighty eloquence, of his career as 
a statesman, of his marvellous oration at the trial of 
Warren Hastings, the world is not ignorant. He was a 
poet and a philosopher, as well as an orator and politician ; 
and in the beautiful home at Beaconsfield, of which scarcely 
a trace is left, he loved to welcome the learned men of the 
day, and to show sympathy and give hospitality to those 
poor authors whom fickle fortune had not favoured. Poor 
forlorn poet Crabbe, rescued from poverty, here found a 
home ; and Johnson, Reynolds, Goldsmith, and other 
literary men used frequently to meet around Burke's 
hospitable board. Dr. Johnson, after wandering about the 
grounds in admiration, exclaimed, " non equidem invideo 
miror magis.'' The sad death of his son cast a gloom over 
his later years, and he could never bear to see the church 
wherein the body of his son rested. He died at Beacons- 
field in 1797, and so fearful was he of the deeds of revolu- 
tionists that he left orders that his body should not be 
buried in a leaden coffin. 

Another Bucks poet was Thomas Gray, who im- 
mortalised the church at Stoke Poges by his world- 
renowned " Elegy." Few poets have achieved fame by one 
such supreme effort of genius. Gray lived with his aunt, 
Mrs. Rogers, in a house then called West End Cottage, 
now Stoke Court, which he described as " a compact box 
of red brick with sash windows." Here, too, came to live 
his mother, whose tomb in the church is engraven with the 
sad epitaph, " Dorothy Gray, the careful, tender mother 
of many children, of whom one alone had the misfortune 



I20 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

to survive her." His earliest poem was his " Ode on a 
Distant Prospect of Eton College " ; then followed " The 
Elegy written in a Country Churchyard," and subsequently 
his odes on " The Progress of Poetry/' and " The Bard." 
In his " Long Story " he describes the old manor house 
at Stoke, where lived the great lawyer, Sir Edward Coke, 
whose " Commentary on Littleton " is so invaluable, but 
whose married life was a terrible experience of matrimonial 
martyrdom. Monuments to the great lawyer and to the 
poet were erected by John Penn, grandson of the founder 
of Pennsylvania. 

With Stoke Poges is also connected Sir Christopher 
Hatton, Chancellor under Queen Elizabeth, who wrote the 
fourth act of the tragedy of " Tancred and Sigismunda,'' 
and a treatise concerning Statutes or Acts of Parliament 

One other author of renown is associated with Stoke 
Poges, Lord Chesterfield, who lived at Baylis House, and 
whose " Letters to his Son " display such studied relaxation 
of all principle, although marked by scholarship and style. 
Happily the son did not live long enough to carry out the 
instructions of his unworthy sire, and his death embittered 
the few remaining years of Lord Chesterfield's life with 
an ever-enduring despondency. 

Near here, in a red-brick house, on the road between 
Windsor and Slough, lived and worked the great 
astronomer. Sir William Herschel, his sister, Caroline 
Lucretia Herschel, and for some years his son. Sir John 
Frederick William Herschel, Bart., who were all famous for 
their astronomical knowledge and invaluable services to 
science. The lady published two noted works, " A Cata- 
logue of 561 Stars observed by Flamsteed," and a " General 
Index of Reference to every observation on every star 
inserted in the British Catalogue." Sir J. F. W. Herschel's 
works are too numerous to mention here ; his " Treatise 
on Astronomy" is his best-known book. 

Datchet has a famous literary reputation. Shakespeare 
alludes to it in " The Merry Wives of Windsor," and causes 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 121 

Falstaff to be thrown into " the muddy ditch at Datchet 
Mead, close by the Thames side,'' wherein he had been 
drowned but that " the shore was shelving and shallow." 
Here Izaak Walton, the prince of anglers, used to hsh for 
" a little samlet or skegger trout, and catch twenty or forty 
of them at a standing," while he devised that most delight- 
ful of books, " Ye Compleat Angler." 

Near here, at Ditton Park, lived the statesman and 
ambassador, Sir Ralph Winwood, who wrote the 
'■ Memorials of State under Elizabeth and James I.," in 
three volumes. Sir Walter Scott used to stay here as the 
guest of the Duke of Buccleuch. At Datchet also lived 
and died Christopher Barker, the famous printer, who 
flourished in the reign of good Queen Bess, and, together 
with his brother Robert, produced goodly volumes, at the 
sign of the " Tyger s Head," in Paternoster Row. The 
Barkers were greatly renowned in the annals of printing, 
and indeed were credited with the production of the earliest 
newspaper, Thi English Mer curie, in 1558; but, unfor- 
tunately, this was a forgery. 

The '' judicious " Hooker, author of " Ecclesiastical 
Polity,'' was rector of Drayton Beauchamp, and there 
earned the pity of two of his former pupils, George- 
Cranmer and Edwin Sandys, on account of his sorry con- 
dition and the relentless tongue of his scolding wife. 
Mistress Joan. The poor scholar had to mind the sheep, 
rock the cradle, and listen to the tirades of his tiresome- 
spouse. Sandys related to the authorities an account of 
his visit and the sad condition of the distinguished scholar, 
who in consequence was raised to the Mastership of the- 
Temple, and fought the battle of the Church against the 
Puritanical Travers. 

Sir Kenelm Digby, the son of Sir Everard of Gunpowder 
Plot fame, lived at Gayhurst, and wrote many philosophical 
works — " A Treatise on the Nature of Bodies," " On the 
Operations and Nature of Man's Soul," " Peripatetic Insti- 
tutions," and many other learned works. Many of his. 
MSS. are in the Bodleian Library. 



122 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Amersham can boast of its authors ; of John Amersham, 
who flourished in 1450, was a monk of St. Albans, and 
wrote a hfe of the abbot, John Wheathamstead, defending 
his memory from the attacks of his enemies ; of Thomas 
Dorman, a pervert to Roman Catholicism in the Reforma- 
tion period, who wrote a book entitled " Against Alexander 
Noel, the English Calvinist " ; and John Gregory, a great 
scholar and linguist, who published many tracts and 
sermons, " Notes on Ridley's Civil Law," and other learned 
works. Of Edmund Waller and his connection with Amer- 
sham we have already spoken. 

At the beginning of the century. Lord Nugent was 
member for Aylesbury. He was a great admirer of John 
Hampden, and wrote " Memorials of John Hampden : his 
Party and his Times," a poem on the Peninsular War, 
■" Legends of the Library at Lilies,'' " Lands Classic and 
Sacred," and ma:ny political tracts. Another member for 
Aylesbury was a remarkable man, John Wilkes, who 
suffered on account of his authorship, being imprisoned in 
the Tower for certain rash statements in his paper, the 
" North Briton," and again on account of " An Essay on 
Women, with Notes." 

With Buckingham is associated the name of its 
great historian, Dr. Browne Willis, who represented the 
town in Parliament in 1705. He had a passionate regard 
for the place, and bestowed many benefactions on it, and 
also on the churches of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford, 
where he was buried in 1760. He compiled nearly a 
hundred volumes of MSS., now reposing in the Bodleian 
Library, and he published, besides his " History of Buck- 
ingham," a large number of works, including a " History 
•of Hyde Abbey," " Notitia Parliamentaria," " Survey of the 
Cathedrals of St. David's, Llandaff, St. Asaph, Bangor," 
■" The Gold Coins of England," and many other books. 
Like that of many other authors, his work was not greatly 
valued by the men of his own time, and he wrote sorrow- 
fully, " I have worked for nothing ; nay, except in one 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 123 

book, have I been out of pocket, and at great expense in 
what I have printed." 

Dr. George Lipscomb, the historian of the county, hved at 
Quainton and Grendon Underwood, and his fate was another 
instance of " the calamities of authors.'' With much enthu- 
siasm he embarked upon his great work some years previous 
to 1847, and expended a vast amount of labour and 
money, which reduced him to severe poverty, from which he 
never extricated himself. His work is extremely valuable, 
though, like that of Browne Willis, it abounds in inaccuracies. 
Allowances must certainly be made for these pioneers of 
historical investigations who laboured so persistently in an 
unexplored field, when few people were interested in the 
result of their toil or encouraged them by their support. 
Lipscomb was forced to take refuge in " the Liberties of 
the Fleet," and died in abject poverty and distress. 

Buckinghamshire had several bountiful patrons of 
literary men, who loved to surround themselves with a 
coterie of the writers of their time, and gather together 
under their roofs men of light and learning. Cliefden, 
once the residence of the notorious George Villiers, Duke 
of Buckingham, whither he fled with the Countess of 
Shrewsbury after killing the Earl in a duel, the Countess 
disguised as a page holding his horse, became the residence 
of Frederick, Prince of Wales, the father of George III. 
Here he assembled the wits and poets of his day, and 
Thomson's masque of " Alfred " was performed before him 
for the first time, and " Rule Britannia," composed by Dr. 
Arne, first stirred the martial breasts of Englishmen in 
1740. 

Lord Bathurst played the part of patron of arts and 
letters at Ritchings Park, and loved to entertain the literary 
celebrities of his time. Here Addison, Steele, Pope, Prior, 
and Swift constantly gathered around his hospitable table. 
An old bench in the grounds was covered with the auto- 
graphs of these literary giants. Congreve, the actor, wrote 
his name, together with that of some society queen ; and 



124 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Sterne also became the guest of my Lord Bathurst. The 
literary traditions of the place were ably carried on by 
Lady Hertford, the Eusebia of Dr. Watts, and the Cleova 
of Mrs. Rowe, to whom the author of the " Seasons " 
dedicated his poem of " Spring." Thomson mightily 
offended her ladyship by preferring a carouse with Lord 
Hertford to listening to her poems. 

Denham Court, once the hiding-place of the fugitive 
King, Charles f I., was the seat of the Bowyers, and Dryden, 
a friend of Sir William Bowyer, wrote there his translation 
of the first book of Virgil's Georgics and the last part of 
the ^neid. Bulstrode Park was in the time of Margaret, 
Duchess of Portland, a great resort of literary men, as the 
letters of Mrs. Montagu, of " blue-stocking " fame, bear 
witness. 

At Great Marlow resided many authors. Thomas 
Langley, a cleric, the author of the " History of the 
Hundred of Desborough and Deanery of Wycombe,'' lived 
and died there. The poet Shelley, after his wild and 
heartless career, settled there and passed his days like a 
hermit, writing " The Revolt of Islam." George Payne 
James, the novelist, lived there, and wrote some of his 
famous novels ; and Frank Smedley, the author of " Frank 
Fairlegh " and " Lewis Arundel," made his home on the 
Thames' fair bank at that town. Another novelist who 
delighted us in the days of our boyhood was Captain 
Mayne Reid, who lived at the Ranches, Gerrard's Cross, 
and wrote " The Rifle Rangers," " Headless ~ Horseman," 
and other exciting stories which thrilled our hearts in days 
of yore. 

Nathaniel Hooke lived, during the first half of the 
eighteenth century, and died at Hedsor. He was a 
historian, and wrote a work on " Rome from the foundation 
of the city to the end of the Republic." The South Sea 
Bubble crippled his resources, which were for a time 
restored by the patronage of the Duchess of Marlborough. 
Jacob Briant, a scholar of great repute, the author of the 




Stoke Poges, the Church of Gray's " Elegy." 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 125 

" Analysis of Ancient Mythology," lived and died, in 1 804, 
at Farnham. Royal, where a tablet records his memory. 
The Rev. Samuel Clarke, Rector of Grendon Underwood 
during the last few years of the Commonwealth period, 
was one of the ministers ejected in 1662. He was a 
Nonconformist of considerable learning, and wrote 
" Annotations on the Bible," " A Concordance," and other 
works of a like character. 

At Great Missenden lived Sir WiUiam Fleetwood, when 
he retired from his office of Recorder of London in 1591. 
An eminent historian and antiquary, as well as learned in 
the law, he wrote the histories of Edward V., Richard III., 
Henry VII., and Henry VIII., an oration at the Guildhall 
before the Lord Mayor, and some legal works. 

The distinguished author of " The Decline and Fall of 
the Roman Empire " was Lord of the Manor of Len- 
borough, Buckingham, which he inherited from his father, 
and for some time occupied the Manor House 

Thomas Edwards (1699-1757), a learned student, critic, 
and poet, lived at Terrick, Ellesborough. He severely 
handled Warburton's edition of Shakespeare, and replied 
to an attack iipon him by a humorous book entitled 
" Canons of Criticism." He also wrote some sonnets. 

Shirley Brooks, the genial editor of Punch, was born 
at Brill in 18 16, and was the last survivor of the old staff 
of that journal. Thackeray, Lemon, Jerrold, Mayhew, 
Hood, were his contemporaries, all of whom he survived. 
He wrote several novels, " The Silver Cord," " Sooner or 
Later," and continued to the end of his life to be esteemed 
and beloved by a large circle of friends. He died in 1874. 

Buckinghamshire is rich in statesmen, and has produced 
seven Prime Ministers — James Stanhope (17 17- 18), George 
Grenville (1763-65), William Petty, Earl Shelburne 
(1782-83), WilHam Henry Cavendish Bentinck, Duke of 
Portland (1783, 1807-1809), William Wyndham Grenville, 
Baron Grenville (1806, 1807), John, Earl Russell (1865-66), 
and Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1868, 1874-80), 



126 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

is the list of these honoured names. Of these the two last 
were famous for their writings as well as their political 
careers. Earl Russell wrote a tragedy, " Don Carlos," 
" The Affairs of Europe from the Peace of Utrecht," 
Memoirs of Fox and Moore, the poet, and a " History of 
the English Government and Constitution from the reign 
of Henry VII. to the present time." Lord Beaconsfield's 
brilliant novels are too well known to be recorded here. 
His father, Isaac Disraeli, lived and wrote at Bradenham, 
in Bucks, where he achieved vast literary fame. His 
" Curiosities of Literature," " Calamities of Authors," 
" Quarrels of Authors," " Amenities of Literature," and 
other works will live while the race of book-lovers survive. 
His great historical work was his " Commentaries on the 
Life and Reign of Charles I.," and in his early years he 
published several works of fiction. 

High Wycombe has produced Charles Butler, who died in 
1647, the author of the "Principles of Music." Weedon 
Butler, rector of Great Woolston in 1806, contributed many 
papers to the Gentleman s Magazine, and wrote " Zimas, 
the African," some poems and translations. 

Fawley Court once belonged to Sir Bulstrode Whitelock, 
the author of " Memorials of English Affairs, or Accounts 
of what passed during the Reign of Charles I. till the 
Restoration," published in 1682, and several other works. 
He played an important part in the troublous times of the 
Civil War, and was a confidential friend of Cromwell. His 
ancestral home at Fawley was plundered in 1642 by the 
Royalist troops, as we have already recorded. Especially 
did he lament the destruction of " divers writings of con- 
sequence, and books which were left in my study, some 
of which they tore in pieces, others they burnt to light 
their tobacco, and some they carried away with them, 
to my extreme great loss and prejudice in wanting the 
writings of my estate, and losing very many excellent 
manuscripts of my father's and others, and some of my 
own labours." 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 127 

With this worthy knight's lament over the destruction of 
his books we will take our leave of Buckinghamshire 
authors. They are a goodly company, and amongst the 
crowd of lesser lights we have seen many of the 
" immortals," whose works will live while England and 
English literature remains. Of Eton and its worthies we 
have made no mention, except of those who were otherwise 
connected with the county either by birth or residence. 
A volume would be needed to record all the illustrious 
authors who have received their education at Eton College,, 
and the result would be a fairly complete history of English 
literature. But without this record of great names the 
literary history of Buckinghamshire reflects the highest 
honour on the county, which has contributed so much of 
the best and most enduring literature to the library of the 
nation. 



