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services, through the recommendation of that nobleman, the rank of Commander; but was told that Lord Barham had so completely shut the door of preferment, that his only chance was to go to the West Indies, and wait a death vacancy. This proposal of his noble relative he indignantly rejected, as both his elder brothers, sent out to the same quarter by Lord Moira's interest, had fallen victims to that inhospitable climate. After this refusal, Lord Moira had him appointed Acting Ordnance store-keeper in the Isle of Wight, and in 1808, Ordnance store-keeper, (an office with a salary of about £150. per annum) in Enniskillen, Ireland. In this humble situation his Lordship lived for more than nine years in the bosom of his family, the honours of his ancestors, and the rights of his birth almost forgotten; when an accidental conversation in a social hour with his friend Mr. Bell, Attorney, led to the revival of his hereditary claim to the Earldom of Huntingdon. So hopeless did the attempt at first appear to his Lordship, that when Mr. Bell, with the enthusiasm of an Irishman
and a friend, voluntarily undertook the task of recovering his rights, his Lordship familiarly answered, "By all that's good you are mad!" His friend, however, was not to be deterred by difficulties real or imaginary. He instantly repaired to Leicestershire, where for ages the noble family of Hastings, the descendants of the Plantagenets, had resided; and there instituted an inquiry amongst the surviving tenants and domestics of the former Earl. The information thus obtained was corroborated and confirmed by entries in parish registers, inscriptions on tombs, and other genuine sources, and, thus successful, Mr. Bell lost no time in drawing up a case which he submitted to the judgment of Sir Samuel Romilly. With the assistance of that able lawyer and friend to Humanity, a chain of irrefragable evidence was completed, and in less than twelve months, his Majesty's writ of summons under the great seal, was issued requiring the attendance of the Earl of Huntingdon in the House of Peers. His Lordship accordingly took the oaths and his seat on the fourteenth of January, 1819.
General appearance-Situation-Population-Etymology of the Name-Ancient History-Roman Fortress on the Castle Hills-Castle erected by the SaxonsView from the Castle Hills-Domesday Account of Huntingdon Charters, &c.
“Huntingdon” says Cowper, "is one of the neatest towns in England; the country is fine for several miles about it, and the
roads, which are all turnpike, aud strike out four or five different ways, are perfectly good all the year round."
Most of our readers we imagine will readily concur with the amiable poet in this sincere and artless eulogium. Huntingdon has lost none of its beauty or reputation since the days of Cowper, but on the contrary, has gained additional attractions during the fifty years that intervene between the period of his residence here and the time in which we now write. The surrounding country too, still retains those features which delighted the poet, then cheerful and happy, for he was free from the influence of that dreadful malady which darkened his latter days, and hung over his youth like a thunder-cloud pregnant with desolation and misery.
The general appearance of Huntingdon to a stranger is highly pleasing and prepossessing. The principal street is spacious, wellpaved, and always remarkably clean; the houses are large and respectable-the footpavements uniformly in excellent order
and over the whole town is spread an air of quiet regularity, neatness, and comfort, seldom found in larger and more populous places. If it lack somewhat of that stir and bustle usually expected and prevalent in the chief borough of a county, it contains none of those exterior signs of squalid want and wretchedness which tread fast on the heels of splendour and profusion, and render a perambulation through some of our large towns, a task calculated as much to excite disgust and commiseration as to please and gratify. From this great evil, inseparable perhaps from populous towns, Huntingdon is almost wholly free.
The inhabitants engaged in business, depend chiefly on their townsmen, their country neighbours, and on each other for support, and are exempt from those sudden overwhelming fluctuations in trade, which are frequently productive of such disastrous consequences in the manufacturing quarters of the kingdom; whilst this congeniality of interests and expectations has given a tone of courtesy and urbanity to all classes of the