« PreviousContinue »
of joining in some of the numerous conspiracies to restore the monarchy.
He does not appear to have been really implicated, and his imprisonment at Chepstow Castle was not a long or a severe one.
His second wife's property was partially instrumental in softening his punishment; added to which, his amiable manners, talents, and piety, seem ever to have conciliated even those who were his enemies.
His second wife was a certain Mrs. Johanna Bridges, a lady of large fortune and beauty, and reputed to be related to the king, and to resemble him.
When a prisoner at Chepstow, he writes, 'I have now that liberty that I can receive any letters, and send any; for the gentlemen under whose custody I am, as they are careful of their charges, so they are civil to my person.' He employed all his time in writing and study; and, after his release, the fruits of his well-spent hours in prison were published.
We may draw an instructive comparison between Marten and Taylor, and derive a useful
lesson in contemplating the latter, softening, by industry and application, the irksome life of a prisoner, and, unlike Marten, bending with submission to his fate. On the Restoration, Charles the Second made him Bishop of Down and Connor, and he resided chiefly in Ireland, till his death in 1667. He died of fever, in the fifty-fifth year of his age, and is buried in Dromore Cathedral; and with his death I must end my story of Chepstow Castle.
HENRY AND EDWARD SOMERSET, MARQUISES OF
WATCHED you yesterday on the platform of N- station, as you two boys
examined the engine of the train by which your father was to leave us for his holiday; and seeing how interested you appeared to be in the construction of a locomotive, I thought to myself that probably neither of you connected steam engines with the 'fireside tales' that you are hearing about Castles and their Heroes.
And yet between the two subjects there is a link, since to the former owner of one old fortress we owe the first idea, if not the actual invention, of an engine that raised water by steam.
Edward, Marquis of Worcester, was a celebrated
projector of inventions, and he is to be one of our heroes of Raglan Castle,
This nobleman lived in the time of Charles the First; but I must tell you something about the long line of ancestors from whom he was descended.
The first of the family was the illegitimate son of John of Gaunt, whose mother, Catherine Swinford, had been governess to his daughters, and whom, on the death of his second wife, John of Gaunt married.
John Beaufort, named after his birthplace, the Castle of Beaufort, in Anjou, was made legitimate by an Act of Parliament in the reign of King Richard the Second, in 1396, and created Earl of Somerset.
This was a ceremony that appears to have been performed with great pomp and state, the Lord Chancellor announcing the honour in Parliament, and the new-made earl being brought in between two other peers, in 'a vesture of honour; his sword (with the pomel gilt) carried before him.' After his charter of nobility had been duly read, he was girt with his sword and placed between the two noblemen who had introduced him.
Nor did the honours lavished on Sir John Beaufort end there. An old writer tells us that on St. Michael's day, which happened to fall on the following Saturday, he was created Marquis of Dorset, and again girded in Parliament with a sword, and crowned with a circle round his head.
The king appears to have also made him Marquis of Somerset, though he was always called Marquis of Dorset ; and, among other dignities conferred on him, he was made Constable of Dover Castle, and Warden of the Cinque Ports. During Richard the Second's reign, his honours and possessions continued to increase, and he was likewise made Admiral of the King's Fleet, 'both to the north and westwards.' All these favours were doubtless given to him owing to his father's influence over the king; but after 'time-honoured Lancaster's' death, in 1399, Lord Dorset was accused of having been one of the murderers of his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, and his title of Marquis of Dorset was made void by the authority of Parliament.
He was, however, restored to the dignity later, in Henry the Fourth's reign, and died a very rich man, if one can judge by the long list of possessions