128 



SHAKESPEARE IN BUCKS. 
By Randolph Pigott. 




S travellers leave Calvert Station, the last station 
on the Great Central line before it enters on to 
the Metropolitan line, they will find themselves 
passing through a tract of woodlands, the 
remains of the old forest and forming the Bernwood Forest, 
where the early kings used to come to hunt the wild boars 
which abounded in the district. They resided for the time 
of hunting at Brill, where there was a royal palace, which 
can be seen rising above Grendon Wood, now one of the 
most favourite coverts for foxes in the Bicester hunt. 

Grendon Wood is said to be the spot represented in the 
woodland scenes in " A Midsummer Night's Dream." The 
traveller in the train will notice even now how some of 
the fields are full of ant-hills, some of them rising two 
feet above the ground — on these mounds still grows the 
wild thyme, and they are probably the banks alluded to in 
the well known lines in " A Midsummer Night's Dream," 
commencing, " I know a bank whereon the wild thyme 
grows." 

In the village of Grendon, about two miles from Calvert 
station, stands the old house, still called the " Shakespeare 
Farm," where tradition asserts he stayed several times 
and wrote " A Midsummer Night's Dream " and " Much 
Ada about Nothing." In Shakespeare's time this house 
was the old Ship Inn. 

Aubrey, the antiquary, who lived within twenty-six 
years of Shakespeare's death, was employed to write a 
book containing the lives of eminent men of the University 
of Oxford. His lives have been comparatively recently 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 129 

published. Among his biographies is one of " Mr. Wilham 
Shakespear." 

It is curious to note how httle even at that time he 
could find to write about the great poet. The whole life 
is contained in fifty-seven lines. In this short history the 
following account is given : — " He was a handsome and 
well-shaped man, very good company, and of a ready and 
pleasant smooth wit. The humours of . the constable 
in ' A Midsummer Night's Dream ' he happened to take 
at Grendon, in Bucks. I think it was a midsummer night 
that he happened to lye there, which was on the road from 
Stratford to London. And there was living that constable, 
about 1642, when I first came to Oxon. Mr. Jos. Howe 
is of that parish, and knew him." 

Besides this statement, made by a man living almost 
contemporaneously with the poet, there is the local tradition 
that has always connected Shakespeare with the old 
house near the church. This house, in Shakespeare's time, 
was the property of the Piggotts, and continues still 
in the same family. All this helps to prove the identity 
of the house. The tradition asserts that Dogberry and 
Verges were the Grendon constables who arrested 
Shakespeare for sleeping in the parish church. He was 
charged with robbing the church, but on being arrested he 
asked that the chest should be opened, and finding 
nothing gone he said, " Much ado about nothing." 

One of the constables must be the Dogberry in " Much 
Ado about Nothing," whom old Aubrey in error mentions 
as being connected with " A Midsummer Night's Dream." 
The house still contains the Elizabethan fireplaces, where 
we can picture Shakespeare sitting, and the narrow window 
in the gable where he slept, overlooking the forest land, 
which his imagination peopled with Puck, Oberon, and 
Titania. 

Local tradition asserts that Shakespeare slept in the 
porch of Grendon Church, which contains some fine Pigott 
monuments. The most remarkable of these is that of 



130 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Christobella, Viscountess of Saye and Sele, who 
is buried here with two of her three husbands, 
John Pigott and Viscount Say and Sele. The 
inscription on the monument is very quaint, and 
records that " in her youth her beauty was the admiration 
of all who beheld her, and that her justice was so correct 
that when she paid her last debt to nature she had no 
other debt to pay." 

An interesting account of this lady is given in Chambers's 
" Book of Days," where, among other things, it is related 
that when she was over eighty she used to say that she 
had married three times ; the first time for love, the second 
time for money, and the third time for rank, and that now 
she thought of beginning again in the same order. 

She lived and died in the old Pigott house at Dodder- 
shal, beyond Grenddn Wood, which is perhaps the oldest 
house in the county, where the family have lived since 
1505, when they parted with Whaddon Chase and some 
five or six manors, which they became possessed of by a 
marriage with a Giffard, the heiress of the Conqueror's 
friend and connection, the first Earl of Buckinghamshire. 

At Doddershal, besides the old family portraits, there 
is much of interest to the antiquary. Among other 
things might be mentioned the pardon of Sir Richard 
Pigott, who, with his neighbour Hampden and most 
of the Bucks gentlemen, took a leading part on Cromwell's 
side. There is also a magnificent pedigree made out by Sir 
P. Phipps, Speaker of the House of Commons, Master of 
the Rolls in the time of James I., who married the sister of 
Sir Christopher Pigott, who was member for the county 
till he was committed to the Tower for what the King 
considered disrespectful language in speaking against the 
Scots, his countrymen. This pedigree is about fifteen feet 
long, and contains many portraits, and traces the family 
to Sir Randolph Pigott, who was one of William the 
Conqueror's knights. Doddershal is the residence of 
Captain Pigott, R.N. 



131 



BULSTRODE. 
By Randolph Pigott, M.A. 




HE name of Bulstrode is said to have its origin in 
a very remarkable circumstance, of which the 
history is given by Sir Richard Burke in his 
" Vicissitudes of FamiHes." 
The original name of the Bulstrode family was Shob- 
bington, and this, their chief seat, was in the family for 
several ages before the arrival of the Normans. The 
Norman Conqueror, however, granted the estate to one 
of his nobles, and the head of the Shobbingtons resolved 
rather to die upon the spot than part with his possessions. 
In this resolution he armed his servants and tenants, 
whose number was very considerable ; upon which the 
Norman lord obtained of the King one thousand of his 
regular troops to enable him to take possession of the 
estate by force. Whereupon Shobbington applied to his 
relations and friends to assist him, and the two ancient 
families of Penn and Hampden, illustrious not only in 
the history of Bucks, but of England and America, took 
arms together, with their servants and tenants, and came 
to his relief. All the Shobbington party having assembled, 
they cast up entrenchments, and the Norman, with his 
force, encamped before them. 

Now, whether it was that the Saxons wanted horses or 
not is uncertain, but the story goes that having a quantity 
of bulls they mounted them, and sallying out in the night, 
surprised the Normans in their camp, killed many of them, 
and put the rest to flight. The King having intelligence 
of this, and thinking it not safe for him, whilst his power 



132 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

was yet new and unsettled, to drive a daring and obstinate 
people to despair, sent a herald to them to know what 
they would have, and promised Shobbington a safe 
conduct if he would come to court, which Shobbington 
accordingly did riding on a bull, accompanied by his seven 
sons. Being in the royal presence, he was asked by the 
King why he dared to resist when the rest of the kingdom 
had submitted to his government. Shobbington answered 
that he and his ancestors had long enjoyed that estate, 
and that if the King would allow him to keep it he would 
become his subject and be faithful to him. The King 
therefore' granted him the full enjoyment of his estate, 
upon which the family was from that time called Shobbing- 
ton, alias Bulstrode. But in process of time the first name 
was discontinued, and that of Bulstrode has remained to 
them. 

Sir B. Burke adds, the earthworks in the park are said to 
be the remains of the entrenchments thrown up by 
Shobbington.* 



* See " Record of Bucks," Vol. V., No. 6. 




w 
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H 
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133 



BOARSTALL TOWER. 
By Randolph Pigott, M.A. 




N the borders of Bucks, some twelve miles from 
Oxford, and beneath Brill Hill, where some of 
the early kings had a palace, stands Boarstall 
Tower. 

This tower formerly formed the gateway of Boarstall 
House, which Browne Willis called a " noble seat," and 
Hearn, the antiquary, described as " an old house moated 
round, and in every way fit for a strong garrison, with a 
tower at the north, and much like a small castle." 

What now remains consists of a strong square building, 
with an embattled tower at each corner. The entrance is 
by means of a bridge over the moat, which still holds water. 

Boarstall, according to an ancient tradition, got its name 
from an interesting incident. 

It is said that Edward the Confessor was born at Islip, 
not far from Boarstall, and had a palace close by ; probably 
at Brill. Round this royal residence spread the great forest 
of Bernwood, remains of which are still to be found in the 
park at Wootton, and the King's Wood at the end of the 
parish at Grendon. 

This wood was. infested by a wild boar, which was the 
terror of the King and the neighbourhood round. At 
length a huntsman, of the name of Nigel, observing the 
place the boar usually frequented, dug a pit. In this pit 
Nigel placed a sow, and then covered the pit with brush- 
wood. The boar came to seek the sow and fell into the pit, 
where it was killed by Nigel. 



134 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

The King was then at Brill, and Nigel, having cut off 
the boar's head, presented it to his Majesty. For this the 
King knighted him, and gave him and his heirs for evei 
a hide of arable land, called " Derehide," a wood called 
" Hulewood," with the custody of Bernwood Forest to hold 
from the King, " per unum cornu quod est chartas predicts 
Forestiee," and by the service of paying ten shillings yearly 
for the said land and forty shillings yearly for all profits 
of the forest, excepting the indictment of herbage and 
hunting, which was reserved to the King. 

During the Civil War Boarstall played a prominent part 
as it was a place of considerable importance, from the fact 
that for, some time Charles made Oxford his head- 
quarters, whilst the Parliamentary army occupied Aylesbury 
and the district. 

Boarstall lay mid-way between the two places. Prince 
Rupert occupied the high land immediately behind, at Brill 
and Muswell. 

At an early period of the Civil War Boarstall, then the 
property of Lady Bynham, was taken possession of by the 
Royalist army. After a time they relinquished it, thinking 
it well to concentrate their- troops in larger garrisons. 
No sooner had they relinquished Boarstall than they 
felt they had made a great mistake. It was taken posses- 
sion of by the Parliamentary army, which were thus able to 
harass the King's troops at Oxford. After much difficulty 
it was retaken by the King, and strongly garrisoned by 
Sir William Compton. 

Clarendon, in his " History of the Rebellion," tells us that 
it was surrendered after a brief resistance, and that the 
garrison was allowed to depart with horses and arms. 

After a time the Parliamentary forces determined to 
re-take Boarstall, but for a long time the brave little 
garrison resisted all attacks. At last it was re-taken by 
General Fairfax himself. 

A. Wood, the antiquary, says : — "On Wednesday, June 
lo, the garrison of Boarstall was surrendered for the use 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 135 

of Parliament. The schoolboys at Thame were allowed 
by their masters a free holiday on that day, and many of 
them went thither at 8 or 9 in the morning to see 
the form of surrender, the strength of the garrison, and 
the soldiers of each party. They had instructions given 
them that not any of them should taste any liquor or eat 
any provision in the garrison ; and the reason was for fear 
the Royalist party, who were to march out thence, should 
mix poison among the liquor or provision that they should 
leave there." 

Towards the end of the seventeenth century Sir John 
Aubrey became possessed of Boarstall. Sir John had one 
son, who at five years old was poisoned. Some gruel was 
made of oatmeal which had been mixed with arsenic for 
the sake of destroying the rats. This gruel the child was 
made to take, and died. Sir John after this left Boarstall 
and pulled down the house, leaving only the old gateway. 

The writer of this paper remembers staying as a child 
with Sir Thomas Aubrey, who succeeded his brother, and 
being shown the horn which was said to have been pre- 
sented by Edward the Confessor to Nigel. 



136 



THE HOMES OF MILTON. 
By W. H. Summers. 




EVERAL of our English poets have become asso- 
ciated with various spots in Buckinghamshire — 
Shakespeare with Grendon Underwood, Waller 
with Beaconsfield, Gray with Stoke Poges, Cowper 
with Olney, Shelley with MarJow. But the great poet of 
Puritanism has a twofold connection with the county. At 
Horton he spent six years of his high-toned youth, the 
years which produced the " Allegro " and " Penseroso," the 
"Comus," "Arcades," and " Lycidas." At Chalfont St. 
Giles, when " fallen on evil days," in blindness and dis- 
grace, he conceived the idea of " Paradise Regained." 

Milton came to Horton in 1632. His father was the son 
of a Catholic yeoman in Oxfordshire. Having been dis- 
inherited for his Protestantism, he had made a fortune as 
a scrivener in London, and had now come to settle down 
amid the flat meadows by the Thames and the Colne. The 
house in which he took up his abode was pulled down in 
1798, and its exact site is scarcely known. So says 
Masson, the great authority on Milton's life ; but Jesse, 
in his " Favourite Haunts," speaks of having seen it 
about 1 847 ; and local tradition points out an orchard, 
where, till a few years ago, an old dove-cot and a withered 
apple or pear tree were associated with the memory of 
Milton. 

Horton is now a scattered little village, approached by 
winding, elm-fringed lanes, and situated in " a land of slow, 
silent, brimming streams bordered by innumerable 
pollards," to borrow the words of a writer in " Macmillan " 
for May, 1886. He speaks also of the " great, broad, high- 
shouldered, irregular church, built of grey stone and mottled 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 137 

flints, with a chantry all out of proportion both in style and 
size to the rest of the building, giving it a peculiar and 
yet indefinable charm " ; and of the old brick walls of the 
churchyard, so old as to be " more yellow than red," 
" dotted all over with crinkled rosettes of lichen, and 
tufted at the top with snapdragon and wallflower." 

Here we may picture the young scholar (he had just 
taken his M.A. degree at Cambridge), handsome, fair-haired, 
thoughtful, wending his way on Sundays to the quaint 
old church, with its two great neighbouring yew-trees and 
its ivy-covered tower. The rector, Edward Goodall, and 
the squire, Henry Bulstrode, were both staunch Puritans, 
so that Milton would find himself among congenial spirits. 

Or, with the writer just now quoted, we may fancy him 
wandering among the elm-shaded lanes, with here and 
there a timber-framed cottage, in " the tormenting beauty 
of the summer twilight," " watching the stars come out 
above the orchards, and the bats flit noiselessly about the 
warm dusk, while the pleasant country sounds fall fainter 
and fainter over the running water, till at last there is 
nothing to be heard but the gurgle of the running stream 
in its pools and under its long grasses," or " the sigh of 
the elms in the fragrant air." 

Such an evening, it may be added, may have suggested 
the sonnet, " To the Nightingale " (still plentiful near 
Horton) : — 

" O Nightingale, that on yon bloomy spray, 
Warblest at eve, while all the woods are still," 

But in " L' Allegro," as has often been pointed out, we 
are specially reminded of Horton scenes and scenery. It 
may surely be regarded as the record of many a happy day 
in those six peaceful years, perhaps the happiest period 
of the poet's life. Awakened by the skylark's song, '' when 
the dappled dawn doth rise," he opens the diamond-paned 
casement, and looks out 

" Through the sweet-briar or the vine, 
Or the twisted eglantine," 



138 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

to bid a cheery " good-morrow " to the passer-by. He 
hstens to the " lively din " of the cock, strutting " to the 
stack or the barn-door." If King Charles, as Tennyson 
records of Queen Bess, " rose to chase the deer at five," it 
may have been the royal " hounds and horn " from Windsor 
which " cheerily roused the slumbering morn " at Horton. 
The poet strolls on through the dewy grass, past the 
"hedgerow elms," so characteristic of the district. He 
watches the rising sun " robed in flames and amber light," 
and listens with kindly pleasure to the ploughman's whistle, 
the milkmaid's song, and the whetting of the mower's 
scythe. 

The lines which follow are exactly descriptive of Horton 
scenery : — 

" Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, 
Whilst the landscape round it measures : 
Russet lawns, and fallows gray, 
Where the nibbling flocks do stray ; 
Mountains on whose barren breast 
The labouring clouds do often rest ; 
Meadows trim with daisies pied, 
Shallow brooks and rivers wide." 

