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THE OSBORNE AND LEEDS FAMILIES.
FOWARDS the middle of the sixteenth century
(1536), when London Bridge was covered with
picturesque towers and gateways, and houses of business, there occurred, in one of the latter, an incident which is probably better known and more often related than most other portions of its history. We allude to the anecdote of Edward Osborne leaping into the Thames from the window of one of the bridge houses, to rescue the daughter of Sir William Hewet, a cloth-worker, the son of Edmund Hewet of Wales, in Yorkshire. He possessed an estate of £6000 per annum, and is said to have had three sons and one daughter, Anne, to which daughter this mischance happened, the father then living upon London Bridge. It happened that the maid-servant, as she was playing with the infant on the edge of the open window over the river Thames, by chance dropped her in, almost beyond expectation of her being saved; but a young gentleman named Osborne, then apprenticed to Sir William, the father, seeing the accident, leaped into the river after her boldly, and brought the child out safe, to the great joy of
its parents and the admiration of the spectators. In memory of this deliverance, and in gratitude, when the child was grown to woman's estate, and asked in marriage by several persons of quality, particularly by the Earl of Shrewsbury, Sir William betrothed his daughter with a very great dowry to her deliverer, and with this emphatic declaration : Osborne saved her, and Osborne shall enjoy her.' Part of the property given her in marriage was the estate of Sir Thomas Fanshaw of Barking, in Essex ; together with several other lands in the parishes of Harthil and Wales, in Yorkshire, now in the possession of the noble family of the Duke of Leeds. Sir William Hewet was one of the eminent members of the Cloth-workers' Company, and served the office of Lord Mayor in 1539. He was buried, under a magnificent tomb, between those of Dean Colet and Sir William Cockain, in the south aisle of the old Cathedral of St. Paul.
Now the family of Osborne, whence sprung 'the gallant apprentice of London Bridge, is one of considerable antiquity in Kent, and was early seated at Ashford in that county. So far back as the twelfth of Henry VI., John Osborne of Canterbury occurs on the list of Kentish gentry. Sir Edward Osborne, who married Sir William Hewet's daughter, served as Sheriff of London in 1575, and Lord Mayor in 1583-84, the twenty-fifth of Queen Elizabeth, when he received the honour of knighthood at Westminster. He dwelt, according to a ms. in the Herald's College, in Philpot Lane, in Sir W. Hewet's house, and was buried
in 1591 in the old church of St. Dionis Backchurch in Fenchurch Street. On the 15th of August 1675, Sir Thomas Osborne, the great-grandson of Sir Edward, was raised to the peerage by the titles of Viscount Latimer and Baron Kiveton, in the county of York, by patent from King Charles the Second. On the 27th of June in the year following he was created Earl of Danby; on the 20th of April 1680 he was advanced to the dignity of Marquess of Caermarthen; and he became first Duke of Leeds on May the 4th, 1694. "Ancient as is the paternal family of the noble family of Osborne,' says Sir Bernard Burke, the illustrious houses of Conyers, D'Arcy, and Godolphin, which the present Duke of Leeds represents, and his descent through various lines of the royal House of Plantagenet, add a lustre to his Grace's coronet of which few other families can boast' (Peerage, 1865). We may here add that Sir Edward Osborne, when Lord Mayor, introduced the custom of drinking to the new Sheriff, although there is a ludicrous instance of such a ceremony in 1487
The courageous action of Osborne at London Bridge has been commemorated in various pictures and prints. We even remember its illustration in a little book of our childhood. The Leeds family preserve the picture of Sir William Hewet, in his habit as Lord Mayor, at Kiveton House in Yorkshire to this day, valuing it at £300. Pennant describes this portrait as half-length, on board , dress, a black gown, furred, red vest and sleeves, a gold
chain, and a bonnet. There is also an engraved portrait of Osborne himself, said to be unique, in a series of woodcuts, consisting of the portraits of forty-three Lord Mayors in the time of Queen Elizabeth. There is also a small but uncommon engraving of Osborne leaping from the window, executed for some ephemeral publication, from a drawing by Samuel Wale. As this artist died in 1786, it is of course but of little authority as being a representation of the fact : it is nevertheless interesting for its portraiture of the dwellings on London Bridge in the artist's time. With this print may be mentioned one designed by the same hand, and engraved by Charles Grignion, of the first Duke of Leeds pointing to a portrait of Hewet's daughter, and relating to King Charles II. the foregoing anecdote of his ancestors.
So much, then, for an historical and genealogical illustration of the anecdote of the gallant apprentice of London Bridge.
LOSELEY MANOR AND MANUSCRIPTS,
AND THE MORE FAMILY.
NE of the most interesting manorial houses of the
county of Surrey is Loseley, situated about two
miles to the south-east of Guildford, between Compton on the north-east and the lordship of Godalming on the south and east. This manor was held in chief by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, at the time of the Domesday survey.
Roger de Montgomery was one of the Norman barons who engaged in the expedition to England under Duke William ; and he commanded the central division of the Norman army at the battle of Hastings. In reward for his services he obtained his lands and titles, including among the former three manors in the county of Surrey, besides that of Loseley. After the death of William the First he joined the party in favour of his eldest son, Robert Curthose, but at length quitted it, and became the firm adherent of William Rufus. He founded several religious houses, one of which was the Priory of Shrewsbury, where he spent the latter part of his life, and died July 27, 1094.