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charity, and died at the advanced age of 115! By him Farleigh was sold in 1686 to the Bayntons, and it next came into the possession of the Houltons, in which family it still remains. They did not, however, take up their abode in the old castle of the Hungerfords, but at a house in a different part of the parish, adding a park and picturesque grounds.

The next record of the Hungerford family shows a member of it in a more favourable light than his predecessors, but strikingly illustrates the transitoriness of human exist

The spendthrift Sir Edward had an only son, Edward, to whom is dedicated the volume entitled Humane Prudence, consisting of quaint maxims and sentences, edited by 'W. de Britaine.' Edward Hungerford was not only heir to a noble fortune, but by a very early marriage, at the age of nineteen, with Lady Alathæa Compton, became entitled, had they both lived, to still larger possessions. You have,' says the 'dedication, 'made a fair progress in your studies beyond your years. “The nobleness of your stock is a spur to virtue.' “As much as you excel others in fortune,' etc. Such phraseology could only be addressed to some young man of good family and great prospects. But Sir Edward's son died in September 1681, aged twenty, and the Humane Prudence did not appear till 1682, which renders it doubtful whether Sir Edward's son was the person to whom the book was dedicated.

Here our glances at the chequered fortunes of the Hungerfords must end. Aubrey has this quaint regret for this

family decadence. In his Miscellanies he points to the place for its “local fatality,' telling us : “The honourable family of the Hungerfords is probably of as great antiquity as any in the county of Wilts. Hungerford (the place of the barony) was sold but lately by Sir Edward Hungerford, Knight of the Bath, as also the noble and ancient seat of Farleigh Castle. But that this estate should so long continue is not very strange; for it being so vast, 'twas able to make several withstandings against the shock of fortune.'

John Britton, in his Autobiography, tells us the Hungerford family possessed numerous estates, manors, and mansions, in the counties of Wilts, Berks, Somerset, Gloucester, etc. “Though, at the zenith of its prosperity, the Hungerford genealogical tree spread its branches over a wide tract of territory, it had dwindled almost to nothing in my boyish days, and was said to have had one of its last distant female representatives in Chippenham, near the end of the last century.' Mr. Jackson, in the Wiltshire Magazine, describes two chapels founded by the Hungerfords in the cathedral of Salisbury; a redeeming record wherewith to close our Hungerfordiana.

THE HOUSE OF FERRERS.

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HE very ancient and honourable family of Shirley,

of whom Earl Ferrers is the head, has had the

good fortune to be illustrated by an historical narrative, compiled by a distinguished member of its own house. Sir Thomas Shirley of Botolph's Bridge composed three distinct ms. histories of the Shirleys, all of which are preserved in the British Museum. From these records it appears that the Shirleys derive descent from Sasnallo or Sewallus de Etington, whose name, says Dugdale in his Antiquities of Warwickshire, argues him to be of old English stock. He resided at Nether Etington, in the county of Warwick, about the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which place had been the seat of his ancestors, there is reason to believe, for many generations before that period. “After the Conquest,' says Sir Bernard Burke, 'the lordship of Etington was given to Henry Earl of Ferrers, in Normandy, who was one of the principal adventurers with the Norman Duke William, and was held under him by this Sewallus, with whose posterity in the male line it has continued to the present reign; the late Hon. George

was

Shirley, who died in 1787, having been owner thereof.' This long continuance of ownership is mentioned by Dugdale, who says, in his Warwickshire, that 'Etington is the only place in the county which could glory in an uninterrupted succession of its owners for so long a space of time.' The above-mentioned Sewallus founded and endowed the Church of Nether Etington. He had large possessions; his estate in this place only amounting to seventeen hides of land, whence he must have been no less than a thane in the time of the Saxons, which the same degree of honour among them as a baron or peer of England after the Norman Conquest.

Sir Thomas Shirley, Knt., M.P. for the county of Warwick, in the fourteenth year of Edward 11., is said to be “the great founder of the family of Shirley, famous in his time for his valour, and for the many services he rendered to the Kings of England against the French.' His son and successor, Sir Hugh Shirley, Knt., was made grand falconer to Henry iv. in 1400. He was killed fighting on the side of the same monarch at the battle of Shrewsbury, being one of those who were habited as the king, and taken for him by the opposite party. Shakspeare, in the first part of King Henry iv. Act v. sc. 4, makes Douglas, when fighting and nearly worsting the king, thus accosted by Prince Henry:

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It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee,
Who never promiseth but he means to pay.'

was

Sir Ralph Shirley, son and successor of Sir Thomas,

one of the chief commanders under Henry V. at Agincourt.

By the marriage of Sir Henry Shirley, Bart., with the Lady Dorothy, youngest daughter and co-heir of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex and Lord Ferrers of Chartley (the favourite minister of Queen Elizabeth), the present Earl Ferrers enjoys Chartley and twelve other manors in the county of Stafford. By this alliance the Earls of Ferrers quarter the arms of France and England with their own; the Earl of Essex having descended maternally from Richard Plantagenet, Earl of Cambridge, grandson of Edward 11. (Burke).

Sir Robert Shirley, who founded the church at Staunton Harold in 1653, was the youngest son by the above marriage. He was a zealous royalist, who was committed to the Tower by the usurper Cromwell, May 4, 1650. He was condemned to close imprisonment; and having remained there for some months, but nothing being proved against him to warrant his detention, after several petitions he was set at liberty, that he might be able to furnish the thirteen horses and arms charged by the Parliament on his estate. Sir Robert's building of the church was in those fanatic times hypocritically made a fault; for Beck says: “It being told the usurping power then reigning that Sir Robert Shirley had built a church, they directed

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