It has been remarked that no " mountains '' can be seen 
from Horton. But there is the distant view of the Surrey 
Downs, with the morning mists rising from their summits ; 
and the word " mountain " was used with greater latitude 
then than now (e.g., Ray speaks of the " mountainous 
meadows " at Chalfont St Giles). The mention of " rivers 
wide " carries the poet's eye across the Thames, where 

" Towers and battlements it sees, 
Bbsom'd high in tufted trees " 

— the towers of Windsor. 

Mid-day has come, when passing the cottage, " betwixt 
two aged oaks," he sees the peasants seated at their 
" savoury dinner " of " herbs and other country messes," or 
watches .the labourers at the " tanned haycock," or binding 
the sheaves. 

At another time he rides to one of the " upland hamlets," 
Fulmer, perhaps, or Hedgerley, or perhaps further afield. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 139 

to visit his friends, the Fleetwoods, at Chalfont, or Lady 
Derby at Harefield. He arrives on the scene of a village 
festival. " The merry bells " are ringing, and " many a youth 
and many a maid " are " dancing in the chequered shade," 
to the sound of " jocund rebecks," " till the livelong day- 
light fail." 

Nor does the Cambridge scholar disdain to share the 
hospitality of some lowly home where, over " the spicy nut- 
brown ale," he listens to fairy tales about " Mab " and 
" friar's lanthorn," and the " drudging goblin " who helped 
to thresh the corn. 

If there is less of local colour about the companion poem 
of " II Penseroso," still the allusions to the nightingale's 
song, to the " trim gardens," the " dry, smooth-shaven 
lawn,'' the " arched walk of twilight groves," and the " close 
covert " by the murmuring waters of the brook remind us 
of Horton again. And as we read the exquisite lines which 
speak of " the studious cloisters," the " high embowed roof," 
the " dim religious light " streaming through " storied 
windows," the " pealing organ," and the " full-voiced choir," 
we naturally think of Eton and St. George's. 

So the quiet years passed on, while King Charles was 
governing without a Parliament, and Laud and Strafford 
were carrying out the policy of " Thorough," and Hampden 
was making his stand against the ship-money. Preparing 
himself for his work in life, " as ever in his great Task- 
master's eye," Milton spent his time in study, reading, we 
are told, all the Greek and Latin classics during his resi- 
dence at Horton. 

In April, 1637, he lost his mother, who lies interred 
beneath a blue stone in Horton church. A few days after 
her death the plague, which had raged the year before in 
London (called the " Great Plague " till its memory was 
effaced by that of 1665), broke out at secluded Horton, 
and several deaths occurred. It was believed to be due to 
infected rags used in paper mills which had been 
started in the neighbourhood. An agitation was set on 



I40 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

foot against the mills, and they were closed for a time. 
Whether Milton remained at Horton during the plague 
does not appear. His latest poem of the Horton days, 
" Lycidas," ends with the significant words : — 

" At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue ; 
To-morrow to fresh fields and pastures new." 

Early in 1638 he started for Italy with letters of recom- 
mendation from Sir Henry Wootton, the Provost of Eton. 
Soon after his return his father left Horton for Reading, 
and Milton was not again to live in Buckinghamshire till 
after a stormy public life, another " great plague " drove 
him to take refuge at Chalfont St. Giles. 

When the plague of 1665 broke out, Milton was living at 
Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields, close to the great charnel- 
pit, towards which the death-carts were constantly carrying 
their ghastly load, to be cast in in an indiscriminate burial. 
It was no wonder that he should desire to seek a place of 
shelter. He bethought himself of an old pupil, Thomas 
Ellwood, the son of an Oxfordshire squire, who had turned 
him out of doors for becoming a Quaker. Ellwood was 
acting as tutor in the family of Isaac Penington, a pro- 
minent man among the Friends, who resided at the Grange, 
Chalfont St. Peter, about ten miles north of Milton's old 
home at Horton. Milton sent word to him to look him out 
a house in that neighbourhood, and Ellwood selected what 
he calls " a pretty box " at Chalfont St. Giles, two or three 
miles further on. The house is still standing, and is the 
only one of Milton's many homes which has remained to 
the present day. It is the last house on. the left-hand of 
the village street from the London road — a typical Buck- 
inghamshire cottage, gabled, oak-timbered, and vine-clad. 
It was the property of some of the Fleetwood family, whose 
neighbouring estate of the Grange had just been con- 
fiscated for the share of its owner in the trial of Charles I. 
The Fleetwood arms are still on its front gable, along with 
a tablet bearing the single word, " Milton." Old engrav- 
ings show a porch, with a small room over it. This was 




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Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 141 

taken down about 1844, when other structural alterations 
were made. One is sorry that the old porch has dis- 
appeared, because it is so natural to think of the blind poet 
as sitting there, to enjoy the evening air. But the existing 
rooms are probably little changed since Milton's time, 
though the house has passed through strange vicissitudes 
since then. In the last century it seems to have been a 
pubhc-house, known as the " Three Compasses." When 
Mr. Jesse saw it about 1 847, it was the abode of the village 
tailor, and at a later date of the village policeman. In 
1887, it was purchased as a Jubilee Memorial, and vested 
in trustees for the purposes of a parish library and museum. 
This put an end to a scheme which had been entertained 
for pulling it down, with a view to re-erecting it in America. 

When Milton, accompanied by his third wife, Elizabeth, 
and probably by his daughter Deborah, arrived at Chal- 
font, their young friend, Ellwo'od, was not there to receive 
them. He had been committed to Aylesbury gaol along 
with Isaac Penington and several more by two local 
justices, who had chosen to regard a Quaker funeral as an 
illegal assembly. It was not long, however, before he was 
released, when he took an early opportunity of calling on 
Milton. The latter had reached Chalfont in July, and it 
was now the end of August or beginning of September. 

" After some common discourses had passed between us, 
he called " (says Ellwood) " for a manuscript of his, which 
being brought, he delivered to me, bidding me take it home 
with me, and read it at my leisure ; and when I had so done, 
return it to him with my judgment thereon. When I came 
home, and had set myself to read it, I found it was that 
excellent poem which he entitled ' Paradise Lost.' " 

Ellwood goes on to tell us how, on visiting Milton again, 
and being asked his opinion of the book, he " pleasantly " 
answered, " Thou hast said much here of ' Paradise Lost,' 
but what hast thou to say of ' Paradise Found ? ' " ; how 
Milton " made him no answer, but sat some time in a 
muse " ; and how, on his visiting Milton again in London 



142 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

later on, the poet showed him the MS. of " Paradise 
Regained," with the words, " This is owing to you, for you 
put it into my head by the question you put to me at 
Chalfont, which before I had not thought of." 

Opinions differ as to the significance of Milton's silence 
upon Ellwood's remark. Professor Henry Morley thinks 
that he was too kindly to tell the young Quaker that the 
whole purpose of the poem in pointing to the " Paradise 
within thee, happier far" had escaped him. Another 
modern critic, however, suggests that the poet felt an 
uneasy consciousness that " he had, after all, made Satan 
the hero of ' Paradise Lost.' " 

Milton remained at Chalfont during the winter of 1665-6. 
Early in the latter -year, the plague broke out in Buck- 
inghamshire, and several deaths occurred in Chalfont 
itself. London, where it had declined, was now quite as 
safe as a place of abode, and the poet returned there early 
in the spring. But short as was his stay at " Giles' Chal- 
font," his memory will always be associated with this 
lovely valley among the Chiltern Hills, whose beauties he 
was no longer able to behold. " We can pleasantly picture 
him to ourselves," says the Rev. P. W. Phipps, in his 
interesting little book, " Chalfont St. Giles, Past and 
Present," " seated in the little parlour within, or on a bench 
without the cottage, listening to the birds, and smelling 
the sweet country flowers, with which the little 
garden abounded, reminding him of happier days, and 
those quiet enjoyments which he so keenly appreciated." 
Mr. Jesse, on what authority does not appear, states that 
Milton was sitting in the garden when the conversation 
took place between him and Ellwood. 

No doubt Milton's stay at Chalfont was marked by 
caution and seclusion. It was only five years since his 
Defensio had been burned by the common hangman, and 
he was sure to be a marked man with the High Church 
zealots of the neighbourhood. It is true that the village 
was largely Puritan in its sympathies. The old rector. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 143 

Thomas Valentine, who had been silenced by Laud for 
refusing to read the Book of Sports, and had afterwards 
sat in the Westminster Assembly, had been ejected three 
years before. When Sunday came, while some of the 
parishioners gathered in the fine old parish church, others 
met in the house of a lady of the Fleetwood family, to 
hear discourses from ejected Puritan mmisters from a dis- 
tance. The Quakers made their way across the hill to 
William Russell's farm at Jordans, close to the site of the 
present meeting house. There were even gatherings of 
" Fifth Monarchy Men," and of some strange fanatical sect 
known to their neighbours, with more or less justice, 
as " Atheists." But none of these " conventicles " is likely 
to have had Milton as an attendant. Sick, perhaps, of 
the contentions of warring sects, he had ceased to attend 
public worship at all. Perhaps he felt most sympathy with 
the Quakers. EUwood he certainly liked, and there is a 
tradition that Isaac Penington's step-daughter " Guli " 
Springett, used to come and play to him on her lute. 

One hopes there is no truth in the familiar tales about 
brutal taunts aimed at the blind poet by his Buckingham- 
shire neighbours. Judge Jefferies and the Duke of Buck- 
ingham, and met by him with stinging retorts. Nor is it 
easy to regard as authentic the curious lines said to have 
been written with a diamond, at Milton's dictation, upon 
a window at Chalfont, in which the Great Plague is 
described as " Heaven's vengeance " on the immorality of 
the King. It is not of the fierce polemics of those bygone 
days one would most willingly think in the quiet garden 
of " Milton's Cottage," but of the lofty and serene 
character of England's greatest sacred poet. 



144 



THE PENN FAMILY IN BUCKS. 
By W. H. Summers. 




HE beautifully situated village of Penn is often 
referred to as if ic had been in some way asso- 
ciated with the great founder of Pennsylvania. 
But neither the Quaker statesman, nor his father, 
the tough old admiral who won Jamaica for England, had 
anything to do with this picturesque spot perched on its 
commanding height among the spurs of the Chilterns. 
Whether the name Penn is the familiar Celtic word for a 
hill-top, or simply the Saxon " pen," an enclosure, is 
uncertain. The latter derivation is championed by so good 
a local authority as Mr. E. J. Payne. But there can be little 
doubt, in accordance with the usual analogy in such cases, 
that the family derived its name from the village, not the 
village from the family ; and this would seem to dispose of 
the theory, said to have been held by the great Quaker 
himself, that the family originated at Penmynnydd, in 
Anglesea, and were akin to the House of Tudor. Yet the 
Welsh origin of the Penns still finds advocates, one of 
whom points to the occurrence of the Welsh names of 
Griffith and David among the Penns of Penn. Anyhow, 
the family name, in varidus forms, is associated with 
Buckinghamshire from an early date. In 1319, for 
instance, a John de la Penne was attainted of high 
treason, ' and forfeited some lands at Brill. 

We find the Penns of Penn well established and 
flourishing early in the sixteenth century. The manor 
had come into their possession from that of the Bray 
family. In 1553, David Penn, who had been barber^ 
surgeon to Henry VIIL, had a grant of the vicarages of 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 145 

Penn and Little Missenden from King Edward VI., for 
the benefit of himself and his wife, Sibell. This lady, by 
birth a Hampden of Hampden, had been selected as nurse 
or " foster-mother " to Prince Edward, on the death of 
Queen Jane Seymour ; and the grant was made in con- 
sideration of her " good and faithful services in the nursing 
and education of the King that now is." Qn Edward's 
death, she received apartments in Hampton Court Palace, 
where she died of small-pox in 1562. The stories of 
Mistress Penn's posthumous performances would delight the 
hearts of Mr. W. T. Stead and the members of the Psychi- 
cal Research Society. Not only is her troubled spirit said 
to haunt the old palace, but a most circumstantial narrative 
affirms that when old Hampton Church was demolished in 
1829, some visitors to the building at the dead of night 
found that her life-sized effigy, " suffused with a strange 
unearthly glow," " had left the position it had occupied for 
268 years, and was sitting up, with hands over its eyes, 
sobbing bitterly " ! In spite of this, a coffin was removed, 
and the effigy has peacefully rested ever since under a 
canopy supported by four Corinthian pillars, with a long 
rhyming inscription setting forth her manifold virtues. 
Yet, if the coffin in Hampton Church contains the bones 
of Mistress Sibell, her husband's executors did not carry 
out the provisions of his will, which ordered that they 
should be removed, and interred by his side, " in Penn 
Chancell among myne ancestors." The old man was sorely 
troubled by long protracted sickness and by the mis- 
conduct of his younger son, Thomas, and his legacy to 
him was quaintly conditioned — " If he doe order hymselfe 
from henceforth honestlie, and be ruled by my executors 
in the choseing of his wife, and reforming of his oder lewde 
manners." David Penn died in 1570, and was succeeded 
in his estates by his eldest son, John, who died in 1596, 
and was buried in Penn Church, where there is a monu- 
mental brass bearing his effigy, with that of Ursula, his 
wife, and their six sons in long cloaks. Another brass 

K 



146 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

bears the armoured figure of William, the eldest of these 
sons (died 1638), and that of his wife, Martha. Then the 
estate seems to have gone for three years to his brother 
John (died 1641), and there is another brass with figures 
of him, his wife Sarah, daughter of Sir Henry Drury, and 
their ten children. The eldest son, William, on his death 
in 1693 was buried at his own wish in the churchyard. 
His son Roger, the last of the Penns of Penn, died 
unmarried in 173 1, and the estate then passed to the 
Curzons, one of whom married Roger's sister ; and in 
accordance with the family motto " Curzon holds what 
Curzon held " to this day. 

The few indications we have of the religious leanings 
of these Penns indicate that they were thoroughly Pro- 
testant and Puritan. So early as 1521, a man-servant of 
the family was charged with Lollardy before Bishop 
Longland, at Amersham. The favour of Edward VI. for 
David Penn is significant, and two of the executors whom 
David entrusted with the task of "reforming the lewde 
manners " of his wayward son belonged to the old Lollard 
and Protestant family of the Cheynes of Amersham and 
Chesham Bois. In 163 1, William Penn, in common with 
other leading Puritans of the district, was reported to the 
Privy Council as refusing to pay an impost which he 
regarded as illegal. Later on, we come upon indications 
of Quaker leanings. In the great William Penn's "No 
Cross, No Crown," mention is made of " a young woman 
of the famiily of Penn, of Penn, in Buckinghamshire," who 
upon her death-bed desired that the lace and other orna- 
ments might be removed from her clothes, saying that she 
had had a vision of the Lord Jesus, " in the likeness of a 
plain countryman,, without any trimming or ornament what- 
ever, and that his servants ought to be like Him." 

