« PreviousContinue »
to regard it “in the light of a private trust, and not of a charity.” This is an extraordinary statement, but it serves more than anything else to explain the manner in which the Trust was treated by them. However this treatinent may be accounted for, without attributing it to conscious partiality or injustice, the facts pertaining to it remain, and they must be allowed to tell their own tale.
It is not merely in regard to this particular Charity that these facts deserve to be recorded; but also as an illustration of the way in which many other charities are often diverted from their original and proper purpose by persons who, while professing profound reverence for the intentions of the “pious founder," consciously or unconsciously ignore or violate those intentions with a view, not perhaps to secure their own private interest, but to promote their favourite or party objects, regardless of the just claims of others.
On the Scheme, which has been settled by the Court of Chancery, some remarks are offered at the close of this history of the Charity. The Scheme undoubtedly removes in great measure the complaints formerly made by Nonconformists concerning its maladministration, and is a concession to their claims. Yet it cannot be deemed altogether satisfactory; and perhaps at some future time it may be amended. Meanwhile, it remains to make the best of it, and diligently to seek to carry it into practical effect. All the present trustees are evidently desirous of doing so, both in the letter and in the spirit. For myself, and I doubt not also for the other Nonconformist trustees, I may presume to say that the courtesy and kindness exhibited by the older members of the Trust towards those who have been recently appointed upon it have rendered co-operation with them very harmonious and pleasant, and done much to promote the future efficient working of the Charity.
“ Virtue alone is true nobility.”
“ Rarely into the branches of the tree
Doth human worth mount up; and so ordains
“ The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that."-BURNS.
“The first element of the name may, perhaps, be Anglo-Saxonhwer =cauldron ; the second element, A.-S. tun = enclosure, English town; so that the name may mean enclosure in a basin or hollow between hills.”—E. R. WHARTON. THE place from which the name of the Wharton family was derived is known as WHARTON HALL," a fair lordship on the banks of the River Eden,” in the parish of Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. This river has its source in a wild and desolate height called Blackfell Moss, where also the Yorkshire River Swale takes its rise. It descends into the Vale of Mallerstang, flows amidst green and lofty fells by the ruins of Pendragon Castle, * and, leaving Wharton Hall on the left, pursues its northward course towards Kirkby Stephen, Appleby, and Carlisle, and falls into Solway Firth.
The old home of the family is now occupied as a farmhouse. It is two miles from Kirkby Stephen and four from Ravenstonedale; is situated on the hillside and surrounded by old trees; and consists of a spacious area, enclosed by thick walls, with a low tower, and containing various buildings, partly gone to decay and partly rebuilt. Some portion thereof was erected about the middle of the fifteenth century, the whole reconstructed by the first Lord Wharton (1559), and the present residential part much altered by the Earl of Lonsdale about the year 1800.
Wharton Hall is thus described by Mr. E. R. Wharton : “The main entrance is from the south-west by a gate-house, with an escutcheon over the gateWharton quartering Depden; over the escutcheon a bull's head erased and collared, on a helmet, supporters dexter a lion, sinister a (headless) bull; below the escutcheon a scroll inscribed Pleasur en faits d'armes ; and below this ANNO DNI 1559. On each side of the entrance is a chamber, and adjoining that to the left a staircase up to the tower; the courtyard is square, with buildings round the left-hand side and that facing the entrance, and a high wall round the right-hand side. ... The courtyard is diversified by trees and bushes, with buildings on two sides. The great banqueting hall is now roofless, but the kitchen beside it remains in all its generous height."*
* An ancient castle, restored by the famous Anne, Countess of Pembroke, 1589–1675 (daughter of George Clifford, third Earl of Cumberland, and niece of the third Lord Wharton), who resided there in October, 1661, and made her will there May ist, 1675; but reduced to a ruin in 1685.
THE ANCESTRY OF THE FIRST BARON, “The antiquity of their stock is far higher than heralds record."
THOMAS PENNANT, 1773. The first of the name of whom there is any mention was Sueni de Warton (Querton), who was seised of lands in Lancashire and Westmorland, in the time of Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror. Sueni was followed by Gamel his son, Gamel by Siward, and so on through many generations, during which the family increased in wealth and importance until at length one of the succession became a Baron of the Realm.t · Some further particulars of the ancestry of the first Baron may interest the reader. “In 1292 Gilbert de Querton (as the name was then written : the form Wharton
** The Whartons of Wharton Hall," by Edward Ross Wharton, M.A., late Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, 1898. Mr. Wharton was an accomplished philologer, but during his later years he turned his attention to genealogy, and made extensive researches respecting the Wharton family (although he was unable to make out his own descent from the Whartons of Wharton Hall). His little book, containing an obituary of the author, was published by his widow. In the Bodleian Library, Oxford, there are fourteen volumes of his Manuscript Collections, gathered from the Carte MSS., and innumerable other sources. See also articles on “ Wharton” in the Dictionary of National Biography.
+ The term baron denoted in ancient times one who held lands directly of the King, and was thereby entitled to attend the great Council ; it subsequently came to signify a personal dignity created either by the King's writ of summons to the House of Peers, or by his letters patent; and it is now applied to the lowest of the orders of nobility, viz, baron, viscount, earl, marquis, and duke.