This incident affords presumption of the famous 
Quaker's having had some acquaintance with his Buck- 
inghamshire namesakes. But was there any tie of kindred 
between him and them? It has been recently asserted 



MEiioRiALS OF Old Buckinghamshire. 147 

that there is no proof of this, but this is far too sweeping 
a statement. We trace his pedigree back to WiOiam Penn, 
of Penn Lodge, Wilts, who died in 1591, and Hes 
buried before the altar in the neighbouring church of 
Minety, in Gloucestershire. This worthy's son, William, 
who died before his father, had a son named Giles, who 
became a captain in the Navy, and from him sprang the 
famous Admiral Penn. On his son's monument in the 
glorious Church of St. Mary Redcliff, at Bristol, Giles 
Penn is described as being " of the Penns, of Penn Lodge, 
in the county of Wilts, and those Penns of Penn in the 
county of Bucks!' This seems pretty decisive, especially 
when it is borne in mind that the arms of the two families 
are identical. But further than this we can scarcely go at 
present. The " Founder's " grandson, William Penn, of 
Shangarry, the Irish estate of the family, writing to one of 
his English cousins, says that he had endeavoured in vain 
to recover the link. There is, it is true, a vague tradition 
that W^illiam Penn, of Minety, the Founder's great grand- 
father, was the son of another William, who had been a 
monk of Glastonbury, and who is said to have been a 
younger son of David and Sibell Penn ; but no clear proof 
of this exists. 

The story is well known how Admiral Penn found his 
ambitious projects for his son thwarted by the latter's 
pertinacious adhesion to the unpopular doctrines of the 
Society of Friends. The bluff sailor, in his indignation, 
turned his son out of doors. On the same day, as we are 
told, William first met a young lady who was 
destined to connect this branch of the family with 
Buckinghamshire once more. This was Gulielma 
Maria Springett, the posthumous daughter of Sir 
William Springett, a captain in the Parliamentary 
army, who died at the siege of Arundel. After 
his death his widow married Isaac Penington, the son of 
one of Charles I.'s judges. Penington, who was a Quaker, 
had no sympathy with his father's political actions ; but. 



148 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

in 1665, on account of his relation to him, he was dis- 
possessed of his paternal estate at the Grange, Chalfont 
St. Peter. It was not till 1668 that Penn met his future 
bride, and therefore he could not have visited her at 
Chalfont, as has frequently been asserted. His, courting 
visits must have been paid to Bury Farm and Woodside, 
Amersham, where Gulielma and her mother found a. refuge 
during Isaac Penington's frequent imprisonments for con- 
science sake. When the marriage at last took place, on 
April 4th, 1672, the bride was registered as residing at 
Tyle/s Green, Penn. According to Quaker custom in 
those days, the wedding was in a private house. This still 
sfands ; it is an old building named King's Farm, not very 
far from Chalfont. But it is in Hertfordshire, though only 
a few yards from the Bucks border. Penn never lived in 
Buckinghamshire. He was a man of many homes, residing 
first at Rickmansworth, then at Worminghurst, in Sussex, 
then at Philadelphia, then at Kensington, then at Worming- 
hurst again, then at Pennsbury Manor, on the Delaware, 
and finally at Ruscombe, near Twyford, where he died in 
1 71 8. But he was a frequent visitor to our county. Not 
only was he often here in the days of his early love, but in 
after years, when he buried his Guli and six of his children, 
one by one, beneath the lime-trees which surround the 
quaint old meeting-house at Jordans. There he often took 
part in meetings prior to his last illness, finding a welcome 
rest from his anxieties in the hospitable Quaker dwelling 
of Stone Dean close by ; and there, at last, his body was 
brought from Ruscombe and interred, in the presence of 
a great concourse of people. It was currently believed at 
the time that he had been the main contributor to the 
erection of the meeting-house, and such may very probably 
have been the case. 

After Penn's death, his son Dennis (1722), his second 
wife Hannah (1726), his daughter Letitia Aubrey (1746), 
his son John, in the same year, and another daughter, 
Margaret Freame, in 1751, besides several grandchildren 




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Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 149 

and connections by marriage, were interred at Jordans. 
John, the first son by the second wife, died at Hitcham 
unmarried. Thomas, his next brother, in 1760, purchased 
the estate of Stoke Poges of the executors of Ann, Lady 
Cobham. It would seem that there had been a branch of 
the Penn family resident at Stoke Poges before, if 
Lipscomb is correct in saying that Edward Penn of that 
parish was High Sheriff of Bucks in 1623. But they could 
not have occupied the Manor House, which was then in the 
hands of the great lawyer. Sir Edward Coke. At a later 
period Charles I. came there as a prisoner. In this historic 
mansion Thomas Penn, possessor of his own and his 
brother John's share of the great estates in Pennsylvania, 
took up his abode with his wife. Lady Juliana, daughter of 
the Earl of Pomfret, and, strange to say, a descendant of 
Judge JefTeries. Several children of Thomas Penn (who 
conformed to the Established Church) and of his brother 
Richard are buried in a family vault at Penn Church. As 
this is several miles from Stoke, and the old line of the 
Penns of Penn was now extinct, we have here a pretty 
strong indication of the belief of the family as to the place 
of their origin. 

Thomas Penn and Lady Juliana had eight children, 
several of whom died in infancy. John, the eldest sur- 
viving son, was only fifteen at the time qi his father's 
death in 1775. Lady Penn showed great energy and 
ability in managing the family affairs, which were compli- 
cated by the changed position of affairs ,due to the 
American Revolution, i^ 130,000 was paid by the State of 
Pennsylvania to the Penns. After attaining his majority, 
John Penn effected great alterations in the Stoke estate. 
He pulled down and rebuilt the mansion and the ancient 
" Hospital," and also erected the monument to Sir Edward 
Coke in the grounds, as well as the cenotaph to the poet 
Gray just outside the churchyard. Besides the Stoke 
estate, he had property in the Isle of Portland, of which 
he was Governor. Hence the name of Pennsylvania 



150 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

Castle in that island. Dying unmarried, in 1834, the 
estates passed to his brother Granville, a Biblical scholar 
of some repute in his day, and on the latter's death, in 
1844, they descended to Granville John, his son, who 
visited Pennsylvania in 1851, and was received with great 
enthusiasm as the heir of the famous Quaker founder of 
the Keystone State, on whose enlightened constitution that 
of the United States is largely based. On his death, in 
1867, the estate became the property of his brother, the 
Rev. Thomas Gordon Penn, M.A., but he died on Septem- 
ber gth, 1869. Though Granville Penn had nine children, 
of whom this Thoma"s was the last survivor, they all died 
without having issue. The Stoke estate was sold, and the 
long connection of the Penn family with Bucks came at 
last to an end. The American estates, which were entailed 
on the children of the Founder's second wife, passed to 
the children of his son Thomas Penn's daughter Sophia, 
who married Dr. Stuart, Archbishop of Armagh. Until 
quite recently there existed in America some of the 
descendants of the Founder's son Richard. But the 
actual hereditary representatives of the great Admiral 
and the great Founder, the man of, war and the 
man of peace, are the Penn-Gaskell family, who trace their 
descent to William Penn's beloved first wife, " Guli." 

It may be added that the Rev. Thomas Gordon Penn 
sold to Mr. Catlin the original painting,- by Benjamin 
West, of " Penn's Treaty with the Indians," which is now 
in the City Hall at Philadelphia. A few years ago, an 
offer was made by the State of Pennsylvania to remove 
Penn's remains (which were interred in a leaden coffin) 
from Jordans to a mausoleum to be erected at Philadelphia. 
The trustees refused to entertain the proposal, but many a 
pilgrim from across the Atlantic comes to visit that lonely 
woodland sanctuary, " the most sacred spot in all England 
to a Pennsylvanian." 




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HARTWELL HOUSE AND LOUIS XVIII. 

By P. H. DiTCHFIELD. 




ULLER remarks of our Berkshire estates that 
" they are very skittish and have oft cast their 
riders." This cannot be said of the Bucks Manor 
of Hartwell, whicli for nearly- seven hundred years 
has remained in the possession of the same family. Some- 
times it has passed, on the failure of the issue male by 
marriage of the heiress, to one who bore a different name ; 
but the family of the Lees, the owners of Hartwell in the 
present day, can trace their descent to Baldwine de 
Hampden, who lived in the time of Edward the Confessor, 
and to the De Hartwells who held the manor of the King 
at the close of the twelfth century. They have proved 
themselves worthy of their ancient lineage, and in the 
history of the county few families have acquired a higher 
reputation than the Lees of Hartwell and the Hampdens 
of Hampden. It would be an interesting task to record 
their descent, to mention the names of their most illustrious 
sons, and the public events in which they played so dis- 
tinguished a part. But the object of this chapter is to 
describe the advent of certain royal visitors to Hartwell, 
whom hard fate had driven to our shores, and who found a 
refuge in England from the mad fury and ruthless rage 
of their own countrymen. The sojourn of Louis XVIII. , 
the then uncrowned King of France, and his household, 
will ever make Hartwell famous. 

The house was almost entirely re-built by Sir Thomas 
Lee in the seventeenth century on the site of an ancient 
building, of which a small drawing exists, showing the 



152 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

mansion, the village, and the old church. The oriel window 
over the door is very unusual in its elaborate style of 
decoration. Many alterations and additions have been 
made sinre the ^present building -was reared, and not the 
least interesting features are the fine entrance-hall, the 
curious carved oaken figures adorning the staircase, repre- 
senting Hercules, the Furies, and various knights in 
armour, and the ancient ball-room or tapestry gallery. 
Family portraits, painted by such distinguished artists as 
Vandyck, Lely, Hudson, Reynolds, and Kent, still smile 
or gravely look down upon their descendants ; and there is 
a painting of Louis XVIIL, King of France and Navarre, 
and of St. Louis and the Garter, by Le Febre, presented 
by the King when his exile was over and France welcomed 
him as her Sovereign. Those carved figure's which still 
stand sentry on either side of the staircase — what could they 
not tell us of the revels that used to be held in " the good 
old days " in the banqueting hall, now the museum, of the 
many French folk who eyed them curiously, until the Queen 
took offence at the weird shadows which they cast, and 
condemned them to exile in the cellar! 

This was the abode of the brother of Louis XVI., who 
fled for safety to England when that monarch had fallen a 
victim to the revolutionary violence of the French people in 
1 793. Under the title of Comte de Lisle he came to reside 
here in 1809, and remained until the collapse of Napoleon's 
power in 18 14. His beloved queen lived and died here, 
and his court consisted of one hundred and eighty persons, 
including many of the chief men of France, the Dukes de 
Berri and Angouleme, the Dukes de Duras, de Harve, 
de Gramonte, and de Servant, the Archbishop of Rheims, 
Counts de Chatres, La Chapelle, and de Blacas, and occa- 
sionally the Dukes of Bourbon and Fitz- James, the Prince 
de Conde, and Monsieur, afterwards King Charles X. 
Here also came his royal brother in misfortune, the exiled 
King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus. How anxiously 
must these distinguished exiles have watched the course of 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 153 

events that were occurring in their beloved France, and 
how severe the expressions of their hatred of Napoleon! 
The King calmly watched the progress of his extraordinary 
career, and earned for himself the title of " the sage of 
Hartwell." 

Dr. Doran gives us a description of the house as it was 
when it was occupied by the French King: — "There was 
an agreeable ^•ariety in its several aspects. Of its four 
faces, directed towards the cardinal points of the compass, 
one had an ancient melancholy aspect ; the second had 
a grave Elizabethan cheerfulness ; the third was light, 
airy, and smiling ; and the fourth had a trimmed polished 
air of modernly invented comfort. It had, and has, its 
porticoes, its porches, and its quaint seats. The drawing- 
room was of royal dimensions and beauty ; staircases 
quaintly noble, with oaken rails and statues ; carved ceil- 
ings ; marble mantelpieces, perplexing those who gazed on 
them by their abundant allegorical difficulties ; and 
panelled walls, whereon the representatives of old valour 
and ancient loveliness kept their silent state, added to the 
general effect : altogether Hartwell was a house wherein 
misery might be tolerably comfortable upon ^^24,000 a 
year. In this and in the outbuildings one hundred and 
forty persons were quartered ; the number, including 
visitors, often exceeding two hundred. So numerous a 
party required such extensive accommodation, that the 
halls, gallery, and the larger apartments were often divided 
and sub-divided into suites of rooms and closets, in some 
instances to the great disorder and confusion of the 
mansion. Every out-house, and each of the ornamental 
buildings in the park, that could be rendered capable of 
decent shelter, were densely occupied ; and it was curious 
to see how the second and third class stowed themselves 
away in the attics of the house, converting one room into 
several by the adaptation of light partitions. On the 
ledges, and in the bows of the roof, they formed gardens, 
which were stocked with plants, shrubs, and flowers." 



154 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

The most quaint and interesting room in the house is the 
old muniment room, which is decorated with an elaborately 
carved oak chimney-piece, a frieze and dado panelled and 
carved, and has a curious old mullion window with leaded 
panes. Round its walls are shelves containing old records 
of great variety, ancient leases, marriage settlements, and 
other scrip of the dead and dusty past, together with the 
accounts of the household of Princess Amelia, daughter of 
George IL, to whom, for many years, one of the Lees was 
secretary. 

During his sojourn at Hartwell a great sorrow befel the 
French monarch. His beloved queen, the Princess Maria 
Josephine Louise de Savoy, died of dropsy. After lying 
in state at Hartwell her remains were conveyed to London ; 
a solemn service, attended by many illustrious noblemen of 
France, was performed at the French Roman Catholic 
Chapel, in Little King Street, Portman Square, and the 
body was carried with great pomp to Westminster Abbey, 
and then conveyed to its last resting-place in Sardinia. 
Several others of the illustrious exiles never saw their 
native land again, and their bodies rest in the quiet grave- 
yard of the little church of Hartwell. Amongst these were 
the Chevalier Colligrion; first physician of the Queen of 
France, who died two years after his royal mistress, and 
was much esteemed by the French Royal Family. The 
register books contain the following entry : — 

" 1812. July 16. Jacques Guillaume Collignon, natif 
D. Amiens en Picardie, agi de 69 arns ou environ ; Chevalier 
le I'ordre de S. Michael; Premier Medicin de seue 
Madame la Countesse de Lisle." 

Another entry tells of the death of Alexander Francis 
Marie Le-filluel, Count de la Chapelle, aged 73 ; Field 
Marshal of the army of the French King; an emigrant, 
a Catholic." And the names of less distinguished men 
occur, such as Peter Vice, a French emigrant; Jean 
Baptiste Derisbourg, and John Gross, which contrast 
strangely with those of " the rude forefathers of the hamlet " 
by whose side they sleep. 




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Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 155 

At length the period of exile was over. One of the 
ladies of the court observed from one of the windows the 
arrival of carriages, driven post-haste, which conveyed the 
news of the overthrow of Napoleon's power, and the 
restoration of Louis XVIII. to the throne of his sires. This 
was on March 23rd, 18 14. The King returned to France, 
and was received with the acclamations of his fickle sub- 
jects. But Waterloo had yet to be fought, the strange 
experiences of " the hundred days " to be undergone, before 
he was firmly seated on his throne, whence he was again 
driven by another of the many revolutions for which France 
is famous. 

W^ith the subsequent career of the ill-fated monarch we 
have now no concern. Hartwell was ever remembered 
by him with affection. In reply to the address of the 
people of Aylesbury, he said that " in the recollection of 
his long wanderings that of his stay amongst them would 
be one of the most soothing." 

Several evidences of the visit of Louis still remain at 
Hartwell. Many of the beech trees in the grounds still 
bear traces of French mottoes carved in their bark by hs 
emigres. The bells retain their old names ; the King's 
Room, the Queen's, Archbishop's, Due de Berri's, etc. 
Portraits of the King, his Prie-Dieu, the -lectern and missal 
of the Archbishop, and other relics, remind us of the time 
when t-hese illustrious visitors found in England a sure 
resting-place and quiet haven when the fiercest storm that 
ever burst over France laid low many a. noble head, and all 
the world wondered and shuddered at the shameless deeds 
of mad fanaticism and revolutionary violence. 



156 



THE ETON COLLEGE LIBRARY. 
By F. St. John Thackeray, M.A., F.S.A. 




O much has been written of late years on Eton of 
the past, that it seems worth while to devote some 
space to a subject of one particular branch of the 
history of the College, namely, its Library. 

Though this cannot, of course, compare with the great 
University or College Libraries, yet it contains treasures of 
extreme value, and is very interesting as storing the 
accumulations of three centuries of learning, taste and 
industry. It is a very good specimen of an eighteenth- 
century library, i.e., of what was then regarded as the most 
suitable collection of books for a place devoted to learn- 
ing. Since the close of that century it has received, com- 
paratively speaking, but few accessions. 

Six years after the foundation of the college, William of 
Waynflete, i486, then Provost, together with the Fellows of 
Eton, combined with the Provost and Fellows of King's 
College, Cambridge, in a petition to the King, begging that 
he would commission his chaplain, Richard Chester, in 
common with the King's Stationer, " to inquere and 
diligently inserche and gete knowledge where bokes 
onourments and other necessaries for the said colleges may 
be founden to selle." 

The next epoch of importance is that of the Provostship 
of Sir H. Savile, 1 596-1622. Since the reign of Edward 
VI. little had been done, but Savile, profiting by the lately 
founded library of Sir Thomas Bodley, despatched a car- 
penter to Oxford, and introduced improvements from 
thence into the Eton Library. The growth of the library 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 157 

at this time is attested by the entries in the Audit Books, 
which are tolerably numerous, under the head of 
" Librarie," for the years 1603-22. The sums spent include 
payments to Joyce the waterman, and sums for wharfage 
and custom, the books being conveyed from London , by 
river. There is frequent record, too, of payments for 
" ryvitinge of chaines, and one for byndinge Chrysostom, 
given by Mr. ye Provost." This was Savile's own magni- 
ficent edition of Chrysostom, in eight folio volumes, the 
labour of three years — the first work of learning on a great 
scale published in England — issued from the Eton press 
established by Sir Henry in the house at present occupied 
by the Head Master. The particulars have often been 
told : how he spared no expense (the whole cost amounting 
to ;£^8,000) ; and how he procured from Holland his fount 
of type called the " silver letter." 

The library would naturally be an object of interest to 
Sir H. Savile's next successor but one in the Provostship 
— Sir Henry Wotton. We may feel tolerably sure that 
some of the Italian MSS., and several rare Italian books, 
were contributed by him. For the curious in heraldry 
there is a MS. entitled Venetorum nobiliuin insignia, with 
numerous coloured coats of arms, probably bought by him 
from Venice. The original copies of his letters written 
from thence during his embassy are preserved. They 
extend from 161 7 to 1620, many of them addressed to 
James I., whose favour he first won by apprising him of , the 
plot against his life. 

The College Library received much attention at the 
beginning of the eighteenth century. It is from 1728 that 
the present building dates. The next stage in its existence, 
and the last important accession which it has received, was 
in 1799, when it was enriched by the very valuable legacy 
of Anthony Morris Storer, of Purley, a contemporary at 
Eton of C. J. Fox, and the ancestor of the present owner 
of Purley Park, who bears the same name. The total 
•number of boois is about 23,000.. The chief interest 



158 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

centres round : (i.) the MSS. ; (ii.) Bibles, Theology, and 
Theological Tracts ; (iii.) the Caxtons ; (iv.) early printed 
and other editions, of the Classics-; (v.) raxe books of His- 
tory, Political Tracts, and Travels ; (vi.) Early English and 
Foreign publications. In the last four branches the Storer 
Collection is specially rich, and in some respects forms the 
most valuable portion of the library. 

I._The M55.*— Of these' there are upwards of one 
hundred,, but many are of quite a late date. The majority 
belong to the thirteenth century. Several of them are 
beautifully illuminated, and written in bold characters; 
most of them are in good preservation. There are six 
MSS. of the Vulgate. To the finest of them, given by 
Matthias de St. Alban, a solemn anathema is attached on 
any one who should remove it. The sources of the Eton 
MSS. would seem to be North Italy, North France, the 
Levant, and some English monasteries. The oldest is an 
Ovid, known as the Codex Langobardicus, assigned to the 
eleventh century. The others that are most noticeable 
are (i.) a very beautiful French Bible on vellum, folio, com- 
mencing with the Proverbs, the first volume being absent. 
This came from Dr. Meyrick's Library. Its date is prob- 
ably the last quarter of the fourteenth century, (ii.) A 
MS. of the F lores Historiarum of Matthew, of Westminster. 
This, in the opinion of the late Sir F. Madden, was the 
identical copy from which Archbishop Parker printed his 
first edition in 1567. It has marginal notes in his hand- 
writing throughout, in one of which is the date 1 562. (iii.) 
A very fine folio MS. of Dante (fifteenth century) with some 
peculiar readings, (iv.) A curious MS. record in Latin of 
Queen Elizabeth's visit to Cambridge in 1564. (v.) 
Tirolli's Antiquitates, a piece of German work of Henry 
VIII.'s time, being a series of historical scenes and figures 
finely illuminated, (vi.) There is also at Eton one-half of 
a valuable collectibn of Oriental MSS., extending over 

* These have been very fully described in an admirable monograph by 
Dr. James, Cambridge, 1893. 




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Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 159 

many volumes. The remaining portion is at King's 
College, Cambridge. 

II. — Of printed Bibles those most worthy of mention 
are (i.) the Cethubhim or Hagiographa, Naples (1487), 
printed on vellum one year earlier than the first complete 
Hebrew Bible ; (ii.) a grand copy of the well-known 
Mazarine or Mentz Bible ; (iii.) a large collection of 
versions of the Scriptures in many modern languages ; and 
(iv.) three of Barker's, known as the " Breeches " Bible 
(1578, 1597, 1599). 

In theology the library is naturally well represented, 
much in this branch having been given by Waddington, 
a Fellow, and afterwards Bishop of Chichester. The 
Benedictine editions of the Fathers axe very fine, and a 
probably unique copy of Archbishop Parker's De Anti- 
quitate Britannica EcclesicB, London, 1572, 4to, claims a 
word. It contains, among other peculiarities, a print of 
Archbishop Parker. And to become master of a copy with 
this original engraving was the despair of Dibdin. 

III. — There are three genuine Caxtons. They were 
part of Storer's bequest, and were exhibited at the Caxton 
celebration in 1877. They are (i.) Lis Pais du Jason, 
(ii.) The History of Reynard ; (iii.) Tully : Of Old Age, 
of Friendship, and the Declamation of Noblesse. The 
first of these is the only copy in England. There are two 
in Paris. 

IV. — Of other incunabula— ^nWiqW are numerous and 
valuable — one must speak but briefly. Eton is fortunate 
in possessing two copies of the Florentine editio princeps 
of Homer ; also two celebrated quartos, Apollonius 
Rhodius, and the Anthology, printed in Greek capitals, as 
well as many beautiful Aldines and representative issues 
of the early presses of Milan, Basle, and Paris. Rare 
grammatical and antiquarian works abound, among them 
several catalogues and descriptions .of old continental 
libraries, e.g., at Padua, Venice, Vienna, Augsburg, and 
Leyden. 



i6o Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

The erudition of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
is well reflected in this library. 

V. — There is an extensive collection of political tracts, 
ranging over nearly a century (1642-1731); a complete 
series of Heaxne's volumes, and an almost complete set of 
Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill publications. 

VI. — There is also a considerable collection of Shakes- 
peare's quartos, besides the three first folios ; a copy of 
the first edition of Paradise Lost ; and the unique copy of 
Udall's Ralph Royster I) oyster, discovered in 181 8. 

Eton College Library abounds, it should be added, in 
illustrated historical works and valuable engravings, and 
also in numerous and exquisite specimens of the binder's 
art, including the designs of Grolier, and much work of 
Le Gascon, De Rome, and Roger Payne. 

The sources of the library have been already in part 
indicated. It is the result less of constant purchase 
(indeed very little has been laid out on it for many genera- 
tions), than of the particular collections formed at different 
periods by former members and lovers of the college, and 
of the gifts of a few munificent donors, such as Anthony 
Storer and Bishop Waddington. One further point of 
interest attaching to this in common with many old 
libraries is, that in several of its volumes may be seen the 
autographs and autograph notes of emjnent men — scholars, 
or lovers of literature — e.g., De Thou, Isaac Voss, and 
Casaubon. 



i6i 




ETON MONTEM. 

3l LD Etonians who love to visit their old school on 
the fourth of June may wish to know how the 
ancient Montem was observed, of which the 
modern observances are a survival. An old 
sporting magazine, published at the close of the last 
century, fully describes the proceedings, which took place 
on Whit-Tuesday every third year. They commenced by 
a number of the senior boys taking up their stations upon 
the bridges or other leading places of all the avenues 
around Windsor and Eton soon after day-break. These 
youths are the best figures and the most active of the 
students, who are attired in fancy dresses of silks, satins, 
etc., and some richly embroidered, principally in the habits 
or fashions of running-footmen, with poles in their hands. 
They are called Salt-bearers, and demand " Salt," i.e., a 
contribution from every passenger, and will take no denial. 
When a contribution is given a printed paper is delivered 
with their motto, and the date of the year, which passes the 
bearer free through all the salt-bearers for that day, and is 
as follows : — 

" Pro more at monte 

1799 

Vivant Rex et Regina." 

These youths continue thus collecting their salt at all 
the entrances for near seven miles round Windsor and 
Eton from the dawn of the day until about the close of 
the procession, which is generally three o'clock in the 
afternoon. 

The procession commences about twelve o'clock at noon, 

L 



1 62 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

and consists of the Queen's and other bands of music, 
several standards borne by different students, all the 
Etonian boys, two and two, dressed in officers' uniform, 
those of the King's foundation wearing blue, and the others 
scarlet uniforms, swords, etc. Then follow the grand 
Standard-bearer, the Captain or Head-boy of the School, 
the Lieutenant or Second Boy, His Majesty, attended by 
the Prince of Wales and other male branches of the royal 
family, on horseback, with their suites. The Queen and 
Princesses follow in coaches, attended by their suite, and a 
band of music, with a great concourse of the nobility and 
gentry in their carriages and on horseback complete the 
procession. The procession is formed in the great square 
at Eton, and proceeds through Eton to Slough, and round 
to Salt Hill, where the boys all pass the King and Queen 
in review and ascend the Montem. Here an oration is 
delivered, and the grand Standard is displayed with 
much grace and activity by the Standard-bearer. There 
are two extraordinary salt-bearers appointed to attend the 
King and Queen, who are always attired in fanciful habits, 
superbly embroidered. They each carry an embroidered 
bag, which receives the royal salt, and also whatever is 
collected by the out-stationed salt-bearers. The donation 
of the King and Queen is always fifty guineas each ; the 
Prince of Wales thirty guineas ; all the other Princes and 
Princesses twenty guineas each. 

As soon as this ceremony is performed, the royal family 
return to Windsor. The boys are all sumptuously enter- 
tained at the tavern at Salt Hill, and the beautiful gardens 
are laid out for such ladies and gentlemen as choose to 
take any refreshment, the different bands of music per- 
forming all the time in the gardens. 

About six o'clock all the boys return in the same order 
of procession as in the morning, and marching round the 
great square in Eton College are dismissed. The captain 
then pays his respects to the Royal Family at the Queen's 
Lodge, Windsor, previous to his departure to King's 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 163 

College, Cambridge ; to defray which expense the produce 
of the Montem is presented to him ; and upon Whit-Tues- 
day in the year 1796 it amounted to more than one 
thousand guineas. 

The day concludes by a brilliant display of beauty, rank, 
and fashion, a promenade on Windsor Terrace, bands of 
music performing, etc. ; and the scene highly enlivened 
and enriched by the affable condescension of the Royal 
Family, who indiscriminately mix with the company, and 
parade the Terrace till nearly dark. 



i64 



BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LACE. 
By M. E. B. BURROWES. 




HE origin and early history of the Pillow Point 
Lace Industry in England has at various times 
been the cause of much controversy and specula- 
tion ; but though , so obscure, it seems to be an 
agreed point that this art existed in a rudimentary stage as 
early as the fourteenth century. It was in the reign of 
Elizabeth that the finer laces began to be made in England, 
and pillow lace was probably more fully introduced into 
Buckinghamshire about 1570, during the insurrection of 
the Flemish lace-makers and weavers against their feudal 
oppressors : at the time of the strife in the Church, and in 
the general uprising to obtain grants of freedom and 
political privileges, the restrictions and universal distress 
of the people all tended to prevent the spread of art and 
literature in their own country. Many of these having fled 
thus from the persecutions of Alva and other tyrannies, 
came to England, and seem to have, according to local 
tradition, settled at Olney, Newport Pagnell, and other 
neighbouring villages ; and about this time there appears 
to have been quite a colony of Flemish weavers, spinners, 
and lacemakers in these parts. Olney, one historian tells 
us, was built by a colony of Flemings, but " Oulney," as it 
was called in the olden days, can trace its origin to a much 
earlier date than this, as old records show. But it was 
not until about the beginning of the seventeenth century 
that the Buckinghamshire lace industry arrived at a com- 
paratively flourishing state, and from this time onwards 
we find Bucks and Devonshire classed together as the 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 165 

two great lacemaking centres of England ; and it 
is interesting to note that the three strongest lace 
centres of Bucks at this period were all contained in the 
Newport Hundred, viz., Olney, Stony Stratford, and Hans- 
lope, and the lace industry gradually spread, north, south, 
east, and west, from this division, until we find makers of 
Bucks lace in Bedfordshire, Northants, Bucks, and Oxon. 
Buckinghamshire pillow point lace (or half-stitch lace, 
being the local term commonly applied) is made of care- 
fully prepared flax thread, the same as that so much used in 
Belgium. In its fabrication a quantity of threads are 




interwoven together, thus forming various stitches ; the fine 
pillow net meshes and elaborate fantastic openings are 
formed by the use of lace pins, being pinned on to the 
parchment and into the designs, and twisting the threads 
in and out and about them in divers ways. It is curious to 
note how the same patterns used by lacemakers in different 
localities vary, and how entirely different effects are pro- 
duced. The pillow in appearance is like a small, round, 
hard and dumpy bolster, being firmly stuffed with straw and 
covered with cloth. The design, which has been skilfully 
pricked on to a horn parchment or stiff card, is then laid flat 
on the pillow and partly passing round it ; the lacemaker 
then places the pillow on her stand, or rests it on her knees, 



i66 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

and thus works in this way. The bobbins are tiny cylinders 
of wood, many of curious device and design, and at each 
end is attached a wire circle of beads or charms called 
jingles ; these are used to weight the bobbins. Each 
bobbin having been wound with thread, the ends of which 
are each attached to pins that have been securely -stuck 
into the pillow, the lacemaker is then ready to start hei 
work. She commences by interlacing bobbins, which are 




used in pairs, fixing the lace pins into all the pricked holes 
of the parchment, and crossing the bobbins after the inser- 
tion of each pin. Larger pins, with sealing wax heads, 
hold back the bobbins not in use on each side of the 
designs, as if this were not done in the making of broad 
laces sad entanglements would follow. Buckinghamshire 
lace is characterized by a raised coarse thread called the 
gimp, which is worked in at the same time with the finer 
threads of the lace. This gimp emphasizes more strongly 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 167 

the marked details of the pattern, increases the beauty, and 
gives strength to the lace. 

The meshes of which the groundwork or net consists are 
generally hexagonal in shape. Quite in the olden days the 
bones of both birds and fish, cut and pared into the shape of 
thorns, were used as a substitute for pins, which were an 
expensive item, costing no less than 6s. 8d. per thousand 
in 1 543 ; and sheep's trotters were employed as bobbins ; 
hence the origin of the name bone-lace, a name which 
figures so conspicuously among the dress accounts of 
Queen Elizabeth. WiUiam III., in spite of his grim, 
phlegmatic character, had a genuine Dutch taste for lace. 
His bills for that article in 1695 reached the large sum of 
;6"2,459 19s., and among the most astounding items we 
have — 117 yards of scissas teniae cutwork for trimming 
twelve pocket handkerchiefs, £48^ 14s. 3d. ; and 78 
yards for four cravats, at £8 los. Lace expended for six 
new razor cloths amounted to ;£^270 ; and ;£^499 los. worth 
of lace was bestowed on twenty-four new nightshirts. 
Queen Mary approached, but did not reach, the King in 
lace expenditure ; her lace bill for 1694 amounted to 
i^i,9i8, and it was under William III, in 1698, the Acts 
for preventing the importation of laces from abroad were 
made even more stringent. In the sixteenth century lace 
was sold by weight, not by measurement. 

In Buckinghamshire it is commonly reported that lace 
was made and introduced into the neighbourhood by 
Katharine of Arragon, who was an expert in lace work and 
embroidery ; and round Towcester a lace is still made, and 
being much revived, called Katharine of Arragon's lace, 
the same as was taught so long ago to the villagers by her 
ladies-in-waiting, but it is a coarser and more Spanish type 
of lace than the Bucks pillow point. Beautiful reproduc- 
tions of this lace may be seen in Paulerspury Church, 
Northants. 

Great harm of late years has been done to the 
trade by the introduction of inferior Maltese and Torchon 



1 68 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

laces, the workers gladly forsaking the closer laces for 
those of coarser and more careless mzke. Newport 
Pagnell seems to have been the great market, as 
well as the technical centre, of the lace trade, whence manu- 
facturing districts, and more especially those of Olney and 
Hanslope, received their patterns, and where they sent their 
goods to be sold to the lace buyers. In Lyson's " Magna 
Britannica " we find that " lacemaking is in no part of the 
country so general as at Hanslope and in its immediate 
vicinity; it prevails for fifteen or twenty miles round in 
every direction. At Hanslope no fewer than 8oo, out 
of a population of 1,275, were employed in it in 
the year 1801. Children are there put to the lace schools, at, 
or soon after, five years of age. At eleven or twelve years 
of age they are able to maintain themselves without assist- 
ance. Both boys and girls are taught to make it, and 
some, when they are grown up, follow no other employ- 
ment ; others when out of work find it a goo'd resource, 
and can earn as much as the generality of day labourers. 
The lace made at Hanslope is from sixpence to two guineas 
a yard in value. It is calculated that from ;£'8,ooo to 
;£'io,ooo net profit is annually brought into this parish by 
the lace manufacturers." 

It is quite common to find a good lacemaker with a large 
quantity of bobbins, probably, at least, twelve dozen, and 
among them it will be hard to find two alike, so various 
are the patterns and devices ; many possibly are very old 
having been handed down for several generations ; others 
were love tokens or small presents, to celebrate some homely 
anniversary. One old lady in a village near Buckingham 
possessed a quaint old bone bobbin on which was cut and 
the letters coloured, " Forsake me not, my Love." This 
bobbin was an old one, some fifty years ago (from the 
present time of writing), when being used by her on her 
pillow as quite a young girl, her betrothed seeing this and 
the motto, took a fancy to it, cut it off, and took it with 
him to the Crimea. It never left him through the sieges 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 169 

of both Sevastopol and Inkerman, and on his return to 
England he restored it to its rightful owner ; and, to con- 
clude this httle romance, he married the young lacemaker 
shortly afterwards, and both are living at the present time. 
The lace trade being greatly dependent on the caprice 
of fashion is liable to extreme fluctuations, and the lace- 
makers of Bucks, like many others, have had their ups 
and downs, flourishing times and periods very much the 
reverse, and almost up to the present time the lace- 




makers' earnings have always been less than they should 
have been, owing to the lace-buyer and middleman reaping 
the benefit, and only too frequently a very large profit 
also. But lace-making has dragged on its precarious 
existence through centuries, still solving the great social 
problem, how to find, especially in our country villages, a 
remunerative employment for women and children. 

As an adjunct of dress, lace has always been in great 
favour, and at different times great impetus has been given 
to the trade. But fashion is capricious, and for some years 
the trade has suffered much from depression ; but just at 



170 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 



present we are revelling in lace. This is one of its periods 
of supremacy, and among all the beautiful kinds of lace 
none will compare more favourably than a piece of really 
beautiful Bucks pillow point. In 1897 a branch of the 
Northants Lace Association, calling itself the North Bucks 
Lace Association, was formed, and is already doing much 
good work, and employing some six hundred poor workers, 
who thankfully and joyfully return to the trade of their 
younger days. 

The great impulse has been given by the North Bucks 




Lace Association to our local Buckinghamshire lace indus- 
try ; and the object of collecting funds for the same is to 
be able by co-operation and combination to advance ready 
money for the purpose of facilitating production ; and many 
a poverty-stricken village may yet, by the help of the lace 
industry and other home industries, be transformed into 
a happier and more prosperous one. 

It is a matter of sad regret to find foreign lacemakers 
steadily working their way into the English market, and 
always finding a ready sale for their laces. Why will not 
the English people bestir themselves and show that 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 



171 



they also possess an industrious, steady, and plodding 
nature ? Lace-making may teach a great deal, and do 
much to form a character. First, the work must be real, 
genuine, and accurate ; a single fault will tell its own tale. 
Concentration on what they have in hand, mingled with 
determination and patience, are most essential and 
necessary for the manipulation of a perfect lace. On look- 




ing at the result of persevering labour and its satis- 
factoriness, the worker will be encouraged to renew and 
work well at the industry thus taken up. Persever- 
ance, diligence, neatness, especially cleanliness and order, 
combined with dexterity and deftness, must be mottoes 
for the really good and true lacemaker, and encourage- 
ment in our villages of home and cottage industries will 
help, and be advantageous to agricultural interests. Unless 
the strenuous efforts now being made are not more 



i;2 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

effective, foreign trade will completely step in, as yearly 
our own home industries are declining. The want of 
industrial instruction is not altogether the cause ; for often 
it is given, and of the best, but so few take the trouble to 
avail themselves of it, or thoroughly master what they have 
undertaken, and say they wish to learn. 

Lace-making is one of those industries that require little 
capital to start with. The expenses of the lacemakers 
being small, in their spare time, with patience, skill, and 
accuracy, a little can always be earned. 

In the year 1780, Cowper, the poet, signed a petition 
to Lord Dartmouth on behalf of 1,200 lacemakers at 
Olney, and in the same year the little Bucks lacemaker 
was immortalised by the following lines, taken from Cow- 
per's " Truth " : — 

*' Yon Cottager, who weaves at her own door 
Pillow and bobbins, all her little store ; 
Content, though mean, and cheerful, if not gay, 
Shuffling her threads about the livelong day, 
Just earns a scanty pittance : and at night 
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light ; 
She for her humble sphere by nature fit, 
Has little understanding, and no wit ; 
Receives no praise ; but though her lot be such 
(Toilsome and indigent) she renders much ; 
Just knows and knows no more, her Bible true — 
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ; 
And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes 
Her title to a treasure in the skies." 

The Patron Saint of the craft is St. Andrew, whose 
anniversary, on November 30th, was until the last five and 
twenty years kept as a holiday, the little lacemakers being 
regaled with a feast, games, and general merriment ; but 
of late years this good old custom has died out. It was' 
then commonly called " Tandering Feast," and the lace- 
makers would say, they " reckoned much of Tandering 
Day." Also, in some localities, the festival was called 
" Catterns Day," in memory of Queen Catharine. 

In the reign of George III. Buckinghamshire lace also 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 173 

had its day, and it was at this period that at Aylesbury a 
very fine bone lace, equal to the rarest Flemish, was made, 
which was so well esteemed a. fabric that the French sold 
much lace of their own making in Paris by calling it 
" dentille d'Angleterre.'' In the reign of Charles I. 
Henrietta Maria, his wife, sent as a present to the then 
Queen of France some bone lace made in this country. 

Buckinghamshire lace has had more difficulties to contend 
with than that of Honiton, which has more or less been 
kept alive by the constant patronage of our late Queen, 
though in the old days much lace was made for the court 
in Bucks, and at the present day the Duchess of York has 
been a kind supporter and encourager of this ancient art. 

It was the machine-made lace of Nottingham that 
destroyed the Bucks lace trade, but we hope that now the 
day is not far distant when we shall again see cottagers 
" a sitting at their pillows, the bobbins plying merrily," as 
in more prosperous times in days of yore. 



174 



CHEQUERS AND OLIVER CROMWELL. 

By Albert J. Foster, M.A. 




IGHT boldly above the rich vale of Aylesbury, 
and bounding it on its southern side, rises the 
northern face of the Chiltern Hills ; and here we 
find, cutting their way through the chalk, many of 
those lovely beech and box-clothed ravines which run up 
steeply from the flat plain and form the most romantic 
portions of Mid-Buckinghamshire. , 

About two miles due west of the quaint old-fashioned 
little town of Wendover, a lane winds up one of these 
verdure-clad ravines twisting and turning through the chalk 
and gravel. We climb the steep ascent until we reach 

" — th' breezy hill that skirts the down, 

Where a green grassy turf is all I crave. 
With here and there a violet bestrewn. 

Fast by a brook or fountain's murmuring wave." 

When we have reached the " green, grassy turf," we find 
that it is a park of considerable size, a portion of flat 
table -land to the east, but rising to some height towards 
the west. For in that direction we see Beacon Hill, which 
commands all the ground on which we are now standing, 
and from which it is said even the Malvern Hills may be 
seen on a clear day. Further westward still the high ground 
is occupied by Kimble Castle, the once stronghold of 

" The lofty Cedar, royal Cymbeline,'' 

now a mere earthwork, but overlooking the fairest glens 
to be found anywhere on the Chiltern Hills, so fortunate 
in their names—" Velvet Lawn " to the north, " Silver 
Spring " in the centre, and " Happy Valley " to the south. 




o 
U 



U 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 175 

But we are not concerned just now with the natural 
beauties of this charming spot ; we have not come here 
to gaze down on the rich fields of Aylesbury plain, all 
dotted with villages and farms, nor shall we attempt to 
descry the distant hills of Gloucestershire ; we are going 
to visit the grand square mass of buildings which rise in 
so stately a fashion in the very centre of the park, just 
where the well-grown timber trees form an attractive 
background to the rich-coloured brickwork. 

Park and house have borne for many hundred years the 
name of Chequers, which was that of its possessors in the 
time of Henry II., the family of the Exchequer or, in 
Latin form, De Scuccariis. The exact date of the original 
house on this particular site, which first possessed the name, 
we cannot exactly certify. Some would say that it stood 
here at the time of the Conquest, and indeed there is no 
reason why some Saxon thane should not have selected this 
position for his habitation — half a dwelling and half a 
fortification, perchance. 

More precise tradition tells us that a house was built 
here in the year 1326, but nothing of it is now to be found, 
for when the Chequers family died out, their successor 
entirely rebuilt the mansion. This successor was Sir 
William Hawtrey, whose family had been previously known 
by a Latin name, De Alta Ripa, and his work, as we learn 
by a date in the battlements over the bow-windows of the 
library and drawing-room on the north front, was com- 
pleted in 1566. Here also we may see the arms of 
Chequers, Hawtrey, and Croke, together with a Haw 
Tree, and the initials of the builder and his wife, W. H. 
and A. H. 

Sir Willia-m Hawtrey 's new house became the prison of 
an unfortunate lady who was committed to his charge. 
This prisoner was Lady Mary Grey, daughter of the 
Marquis of Dorset, and sister of the still more unfortunate 
Lady Jane Grey. Lady Mary's offence had been that she 
had ventured to marry, without the permission of her 



176 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

gracious Sovereign Elizabeth, Thomas Keys, the Sergeant 
Porter of the royal court. Poor lady, both she and he 
suffered in consequence, for the husband was sent to the 
Fleet prison, while the wife underwent at Chequers a long 
imprisonment of two years " without going abroad." 
Piteous were the appeals which she addressed to Mr. 
Secretary Cecil. One of these is still preserved in the 
British Museum, and is here reproduced. At length the 
lady was sent off to be under the charge of a less rigorous 
gaoler, her uncle's wife, the Duchess of Suffolk. 

But to return to the possessor of Chequers. The Haw- 
treys died out in the person of Bridget, their heiress, who 
married Sir Henry Croke at the end of the sixteenth 
century. If we walk down the park to the little church 
of Ellesborough, in which parish Chequers is situated, we 
shall find in the south aisle a fine marble monument with 
an effigy of the lady. The church itself well deserves a 
visit, and it stands on a lofty detached mound just beneath 
the hills. Such church-crowned mounds are to be found 
elsewhere in the neighbourhood, as at Eddlesborough, 
away to the north-east. The Lady " Brigetta " Croke 
died in 1638, and the inscription on her monument 
describes her as " Foemins nihil habens nisi sexum." 

It is a peculiarity of Chequers that it has in so many 
instances descended through females. Mary, the last of 
the Crokes, married, as his third wife, John Thurbarne, 
Sergeant-at-Law, and dying without issue in 171 1, left 
Chequers to Joanna, the daughter of her husband by his 
second wife, Mary Cutts, sister to John, Lord Cutts, thus 
making a break in the blood succession. 

This lady, Joanna Thurbarne, married as her second 
husband John Russell, the third son of Sir John Russell 
and Frances, daughter of Oliver Cromwell. The lady's 
daughter by her first husband, Colonel John Rivett, who 
bore the name of Mary Joanna Cutts Rivett, moreover 
married John Russell's son by a former marriage, Colonel 
Charles Russell. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 177 

Chequers remained in the Russell family until the time 
of Mary Russell, who died at the beginning of the last 
century without issue, and left the estates to her cdusin. 
Dr. John Russell Greenhill, whose son. Sir Robert Green- 
hill, assumed the name of Russell, and was created a 
baronet in 183 1. At his death, in 1836, Chequers passed 
by will to his cousin and heir-at-law. Sir Robert Frankland, 
who assumed the name of Russell. Sir Robert's fifth 
daughter, Rosalind Alicia, married, in 1854, Francis 
L'Estrange Astley, afterwards Lord Astley of Reading, a 
descendant of Sir Jacob Astley of fame in the Royalist 
army in the Civil Wars, and commander of the King's 
infantry at Naseby. 

Thus from its earliest existence in the days of Henry II. 
to the time of its present owners, the Astley family, 
Chequers has never passed by anything but will from 
possessor to possessor, though there was a break of actual 
blood descent at the succession of Joanna Thurbame. 

The estate never belonged to Sir John Russell, Oliver 
Cromwell's son-in-law, but to his son John, who, as we liave 
said, married the heiress, Joanna Thurbame, and who 
eventually succeeded to his family baronetcy. Conse- 
quently it is quite incorrect to imagine that Cromwell ever 
lived here, though he might have visited the place during 
his life ; for the home of his cousin John Hampden, Great 
Hampden House, is barely two miles away. His grand- 
son, John Russell, may conceivably have become acquainted 
with Joanna Cutts through his cousinly intimacy with these 
neighbours of hers. It was through his mother, Frances, 
the daughter of Cromwell, that Sir John Russell acquired 
the magnificent collection of Cromwell portraits and relics 
which form so interesting a feature of Chequers at the 
present day. 

The Russells had much to do with adding to, altering, 
and it must be said, disfiguring, the house. They covered 
the brickwork with stucco. They raised battlements on 
the gables. They rebuilt the south front and inserted 



178 Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

therein rows of Georgian sash-windows. They even 
altered the mulhons of the older windows. They erected 
an ugly porch on the east side, and a still more ugly clock 
turret at the south-west angle. 

The house is, as we have said, a large square mass facing 
the four points of the compass. In the centre was an open 
courtyard. On the east side is the entrance, and to the 
west are the offices. Now, perhaps, it will not be altogether 
inconsistent with these " Memorials of old Buckingham- 
shire " to describe shortly what has been done of late 
years with regard to alterations carried on since 1896, 
and not yet altogether completed. 

To begin with, the central court has been covered in, 
and now forms a large and handsome hall, lighted by 
stained-glass windows, the coats of arms in which have 
been designed, coloured, and burnt in by members of 
the family which now represents the Russells. On the 
exterior, the whole, or nearly the whole, of the stucco has 
been cleaned off, and the original brickwork has been ex- 
posed to view again. Some of this ancient work is of a 
curious character, for the bricks, instead of being bonded 
into one another, have been laid in alternate courses end- 
on-end lengthwise, not, one would imagine, a very firm 
method of building. On the south side all the sash- 
windows have been removed, and new mullioned windows 
have been inserted. On the north side the curved 
transoms have also been taken away and the straight 
dividing members have been replaced. It is true that some 
of the historical changes in the house have disappeared 
under this treatment, but, on the other hand, the mansion 
now appears as one homogeneous whole. 

The wretched battlements have also been taken away, 
and the gables have been restored to their original con- 
dition, in some instances a little further adornment being 
added to them. 

In the interior the rooms have been altered from time to 
time, but the magnificent library, lighted by lofty bay 



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Fac-si.\iile of IjEtter of Lady Mary Orey to Mr. Secretary Cecil, 

ASKING TO BE RESTORED TO THE QuEEN's FaVOUR. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 179 

windows, and eighty-one feet in length, still forms two- 
thirds of the upper floor of the west front. 

The small room in which Lady Mary Grey is supposed 
to have been imprisoned is at the north-east angle, and now 
forms an inner drawing--room. The little china closet which 
opens out of this room is really the staircase up which 
ran the spiral stairs forming the only approach to her 
prison. In this room there hang appropriately over the 
fireplace the portraits of her gaoler, Sir William Hawtrey, 
and his wife, Winifred Dormer. The lady and gentleman 
stand, it should be noticed, at the side of a table, the cover 
of which has been marked out into chequers. 

To describe all the portraits of interest which fill 
the house would be a serious matter. Most of those of 
Cromwell himself, of members of his family, and of his 
friends and servants are in the library. Here we see the 
Protector on horseback, and also in a three-quarter por- 
trait by Walker. Over the fireplace we have him in 
armour, and by his side a page, probably his son Richard, 
stands tying on the sash of the great man. Close by are 
the portraits of his sons, Richard, ■ the second Lord Pro- 
tector — also by Walker, — and Henry, the Lord Deputy of 
Ireland. Not far off are the portraits of their four pisters, 
Bridget, the wife first of Henry Ireton, and afterwards of 
Charles Fleetwood, of the family at Vache, near Chalfont 
St. Giles ; Mary Lady Falconberg ; Frances, Lady 
Russell, who first married Robert Rich ; and Ehzabeth, 
Mrs. Claypole, who has around her, for some symbolic 
reasons, a sun-flower, a celestial globe, and a scroll 
beneath her hands, on which is the legend " altiora sequor." 
The portraits of Mrs. Fleetwood and Mrs. Claypole arc 
both by Jansen. There are also portraits of Cromwell's 
sons-in-law, John Claypole and Ireton. His more imme- 
diate followers are represented by Thurloe, his Secretary 
of State ; Jeremy White, his chaplain ; Lambert, the Presi- 
dent of his Council ; Colonel Sandys ; and Cornet Joyce. 
An impression of the great seal of the Commonwealth, 



i8o Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 

great in size as well as in meaning, also hangs on the 
walls of the library. 

A portrait of Oliver at two years of age, in a tight white 
dress and with a close-fitting lace cap, hangs in another 
room. By the side of it is the portrait of his mother, 
in a heavy black widow's hood. 

There are also two miniatures of Oliver Cromwell, one 
set in a ring, and another presented by him to the Queen 
of Sweden. 

Modern historians, notably Mr. John Morley and 
Professor Gardiner, have reproduced many of these por- 
traits in the lives of Cromwell which they have written. 
The latter has also given as one of his illustrations the cast 
taken from Cromwell's face, it is supposed during life. 

There are also many documents of the Cromwell family 
carefully preserved at Chequers. There we can see the 
Deed of Richard Cromwell dissolving Parliament on 22nd 
April, 1659, and numerous letters from Lord and Lady 
Falconberg, Sir John Russell, and Lord Warwick, whose 
grandson, Robert Rich, was the first husband of Frances, 
Lady Russell, who brought all these portraits and relics 
to Chequers. Among the latter are the Lord Protector's 
watch and sword, and his baby caps and other articles 
of clothing. 

But the portraits at Chequers are not those of Oliver 
Cromwell and the Cromwell family only. There is one of 
Charles II., with Colonel Lindsay meeting Lord Wilmot 
and Colonel Gunter after the battle of Worcester. There 
is also one of James, seventh Earl of Derby, beheaded 
during the rebellion, who was an ancestor of the family 
which now owns Chequers. There is an unknown por- 
trait, the facsimile of one at Denton, with the legend — 

* ' A waye I passe from what I was, 
What I give I have, that I kep I loss.'' 

Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII., 
an ancestor of the present possessor of Chequers, has her 
portrait on the wall. In the dining-room is that of Prince 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. i8i 

Rupert, which may be the work of Vandyck, and also one, 
and a very fine one, of Mary Queen of Scots, by a French 
artist. In the same room is a fine example of the game 
pieces of Fuyt, probably one of the best pictures in the 
house. Over the fireplace in the drawing-room is a charm- 
ing portrait of Mrs. Ellis, by Sir Peter Lely. 

But we might wander for hours through these lovely 
rooms, only too fortunate if we have in our hands the 
excellent catalogue recently drawn up by one of the family, 
and study the " counterfeit presentments " of many of the 
most famous men and women of the seventeenth century ; 
many of whom have, moreover, been closely connected 
with the county, and therefore have a right to be noticed 
in the chronicles of old Buckinghamshire. 



I 82 



APPENDIX. 
THE HAWTREY FAMILY. 




PEDIGREE of the Hawtrey family, dated 1623. 
commences as follows : — 

" The familie of Hawtrey, written in Latine de 
Altaripa, and in some records called D'Autr)', 
was of noble estimation in Normandy before the Norman 
Conquest as it appeareth in ye history of Normandy, 
written by Ordericus Vitalis, a monk of Rome, and it is to 
be noted that those of Lincolnshire written in the Latine 
deeds De Altaripa took the name of Hawtrey and came 
into Buckinghamshire by reason of the inheritance that 
came by the match with ye Daughter and Heire of the 
antient familie of Checkers, whose seat they possessed till 
by female heires it went away to other families as is here 
described." 

" William de Altaripa, of Algerkirk in Com. Lincoln, 
Knight, m. Catharine da : and one of ye hs of Sir Chekers 
of Chekers in co Buck. Knt." 

Then follows the pedigree down to Sir William Hawtrey, 
who was eventually succeeded in the Chequers estate by 
his daughter Bridget, who married Sir Henry Croke, 
Knight. 

Succession to Chequers after the time of the Crokes. 

Joanna Thurbarne m. i. Colonel John Rivett, 

2. John Russell, third son of Sir John 
Russell, by Frances, daughter of 
Oliver Cromwell. 

Mary Joanna Cutts Rivett m. Colonel Charles Russell, son 

of John Russell by a former 
marriage. 



Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire. 183 

Sir John Russell, Bart., d. 1783, succeeded by 

His son, Sir John Russell, Bart., d. 1802, succeeded by 

His brother. Sir George Russell, Bart., d. 1804, succeeded by 

His aunt, Mary Russell, who died without issue, and left 
Chequers to her cousin, the Rev. John Russell Greenhill, 
LL.D., who was succeeded by 

His son. Sir Robert Greenhill Russell, Bart., who assumed 
the name of Russell in 181 5, and was created a Baronet 
in 1 83 1. 

On this Baronet's death, in 1836, the Chequers 
estate passed by will to his cousin and heir-at-law, 
Sir Robert Frankland, seventh Baronet, of Thirkleby 
Park and Aldwark, Yorks, who assumed the name and 
arms of Russell, in addition to and after those of Frankland. 
He left the estate on his death, in 1849, to his widow, 
Louisa Ann, Lady Frankland Russell, daughter of Lord 
George Murray, Bishop of St. David's, and second son of 
John, Duke of Athole. In 1871 the estate passed to her 
fifth daughter, Rosalind Alicia Frankland-Russell-Astley, 
who married, in 1854, Francis L'Estrange Astley, third son 
of Sir Jacob Astley, seventh Baronet, of Melton Constable, 
Norfolk, and of Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, and 
brother of Sir Jacob Astley, in whose favour the abeyance 
of the ancient barony of Hastings, which had been 
created in 1295, was terminated. 

At the death of Mrs. Frankland Russell- Astley, 27th 
August, 1900, the estate passed to the present possessor, 
Bertram Frankland Frankland-Russell-Astley, eighth in 
descent from the Protector. 

The family of Astley is descended in unbroken male 
descent from Philip de Estlega, who possessed Hilmorton, 
in the county of Warwick, in the time of King Henry I., 
and whose grandson, Thomas de Astley, Baron Astley, 
built Astley Castle in Warwickshire, and was slain at the 
battle of Evesham, in the time of Henry III. 



INDEX. 



Akeman Street, 3. 

Amersham, 122. 

Amersham, John, 122. 

Amersham and its burnings, 90. 

Ancient Toasts, 87. 

Ankerwycke, 8. 

Astley Family, 177. 

Ashridge, 8, 10. 

Aubrey, 12S. 

Aylesbury, 5, 7, 9, 14, 112, 122. 

Barker, Christopher, 121. 

Bathurst, Lord, 123. 

Battle of Chalgrove Field, 107. 

Baxter, Richard, at Amersham, 97. 

Beaconsfield, Lord, t26. 

Beaconsfield, 118. 

Bernard, Thomas, 93. 

Bernwood Forest, 6. 

Bisham Abbey, 21. 

Bitlesden, 8. 

Bledlow, 5. 

Boarstall House, 15, 114, 133. 

Bolebec Castle, 9. 

Bone Lace, 167. 

" Book of Martyrs," 11. 

Boreton House, lit. 

Bradwell Priory, 8. 

Brill, 6, 14, 112, 126. 

Briant, Jacob, 124. 

British Camps, 2. 

British Earthworks, 2. 

British Roads, 3. 

Brooks, Shirley, 125. 

Bucinobantes, or Bucci, i. 

Bucks nomenclature, i. 

Bucks Churches, 8. 

Bucks, Historic, i. 



Bucks, Martyrdoms in, 12 
Bucks Regicides, 16. 
Buckingham, 6, 9. 
Buckingham Lace, 164. 
Bulstrode, 131. 
Burke, Edmund, 119. 
Burnham, 2, S. 
Burnham Abbey, 29. 
Butler, Charles, 126. 

Cassivallaunus, 2. 

Cattuellani, 1. 

" Cattern's Day,'' 172. 

Caxtons at Eton, 159. 

Chalfont S. Giles, 140, 142. 

Charles II. at Latimer House, i5. 

Chase, Thomas, 91. 

Chequers Court, 14, 174. 

Chenies, 11. 

Chetwode, 8. 

Chesham, 94. 

Chesterfield, Lord, 120. 

Chiltern Hundreds, 17, 100. 

Chiltern Range, 99. 

Cholesbury, 3. 

Chippenham, 29. 

" Chrystal, or the Adventures of a 
Guinea," 24. 

Cistercian Order of Monks, 20. 
Civil War in Bucks, 83, no, 134. 
Clarke, Rev. Samuel, 125. 
Claydon House, 45. 
Claydon in Civil Wars, 47. 
Cliefden, 123. 
Cobham, Viscount, 63. 
Coke, Sir Edward, 120. 
Cosin, Robert, burned at Bucking- 
ham, 91. 
Cowper, 117. 



185 



INDEX. 



Cromwell at Aylesbury, 115. 
Cowper on Lacemakeis, 172. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 174. 
Cromwell, Portraits and Relics, 177. 

Danes, The, 5. 

Danesfield, 35. 

Danish Incursion, 5. 

Dashwood, Sir Francis, 23. 

Datchet, 120. ■ 

Denham Court, 124. 

" Dentille d'Angleterre,'' 173. 

Digby, Sir Everard, 14. 

Digby, Sir Kenelm, 14, 121. 

Disraeli, Isaac, 126, 

Ditchley, 57. 

Ditton Park, 121. 

Doddershal, 130. 

Dogberry and Verges at Grendon, 129. 

Dorman, Thomas, r22. 

Drayton Beauchamp, 1 2 r . 

Dryden, 124. 

Edward the Confessor, 6. 

Edward I. in Bucks, 10. 

Edward III. and the Black Prince at 
Hampden, loi. 

Edwards, Thomas, 125. 

EUesborough, 125. 

Elizabeth, Princess, at Ashridge, 13. 

Elysian Fields, 72. 

Ellwood, Thomas, 116, 140. 

Eton, 127. 

Eton College Library, 156. 

Eton, Foundation of, 11. 

Eton Montem, 161. 

Fawley Court, 27, 112, 126. 

Fawley in Doomsday, 78. 

Fawley Church, 81. 

" Fay ce que voudras " motto, 23. 

Fenny Stratford, 3. 

Fleetwood, Sir William, 125. 

Flemish Lacemakers, 164. 



Fingest, 11. 

Fishponds at Medmenham, 20. 

Foxe's "Acts and Monuments," 11, 
90. 

Gray, Thomas, 1x9.. 

Grayhurst and Gunpowder Plot, 14. 

Grayhurst, 121. 

Great Kimble, 2. 

Grey, Lady Mary, 14. 

Grey, Lady Mary, at Chequers, 

I7S-I79- 
Greenlands, 84. 
Gregory, John, 122. 
Great Marlow, 124. 
Great Missenden, 125. 
Grendon Underwood, r25. 
Great Woolston, 126. 
Grendon Wood, 128. 
Grim's Dyke, 2. 
Ghosts, 145. 
Goldington, 115. 
Gunpowder Plot, 14. 

Hampden, 10, 131. 

Hampden, John, and Ship Money, 14. 

Hampden, John, 99, no. 

Hampden House, 99. 

Hand of S. James the Apostle, 35. 

Ilanslope, 168. 

Hanslope Castle, 9. 

Hartwell House, 16, 151. 

Hatton, Sir Christopher, 120. 

Hawridge, 2. 

Hawtrey Family, 175, 182. 

Heart Burial, 27. 

Hedsor, 124. 

"Hell Fire Club," 23. 

Henry II. in Bucks, 7. 

Herschel, Caroline Lucretia, 120. 

Herschel, Sir William, 120. 

Herschel, Sir John Frederick William, 



186 



INDEX. 



Hertford, Lady, 124. 

High Wycombe, 3, 6, 15, 126. 

Historic Bucks, i. 

Historic Pictures at Chequers, 179. 

Historic Pictures at Claydon, 46. 

Historic Pictures at Fawley Court, 88. 

Hillesdon House, 114. 

Hook, Nathaniel, 124. 

Hooker, the "Judicious," 121. 

Horn-Tenure, 6. 

Homes of Milton, 136. 

Iknield Street, 3. 

Ivanhoe, 9. 

Incunabula at Eton, 159. 

James, George Payne, 124. 

Johnson, Dr., 119. 

John Knox preaching at Amersham, 

13- 
Jordans, 143, 148. 
" Justfast Men," go. 

Katharine of Arragon in Bucks, 167. 
King John at Hampden, loi. 
Knox, John, at Amersham, 13, 97. 
Kunobeline's Castle, 2. 

Langley, Thomas, 124. 
J.aud, Archbishop, 81. 
Lavendon, g, 10. 
Lee, Sir Henry, 13. 
Lee Family, 151. 

" Liber Famelicus " of Sir James 
Whitelock, 80. 

Lipscomb, Dr. George, 123. 

Little Marlow, 9. 

Little-Ease at Wooburn, 11, gi. 

Literary Bucks, 116. 

Lollardy in Bucks, ri, 92, 146. 

Long Crendon, g. 

London, Dr., 12, 3g. 

Louis XVIIL, 16, 151. 

LufBeld Priory, 9. 

Ludgershall, 117. 



Magna Charta Island, 7. 

Maids Moreton, 114. 

Mann, Thomas, gi. 

Martyrdoms in Bucks, 12. 

" Martyr Field " at Amersham, g4. 

Mayne Reid, Capt., 124. 

Medmenham Abbey, 8, 18. 

Medmenham in Domesday, 19. 

Middle Claydon, 46. 

Missenden, 8. 

Milton at Horton and Chalfont 
S. Giles, 116, 136. 

Moulins, Sir John de, 31. 

MSS. in Eton Library, 158. 

Newport Pagnell, g, 15, tt4, 164, 168.. 

Newport Pagnell, chief lace centre,, 

168. 
Newton, John, 117. 
Nigel, 6, 133. 
Norman Conquest, 7. 
Notley, 8. 
Nugent, Lord, t22. 

Olney, ri7, 164. 

Parliament held at Ashridge, 10. 

Penn, 131. 

Penn Family, r44. 

Penn Church, 145. 

Penn, William, 146. 

Penns in America, 150. 

Pennsylvania, 149, 150. 

Pictures at Howe, 70. 

Pictures at Hartwell, 152. 

riggott Family, r29. 

Pillow Point Lace, 165. 

Plague in Bucks, 139. 

Plague at Claydon, 55. 

Plague at Henlev and Fawley, 80.. 

Pope's description of Stowe, 64. 

Portway, 3. 

Prime Ministers, 126. 



1S7 



INDEX. 



Prince Rupert's Brigade at Fawley 
Court, 83. 

Princes Risborough, lo. 

Quakerism in Bucks, 146. 
Quarrendon, 13. 
Queen Adeliza's Hand, 40. 
Queen's Oak at Stony Stratford, 12. 

Ravenstone, 9. 
Reading Abbey, 35, 36. 
Reid, Capt. Mayne, \2.^. 
Restoration of Monarchy, 59. 
Richard, Earl, 29. 
Ritchings Park, 123. 
Roman Coins, 3. 
Roman Remains, 3. 
Romance in Bobbins, 16S. 
"Rule Britannia," 123. 
Russell, Earl, 126. 
Russell Family, z.-]"]. 
Rye House Plot, 16. 

Saxon Buckinghamshire, 4. 
Scrivener, John, 93. 
Shakespeare at Grendon Underwood, 
rr6. 

" ShafHing broth," 82. 
St. Eaditha, 5. 
St. Berinus, 4. 
St. Modwen, 5. 
I St. Rumbald, 4. 
St. Osyth, 5. 
St. Edburg, 5. 
St. Wulstan, 7. 
Shirley Brooks, 125. 
Snelshall, 9. 
Spillicorn, 6. 
Shelley, r24. 
Ship Money, ro5. 
Smedley, Frank, 124. 
Shakespeare in Bucks, 128. 
Scott, Thomas, "The Commentator,'' 



Stoke Poges, 119, 149. 
Stony Stratford, 3, 10. 
Stowe Gardens, 62. 
Swanbourne, 113. 
Shobbington, i3r. 

" Tandering Feast," 172. 

Temple, Sir Thomas, 62. 

Temple, Sir Richard, builder ol 
Stowe House, 62. 

Temples in Stowe Gardens, 72. 

Temple of British Worthies, 73. 

Thompson's description of Stowe, 65. 

Tickford, 9. 

Tournaments, 13. 

Tylsworth, William, burned at Amer- 
sham, 90. 

Ulric, "The Anchorite,'' 7. 

Verney Letters, 45. 
Verneys, The, 45. 

Waller, Edward, ri3. 

Waller's Oak at Coleshill, 1 18. 

Walpole, Horace, 65. 

Walton, Isaac, r2r. 

West W"ycombe, z, 26. 

Weston Underwood, 117. 

Whiteleaf Cross, 5. 

Whitelock, Sir James, of Fawley, 79. 

Whitelock, Sir Bulstrode, 83, 126. 

Willis, Dr. Browne, 122. 

Wilkes, John, 122. 

Wing, 112. 

Winslow, 5. 

Winwood, Sir Ralph, 121. 

Wooburn, 11, 91. 

Woodville, Elizabeth, 12. 

Wycliffe, John, 11, 117. 

Wycombe, r 14. 

"Ye Compleal Angler," 121. 



1S8 



List of Subscribers. 

Adam, Mrs. Fitz, Boveney Court, Windsor. 

Adams, W., Esq., 29, Blagrove Street, Reading. 

Allhusen, H., M.P., Stoke Court, Stoke Poges, Bucks. 

Almack, Rev. A. C, Vicarage, Bowes Park, N. 

Arrowsmith, H., Esq., Littlewick Lodge, nr. Maidenhead. 

Armstrong, Miss C, 26, Market Square, Aylesbury. 

Astley, B. F. F. Russell, Esq., j, Culford Gardens, S.W. 

Aubrey, C. A., Esq., Dorton House, Thame. 

Bacchus, Mrs., Manor House, Lillington, Leamington. 

Ball, C. W. de, Esq., The Briars, Baronsfield Road, Twickenham. 

Barber, Ven. Arch., S. Bridget's Rectory, Chester. 

Barnett, C. J., Esq., Mill End, Henley-on-Thames. 

Barrett, R. IL, Esq., The Grove Lodge, Slough, Bucks. 

Benyon, J. H., Esq., Englefield House, Reading. 

Blacknall, O. W., Esq., Kittrell, N.C., U.S.A. 

Blinko & Son, Messrs., 27, Queen Street, Ramgate. 

Bowver, Major, Linford Hall, Wolverton, Bucks. 

Blandy, W. F., Esq., 1, Friar Street, Reading. 

Booth, Rev. J. W. \V. , Prestwood Vicarage, Gt. Missenden, Bucks. 

Bruce, Dr. M., 23, Harley Street, Cavendish Square, W. 

Bryant, W., Esq., Stoke Park, Stoke Poges, Bucks. 

Buckinghamshire, Rt. Hon. The'Earl of, Hampden House, Gt. Mis- 
senden, Bucks. 

Bull, F. W., Esq., Risdene, Kettering. 

Burney, Co!., Wavendon Tower, Woburn Sands. 

Burrows, A., Esq., Moreton Manor House, near Buckingham. 

Butt, Rev. W., Minety Vicarage, Malmesbury. 

Carrington, Rt. Hon. Earl, Daws Hill Lodge, High Wycombe. 

Chesham, Lady, Latimer, Chesham, Bucks. 

Chynoweth, Miss I., 35, Holland Park, W. 

Clarke, D., Esq., Havenfield, High Wycombe. 

Cooper, J., Esq., The Croft, Henley-on-Thames. 

Crawshay, W. T., Esq., Caversham Park, Reading 

Cripps, Miss R. J., Parmoor, Henley, Oxon. 

Crouch, Wm., Esq., County Hall, Aylesbury. 

189 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

Darby, S., Esq., Cookham Dean, Berks. 

Dickson, Rev. R. B., Stewkley Vicarage, Leighton Buzzard. 

Disraeli, Coningsby, Esq., M.P., Hughenden Manor, High 
Wycombe. 

Duncombe, Lady Pauncefort, Brickhill Manor, Bletchley. 

Farrer, G. D., Esq., Brayfield House, Newport Pagnell. 

Follett, Col., Woodside, Old Windsor (2). 

Field, Rev. F. F., Woughton Rectory, Bletchley. 

Finlay, A., Esq., Little Brickhill Manor, Bletchley. 

Ford, F. T., Esq., Kimbers House, near Maidenhead. 

Freeman, G. M., Esq., K.C., The Grange, Wraysbury, Bucks. 

Freemantle, T. F., Esq., Holton Park, Oxford. 

Fountaine, B. T., Esq., Stoke House, Stoke Hammond, Bletchley, 

Bucks. 
Garrett-Pegge, J. W., Esq., Chesham House, Chesham. 
Garry, Rev.- N. T., Taplow Rectory, Maidenhead. 
Gilbey, A., Esq., Woburn House, Woburn Green, Bucks. 
Gilmour, M. A. B., Esq., Saffronhall Hall House, Windmill Road, 

Hamilton. 
Gomm, F. C. Carr, Esq., The Chase, Farnham Royal, Bucks. 
Goolden, R. E., Esq., Horton Grange, Maidenhead. 
Goodlake, Mrs. G., 36, Chester Square, S.W. 
Gough, H., Esq., Sandcroft, Redhill, Surrey. 
Hanbury, Mrs. G., 28, Princes Gate, S.W. 
Harcourt-Smith, H. H., Esq., 31, Colville Square, W. (2). 
Hazell, W., Esq., g, Russell Square, W. C. 
Higgins, H. W., Esq., "Daily Telegraph" Office, Fleet Street, 

E.C. (2). 
Higginson, General G. H., K.C.B., Gyldernscorft, Marlow, Bucks. 
Hoare, S. O'Brien, Esq., Tur\ille Park, Henley-on-Thames. 
Hodder, R. E., Esq., Norcot Villa, Waylen Street, Reading. 
Hodgson, W., Esq., Westholme, Darlington. 
Howe, Right Hon. Earl, 20, Curzon Street, W. (2). 
Hudson, R. W., Esq., Danesfield, Great Marlow, Bucks (2). 
Johnstone, Miss L. G., Bayards Lodge, Knaresborough. 
Keyser, C. E., Esq., M.A., F.S.A., Aldermaston Court, Reading. 
Kinloss, Lady, Stowe, Buckingham. 
Kirby, J., Esq., 27, Westbourne Road, Sheffield. 
Lambert-, H., Esq., Woodgate, Farnham Royal, Bucks. 
, Lambton, Capt. W. H., Guards' Club, Pall Mall, S.W. 
Leake, Mrs., Little Missenden Abbey, Gt. Missenden, Bucks. 
Lee, E. D., Esq., Hartwell House, Aylesbury. 

190 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

Lockwood, C, & Son, Stationers' Hall Court, E.G. 

Lowndes, C, Esq., Hartwell, St. Gregory's Road, Stratford-on-Avon. 

Mackenzie, W. D., Esq., Fawley Gourt, Henley-on-Thames. 

Manders, E. H., Esq., Eversley Chase, Winchfield, Hants. 

Marriott, Sir D. C., Farley Copse, Bracknell, Berks. 

Morrell, E. H., Esq., Headington Hill Hall, Oxford (2). 

Mosley, T., Esq., Bangor's Bark, Iver, Bucks. 

Murray, Mrs. S., The Manor House, Hambledon, Henley-on- 
Thames. 

Myers, J. L., Esq., Christ Church, Oxford. 
Myers, Rev. W. M., Swanborne Vicarage, Winslow. 
Oxford, Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of, Cuddesdon, Oxon. 
Palmer, G. W., Esq., M.P., Marlston House, near Newbury. 
Parez, Rev. C. H., Mentmore Vicarage, Leighton Buzzard. 
Phipps, Col. R., The Stone, Challont S. Giles, Bucks (2). 
Pigot, Rev. J. C., CulUngton Rectory, Leighton Buzzard. 
Pigott, Miss M., Brinley House, near Faversham, Kent. 
Pinfold, Miss, "Walton Hall, Bletchley, Bucks. 
Playne, A., Esq., Lynhames, Maidenhead. 
Potter, E. A., Esq., Castle Priory, Wallingford. 
Quaritch, Mr. B., r5, Piccadilly, W. (2). 
Raffety, C. W., Esq., High Wycombe (2). 
Rose, Sir Philip F., Bart., Rayners, Penn, Bucks. 
Rothschild, Dowager Lady de, ig, Grosvenor Place, S.W. 
Rothschild, Leopold de, Esq., Ascott, Wing, Leighton Buzzard. 
Roughsedge, Miss, Avondale, Devonshire Park, Birkenhead. 
Sawyer, Rev. W. G., Castlemount, Maidenhead. 
Serocold, C. P., Esq., Taplow Hill, Maidenhead. 
Skinner, A. E., Esq., Grendon Hall, Aylesbury, Bucks. 
Smith, Jlrs. W., 20, Graven Hill Gardens, W. 
Smith, Miss M., The Vicarage, Wendover, Bucks. 
Smith, C., Esq., Hatherley, Reading. 
Smith, Mrs. C. H. Ravenswood, Wokingham. 

Spencer, Rev. R. F. Ashley, Tylers Green Vicarage, Penn, Bucks. 
Spokes, Sir P., 25, Chester Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W. 
Spottiswoode & Co., Ltd., Booksellers, Eton (6). 
Stevenson, Mrs. H., Hedgerley Park, .Stoke Poges. 
Stone, Mrs. R. W., Manor House, Long Crendon, near Thame. 
Stowe, A., Esq., Buckingham. 
Sutton, M. J., Esq., Henley Park, Oxon. 
Thomas, J., Esq., Brook House, Woburn, Bucks. 
Thompson, Rev. A. S., Little Marlow Vicarage, Marlow. 

191 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

Thuilow, T., Esq., High Wycombe. 

Tonge, G. A., Esq., Mitre Square, Aldgate, E.C. 

Tull, A. R., Esq., Crookham House, Newbury. 

Turner, Mr. H. C, 30, Market Place, Reading. 

Verney, Lady, Claydon House, Winslow, Bucks (4). 

Verney, Sir Edmund, Bart., Claydon House, Winslow, Bucks. 

Verney, F., Esq., 6, Onslow Gardens, S.W. 

Verney, Mrs. L., 14, Hinds Street, Manchester Square, W. 

Vernon, B. W., Esq., Stoke Bruerne Park, Towcester. 

Walker, Mr. H., 37, Briggate, Leeds. 

Watson, J., Esq., 1, Clifton Crescent, Folkestone, Kent. 

Weller, G., Esq., The Plantation, Amersham (2). 

Weller, W., Esq., Springfield Lodge, Hughenden, near High 

Wycombe. 
Wethered, Rev. F. T., Hurley Vicarage, Marlow. 
White, J. H., Esq., Pease Hall, Springfield, Chelmsford. 
White, Dr. R. P., Florence House, Wigan. 
Willes, G. S., Esq., The Firs, Hungerford, Berks. 
Williams, J. G., Esq., Pendley Manor, Tring, Herts. 
Williams, Rev. M., Holly Lodge, Earley, Reading. 
Williams, P., Esq., Eton College, Windsor. 
Williams, Mrs. F. E., 4, Bath Road, Reading. 
Wilson, Rev. G. E., The Vicarage, Great Missenden, Bucks. 
Wyly, J. G., Esq., Uplands, Erleigh, Reading. 
Woodward, Miss ]. L., The Knoll, Clevedon, Somerset. 
York, The Very Rev. Dean of. Deanery, York. 



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